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Re: Summary of the debian-devel BoF at Debconf9

On Tue, 18 Aug 2009 15:25:30 -0500
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> wrote:

>         These attacks on people, as opposed to discussion of what they
>  said, is one of the major reasons discussion threads devolve into
>  unproductive chaos. 

It takes more than one person to produce chaos.

> We should be managing to police discussion
> better, and the first step is identifying that such a post has been
> made. 

I don't think so. Pointing it out just leads to a whole new discussion
about why 
- it has not been a personal attack
- it has been a personal attack but was justified
- it is important to be resolved
- etc.

If your goal is to discourage useless sub-discussions, IMO the only
reasonable reaction is to not react. Don't feed the trolls, as they say.

If your goal is to discourage such unwanted behaviour by punishing the
evil-doer, then again ignoring the poster is the best
you can do. Being ignored is a sort of punishment, even a strong one,
and it can be executed by anyone without the need of special powers.

The only alternative would be some central authority, like a list
moderator which I think is not practicable for this list and would come
with all the problems that giving power to a selected group of people
brings (like actual or felt abuse of power).


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