Google’s influence over the free software community

: a culture of threats, sanctions and bullying

People have been asking victims about this on a daily basis, leaving little choice but to write down the details about what really happened. The increasing public scrutiny of these issues is one of the sad consequences of leaders in various organizations failing to talk to people and failing to resolve sensitive issues fairly and privately.

In January 2018, the last FSFE Fellowship representative elected by the community before elections were abolished, who is also a Debian Developer, heard a story about a Fellow who had asked questions about Google’s donations to FSFE. The Fellow distributed a leaflet at the FSFE table at the 34C3 event questioning the relationship between FSFE and Google. []—An FSFE staff member, who is also in the FSFE “CARE” team, ordered him to remove the leaflet from the booth. He complied and started distributing the leaflet from another location in the event. Even though he was a volunteer, not staff, this was seen as insubordination. FSFE staff, their salaries are partly paid with Google money, forcibly excluded him from his local FSFE Fellowship group. An email came out of Berlin with the rather sinister title Konsequenzen and was discussed vigorously in the FSFE members private list (the “GA” in FSFE-speak).

— source debian.community | Feb 22, 2019

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