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Re: Truth Social as an example of the limits of free software

From: Federico Leva (Nemo)
Subject: Re: Truth Social as an example of the limits of free software
Date: Wed, 6 Sep 2023 19:06:52 +0300
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.13.0

Truth Social is a success story for free software.

People who could have been subjected to some proprietary software due to their interest in one certain celebrity are now using a (largely/mostly) free software service, thanks to Mastodon and the AGPL. They can benefit from years of development focused on community rather than advertisers. They can also benefit from external analysis of what we know about their variant of the code, which might be little but it's more than nothing.

You might discount those benefits as minimal, but they're not trivial and they're multiplied by the millions of people receiving them right now.

We don't know what's going to happen in the future, but thanks to free software (and open standards) the people have multiple possibilities. If some conflict arises, subcommunities might splinter and move to their own instances with lesser disruption. If the company fails and decides to discontinue the service, another service provider might take it over and make it better; users could even take matters in their hands with limited capital, thanks to lower costs.

You might consider this a distant possibility, or something you don't care about because you'd prefer the community to just vanish, but it has a non-zero probability. That reduces the centralised power of the current owners, even if just by a little, and that's certainly a good thing.


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