Holy crap, google is apparently taking down all/most fediverse apps from google play on the grounds that that some servers in the fediverse engage in hate speech. At least three apps I know of anyway and I'd imagine the others will follow soon under the exact same reasoning.} Seems to be the case with Husky, Fedilab, and "subway" tooter.
this is a scary precedent if google play is going to ban any apps that can in any way be used to access content with hate speech. So what about a forum client, do they take that down just because there is a forum somewhere on the internet posting hate speech?
This is particularly worrisome because for most people Google Play is the only way they understand to install apps at all.
Picture attached of one of the notices received by fedilab.
@freemo Gab doesn't federate (i.e. they broke server-to-server communication) but as far as I'm aware you can still use Husky to log in (i.e. client-to-server communication still works). Tusky has a "feature" that I think directs you to a deradicalisation page if you try to log into an account on Gab, but the Husky derivative removed that block.
@khird ahh yes, that may be true.. but there is plenty of hate speech on other servers too, some just as bad or worse than gab... how far will they take this, do app maintainers really need to be int he business of maintaining a mile long block list?
@freemo The only reasonable model I see if Google takes a hard line on this is for apps to maintain a whitelist of known well-moderated instances, given how easy it is to set up a cheap instance to troll from. And if the app developer is supposed to be personally responsible for the content accessible through the app, then he'll probably only whitelist an instance he has control over. So you'll have a QOTO app, Gargron will have a Mastodon Social app, &c. If Google doesn't like some instance's moderation policy they ban its app.
@khird haha that would be a mess, there would be thousands of mastodon apps all virtually identical forks of eachother on google play at that point.
@freemo Yup. Google's starting assumption is that the app and the service are controlled by the same organisation (and this is actually a valid assumption in most proprietary, and even several FOSS, apps). So consequently they can punish you for mismanagement of your service by interdicting your app. Now we come along with our federated peg and it doesn't fit neatly into their hole for siloed apps, and their assumption breaks down.
@khird Yupits the slippery slope of censorship.. Censorship never works so you have to get more and more drastic in the hopes of silencing the unwanted material. Eventually you have as more collateral damage than productive censorship.
@replikvlt @freemo @khird @madargon
or better yet, flag them as inappropriate https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/2853570?visit_id=637342159017630272-4268623001&p=report_content&rd=1
@freemo Did they ban twitter clients for hate speech? Because there's a lot…
It's not the clients/dev job to block stupid fucks' instances. It's the admin job. By the way, it's not even effective, it's either a FLOSS client and you can remove the block or a proprietary client and you trust it, and it's an open door for shitload of abuses (No way to make sure it won't block other instances on whatever arbitrary criteria they choose, for political reasons, money, or something else… ).
@freemo this happened to Clover, an imageboard client, because it supported access to 4chan - a site that Google considered unpalatable.
At the time, it was mostly cheered by a lot of the same people as use mastodon. It's unfortunate the precedent has come full circle.
@kline funny how they dont apply that same logic to their own apps. If they were to truly be fair they would have to take down Chrome from play store on the grounds that it can be used to access 4chan.
@freemo to be fair, I suspect this could be a time of reckoning for the fediverse. The willingness of people to draw instant parallels between software ("FOR ANY PURPOSE") and the beliefs and moral values of the users.
In the past, large swathes of the fediverse have written off pleroma and pleroma users as undesirable, regardless of whether that was true or not, because of a small element who were.
Google has now decided that fediverse apps, it seems, are likewise undesirable because of a small number of non-representative users. First we have sown, now we reap.
@kline @freemo Or, Google has sown and now they will reap. The Fediverse and its future incarnations, are the future of social networking which has become a huge part of the internet and how people get their news. With this kind of pressure solutions will be produced. War time always brings with it great innovations.
@master honestly if this rule were universally applied then any app with a social element would pretty much have to get axed at that point.
@freemo just wait until they hear about the internet and what you can say in a phone call or send in a messaging app.
They better take down all the webbrowsers, email-clients, chat-apps, games,
Well, everything since it can be abused in that way.
@freemo They should just ban all open source apps so that we have a good reason to force everyone to use the F-Droid store and stop using Google shit.
@Khrys does f-droid have any sort of screening process for apps though? I'd imagine they must have some criteria too.
Kind of. It's another case where the app is not necessarily controlled by the same people as the service is. You can subscribe to any repository you wish from F-Droid by entering its URL. By default, the app ships with two repositories enabled: one hosted by the app maintainers and one hosted by the Guardian Project, but there are others you can find online.
Criteria for inclusion into a repository are set by the repository owners. The F-Droid repository hosts only open source apps, and the Guardian Project repository hosts only Guardian Project apps. As far as I know, the app itself enforces no restrictions on the content it will allow a user to access.
@freemo They should take down twitter and facebook clients too then, certainly the former is so much of speech it is hard to avoid. By comparison the fediverse is civilised.
We are rivals to their data gathering empire, so we are an easy target / scapegoat.
@freemo To add to this. happy to host how_tos on installing these apps, also how many of these apps are available via f-droid or will f-droid also be censored for allowing access to these apps.
@freemo I might add that the mobile experience of Mastodon is really really good. I myself dont use an app to post, just the browser.
That isn't condoning the actions of G_, but it's good that Mastodon is so mobile friendly. 🙂
QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.
An inclusive free speech instance.
All cultures and opinions welcome.
Explicit hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.
We federate with all servers: we don't block any servers.