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Rastin Mehr

Rastin Mehr

June 24 2021

Do not use Anahita for spreading misinformation

Years ago, when I used to be in the Joomla team as a development group member, I came across a Joomla-powered website launched by the Iranian government to dox people who participated in the green movement protests against the theocratic regime. I remember how sick I felt in the stomach and how appalled I was. Here I was volunteering my programming skills and code for a good cause only to see some of the worst people in the world use our code for despicable purposes. That's when I learned a lesson about the dark side of open-source software; that everyone, even the bad guys, can download and use it.

After launching the Anahita project and community, I figured that it would only be a matter of time for the wrong people to start using our code. This week, I was saddened to find out that at least one Anahita installation out there has been spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories as a "Free Speech" platform. Fortunately, their site is currently down.

During the last year, many mainstream social media platforms have been removing misinformation and banning people, influencers, and institutions who have been spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines, false claims about an election, PizzaGate, along with others. Cloud and web services companies such as Amazon and Twilio and mobile app platforms such as Apple and Google joined in to ban these "Free Speech" platforms. These days it is incredibly challenging and expensive to launch any web or mobile applications without using scalable cloud and web services. It makes sense that these misinformation advocates are looking into an open-source alternative to build their platforms, and we have been getting a share of them in our inbox. 

People behind that Free Speech website are no longer part of the Anahita tribes. We removed their accounts and banned them for good! Unfortunately, we can't stop them from downloading our code on Github because that goes against the concept of open-source software. Still, we can deny them support and membership in our community. 

I have dedicated my life and career to developing software for science and healthcare through my founded company, Anahita was born as a knowledge platform for scientists, educators, researchers, and students. We've been fortunate to work with some of the most hardworking and dedicated scientists and researchers in Canada, the US, and Europe. We are pro-science, pro-vaccine, and in favour of evidence-based and progressive social and environmental policies. 

If you intend to use our fruit of labour to build your platforms that amplify misinformation and alternative facts, you aren't welcome in our community. We don't want you here, and we make sure that you don't benefit from our time, knowledge, and support. 


2 people liked this
Thanks for the thoughtful words Rastin.

I appreciate that Anahita is "pro-science, pro-vaccine, and in favour of evidence-based and progressive social and environmental policies" these values align with my own.

Keep fighting the fight of truth and science, I stand with you!
Rastin Mehr liked this
Thank you, Connor. I appreciate it!

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