An Open Web for Who?

In the Drupal community we’re hearing the term “Open Web” being used a lot lately. The Pantheon hosting service has used it to justify their platforming hate groups such as the “Alliance Defending Freedom.”

And now the Drupal Association has issued their own Open Web Manifesto which specifically references inclusion and diversity as requirements while expressing no awareness or concern about how the “Open Web” is being used as a dog whistle for free speech absolutists that don’t mind seeing many of us marginalized, attacked, and pushed out of the community.

I assume that the DA have good intentions about the potential of the Open Web to create a more open and free society. However to repeat this term without recognizing that it is already being used within our community to rationalize behavior that does the opposite of what they claim to be working for is either naive or disingenuous.

We can’t make the world or our community better by ignoring the problems it has. A true commitment to diversity and inclusion means making an effort to change the systems that have made tech famously homogeneous and hostile to people who don’t fit the mold. So I would like to know whether Drupal’s leaders see their Open Web Manifesto as aligned with Pantheon’s position that protecting the “Open Web” means they must do nothing about actual hate speech and campaigns to deny human rights.

I just don’t think we can have it both ways.

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