[Osmf-talk] Possibe effects of CoCs

Dan S danstowell+osm at gmail.com
Wed Dec 20 10:56:56 UTC 2017

2017-12-20 10:37 GMT+00:00 Christoph Hormann <chris_hormann at gmx.de>:
> On Wednesday 20 December 2017, Ilya Zverev wrote:
>> For example, let's take the recent discussion in imports at . A VP of a
>> company subscribes and posts about a Walmart import, 4600 points,
>> with no licensing issues, good tagging and nicely visualized. Next
>> comes Ian and thanks him for the work in preparing the import.
>> Normal? Yes for the american community, I guess.
>> But not for OSM: it's unheard of, that an import discussion starts
>> with a grateful words, and not criticism. It is so uncommon in our
>> community, that Frederik immediately replied with sarcasm (which imo
>> should be one of reasons for instaban), accusing him of being somehow
>> affiliated, and tried hard to find as much flaws in the import as
>> possible. So that Damian doesn't feel by mistake welcomed.
>> That is not a single instance of unfriendliness. It's just a way our
>> community works.
>> [...]
> Although i don't agree with you regarding the observation i will bite.
> Note though i expect there will immediately be the usual suspects
> attempting to derail the discussion and prevent an actual discourse on
> the matter.
> So lets assume for the moment the above is an accurate description of
> the communication style in OSM - what kind of effect do you think a CoC
> would have on that?  I can think of a number of scenarios:
> * nothing of substance happends, the CoC is essentially ignored in
> everyday communication.  This is the most likely result if you take
> typical CoCs elsewhere as a reference.  I would call this the "alibi
> CoC scenario".
> * those who practice a communication style that is against the CoC will
> be sanctioned and leave the community - or to say it with Steve Coast's
> word: "removing the poisonous people".  The remaining members of the
> OSM community are culturally homogeneous enough so larger differences
> in opinion within this community become rare but it would essentially
> become a filter bubble separated from society as a whole.  I would call
> this the "eviction CoC scenario".  If the CoC is vague this scenario
> also likely would degrade into an "abusive CoC scenario" where the CoC
> is used by those in a position of power to control the discourse of the
> community.
> * those who practice a communication style that is against the CoC will
> bite their tongue and put on a facade of conformity while underneath
> the cultural gaps widen with no chance to actually get together and
> substantially resolve differences in opinion or to develop an
> understanding for the different viewpoints.  Ultimately the differences
> will discharge outside the controlled realms of the CoC and in
> anonymous expressions of opinion.  I would call this the "suppression
> CoC scenario".
> * those who practice a communication style that is against the CoC will
> see the light, dispose of the wickedness of their ways and adjust to
> the expected cultural standards.  Adult people disposing of the culture
> of communication they grew up with? - not likely going to happen.  I
> would call this the "wishful thinking CoC scenario".
> I would be glad to hear any different expected scenario i failed to see
> when analyzing this.

Hi Christoph,

I understand that you're using these extreme scenarios in order to
think it through. But allow me to say that your caricature of
"suppression" and "wishful thinking" is unhelpful, IMHO, specifically
because I think what you're missing is that there is an ongoing
culture in these communication channels (which is as real a culture as
the geo-local cultures we're talking about) and importantly is shaped
by feedback effects: a mixture of the 3 effects you see as "eviction"
"suppression" and "wishful thinking" will indeed happen, and will
indeed help to shape a better culture here. - this is assuming, of
course, that a nice sane CoC is adopted.


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