Re: Questions for candidates
Richard Stallman <rms <at> gnu.org>
2015-05-31 14:06:53 GMT
> Oh wait, I think I do actually see what you mean now.... You're concerned
> about the message we send out if we use non-free software to promote GNOME
> and things like this e.g. git servers and social networking?
You've identified the issue, but you're focusing only on the possible
negative side of it. Using nonfree software to promote GNOME would
associate GNOME with the idea that nonfree software is ok. Promoting
GNOME that way would help the cause in a narrowly focused way (more
users, more development of GNOME _are_ good, all else being equal) at
the cost of harming it in a broader and deeper way.
The issue has positive side, too. In promoting GNOME, it is possible
to talk about freedom explicitly, and talk about choices that GNOME
has made for the sake of freedom. Thus, while helping the cause in a
narrowly focused way, you help the cause in a broader and deeper way
at the same time.
One can spread a bad message by visibly using an unethical resource;
however, choosing ethical resources does not _by itself_ spread a good
message because it does not communicate anything. To spread the good
message, you have to say it overtly.
For instance, carrying an iThing around with you is enough to endorse
Apple, but NOT carrying an iThing doesn't convey rejection of Apple.
To show that you reject iThings on ethical grounds, you need to say
Note that there's nothing wrong with "git servers" in general. Some
are bad, some are ok. Doesn't GNOME maintain its own repository?
It can and should make sure its repository is entirely good.
Also, "social networking" in general is not a bad thing. Social
networking systems vary greatly, so they can be good or bad, depending
on details. Facebook is atrocious and we shouldn't encourage people
to be useds of Facebook. On the other hand, using GNU Social is fine.
Twitter used to be ok until it started making users identify
themselves, last year I think, but it is still POSSIBLE to use it
without running nonfree software, last I heard.
Advertising is not inherently bad, but if you sell ads on a site via
Google, you're likely to find it shows ads for nonfree software on
your site. Unfortunately Google offers no way to filter ads based on
Also, internet advertising today normally means tracking visitors, and
tracking visitors is direct mistreatment of them -- which is worse
than merely conveying a bad message to them. See
Dr Richard Stallman
President, Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin St
Boston MA 02110
Skype: No way! See stallman.org/skype.html.