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From Mark Thomas <>
Subject Re: Encouraging Diversity - Update 6
Date Tue, 15 Nov 2016 20:32:47 GMT
On 15/11/2016 17:28, Noah Slater wrote:
> What are you looking for, exactly? I'm not sure what a "use-case" is in
> this context.
> We have a concrete example of what not to do in this very thread already. I
> was contacted off-list by Niclas making it clear he expected me to provide
> proof that would "convince" him that I wasn't trying to "breed" a "a
> cry-baby and victimhood culture".
> Is this really the sort of thing we want to tolerate when a member of
> community mentions that they've had bad experiences before. Is this sort of
> thing the "inclusivity" and "welcoming-ness" we aim for?
> As it happens, I wasn't bringing up my bad experiences to make any concrete
> point about what we should or should not do re policy, only to refute
> Niclas's nonsense idea that "safety" is not a word we should be using.

I received a similar off-list e-mail and while the impression I got was
of a general tone of incredulity, I'm prepared to give Niclas the
benefit of the doubt and assume it was a poorly worded email and he is
trying to better understand something he has never experienced.

To summarise what happened in my case:

- A list member launched an islamophobic attack on another list member
that was way, way over the line (no need to look for it in the archives,
it was removed within minutes).

- I responded saying such behaviour was completely unacceptable and that
I was removing that person from the mailing list.

- I then received a series of e-mails over about 24 hours (it might have
been less - it was a while ago) that threatened me and my family.

- Because I am involved in infra, I was able to to remove the original
email from the archives and ensure that the person making the threats
was not subscribed to any other ASF lists.

- I took the threats seriously enough that I considered cancelling my
trip to an upcoming ApacheCon.

- I contacted the ASF President who advised I contact local law
enforcement and who contacted the ASF lawyers for advice.

- I reported the threats to local law enforcement and also my employer
(for various reasons including that I might need to cancel the trip they
had already paid for).

- Local law enforcement responded that - due to the cross-border nature
of the threats and the unknown identity of the person threatening me -
they weren't going to do anything. In short, they'd need to jump through
lots of legal hoops to make progress and the threshold for doing so was
somewhere around the level of terrorism and the threats to me and my
family fell short of that. I wasn't particularly surprised at this.

- I did some digging of my own and while I couldn't track down an ID, I
had enough of an idea about location that I concluded that the
likelihood of the person turning up at ApacheCon was very low so I went
ahead with my trip. I did however, take care to ensure I was with a
group of people as much as possible.

Generally, I felt it was handled well by the ASF. It helped that I could
do most things that required concrete action myself because of my
involvement with infra.

In terms of where there is scope for improvement, I think we need to
make list moderators more aware of the CoC and their options when there
are posts that go against the CoC. I also think we need to make our
communities in general more aware of the CoC and what to do if they have

Whether we need to formally document how to respond when people report
CoC issues is TBD. They are rare enough (I'm one of the PoCs and I
haven't received a report yet) that I don't have enough data to
determine if there is sufficient commonality for any sort of documented
process or whether each needs a custom approach. Someone like Ross who
has dealt with more of these is probably in a better position to comment.


> On Tue, 15 Nov 2016 at 16:58 Patricia Shanahan <> wrote:
>> On 11/15/2016 6:48 AM, Noah Slater wrote:
>> ...
>>> You want some sort of "record" to consume. Is a person, on a mailing
>> list,
>>> saying "hey this place was so bad for me I had to take a break" not
>>> evidence enough for you that something might be wrong?
>>> As for the rest of it, this org keeps records of every email sent to the
>>> lists. It would not be hard for you to go looking for context if you
>> wanted
>>> it.
>>> Asking me to go over all that stuff again (which I find upsetting to even
>>> think about) days after returning here hoping things would be nicer for
>> me,
>>> is, well, ... it's not particularly considerate.
>> ...
>> I don't think asking you to go over something you found upsetting is
>> necessary. On the other hand, I have started looking at the mail
>> archives for your 2015 participation, and I don't think I have found the
>> right context, or if I have I am not recognizing it.
>> Could you perhaps save some time by giving a pointer in terms of e.g. a
>> mailing list and topic?
>> Or, if you prefer we not discuss your particular situation, could you
>> give a pointer to any use-case, in terms of mailing list and topic?
>> This very discussion is an illustration of why "feeling" based standards
>> are a problem. Some people are not comfortable setting policies without
>> solid use-cases they can discuss and analyze. Others may not be
>> comfortable with discussion and analysis of those use-cases. How does
>> one accommodate both sets of feelings?
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