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Truth matters when writing software and selecting leaders

From: Akira Urushibata
Subject: Truth matters when writing software and selecting leaders
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2021 11:13:01 +0900 (added by address@hidden)

Richard Stallman recently announced at LibrePlanet that he would
return to the FSF board.  Soon after this announcement, many articles
appeared online stating strong objection to his return.

I have read several of them and I do not like what I see.  Repeatedly
I encounter the false claim that RMS "defended" Jeffrey Epstein.
I also see voices which criticize RMS employing vague terms such as
"bad behavior" which those not properly informed would interpret as
being fond of Epstein and antagonistic toward women who fall victim to
sexual exploitation.

In response to the storm of criticism, the FSF Board has decided to
vote to determine whether RMS should return to the board.  I observe
that both sides have initiated petition drives:,-fsf-board.html

In my opinion the FSF leaders are not doing things in the right order.
First they should make an official statement saying that there are
serious errors in recent news articles.  They should also consider
legal action.  The decision whether RMS belongs on the FSF Board
should wait until those who are spreading misinformation are brought
to justice.

I say this because I know from experience that I can't fix bugs in
software I work on in the absence of accurate information.  Any
programmer that responds to unfounded claims about misbehaving
programs will end up wasting time, or worse, breaking a program
that works fine.

One well-known problem with non-free software is that advertised
features often do not live up to promises.  Vendors can get away with
this because the source code is kept hidden.  When source code is
available there is much less opportunity to make exaggerated claims.

Truth is important if you want to write good software.  Dishonesty
invites poor quality.  I cannot stress this too much.

If you want good people to lead your organization you must make sure
you have the right information before you cast your vote.

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