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Re: Code of Conduct complaint about Linus's comments at DC14

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.
> Hi,
> 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 antiharassment@d.o.
> Saturday, 08:45 - Patty Langasek forwarded his complaint to me.
> Saturday, 09:20 - I reply, and add the Debian press team to the mail
> thread.
> Here is my reply:
> -------------------------------------------------->8
> 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
>   DebConf.
> Lucas
> -------------------------------------------------->8
> (Note: I did not imply to suggest to write "Linus was totally out of the
> line
> yesterday" in a press release, but to polish the idea into something that
> could
> go in a press release).
> On Saturday, 11:32 a press team member replied and agreed with me that a
> public
> statement would not be productive.
> For me, that closed the discussion on this issue. Also, I saw that Ian had
> a
> 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
> of
> 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
> that
>   Linus was not aware of it.
> - Given Steve's and Ana's description, it seems that the chain of events
> that
>   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
> the
> disadvantages of a public statement from the Debian project would outweight
> its advantages.
> Lucas

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