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Abusive language on Debian lists



I have noticed a pattern on Debian lists where we see:

  1) a polarizing issue is brought up on the list

  1a) (optional) there is some discussion with a few interesting points

  2) people start arguing (useful debate has ended)

  3) people start using offensive language somehow expecting it to help the
situation (while also feeling justified in breaking the rules because
someone else broke a different, "more important" rule)

  4) someone points out the offensive language in #4 is, in fact, against
the rules

  5) someone claims that the act of pointing out the offensive language
detracts from the argument^Wdiscussion or human dignity or what have you (I
think it was actually the decision to break the "lesser" rule)

I would like to propose that we shorten this cycle by simply adding a rule
to bounce messages to public lists at #3 (ie. those containing language that
is unquestionably against both the Code of Conduct and the mailing list code
of conduct) with a message asking the sender to please revise their message
and links to the relevant documents stating what is acceptable (as if they
don't already know).  The common belief seems to be that "we are all adults
here", but we haven't been acting that way.

If there are cries about censorship, I guess we could make the bounce a
"warning: you are about to break the rules so blatantly that software can
figure it out in front of the whole internet, do you want to continue?" --
but I think we should also have more deterrents for breaking the rules in
this case.

-- 
Eldon


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