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Tone policing by a member of the community team [Was, Re: Statement regarding Richard Stallman's readmission to the FSF board]

Hi all,

After some long thought, I believe this message warrants a public response
(and discussion).

The facts are these:

 - an individual who is not part of the Debian community sent me (and other
   people) a private, unsolicited email sharing his views on the current
   topic of the day.
 - I responded, privately, telling him exactly what I thought of him and his
 - He in turn forwarded my private responses to a public mailing list
   without my consent.

The response by Jean-Philippe, a member of the Debian Community Team, was a
call for de-escalation and civility "by both sides"; i.e., tone policing.

While I am no oppressed minority who is going to be turned away from Debian
as a result of such tone policing, a member of the Community Team tone
policing an ally who is categorically rejecting transphobia sends a very bad
message to trans members of our community.  It shows that responding to
transphobes by communicating using strong language that the Debian community
rejects their views leaves one potentially subject to censure from the
Community Team.

I think the Community Team should do better.

On Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 09:21:32PM +0100, Jean-Philippe MENGUAL wrote:
> Hi,
> Please descalate, it is an emergency. The RMS debate is very difficult for
> many people I guess, painful or, at least, energy consumer. It often results
> to ghoughts about the compliance of some mails with the code of conduct. But
> those 2 mails are clearly not acceptable from the formal point of view. You
> cannot let yourself dominate by your badest feelings, injuring each other
> etc. I am sure that is completely out of the code of conduct. Be respectful,
> avoiding to say words such as "shit" "fuck" "fascist", and please try
> staying moderated. Debian will be a welcoming community if anyone can
> express his opinons politely and others reply politely, with respect, even
> if he disagrees. So really, descalte! If the thread is so abrasive, just
> don't reply, ignore, I am sure it will not change your daily life in your
> team or in the project. Or wait some hours before doing it. But again, such
> wordings are unacceptable, regardless the topic itself and the ideas. Keep
> in mind you speak publicly and your mails stay in archives forever.
> Thanks in advance
> Regards
> Jean-Philippe MENGUAL
> Debian Developer non uploading
> Community team member
> Accessibility team member
> debian-l10n-french team member
> President of Debian France non-profit organization
> Le 26/03/2021 à 20:22, Michael Shigorin a écrit :
> > On Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 11:23:21AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > > On Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 09:14:16PM +0300, Michael Shigorin wrote:
> > > > On Fri, Mar 26, 2021 at 09:18:19AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > > > > > You absolutely have NO right to speak for all of the community
> > > > ..so do go and apologize for the attempt in public.
> > > 
> > > > > > And I tell you that you're humanophobic by claiming someone
> > > > > > is "transphobic".
> > > > > Fuck off, nobody asked you for your shitty fascist opinion.
> > > 
> > > > It's *you* who's a fascist here.
> > > > Go read the definition and look at what *you* do.
> > 
> > ...e.g., http://dictionary.com/browse/fascism
> > 
> > > > Both of my grandfathers actually fought Nazi and Japanese
> > > > invaders.  Looks like none of yours ever confronted them --
> > > > they would have raised you a human, not a fascist.
> > > 
> > > > But you will learn the hard way.
> > > 
> > > > Good luck.
> > > 
> > > Not very good at fucking off, are you?
> > 
> > Yep.
> > 
> > Jonathan, I hereby demand that the Debian Project gets rid
> > of this manipulative, insultive, divisive and libelous member.
> > He (them? it?) can't even stand by the rules (pro|im)posed.
> > 
> > I'm considering providing financial support to Chris Punches
> > and asking him to not omit suing Steve Langasek by chance:
> > http://web.archive.org/web/20210326090023/https://github.com/rms-open-letter/rms-open-letter.github.io/issues/2250
> > (of course the issue was deleted, mindless as it could be).
> > 

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                   https://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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