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Is negative publicity always harmful? (was: Women and GNU and RMS)

From: Dmitry Alexandrov
Subject: Is negative publicity always harmful? (was: Women and GNU and RMS)
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2019 20:30:26 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Sandra Loosemore <> wrote:
> The absolute worst thing the public-facing representative of *any* 
> organization can do is bring negative publicity to the organization about 
> things that are irrelevant or contrary to the organization's mission.

Iʼm afraid, you conflated two points.  Publicity that undermine the core 
competency of an organization — yes, is perhaps is the most harmful thing for 

While negative publicity on irrelevant topics is either much less harmful, or 
sometimes even beneficial.

> As a result of RMS's comments, all of a sudden the public conversation about 
> the GNU project was not about how good our software is and how free software 
> is taking over the world and beneficial to everybody

Dr. Stallman has been always, in almost every his speech, pointed out, that in 
terms of publicity everything is still so bad, that he has to struggle to make 
it known that GNU and free software movement in general merely exist.  And that 
they are not the same as Linux® and ‘open source’, in particular.

Under that conditions, any kind of public attention to GNU should be welcoming.

> It's been a public relations disaster for the GNU project.  :-(

Time will tell.

P. S.
> a developer community that consists almost exclusively of old white men is 
> not sustainable.

You know, developer communities reproduce themselves not solely by breeding. :-D

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