So now, opening Developer Tools and peeking at the HTML code is "hacking":

> “The state is committed to bringing to justice anyone who hacked our systems or anyone who aided them to do so,” Parson continued. “A hacker is someone who gains unauthorized access to information or content. This individual did not have permission to do what they did. They had no authorization to convert or decode, so this was clearly a hack.”

We need to take that term back for the #hacker community.

This toot got several "the war over the word '#hacker' is lost" replies, so I need to respond to it more generally.

Thankfully, I have a FAQ about it, since I encounter it so often:

1. Whichever other word we choose and fail to defend, is going to be abused; see: "hacktivist". I draw the line on "hacker".
2. LGBTQ+ community reclaimed the f-word, African-American community -- the n-word; it *can* be done.
3. Nobody gets to tell me what I can call myself, and what that means.

Also, I've been having conversations about the (mis-)use tof the word #hacker for a decade or so. And guess what?

Journalists I spoke to said "huh, interesting", and often *modified* their use of it at least somewhat. In fact, I had a piece about that published in a Polish mainstream news portal.

I even have a letter from the former Polish minister of defense acknowledging that "hackers are not cybercriminals".

You know who pushes back the most? Other hackers.

It's not "the mainstream". It's us. 🤦‍♀️

So please, don't give me this "the war about the word #hacker is lost" bullshit. It's not. We just keep surrendering and undermining our own position.

So, stop using the word "hacker" to mean "cybercriminal". Stop using the word "hack" to mean "breach" or "compromise".

There are better words.

Like "cybercriminal", "breach", "compromise".

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

@rysiek You know the first 'hackers' were a bunch of white male students into model trains and phone phreaking? Then worked on computer systems funded by the military during veitnam war? I think you're over-romanticising a what has often been a toxic culture

@yaxu if you clicked the link in one of the parent toots you'd perhaps notice that in fact I have some idea of the history of the hacker community, thanks.

I do not appreciate your erasure of women from that community, by the way. Ada Lovelace was a hacker(ess) way before any white dude at MIT even existed.


@rysiek I don't believe Lovelace called herself a hacker.

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@yaxu I don't believe Bassianus called himself "gay". 🤷‍♀️

@rysiek Err.. I think the topic of the conversation is the word hacker?
The MIT hackers were a bunch of misogynistic jerks.
'Hackers' have always engaged in the kind of activity that you call misuse of the word.
Nowadays the word has been co-opted by the likes of Paul Graham, to describe people who work at venture-capital funded startups.
Your 'hacker' identity is really nothing like racialisation or sexuality. You are not being oppressed. Pretending to be a comparable victim is in poor taste.

@yaxu the topic of conversation is language, with the focus on the word "hacker".

Your argument boiled down to: "somebody cannot be X if they did not call themselves X", I provided a counter-example -- it is very clear Bassianus was, in fact, gay (in the LGBTQ+ sense of the word), even though he did not call that himself.

It is very clear to me there were hackers in the "technically inclined people who think outside the box and do amazing stuff" well before the term "hacker" existed.

@yaxu no clue where you're getting the notion I am pretending to be oppressed. I am not pretending or saying that I am a "victing", I am engaging in a debate about a term.

In fact, in this thread I focused mostly on the hacker community itself giving up on defending a term they often do apply to themselves.

I agree the word has been "co-opted". Your reaction to this seems to be: "and that's that". My response is: "I believe we can and should get that word back for the fun, creative, techie folk."

@yaxu hacker community is a complicated beast, and there's plenty of things that should be fixed about it. But that's not the topic of this conversation.

The topic of this conversation is that I believe that #hackers deserve to have a term they can use to refer to themselves, and that that term should not be, as you so aptly put it, "co-opted" by anyone else.

@yaxu so I am really at a loss trying to understand what you're position is?

That the hacker community should abandon that term because techbro startuppers "co-opted" it? That it was never a good term because there were some misogynistic jerks who used that term back in the day? Something else?

Finally, "my hacker identity" is none of your damn business. You know nothing about me and about the wonderful, inclusive, creative hacker communities I have the privilege of being a part of.

@rysiek My position is that it's a broad term, 'hackers' have always broken into computers, and it has a dark history. This mythology around ethics etc comes from that history, via particularly nasty characters like ESR (editor of the 'hackers dictionary'). Sure there are some lovely communities of people who call themselves hackers.. But lets not romanticise.

@yaxu why can't we romanticize and take that term back *for those lovely communities*?

Why do people like ESR or Sillicon Valley techbros get to decide what words mean and what terms communities can and cannot use?

Language is malleable. Humans create and change language.

I see no reason why the word "hacker" cannot be made to mean "a creative person thinking outside the box", and not mean "state-sponsored malicious agents compromising hospital networks".

In fact, I see a lot of reasons for that.

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