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A recent mailing list ban

A few months ago, we had a discussion on debian-project about how mailing
list bans should be handled.


Although there was no statement from the listmasters to this effect on the
public thread, they evidently considered the thread to reach a consensus,
and for the past few months mailing list bans (which are infrequent) have
been communicated to the project on debian-private.

A few days ago, an individual was banned from all Debian mailing lists, and
debian-private was informed.  What was different about this particular ban
is that the banned party responded to the ban, cc:ing me as the initiator of
the above thread, and expressed his preference that the ban be made public.

Since the main objection to publishing bans was that it would damage the
banned party's reputation, and the banned party in this case prefers the ban
be made public, I see no reason not to publish this information.  I will in
any case refrain from naming the banned individual in this mail; his name
will of course be visible in the messages linked below.

Here is the text used to inform the individual of the ban, shared with
permission of the recipient.  The listmaster who applied the ban included
additional rationale when informing debian-private; I leave it to the
listmasters to decide whether they want to provide this information here.

> I'm writing to you in my role as one of the debian listmasters. We
> currently have several complaints from users about your behaviour on
> debian-user-catalan@lists.debian.org [1][2].

> This behaviour is not acceptable on our lists and will not be tolerated. 
> You may have a look on the code of conduct [3] and the netiquette, if you
> plan to communicate with other opensource projects in the future.

> Therefore we decided to ban you from all of our lists.

> [name deleted] - on behalf of the debian listmasters

> P.S. this ban is not public unless you publish it on your own

> [1] https://lists.debian.org/debian-user-spanish/2013/12/msg00539.html
> [2] https://lists.debian.org/debian-user-catalan/2014/01/msg00012.html
> [3] http://www.debian.org/MailingLists/#codeofconduct

I would like to publicly repeat my thanks to the listmasters for their
continued service in dealing with such thorny issues.  I am personally in
agreement with the listmasters' decision to impose a ban, not because of the
messages cited by the listmaster, but because of a different message in
these threads:

  "No, Mònica, no. Són bromes en context, tant per tema com per temps, i
  fetes amb mesura. Què no t'agraden? Perfecte, ningú us obliga a

  [trans] "No, Monica, no. They're jokes in context, as much for their theme
  as for the timing, and made to measure.  You don't like them?  Fine,
  nobody is forcing you to go to communion."


In other words:  in a thread discussing why it was inappropriate, even on
Spain's equivalent to April Fool's Day, to make posts suggesting that the
upcoming MiniDebConf in Barcelona will be sex testing the speakers, this
individual's response is that "if you don't like it, you don't have to read

The original message was unacceptable and worthy of censure; but people make
mistakes and learn from them.  What makes this ban-worthy is the lack of
remorse shown for the upset caused, and the implicit promise to continue
such posts as he sees fit.

Debian has ratified a diversity statement which says that all contributors
will be treated with respect, and that all contributors should feel safe and
welcome in Debian regardless of background or identity.  This ban
demonstrates that the diversity statement is not empty words; it is a
principle that the Debian community has made a committment to.

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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