Jean T. Anderson wrote:
Roy T. Fielding wrote:
On Dec 16, 2005, at 5:17 PM, Jean T. Anderson wrote: has been grappling with someone who delights in belittling other posters on the list. The topic was raised on women@ (see the thread starting with http://mail- [EMAIL PROTECTED] ), but I think it's more appropriate for this list.

For crying out loud, would you please supply links to the exact posts
you consider to be in poor taste and the person's name?  I just wasted
10 minutes trying to follow the bread crumbs.  You have to make it
easier on reviewers -- everyone seems to be painfully avoiding
a pointer to an actual message.

sorry -- I'm not trying to frustrate folks. I considered posting specific links, but withdrew them at the end, even though they are links to public archives. The name at the core is Michael Segel.

Below are links to public responses to some of his posts (which are numerous enough that they alone would be frustrating to wade through):[EMAIL PROTECTED][EMAIL PROTECTED][EMAIL PROTECTED][EMAIL PROTECTED][EMAIL PROTECTED]

The first two posts were disassociated from the offending message and the tactic clearly didn't work.

The last two were recent (this week). Off line communication makes me believe he has no intention of moderating his behavior, hence the question of at what point you unsubscribe/deny a user.

In general, it is the responsibility of the PMC to govern its own
lists.  If the PMC decides to boot them, then go ahead.  Most
groups just shun the user.

One of the DB PMC members was asking about frequency of denial, which is an excellent question, which Noel responded to with "Rarely. Really really rarely." It's helpful for us to know how other projects at the ASF handle such situations. I'm getting questions from users asking why we don't just boot him. I'm happy to respond with "The ASF doesn't like to do that except for the most extreme cases" if that is the right answer. This case is merely very annoying, not extreme.

I think ignoring is an excellent tactic for a developer's list. I worry that isn't strong enough for a user's list, but I also wouldn't want to embark on a path that could backfire.

One technique that I have applied with very nice success works like this:

 1) somebody crosses the line of respect and you see a pattern
 [at this point you feel you should say something: *DON'T*]
 2) but somebody less clueful will
 3) you flame the #2 guy

Now, it sounds pretty weird but this is the rationale:

1) those who cross the line of respect with a pattern do it intentionally, the motivations are numerous but they are normally asking for help or they are just looking for a good fight

2) in both cases, replying to him (yes, him, it's *always* a guy) and tell him what the rules of the community and stuff like "flame-free zone" are just going to make things worse. If he wants help, he'll start looking for the fight, if the fight was what he was looking for, he found it.

3) there is always somebody in the community that doesn't know this pattern, so they will reply quietly or, even better, they will flame him.

4) if they flame him back, it's easier: just flame the counter-flamer. The counter-flamer probably has tons of respect for you, because he (again, a guy) wants to protect the community he cares for. He's just not seeing the whole picture. So, what you do is tell him that the original flamer has all the rights in the world to speak in the way he wants. If #2 doesn't flame (as in your case), it's harder for the reasons below.

 5) let's say you flamed the counter-flamer, this has two consequences:

a) the counter-flamer is a little offended but a private email explaining this rational would save his ego and also have the benefit of increasing the trust he has on you as a leader. For sure he will stop flaming, because that's what he wanted to avoid in the first place and calling him on that stops it.

b) but more important, the original flaming guy is puzzled. If he was looking for help, he found out that he doesn't have to tone his language, he feels more accepted, therefore less defensive, therefore his language changes and gets easier to deal with. If he was looking for a fight, he knows he's not going to get it here and leaves.

Now, the *WORST* thing you can do is to reply "this is a flame-free zone". It's very hard to get out of there, because now the guy feels cornered and anything you do in relation to his behavior is going to enforce it.

Kicking him out is going to be even worse: first, he can come back with another email address and even a nickname, second the community will fell that the leadership is weak and that they might be next to get kicked out if they had a bad day and the striking software didn't work and their bosses kicked their ass (and so on).

So, my personal opinion on your question in the title is: never. The immediate benefit is very small compared to the price you have to pay for having that precedent down the road.

How to deal with this guy? ignore him and wait for the counter-flamer :-)


To unsubscribe, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
For additional commands, e-mail: [EMAIL PROTECTED]

Reply via email to