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Re: Community Team - where we want to go


A short reply in a personal capacity..

On 08/11/2019 19:28, Wouter Verhelst wrote:

> While I'm not arguing that we should take punitive action against
> everyone who violates our current Code of Conduct in the "almost bad"
> sense, there is a reason why it mentions "repeat offenders";
> additionally, I also think that the current phrasing of the Code of
> Conduct allows administrators the necessary leeway to take the correct
> course of action as necessitated by individual situations.
> If what you mean by "interpreting" is "eventually come up with a long
> list of things not to do", then that would definitely be against the
> spirit of the current Code of Conduct (at least as it was intended by
> its primary author, i.e., me), and I would be disappointed if that were
> to happen.

That is definitely not what was intented, and I don't think anybody in
the team ever thought of coming up with such a list!

On the contrary, since the CoC is deliberately vague, you will encounter
situations where people disagree on the interpretation. The idea of
"interpreting" the CoC is to have a team that says "we think this
situation is/is not/ a violation of the CoC", and that tries to do it in
a fair manner. As you say, the CoC also gives tools to the
administrators to disagree, and they still retain the last word without
need for any kind of appeal process.

>> Examples of things the team does *not* do
>> =========================================
> [...]
>>  * Mediate communications or conversations between individuals; or
> I also wonder why you exclude this as a responsibility. I think that a
> team which does explicitly not have the power to take any punitive
> action (but at the same time is involved in a lot of situations like
> that) would often (though probably not always) be in an ideal position
> to mediate between members. What am I missing?

The main problem with this is that we are just another group of
volunteers with limited time and energy. Mediation work is not only
difficult and requires specific tools and training, but it is also
emotionally exhausting. I know I would not be able to do that for long
before burning out completely. OTOH, this is something that does not
need any kind of authority or delegation: saving for private
communications, anybody in the community can step-up and try to
de-escalate and help their peers, and I have seen this happening more
and more since I joined Debian. I also think that is happening because
we have grown as a community to the point where we are not tolerating
the kind of toxic behaviour we used to tolerate 15 years ago.

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