Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Open Letter to the Linux Foundation (cleancoder.com)
572 points by anujbahuguna 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 603 comments





So what did this person do? Just wear a MAGA hat? What kind of world do we live in where we consider supporting a democratically elected political candidate a code of conduct violation?

I was at the KiwiCon where Ranty Ben got kicked out. I want to be fair: I thought his talk was stupid and not very useful. But I don't think he should have gotten kicked out. The organizers wouldn't even say why he got kicked out. They didn't say how he specifically violated the Code of Conduct. Was it the ASCII art Goatcx in PGP signing art? Was it the comment about how if you did x to secure yourself you'd be "about as inconspicuous as a tr* Polynesian girl in the desert" or "lesbian f* porn" ?

Hackercons have never really been professional. Later on in that same conference, a Mac kernel hacker did a talk on gdb where he said it was so terrible it'd be like grabbing pig balls. He had a Photoshoped image of the organizer holding some pig balls. The organizer came out, looked at it as the audience laughed and walked off. Obviously they were friends; it was a joke, but I ask you ... what if he had chosen one of female organizers instead?

In such an environment, where is the line? We do we even consider kicking someone out because one person was offended? I realize non-hackercons need to be more professional. Yet, we don't throw people out for preferring emacs vs vim, and we shouldn't throw anyone out for their political beliefs.


You ask what he's done? I and others have been repeatedly asking the same thing, and not one person has provided evidence beyond the initial, flimsy accusation.

In attempting to gather such dead ends under a hash tag, https://twitter.com/hashtag/LinuxFoundationKangarooCourt

The mob generation of these accusations are more thoroughly documented in https://old.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/dtnamp/linux_foundat...


No, the CoC violation was for making a video, in his very popular podcast channel, supporting the "right" of Somnez to attack women in tech. Since Woods was coming to Kubecon specifically to podcast it, this made several women going to Kubecon feel very unsafe.

> supporting the "right" of Somnez to attack women in tech

Clearly false, borderline slander.

Actually what Somnez did was trying to take heat away from a specific tech-women being attacked in a twitter flamewar, by instead creating heat for himself.

He did this by being generally obnoxious and impolite, and thus an obvious target to follow/tack on to instead. This part was clearly successful and the harassed woman got less heat for it.

However he told lots of tech-people to "shut up". The problem? Some of those people were women.

If he found their opinion offensive or racists, should he not have told those people off because they were women? Should he have treated them differently? Really?

Personally I don't think so. Because IMO that would be the text-book definition of actual sexism.


That seems to be a key distinction.

If I fire an arrow in the dark, and it kills a person of color, does that make it a racist act of manslaughter?

Of course not. Racism denotes the motive of the attacker, not just the nature of the victim. Both have to be present for racism to be a factor.

That may or may not apply here, but I would need to see the video. Regardless, I've seen the 'ascribed motive' attack applied practically nonstop during this whole debacle, conjuring racist motives on the basis of a person of color making an accusation of racism, and not any acts of Charles Wood himself, including the aforementioned video. If that was key evidence, no one has brought it forward.


I used to take principled free speech position in these kind of arguments. I have for Maybe 10 years.

I stopped when I realized that not once, in all the hotly debated discussions I had, I found anything of value in the person being censored. Actually in most cases, removing them provided a smoother environment/community/event.

I stopped caring about hate speech removal when it is actually about hate speech. Now I worry about state censorship more and stop defending trolls and Nazis.


Interesting how different your experience was.

I saw the opposite, where repeated removings/suppression of people with different views resulted in the creation of echochambers from which little of value emerges.


I am not talking about removing people with different views, I am talking about removing people who promote hate speech.

Someone has a talk saying "Linux is the worst thing that ever happened in IT", let her in. Someone has a talk saying "Arabs are inferior people and if you shut that opinion down you are a snowflake", shut him down.

Like you, I used to conflate the two, now I see how different it is.


You're not arguing in good faith here.

You'd have to be completely insane to conflate "Linux is bad" with "Arabs are inferior," and I don't believe that you ever did.

Supporting a democratically elected candidate, especially outside of the conference in question, can not be conflated with claiming "Arabs are inferior" at a fucking talk at the conference.

You people are so swept up in ideology that you are willing to immediately jump to completely unrealistic positions, that nobody on the opposite side holds, and sidetrack the original discussion into arguing about the position you imagine that your opponents hold.

You're fighting ghosts to feel self-righteous.


I am answering to someone who conflates hate speech equals to "stating opinions I disagree with". I am glad my example was clear enough to show you how absurd this equivalence was.

> Supporting a democratically elected candidate, especially outside of the conference in question, can not be conflated with claiming "Arabs are inferior" at a fucking talk at the conference.

How about "African countries are shitholes"? "Mexicans are rapists"? You wear a person's symbol, you claim ownership over their ideology. And I know historical comparisons are tired, but there are a few racist and genocidal leaders who were democratically elected.

As a European friend, I am sad you are at that point in the US, but yes, one side of your politics is really fucked up to the point of being toxic. It is racist and misogynistic. A community has to choose between being inclusive of women and minorities and being inclusive of people who reject them.

> You're fighting ghosts to feel self-righteous.

When you grew up in some parts of Europe, you learn to fight when some ghosts rise. More than half of the people I work with could not contribute in a world where sexism and racism would reign.


Why did you assume I'm from the US? I'm from a progressive Scandinavian country and would be considered slightly left of center here (which is far-left in the US.)

Trump never said "Mexicans are rapists," he said something along the lines of "They're not bringing their best people... their rapists" which could be misconstrued as "they're."

He did say that African countries are shitholes, while complimenting my country, which wasn't great for our public image worldwide, but I did chuckle at it. It's the sort of off-hand stupid wording you'd hear at a bar late at night, which I figure is part of his appeal to the people that actually like him. Not a good look for a president to be sure.

Trump is not the ghost of Hitler, it can be fun to argue in that kind of hyperbole but he really isn't. And ~50% of the American voting public chose him over Hillary, because it was a shit sandwich vs giant douche race, you can't reasonably suggest banning all those people from Linux conferences.


You should really watch the clip again before you get behind Trump on this one. He definitely refers to mexican immigrants as rapists, although of course "some, I assume, are good people". I'm surprised by the amount of people trying to play semantic games with what Trump is saying in general, the sentiment is clear to everyone. Trying to deconstruct it in hindsight to his favor is.. pointless.

Argue however you want about that you should be able to express your opinions, but please stop trying to sugar-coat Trump. His rethoric is toxic, it's marginalizing minorities and it's affecting how it is to live as a part of a minority and it shows, not only, from the hate crimes rates.


You yourself are interpreting it the worst possible way, out of context.

What's the context? He was talking about people coming here illegally.

Basic common sense would dictate that many gang members, drug runners, criminals in general that we know are coming here, are doing so illegally. As he said, I'm sure some Mexicans that come here illegally are good people, but pretty much all of the influx of criminals from outside our country come here illegally (including people regularly facilitating illegal travel).

You can choose to lie (to yourself and others) about the context of his statements, as if he was referring to ALL Mexicans, but anyone interested in knowing the truth should indeed find his statements for themselves, completely in context.

He's said enough things to criticize that one shouldn't need to stretch the truth to do so, but the desperation of ideologues knows no bounds.


> And ~50% of the American voting public chose him over Hillary, because it was a shit sandwich vs giant douche race, you can't reasonably suggest banning all those people from Linux conferences.

That is a very different situation to choosing to wear a MAGA hat. Choosing to wear a MAGA hat at a large event is a conscious decision to broadcast your endorsement of Trump's policies, ideology, and everything else. It means you want people to know you agree with Trump's stance on immigrants, women, and all the other shit.

Maybe such people still shouldn't be banned from a Linux conference, but they absolutely should be considered as racists and misogynists.


If he wore the MAGA hat at the conference, I would actually be somewhat with you on this, in such a case I think staff should initially politely tell the person to take the hat off and escalate from there. My reasoning for this would be that someone walking around with such a hat at a conference is probably just begging for reactions, and US politics doesn't really fit into a conference environment.

However, you're being disingenuous. He didn't wear it at a large event, he thought it would be a fun idea to put it on in front of Trump Tower and share a picture of it with his friends on social media. That's something I might even do as a fun tourist picture, and I really don't like Trump.

This conference is not banning him for conduct at the event, they are banning him for an innocuous social media post on his personal twitter account, a week before the event has even begun. They are just policing the political views of attendees. That's what people have a problem with.


That’s absurd. Should someone walking around wearing a “Black lived matter” hat be banned as well because it’s potentially controversial?

When did it no longer be okay to express unpopular political views?

I find such reasoning absolutely ridiculous. Personally it brings me great sadness that the ideals of free speech - the ideals, not the legal meaning - have been so happily stomped on.


Yeah, I agree that it's a sad state of affairs. But the US political landscape is currently so torn and people are ravenously defending their own team in a fight away from the center, so much that I can just imagine the shitstorm you'd unleash by wearing a maga hat at a primarily left leaning conference like the Linux foundation conference.

It's not good, it's not healthy for anyone, and I'm wondering how long its going to go on for.

You have to keep in mind, that for the most staunch Trump opponents, any mention of him is likened to a personal attack, they honestly believe that supporting him is on the level of full blown white supremacy and fascism.

And in that climate, even thought it goes against my principles, I would advocate for everyone to just keep their political leanings to themselves at all times in these "professional" gatherings where it shouldn't matter where you stand politically. At least until things calm down.


Man I have to sympathize with you here. It seems no matter the opinion you express people are jumping down your throat. I just want to say that, to me, it appears you’re doing a good job of expressing your opinion in a kind way.

I would love to see hostile tensions like these die out online very soon.


> I am not talking about removing people with different views, I am talking about removing people who promote hate speech.

Who gets to decide what counts as hate speech? You? Why do you get to make that call and not somebody else? The distinction you're attempting to draw does not exist: you're talking about censoring people based on whether they agree with your perspective. Free speech for the purposes of saying only inoffensive things is not free speech.


Hate speech has some fairly clear legal definitions in many places. It is speech that singles out negatively a group based on [make a list of criterion]. Typical list: gender, nationality, ethnicity, sex orientation, skin color, preferred text editor.

Honestly, I have yet to find a minority that I find problematic to include to classify hate speech at a tech conference. I am super vocal about my hostility toward every religion, I just shut it up at tech conferences. And when I do talk about the religions I find stupid, I am not calling their supporters names. That's really that simple.

> you're talking about censoring people based on whether they agree with your perspective.

On inclusion of other people? Hell yeah. Except I am giving objective criterion to judge it.

> Free speech for the purposes of saying only inoffensive things is not free speech.

I agree with that sentiment. However, I see nothing of value in purely offensive speech. Once again, I am still waiting of a single example of hate speech that would be valuable to a discussion and that can't be replace by non-offensive one.


Any time you give people a button labeled "make my opponent shut up", they're going to mash it all day regardless of the ostensible purpose of the button. Preventing someone attending a professional conference because he agrees with half the country on a controversial issue is simply unacceptable in a democracy regardless of what words you use to justify this behavior.

Who are you to demand that people prove that speech is worthwhile before being able to speak? Why should their ability to speak depend on your evaluation of their speech's discursive worth? You're just using a lot of words to claim that you should get to decide what people are allowed to say.


> Any time you give people a button labeled "make my opponent shut up", they're going to mash it all day regardless of the ostensible purpose of the button

Bis repetita, that's why you don't have a button: you have a process.

> Preventing someone attending a professional conference because he agrees with half the country on a controversial issue is simply unacceptable in a democracy regardless of what words you use to justify this behavior.

Please don't refer to US as "the" country, some of us come from another country, maybe even a democracy with gasp different rules.

And well, I agree it is certainly problematic, but the problem lies in the fact that half of your country defends hate speech. Which can be defined objectively, and has been by laws in my country (France). I used to be a fan of the first amendment, to believe in the slippery slope fallacy that it would lead to more violent censorship, that it would lead to the removal of controversial but worth content.

I have yet to find a single example of that.

> Who are you to demand that people prove that speech is worthwhile before being able to speak? Why should their ability to speak depend on your evaluation of their speech's discursive worth? You're just using a lot of words to claim that you should get to decide what people are allowed to say.

Dude, I know I am pretty cool, but why do you think you have to ask me? Where did I propose you send me an email before speaking? Or that I set rules myself? I am merely saying that hate speech is something that can be clearly defined, that it has been in a way actually enforced by tribunals in France, that it does not lead to censorship of worthwhile content and it is applied a posteriori, not a priori.

Believe it or not, we manage to have a healthy democracy while still forbidding people from wearing nazi apparel (which is still illegal in France)


> And well, I agree it is certainly problematic, but the problem lies in the fact that half of your country defends hate speech

What definition of hate speech are you using and what event does it apply to?

On a related note, here's some statements that may or may not be hate speech:

1. Africans are stupid and criminal, we shouldn't let them into the country.

2. Transsexuals are crazy people. They need medicine, not coddling.

3. Muslims have evil beliefs and blow people up and I don't want them in my country.

4. Homos are unnatural, spreading disease and sickness. We need to keep our children away from them so they don't catch the gay.

I've written all four to imply a large amount of ignorance and strong emotional motivations, but they are nonetheless a crude attempt to express a public policy and a reason for it. Should they be banned?

Should they also be banned if written in the form of an eloquent 80 page paper with precise terminology, strong citations from numerous studies and polls and a grounding in commonly accepted principles in political science and ethics (assume such a thing were possible)?


Yes, all these 4 statements would fall under hate speech laws in France.

And yes, people have tried to turn these prejudice into eloquent pages with precise terminology or into stand up comedy and have been shut down for it.

Shockingly, France is not a den of conformism yet. It is in the US that Charlie Hebdo covers are censored and where people "agree to disagree" instead of exploring their disagreements.


And this process is a kangaroo court, to all appearances, until they show the evidence by which they made their judgment.

> Once again, I am still waiting of a single example of hate speech that would be valuable to a discussion and that can't be replace by non-offensive one.

So, you want people to make some statements that, depending upon their country of origin, might result in criminal or social penalties (including losing their job) because if the those statements were ever tied back to them it might be seen as endorsing "hate speech"? You realize how freaking insane that is, right?

You claim to be inviting argument, and yet you endorse a system which would penalize people for accepting that invitation.

Listen, if you really need an example or two of meaningful ideas that might qualify, I'll provide. But it ultimately doesn't matter whether you consider them a valuable contribution to the discussion, what matters is whether other people have the right express what matters to them. If they don't, then the root of these problems can never be addressed.


So you would let yourself be treated by a doctor that is open with wanting people like you to die? You want police that have stated they hate people like you? You'd trust a cleaner that despise you?

I will let you state your opinion, but you don't get to demand immunity from consequences.

Some opinions are genuinely indefensible.


I'd worry that the doctor might recommend dangerous and ineffective treatments, that the police officers would arrest me on false pretenses, and that the cleaner would steal my belongings and poison my groceries. So, yeah, I'd fire the cleaner, switch doctors, etc.

But... would I let myself attend an industry conference that's also being attended by someone who voted for a politician whose opinions or policies are hostile to me?

Yes. Of course.

I'd also attend a conference that's being attended by someone who thinks I'm going to hell when I die. I'd even attend a conference where one of the speakers thinks that. Because I don't have to trust conference attendees or speakers with my life or health; I don't have to interact with them at all, and if I do, it'll be in a busy public place; and if they were the kind of person to go into a blind rage when they meet someone like me in public, they probably would've done it already and gotten caught.


There's a very wide range of sleazy but not illegal behavior as well as hard to prove illegal acts which also might affect the equation.

For a conference organizer, the primary question is how to make it a positive experience for as many visitors as possible, and that's the criteria they will use when determining who gets to visit.

If allowing a particular person to visit means several others will refrain from visiting, is it then a good idea to permit that? That's a value judgement for the organizers to make.

And if you think they made the wrong decision, feel free to tell them so or even to boycott it yourself, giving them a reason to consider other potential solutions.


>If allowing a particular person to visit means several others will refrain from visiting, is it then a good idea to permit that? That's a value judgement for the organizers to make.

That's part of it, but it's also a value judgment for everyone else to make.

In many cases, the rest of us in society care enough about how those decisions are made that we've passed laws prohibiting businesses from rejecting customers for certain reasons.

For example, if your market research shows that allowing Jews into your event results in lower overall attendance, because too many of the other potential attendees are anti-Semites who refuse to go to an event that allows Jews, you still don't get to ban them. We've established that making those opportunities equally available to all religions, ethnicities, genders, races, etc. is more important than maximizing profit. Even when that discrimination isn't illegal, it's often frowned upon by the culture.

And one reason for that is that we distinguish between the business deciding you can't visit them, and you deciding you can't visit them. We expect businesses to be inclusive, even if that means more people choose to exclude themselves -- because this way, the people who are excluded at least get a choice.

>And if you think they made the wrong decision, feel free to tell them so or even to boycott it yourself, giving them a reason to consider other potential solutions.

I've got no reason to attend a Kubernetes conference anyway, but I have the same interest as any other member of society in ensuring that people get treated fairly.


We also purposefully do not extend that protection to literally everything distinct about a person. Even stuff like California's laws only protect employees from their employers when engaging in political action.

There's no universal legal protection against an entity responding to another person's general beliefs, if that entity consider those to be harmful.

We do not want to obstruct society from holding people accountable for harmful behavior.


> I will let you state your opinion, but you don't get to demand immunity from consequences.

Oh, you'll let me? How magnanimous.

How about:

* Nobody asked you.

* Who do you think you are that I would need your permission?

* I wasn't asking permission. I was asking for a indication of interest in genuine conversation. Something you clearly lack.

* What opinions I hold regarding controversial issues are my own. What I was offering was examples of (potentially) prohibited things some people believe that are more nuanced than the cartoon bigotry.


* whatever. Didn't say I consider myself as some benevolent dictator. It just means it doesn't seem bad enough on its own to require proactive intervention.

* see above

* your misinterpretation of my comment almost seems deliberate, so "no u"

* while they surely are your own, you don't get to demand that other people must ignore their own concerns if they belive your opinions make you untrustworthy or dangerous to them.

I am allowed to base my own opinions about you on what opinions you say that you have. And I am allowed to refuse to associate with you.

If you openly tell people that you want people like me dead, I will never let you do any job for me where my life might be at risk (like medical jobs or similar). You don't get to demand undeserved trust.


So, just to be clear: I don't want anyone dead, and especially not because of their status as a member of some demographic. Nobody posting here to debate these issues does. Why you even bring it up is a mystery to me.

The whole point of this conversation was the suggestion that there might be non-"hateful" ideas being repressed, and important conversations that are prevented, that are prohibited by hate speech legislation. To suggest that I might actually want other people dead is a far reach.

I'm not quite sure what there is to misinterpret. Whatever your intent may be (and if it is different that what I describe here, please clarify) your words are pretty confrontational. You suggest I might want people dead, and then seem to vaguely imply you might have some ability to stop me if you don't like what I have to say. You talk about "letting" me share, and about "proactive intervention". What exactly would "proactive intervention" look like? Are you a moderator, or someone else with authority here? Are you someone with the ability and willingness to dox random anonymous strangers on the internet? Or are you just another member here with the ability to downvote/flag?


I'm bringing it up because it's relevant because other people do that. What you personally believe isn't relevant to this argument, because this argument of mine is about the worst content which your proposed rules would protect. Because it WOULD protect bullying and racism and other abuse online under the label "protected opinion".

You would make it literally illegal to counteract such behavior online.

Your rule would necessarily punish Facebook for banning stalkers, punish reddit for banning racist subreddits if they're not strictly illegal, and so on.

The rule you suggest would protect their ability to harass others regardless of if that's what you intend or not. You can't just handwave away those consequences.

Can you prove that it's in fact not super trivial to circumvent bans on non hateful ideas (in non-totalitarian states)? Are here not millions of more websites besides Facebook et al? Is it not easy to go to another website?

The fact is that your proposed rule is far worse than the alternatives.

You're suggesting it's a better tradeoff to forcibly kill quality standards online so that everybody can express literally anything that's not illegal, when it's equally possible to just... Not make a law like that, and instead encourage people to go to other websites.

Each and every person should have their individual freedom to set their standards for what opinions and beliefs they approve of (the edge cases where certain collective decisions are socially harmful are covered by antidiscrimination law).

This extends also to website owners. This means that I as a forum moderator (in a different place, on reddit) has the freedom to ban others from my forum for engaging in what I consider abusive behavior. I get to decide if and when I want to take action.

The admins on Hacker News can likewise ban me from here.

Proactive intervention usually involves government censorship or police action, but can also be considered to cover blocklists and spam filters online.

Each and every one of us decides over our own "domains".

In spaces where I'm not a mod/admin (most of them, that is), "letting you" only means not reporting the account, etc.

Today's trade-off is that every person either accepts the rules for approved content that somebody else has set on their own website... Or your start your own website. Or both at once for that matter, it's trivial to visit multiple websites at once since most browsers have tabs.

If your opinion is banned in one place online, it's easy to go to another to post it. That's how the web worked since the very beginning!


> The fact is that your proposed rule is far worse than the alternatives.

What proposed rule? Please quote me so I know what you're talking about.

> Each and every person should have their individual freedom to set their standards for what opinions and beliefs they approve of

Exactly! Which is why I oppose hate speech legislation. I believe that I, as an adult, have the freedom to hear whatever opinions or ideas I wish and the responsibility to come to my own conclusion on the truth of such ideas. To use the force of law to restrict the expression of ideas merely because they cause offense conflicts directly both with my rights and responsibilities.

> Proactive intervention usually involves government censorship or police action, but can also be considered to cover blocklists and spam filters online.

My question to you, is what are you specifically threatening the context of this specific conversation? It sounds like you're not threatening anything beyond the powers granted to every user on this site, which makes your initial comment look like nothing but useless posturing.


Please do provide.

Why is this question even being asked?

The answer is everybody, in their own respective spaces.

It's not me but not others. It's me AND all others.

If I run a bar, I get to kick out customers who voice despicable opinions. Exact same thing applies if I run a shop, a web forum, or a conference for that matter.

All of us gets to kick out people who behave badly from our own private spaces, nothing obligates me to tolerate abuse.

Free speech does not mean freedom from consequences. It does not mean the right to an audience. It means you get to say your opinion without the government interfering - and then other people get to decide how to react to it.

Freedom of speech without the right to react and respond to what others say would a horrible idea. Partially because it entirely invalidates the reason for why speech is supposed to be free. If you can't change things based on what you learned from what you heard, why even bother letting people speak?

If this means somebody else bans me from their space for being offensive, then so be it.


> If this means somebody else bans me from their space for being offensive, then so be it.

I suspect that if I banned the followers of a religion I found "offensive" from an establishment I owned, you'd be writing a very different post. The problem with the free association argument from censorship proponents is that they've never consistent about it. They're happy to talk up the rights of institutions to exclude right up until the moment that they themselves are excluded.

A functioning society is one in which you don't put your livelihood at risk by agreeing with 50% of the population on a matter of public importance. Violating this principle is tyranny, and I don't care what elaborate justifications anyone comes up with to explain it away. You don't get to try to win political fights by personally ruining regular people on the other side.


Not really. It would be quite illegal in most places, sure, but I simply wouldn't want to go there in the first place if you banned people like me.

Of course that becomes a problem is a large part of society does the same. Which is why such laws against the exists. But I wouldn't be the one pursuing this.

Especially for online spaces. There's just too many options for it to be reasonable to be pissed about getting banned from just one or a few places. It's always possible to create your own online space, if necessary. And right to speech isn't a right to an audience. You get to speak your mind, but people will only listen if they want to.

But keep in mind that there's a bet good reason for why most antidiscrimination laws deliberately limit the contexts in which they're applicable and what groups they protect. Very few jurisdictions protect opinions on their own.

I don't care if an antivaxxers works at a bakery. I'd be pissed if I hear one worked as a nurse at a hospital I go to, and that they refuse to carry out vaccinations. Some opinions are dangerous when held in certain contexts, and requires a reaction. This is simply about safety and protecting society. You can hold an opinion that terrible opinion elsewhere, where you don't hurt people.

At some point, you have to understand that the person putting their livelihood at risk is the person themselves, and that firing them is just as justified as firing a drunkard from a machine shop.


> I am talking about removing people who promote hate speech.

This is pretty off-topic given that there was nothing interpretable as hate speech done here. But I want to note that was how the two left wing echo chambers I saw started (the right wing ones took a different turn).

Initially they just banned people who made statements that were simple expressions of hatred. But people generally express views on a bit of a bell curve, so all the people whose curves had a portion inside the banned space left (often self-censoring for a while, then leaving). After that, the cultural interpretation of the rule changed a bit and it started including statements about groups (e.g. Mexican immigrants are [way more likely to be] rapists). Once all the people who expressed such a view were gone/silenced there was a popular update to the forum rules that clarified and banned a bunch more things. This process repeated a number of times.

First comes the change in rules, the vocal population changes. Then a cycle of changes in enforcement and interpretation of the rules interleaved with changes in the vocal population. Then another rules change. Repeat a bunch of times to end up with an echo chamber that I think the hn population would consider "full of ridiculous SJW nonesense" based on the commentary I've recently seen here.


Hate speech is the only speech that needs to be protected. If speech doesn't offend or upset anyone, then there's nothing that it needs to be protected from. Your reasoning is upside down.

If you find someone's opinion disagreeable, you don't shut it down, you refute it. Shutting it down just tells me you have no counter arguments, so maybe they have a point and I should listen to it.

Understand the Streisand Effect.


Technically it's possible for speech to be offensive/unpopular/blasphemous (and thus need and deserve protection) without being hate speech. Hate speech is a specific kind of offensive speech. Other than that you're spot on though.

Well, someone that finds speech offensive/upsetting/etc can pretty much call it hate speech. So in the end, hate speech can be anything that upsets someone.

I mean, you can reasonably define hate speech as something any reasonable person could agree is actually potentially harmful (like promoting some kind of prejudice in some dangerous ways), and I presume that's how it's defined under legal terms, but colloquially people most likely won't be doing that.


Did Mr. Wood engage in hate speech? If so, what did he say that constituted free speech.

One of the other individuals involved in this row has said previously "white men in tech ain't shit". Should this individual be allowed to participate in tech conferences?


I know neither their rules, nor what was said there. I can only tell you that systems exist that allow:

- hate speech to be objectively defined

- due process to exist in processing complaints

> "white men in tech ain't shit". Should this individual be allowed to participate in tech conferences?

All I can tell you is that it would probably be judged hate speech in France and fined if said publicly. I know nothing of the rules and penalties this specific place's CoC implements. And I'll be the first to say that it is problematic if the rules in the matter are not written.

But I am sure the tech world, through its typically clumsy approach of human affairs, will end up having enough jurisprudence to piece out a workable code.


> All I can tell you is that it would probably be judged hate speech in France and fined if said publicly.

Extremely unlikely. Members of the P.I.R. (black/arab racialist party) and other organisations who swim in the same waters have been spouting many many worse things. Or a few of the crazy chicks who took over the U.N.E.F. (student union) and have said stuff like "the whites should be gassed".


Did anyone care to bring their case to court? IF they did, I am pretty sure they would be found guilty.

> not once, in all the hotly debated discussions I had, I found anything of value in the person being censored.

This says much more about you than about those people. Shame on you.


> in all the hotly debated discussions I had, I found anything of value in the person being censored

I think history is a better guide because we can more clearly see what was valuable. Things that were censored in the past:

* Heliocentricism

* Evolution, esp of humans from other apes

* Capitalism/market economics (in socialist states)

* Currently mainstream views about biology (e.g. Lysenkoism)

Free speech is a "hits" business: most of the value comes from a few incredibly valuable ideas that someone powerful is trying to censor. The damage done to Russia and China under communism easily exceeds all the extra "smoothness" that they got out of censoring those who disagreed with them.


None of these examples are hate speech.

There is a formal legal definition of hate speech in the countries where these laws apply and it would be nice if people arguing against those laws would accept that, instead of continuously conflating things that are not hate speech.


Yes, which of these views would have been shut down by a policy forbidding hate speech?

I am now mostly worried about state censorship, which do remove things like the items you list.

Censoring hate speech and people who promote exclusion of minorities? I have not a single example of it being detrimental to a healthy debate.


I'm pretty sure that all of those views were censored because they were immoral according to the dominant ideology of the day, and in every case it would have been argued that this time the censorship was good because the dominant ideology was good, whereas previous instances of censorship were bad.

How would someone in the USSR know that censorship of opponents of Lysenkoism was bad? As far as they were concerned, the people being censored were evil counter-revolutionaries of whom nothing good could come.


Wouldn't "only censor/condemn hate that's tied to a protected class" be a decent test? Where protected class is defined as the stuff people cannot change about themselves. This test seems quite timeless and orthogonal to the problematic "immoral."

White male is decidedly a protected class with that definition.

Disclaimer: I am Asian and like to point out irony, don't lynch me.


No lynching here; another comment of mine points out irony as well. That said, white male isn't some sort of exception just because some do/did abhorrent things -- the white males who don't (and they certainly can't control whether they descend from those who did) do abhorrent things don't deserve it. Feel free to define a set of people who suck based on their actions, but white male can't be an analogue for that definition.

Yes and? Hate speech against white male would be brought down as well.

Let's dive into that: here are tweets made by the accusers leading to Linux Foundation's judgment. https://old.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/dtnamp/linux_foundat...

Well, have clear rules, clear penalties and due process, saying crap about any skin color is hate speech. You have no shortage of that in the US right now.

That's not my country and not much of my business but if half of your country is fine using its free speech defending KKK apologists and the other half only meets that with apathy, don't be surprised if some Black Panthers come back to life and use their own free speech fighting back.

And maybe I am less shocked by this affair because in many European cities, wearing a MAGA hat would be seen pretty close as wearing nazi insignia. Under it, lies either someone very racist or someone very confused. And either way probably someone that is not going to have a constructive participation.

So yeah, probably lack of clear rules, lack of due process, I hope that's the takeaway they'll get from it.

Arbitrary enforcement of vague rules is authoritarianism, but you can have clear rules and due process to limit hate speech. It has been done successfully in several places.


What you think MAGA stands for is not what it actually stands for. You're stating all kinds of extremist positions that 99% of people in the US do not hold.

Anyone can stir up outrage against a made up situation.


[flagged]


MAGA stands for "make America great again". It's as positive as it gets for terminology.

Some extremists carry the American flag. Does that mean someone who flies the American flag as a patriotic symbol are the same? Clearly not, because that would be attributing an extremist position to the majority using the most tenuous of associations. I don't see how that's a productive start for any discussion.


Getting my comment flagged doesn't make you right, just so you know.

Just see my list of links below. It's undeniable that the very reason why people use the term MAGA is to voice support for hypernationalism, as a way to justify racism and hatred. This is what the term was created to be.

There's nothing tenuous in the association when the president himself is retweeting white nationalists using the term, when he's using it in blatantly racist ads, when it's used to justify walls, when it's used to justify abandoning international responsibilities, etc.

The flag wasn't created by a group campaigning on hate. MAGA however is.


I didn't flag your comment, just so you know.

MAGA is used by the majority as a show of support for the president, their party, and general conservative beliefs along with American pride. You refuse to believe those people, and yet believe any extremist who claims MAGA. Why?

If you have such dogmatic views and think half the country is "campaigning on hate" then unfortunately there's no rational debate to be had here. By the way, CNN had the leader of the white nationalists on prime time. By your own definition, CNN is now a white nationalist channel. Do you disagree?


[flagged]


Wow, that sounds horrible. You're speaking very strongly about this so you must have a long list of links to explain:

"...openly supports the violent extremists that use these hats and similar symbols..."

I'd like to see all the many examples where people wearing maga hats and saying maga were "violent extremists".

Really interested to learn about all of this extremist violence I've apparently been missing by these maga people, looking forward to your response.


The evidence is literally all over his Twitter account. Like considering people murdering others by hitting with cars to be fine people. Promoting "false flag" conspiracy theories when his supporters attack people, claiming democrats are responsible. Language indicating support for civil war.

If you had read the news you'd know about it.

https://www.newsweek.com/trump-uses-language-war-twitter-it-...

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal...

https://www.businessinsider.com/trumps-condemnation-of-white...

https://americasvoice.org/trumphatemap/

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/08/report-trump-invoked...

You're either lying or ignorant. In either case you're blatantly wrong.


Also, funny how my comments got flagged and downvoted. Is the truth so painful?

No, it doesn't carry other connotations that are universally recognized. The fact that some extremists use it does not override the vast majority, as I described regarding the American flag.

The Nazi swastika is not used by anyone else. The majority is the extremists in that case, and they specifically changed the direction and removed the dots from the Asian versions to do so.

The president does not support violent extremists, openly or otherwise. "Nazis" are not a real problem anywhere in the modern world.


And what makes you believe that? Literally the people who introduced and promotes it are the people who promote its use by extremists. I've told you so already. What makes you believe the term still don't carry such meanings?

India haven't stopped using the swastika, actually. But the context of its use typically makes it obvious they do not use it to support nazi ideology.

You haven't read the president's Twitter stream? Because it's pretty blatant.

There's literally academic studies on it. You believe otherwise requires ignorance.


Extremists by definition are a small fringe faction. This situation is similar to thousands of other gestures and symbols, even though the vast majority do not recognize or care about what some extremists use. Literally everything has a extremist use somewhere.

Also I'm from India and as I just explained, the Indian swastika is a different design and direction. The Nazi swastika is not used by anyone else, they made it for themselves which is why it's only associated with them.

If you won't listen to the majority group that uses the term telling you it's positive for them, and instead apply the extremist interpretation, then what exactly do you need to hear as a counter position? Seems like it's not open to any other understanding.


No it's not. It's literally any faction with hardline dogmatic views. An extremist faction that manage to kill all their opponents doesn't suddenly become non-extremist when they're the new majority.

I have seen the arguments for "why it's positive for them" and they're bullshit. They're using it to justify racism and corruption and to defend politicians on their own side that even break the law (like a certain raid of a certain meeting concerning classified information).

I'm open to actual evidence, not just mere statements of disbelief. Can you provide counterevidence?


> in many European cities, wearing a MAGA hat would be seen pretty close as wearing nazi insignia

Which ones?


I agree with having clear standards. I think the proportions in the US are not quite as dire as you portray.

That's true, he is "just" at 40% of support among voters.

He still has won an election in a country that pretends to be democratic, so I'll politely assume he was the choice of the majority.


That's a far cry from 'defending KKK apologists'. Then again, having seen other responses you've made in this post, I'm skeptical I should be trying to persuade you.

I think you're misunderstanding the reasons for free speech.

As soon as some entity gets a license to start banning speech, you have given bad ideas an advantage over good ones.

This is because a bad memeplex can co-opt the censorship apparatus and kill off any competitors without having to face them in a fair fight.

The criterion you mentioned about hate speech etc is extremely flexible and dependent on a bunch of definitions and interpretations that the censors will be in control of - exactly the kind of thing that the free speech principle protects us from!


> and in every case it would have been argued that this time the censorship was good because the dominant ideology was good, whereas previous instances of censorship were bad.

The idea of general progress is a fairly recent one. At the times of Galileo trials, many people would have proclaimed with pride that they were following the pure and unalterable criterion of the glorious classics of antiquities.

Notwithstanding that, our modern understanding of the evils of censorship is not just based on a shift in morality, it is based on a reasoning on the nature of debate, science, uncovering of truth and the importance of controversy.

There are places where, if you have a good argument, one can argue about the differences between genders, ethnicities, religions (<- God knows I waste so much time on that subject) or sexual orientation. One is allowed to propose an argumented view at odd with the majority.

Once that is preserved, I do not see what discussion of value is suppressed by suppressing hate speech.


Using Galileo as an example isn't very useful since even though it turns out that he was right, at the time he didn't actually have real proof so the church was right to tell him not to publish his opinion since he didn't have adequate evidence for his position. The problem the church had with him wasn't that they thought that the sun had to orbit the Earth, but that he wouldn't stop trying to make people use his method without actual proof.

But who decides which opinions are possible to exclude without being detrimental?

Turtles, all the way down!


Interesting argument. By the same token, we should remove all cyclists from all roads, as it would provide a smoother transportation experience.

Well we do so when we want to go very fast e.g. highways.

Right, and going to a conference is like driving on a highway?

I don't know, I don't play football.

Car roads, bike roads, bus roads. With some intersection. I think that's the ideal

Here is the thread for more context: https://twitter.com/nebrius/status/1191821800302206976

I spent maybe 40 minutes last night trying to find out what Charles did that violated the CoC. The best I could do was find this: https://twitter.com/sarahmei/status/1187181890920312833

It seems like he was kicked from the conference for having the nerve to make a youtube video with his opinion.

If someone can show me something more significant... PLEASE... because i've been searching, I just haven't found it.


He did not do anything.

The first offense is from his twitter account:

>Latter Day Saint (Christian), Conservative

The second offense is that there is a picture of him with a MAGA hat somewhere on the Internet.

That was enough for someone to say they're uncomfortable attending the same conference as him. Because he is a Mormon, he tried to solve the issue the Mormon way, offering them to discuss the issue. This was considered "tone policing" by the anonymous "Linux Foundation" account.

The raging assholes enforcing this fake social justice nonsense must be unambiguously called out by anyone with half a brain.


> The raging assholes enforcing this fake social justice nonsense must be unambiguously called out by anyone with half a brain.

Hear, Hear.


There is nothing more significant, their stated reason was "tone policing":

https://twitter.com/cmaxw/status/1192261086810116096?s=20 reply


Punishing him for "tone policing" is like nailing Al Capone for tax evasion. Charles Max Wood's actual crime was being associated with John Sonmez, some brogrammer with a propensity to mouth off. In Scientology terms, he had an SP in his vicinity making him a PTS, and refusing to disconnect from the SP despite a direct order from his E/O meant he had an SP declare issued against him.

(Understanding Scientology will give you major clues into how social justice operates.)

Note that associating with John Sonmez is an unforgivable crime, but saying "white men in tech ain't shit" or "all whiteness is racist by design", as Kim Crayton has done, is not. This is because an often unstated assumption of codes of conduct is "we prefer the safety of marginalized groups over the comfort of privileged groups". (The GNOME Code of Conduct explicitly states this, almost verbatim.) That is to say, racism, sexism, and harassment are CoC violations if they are seen to "punch down", but not if they are seen to "punch up" by the CoC commissars who deliberate in secret. This is why Uncle Bob's letter will go unheeded. If action is taken by the Linux Foundation because of his letter, it will be against Uncle Bob himself for posting it. He suggested that legitimate actions taken against one who punches down are harassment, which is itself punching down, therefore harassment and a CoC violation.


> Charles Max Wood's actual crime was being associated with John Sonmez, some brogrammer with a propensity to mouth off.

Not saying you are wrong, but if that is indeed the case, then someone should come out and say that out loud.

Right now, having a person banned for no clear reason what so ever, only creates uncertainty and division in the community.

Edit: Having looked into it, "John Sonmez, some brogrammer with a propensity to mouth off", actually seemed to be trying to take the heat away from a woman being verbally abused and attacked on twitter.

One can obviously argue about the way he did that, but how on earth does trying to defend a woman make him a "brogrammer"? Your position seems somewhat biased.


Note that "tone policing" is only an offense when non-SJWs do it. When SJWs do it, it's known as "calling out" and should be encouraged. Example: https://lkml.org/lkml/2013/7/15/329

I think Sarah Mei should follow her own advice & stop center herself at every conversation and opportunity.

Cancel culture. Note how they don't persecute prominent people/leaders. They go after those who are more vulnerable.

What a time to be alive!


Sarah Mei has been involved in this type of attack before, so this raises alarm bells to me that she's at the center of another. I fear she's becoming a massive influence towards this kind of Stalinistic attack.

Let me give an example of the kind of 'motive imputation' attacks she leads on a regular basis: https://twitter.com/sarahmei/status/1073251153360482304

This is exactly parallel to her current tweet which LF responded to.

Live by Twitter, die by Twitter.


oh my god, they are complaining about an acronym DDD, because it somehow sexual (not being a native english speaker, I fail to spot the innuendo). If there's anything to complain about ddd is the name clash with Data Display Debugger, a really cool debugger for linux.

I wonder about the callous ignorance of Sarah Mei, who purports to be a feminist but ignores such an important program written by another woman.


> because it somehow sexual (not being a native english speaker, I fail to spot the innuendo).

In the US, DD is a cup size for a brassiere, and thus indirectly refers to breast size on women. DD for sometime has been considered to be an uncommonly large breast size for a woman, especially a woman of otherwise more common proportions. DDD, being the next cup size up for reasons I don't understand (instead of cup sizes going E, F, etc), would therefore imply a woman even bustier than the supposedly uncommonly-busty DD-breasted woman.

Yes, I think it's silly, too. Human mammary tissue has exactly fuck all to do with programming.


"DDD" seems unacceptable, however "CoC" is. Go figure.

http://events19.linuxfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/...


if at least they were consistent bullshitters, but their stuff is mostly random

That's an unreasonably huge leap for the audience to make that connection.

As somebody else pointed or, that's the explanation Sarah Mei gave on Twitter in the past.[0] The tweet about them discovering "3D" is on point.

[0] https://mobile.twitter.com/sarahmei/status/10732511533604823...


She's not going to care about that.

I wonder if the d3js project is next in the firing line

Can we just cancel javascript?

Can the letters "JS" be conflated with some other concept that offends someone who is inclined to make a stink on twitter and has a lot of followers? It could happen...

Unfortunately we'd probably just rename it something less offensive like ECMAScript.


“Later, in an effort to cash in on the popularity of Java the language is renamed JavaScript. Later still, in an effort to cash in on the popularity of skin diseases …”

Surely, one obvious way to fix this, is that we need to start a petition for changing the name of dd utility

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dd_(Unix)

what a shitshow that would be

Khaine 12 days ago [flagged]

But in most of the world, DD Cup size is followed by E Cup, not DDD. Like most SJWs they taken an American-centric view of the world, which is apparently bad when others do it, but acceptable when they do it.

I'm so sick of this cancel culture bullshit. Didn't they learn about sticks and stones as a kid? Honestly, so many people these days need to eat some concrete to harden the fuck up.

soyiuz 12 days ago [flagged]

"SJWs" "need to eat some concrete"? You sound like a wannabe skinhead teen. Your veiled calls to violence should have nothing to do with / have no place in coding culture.

This is a great example of SJWism.

Your amerocentric view of the world assumes that because we speak the same language we have the same culture. We do not. In my culture, telling someone to eat concrete is not taken literally. Its not a call to violence. Its a way of telling someone they need to increase their mental fortitude, that being upset because someone said something you didn't like is not a productive way to go through life.


I am not American. And the meaning of the English language does not change with your culture, which, I might add, does not get transmitted in writing. I am responding to your words only. Eat concrete is crass and violent. You can hand wave all you want. Try conversing without ad hominem labels and insinuations.

This reminds me of some post by an SJW-type who complained about a makeup company printing the word “black / negro” on their mascara because it was somehow racist.

I’m still struggling to find the context for this whole thing. Where did you find DDD mentioned?

I believe it was a mis-reply intended for this thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21485640

Ok, we've moved it to be a child of that comment rather than https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21486331.

This kind of holier than thou, "fuck you I'm right", "you have no say because I say so", "I'm marginalized because I say so therefore my opinion trumps yours" attitude should be shunned and laughed at, not embraced and empowered. She's acting like she speaks for all women and they're all made out of glass. Somehow these people get away with equating sexual or lewd jokes as anti women, as if women couldn't possible make the same kind of jokes. Not saying that's whats going on in the DDD case though, but that's her angle of it.

Unfortunately, this kind of extreme SJW mindset seems to be winning ground in the name of inclusion by scared useful idiots. Tech used to be a relatively sane area where logic and accomplishments was what mattered, now you need to kiss these lunatics asses unless you want to be painted as a horrible person that hates everyone but white straight males.

It reminds me about how several of the subreddits for lesbians have been taken over by transsexual women that ban lesbian women if they argue about not being attracted to penis[0]. Saying you're against MtF transexuals competing against regular women in sports labels you as a TERF[1] and persona non grata in some circles, and those circles are gaining power.

[0] https://www.reddit.com/r/TrueOffMyChest/comments/ddv8ep/lesb...

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TERF


I'd like to point out that this isn't all trans women and some of us realize this takeover is absolutely insane. A lot of us want to blend into society and not cause any hardship to others, or any destruction of projects like this. Social Justice is going way too far.

Because of these grifters I don't even want to identify as transgender any longer.


It’s easy to laugh at the sheer stupidity of that tweet. But imagine you wanted to use Domain Driven Design (or the Data Display Debugger, or the dd utility, or the D language) at an organisation that employs this person... and you get fired for it.

But all of this is on all their permanent records and when the pendulum swings the other way, they will have ample time to reflect.


Someday this type of thing is going to have a very clear connection to loss of a job or contract and someone is going to learn the term tortious interference. Then find themselves writing a bigger check than they thought they would be when they woke up that day. Paired with a groveling public apology.

Here is a Reddit story about some non-native English speaker getting fired in California over a variable name:

https://www.reddit.com/r/cscareerquestions/comments/dpcfns/i...


A large proportion of the more interesting and shareable stories are creative writing exercises. This is almost certainly one.

But that clearly must be a joke. Isn't it?

No; unfortunately, this isn't cherry-picked. Unlike with the accused this topic is referring to, Sarah Mei has lots of history you can scroll through. Another incident involved her attacking an author regarding a book on 'software craftsmanship' because - she claimed - the word 'craftsman' was definitionally sexist.

https://twitter.com/sarahmei/status/990265064866308096


In that thread, there's a comment, "it's why we call them firefighters, not firemen"...

As someone in fire and EMS, around here, among us, including the females (this area has quite probably the highest proportion of females in fire and EMS in the country), there is an inherent pride in the title 'fireman', regardless of gender.

To us it implies "I don't 'fight' fire. I am a [man] of fire, who intrinsically understands it, lives and breathes it, and knows how to master (uh-oh) it".


If we are going to change the name for "fireman" - the profession, we need to change "human" to something more appropriate like "homo idioticus" (i realize it sounds both homophobic and ableist), so does anyone have better ideas?

Here in Wales all the female firefighters refer to themselves as “firemen” too, and proudly.

> all the female firefighters

Good for them! I'm personally agnostic about this, but you sound as if you know them all and you know what they think. It can be tricky to separate ones perception from reality.


By "all" I mean it is the norm. You could perhaps find one who didn't in Cardiff.

Okay, now I saw two of the craziest things I ever saw today. Thanks, that clears it up for me.

The Linux Foundation seems to be a broken organization.


Good thing Sarah "shut the fuck up" Mei is here to police conduct.

> Stalinistic attack

Was Stalin known for unfair, politically biased code of conduct enforcement? Sorry, I don't see the need for hyperbole here. Even in context, yanking a ticket from KubeCon is hardly the same thing as being purged from the government, tried for imagined crimes and sent to a Gulag.


It is in line with the categories of the accusations made in that time. This is effectively a loyalty accusation: by seeking to mediate, he has shown himself to be insufficiently committed to the cause of racial and gender justice, which consequently means his motive must have been to defend the racist.

Yeah, but "making loyalty accusations" isn't exactly what Stalin is known for. He's known for a brutal purge that sent his political enemies to death camps.

To Godwinize for clarity: this is like using "Hitlerian" to celebrate a public policy achievement in passenger rail scheduling.


It is at the core of the worldview and ideology he espoused. The actions he is known for flow out from that ideology.

In this case I suppose "Stalinist" is a metonym for the apparatchiks who enforced ideological purity in institutions and made sure that deviants got punished.

Maybe it'd be more accurate to call it McCarthyist.

This has some very interesting parallels to the current drama at Stack Overflow w/Monica Cellio. Someone is accused of breaking the CoC. The governing body expels this person in a public an explicit way. Looking into the details shows that really that person was just not following $GROUP_THINK.

In Stack Overflow's case this seems to be headed towards a Slander/Libel. I hope we don't end up in a world where this is the only way to follow $GROUP_THINK.


> Someone is accused of breaking the CoC. The governing body expels this person in a public an explicit way. Looking into the details shows that really that person was just not following $GROUP_THINK.

Note that this is pretty much what you would predict if CoC's were inherently politicized statements, as much as a MAGA hat. Which is exactly what opponents of CoC's have been contending for a long time.


> if CoC's were inherently politicized statements

Aren't they, though, if it happens that what CoC's say align much, much more with one political group than another? This obviously implies that the latter group believes in conducting themselves quite differently than the code mandates, and they need to suppress those beliefs (or at the very least, not act on those beliefs) while engaging with the group whose code it is.


The problem is, Does the majority of the developers contributing to Linux believe in this code? Or is it forced upon them by political activist that doesn’t do much coding because they spend much of their time on ‘social justice‘?

Even with a majority, you've got some percentage having to deal with what the majority wants, which is a heavy dose of irony if the point of the CoC is blanket inclusion in the first place. The conclusion is that inclusion itself excludes those who don't like inclusion, and excluding that group is warranted, isn't it?

An inherent aspect of a CoC is that minority interests are protected from the tyranny of the majority.

The goal should be to increase the overall effectiveness of the group, and avoid marginalisation or exclusion of any potential contributors.


They don't have to be, though. It's just this particular one, the Contributor Covenant - which was written and propagated by online social justice activists - happens to be the CoC organizations are increasingly being asked/encouraged/pressured (depending on the organization) to implement.

I personally don't think the idea behind a code of conduct is bad at all, or that formally banning gender/orientation/race/etc.-based harassment and discrimination in open source projects is bad. It's just that the Contributor Covenant creators and advocates seem to have a much wider and stricter stance on what falls under that category than what I personally agree with, and some of them have a history of launching what I consider unjustified McCarthy-style witch hunts towards people who otherwise share a lot of their views.

And I think a lot of other people who don't fully agree with all of their positions are kind of forced to keep quiet about it and just enforce what's increasingly becoming the status quo. The people not afraid of the backlash and who openly oppose it are often pretty right-wing and tend to spend all day lambasting SJWs on Twitter, or whatever, which is often much further than what an average CoC-detractor may be trying to do. The more right-leaning you are, the more likely you are to be honest about your opposition to it, which over time makes left-leaning people less honest about their opposition to it. They don't have a good middle option. Like what all the other polarization in the culture is causing, a left-leaning person who isn't fully on-board usually has no good option but to capitulate.


> They don't have to be, though. It's just this particular one, the Contributor Covenant - which was written and propagated by online social justice activists - happens to be the CoC organizations are increasingly being asked/encouraged/pressured (depending on the organization) to implement.

I've heard/seen multiple accounts of anonymous drive-by commenters saying something to the effect of "I've noticed you have no code of conduct, and there are several pull requests by PoC that you have refused. You might want to consider adopting the Contributor Covenant." A sort of stealthy protection racket: "Nice project you have here. Wouldn't want a discrimination lawsuit to ruin it all."

I suspect the anonymous commenters are either Coraline Ada Ehmke herself, or one of her lieutenants.

> And I think a lot of other people who don't fully agree with all of their positions are kind of forced to keep quiet about it and just enforce what's increasingly becoming the status quo. The people not afraid of the backlash and who openly oppose it are often pretty right-wing and tend to spend all day lambasting SJWs on Twitter, or whatever, which is often much further than what an average CoC-detractor may be trying to do. The more right-leaning you are, the more likely you are to be honest about your opposition to it, which over time makes left-leaning people less honest about their opposition to it.

I'm left-leaning, and I'm sick of this shit. I've gotten downmodded here on Hackernews and elsewhere for it, and I'm kind of glad to see that others on various communities not related to Kiwi Farms or the alt-right are starting to come around. Back in the day, open source was the closest thing around to the promised cybertopia of AT&T commercials. It wasn't all holding hands and getting along, but you learned to grow a thick skin, focus on technical concerns, and -- with a bit of learning and practice -- be a bit nicer. I've seen Christians, Muslims, and atheists, people on the left and right politically, collaborate in this way. And it's being ruined by this sort of entryism. Open source (the Linux development process in particular) was built to be resilient to sabotage by government agencies and corporations. If I were just such an agency or corporation and I wanted to undermine or destroy open source, I would be paying very close attention to, if not actively exploiting, social-justice entryism because it seems to have found a weak point.


CoCs are always political.

>Which is exactly what opponents of CoC's have been contending for a long time.

Sure, they can contend that all they want - funny how their actual actions are far more revealing than their words.


CoC always are about promoting a specific moral framework, one where traditionally marginalized people are protected. So yes, going against that framework is going against the CoC.

> CoC always are about promoting a specific moral framework, one where traditionally marginalized people are protected.

What people have been "traditionally marginalized" in the world of FOSS, which now needs protection which will not be afforded to others?

As I see it, most CoCs are heavily biased political tools, weaponized by default to exclude anyone who disagrees with them.

As such they promote group-think and discourage diversity. Any forward thinking individual should naturally be opposed to such regression.


>Hi all, We have reviewed social and videos and determined that the Event Code of Conduct was violated and his registration to the event has been revoked. Our events should and will be a safe space

Could we try to be less orwellian? Are we really banning people who say things we don't like on YouTube?


> Could we try to be less orwellian?

I feel like we’re on track to having to sign a sworn affidavit that you’re not a Republican, and don’t support any Republicans, to get a job, renew your driver’s license, rent an apartment, get a checking account… it sounds ridiculous, but did where we are now just a few years ago.


I am surprised you feel that way in a time where much of our government is controlled by Republicans, including the presidency. I think I understand why you feel that way given how localized politics can be, but I would counter that it does seem unlikely the 50+ million registered Republican voters will be made homeless and jobless by the government they presently control.

Not all Republicans, just the ones in tech.

Plenty of leftists in tech who dislike identity politics too who would be at risk for cancel culture. Sarah is a radical centrist.

It's important to recognize that the ethical concerns with the current administration go far beyond the scope of simple politics. That's the fundamental issue at stake here. Are we willing to hold the line on ethics, while our political system is in turmoil. The political sphere may be willing to look the other way, but that does not mean our private intellectual organizations have to follow suit.

I think that means insisting on civility in our gatherings. Speaking out both in public and to the people we interact with against what is wrong.

I don't think it is served by trolling peoples internet history to discover if they ever committed any thought crime. Our country will be better off the more MAGAers either age into the grave or get off the stupid train. Keep in mind that many of them are already decent citizens in the way they comport themselves in their lives, in the way they treat the people they interact with. They have just bought into a moronic ideology and will vote to enable further stupidity that will hurt their fellows in a way they would never due if given that straight choice between good and evil directly.

Isolating that person instead of communicating with them is a missed opportunity that serves only to signal our virtue to our fellows. It is a choice to enhance our social status instead of our society. It's positively trumpian and it plays right into his hands by making that person more isolated and thus more vulnerable.

Doing the right thing is hard. Do it anyway.


> I think that means insisting on civility in our gatherings.

That's tone policing and a CoC violation. Marginalized groups have the right to be incivil.


This is where the logical insanity really begins to play.

Your ideology is constructed in order to grant 'incivility' (the moral permission to commit violence) to people based on whatever parameters are useful at the moment.

It's a horrendously incoherent worldview, and will shake itself to pieces.


People used to force gay people to do that

How the on earth did the kernel community allow these parasites to become arbiters of morality? And where is Linus Torvalds? He surely despises this nonsense as much as anyone.

Since Linus owns the Linux trademark, it seems it would be simple for him to step in by saying "Stop doing stupid shit or you are no longer the Linux Foundation". But maybe he can't do this because of this stupidity:

"The “Linux®” Trademark

For information regarding the Linux trademark, owned by Linus Torvalds, please see the Linux Mark Institute (administered by The Linux Foundation). Your use of the Linux trademark must be in accordance with the Linux Mark Institute’s policy."

It's clear the Linux Foundation has been given too much power. Whenever a group of people get too much power or money, someone in the group, almost by definition an asshole, will abuse it.


Every event organizer is the arbiter of morality within their own events. How else could it be?

Removing someone who behaves improperly or has a history of same is one thing. Removing people for thinking improperly is another.

I'm not sure why this is a hard distinction to grasp.


Does this count as a social credit system?

No. A private venue or organization having rules of conduct does not count as a social credit system.

Maybe I'm using the wrong verbiage, but I don't see the difference. If the "rules of conduct" extend into your personal life outside the venue, how is that not the same?

Demonstrating a lack of ethical values in personal life seems like a good measuring stick to whether one might demonstrate ethical values in a professional setting. But more importantly, how can participants interact with any event or process of an organization if they cannot trust those involved?

That sounds like a social credit system. Good behavior raises credit, bad behaviour lowers it.

> how can ... If they cannot trust

Bravery?


Aren't financial creditors also private institutions?

Yes, but I don't see the relevance. The use of the term "social credit system" is intended to imply an system of political oppression and censorship similar to that used by the Chinese Communist party, and further to create fear of the implied radical leftist/progressive agenda assumed to be behind codes of conduct by associating them with violent authoritarianism.

Being banned from a private venue is an expression of the right of free association. It is not a violation of anyone's rights, because one does not have a right to attend a private venue. It is not a form of political oppression or censorship, because one does not require attendance at a private venue to express one's political beliefs.

Therefore, because the rights of banned attendees have not been violated, nor their speech suppressed, nor has any violence been imposed against the banned attendees, or critics of the code of conduct, said code of conduct is not equivalent to the policies of the Chinese government or a social credit system.


Call it secret consumer score, it's the same thing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/business/secret-consumer-...


"Right of free association", sure. So by that token, businesses should be free to refuse to "associate" with anyone for any reason. Guess what, that legitimizes racism and discrimination.

I used agree with (and sort of still do) the sentiment of private discrimination. The logic goes like this...

1. People should be able to control their own business 2. If they reject a group of people for a given reason, they can 3. Businesses that done reject this group will gain more business. (Both from the newly released group, and from patrons who are not rejected but are against the discrimination) 4. The rejected people could start their own business as a competitor 5. Discriminatory people/businesses are immediately identified.

It seems like it could just work itself out, but in Patrice I'm not sure.


If someone says they're going to bomb an event on Twitter should they be banned? Yes, everyone agrees.

If someone says they're a race realist and that they're going to make fun of all the black people in tech should they be banned? Not everyone agrees.

If someone analyzes IQ studies about race realism to highlight the flaws in methodology but doesn't outright condemn race realism should they be banned? No, everyone agrees.

To claim that its 1984 because we're trying to work out the fuzziness in the middle is absurd.


If in one context someone expresses beliefs I find odious but they do not say odious things or behave improperly in another say tech conferences I think they ought to be able to come to a conference and talk about tech.

I don't say this because I want to help odious people but because I don't want other people judging me.

People have many different beliefs and it ought to be sufficient to respect one another rather than agree on all points.

What if merely not denouncing trumptards with sufficient vigor is sufficient to paint me as undesirable.


That's a fair fear to have and these are difficult questions.

But take what you advocate to its logical extreme: what if I say it'd be ideal if all minorities would die of terrible diseases to "cleanse" tech/the country/etc., but without calling for direct violence. It's an opinion. Would you be OK with me speaking at a conference and being given the associated prestige?


Sarah Jeong was actually _hired_ by the New York Times after tweeting the kind of vile language you are mentioning. So clearly it's not a problem for everyone. But I understand it's a whataboutism argument.

So my position is that organizations and individuals should, generally, be free to speak, and free to organize as they see fit (including hiring, or not, someone). Because it's the best way to minimize conflict.


I would agree with you, /except/ that we should also then hold organizations to their own standards, because if they violate them, it indicates that their proclaimed standards are disingenuous, and are covering for some other reason.

I would be totally OK with listening to your technical presentation. I'm not concerned with your other opinions. Or rather, I refuse to be forced by others to be concerned with your other opinions.

I'd listen to quality presentation on a technical subject that interests me even if the presenter was Hitler or Pol Pot.

I don't think I like the opinions of this Sarah Mei on Twitter, but I'd happily listen to her talk on another subject that does interest me.


Exactly this. And Robert Martin has made similar sentiments clear in prior discussions with her.

[flagged]


Seriously? You'd ignore someone's (we're assuming, for the sake of argument) otherwise insightful and well-reasoned technical presentation because you dislike them personally for unrelated (if justified) reasons? Because that is literally ad hominem[0].

0: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem


Yes, without a doubt. Its not about “disliking them personally”. In that example it’s about not giving legitimacy to someone who doesn’t deserve it. In the grand scheme of things, some technical insight is insignificant compared to the perpetuation of evil and suffering.

I'm not sure how listening to someone's presentation or reading their article about Ruby on Rails conveys legitimacy on their political views.

In your view, how does this transfer of legitimacy take place?


If your conscience is burdened by hearing the words someone says, may I propose you need to work on filtering words? That implies you are digesting and importing everything you hear directly into your worldview, instead of examining what people say critically in case they are lying or being disingenuous.

“Hearing the words” is an oversimplification. By attending that talk you are giving this person legitimacy. You are implicitly saying that this person belongs in our society. You are contributing, in a small way, to our society being open to wildly dangerous people. I personally don’t want to live in a society where people who wish death on minorities are accepted. This is not hard!

I continue to not buy the 'lending legitimacy' argument at all. Listening to someone's words helps me understand more accurately what they are attempting to convey. It is up to me to use that conveyed perspective correctly. I'd rather hear the words of someone I fiercely disagree with than craft a strawman in my own head to counter, because then I can correctly craft the antidote when speaking to others who /are/ being persuaded by such a view.

Maybe this person fell for a conman and in fact still DOES belong in our society. More than 49% of the country is stupid but 49% isn't literally hitler.

Well, to turn things around... You think people haven't just kept their head down, ignored the speaker's politics, and paid attention to the technical aspects of a talk when it's coming from someone on the left?

[flagged]


In your opinion a single picture from 2016 showing that person wearing a Maga hat is sufficient to render them a non person forever?

Just to be very clear, what is you Solution to these irredeemable people who you believe don't "belong in our society"? What can it be other than death, or exile resulting in premature death?

Have you thought through the implications of trying to do this to at minimum 1/3 of the population of the US? And what that 1/3 or more are concluding from this opinion being widely expressed in the US right now?


No the solution is not death. Thats is such a lazy conclusion. If you know someone has a really terrible and dangerous opinion, you dont have to attend their tech talk. Just dont support them in any way personally. Its that simple.

But that's not what you said:

"A person like that does not belong in our society much less should be given my time."

What you're saying now only covers the last part of your statement, what about the "does not belong in our society" part?

And why are you evading the questions about what effects these type of statements have on the 1/3 or more of the US that's targeted by them? You really think that's a free action?


Would you still be as comfortable listening to a technical presentation by an advocate of violent ethnic cleansing of minorities if you yourself belonged to a targeted ethnic group?

Would you still be ok listening to “a quality presentation by Hitler” if you were Jewish and your grandparents died in the Holocaust?


Not the parent poster, but probably in a similar boat because I would be ok listening to "a quality presentation by Sarah Mei" even though I am considered a member of a group I have a creeping suspicion they would be quite happy to send to the "showers" if only the political climate allowed them to - and I'm very glad it doesn't! - and already had a number of relations get hounded out of society by their associates.

(Yes to the Hitler question too.)


Yes to both questions.

Hitler would have to be presenting something really outstanding to make it worth my while. Hitler and Pol Pot are extreme examples of mass murderers, of course. I'm resorting to such hyperbole to make a point: I'm not going to deny myself access to helpful information just because I can't stand the person offering it, nor do I believe it is reasonable to ask others to do so.

Operation Paperclip is a good example of this principle in practice involving actual Nazis.


Do you think your jewish, black or lgbt peers, for example, would answer the same? Would they also be comfortable with your "resorting to hyperboles to make a point"?

I'm not sure, I'll have ask if they're interested in Mein Fuhrer's Modern client side Javascript tutorial and get back to you.

Allow me to answer this question for you: As a Black man in tech (my skin crawls every time I have to make this clear i n these types of discussions because I absolutely DESPISE identity politics) I would answer the same. There, you have an answer from someone who's opinion carries more weight in this context because of the color of my skin. Also, Canada's great grandparent comment was less hyperbolic than yours.

Do you think Jews want the world to forget Hitler?

I'd wait for Hitler to finish presenting and then get a rope and hang him until dead. How we deal with extremes can be revelatory but often just muddies the water. For example here it introduces multiple novel elements that aren't present in the original example. The need for justice, personal threat, emotional involvement that nearly always destroys any hope of rational argument.

More importantly in America it can't be a moral crime to vote for the wrong side else we can't continue as a republic. Our country requires the ability to have regularly scheduled revolutions without being torn asunder.


More importantly in America it can't be a moral crime to vote for the wrong side else we can't continue as a republic. Our country requires the ability to have regularly scheduled revolutions without being torn asunder.

The Republic is dead, there is no credible path forward that's going to continue it, in part because one side has stopped accepting the results of our "regularly scheduled revolutions" if they don't win. Which perhaps not counting G. H. W. Bush has been steadily more clear with each Republican Presidential election victory starting with Nixon before Watergate.


> If someone says they're going to bomb an event on Twitter should they be banned? Yes, everyone agrees.

What? No, not everyone agrees! That someone should be arrested, but keep his Twitter account. We have laws and law enforcement for a reason, and we don't need companies to play speech police, which, incidentally, in this particular case, would make law enforcement more difficult.

> If someone analyzes IQ studies... everyone agrees.

Unfortunately, you're wrong again. Some radicals would want you banned for merely using the word "race", regardless of context.


> What? No, not everyone agrees! That someone should be arrested, but keep his Twitter account. We have laws and law enforcement for a reason, and we don't need companies to play speech police, which, incidentally, in this particular case, would make law enforcement more difficult.

Exactly what I was thinking. And frankly, I'd rather have someone post "Imma shoot up ur confrence" and get arrested because of that post than have them avoid Twitter and instead, yaknow, actually shoot up the conference.


Who needs laws when you can just ban people from using an ATM if they disagree with the values of a bank?

Banning 1/3 of the nation who voted for a horrible person from every participating every again in social society in any venue right thinking individuals run doesn't seem like a grey area. Twisting "safe space" to mean a space free of people who hold bad opinions instead of a space in which you can expect to share your thoughts without being treated poorly again doesn't seem very grey.

Huh, that's not where I'd have assumed those lines were.

* Yes, everyone agrees

* Almost everyone agrees on this one

* Not everyone agrees, but the public consensus seems like they'd probably be banned.

I guess we just live in different filter bubbles.


OK, but to imply that the response to the "fuzziness in the middle" should be the same as the response to an extreme violation is also absurd.

This SJW policing really sickens me. Brendan Eich, Curtis Yavin, Donglegate, "sexist" t-shirt astrophysicist, RMS, now this guy and who knows how many less prominent ones. And the problem is that it's so widespread. I don't know of any community which isn't infected by it.

And really, what can you do about it? If you are not already set for life you can't afford to step out against it unless you are willing to risk your livelihood.


Putting Yarvin in the same clause as Donglegate is a little gauche...

Yeah, Yarvin is a genuinely highly controversial figure who's one of the leaders in neo-monarchist and neo-reactionary philosophy. One could imagine there being controversies like this about him 20 years ago, before the current political climate. He knew what he was getting into.

The others are basically just people who were unfortunate enough to be saying the "wrong" thing in the wrong place at the wrong time.


His philosophy is crazy and most people consider it either laughable or offensive, but he was supposed to be giving technical talk about Urbit, so I don't see a reason why his philosophy should matter in that.

>what can you do about it?

Never apologize.


Just curious, are you set for life? If not, do you think you are risking your livelihood by leaving this comment?

My intuition is that Cancel Culture operates a lot like the Drug War. The vast majority of non-PC speech and illicit drug use skirts by the Eye of Sauron without getting caught. But every now and then some poor bastard has his life ruined because he's in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Saying that Cancel Culture doesn't do harm because people aren't afraid to wear a MAGA hat, is like saying the Drug War doesn't do harm because people aren't afraid to drop acid. Regardless of what percentage of people are caught, it's unjust to destroy someone's life because they put the wrong substance in their body or the wrong idea in their mind.


I was in no way suggesting that cancel culture isn't harmful.

He's probably hoping to remain anonymous...

My personal opinion - keep politics and religion the fuck out of the IT community.

I personally love building, coding, etc. I rather watch two people argue about emacs vs. vim; I vote vim. Or spaces vs. tabs; I vote spaces.

Remember the days when you could sit at work building something for your customers without having to hear about someone's political or religious views?

Pro Tip: Treat politics and religious like bedroom talk. Keep it out of the work environment. Leave it for the bar/pub, with your friends or on social media.

Now real talk - tabs vs. spaces? ;)


You don't understand these zealots. They will crawl your entire online presence, from Twitter to Reddit to Facebook, and use everything against you.

That's the scary thing. He left it on social media and they went out and found it and used it against him. I 1000% agree with how you feel about it but this is a big issue when people go looking for someone's faults in their personal lives or past to try and publicly ruin someone's reputation.

But for real talk - I prefer tabs. They feel cleaner and you don't have to count. It's just one button and you're done. Who want's to push spacebar that many times?


Now I'm going to find your github account and comment on every line of code that has a tab! lol

Take back the tab comment and we'll be okay! ;)


As IT becomes bigger, it inevitably attracts politics. Linux plays a big enough role in our society to attract all sorts of evil people. If you own a gold mine, you also need an army to protect it.

It's always had politics. It just used to be run by communists, anarchists, and libertarians. Then money got involved, and now it's run by social justice warriors.

Well, then maybe people ought to disregard it when someone is wearing a MAGA hat, or bringing politics up in any other way. Because not doing so will only lead some people to do it more often just to spite them.

If it has no effect, people stop doing it (same applies for overt racism, actually). If you want politics out of IT, then just ignore it. That's what they should've done, instead of calling it into everyone's attention like they did.


Hmmm, so exactly the thing that so many people said would happen has happened? Surely not!

CoCs are not laws. The purpose of laws is to define what is allowed by what is explicitly prohibited and by these being all that is prohibited. CoCs on the other hand are an ill-defined subset of what is prohibited that is selectively enforced for political goals. They do not bring any of the benefits of codified laws. They do not clarify what is and isn't allowed since they are so general that none of those who wouldn't grasp these rules intuitively would grasp them after reading a CoC. I see no value added by CoCs, only potential for abuse.


When Linux adopted the Contributor Covenant, it's author had this to say

> I can't wait for the mass exodus from Linux now that it's been infiltrated by SJW's Hahahah

> Some people are saying that the Contributor Covenant is a political document, and they're right.


Well the suspicion is that Linus's daughter Patricia got pulled into Coraline's stuff (she's listed as a signatory in https://postmeritocracy.org/).

This explains everything. Linus himself is wealthy, doesn't report to anyone, owns a good chunk of shares in a few infra companies and can safely say f--k you to the SJW crowd. But he has a weakness - his kids and family.

Isn't it more likely that that just is and was her genuine position? Linus's daughter doesn't necessarily have to have the same political views as her father.


"got pulled into"?

This explains a lot.

He wasn’t wrong on the second, it is very evident that it is.

Is anyone surprised by this? I certainly am not. It really is inevitable.

When the whole CoC was shoehorned in the Linux Kernel, many people warned that this was going to happen. We were just hand waved with "No such thing would happen" because the people behind the CoC were not racist, etc, despite when the previous events like the whole opal mess indicated otherwise.

The really ironic thing here is that America(and Silicon Valley) was built on historical events like this. A whole lot of geniuses and skilled people were driven to America by similar groupthink lynchings happening in Europe and Asia up until and including WW2. They built America into a powerhouse. If this continues to happen then Silicon Valley is going to get a painful history lesson they could have easily avoided.


It is the lifecycle of great societies. It starts with a small group of independent thinkers who are less susceptible to mimicry, leaving the larger status quo. Then it becomes successful. Then it becomes the mainstream status quo. People who engage in mimicry (scapegoating) become the majority.

Bad times make hard men

Hard men make good times

Good times make soft men

Soft men make bad times

And so the cycle goes


> It really is inevitable.

Has there ever been an instance of a CoC being used in a reasonable way against an actually unreasonable person? From the history, it appears that CoC’s were designed to stop Linus Torvalds, specifically, but he’s still around (but he does seem to be afraid of CoC enforcers now).


> Has there ever been an instance of a CoC being used in a reasonable way against an actually unreasonable person?

Yes. Though, most CoC violations are handled privately for those involved so we don't hear much about them.


> Yes. Though, most CoC violations are handled privately

That really sounds like abuse of power with extra steps. Either ALL of these violations should be private or NONE of them should be. Selectively enforcing something like this is just bias and vendetta politics


I think that a reasonable code would allow the punished party to publicly disclose their punishment, otherwise the punishers (for lack of a better term) would do whatever they wanted. But it should be private by default.

So maybe the expected outcome is merging of HR-SJW positions and NDA-CoC so that "everyone" can feel safe

I believe that many CoC violations would include private events which the victim would like to keep private. After all, there's a good reason why we don't make all the police reports about harassment public.

Sure but in those situations most like the CoC's like we are talking about (things like the contributor covenant) would not be need to remove the person that was abusive

I have been a part of many projects with out these types of CoC's where people have been removed from the project because they were an asshole, or the project is forked and the assholes are left behind

Historically that was the way of open source.

Today however it is much different... Politics and Social Status seem to matter more than Code, merit, and reality


Yes.

[citation needed]


Part of a typical process is that these things are handled privately. Only the rare exceptions go public. That means those that know or can reference cases cannot share this detail. I would provide a citation if I could but I respect the privacy of the process so I can't.

The problem with this is it's the same argument that gets used to justify things like the Patriot Act. "The only times you see us use this power is in horrible ways, but we assure you, most of the time we use it for good reasons! We just can't tell you about it, because CLASSIFIED". In short, it's an argument that only works if you already trust the person making the argument.

IMO that shouldn't fly with the Patriot Act, and it shouldn't fly here either.


I remember watching randyben get banned from Kiwicon one year. It was very public. They said his talk violated the CoC without specifically mentioned which part and how. It was very public, announced in front of the whole conference.

Shouldn't the ones handled publicly be handled with greater care given the scrutiny?

Absolutely.

I served on the exec board of a non profit org that used our CoC to adjudicate behavior (sexual predator, harassment, etc) that was not covered by our bylaws.

One big difference, why our CoC proved useful, was we had a trial. Plaintiff, defendant, evidence, testimony, jury, deliberation. All of it.

It was a lot of work. And EXTREMELY painful. But it worked. A popular leader had a day in court. And our org emerged stronger for it.


I'd turn it around. Has there ever been an instance of a CoC being used in an unreasonable way against an actually reasonable person? There's been a few cases that blew up because the behavior fell into an arguably ambiguous zone, but I can't think of anyone who suffered real consequences and didn't have it coming. Just a little more tact and thoughtfulness on the offender's part would have saved a world of trouble.

Now I'm of two minds on this. I do sometimes miss the more freewheeling culture of the '00s, and feel like the need for constant compliance has drained the tech scene of some life... but honestly it's a small price to pay if the only alternative is tolerating fascists in your midst.


>Has there ever been an instance of a CoC being used in an unreasonable way against an actually reasonable person?

Said instance is the only reason this thread exists, no?


[flagged]


I would disagree. I'm not a Republican myself, but it doesn't seem any different than wearing a Bernie hat or T shirt. He is expressing his political beliefs. You may find them offensive, and he may likewise find your views offensive, but I doubt either of you are doing so with the intent to offend.

How is a wearing a MAGA hat a CoC violation? This is so blatantly political that it's ridiculous. So 50% of the US (republicans) are in violation of the CoC. Echo chamber much ?

In your universe, what politicians are people allowed to support?

Is wearing a Bernie Sanders hat also a CoC violation? Is voting for a Republican also a CoC violation?

On what planet? Would you say the same of a Yang (MATH) hat? I loath Trump as much as anyone but this is utterly insane. We are not talking about Nazi imagery here, we are talking about a hat that supports the president elect - who by the way might very well win a second term on the back of this sort of un-american censorship.

A hat that contains a slogan he reused from the Regan administration to boot.

[flagged]


This is one of the more ridiculous comments I've seen on HN. What a world we live in that people are threatened by a hat.

Repeat after me: "There is no right to be shielded from offense"

No such thing would happen" because the people behind the CoC were not racist

Read their tweets, many of them are openly and proudly racist, sexist and ageist.


>Read their tweets, many of them are openly and proudly racist, sexist and ageist.

Are they really? Or do they just dare to hold views that have nothin to do with sexism, agism or racism but instead just violate the "proper" political orthodoxy?


FreeBSD - Randi Harper. Who ran an online anti-harassment support organization:

> you fucking suck

Changed her Twitter name to "Kill All Men".

Drank coffee from mugs with things like "Male Tears" on the side.

https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/08/ironic-misandry-why...

https://www.reddit.com/r/freebsd/comments/3z2sbe/randi_harpe...

etc.


“Joking” about killing all men to make men feel uncomfortable is still clearly harassment.

Especially when they don’t permit the “joking” excuses to anyone else.


Oh, I absolutely agree - my original comment was perhaps ambiguous. This was the hypocrisy of someone who actively advocated for CoCs to be introduced even as she was actively harassing people who didn't fit her world-view.

Here's my personal litmus test:

If you replace one gender with the other or one race with any other race (etc, etc) and the new sentence is offensive, then so is the previous one.

Is kill all women offensive? Then you obviously shouldn't say kill all men.


do they just dare to hold views that have nothin to do with sexism, agism or racism but instead just violate the "proper" political orthodoxy?

Well let’s see, what do you think about using “old”, “white” and “male” as pejoratives? No one ever seems to have violated a CoC for it.


I do feel the need to point out that the kennel CoC isn't involved in this particular episode at all...

The problem is poor governance.

Everyone has the right to appeal, sue for injury, etc.

Any entity acting as judge, jury, and executioner is the problem. Secret laws, secret courts, secret rulings are the problem.

Suboptimal CoC's are not (even remotely) the problem. Broken laws, policies, rules, procedures can be fixed. If we have proper governance.

We know this.


The two are tightly coupled. An intentionally vague CoC permits gaps throughout the governance system.

If CoC's were specific, they'd be called laws, rules, procedures.

CoC's like the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence exist to capture values, principles, culture, intent.


You're not exactly helping the case that this whole 'governance' is flimsy, a facade over arbitrary application of power.

What?

Which side are you on?

Pick a side.


My natural inclination is to agree and stand against this stuff which superficially really does look like hysterical moralism.

The thing that stops me and almost makes me side with the CoC crowd is that I've spent the last 8-10 years watching a wave of fascist and hyper-reactionary ideology sweep across hacker culture.

The existence of so much actual fascism, race nationalism, Naziism, ideological misogyny ("red pill" and "incel" stuff), etc. in so many corners of hacker/geek culture make the hard core SJW crowd look like they have a point. The stuff that revolves around places like Gab and /pol/ makes the craziest examples of "call out culture" and "cancel culture" look sane and maybe necessary.

It's like this.

Say you're in Salem. Say you're horrified at all the witch hysteria. Now imagine you go for a walk in the woods and come upon a circle of people chanting and sacrificing babies over a bonfire...

Hmm... now maybe those witch hunters have a point!

I feel a little like that.

What I really think is that everyone on the right, left, and just about everywhere else lost their damn minds for some reason starting about 2010-2012. The MAGA hat crowd and the "cancel culture" crowd are all insane and this is all crazies fighting with crazies.

This install is totally borked. Format and reinstall the OS.


Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: