[talk-au] Hitting reset on talk-au

Steve Bennett stevagewp at gmail.com
Wed Jul 13 03:34:47 BST 2011

Hi Steve,
  As often happens lately, an interesting post has quickly been
swallowed up into an angry cacophony. That's why the reasonable
people, if there are any, don't post.

> I've been trying to find someone to moderate the list along the Etiquette guidelines on the wiki. Mikel has given up, understandably, and he leads the main moderators. We found one native Australian to moderate but they backed out because they literally feared for their job safety, that the people who now inhabit the list would make life with their employer difficult. Thus, they declined to do so after initially accepting. I actually am convinced that was the right decision and the people on that list are capable of it.

I'd be interested to hear more about the risks. I'd consider doing it
- I've been a moderator on the English Wikipedia list for years. But
you need a pool, not just one moderator.

> Let me be more clear, *I* don't want to be part of a community that accepts this. Who in their right mind would want to be a part of a community run by people explicitly out to disrupt, fork and troll?

Agreed. It's horrible.

>lists. Are there genuine questions about license, it's implementation and so on? Absolutely. But level-headed discussion is not >welcome on talk-au for the most part. There are a few people who can discuss this stuff impersonally there but it's a small part of the >list.

A small part of the list volume, certainly.

> I don't want to be a part of a community that accepts this, so leaving it as-is is not an option.


> We can remove everyone from talk-au and start afresh. No pseudonyms, no license talk (would have to go to legal-talk) under the new list. This would hit reset but remove people who have legitimate concerns and those just trying to get on with mapping.

I'm happy with that. talk-au might need slightly different etiquette
rules from the other lists. Maybe.

I think the reasonable people who want to talk about mapping would
resubscribe. I'm not sure what the overall benefit would be -
presumably the people who want to disrupt would resubscribe, too. But
maybe a clear subscription statement like "This list is only for
people who want to contribute to OpenStreetMap. If you are here to
disrupt the project, you are not welcome." would help.

> We can block the 'main' people. Then you have to draw the line somewhere between the good and the bad anonymous posters. I would suggest anyone who's posted that they want to disrupt the project and anyone operating under a pseudonym.

I'm ok with that. Of course the decision about who gets blocked will
cause lengthy debate and criticism.

> We can place everyone under the emergency moderation flag and clear each post one by one, by moderator, by vote, I don't care. I can log in and do that too.

That would work ok for a start. Then you start clearing the flag for
people, with no hesitation in reapplying it if people break the rules.

> Lots of people from talk@ could join talk-au@ and make it a nice place to be again, the way we took back legal-talk@ from the very same people.

I'm not sure it makes sense to have many non-Australians on the list?
But maybe desperate measures...

> Maybe you have a better option?

I'd start with:
- firm statement about what is and isn't acceptable now
- place lots of people who have recently broken those rules on moderation
- be liberal in adding more people to moderation as required

In practice there's very little difference between placing someone on
moderation and kicking them off the list entirely.


More information about the Talk-au mailing list