There isn't anything obvious here - a bit of complaining but it all seems mild and accurate: https://twitter.com/search?l=&q=%40jsconfeu%20from%3A0ndras&...
Purely guessing here, you might want to avoid tweeting "Stupid fucking white man" at conference organisers. https://twitter.com/0ndras/status/960901913624576001 -- but this is just a guess. I have no idea if that's why they blocked you.
Agreed with the language. It’s a constant stream of fussy complaints, and as unfair as it sounds, I would have probably blocked them too after years of the same.
Here's a direct link: https://twitter.com/0ndras/status/960917446449356800
About three hours ago, they came back from my mail, where they again rejected my talk proposal (or all the Xs that I sent - as every year). Chance? I do not think. :P
Cca tři hodiny nazpět mi od nich přišel mail, kde opět zamítli muj talk proposal (resp. všech X, co jsem -- jako každoročně -- poslal). Náhoda? Nemyslím si. :P
In other words, he suggested that his talks were rejected because of positive discrimination towards minority groups, and he's critical of such discrimination.
I understand the conference could take offense with such statements (whether or not the talks were rejected for that reason).
> "Using gendered terms like “dude” or “guys” to address a mixed-gendered group of people contributes to furthering exclusion of underrepresented individuals."
The fact that they included an option to "make an anonymous" report furthers the assumption that you just got under the political wheels of the conference.
Conference that wants to be internationally inclusive, which I assume a conference in English held in Germany wants to be, should not ostracize people based on grammar technicalities.
That's just one word, but pronouns in particular differ greatly across languages. Objects can have genders, occupations can have genders, plurals can differ or be the same, etc.. Someone who is not a native speaker can easily make a mistake that is related to gender.
It's always the intent that should be taken into account, not whether someone was offended.
Using gendered terms like “dude” or “guys” to address a
mixed-gendered group of people contributes to furthering
exclusion of underrepresented individuals. We strongly
advise avoiding gendered pronouns as well as gendered
In our commitment to a harassment-free and inclusive
environment we strongly believe it’s important to pay
attention to harmful language patterns.
Now, that this pattern has been pointed out to you, you can still feign ignorance and deliberately still use "guys" and "dudes" to refer to people that do not identify as guys and dudes but that would just make me refer to you as "boneheaded impolite dick" even though you might not identify as such.
Then we thought about what might happen when we have a violation (endless discussions about whether that was actually a real violation and whether our response was justified, maybe even within the team).
So, we sat down and wrote a slightly longer version, which tries to spell out some unwanted behaviour and some guidlines for conference stuff ( http://socrates-conference.at/code-of-conduct/ ).
We also wanted to explain why we have the CoC in the first place and how we'd like people to behave. It surely is not perfect (probably too long and too short at the same time).
But if you think "don't be a dick to other people" would suffice as a CoC, imagine you are the organizer of an event, and then try to list all the things that might go wrong. Be creative - I'm sure you can imagine situations where it does not suffice.
So if I say "well actually..." on your conference I might get escorted out even if nobody took offense, but if I race around on my skates and make people uncomfortable because they are afraid I might run into them, that's fine because it doesn't really fall under any point mentioned in your CoC?
That's obviously nonsense. Just don't be a dick. And if you are, be a dick somewhere else.
- At some point you will have to make a judgement call as a moderator, if you have no written rules every decision is a judgement call
- Someone will not like your judgement call, you then get a discussion
- To make sure you don't waste time having the same conversation again you write it down
- Rinse 'n repeat, you now have a CoC, whether you like it or not
Also, from the information you have given, from a certain point of view, you might come off a bit needy: You send in 5-6 proposals per year and send direct messages and mails to multiple people when you don't receive answers and you care about whether some twitter account is blocking you or not.
I am not saying you are needy, I am just saying it could come off that way and that might have lead to either being blocked or communicated in non-tactful ways.
Jesus, if you think that comes off as needy, you should see what founders often have to do to get going.
So nothing can be categorised if it is not the most extreme example of its potential category?
(that being said, their email reply was still unprofessional)
Definitely not a conference I'd ever attend.
A conference for technology is usually supposed to be a social gathering for people with a shared interest, not a formal conference like a business gathering.
The only thing I can't think of is that you submitted a lot of proposals and they perhaps thought it was spam, but the response they gave you they clearly knew it wasn't spam.
Perhaps they have small children's mentality and didn't like the challenge of someone with a different point of view and perhaps better knowledge; although that alone would be kind of ironic since most people go to such conferences to hear the minds of bright people.
From the information you've given, I'm unable to find a logical reason for your ban.
Don't get me wrong: harassment or aggressive behavior are not right and should not be tolerated. But on the other hand, over-cautious attitude that make any controversial comment a potential aggression is a really worrying trend today. The ridiculous cases of "code of conduct" dramas - especially on the js community - is a good demonstration.
Not sure why, I blame total ideologies that prescribe the personal being political.
(Just leafed through their twitter. I'm seeing a lot of the same clique as were involved in the node.js brouhaha last year. Is this conference really worth the fuss?)
So Brendan Eich invented JS, and then led Mozilla.
And being in the Brendan Eich Fan Club in 2011 probably was a positive thing and a cool thing for JS people.
Then much later, Brendan Eich donates $1000 to some political thing people strongly disagree with
So retroactively, being a fan of Brendan Eich means you are a homophobic hater and must be blocked?
I am quite sure this ain’t it :)
I'd guess not unless money was involved. Personally I'd just stop supporting them by going to the conferences and tell everyone why.
But it also might be their way of saying "also pls do not attend again, we do not want ya".
But in terms of feeling rejected for unknown reasons, I'd let it slide. The reactions you describe (twitter blocking, "we don't have time to answer" emails) are immature, so expecting more from them is naive.
Since they haven't said "please don't attend again", don't interpret it that way. Don't reward people for communicating this poorly. If you can buy a ticket in your name, and you want to go, go. :-)
I really don't see what's so outrageous about the practice. There is no moral law that being paid by someone somehow creates a hierarchy where people can waste your time.
Edit, because you seem to have edited your comment: That doesn't happen for a single, innocuous, \question, obviously. Reading between the line and in this thread, OP submitted 30(!) proposals for talks, sent follow-ups on each of them, plus other questions. At some point someone /probably/ got annoyed. I'd even wager money he's a running joke among the organizers.
That's fine, these things can happen. But being an a-hole about it is not. Just say it in clear text: "You came off as needy and annoying, please stop". Would probably be more than enough.
But the organizers probably didn't want their decision to be questioned or brought into a public light so they went silent and ignoring.
He actually did:
> Hi Ondrej,
> dealing with this is at the bottom of our rather indefinitely long priority list. Don’t expect a swift resolution.
> We’d appreciate not being bugged about this again.
It seems they did it on purpose and they refuse to at least clarify why. My bet is that they did it for some childish reason and they don't have a courage to admit the mistake.
I hope they will now shed some light on what happened.
It happened in a very similar way for a different conference here: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2015/08/twi...
If they're in the middle of a Twitter dogpile, they probably wouldn't care too much about one particular guy on a blocklist if several hundred sockpuppet accounts organising on 4chan are all sending the same whining emails...
(They could have handled that email response more politely, but I can pretty easily imagine a situation where OP looks like part of the problem rather than collateral damage...)
a) give him the benefit of the doubt and say "Not sure what happened, sorry we've unblocked you" (most likely thing)
b) tell him whatever heinous deed he is supposed to have done
IME blocks are either accidental or for some really annoying or inappropriate behaviour. I mean it's "just" a block on twitter, but it's pretty weird for a conference to engage with the community like this.
But seeing as this is in the EU, the author could use the GDPR to find out why he was banned.
Of course if they just spontaneously clicked 'block user' whilst browsing twitter because they just didn't like something he wrote then the above would be moot.
And you would be surprised to know how frequent those are (not necessarily about Twitter but in general about customers/employees/visitors in shops etc.)
The above happened under the 1995 DPD regime, the GDPR would probably be even more useful.
Blocking you is a way of saying "Leave me alone!"
Not replying to direct messages or emails is a way of saying "Leave me alone!"
Nobody needs to explain why they want to be left alone.
Maybe stop thinking about yourself, and just accept that the people behind the twitter handles just don't want you to contact them anymore for whatever reason.
They even replied to him - why not just say WHY and get it over with once and for all? This is just stupid, not (just) unprofessional. If they could at least point to "we already told you, now get lost" - but never giving a reason... it's not like they could be sued (first, Europe, second, just a Twitter block), so the usual (at least understandable) justifications e.g. when not giving reasons when not hiring someone don't apply.
The reason does not matter (especially since we are unlikely to hear it from anyone), what matters is that they refuse to say what it is. "Effort" is not an excuse either since they even replied to him - but with something unprofessional while still leaving out the reason for no good reason that I can think of. You can even mask it behind a more fuzzy reason if you think the specific reason is not good enough to be made public, but they did not even make the attempt.
> then muting communications is the least offensive option
Only after telling him. Something, anything - they could even make up a polite "official" reason and keep the truth for themselves as we humans often do, which can actually be perfectly okay. But stubbornly refusing to give any reason at all... no, that's not okay. It would be if it was between individuals, but not for a professional organization, especially one that the person may not be able to ignore even if they wanted to, since he seems to find them a valuable contribution for his professional life.
A while ago I experimented with giving job applicants honest feedback on why they were unsuccessful - not just the old platitudes like"there were stronger candidates".
Big mistake. When you reject people, they really really want to dig in, know why and then refute or try to overturn that.
I graduated in EE and really wanted to go into software. The manufacturing and construction jobs I had worked in over the summers had convinced me that I did not want to be drawing wiring diagrams all day.
I failed the interviews for the first few software development jobs I applied to. After one I thought had gone well, I emailed the hiring manager to ask for feedback. He told me that my technicals were ok for a new grad, but that I fell short on the social side. That was valuable feedback. I had been very nervous and awkward. It gave me the confidence that I actually had the talent to pass an interview with a little more practice. I sent that guy a thank you note, and a few months later I found my dream job in software.
Maybe I would have passed the later interview anyways. Probably. But if not, my life would be completely different today. Just after I got the offer letter for the software job, one of those construction companies asked me to come in for an interview...
Thank you for trying. It doesn't always pay off, but it can make a difference. Giving that sort of feedback is all risk and no reward, so I really appreciate that you gave it a shot.
That is 101% true. However, when you give feedback you can also politely say that it is not open for a debate.
"We found you lacking in X, Y and Z. We are not interested in advancing our communication. All the best and goodbye."
So IMO just give feedback once and never reply again. If somebody is persistent, block them. Then you would in your full right.
Being fully silent without a single message however is not okay.
> it's not like they could be sued (first, Europe, second, just a Twitter block), so the usual (at least understandable) justifications e.g. when not giving reasons when not hiring someone don't apply.
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17440185 (all of it, especially the 2nd half)
I would appreciate if you took what the commenter wrote into consideration when you respond. You don't need to change the topic and come up with something completely different - here, job rejections (which I even already mention).
Like beeing conficted without a trial (of course this is just a business relationship between him and the conference).
Imagine that Hacker News would ban your account jakobegger, no explanation, no way to get informations why or what you did wrong. Would you just accept this as just "leave me alone"?
...Except when they shadowban people. (Who aren't obviously spammers or dedicated trolls.)
I mean, they literally do this in the from of shadow banning.
If an account has been posting to HN for a while and hasn't been banned under other guises, we always tell them when we're banning them, and nearly always after multiple warnings.
Thats an assumption it could have been a mistake, it could have been temporary, it could have been any number of reasons. Maybe there is a good reason they blocked you, if you knew this reason maybe you could fix it or accept your differences and move on, both good social outcomes for both parties.
You are being anti-social by assuming other people actions. You also assume that the other persons action was also anti-social.
You then assume that doing the social thing and talking to the person in a reasonable manor will be treated as unreasonable and anti-social (this makes sense if you think they are anti-social).
So you don't ask, their anti-social behaviour is never questioned and they carry on with it. They probably blocked you for a reason, you were being anti-social but since you never questioned that reason you too will carry on with it.
This anti-social behaviour encourages itself.
1. Create a Open Source library that is suuuuuuuper popular.
2. Get a shitload of Twitter followers.
Conferences are a business, that business is selling tickets.. big names sell tickets. It's like if I have a music festival, and I open up applications to everyone. I'm only doing that on paper, realistically I'm only getting the biggest musicians.. cause that sells tickets.
(I think the same applies for Facebook and yes, I think that's nonsensical as well)
One might joke about Facebook bragging about its reach: "We have more than 2 billion users and only 25% are located in the USA!" Subtlety, math, and statistical references all in one one-liner joke - what could be better?
Who's to blame? I'd say you, for caring. This is the way politics works now, and some software projects have, for some reason, joined the politics battle. By caring you're giving them weight. Just flip them off, tell them to go fuck themselves, and keep thinking the way you do.
It's not worth it to give up on your views on politics just to not be ostracised by these manchilds and circus freaks. They live off attention; if you don't pay attention to them they die. Don't give them any legitimacy, because most of those who take these decisions don't even know how to code and they are there to hijack the projects with their politics.
First, I understand there is an effort to create blacklists independently, then contact conferences who have a speaker who is on them, and then publicly shame the conference if they don't ban the speaker in question. This removes agency from the conference to decide who they want as a speaker, and creates a chilling effect, as nobody except the owners of the blacklist knows who is on the list.
Second, if I am a speaker who is on a blacklist, I generally am not told about this. Which is safer in the current political climate, to submit and risk becoming the epicenter of some twitter drama, or to decide not to submit a talk? How many great talks do we miss because an unaccountable arbiter of a blacklist has decided on my behalf who gets to speak and who doesn't?
Third, the owner of the blacklist acts as the judge, jury, and executioner all at once, with no due process. As either a conference organizer, speaker, or member of the public, I am generally not privy to 1. why the person was blacklisted 2. how many other people are blacklisted 3. whether or not (most likely not) there is an appeals process so they can be removed from the blacklist. If this sounds familiar, it's because the TSA does the same thing.
Two additional things: I realize that I am assuming some of the structures of these systems, but it comes from a bit of experience. Second, I understand that the blacklists extend to more than just conferences, also to contacting employers to get people fired, or prevent them from being hired.
I'm not sure if the conference is employing their own blacklist or was contacted by a third party, but my points still apply either way.
HN uses similar approaches. Just saying. You can have tons of points, but if some of your recent posts were unpopular for whatever reason, your account will be limited to the point that you can't really take part in conversations.
That has not been established. Without knowing the author’s history or any background the only thing I can conclude from the conference’s organisers is that they are disorganised and with misplaced priorities: if a potential speaker alleges they’ve been incorrectly blacklisted (and shows no obvious warning signs) then investigating and rectifying the situation as necessary should be a high priority: that’s just good customer service and community leadership - especially as checking the pedigree of a Twitter blacklist is a trivial 5 minute task.
If the author really was unwelcome for some reason or another they would have ignored his email or replied with an short “because...” message - not a “we don’t care” response - because that really does mean they really don’t care.
(Though I’ll make a snark about how the JS community moves so fast that anything useful gleaned from a JS conf would be obsolete in a year’s time anyway - limiting the potential value of his attendance anyway)
They should be ostracized, shamed, fired and barred from employment. We should prevent hiring anybody who shows any sign of belonging to the PC-brigade. (Make no mistake - they are already doing this to their perceived "enemies", and not just based on opinions but even sex and ethnicity.)
We should make companies understand the incredible damage these people can cause.
Your post reads like fear-mongering of laughably incorrect activist-left stereotypes. This is HN, we can do better than that.
1) Some political views correspond strongly with problematic behaviour that a conference would rather not deal with.
2) Virtue signaling for PR purposes.
This is kind of like considering an "anonymous" donation more deserving of praise than a public one.
2) Probably because consent can be enforced this way much easier than it can be created in a real discourse. Especially in Germany it is frowned up by leftists to even talk with people from the right-wing spectrum.
I get (1), but (2) makes me wonder whether we learned anything from history at all.
I also know of 2 larger conferences in Europe where accounts were monitored and if activity indicates the person is present, they were removed from the venue by security.
Statistically speaking it should. Do you know if it's proportionally better than just blocking 1 in 10 would-be attendees at random?
Calling a organizer that would get you banned too and I think that's perfectly fine. There is no reason to get personal.
This is logically inconsistent and snarky. The ban came before the reaction to it. In addition, publicizing an egregious sleight because it pissed you off, does not make you "lose" because you cared. If you smash your phone, if you crash your car, if you get angry, sure..then you sort of lose because the reaction didn't measure up to the reason for it. But here...JS Conf organizers are notorious for being a bunch of intelligentsia hipster hacks - and they are pulling in big dollars from corporations like GitHub, Amazon, Microsoft, and the like, because devs get to goto all expenses paid conferences. So seeing continued, firm evidence of pettyness on their part shows that all their bullshit politik-apologies are BS. These people are a disgrace to our industry. And deserve to continually receive bad publicity especially when their public events which rely on public image, are still milking dollars out of our programmers and the respective companies.
I feel like re-orienting your psychology to feel better without addressing the situation is ducking your head in the sand.
I think sociologically it is wrong to just ignore 'them' as considering a change of your own thinking is important to resolve conflicts in general.
Nevertheless, without an explanation there is little he can do so ignoring them might be a reasonable self-defense in this situation.
(stolen from Groucho Marx)
Also, they just banned you on twitter, what's the big deal here? You can still attend the conference.