1. 17
    Cordless project closed down law github.com

  2. 32

    The problem isn’t so much that Discord successfully used the legal system to shut down someone writing a 3rd party client for their system; but rather than people by the millions are continuing to use Discord anyway. I use Discord myself because a number of communities I belong to have decided upon it as as a schelling point for their communication, and I can’t unilaterally make them stop using it or even (easily) use a different client to connect to Discord’s network that these communities use. The network effects of non-free communication software are one of the most powerful obstacles to computational freedom, and unfortunately I don’t know of an effective way to fight back, other than by rhetorically treating Discord as toxic.

    1. 10

      Direct quote from a community I’m in:

      also throwback to when $ME got shitty over Discord and wanted us to use some random no name linux thing

      It’s an uphill fight :-)

      1. 7

        I think the main problem with this is that the issues are mostly theoretical.

        Because currently they don’t censor anything that people care about and nobody wants a custom client either. So to most of the userbase there is no problem. And if a problem popped up it would still be possible to switch. And the lock-in is not so bad because most people don’t store things that need persistence on Discord. The information is fairly ephemeral.

        All in all, I don’t like proprietary solutions but the actual risk of using them seems pretty small.

        Edit: Same reasoning applies to a lot of security efforts. :/

      2. 4

        Examples like this one will hopefully serve as ammo that you and I can bring to discussions in favor of using proprietary software to support free software development. We just need a lot more examples, unfortunately… (and they may not be enough to convince folks.) I also don’t know of an effective way to fight back :(

        1. 2

          I still wonder why people fall into the same trap over and over again. Are they really thinking “this proprietary walled garden sure must be different from my past experience with proprietary walled gardens”? ;)

          1. 5

            To a first approximation, nobody who uses Dischord/Facebook/&c is concerned with the proprietary walled garden problem. They evaluate these services using a different set of metrics, and that’s perfectly legitimate. I wish they wouldn’t, but I can’t even get my wife to stop using WhatsApp.

            1. 4

              I think the last service that gave a sh*t about interoperability and 3rd party access was Flickr. Ever since then the technical and support costs have been deemed to high to allow it.

              The head of Discord’s anti-abuse commented on another case on HN here. I think Discord especially is targetted as its gaming-focused.

              Although our rules and heuristics do not specifically target 3rd party clients, it does target things that “don’t look like what our official client does” which is very effective at targeting spambots that are constantly waging war against our platform - but has the unfortunate side-effect that using a 3rd party client in certain ways may lead to account termination.

              1. 3

                I use it for game things and that only. Would be a nuisance if I got banned but not the end of the world.

                I fully know and accept the downsides of a walled garden, but I am there because I want to talk to the people who are there. Also the voicechat works, although I would prefer Mumble.

                1. 3

                  I have to wonder if this is inevitable, as much as I hate it. The benefits of centralization are too good (at least in certain metrics) to ignore, much how it was the same for civilization. The frontier is fenced off, hunter-gathers became villagers became empires.

              2. 30

                This is a poor submission because it does not contain any context about what is happening and it is link to a diff. In the future, I would look for something more substantial to submit. As it stands, this is a submission suitable for Twitter, not Lobste.rs.

                1. 11

                  The ‘no third party / modified clients’ rule really makes me dislike Discord. It’s entirely possible that you could get banned for trying to fix an accessibility issue. :/