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

Paul Boddie paul at
Tue Jul 25 10:58:03 UTC 2017

On Tuesday 25. July 2017 11.41.48 Max Mehl wrote:
> I would love to live in a world where we could abolish all proprietary
> tools. But unfortunately the carefully dosed usage of some proprietary
> networks is important for us to fulfil our mission [1]. Especially
> Twitter is more or less the only channel for us to connect with many
> journalists and politicians at short notice.

So what is the arrangement here, exactly? I'm guessing that most journalists 
and politicians don't "follow" FSFE on Twitter, so the way it must work is 
that the FSFE presence must "#" something that those people might be tracking 
or "@" those people directly.

Personally, I'm rather irritated by the spread of Twitter as a replacement for 
basic communications. It seems that one can barely get any coherent response 
out of organisations these days by either mailing them or using whatever 
contact form they provide on their Web sites, yet all one hears about in the 
media is how Twitter and other such platforms "enhance" relationships between 
companies and their customers.

Those "enhanced" relationships mostly appear to involve people "angry-
tweeting" or "sad-tweeting" in order to publicly shame another party into 
doing something. While going public may be a necessary step in a dispute and 
is often the facilitating role of traditional media, what we now have is that 
as the very first step. Meanwhile, the media, despite acting as the 
promotional arm of these platforms bemoan their diminishing influence thanks 
to those very platforms.

I think what people want to see is a strategy for offering an alternative to 
such platforms. Actually implementing such a strategy is perhaps beyond the 
mission of the FSFE, but I doubt that the same can be said for the formulation 
or promotion of such a strategy.


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