F-Droid Twitter and Mastodon Accounts

… do we need CoPs to get the negative (<0) duality of Censorship/Propaganda ?

Community of practice

If this chatter is about F-Droid’s “private” pod then technically you guys need to do the thing that will get F-Droid seen by the maximum number of people, BUT…

Having said that the bigger issue here is with Mastodon(?) itself. I was interested in this decentralised social network but because it has forced this terrible choice onto its users. I’m not interested.

Although I’ve not been on this forum very long I have been able to idenify some witty people, just the type of people who could make a radicalised person reassess what they are doing with possibly very few words and very little effort. This isn’t about fascism, fascism has a precise meaning relating to the melding of govt and corporations. If we want to fight fascism, then banning bigoted stooges on social media is definately not the answer, and in fact I think it would be counter-productive.

Bigotry and racism is learned behaviour. What we debating about here is whether to segregate radicalised people. This is a recipe for disaster because it puts radicalised and vulnerable people in an echo chamber.

The best disinfectant is sunlight. On an open platform, when the bigoted folks try to influence a person or group they can be laughed out of the room with a few simple facts.

The fact that Mastadon(?) wants radicalised entities to communicate and grow unhindered atually makes me suspicious. If I were F-Droid, I’d reassess mastadon generally, if this is the way it behaves. What next? Cut out the Russians for election meddling, lol. Or Wikileaks, rofl? Or Julian Assange!

It’s easy for a person who is board or disenfranchised to slip into an echo chamber that can lead to radicalisation, and the role of a functioning healthy ecosystem/community is to nip that in the bud. No.t to let it fester.

When I heard about this decentralised social media platform I was excited to learn more, but hearing this has been a major turn off.

F-Droid could and I think should use its diplomatic power to try and stop segregation. I’d threaten to delist Mastadon, for this type of behaviour if they are in any way propagating this ultimatum.

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There is no such pod, F-Droid uses a public one.

So what is it about exactly?

Btw is F-Droid preventing the inclusion of Gab’s custom-built client/app?

Not all peole who use gab are bigots btw. They make however question more. The GAB community presents a massive opportunity for FOSS. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to employ a probationn period? If GAB users don’t drive us completely nuts then we don’t need to foster segregation. Win win.

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@webDev that is pretty much the approach we took. When some community members expressed objections to gab, which is within their free speech rights, we received a wave of private messages that included death threats and all sorts of direct insults. So the rest of us now agree: we do not accept software from people who attack and threaten us. They can go setup their own fdroid repos.


I apologise forthe long reply in advance. I did shorten it.

If this is how they react to some cautionary measures then you may have made the right decision.

Can I ask, were you able to speak to the GAB developers? What public messages were they putting out? What was your initial messaging that triggered the messages? What percentage of the private messages were threatening violence? (It might be worthwhile to publish the violent messages)

My problem is that Gab supposedly has about 1 million people:
a) if a couple of kids are incensed they might be spoiling the Gab project for everyone else.
b) I would not put it past certain entities, who are anti-i2p, anti-tor and pro-surveillance, from attempting to undermine free-speech and grassroots movements.

Speaking from my experience in Australia, our commercial media don’t cover important news properly because they fear that they will lose commercial backers, everything is about maximising income from advertising. Sadly that mindset is even contaminating government-backed network reporting. They are so scared of losing future employment opportunities, and some are too lose to the entities that they are supposed to be reporting on, that the reports are of very poor quality. The same is true for the big tech. F-Droid doesn’t have this problem and so F-Droid can be seen as countering the current trajectory (towards extremism). There are many well-funded entities who sadly benefit from the growing extremism, so they have a motive for it to grow.

To what extent can F-Droid say that they are providing this service without fear or favour?

I don’t want F-Droid to be played here. I do not think the vast majority of Gab users are violent people. I think we are dealing with a few bad apples, if that.

Regarding the Mastadon XAMP(?) protocol/security, how are posts and comments added? Are there heuristics for detecting spam or extreme content in the protocol? Is there a decentralised method for serving captchas to users when users are suspected of spamming or blocked by growing numbers of established pods/people? I can see the need for this feature. I also think that the more blocked the user is the more captchas might be concatinated (from each pod they are broadvasting too(?)). From what I’ve read there are already measures to permanently block individuals/addresses but what about temporary blocking? Is there a random jury system so people who accurately detect violent and inappropriate content are rewarded?

If there are measures in place to stop bad practices then I think that we need to let the Gab users in.

If the appropriate measures are not in place then we/you have every right to request that those measures be in place first before accepting Gab’s client. To throw another spanner in the works here, I would say that if Mastadon don’t adopt high enough standards for fighting spam, violent and inappropriate content (Im no expert in this area, they might be) then maybe they are the problem, or limiting factor in this situation, not Gab.

I think the best option is too allow the Gab client on F-Droid. If it, and Mastadon, doesn’t have security measures to limit spam, violent and inapproriate content then that should be stated as a Potential Drawback, on ALL the clients/apps (including email apps and IM apps). If people know the risks going in, they can setup their own personal defenses. I realise this might be seen as a turn off by a few but if the user reads this Potential Drawback, they will understand why we have added it.

People in marginal groups should employ higher personal defenses anyway. Someone who wants to advertise to the world that they are into a fringe thing that some people might be repulsed by, need to understand that they might be well-served to share that that aspect of their life either as a distinct “Aspect” or as a different identity.

Is anything wrong with the above approach? To my mind, its a win win, and may boost FOSS development in social media!

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I’ve done more reading on how this debarcle started, now I’m more concerned that it’s actually Mastodon that is arbitrarily throwing around the term ‘fascist’. There seems to be a mixture of sycophantic group-think in effect on his thread where people fawn over his idea to segregate people without any critical thought. For example its not questioned when he implies that everyone who is critical of immigration is a fascist, this is very wrong, even Bernie Sanders in 2015 said open borders is a terrible “Koch Brothers” idea that would destroy wages.

Is Bernie Sanders a fascist? If so I missed that news item.

Comparing mastodons website to gab, gab have been really active in talking about bitcoin as “free speech money” whereas I don’t see any effort from Mastodon to garner any dontations, bitcoin or otherwise. Mastodons website, as of today doesn’t even have a donate button. It looks like another centralised service, if you look at Gab you see a real dialog with its users and prospective donors, who they call “investors”, they seem open about the problems facing the Internet and censorship, they seem to be providing innovation in this space, although it does also appear to be centralised.

I think Mastodon are dictating their ideas of what ‘fascism’ is onto its users and other users in the Fediverse. In effect they are likely being more oppressive than those they seeked to “escape” from, ie. apparently “fascists” on Twitter and Facebook, according to the instigator. Seriously. According to what he said, the purpose of Mastodon is for it to be a safe space, and they seem have their own arbitrary definitions of what is safe and not safe. Porn is readily available on the site.

All I will say is if F-Droid is afraid of loosing their 4000 followers, maybe don’t be. I have hosted pages with more followers and given up on the platform, due to its oppressive nature, and not-so-clandestine shadow banning.

Do you guys have a sense that the followers that you have amassed on Mastodon are all real users? Can anyone estimate how many fake accounts there might be are on Mastodon as a percentage? Are you reaching a good percentage of your users? I found that on Minds most of my followers were bots.

My suspicion is Mastodon is not really about creating a safe space but this is about nipping the competition. They are afraid of the competition that the Gab client will provide and they have introduced a fast and loose definition of fascism to justify pre-emptively banning them.

I didn’t know about Mastodon before last week, and I’ve been looking for an open-source, decentralised platform. I’ve been interested in LBRY, steemit and even opened an account on Minds. It hasn’t taken long to see that Mastodon are not a viable, alternative to Facebook and Twitter for my needs. To be honest, I’m far more inclined to federate as a Gab instance.

I’m happy to provide links forming the basis of my argument. Its just a massive chore to do it from my device (wifi is down at the moment, again). One of the links is provided by someone else already.

To fight spam, violent and inappriate content we need a to develop a holistic decentralised system that maintains the anonymity of users while opening them up to a jury. There also needs to be an element of risk for those who inappropriately flag content.

I recommend including Gab clients and softwares on F-Droid if technically possible. Also suggest adding a “Possible Drawback” item (spam, offensive or inapprorpriate content) to all communication apps, which details the extent to which the app employs methods to stop such, ie. using

  • no known system
  • a centralised system,
  • a centralised system based on laws in
  • a semi-centralised or permissioned system
  • a using a decentralised jury system
  • a using a decentralised, zero-knowledge jury system

I have wasted hours of my life tonight haven’t I, lol.


@webDev would have a read here: Recent events on the forum

Hi stonerl, Reading that was the first time that I had heard about this problem. Hence my above replies.

“I think the best option is too allow the Gab client on F-Droid.”


When the worm is in the apple, it’s too late.

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@Bubu is it possible to have an age limit rating different on Mastodon (like 16 versus 13 for whole F-Droid project as defined in tos) so engaged people could use Mastodon/@fdroidorg, instead of forum.f-droid, for engaged discussions ?

(There is still a free warzone unlimited possibility on Reddit : https://www.reddit.com/r/fdroid/comments/cehm15/fdroids_statement_saying_they_are_dropping/ & Reddit - Dive into anything )

When the post has no substance, is it an apple?

@stonerl When “system” posts, “Quoting Wikipedia” and that post is immediately closed and pinned globally, it doesn’t bode well. I would laugh if it happened anywhere else.

The ivory voiced towering decree defends network operator bans in a decentralized system because:

Most instances are nice places - others allow content that is offensive and often these instances are blocked by other instances so the users can’t communicate instance to instance.

The idea of reaching to “offensive” to support such actions is neither in support of decentralization, nor is it out of tune with being platforms that do the exact same.

The user is that pesky individual that impedes your freedom everywhere. Report him in your cup- and floorboards, make sure the user is not you!

What offensive thought, that the user should capable of deciding whom to communicate with, freely (!), and certainly to ever question F-Droid’s decision in the matter. Least not in staying with a platform that bans platforms that don’t ban Gab.

Gab is an issue of F-Droid’s creation. Not only does it live rent-free, it is renting out the blog and forum too, using the puppetry of the narrator voice, without any strings attached. And its attempted solution is to ban discussion about Gab…

we don’t allow any discussions about our decisions regarding Gab or any discussions about Gab anymore - on any of our channels.

I mean, what is a bit of censorship between partisans?

Not all F-Droid core members were happy with that instance-admin decision, but we decided there is no reason to change instance.

In a further act of misguided personality, f(reudian slippage)-Droid core members is what you will otherwise see referenced as “we”, and “the community”, or “F-Droid”.

This whole discussion has nothing to do with free speech or free software

In the age of the Internet, you don’t really see this level of brazen censorship anymore,
because of free press F-Droid bans Gab for being a “free speech zone” that will “tolerate all opinions”
and boy did F-Droid get in on the gratis nature of being non-free. Free as in free of thought.

F-Droid as a project soon celebrates its 9th birthday … staying neutral isn’t an option but instead will lead to the uprise of previously mentioned oppression and harassment against marginalized groups.

This is not not even wrong, it is a circular truth. F-Droid, the mirror is facing the mirror, not the music.

Despite compelling re-enactments of the golden age of censorship, F-Droid can’t seem to rally behind its disembodied decisions. The decisions that are made in the absence of it, pale in light of decisions to back them up being worse still. It is a spineless beast at odds with itself at every level. An authoritarian dissociation crying out as it strikes itself.

Wanting decentralization is precisely an issue of enacting tolerance by default. F-Droid seems happy to forego control and trust, to force the hidden hand of censorship to relinquish itself of those decisions that would otherwise be easy, and discussed elsewhere.

All while blaming every other angle, and tarnishing its own reputation. Basking in the nomenclature of freedom, decentralization, and community.

@kingu You’re a little late to the party don’t you think? And secondly, what the heck are you talking about?

There is no such thing as not the party, of which I am not a member, because its erection is predicated on my existence.

There wasn’t any winning move, the other half just yells “fault”.

I’ll quote myself from elsewhere…

Twitter: Conversations free on Play
Fediverse: always free on F-Droid haha
Also Fediverse: let’s doxx the F-Droid contributors because they package uncensored fediverse apps

That’s the level of the discourse “we” have to deal with.

While the “host your repo” answer is not “the bestest”, it’s decentralized to the point of making an argument of dog fooding their (your?) ideology.

Wanna decentralize everything, JUST DO IT!

And no, I don’t agree with the blogpost, I was 1000 miles away from a keyboard, in a different country trying to chill and cool of with a cold one, reading hundreds of mails of the drama unfolding on my phone. When the post dropped I was like
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻


Is Reddit - Dive into anything an official channel?

I not like that you guys use Twitter, Reddit and Co. Those platforms heavily involved in censorship (and proprietary software).

Personal: when I see Twitter/Facebook stuff (please follow me…) on a project site, for me it’s a negative feeling (I not fully trust them anymore with FB, Twitter buttons).

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Not, it’s not.

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I think one of the reasons why we cannot be too harsh on F-Droid top contributors, is that in order to switch instances, I understand that you need to leave behind all your past toots and updates. I don’t believe ActivityPub has a method of cryptographically signing over to a new server, and having all your content move to that new server.

Another good reason why we should be confident with the top contributors is they allow easy access to the uncensored Fediverse, via at least one app.

One thing I know is true. Having loosely examined instances that do interface with Gab, I’ve not seen any major ill effects that warrant this heavy-handed approach to block Gab instances. So what I would do is ask those instances who brazenly blocked Gab, and blocked everyone they can communicate with, to slowly reopen their communication channels.

Steps toward sensible federation for an instance:

  1. Drop the policy of banning instances who interface with Gab and reopen communication lines with the smaller instances who do such.
  2. In the second month, if there are no major issues, reopen communication with the larger instances who interface with Gab.
  3. In the third month, if there are no major issues, change the policy of outright banning Gab to allowing communication based on the understanding that if Gab users engage in violent, and aggressive ways that the communication lines might be re-closed for another year.

This is how a Federation should work. There should be a give-and-take process.

Yes it is a political process. Not everything political is bad. If we purge all politics from our lives completely then we perish, just like if we purge all clothes from our lives, we’ll not live very long. For those who like to call themselves Liberal, it means they end up with Tr&mp again, by default. And after Tr&mp… another Tr&mp worse than Tr&mp. Etc. (Whether they secretly want this outcome is a debate for another time)

If concerned about censorship, please refer your admin to the above steps toward sensible federation.

Memes don’t produce bad presidents, providing no meaningful alternatives to a bad president produces bad presidents.

While we are in a politics, freedom and censorship thread… FREE JULIAN ASSANGE!!

The point is that of selectively purging some actors for no good reason is the very political action that makes for it being political in the first place. If not, it neither is nor gets political, and nobody would be coming to F-Droid to complain. There is an uncensored app already, and nobody has any problems defending that.

Ostensibly, adding an app that says “Gab” would make those people happier. So it is a lot of loss to keep a policy that doesn’t make any sense at any level. Reverting this failed policy is as easy as allowing Gab so long as it isn’t just a clone. And herein is the central point. That currently isn’t even the case… Gab also didn’t fork F-Droid, but the fiasco could have been total if it did. What more could F-Droid grant Gab?

I don’t think “Tusky” makes any sense vis-a-vis freetusky, but at least they made tusky (from what I understand).

That being said, complaining about censorship from the instance F-Droid is on, is the exact problem that arises when there are censoring actors. F-Droid being one does not grant it a lot of sympathy in the matter. It is consistent with what F-Droid does, so it has no legitimacy in calling it out.

OIC. Yeah, it’s been a year and from my understanding they aren’t the great evil that it was made out to be. The only thing that actually concerns me is they are (or at least ‘were’, I don’t know if this has changed) “protected by” (or hosted on) Cloudflare (read: creepy mega corporate that seems to love collecting data, and as such, bans Tor users acting in good faith).