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Re: Should mailing list bans be published?

On Mon, 04 Nov 2013 09:17:29 -0800, Russ Allbery wrote:

> Camaleón <noelamac+gmane@gmail.com> writes:
>> The mailing list managers/admins have the right to ban whoever they
>> decide, but in the aim of "fair play", the user should also have the
>> right to defend him/herself from the accusations, expose his/her
>> reasoning and be able to restore him/her reputation or recognize the
>> error, say sorry and come back to the list again.
> I don't agree with this part of your message.  Debian is under no
> obligation to play fair.  We are not a legal system and have no
> obligation to give people any sort of due process.  Debian's mailing
> lists are instruments of the project, and the project can decide how
> they are used.


Well, being "fair" does not have to relate to any legal concept so please 
disregard any thought about it; to be fair is just a moral issue like 
being transparent. And yes, I would expect Debian (as a project) embraces 
that way.

> It's not like we're depriving people of life and limb, or even property.
> They just can't send mail to one of our mailing lists for a while.  If
> there's an occasional mistake, oh well, life goes on.  If I get banned
> for a month or two from a mailing list for something I said that was
> ill-advised, I'm not going to argue about it; I'm going to realize that,
> whatever I thought about what I said, other people were quite upset
> about it, and I should take that into account in the future.  It gives
> me some time to think about it.

The problem I see here is not "being banned" (which I agree) but "being 
listed" as rejected for posting in a list that can be accessible. 
Sincerely, I don't see any gain in exposing those facts (the facts are 
that a user has been banned from posting to certain mailing list and also 
that Debian has acted in this regard).

> Review of the decisions *by other project members* is fine, but
> generally the messages themselves are self-explanatory and I neither
> care nor want to know what justifications the person banned is going to
> dig up.  If they're sorry and won't do it again, great!  After the ban
> expires, they can demonstrate that.  But let's keep this process simple.

Simple, I agree but also fair (for both parts) and transparent.

> If some decision seems egregiously wrong, other developers who are
> worried about it can always approach the banned person in private and
> ask for their side of the story, but we don't need to make anything
> formal.

"Developers"? You mean only "developers" can lead an action to ask for 
someone to be banned? :-?

>> So I have to agree with Alexander's POV that these things need to be
>> done in the background to preserve the privacy right of the user,
>> despite if he/she is using a real name or a nickname.
>> In brief: IMO there's no need to make a public list and Debian Project
>> has nothing to demonstrate nobody because being effectively banned is
>> the only "proof of action" worth doing.
>> Here in Spain we have a saying ("hacer leña del árbol caído") which can
>> resemble into "kick a man when he's down" and that's IMO what we should
>> avoid here.
> I'm still somewhat inclined to agree with this, though, and prefer
> debian-private as the venue for advertising these, although the
> arguments about making it publicly clear that we're doing something
> about bad behavior on our lists are fairly compelling.

I only wish that, whatever the final decision, it gets properly explained 
at the wiki so any user can be aware of this.



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