Constructive measures to help people communicate freely

Paul Boddie paul at
Mon Mar 26 12:36:19 UTC 2018

On Monday 26. March 2018 11.12.15 bruno at wrote:
> Paul Boddie <paul at> ha scritto:
> > 
> > With such considerations in mind, does anyone else think that the topic
> > of genuinely free communication might be worthy of a comprehensive
> > campaign? One that would focus on solutions and not problems.
> I'm too ignorant to seriously evaluate whether a campaign would be
> worth, so I'm not going to push my point too much. "Free
> communication" looks to me more like a personal topic, while "entities
> needlessly advertising proprietary [pdf] software" looks to me more
> like an institutional topic, worth of a public campaign.

A campaign, in the FSFE sense, can be many things. Document Freedom Day, PDF 
Readers, Public Money Public Code are rather institutional, but things like I 
♥ Free Software and Free Your Android are more personal. Other campaigns could 
be interpreted as addressing both audiences.

Meanwhile, "free communication" does affect institutions as well. Indeed, it 
is the behaviour of institutions that often diminishes the freedoms of 
individuals, as I was reminded recently when having to pursue an employment 
application with the potential employer wanting me to use the full selection 
of proprietary Microsoft products (which had nothing to do with the actual 
job, of course) to interact with them.

> My view is that most people won't change their mind about personal
> communications because of a campaign. What might convince them is a talk
> from someone they trust AND a viable solution.

Here, I agree, which is why I noted...

"In other words, promotion and advocacy are not enough. Support has to be 
given for people to actually develop and improve the solutions we suggest."

> Something which is more or less working for me is helping people install F-
> Droid, Conversations and Riot. The recurring issues, after helping them
> register and connect with me, are android battery saving killing the app and
> notifications not working on riot-ios.

So I think that because you have experience with the technological situation 
you're not "too ignorant" to determine whether a campaign in the broader sense 
is worthwhile. You have identified deficiencies in a persistent Free Software 
"story" that just happens to have elevated relevance at this current moment.

> I've been trying Movim, Dandelion and Tusky for a week, and I'd only
> recommend Tusky, unless one is willing to deal with a platform in
> developement.

Right. So we would want to identify solutions that could actually work for 
people and then determine what kind of support the developers might need to 
deliver something that fulfils all our objectives.


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