Remember when a bunch of us were lamenting the end of as a (somewhat) neutral development platform for development, after it got bought by , and lots of people were trying to tell us it was fine? Now they're enforcing racist trade sanctions on behalf of the US government:

Now I'm not one to say I told you so, but it's even clearer now how important code forge federation projects like and are.

Also, this is an example of what can happen when we normalize the idea of blocking groups of people from otherwise neutral technical platforms for political reasons. Which is why I've been consistently arguing against developers' decision to block a certain domain name in their app, despite sympathizing with their political motivations for doing so.

IMO, you connect two actions of the same type (the action of blocking), bypassing the reason of the blocking (defending the federated community from hate speech vs imposing US sanctions) and the quality of the blocked content (hate speech vs code)

@dimitrisk this argument will be convincing to anyone who shares roughly the same political biases we do. But how might we convince someone to join us in opposing the GH blocks, without first having to get them to share our biases? Eg a centre-right moderate who find communists and fascists equally repugnant, and trusts the US government to apply sanctions responsibly.

@dimitrisk One way is to make it a point of principle that everyone who runs software that implements a technical protocol (eg TCP/IP, HTTPS, AP, or Git) can participate in the network formed by them, regardless of their politics. Political Blocking can and should be decided case-by-case, by users and the communities/ projects they form. Writing software or running open platforms needs to be a technical job, not an editorial one that requires making those decisions for us.

I like the concept of an 100% open fundamental infrastructure, like the roads or the rivers, to be used by everyone. It is probably the simplest and the safest design pattern. Then, the communities -built on top of them- may freely design, implement and enforce their own rules. But... What should the communities do when some actors use the roads for demonstrations that lead to progroms against minorities or pollute the water damaging the living of peaceful communities?


@strypey @jeffcliff
IMO, the "why" and the "how" we use the basic infrastructure also matters. We may still need some basic rules and institutions to ensure that the infrastructure is used for the free creation of communities as well as their prosperity, instead of being used to damage them.

@dimitrisk I agree that commons need democratically agreed regulations and consequences for violating them. But if you think banning Group X from using the roads or the rivers at all is a reasonable solution to misuse of them by some members of Group X, consider the scenario where Group X = "jews" or "women".

In such a case, accepting X is OK. But if the primary role of group X is to offer a safe harbor to users that believe that members of group Y, Z should be exterminated, then we should probably consider adopting some measures to protect us, even by blocking X.

@dimitrisk OK, but again, let's look at this from the other side of the aisle. If a right-wing moderate (eg one of the ) believes the goal of Islam is to wipe out all competing belief systems and if necessary their believers (Groups Y,Z etc) and establish a global celiphate, then by the logic you offer here, Islamaphobia and the total exclusion of Muslims (Group X) from common pool resources like GH (ie sanctions) makes perfect sense.

@dimitrisk the principles of were codified precisely to prevent this kind of overreach, where entire groups are punished for the actions of troublesome individuals within that group (eg all citizens of Muslim-majority countries, all users of a right-wing-majority fediverse instances). Such principles include:
* individuals can only be sanctioned for their *own* actions
* everyone is innocent until proven guilty
* the punishment should be proportionate to the offence

I agree with every step of your reasoning but the first, fundamental one; seek of the truth. IIUC, you assume that the belief of person A that group X constitutes a danger for the health of the community as true, avoiding to apply any tool available for justifying if that is really true, basing your following arguments on this. So, you suggest that there is no single truth but many ones, living in the mind of each of us? Which leads us to the Socrates vs Protagoras discussion.

@dimitrisk I just finished reading a book called 'Eleni', by Nicholas Gage, about the effects of WW2 and the subsequent civil war on the inhabitants of a small Greek village. The guerillas fighting for the "Democratic Army" thought they knew who the fascists were (everyone who opposed them). Turned out their own leadership were the real fascists.

@strypey oh wow. I kind of thought this would happen at some point, but it's still shocking to see this happen 🤯

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