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Re: Conflict escalation and discipline

On 18 April 2018 at 23:08, Lars Wirzenius <liw@liw.fi> wrote:
> Most of the problems being discussed right now, and in general, seem
> to be of the sort where feelings are hurt, but harassment isn't
> happening. The situations seem to be "A did something, and B was
> offended, how do we get A and B to understand each other, and resolve
> any conflict, and get A and B to collaborate in the future?".
> This implies to me that, at the least, "anti-harassment" is the wrong
> name for a team that deals with this.

On 19 April 2018 at 02:17, Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> wrote:
> This group would:

[snipped] see [0]

On 19 April 2018 at 02:31, Laura Arjona Reina <larjona@debian.org> wrote:
> If we want a body that can enforce certain rules, I would go to
> "social committee" (as its analogue "technical committee").
> If we want a contact point that gives advice ans ensures that complains
> or a report arrives to the corresponding body (similar to now), my name
> suggestion would be"Anti-harassment and Fair Treatment Contact Office".
> I wouldn't drop the anti-harassment word because its negative load raises
> awareness and sends a clear message. I always understood harassment as
> not only sexual, but any (repeated) abuse in power relationships. If
> that's not the common understanding, we may need to add "anti-bullying".

On 19 April 2018 at 20:00, Chris Lamb <lamby@debian.org> wrote:
> I would agree that the current name for the Anti-Harrassment team
> is sub-optimal and that names & words are uniquely powerful tools
> at our disposal.
> I can think of many historical examples in Debian where they were,
> alas, not given enough consideration at the time.
> However, I can't help but feel that we are distracting ourselves
> from the more important and initial questions of what the remit or
> powers of this enhanced/supplemental team might be.
> Indeed, the very fact that such "name framing" is so powerful is
> likely to handicap this very discussion (which started at [0]
> AFAICT) in that it can put off people who feel — and I'm uncertain
> how to phrase it here — "de-framed" or otherwise put-off from
> contributing by a suggestion.

> [0] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2018/04/msg00024.html

This is an interesting discussion. I waited a while before speaking,
to avoid "handicapping" it. It is not easy to balance uninhibited
discussion of ideas, while also keeping the discussion on-topic.

I am not a Debian insider, but I admire and care deeply about the
Debian project for many years. So I read this thread carefully and
I offer these thoughts ...

In any idealistic project, it is inevitable that there will be conflicting
ideas. Conflict can feel scary, but usually less so if we are not facing
it alone. I suggest it could be an improvement if Debian can create
*one* general point of contact to assist *all* social issues between
collaborators, before they escalate into harmful discord.

This point of contact could be used by any person seeking to
contact a team capable of providing assistance to interact with any
other person on any matters affecting the project. For example, a
developer seeking assistance to improve collaboration with another
developer. For example, a conference attendee uncomfortable with
the behaviour of others and not knowing how to handle the situation.

The minimum function of this team would be to assist and support
all parties involved with the *process* of reaching a resolution.

Yes "name framing" is powerful and it might inhibit some people
from joining the discussion. On the other hand: naming things
is hard, name discussion is part of a valuable and complex
brainstorming process, a suitable name might encourage people
to join the discussion, and help everyone think more about it.

Also, if this team would be given a name that "de-frames" anyone,
then that would be an unfortunate failure from the beginning :)

The project could consider positive naming words that might be useful,
for example:
social assistance
social interaction

A combination of postive and anti-negative words might provide the
percieved benefits of both (see quotes above). For example:

The Debian Collaboration & Anti-Harassment Team

And this one team could be reached by use more than one email alias,
for example:

These are not necessarily my favourite suggestions, rather I offer them
to demonstrate how a suitable name might be created.

Thank you, everyone involved, for all your work on Debian.

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