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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.
Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Misc
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Rooster 24 Mar
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: RoosterSmall off-topic feedback: I do not like this Promoted Comment thing. I understand that Samsai is part of the staff, but I think rather than him having a Promoted Comment, his comment on the topic should be part of the article. Or maybe just have it worded differently, like "Comments from Staff members" This way it makes it seem like his take on the topic is somehow more than the rest of us.
It's staying and working as intended. That comment would have been promoted no matter who made it, as it's the most interesting one so far that isn't just calling out one side or spreading vitriol.

By that logic, if more interesting comments which aren't just calling out one side or spreading vitriol are made, will all of them get promoted as well?
Liam Dawe 24 Mar
Quoting: RoosterBy that logic, if more interesting comments which aren't just calling out one side or spreading vitriol are made, will all of them get promoted as well?
Some may, some may not. It's a moderation decision, and those are not up for discussion. Promoted Comments as a system stays and we will use it whenever we see fit to do so.
Liam Dawe 24 Mar
Quoting: GuestThe promoted comment, and the whole spin of your article call out a person.
There is no spin on it. No personal thoughts were included, only that he is back and there's calls for him and FSF board to quit. The article stuck to the topic.
ssj17vegeta 24 Mar
Even though I genuinely appreciate RMS and the FSF for all their work so far, if these allegations are true, I am completely on board with this : toxic and unrespectful people should not be examples to follow. Respecting people regardless of their skin colour, sex or gender SHOULD be a top priority in any business or association.

In France where I live, there is - finally - a growing concern for it. FINALLY, rich old CEOs cannot get away with sexist, mysoginist, racist practices anymore. These people know they cannot fuck up anymore, they're wary of their public image. Why ? Because social media pressure is an efficient way to remind people in positions of power that, from now on, there will be consequences for their actions.

Now, I understand the concerns about cancel culture, particularly among, say, more "right-wing-leaning" people. Social media being what they are (I'm looking at you Twitter), there will be people among the crowd that go overboard, blindly jump in the hype-train and turn it into some kind of online public execution, completely discarding any factual elements. It leads to completely unfair harassment campaigns, even lives being destroyed for some people unfairly accused.

But still, apart from these cases, when looking at the big picture, I'm seing a positive outcome. In my former company some women were harassed, like "you should show some skin". A gay co-worker found anonymous hatred messages on his desk, and was met with complete lack of support from his hierarchy. These kind of things are slowly coming to an end, and one can only be glad about it.
Rooster 24 Mar
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: RoosterBy that logic, if more interesting comments which aren't just calling out one side or spreading vitriol are made, will all of them get promoted as well?
Some may, some may not. It's a moderation decision, and those are not up for discussion. Promoted Comments as a system stays and we will use it whenever we see fit to do so.

Understood. I still think it can be done in better way, but in the end like you said, it is entirely up to you and "moderation decisions are not up for discussion".

Another question: Was it okay that I voiced my feedback here under the article (I never saw the use of this feature before) or would you prefer if I have done it in specific section of the Forum (like Suggestions). Or would you prefer if I didn't express my dislike of this feature at all and simply kept it to myself? I'm genuinely asking as I wasn't sure and would like to know how to proceed in the future.
Liam Dawe 24 Mar
The feedback forum is better suited for discussions and site feedback that aren't specifically related to an article content.
Zlopez 24 Mar
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: ssj17vegetaEven though I genuinely appreciate RMS and the FSF for all their work so far, if these allegations are true, I am completely on board with this : toxic and unrespectful people should not be examples to follow. Respecting people regardless of their skin colour, sex or gender SHOULD be a top priority in any business or association.

What about respecting opinions of others? RMS have different opinions on some things and you need someone who thinks out of the box, otherwise the diversity will not work. If he thought like others, we never had any FSF or OSI or GNU. We should embrace the people who are thinking differently not trying to lynch them.
Liam Dawe 24 Mar
Making the decision to close the comments here, as people keep commenting on nasty subjects and constantly moderating takes far too much time away from other things.
Liam Dawe 24 Mar
Update: added a note about the Free Software Foundation Europe joining in on it.
Liam Dawe 25 Mar
Update: added link and notes about FSF changes.
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