It's time to install Soapbox BE.

Pleroma is a microblogging platform meant to compete with Mastodon. After 2 years of contributing, I've been banned from its GitLab.

To be fair, I did say "Fuck you. All of you are total assholes." But no one had a problem with it when I was called a "fucker" on the GitLab 6 months ago.

You see, Pleroma was created by a nice German man pretending to be an anime girl. Eventually he got really lucky, and the porn agency "MyFreeCams" dumped over $2 million dollars into the project via hires on Upwork. During that time I made 300 commits to the project, but no one in the project thought to offer me a donation even though I asked and was surviving on about $1k/mo. That was mostly fine, as I was conflicted on accepting porn money anyway, but I thought in exchange I should at least have a modicum of respect from other developers of the project.

After all, I was running the second-largest Pleroma server behind (the now defunct) The server is with 20K users, and it runs my custom Pleroma frontend called Soapbox. Soapbox is used by the largest Pleroma servers, and thus the majority of Pleroma users are Soapbox users. But for some reason the dev team pretends it doesn't exist, does not mention it in their list of Pleroma clients, and does not mention any of THE LARGEST PLEROMA SERVERS on their own homepage. The best I've gotten is a reluctant mention of its existence below "Pleroma FE".

This is, of course, because I'm a transphobe. Because I don't believe faceless anime avatars online should have political influence over women's restrooms and sports. I was never fully accepted into the Pleroma dev team because of this, and I was scapegoated for literally every problem in Pleroma for those 2 years. I was incredibly patient because I believed there was an opportunity to do good, but in the end people couldn't overcome their initial biases towards me. So I was bullied and treated like shit for 2 years even though I was one of the top developers on the project.

Pleroma posting on Upwork, with over $2 million spent

Eventually, MyFreeCams decided this wasn't worth their time, and cut funding from the project. It floundered. All those people who stopped getting paid lost their motivation. But not me! I'm intrinsically motivated to build this stuff, because I have a vision. So while the whole project shut down, I kept working.

I submitted an infamous patch to improve support for link previews when people share Soapbox links on other websites. For basically no reason, Pleroma devs threw a fit over these 5 lines of code. There is no technical explanation for this aside from ego. They didn't want Pleroma to be compatible with Soapbox.

But those devs weren't doing anything. They weren't writing code or submitting patches, and eventually the lead dev decided to promote me to a maintainer. And so I merged the patch myself.

An idiotic hitpiece by a Pleroma maintainer

This lead to a shitstorm. One of the maintainers wrote a hitpiece about me that is so incredibly stupid he should be ashamed. The patch got reverted, and then the revert got reverted again.

Meanwhile in IRC, people shit talked me and said "I don't want Alex Gleason to have anything to do with this project." The lead dev caved, and removed me as a maintainer. I was upset, but by that time I was already developing Soapbox BE, so I decided to let it go and just keep moving forward.

That was, until 2 weeks ago when they merged the patch to revert the change again. Full of rage and with nothing left to lose, I wrote "Fuck you. All of you are total assholes."

I had already moved on and was not paying close attention to the project. But they did this specifically to provoke me and for no other reason. So yeah, I got provoked.

A crude illustration of what happened

But I stand by the statement. Fuck all of those people! For all of the cancel-culture in Mastodon, even it is not this psychotic. This is what happens when you put a bunch of people together in an open source project with big egos but no vision or goals. The most recent commits are nonsensical code added without a greater purpose.

Meanwhile they're spending a lot of time on community guidelines to make sure the reign of terror of Alex Gleason never happens again.

Pleroma developers have explicitly said they "do not want the Fediverse to grow". Then WHAT are they doing!? The Fediverse is its own worst enemy, and this is the greatest proof of it I've ever seen. I do not trust their code anymore, and neither should you.

If you want Fediverse software developed with purpose and integrity, try Soapbox.

UPDATE: I spoke about all this on Heterodorx.