It sickens me that some of the biggest media figures in #Linux and #FreeSoftware are alt-right or adjacent, making these spaces actively hostile to the groups already excluded from tech and making young people in particular easy to target with hateful rhetoric.

Oh, and just a casual reminder that the mass surveillance and data mining infrastructure you're so nervous about runs on free and open source software, including most prominently Linux servers. No that doesn't mean Linux, its developers, or users are necessarily badwrong or no one should use Linux or whatever, but it does mean that the vague and ill-defined idea that free software is some kind of guarantee of moral purity or would set us all "free" from corporate control was always a lie. To the free software ideologues, here's your freedom: The freedom of corporations to pay pennies to build a digital Panopticon. To the open source utilitarians, here's your efficiency gain: You've helped build truly impressive tools to violate our privacy. Fuck you all and your laughable moralization of technology.

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@ljwrites I think this is wrong. Free software makes no promises about the intent of its users. If you use free software to do bad things. But it does set those users free from corporate control.

The digital panopticon you describe is possible not just because of OSS, but because of centalization and proprietary end-user software (Windows is probably the most insidious). Which the OSS idealogues you're badmouthing have been fighting for decades.

@thoth it's almost like there's a giant disparity of power and knowledge in the real world, and the ability of sophisticated technological actors to use free software to extend control and surveillance was always going to be greater than the ability of the average consumer to defend themselves. It's almost like championing freedom while purposefully ignoring who has the greatest ability to capitalize on that freedom was inevitably going to be a bonanza for corporations. Wow, who'd have thought? 🤔

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