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Community healing: Re-establishing norms, trust, and truth after crises

Katheryn Sutter


Free software comprises a commons shared and coordinated voluntarily by users, developers, and others. If we think of free software participants as a self-governing community, they need paths toward setting their own expectations and standards, evaluating facts, and developing trust between them. Those are three interrelated but different kinds of processes. When one of these processes is disrupted, we rely on the others. When all three are disrupted, crises can spiral. Each may need to change, be reconfirmed, or left as an open question.

In this talk, we'll explore practical approaches for community leaders, moderators, and contributors, as well as concepts of deliberative democracy from Habermas' theory of communicative action.


3 years, 7 months ago

Tagged with

community healing · community · Katheryn Sutter · Free the Future · LibrePlanet conference · LibrePlanet 2020 video · LibrePlanet 2020 · LibrePlanet · lp2020 · video · FSF


CC BY-SA 4.0


This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.