Richard Stallman Vilified by Those Who Don’t Know Him, Says Sylvia Paull

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sylvia PaullRepublished “In Support of Richard Stallman”, based on the original.

Sylvia Paull is a well-known feminist and PR person who has known Richard Stallman for many years and hosted him in her home. This is an article she wrote in 2019 when RMS was pushed to resign from his positions at MIT and the FSF after a defamation campaign. The article was published on Medium, a website that cannot be seen without letting JavaScript run on people’s computers. We decided to reproduce it here verbatim from the original so that people who refuse to run JavaScript code can read it. We have been unable to reach the author so far. Sylvia, if you are reading this, please Contact us.

Richard Stallman Has Been Vilified by Those Who Don’t Know Him

By Sylvia Paull – September 26, 2019

People in the tech community know me as a high-tech publicist, a former board member of BMUG—the largest Macintosh computer user group in the world—a founder of the Berkeley Cybersalon, which focused on the impact of technology on every aspect of our lives, and the founder of Gracenet, a networking and support group for women in tech that at the turn of this century launched a worldwide campaign to eliminate sexist advertising in high-tech media. The campaign, which issued a press release announcing a “DisGraceful Award in Advertising,” to a different leading tech company each month, ended up shaming several companies, IBM included, to withdraw their ads and apologize for the offense they might have caused women (and men).

Before even entering the tech field, I was a die-hard feminist and came up with the slogan, “A Woman’s Place Is on Top,” for a t-shirt whose sales made possible the first all-women’s ascent of Annapurna, the tenth highest mountain in the world. The t-shirt, whose slogan I gave to the leader of the climb and my good friend, Arlene Blum, is still selling and supports a nonprofit to support women climbers.

When I met Richard Stallman at least 25 years ago, through a mutual friend mentioned who said Richard could use a publicist, I was only too willing to help. For many years, he became my pro bono client because I believe in the mission of the Free Software Foundation and his life’s investment in that mission of free software, which indeed has made the world a better place. I even put up Richard at my home—the one I then shared with computer editor and writer Fred Davis— for a week, and found out more about him. He was kind, attentive, and has a loving core. In simple language, he patiently explained to my son, then around 12, about the virtues of the GNU/Linux operating system, so that after he left, in the middle of the night, my son stripped Windows from all our nine PCs and installed GNU/Linux. (A disaster, my son discovered, because he could no longer play his favorite video games. He ended up reinstalling Windows on all the machines.)

Richard does not relate to people in the way most of us do. Most of us put up a shield between ourselves and others. We act the way they expect us to act, whether we really empathize with them or share their point of view. This is what we have learned is the way to get ahead in life. Richard does not seem to have developed this shield. He takes everything literally and doesn’t necessarily take feelings and the reactions of others into account when making statements that are outside the bounds of his expertise in free software.

I read his comments on the CSAIL list and was horrified to see some of the early media headlines that misconstrued these comments to say that he condoned Epstein’s rape of women. Richard explicitly said that Epstein was a serial rapist, but few reports remarked or even included this comment. I told Richard that his remarks—which tried to question Marvin Minsky’s awareness that his victim was being forced to have sex—showed a cluelessness about the impact they would have on Epstein’s victims as well as women everywhere. It was a stupid assumption on Richard’s part, and he has since expressed, and more importantly, understood the harm that these remarks have caused women and particularly Epstein’s victims.

I do not excuse Richard Stallman’s remarks, nor do I challenge the actions of both the MIT Media Lab and the FSF for terminating his positions with them. As an active feminist and one who has witnessed much bad behavior among tech CEOs over the past 30 years, I think that accusing Richard Stallman of not supporting women, gays, or any other minority group is false. Look at his real history, not the sign about welcoming “hot ladies” on his MIT Media lab[*] office door, which someone else wrote as a joke and which he removed but not before someone took a photo of it—but his record in helping to give everyone in the world access to free software. He has truly made our world a better, more free place. #door

[*] Stallman was never part of the MIT Media lab. The author is confusing it with CSAIL.


Who Signed the Hate Letter Against Software Freedom (or Against FSF Bringing Back Its Founder)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, GNOME, Google, IBM, OSI at 1:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The concern trolls who are associated with FSF-hostile groups (sponsored by monopolies) didn’t manage to build enough momentum to sabotage the FSF; the media operatives on their side, however, try to tell us that the FSF is destroyed (monopolies pay them to say this, hoping for self-fulfilling prophecies)

NOW that the hate letter has reached a standstill (barely passed 3,000 signatures, whereas the response to that may soon reach 6,000 signatures) I’ve decided to record a quick video to explain who prepared and signed this letter (and why). Many of the names are very much expected (same as 2 years ago) and institutions are barely recognisable. Many have the strong conviction against the FSF because they’re BSD projects. Some have nothing whatsoever to do with code. In the case of the GNOME Foundation, they’ve attacked software freedom for many years (well over a decade!) and the OSI is a blatant attempt to steal the thunder from FSF. There should be no expectation of them supporting the FSF. They can only pretend.

“Many have the strong conviction against the FSF because they’re BSD projects.”The video above uses mostly polite language, unlike the letter that was signed. At the end they accomplished almost nothing. If anything, as people pointed out to me recently, the FSF became only more closely aligned with the uncompromising ideology of its founder. Some of the others left the FSF. Maybe that’s for the better.


Videos: How the Free Software Foundation Defied the Corporate Media and an Online Mob That Media Was Herding

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, FUD, Videos at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What corporations did, explained in a video (video download link)

Summary: Corporations do not want Stallman back at the FSF (we did a detailed article about how the corporate media was spreading lies about what he had said and done); but that’s fine because the Free Software Foundation (FSF) stands for people, whether they code or not

The FSF’s reaction [1, 2, 3] was a class act: (video addendum)

Video download link


The Real Blunder is Up-to-date Exchange Systems Being or Getting Compromised for Two Months (While Microsoft Knew About That), Not Anything ‘Linux’

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 6:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: There seems to be a deliberately misleading campaign seeking to associate “Linux” with something about “malware” in “China”; the real “malware” or “China” (not really) news is actually about Microsoft and Windows

THREE days ago I began to notice distraction tactics or Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) tactics, seemingly aimed at distracting the public from the real news and set focus on some phony non-news, namely that old and unmaintained servers are a security risk. They just are. If you’re using something that has been out of support for years, that’s just bound to happen, no matter what operating system is used…

“Is this an ongoing ‘googlebombing’ campaign?”At the moment Microsoft risks losing perhaps hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in contracts. IT departments put forth proposals to dump Microsoft, not just for Web servers (IIS is dying) but also for E-mail servers, maybe a lot more! Corporate media shoots its own foot in a major way by helping liars from Microsoft blame everyone but themselves for what’s happening right now to Exchange “Servers” [sic] and more shameless is the media campaign, led partly by Microsoft-connected sites, to associate “Linux” with something about “malware” in “China”. Is this an ongoing ‘googlebombing’ campaign? Or just a timely coincidence? We’ll leave it for readers to decide, but watchers of the video can see my findings, which I’ve accumulated and shared for 3 days now.


ZDNet Really Hates Golang (Maybe Because Microsoft Does)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Security at 5:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: 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)

THE Microsoft FUD machine known as ZDNet is at it again. “ZD” stands for Zero & Dreck.

Anyway, this Microsoft propaganda site is constantly spreading FUD against Golang just because more and more people, both developers and non-developers, use it. It has enjoyed fast adoption/growth, unlike the failing frameworks from Microsoft (which are barely adopted after decades out there). It’s envy. It’s fear. It’s FUD. The core of the FUD has (more so lately) been something like this: people can write malware using Golang. So that means Golang itself is “malware” or “for malware” or “helps malware” (something along those lines; anything to tarnish Golang’s name by association).

“Fake reporting and fake security are a growing problem online.”Shame on Brittany Day for amplifying all this ZDNet trash and FUD. It’s not the first time LinuxSecurity.com does this; the site not always anti-Linux, but too often it relays anti-Linux pieces without some basic “Sanity Check” or fact-checking. So the FUD gets added to the mix and perpetuated for anti-Linux elements’ benefit.

Golang logoThe latest FUD says: “There’s been a 2,000% increase of new malware written in Go over the past few years. Many of these malware families are botnets targeting Linux and IoT devices to either install crypto miners or enroll the infected machine into DDoS botnets.”

We would rather not link to either site and send traffic in this stuff’s direction/way. But for those who are interested the video gives enough of a starting point (such as headline or URL).

Fake reporting and fake security are a growing problem online. Faking stuff is the business model.


February Starts With Fresh ‘Linux’ FUD

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Security at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The media continues its smear campaigns; even the infested Linux Foundation participates in such campaigns nowadays, not to mention the corporate media (which the Foundation is connected to)

THE new month started yesterday, but it hardly feels like 2021 has even started yet (because of lock-downs).

Nevertheless, some things never change, for example FUD sites like ZDNet. Security articles that mention “Linux” (so far this week or yesterday alone) are more or less the same and they reuse talking points from fake 'security' companies, looking to sell proprietary software as the supposed ‘solution’.

The video above discusses a bunch of examples fished over the past 24 hours. This is becoming like a norm now. Whenever “Linux” is mentioned in the context of security it’s something very negative, whereas the media paints Microsoft as heroes for taking down botnets that Microsoft itself is responsible for (without even tackling the underlying issues, just symptoms; the media does not discuss the actual issues, such as back doors).


Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) in ZDNet is the Norm

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Security at 11:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: ZDNet continues to emit lots of garbage ‘journalism’, in effect Microsoft PR and what’s known as “black PR” for Linux; just like Bleeping Computer, which ZDNet hired this writer from, there’s no adherence to facts, just smears and innuendo

THE Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) site ZDNet continues to blame on “Linux” unpatched software that has nothing to do with Linux (and is being neglected, not patched by the system’s maintainers). This is part of an ongoing pattern not unique to ZDNet but rather prevalent in ZDNet and Lawrence Abrams’ Bleeping Computer, the site from which ZDNet hired this writer for his FUD skills.

“…the intention or the goal is to promote a very negative stigma which keeps many businesses saddled to NSA back doors.”This latest garbage which they call “news” is more of the same, consistent with a pattern we’ve long witnessed in ZDNet (we didn’t rebut each and every time this was done).

As mentioned several times in the video, the intention or the goal is to promote a very negative stigma which keeps many businesses saddled to NSA back doors.


Marketing Companies (Disguised as News Sites) Badmouth Linux, Go, Monero and More

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Security at 7:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Another day, another shallow piece associating “Linux” with security risks based on something that has nothing to do with GNU/Linux and generally boils to nothing like a real threat (unlike Windows back doors)

THE so-called ‘tech’ media (or so-called ‘news’ sites) aren’t quite what they seem. The above is one typical example. A culmination of several recent “dark PR” campaigns against Go(Lang) and likely Monero as well as Linux have led to this ‘all-in-one’ FUD piece which we mentioned in our latest Daily Links. Looks like Trend Micro marketing. Like Infosecurity, they’re calling a whole bunch of Windows threats "Linux" and pretend that just because someone out there can write a malicious program and users can run that program (or misconfigure a system to allow remote access) it makes Go and Linux (or even Monero) dangerous. The code is hosted by Microsoft by the way.

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