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

Hear, hear.

On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 5:30 PM, Anthony Towns <aj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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.
> Cheers,
> aj
> 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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