03.07.20

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Inside the Free Software Foundation (FSF) – Part VI: The FSF Without Richard Stallman Emphasises Tolerance, But It’s a Hollow Façade

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 12:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘seat warmer’ or ‘seat-filling’ mentality can actually alienate women (my wife says it’s known as “clappers” in the context of beauty pageants)

Free Speech and Free software

Summary: We’re led to think that after Stallman’s departure women are suddenly “safe” or “welcomed”; the truth of the matter is, Stallman was never a barrier to their acceptance and the real obstacle is women’s perception that they’re used as pseudo-political pawns

THINGS aren’t so grim at the FSF; Stallman and the FSF can cooperate through the GNU Project. People who ‘ousted’ Stallman could only convince him to step aside from the FSF but not from his “baby” (what he calls GNU).

As we've just shown or included in Daily Links, the official FSF Blog published “Celebrating women in free software for International Women’s Day” and as a supporter of women’s rights himself, we’re pretty certain Stallman is (or would be) happy to see that.

“People who ‘ousted’ Stallman could only convince him to step aside from the FSF but not from his “baby” (what he calls GNU).”Throughout the day today I saw various examples of corporate exploitation by companies looking to make a profit from hijacking women’s rights (there will be examples in tomorrow’s IRC logs). That’s not to say that there’s something wrong with this day; how it is misused by for-profit men-run companies is the problem. Like February 14th, this one too they’re looking to exploit for little but money-making. The Linux Foundation too is guilty of that and hours ago, linking to a puff piece in a Microsoft propaganda site that defames Stallman, the sole editor of Linux.com (a Linux Foundation site) tweeted: “Suddenly Microsoft has become a company I can say I now admire and ‘love’.”

Congrats, Linux Foundation. You are another Microsoft now. It worked. You are rapidly being absorbed and there’s a point of no return.

“At the moment, from what we can gather, LibrePlanet will accept a wide range of corporate sponsors and reciprocate.”You can either support Linux or the Linux Foundation. Not both. Those two things aren’t compatible anymore.

As for the FSF, it emulated the Code of Conduct and chooses a 'business model' reminiscent of the Linux Foundation. This concerns us just a bit. While Stallman was at the helm some of the things the FSF nowadays does just weren’t done.

“Also,” an associate of ours noted, “note that [particular groups] are being weaponized against Software Freedom. They will try to drag you into fight about [their causes]. Stay focused on the freedom they try to distract from.”

We don’t want to ‘offend’ the wrong people, as can happen when one brings up subjects like this one. “It’s a very big case which touches on two big problems,” our associate remarked, “though one is actually part of the other. The infiltration and hijacking of FOSS from within projects and organizations is part of the bigger fight over who controls and monitors communications (computers) in the world.”

“While Stallman was at the helm some of the things the FSF nowadays does just weren’t done.”At the moment, from what we can gather, LibrePlanet will accept a wide range of corporate sponsors and reciprocate. Will Google be one of those? We don’t know for sure, but SFC was happy to take money from both Google and Microsoft for a conference about copyleft (which ironically Google and Microsoft attack).

This does not look like a good trajectory. Not at all. Taking money from one’s opposition compromises oneself and months after the said sponsorship the SFC pushed Stallman to leave the FSF.

We’ve meanwhile learned about the scary possibility that the upcoming LibrePlanet (which isn’t canceled for health reasons by the way) will be used to grant SFC people an award. And for what? Ousting the FSF’s own founder?

“As we said almost 6 months ago, Kuhn was responsible (to a large degree; there were others) for what happened.”“Some media pressure about the clearly biased schedule,” one person told us, “and inquiries about Richard Stallman’s and Bradley Kuhn’s being eligible to the award, might help the FSF do the right things…”

As we said almost 6 months ago, Kuhn was responsible (to a large degree; there were others) for what happened. He leveraged social causes to rationalise the current leadership vacuum the FSF still experiences the following year. After that he left the FSF’s board, abandoning the very Board that he harmed (2 people other than him were no longer there). So he left somewhat of an empty shell.

“Dear organisers of LibrePlanet (and anonymous committee), please be aware that community members are ready to revolt if you reward the ousters of your own founder, based on deliberate misinformation and a campaign of whispers.”For that, if he ever receives an FSF award, he deserves much condemnation/scolding. For decades he did do some commendable work, but in recent years he and Outreachy (a colleague) often led witch-hunts that instead of supporting women felt like an exploitation of feminism for an SFC power grab, trying to present (or get across) SFC as the more ethical alternative not just to SFLC (which it had disputes with) but FSF as well.

Dear organisers of LibrePlanet (and anonymous committee), please be aware that community members are ready to revolt if you reward the ousters of your own founder, based on deliberate misinformation and a campaign of whispers.

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