Free Software Foundation and RMS issue statements on Stallman’s return

RMS at LibrePlanet 2019, approximately six months before his resignation from the FSF's Board of Directors.

Enlarge / RMS at LibrePlanet 2019, approximately six months before his resignation from the FSF’s Board of Directors. (credit: Ruben Rodriguez)

The Free Software Foundation’s board of directors issued a statement today regarding the controversial return of Richard M. Stallman (RMS) to its ranks, alongside a statement of Stallman’s own.

The controversy in brief

RMS has never been known for personal tact or diplomacy, but his 2019 decision to defend MIT computer science Professor Marvin Minsky was the beam which broke the camel’s back. Minsky was a sometime associate of notorious pedophile and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein; Epstein survivor Virginia Giuffre stated under deposition that she had been directed to sleep with Minsky when she was 17.

In the attempt to defend Minsky, RMS declared it “morally absurd” to call statutory rape “rape,” and he spun an elaborate scenario regarding the likelihood that Giuffre—whom RMS had never met—would have “appeared entirely willing” to Minsky.

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