[Linux-aus] Minutes of Council Meeting Tuesday 11th February 2014

Noel Butler noel.butler at ausics.net
Mon Feb 17 12:00:53 EST 2014

On Sun, 2014-02-16 at 21:20 +1100, Russell Coker wrote:

> The only recommendation that I made in regard to private mail was to deal with 
> the problem of abusive private mail that has been sent to some participants in 
> recent discussions.

That's kind of a contradiction, I agree that private mail is private,
even if its a private follow-up from a mailing list post, in which case
any abuse then may fall under a general code of conduct, which we do not
have, the closest is the "Values" but this is not binding on members,
perhaps it needs to be? 

But in such cases you need be careful, eg:  two friends may have a hissy
at each other, they may both be LA member, but is not where they met,
they decide to jump in on a thread and send a nasty mail to the other,
the other one complains to LA under your suggested policy,  one is
reprimanded, the situation escalates - hollywood plot? No, seen it all
before when charged with running an ISP abuse unit, you need consider
the topic, the environment, the context, the person, and emotions, take
the Cronulla riots for example, it could have led me to suspend or
terminate 100's of our customers, I did neither, but had that been a
normal situation, I may well have issued a caution to some, and
terminated others, so unless you have seasoned reasonable people making
the decisions, its dangerous.  However, if the abuse is threatening harm
to life or property, then there is only ever one port of call, the
police. If someone is harassing you, you tell them to stop, if they
persist, again, the avenue there is the police.

It also comes down to interpretations and balance, take me for example,
I call a spade a spade, rarely walk on cotton wool, so what people see
is me, they do not see a FAKE/pretend me - not a Jeckle and Hide, like
we have seen from any others around here, therefore some of my list
posts occasionally may seem a little harsh to some, but I'm also one who
has plenty of empathy and kindness for those who deserve, or earn my

> I believe that the policy should clearly state that private mail of a 
> threatening or harassing nature that is sent in response to list mail should 
> NOT be considered to be private.  I also believe that replies to mailing list 

You may be at odds with some laws there (copyright and privacy acts).

> The way things seem to work is that only the more powerful people in the Linux 
> community can safely get involved in discussions on this list.

amen to that, but I did get a number of off-list nasty responses
claiming there is no such "boys club", or "inner circle", of course
those who said that unsurprisingly were members of that inner circle ;)

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