.io have a (forum.privacytools.io) and a instance:

Great to see the team creating replacements for their use of like Reddit and the birdsite.

@strypey New to #PrivacyTools and I am curious what you mean by Reddit being a data farm. What data are they collecting on users?

@cowan I haven't studied this in detail, but here are some facts:
1) Reddit has ads. Ads = tracking and data collection.
2) Reddit used to release their server code under a license. Not anymore. I suspect because of the move to ads

If you really want to know, read the fine print of the Reddit ToS, Privacy Policy etc. I tend to assume that any internet platform that's heavily VC-funded or owned by corporate shareholders is a unless there's a good reason to think otherwise.

@strypey @cowan #Reddit is centralized on #Amazon #AWS & has a rampant censorship problem w/ #shadowbanning. Sorry to necropost but thought the bigger Reddit issues should be on the record. Since a yr ago, #Lemmy has emerged as a #freesoftware #decentralized replacement for Reddit.


@aktivismoEstasMiaLuo is a bad procurement choice, but it's just commodity hosting, not a software dependency. If you dig a bit you'll find that most of the fediverse is ultimately hosted on AWS, as are , , and if I remember rightly, .org. I'm pretty sure this isn't the worst thing about any given service, Reddit included.


@strypey @aktivismoEstasMiaLuo @cowan AWS is not just hosting, it's a crazy amount of software around it that makes it worth the money (if you want/need all that they offer), so it is kinda a software dependency too. Besides: matrix.org is not hosted on AWS, modular.im is

@jcgruenhage If people engineer their service in ways that make it hard to move off AWS, that's a different issue. But AWS can be used just like any other remote hosting vendor, in such a way that servers can be easily moved elsewhere. The folks have been using it that way for some of their services:

@aktivismoEstasMiaLuo @cowan

@strypey @cowan @jcgruenhage We seem to have different bones to pick with #Amazon. You seem focused purely on tech freedom, but I see Amazon as a highly unethical company: sweat shops, #climateDenial/#fossilfuels, surveillance (#Alexa/#Ring), etc. So for me, it doesn't matter if AWS is modular & replaceable. I have a problem with anything that helps #Amazon profit.

@aktivismoEstasMiaLuo I share all these concerns about Amazon (see my comments on the linked page). My point is that being hosted on AWS is a fairly easy problem to solve. Step 1: move your servers to a more ethical hosting provider, like the service mentioned at that linked page. Done.

@cowan @jcgruenhage

@strypey @jcgruenhage @cowan To be clear, it's an easy problem to solve for the admins of a service (#Reddit), but an *impossible* problem to solve as an end user. Our choice is take-it-or-leave-it, to be blunt. As such, an ethical user does not use Reddit. They walk.

> an ethical user does not use Reddit.

That's like saying an ethical user doesn't use computers, because all hardware manufacturers buy from companies who trade in conflict minerals. It's absurd to hold users responsible for procurement choices they don't control. These issues:

... are more discoverable and more relevant to users than where a service hosts their servers at any given time.
@jcgruenhage @cowan

@aktivismoEstasMiaLuo @jcgruenhage @cowan
Do you know where activism.openworlds.info is hosted? Do you know which datacentres the server(s) are housed in? Do you know who supplies their bandwidth, or their electricity? Who handles their security, or their insurance? Do you know where the domain is registered? Do you know which parent companies owns all those companies, and who owns those parent companies? Are you responsible for all their ethical violations because you use that instance?

@strypey @cowan @jcgruenhage "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." --Desmond Tutu "Activism is my rent for living on the planet" --Alice Walker. With knowledge comes responsibility. These are my guiding principles here.

@jcgruenhage @cowan @strypey So let's break down your hypothetical cases into two groups: evils that users are aware of and those that users are not. It would be absurd to hold someone responsible for accidentally supporting wrongdoing that they are unaware of. Although we could fault ppl for being ignorant to some extent but let's not get too complicated.

@strypey @cowan @jcgruenhage W.r.t the case of awareness, of course you have an ethical duty to avoid supporting what you yourself deem unethical, if you intend to be ethical. I actually seek out knowledge to some extent to ensure that I'm not supporting any obvious evils. Before opening an acct at activism.openworlds.info, I checked to ensure they are not hosted by #AWS & that they do not use #CloudFlare.

@jcgruenhage @cowan @strypey There's a finite amount of ethical research one can do.. if I probe one supplier that's less time to probe another. So there's a diminishing return if I were to inspect the utility suppliers of a website prior to using it, but checking to see if they are directly #AWS-hosted is trivial & a #boycott on #Amazon is very worthwhile in light of the great social harm that corp pushes.

@strypey @cowan @jcgruenhage I should say my first reply to you was to pile on more #Reddit wrongdoing. But I probably shouldn't have said my issues were "bigger". It's of course for each user to decide the weight of an issue. I also oppose ads, targeted & untargeted, but I find it more critical to condemn #Amazon b/c it has a huge negative impact on the world.

@jcgruenhage @cowan @strypey Consider the hypothetical case where someone has total information awareness, so they knew of the wrongdoing of the whole supply chain of every supplier to exist. It would actually work against your ethics to #boycott all b/c you'd fail to support the competitor of the worst players. So in the end ethical consumption is relative.

@strypey @cowan @jcgruenhage I have in fact discovered some evils with #Lemmy, but relative to #Reddit Lemmy is far more ethical. So I find it ethical enough to use Lemmy, but I cannot justify using Reddit.

@aktivismoEstasMiaLuo thanks for the nuanced reply. As you acknowledge, it's more complex than 'an ethical user does not use X'. We all choose our compromises, in situations of limited information, limited freedom of action, and limited power to influence larger institutional arrangements. One useful question to ask is; which compromises are ruinous?

@cowan @jcgruenhage

@strypey @jcgruenhage @cowan Answering your question is only feasible after asking what the mission is. #RMS's article is insightful but it's from the PoV of a singular mission. #Reddit unethical from so many angles with no positives that make it indispensible, so condemning it is trivial.

@cowan @jcgruenhage @strypey I am making a compromise. I occasionally use #Reddit to link a post on #Lemmy. This keeps the value added to Reddit somewhat minimal (content is only a link) & in exchange Reddit users become exposed to Lemmy. Doing that forever would perhaps be a ruinous compromise in the long term, b/c Redditers would still be in the loop.

@strypey @jcgruenhage @cowan So after Lemmy is sufficiently populated I would quit Reddit entirely. This avoids the ruinous compromise. I think RMS also takes a staged approach in the #freesoftware mission. The #xr movement does this as well, b/c it's a hard sell to ask moderates to make big lifestyle changes all at once.

> I occasionally use to link a post on .

Very strategic. This shows, once again, that ...

> an ethical user does not use Reddit.

... is far too simplistic.

@cowan @jcgruenhage

Coming back to , their presence on Reddit is similarly strategic. Their goal is to:

a) make their autonomous tools (website, Discourse forum etc) more discoverable to the huge pool of users who are already on Reddit

b) piggyback on the SEO of Reddit and it's privileged place in search engine results

With the same ultimate goal as you, to help users find privacy-respecting replacements for like Reddit.
@cowan @jcgruenhage

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