[Osmf-talk] May 2017 use of Code Of Conduct (CoC) for Membership control in HOT US Inc internal governance

Dale Kunce dale.kunce at gmail.com
Fri Dec 1 22:00:11 UTC 2017


Michelle,
Both great points.
I have no problem with convincing the community to move in another
direction if done in a civil way. Unfortunately, Nico did harass members
after several private and written warnings. The fact that he has
continually brought the issue here shows how much he does not respect HOT
and civility. As Mikel said earlier the HOT community welcomes all internal
conversations and debates. We have elections and a board to help settle
these issues. What we do not welcome are lies, name calling, and
non-positive communication.

I agree that simply asking rude members to go away is not good for the
community. We struggled for years with the issue, finding the right amount
of debate and conversation. Trust me when I say that we've heard these
issues out before. We had many votes and board elections. All of which
illustrated Nico's, ability to lie, disregard facts, and be hurtful to
other members of the community. The membership and the board chose to go in
a direction that Nico disagrees with that he will never agree with. Our
membership is now much more civil and the tone of our conversations is
positive. We do not continually chase him around OSM forums to disparage
his name as he has done to Heather and other HOT members here, even though
I would have facts on my side. We are trying to move on.

I'm not a frequent poster to this email list or any list for that matter.
But the time has come for enough to be enough and call out the bully for
who and what he is.

On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 1:34 PM, Michelle Steigerwalt <msteigerwalt at gmail.com
> wrote:

> > Not because HOT has some anti-democratic bent but because you [...]
> sought to split the HOT community.
>
> What's the difference between splitting the community and convincing
> segments of the community to move in a new direction?
>
> Codes of Conduct are great, but they should be limited to preventing
> harassment against members, and perhaps encouraging (but not enforcing) a
> particular style of communication through some well-written guidelines that
> can be cited during heated discussions.
>
> They definitely shouldn't be used to suppress passionate debates and
> member-driven movements in the name of community cohesion.
>
> If "rude" members are expressing themselves in an angry manner, it's
> critical to understand why they're so angry, and to make changes to
> alleviate these concerns.  Voting the angry members off the island doesn't
> solve the root problem.
>
> -- Michelle
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 4:16 PM, Dale Kunce <dale.kunce at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Nico,
>> I'm responding here but please consider this a response to all of your
>> posts on multiple threads.
>>
>> You and Sev bullied the HOT community for years, now subjecting others to
>> the same bullying all to try and settle old scores. It needs to stop. The
>> HOT community suffered from these types of posts and false accusations for
>> years and collectively decided you are wrong. Your vitriol and constant
>> accusations are devoid of fact, were and are detrimental to the positive
>> community we are focused on modeling and building. Yes, you've been subject
>> to Code of Conduct violations in the past, with reason. Not because HOT has
>> some anti-democratic bent but because you were rude, lied, violated
>> confidentially and conflict of interest policies, and sought to split the
>> HOT community.
>>
>> Sev continually violated his legal obligations as a HOT Board. No one
>> incident lead to his removal but a pattern of repeated violations of his
>> legal obligations as a board member, which put HOT in legal risk. I won't
>> go into detail because I'm under legal obligation not to as a member of
>> that board. I was on the board and voted to for his removal, it was one of
>> the hardest things I've had to do in HOT. Following our bylaws, we asked
>> the membership to vote for his dismissal. The reasons presented to the
>> membership at that time was sufficient that a 2/3 majority voted to remove
>> him.
>>
>> HOT is a better place now that these types of things don't happen. They
>> don't happen anymore because we enforce our Code of Conduct. Creating a
>> safe place and kicking out the bullies is hard work. It took HOT years to
>> recognize the cause of our internal animosity and to work on ways to build
>> a more inclusive collaborative community. We did this through the creation
>> of Community and Governance Working Groups (open to all members). We
>> developed mechanisms, approved by the membership, to help make our
>> conversations more productive. This is the HOT Code of Conduct
>> <https://www.hotosm.org/hot_code_of_conduct>. Nothing here is offensive,
>> nothing here should cause you to not discuss an issue, or speak your mind.
>> There are positive ways to talk with and respect one another and still have
>> disagreements. You've shown repeatedly that you cannot, thus the code of
>> conduct violations.
>>
>> I'm sad to see that the old wounds, slights, and arguments from HOTs past
>> continue to be resurrected every year by the same few. I wish and hope that
>> we could focus on the future of OSM instead of continually looking backward
>> at the same arguments from the same people.
>>
>> Dale
>>
>> On Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 11:36 AM, nicolas chavent <
>> nicolas.chavent at gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Dear all,
>>>
>>>
>>> I expressed a *principled position* about why it's important to balance
>>> the representation of the "Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team US Inc" (aka
>>> HOT US Inc) at the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board (OSMF) Board to
>>> favour the diversity of OpenStreetMap perspectives in this
>>> institutional body [1].
>>>
>>> Rightly, Code Of Conduct (CoC) has been one topics discussed since the
>>> beginning of the OSMF election [2] and Heather Leson featured in his
>>> manifesto [3] her work at the HOT US Inc Governance Working Group to
>>> deliver a CoC and how CoC would be fundamental for OSMF succeeding in
>>> achieving its mandate.
>>>
>>> How Heather Leson triggered in HOT US Inc the use of CoC after the 2015
>>> OSMF Board elections against only two (myself and Severin Menard) of
>>> many “hotties” with a double affiliation at the OSMF who took part in
>>> the electoral discussions of the Foundation showed how a CoC can be
>>> used for membership control and constitutes a *specific reason *for
>>> balancing the presence of HOT US Inc reps at the OSMF Board. [4].
>>>
>>>
>>> In May 2017, the HOT US Inc Board used again CoC to prevent a
>>> discussion about Conflict Of Interest (CoI) and the solution to replace
>>> a Board Member who had to resign in order to comply with the CoI polity
>>> of its organization. That’s another CoC case and another *specific
>>> reason *for balancing the presence of HOT US Inc reps at the OSMF Board.
>>>
>>> After April 2017 HOT US Inc Board election [5], in May 2017 Jorieke
>>> Vyckle decided to step down from the Board of HOT US Inc. She joined
>>> Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) as TheMissingMap project coordinator.
>>> And with Pete Masters (MSF) staff there were 2 MSF staffs at the HOT US
>>> Inc Board. MSF CoI policy is strict and does not allow more than 1 MSF
>>> Employee at the Board of a partnering organization.
>>>
>>> The Board via Mikel Maron, Chair of Voting Members (or Chairman),
>>> communicated to the members that the Board had decided to call for a
>>> General Assembly and appoint as Board Officer the first non elected
>>> candidate of April 2017.
>>>
>>> In the past similar situations developed in HOT US Inc (due to
>>> compliance of Boad Officers with CoI of their organizations World Bank,
>>> White House, MSF). Never the solution decided at Board level had been
>>> implemented. Either an election was run (Feb 2013 [6], June 2015 [7])
>>>
>>> When I was at the Board with Pierre Beland, the World Bank CoI forced a
>>> Board Member to step down, and Mikel sought already to enforce the
>>> appointment of Heather Leson as first non-elected candidate of the 2012
>>> Election. The rationale for this was to "save time" shall this result into
>>> a gray democratic legitimacy for someone who had then NO experience in
>>> OSM and HOT. Pierre and I opposed Mikel and organized an election
>>> process which brought Heather Leson to the Board.
>>>
>>> I therefore emailed the membership on two points :
>>>
>>> * Call for discussions on how to best replace the resigning member and
>>> stick to best past practises so that the membership gave full legitimacy to
>>> the new Board officer.
>>>
>>> * Call for discussions on CoI in HOT US Inc and making clear that we
>>> were loosing our autonomy as an Org with respect to the
>>> partner-organization represented at our Board.
>>> I used the same contents and tone that I used in my 2015 HOT US Inc run
>>> up for the Board as well as one post on the public hot-mailing list [8] on
>>> this matter since they had been found acceptable like all election
>>> communications of this election by Russel Deffner the Chair of Voting
>>> Members.
>>>
>>>
>>> The result has been two fold :
>>>
>>> 1.  Mikel Maron as Chairman warned the members to contribute to the
>>> discussions that I initiated on the internal hot membership list that
>>> depending on their writing and contents they would be subject to CoC
>>>
>>> Discussions about alternatives to the Board decision were stopped with
>>> CoC complaints procedures stressed out by the Chair of Voting members ;
>>> email reads as below:
>>>
>>> * ---------- Forwarded message ----------*
>>>
>>> * From: <mikel.maron at hotosm.org>*
>>>
>>> * Date: Sat, May 13, 2017 at 2:02 AM*
>>>
>>> * Subject: Re: [hotosm-membership] Changes on the Board*
>>>
>>> * To: Membership <membership at hotosm.org>*
>>>
>>> * Members*
>>>
>>> * Allow me to clarify after the previous message. HOT maintains a strong
>>> Conflict of Interest policy that requires disclosure and recusal from any
>>> decision making that may impact a material interest of a Board member. This
>>> policy has served HOT well. Other organizations have different requirements
>>> in handling Conflict of Interest. In the case of Jorieke, she is following
>>> MSF requirements, and we are sad to see her go but understanding.*
>>>
>>> * The Board is recommending a Special Meeting where the membership will
>>> vote to fill the vacancy left by Jorieke with Slayer. We have only last
>>> month completed an election process. Slayer was the only additional member
>>> to run for the Board. Considering this, the sensible decision of the Board
>>> is to ask the membership to vote on Slayer at an upcoming Special Meeting.
>>> If a majority of those present at the meeting vote for Slayer, he will be
>>> elected. This is in accordance with the Bylaws governing HOT.*
>>>
>>> * If you have any other questions on Conflict of Interest or the
>>> upcoming election, please contact me directly at this point, and I will
>>> answer any questions. Please also keep in mind our Code of Conduct in any
>>> further posts on this mailing list.*
>>>
>>> * -Mikel*
>>>
>>>
>>> 2. I was notified about the initiation of CoC complaint procedure which
>>> read as follow
>>>
>>> Apparently the topics and contents of discussions carried out on the
>>> internal HOT US Inc membership list which were deemed compliant with CoC
>>> requirements in 2015 HOT US Inc Election by our Chairman Russell Deffner,
>>> is no longer compliant with CoC requirements in 2017 by his replacement
>>> Mikel Maron.
>>>
>>> That’s indicative of a significant shrinking of Freedom Of Speech within
>>> HOT US Inc which singles itself out from other OSM organizations and
>>> OSMF to start with
>>>
>>> *---------- Forwarded message ----------*
>>>
>>> * From: Mikel Maron <mikel.maron at hotosm.org>*
>>>
>>> * Date: Sun, May 14, 2017 at 4:13 PM*
>>>
>>> * Subject: Moderation*
>>>
>>> * To: Nicolas Chavent <nicolas.chavent at gmail.com <http://gmail.com>>*
>>>
>>> * Cc: HOT Board <board at hotosm.org>*
>>>
>>> * Nicolas*
>>>
>>> * Code of Conduct complaint procedures have been initiated following
>>> your post to the HOT membership mailing list. You will be hearing
>>> additional information as the process takes the next steps. No actions or
>>> communications are required from you at the moment.*
>>>
>>> * During the process, your messages to the membership mailing list will
>>> be moderated. Messages from you on different topics than the current
>>> complaint, and that meet the standard for good communication, may be
>>> approved. The complaint procedures may take into account any subsequent
>>> communications by you, whether direct, attempted public posts, or public
>>> posts.*
>>>
>>> * Sincerely*
>>>
>>> * Chair of Voting Members*
>>>
>>>
>>> So far, I did not hear back from my Chair of Voting Members nor my
>>> Board, which suggests:
>>>
>>> - A basic lack of respect for the person: “moderation” or limitation of
>>> Freedom of Speeches is not a trivial thing
>>>
>>> - A complete lack of the Right of the Defendant in this process
>>>
>>> - HOT US Inc CoC freshly released package and its enforcement has its
>>> flaws.
>>>
>>>
>>> Overall for the OSMF 2017 this episode stresses that:
>>>
>>> - CoC has to be approached carefully shall we do not want them to be
>>> part of membership/community control mechanisms
>>>
>>> - The way that CoC has been used in HOT US Inc in 2015 and 2017 to
>>> sanction, exclude, silent members and prevent discussions to happen on
>>> given topics (CoI, governance…) is indicative of a specific
>>> organizational democratic culture which singled it out. This culture
>>> contradicts the principles of internal democracy (right to information,
>>> freedom of speech, right of the defendants…) which form the basis of any
>>> real active and informed membership based organizations that OpenSource,
>>> OpenData and OpenStreetMap organizations are putting rightfully
>>> upfront.
>>>
>>> *Hence why there are both principled and specific reasons to balance HOT
>>> US Inc influence at the OSMF, favor diversity and mitigate the risks that
>>> go with this HOT US Inc organizational culture*
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> Best,
>>>
>>> Nicolas
>>>
>>>
>>> [1]: https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Nicolas%20Chavent/diary/42842
>>>
>>> [2]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2017-Nov
>>> ember/thread.html
>>>
>>> [3]: http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Heather%20Leson/diary/42706
>>>
>>> [4]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2017-Dec
>>> ember/004576.html
>>>
>>> [5]: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/Boa
>>> rd_Elections_2017#Board_Election_Results
>>>
>>> [6]: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/Boa
>>> rd_Elections_2013_02#Nominations_to_replace_the_vacant_Board_Seat
>>>
>>> [7]: http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/Boa
>>> rd_Elections_June_2015
>>>
>>> [8]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/hot/2015-March/007650.html
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Nicolas Chavent
>>> Les Libres Géographes
>>> Projet OpenStreetMap (OSM)
>>> Projet Espace OSM Francophone (EOF)
>>> Projet GeOrchestra
>>> Mobile (FR): +33 (0)6 52 40 78 20 <+33%206%2052%2040%2078%2020>
>>> Mobile (Bénin): +22962 55 85 91 <+229%2062%2055%2085%2091>
>>> Email: nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
>>> Skype: c_nicolas
>>> Twitter: nicolas_chavent
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> osmf-talk mailing list
>>> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
>>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> sent from my mobile device
>>
>> Dale Kunce
>> http://normalhabit.com
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> osmf-talk mailing list
>> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
>> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk
>>
>>
>


-- 
sent from my mobile device

Dale Kunce
http://normalhabit.com
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