Question regarding FOSS' political nature

First off, I want to make it clear: I want no discussion about any given political opinion other than the singular one being brought up here. Using examples of other stuff as comparisons should be fine, but only as such. Any discussions relating to other matters, including personal attacks and veering off topic, will immediately be marked appropriately and otherwise given no response so as to not have this thread get out of control.

Now, the topic here is FOSS software’s existence as a political stance. Taking a sound, ethical stance against closed-source software and in favor of open-source is by its very nature political. So my question is this: Why try to absolve one’s self of taking a political stance when they actively and openly support the political stance of FOSS software?

Full disclosure: Yes, this is in response to the lack of clarity on my antifeature request being closed, but this is a specific aspect that has broader implications, so there’s no need to reference it specifically.

Edit: I should add that I’d love to have the moderators chime in on this too, since their opinions matter, as well. Like it or not, we all have a bias, so being transparent about it is key to fostering trust in a community. Ultimately, this isn’t just about my antifeature, after all. This affects moderation as a whole. I understand that y’all are currently working on refining your enforcement measures, so if you prefer to work on that and ignore this, that’s fine, as it’ll probably answer many questions, including this one, better than you could here anyway. But I figure I’d work on getting a community opinion in the meantime.


Free software should be about making more people able to use and modify software.

It should focus on accessibility:

  • reducing unnecessary resource usage
  • support for mouse-only or keyboard-only workflows
  • screen reader support
  • not relying on colors or sounds as the primary source to convey information

It should focus on extensibility:

  • plugin support (where applicable)
  • command line, library-based, or RPC-based API
  • readable, documented source code

It should focus on safety:

  • making it hard for the user to destroy their entire computer
  • not allowing exploits in dependencies to sit around unpatched
  • giving the user full control and knowledge of what the app shares with others
  • using encryption for sensitive data

How about accessibility by minorities, which are being bullied off twitter? Nazis always go after minorities, so everyone has a moral obligation to stop them wherever they show up. No one needs another social network where everyone gets harrassed for their identity. This is also an important part of safety.


They are free to choose a network that has rules they like and blocks instances not up to their rules. The point of fediverse is not that someone else is the judge but that everyone can choose their own judge on what they see and what they don’t.
But we’re going off-topic again.


Exactly, there’s another aspect of FOSS that’s often overlooked: autonomy. And with that, come the tools as well as the responsibility to curate your online or software experience however you wish. But enforcing those preferences upon others? That’s absolutely not in the interest of FOSS.


As Richard Stallman said in the emails posted to the previous thread, the developer of a piece of software has autonomy, and also responsibility for that project’s decisions. Free software exists to prevent legal restrictions on software, not to create new ones.


Which is why I’m trying to keep the place free of fascist “free speech” absolutists who dont understand words have physical effects, and can and often will harm marginalized people simply because they don’t like said marginalized people. That’s literally enforcing one’s will on others, after all, something you’re clearly against.

Sometimes, even when you want peace, you gotta fight to defend it. So that’s what I’m doing.


In other words, it’s designed to let us police ourselves as a community so that the law doesn’t have to. FOSS is set up for community building, which means protecting it from bad actors such as those who active work to attack marginalized groups like Gab does to the Jewish people, among others.


This topic is temporarily closed for at least 4 hours due to a large number of community flags.