At the age of 12, as my computer knowledge was notably increasing, I remember I’ve eventually been shocked to read something totally wrong in a magazine. Someone wrote something that was factually false.
This made me realize that until this date, I used to think that everything that was written in a book or a magazine was true. Just because it was written.
I’m taking 10 minutes to write this post, because I’m regularly asked to justify myself by some people who are concerned about what they are reading about /e/ on a website that’s been around for a little more than 1 year. And I prefer spending my time on /e/ development instead of answering about this.
This website has found a mission to warn /e/ users about how bad I am, and how bad the /e/ project is. In short, that what we are doing is just evil, has no value, shouldn’t exist. And that, of course, people should never, ever, use /e/.
This little website is run by a tiny group of haters, who have started to be very active in /e/ discussion groups on Telegram during summer 2018. The kind of guys who shout loud, answer and argue with everyone who disagrees with their certitudes.Their excess and their systematically negative attitude lead us to ban them permanentely from our groups after several warnings.
As they have been upset about this, they started to organize themselves to start more actions.
In particular they did two things:
1- they did everything they could to have the /e/ wikipedia page deleted. As they didn’t succeed, they did everything they could to edit this page with only negative content. As they have been moderated in some way, they started to edit with a more subtil approach, picking only “negative” arguments in press articles. A pure Fear-Uncertainty-Doubt entreprise that was efficient enough to result into a very poor, outdated and excessively biased Wikipedia page for /e/ – at least in its English version.
2- they started their little hater’s website about /e/, and they systematically post a link to it in the comments of many articles and discussions about /e/. Users need to be warned about how /e/ is bad!
The content of this website could be amusing: it’s mostly fake or super-outdated news, with a naive and microscopic perception of what we are doing, and has a single purpose: showing that /e/ is evil. I must confess that several times I’ve been amused by what I read there, since it was so excessive, false or stupid.
But the fact is that some people believe in fake news. Just like the way I used to think, in my childhood, that written things could only be true. Very few people actually believe in fake news, but enough to spread the fake news themselves.
Also, those people in this group are not funny, because they are just into pure hate. They have a similar way of thinking as people who hate other people because they don’t share the same sexual orientation, or the same religion, or even the same opinions.
Who are they? A mix of newbies and extremists who have a lot of free time for this kind of activities. The kind of guy seeking their 1 minute of “fame”… comfortably hidden behind their computer screen and their pseudonyms. Probably some of them also have some interests in some projects that see us as a potential competitor, some also seem to be simply pro-Google, not to say Google zealots.
What can we do with those guys? Nothing at all actually. Let them continue to write their crap, and let’s focus on building the best, fully unGoogled and pro-privacy mobile ecosystem, because many people need it.
And feel free to post a link to this post whenever you see a link to the haters’ site.
Enjoy your week-end,
3 Replies to “2020 and the minority spreading hate and fake news”
I tried commenting on this on Medium, but was told that my response wouldn’t appear until I posted more or added more information to my profile. Which is ironic, considering that you’re writing about the perils of being active in the online world. So, I’m also commenting here.
I’m sorry that you’ve run into a hate squad. I think that most of us appreciate what you’re doing and want to work with you, rather than against you, when we have concerns. In that light, it might be helpful for you to say more about what issues these people claim to have with you and /e/. The real concerns won’t be news to any of us who’ve been interested in /e/ and have stayed interested; every new project has issues to work through, especially when it has limited resources. And any concerns that you find unreasonable may still help to spark some useful discussion.
Having said that, I’ve unfortunately encountered the type of people you’re writing about (which is why I wasn’t rushing to post a lot about myself when signing up for Medium). Apparently no good deed goes unpunished.
I thank you for all the work you’ve done on /e/ and other software projects, and I hope the haters won’t stop you from carrying on.
thanks for your work. keep doing it and get strong.
Thankyou Gael for all of your effort on this project. I like many others who care about privacy need this OS on our smartphones! I for one am very excited about what you and your team are doing! Please keep up the good work and don’t be discouraged by the haters!