02.22.21

On the Terms Master, Main and Abuse

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:04 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

Free and open source software communities recently spent a lot of time and effort on renaming the master branches in Git repositories to main, or some other name, due to the association of the word master with the horror of slavery.

I plan to tackle the slavery issue in a separate blog. In this blog, my target is the misappropriation of the word abuse.

If we are sincere about abandoning the word master, we also need to stop using the word abuse, except in those situations where it is legitimate to use that word.

Abuse has a clear meaning. In the last week, we’ve seen women speak up about rape in Australia’s parliament and misogyny on the set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

These are incredibly serious accusations.

The Buffy accusations are remarkably similar to the accusations against Matthias Kirschner, President of FSFE. The free software community elected me as a community representative in that organization. In 2018, after observing the culture of threats and blackmail, I resigned in disgust. Each new revelation about FSFE only confirms that I made the right decision to distance myself from those people.

Yet the accusations from the Australian parliament are even more disturbing. Having visited there on multiple occasions, I couldn’t help contemplating the possibility that I may have visited the same office where this crime took place.

In the photo below, there may even be an unintended hint of male entitlement: I’m wandering around Australia’s capitol in a t-shirt. It may simply be a reflection of how we live in Australia, the minimum dress code for visiting parliament doesn’t set a very high bar. That particular t-shirt isn’t easy to come by. The woman on the left is Senator Stott-Despoja, Australia’s youngest woman in parliament and subsequently Australia’s ambassador for women and girls. How shocking would it be if the crime took place in the same room where we took this photo?

The Debian Project is one of the oldest GNU/Linux distributions. In the 27 years of its existence, so-called leaders have never published a consolidated financial report. When people asked about the Google $300,000 obfuscated by $300,000 from the Handshake Foundation, leaders classified all questions as abuse. When oligarchs behave like this and use the word abuse to deflect questions about accountability, they are trivializing real victims of abuse.

The people who hid that money from the rest of us simply have no right to use the word abuse. Ever.

The situation in Australia’s parliament has followed the same path as Debian: rather than resolving the most substantial issue, the employee was terminated on a minor technicality. A most serious act of abuse trivialized by equating it with a bureaucratic misdemeanor.

Natasha Stott-Despoja, Daniel Pocock, Parliament House, Canberra, Australia

Lad culture: when I found a rat in Australia’s parliament

Visiting Canberra, I would usually carry my SLR. You never know who (or what) you might meet. After hearing about the bravery of the women speaking up this week and the discussions about the culture problems there, I felt now is the right time to share these images from the billiard hall.

There is nothing political about this blog or the photos. It simply leaves me feeling ashamed to be a man.

Australian Parliament House, Canberra, Billiard Room, Dead Rat

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2021/02/22/master-main-and-abuse/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

What Else is New


  1. German Decision on Unitary Patent/UPC Will Take Years (and It Doesn't Matter Because the Whole Thing is Dead Already)

    Kluwer Patent Blog's Dr. Bausch explains why the UPC is pretty much doomed, as it cannot be ratified any time soon and probably will never be ratified either (for a multitude of reasons, including Brexit)



  2. Techrights in Australia (IPFS and Gemini)

    Allies in Australia will help Techrights serve material from another server; we're still bettering ourselves for an era of oppressive World Wide Web



  3. Professional Troll Matthew Garrett Spreads Libel, Defamation and Slander About the Free Software Community to Entertain Microsoft and Friends

    After months of parking in our IRC channels to provoke and troll people (and try to collect 'dirt' from responses) the professional troll Matthew Garrett has been for many years shows his true colours again



  4. Links 5/3/2021: Linux 5.12-rc2 Imminent, Linux Lite 5.4 RC1 in Review

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 04, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 04, 2021



  6. Links 4/3/2021: LibreOffice 7.1.1, Cockpit 239, Many Stable Kernel Releases

    Links for the day



  7. Links 4/3/2021: Pardus 19.5 is Out and Free Software Foundation Gets Consulting Grant

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 03, 2021



  9. The Free Software Foundation Should Re-add Richard Stallman to the Board

    Dr. Richard Stallman is missed by many who perceive him to have been wrongly treated; putting Stallman back in the Board (at the very least) would help the image of the Free Software Foundation more than the newly-announced work with Community Consulting Teams of Boston



  10. Free Software Calling

    Fewer people are willing to "put up with the shit" given by so-called 'Big Tech', seeing that it's mostly about social control rather than enablement or emancipation



  11. Meme: EPO Management Totally Gets 'Tehc'

    The bestest patent office in the whole wide world is besting the “hey hi” (AI) cutting edge; don't worry about exam and certification integrity



  12. The EPO's Software Blunders Are Inevitable Outcome of Technically Clueless Management Which Grants Illegal Patents on Software

    The "clusterfuck" which the EPO has become is negatively affecting not only EPO staff but also stakeholders, who sink into depression and sometimes anger, even fury, at great expense to their health; this is how institutions die (for a quick but short money grab, a culmination of corruption which piggybacks half a century of goodwill gestures)



  13. Links 3/3/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.3 Beta, GNU Denemo 2.5, and NomadBSD 1.4

    Links for the day



  14. What Free Software Organisations Can Learn From Australia's Rape Crisis

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  15. Microsoft Weaponises (and Further Spreads) Racism to Distract From Its Own Incompetence (and 'Five Eyes' Collusion for Back Door Access)

    Racist Microsoft is at it again; we're meant to think that China is evil for doing exactly what the United States has been doing but more importantly we're told not to blame Microsoft for shoddy code and back doors (classic blame-shifting tactics and overt distortion of facts, as we saw in the wake of SolarWinds backdoors)



  16. GNU/Linux News Sites Need to Promote Software Freedom, Not Binary and Proprietary Blobs Merely Compiled for GNU/Linux

    There has been lots of proprietary fluff in GNU/Linux 'news' sites so far this week; it merits an explanation or clarification, e.g. why we should generally reject proprietary stuff and instead promote Free/libre alternatives



  17. Links 3/3/2021: OpenSSH 8.5 and Absolute64 20210302 Released

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 02, 2021



  19. Links 3/3/2021: IPFire 2.25 Core Update 154, Red Hat Satellite 6.8.4, Kiwi TCMS 10.0

    Links for the day



  20. Links 2/3/2021: KDE Plasma 5.21.2, Qt 6.1 Beta, Refund of Pre-installed Windows

    Links for the day



  21. 'GatoKeeper'/IP Kat (AstraZeneca) Still Suppressing and Censoring the Public Views or Internal EPO Talks About EPO Corruption

    The suppression of comments critical of the EPO‘s administration (especially corruption scandals surrounding António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli) is a real problem; those ought not be a taboo subject in comments (where bloggers used to speak about those issues openly and regularly)



  22. Pocock on Removing Cognitive Bias Around Consent

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  23. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, March 01, 2021



  24. Links 2/3/2021: Maui 1.2.1, RSS Guard 3.9.0

    Links for the day



  25. ZDNet Really Hates Golang (Maybe Because Microsoft Does)

    The Golang programming language seems to be the target of intense FUD campaigns from sites connected to Microsoft, so it’s likely a bit of a Nemesis/endgame to Microsoft monoculture (unlike Rust, which Microsoft has already pocketed and is actively besieging to promote Microsoft monopoly and hardware monoculture)



  26. Links 1/3/2021: KStars 3.5.2, ET: Legacy 2.77, Flameshot 0.9

    Links for the day



  27. Five Years of António Campinos Coverage in Techrights (We Correctly Predicted His Presidency in March 2016)

    We've warned about António Campinos since March of 2016; well, António Campinos isn't just EPO President right now but he's also an oppressor who demonises the union of the EPO's staff



  28. In 2021 the EPO Works for Parasites Instead of Scientists (and It Cannot Even Hide That Anymore)

    Europe's second-largest institution is working for those who attack instead of create (or those who attack actual creators, with lousy and sketchy patents as ammunition)



  29. Links 1/3/2021: Manjaro ARM 21.02 and First Linux 5.12 RC Released

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 28, 2021


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