Mastodon's Founder Says Trump's New Social Network Is Just Mastodon
www.vice.com
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'Truth Social', which will launch officially later in the year, is seemingly using Mastodon's codebase without credit.
@nutomic
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This seems to be a very unpopular opinion here, but I think its good if Trump opens a Mastodon instance (assuming that it follows the license). Having different instances for different political views is one of the main features of the fediverse for me. And anyone who doesnt like an instance can simply block and ignore it. If that instance works, it would show to many people that an alternative to corporate social media is actually possible.

@AgreeableLandscape
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You do have an interesting point on the political aspect, and I respect you for voicing it to the opposition even though I personally really hate Trump as a person and a public figure. I personally also think that if the Trumpers have their own dedicated space, it would be a lot easier to ignore them and not have them bother people who don’t want to see that kind of content.

As a side note though, Trump is absolutely not following the license. Their TOS says outright that they own all the code, which they don’t.

Its terms also say that “all source code” of Truth Social is proprietary. That might run afoul of Mastodon’s own license.

“The main thing is that Mastodon is free software, released under the AGPLv3 license, so anyone can use it—provided they comply with the license. The main part of the license is making the source code and any modifications to it available to the public,” Rochko told Motherboard. With Truth Social saying that its code is proprietary “that would be a problem, as that would indicate a license violation,” Rochko added.

I think this is probably the biggest issue people in the open source community have with this.

krolden
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11Y

people these days seem to get off on reposting screenshots of fashie trumper tweets and such. they’ll continue hunting it down and reposting it in their little radlib circles. a good example of this is /r/parlerwatch

@nutomic
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Trump is not a very charming person, but I really prefer him over a slick war criminal like Obama.

And I fully agree about the license, thats why I added the disclaimer. Luckily it should be pretty easy to relaunch the site and publish the code.

@AgreeableLandscape
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(Political hot take alert for the following!) Personally, I dislike the majority of the US presidents pretty equally. Obama is just liked by the liberals more and did a better job of not gaining mainstream media backlash, but they both committed their fair share of war crimes, Biden too. Trump apparently ordered more drone strikes in four years than Obama in eight.

@pingveno
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Trump also took a lot of the safeguards off drone strikes that were designed to avoid civilian casualties. Not that things were perfect under Obama, but not only did it get worse under Trump but the reporting/accountability measures also went away.

@nutomic
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Honestly I dont think the president has that much to decide when it comes to military actions. What he does is announce the decisions of the military (or in other words, he is “following their recommendations”). Biden cant even remember the name of the Australian president after “being in talks” with him for weeks. His whole job seems to be reading from teleprompters (or trying to recite a speech, and stumbling).

@AgreeableLandscape
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Fair point. The warlords and ultra rich run the show. The president is honestly more of a figure head than people realize. Though my point is that Trump is still as big a war criminal than Obama all things considered, as are the rest of the US military leadership.

Lemmy sucks
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He started the Cold War 2.0 with China.

@uthredii
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There are quiet clear foreign policy differences between Obama and Trump.

Obama approached Iran diplomatically, Trump bombed a general, probably trying to start a war.

Under Obama US military was in Kurdistan, which prevented Turkey from attacking. Trump removed the troops just as Turkey was gearing up to attack.

Edit: Also Obama removed the blockade on Cuba. Trump resumed the blockade on Cuba.

☆ Yσɠƚԋσʂ ☆
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Yeah, when Trump was in charge millions of Americans suddenly started paying attention to the actual policy of the administration, then when Biden got elected they promptly went back to sleep. The border camps being an excellent example of this.

@AgreeableLandscape
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Westerners keep thinking that one of their advantages over somewhere like China is that apparently they’re free to criticize the government’s tyranny as much as they want and however they want in the media.

Yeah, between their “criticisms” mostly being memes and shitposts, the government just ignoring them, and them only doing it when it’s convenient for them, it’s working real great as a tool for improving their countries isn’t it?

☆ Yσɠƚԋσʂ ☆
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I think this is the real genius of the western system. People easily conflate their freedom to scream into the void with having actual power. There’s a pretty big difference between being able to criticize the system and being an actual stakeholder.

Dessalines
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Have you heard of KeyWiki? A far-right new-zealander many years ago started a wiki to compile data on anyone to the left of joseph McCarthy. Not only communists, but even mildly social democratic orgs. It has thousands of entries, I know people that have been listed on there.

It has since grown into the largest doxxing website of activists in history, listing every personal detail they can find, from connected orgs, locations, where they went to school, even who they’re in a relationship with. Its impossible to know how many people have been targeted or attacked as a result of KeyWiki, but the site has been deemed legally protected by the NZ government.

Its example tells us that if we give the far-right any technology, even something as innocent as a wiki, they’ll use it for nefarious purposes. Social media is likely even worse, since they can actively use these platforms to organize attacks, hate crimes, and target groups they hate. An anti-islam group could easily use a self-hosted fediverse service to organize an attack on a mosque for example.

I agree obvi that providing an alternative to corporate-controlled services is good in the long run ( since corporate power has more of an interest than anyone at spreading racism ), but its also extremely dangerous to give the far-right any platform to organize in the interim.

@nutomic
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I havent heard of that, and I dont think its acceptable for anyone to do something like this. But I think the responsibility here is clearly with the New Zealand government. If they protect the site, then its necessary to put pressure on them. The only other way would be for all open source devs to make their software proprietary, but that would have a lot more negative effects than positive ones.

krolden
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21Y

imagine putting any effort into making something like that. it’s just sad.

Halce
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Apparently they stripped out the federation somehow too…

@seahorse
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Good!

m-p{3}
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I’m also fine with that, and it makes sense to leverage existing platforms to minimize the duplication of effort to achieve a goal. And personally I prefer that they congregate in their own space, where it’s easier to keep an eye on what’s going on.

But the fact that they knowingly used Mastodon without respecting its license is already not a good first impression.

@ChinaNumberOne
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no, just no

mastodon should handle this the same way they handled gab, hardcode block them

This could be a way to make the fediverse look bad. Mainstream media can promote the narrative that the fediverse consists primarily of racists, nationalists and hateful people in general. They will promote this in a similar way to how they fought against file sharing.

@AgreeableLandscape
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I’m worried about this too. Western media loves picking the most emotionally triggering narrative and running with it, doesn’t matter if it’s misleading or outright false.

☆ Yσɠƚԋσʂ ☆
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Realistically, if MSM wants to start smearing the fediverse they can always find an excuse. I don’t think Trump using open source to make stuff really changes anything. I imagine that their platform isn’t actually going to federate with anyone either, it’s just a way to leverage existing work.

@AgreeableLandscape
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Hopefully every major instance blacklists both them and anyone they federate with. Having it entirely non-federating definitely would be better though.

☆ Yσɠƚԋσʂ ☆
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That’s basically what happened with Gab, and don’t see why people would do anything different here.

Ephera
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Yeah, all my mum ever hears about Telegram is criminals using it. I use it for talking to my colleagues. Unsurprisingly, you can use these platforms for talking to whomever you choose to, but that doesn’t stop her from worrying that I’m deeply involved with the crime scene.

m-p{3}
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Gab also made the news when it switched to Mastodon, but the fediverse as a whole still seems to be in good shape.

Yes, this is likely to happen. I am worried about it as well.

@ksynwa
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Mastodon is AGPLV3 so doesn’t that mean the folks who own “Truth Social” are legally obliged to share their source code?

@wiki_me
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In another article Eugen said he “intend to seek legal counsel”.

@AgreeableLandscape
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Not sure how well he’ll be able to hold his own against Trump though, even though the Mastodon authors are absolutely in the right legally. The number of corrupt Trump supporting judges at all levels of the US legal system is honestly just sad.

☆ Yσɠƚԋσʂ ☆
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I imagine this is something that GNU foundation would get involved with.

@AgreeableLandscape
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The Software Freedom Conservancy is currently trying to establish a precedent that “not just the copyright holders, but also the receivers of the licensed code who are entitled to rights” can also sue for copyleft license violations. if this goes through, it will be huge! Both for this and for FLOSS in general, since most FLOSS authors don’t actually have the time or resources to sue on their own behalf.

https://lemmy.ml/post/85980

@nutomic
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Eugen is German, i dont think there is any reason for him to sue in some other country.

Kromonos
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There is not only the reason. I’m currently suing some toxic artists from Twitter across the borders of Germany, for example. Unfortunately, cooperation, even among the EU countries themselves, is more than pathetic.

@pingveno
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I wouldn’t assume that judges being Trump appointees will have any influence on their rulings. When Trump was trying to screw with the election results, many of the judges that were ruling against him were Trump appointees. I’m no fan of the conservative legal movement in general, but they generally don’t do political favors.

@AgreeableLandscape
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Correct. But it’s Trump so don’t expect them to play by the rules.

☆ Yσɠƚԋσʂ ☆
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That would indeed be the case.

Kromonos
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Somehow, I’m not surprised at all. That was already the case with Gab back then, that they took an open-source project and misused it for their purposes without any references to the original software.
The whole thing will go the same way with Trump as it did with Gab. At some point, no one will federate with them anymore and hardly a sound will reach the rest of the world. Many Mastodon administrators are already going crazy under #FediBlock and blocking the domains. 🤷

Dessalines
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I don’t understand the point of this either, most of the trump politicians are already on gab. Maybe trump just wants his own brand rather than joining gab. Either way it’ll turn into a racist hellhole immediately.

@AgreeableLandscape
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Maybe trump just wants his own brand rather than joining gab.

Abso-fucking-lutely. Trump is a massive narcissist and loves putting his name on stuff, doesn’t matter if he contributed to them or not.

@blackfire
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I think he’s avoiding gab because its a known Nazi hell hole. If puts off the moderate repubs

@AgreeableLandscape
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moderate repubs

I honestly doubt that’s even a concern. Anyone actually “moderate” wouldn’t want anything to do with that fascist cult.

Kromonos
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I think this too, but @dessalines is not that wrong with the own Trump brand. Like the Trump Towers and so on. Trump is a blender and blender work best with their own brand.

m-p{3}
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Trump just wants his own sandbox where he sets the rules and have the megaphone to shout as loud as he wishes.

Lemmy sucks
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@AgreeableLandscape
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It will be subject to Apple’s code of conduct. They will have to remove racist material or get removed from the app store.

If only their own app gets taken down, then that’s an absolute win. But, Apple/Google/etc could very well see this as an excuse to take down general purpose Mastodon clients as well, saying “well one of the biggest instances is Trump’s and we don’t want to have something that can easily connect to it!” In the end, it doesn’t actually matter if they don’t have a leg to stand on since they have absolute control over their stores. Google already removed the official Mastodon app from the play store for several days without even giving a clear reason last year.

Evan
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Wait till

this instance is blocked from use in masclient

m-p{3}
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Same thing that happened with Gab, some clients will implement a clientside block and some won’t. IMO it’s pointless to do a clientside block, I guess you could work around it by making a DNS redirection or something.

Evan
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It is so that my client is not banned from appstore, I don’t think apple is going to say

haha we set up a DNS redirection and bypassed your blocking so bann

m-p{3}
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Imagined if we lived in a world where Apple could tell Mozilla or Google that their web browser was delisted from the App Store because they don’t blacklist some domain name.

I know where you’re coming from and I understand why, it’s just that blocking specific hostnames from an app that is simply handling a protocol seems an overreach.

Evan
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See the thing is is that apple reviewers know how a web browser works (probably) but the fed? not so sure. To them it’s probably just a twitter clone.

Lemmy sucks
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@AgreeableLandscape
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That’s how nearly every fediverse app works. It’s also how things like browsers work :P

Lemmy sucks
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@AgreeableLandscape
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I actually like web apps over app apps, mainly because I can close them and not worry about them running in the background and doing stuff with my phone that I don’t want it doing.

m-p{3}
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And they probably won’t publish their own app to avoid that possibility, simply guiding their users towards a Mastodon-compatible client.

m-p{3}
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Truth Social will likely federate with Gab, as I don’t really see any other major instances who wouldn’t block them.

@loki
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well, what do you expect from people who couldn’t even stop public registrations during an ‘invite-only’ phase?

@AgreeableLandscape
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Doesn’t Mastodon have a single checkbox in the site dashboard to allow open signups or not? How did they screw that up?

Kinetix
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It’s confusing - much like voting, it’s a checkbox.

@johs
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this can be good for the fediverse 2-5 milion userse maybe.

@AgreeableLandscape
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Nah, having that many far right “freeze peach” people will be an extremely bad look for us and likely ruin the ecosystem for any moderates or leftists.

@nutomic
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Who says this will be a “bad look”, some leftist muricans? The world doesnt revolve around them, and if they dont like it, they can block any instance that they dislike. Thats the whole point of federation. The fediverse doesnt belong to any specific group, it legally belongs to everyone (AGPL).

Evan
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51Y

Meet: the media

alt right twitter clone “mastodon” licensed to trump. One of mastodon’s key features is the ability to spread out over a range of servers in a similar fashion to limewire, helping to avoid takedown

@nutomic
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For now the media is completely ignoring the fediverse. If they start talking about it, then people will get curious and at least some will investigate for themselves. Dont forget that trust in media is at an all-time low.

Bilb!
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I agree with this, and I think hand-wringing about shitty people using software and the possible ensuing moral panic in media is pointless. You can make it a bit more situationally inconvenient like you do with the hard-coded slur filter, but ultimately It’s not something you can prevent when you’re creating free communication tools.

  • Provide a free tool to enable decentralized communication.
  • Prevent adoption of your tool by people whose ideologies you consider dangerous.

As a software engineer, those two goals are fundamentally at odds- you cannot accomplish one without compromising the other. Therefore I think the onus is on a community of admins and users to moderate, make careful federation choices, and to promote Lemmy and the fediverse to their own circles. You can’t short circuit the hard work of community growth and management with software design alone.

Kinetix
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Who? Probably, oh, anyone who doesn’t agree with the dangerous alt-right? You think a flood of liars and nazis is a good look?

It does matter, and that doesn’t bring in to question ownership of the fediverse or anything, that’s a conflation of two different ideas entirely. However, as with gab, the fediverse can and does exert it’s “ownership” of it’s space and can seemingly come together to push the worst of the trash out the door.

Who came up with Lemmy’s slur filter? Some leftist murican?

Kinetix
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Yes, a couple of million disinformation zombies would be fantastic.

@johs
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11Y

s So what? The fediverse needs users or else nobody is gonna use the damn product I believe Gab / Minds and many other small social network should move over to fediverse. Conseravtive instance, Liberal instance thats the way to go.

Kinetix
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11Y

Does this really need explaining? You think a million disinformation zombies would be a good thing?

I guess you weren’t aware that Gab is a fork of Mastodon and was originally part of the fediverse until they were essentially locked out due to their crap?

You must be American, if you believe that conservatism vs liberalism is the same thing as hateful racist trolling dickhead vs. people who don’t want that in their lives.

The rest of the world (mostly) doesn’t live by this constant “red vs. blue” anger fest.

@johs
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  1. yes i know that gab was a fork of mastadon that turn off federation
  2. i am european norway
  3. if you dosent want “hateful racist trolling dickhead” you can just block the instance.
  4. Yes i thing “You think a million disinformation zombies would be a good thing?” more users = more support for fediverse more apps etc. i dosent see it as a negative thing if the fediverse dosnt get any users(this is a great time for that, if TRUTH social adds fediration in it server) than i think the activatpub is just gonna be for some geeks.
Kinetix
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2 - Thanks for the clarification, I stand corrected!

One doesn’t need millions of users to have a healthy community, and if communities are built around being divisive hate machines, there’s no need to welcome them, they can stand alone as their own ignorant islands. You can’t force integration between sane society and the intolerant. The hateful intolerant have to be moderated and told to go piss up a tree.

Gab only turned off federation after it was clear they weren’t welcome anywhere.

I don’t disagree that growth of the fediverse would be a good thing, but not in an unmoderated fashion. The example growth you give is a great example of the wrong way to get growth - nobody’s trying to re-create Twitter. The style? Sure. The content? Nope.

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