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From Noah Slater <nsla...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Encouraging Diversity - Update 6
Date Wed, 16 Nov 2016 00:46:08 GMT
You misunderstand. This isn't about replacing one type of assumption about
your intentions with another type. Instead, it's about holding people
accountable for their actions (and the effects of those actions)
irrespective of their intentions.

As has been mentioned on this thread already, not many people explicitly
set out to send a harmful email. And yet many harmful emails are probably
sent to our lists daily.

It's not good enough to say "they mean well" if everyone means well.
Because it doesn't actually move us any closer to having a friendly, safe,
and welcoming community.

You sent me a private email saying, effectively: "Suppose you are right
about what you claim to have experienced, I have yet to see the evidence.
Please dig up that evidence and show it to me to convince me you're not
just a cry-baby."

Maybe you don't understand how upsetting this sort of email is to receive.
It certainly doesn't engender any confidence that you would take me
seriously and not challenge me point by point, if I were to go to that
herculean effort of documenting all the things that contributed to my
emotional burnt out over the years.

Emotional burnt out, by the way, at the hands of people who, for the most
part, I am sure "meant well", but who harmed me and others anyway. (A lot
of this happened on project specific lists, though, as I'm sure some
members on this list are guessing, there were a few
breaking-the-camel's-back type threads last year on the foundation lists.)

When we harm someone (for our purposes, let's assume unintentionally) the
person we harmed is usually not in the best place to do the emotional
labour necessary to explain why they are upset, or what was done wrong.

This is where we find utility in shared community standards, clearly
documented in things like a code of conduct.

These are not tools to bash people around head with. They are learning
resources. If there was a page somewhere that said "when someone is
reporting having had a bad experience, try to listen, believe, and support
them" (and so on) I could say "hey, I think what you did is in violation of
this principal". And then maybe other people with more energy than me, who
are less emotionally invested in what just happened, can talk to you about
it.

On Wed, 16 Nov 2016 at 01:24 Niclas Hedhman <niclas@hedhman.org> wrote:

> Mark and Sam,
> Thanks for providing some concrete material and context.
>
> In both (terrible) cases, what can possibly change within ASF that this
> won't happen in the future? We can't control what individuals will do.
> Given a large enough population, you will always find unacceptable and
> criminal behavior.
> And somehow, I don't think that is what Sharan, Noah and others are
> targeting either, since this very thread is now said to be an example. Is
> it having an opposing view that is the problem? (Seriously, I don't get
> it...)
>
> And FTR, yes, I am obviously incredulous and ignorant enough to not see how
> any mechanism in the ASF setup causes or encourages bad behavior from
> individuals.
>
> Shane asked me to not stand in the way[1] of people who wants to improve
> diversity, but I am concerned about that _enforcement_ of a Code of Conduct
> will be overused. Yes, I realize that is also without usecases, but Noah
> stated that I am (by asking for some examples) an example of not "feeling
> safe" and I imply from that this _enforcement_ could (maybe should) be
> struck down on me over this very thread, rather than educate me of what is
> so "thoroughly horrible". The "assume the best intentions" attitude seems
> to be slowly replaced by a "assume the worst intentions", and I think that
> too is worrisome, especially with an "enforcement", rather than
> "education", "promotion" and "leading by example" language in Sharan's
> proposal.
>
>
> Cheers
> Niclas
>
> [1] A really terrible argument, since you (Shane) would not have that
> attitude for a proposal to allow for GPL'd projects in the ASF. "Don't
> stand in the way for people who wants to improve licensing diversity...
> enforce the right to release under multiple licenses...".
>
> On Wed, Nov 16, 2016 at 4:32 AM, Mark Thomas <markt@apache.org> wrote:
>
> > 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
> > concerns.
> >
> > 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.
> >
> > Mark
> >
> >
> > >
> > > On Tue, 15 Nov 2016 at 16:58 Patricia Shanahan <pats@acm.org> 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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> > >>
> > >>
> > >
> >
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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> >
> >
>
>
> --
> Niclas Hedhman, Software Developer
> http://zest.apache.org - New Energy for Java
>

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