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

Jean-Guilhem Cailton jgc at arkemie.org
Sun Dec 3 10:38:01 UTC 2017

Le 03/12/2017 à 03:54, Blake Girardot a écrit :
> On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 2:12 AM, Jean-Guilhem Cailton <jgc at arkemie.org> wrote:
>> In HOT's CoC Nico would make a complaint and the folks who are part of
>> the community committee that have agreed to review CoC complaints, 7
>> people who are hot voting members who volunteered to review coc
>> complaints, would read his complaint and decide if what he was
>> complaining about violated the HOT CoC or not.
>> You could also have explained that this committee includes:
>> Heather Leson
>> Blake Girardot
>> Joseph Reeves
>> Mikel Maron
>> John Crowley
> Hi JGC,
> Except the above is a mistaken statement.

Sorry about that. I was tired indeed.

> You are confusing the group of people who review code of conduct
> complaints, people from the HOT voting members who have volunteered to
> be in the group of folks who review complaints and the Governance
> Working Group that drafted and submitted the CoC to the HOT membership
> and Board.
> The above list are some of the Governance Working Group members that
> helped draft the CoC (I am on the WG but had no involvement in
> drafting the CoC except to motivate the WG to re-write our previous
> CoC, I drafted the complaint procedures and the WG modified them and
> the membership adopted them by vote.)
> It should also be noted that the Governance WG is open to anyone in
> the HOT community, just like the OSMF working groups are. Nico was on
> the HOT Governance WG as recently as last year, but stopped attending
> meetings.
> There is, as far as I know, no current group of volunteers to review
> CoC complaints at HOT at the moment as there has been no need, but
> someone can please correct me if I am wrong, since leaving the board I
> do not read the meeting minutes often enough :)

So Blake you can understand that i have now even less interest than you
in the details of the inner workings of HOT US Inc. (It is not even my

And that seeing that the majority of the people who had been involved in
the CoC process were people by whom i had been seriously abused and
harassed (along with others – both abused and abusers), repeatedly and
over a long time stretch, it would be quite difficult for me to have any
trust in the result, anyway.

I hope i can find enough time and energy today to write about that and
inform the members of OSMF about some of the facts that happened.

OSMF Members, if you want to be in a position to make an informed vote,
please, for OpenStreetMap’s sake, also take the time to read and
understand at least Séverin’s insider account of HOT US Inc. governance
history. This will give you an idea of the bleak future that awaits OSM
if Heather Leson is elected.

And also of the bleak future that looms for horizontal volunteer-driven
commons-based projects, among whom OpenStreetMap is often quoted as a
flagship model. Your responsibility as Voters is even larger than you
might have thought. So please do your homework and get well informed.
Specially if you intended to vote for the controversial candidate, that is.

Also please do not be distracted by the made-up “scandal about tone”,
and do not forget the conclusion of Séverin’s first email. Think about
the huge economic and social value that OSM represents. What would be
surprising would be if the first superpower didn’t try to control that
part of cyberspace, as it does successfully with other parts. And it
should also be expected that some amount of subtlety and of
communication skills be involved in the process…

Finally even if you don’t mind US soft power taking control over OSM –
maybe because you are a US citizen, or maybe because you love US series
or films, or for whatever reason –, please realize that what is at stake
here – as you can see if you read and really understand the statements
on this list – is the horizontal nature of OSM, and the freedom of OSM
mappers. To give you an small idea of the threat, emergency mapping
projects during the response to major disasters (that were of interest
to some of the responders in the field) have been blocked without
discussion when they didn’t align with the interests of the small group
of connected people in control of HOT (via HOT US Inc.)…

Basically, to put a name on the apparently invisible elephant in the
middle of the room, it is a group of people who are paid to control the
free labor of OSM (and HOT) mappers. They deny that there could be any
ethical question involved with this. And they actively prevent raising
the issue. In case you think that that might be ok, in theory, IF (and
that is a really BIG IF) high ethical standards were met (in reality,
and not only by waving nice words on a web page), you need to become
aware that that has NOT been the case in practice, at least in the more
than seven years for which I have been involved in OSM. (Since the Haiti
earthquake in January 2010, that has been a founding landmark for the
“humanitarian branch” of OSM). So its is absolutely unlikely to happen
now, especially with the same group of people involved.

And in case you might be wondering why I quote Transparency
International in my signature, it is because the behavior of some of the
persons involved matches their definition of corruption…

Best wishes,


“Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.”
Transparency International
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