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

Max Mehl max.mehl at
Wed Jul 26 08:05:34 UTC 2017

# mray [2017-07-25 22:36 +0200]:
> Services that could potentially be harmful aren't the issue. It is about
> not explicitly stating that we know some of them *are definitively*
> harmful. Yet all we say is: "Be vigilant, somewhere danger is lurking!"

I get your point and start to believe that we could rephrase it to:

  Some services are Free Software unfriendly and harm your privacy.
  [Learn more].

While installing these buttons we also thought of somehow marking
problematic services. But we felt uncomfortable of defining a
measurement for good and bad services, also because we don't have enough

> Doing the right thing and call out the "bad players"would reveal the
> issue at hand: We literally show alternatives but refuse to give up
> using the harmful ones. What message does that send?

I don't know if I understand you correctly but these are two separate
issues: informing the users, and limiting the connection to problematic
networks. We don't blame people who use proprietary software or services
but they should know about the consequences. 

And I don't consider these buttons as advertisement for FB or Twitter
but for D*, GS, Reddit, and HackerNews mainly – internet users see
(privacy-unfriendly) buttons to non-free networks all the time.


Max Mehl - Free Software Foundation Europe - Program Manager
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