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Observations on the List - "Be More Kind"

On 08/10/18 20:46, Ethan Furman wrote:
> On 10/08/2018 07:43 AM, Rhodri James wrote:
>> I appreciate that the moderators are volunteers, but they have 
>> official power on this list.? Being volunteers doesn't mean that they 
>> can't get it wrong, or that we shouldn't call them on it when they do.
> I completely agree.
>> They have got things wrong,
> I completely disagree.

Understood :-)

>> and I have called them on it.
> Yes, you and a few others -- and nobody has actually talked (emailed) us 
> directly, but rather talked *about* us on the list [1].

was addressed to you on the list (I don't think public decisions should 
be questioned in private).  I posted to the "So apparently I've been 
banned..." thread as well, but that doesn't seem to be in the archive. 
Definitely one of my angrier posts, but to you rather than about you.

I have actual work to do, so I'm not going to trawl the archives for 
other examples, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person to question 
you like that.

>> The response has been... I'm trying not to say "patronising" because 
>> I'm fairly sure it wasn't meant that way, but "I'm sorry you feel that 
>> way" made me feel patronised.
> You're right, I didn't mean it that way, and I apologize.

Thank you.  I understand using formal language to show objectivity, but 
at the moment its also creating a them-and-us separation.  It's a large 
chunk of the reason why I'm angry rather than merely lacking in respect 
for your collective decisions.

> To briefly explain our decisions of late:
> Suspending D'Aprano:
> -------------------
> His public post to me was shared with several people, including 
> moderators of others lists, and it was unanimously agreed that his post 
> was completely unacceptable and a two month suspension was appropriate. 
> I restarted that suspension because, according to his own words, "I am 
> ignoring the ban in this instance"; had he emailed me privately I would 
> have correctly posted the notice to the list; had he not said that and 
> just posted I would have fixed the filter and left the suspension alone 
> (he posts from comp.lang.python).

I disagree with the original ban, frankly.  Reimposing it seems petty.

> Suspending Mark Lawrence:
> ------------------------
> He has a history of posting attacks.? I sent him a private warning, he 
> responded a couple days later with another attack.

No contest.  Mark was way over the line, and it's not the first time.

> Suspending BartC:
> ----------------
> Many, if not most, of his posts' primary relation to Python was how his 
> personal language was better.? The resulting threads seemed to be 
> largely unfriendly, unproductive, and unnecessary.

I killfiled Bart a long time ago for his poor signal to noise ratio, but 
that's as far as my reaction to him goes.  I don't think "unfriendly, 
unproductive and unnecessary" are good enough reasons to ban him. 
Encourage people not to listen and not to feed the trolling, fine, but a 
ban is over the top.

> Banning Rick Johnson:
> --------------------
> Hopefully no explanation needed [2].

Explanation/justification needed, but given :-)  Again, I killfiled Rick 
ages ago, and I agree his language does justify banning.

> Shutting down threads:
> ---------------------
> There is a problem with threads getting heated and people not exercising 
> self-control and posting inappropriately.? That makes the list 
> unwelcoming.? As soon as we feel that that is happening we are going to 
> shut down the thread.? Personal attacks and name-calling are not 
> appropriate and will not be tolerated.? The goal is not to shut down 
> debate -- as long as the debate stays civil it will get no moderation 
> action.? If a thread is shut down and you feel there is more to be 
> (civilly) said -- wait a couple days so everyone can cool off, and then 
> start a new thread.

Well, no.  It doesn't work like that.  Rapping people over the knuckles 
for name-calling and aggressive behaviour is all well and good, and 
doing more of that would be entirely appropriate.  However regardless of 
what you think, shutting down threads *is* shutting down debate.  The 
thread is closed, and there is a strong implication that the subject is 
taboo.  Had I restarted it, I would have expected to be slapped.  That's 
why I snuck a key argument about the master/slave debate into an 
entirely different thread, and didn't even reference the master/slave 

The impression that I'm getting is that in recent times the moderators 
have become heavy-handed.  I realise that a certain amount of that is 
due to the rather blunt tools you have, but that doesn't make it any 
less heavy handed.  That is something I don't, and never will, respect.

> Hopefully you now agree with our decisions, or at least support us in 
> them.? If you don't, I actually am sorry -- I would much rather have 
> your support (and everyone's).? Either way, we are not changing our 
> minds about them.

That's your privilege as moderators, and mine as an individual that I 
still don't agree with you.

Rhodri James *-* Kynesim Ltd