08.28.20

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Joachim Breitner Explains the Debian “PR Problem” and How to Better Handle Such Problems

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Debian PR issue

Summary: As corporate sponsorships grow inside influential Free software communities more of them become censorious and totalitarian like the Linux Foundation; we must reevaluate/reassess how to avert this creeping corrosion of freedom and coexist with opinionated people (like yours truly) whose intention isn’t malicious; many people are just rightly sceptical of proprietary/corporate takeover (accomplished through incremental concessions and entryism)

THE above message (here with additional context) was posted less than 5 years ago after Debian had ousted a volunteer, moreover shaming the person, adding insult to injury. Over the next few weeks we expect to be dealing with this topic a lot more.

“Over the next few weeks we expect to be dealing with this topic a lot more.”Why?

Because it’s a growing trend in Free software. And sure, they like to call it “Open Source” (those who engineer such expulsions).

“4 years later Richard Stallman was misquoted to force his ‘resignation’ (more like an ousting, which persisted for months, trying to do in GNU what was done in MIT and then the FSF).”3 years later Linus Torvalds was ‘demoted’ and put on ‘de facto leave’.

4 years later Richard Stallman was misquoted to force his ‘resignation’ (more like an ousting, which persisted for months, trying to do in GNU what was done in MIT and then the FSF).

Months later Bruce Perens quit OSI (which he had co-founded) in anger/protest and the other co-founder — and former President — was banned weeks later for expressing concerns about an attack on the very core of both Free software and Open Source.

“Months later Bruce Perens quit OSI (which he had co-founded) in anger/protest and the other co-founder — and former President — was banned weeks later for expressing concerns about an attack on the very core of both Free software and Open Source.”Who was responsible for those oustings? Almost always big corporate interests. They at least led some of these moves and we’ve named them before (Intel, Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, IBM/Red Hat and so on).

The issue isn’t a mere “PR problem”; it’s a modus operandi problem and it needs to be tackled by re-evaluating the degree to which we accept/tolerate people who deviate from corporate scripts (sponsors’ will) and exercise free speech rights. Free software without free speech may become worthless because such a movement would easily be co-opted by ‘cancel culture’ artists. This is already happening very frequently and sometimes we’re not even made aware of it because behind the scenes there’s extortion/blackmail (to silence those impacted, directly or indirectly).

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