Beehaw is a community of individuals and therefore does not have any specific political affiliation. At this point in time, we do not know what the political leanings of most of our users are. We do however suspect that many of our users would identify as progressive because we are explicitly a safe space for minorities. What we stand for and the space that we’re trying to make is compatible with many forms of politics. Unfortunately some political groups build themselves around and choose to elevate or tolerate hate speech. These are the only political groups that we are incompatible with. If any of it was unclear in any of the other posts, we will restate it all here. Beehaw does not tolerate hate speech. Beehaw is an explicitly safe space. We center and promote kindness because that is what we see and love in the world.

It is in this political context that forking from the main Lemmy development has been presented. People are quick to point to potential upsides of forking, but the upsides are an after thought presented as a means to bolster or justify forking. These justifications are for what is ultimately a moral issue. The question at hand is whether it is moral to use a platform developed by someone who has committed acts which one deems immoral. To anyone posing this question, we would ask them to consider what other technology they use every day and to trace the roots back to each invention along the path to today’s day and age. The world has a colonialist history, rife with violence and immoral behavior. Unless you retreat the woods and recreate technologies yourself from scratch, it’s impossible to live in a modern society without benefiting from technology built on countless dead bodies in history.

We do not have the technical expertise to create a new tool from scratch - all we can do is leverage tools that already exist to create communities like this. At the time we created this instance, the service we decided on was Lemmy. We did so with awareness of discussions around the politics of the main instance and developers. We think we’ve done a decent job outlining what we intend to do with this instance and explicitly made strong stances against hate speech and other behavior we do not agree with, including where we disagree with them. When taken in the context of computing in general, these political leanings are also not unique in their social and political harm as compared to some of the tech giants out there. The same is true in comparison to some of the famous tech inventors and innovators; in comparison to the history of computer technology; in comparison to the exploitation and problematic mining of rare earth minerals used in technology; in comparison to the damages we cause to the earth to create the energy used to power our servers. We can follow this path of thinking back all that we want to, and ultimately it’s just not a particularly fruitful discussion to zero in on whether the political leaning of the main developers and instance are in perfect alignment with what we want to accomplish. We are not explicitly endorsing their viewpoint by using their software and we are not tied to using this software forever.

We furthermore cannot entertain philosophical discussions on all of the wonderful things we ‘could do’, particularly when we’re struggling to keep up with what we’re already currently doing. We have not yet received a serious proposal for a fork which details operational needs when it comes to the maintenance, support, and resources needed to accomplish and maintain it. Simply put we do not believe a fork of Lemmy is necessary at this time.

Last updated 10 Sep 2023, 13:37 -0400 . history