So the Bully is now locked out of Twitter. After encouraging his supporters to riot to the Capitol, Twitter announced that Trump is inciting violence and is violating Twitter’s rules. So they removed/suspended Trump’s account and even deleted his tweets on POTUS account.

I don’t think Twitter did an unsual thing. Twitter has some rules and everybody is forced to obey those rules while on their network. However, what’s dangerous and should be mentioned is Twitter’s power to decide who can say what.

Twitter is a centralized network with authority over all accounts. So whether you stay or are welcome to Twitter is in hands of Twitter moderators/admins/owners.

While I’m not sad that the Bully, and many other people are facing the consequences of using a centralized social network giving too much power to it, I’m very sad that many people are still using it and many are ignoring the fact that one day the same thing would/may happen to them.

Many are thanking Twitter for doing what it did but it’s just not right. An online social network is just a gathering place without people being forced to be physically there. So rules should be applicable there too. People should have freedom of expression on digital/online social networks too.

However, there are concerns about safety and many other things. For example, what should we do about hate speech or verbal violence etc.?

Well, that’s a problem of centralized networks like Twitter and Facebook. In a centralized network, rules can violate each other. For example, hate speech is protected by free speech but many don’t want to have that in their network. In a centralized social network, it’s whether free speech (and possibly hate speech) or there’s not that at all. There’s no partial free speech, we either have freedom of speech or we don’t have it.

Of course freedom also has its limits. There’s a line, you’re either inside that line or outside of that, there’s nowhere in between.

While social networks like Twitter are not a place for absolute free speech, a decentralized network, such as ActivityPub (the protocol behind Mastodon and other networks on Fediverse), fixed that problem. In a decentralized network, everybody can host its own instance and/or join an instance where the person fits.

The owner of the instance or the moderator sets the rules. So nobody will be blocked out of the network. Those who don’t want that person or instance, can simply block the instance and stop the connection.

I’m not opposed to what Twitter did. I would expect the same (being blocked/banned) if he published same tweets (or toots as we call it in Mastodon) on my instance of mastodon. But I’m opposed to him being banned or locked out of a social network and being silenced.

I encourage people to leave Twitter (and other centralized networks) and join a decentralized social network such as Mastodon, Pleroma, GNU Social, etc.

The GitHub Blog published a note about how GitHub is now fully available in Iran. This is a very good step, and a nice thing. It should be appreciated. However, that doesn’t change the fact that GitHub can still ban people based on nationality or place they live.

GitHub got a license from the US government to offer GitHub to developers in Iran. This means that OFAC can revoke this license too, at anytime it wants for whatever reason they decide.

Using GitHub, and also GitLab dot com, is a mistake. They blindly obey the authority and will never take side with people. What they value is money, which has no problem in it except for making them side with power instead of people.

Unlike GitHub and GitLab dot com, there are services that are here to provide to people, not power. I can’t say they won’t obey the law if they have to but at least they will fight for people before obeying an authority without question.

Services like Codeberg and Framagit are created with a libre program which let you know host it yourself or change the way they work. They respect people and try to side with you, instead of authority.

I really believe this license will be revoked in future and many people will get hurt again. I hope I’m wrong though.

I’m a fan of decentralized networks. I use Mastodon instead of Twitter, I use Pixelfed instead of Instagram, and I use IRC and XMPP instead of Whatsapp. I’m very well satisfied with my experience. I don’t feel lack of any social network or messaging system.

I respect myself, therefore I don’t use proprietary apps and networks. If someone needs to contact me or have a digital social relationship with me, then that person can start a respectful relationship by using software libre and privacy-minded networks.

However, I should mention that not all of Fediverse or decentralized services/products are good. For example, some programs/networks don’t have a good user experience.

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There’s an update to this post.

I decided to take some distance from social networks. I’m feeling that social networks are taking too much of our lives and make us more dependable on people’s acceptance. Social networks are generally running on numbers and I’m not OK with that.

Number of followers, following, date of registration, etc. are some stupid factors that are somehow important for many people and I’m very uncomfortable with this.

So I decided to take some distance from them and only use them once in a while, not everyday. To do so, I deleted the Tusky app from my phone, which I used to send toots to my Mastodon account, and I also deleted apps I had on my desktop computer.

Now, only way I can be active is to use the web-based application they have. I’m expecting that this makes me think less about social networks and make me less active on them.

This way I can focus on my blog and make it my personal and ultimate home on internet and web, which I believe is much better. I won’t delete my accounts as I think they are not inherently bad, but somehow can and may have bad effect on me.

I don’t celebrate the Gregorian new year as I was born in a Persian country with Persian celebrations. Our new year starts at Farvardin 1st, which is around March 21. It’s the start of Spring called Nowruz.

However, the world is running with the Gregorian calendar therefore it is important. My blog dating system is also set to Gregorian calendar.

I really like the term “new year new me” as it is used to express the feeling of need for changing the bad habits and replacing them with good ones. However, I think human beings, such me myself, are always trying to be better and a new year, in this matter, is just working as an mental empowering thing.

But aside from that, I think I don’t want a new me. I hope in the new year I keep fighting for justice and I keep providing what I can for the benefit of all. I hope I don’t change much and if I change, it’s for the better of all, not just me myself.

I hope my fundamentals don’t change. Human beings grow and a sign of that is that our ideas change but for now, I don’t wish a new me as my ideas and ideals are pretty great, in my mind at least.

So new year, not a new me; hopefully.

Loujan al-Hathloul is a well-known Saudi women’s rights activist. NBC News has reported that she is now sentenced to nearly six years in prison because of her activism despite international pressure for her to be released, according to a member of her family.

Loujain al-Hathloul’s sentence had been suspended for two years and ten months, her sister Lina al-Hathloul said on Twitter. When added to the time she has already served in detention since her arrest in May 2018, she may be released in two months, according to her sister.

Lina Al-Hathloul tweeted that her sister was also subject to a five-year travel ban and that the public prosecutor and Al-Hathloul could both still appeal.

An independent Chinese journalist who reported from Wuhan at the height of the initial coronavirus outbreak has been jailed for four years by a Shanghai court, her lawyer said Monday, CNN has reported.

Zhang Zhan, 37, was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” according to one of her defense lawyers Zhang Keke, who attended her hearing. The offense is commonly used by the Chinese government to target dissidents and human rights activists.

A former lawyer, Zhang traveled some 400 miles from Shanghai to Wuhan in early February to report on the pandemic and subsequent attempts to contain it, just as the authorities began reining in state-run and private Chinese media.

China tries so hard to broadcast a fake image of itself showing it’s supporting human rights and having acceptance from people and at the same time they jail independent journalists who do their job.

Journalism is not a crime. As a matter of fact, jailing journalists shows more corruption than what that journalists tried to report. This is a simple Streisand effect. China should stop this and start respecting people, and a necessity of that is to allow the flow of information be/remain free.

A Pennsylvania school district has asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether students may be disciplined for what they say on social media, New York Times has reported.

The Supreme Court next month will consider whether to hear the case of Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L., involving a student’s freedom of speech while off school grounds.

It was a Saturday in the spring of 2017, and a ninth-grade student in Pennsylvania was having a bad day. She had just learned that she had failed to make the varsity cheerleading squad and would remain on junior varsity.

The student expressed her frustration on social media, sending a message on Snapchat to about 250 friends. The message included an image of the student and a friend with their middle fingers raised, along with text expressing a similar sentiment. Using a curse word four times, the student expressed her dissatisfaction with “school,” “softball,” “cheer” and “everything.”

Though Snapchat messages are ephemeral by design, another student took a screenshot of this one and showed it to her mother, a coach. The school suspended the student from cheerleading for a year, saying the punishment was needed to “avoid chaos” and maintain a “teamlike environment.”

The student sued the school district, winning a sweeping victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia. The court said the First Amendment did not allow public schools to punish students for speech outside school grounds.

I think that is right. Students shouldn’t be influenced by school rules, outside of school. I remember few years ago a student was suspended because he had a confederate flag on his car and many black students complained about it.

I supported that suspension as schools should have rules to protect other students, such as being physically and mentally abused. However, in this case, this is happening outside of school and she should be free to express her opinions whether school officials like it or not, without fear of anything happening to her.

I understand that her post (on Snapchat) was about a matter happened in school but the post wasn’t breaking any law or harming any student. If she threatened any student or coach (or official), then it would be OK to take action against her but we can’t see such thing so far.

I believe students, and other people related to school should be able to freely express their opinions or emotions about any matter whether in school or not without fear of anything happening to them, as long as they don’t harm anyone.