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.

@Gargron that's going to make it fairly hard for them to 'gab' with each other on the online web!

@Gargron man imagine ur code base sucking so much mastodon is better than it

@Gargron wonder how feasible it is to have a LICENSE that explicitly forbids it for being used for hate

@Gargron @j @LuigiEsq totally feasible. If it's your code, you can license it on pretty much any terms you like. See e.g. the Chicken Dance Licence. Yes, that's a thing.

@Gargron @j @LuigiEsq of course, you might run into problems if you have GPL code in there, as a purpose limitation isn't going to be GPL-compatible.

@hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq no, that's not a good idea.

When you restrict usage of your software, it's not free/libre open-source software anymore. You are violating Freedom 0: Use software for whatever you want.

Also it's legally hard and people tried that for military etc.
Generally, don't solve a social problem with technology like that. It likely won't work…

@rugk @hedders @gargron @j @LuigiEsq gab is notably less well funded than the military.

It would however be more expensive to enforce a no-hate license, because the nonprofits that provide pro bono support to free software products are fundamentalist about freedom 0.

It may be that the AGPL is the best we can do against gab for now, but we should be unhappy about that

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq

well… as said it's technically not really possible.
I doubt they get really an advantage by using #Mastodon.

Best is just to block them, because that's the advantage we have: all Fediverse admins can decide whether they want to block them, and so they can stay in their bubble and not be promoted.
Also – in case that thing make news (i.e. do not accidentialyl promote it, but reply) – the @Mastodon project can take a clear stance against it.

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon …, i.e. distance yourself from it. Also to news outlets if needed e.g.

But let them do their sh**. We don't have to care. Let's not promote them and make the issue bigger than it is.

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon it's not FLOSS then. And this is a philosophical position, I guess.
In the end such a crazy license would do more harm than good, because how do you define "hate speech" or so. (And you cannot really say or enforce "This software should not be used by Nazis.") It's not possible, really, not really so it would not have bad side-effects.

@rugk @hedders @gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon what makes you think we couldn't enforce "this software is not for use to promote the ideology of National Socialism" if we had enough lawyers and money?

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon

Because then I tell a Nazi to register at your instance of Mastodon, get an bunch of lawyers and let them shut-down your instance. is that what you want?

Okay, you may say then what: Should we define a percentage of Nazi users that are allowed on an instance?

Should we force admins to ban these? If so, in whcich time etc.? If so, how to define a Nazi? …

Sidenote: We also neither have enough laywers or money.

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon
also this gets into way more than we want. This is not the case that software licenses should cover.

This is what countries can make anti-hate-speech or whatever laws they call it. These can then also be enforced.

But a software license is not a state. I don't want a software license that defines what a Nazi is in my software. Wtf… no…
Just don't give them credit and stay away.

@rugk @hedders @gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon Leave it unspecified and let juries and case law sort it out if you have to

This is already how noncommercial licenses work. There's no general definition for what "commercial" is

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon

then you can hardly enforce it against, because they very well may have arguments to defend themselves from that.

It's just a fight we cannot win. It's not worth the trouble and it would only give gab credit and news coverage.

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon also just read they also adopted Firefox. Well… you see how they do it.

Don't let them fool you. They will fail anyway. Their user count is smaller than some Fediverse instances and nobody will use their browser.

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon also just read they also adopted Firefox. Well… you see how they do it.

Don't let them fool you. They will fail anyway. Their user count is smaller than some Fediverse instances and nobody will use their browser.

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon

and as said, it is against the principles of FLOSS and the GPL. See their "non-military" question about a similar issue people have:

So even if it were technically ("legally") made possible in a good way, we don't want that.

@rugk @hedders @gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon what I'm getting at is that the conception of freedom used by FLOSS and GNU in particular is terrible

If open source has to be useful to Nazis, this is an argument against open source, not an argument for helping Nazis

@LogicalDash while I agree with this in theory, in practice it gets quite difficult.

For example it's easy to say "Nazis (as defined by me) are not allowed on my email server." But it's very hard for me, the creator of the SMTP and IMAP protocols, to say "Nazis are not allowed to use email." Like the very nature of my creation is an abstract idea that anyone can use. It'd be like the inventor of the hammer saying Nazis can't use hammers. Who's gonna enforce that and how?

@LogicalDash tactically, I'd say it's better to:
- design our software such that it not only benefits freedom and liberation, but is coded in such a way as to lean that way even when someone tries to use it as a weapon (to your point)
- use the "embrace, extend, eliminate" strategy -- it's impossible for me to affect the Gab servers and software, that was 100% private. But I can affect the development of Mastodon software, which now forms the basis of Gab. That's an "in."

@rugk @hedders @gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon maybe you mean, "it's impossible without compromising on free software principles," in which case: we should compromise our principles in cases where doing so is bad for literal Nazis

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon We do have better principles than Nazis. Let's not let bad people push us into bad directions.

I also replied to your previous toot.

@LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq

an addition: if
@Mastodon wants to make a blog distancing from gab, please *don't* mention their name! This just makes them popular…

Rather condemn what their platform stands for, what people do there, and what behaviour you do not accept.

I guess you can make it very clear what platform is meant without mentioning their name.

Again: Also only do so if needed. E.g. if news outlets want to bring news about this, you should have something ready.

@rugk @LogicalDash @hedders @Gargron @j @LuigiEsq @Mastodon

Gab doesn’t need Fediverse promotion. She just wants the architecture to build out the core of a new Fediverse.

@hedders @Gargron @j I have no clue, this isn't really my wheelhouse. But as a layman, it sounds like a good idea and would be worth looking into if it could stop Gab from using the software.

@LuigiEsq @hedders @j But license changes are not retroactive, are they. Can't stop them from using code from before the change. Also, since there was no CLA that individual contributors signed, I'd need to get a consensus from about 600 people to re-license Mastodon

@Gargron @hedders @j if Gab does end up joining the Fediverse, perhaps there could be some message when people create a Mastodon-run server that suggests to defederate with them?

@LuigiEsq @Gargron @hedders @j To be honest, it doesn't even have to be a message. It could be part of the script that sets up your database. Just block them by default out of the box.

@Gargron @LuigiEsq @j that's true, yes. Relicensing OSS projects with lots of contributors is not straightforward, especially without contributor agreements, and it typically isn't retroactive. There is also the possibility of introducing licence incompatibilities, especially with 3P GPL-licensed code.

@Gargron @LuigiEsq @j That all said, IIRC Mastodon is AGPL licensed isn't it? I do wonder whether the Gab mob will be disciplined enough to fork in an AGPL-compliant way.

@hedders @Gargron @LuigiEsq @j They'll just do what many projects do with AGPL and not be fully compliant (if they try to comply at all). I would expect them to release code though, and say "that's enough, deal with it, pepe frog".

Gab has prominent backers and investment, and the battle to force license compliance would be costly and not approach the over-arching problem.

@Gargron @LuigiEsq @hedders @j Right. To call this a mess would be an understatement. It has been done, perhaps on the largest scale with GFDL --> CC BY-SA on Wikipedia.

But, as you said, they can just use code from beforehand or just, y'know, ignore any license and violate its terms... as I stated before, ethical/morality clauses are legally ambiguous and hard to enforce.

@Gargron @j @LuigiEsq Licenses with ethical/morality clauses are very hard to enforce, due in part to issues with legal definition and interpretation (esp. across jurisdictions). JSON license "do no evil" clause is the most prominent example, but there are others.

Licenses will not help resolve this problem, which must be solved by the mechanisms most Mastodon instances (and,, and Mastodon client apps) are now using... 1/2

@Gargron @j @LuigiEsq Moderation, instance blocks, ToS, and policies (Server Covenant etc.) are effective, and will need to be done anyway.

Enforcement of copyleft license terms (GPL, AGPL, CC BY-SA etc.) is already extremely hard and requires money and legal resources.

License proliferation (e.g. not choosing AGPL for Mastodon) only causes friction for FOSS collaboration. It hurts devs and makes a mess that is difficult to clean up... which will only harm the Fediverse and limit use. 2/2

@diggity @j @LuigiEsq I agree in the sense that if someone violates AGPLv3 there are multiple established institutions willing to defend it which a custom license does not benefit from

I think I've also mentioned elsewhere in the thread that re-licensing Mastodon is practically very hard due to no CLA and about 600 contributors

@Gargron @j @LuigiEsq Yep. I got to this thread late but we're all in agreement.

I just *really* would hate to see a new license for Mastodon, it has been very successful under AGPL and will continue to be.

Historically, Gab will be a blip on the Mastodon radar... they may not even make the codebase switch. The devs are obviously sloppy AF and now that client apps like Tusky, Sengi etc will block their instance (rickrolling too!), Masto won't solve the primary problem Gab thought it would.

@j @Gargron That would be a nonfree license. You can't restrict how people use your software or that would not be "open source" or free software. It would become proprietary software instead.


Completely feasible, and easy. Just insert the (completely subjective) line...

But it wouldn't be a free license as per , the , or the :

@Gargron @OpenSource @chucknorrisfacts @starwall


@inditoot @Gargron I don't see anything wrong with what he says. If people don't want to federate with them, let them choose not to

@inditoot @marsxyz @Gargron
The same as it's admind and instance choice, it's also the app dev choice. They might or they might not. But seeing as the gab app was banned from the store, maybe they also don't want their app banned from the store. It's their choice.

@trickster @inditoot @marsxyz @Gargron
No they have to enforce muh rights to freezepeach hateful content to other servers 😭

A reason behind "freeze peach" as you put it, is to protect minority and controversial views from persecution. It is easily the same principle that protects any of your own fringe beliefs.

But roll your own, you're essentially monarch of your instance.

@licho that's true. I am the one responsible for my instance.

@inditoot @marsxyz @Gargron blocking is a feature of this website I enjoy using. For example, I’m going to block you :)

@inditoot @marsxyz @Gargron
I think he is talking about blocking the domains if play store/app store decide to get rid of gab

@BadAtNames @marsxyz @Gargron just for the context, inditoot is an Indian version of Gab, a right wing platform and already in blocklist of some instances. That is why they are worrying about this

@inditoot @marsxyz @Gargron

who gives a shit if Nazis have a platform? why the fuck is everybody suddenly from the NPEA* lately

* Nazi Platform Enforcement Agency

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