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

On 9 September 2014 17:49, Steve Langasek <vorlon@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> On Tue, Sep 09, 2014 at 05:37:39PM -0700, Anthony Towns wrote:
>> > He also occasionally acts really nastily towards other people.
>> In this thread, you've described Linus's behaviour/actions/comments as
>> "really nasty" (above), "poisonous", "destructive",  "disappointing",
>> "unhealthy", "aggressive[ly] contempt[uous]", "aggressively nasty",
>> "hostile", "destructive to the community", "unacceptable treatment of
>> human beings", and "globally unacceptable anywhere".
>> At some point, doesn't that fall afoul of Debian's code of conduct?
>> "In a project the size of Debian, inevitably there will be people with
>> whom you may disagree, or find it difficult to cooperate. Accept that,
>> but even so, remain respectful. Disagreement is no excuse for poor
>> behaviour or personal attacks".
> I'm not sure if you're being facetious; condemning someone's
> behavior/actions/comments is categorically *not* a personal attack (because
> it is a criticism of the behavior and not of the person).

I'd view "you behave like a moron" as just as much a personal attack
as "you are a moron". Attacking someone's deeply held beliefs, even if
they're just about propriety, is a great way of attacking the person.

Personally, I'd say the question is more "is the question relevant and
important to the discussion?" and "is there a more polite way of
saying it, or has it already been said enough?" My inclination is that
it is relevant/important, and any circumlocutions wouldn't have
improved things much, but there's not any value to continuing to
describe Linus's behaviour that aggressively in this thread.

Heatedly criticising behaviour rather than the person is a step
towards being more polite; but it's only a step. Doing it on an
ongoing basis undoes that though, in my opinion. (Okay, so maybe I
don't view "you behave like a moron" *quite* as much as a personal
attack as "you are a moron") Same deal as the difference between
"having a bad day" and being a "persistent offender".

If it's okay to attack people as long as you phrase your insults as
being about their comments or behaviour, rather than them personally,
I'd expect anyone interested in trolling Debian to work those rules
out fairly quickly.

> If you are
> raising this as a serious question, then I have grave concerns about the
> viability of our Code of Conduct.

Huh? That's non-sensical. Even if it were clearly and obviously
something the CoC answered, it'd still be legitimate to raise it as a
serious question.

> This may no longer be a productive and informative discussion, but
> legislating social best practice doesn't improve signal-to-noise either.

I find it a bit bizarre to try to distinguish between "enforcing a
code of conduct" and "legislating social best practices", but I assume
you're not saying enforcing a code of conduct doesn't improve


Anthony Towns <aj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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