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

Xavi Drudis Ferran xdrudis at
Mon Jul 24 09:48:57 UTC 2017

El Sun, Jul 23, 2017 at 07:03:41AM +0000, Evaggelos Balaskas deia:
> 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.

Ok, careful. I remember a company once making me believe they didn't
consider me a human being because I didn't use their products, and you
could now end up making me believe you think I'm not alive (enough?)
because I don't use social media.  That could be a stronger opinion
than whether facebook is about cats (which I didn't say as an
absolute truth, just as a hint that sometimes people are not
interested in some arguments, as in go count how many people in 
facebook is interested in cats, and how many in free software).

Then maybe you don't think part of the message should be not to use
centralized proprietary social media. I'm just saying if part of what
some organization says amounts to "don't use twitter" then the
organization shouldn't use twitter to say it. If the organization is
not saying this but something else, I already said my point made no

What I mean is maybe we _should_ debate if social media should or not 
be part of our life (or which social media or whatever). And once 
there's a position on that it'll be easier to decide whether to use it.

> 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?

I think we should not do mass email campaigns to random people. It's
not that we must not use email because SPAM exists. It's we should not
send SPAM ourselves.  And the organization shouldn't use proprietary
mail software for their own accounts. If the organization mails get
sent to the addresses interested people have provided and that gets forwarded
to proprietary software, then so be it. It's not very different to 
posting original content to the organization's web and some person 
forwarding it to Facebook. I'm not suggesting to set up referer filters
to try to stop accesses from there. I'm just sugggesting not having an
account there for the group. 

> I believe that we should be reaching out to people that have
> different ideas from us and making arguments, discussions, talks on
> how free software and the culture that comes with is the only way
> for our society to be a better place for everyone.

I don't believe my ideas are so much better than other peoples that I
must intrude on them to explain them to them. I may do if the
conversation brings up the subject but I think in general I'm wasting
my time and theirs if I just pick a random stranger and try to
convince him/her of one of my ideas. It's better to talk to people who
already share part of the principles and can tell me things I haven't
thought or listen to things I have thought.

I'm just saying that if the message includes not using X, then going to X
to tell people there they shouldn't be there is a bit useless. It's like 
going to the middle of a square and start shouting nobody should be in 
this particular square. 

If you think "don't use X" is not what we should be saying, then it's
perfectly fine to use X. But if part of the subjet is saying "don't 
use X", then we should say it while showing there are alternative ways
of life that don't involve using X. 

The fact that there are lots of people using X just means that it's
likely that if what you do has any interest at all someone may forward
it to X, without the organization ever helping X. 

> To make a point -plz bare with me for a moment- when everyone inside
> a group is telling each other that free software is awesome and we
> have to be a role model, my argument is to whom? To each other? How
> can we reach people from outside this utopian group?

We can argue Tails yes or Tails not, can't we ? It's still useful to 
talk between ourselves. 

And I think:

1.- the organization not using a social media X does not mean the
organizations messages can't reach X (if X management does not care to
prevent it, in case it is centralized enough). It just means the
organization does not spend time or face in X.

2.- there is people outside social media and not yet into free
software who can be interested in free software (and this does not 
even have to be distinct from the audience before, some people 
live some time in social media and some time outside of it and you 
can reach them when outside). 

3.- It's not about role models. It's just that when people get
together and set up groups for some shared ideas, keeping to the ideas
is useful to sustain the group. Otherwise it can end up as a group
just for the group itself and nothing behind it and lose its interest.
It's not about who is purest, it's about the collective action being
coherent with shared ideas and let each member live their lifes as
they want and can.

I remember having set up booths in the street for Software Freedom Day 
or the like. But even then I wasn't interrupting walkers by and telling
them my story, I at least waited for someone to approach the booth and 
show some curiosity. And after some years the conclusion was the results
weren't worth the effort even so. It was too random to be effective.

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