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Re: Should mailing list bans be published?

Hi Bart,

On Sat, Oct 26, 2013 at 07:33:34PM +0000, Bart Martens wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 26, 2013 at 10:46:41AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > This led to a philosophical debate about whether bans should be made public.
> > Alexander expressed concern that having them published could be harmful to a
> > person's reputation, since employers will google your name and see that
> > you've been banned from a large project such as Debian.

> I join Alexander on the above.

> > What do the rest of you think?

> I suggest we keep things civil, with respect for the persons involved. 
> It's really not up to Debian to harm someone's reputation, and that could
> reflect bad on Debian's reputation.

I don't understand this argument.  What harm comes to Debian's reputation
from showing publically that we do not tolerate abusive behavior on our
mailing list?

If the world knowing about a ban would harm our reputation, then maybe we
should pause to think whether the ban itself is correct.  But I see no harm
to Debian's reputation from banning people for the kinds of mailing list
behavior that they are actually getting banned for.  It can only improve
Debian's current bad reputation for having a take-no-prisoners mailing list

As for "respect for the persons involved": I don't believe the project owes
anything to someone who can't behave with the minimum of civility required
on our mailing lists to avoid being banned.  We should be guided by what's
best for the Debian project, not worry about hurting the feelings of someone
whose behavior is so far beyond the pale that we find it necessary to
ostracize them.

> Approaches I could support :
> - post the bans with reasons on debian-private
> - or maintain a list of bans with reasons in a text file on a Debian machine
>   where DDs can read this info.

I think posting this on debian-private is not as good as posting it
publically, for some of the reasons mentioned in my original mail.  (E.g.,
making it clear to outsiders that certain behavior will not be tolerated.)
But it's a compromise I could support, if that's the consensus in the

I don't think maintaining a list "somewhere" is sufficient; there should be
some notification to the project when the bans take place.

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                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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