FreeBSD has a politics problem

John Darrah timmcgrawfan at
Sat Mar 3 22:30:26 UTC 2018

FreeBSD recently introduced an updated Code of Conduct that developers and
members must adhere to. There has been much backlash online about it and
about introducing identity politics into a technical OS project in general.
The Code of Conduct was adopted from the "Geek Feminism" wiki's version,
which claims (among other things) that racism against whites doesn't exist,
sexism against men doesn't exist, and that certain protected classes of
people should not be criticised.

Emails of the internal discussion about this controversial Code of Conduct
have now been leaked publicly, painting a picture of the disagreement in
the FreeBSD project about how this was handled.

A number of developers, particularly benno@, phk@ and des@, have used racist
and sexist remarks against those criticising the far-reaching project policy
change, saying that the concerns about the policy essentially boil down to
"white male privilege" and being "on the wrong side of history".

Other developers expressed concern about the policy being thrown upon them
with no discussion or debate, as well as The FreeBSD Foundation's choice
to pay an outside person (with donations from the users) to work on the
Code of Conduct's enforcement. Said person identifies as a feminist.

Mods on BSD and FreeBSD-related subreddits are censoring posts, removing
threads, and banning users for posting the link. Colin Percival is among
the mods doing the removal. FreeBSD forum mods are also cracking down and
eliminating any discussion. Censorship is not the way to win culture wars.

This file is an email archive in MBOX format. You can open it with any
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I encourage you to read and form your own opinions, especially with regard
to how the project is handling donation money.

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