18:03:30 <mjg59> #startmeeting Community Working Group
18:03:30 <zodbot> Meeting started Tue Dec  7 18:03:30 2010 UTC.  The chair is mjg59. Information about MeetBot at http://wiki.debian.org/MeetBot.
18:03:30 <zodbot> Useful Commands: #action #agreed #halp #info #idea #link #topic.
18:04:02 <mjg59> #chairs mjg59 nirik bpepple rbergeron
18:04:09 <mjg59> Wait, that's not it
18:04:15 <mjg59> Also, who am I missing?
18:04:18 <rbergeron> -s ;)
18:04:24 <rbergeron> sandro
18:04:28 <rbergeron> he couldn't make it
18:04:32 <rbergeron> iirc
18:04:33 <nirik> it's just '#chair"
18:04:38 <nirik> yeah.
18:05:01 <mjg59> #chair mjg59 nirik bpepple rbergeron
18:05:01 <zodbot> Current chairs: bpepple mjg59 nirik rbergeron
18:05:12 <mjg59> rbergeron: Around?
18:05:30 <mjg59> #topic Code of Conduct
18:05:31 <rbergeron> indeed.
18:05:47 <mjg59> Some discussion of this on the list - I think we're some way from a conclusion yet :)
18:06:02 <rbergeron> lol
18:06:17 <mjg59> Worth discussing it a bit more here?
18:06:33 <mjg59> I understand the concerns raised about the idea
18:06:36 <nirik> yeah, I guess my view is moving a bit more toward "ok, if folks will think it will help"
18:07:10 <mjg59> Enforcement is clearly an important part of the issue, and the absence of functional, fair and consistent enforcement would make any policy worse than useless
18:07:37 <mjg59> We would want people to be able to trust that appropraite (and not excessive) action will be taken against people who breach it
18:07:48 * nirik nods.
18:07:49 <bpepple> mjg59: yup.
18:07:56 <nirik> I posted something a bit ago to the list about this...
18:07:59 <mjg59> But I think rbergeron is right - there's no way we can provide effective enforcement against people who are deliberately antagonistic
18:08:08 <rbergeron> right. and while i guess it's a chicken and the egg thing, I think that determining if things can / will be enforced is probably an easier task than making a policy itself.
18:08:20 <rbergeron> I'm mostly thinking about "worst-case scenarios"
18:08:43 <nirik> I think we should work to empower existing enforcement processes and thus put ourselves out of business as much as possible. ;)
18:08:46 <mjg59> My feeling is that people who are deliberately acting to harm the community are something that we can't prevent in a social or technical manner
18:09:52 <bpepple> mjg59: agreed. other communities with a code fo conduct have the same exact problem, but as far as I'm aware it hasn't caused any major problems.
18:09:52 <mjg59> But that that case is sufficiently rare that people will be willing to accept that it's something we have no control over, and that our policies in the areas that we /do/ have influence over will be more important in determining how people perceive the project
18:10:14 * nirik nods.
18:10:20 * bpepple agrees.
18:10:35 <mjg59> So, yeah, let's talk about enforcement
18:10:51 <mjg59> #topic Enforcement of community standards
18:11:04 <mjg59> I think the hall monitors program was an unmitigated disaster
18:11:16 <rbergeron> So, someone asked on the list (my apologies) about maybe putting together a list of "what are the recent incidents" - I think that might be worth investigating in the background as possibly part of next steps. Which goes towards the (a) do we need it (b) what situations would we be trying to deal with it if we decide it's needed
18:11:25 <nirik> yeah, didn't work for many reasons.
18:11:45 <mjg59> Enforcement was sporadic, gave the appearance of personal bias and, frankly, I think some of those empowered by it were part of the problem to begin with
18:11:50 <nirik> rbergeron: yeah, I think if we have some examples it might help know what measures we need to look into.
18:12:48 <mjg59> I think "incidents" can be split into two categories. There's stuff like the general tone of mailing lists, and there's specific egregious examples of unacceptable behaviour
18:13:10 <mjg59> I'm not aware of the latter being frequent in our community
18:13:24 <nirik> not too much, but it does happen.
18:13:30 <mjg59> I think some posts on Planet Fedora have been uncomfortably close to personal abuse
18:13:52 <mjg59> Going back further, I think the "upskirt picture" case was something that caused problems
18:14:16 <bpepple> there was also the recent joke misunderstanding on the board list a few weeks back.
18:14:42 <bpepple> which highligted the whole misunderstanding with the 'Be excellent' motto.
18:15:01 <rbergeron> Well - what "stuff" do we really want to effectively enforce / administer? Mailing lists, IRC, planet, ?? How do we draw the line between people enforcing rules vs. empowering owners to monitor their own lists?
18:15:44 <mjg59> rbergeron: I think any public-facing part of the project, so mailing lists, IRC, planet, the wiki and so on
18:16:06 <nirik> I think it's vastly better to work with {list moderator|planet admin|wiki admin|irc admins} than it is for us to directly try and do something.
18:16:11 <mjg59> nirik: I agree
18:16:13 <rbergeron> nirik: yes
18:16:18 <bpepple> nirik: definitely.
18:16:23 <mjg59> Enforcement should primarily be up to the groups that are currently involved
18:16:52 <mjg59> But I think there needs to be infrastructure to allow for cases where those responsible aren't ensuring that basic standards of behaviour are met
18:17:13 <mjg59> Which should obviously be a last resort!
18:17:23 <nirik> sure, there could be an escalation if nothing is working at the outside levels.
18:17:26 * jsmith doesn't mind being the "bad guy", should tough action be deemed necessary
18:17:34 <mjg59> My personal feelings about how this should work:
18:17:39 <mjg59> 1) Something "bad" happens
18:18:11 <mjg59> 2) Someone responsible for the forum in question acts independently, or acts after being alerted by someone else
18:18:56 <mjg59> 3) The initial response to the majority of incidents should be a private (privmsg, direct email, whatever) note suggesting that the behaviour was inappropriate and it'd be appreciated if the individual in question apologised
18:19:42 <skvidal> so you're suggesting what the hall monitors was
18:19:53 <mjg59> 4) If several people are behaving in similar ways, a public message directed at the list/channel/whatever rather than at an individual
18:20:03 <skvidal> which, hmm, didn't work b/c the board hung the hall monitoris, me in particular, out to dry
18:20:22 <skvidal> b/c of language lawyering what was 'aggressive'
18:20:52 <nirik> skvidal: do we really want to revisit this? yeah, lack of backup was a problem...
18:20:59 <skvidal> nirik: it's still gonna be problem
18:21:06 <skvidal> we revisit b/c, apparently, we haven't learned anything
18:21:29 <skvidal> the moment there is a body the people who are 'censured' can appeal to
18:21:41 <skvidal> then the people who are in the enforcing role are ignored
18:21:45 <mjg59> 5) In the case of continuing breach of acceptable behaviour, moderation or banning of the individual (temporarily at first, perhaps long-term for especially unacceptable or repeated problems)
18:22:21 <mjg59> skvidal: Obviously not speaking for the board, but I felt that the failure of the hall monitors was due to the hall monitors not behaving in a way that promoted confidence
18:22:29 <skvidal> hahaha
18:22:47 <skvidal> that's fantastic
18:22:48 <skvidal> good luck guys
18:23:04 * nirik sighs.
18:23:17 <mjg59> It's vital that those enforcing a policy be seen to act fairly
18:23:30 <nirik> it's difficult tho, as much is subjective...
18:23:39 <nirik> "You were not excellent" "yes I was"
18:23:39 <mjg59> And those who are already responsible for a community are the ones most likely to be seen to act fairly
18:24:09 <mjg59> So, following on from the above process:
18:24:16 <nirik> I think enforcement comes much better from people in the community than from a hall monitor|cwg|board|diety.
18:24:30 * abadger1999 would rather see the CWG *not* being involved with enforcement at all.
18:24:34 <mjg59> 1) If someone feels that the individual community enforcement has been inadequate, there should be a body to report to
18:24:38 * jsmith tends to agree with abadger1999
18:24:54 <abadger1999> asjsmith says -- when enforcement is needed, make the FPL or the Board the bad guy.
18:24:54 * nirik nods.
18:24:56 <jsmith> I'd rather see "action decided on by CWG, action taken by FPL/Board"
18:25:07 <mjg59> 2) That body should review the situation and discuss it with the people in charge of the individual group
18:25:20 <nirik> "recommendation by CWG, action $foo decided by board"
18:25:22 <mjg59> 3) In the case of no agreement being reached, the situation should be escalated to the board
18:25:35 <nirik> mjg59: +1
18:25:41 * rbergeron too. Though I think it's interesting to investigate if enforcement by $anygroup is really possible, because if it's not, I think having a code of conduct does more harm than good.
18:25:43 <mjg59> That still leaves us with some problems, though
18:25:55 <mjg59> Like: Who's the appropriate enforcement group for devel-list?
18:26:04 <nirik> mjg59: it's moderators.
18:26:24 <nirik> disclaimer: I am one. ;)
18:26:37 <bpepple> nirik: how many moderators are on devel?
18:26:42 * nirik looks.
18:27:06 <nirik> really just me and tmz
18:27:22 <nirik> there's a moderators@ also that was added for the hall monitors policy
18:27:49 <mjg59> nirik: So ideally we'd be able to find other people to add to that. The trouble is that they need to be trusted by the community to act appropriately.
18:28:00 <mjg59> I think you're a good choice in that respect (and that I'm not)
18:28:01 <nirik> for the 2 types of incidents there, I'd suggest that tone would be cured by more people posting good toned posts.
18:28:43 <mjg59> nirik: Yes! Leading by example is important, but I feel that general tone is currently poor enough that merely adding excellence won't necessarily result in other people being more excellent
18:28:49 <nirik> for the second, I'm slow to act there, but would if someone pointed me at specific posts that were 'unacceptable'
18:29:06 <nirik> perhaps.
18:29:24 * nirik is open to ideas. ;)
18:29:26 <pjones> nirik: yeah, but m@ wound up being very non-communicative.
18:29:26 <mjg59> But you're right that it's difficult to enforce social excellence with big sticks
18:29:41 <pjones> nirik: effectively what happened was that some people's opinions got blackholed without them knowing why.
18:30:00 <nirik> yeah.
18:30:23 <nirik> does mailman enforce a per day posting limit? ;)
18:30:44 <mjg59> Right, hence my suggestion of private mails first, followed by general posts (so there's less of an impression of picking on individuals)
18:30:54 <nirik> in any case, I think this is an ideal place for the CWG to help... could we make list guidelines? educate moderators to do something better? adjust list settings?
18:31:16 <mjg59> nirik: Well, that kind of gets back to a code of conduct...
18:31:28 <mjg59> nirik: We presumably want this to be applicable to all public aspects of the project
18:31:35 <bpepple> mjg59: agreed.
18:31:53 <mjg59> So we need to write this in a way that's equally applicable to lists, IRC and planet
18:31:55 <nirik> I suppose, but there's no mention of the word 'tone' in the kde CoC.
18:32:19 <mjg59> Well, perhaps that's something that needs fixing
18:33:43 <mjg59> Ok. So how about for now we focus on trying to draw up an outline of how we think the moderators of lists and IRC should react to things?
18:33:45 <nirik> perhaps, but hard to codify.
18:33:50 <nirik> perhaps "Try and be positive"?
18:34:09 <mjg59> And then associate that with a few of the specific behavioural standards we expect
18:34:12 <pjones> mjg59: in the past when I've tried telling people privately that they need to reexamine their own behavior, it's been fairly successful.
18:34:18 <pjones> And usually hilarious as well.
18:34:27 <mjg59> pjones: Yeah, I'd really hope that that's by far the common case
18:34:31 <nirik> see http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/IRC_operators_code_of_conduct for irc.
18:34:43 <pjones> nirik: that document is terrible.
18:34:53 <nirik> pjones: it's a wiki, have at it. ;)
18:35:03 <nirik> http://freenode.net/catalysts.shtml also
18:35:04 <pjones> (wait, lemme see if that's the one I'm remembering)
18:35:20 <nirik> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Communicate/IRC/Participants
18:35:26 <nirik> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/IRC_helpers_code_of_conduct
18:35:33 <nirik> http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_Channel_FAQ
18:35:37 <pjones> okay, that's not the one I was thinking of that needs to die.
18:35:38 <pjones> nevermind.
18:35:48 <nirik> there's cruft for sure. ;(
18:36:07 <mjg59> I'll propose that I send a draft of something to the list and we can hammer on it there?
18:36:18 <bpepple> mjg59: sounds good to me.
18:36:44 <nirik> https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Communicate/MailingListGuidelines
18:36:51 <nirik> yeah, sure.
18:36:59 <mjg59> I'll go through the sets of guidelines we currently have and try to come up with something cohesive
18:37:26 * bpepple is in awe of nirik's ability to pull up wiki links.
18:37:27 * nirik notes we should also consider conferences/fedora talk
18:37:55 <nirik> heh. Yeah, google + midori is pretty fast.
18:38:19 <mjg59> Yeah, on a separate note I'd like to see fudcon having a strong anti-harassment and speaker policy
18:38:25 <bpepple> nirik: yeah, that makes sense to include fedora talk.
18:38:40 <nirik> mjg59: +alot
18:39:00 <bpepple> mjg59: agreed.
18:39:05 <rbergeron> lol
18:39:13 * rbergeron is in the un-anti-harassment corner, but ok.
18:40:01 <nirik> pesky negatives.
18:40:09 <rbergeron> lol
18:40:26 <rbergeron> I just expect people to act like humans, which means, make an effort, but realize that people make mistakes.
18:40:36 <mjg59> Again, messaging is important. The aim isn't to restrict people's behaviour, it's to ensure that some people's idea of fun doesn't disproportionately affect others
18:40:39 <nirik> yeah, I think it's important to also have in any policy:
18:41:09 <rbergeron> I don't want to put on my "i'm a girl" hat, but it drives me nuts when I wind up getting treated like a fragile flower because people are on guard that they might offend a woman and then be banished forever to the corner.
18:41:13 <nirik> miscommunication and bad feelings will happen... everyone should be quick to appologize when there was no ill intent.
18:41:43 <mjg59> Yes, assume good faith
18:42:16 <rbergeron> I would rather be offfended and call someone on it and move on than put everyone on notice that "we are inclusive, so you better not offend anyone" ... because for some people, they might as well just not talk, ever.
18:42:20 <mjg59> The point isn't to crucify people, it's to have a well-documented and reasonable process to resolve cases where people do behave inappropriately
18:43:01 <pjones> rbergeron: I think if our harassment policy singles out one particular gender, it's probably bad.
18:43:01 <nirik> ie, learn how to descalate and say 'sorry'
18:43:02 * nirik notes http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/index.php?title=Conference_anti-harassment_policy
18:43:04 <mjg59> Where the ideal resolution is "The miscommunication is handled, everyone works everything out"
18:43:40 <rbergeron> pjones: yes, i agree.
18:43:55 * rbergeron is probably more likely to offend men than men are likely to offend her. For the record. ;)
18:44:09 <pjones> let's not make this a competition ;)
18:44:10 <rbergeron> it's this inability to purge my self of foul language ;)
18:44:44 <mjg59> rbergeron: I've got absolutely no truck with the "Searing in front of women is bad and wrong" argument
18:45:11 <pjones> I assume you meant "swearing", not branding with a hot iron.
18:45:14 <nirik> or swearing even.
18:45:40 <rbergeron> My whole point with all of it is that I just HATE treating people in the community as though everyone is a potential violator of $anyrule.
18:46:00 <rbergeron> mjg59: if you show up at fudcon with a branding iron, I will SO be putting an incident report on geekfeminism :)
18:46:28 <mjg59> rbergeron: Well, everyone is a potential violator. We just shouldn't assume that they're an actual violator unless they provide proof to the contrary.
18:46:47 <nirik> yeah, we don't want everyone in our community to be looking over their shoulders.
18:47:02 <nirik> but if they are jerks, we want to try and deal with them.
18:47:21 <mjg59> My experience is that people are concerned about the potential ramifications of enforcement policies, but when implemented there's very little change in the day to day business of the project
18:47:24 <rbergeron> And that's my worry with all of it. (not to derail us here) - I just don't want good people to be disincentivized to approach controversial topics, while jerks continue to be jerks.
18:47:47 <mjg59> rbergeron: Yeah, that's why we need enforcement to be handled by people who have the trust of the community
18:48:22 <mjg59> It it looks like enforcement is arbitrary and the jerks are allowed to be jerks while anyone discussing firewall policy is thrown off the lists, we've failed
18:48:23 <nirik> or ultimately the board.
18:49:17 <jsmith> or the FPL :-p
18:49:29 * nirik has an amusing thought for the mailing list. Find the most frequent poster to a long boring thread and ask them to summarize the entire discussion.
18:49:34 <rbergeron> lol
18:50:23 <pjones> nirik: for added LOLs, do the same with the second most.  compare.
18:50:34 <nirik> indeed.
18:52:26 <nirik> any further targeted discussion today? or ?
18:52:36 <mjg59> I think we can probably take it to the list
18:53:01 <mjg59> I'll try to come up with something that deals with the concerns everyone's raised
18:53:24 <mjg59> Anyone else?
18:53:26 <nirik> thanks mjg59
18:53:41 <bpepple> thanks, mjg59!
18:54:23 <mjg59> Ok, let's stop it here for now
18:54:24 <mjg59> #endmeeting