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

mray mail at
Wed Jul 26 10:11:15 UTC 2017

On 26.07.2017 10:05, Max Mehl wrote:
> # 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
> information.
>> 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.
> Best,
> Max

You're right, there are those two parts to it.
I just think the connection between them is the issue.

We *could* also silently be present on the problematic networks and not
speak out about issues. But that seems out of the question.

If we come clear with the problem and *then* have to admit we are part
of it - we rightly lose credibility.
How can we encourage people to leave walled gardens when WE as an
organization don't? They share our same dillema, staying because the
rest is there. Lots of people would prefer to use an alternative if it
was just up to them. The FSFE being in that position and deciding to
stay would be an "official blessing" even for me as an free software

Also, lets not forget - individuals may talk and tweet all day long on
facebook or twitter about FSFE activity without us having an account!


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