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Re: Promoting the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines?

From: Mark H Weaver
Subject: Re: Promoting the GNU Kind Communication Guidelines?
Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2018 06:35:47 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.1 (gnu/linux)

HiPhish <address@hidden> writes:

> On Wednesday, 31 October 2018 14:48:18 CET you wrote:
>> Without attributing malice to your statement here, I think it is
>> disingenuous to talk about "the other side". We are all part of
>> communities we interact with, there is no need for any additional
>> "othering" here :).
> Sure, but communities can still be split on issues, like which CoC to adopt :)
>> Again, while some people might be calling out for these cases to happen,
>> this is not what the discussion is about; _any_ document that describes
>> our norms and policies is intended to create a welcoming environment,
>> where anyone can decide to become an active member of the community.
>> That the means through which this can happen, at its most extreme,
>> involves actively removing potentially harmful elements from the
>> community is in that sense a means to achieve these goals.
> This is fine by me, and I don't think anyone here agrees that we would need 
> someone around who just sits in the mailing list and throws around insults. 
> But where do you draw the line? The CC, which is the issue at hand, allows 
> for 
> abuse by 1) being vary vague on what constitutes a break of rules,

The CoC is not a legal document, and is not intended to be normative.

If it were law, I would agree with you that the vagueness would be quite
worrisome.  A vague law is dangerous because laws enable authorities to
make enforcement actions that they otherwise couldn't, and a vague law
can be abused.

The CoC is fundamentally different.  The key difference is that the CoC
does not grant any powers to the maintainers that they didn't already
have.  That's worth repeating.  The CoC makes *no* change to their

The function of the CoC is to document the policies that the maintainers
have chosen to enforce, for the sake of transparency.  Roughly the same
policies were enforced before we had a CoC, but they weren't documented.

Also, it's a mistake to expect a CoC to cover every possible case and
include all relevant factors.  It would be a fools errand to try.
Ultimately, every case will depend on the specific details, and on the
maintainers' best judgement.

> and 2) 
> requiring punishment without offering any chance of clearing things up.

It would depend on the details, but I see nothing in the CoC to justify
this claim.  On the contrary, our maintainers have shown themselves to
be quite explempary in their handling of conflicts without resort to
punishment, and I see no reason why that should change.  I have
confidence that they will continue to exercise their powers judiciously,
and only as a last resort after diplomatic efforts have been exhausted.

Do you have reason to believe otherwise?


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