So Github apparently decided to issue a 24-hour takedown ultimatum to this person for having the word "retard" in their repo.
The action was certainly within Github's rights, and it's certainly true that the language was likely to offend a lot of people (and therefore was, by definition, offensive).
The scary thing is that a fairly large chunk of people would never have expected that this language could lead to a 24-hour takedown ultimatum. Which makes me wonder: what kinds of things which I personally think are reasonable might lead Github to take similar action against me? If I go on vacation and fail to check my email for 24 hours, am I risking having my data deleted?
This is one of those problems with "the cloud" that doesn't get talked about enough. Cloud providers assure you that your data is safe
with them. Backups are stored in multiple geographically diverse locations. No reason to keep your own copy! There's no way you could ever lose it! Well... Unless they arbitrarily decide they don't like
something about your data, in which case it's gone. It's not censorship because they're not the government and it's their right to set the rules on their service, so stop complaining.
This is something I had in mind while writing the Terms of Service for +Sandstorm.io
Oasis, our upcoming managed hosting service. We will not delete your data unless we legally have to. Under well-defined circumstances (like if you use our service as a platform for harassment), we might unshare
your content, making it inaccessible to anyone except you. But we won't delete it.https://oasis.sandstorm.io/terms
(And of course, you can always run your own Sandstorm server, in which case you make the rules.)