Richard Stallman has resigned as president of and from the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation. The move comes after several reports on deeply inappropriate behaviour towards women, as well as a spirited defense of convicted child trafficker and child rapist Jeffrey Epstein. Stallman defended Marvin Minsky, an AI pioneer accused of raping one of Epstein’s trafficked children, by basically saying that since the underage child was forced by Epstein, Minsky wasn’t at fault for raping an underage child.
Early in the thread, Stallman insists that the “most plausible scenario” is that Epstein’s underage victims were “entirely willing” while being trafficked. Stallman goes on to argue about the definition of “sexual assault,” “rape,” and whether they apply to Minsky and Giuffre’s deposition statement that she was forced to have sex with him.
In response to a student pointing out that Giuffre was 17 when she was forced to have sex with Minsky in the Virgin Islands, Stallman said “it is morally absurd to define ‘rape’ in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.”
Today, a notice on the Free Software Foundation website announced his resignation, after he left MIT yesterday, too.
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.
Good riddance to bad people. We’ve always known Stallman had some seriously disturbing ideas, but I had no idea they went this far and this deep. This is for the better of the Free software community as a whole.