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

Daniel Pocock daniel at
Tue Jul 25 13:10:59 UTC 2017

On 25/07/17 14:56, Max Mehl wrote:
> # Daniel Pocock [2017-07-25 14:37 +0200]:
>> What is the value of 1000 new followers though?
>> Are people actually switching to free software, or are the followers,
>> shares and likes more like monopoly money which is never converted into
>> anything tangible?
> It's a huge potential. Imagine you're giving a talk about Free Software
> and suddenly 1000 people more come into the (surprisingly spacious)
> room. Of course, 800 of them could just ignore what you say and watch
> cat videos instead but you also have the chance of convincing everyone.
> Of course it is also worth talking in front of 20 people if they are
> highly dedicated to what you talk about and contribute to your
> activities (in this analogy, we do that on GNU Social or Diaspora). But
> I wouldn't ignore the 1000 people if I can reach out them with
> considerably low effort.
> And yes, just because a user is following us on Twitter this doesn't
> mean that she'll instantly start using Free Software. But thanks to us,
> now she may know that FS exists. It's a first step in educating the
> public which we otherwise couldn't make.

I remain concerned about defining the reason we want or need these
followers and then measuring whether that objective is being met.

To give another example: Greece's government successfully mobilized
enough of their citizens to vote against a bailout in a referendum[1],
but then the result of the referendum was simply ignored.  Getting 1000
people in a room or 3,558,450 in a ballot box is potentially a lot of
wasted effort if nothing actually changes.




More information about the Discussion mailing list