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CODE4LIB  January 2013

CODE4LIB January 2013

Subject:

Re: Group Decision Making (was Zoia)

From:

Ian Walls <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 25 Jan 2013 09:23:54 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (123 lines)

My concern over the anti-harassment policy is part of the definition of
"harassment", particularly:

"It includes offensive verbal comments or non-verbal expressions related to
gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability,
physical appearance, body size, race, age, religious beliefs, sexual or
discriminatory images in public spaces (including online)".

I'm sure that no one in the community would intentionally "threaten another
person or group, or produce an unsafe environment", but the policy does not
seem to be oriented around intent, but rather the reaction of the person or
group who feels offended.  People can be offended by all variety of
material, and there is no universal, objective consensus as to what is and
is not offensive.  This translates roughly to:

"I am offended by something you said, therefore you harassed me".

This makes me uncomfortable, because even though I can control my own
behavior and treat others with respect, I cannot anticipate the reactions of
others with sufficient accuracy to compensate for the risk of the sanction.
Therefore for any interaction in Code4Lib under this policy, I have the
wonder if something I've said may be misinterpreted or read into in such a
way as to produce offense.  Very stressful, and a deterrent to participating
in the community.

Having a section of the policy to deal with misunderstandings and
inadvertent offense would go a long way towards alleviating my fear of
banned for what would appear to me as no reason.


-Ian

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
Fitchett, Deborah
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 10:32 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Group Decision Making (was Zoia)

When I quote ~"you're spoiling our fun" it's at the level of a paraphrase of
one aspect of a synthesis of actual responses. It wasn't by any means the
whole conversation; I don't recall if it was even the whole of any one
person's response; but it was one prominent theme that came out of the
response to people speaking up about problems with Zoia, and that prominence
can be offputting. Mitigating this was that an even more prominent theme was
"Okay, let's fix things". But this isn't maths and they don't cancel out:
they're both there.

This all said, I actually don't want to talk about Zoia. I don't want to
sound like I'm stomping on people when all I want to say is that this
dynamic exists (here, everywhere). And talking about Zoia also feels like a
distraction from the question I asked and I think Karen was getting at,
which is again: going forward, how do we react when we're having fun and
we're made aware that someone else is being hurt by the thing we find fun?

I doubt we need a standard operating procedure but it's something really
worth thinking about in advance of when it happens. Because it's hard, when
that happens (having been there) : one wants to be a good person, but one
also wants to have fun. And then there's the ego's self-defense mechanism: a
good person wouldn't have fun doing something that hurts someone, and I'm a
good person, so since I was having fun it can't really have hurt anyone.
Yeah, bad logic, but like I said I've been there and it can take logic a
long time to beat the ego over that one if you haven't prepared.

Having a code of conduct is fantastic. But if we don't have *at least* vague
brainstormy ideas of how we'll react to it when a) Your Best Friend says
Complete Stranger is harassing zir; b) YBF says YotherBF is harassing zir;
c) CS says YBF is harassing zir; d) CS says you're harassing zir; etc --
then it's just false security, has the same potential for denial or coverups
as if there were no such code, and in that case means all the additional
pain of broken trust.

And for those that think that this is a fantastic group so it's just a waste
of time planning for a non-existent situation -- well, I still think it was
a little bit there with Zoia (the outline of the pattern if nothing else);
but even if you don't agree with that, this is a transferable skill: if we
come up with ideas of how we can react here, we can then also use those if
similar situations come up in other aspects of our lives.

Deborah 

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ross
Singer
Sent: Friday, 25 January 2013 3:33 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Group Decision Making (was Zoia)

On Jan 24, 2013, at 6:50 PM, "Fitchett, Deborah"
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> People did raise specific issues with Zoia which can reasonably be fit
into the code of conduct's definition of harassment (many of which have
therefore been addressed) so saying "no one has spoken up" seems strange.
People did speak up. Some people listened and did something about it; some
people objected ~"You're spoiling our fun" and this kind of reaction is what
has the potential to make some people nervous about speaking up, because
no-one wants to spoil people's fun.

When we're talking about "you're spoiling our fun", are we talking about
zoia's offensive plugins?

I don't think I've seen anybody leap to the defense of @mf or @forecast (or
any of the others mentioned).  Some people have poured some of their craft
beers on the ground for their fallen plugins, but I don't think anybody's
actually come out and actively objected to cleaning up the bot's language.
In fact, on the contrary, I think people have been pretty proactive about
looking for the things that need to be cleaned up and trying to archive
what's there before cleansing.

I am not sure a defense of zoia is the same thing as a defense of @habla or
@icp (as two examples).

If we're not talking about zoia anymore, then apologies, -Ross.


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