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Re: Inappropriate content on planet.debian.org and need of evolution of documentation and CoC

shirish शिरीष <shirishag75@gmail.com> writes:

> Please CC me as I'm not subscribed to the mailing list. Please excuse
> the non-brievity of the mail.

> Couple of weeks back, I put up a blog post
> https://flossexperiences.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/the-tale-of-the-dancing-girl-nsfw/

Okay, I've now thought about this some more and looked over that post in
some detail, so a few more comments, separate from my serious concerns
about the (I suspect unintended) implications of the Planet Debian content
policy change.

(Cultural note: Those of us in the US get pretty paranoid about content
rules that involve what parents think is or isn't appropriate for
twelve-year-old kids, since there are large and well-organized parent
groups in the US that think upwards of 90% of world literature should be
absolutely off-limits to twelve-year-old kids.)

Shirish, if you felt like you should put a NSFW tag on a post, please
don't post it to Planet Debian.  I think "safe for work" is an entirely
reasonable (and reasonably expected) content policy, if for no other
reason than we, as a project, want people to be able to read Planet Debian
at work.

If it helps, think of it this way: it's not about offense to other project
members directly.  It's about getting fellow project members *in trouble*.
A lot of employers have absolutely zero sense of humor about this sort of

I think "safe for work" is a much easier-to-apply and less-fraught policy
than "safe for anyone over the age of 12."  In particular, "safe for work"
emphasizes the problems with open offices, easily-seen screens, and people
reading over your shoulder, and therefore correctly emphasizes the
problems with *visual* content.  The *textual* content of your post is not
necessarily a problem (more on that in a minute); the photo of a lap
dance, while not particularly explicit if one doesn't have the context,
still is.  That's going to be a problem in a lot of office environments.
I think it's still kind of borderline since everyone in the image is
basically clothed, but it's the sort of border that doesn't really need to
be approached.

Images from Wikipedia are *not* necessarily safe for work.  There are
absolutely Wikipedia articles that I would not browse through at work, and
I work in California tech, which is *extremely* relaxed about this sort of
thing compared to a lot of other industries.

If you want to post such things anyway, you can also make things safe for
work by clearly disclaiming them *and then making sure the content isn't
shown without explicit action*.  For instance, I think it would have been
entirely fine by that standard for you to syndicate a *link* to your blog
post on Planet Debian.  But that aggregator expands posts fully in-line on
the site, including all images, so any images you put in a post are "above
the fold," and need to pass that safe for work bar.

Separately, on the textual content... I'm not sure exactly the right way
to phrase this advice, but I do think you use your blog to explore
intensely personal philosophical questions.  I understand that you really
want to explore those with other people in the project as well, but I can
also see how it can be a little out of step with what others post there.
I'm not really certain how much of a problem it is, but the piece of the
Planet Debian policy that I would have pointed you at isn't the
family-friendly bit, but the "excessively personal information" bit.

Everyone posts some of that from time to time, and some of it isn't a big
deal.  I've certainly posted some of it, and no one really minds.  But I
think the key bit is *occasionally*.  As part of a mix of a variety of
other content, I don't think anyone is going to object, but if your blog
is *mostly* extended philosophical musings, particularly long ones
(because again Planet Debian expands everything in-line), I'm not horribly
surprised that a few people might start complaining.  Whether those
complaints should warrant a change is kind of a hard question, and I'm not
quite sure what to feel (I really value the diversity of human experience
in the project), but you might want to consider whether there are some
merits to dialing it back a bit, at least in the content you syndicate to
Planet Debian.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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