This website refutes many of the invalid accusations against Richard Stallman that were used to cancel him. It's the result of careful research from a rational and objective standpoint. It shows the truth, backed by the testimony of conscientious and thoughtful people. We invite you to explore it and join our efforts to give Stallman's visionary voice in the free software movement the space it deserves.
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Voices in Support of Richard Stallman
In the wake of the events of September 2019 that led to the resignation of Richard Stallman from MIT and the FSF, a large part of the community felt hurt by what they saw as an injustice to Stallman that caused damage not only to him, but to the entire free software movement as well.
After Stallman announced his return to the FSF Board of Directors on March 21, 2021, a tsunami of virulent attacks to him and the FSF reached unprecedented proportions risking to destroy the very roots of the free software movement.
We are reproducing here, either verbatim or remixed, some of the articles in defense of Richard Stallman that people wrote, addressing the events of either September 2019 or March 2021. Other articles are linked to their original websites.
Must Read #must-read
- The Practice of Ritual Defamation. By Laird Wilcox. Written in 1990, this short essay is pertinent today and specially applicable to the defamation of Richard Stallman. The modus operandi described by Wilcox matches seamlessly the procedure adopted by Stallman's attackers. A 5 minutes read worth one or two whole books on the subject. #wilcox
All voices of support listed here are from people who know the facts.
Voices of Support in this Website #local-articles
- Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor. Hannah Wolfman-Jones, website founder, book editor and author, seeks the advice of Nadine Strossen, former ACLU president, about whether to include Richard Stallman as coauthor of a book. The decision is “Yes.”
Richard Stallman Is Vilified by Those Who Don't Know Him, Says Sylvia Paull.
Sylvia Paull, a well-known feminist who has known Richard Stallman for many years,
remembers him as her guest,
He was kind, attentive, and has a loving core.
- Renata Avila: Trying to Understand the Lynching of Stallman. The author, a feminist human rights and technology lawyer, strives to comprehend the reasons behind the vicious attacks.
- Letter of Support for Richard Stallman - Doing Better in Community. Karrie Peterson, librarian at MIT, shares her experience with Richard Stallman and calls for communities to use higher standards of discourse.
- Margarita Lacabe: My Relationship with Richard. Stallman's former girlfriend tells us about her experience with him.
- Richard Stallman Is Not Transphobic, Says Leah Rowe. Transwoman Leah Rowe explains why Richard Stallman is not transphobic, and calls the community to defend him.
Voices of Support from Other Websites #external-articles
Most of these are articles are by people who wrote about the events of September 2019 to explain what happened and ask for justice.
Justice for Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman
Archived) By Jorge P. de Morais Neto.
The point of view of
a married, orthodox, staunch Catholic who supports chastity and Christian morality—within a coherent and reasonably tolerant worldview inspired by the phenomenal Pope Francis. I oppose several of Stallman’s views on sex and related subjects.Objective, accurate, clearly written, concise and to the point. Highly recommended. #jorge
- Low grade “journalists” and internet mob attack RMS with lies (Archived) By sterling-archermedes. In-depth review. Exposes the lies spread by journalists and initiates a petition asking them to apologize to Stallman. The author compares excerpts of the blog post by Ms. Selam Jie Gano and shows how journalists based their reports on Gano's personal interpretation of the emails rather than the sources. Worth reading, keeping in mind that it contains some inaccuracies:
How the cancel culture was leveraged against RMS (Archived) By Loïc Dachary.
The content and the tone of Selam G.’s article is archetypal of the cancel culture and she was joined by people sharing the same faith to demand the resignation of Richard Stallman.A dispassionate, rational view that invites reflection. #loic
- Why I stand up for Stallman (Archived) By Dave Winer. How neurodiverse individuals are treated badly by the community. Presented from the point of view of the author's personal experience and contact with Richard Stallman. Written in 2011, still relevant today. #winer
- Another article by
Dave Winer, this time written more recently, in April 2021.
Pleading for Stallman (Archived)
I think Stallman is actually a naive innocent, almost child-like harmless person.#winer2
- Another article by Sylvia Paull, RICHARD STALLMAN DESERVES AN ENDOWED CHAIR IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY (Archived), written in 2021. #sylvia
On Non-Judicical Punishment of Individuals (Archived) By Bruce Perens.
An interesting consideration of shunning as a form of punishment
in the absence of a judicial process. Recommended, keeping in mind
these two points:
- We tend to think that the description of Richard Stallman as “extremely obnoxious” is based on interactions between the two in the past in the context of disagreements about the philosophical grounds of the movement. Most importantly, we have evidence that after hard work along the years, Stallman has upgraded his behavior from “obnoxious” to just “annoying.” Bruce and Richard are not enemies and are in talking terms.
- Stallman was never an employee of the FSF but a volunteer. He never received a penny from the FSF. Therefore, ADA would not apply. But even if for some reason it did apply, it's unlikely that Stallman would ever sue the FSF. #perens
- Richard Stallman in Prague: Unyielding Spirit Amidst Health Challenges (Archived) By Lubos Rendek. Reflections on Stallman's steadfast and continued work towards software freedom, justice, and truth despite a critical health condition. Written after attending Stallman's speech in the capital city of the Czech Republic on October 1, 2023. #prague
External Related Articles #external-related-articles
- Why Are Scholars Such Snitches? (Archived) Campuses turned into a paradise for informants seeking vendetta and personal gain disguised as “social justice.” A gallery of examples by Laura Kipnis, author of Love in the Time of Contagion: A Diagnosis. (The linked page is paywalled, both original and archived. To bypass it, set your browser to reader view). #snitch
The New Puritans – Mob Justice Is Trampling Democratic Discourse
By Anne Applebaum on The Atlantic. Unfair
punishment by the mobs today is not much different from Hester Prynne's
fate in The Scarlet Letter.
Right here in America, right now, it is possible to meet people who have lost everything—jobs, money, friends, colleagues—after violating no laws, and sometimes no workplace rules either. Instead, they have broken (or are accused of having broken) social codes [...]#new-puritans
It Is Obscene: A True Reflection In Three Parts (
Archived) By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
The practice of shunning people on antisocial media has reached
a point that violates the most basic human decency.
Resorting to falsehood and slander to achieve the defamer's own goals has
become the norm. Renowned author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie calls it “obscene.”
We add, perverse.
Telling us her own painful experience, Chimamanda writes:
In this age of social media, where a story travels the world in minutes, silence sometimes means that other people can hijack your story and soon, their false version becomes the defining story about you.#chimamanda
Natalie Wynn on Cancellation
Transwoman and YouTube star Natalie Wynn has a master degree in
philosophy. She has been canceled, shunned and bullied more than
once by members of her own community. In this audio interview
she talks about her experience and points to the methods used by
* Presumption of Guilt
* Pseudo-Moralism or Pseudo-Intellectualism
* No Forgiveness
* The Transitive Property of Cancellation
A 17 minutes recording that deserves attention #natalie
- The heretics of the web and the cancel culture (Archived) By Arturo Di Corinto. The thoughts of a well-known Italian journalist on cancel culture, with a gallery of its victims. #corinto
- Am I Doctor Stallman? (Archived) Richard Stallman explains why he uses the title “Dr.” #doctor-rms
- Beating Back Cancel Culture: A Case Study from the Field
of Artificial Intelligence (Archived) By Pedro Domingos.
On how cancel culture works, and how to deal with it.
The mob leader even wrote lengthy Twitter threads listing off the names of anyone who’d liked or retweeted my critiques of her position, suggesting they were all bigots.#cancel-culture
References and Notes
Table of Contents
- Who is Richard Stallman?
- Honors and Awards
- Commitment to Social Justice
- Why Stallman Resigned
- Explanation - Background
- Explanation - CSAIL Emails
- Debunking False Accusations
- Ritual Defamation
- Voices of Support
- More Voices of Support
- Comments of Support
- Testimonies, Letters, Writings...
- External Related Articles
- Welcome Back, Richard Stallman
- Say It With a Meme!