I always knew it was bad, but never this bad. The resignation from seems to have shaken loose all the conspiracy theorists and devotees. Its mailing lists and forums are full of them, still distracting from the public charitable interest of the non-profit.

So many blinded by hero worship that they don't realize the viral poison said hero had on the movement. The immaturity of these folks is arguably the biggest blocker of software freedom from widespread adoption.


The same tactics are why temporarily pulled ahead in support, but fortunately greater forces are at play that can even overcome the damage done by 's behavior.

Chernobyl's nuclear mess wasn't cleaned up quickly, and neither will be the . Fortunately, is larger and stronger than the organization.

I am still holding out hope for the org, but my hope in the movement is far more certain.


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@downey I'm glad we have other orgs like Software Freedom Conservancy. That kind of diversity is important in times like this. But by the same token, I also hope FSF can recover.

@downey I can't boost these toots since a bunch of people are hit hard by Stallman's awful rhetoric and you didn't add content warnings to let them decide whether they're able to think about him right now… but I like the way you described the current situation.

rms, chernobyl 


chernobyl's a weird comparison

they didn't clean it so much as abandon contaminated areas and cover the reactor remains in situ with a gargantuan shield


rms, chernobyl 

I'm hoping that it doesn't come to that for FSF. But maybe that's the only way to get away from the hazard. Time will tell.

When a member of a community gets attacked by media lying on his statements for the sake of the news (and you know this!), I expect that community to stand united and defend him. You guys instead exploited the situation and forced him to resign. Your hypocrisy is beyond limit and you would deserve way more backfire than what you are receiving.

@shiba Valuing the future of the movement over a founder who abused people for decades is hardly hypocrisy. But I appreciate the example you've provided by demonstrating the troubling reactions I highlighted above.

@downey I'm not an example of an opinion you don't like, I tell the facts the way they happened. You can call it whatever noble purpose makes you still feel like good guys, but facts tell you backstabbed a member of your own movement in time of need. And that's not an opinion.

@shiba I didn't say you were demonstrating "an example of an opinion [I] don't like". Rather, that mounting such defeneses sacrifice the long-term success of the movement in the name of rushing to the defense of an individual who caused that movement great harm over the years.

Stallman's decades of unprofessional abusive behavior to many over the years (including me) caused countless scores to be excluded from the software freedom movement. I'm proud to support those people taking it back.

@downey the ends justify the means. I couldn't sleep at night, good for you if you can even be proud of it.

@shiba Absoultely: There's finally a chance for the software freedom movement to catch hold in the world!


I understand this view of the past as:
- those driven away could have contributed to the #FreeSW movement (in small measure or large - we will know going forward)
- #FSF valued those driven away
- #FSF valued #RichardStallman more

1 wrong allegation, and that dynamic inverts? Of course its fishy!

I think #RMS has been, and continues to be, the primary hope for the movement. I only worry about the #FSF's enforcement of #copyleft over lots of code.


RMS has been the primary embarrassment of the movement. He's this decade's version of ESR.


If I may butt in here, aren't you changing tack a tad much? From #RMS is bad (based on distortion of his writing), to #RichardStallman was bad (insensitive to sensitivies of others, especially women - some disagree with that view), to #Stallman is embarassing?

Embarassment stems from propriety. Propriety is a subjective opinion of the majority, overbearing (intentionally) due to its implicitness and vagueness. Some seem unfettered by it, thankfully.


I apologise if this is making a strawman of you for the attitude of the opposition to #RMS; I appreciate that you are an FSF associate member (most of the haters aren't), and your opposition has been consistent for some time (most others are just fly-by mudslingers).

Y'all shouted for his ouster from his own organization over a wanton misrepresentation of his words, having "done" nothing in the past decades. Suspicious timing, to say the least.

#stallman #RichardStallman

You say you have "hope in the movement". From what I see, there is a lot of "new energy" in the current "movement", but its vector is worrying. Favouring one idea of political "correctness" endangers the political "philosophy" that #RMS champions so well.

Anyway, the movement is less of an immediate concern than the fate of all the code the #FSF holds copyright of; if it goes limp in enforcing the #GPL on those, #OSS and #proprietary #SW can rejoice.


Not true. People have been demanding he step down literally for years due to his unprofessional abusive behavior. Standing up for those harmed is not "political correctness", it's called being a kind thoughtful human being.


Are you saying that the #FSF is the #FreeSoftware movement? Otherwise, why all these calls over time for ousting #RMS from the #FSF?

Why not "fork the system" decades ago, and have built an improvement over the #FSF by now?

If removing #Stallman from the set of people changes the actions of those people, then what will their actions be now, without him to enforce his principles? Some may welcome that, but I worry about all the code the #FSF holds copyright to.

@downey certainly is exposing the underbelly of free software that so many find hostile.

Regardless of current events, fsf needed new leadership. RMS being a popelike figure wasnt good, and he was absolutist to the point of paralysis. Hoping free software can be bigger and bolder

Several folks have rightly pointed out that different phases in the evolution of a movement need different types of leadership. It's clear there was a need for what he offered, but the times have changed and the FS movement can't keep its head in the sand and expect to succeed in spreading its values.

@downey This is exactly what I have been ranting about since his resignation! These people don't understand the damage they're doing to the movement they claim to love!

@downey Many of us knew these folks existed. My experiences with them have included the following:

1. Being called a "bad soldier" for not supporting some action RMS wanted to do during a protest.

2. Seeing someone from the above mentioned group on TV as part of a study on cults

3. I talked about some problematic stuff by the SFLC and was called a Microsoft shill and other such names



4. One Free Software supporter I met in the early 2000s told me that he went into the phone book and cold called people to talk to them about Free Software

5. Another Free Software supporter I met in DC told me he called offices of Congresspeople and told them they should switch to Linux

These kinds of actions don't progress our movement forward. I pointed out the problematic behavior to RMS who said that he was glad they existed because they made him seem more moderate.

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