Loomio
Fri 31 Aug 2018

De-Googling Social.coop's Working Groups

CG
Cathal Garvey Public Seen by 308

It seems that a lot of things happen on Google Docs, Google Hangouts, etcetera.

Google is a surveillance company with close ties to the US surveillance state and military-industrial complex. They already aggressively track our membership everywhere they can. Social.coop's social spaces, and especially our organising spaces, should be as free of this actor's influence as possible.

Requiring members to create or maintain accounts on services with such invasive privacy policies (enabling all kinds of invisible harms through data sales and purchases, correlations, data-sharing deals with unknown third parties, possibly including direct but invisible financial harm to marginalised groups), operating out of essentially unregulated countries, is harmful.

Alternatives absolutely exist and are widely used and trusted:

  • Hangouts -> meet.jit.si
  • Docs -> Etherpad
  • Calendar -> Loomio
  • Polls -> Loomio
  • Discussion -> Loomio / Mastodon / Matrix/Riot

I just want to open this conversation, for now. If we want to write policies about what is deemed an acceptable tool to force others to use or participate in, then maybe some decisions should pop up here to discuss those.

M

Melody Fri 31 Aug 2018

Most of these alternatives are barely, if at all functional and because of notifications going to many many members' gmail accounts, countering any real benefits to switching, it seems unlikely that migrating to objectively worse tools should be our top priority as an organization given that the place is metaphorically burning down right now.

CG

Cathal Garvey Fri 31 Aug 2018

Laws in Europe are catching up with Google, so that it is possible that they will not soon be allowed to scan incoming mail from EU users or third-party users. No, I don't trust them to respect the law, but it's often an impediment to their day-to-day operations nonetheless.

As to "we're in a crisis, we can't possibly improve anything right now", that's probably always going to be true, if we let it. If an organisation abandons improvements to focus on solving crises, then it just rolls from crisis to crisis.

The current crisis will resolve, or Social.coop will dissolve. In the latter case, focusing on the crisis won't really have mattered. In the former, focusing on generally making things better will have mattered. So I see it as worth raising regardless.

M

Melody Fri 31 Aug 2018

This isn't "we can't make anything better" this is "this is an absurd distraction right now"

CG

Cathal Garvey Fri 31 Aug 2018

I respect your priorities and your opinion: if removing a surveillance apparatus from our decision-making isn't important to you, then don't be distracted by it. There's no binding vote or proposal here to be distracted by, it's a discussion.

However, freedom from surveillance does matter a great deal to me, so kindly don't call my priorities absurd. We're all trying to make Social.coop a better place, here.

M

Melody Fri 31 Aug 2018

I'm not sorry, your priorities are absurd. We no longer have servers, we're hemorrhaging members, we're being defederated by other instances, we've got a complete governance breakdown, and your primary concern is that we are using google to help us collaboratively edit public documents.

Your raising this now is frankly not just baffling, but honestly actively disruptive to what should be VERY clear organizational priorities at the moment.

T

Tao Fri 31 Aug 2018

it sounds like you haven't been following the last few days' discussions @cathalgarvey; as a co-op right now the focus should be on creating a safe space that's welcoming to marginalized groups and has effective moderation tools. if your priority is not using google over that, then yeah, i don't think that's reasonable

CG

Cathal Garvey Fri 31 Aug 2018

I'll take that on board. I've seen crises in other communities before, so I guess I'm pretty sanguine about this. Either the coop survives and grows, or it collapses and life goes on. It's my experience that dropping everything else just accelerates collapse, so I prefer to act as if things will continue after the crisis, and think about what we can continue to improve.

I understand that others don't feel similarly, and I'm not out to upset anyone.

FWIW, I have been using Google tools to review and participate precisely because of the current crisis. Before this stuff arose I would simply never have participated where Google was a requirement.

@

@h Fri 31 Aug 2018

Your preference has been duly noted, and others have dedicated time and energies to help you understand it's their wish that absurd distractions don't be distracting them at this particular time when we need to regroup and use all our energies to address the most immediate problems, without which there will be no social.coop in a month's time. You may not mind, but others do mind that you don't mind.

CG

Cathal Garvey started a dot vote Fri 31 Aug 2018

If Social.coop created policies limiting which tools could be required for participation in decision-making, which criteria are most important in your view? Closed Fri 7 Sep 2018

This is a non-binding check. Feel free to add categories I haven't considered.

9 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
9 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
7 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
13 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
7 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
2 - Service has access control which can be unified with our other services
👤

Anonymous Fri 31 Aug 2018

2 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
0 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
👤

Anonymous Fri 31 Aug 2018

1 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
1 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
1 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
👤

Anonymous Fri 31 Aug 2018

1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
1 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
👤

Anonymous Fri 31 Aug 2018

1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
1 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
👤

Anonymous Fri 31 Aug 2018

1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
1 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
👤

Anonymous Fri 31 Aug 2018

1 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
👤

Anonymous Sat 1 Sep 2018

1 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
👤

Anonymous Sat 1 Sep 2018

2 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
0 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
👤

Anonymous Sat 1 Sep 2018

1 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
0 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
👤

Anonymous Sun 2 Sep 2018

1 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
1 - Service has access control which can be unified with our other services
1 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
👤

Anonymous Sun 2 Sep 2018

1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
1 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service has access control which can be unified with our other services
👤

Anonymous Mon 3 Sep 2018

1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
1 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service has access control which can be unified with our other services
👤

Anonymous Mon 3 Sep 2018

1 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service has access control which can be unified with our other services
👤

Anonymous Thu 6 Sep 2018

1 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service has access control which can be unified with our other services
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option

Ease of use is more important than all the above, otherwise you’re creating technical barriers to participation in favour of wonky or nerdy sensibilities.

👤

Anonymous Thu 6 Sep 2018

1 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Service has access control which can be unified with our other services
0 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
👤

Anonymous Thu 6 Sep 2018

1 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
1 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service has access control which can be unified with our other services
👤

Anonymous Thu 6 Sep 2018

1 - Difficulty of use and configuration must be comparable to the most mainstream option
1 - Does not require mandatory binding contracts to third parties to use (privacy policies, data sharing agreements, membership T&Cs)
1 - Service has access control which can be unified with our other services
0 - Liberty of Underlying Software (e.g., license, code availability, self-hosting)
0 - Service is self-hosted by Social.coop
0 - Quality of service and feature set must be comparable to the most mainstream option
0 - Service is based in a jurisdiction that controls data use, human rights abuses, confidentiality, rights to withdraw consent (e.g.: The EU)
GSF

Gil Scott Fitzgerald Sat 1 Sep 2018

@cathalgarvey thank you for bringing this up, I've read the thread and I think we're in agreement in general on the importance of free software, although I also believe that this is something the will need to be put on the backburner until the other issues are resolved.

F

freescholar Sat 1 Sep 2018

I just got off of Gmail Woot! It was tricky. The more we use and support free software the more free we shall be. Here is a reference type blog post with some options - http://agaric.com/blogs/daily-business-operations-using-free-software

AR

Antoine-Frédéric Raquin Wed 5 Sep 2018

We wouldn't be on an AGPL-licensed platform if we didn't slightly care about free software.

While we do have priorities, this thread could be used as a general thread for Google alternatives and good-faith discussions about why, why not, using these alternatives, while clearly keeping in mind that it's just for coffee-break chats.

M

Miloš Wed 12 Sep 2018

This is a great idea. Some of these are already functional. In my experience, very large groups doing horizontal organizing use Etherpad/Ethercalc very effectively. This includes non tech-savvy people.

Can we use Matrix/Riot for group chat/video?

In terms of Calendars, could a Baikal/CalDAV instance work instead of Loomio? I'm not familiar with Loomio's calendaring features, and not sure how standards' compliant they are.

Thanks for getting this discussions started!

MN

Matt Noyes Wed 12 Sep 2018

I have found Matrix most useful for one-on-one chat. We tried using the integrated jit.si video chat but it was not reliable so mostly we use Zoom. For group chat we are using Loomio threads, social.coop toots/replies, and Matrix -- it gets confusing to have discussion spread across three platforms. Docs are edited in etherpad and (mostly) stored on git.coop.

M

Miloš Wed 12 Sep 2018

I hear what you're saying on confusing - maybe Matrix could be a central place for discussion via a bridge to link up social.coop toots/replies and Loomio threads?