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Seth Martin

Seth Martin
I am NOT @Theaitetos

I have been misidentified so please don't call my co-workers or e-mail them. My company and I are innocent bystanders.

#Diaspora #NewHere

Seth Martin
Techdirt.Techdirt. wrote the following post Thu, 26 Jan 2017 11:34:50 -0600

Legal Threats By Charles Harder & Shiva Ayyadurai Targeting More Speech

Let's say right upfront: if you are unaware, Shiva Ayyadurai is currently suing Techdirt for our posts concerning Ayyaduria's claims to have invented email. Ayyadurai's lawyer in this matter is Charles Harder, the lawyer who filed multiple lawsuits against Gawker, and is credited by many with forcing that company into bankruptcy and fire sale.

Now Harder, on behalf of Ayyadurai, has sent a demand letter to try to have social media comments posted in response to the lawsuit against us taken down. We are writing about this -- despite the lawsuit against us -- because we believe it is important and we do not intend to have our own speech chilled. This is also why we believe it is so important to have a federal anti-SLAPP law in place, because the chance to chill speech with threats or actual litigation is not a hypothetical problem. It is very, very real.

Harder's letter is to Diaspora, and it demands that certain posts by Roy Schestowitz be removed (which appears to have happened). Schestowitz is the guy behind the Techrights blog, which frequently covers issues related to things like free v. proprietary software and software patents. Harder's letter to Diaspora claims that Schestowitz's posts are defamatory, violate Diaspora's terms of service, and "constitute harassment and intentional infliction of emotional distress."


Harder's letter makes the questionable claim that Diaspora itself is liable for Schestowitz's statements. There is tremendous caselaw on Section 230 of the CDA holding that a website cannot be held liable for speech made by users, so it's odd that Harder would argue otherwise, stating that the posts "qualify under the law to establish liability against you."


One of the key reasons Section 230 of the CDA exists is to protect the freedom of expression of users, so that websites aren't pressured via legal threats to take down speech over fear of liability. That's why it grants full immunity. It is strange for an attorney as established as Harder to either not know this, or to misrepresent this. Elsewhere in the letter, he references Massachusetts law as applying, so it's not as though he's suggesting that some other jurisdiction outside the US applies. So, since Section 230 clearly applies, why would Charles Harder tell Diaspora that it is liable for these statements?

Separately, Harder's letter concludes with the following statement:

This letter and its contents are confidential, protected by copyright law, and not authorized for publication or dissemination.


We have seen similar statements on legal letters in the past and they have generally been considered meaningless, at best. On the question of confidentiality/authorization for publication, that's not how it works. The recipient of such a letter has no obligation to not disseminate it or to ask for authorization without any prior agreement along those lines. You can't magically declare something confidential and ban anyone from sharing it. Furthermore, this is especially true when dealing with legal threat letters. While many lawyers put such language into these letters to try to scare recipients (and avoid a Streisand Effect over the attempt to silence speech), they serve no purpose other than intimidation.

Separately, claims of copyright in takedown or cease & desist letters, while they do show up occasionally, are also generally considered to be overstatements of the law. First off, there are questions raised about whether or not general cease & desist threat letters have enough creativity to get any kind of copyright, but, more importantly, even if there were copyright on such a letter it would be a clear and obvious fair use case to be able to share them and distribute them publicly, as part of an effort to discuss how one has been threatened with questionable legal arguments.

Either way, we believe that this fits a pattern of using legal threats and litigation to silence criticism of public figures. In an era when speaking truth to power is so important, we believe such actions need to be given attention, and need to be called out. We also think they demonstrate why we need much stronger anti-SLAPP laws, at both the state and federal level to protect people's right to speak out about public issues. If you agree, please call your elected representatives and ask them to support strong anti-SLAPP protections, like those found in the SPEAK FREE Act of 2015.

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#Free Speech #Diaspora #Social Networking #Copyright #Defamation #Anti-SLAPP #Shiva Ayyadurai #Charles Harder #E-Mail @Gadget Guru+ @LibertyPod+
Seth Martin
I used to think that diaspora*s tag following was a nice feature. Now I think that it's a major #diaspora failure, especially since the #tags only work for the pods with members that have connections with every other pod in existence. Spam sucks!

Seth Martin
  last edited: Sun, 25 Oct 2015 11:18:19 -0500  
I am closing my personal #RedMatrix website ( and making one of my public #Hubzilla hubs ( my new home. Since #diaspora doesn't have #Zot, communication between us will end unless you add my new hub location ( to your connections.

This is taking effect today, so go ahead and remove from your contacts and add to your contacts if you wish to continue communicating.

My diaspora* pod ( and my #Friendica node ( are still up and running with current code but I really don't use them much, plus I'm not certain that I will keep them running much longer, so please do add to your connections.

Thanks and have a great day!

Seth Martin
  last edited: Sun, 04 Oct 2015 16:10:42 -0500  
I have cloned my personal channel to and it's now my primary location where I will eventually re-add my diaspora* connections when there's a working compatible version. Please, #diaspora users, don't add me until after your pod updates with a fix for broken #federation in a future version.

It was silly of me to think that having a redmatrix hub all to myself was a good idea, so I'm going to stop spending resources irresponsibly by shutting down and simply forward the domain to my channel - this only affects diaspora users which will need to reconnect if desired.

Since the #RedMatrix became too resource intensive and is on the way out in favor of #Hubzilla, I have closed registrations at and will soon decide on an end date for the website.
Seth Martin
  last edited: Sun, 04 Jan 2015 17:39:55 -0600  
MatrixianMatrixian wrote the following post Tue, 16 Dec 2014 21:04:15 -0600
Redmatrix 2.0 High Range, New South Wales, Australia - 17 December 2014

Happy holidays from the Redmatrix development team. We are pleased to announce the pending release of Redmatrix 2.0; which should be publicly available within 48 hours of this news release (we're busy making a few final adjustments). Redmatrix is our next generation privacy-enhanced web publishing platform. It is a feature-rich hosted server platform which merges important elements and features of popular social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter, Friendica, and Diaspora with content publishing tools such as WordPress, Drupal, and OwnCloud - and is built on a decentralised privacy and permissions framework so that sharing (of any form of digital content) is under the content creator's full control.

Redmatrix can be used to create blogs, small business and community-oriented websites, forums, and online file repositories which all link together through a cooperative social networking environment with single sign-on and seamless access control - across the entire network. It federates cleanly with other open source social networks such as Diaspora and Friendica (though these both have somewhat reduced abilities) and implements a growing number of open protocols. It is the only existing server-based communications platform providing mobility and resilience against server disruptions and down-time and provides nomadic permissions which follow you no matter where you currently connect from. End-to-end encryption is also available for the most sensitive communications.

Redmatrix is compatible with many third-party communications clients and tools via an emulation of the original Twitter API, and available with several themes and thousands of theme variations. There are also currently over 50 "addon" or plugin services and it is easy to extend Redmatrix to communicate with other services and provide new and different functionality.

Redmatrix was created by people like you who value their online privacy yet wish to share with others on their own terms. It is highly configurable and is open source under an open license, and has been in development for more than 2.5 years.

Update your privacy expectations. Share anything on the web under your own terms. Join us on Redmatrix.

Website: Public Access Providers: Roll Your Own:

#RedMatrix #Publishing #CMS #SocialNetworking #Social Networking #WebDav #Diaspora #Friendica #Twitter #Decentralization #Communication #Sharing #Open-Source Software @Gadget Guru+
Seth Martin
I understand that tag spamming is a problem with diaspora* but I'm a bit surprised at how hostile a few of the devs are being in regards to #multi word hashtags .

There are legitimate uses for multi word hashtags with whitespace, so it makes absolutely no sense to me why anyone would want to block another dev from adding functionality just because they don't want it. :facepalm

Improving and expanding hashtags usability.

#Diaspora #Drama
Seth Martin
  last edited: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:58:23 -0500  
Free Speech Gets Tricky When ISIS Shows Up


Social networks struggle with open access as terrorists’ account proliferate

It looks like Adam Rawnsley didn't notice the #IS accounts on #diaspora before he finished the article.

#Friendica #RedMatrix #FreeSpeech #Freedom #Liberty #Social Networking #FOSS #FLOSS #Twitter #Social Media #ISIS #Terrorism @LibertyPod+
Seth Martin
Running #Diaspora is like running #Windows.

If you don't restart it every few days, it will become so slow that it's practically useless.
Seth Martin
#RedMatrix to #Diaspora crosspost test.

Seth Martin
  last edited: Sun, 06 Apr 2014 16:02:43 -0500  
Announcement from diaspora* podmin:

Please copy all of your data off the server, and close your accounts. This is not a drill.

Closing up shop
Due to unforeseen circumstances, and disagreements with the developers of Diaspora, it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to leave the Diaspora community.

After the fiasco surrounding the D*ViewSkew pod, and unresolved issues with the internal code of Diaspora; coupled with the lack of direction of the project; the attitude of a handful of developers; the complete lack of basic functionality and a general disappointment with how the project is progressing; not to mention the grossly neglected documentation, It is time to give up my attempts to help the project along.

I have more to worry about than spending my every waking moment worried if the server will fall over again with the same problems that have persisted for over a year now.

My family and work are my primary concerns. To be honest, I'm just sick of the bullshit.

What happened?
After a short conversation, it came to my attention that certain developers are no longer interested in supporting the pods; and cannot understand the frustrations felt by podmins who are attempting to run their code.

It seems they have forgotten the relationship that exists between a developer; an administrator and a user. You cannot have one without the others.

Without a developer, there is no platform.

Without an Administrator, there is no server.

Without the user, there is no funding.

If an Administrator cannot run the code that is created by the developer because it is not complete or is buggy, then we cant get users. If we cant get users, then we cant get funding.

In the end, it came down to the same tired excuses, and the high and mighty attitudes of certain "higher ups" in the community.

Do you have any pointers for the Community?
Diaspora is lacking direction and leadership. Being a community run and funded project, does not mean that it shouldn't have a leader with a clear vision.

Diaspora could be great. It was once. With clear goals and agreed deadlines.

Now, it has become lost in the mire of leaderless politics. There have been no major changes to D* for almost 2 years.

If you look at a snapshot of D* over a year ago, its almost identical in appearance and function to now.

Everyone has been focused on bugs and fixes, infighting and arguing. I think the biggest failure to date, has been relying on to make decisions.

People vote, have their say, and then nothing gets done. Its like politics in the real world! Look at that.

Do you have any pointers for the prospective podmins?
  • Expect no help
  • Do it yourself
  • You will never get any financial support
  • You will never have enough time
  • You will cop attitude from all sides, both Dev and User
  • According to both, any problems are your fault
  • Expect no thanks
  • Never approach a dev and expect a direct answer
  • Rely on the other podmins, they are the only help you'll get
  • Brush up on your Google Fu
  • If it ain't broke, don't upgrade
  • Grow VERY thick skin
  • Kiss your family and working hours goodbye

Financial reasons
In the entire time I ran a pod, I only ever received one donation of 0.01 bitcoin. I never complained, and I never asked or begged for more. But this too is a deciding factor.

I put my own hard earned money into the project; into the pods, and my time into the work/effort.

It's gotten to the point where I feel I have wasted my money and time, with practically no thanks.

To this end, it's time to leave.

Will you still be around?
No. I've decided to quit D* indefinitely.

If I feel the need, I may start a Friendica instance, or maybe something like Red Matrix.

Unless D* changes dramatically, I will never be back here.

If you want to catch me, you can still find me on XMPP/Jabber :

I don't know how long that will last though.

Final Shutdown
Will occur on Sunday 6th at 23:59 NZST.

Final Words
Goodbye, and good luck.

If only I had noticed his D* post about the problems he was unable to resolve, I could have told him how to solve the problem by simply compiling curl from source to use c-ares. There's no other solution for Debian Wheezy.
He was probably gonna shut it down anyway at this point.

#Diaspora #Decentralization #Open-Source Software