If it's not open source you can't trust it. If it's not libre software it doesn't respect your freedom.

@hund I get the sentiment behind this. I develop free software myself and prefer it because it usually doesn't get in my way as much. What I am wondering is this: freedom for whom? For those of us who have the time to set these things up? What about everyone else?

@Daneo Freedom for everyone. I'm pretty sure neither of us setup the instances we're using.

@hund Yep, those who host better platforms like Mastodon for people to use is obviously a good thing. I'd absolutely rather use this than the bird site!

@hund With my earlier comment, I was thinking more about proprietary vs free operating systems. Something I work on online is an accessibility and speech recognition library. It supports non-free operating systems and integrates with off-the-shelf proprietary speech recognition software.

Most users use Windows and the proprietary integrations because they simply work better and make it easier for them to use their computers.

@hund I'm certain that most of them couldn't care less about the purity of the software stack. Those that stumble across it just want to see if it can help with their disabilities. I wouldn't blame anyone for using proprietary software if it works well for them.

@Daneo UNIX was once the go-to system as well. We learn by our experiences and hopefully by our mistakes.

@hund Sure, we should be striving for something better than Windows. Microsoft's priorities, as reflected in their OS, speak for themselves really.

I'm just saying that it's not as simple as all non-free software disrespects your freedom and cannot be trusted. If you need something to work or to live your life and the only acceptable solution out there is proprietary, isn't it better than nothing? Are you significantly more or significantly less free?

@Daneo I know that the world isn't black and white. But transparency is always important, especial when it comes to our privacy and safety.

@hund Agreed. I guess it comes down to what trade-offs you're willing to make in any given situation.

@hund True, but this tends to lead to a much less accurate claim that "if it's OSS you can trust it," which is an outright lie.

Proprietary is negative, OSS is value-neutral. OSS has the *potential* for good.

@pixelherodev That's just what I said. Open source doesn't really mean anything, just look at Linux Foundation, Microsoft and those shady people. Libre software is the only way to go.

@hund Missing the point.

"Libre" software is value-neutral. If I make the source code for a fleet of murder drones libre, it's still the source code for a fleet of murder drones.

If someone makes the source code for an AI used in the legal system that discriminates against minorites libre, it's still the source code for a neural net that discriminates against minorities.

Being libre is not the same as being ethical. No license can change that. These are social issues, not technical issues.

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Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.