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So Gab has decided that their own code that they spent $5M of investor money developing is so unsalvageably bad that they're going to use Mastodon's code instead, with the added bonus of leeching off of our apps (with Gab apps being banned from app stores)

This is an early warning to fellow admins to be vigilant and domain-block them on sight, when/if they appear (unconfirmed whether they intend to federate), and to app devs to consider if blocking Gab's domains from their app is necessary.

One has to wonder if their investors feel ripped off about this... After all, there are more than 2,000 installations of Mastodon and the costs begin at $5/mo, not $5M

Remember that Gab is a sinking ship and they're basically grabbing onto Mastodon like a parasite in a desperate attempt to get attention from the "drama" of doing so.

thedailybeast.com/gab-is-in-fu

Torba has no self-awareness to see how pathetic it looks that his master race ass is incompetent at making a working website so he has to resort to using software made by a Jew instead.

App devs will block their domains, server admins will block their domains, and that'll be the end of that.

@Gargron Mastodon and ActivityPub open them up to a bigger audience. So, I imagine they'd be happy. Regardless if other instances ban them or not, this is how FB, Twitter and Youtube are making money, supporting the controversy because it gets more clicks. Not everyone will ban them and waves of drama will ensue.

@sikkdays @Gargron They’re not coming for the audience. Gab already has one. They’re coming for the protocols and tools. Gab isn’t in this to be a Twitter clone for the rest of her life.

@Gargron only if your work is free :) but yeah, they wasted a lot of $$$

@lain It's true that my work isn't free, but Gab gets the results of my work for free, so their investors' money didn't go to the development of their platform (or did, but got wasted--bad either way)

@Gargron @lain i don’t see that bad, firstly our Toots will be available to all Gab users, About 850000 members so our instances can be a trojan horse inside gab. Also there’ll be a lot of publicity around mastodon, and probably a lot of media coverage about fediverse and mastodon creator that will condamn the use of its software, bla bla bla...
so a lot new instances will be created, some band but a lot good, and for sure fediverse will be a lot bigger

@filippodb @Gargron @lain I guess the concern will be the unsavory nature of much of Gab's content then being associated with Mastodon. I honestly tried to engage with folk on Gan once, sought to understand their beliefs & worries. The torrent of abuse I got followed me off Gab and onto twitter. It's a terrible community. I don't think they should be silenced (that's a whole different matter) but I get the concerns of reputational damage by association.

@wiredfire
I just want to say I wasn't up to date with all things concerning Gab, so thank you guys for having this conversation!
@filippodb @Gargron @lain

@Gargron honestly my favourite is how their people clearly _do not understand anything on a technical level_ about mastodon (exhibit A: "we won't offer federation but of course apps that support it would" twitter.com/getongab/status/11 , exhibit B: the guy, in their blog post, clearly not understanding that the activitypub c2s protocol is not mastodons API)

@Prez_Cannady he writes that because they use activitypub, they can now use mastodon apps, which is the kind of casual mistake you make if you write about something that you have no clue about

@halcy I didn’t infer that from that post. And Torba talked about federation today on Periscope.

@Prez_Cannady right there:

as a bonus, there's also a "oh we're SO COMMITTED to TRANSPARENCY" which is the usual corporate (remember: they're a for profit corporation) doublespeak for "ugh it's copylefted so we have to share sourcecode"

@halcy There’s another reason to share the source. There’s almost no chance anyone is going to write something worth keeping proprietary. At least not something that requires deeply coupling to the forked source. So why not recruit free labor on both ends of the pipe?

@Prez_Cannady the reason companies like gab share the source when all their previous efforts were closed is is that they have to. everything else is generally post-hoc justification.

@halcy Sheer inertia, I suppose. But regardless of obligation Gab has certainly determined the benefits of going open source outweigh the costs of keeping things in house.

@Prez_Cannady they have no choice. They literally cannot run mastodon and keep their changes for themselves, that is how the affero gpl works.

@halcy

Agreed. I'm just pointing out that this doesn't seem to be a problem for Gab. Sure, it cuts across the grain, but Gab doesn't really have anything to lose by being a good FLOSS citizen.

@Gargron this is about the level of technical competency I'd expect of them but still, lol

@Gargron wait... someone on the right grifted someone out of their money? This is unprecedent

@Gargron From your post, I don't quite understand what is the reason to "domain-block them on sight". They are somehow modifying the Mastodon code so that it could cause trouble to other instances?

@fuxoft They are a far-right host, supporting racism, white supremacy, and hatred. Any decent human will want them blocked on sight.

@Gargron the replies you're getting from nazi apologists will be great additions to my blocklist.

@Gargron gab will still be blocked from app stores, right? regardless of the code they use, the service will still host hate speech and thus be quickly banned for the same reasons as the prior app if they use Gab branding in any way

@dantheclammansrandomspamcan @Gargron That's a tricky thing. If they're just another Mastodon instance, their users will probably use one of the many mobile apps the ecosystem already has.

At that point, what will the platform holder do? Ban the app that can access any instance, precisely because it can access gab? On the Apple store that's most likely seeing what happened with Tumblr and porn. On the Google store, I'm not so sure.

@trickster
Yes, if it's a Gab instance, it will be up to instance moderators to block I guess. If they are trying to make a Gab-branded app that uses fedi as a backend, those should be straightforward to block from the stores.
@Gargron

@Gargron would be fun if when trying to login into gab we opened some "why fascism is bad" page instead

@Gargron This is also an early warning of the kind of threats the fediverse is facing.

@Gargron I disagree, in principle, with blocking on sight, but since it's Gab, I'll have to agree :P

@pedro @Gargron
Then apparently you don't actually disagree on principle.

@jlcrawf @Gargron hum idk. What I meant was in theory - in terms of ideology - I disagree but I recognize Gab as one of the exceptions to the rule.

@pedro @Gargron
Why does there need to be an exception to the rule? It is fairly easy for users to not follow people that they disagree with. Why do they need to be "protected" to the point that they can not engage with them at all?

@Gargron Why should I? If no bad content appears on my mastodon I won't.

@Gargron I have never heard of "Gab" before. Where can I learn more about the problem at hand?

@amenthes just throw it into a search engine - searching “gab social network” on DuckDuckGo gets you a Wiki article, and some news articles about the site

@Gargron From what I have been observing it seems that the decrease in Gab's user base has accelerated since the launch of the purism.one instance, which is probably why Masto got their attention (if you can't beat them join them I guess?)

They seem to be trying to imitate certain aspects of purism.one as a response to this churn.

Not sure a preemptive domain block is needed for everyone...if no local user interacts it seems they naturally don't federate with you.

@Gargron
Really!? First of all, why have all admins block all Gab users just for being Gab? Plus, someone blocking Gab from an app is absolute censorship for little reason than to discourage Gab usage. Why?

@Gargron twitter, mastodon, tumblr, gab... All four nations lived in harmony, until the gab nation attacked.

@Gargron
based on gab.com/gab/posts/VnZRendFcDM1 they want to add in things like editing and groups, yet they still expect to rely on existing Mastodon clients? I wonder how they expect existing third party apps to magically support Gab-only features 😏

They are also planning on adding video uploading, so why are they forking rather than ?

@Gargron
Also, based on the comments on that post, they fully expect to be blocked from other instances and don't intend to offer a federation feed themselves:

«Guarantee all the major instances will blacklist us instantly lol, we won't be offering a federation feed or anything. Too confusing. Obviously the mobile apps that aren't built by us will support it.» — Andrew Torba, CEO of Gab.
gab.com/a/posts/NlliNkYvd0s5d1

@gargron I'm just deeply amused that their idea for building a censorship-free social network is to form a company and give control of it to investors

@alice we should maybe keep an eye open for this. Also, I'd like to study the possibility of establishing our own blocklist (DNS based)
@samae Good idea, yeah. I don't know what you mean by DNS based but we already have a blocklist, it's in prod's config.
@samae Did you find it ? Do you need me to show you precisely where it is ?
@alice I'll have a look over the weekend, since I don't think we're in a hurry right now.

@Gargron Don’t think implementation quality is the issue here. What they built was resilient enough to having infrastructure pulled out from underneath on multiple occasions. It just makes sense to build on open, mature protocols, libraries and applications. Also, Gab doesn’t need to federate freely. They will, but Covenant instances aren’t their target.

@Gargron oh hell yeah deep state is responsible for gab's meltdown? i'm proud of myself now

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