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Paying for the technology we use

While I am certainly not going to defend the giant corporate internet platforms or the sociopaths who run them, I do find it problematic that so many folks continue to expect this stuff to be free.

All of these services and platforms run on compute and storage and network infrastructure that costs money to power and keep cool. Even if the software engineering is a labor of love, this stuff costs money, and the more people that use it, the more money it costs.

If any of these services—search, social media, discussion forums, community platforms, chat, email, whatever—is something that we find valuable and useful, we ought to be paying for it. If it’s an equity issue where we worry about people being cut off from access if they can’t afford it, then declare it a public utility and fund it accordingly.

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