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Friday, 24 March 2017 09:51

Drupal member sent out after BDSM lifestyle revealed

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The head of Drupal, Dries Buytaert, has asked a longtime contributor Larry Garfield to leave the project soon after it became public knowledge that Garfield practises a BDSM lifestyle.

In a statement, Buytaert said Garfield had been asked to leave, "because... he holds views that are in opposition with the values of the Drupal project".

He did not specify what these views were, adding that he would not have discussed this issue in public and was only doing so because Garfield had posted about it.

Garfield disclosed in his post that he was involved in both the BDSM and Gorean communities. The latter sub-culture particularly focuses on the master-and-slave dynamic in sexual relationships and associated forms of female submission as portrayed in the Chronicles of Counter Earth novels.

Hardly any of the comments responding to the post were supportive of his ouster.

Buytaert said there were many omissions in the post that Garfield had made. "What makes this difficult to discuss, is that it is not for me to share any of the confidential information that I've received, so I won't point out the omissions in Larry's blog post," he wrote.

"However, I can tell you that those who have reviewed Larry's writing, including me, suffered from varying degrees of shock and concern."

Drupal, like many other open source projects, has a stated goal of welcoming and accepting all people, no matter their heritage, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity or other factors.

Buytaert said the manner in which the information about Garfield, which he had referred to as not being divulged, had been shared "was shared by others in a manner I don't find acceptable either and will be dealt with separately".

"However, when a highly-visible community member's private views become public, controversial, and disruptive for the project, I must consider the impact that his words and actions have on others and the project itself.

"In this case, Larry has entwined his private and professional online identities in such a way that it blurs the lines with the Drupal project. Ultimately, I can't get past the fundamental misalignment of values."

One Drupal member, Alex McCabe, who commented on Buytaert's post, indicated that Garfield might have been asked to leave because he had constantly omitted women from presenting at Drupal conferences.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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