[Osmf-talk] Proposal - OSMF Should **NOT** Adopt a Code of Conduct

Kai Krueger kakrueger at gmail.com
Mon Dec 4 00:45:58 UTC 2017


Hi,


On 12/3/17 4:31 PM, Joseph Reeves wrote:
> Hi Stefan,
>
> Again, I said that I didn't think your email was in violation of a
> potential CoC, I said that it would potentially have a chilling effect. 
>
> In my opinion, the mistake you've made is to take a post about the
> atmosphere of a mailing list and to think that this is the sort of
> thing that would be subject to a CoC procedure.
Is this indeed common consensus? I.e. that statements in the CoC like
"be kind" or "be respectful" do not apply to arguments that "have a
chilling effect" and "make people uncomfortable" or "disengage from the
community"? If that is indeed consensus, I suspect that would alleviate
some of the fears by those who worry that a CoC could end up stiefeling
honest but (perhaps overly) passionate debates. But then how could we
codify that in the language of the CoC to ensure that indeed it can't be
used in these situations?

And if indeed the CoC isn't there to protect people who feel
uncomfortable within an aggressive intellectual argument, then what does
protect people from it and ensure that their voice is respected even if
they decide not to participate in a hugely long email thread?

Could perhaps having more community surveys be one solution? I.e. for
example on the topic of CoC. The argument pro and con can continue on
the mailing list for those who wish to continue and those who wish to
disengage can ignore the topic. At the same time OSMF creates a member
survey asking "Do you favour a CoC: Yes/No", who's results are only
recorded anonymously. So hopefully everyone feels safe to answer their
true believes and the membership's opinion is recorded more accurately
than by counting how many emails were sent.

Another solution, as has already been proposed, perhaps is to have
separate email lists. There is the osmf-announce list, which every osmf
member gets subscribed to and only contains actual announcements, and
the occasional information cross reference of "There is a discussion
about CoC on the osmf-talk, if you you want to participate or read up
about it, then subscribe to osmf-talk. If you feel uncomfortable with
the intensity of the argument, then here are the other options of
expressing your opinion or getting a condensed summary"
>
> The original question was "Some people feel frightened to participate
> in mailing lists?"
>
> And Emily answered "yes": Pressing someone to explain their feelings,
> whilst asking them for specifics that we'd apply a hypothetical CoC
> to, is not encouraging participation.
Imho, this is a little more complex. Obviously everyone is entitled to
their feelings and no, if they don't want to, they don't need to justify
them. However, if we want to find solutions and compromises to problems,
then yes, imho we do need to understand and probe the specifics. I.e.
understand what does and does not make one feel un/comfortable. If we
changed something, would that help or hurt? Are there ways of how to
help make you less frightened to participate? What are the down sides?
Are those downsides in the end acceptable to the community?

This is not necessarily a pleasant process, particularly to those who
were on the uncomfortable side to start with. But imho in the end, on a
policy debate level somewhat necessary and thus we shouldn't prevent
uncomfortable expressions of opinions.

Kai 

>
> Cheers, Joseph
>
>
>
> On 3 December 2017 at 23:11, Stefan Keller <sfkeller at gmail.com
> <mailto:sfkeller at gmail.com>> wrote:
>
>     Hi Joseph
>
>     > 2017-12-03 23:56 GMT+01:00 Joseph Reeves <iknowjoseph at gmail.com
>     <mailto:iknowjoseph at gmail.com>>:
>
>     Now I'm feeling stifled :-(!
>     But it's worth to observe how "mechanisms" of a CoC would be applied -
>     and how this conversation is being turned ad adsurdum!
>
>     :Stefan
>
>
>
>     2017-12-03 23:56 GMT+01:00 Joseph Reeves <iknowjoseph at gmail.com
>     <mailto:iknowjoseph at gmail.com>>:
>     > Hi Stefan,
>     >
>     > Arguably this email is an example of one that would stifle
>     someone's desire
>     > to speak freely. I'm not saying that I would consider it falling
>     foul of a
>     > CoC policy, but it's not a welcoming or inviting entry to further
>     > discussion.
>     >
>     > The argument goes that a CoC would have a chilling effect on
>     mailing list
>     > discussions, but to prevent this situation people are asked to
>     cite specific
>     > examples to defend their feelings; you can't create a chilling
>     effect to
>     > protect your own perceived communication rights. In short, if
>     somebody
>     > states how they feel, it's not OK to insist that they provide
>     specific
>     > evidence for this feeling. Doing so is potentially stifling
>     others and
>     > creates the chilling effect you are claiming to be working against.
>     >
>     > Look again at your email. Emily wrote:
>     >
>     >> but this space feels fraught with hostility and personal tensions
>     >> - some of which goes years back.
>     >
>     > In your response you asked for specific examples that Emily has
>     suffered:
>     >
>     >>Can you pls. point to a mailing list post where you experienced
>     >>hostility and personal tensions?
>     >
>     > Without doubt you will have seen hostility and personal tension
>     on the list
>     > over the last couple of weeks. It would be impossible not to see
>     that. But
>     > you've asked Emily for a specific instance relating to her. The
>     point is,
>     > the hostility and personal tension is discouraging to many
>     people, whether
>     > or not it was directed specifically, and personally, towards
>     themselves.
>     > Asking for someone to point out a specific instance that they
>     have suffered
>     > abuse is not OK, misses the point of Community Standards, and
>     only threatens
>     > to worsen the situation.
>     >
>     > Joseph
>     >
>     > On 3 December 2017 at 22:24, Stefan Keller <sfkeller at gmail.com
>     <mailto:sfkeller at gmail.com>> wrote:
>     >>
>     >> Hi Emily and Andrew
>     >>
>     >> 2017-12-03 23:06 GMT+01:00 Emily Eros <emily.eros at gmail.com
>     <mailto:emily.eros at gmail.com>>:
>     >> > but this space feels fraught with hostility and personal tensions
>     >> > - some of which goes years back.
>     >>
>     >> Thanks for sharing your feelings.
>     >>
>     >> Can you pls. point to a mailing list post where you experienced
>     >> hostility and personal tensions?
>     >> And if yes, I'd like to see if and why any CoC would have helped.
>     >>
>     >> 2017-12-03 22:27 GMT+01:00 Andrew Matheny
>     <andrewdmatheny at gmail.com <mailto:andrewdmatheny at gmail.com>>
>     >> wrote:
>     >> > What I think is happening today is that new users sign up
>     >> > for the mailing lists, they see what is sent back and forth,
>     >> > and then they either disengage or unsubscribe.
>     >>
>     >> Can you pls. give some examples where this happened?
>     >>
>     >> I'm mainly aware of rather experienced mappers who habe been
>     engaged
>     >> in disputes (as its happening in any online community).
>     >>
>     >> Would'nt a netiquette have handled that - perhaps reminded by
>     others,
>     >> and finally by a moderator or OSMF group member?
>     >>
>     >> :Stefan
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> 2017-12-03 23:06 GMT+01:00 Emily Eros <emily.eros at gmail.com
>     <mailto:emily.eros at gmail.com>>:
>     >> > Hi all,
>     >> >
>     >> > As someone who generally doesn't participate in these mailing
>     lists, I
>     >> > very
>     >> > much disagree with this statement:
>     >> > "Some people feel frightened to participate in mailing lists?
>     Well, I
>     >> > think
>     >> > it's very exaggerated and makes me smile in general."
>     >> >
>     >> > I can wholeheartedly say that YES, this is a space that I
>     don't feel
>     >> > comfortable participating in. It's great to see people
>     passionate about
>     >> > OSM,
>     >> > but this space feels fraught with hostility and personal
>     tensions - some
>     >> > of
>     >> > which goes years back. It's easy to feel like saying
>     something is going
>     >> > to
>     >> > leave me feeling attacked. For me, I don't see an obvious way to
>     >> > contribute
>     >> > and try to make this better, so YES, it is very tempting to just
>     >> > disengage.
>     >> > I know I'm not alone in that, so I'd really encourage you to
>     take it
>     >> > seriously when people say that they don't feel comfortable
>     contributing
>     >> > to
>     >> > the mailing lists.
>     >> >
>     >> > To me, it seems like all the loudest voices are the ones
>     having this
>     >> > conversation. As someone who participates less, I can say
>     that the
>     >> > existence
>     >> > of a CoC (carefully drafted, with community input and caution
>     about how
>     >> > to
>     >> > design this well) is something that would make me feel more
>     comfortable
>     >> > here.
>     >> >
>     >> > "In that context, and without any intention to offend anyone,
>     I'd give
>     >> > more
>     >> > value in this matter to the opinion of people who are more
>     likely to be
>     >> > the
>     >> > victims of harassment and abusive behavior, compared to the
>     opinion of
>     >> > white
>     >> > males who argue out of the safety of their privileged status."
>     >> >
>     >> > +1 to that, and thanks to Nikos for pointing it out.
>     >> >
>     >> > My two cents.
>     >> > Emily
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> > On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 11:12 AM, Nikos Roussos
>     <comzeradd at fsfe.org <mailto:comzeradd at fsfe.org>>
>     >> > wrote:
>     >> >>
>     >> >> > I have more interesting things to do in life,
>     >> >> > like mapping for example.
>     >> >>
>     >> >> So you only do one interesting thing at a time? Please let's
>     avoid
>     >> >> undervaluing what other people may find interesting.
>     >> >>
>     >> >> > Any code of conduct will make people more or less
>     autocensure. I
>     >> >> > can't
>     >> >> > see any interest of having that thing, unless for control.
>     >> >>
>     >> >> If a CoC make people to auto-censor from abusive behavior
>     I'd say it's
>     >> >> worth it.
>     >> >>
>     >> >>
>     >> >> This is a nice read on the value of a CoC in a community:
>     >> >> http://incisive.nu/2014/codes-of-conduct/
>     <http://incisive.nu/2014/codes-of-conduct/>
>     >> >>
>     >> >> For those who don't have the time to read it all a very good
>     argument
>     >> >> is
>     >> >> that "you aren’t creating a code of conduct only - or even
>     primarily -
>     >> >> for
>     >> >> the people who are likely to break it. You’re creating it to
>     make it
>     >> >> clear
>     >> >> to anyone who has been harmed or harassed, online or off,
>     that your
>     >> >> space is
>     >> >> safe for them."
>     >> >>
>     >> >> In that context, and without any intention to offend anyone,
>     I'd give
>     >> >> more
>     >> >> value in this matter to the opinion of people who are more
>     likely to be
>     >> >> the
>     >> >> victims of harassment and abusive behavior, compared to the
>     opinion of
>     >> >> white
>     >> >> males who argue out of the safety of their privileged status.
>     >> >>
>     >> >> _______________________________________________
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>     >> >> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org <mailto:osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org>
>     >> >> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk
>     <https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk>
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> >
>     >> > _______________________________________________
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>     >> >
>     >>
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