Fdroid App Policy Change Request

Is there anything I am unclear on?

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That is a PolSci paper…

The studies don’t provide support for a mismatch,
which is to say no match was found when looking,
Nor does the the nature of “online” affect hostility on part of senders,
and eagerness to communicate is the same.
They find a Pareto principle distribution, (big surprise)
and tie it to “particular personality traits”, (yet bigger surprise)
and call the whole thing “more visible”, due to being on the Internet.

It is almost like people interact with people like themselves privately, and settle their differences within their peer groups…
Consequently, F-Droid is a megaphone for people with certain personality traits.
It has been and is increasingly so authoritarian for the same reason.

There are no bots making software (yet), and no anonymity or visibility to be had other than spamming down the feed with fake versions.
This is easily fixed, but since it isn’t we know it exists for other apps, and exactly what kind of non-problem it is wrt. policy changes.

Fantastic that even a guy not privy to the details or told the full story about events could piece it together.
You have no foot to stand on with what you are doing now.

Was there something not discussed that I am missing? Can this topic receive an official answer from the staff that maintain Fdroid? Can the ban on freedom of speech apps be removed from the Fdroid store?

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There was a story where a African American guy decided to meet people at a modern day KKK rally.

Racism has not been eliminated or solved.

… One example is someone who once believed the story about Trump …

Political polarization has not been eliminated or solved.

So, you also can give zero examples of “major social problems” that have been “solved by connecting with people”, long-term.

Is there anything I am unclear on?

These give more background: Parler - can we put it in the store? , Discouraged by F-Droid Censorship

hateful garbage
respectful people …

IMO, it’s OK to hate some things, and to say so with whatever language you wish, if it does not incite violence or other immoral acts, as viewed by a future jury. Or in context of privately owned clubs, like f-droid, if it does not violate their (vague) standards.

You would hope medical doctors and other “respectful” or knowledgeable people would be heard, but they are in the minority…

Can the ban on freedom of speech apps be removed from the Fdroid store?

The only way to know is to file a proper request for a real app, in the gitlab.

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Racism has not been eliminated or solved.

Political polarization has not been eliminated or solved.

Over arching problems in life are never 100% solved long term. They can be greatly reduced by solving a specific problem on a case by case basis. Tiny problems being solved one by one adds up to causing great change in a society. If you don’t try to solve things case by case then things never get better. Communication is essential to solving problems. There is a reason why manipulation techniques all derive from the basic strategy of forcibly cutting off communication or making people want to cut off communication.

These give more background

Thanks for the links. Those threads list Fdroids policy but Fdroid doesn’t even follow its own policy as was pointed out earlier in this thread.

F-Droid won’t tolerate oppression or harassment against marginalized groups. Because of this, it won’t package nor distribute apps that promote any of these things.

Fdroid packages communication apps that communicate with Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and many other communication platforms that all partake in this heavily. You would have to strip out every communication app if you actually followed that policy. People are better off manually blocking people and not having an app store decide who is allowed to speak on the internet and who is not.

IMO, it’s OK to hate some things, and to say so with whatever language you wish, if it does not incite violence or other immoral acts, as viewed by a future jury.

Hostile language is still legal language but it is often used as an excuse to manipulate people into thinking censorship is a good thing. They see the one person spewing hateful garbage but don’t realize that same platform bans at least 100 times more respectful people for having a different view. The platform refers to everyone they ban as someone that spews hateful garbage when if you look at the numbers; banning of people that spew hateful garbage is practically non existent compared to the number of people that get banned for having a different view. This is why freedom of speech apps will only take action in situations like when a law is broken or harassment is taking place.

Or in context of privately owned clubs, like f-droid, if it does not violate their (vague) standards.

The problem comes when the only platforms available are privately owned clubs and people actively work to burn down any platform that does not follow their own standard as is common today. There is a reason why so much detail was put into freedom of speech laws for platforms in the physical world because it was realized how platform owners working together can remove freedom of speech as a right. If you have no location to exercise freedom of speech then that right doesn’t really exist even if it is legally allowed. Digital laws regarding freedom of speech are often not enforced. While section 230 is not enforced currently, the law says that companies and organizations (yes that includes Fdroid) are open to huge legal liabilities if they point of view censor. Open platforms get far more legal protections then publishers. As I mentioned though, the US currently gives open platform protection to publishers even though it violates the law. It is still not a good idea to not open up that liability even if the law is not enforced.

You would hope medical doctors and other “respectful” or knowledgeable people would be heard, but they are in the minority…

On platforms like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and many other platforms, it is the people that get banned/censored for spewing hateful garbage that is in the minority of all bans/censorship activity. Almost all of the ban/censorship goes to respectful people who have a different points of view then the platform own.

You mentioned doctors. Right now, doctors and discussions on research papers are being censored in massive quantities off the internet on these types of platforms. It is currently impossible to get objective information about Covid 19 on nearly every US, Australia and more based platforms. Every doctor that points out something not in line with the platform owner is banned/censored. Every person that talks about a research paper that is not in line with the platform owner is banned/censored. This topic shows just how important freedom of speech platforms are for a society. A lot of people have died from situations that are caused by suppression of Covid 19 information

The only way to know is to file a proper request for a real app, in the gitlab.

App development takes work. It is futile to spend a lot of work on an app not knowing if your would even be allowed to publish it on any platform. Fdroid has already made an official statement saying they ban freedom of speech apps. It seems silly to create an app knowing that the platform has a history of banning the very type of app being created. It is reasonable to expect an answer if this policy is being reversed.

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What is the proper procedure from here? Considering that Fdroid made an official ruling on it earlier in a news announcement then I would expect another news announcement to be used if there is a change in policy.

IMO, you’re not going to have any luck talking in generalities, and using these as indicators, you’re not going to have any luck at all: https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroiddata/-/merge_requests/6013 and https://gitlab.com/fdroid/fdroiddata/-/merge_requests/6076

If they don’t like it, they’re not going to publish it. You can get vague indications of where the lines are by searching for discussions of spinster and gab. You can always create your own repo.

That shows how the operators of Fdroid were in the past. I want to know how they are now. The violation of human rights are only getting more common. What use to be crazy a year or two ago is now common and there is no more discussion about it anymore as locations where you can discuss these types of problems now ban any form of discussion. I intentionally was trying to be vague from my past experience with online discussions. I saw how normally considerate and thoughtful people become feral when you propose a political opinion that differs from them. I have no way to perceive if someone is going to respond like this. That is why I find it better to give people more general subjects to look at but that does take effort on their part which makes it less likely to occur. For example:

  1. Look at the massive amount of human rights violations policies that use Covid 19 as a excuse and are currently happening in Australia, Europe, US and more.

  2. Look at how it is impossible to even get accurate information on Covid 19 and vaccines as it gets heavily censored and made up.

  3. Look at how it is common place in the US to completely make up news stories and then prosecute people based on made up information. It use to be made up stories were at least based on some amount of truth to make them believable but nowadays, someone just makes them up and many news channels repeats them. They realized something doesn’t have to be based in facts if you repeat it enough. Gab was taken out of the Fdroid store using this very technique. Gab doesn’t even have 0.1% of the hateful garbage that other platforms in the Fdroid store have on them but news agencies can paint any picture of any app or person they want.

  4. The US, Australia and Europe governments have tried to black out the press in the last year. I am talking about large and small news organizations being blacked out and not legally allowed to report on news.

I find it hard to believe that the maintainers of Fdroid could be this oblivious to the massive amounts of human rights violations and censorship that have been going on. Especially the ramp up in the last year. This is also why I consider any posting from them from anything more then a year or even a few months old as extremely out of date. Thus, I was hoping they would make an official announcement.

Regarding the application which has been suggested a few times in this thread:

The links given here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:WhatLinksHere/Gab_(social_network)
and the wikipedia article itself give an idea what it is about.

The Wikipedia short description is “Social media website known for its mainly far-right user base”.

The link:

lists many organisations which do not support this app. Among them Apple, Google, Twitter, PayPal, Amazon.

how the operators of Fdroid were in the past. I want to know how they are now.

A year ago is now’ish.

Among them Apple, Google, Twitter, PayPal, Amazon.

F-Droid wants to follow after those?!

PS. Isn’t F-Droid also excluded from Google’s play store?!

LOL

Do you really trust Wikipedia on political topics? And this is just a small portion of why you shouldn’t:

I hope not. They censor about 10% of real hate speech and 90% of legitimate speech they don’t like (made up percentages, obviously).
Anyway, if I remember correctly, the app was not FOSS, so let’s leave that there.

Popularity isn’t everything, but to update, since January (1), gab site rank has gone from 5300 to 2040 (2), while F-Droid has gone from 76000 to 68921 (3); good recent up-turn though.

(1) Discouraged by F-Droid Censorship - #32 by justsomeguy (2) https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/gab.com (3) https://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/f-droid.org

2 years, july 2019, right?

Why does popularity matter?

We should make up some drama so F-Droid gets free publicity or smth?

Remember that there’s no budget for Marketing around here…

2 years, july 2019, right?

Above I gave number from Jan 1, 2021 to now, or ~9 months, IIUC.

Why does popularity matter?

It is an indicator of importance, influence, or success in this world, or parts of it. The “Audience Geography” (top 3 partial glimpse) is also interesting. Gab: 47.7% US, 34.6% India, 2.8% Canada; F-Droid: 12.8% India, 8.9% US, 2.5% Russia.

no budget for Marketing

Is there even a budget, for anything?

We should make up some drama so F-Droid gets free publicity or smth?

Maybe. Calyx seems relatively successful, in F-Droid target market. Maybe ask them or follow their example. “Nothing much happens without sales.”

Wikipedia is well known to have inaccurate information on political subjects. It is basically worthless as a source if the subject is political but there is some amount of accurate information. I suspect the list of places that cut off service is accurate but their reasons are fabricated.

I really suspect the numbers are closer to 1% hate speech, 99% legitimate speech they don’t like.

Popularity isn’t everything, but to update, since January (1), gab site rank has gone from 5300 to 2040

A lot of people in the US are seeing how damaging censorship can be to a society.

Gab: 47.7% US, 34.6% India, 2.8% Canada; F-Droid: 12.8% India, 8.9% US, 2.5% Russia.

Interesting, Gab’s own internal numbers for US population was something like 70%-80% US as they mentioned in a recent announcement.

We should make up some drama so F-Droid gets free publicity or smth?

You mean banning of freedom of speech apps wasn’t the publicity stunt? /jk

You won’t get an official response, personally speaking:

F-Droid team is well versed when it comes to software ethics particularly free software topics (free as in freedom). F-Droids inclusion policy reflects that.

An important thing to understand here is that F-Droid as an app will always support with 3rd party repositories without limitation. Every 3rd party repository can create their own inclusion policy. (It’s up to user to decide if 3rd party repos they use are trustworthy, ethical, humanistic, legal, … you name it.) With that in mind, F-Droid does not censor, and will never censor.

The main repsoitory hosted on f-droid.org is just one repository. While it’s pre-configured and therefore has the power of defaults it’s just another platform not a single point of censorship which could really ban users from installing a specific app. So talking of censorship when we chose not accept an app into our repository is simply wrong. App devs can build whatever apps they want start their own F-Droid repository, or seek other F-Droid repos to include them. It’s not infringing on your freedom of speech if someone chooses to not give you a platform, especially if you have the option to use or bootstrap yourself other platforms yourself.

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