In August 2005, John Palmieri blogged about his colleague Diana Fong getting some offensive personal email for posting usability bugs about the GIMP. In the blog entry Carol Spears (comment #6) confirms some emails she sent to Fong:
- Subject: gimp bug reports
- can you cease filing bug reports.
- thank you,
And later (excerpt)
- i sent a terse message to you asking you to stop filing bug reports against gimp. i also have plenty of how-to-use gimp on my web site: http://carol.gimp.org/gimp2/
- i am going to suggest that if you want photoshop or photoshop behavior that you keep using it. if you need these things, then you should probably pay them for it.
- right now, when i hear the title “visual designer” i think it is some (usually girl, appearance-wise) who managed to trap some important person or another in a compromising position. the fact that “visual designers” rarely have actual skills or knowledge of computer graphics but have employment in the field does NOTHING to stop this “visually designed image”.
Dave Neary responded to the incident, asking that the GIMP project distance itself from Spears's behaviour:
- For a long time, Carol Spears was a positive contributor to the GIMP. She wrote tutorials, helped people out on IRC and on mailing lists, she mentored people who were a little shy or new to the community…
- That’s when things started coming unstuck. Carol had several personal hardships around that time, which I understand and sympathise with… And since then, we have still tried to get the old Carol back… And yet, Carol persists in being incredibly anti-social… And she scares away potential contributors, the lifeblood of the project… I am no longer prepared to be associated with Carol. I’ve asked yosh to remove her gimp.org e-mail address. He may well refuse. If he does, he can remove mine instead.
In September 2006, Neary resigned from the GIMP over the project's response to abusive behaviour by its members.