Fdroid App Policy Change Request

I am not sure where the correct place to put this post so I hope this is the right spot.

Looking at events going on in the US, Europe and around the world; there has been a huge increase in the violation of human rights. Freedom of speech is extremely important in these situations. Fdroid currently has a ban on freedom of speech apps. The stated reason is that apps that allow freedom of speech also allow hate speech and Fdroid doesn’t want to allow apps that can transmit hate speech. The problem is that alternative apps that try to clamp down on hate speech tend to be involved in mass censorship. For every 1 person spewing hateful garbage they censor off the internet, there tends to be 100 or more other people being respectful but saying opinions that the platform owner does not agree with so the platform owner censors them off the internet. Those 100 people being able to speak online is far more important then any morality arguments about why that 1 person spewing hateful garbage should be censored off the internet. Moderation of hate speech should really be done at the individual level. If a person “A” doesn’t want to see hateful garbage being said by person “B” then person “A” simply blocks their own view of person “B” comments. Server owners, service providers and app stores like Fdroid should not be taking part in the censorship.

Secondly, censoring of freedom of speech apps doesn’t have any dent in the amount of uncensored hate speech by percentage. Most hate speech transmitted that will never get censored because of its support from the platform owner comes over apps like Facebook and Twitter. The Fdroid store allows apps that connect to these services but then bans apps with significantly smaller amounts of uncensored hate speech. While the total level of hate speech is not affected much by percentage because places like Facebook and Twitter are responsible for the majority, we do have the much larger group of people that get censored off of these platforms. Remember how I told you for ever 1 hateful poster censored off of these platform, there is at least 100 or more respectful people being censored off because the platform owner doesn’t like their opinions? This leads to the mass censorship problem we have that is done in the name of fighting hate speech but has no real effect on hate speech that remains on the internet. It is only effective at censoring people the platform owner doesn’t agree with. This is why Fdroid should remove its ban on all freedom of speech apps.

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Would it be helpful to provide some links, e.g. where is it said that f-droid prevents the publication of free speech apps? Here you can find the inclusion criteria that must be met in order for an app to be included in the official f-droid repository and there’s no mention of hate speech or restrictions on freedom of expression: Inclusion Policy | F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository - https://f-droid.org/it/docs/Inclusion_Policy/

Having said that f-droid is a project maintained by volunteers who in my opinion have every right to exercise editorial choices and spend their time to select apps to be included beyond the aforementioned inclusion criteria, which does not mean censorship because anyone is free to create their own repository accessible from the f-droid app and publish any app even if it does not meet the inclusion criteria or any other editorial choices. Here are the instructions for creating a repository: Setup an F-Droid App Repo | F-Droid - Free and Open Source Android App Repository - https://f-droid.org/it/docs/Setup_an_F-Droid_App_Repo/

Finally, which applications that meet the inclusion criteria of f-droid are not published in the official repository because they are “censored”?

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After many political manipulation articles posted about the company, Fdroid banned the Gab app. I suspect there are others cases of Fdroid censoring apps that I am unaware of because you never see this type of censorship only once. This is just the most well known case. It is concerning to see freedom of speech apps being banned.

This article talks about it: https://reclaimthenet.org/f-droid-bans-gab-app/

What is ironic is a lot of the stated reasons for banning Gab are untrue. I suspect the extreme number of manipulation articles about Gab had something to do with manipulating the opinions of those that run Fdroid. Gab has a history of banning accounts that participate in harassment, threats of violence and violations of the law yet the statement from Fdroid said they were banned for not doing these things. Gab also has a history of allowing any type of speech that isn’t harassment, threats of violence and violations of the law which is why so many manipulation articles were written on them.

An app being in Fdroid’s default repository has a huge effect on the number of people that can see it. Also, non technical users are not likely to be able to add additional repositories. Furthermore, there are services in the work from Gab that will significantly help the open source community. It is often difficult for open source projects to get money for development. Gab is in the process of creating an ad network that promises to only show ads and include no tracking software. We will have to see how things turn out when implemented but non tracking ad networks sounds pivotal for the development of FOSS applications and a healthier internet.

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It seems it was private messages with threats that were the final straw, although I don’t remember seeing any evidence. OTOH I don’t think @hans would make up such a story.

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Thankyou for linking that. I read through a lot of it. It seems like the manipulation articles were getting to people based on their responses. They associated the behavior of a tiny group of people with everyone on the entire platform. As I mentioned in the first post, it doesn’t seem right 100 respectful people get banned for every one person spewing hateful garbage. It also seems strange they would complain about it coming from one particular social media platform when Facebook and Twitter has orders of magnitude more uncensored hateful garbage and fascism that will never be removed from the platform as they align with the platform owners` views. Those extreme number of manipulation articles likely put a large focus on a small number of people in Gab while those that read those articles were completely unaware of just how much uncensored hate spews from Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis.

I noticed one person in that conversation was wise enough to realize the manipulation techniques being used in defining fascism to benefit someone’s own view and ignoring what fascism is in reality.

As for the death threats mentioned; hateful garbage is hateful garbage. There are still far more respectful people being banned when you ban an entire service. You let individual users report and block people as I mentioned in my first post. Gab actively bans this type of behavior. It seems strange to refer to the people that sent the death threats as it being their software. They have nothing to do with the creation of Gab. You don’t consider death threats from people that use Twitter and Facebook as their software.

I also suspect what someone else mentioned in the thread you linked. Someone creating accounts to post hateful garbage and death threats just to trick people into banning the entire Gab platform. This type of behavior is done in rallies in the US. They send a few people in with hateful signs and chants. News organizations focus on these people only and paint the entire group as that.

I suspect there would be a lot of hateful garbage spewed at people if Fdroid decided to ban all apps that connect to Facebook and Twitter because of the quantity of uncensored hateful garbage on those platforms. Long term, I see Gab helping the FOSS community achieve its FOSS goals. Federated projects with a focus on censorship tend to die out or never grow to significant consequence because what is the point of them? They do the same thing as Facebook and Twitter anyway so why would most people take the effort to switch?

Finally, one message I saw in that thread you linked is how I see problems being solved long term. You don’t solve anything by walling off communication. Problems are only solved when light is shown on a topic and things can actually be discussed. Every major social problem in history that I can think of has been solved by connecting with people. Not from disconnecting with people.

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You are 100%!

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I find it funny how a platform that values & desires open source software will still allow for its volunteers to be arbitrary in which apps get out and which don’t.
In other words:

I can be tyrannical as long as I’m open.

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Too vague for me to understand your meaning. Could you list any examples of “major social problems” that have been “solved by connecting with people”, long-term?

Truth is out there: https://gizmodo.com/online-trolls-actually-just-assholes-all-the-time-stud-1847575210

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Not a bad article about trolling (in my opinion), but unfortunately it is written in Russian, but You can use the translator:

You have to be careful about sources. I noticed problems in the biases of the article writer and the supposive study they linked. It seems like it was a study done for the purpose of manipulation and ignored the scientific method.

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My browser is throwing off red flags of that being a dangerous website.

Any type of irrational hatred between two groups of people whether that is a nation, religion or group defined by some characteristic.

In areas where hatred is not involved, organizational issues are solved when people with their own knowledge of what the actual problem can talk to everyone else with their own knowledge of the actual problem. This could be details of running a business, economical issues or more.

Problems are never fully solved but massively reduced is good. Is this concrete enough or did you need something more specific?

It is clean according :

but HTTP(Security {cryptography or cipher}) version of this website is not accessible: TLS certificate expired.

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@Ryu945

Every major social problem in history that I can think of has been solved by connecting with people.

Any type of irrational hatred between two groups of people whether that is a nation, religion or group defined by some characteristic.

Still too vague for me, and becoming more confused. By definition, hatred is an emotion; therefore, “irrational” is redundant.

I’d like to know what major, historic, social problem involving hatred has ever been solved by “connecting” or communication between the groups?

IMO all such problems still exist or have been “solved” only by force or threat of force of a “winner” over a “loser”, or exhaustion of fighters.

In areas where hatred is not involved, organizational issues are solved…

Areas not involving “hatred” are outside the scope of your original post. Also, an “organizational” issue where everyone involved can talk to everyone else involved would be “minor” because it can only involve a small number of people, probably less than 50-100.

Freedom of speech is extremely important in these situations. Fdroid currently has a ban on freedom of speech apps.

I agree suppression of speech is not a solution, but all Discourse forums I’ve seen have policies that suppress speech by banning anything anyone considers insulting or hateful. Further, F-Droid hides their complicity by not clearly tagging apps, like Tusky, that censor by blocking users’ access to selected sites like Gab. Personally, I strongly, rationally, dislike this. :laughing:

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I don’t agree with you (First post) :slight_smile:

F-Droid should not promote apps where there is hate, porn, dark web.

Those apps have make their own promotions, so people will be smart enough to find them on internet. They often have a web site. They don’t need us :slight_smile:

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Not sure you’d want this “criteria” to be applied to all apps, right? Else we’d close F-Droid…:expressionless:

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I’m talking in reaction to the first post (but the reference is missing in this Discourse)!
I didn’t read the whole topic, at this time.

I’d like to know what major, historic, social problem involving hatred has ever been solved by “connecting” or communication between the groups?

There was a story where a African American guy decided to meet people at a modern day KKK rally. Through many different conversations and meetings with them, he got rid of many of their racism. That group of people have never had exposure to someone like him before and only had stereotypes that were taught. They were essentially walled off throughout their life. They saw the stereotype they learned fall apart from talking with this guy. The guy did nothing more then be social-able and friendly.

This also applies to political parties. Painting one group as evil, uncaring and not worth talking to is a strategy used in politics to maintain a manipulation campaign by getting those being manipulated to want to wall them self off from another group. One example is someone who once believed the story about Trump making fun of someone for being disabled. For the longest time, they believed this. They happened to have a friend of a different political party affiliation. It bothered them that such a good friend would want to support Trump. They asked them about it one day. The friend told them the story was made up and showed them why. After realizing their own mistake they mentioned this to people of their own party affiliation and they saw first hand the type of bias their friend had to deal with all this time. They were completely oblivious to this type of bias. If it wasn’t for the fact they had a close friend they really wanted to try to understand, they would have never taken the effort to try to understand a different point of view.

Areas not involving “hatred” are outside the scope of your original post. Also, an “organizational” issue where everyone involved can talk to everyone else involved would be “minor” because it can only involve a small number of people, probably less than 50-100.

Remember how I mentioned that for every one person on Facebook and Twitter that gets censored for spewing hateful garbage, there is at least 100 other respectful people that are also getting censored? One of the main reasons the platform owners do this is because those 100 people express a point of view the platform owner does not agree with. Policy ideas and discussions for a country, state, community, school, business and more get censored off these platforms. This affects a lot more then just 100 people. Medical doctors get censored of these platforms for discussing research that affects billions of people and the platform owners doesn’t like the consequences of people understanding that research.

I agree suppression of speech is not a solution, but all Discourse forums I’ve seen have policies that suppress speech by banning anything anyone considers insulting or hateful.

Remember that most hateful garbage that will never get censored comes from places like Facebook and Twitter. Fdroid still allows apps that connect to those platforms. It is because there is no intense focus on the hateful garbage on those platforms. Intense focus comes from a manipulative media choosing where to direct people’s focus.

It is still more important that those 100 respectful people can speak and they shouldn’t be censored just because your trying to stop that one person spewing hateful garbage. As I mentioned in the first post, it is better to moderate by having individuals choose to block someone. We can’t expect Facebook and Twitter to change and stop censoring people the platform owners don’t agree with. We can have people able to access more platforms so they have some platform they are allowed to speak on. If you really made it a policy that no app in the Fdroid store can be in that store if it transmits hateful garbage then you would have to ban all communication, videos and music apps and you would have a pretty empty Fdroid store.

As I explained in my previous post, you would have a pretty empty Fdroid store if this was actually followed. Apps that connect to Facebook,Twitter, Reddit and more would be banned. In fact, all communication, video and music apps would be banned if you really followed this.

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