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Shannon Dosemagen and the FSF

From: aviva
Subject: Shannon Dosemagen and the FSF
Date: Sat, 29 Feb 2020 19:56:21 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.5.0


I wanted to voice my concern about the direction the the Free Software
Foundation has recently taken.  It seems that it has, with out warrant,
moved past its initial mandate and adapting a more radicalized political
stance that drives away large segments of the population from the
mission of promoting Free Software.

Recently, the FSF has announced having Shannon Dosemagen as a keynote
speaker at libreplanet.  Shannon is in no way a representative of the
Free Software movement, and represents an organization, Publiclab,
centered on concerns for environmental activism.  The two missions are
not continuous or even similar.  Most disconcerting, is that Publiclab
has a number of efforts that obstruct the principles of Free Software,
and is selective and not open liberal in who it allows to participate. 
It is a radical organization that ostracizes anyone who doesn't believe
in it's principles, and has a chilling effect on public discourse.   

Specifically, Publiclab has an extremely authoritarian code of conduct
which is published below.  The code of conduct refuses participation of
anyone who disagrees with the organizations principles, without even due
process.  In doing so, it discourages large groups of participants from
any educational or communal benefits of its efforts.  This is not the
free software philosophy, and is a dangerous authoritarian trend among
those who perceive that they are fighting for social justice. 

Since Publiclab fails to be in either the domain of Free Software, and
encourages authoritarian politics, it would be best for the FSF to
separate its association from Shannon Dosemagen and Publiclab.  Even
though Publiclab proclaims that it uses techniques inspired by the Four
Freedoms devised by Richard Stallman, it fails to actually apply them. 
Instead it largely operates like proprietary software, restricting
access to resources to individuals unless they proclaim political
loyalty to specific causes.

Thank You



Public Lab Code of Conduct

Public Lab, 3014 Dauphine Street, Suite E. New Orleans, LA 70117

We are coming together with an intent to care for ourselves and one
another as we produce knowledge in pursuit of environmental justice. For
this to work for everybody, individual decisions will not be allowed to
run counter to the welfare of other people. We—visitors, community
members, community moderators, staff, organizers, sponsors, and all
others—hold ourselves accountable to the same values regardless of
position or experience. This community aspires to be a respectful place
both during online and in-person interactions so that all people are
able to fully participate with their dignity intact. This document is a
piece of the culture we're creating.

This code of conduct applies to all spaces managed by the Public Lab
community and non-profit, both online and in person. It provides a clear
set of practical guidelines for events led by organizers and community
members, multi-day events such as Barnraisings, and online venues such
as the website, comment threads on software platforms, chatrooms, our
mailing lists, the issue tracker, and any other forums created by Public
Lab which the community uses for communication. For interactions with
additional groups, see our Partnership Guidelines at
We come from all kinds of backgrounds

Our community is best when we fully invite and include participants from
a wide range of backgrounds. We specifically design spaces to be
welcoming and accessible to newcomers and folks from underrepresented
groups. Public Lab is dedicated to providing a harassment-free, safe,
and inclusive experience for everyone, regardless of personal and
professional background, gender, gender identity and expression, style
of clothing, sexual orientation, dis-/ability, physical appearance, body
size, race, class, age, or religion. Public Lab resists and rejects:
racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia, body shaming,
religion shaming, “geekier-than-thou” shaming, education bias, the
shaming of people nursing children, and the dismissal or bullying of
children or adults.
We do not tolerate harassment or shaming

While we operate under the assumption that all people involved with
Public Lab subscribe to the basic understanding laid out above, we take
these issues very seriously and think they should, in general, be taken
seriously. Therefore, individuals who violate this Code both in and
outside of Public Lab spaces may affect their ability to participate in
Public Lab ranging from temporarily being placed into online moderation
to, as a last resort, expulsion from the community. If you have any
questions about our commitment to this framework and/or if you are
unsure about aspects of it, email and we will do
our best to provide clarification.
How It Works

Sometimes things go wrong. When a situation is uncomfortable, hurtful,
exclusionary, or upsetting, there is a problem that should be addressed.
This code of conduct is an effort to maintain a safe space for everyone,
and to talk about what might happen if that space is compromised. There
are additional guidelines below for community behavior on how we expect
people to interact with one another.
Two helpful groups

Conduct Committee (ConductCom): If at any time you experience something
that you are not comfortable with, you may contact the Conduct Committee.

For the [event name] in Month YYYY, in person Conduct Committee members are:

    [Firstname Lastname]
    [Firstname Lastname]
    [Firstname Lastname]
    [Firstname Lastname]

If you would like to have a confidential conversation, meet with
ConductCom in person or send email to A minimum
of two committee members will confer and respond as swiftly as possible.
If you would prefer to speak privately with a representative of the
nonprofit, please contact the executive director Shannon Dosemagen
directly either in person or by email:

To submit a report anonymously for review by ConductCom, click the
button at the top of this page to view the reporting form. The form will
be monitored daily at 8am CST during in-person events like Barnraisings
and weekly at all other times. During multi-day in-person events hosted
by the Public Lab non-profit, there will also be a physical suggestion
box available. This box will be monitored throughout the event and can
also be used to let us know if you need us to check on an anonymous
online submission sooner.

NOTE: ConductCom is not open to self-appointment. The committee lead is
responsible for posting job roles and interviewing to fill roles, with
attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion. At time of writing, the
lead is Liz Barry.

Moderators Group: The moderators group is responsible for addressing
immediate moderation issues that arise during online violations of the
code over email lists and Public Lab community websites, as well as
approving first-time posts and generally handling spam. Instructions on
how to become a moderator, and, if you’ve been placed in moderation how
to begin the process of getting out of moderation can be found at:

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