On Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 2:22 AM, R0b0t1 <r03...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 4:12 PM, Rich Freeman <ri...@gentoo.org> wrote:
>> And what would you do when somebody repeatedly sexually harasses other
>> members of the community in private after being told to stop, and then
>> acts as if they're the victim on the public mailing lists?
> If you are going to allege misconduct you need to be prepared to prove it.

And this is done - in private.  Nobody is alleging misconduct in
public, so I don't see why it needs to be proven in public.  Those
being kicked out are generally told why and are given an opportunity
to explain themselves, and often they're given an opportunity to
improve.  Some have later posted publicly saying they don't know why
they were booted.  With unmoderated lists we can't keep them from
making false statements like this.  With our current policies we can't
really contradict them specifically either.

I actually saw Debian take a slightly different tact in a recent
situation.  It looks like they gave the accused the opportunity to
decide whether the reasons for the action would be made public or not.
In that case they chose to make it public, so there was a public
statement by the project as to what was being done and why.  It
probably wouldn't hurt to talk to a lawyer but such an approach has
the advantage that it both preserves the privacy of the accused, while
also defeating false statements.  If somebody alleges that they're
innocent but did not give permission for the project to explain what
actually happened, they can hardly be considered a voice for
transparency and it would diminish their credibility.  On the other
hand, if somebody chooses to quietly leave the community there would
be no publicity around the event.  I'd think it would also help to
defeat liability for defamation/etc since the statement could be
presented to the accused for them to accept or reject, and if they
accepted it for publication that would probably make it hard to argue
in a court.

Aside from defamation as a potential issue, there is another reason to
keep this stuff private.  Somebody might not be a good fit for a big
community project, but that doesn't mean that there aren't other areas
of their life where they can be successful.  Publicity over a bad
event can harm their reputation in ways that go beyond the immediate
needs of our community.  And there always is the chance that an error
is being made in kicking them out.  Sure, that isn't a good thing, and
I believe our processes already minimize this risk, but ultimately the
harm in not being able to participate on a Gentoo mailing list is not
a great one.  Why make that harm greater by publicizing things when
this is not essential to accomplish our goals?  The goal isn't to ruin
somebody's life - it is to allow other contributors to participate in
the community in reasonable peace.


Reply via email to