There was some controversy over whether or not the open-source Android repository, F-Droid, would package and distribute the Gab app that allows people to connect to the fediverse. Well, F-Droid issued a public statement on July 16th, 2019, announcing that they would not be packaging or distributing the app for Gab and that they would be putting their feelings for marginalized groups and oppressed people before any service or app or commitment to freedom.
In the post over on the F-Droid website, they wrote…
“To recap the situation: a website joined the fediverse only half a month ago that is well known to be a “free speech zone”, meaning it claims to tolerate all opinions. While in theory this might seem to be a good concept, it has serious consequences: things like racism, sexism, verbal abuse, violent nationalist propaganda, discrimination against gender and sexual minorities, antisemitism and a lot more things become popular on such instances. For good reasons, all these things are prohibited on the clear majority of instances in the fediverse. Because of this, yet even before mentioned website joined the fediverse, most instances already blocked it. […]
“F-Droid as a project soon celebrates its 9th birthday. In these 9 years, F-Droid’s mission was and is to create a place where people could download software they can trust – meaning only free, libre and open source software is available on its flagship repository. As a project, it tried to stay neutral all the time. But sometimes, staying neutral isn’t an option but instead will lead to the uprise of previously mentioned oppression and harassment against marginalized groups. We don’t want and won’t support that. F-Droid is taking a political stance here.
“F-Droid won’t tolerate oppression or harassment against marginalized groups. Because of this, it won’t package nor distribute apps that promote any of these things. This includes that it won’t distribute an app that promotes the usage of previously mentioned website, by either its branding, its pre-filled instance domain or any other direct promotion. This also means F-Droid won’t allow oppression or harassment to happen at its communication channels, including its forum. In the past week, we failed to fulfill this goal on the forum, and we want to apologize for that. […]”
They go on to mention that Fedilab doesn’t block access to Gab, but Tusky does.
The F-Droid developers believe that even though the software is free, they still need to prevent “oppression” and “harassment” where possible from flourishing.
In fact, they explain…
“We believe platforms like F-Droid’s repository or fediverse instances must be moderated in order to prevent oppression and harassment to flourish.”
The post rounds out by saying that if people are angry that Fedilab hasn’t been blocked for not blocking Gab, they could work on a decentralized tagging system based on the package ID so that they could issue warnings or block instances that they don’t want their communities to see.
Basically, while they won’t be able to shut down Gab since it’s on the fediverse nor deplatform it like all the other big tech companies have done, their goal is to essentially isolate the Gab instance so that it would be impossible to reach from any of the main nodes until there’s a complete blackout on Gab.
Mozilla and Chrome have already banned the Gab app from the browser extension pages, which led to Gab making their own Dissenter browser. And Google is already threatening to ban Gab from the Google Play store for not censoring certain kinds of user generated content, as reported by Laura Loomer. Mastodon also blocked the Gab domains from their nodes, and now F-Droid has joined in with the rest of the censorship brigade to block Gab’s app as well.
It shows that almost everyone in big tech hates freedom and hates the very concept of freedom of expression.
(Thanks for the news tip The_Positivist)