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.



@fedilab @tateisu

@freemo I think this is basically an ultimatum to the app maintainer to "implement a block on Gab".

@khird Gab isnt even part of the fediverse and hasnt been for some time now.

@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.

@khird @freemo Yet they can't see the connection that basically any stock android email app lets you login to "hate email services"...

@q @freemo @khird

Perhaps they need to learn an old adage: haters gonna hate.

It is in a valid assumption because they turned it into one. To me, it is a perversion.

@freemo @khird That's exactly what caused a lot of turmoil in the not so distant past when some fedi users called a boycott on Fedilab, who refused to disallow access to Gab and the like.

@freemo @khird A lot of hate and aggression is on random websites... So is this the time to ban all browsers? Or shut down the internet as a whole, problems would dissappear. Or create something like Great Chinese Firewall... is this direction world want to choose?

@madargon @freemo @khird I don't even bother with Fediverse apps. Pleroma works great on Firefox for Android.

@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… ).


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Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.

No hate, No censorship. Be kind, be respectful

We federate with all servers: we don't block any servers.