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

Paul Sutton zleap at
Fri Jun 23 08:48:31 UTC 2017

Sorry my reply to this went to Theo rather than the list  so resending,


On 23/06/17 09:10, Theo Schmidt wrote:

> Am 21.06.2017 um 12:22 schrieb Erik Albers:
> ...
>> Now I would be interested what you think? Do you think that - although the use
>> of proprietary platforms is ethically not supportable - the chances of
>> convincing new people to use and further Free Software are worth the punishment?
>> Or do you think that our message should not occur on platforms like Facebook
>> or Twitter at all, because it contradicts our efforts in getting people to use
>> decentralized services, run with Free Software and therefore potentially harm
>> us in the long run?
> Thanks for the discussion. My vote is to not use proprietary platforms
> like Facebook or Twitter at all.
> Theo Schmidt
> _______________________________________________
> Discussion mailing list
> Discussion at

What information packs are available to help promote decentralized
social networks.   Here in Torbay there is a drive to tackle social
isolation,   and well-being one way to do this is to de mystify the
Internet to older people.

Now mostly this is going to involve people being told about facebook /
twitter, this is inevitable but I have a chance here to promote
alternatives such as diaspora / gnusocial. The problem is the same
arrangement people sign up to fb because their family are on it,   

The FSFE do several flyers on gpg and free software so some to explain
decentralization generally would be good plus a getting started guide
for each,    however we cannot expect people to set up their own
servers,     We still need to address the situation where people don't
know anyone on these networks,  but in a class of 5-10 people it is
possible to say well sign up and add each other.   

>From what I understand one big issue with decentralization is explaining
how to sign up,  to sign up to fb you go to www.facebook.con,  to sign
up to decentralized networks you go to one of any number of places,  and
sign up, this in the case of has put huge pressure on
the server.

Back to the original question,  there is a difference,   between using
and having a presence on facebook,   a simple fb page,  with an
explanation as to who we are l  and a link to the website may be all
that is needed.    Same for twitter,   perhaps the occasional posting
keeps the page active. 


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