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Re: [libreplanet-discuss] libreplanet-discuss Digest, Vol 79, Issue 9

From: Georgia Young
Subject: Re: [libreplanet-discuss] libreplanet-discuss Digest, Vol 79, Issue 9
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2016 09:16:12 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/45.2.0

Hi everyone - I'm Georgia, the program manager for the FSF. I oversee
LibrePlanet (the conference) and also read this list.

On 09/08/2016 01:53 AM, wrote:
>> > Sarcasm and humour don't translate well in a mailing list. And on an
>> > international list like LibrePlanet cultural differences and language
>> > differences make sly digs potentially offensive, never mind that it
>> > completely defeats good communication.
>> >

I agree with Bob on this point.

>> > It would set a good example to treat proprietary software companies
>> > with the same respect we expect to get for upholding ethics and
>> > freedom for users. That means not perverting their names in an attempt
>> > at humour, and not attributing malice where none exists.
> I agree that cultural differences might make it difficult, but I find
> it really hard to see how perverting a proprietary software company's
> name could offend anybody.

It can. For example, I know of a proprietary company's name that some
have changed into a word that contained an expletive - that is offensive
to some. I won't be repeating that name here :)

> I totally disagree that we should treat proprietary companies with any
> respect. They disrespect their users all the time, so why should they
> expect good treatment? By perverting the name, you are not giving it any
> advertisement, all while making it memorable for anybody that asks the
> original meaning.

That is one argument. I actually find twisting a company's name makes it
*more* memorable. After all, PayPal is a pretty bland name.

> I am so sick of this new society quirk of trying not to offend anybody
> and I certainly don't want to see it in a mailing list.
> It doesn't make communication any more clear, it censors the people
> participating in it by limiting their speech to "unoffensive" comments
> only, if anything. "Offensiveness" is a very subjective topic. Perhaps
> saying that the ocean is blue is offensive to people who think
> otherwise or have color blindness or something.

Serge, you've explained your reasons for saying "PayEnemy" - thank you.
However, the aim of clear communication is to create community, not to
avoid offending anyone. This conversation started because someone *was*
confused by the term you used.

The LibrePlanet mailing list, as Bob pointed out, is a community list
used by free software enthusiasts around the world. In order to be as
welcoming as possible to all (even those who aren't yet convinced that
they need free software), we need to agree to some standards for our
discourse. These are simple: be decent, use honest and direct
communication, and always respect each other. If a pun is confusing to
some, even if you like it, you might choose to stop using it, in the
interest of clear communication.

Thanks, everybody.

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation

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