Looking back and stepping forward: Real community spirit with the Open Source Initiative at MozFest 2018 · 2018-11-05 14:47 by Rachel Brochado
For the third year in a row, Adblock Plus participated in the leading event that builds upon the incredible movement for an open web: MozFest. This year, we had a clear mission to connect, share, and celebrate 20 years of open source together with the Open Source Initiative (OSI). It was the perfect occasion to combine our appreciation for an open Internet, and to actively support and participate in the broader movement that exists around the issues of the web. Today, numerous organisations are contributing to work on digital rights, digital literacy, openness, and Net Neutrality; we want to make sure that we’re a part of that.
Adblock Plus only exists because of the open source software movement and is among many players, like Mozilla, that tries to make many positive impacts on the web. With this in mind, eyeo – the company behind the free and open source software Adblock Plus and Flattr – is committed to advocating for an Internet that is decentralized, open, and free for all.
At MozFest, our activities together with the OSI team, were held at the #Openness space on the 7th floor at Ravensbourne University. The aim was to bring people together and build an interactive timeline based on the community everyone is passionate about and share their experiences throughout the years. We also had delicious cupcakes that people visiting our space appreciated!
OSI President Simon Phipps and OSI Head of Community Nick Vidal attended the session together with me, representing Adblock Plus.
Our goal was to celebrate open source and the open web, and remind attendees about the many achievements and remarkable moments in the last 20 years. It turned out to be a great way to gather lots of amazing people to make the timeline wall very colorful and to collect a bunch of really cool stories!
MozFest is a great opportunity for us to gather information about everything open that surrounds Adblock Plus, in other words, its essence. Let’s take a peek at that:
We are very thankful to have so many volunteers on board with us. For years we have relied on our powerful community of forum moderators to address many topics related to ABP.
The independent collaborative EasyList project aims to write simple, effective, and easy to understand and edit rules for ad blocking. EasyList is licensed under Creative Commons and GNU. With over 19 supplemental filter lists, these are used by many other ad blockers as well.
Of course, translating everything to dozens of languages is never something done overnight. Without the help of this incredible community, we would be very limited and unable to spread the word about Adblock Plus on a global scale.
Connecting with relevant players
We were able to get to know some incredible people from amazing organizations around the world that are just as passionate about the Internet as we are:
Tor Project – The Tor Project is free software and an open network that helps users to defend themselves against traffic analysis that threatens their personal freedom and privacy. Tor takes a stand against invasive and restrictive online practices and brings privacy and freedom to the internet. I found attending their discussions to be very beneficial; they also have a super cool team!
Open Knowledge org – I met these folks during a football table match. However, that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a thoughtful and productive conversation while still having fun! This team helps civil society groups access and use data to take action on social problems.
Connecting with organizations like the ones mentioned above is truly empowering. Adblock Plus’ principles are based on freedom and transparency. Having a user base of more than 100 million comes with a lot of responsibilities, and in the spirit of openness, we want to make sure our steps are out in the open for all to see and engage with.
Thanks to Mozilla for offering the space, the structure, and the opportunity for so many organizations to come together. Clearly, the community drives MozFest, and Mozilla is a big facilitator. People come together from all over the world to collectively achieve things they are passionate about – and that’s an incredible thing to see. It’s all about connections and the spirit of the community.
Over the next few years, Adblock Plus plans to start a number of conversations to help build a more sustainable and open internet. This can only be possible if done collectively. That’s one of the main reasons why we are always looking for camaraderie, partners, and anyone who wants to work together in support of the open web movement. Looking back, our achievements were possible because of open source. Thanks to openness!