Free Speech for the Dumb

At the first sniff that Trump was launching a social network on the Fediverse, a big red alert went out to all instance admins to inform them to such and encourage them to block their domains. Nobody wants that kind of moderation effort and most instances have rules against what they'd be putting out anyway. That was nowhere near the end of it though because they don't hire the brightest or most thorough of people to do their work for them.

Someone managed to create an account even though signups were meant to be shut down and had a poke around the place. It looks a lot like Mastodon. Oh wait, it totally is and they're trying to hide it from people by deleting all traces of mention of it. Someone's getting sued over it for breaking Mastodon's software license! And turns out the legal and contact addresses for this are literally Mar-A-Lago, Trump's hangout. The Tangerine Tantruming Tyrant may be the one receiving service for the lawsuit!

While dumpster diving through the Terms of Service, I noticed that their "free speech" isn't really that free:

As a user of the Site, you agree not to:

17. harass, annoy, intimidate, or threaten any of our employees or agents engaged in providing any portion of the Site to you. 20. upload or transmit (or attempt to upload or to transmit) viruses, Trojan horses, or other material, including excessive use of capital letters and spamming (continuous posting of repetitive text), that interferes with any party’s uninterrupted use and enjoyment of the Site or modifies, impairs, disrupts, alters, or interferes with the use, features, functions, operation, or maintenance of the Site.

23. disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the Site.

So basically if they don't like what you're saying, they'll just ban you, or wait...

We reserve the right, but not the obligation, to:

2. take appropriate legal action against anyone who, in our sole discretion, violates the law or these Terms of Service, including without limitation, reporting such user to law enforcement authorities;

They'll sue you too!

There's some other obvious bullshit in there, the hypocrites:

We respect the intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that any material available on or through the Site infringes upon any copyright you own or control, please immediately notify our Designated Copyright Agent using the contact information provided below (a “Notification”).

Unless otherwise indicated, the Site is our proprietary property and all source code, databases, functionality, software, website designs, audio, video, text, photographs, and graphics on the Site (collectively, the “Content”) and the trademarks, service marks, and logos contained therein (the “Marks”) are owned or controlled by us or licensed to us, and are protected by copyright and trademark laws and various other intellectual property rights and unfair competition laws of the United States, foreign jurisdictions, and international conventions.

4. use the Site to advertise or offer to sell goods and services.

11. attempt to impersonate another user or person or use the username of another user.

There's already fake accounts on there for ESPN, Chevy, and all number of companies. I really doubt they'd want to be part of a fringe social network that at best makes them look bad.

I do believe they're opening themselves up for a legal fight with one whole section because they say users waive all rights to their submissions, which I think is illegal in Germany. I think anyone who goes on there from Germany is going to get flashbacks to history class anyway.

I wouldn't go near this with a 10 foot pole. I mean, if someone already got in before prime time and they had to ban them, they clearly don't know how Mastodon even works. It's not hard to close signups! This is like letting a sloppy drunk ride a bike. It's a perfectly good bike but they can't use it right and someone's going to get hurt. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't secure it well at all and their data's going to get plastered all over the internet (above and beyond what is intended due to federation, which I reckon they don't understand either).

I'm not about to walk over to the proverbial monkey cage that is that site and watch them throw shit at each other, because some of that's coming through the bars! I highly advise that you don't either. If you're of the political inclination to join such a site, I recommend you share your thoughts with your pet. They'll enjoy the attention and won't get mad because they don't know you're talking a load of shite.

Day 67 of #100DaysToOffload

Tags: US Politics Fediverse Mastodon Rant