Fighting for freerecyling

Beal lectures Freegle on democracy

Image by Naccarato via Flickr

You know it seems a bit rich to me when Beal accuses Freegle of being undemocratic. He is cited in The Guardian of saying, “If anyone had shown themselves to be undemocratic it was those who founded Freegle.”

However if you look at the facts, TFN shown almost no democracy in each of its 6 long tortuous years.  What is worse is that any shred democracy disappears further with each minute that rolls by.

Am I talking rubbish?  Let us look at the TFN credentials on democracy:

  1. Firstly Beal holds all the strings of power as he and his wife are the only real directors and shareholders.
  2. By shunning Neil Morris, looking back the only other director of Freecycle UK Ltd he has effectively killed any fragment of influence from the UK over their own affairs.
  3. The creation of MyFreecyle technology has always been about the use of public and grant money to centralise control away from the grass-roots movement. Even the term “group owner” no longer exists in the TFN vocabulary.
  4. Attempts in 2004 by moderators to add democracy in terms of polls are quashed as Beal bans Yahoo polls from all moderator groups.
  5. Attempts by any moderator to ask any question of the organisation, no matter how innocuous, leads Beal to put them on moderation.  From that moment he, directly or indirectly approves or blocks all their posts before anyone else reads them.  Any unwanted posts that “get through” are deleted.  So the OIDG (Organisational Issues Discussion Group – a real misnoma if ever there was one) is cleansed of posts that do not discuss meaningless blabber.
  6. Secret rules have been at the heart of the organisation with Da-Hub being a law unto itself with no published rule book.
  7. TFN maintains a secret database on its moderators, logging any notes of dissaffection. It then uses this same database to control and even oust moderators, using insinuation as its primary weapon.

And this is a charity!

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October 13, 2009 - Posted by | freecycle | , ,


  1. Hi Andy,

    Very well said! I read the article in The Guardian and noticed i couldn’t add a comment but all i really wanted to say a few things, does Beal not realise that he doesn’t and never has owned any of our groups? We used his freecycling name, fair enough, but he gave that away for us all to use then decided that the money he could make from it all was *way* more important to him so has tried to claw it back from the people he ‘allowed’ to use it. Sorry, but he is just pissed that we have all (203 groups to be exact) left him and what’s the betting the number count for freecycle hasn’t gone down any? That’s all it was in the end, a numbers game, the more numbers he could spout the more grant money he could grab, well, he has to have a wage doesn’t he?, the volunteers do all the work and don’t get paid so why should he? Money grabbing tyrant, that’s the only memories i have of that man. I am so glad we moved to Freegle, i am very much looking forward to being able to carry on as we were but with no cloud hanging over my head in ‘fear’ of upsetting him and his lackeys.
    Beal, you are only in this game now for the money. You have lost our respect. You have had money left right and center for that website of yours over the years and it is still in beta even though it’s live, it’s sometimes unusable and you just cannot log in to it, all that money too, wonder where it has all gone…Hmm..Bank of Deron, p’haps?
    And Beal, who said this on the Guardian website: the oganisation is committed to not having banner ads on its website.

    Yes, ok, so you don’t have banner adds but you do have other adds on there, note all the google adverts. Oh, and sponsorship. Pull the other one Beal, it has bells and whistles on it.

    Andy, thank you so very much for giving us a voice and telling it like it is, for way to long we had all been almost silenced and your blog just gets right to the nub of what is REALLY going on.

    Freegle is an absolute godsend, a breath of fresh air created out of the dense smog which is freecycle, by the people, for the people, just how it should be and without the crap and bovine manure that seems to spill effortlessly from Beals mouth on an almost daily basis. Keep spouting sunshine, the World is just beginning to see just what kind of a person you really are.

    Freegle –

    Keep up the great words of wisdom Andy. 🙂

    Jay x

    Comment by Jay | October 13, 2009 | Reply

  2. If interested in starting a new group, to own it or volunteer as moderator for your area – Please let us know.

    We are in all 50 states with a safety portal.

    If you are in need of a Free, Legal and Family Friendly community group in your area OR county, city, suburb, country or for the schools, churches, special functions and meeting requirements, etc…in the individual communities.

    If you need a name – Please use ours.
    Do not take the name for adult content type groups, must be used for Free, Legal, Family Friendly recycling purposes only. The school systems are being tied to the network for the kids throughout the States – so they may benefit from the recycling network and learn about the ultimate cause.

    Save Our Landfills – West_Recycle-Network – United States

    (c) saveourlandfills 2008-2009 All rights reserved.

    Run your own SaveOurLandfills group and bring your own community members into it, or change the name, YOU OWN IT, you can use our logo or yours, use the name SaveOurLandfills and the basic guidelines. The group is yours. We won’t dictate.

    We will not TM against anyone for the Ultimate cause like FC does for a name that has been around for a long time.

    You can use the SaveOurLandfills for changing your groups over, If you are tired of the group that you OWN or you don’t want it anymore. we can help convert it. If FC is going to steal your group from you like they did mine with 2300+ members in the United States Ohio area, for no reasons. We can help you convert/merge before it happens to you – You are the owner.

    We can also direct you to other resources.

    If you already are a moderator/owner of a FC group and FC is trying to take your group from you without cause and with all of your members because you don’t fit their click or because you didn’t want to join the MyFC network, or GOA didn’t do their job properly, favoritism, can’t get a answer from someone, or keep getting neglected, etc, etc…

    You HAVE our permission to use our name – (SaveOurLandfills) and the basic guidelines/logo.
    Everything must be Free, Legal and Family Friendly

    You only need to let us know to register so we can add the groups to the list for promoting your groups.

    No string$$$ – not like FC has or does.


    We do ask that you keep our name with your group the(SaveOurLandfills) network and some basic guidelines (Free,Legal and Family Friendly)Always!, for promoting the Network. You can use our logo or not, related safe links or use your own, Its Your group, your members and your community, keep in mind there are kids/schools.

    Help us Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and We will help each other to promote for the great cause.
    Lets keep the rotation going for everyone.

    Let us know when you create or change your group and want to add it, We will then add it to the SaveOurLandfills Network and Domains.

    If you use our name please tell us so that we can register your group and name to the network, the maps section when available and to direct the members joining your area to your new group – from within the domains -(we will try to point them to your new group best as possible).

    If you run a SaveOurLandfills State Group we can assign a SaveOurLandfills email address for you. This will be the state community group, school access and all can go there for answers for any problems or issues pertaining to SaveOurLandfills, You would go there for questions and answers-this includes state laws, problems with mods/owners/members or conversation for immediate help, not to dictate but for advice, guidance, not to talk about members behind their backs, we are here to help everyone as a TEAM, especially the kids and schools for their future – We need to fix what we had destroyed for them.

    You keep your members and your group, keep moderating, own it or pass it forward, you own it. Do what you want –
    we just want the name and basics to be used for the cause.

    The basics are:
    Please Remember the name – SaveOurLandfills
    – Everything has to be FREE, LEGAL and FAMILY FRIENDLY! Always!

    We are almost the Same concept as FC -EXCEPT- the free cycling, recycling, free recycling, helping each other, the communities – It is all yours FREE – SaveOurLandfills

    It is for the communities and people where it belongs, even if it costs me a few dollars to run the domains. ENJOY!:-)

    The SaveOurLandfills Network is yours, provided you follow the basic – Free, Legal and Family Friendly-Always!
    Where as FC belongs to one man and not the communities anymore.

    We the SaveOurLandfills Network are a TEAM – We don’t want to take anything from the communities, or the volunteers/moderators/owners, members or from anyone else like FC is doing.

    We know you work hard for your groups and families, have out of pocket expenses with your computers, electricity, ink, printers, your time and dedication, etc… You would think you could stake claim to all of those things trough FC come tax time – as big as they are.

    You would think they should supply the paper, ink, supplies, etc…

    I spent over one thousand dollars in a 7 month time frame for advertising, getting supplies and bringing 2300 members into the group in 7 months time – then to have it taken/stolen from me without questions or reimbursements, only a generic thank you, we hope you stay with us, you have been removed from OWNER to member – how does that happen when Yahoo owns the group that I created and I am the owner of. GREED—-They are still getting members from my advertising and promoting – I am sure, with over 6000 members now 1 year later In my STOLEN group of which I worked very hard for, where no one would respond back from the mod squad or from GOA or anywhere else, I posted on the web and the post would be taken down from the public eye,hmmm, so you see, this is how we started the West Recycle and the SaveOurLandfills Network.

    I almost lost my family over free cycle – working, setting up files, guidelines, using the plug in and helping set it up, etc… 24/7 on the group just to have it STOLEN FROM ME. We thank you Freecycle for giving us a path to start our own Network because of your selfishness and Greed On your part. Thank You!

    I still want my old group back that was rightfully mine, the FC copy rights and logo were not intact on the group or in the files when it was stolen and taken from me, I was working on a custom logo with the copy rights attached.

    We SaveOurLandfills are not for profit or head counts.

    We are all together as a TEAM, SaveOurLandfills is and Always will be here for all of you, for the schools, communities, kids, earth and for the future generations.

    Help us to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, To expand for the right reasons.


    If you have any questions please do ask.

    Thank you

    (c) ( 2008-2009 All rights reserved.

    Comment by saveourlandfills | October 14, 2009 | Reply

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