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

Max Mehl max.mehl at
Tue Jul 25 12:19:21 UTC 2017

# Paul Boddie [2017-07-25 12:58 +0200]:
> 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.

You'd be surprised! Actually, the account has quite interesting
followers. Among the 8940 are 56 "verified" accounts belonging mostly to
journalists, organisations, and politicians with a huge follower base. I
wasn't able to filter out other highly interesting followers who are not
"verified" but I'm sure our messages on this network are well heard.

For example, our yearly "I love Free Software" campaign [1] attracts
~1000 new followers each time, many of them not aware of Free Software
before – and I would say the majority of them subscribes to our messages
because of retweets by other "influential" Twitter users.

Again, I don't appreciate the importance Twitter has gained in public
communications. But as Jonas said: apart from PR intensive events like
ILoveFS we're not investing huge amounts of resources into these
networks, so I think it's a fair compromise.



Max Mehl - Free Software Foundation Europe - Program Manager
Contact and further information:
Private weblog: ( | Private homepage: (
Support advocacy for Free Software:

More information about the Discussion mailing list