[OSM-talk] OSM user diary etiquette

Harry Wood mail at harrywood.co.uk
Tue Jun 25 08:45:26 UTC 2019

 I definitely support moderation actions on the diaries (or indeed any channel) when somebody steps way out of line.
> It is unfortunate because this means that quite a few useful comments> written by some of you - the main subject was ways of fighting diary
> spam - were dropped too.
Do you have the option of *editing* a diary entry to delete sections of it, or even delete the whole text?  e.g. leaving a message"---This section has been removed because it did not meet our community standards----".
Not saying you should have done so in this case. Just wondering if it is an option.
This would leave the comments. Some of the comments might then lack context, but it might still be a better outcome if the discussion was useful.Weirdly it's also a stronger moderation slap-down. The perpetrator suffers the ignominy of this message publicly on display within their diary. I've seen this approach a website elsewhere.I guess one consideration is that when diaries are moderated away, they are actually "soft deleted" whereas *editing* a diary would lose the original text.
Anyway...  on the broader principle. At the risk of bringing back the "code of conduct" discussion... If we set out somewhere a set of community standards in terms of "be nice to eachother", but also the types of topics we expect to appear as OpenStreetMap diaries, what would we set out?
I think we might decide that the standards of behaviour on the diaries should be higher than those of the mailing list. I mean the counterargument on the mailing list is always the desire to promote a "space for lively debate", but diaries are less of a discussion medium, more of a broadcast medium. We don't want to disallow people putting forth "political" thoughts or manifestos about the project, which inevitably will stray into bad-mouthing groups or even individuals on occasions, but in general we want diaries to be more carefully worded and well thought out. On balance a diary entry should be "respectful", "considerate", and "collaborative" ...but I'm quoting from the code of conduct now :-)
We could also say diary entries should "make sense", e.g. minimum length. Not just some a few random words. This would allow us to delete quite a few weird diary entries from new users which clutter things (And they're possibly spammers flagging), but I'd be creating more work for moderations with that idea.
We could also say diary entries should not be used a place to pose a question, or engage in communication styles which obviously fit better on other channels. For example I saw someone post a diary entry asking if the tile servers were currently offline. He argued that this was the best way to get attention, which may well be true, but it was an obvious misuse of the diaries feature to my mind.

    On Tuesday, 25 June 2019, 00:23:34 BST, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:  

I am writing this with my DWG hat on.

The OSM user diaries are not routinely moderated but the DWG has the
technical means to hide comments or whole posts, and will make use of
these in extreme situations.

I am writing to inform you that there as been one such situation, where
a contributor time and time again over recent months used various
expletives and insults to belittle the work of others in the project.
He's been told to stop it numerous times; at one point when told that
insults don't get him anywhere he said that he disagreed, because he had
actually got a reaction to an insult. In another situation where he was
told that his message could be heard better if he weren't wrapping it in
so much bile, he responded "don't tell me what to do".

We first tried to only hide those comments that were absolutely
inacceptable ("viciuos brat", "violent little shit" etc.) but even those
messages that were factual were always seasoned with a sentence
explaining how this and that other person was an idiot, amateur, etc.,
so in the end we just hid a handful of blog entries altogether. We
wouldn't normally moderate someone for calling someone else an "amateur"
but if it's framed by constant, stronger abuse then that lowers the bar

It is unfortunate because this means that quite a few useful comments
written by some of you - the main subject was ways of fighting diary
spam - were dropped too.

As I said, it's a rare exception for us to have to do this; these
messages, especially because they weren't one-off heat-of-the-moment
posts but a sustained onslaught, far surpassed in offensiveness anything
I've seen on this or any other OSM mailing list in recent years.

I won't say who the user is - those of you who were involved will
recognize it, and those who weren't probably shouldn't waste any time
with it.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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