People often don’t understand why I choose to be my own provider and use libre software, or why I won’t (re)install Windows or macOS for someone.1
Allow me to explain my reasoning/proselytize. Libre software has these benefits among others:
Contrast the above with the experience proprietary software offers:
Understand that my intent here isn’t to be negative, nor do I want to attack those that use proprietary software. It’s the companies that make said software that are to blame, not the users, and any honest account of these injustices is bound to be negative.
Instead, I’ve outlined the differences so I can drive this point home: those who run proprietary software are the product. I’ve experienced it firsthand and I’m certain that people deserve better.
This raises a question: if proprietary software enables developers to take advantage of those that run their software, how can the end user combat that?
A good way to regain freedom is to exchange software that violates privacy/user rights for software that respects these values. That is to say, LibreOffice instead of Microsoft Office, Jitsi instead of Zoom, Tor Browser instead of a proprietary browser, and so on.
Bear in mind that this process doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Gradually replace things as comfortable and note the differences. If those differences are more positive than negative, embrace it.
I would recover someone’s data for them if they had a broken installation. That said, I refuse to (re)install proprietary operating systems because I don’t want to contribute to the aforementioned problems. Exploitative software is malware, and that must not be passed on (unless it is for security research, study, or something to that effect). ↩