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Re: feeling intimidated for endorsing the GNU social contract

From: Mike Gerwitz
Subject: Re: feeling intimidated for endorsing the GNU social contract
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2020 22:19:03 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/27.0.50 (gnu/linux)

On Mon, Feb 24, 2020 at 21:13:48 +0100, Andy Wingo wrote:
>> We've had a few people in particular that have been especially
>> problematic, and one person in particular that has many different
>> aliases and has even gone so far as to create a separate list that the
>> person has forcefully subscribed people to.  I condemn this
>> behavior.  But there's little we can do to stop it.
> I am very sorry, but this is simply not true.

There is noting we can do to stop someone from scraping email addresses
from a public list and subscribing those users to another list.  That is
what I was referring to.

> The best solution to the problem is a public mailing list whose
> subscribers are limited to GNU stakeholders.  This would go a long way
> towards discourse civility, and is what was asked for in the beginning;
> you have the power to do such a thing.

I do not have the power to do such a thing.  That is beyond the
authority granted to me.

> It is possible to ban people who have a pattern of problematic behavior.
> It too would go a long way to solving this problem.  You have the power
> to do this, also.
> It is possible to be more vigorous in moderating.  You and Brendan took
> it upon yourselves the task of moderating this list, so this also is
> within your power.

Moderators of this list have offered their time to work within certain

> And yet for some reason you used this power to let the message
> referred to in
> go through.

To be clear: you're saying that I personally used my "power" to
personally approve a racist message to this list?  What an absurd
accusation.  I just got done condemning someone for calling another
person "sick", which is far less offensive.

Just because a message makes it to this list does not mean that it was
approved.  Not every message going to this list is moderated.  Before
reading this accusation of yours, I read a private message from another
person offering his/her time to help moderate this list, wondering how
such a message got through, and it's being investigated.  Do you not
assume that we're acting in good faith?

You know quite well that GNU is a project of volunteers.  And I can
assure you that I'd rather not be spending my time babysitting this
list.  Messages like this do not help matters any.  I would not have
approved that message if it was presented to me in a moderation queue.

> In a message to Andreas Enge
> (,
> you write:
>> But coming to this list, raising an inflammatory topic, and then
>> demanding that moderation be used as a tool to reduce tensions is not
>> acceptable either.
> Here you have chosen instead to blame the recipients of harassment for
> the harassment that they have received: it says "you deserve it", in
> pretty much those words.

Once again you accuse me of something I have not done, this time by
deliberately twisting my words, in plain sight nonetheless.  I did not
say "you deserve it", or even imply such a thing.  The moderators do not
cater to individuals' expectations.  I would hope that one would
consider that to be a good thing, since you wouldn't want us to cater to
the expectations of those you disagree with.

I have made strong efforts to be a neutral party throughout all of this,
but I will not tolerate attempts to smear my or other volunteers'

Mike Gerwitz
Free Software Hacker+Activist | GNU Maintainer & Volunteer
GPG: D6E9 B930 028A 6C38 F43B  2388 FEF6 3574 5E6F 6D05

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