Inclusive community activists are harming FOSS

2023/11/06

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Firstly, I have to preface this entire article with stating that I have nothing against inclusive communities at all. We live in a free world, you're allowed to create whatever communities you like, as long as they are legal and moral.

What this article is about, is people, by some referred to as "SJW"s, (Social Justice Warriors) who will go out of their way to try and influence other communities (or their members) that operate differently to what they would believe is "right". Those that ignore morals, resort to lies, targeted hate, and more, against those they disagree with. Those that seem to seek conflict at all costs.

This article is going to probably be pretty negative overall, so I will start with the good, and then go on into the bad.

We are all people

It's important to understand that we are all people. Regardless of your political views, marital status, nationality, whatever else, if you can read this, you're most likely a human.

With that, I believe that every human's opinion is valuable and important, and most crucially, equal. There is no point in having some people's opinions be more important than others. That is the essence of discrimination.

It's great that we have gotten the power to spread our thoughts around the internet, but unfortunately, it has also caused some negative side effects.

Since people naturally bond together, we started to follow topics online that interest us or are aligned with our opinions. We naturally stick together, especially with those the most similiar to us.

Unfortunately, this creates spaces in which people start to believe that everyone around them agrees with their viewpoints, creating a false sense of unanimity.

Over time, this evolves into prejudice and hatred of anyone who does not align with their views, as they are the "odd one out", in the eyes of such a person.

People forget that others' upbringing, place of residence, religion, or simply life experiences and expectations may differ.

Discrimination online

You know, the internet used to be a different place back in the day. As the internet grew, it became less and less of a wild west, and more and more a corporation-ran, bureaucracy-stinking mess.

Whether the shift from everyone being fine with being called names to a place where you're gonna get "cancelled" when you say a bad word you didn't even know was bad is positive, I am not going to judge. I definitely will say it made the internet... different.

Now, actual discrimination is definitely not cool. Harassment, targeted bullying, and the alikes are a total asshole behavior, and should not be accepted. The problem is with how the victim sees it.

Growing up in the internet of mostly the 2010s, everyone would be calling each other "retards" online, and that would be regarded as one of the lightest things you'd call people when mad. At least in the spaces I was hanging out, nobody would care, even people who would have actual diseases, or were on the receiving end of a slur targeted precisely at a group they were a member of. Hell, I was too.

I definitely am not a fan of how seemingly weak people online, especially teenagers, have become. Words are just words. Someone calling another person a "retard" shouldn't really be a big deal. Obviously, when repeated 100 times it can be annoying, but then it's no longer about the word itself, it's targeted bullying.

Ultimately, without a strong mentality, you will most likely not be very successful in life.

Now, you might say that "oh you're lucky to be strong mentally, not all people are". True, maybe. Although I have had experience with a lot of people over the years, through various routes, that have been in actual psychiatric hospitals, treated for depression, mental issues, and all alike, and their issues were absolutely nowhere near "oh no I was called a bad word 20 times online".

Most likely reason is that those people that are the weakest, often cry and shout the loudest, seeking attention and approval.

But I digress, this is not about the topic at hand.

How to approach a community for changes

If you don't like how a community is ran, there definitely is nothing wrong with asking those who run it whether they are aware of the issues, and want to deal with them.

Drew DeVault recently contacted me, and at least in private conversations, showed a bunch of composure in what they were aiming for. Their agenda and political motivation did shine through, but I respect the fact that they showed restraint in places where we had valid disagreements.

This is an example of how to treat such situations. Yes, Drew's execution might not have been perfect, and the blogpost had some issues, but overall, most of it was handled in private conversations, and did result in a noticeable change in what we both agreed was not alright.

Now, for the ugly.

The bad apples

Unfortunately, as with every community, there are bad apples.

I am not here to make you aware there are bad apples, that everybody knows, but I want to shed some light on common behaviors of people advocating for "inclusive communities" online that I do not feel should be accepted.

The entire thought for this article was at the back of my head for a while, but a recent encounter has made me actually do it:

Yes, you unfortunately are seeing right. A person (name of whom I will censor even though you can find their name easily by going to the issue page) went onto the Hyprland bug tracker, to call me, a Nazi.

For interested: link to the issue page.

They then proceeded showing some screenshots of my conversation, where I express that we should not care about people's political views on a community unrelated to politics, as long as they do not use it to spread their agenda.

As an example, I said:

if I run a discord server around cultivating tomatoes, I should not exclude people based on their political beliefs, unless they use my discord server to spread those views. which means even if they are literally adolf hitler, I shouldn't care, as long as they don't post about gassing people on my server

that is inclusivity

Which I definitely stand by. I run a community related to Hyprland. Your geopolitics do not matter, as long as you don't talk about those, but focus on Hyprland. We have to remember we live in different environments, have different opinions, and debates whether one belief is good or not are best taken at a serious debate, not a random chat in a community unrelated to the topic.

Does that make me a Nazi? Judge for yourself.

On a tangent, I believe this person has made it their life mission to slander me:

which by this point would be illegal in many places, but oh well.

General cases

In general, a lot of the cases aren't nearly as egregious as this, but they all seem to stem from what I talked about in the "We are all people" paragraph.

Inclusive communities, in the eyes of such advocates, are often the opposite of inclusive. They will try and find things that you do outside of your proffessional persona, or often infer, guess, meddle with, or lie about what you say and stand for. Then, once they have the "ammo", they will ostracize you. Ban, kick, call for removal, censorship.

Closing thoughts

I firmly believe that FOSS is literally for everyone. Unlike those people, I stand by my stance that even if you are something that the country I live in disagrees with, you still are free to use, contribute to, and be a part of the greater FOSS community.

It's important to note that there are many people who disagree on topics like religion, economic systems, LGBT issues, geopolitics, and other. For whatever reasons they may, we still should not ostracize them as long as they can interact with the FOSS community in a respectful manner, without arguing about those issues in places not meant for such discussions.

It's also sad to see that the inclusive communities for which such people "fight for", are accepting this type of, ultimately hateful and bigoted, behavior. In my opinion, the easiest way to get rid of most of those people is for the communities they fight for to turn their back on them, showing lack of support for such behavior.

Ultimately, those people are, almost always, seeking attention and approval. Trying to "make their life matter", ignoring whether they will actually do more harm than good.

Special thanks

As a last addendum, I also wanted to send special thanks to everyone who was respectful and considerate during the recent period of changes in the Hyprland community. We managed to improve the situation drastically, and are now striving, more successfully than ever, to maintain an actually inclusive community revolving around Hyprland.


Questions, comments, mistakes? Ping me a mail at vaxry [at] vaxry.net and I'll get back to ya.