Why we can’t regulate Google, etc:
Because of useful idiots like @conservancy legitimising them by being sponsored by them.
Me: Google is a surveillance capitalist that makes billions tracking and profiling you. They are a threat to our human rights and democracy. We just regulate them.
Policymaker: you must be mistaken, they’re the good guys. Look, here they are allowed to sponsor CopyLeft Conf with the FSF logo displayed proudly next to theirs.
@stevenroose I still feel a bit lost here, especially seeing companies like Google pop up as re-occurring sponsors for FSF(E) or GNOME Foundation as well. Is it *all* just whitewashing then? Is it a sign that even large entities with pretty much disputable business approaches might support "ethical" things as well? Or is it a sign that most of #SoftwareLibre and #FLOSS, despite all idealism, still has a great funding issue?
@stevenroose @conservancy Yes, it’s a strange assumption that money is influence. So strange that a strange man called Lawrence Lessig coined the term “institutional corruption” to describe it and then, strangely, went on to briefly run for president in the US on this single issue to raise awareness about it.
Honestly, I’m baffled that otherwise intelligent people in our industry have such a hard time understanding corruption and legitimisation.
Whether it should or should not, the fact is that the sponsor and the sponsored both lend each other a bit of their credibility, and accepting money from someone gives the sponsor just a little control over you... the more money, the more control. Because what if you lose that funding in the future?
Just because something is funded by something else doesn't inherently mean it shares the same problems, but it justifies criticism and closer inspection.
@twome @aral @conservancy It's not about me. A policymaker write the law. If they write a law that implies that a company sponsoring free-speech movements is free from suspicion of practices that constrain free speech, the policymaker writes bad policy.
Policy decisions should be based on what a company does, not what events it sponsors.
@0xD @conservancy For the same reason I wouldn’t trust Greenpeace on the environment if it was sponsored by Exxon Mobil or, for that reason, why I don’t trust Mozilla on privacy and human rights when they get hundreds of millions of dollars from Google and other surveillance capitalists.
Integrity isn’t something you assume about an organisation, it’s something they demonstrate by not engaging in bullshit like this.
English is not my maternal language, sorry (and thanks for the explanation).
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