So this year, they added Facebook also: https://fosdem.org/2020/about/sponsors/
FOSDEM is about open source, not freedom.
Why is this a problem? Read this: https://ar.al/2019/01/11/i-was-wrong-about-google-and-facebook-theres-nothing-wrong-with-them-so-say-we-all/
@aral but who's put time into finding ethical sponsors?
Calling orgs out is easy and fairly lazy. Its not like they try to hide the sponsors.
FYI time has been spent, especially this year, to try and convince the organization to apply for an european funds and other alternatives to few controversial sponsors.
The organization itself has been hostile to this idea, bringing up arguments like "we cannot lose the support of facebook/google/github for the next editions".
Sponsoring is managed by a few people within the organization, and their actions are not visible by most of the organization members.
No, you will have to take my word for it. I had been a member of the FOSDEM "staff" aka year-around-volunteers team for many years, and these topics have been discussed in meetings.
FOSDEM defends its "neutrality" around the topic of Surveillance Capitalism, and does not see it as an actual problem that affects its visitors. This has always been the case, and sponsorship from big tech has been important to make the event grow every year to a larger scale.
I, and other people involved in FOSDEM in different ways, have tried to invert this tendency and propose a different way to look on how to cover the budget, to guarantee the autonomy on the program content. Diversity of topics and content that is still there today, may suffer by these unique sources of funding tomorrow.
@danielinux @jlhertel @paperdigits @aral Nice to know that there are some people trying to change the way things are done.
And yes its the influence over content which is critical. I may be dull as dishwater but I do watch a lot of tech conference videos and it's noticeable that when the conference is not sponsored by Google or Facebook that there is a much more honest discussion about commercial surveillance and the problems it creates.
we *tried* indeed, and failed, so far. I left FOSDEM because of the strong opposition I received when trying to change things that are not even supposed to be discussed.
Regarding influence over content, I would say so far so good, or at least as long as FOSDEM can keep up accepting alternative viewpoints in the program, and confirm self-organizing devrooms with no influence from the org - like "decentralized internet and privacy" as in the past editions.