It was quite frustrating as a member of the community and Foundation not to be able to participate in the discussion (since the comments on the blog have been closed and that thread was locked). Obviously the need to moderate a heated discussion because of outsiders who leave inflammatory comments is understandable, but it would be appreciated if that didn’t lock us out as well.
I wanted to counterbalance the ED statement and the comment by Mathieu on the blog. The position is presented as coming from GNOME and being unequivocal. It is however not unanimous. Don’t mistake this for a defense of Richard’s behaviour. My point here is that regardless of how a person behaves, their employer shouldn’t be bullied to fire them and that blog post was not an appropriate response to the events. I’m even more upset considering there have been initiatives (by the FSF, EFF, and others) that unambiguously align with the Software Freedom goals of GNOME and that we haven’t properly backed and relayed.
“CSAIL Visiting Scientist RMS makes bad comments on CSAIL mailing list” could reasonably lead to “CSAIL kicks RMS out”, but outsiders shouldn’t pressure them into doing it. FSF is not related to that event, and they shouldn’t be pressured either.
Quoting from Mathieu’s comment:
For many years RMS has been an embarrassment at best, a toxic bigot at worst, and it is high time we got rid of him from our community.
I am not going to argue how good or bad RMS is or has been, but the response has to be appropriate to the situation. If he behaves badly in a situation where we are involved (our lists, our events, an event in which participate…) then an intervention from us would be appropriate. Not the case for the current event.
To contrast with this, I liked Molly’s post which focused on encouraging a positive change and steered away from drama.