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Sunday, I was happy to give a talk at the FSF #LibrePlanet, wearing the Tshirt I designed for them (photo). But later that day, Richard Stallman announced his return to the FSF's Board of Directors. In this situation, I'll no longer invest my energy for them... ๐Ÿ˜ฟ
#fsf #rms

Roland Häder doesn't like this.

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Are you sure you are not falling for a smear campaign here? I recommend reading this:
What does that say beyond "These people were not harassed"?
That wetheweb text says several things that are relevant here, I really recommend reading it. If you did read it and thought it was nothing, then maybe go back and read again a bit more carefully. One thing it explains is about the thing that triggered it all, the contents of some emails, pointing out that RMS did in fact not say what people claimed. The truth matters, I think. Also... (to be continued)
That text also says something about the kind of person RMS is, someone who cares a lot about right and wrong and who tends to be frank about his opinions, and how that influenced what happened. It also says something about how rumors can work, and at least for me that makes me think that we should be careful to check what basis we have before accusing someone. If the accusation is serious, that does not mean we should care less about what basis we have for it.
Might I recommend not reading a text about an event that happened less than two years ago and instead remember it.

Remember the stories of undergrad women who had to hide behind plants. Not about the people *in* the movement, but instead the people who were kept out of the movement. About the people RMS hurt, not just those who he didn't.

Do you think that a person defending their hero is the same as hundreds of identical stories?
This is textbook hero apologia and doesn't get across any solid point. It is actually possible to separate RMS's work and personality by celebrating his past contributions and at the same time not giving him any symbolic prominence like at the FSF anymore.
@Elias@David Revoy I think the text is correct that one shouldn't be punished for having unpopular opinions, but being the leader and representative of an organization isn't a human right.

Stallman wasn't pushed out by one incident, his departure was the climax of years of people saying that his opinions and actions outside free software philosophy and development were a distraction from the free software message and causing harm to the image and mission of the FSF and the free software movement.
More words, reasons and thoughts on this fresh blog-post:
> But nowadays, I deeply think he is a bad representative for the community.


Content warning: birdsite, answer

did you read this:

I read what RMS said and I think the fuss created around misinterpretations and misquotes from what he said is much more harmful to a community at whole, than what he actually said.
I read it, it was sent to me a lot this afternoon: I try to read various sources of info to keep rational opinion.

Still, I think if it was only misinterpretations; it would have been easy for him to fix it, clarify, adjust and post disambiguation when it was time. I see that very often on communication issues on other Floss project...

But even when he came back; it was made without clarification, disambiguation: just imposed out of the blue.

Definitely, not my cup of tea... ๐Ÿต
Stallman poses a danger to the system not only because of his ideas about Free Software but because he kept alive the approach with which we have obtained all our rights: radicalism. The system try to discredit Stallman even with fake news and to incorporate only what suits its interests under the name of "Open Source" leaving out the rest of the rights-based political movement (Free Software).

I can't believe you fell for this fake news too ๐Ÿ˜•
Oh, stfu.

It's not fake news, you can easily read the documented decades of bad behaviour from RMS. We're not upset about his uncompromising attitude towards free software. We're talking about him being a constant sex pest and his decades of support for pedophilia.
I read Stallman's original words. If you are so sure of what you are saying, please report the offending texts here.

For some reason (๐Ÿ˜ ) those who attack Stallman never report his words and context. Those who defend it calmly report them: โ€‹

I call this defaming someone with fake news.
Nah, stfu, you already read them and you can't see how he's a sex pest or the time the rubbed his underwear on a woman's forehead without even asking her and you think that's fine, then I can't really help you.
Nah, you can stfu too.

Roland Häder doesn't like this.

Indeed, any credible source for these claims?
Which claims? There's credible sources for lots of things.
That Stallman's behaviour harms the FSF.
But do you believe the women who say that they have had to hide from RMS due to sexual harassment?
I'm not aware of such claims.
More importantly is the board aware of these claims?
I cannot believe that they board is unaware. I can't bring you back to two years when people were discussing this, but people brought a lot of statements forward. The main accusation was that undergrad women in CS were recommended to carry plants and leave plants on their desks in order to scare him off.

These kinds of tools are not the one off of a person who did a bad things, these are the tools to avoid an unaccountable person who cannot be handled.

Roland Häder doesn't like this.

Sexual harassment is a serious issue.

I find it difficult to understand how something like this has allegedly been going on for decades with the public knowing about this.
Because people at all levels have been covering him for decades as well. Even in this thread people are still trying to claim it is a "smear campaign" or "fake news", focusing solely on his past contributions or alleging autism even though RMS himself denied being autistic.
That is a collective failure!

No wonder people feel disappointed about this organisation.
If a grassroots campaign started by a student can lead to the resignation of RMS (and only him) from the FSF, then what more do you need to establish that RMSโ€™s very existence is harmful to the FSF?

Either the allegations were flimsy and he shouldnโ€™t have resigned in the first place, or they werenโ€™t and the FSF shouldnโ€™t have reinstated him. As it stands, the current situation can only be understood as the FSF paying lip service to the RMS resignation campaign and now they feel like they donโ€™t have to anymore, and this is bad optics regardless of what RMS actually did or said.
I'm sorry I was not aware of the circumstances surrounding his resignation. Hence my question.
Let me say that I agree with you over a lot of stuff but I have my personal bias, that is clear.
That's shocking. That says a lot about the board if that's true. What on earth are they doing?

Thanks @Hank G โ˜‘๏ธ I appricate the link.
They are covering for a well-known creepy figure, this isn't a rare nor surprising behavior, unfortunately.
But you see that's part if the problem. Reducing behaviour to creepiness is counter productive.

It has to be abound clear boundaries! Not about creeps and freaks!

Clearly unprofessional behaviour in the context of not-for-profit orgs and allegations of serious criminal deeds crosses the line.

There can be no excuse for this.
What difference do you make between freaks and creeps? It is entirely possible to be freaky without being creepy, and the other way around.
I'm sure there is a world of difference. But both are unhelpful reductions in this case.
I don't think so, his creepy behavior is both what constitutes the unprofessional part, the sexual harassment part and the overall impropriety part. He isn't criticized because he is different (the usual "freak" definition), but because he is negatively affecting people around him (my "creepy" definition).
He isn't criticized because he is different (the usual "freak" definition)

But don't you see my friend?

That's precisely what people have done. ' Oh he is just a freak...' That was the defense I assume by those who covered up.
Ah yes, I see what you mean. That's exactly the dynamic at play pretending RMS is autistic and then casting any criticism of his as ableist.
So a fictitious example would be:

1) Board member turns up to board meeting --where most people dress causal -- looking like someone who slept in a bin. / v. /
2) Board member instilling deep seated fear in org member that causes serious distress to them

That's what I mean @Hypolite Petovan . It's about unpacking these labels to aid decision making what crosses the line and what doesn't matter by at large despite we may not like it.
#RMS is the founder of the @Free Software Foundation which does good to the world, btw. He is also the spiritual founder of #GNU . Both are big life's work nobody has done before. As I have not seen the scene with my own eyes and only heard it 2nd, I tend to politely disagree with the ladies. Nothing disrespectful towards them. And, the assertions have been falsified against him.

Maybe he needed some downtime from all of this? See it this way: Your whole life has been smashed to pieces, brought down as your life's work is not respected anymore. That's hard to take for everyone.

I know this will raise a lot SJWs against me but I don't care.
I tend to politely disagree with the ladies

Roland it's okay to disagree with us! I appreciate your good spirit and politeness. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Hypolite made a valid point about differentiating person and work. See here:

I'd like to pick up on your point about 1st/ 2nd hand accounts. There's a wonderful clip by a German physicists (in English), who argues why a flat earth "Science" is incorrect but NOT stupid!

She concludes that we can't always rely on first-hand accounts, because that would imply that each of us would need to start from scratch proving and disproving everything; she points to the necessity of trust in evidence that others have collected before us. It's just an example to illustrate the problem:
Is it just me or does anyone else find it amusing that the Debian project lead blogs on, err, LiveJournal.
> I don't know why you felt the need to "stand" for
Because my name was attached to the activity of the FSF at the time: 2x Libreplanet talks + FSF35 T-shirts.

> hope this is not for your patreon and youtube audience
No, no one. I was on Libreplanet during the annuncement, I waited 24h to give time of FSF to clarify, and then I took this decision all alone by myself. See the date.

> freedom of speech

> "about his condition"
What condition? (sources?)
sorry @BeBel - BELXIT but as far as you are not his therapist, you shouldn't say this, even if he seems to have an autistic behavior. Even if you would be an psychologist, such a "remote diagnostic" is not reliable. So please don't try to do so. In this case it doesn't matter, even if a person is autistic they dont have to act like an a***. Ask some autistic people you know ;)

A founder or important person to the movement can be very important to it and his/her behavior has a big influence how (in this case) the open source movement is seen in the public.

I personaly think rms should do at least an apology and sign some sort social - code of conduct, but better he should resign and give his replacement an good start and support him/her and they also should invent some real control power in the fsfe. That would show some true greatness. But I am afraid he is not able to do so.
@David Revoy
This "mea culpa" just talked about a person in position to address RMS behavior but on the contrary he preferred clean up his hands like "Pontio Pilato" and just raising up his head after joining a collective attack against one individual... Very inspiring...
At this point RMS hardly is just "one individual". He wasn't picked at random.
Dear @David Revoy after reading this I also will stop to follow you.

All of you are confusing personal bias with actual facts, attacking RMS for a behavior which is probably spread over the 90% in whole IT industries at any level. We reached the point to decided if it is better mobbing RMS or closing on eye over GAFAM that every day besides making the world a worst place is injecting moneys in the open source and free software space. I think this is the real point.
This is one of those situations where the method works against the good intentions. If RMS is really an unbearable issue for the whole community the lex talionis is not the right answer.
This ancient rule about settling 1-on-1 disputes doesn't apply here either. RMS didn't do anything to me personally, and yet I believe based on his public words and the various accounts of people who have been around him in a public capacity that he shouldn't get the prominent public role of FSF board member. That's all there is to it.
So do I but the people that publicly stood up against him aren't in a credible nor autonomous position.
So you're saying that public figures cannot have a moral stance? Or do you not believe the women who state that RMS has harassed them?
This is a very subjective stance. Although if you went over his public threads about controversial subjects and didn't see any problem with it regarding public representation, I understand why you would feel the need to discredit the people who publicly stood up to ask for his resignation from his public FSF role.
I did not discredit anyone I just advanced reservation about their intellectual honesty; which I do not trust but you do.

Please don't raise up the topic of the sexual harassment cause there are plenty of real women's lawsuits against IBM, RH, M$, Google and more but none of those people stood up against those corporations... C'mon...
@Daniel@Hypolite Petovan@Andy H3@silverwizard@David Revoy@Hank G โ˜‘๏ธ It's a pretty big difference between one of many individuals at a huge company being brought to justice for criminal behavior and the spokesperson, manager (back in 2019) and founder of a movement and two orgs being told he is not the best spokesperson and manager for the movement and the orgs.
Advancing reservation about someone's intellectual honesty without proof they lied is exactly what "discredit" is about.

I'm not sure why you're bringing a straw-man argument about private corporations into this conversation as they aren't anything like what the FSF is. Even if you were right that "none of those people stood up against those corporations" and you simply don't know that, it still wouldn't make their call for RMS to resign from the FSF again any less intellectually honest.

What you're doing is setting an impossible moral standard for people to reach and discredit them totally when they inevitably don't, which is textbook intellectual dishonesty.
This entry was edited (7 months ago)
Is he claiming that the people who are saying RMS is bad because sexual harassment don't say other people are bad because sexual harassment?!
Yes, and consequently they are unfairly targeting RMS for <unknown reason>.
You don't have to trust them personally for any reason, but as soon as you voice this reservation publicly like you're doing in this conversation, you better have substantial evidence/arguments to back this reservation otherwise you will expectedly be called out on it like I'm doing.

And no, "they work at a company I don't like the policies" isn't a substantial argument. Double measurement is actually a great part of having a good judgement. You need to be able to appreciate the context difference in order to be fair, otherwise, it'll go like this quote: "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread."

More importantly, we humans are extremely bad at appreciating other people's judgement based on our own biases and morals. This makes any accusation of "hypocrisy" like you've been doing pretty shallow for me since you just are showing you can't put your self in these people's shoes.
Things are a little bit complex than the way your are laying them out; but basically because, I think, you are assuming that the previous resignation was fair and right.

On the contrary I think the former resignation was wrong while the mediatic campaign on top of that was a big mistification, but overall unrelated with the FSF, since happened in different place with a different role. -- Just to clarify RMS once again missed the opportunity to stay in silence -- and what is happened recently, for me, it is just the its prosecution, eventually are involved practically the same people using the same pattern.
I tend to agree with you the first campaign was mostly unrelated to the FSF itself. However now the FSF is directly responsible since they privately elected to reinstate RMS as a member of the board after accepting his resignation. So now it actually is less about RMS than the FSF behavior.

If the initial resignation was wrong, they shouldn't have accepted it. Since they went forward with it for whatever reason, rolling it back now is just a terrible public move, and it has little to do with RMS's behavior and speech anymore.

So it really isn't the same issue anymore, although it isn't surprising the same people that were involved in the first campaign are involved in this one, after all RMS is on the FSF board, again.

Also I'd like you not to use any judiciary term about this event since this isn't a trial in a court of law.
The FSF has been a disaster over last years, totally ineffective, a lot of the people against RMS don't follow it from centuries, no one actually follow him, but a lot of people have still a strong feeling against him.

I think the board should resign for the foolishness, who are those people? Anyone can change his mind but because the sensitive RMS' topic they demonstrated a complete lack of wisdom and communication.

I won't support the FSF anymore (I have been actually donate yearly), I engaged them on Fediverse and they never replied, I sent them a lot of emails and them never replied one.

FSF should be a beacon against some nefarious powers but at this point better crush it down and build something completely new. We cannot be anchored to him forever but so far someone with the guts and vision to go against the stream hasn't appear yet.
I tend to agree with you about the FSF, however I don't agree with your dismissal of people who are against RMS despite not following him as I'm among them. Not following RMS is different from him being in a public representation position on the FSF board so regardless of what the FSF was and is now, I believe the initial calls for his resignation were justified. Since then the FSF has proven to be utterly terrible, and neither of these issues require to be actively following RMS to be relevant.
Fair enough, I got and respect your points.