Of course. They should be clear about that.
How would having /e/ on a phone instead of a Google certified stock Android OS with all Google Apps and services not be helping to rid the respective life of Google?
Sure, microG is there to still run Google-dependent Apps if possible, and /e/'s App installer offers Apps known from Google’s Play Store, much of which are Google-dependent Apps. Still, there’s actually a choice to simply not make use of that.
And you don’t help people much by simply denying them what they want, because they then wouldn’t use /e/, but still their stock OS. Which is better?
Another problem is a lack of abstraction on many users’ sides.
They want to get rid of Google because it’s their data. And then they post about getting rid of Google to their WhatsApp peers and on Facebook.
If that would be an informed choice, ok, but who would I be kidding about that for the most part ?
To me it seems /e/ have a problem because of a split in the user base.
They wouldn’t have much of a problem if their users were only let’s say average non-tech-savvy users. These users are what /e/ tailor their OS for primarily, and they do a pretty good job at that.
For this user group, the OS works, and the communication works.
But then tech-savvy users come to /e/ for the extended degoogling they do compared to LineageOS, or in the case of the Fairphone 3 also because it was the first really viable alternative to the stock OS, and they look behind the curtain at certain technical aspects, or at how the communication about /e/ actually compares to what it is and how it works. And here and there it’s not looking 100% pretty. So there are questions and criticism.
It’s not easy for /e/ to get it completely right for both user groups, because accomodating more in either direction will alienate users in the other direction.
But tech-savvy users are a minority and not /e/'s main target group.
/e/ obviously made their choice and want to have as many users as possible, probably that’s important for running the foundation anyway, so they’ll stay on mission and message for the non-tech-savvy users and live with the criticism from the tech-savvy front, the tech-savvy folk can be off to LineageOS or other alternatives anytime anyway .