Microsoft “blocks” donations to the Free Software Foundation

In a rather interesting as well as concerning note made by a Reddit user, it has came to public light that Microsoft is blocking the page for donation to the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

All the security products of Microsoft are reportedly branding the donation page of the Free Software Foundation as a ‘Gambling’ page. The news first emerged as a developer tried to donate to FSF after hearing that the baggage of Richard Stallman (FSF founder) was stolen while he was in Argentina.

For those that don’t know, FSF is can be considered to be an initiative to promote the creation and modification of software which is both free-to-use and re-distribute. Obviously, the action by Microsoft, may it be intentional or unintentional, is a very concerning move and has already received tons of negative reactions from both FSF supporters and other analysts.

FSF representatives, in their public statements, condemned the action by Microsoft severely and said that this is actually like depriving FSF of its funds by Microsoft; and obviously many users will not be able to donate to the FSF due to this silly problem created by Microsoft.

I hope Microsoft will correct its mistake soon and hope that FSF will at least get a verbal apology if not monetary compensation from Microsoft; but I leave it to you to speculate and comment on Microsoft’s fault (or whatever it may be called).

[via BBC News]

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  • While I agree 200% that this was a huge mistake, it should be factored in that the service that was labeling the FSF as “Gambling” (Microsoft Reputation Services) gets its data not only from Microsoft but from other places as well, so it might not have been Microsoft. (I do think though that they should have handled it much better)

  • @Frank: What’s the new page layout? As far as I can see it’s the same as it’s been for a while. (I’m not the biggest fan of the current layout myself, but it’s at least steady.) You may have just seen a bad page load, it happens sometimes.

  • Bob

    @Frank: What new page layout?

  • JonE

    I guess I can’t help myself when I see a post concerning MS or Google; I have very strong negative feelings about both. I resisted commenting on the Chrome article since opinions about browsers are akin to opinions about cars; neither side is really right or wrong, but they sure believe they are. My feelings about MS and Google go way deeper than that; I don’t trust either one.

    @Dan: Sad to read that MS would stoop to such low levels; from what I’ve witnessed from MS over the years it does not surprise me in the least that MS would stoop to this level.

    Obviously, the action by Microsoft, . . . . . . .has already received tons of negative reactions from both FSF supporters and other analysts. Again, from what I’ve observed over the years MS doesn’t give a rat’s behind about public opinion; they are going to do whatever they want whenever they want. After all they are smarter than the rest of us and know better than we do what’s best.

    You, of course, are more than welcome to disagree with me; I am after all very opinionated.

  • Godwin


    As of now, Microsoft is yet to respond on the topic, though they have removed the “Gambling” tag now. But, I don’t think FSF will take any action against Microsoft. Microsoft has not even paid a verbal apology to FSF.

    You can read the blog post by FSF on the topic here: Dear Microsoft: is not a “gambling site”

  • Interesting post..sad to read that MS would stoop to such low levels, that is IF they did this on purpose..but going by past history, it’s hard to see how this could be anything other than a deliberate attempt to hinder the “little guy”.

    After all, MS tends to screen it’s services and products well before releasing them to the public. Granted, there are always flaws and glitches in software..but this would have needed to been entered into the security databse by hand..or by a real somebody at MS actually must have done this for a reason.

    Can’t wait to see what excuse is given for this.

  • Mags

    @Frank: WTH does that comment have to do with the article.

    As for the article, isn’t that illegal for M$ to do this? Can Free Software Foundation sue them for doing so?

  • Frank

    I “strongly dislike” your new page layout.