Fighting for freerecyling

Named… and praised

It has taken a number of years, but the stalwarts who largely created and defined and shaped what freecycling is today have been given due honour.  On Tim Oey’s blog entry doing what is right rather than what is easy he lists those people to whom all who freecycle owe a very significant debt.

If you look at what makes us all exciting about freecycling it is the usual saving items from landfill, sharing community, and for most of us the initial “getting something for free”, never mind exotic concepts such as decluttering.  But these people are different.

These people have risen to the higher call of shaping the future of freecycling.  They have given up hours and days at a time, writing manuals, building community, testing ideas – and most of all doing it right.

Doing it right is a question of deciding whether what you are doing is legal, whether it is true to your values, whether it is true to those you serve.

And that last point is where their biggest challenge came.  For me, as an owner and moderator of freecycling groups I serve my group members.  That is who I serve, and I serve no-one else.

This is where The Freecycle Network has gone very badly wrong.  If you look at almost 100% of the press releases of TFN what do you find?  Praise and adulation for one person, one almost…  god.  One person who holds himself above normal moral standards.  He has used, and continues to use significant  public money on a personal vendetta against Tim Oey, wrapped up in a failed SLAPP suit.  He does not justify this, he does not have to justify his actions.  The TFN organisation always has been wholly controlled by him.  Despite non-profit rules in the USA he has held control in himself.

If all these are true then how does he continue?  The answer is with persuasive charm.

But at some point you can find that persuasive charm are shallow when not backed by substance.  What these people saw was that lack of substance.  The lack of substance was embodied in abusing organisational power to backstab people.  I myself have been attacked in this way, so I know from personal experience – and have the evidence to support it.

The result is that the originators of the freecycling world left in their droves.  Each of them has their own evidence of corruption that forced their departure from a world with which they no longer wished to be associated.


June 13, 2008 - Posted by | freecycle

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