On Thu, Sep 04, 2014 at 01:49:12PM +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> I felt the CoC had been violated and made a complaint. I hope you are
> not saying that you feel that that was `abuse' of the process on my
> part, even if you disagree with my opinion.
My apologies for giving you that impression. As I had said earlier,
in my opinion the question of whether the complainant was acting in
good faith isn't relevant to the concern that I had, because if they
feel deeply offended, of course they will feel that someone should be
banned for life.
I will note that others felt the same way as you, while others felt
clearly that it was not an CoC violation. We could say that this was
a situation that "was" close, except that there were a number of
people, even excluding you and I, that felt that it was obviously a
CoC violation, and others that it was obviously *not* a CoC violation.
There was a very strong diversity of opinion, and if it happens that a
random set of people on some team gets to decide what clearly had a
strong diversity of opinions, with a resulting potentially very severe
penalty, then maybe the CoC is unfortunately vague.
The argument that these sorts of situations never happen in practice
are belied by this mail thread, and the multiple calls for a lifetime
ban, which came from more than just one person.
And if it's a case of safety of attendees, it may very well be that
it's fine to err on one side or the other. But that's not the
situation in this case; it's more about the opinion of one person's
about the morality and ethics of a particular organization.
And so if it means that people should not ever have a discussion
about, say, the Israel/Palestine question at Debconf, even in the bar,
because inevitably there will be some people who will feel offended
one way or another (and if you are completely balanced, both sides
will claim that you have said something derogatory about them),
then the CoC should say so --- explicitly. Now, though discussions of
this sort are not required for a DebConf's purpose, I would personally
feel that having a bright line over a CoC violation is not worth
having this kind of effective gag lest someone be potentially
offended. But that's also a position which people of good will can
and will (and have!) reasonably disagree.
So if it's Debian's position that they don't want to have any possible
controversial discussion that might possibly lead to an uncomfortable
situation, that's fine. I'm observing that it would be a good idea to
say so _explicitly_. And if not, then maybe the CoC should be
clarified in the other direction.
Otherwise, the claim that certain FSF and GPLv3 supporters are so
intolerant that they can't allow making the argument about why they
might not support the FSF at a Debian event because it would result in
an unfriendly atmosphere, would, if carried out, have
self-demonstrated the claim of bigotry, and thus said a lot more about
Debian than it would have ever said about Linus Torvalds.
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