cohost is worker-run, which means that the people making decisions today will be a minority of the people making decisions if it ever takes off

the only way around this is through abusive hiring/workplace dynamics which ensure that the people currently in power remain the ones in power even as the company scales

so no amount of trust in the current people running it is relevant. either they aren't worth your trust, or they are but will soon be outnumbered, or they will maintain a small team and have insufficient staff to deal with problems (making the question of trust useless)

the only merits you can judge it on are structural

the “company” side of things :— hiring practices, project management, openness and transparency regarding decisionmaking and governance, communication with users, participatory design methodologies, etc, etc —: these are the areas where every single social media platform has failed, not features

where are these things in the a§c manifesto? these very important not-software things?

while these things don’t pertain to software, they do pertain to labour, and emphasizing software capabilities at their detriment is *cough* bourgeois as fuck

i'm saying all this because if a§c shipped the same exact software they have now but with a featurelist like

- we recognize that social software is shaped by its participants and that we, too, must be shaped by them in order to produce good software. we value dialogues which develop US in the correct direction. we do not have all the answers

- we want to build access for everybody, and (failing that) for those who are most endangered by a lack of it and most vulnerable in society at-large. we recognize that the issue of access is complex and are invested in dialogues which further our understanding of this subject

- the issue of access is not limited to our users, but also to us, i.e. our company. we are committed to making OURSELVES more accessible, diverse, and multifaceted, and value the cultural transformations which develop from a broadening of access to new groups and new horizons

- good software is not software which encourages use but software which is driven by use. software cannot be separated from human needs and labour, human activities. in developing software, our goal is to FACILITATE human activities, not CREATE activities for humans

- newness has no inherent value to us. we will use existing solutions when existing solutions work. we like democratic media and democratic technologies (HTML, email, Atom) which people have had demonstrably easy and lasting access to. we aim to protect that access

- the above points are abstract, but the conditions of life are material. our aspirations are meaningless if we cannot convey them in the language of material action. the following are concrete steps we have taken as an organization to manifest our goals. this list is a work-in-progress. it will never be complete. [LIST]

without any software changes, if they had simply presented themselves like that i would be about 5000% more optimistic that they might actually achieve a good thing

can they sign on to this manifesto? why haven't they already?

@Lady i would be seriously impressed if any software came out that signed on to this manifesto

@aescling these are just basic leftist-anarchist talking points that i threw together in 30 minutes for a post on mastodon

@aescling any software developer who (a) considers themselves politically along that axis and (b) is trying to build a software with a “global” or “universal” audience or userbase should agree with all of these things

@Lady i wasn’t saying it was a high bar to pass. at all. lol

@Lady by “impressed” i just mean i expect extremely little out of ostensibly left-anarchist (or otherwise progressive) software development


@aescling right, but i also don't want actual leftists who care about software to think true social justice is out of reach. it is possible, we have tools, we have organizing principles which are tried and effective, stop listening to the poseurs and go make a thing. you can adopt a mission statement like this today. with a little work you can probably develop a better one.

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