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Re: [GNU-linux-libre] How do you handle references to non-free softwarei

From: Jason Self
Subject: Re: [GNU-linux-libre] How do you handle references to non-free softwarein public forums?
Date: Wed, 06 Jul 2011 13:06:21 -0700 (PDT)

Henry Jensen <address@hidden> wrote ..
> If it occurs at the forum of a FSDG compliant distro that now and then
> non-free software is mentioned, how do you handle this?

I think gNewSense does this pretty well by setting Community Guidelines [1] 
that everyone is expected to follow. Take a look at number 5. In my experience, 
the gNewSense community is quick to respond back and say they won't help them 
with their proprietary software question.

> What about references of NON-FSDG software? Let's say if someone would
> post instructions how to install a Linux kernel with included blobs

I think a "how to" amounts to the same thing, and is probably worse than 
someone just posting a question. A question thread can be locked, perhaps after 
a moderator has posted a short message saying there's no help for proprietary 
software. If someone posts a reply or a step-by-step "HOW TO" about running a 
specific piece of proprietary software it absolutely should be deleted, IMHO, 
and consideration given to anyone that repeatedly breaks the community 

> All right, but in case of many new users or a high-traffic forum a
> small team wouldn't be able to discourage every reference to non-free
> software because of their limited resources.

That's what moderators are for. If there aren't enough in the core team, 
perhaps community members that have demonstrated a strong understanding of, and 
committment to, these values could be appointed a moderator to help manage the 

> Deleting the posts would be censorship and I think this would be not
> good.

I don't think it amounts to censorship. After all, there are plenty of other 
places where they could pose their question/post their how-to. I think it comes 
down to the question of: Should people be able to use *your* project 
infrastructure to provide advice/support/etc on how to use proprietary software?


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