As far as downvotes, there is a steady stream of upvotes as well, in a way that a simply missing the mark or being unpopular does not incur. I interpret this as "geek feminists" versus "weird nerds", with the former being more numerous these days.
It's not that the above framework justifies what RMS did, but it puts it in a measured context where it is possible to empathize with it. As opposed to the mainstream narrative which is dead-set on dehumanizing him. And if one wants to honestly consider the "real harm" in his pattern of behavior, that measured context is the only just place to do it - what I alluded to being the ultimate job of the Institute to keep "weird nerds" in check.
But we're now well past that context, and this is a lynch mob rather than justice. If I see someone being chased with torches and pitchforks, it doesn't particularly matter what they are accused of doing - my "herd alert!!" klaxon is blaring. (And yes, I do appreciate the modern luxury of being able to comfortably speak out against the herd, rather than needing to pick up a torch and blend in).
 I make irreverent jokes about most of the sensationalist trash in the banal "news cycle" for exactly the same reason - their only relation to me is that of abstract symbols, and they're being used to wage an emotional attack on the audience. Man bites dog? Well, I hope it tasted good.