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Re: Abusive language on Debian lists

Preface: Some people may consider it petty to care about this.  I am not
trying to be petty.  I honestly feel sad and hurt every time I see this
language on these lists.  The language over the last few weeks has me
feeling sick inside.  I'll admit that I'm likely in a small minority here,
but I do not believe that I am the only person who feels this way.

On Sun, Apr 11, 2021 at 4:08 AM Sam Hartman <hartmans@debian.org> wrote:
> >>>>> "Eldon" == Eldon Koyle <ekoyle@gmail.com> writes:
>     Eldon> Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
>     Eldon> I think I did a bad job of explaining.  I'm talking about
>     Eldon> English words that universally accepted as swearing.  I have
>     Eldon> not seen this class of words used constructively in lists,
>     Eldon> and they are already forbidden.
> I'd be against that.
> I think the blanket prohibition  of profanity in the list code of
> conduct is outdated and harmful.

Does the belief that a rule is harmful somehow nullify the rule?  Does the
belief that a rule is outdated give you license to disregard it?

I cannot accept either of these points.  If you think the rule needs
updated, you should go through proper channels to try to update it rather
than simply disregard it.

> But I think a blanket prohibition would be harmful:
> * Sometimes you are quoting others or quoting something with artistic or
>   literary value.

I have not seen much of this, however as a counterpoint: the FCC is not a
tolerant organization.  People have subscribed to these lists using packet
radio.  The language in your last reply was such that the FCC would
absolutely take official action against anyone who _received_ it (if it came
to their attention, that is).  I hope nobody is doing this anymore, but it
makes me sad that we are unwilling to support people doing interesting
things in a Debian context.

> * Tone policing is a thing. <snip>

If I understand the argument against tone policing correctly, it is that
focusing on the language/tone within the discussion detracts from the main
point of the message.  If the message were sent back for revision before it
was posted to the list, I think that would actually be a net win as it
reduces the chance of tone policing on the list -- especially where it would
be done by a machine with no emotion involved.

I think the project at large would have been better off if all of the recent
messages with profanity had been kicked back for revision.

> * Sometimes profanity directed at a situation really does let you get
>   off a little steam. <snip>

Getting off steam often leads to escalation.  Also, these lists have a lot
of members.  Does an individual's desire for catharsis outweigh the wish of
multiple people to keep the language on the list free of profanity?

I apologize to anyone who feels I am wasting their time with this, and I will
try not to drag it out any more.


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