Bonum Certa Men Certa

People Who Defend Richard Stallman's Right to Deliver Talks About His Work Are Subjected to Online Abuse and Censorship

posted by Roy Schestowitz on May 16, 2024

Pro-Stallman video removed

IS IT heresy to say that Richard Stallman should be allowed to give public talks? Is it? Should this even be a the subject of controversy at all?

The other day we republished a video that expresses a simple view. It says that cancelling Stallman's talks is not OK. Stallman is a living old man with cancer. He understands certain topics better than anyone else and we should welcome his views on these topics.

"Since defending Stallman," one reader told me, "I've unfortunately become a target myself, which has led me to remove the original video."

So the abuse resulted in self-censorship, which is a subset of censorship. Psychological warfare isn't where it ends; the 'cancel mob' even phones people's employers, which is a form of blackmail.

Regarding the above video, I noticed the removal days later, by sheer coincidence (someone asked for the Invidious URL), and my guess as to the cause of it going "private" was correct. Abuse was directed at the person who had made the video.

In order to respect the wishes of this person I decided that (as he wants) we can remove the video. Stating the reason is very important. I decided it's OK to delete the video of that guy and then mention, without a name or anything, that support for Free software (and speech) gets one abuse, resulting in censorship. How many other videos in support of Stallman already got removed from YouTube? To be clear, my decision is not spontaneous or finalised overnight. I can explain it in more words if necessary, but that's not the important point. I generally dislike having to remove a video, but in this case someone is being subjected to abuse and asks me very politely for a favour.

"The topic need to be addressed," an associate has told me, "since it is a coordinated attack on software freedom by going after varied individuals."

These people have been doing this for years and attacks on myself (even on my wife) intensify when I oppose this cancel mob. They go as far as to defame in public. It's really horrible.

"I guess though in the case of RMS, and others," the associate said, "one has to look at his contributions against the push of the cancel culture. The cancel culture is not about beneficial behavior but instead just a witch hunt (although that term is over used and abused) to distract from contributions. So the focus needs to be on his contributions."

Remember that these talks that he's giving are about his work, not some difficult political subjects.

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