[Announce] LCA2011 Friday Morning Keynote

John Ferlito johnf at inodes.org
Tue Feb 15 15:25:21 EST 2011

On the last day of linux.conf.au 2011, Mark Pesce gave the final keynote
entitled “Smoke Signals”. The slides and an essay based on the presentation are
available on Mark's website [1].

After the keynote both the conference organising team and members of the Linux
Australia council received complaints from attendees regarding some of the
content and imagery in the presentation. The imagery in particular was of a
nature that was upsetting to a number of viewers.

Discussions took place between the linux.conf.au organising committee and the
Linux Australia Council, with the result being that an apology was offered on
behalf of the conference and Linux Australia at the closing session. In the
week after the conference Mark also offered an apology to conference attendees,
both on twitter [2] and on his blog [3].

After careful consideration and consultation with members of the community,
with Mr Pesce and with sponsors, the Council has decided that it is appropriate
to make the video available for viewing online, even though we believe it was
not appropriate material for the conference.

The video of Mark Pesce's keynote will be made available in due course on the
linux.conf.au blip.tv channel [4]. The contents of the original video will be
uploaded in full apart from removal of sponsor's logos from the video.

In the days and weeks following the keynote an intense discussion regarding the
keynote and the organisers' reaction to it took place initially on the lca-chat
mailing list and then later progressed to the linux-aus mailing list. The Linux
Australia council values the extensive feedback from these discussions, and
will use it to inform policies for future conferences and events.

Unfortunately there was also an aspect of the discussion that was
disrespectful, inappropriate and upsetting to many people, including many who
didn't actively participate in the discussion. The Linux Australia Council was
also notified that some members participating in the discussion had been abused
and harassed via off-list emails.

Linux Australia would like to express its sincere regret that the discussion
was less than respectful to all participants, and would like to apologise to
those who were justifiably upset by its contents.

Linux Australia would like to remind all mailing list subscribers that the
mailing list is not a general forum, and while commentary on our policies and
actions is welcome, harassment and intimidation of linux.conf.au attendees and
Linux Australia members is definitely not.

Linux Australia is committed to expanding its membership and increasing
participation by a diverse range of groups. This means that Linux Australia
will take all possible measures to ensure all of its members feel welcome and
safe at any events we support, as well as on any communication platform we

We believe this is only possible with the co-operation of all attendees and
participants. Our goal is to create spaces that are known to be safe for all
participants, and not forums for bullying or harassing behaviour. Linux
Australia creates its policies to reflect the values of our organisation and
the atmosphere and sense of inclusion that we wish to project at our
conferences and other events. These policies have enabled us to respond in a
manner which we believe reinforces these aims.

Like the software that our community is founded on, our policies are works in
progress and can always be improved. In the coming months the Linux Australia
Council will work on improving the existing policies and expanding them to
cover all aspects of the organisation, not just linux.conf.au.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email the Linux Australia
Council at council at linux.org.au.

[1] http://blog.futurestreetconsulting.com/2011/01/28/smoke-signals
[2] http://twitter.com/#!/mpesce/statuses/31601070316716032
[3] http://blog.futurestreetconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Apology-MDP-30Jan11.pdf
[4] http://linuxconfau.blip.tv

Linux Australia Council
John Ferlito
Alice Boxhall
Peter Lieverdink
Joshua Hesketh
Michael Carden
Mary Gardiner
Kelly Yeoh

Blog                             http://www.inodes.org
LCA2011                          http://www.lca2011.org.au

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