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KWin Maintainer: Fanboys and Trolls Are the Cancer Killing Free Software 406

An anonymous reader writes "Martin Gräßlin, maintainer of the KWin window manager, writes an informative blog post about his experiences with the less favorable pockets of the Free Software community. Quoting: 'Years ago I had a clear political opinion. I was a civil-rights activist. I appreciated freedom and anything limiting freedom was a problem to me. Freedom of speech was one of the most important rights for me. I thought that democracy has to be able to survive radical or insulting opinions. In a democracy any opinion should have a right even if it's against democracy. I had been a member of the lawsuit against data preservation in Germany. I supported the German Pirate Party during the last election campaign because of a new censorship law. That I became a KDE developer is clearly linked to the fact that it is a free software community. But over the last years my opinion changed. Nowadays I think that not every opinion needs to be tolerated. I find it completely acceptable to censor certain comments and encourage others to censor, too. What was able to change my opinion in such a radical way? After all I still consider civil rights as extremely important. The answer is simple: Fanboys and trolls.'"
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KWin Maintainer: Fanboys and Trolls Are the Cancer Killing Free Software

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  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @07:52PM (#44044859) Journal

    You are free to express any opinion, but may not do so with "hateful" language. "Fighting words" are forbidden in public forums. In addition, advocating illegal action is not the same as expressing an opinion. Saying something like "The bums in Congress should be removed from office, one and all" is okay, whereas "grab your gun, we march tonight" is not.

    That's almost entirely wrong. Hateful speech is perfectly legal, as it should be. "Fighting words" only apply where immediate physical violence is a reasonable result to expect, which is hard to see happening over a web forum (but I guess it's possible). Advocating illegal action is illegal if it becomes conspiracy, but there's not prior restraint there - it's the overt action that makes it illegal, not the speech by itself (IANAL, etc).

  • Re:Wow, just wow. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 18, 2013 @09:30PM (#44045477)

    It's older than that: this is exactly how so many Obama supporters went from being pro-transparency, anti-wars, anti-Guantanamo, anti-torture, etc. to anti-transparency, pro-wars, pro-waterboarding. They have to support their "side" at all costs, even when it means reversing their opinions.

    Bull! I don't know anyone on the left supporting those things, but we would like to know why the right is pushing these things as a scandal now, when they were cheering them just a few short years ago.
    Most support for the Dems is lukewarm, it ends at defeating the Republicans. The Democrats suck, but the Republican agenda, socially, environmentally, culturally and economically, is a disaster we cannot afford.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"