🎓 Dr. Freemo :jpf: 🇳🇱: "Holy crap, google is apparently taking down all/m…" - Qoto Mastodon


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.

https:// toot.fedilab.app/@fedilab/1047 61140268193772

https:// mastodon.social/@Gargron/10476 3960269049818

@fedilab @tateisu # fediverse # mastoadmin # freespeech # censorship

@ 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"...

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

@ 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 probably not google's intent. their policies are probably designed to handle the case of browsers, but i am assuming that, unlike browsers, many of these fedi apps provide a list of instances, and as numerous lawsuits have set a precedence for, you're responsible for what you link to. in the case of an in-app list, this can give the appearance that the app maintainer is endorsing all the instances listed.

@ thor @ madargon @ freemo @ khird
Most likely by going directly to servers that are majority populated by groups, races, or nationalities of people they don't like. Guilt by association is a big thing at Google. Look at how they censor YouTube. All they believe they need to do to justify unpersoning app creators is attempt to access gab on their apps and if it's possible then they're automatically a # Nazi ™ and don't deserve due process or free speech.

@ 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… ).

@ khird

@ khird @ freemo

I've never heard a Rick roll video described as a deradicalization page before.

@ Feddylain

Not sure at the moment.. fedilab used to very briefly a while ago but then reverted that change.. as far as I know they never added the block back.

@ khird

@ 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 Yea, what goes around comes around.. for many this will be a taste of their own medicine...

@ izarella Yup it is, and people wonder why I'm so pro free speech, this right here is a prime example! The ironic thing is I have received a lot of hate and blocks from voicing my pro free speech stance, the very stance that would oppose this sort of injustice that effects them in the first place.

@ freemo

Lol everyone has me blocked already I think

@ izarella In that case I'm tempted to follow you, if you are truly blocked by **both** sides (liberals and conservatives) that must mean you must actually have your own unique opinions :)

@ freemo @ izarella

I kinda like that getting blocked by idiots already works as some kind of seal of quality

@ freemo @ izarella I've decided to follow you both. Whether I agree with them or not, I love diverse opinions. Some of my opinions have also been censored a lot, though I usually do not post them on Mastodon or Twitter.

@ happysmash27

Welcome to the club. As long as people are respectful I find a difference of opinion to be some of the most exciting and education conversations I can have. Echo chambers are so boring, and often toxic.

@ izarella

@ 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.

@ freemo

... or Fediverse. Considering all of the "kill white people" posts that can be readily found on Twitter, maybe it's time to start reporting that app as well.

@ 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

Which is why no open forum should be banned.

At the same time, Twitter actively censors one type of hate speech, but allows another. It's interesting because this means Twitter actively supports, and therefore publishes hate speech.

@ master @ freemo twitter is an interesting example. on the other hand, twitter has, afaik, never officially permitted hate speech. it probably also helps that they're big, and their ToS likely contains a section on hate speech, whereas with fedi, it depends entirely on the instance.

@ freemo @ kline except chrome doesn't provide a list of websites (which i believe many if not all of these apps do) and if they did, 4chan wouldn't be on it

@ freemo @ kline Literally all of that "offensive" content--fedi instances--can be viewed by # Chrome anyways. Unless you're going to ban the # Fediverse from the browser, there isn't any consistent logic here.

@ realcaseyrollins

Yea its absurd logic.. the only difference between chrome and a mastodon client is that chrome gives you access to hate speech servers through http protocol and mastodon client gives you access to hate speech servers through the ActivityPub protocol

@ kline

@ kline @ freemo

...which is quite funny if you believe that bullshit some people say about "4chan being owned by Google".

I mean, yeah, there is a Google Analytics thing on it. I mean, yeah, moot works for Google now. But I feel like it's all cum hoc ergo propter hoc and nothing else.