Is it acceptable to use proprietary software (platforms) to promote software freedom?

Theo Schmidt sus2006 at
Sun Jul 23 10:02:56 UTC 2017

Am 23.07.2017 um 09:03 schrieb Evaggelos Balaskas:
> Social media are now part of our life (I am not debating if they should
> or not), but diminish them to cat videos is a strong opinion. 90% of
> email is SPAM, should we stop using email? Lots of people have their
> email to a proprietary platform. Should we stop talk to them? Should we
> only talk to people who have similar ideas with us?
There is a fundamental difference between proprietary platforms with 
their own proprietary protocols used quasi-publicly (like Facebook) and 
proprietary platforms usable with public (FOSS) protocols, like Gmail, 
and Email or "WWW", etc. in general. As a non-Gmail-user, I can still 
read from and write to a Gmail account. As a non-Facebook-user, I can 
read some Facebook content, but not write to it. This leads to 
discrimination when quasi-public organisations use Facebook. E.g. Swiss 
television and radio (a so-called public service) no longer uses open 
email addresses or even specific web-forms, (except a single catch-all 
one and for some very few programs mainly used by old people) and asks 
viewers to communicate via Facebook, even in things like sweepstakes 
which are legally open to all. (I was effectively denied the chance to 
win a bicycle recently because I don't have a Facebook account. There 
would have been an email address to use, but it was kept secret, but the 
program mentioned Facebook dozens of times.)

The FSFE should of course also talk to people who use Facebook, etc, but 
perhaps not by using Facebook, because that means having a Facebook 
account and so condoning this system. If anybody should boycott things 
like Facebook, it is organisations like FSFE. If an FSFE-fellow has a 
private Facebook account and links to FSFE-Webpages, that is another matter.

Cheers, Theo
(using mail account from pseudo public service provider with SMTP or 

More information about the Discussion mailing list