> Can we keep this a short discussion? If so, I think having it here would be fine (my initial gut reaction was not to have it here, but creating a subgroup feels ... heavy). My concern would be that I wouldn't want the discussion to devolve into a debate over politics, which it seems would be easy enough to do.
Stepping back from the situation a little, I see a different perspective on this situation.
What if a wealthy individual or group approached Mark and said "I want to help support all the little humane societies out there who struggle to keep a few members informed and are loosely affiliated with a national group or a governmental entity, and I'd like to do it anonymously. I'd like to pick up the Premium costs for these groups myself, and I would be willing to make individual determinations of who qualifies."
Would that be wrong? Would that really be anyone's business except for groups.io management, the individual paying the tab, and the individual groups affected?
And if it were okay, what would be the best way to reach those people trying to create those small groups? Wouldn't it make sense to have a simple statement on the Pricing page to make those people aware that such a support was available.
What if those original groups dedicated to Freecycling had a benefactor who believed in such causes and wanted to support smaller independent groups to further the cause of non-profit recycling? Again, would it really be anyone else's business if they weren't directly affected? It seems that part of the the benefit is to those others who have free groups, which the Premium groups subsidize, even if they aren't aware of it.
Taking that one step further, what if another type of groups had such a benefactor and they were interested in something a little more political? Would that be wrong as well? Would that be anyone else's business either unless they were directly affected? And how else would you let those people know?
All the statement in question says is that groups associated with a particular value or cause can request a subsidized upgrade by contacting support. It doesn't say who is actually paying the dime for it, and someone not directly involved might not have a need to know that would outweigh the donor's right to privacy. The statement appears in the most logical place where a person creating a new group would find it. Of course there would have to be some guidelines regarding what types of groups could be supported, but then groups.io already has guidelines on what types of groups are acceptable in the first place, so that's not much of a stretch.
I see this as an example where people made assumptions that politicized a situation that might not be as they imagined.