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Linux Fund and anti-harassment policy

Jan 19, 2011, 09:04 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)


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""What does an organization's anti-harassment policy -- or lack of one -- say about it? Is a policy as meaningless as a mission statement, or does the willingness to have one reflect an organization's values and how it operates? How an organization answers such questions can directly effect on how it is perceived, as well as its ability to operate, as a recent semi-public discussion about Linux Fund clearly shows.

"Linux Fund is a non-profit organization set up to distribute funds to free and open source software projects and events, chiefly through an affinity credit card program. A few years after it was founded in 1999, the organization became dormant. In 2005, Linux.com staff member Jay Lyman reported that funds were still being collected, and shortly afterwards, Linux Fund was reorganized by an entirely new group of directors.

"Since then, Linux Fund has became a registered non-profit, and has restarted its credit card program in the United States,while adding similar Canadian and United Kingdom programs, as well as one for BSD.

"This latest incarnation of Linux Fund has developed a reputation for misogyny that partly seems to have grown in the telling. At OSCON in 2009, it hosted a party attended by several uninvited, inappropriately dressed women on the catering staff, an incident that gave rise to rumors that Linux Fund had hired escorts to entertain guests."

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