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Re: Debian's Freenode IRC channels

On Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 06:04:16PM +1100, Melissa Draper wrote:
> I'm primarily an Ubuntu user, but I've run Debian in various places on my 
> home network for over a year, and what is currently my home server has been 
> exclusively Debian for about a year now.
> As part of my NY Resolutions, I decided it was time to get more involved in 
> Debian, which involves hanging out in Debian channels more. 

Note that #debian is a support channel, not a community or development

>> Apart from rejoining the OFTC Debian channels, I also joined the
>> Freenode ones 
> since they are still the more populous. The channels I joined included
> #debian-offtopic - a 'secret' channel which they freely redirect
> offtopic conversation to if they are asked for an offtopic channel.
> I am starting to wish I had not.
> Aside from the channels in general being more hostile which I knew to 
> expect, I find a complete disregard for decency towards women. From just a 
> week in #debian on freenode, greps for 'girl' and 'women have some really 
> degrading comments: http://pastebin.ca/LfFsZYkV (encrypted post, password: 
> debian)
> I've only been in the offtopic channel since the 8th, but already I have 
> collected: http://pastebin.ca/RiF2KwdQ (encrypted post, password: offtopic)

So I'm hanging around #debian-offtopic without really monitoring the
channel much, but I can immediately see how it might not be a very nice

I am mostly in there because we tell people who are constantly off-topic
in #debian to go there, and it makes for a bit more authority if you're
idling in a chan you tell people to use.

The above problem involves quite some historics and this is my personal
take on it, others might disagree slightly or completely: Some years ago
some (if not a lot) of the people in #debian-offtopic used to talk sort
of like that in #debian, giving #debian quite a bad reputation.  Over
time we managed to keep these kinds of conversations (general off-topic
blabber, talking about drug abuse, being denigrating to women or gay
people, etc.) out of the channel by either warning, ban/kicking the
offenders or (in the general off-topic case) telling them to go to
#debian-offtopic. So while #debian slowly became a nicer and more useful
place, #debian-offtopic became the opposite.  In a way, it's a place
were the regulars can vent of steam if they are too frustrated with
doing support in #debian.  If we'd close down #debian-offtopic or
otherwise regulate it, we'd have to find them another chan probably.

I agree that this is a problem, but personally, I am not willing to
spend more of my Debian time to tame #debian-offtopic as well, a huge
chunk of the time I invest for Debian goes into having #debian on both
networks be sensible.

One solution would be to officially declare that #debian is the only
official Debian channel on irc.freenode.net.

> The bottom 3 lines in the offtopic pastebin are pertaining to a 
> conversation I tried to have just before (http://pastebin.ca/BewJbhLq 
> encrypted, password: convo), after seeing
> <simonrvn> @be $1 barbie is <reply>AAAAW! $1 is too HARD! let's go shopping!
> <ravenbird> simonrvn: okay
> <simonrvn> w00t
> <simonrvn> @be ssh barbie
> <ravenbird> AAAAW! ssh is too HARD! let's go shopping!

Ok, this is an issue with the original #debian bot as well, which should
probably by removed.

> As an active Ubuntu-Women member, I've many times been told to come to 
> Debian and the Debian-Women project whenever someone in Ubuntu slips up, 
> because D-W have had more success with the overall Debian community. Quite 
> frankly, I'm at a loss for what to think, because I'm not really seeing it 
> :(

See above for a potential solution.  Not sure what this would mean for
all the local non-english language channels still on irc.freenode.net
though, we did not really yet put any QA into them (but we hear about
trouble from time to time).  Well, that's a more general question

sorry for your experience,


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