11.29.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Sincere Thoughts About Outreachy

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 9:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In this age of ‘cancel culture’ and attacks on free speech in Free software (or long-established technical vocabulary) it’s important to understand who’s who

You need not be male to choose who to kill in a drone strike

Summary: Outreachy’s role in the Free software community and inclusion in the FSF’s High Priority Projects, as seen from the eyes of a female coder from a minority group; she used to work for the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and she expresses concerns about what Outreachy has become

THIS is a uniquely difficult subject to tackle. It’s easier to tackle this one if one is an ethnic minority (from an American/US perspective) and not male. When Daniel Pocock wrote about it some weeks ago we got a mixture of responses; the instinct of critics it to make assumptions about the messenger to distract from or ‘deflate’ the message.

“Remember the role SFC played in ousting Richard Stallman. Nobody should forget that.”For today’s article, which isn’t a guest article but rather similar to that, we’re helped by a reader who has been around for over two decades, advocating Free software and at one point also working for the FSF. She has no reason to oppose racial diversity (rather than contrary) and accusations of “sexism” would be misplaced here. The focus is on the roles of people, not names or genders; money does not have a gender. (Well, pedantic folks tell me that “in many languages it does,” but not in English)

The article started due to a request for FSF HPP Feedback. “Recently,” the reader noted, “I was approached by a member of the FSF community (by encrypted communications). I was informed about the HPP feedback.”

To quote: “The HPP committee is currently collecting feedback on the High Priority Free Software Projects list. Submit your ideas about areas of improvement to the HPP list and specific projects of great strategic importance to the goal of freedom for all computer users before January 8, 2021.
Submit your ideas to hpp-feedback@gnu.org”

We're here to liberate Free software from bad people and we are armed“Last night,” she said, “I looked into the list… and found an item added for Outreachy.”

“As you may know,” she added, “Outreachy is an org, I believe started by Karen Sandler, the SFC Executive Director. Also, I believe Outreachy also won some award from the FSF. In fact, the past 3 years, FSF awards were awarded to SFC related persons.”

She named “Karen”, “Deb”, and “Outreachy person last year” (we won’t add a name).

“Also,” she said, “I believe SFC is the legal counsel for FSF… I think so. I mean, if SFC is working with/for FSF, and FSF is promoting SFC projects, is this ethically acceptable or is this conflict of interest. Going further, isn’t this giving SFC an advantage and thus possibly not in line with tax exemption? Maybe a reach… but still – such cronyism!”

Richard Stallman leaves MIT after Bill Gates pays MIT through a serial rapist (Epstein)Remember the role SFC played in ousting Richard Stallman. Nobody should forget that. They not only issued a press release with strong condemnation; they had a chair in the Board. We nowadays have a good understanding of what happened inside the FSF. It happened around the time “Deb” (above) was raising money from Microsoft… for the SFC. The SFC’s coup accelerated a month after Bill Gates had a massive MIT scandal connected to child trafficking (for sex). This did not bother the SFC, which took money from Microsoft once again only months later.

If the SFC is “OK” with raising money from the most anti-GPL company founded by a close friend of Mr. Epstein, then we know that the SFC is neither about Software Freedom — right there in the SFC’s name! — nor about women or young girls. Double standards are an astounding thing if you can sell keynote speeches in a copyleft event to the company which attacks copyleft like no other company ever did. With a turnover at millions of dollars, one might be tempted to say that SFC is about money, not Freedom (no matter what it may have stood for in the more distant past).

Let’s face it — GPL enforcement will never be as profitable (financially rewarding) as buckling to the tune of “corporate masters” to whom sponsorships are a slush fund’s little slush fund.

“At any rate,” our reader said, “the list is here. So, most of these projects seem sound… However, when you see the content for this one, the focus is Outreachy… Where are other important organizations and initiatives? Why is the [FSF's] focus the org [that] the legal counsel started? There are so many good orgs, why ONLY Outreachy?”

To quote the page from Georgia Young:

Free software relies on contributions from community members. But systemic barriers often prevent interested individuals from becoming contributors, especially when those individuals are from groups that have been historically marginalized.

The free software movement is a movement for everyone’s freedom. It cannot succeed if it does not expand and make the effort to welcome all people.

Initiatives like Outreachy provide support and opportunities for underrepresented people to engage with free software projects and become active contributors. By actively working to empower many kinds of people to contribute to free software, the project introduces entire communities to the concept of software freedom, via members of their community. More contributors and users, and a greater diversity of thought and experience, make the free software community stronger.

Ways to help

Donate to Outreachy.

Encourage your organization or company to offer an Outreachy internship or become a financial sponsor of the program.

Or apply for an Outreachy internship.

Adopt a code of conduct for your free software project’s community, and enforce it. Geek Feminism offers a useful anti-harassment guide for technical communities.

This is just one item on the Free Software Foundation’s High Priority Projects list.

We’ve not edited anything. That’s just what the page says. “Now,” our reader noted, “that being said, I do believe there is something odd about Outreachy. I see they get support/promotion from LF, FSF, IBM, Google. It started as Gnome outreach program for women, right? So, the SFC Executive Director starts Outreachy. Then the FSF, who they are lawyers for, promotes Outreachy. They received Google Summer of Code funds and use to silence people.” (As per the article from Pocock, based on his own experiences as a mentor in Google Summer of Code)

“I bet there is more,” our reader said, “we just need to keep our eyes open.”

This whole subject is rather difficult to tackle, especially for a male, because one is destined to be labelled “misogynist” or “sexist” or something along those lines for just bringing it up (with equivalents for racial prisms, sometimes even ableism). As if any male around Outreachy is a mole or a suspect. Maybe this is inadvertently the very intention of it. Companies that themselves aren’t diverse at all and are routinely sued for discrimination want to silence their critics in a passive-aggressive fashion.

“No other large companies as far as I know use their employees as attack dogs to silen[ce] dissent. It’s time for Microsoft to stop this nonsense.”

Michael Arrington, The Prickly Prince From Microsoft Strikes Again

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  2. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  3. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  4. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  5. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  6. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all



  7. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021



  9. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  10. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  11. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  12. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  13. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  14. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  15. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  16. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  18. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  19. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  20. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  21. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  23. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  25. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  26. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  27. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  28. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  30. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts