Back in 2019, Richard Stallman (RMS) resigned from the Free Software Foundation and MIT but it appears Stallman has returned and many are not happy about this.
When Stallman originally resigned, he cited doing it due to "pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations". Stallman announced the return during a livestream for the FSF project LibrePlanet where he explained he will not be resigning for a second time. Stallman is now once again listed on the official FSF board.
After this announcement went live there's been calls for both Stallman and the entire Free Software Foundation board to resign, with an open letter that continues to pull in more and more signatures. The letter pulls no punches and gets right to the point in the opening paragraph:
Richard M. Stallman, frequently known as RMS, has been a dangerous force in the free software community for a long time. He has shown himself to be misogynist, ableist, and transphobic, among other serious accusations of impropriety. These sorts of beliefs have no place in the free software, digital rights, and tech communities. With his recent reinstatement to the Board of Directors of the Free Software Foundation, we call for the entire Board of the FSF to step down and for RMS to be removed from all leadership positions.
The letter includes an appendix, which actually goes over what some of the issues are.
People signing it include the likes of Neil McGovern (GNOME Foundation Executive Director), Molly de Blanc (Debian Project, GNOME Foundation), Faidon Liambotis (Open Source Initiative Director), Cassidy James Blaede (elementary co-founder, GNOME Foundation member), Daniel Foré (Founder, elementary, Inc.) and the list just keeps on going with Igalia, KDE, Debian, Ubuntu, Arch, Apache, Mozilla, Solus, OBS Studio and people from many more teams calling for Stallman and the FSF board to go with even more waiting to be added on the GitHub page.
Additionally the Free Software Foundation Europe has joined the call for Stallman to resign, going as far as to say they will not "collaborate both with the FSF and any other organisation in which Richard Stallman has a leading position".
Update - 25/03/21: the Free Software Foundation has announced some changes to how people are appointed to their board:
- We will adopt a transparent, formal process for identifying candidates and appointing new board members who are wise, capable, and committed to the FSF's mission. We will establish ways for our supporters to contribute to the discussion.
- We will require all existing board members to go through this process as soon as possible, in stages, to decide which of them remain on the board.
- We will add a staff representative to the board of directors. The FSF staff will elect that person.
- The directors will consult with legal counsel about changes to the organization's by-laws to implement these changes. We have set ourselves a deadline of thirty days for making these changes.