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Re: GR proposal: code of conduct

----- "Wouter Verhelst" <wouter@debian.org> wrote:

> # Debian Code of Conduct
> ## In case of problems
> Serious or persistent offenders will be temporarily or permanently
> banned from communicating through Debian's systems. Complaints should
> be made (in private) to the administrators of the Debian communication
> forum in question. To find contact information for these administrators,
> please see [the page on Debian's organizational
> structure](http://www.debian.org/intro/organization)

It seems to me that with the Code of Conduct (afterwords CoC) that we are
institutionalizing a penal system in Debian. With that in mind, I think we
should follow some of the best practices typical of these processes in
other organizations. I also think some aspects of the CoC relate to
obligations we have taken on in the Social Contract.

It is well understood that secret laws and secret courts are not a
desirable feature for any government. I feel that the same should 
hold true for our community. The procedures leading up to a ban, the
evidence collected, the criteria the evidence must meet and the persons
making the final decision should all be public record. I reference the
Social Contract mandate to "not hide problems" in support of this

Please do not interpret this suggestion as an attack on the character of
the listmasters or any other project member who donates their valuable
personal time to make things happen. That is not the intent. I have the
highest level of respect for everyone who contributes to the project and
they have my heartfelt thanks for the operating system I use every day.

I feel we must see clearly that the CoC and its related ban punishment
effectively amounts to a nascent "court system" for the project. Bans
have been treated as an embarrassing thing that we want to keep out of
the public eye but they constitute a very serious punishment. A 
comprehensive ban is effectively a "death sentence" for its target
because, from the perspective of the project, that person will cease
to exist. This may seem strong language but some members of the project
feel a great deal of passion for the effort and would regard an
eviction as catastrophic.

I hope many of you will agree that while the CoC may be a necessary
feature for our community it should be governed in a transparent,
policy-driven and unbiased manner with detailed record keeping and
peer review.

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