[Osmf-talk] Moderator statement: please read before posting

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Sun Nov 2 18:29:29 UTC 2014


On 11/02/2014 03:51 PM, Michael Collinson wrote:
> I would also like to highlight to everyone that over the last two weeks,
> I have got a number of automated osmf-talk unsubscription notices.

Which might also relate to the sheer volume of messages and not the
tone; as you know, everyone is signed up automatically when joining OSMF
and therefore it's quite possible that people would unsubscribe in the
same fashion if message after message was praising the eternal sunshine
in OSMF.

I appreciate your more nuanced message to the talk list which makes it
clear that bullshit may very well be discussed if bullshit happens
(instead of pretending it didn't happen).

It may occasionally be a very thin line to separate facts from personal

For example, most readers on this list know that I am quick to lose
temper in the face of what I believe to be bullshit.

I am standing in the upcoming board election.

It would be quite valid for someone to think: "I think that someone with
Fred's temper is unsuitable for a position on the board, and I'd rather
have someone who is less inclined to make as much noise."

Personally, I find it important that someone who is of this opinion is
able to share it with other OSMF members, by publicly saying something
like: "I'd like to call on my fellow members to think twice about voting
for Fred because he has a temper."

It would then be my choice to defend myself by claiming that i don't
really have more of a temper than the other candidates, or by claiming
that having a temper doesn't actually inhibit you from doing useful work
on the board, or maybe not at all; and I wouldn't call this a personal
attack at all, while I'm quite sure that others would.

I would very much prefer such a honest situation over

(a) the other person writing posts full of innuendo that may or may not
be interpreted as saying "don't vote for Fred", such as: "In my opinion,
not posting to this mailing list at all can also be an advantage for an
aspiring board member" or so,


(b) the other person publishing direct or innuendo-type criticism on
their personal blog or twitter.

I appreciate your call for respect but we always have to make sure that
we have a forum where we can say what needs to be said.

And there's another thing that ties into this - I call it the "lurkers
support me in email" argument. You mention yourself that receiving a
positive off-list message is nice; and you mention that you have
received several off-list messages calling for moderation. Believe it or
not, in the past few days I have received a number of encouraging
messages from lurkers as well, but while it's nice to know there's
somebody out there sharing your ideas, at the same time I always find it
a bit sad that for some reason these people feel that they cannot
participate in the discussion for fear of being attacked themselves. In
the end you have a situation where two or three people battle it out on
the list, each with a mental "+10" supercharge from lurkers, and to the
outside it looks as if nobody but these three are interested at all.

It would be good if we managed to achieve a climate where even those who
now prefer to send encouragement or complaints behind the scenes, could
dare to do this openly. Without fear of being personally attacked, but
also without fear of being disciplined by a well-meaning moderation that
didn't find the prescribed two thirds of sunshine in their message.
Because sometimes there just isn't enough sunshine.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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