I'd just like to say I'm very impressed by how Ana, Patty, Steve and Lucas
have handled this, both in the actions they've taken and their willingness
to communicate that to -private.
On 03/09/2014 11:48 pm, "Lucas Nussbaum" <leader@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On 03/09/14 at 12:29 +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> > I sent the mail below on Saturday evening (Portland time). I'm told
> > that others also sent complaints, perhaps to different address(es).
> > I think there is room for disagreement about: the extent to which his
> > comments were a CoC violation; the nature and severity of the
> > violation; and the appropriate response.
> > However, I think a basic requirement is that CoC complaints are:
> > - dealt with promptly;
> > - without fear of favour;
> > - and that the outcome is communicated to the complainants.
> > It seems to me that, unfortunately, we have failed in those respects.
> > During my informal conversations with various people it was evident
> > that this issue was seen as a political hot potato, and that it wasn't
> > clear to everyone who had ultimate responsibility for making a
> > decision.
> > It seems to me that we have failed to act (or to do so promptly, at
> > least) essentially because of the identity and status of the alleged
> > violator. This is not acceptable.
> > I can see that it's a difficult situation for the teams responsible,
> > and I'm sorry for putting those people on the spot. And I regret the
> > need to follow this up. But a Code of Conduct is only any use if it
> > is enforced, and it is only fair if it is enforced equally on
> > everyone.
> Given Ian decided to make his complaint public to -private@, let's make
> the way it was handled public as well. All times in PDT.
> Friday, 22:06 - Ian mails email@example.com.
> Saturday, 08:45 - Patty Langasek forwarded his complaint to me.
> Saturday, 09:20 - I reply, and add the Debian press team to the mail
> Here is my reply:
> Hi Patty,
> I'm adding the press team to Cc, as they are likely to have good insight
> about how to deal with the unavoidable publicity that any action would
> likely have.
> In terms of actions, we need to be careful here. I highly value the fact
> that we are able to invite people with whom we disagree with, because
> hearing such differences of opinions are also a way to better understand
> where we stand. Being a large community, there's the risk that Debian
> kind-of isolates from the rest of the world and self-entertain its
> positions without being challenged.
> At DC13, we invited Lennart Poettering to talk about systemd, and even
> if this went well, there was a possibility that it wouldn't have gone
> this way. I wouldn't want us to set a rule that such people are not
> welcome at DebConf due to the potential of CoC violations.
> I'm not convinced that we should issue a public statement due to the
> potential for Streisand effect, but if we do so, it could be along the
> lines of (sorry, the wording is clearly suboptimal, I need coffee!):
> - DebConf is a conference where we welcome talks from respectable members
> of the Free Software community, even if the opinions of those speakers
> do not match Debian's core values.
> - However, the Debian project aims at preserving an environment where
> disagreement can be expressed in a respectable way. As Ian Jackson
> puts it: "<insert what Ian said yesterday>"
> - In that regard, Linus was totally out of the line yesterday.
> - In the future, we will make ensure that our CoC and our expectations
> in that regard are better communicated to people invited to speak at
> (Note: I did not imply to suggest to write "Linus was totally out of the
> yesterday" in a press release, but to polish the idea into something that
> go in a press release).
> On Saturday, 11:32 a press team member replied and agreed with me that a
> statement would not be productive.
> For me, that closed the discussion on this issue. Also, I saw that Ian had
> discussion with members of the DebConf team near frontdesk later that day,
> so I wrongly assumed that the outcome of the discussion was communicated
> to him
> at this point.
> It seems to me that we were able to handle this promptly. However a number
> mistakes were made in the process:
> - We did not communicate the outcome to Ian. As Tollef pointed out,
> that's not something we said we would do, but it's probably something
> that we should have done in that case.
> - We failed to stress the importance of the CoC to Linus. I'd like to
> point out
> that Debian used to be perceived as a community where flamewars and harsh
> language are common. The cultural switch that happened inside the project
> might not have transpired much outside yet, and it's very well possible
> Linus was not aware of it.
> - Given Steve's and Ana's description, it seems that the chain of events
> led to this Q&A session was suffering from our usual DebConf-related
> decision-making problems. (the "DebConf organization" sessions at DebConf
> sound like a very promising path to fixing this for the future).
> After reading all comments in that thread, I am still of the opinion that
> disadvantages of a public statement from the Debian project would outweight
> its advantages.