Codebalion's Scratchpad So, I wanna talk about something...

On Richard Stallman

Wed, 24 Mar 2021 at 21:17:00

So, I'm not going to link to anything, but I do want to talk about the whole Richard Stallman Rejoining the Free Software Foundation Board thing.

I'll be blunt about this: I don't think he should be in such a position. I think it's a bad idea, especially with his theological ideology being put behind it at all times. I'm not going to speak for the man's opinions or anything, and I'll get to why in a moment, but just in general, I think he's unfit for such a leadership role.

But I'm not going to sign the open letter to dissolve the entire FSF board over it. Not a chance.

"But why?", you may ask. Well, simply put, I don't want my name associated with a list of many toxic and equally unsettling people.

Yeah, I went there. 99 percent of what I've seen about this whole ordeal has been nothing short of political mud-slinging, vitrolic attacks, and the typical "I know you are but what am I" attitude that I've come to expect from both the FOSS community, the tech industry, and social media as a whole. People using ageist and ableist remarks against RMS while simultaniously condeming him for the exact same thing. People resorting to personal attacks against anyone who doesn't agree with them 100%. People lashing out at anyone who doesn't speak out, regardless if that person feels safe doing so.

And it's not just from one side. It's from both sides. Supporters and opponents alike have turned this into the typical mob frenzy that you see on Twitter, and it's not just on Twitter. Even people I respect have fallen into toxic behavior, and it honestly comes off as hypocritical as it sounds. And for a community with the image problem we have, it just makes things far worse for us all.

Do I want to see RMS step down or ousted? Yeah. Do I want to see it done like the digital equivilent French Revolution? Not really.

So people, please stop being toxic about this whole thing. Stop using mud-slinging tactics and personal attacks to try and get your point across. We want to bring in newcomers, not make them question if we're going to sudden put a proverbial knife to their throats for the smallest mistakes. And those sorts of tactics won't convince people to change to your side. It'll probably make those people want to ignore you even more.

Please, keep it civil. If not for yourself, do it for the people we're trying to welcome into our communities.


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