I believe that most of the people that migrated from , did so because twitter was becoming quite an extremist toxic environment. There's also the whole centralization and censoring issues with platforma like that.

I have witnessed people criticizing (not debating) each other here in for a flexible opinion on private companies and capitalism as a whole. This sounds like extremism to me from the other side of the spectrum.

I've seen people being kicked out of chat groups for using the word "Linux" as a reference to the OS with the kernel. Apparently this is capital sin, you should use either or GNU/Linux. Am I the only one who think this is a bit too much?

I've also seen people engaging in strong criticisms because some organizations should have a more active presence in decentralized services. I agree with the premise, but did we stop to help them reach more people while breaking free from GAFAM?

Where are all the people who talk about sports? Or politics? Or discuss books they read recently?

Where are all the people who discuss practical ways of helping friends and family with barely any IT skill migrate away from GAFAM instead of shoving down theoretical approaches from Saint IGNUcius?

I think one of the things that bothered me the most was a developer saying that he'd stop his support to certain tool because the community was "stupid". He literally said that!

I've always questioned why admins of public instances should block far-right instances. I mean, aren't freedom of speech and "own your data" the whole points of decentralization?

If said "speech" instigate hate, chaos or promote disinformation, you can use your influence to let people know and maybe block it just for you. However, I think people can decide by themselves what they wanna see in their local and global timelines.

While many of you are fighting each other because a specific tool should be decentralized or because some other service is using something from Google, senior citizens just wanna see photos of their grandkids, teenagers just wanna be part of their social circles and adults just want something that works, plain and simple.

How are you helping these kinds of people break away from GAFAM? How can these people (and small businesses) rely on a community that fight each other?

Not sure if my point is clear on this thread, but I´m not defending hateful content nor am I saying manipulative information shouldn´t be scrutinized. My point is, we have been chasing a respectful and free internet while criticizing people who don´t fall on either side of the political spectrum. This polarization only benefits the powerful, unfortunately.

Freedom of speech is the freedom of someone to decide what to publish or not too publish on their own site.

It does not mean that you can come onto my site and say racist and sexist things on my site claiming if I don't want to publish your contrary views on my site that it is an infringement on your freedom of speech.

It isn't.

Do you understand?

Build your own site.

@hhardy01 One thing is to publish on other people´s site, another thing is to publish on a so-called public instance. Does it instigate hate? Does it cross the line between freedom of speech and crime? How about calling the proper authorities?

Building their own websites surely solve a lot of censorship issues and claims. But, are they effective against hate?


What is an example of a so-called public instance you are talking about?

@hhardy01 You can take mastodon.social as an example, as far as I´m concerned (and the server can hold up) anyone can join. People are free to block anyone they want but why does the admin has a list of other instances that are blocked for everyone inside of it?

There are specific explanations for each of the mastodon dot social server blocks here:



@hhardy01 Thanks, I appreciate you taking the time to send me that and I'm well aware of that list. However, that's not what I was questioning.

Anyway, it's fine. I got a few perspectives on the matter, though. Clarified a bit more why things are the way they are 😊


mastodon.social is not called a public instance in the sense that anyone can say anything or use it for any purpose.

It is very clearly a private instance owned by one person, Eugen.

That and the privacy policy and conditions of use and governing law are all very clearly stated.

Are you making a straw man argument trying to make some kind of parallel between twitter and fediverse censorship?

Because you aren't completely wrong but I think you are stretching the point quite a bit.

@hhardy01 What I mean by "public" is anyone can join, not necessarily they can do whatever they want. It's good to have clear rules *inside* the instance.

My point was to block entire instances because it might be offensive to someone, but people are capable enough of blocking whatever offensive profile they want.

@openscience raised a point on legal liability where the admins could be responsible for third-party content inside their server, which makes the block "understandable" in some way.

@gadonias @openscience

Good point. Eugen is in Germany, where publishing Nazi material or images can in theory draw a prison term.

I don't think I understand your concern about "blocking instances."

If you don't like the moderation rules on mastodon dot social, you can move your account and contents to another instance with moderation you like better.

And if an instance is blocked from m.s then why not just go sign up for it directly?

Is this really a problem?

@hhardy01 I'm not concerned about "blocking instances", I was trying to raise a discussion on "censorship" and "biased moderation" from the same people that criticise this behaviour from big tech. That's all, I'm not trying to defend or "unblock" anyone in particular :)

@gadonias @hhardy01 Is a delicate discussion and certainly a topic that hits a sensitive spot for some.

So far, my personal experiences with the community and the moderators have been overwhelmingly positive.

Nonetheless, we must of course also examine the areas that can still be improved.

But improvements in:
- Decentralization
- Égalisation of instances
- Transferability of user accounts, their contents, their followers, etc.pp.

... could certainly mitigate some of the issues raised.

@gadonias @hhardy01

I think the following statement is worth noting.

"If you don’t believe in free speech for people who you disagree with, and even hate for what they stand for, then you don’t believe in free speech."

— Ricky Gervais (11. Jan. 2020)

@openscience @gadonias

Once again, the "free speech" at issue is that of the site owner. They don't have to post the opinions of others, for any reason. They certainly should not be compelled to post the opinions of others with which they disagree.

So no, I don't agree that the free speech rights of others in any way shape or form gives them a "right" to compel me to publish their opinions or anything else.

Do you agree that "freedom of speech" is the freedom to publish or not to publish?

@hhardy01 @openscience @gadonias

I’m pretty sick of people whining about their free speech being infringed when a website doesn’t let them post something offensive.

If I invite you into my house or place of business, and you start spouting racist crap, I can choose to kick you out of my house/business, and your rights are not being infringed at all.

You’re still free to say all the racist crap you want out on the street.

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Think it is beneficial to distinguish different cases.

If it is a private environment:
I would agree with you.

If it is not a purely private context with a dominant position / monopoly / gatekeeper:
I believe it is advantageous, to think about whether this should be considered a public space to some extent.

... BUT hey... 🤷... I also don't have a locked opinion or claim to know a definitive correct answer / solution either.

@openscience @hhardy01 Who gets to decide whether my server is a "public space", and therefore liable to whatever someone decides should be part of it's content?
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@gadonias there's a contradiction here; you're asking how laymen can breakfree from GAFAM but also saying people should have the individual right to follow or unfollow hateful or manipulative sites. Laymen and tech illiterate do not have the time/education capacity to do this themselves (hence the whole Facebook censorship debate.) (I agree with your sentiment on this thread btw.)

@selamatC Yeah, I may be contradicting myself and I´m not defending hate speech, not sure if that was clear from my previous posts but, does Facebook really block all kind of extremists and hate speeches? Thanks for you comment :)

@gadonias They don't. They say they do but they do a terrible job of it. There's so many articles being published every day from left and right wing news sources with "gotcha" examples of extremist groups staying up on Twitter/Facebook due to arbitrary and opaque guidelines (I've reported groups that spread blatantly false anti-Chinese propaganda that stayed up. Conversely a former US President is still banned from most major social media.)
It's a sisyphean task to try to moderate politics.

@gadonias the only tenable solution I can think of in the face of digital social media communication is a population educated in critical thinking. The alternative is orwellian type tactics that breed dissent.

@selamatC The thing is that we should stop electing politicians and start electing people who really are expert in their respective areas. People still can´t see the power of community and free market.

@gadonias a meritocracy would be great. How to find people who are altruistic and subject matter experts that also want to subject themselves to daily attacks on their character? I imagine it would start with turning down the political temperature via lower economic inequality. People tend not to care as much about sociopolitical things when they feel they're getting paid fairly.

@selamatC It´s a freaking rabbit hole that sometimes we found ourselves in it while the powerful (the 1% of the 1%) are the only ones to benefit from all disinformation, manipulation and political polarization. Today, to play politics mean to destroy someone else´s reputation and deceive as many people as possible. It stopped being about "democracy" a long time ago.

@gadonias Indeed the elderly just want to be in touch with their family and they will use whatever the family uses. It's the kids who drive it, so it is the kids who must be pursuaded away from GAFAM. And the outlook is disappointing. I recently visited a college of science & technology and not a single student ran linux. It was all Mac & Windows, & not a single student was free of Facebook.

@resist1984 It really is disappointing. The vast majority of companies and public institutions around the world use Office 365 and Zoom. They gladly pay for expensive subscriptions for third-party private companies to handle their data while open source projects die amid lack of funding and support.

@gadonias I convinced a group of students to use #LaTeX for their scientific deliverables, and the day a paper became due they all reverted to Google docs and refused to go back to latex. I was trying to convince students to demand that the prof use GNU Octave instead of Matlab, and the prevailing attitude was commercial software is better quality.

@resist1984 I don´t think it´s a matter of quality, I´d argue , and are all better than ; , and are all better than MS Office. The problem is that their future employers (a.k.a. private companies) in their vast majority use proprietary software. Universities want their students to be prepared for the job market, it improves their reputation which brings in more funding to pay for research, infrastructure and staff salaries.

@gadonias Hi 👋

An interesting point of view and nicely written! Although I personally would not agree with all points.

While I likewise consider the increasing blocking by admins (of larger instances (perceived as "public space")) to be a rather harmful development ... I believe that this practice, at least in some cases, is a consequence of an unfavorable legal framework.

Being liable for third party content certainly has an impact on the willingness to tolerate controversial opinions.

@openscience Hi, thanks for your comment. To be completely honest, I was unaware of this legal liability issue. This is a major problem!

Would you know if this is legislation from a specific country or most of them act in a similar way?

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