[Osmf-talk] OSMF Board meeting 20-dec 2018: a debatable ground for Agenda item #11 "Review of the etiquette guidance"

nicolas chavent nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
Sat Dec 22 00:50:51 UTC 2018

Hi all,

At yesterday (20 dec 2018) OSMF Board meeting, discussions over agenda
item 11 "Review of the etiquette guidance" [1] were questioning for
those who believe that electoral discussions plays a key role in
informing the membership vote of any group and that active
participation to electoral discussion is one of the duties of the
member of any organized collective.

This item was put at the agenda by Heather because of the
conversations on the osmf mailing list about first Crimea and second
board election. In the aftermaths of an election, it’s surprising to
hear a director, freshly-elected secretary:
- Complaining about the active participation by some of the members of
her organization.
- Criticizing the contents and tone of some emails. Since the speech
remained generic we unfortunately did not learn if Heather was making
reference to Mikel [2] or Dale [3] emails in her speech; she remained
silent during the election discussion at this occasion.
- Putting forth a strange reasoning by which the activity of a few was
detrimental to the liberty and ability of others to engage in the
election discussions.

In short, we’ve been hearing our secretary painfully striving to make
out of a fair election process (it has largely been portrayed as such)
and well elected candidates, a case for reviewing the etiquette
guidance, and literally building the need for this CoC she campaigned
for in 2017.

Aside of the wealth of philosophic reasons against a CoC. Aside of the
risk to see it as a membership control tool the way it happened first
in the OSM world historically in OSM HOT US Inc. There’s also the
capacity aspect of its implementation that shall wary us. The fact
that HOT US Inc with its 2 millions USD, its staffs and volunteers has
been incapable to handle its one and only complaint in the past 1.5
years lacking strong process and capacities, shall not be
underestimated by those in favor of a CoC across OSM which is a way
bigger entity than HOT US Inc by the number of members and the
multiplicity of the lists, forum and other items that would need to be

Since Etiquette and CoC are no light subjects given the critical role
of electoral discussions to inform a vote, none shall be speaking
lightly of these issues, tweaking facts, and making up a so called
case for it; this applies specifically to the OSMF directors.


[1]: https://wiki.osmfoundation.org/wiki/Board/Minutes/2018-12-20
[2]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2018-December/005684.html
[3]: https://lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/osmf-talk/2018-December/005738.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
Mobile (Haiti): +509 40 19 46 02
Email: nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
Email: nicolas.chavent at leslibresgeographes.org
Skype: c_nicolas
Twitter: nicolas_chavent

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