05.08.21

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Pro-Software Freedom Advocates and Free/Libre Software Supporters Face Barriers Due to Domination of Communication Channels (Beyond the Media)

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Safety… for the monopolies and for those in power

Censorship censored
The thing about censorship is, it’s hard to see the censorship (because it’s censored)

Summary: A carefully-checked assessment of an overlooked aspect surrounding the 'cancel mob', which incites and brainwashes people based on lies; there’s an attempt to control channels of communication (e.g. Open and Free Technology Community and Freenode) and to generally suppress people who support the founder of GNU/Linux

As we’ve just noted, foes of Free software sponsor and thus control a lot of the mainstream/corporate/mass media, including so-called ‘tech’ media where people like Dr. Richard Stallman are proudly defamed.

In social control media giants (like Twitter and Facebook), there’s a similar problem. They get to occlude or omit certain messages or messengers. Some get banned. Some get shadowbanned or throttled. This can easily distort public perception.

This morning an associate sent us a pointer to this new video about Twitter, noting that “journalists [are] getting warped perspective via Twitter…”

All they see is the cancel mob and the slander. Facts aren’t checked and truth isn’t being rewarded; it’s about emotion and corporate agenda, where some of the voices are literally sponsored (or salaried) by monopolies.

“Facts aren’t checked and truth isn’t being rewarded; it’s about emotion and corporate agenda, where some of the voices are literally sponsored (or salaried) by monopolies.”But it goes even beyond the mainstream media and social control media. Someone recently told us about Open and Free Technology Community (OFTC) and even Freenode, which Techrights has used for many years. So does the GNU Project, the FSF and many others.

To the people named or mentioned in this article the identity of the source may be easy to guess. To the casual reader, however, it won’t be obvious and it probably does not matter, either. The concern here is that voices are being removed (or censored or ‘canceled’), so we might be led to think that the FSF and Richard Stallman (RMS) are very unpopular. It should be noted that, as per Richard Stallman’s Web site: “On May 10, RMS will give a remote talk for the University of Buckingham Free Speech Society, starting at 7pm UK time.” That’s 2 days from now. So cancel culture failed. “RMS” or “Richard Stallman” is still ‘a thing’. He still gives talks.

The censorship is 'safe space'This is why they keep attacking him and have planned to attack him again even more than a month after he returned to the FSF's Board. The GNOME Foundation has been doing this for well over a decade! It always fails, but they do some damage in the process…

“I’ve been targeted by some of these same people for years,” a source told us, “and am trying to sort it out with OFTC and Freenode right at this very moment…”

We recently became aware that people were being silenced. And because they’re being silenced it’s hard to know that the silencing has been happening. It’s like a ritual mob. The source said s/he “may be able to provide information that will help your effort [...] a few years ago I was targeted in much the same way Daniel Pocock was and it went on for years — to the point where both OFTC and Freenode networks’ staff got involved [...] an ancient story now, but, ties in to current…”

Long story short, there seems to be a cabal of people with mixed loyalty or a conflict of interest. This begets censorship.

“Long story short, there seems to be a cabal of people with mixed loyalty or a conflict of interest. This begets censorship.”Some of this censorship has since then been clarified, even undone. But that takes a lot of effort and work because some staff has a conflict of interest, albeit not all. Bans can be lifted “by talking to their staff,” we’re told. So there’s a quasi-’political’ element to it all. We were told of some names of the people involved and would rather not reproduce the names here (it would be counterproductive).

Our source said that “the issue here is both of these people are tied up with the weirdness around Debian/GNOME Foundation and are leaking into positions of control at Freenode, which is a central hub of activity for the open source community, and are using that access control to suppress pro-RMS campaigning, which leads me to believe there will be another wave after all the key players who jammed up their last effort are gone.”

We’ve long said there would be another wave. GNOME Foundation has done this for over a decade, so why stop now? “I believe if the tensions increase,” the source told us, “the bad actors leaking over from OFTC/GNOME/Debian will absolutely engaged in reputation management operations or access purging to that aim [...] the small fry fish from that camp are targeting signers of the pro-RMS letter but not to any real serious impact, the more dangerous influencers will go for the people exposing this or investigating this…”

It ought to be clarified upfront that we’re not accusing OFTC or Freenode as a whole. They’re collectives of different individuals with different agendas and beliefs. “Freenode is not a ‘coherent’ entity in that they will have widely variant responses to this situation depending on which staff member you get,” our source noted. “It’s the ones that are also in with OFTC staff counts that are going to be the problem. [...] It’s the ones that are staff at OFTC that are staff at Freenode that are the problem there” (they issue bans in parallel).

“It’s the issue that matters and the pattern that’s relevant; the names of pertinent actors matter a lot less.”“Debian crossover and GNOME Foundation crossover is in every instance I’ve seen be[ing] the common association of every actor involved [...] What I’m getting at here is that these all involve coordinated behaviours from people all associated with the same project [and] it consistently ties back to Debian and their sphere of influence which includes [name redacted], [name redacted], and some of the other Freenode staff — not all of them. Freenode’s official position will probably stay neutral while these bad actors run amok [and] most of this can be verified if you map these people on a board and look at their project associations.”

Perhaps at a later stage we’ll reproduce and publish more information. For the time being, however, names have been omitted. It’s the issue that matters and the pattern that’s relevant; the names of pertinent actors matter a lot less. We know the names and we keep detailed notes. No need to admonish or vilify anybody.

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