So for anyone who wasn't following, Google pressured a bunch of app developers to do an impossible thing and in the end they had to delete their app off the Play Store

Here is a good synopsis by @SubwayTooter

@liaizon @SubwayTooter It reminds me of the recent scuffle between Google and the LBRY app.

@liaizon Subway Tooter is still on the Play Store right now, and one of the latest releases added a disclaimer about third party content being displayed in the app (I don't remember the exact wording). So not sure if that's been enough to move something at Google.

Wouldn't be surprised if it's the result of some group reporting other unrestricted Fediverse apps after the activism around Tusky forks that removed the Gab block.


@liaizon @SubwayTooter

The fact that they'd ban fedi clients and not the crazy predatory gambling crap that litters their store is evidence enough you shouldn't be letting google decide what software you run on your system imo

@ocean @liaizon @SubwayTooter Amen! I regret buying another Android device... I just wish #librem5 or #pinephone had been further along in development before I bought my new phone... 😕

You could always put Lineage OS on your Android device and be done with Google. Or better yet, Graphene OS or Calyx OS if your phone is a Pixel.
@ocean @liaizon @SubwayTooter

@liaizon @SubwayTooter that is really bizarre. it's true, Chrome itself allows unfettered access to unmoderated content. it does lead me to wonder, though, if federated hate speech filters could be a technical possibility.

@liaizon @SubwayTooter in this blog post, it's noted that Tusky blocks certain servers and has not received this warning. That means it's not an "impossible task" unless you just *have* to let Nazis have their say. Which you don't.

@marie_joseph @liaizon @SubwayTooter yep, to me this whole thing sounds like whataboutism to avoid taking responsibility. Also the argument of Google pressuring the ban of content you do not have an issue with is... I mean the bar is pretty low. I think genocide, and racism isn't really hard to identify.

@diabeticus @marie_joseph @SubwayTooter there are 4 million accounts in the fediverse and new ones every day. The idea that a client app has to keep track of that is literally insane. Apply the same logic to any other type of client app. Imagine if your text editor had to not let anyone write anything hateful. it is protection in the absolute wrong place.

@liaizon @diabeticus @SubwayTooter you don't have to track accounts, just instances. Between isolate Gab and general community vigilance, Tusky has demonstrated that is very possible and very effective. Husky ("Hitler Tusky," a fork of Tusky) literally only exists because Tusky's block list is effective.

@marie_joseph @liaizon @diabeticus @SubwayTooter what does it mean for the block list to be "effective" though? That user counts of fash instances go down? There is no way to quantitatively assess that since gab and other large fash instances are known to make up their user numbers, and as you said Husky exists and is easily available, which calls into question whether Tusky has actually prevented anyone from using those instances.
@marie_joseph @SubwayTooter @diabeticus @liaizon also I think that the point of the OP, is that if google is going to be requiring that web applications filter what users can access from third parties, then they need to be applying the same standards to themselves. Google is definitely not applying their rules fairly.

it would be *great*, and would do so much more good, if google chrome didn't allow you to access or other right-wing extremist websites, but they will never ever do that. Instead they pass on all the work to open source developers and continue to allow much worse shit on their store, as well as on their own browser and on youtube.

@mithrandir @SubwayTooter @diabeticus @liaizon you make good points. In this particular instance, the criteria for success are obvious insofar as they are immediate: is Google trying to ban your app? It's not a great criterion in general, but it is the one we are presented with at present.

@marie_joseph @SubwayTooter @diabeticus @liaizon I mean, I think it's more about whether google *should* delete the app, than whether they *will*

@mithrandir @marie_joseph @SubwayTooter @liaizon I absolutely agree with this and they should. But that doesn't remove each and everyone's responsibility. It also gives more legitimacy to follow their policy and push them to apply it to their own products rather than just refusing. Effective or not it is about mitigating the reach of this kind of dangerous groups that have real life consequences. Even if it is a little bit.

@diabeticus @marie_joseph @SubwayTooter @liaizon I don't think it is up to individuals to do the job of huge institutions, if those institutions are what are failing us in the first place. Google will definitely refuse to do this on their own products no matter how much they make other developers do it.

@mithrandir @marie_joseph @SubwayTooter @liaizon I think big institutions are not an excuse to not take personal responsibility. I do not throw my engine oil down the nearest stream because Exxon does it. Also large companies pay attention to what people value. If we turn a blind eye and point fingers as to who should do something they will too.

@diabeticus @marie_joseph @SubwayTooter @liaizon this is a bit of the opposite case than your analogy, I think a more apt one is like when BP runs ads about how to recycle. They are saying "do as I say, not as I do."

Huge companies pay attention to what people want, specifically they pay attention to what people want *of them*. If we point the finger squarely at them, where it belongs, they will squirm. Ultimately I think the most we could hope for is better enforcement of hate speech rules on youtube and a crackdown on predatory apps in the app store. Both of which would do much more good than allowing google to force some open source apps off the app store. But Google will never really do what needs to be done because, like every other huge tech company, they profit indirectly off political turmoil and right-wing propaganda.
@diabeticus @SubwayTooter @liaizon @marie_joseph Basically I'm saying that Google is not our friend and never will be our friend and there are better ways to disrupt fash propaganda, such as internet raids and spam.

@mithrandir @marie_joseph @SubwayTooter @liaizon I see what you mean and agree. But again to keep going on that metaphor :) I recycle even if BP is hypocritical. I think it is the same here. We should all take responsibility even at a small level and also keep large companies like Google to their word. One is not dependent on the other. But I get your point.

@carcinopithecus @liaizon @diabeticus @SubwayTooter I believe that is what the creator said it means. It's been a while and my memory is often unreliable, but.

@carcinopithecus @liaizon @diabeticus @SubwayTooter I don't think the creator was like, "I'm calling it Hitler Tusky because I love Hitler." I think it was more like, "I'm calling it Hitler Tusky to piss off the SJWs." But it's still not a good name.

@marie_joseph @liaizon @diabeticus @SubwayTooter and here i was thinking it might've been a possibly unfair caricature

what a year of everything being worse than previously believed

@marie_joseph @liaizon @SubwayTooter Right? You don't even actually have to try, you copy that list as a show of good faith and everyone is off your back.

@penny @marie_joseph @SubwayTooter how do you know the list is made by trustable actors? What happens when there are new entries on the list each day. What happens when there is disagreement about who gets on the list. This sort of breaks down the whole point of a decentralized network.

@liaizon @penny @SubwayTooter they've managed to handle or avoid these problems for over a year, which I think demonstrates whatever methods they're using are effective.

@penny @marie_joseph @SubwayTooter I am not saying that facism or racist bigotry or transphobic shit should be tolerated at all. I am just saying that it should not be up to app developers to make that call. There is not yet a way agreed upon to have a colaberatively managed and shared block list. Having one person who holds the repo for what instances get to be logged into is just a horrible way to manage this issue.

@penny @SubwayTooter @liaizon I think we all want the same thing, then, you just disagree with the methodology. I'm cool with that, my apologies for not realizing sooner.

@penny @marie_joseph @SubwayTooter @liaizon I’m on several block lists and I’m not a Nazi or a white supremacist (I’ve been accused of it, which is funny because I’m not white).

Who gets to decide who is blocked and who isn’t? Does Tusky block the paedophile instance? Who gets to make these bullshit arbitrary decisions?

Google is afraid of the Internet the way it use to be: distributed, decentralized, free

@djsumdog @penny @SubwayTooter @liaizon @marie_joseph Lets not beat around the bush, we all know exactly that the criteria to get banned is a political one, not a legal one. Its right-of-center places that get banned.

@shebang @penny @djsumdog @SubwayTooter @liaizon yes, the promotion of oppression. That's the political criterion that results in blocks.

literally everyone who is using pleroma, miskey or doesn't agree with them is evil, they made that very clear

@penny @SubwayTooter @liaizon @marie_joseph
my dude that list literally blocks instances because they have funny names or because one user doesn't behave like they want

"oh wow this instance has a foreign word as name, IT MUST BE NAZI!"

"oh this user doesn't want to obey me, a random user from another instance, HE'S A NAZI!"

and even though I'm wording it in a silly way I saw users behave like this, and this is the same side that constantly threatens from deaths to doxxing

there's no good faith in agreeing to violently attack others
@marie_joseph @SubwayTooter @liaizon

@liaizon so they didn't issue any notice to Tusky at all?

I have no experience with SubwayTooter and I've never heard of MastoPane, but the other two apps were definitely explicitly changed to remove bans on Gab.

@ben Fedilab was also warned. I don't think they ever implemented a ban list. SubwayTooter is one of the oldest apps too, first to implement lots of things like polls etc

@liaizon Fedilab definitely did implement a ban list, then remove it, then go paid-only when people complained.

@ben I forgot they did indeed implement it in a single version. They have always been free on Fedilab, though I don't know if the paying and the ban list happened at the same time like that.

@liaizon @ben Does this mean that apps such as Fedilab wanted to federate with gab more than they wanted to be on Google Play?

@bob if I rember right they did not wont to play the game by putting hard blocks in there code.

@witchescauldron @bob So they chose gab over being accessible via the most common app store. Pretty incredible own goal.

Although the Mastodon apps are nice, I'm bypassing this sort of gatekeeping by just making a web app.

@bob no not at all. it means they didn't want to have the job of content moderation with is an insane amount of work

@liaizon with this argument they would have to take Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok out of their store. If I would be in the shoes of the Devs, I would complain to DG Competition. This is possibly a violation because of the Android monopoly.

@liaizon @SubwayTooter Not true, none of them got taken down. There was a notice but nothing came of it.

@boob @SubwayTooter there was a 7 day notice, some of the developers complied cause they had other apps in the store. Other ones are still up with no official word from google.

@boob @liaizon @SubwayTooter I've received email back then that they will investigate further and get in touch if there will be any updates... And nothing happened since then.

Either hype just worked for us, either just forgot.

Fuuuuck I'll have to write a better one because it's not clear what caused Google to take this action; people are literally concern trolling Google support reps

@grishka they didnt respond to anyone asking for clarification which is so annoying

˗ˏˋ wakest ˎˊ˗, typical Google. My experience of being an Android developer is that having connections at Google is of paramount importance. If you don't know any googlers, going through the "official" support system you hit a wall 95% of the time. If you do know someone from developer relations (yes it's an actual job title people have), you just email them and everything is escalated and sorted out in a matter of days. They're really nice guys and they do their best to help you. Google is just very very terrible at communication with the outside world, and apparently isn't very interested in fixing it.

Actually, I could try emailing some of the contacts I have from my previous jobs...


Funny thing: the servers banned by Google can be accessed with Chrome.


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