The founder of the Free Software Foundation, and the author of the GNU manifesto, Richard Stallman, has resigned from his position at the FSF, as well as stepped down from his role in CSAIL at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts, following the calls for his firing from an outrage mob that was led on by clout chasers and media outlets.
The announcement for his resignation from the Free Software Foundation was published on September 16th, 2019, with the short post on the FSF.org website reading…
“On September 16, 2019, Richard M. Stallman, founder and president of the Free Software Foundation, resigned as president and from its board of directors.
“The board will be conducting a search for a new president, beginning immediately. Further details of the search will be published on fsf.org.”
On the same day, there was also a brief post on the official Stallman.org website [backup], noting that Richard Stallman was resigning immediately from his position at MIT due to “pressure on MIT”. Stallman wrote…
“I am resigning effective immediately from my position in CSAIL at MIT. I am doing this due to pressure on MIT and me over a series of misunderstandings and mischaracterizations.”
What he’s referring to regarding “misunderstanding” and “mischaracterizations” spawns from comments he made about certain MIT staff being involved with someone associated with Jeffrey Epstein.
Law and Crime posted excerpts from the CSAIL e-mail chain that led to Stallman’s resignation.
The conversation took place between September 11th and September 12th, 2019, and it centered around a woman who was reportedly 17-years-old when she was coerced by Jeffrey Epstein to present herself to MIT Media Lab founder, Marvin Minsky. Stallman argued whether or not Minsky could be “assaulting” someone if for all intents and purposes the girl presented herself to have consenting relations with him, writing…
“The word ‘assaulting’ presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex. We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing. Assuming she was being coerced by Epstein, he would have had every reason to tell her to conceal that from most of his associates.
“All I know she said about Minsky is that Epstein directed her to have sex with Minsky. That does not say whether Minsky knew that she was coerced. It does not report what each said and did during their sexual encounter. We can imagine various scenarios […]”
”[…] We know that Giuffre was being coerced into sex — by Epstein. She was being harmed. But the details do affect whether, and to what extent, Minsky was responsible for that.”
Stallman’s comments became exacerbated in the media following a Medium post that was published by MIT alumni Selam Jie Gano on September 12th, 2019, just as the CSAIL e-mail thread was unfolding.
The Medium piece is titled “Remove Richard Stallman And everyone else horrible in tech.”
The post was retweeted by multiple blue checkmarks on Twitter who very much align with the Left.
Rails Bridge founder, Sarah Mei, tweeted out the piece, which garnered more than 2.1 thousand retweets and nearly 4 thousand likes. She then went on to demand that FSF part ways with Stallman.
I’ve been a diehard free & open source software user, contributor, and backer since college in the 90s. But at this point, I would rather run proprietary software that I can NEVER see or change if the alternative is to run software licensed by the FSF.
— Sarah Mei (@sarahmei) September 12, 2019
Hey @fsf – fire your President and Board Chair. He just sent an email to the MIT computer science community claiming that sex with an underaged girl is not rape.
I know you know about him and his ‘problematic’ ideas already.
Just letting you know that WE KNOW.
— Sarah Mei (@sarahmei) September 12, 2019
There were other tweets sent out by detractors of Stallman as well, pressuring the Free Software Foundation and MIT to drop the software coding pioneer.
MIT does not deserve its women. https://t.co/XBPUiwBIKc
tw: rape, sexual assault, sex trafficking, pedophilia
— ashe dryden 🤟🏼🥄 (@ashedryden) September 12, 2019
— Clay Shirky (@cshirky) September 12, 2019
Richard Stallman is long overdue for a reckoning. Why he chose to elevate Jeffrey Epstein and science bro predators and degrade child rape victims is beyond me, but this is the hill he’s dying on. Let him. https://t.co/h8js8WUVYJ
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) September 13, 2019
It wasn’t just Twitter outrage mobs attempting to cull Stallman from the FSF community and MIT. The media also took the opportunity to jump in on the conversation, reframing Stallman’s words and the context of the conversation to paint him as a villain that needs deplatforming.
Vice published an article with the headline “Famed Computer Scientist Richard Stallman Described Epstein Victims As ‘Entirely Willing’”. The Daily Beast ran with a similar headline, which read “Renowned MIT Scientist Defends Epstein: Victims Were ‘Entirely Willing’”.
Even Fox News echoed the Left-wing talking points, scrubbing any kind of contextual honesty from Stallman’s words, even going so far as to completely fabricate a scenario by claiming Stallman “defended” Epstein. The headline reads “MIT scientist defended Jeffrey Epstein associate in leaked emails, claimed victims were ‘entirely willing’”.
The news barrage and social media activism to cancel Stallman’s career and standing, unfortunately proved to be successful.
Under pressure from cancel culture, Stallman resigned from MIT and FSF.
This wasn’t even a case of misconduct, but rather deliberate misrepresentation by the media and even some of Stallman’s peers in order to deplatform him.
At one point do people finally say enough is enough?
(Thanks for the news tip anon)