FSCI's Ask Me Anything on Reddit

RD Ravi Dwivedi Public Seen by 49

We were contacted via the contact form on our website for an AMA(Ask Me Anything) on r/India subreddit. Seeing by the chats, I think the community is enthusiastic about the AMA and we have accepted the invite.

FSCI Reddit account has been created and me, @Pirate Praveen and Akshay has access.

  • Date of AMA: 12 April 5 PM Indian Time.

Next task

  • Write an About FSCI writeup and publish on fsci about page.

Draft of About Us:

Free Software Community of India is a community of people working together (on voluntary basis) for the adoption and propagation of Free Software(software which respects freedom, not to be confused with Open Source). It is not a registered organization, but rather a community of people who share common values and ideals. We are a nonhierarchical community. We do not have a leader or a boss. Every decision is made by voting and consensus.

We believe that we should be the change we want to see in the world, and that's why we not only advocate for software freedom and privacy, but also run privacy-respecting services powered by Free Software. The services currently running are:

  • Social media service Diaspora at

  • Matrix chatting service at

  • XMPP chat service at

  • A GitLab instance at

  • Discussion forum and decision-making software Loomio at

  • Video meeting service Jitsi at

  • Video sharing service peertube at

These services are funded by voluntary donations by the users. These are open to the public to use and anyone can use them for their daily needs.

We believe that inclusion and diversity are important. That's why we conducted a Diversity Edition of the Software Freedom Camp in 2021. The camp provides a very good way for the uninitiated to learn about the importance of Free Software, how they can get integrated with our community.

The code of conduct is our statement of inclusion in the community. We believe that the contributors should feel inclusive and be treated with dignity. In the camp mentioned above, we collaborated with APPSC Bombay and Egalitarians, which shows that we are very keen on collaborating with other groups working for issues outside the tech world. We look for active collaboration with anyone who is interested to further our goal of Free Software.

Our values of nonhierarchy and running so many services require more people to step in as a community as we need more volunteers to help in running these services, even in nontechnical fields like asking for donations, making posters, writing blogs. You can see the list of initiatives by FSCI here

In 2021, we wrote an open letter to Kerala teachers in response to KITE accepting Google's free-of-cost offer to the educational institutes of Kerala and talked to Kerala teachers as well. The campaign to switch education to Free Software is still ongoing.

We have also involved in broader politics whenever the opportunity arose. For example, we have challenged the new Intermediary Rules, 2021, in the High Court of Kerala because these IT rules threatens the privacy, security and freedom of an Indian citizen and gives government too much power.

Whoever you are, no matter what skills you have, you can contribute and be a part of Free Software Community of India. Join us now If you need any help in joining our chat rooms, drop us an email at

Important links:

1. Why we must insist on free software

2. Proprietary software is often malware


Poll Created Wed 6 Apr 2022 10:35AM

Should we do the AMA on 12th April 5 PM? Closed Fri 8 Apr 2022 10:00AM

by Ravi Dwivedi Fri 8 Apr 2022 10:28AM

12 April 5:00 PM Indian Standard Time is fixed for the AMA.

Dear all members of the community who would like to attend the AMA on r/India subreddit, please vote if 12 April is fine for you.


UTC Votes RD
Tue 12 Apr 2022  5:00PM

1 of 241 people have participated (0%)


Karthik Wed 6 Apr 2022 10:46AM

may be it's better to start AMA on weekends, Like friday night to sunday evening


Karthik Wed 6 Apr 2022 10:47AM

Also, we should decide how long can we do AMA, Some people do it for 1 or two days. others few hours only. My opinion is that it can be done for a whole week


Ravi Dwivedi Wed 6 Apr 2022 4:09PM

Main points for intro/About FSCI:

  • FSCI promotes Free Software

  • Very welcoming, inclusive community, open to anyone

  • nonhierarchial, members directly take part in decision making

  • we run freedom-respecting and privacy-respecting services for the general public as we want to be the change that we wish to see in the world.

  • we have several initiatives


Abhijith PA Fri 8 Apr 2022 7:56AM

@Ravi Dwivedi , creating account in reddit is not enough, right. Don't we need karma etc to participate in. Or the r/India agreed to bypass that for us ( I read reddit post sometimes, but I am a newbie on this platform)


parmutownley Fri 8 Apr 2022 8:38AM

@Abhijith PA mention the reddit username before hand and we will add it to approved list.


Pirate Praveen Fri 8 Apr 2022 10:27AM

12th April 5 pm is fine for me.


Pirate Praveen Fri 8 Apr 2022 10:28AM

The write up looks good to me.


Ravi Dwivedi Fri 8 Apr 2022 11:16AM

Why is Free Software/Swatantra Software important?

Imagine that you are buying a car and the car seller gives you a contract to sign which will be in effect immediately after the purchase. Some points in the contract are:

1. You do not own the car, you only have the license to use it.

2. You cannot use the car for commercial purposes, including using the car as a taxi, without asking for permission from the seller.

3. You cannot take the car to hill stations(you can imagine any similar restriction here) without asking for permission from the seller.

Further, the bonnet of the car is locked and the terms says that

4. You cannot unlock the bonnet of the car yourself, only authorized mechanics from the seller can open and inspect the car.

Definitely you cannot repair the car yourself or a mechanic independent of the company cannot repair even if you or the mechanic has skills because you do not have access to the internal of the bonnet.

How would you feel? Would you like to live in such a world?

Most of popular software that people use in their daily lives is just like that. This is true mostly of the software developed by the companies Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple. You don't own the software that you install in your devices(check, analogous to the first point in our car example above. Microsoft includes a term in their license that the software cannot be used for commercial purposes, similar to the taxi example in point 2. Microsoft also included in the license that you cannot criticize their software publicly( There are many arbitrary restrictions by many software imposed on the user. The point is that users do not enjoy the liberty that we take for granted in other areas of life.

And another very important problem is that users do not get the source code of the software. The entity having the source code controls the software as you can see here for a basic explanation of what is source code Check this link for how the such a software abuses users in many ways, such as surveillance, DRM, censorship etc.

So, the software must respect user's freedom to run, study, modify, share and share the modified versions. Otherwise users do not control it. Such a software is called Free Software. Free means 'freedom' and not price. Examples of Free Software are VLC, Firefox, Ubuntu, Debian, Mastodon, Quicksy etc.

Please check the following links for more details:





Abhijith PA Fri 8 Apr 2022 11:54AM

@Ravi Dwivedi To add more points in politics paragraph,
We have questioned the working of ICFOSS(International Centre for Free and Open Source Software), a Kerala govt funded org and we are now in process of reaching out to Kerala IT secretary and IT minister to address our concerns."

Does this look sane.

@parmutownley, if its not too late can you edit and add this points as well.

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