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    The whole situation is… embarrassing. Here’s my understanding of what’s happened so far:

    • Rod, a higher-up member of NodeJS (TSC group, technical-steering something or another) retweets some articles that are anti-CoC.
    • He also breaks a few moderation rules. I don’t think any of them actually targeted users, they were things like “posted information from the moderator repo to a public repo without asking permission, and didn’t clean it up after he was asked to.” I read through the list of grievances, and they all felt victimless, or minor.[1]
    • Things snowballed.
    • The TSC group notices these breaches and holds a vote on whether a) Rod should be removed from the group (yes/no), and whether b) Rod should be asked to leave the group. Both were a 60% vote against him leaving.[2]
    • Some folks weren’t too pleased that he’s staying. One member of the TSC has stepped down.[3]

    In my humble opinion, things clearly got heated and caused this whole mess. I don’t think either side is blameless here (Rod breaking moderator rules versus the community over-exaggerating the severity of his retweets). It’s stupid, and it’s drama.

    In my not-so humble opinion, I believe this project is not going to gain any traction. It was premature, and there is no technical nature behind it. Its motivation is purely social. The fork has no maintainers, no stated goals (technical or otherwise) [4]. The way I see it, this fork does not exist to actually write code and get any work done.

    [1] https://twitter.com/ohhoe/status/899748838302302212

    [2] https://github.com/nodejs/TSC/issues/310#issue-251773705

    [3] https://medium.com/@mylesborins/effective-immediately-i-am-stepping-down-from-the-nodejs-tsc-3df37c6ccbae

    [4] https://github.com/ayojs/ayo/issues/7

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      You’re starting too late; Rod’s CoC tweets were not the start of this. This is a situation that’s been ongoing for a year or two now.

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        Care to share sources/links on what’s been going on?

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          I don’t have any handy; a lot of this is also in-person discussions with people at varying levels of privacy. Some things have also happened in non-public venues.

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            I have no real knowledge of anything that’s going on here, but to me this and your previous comment amounts to gossiping.

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              Call it whatever you want; all I’m saying is, boiling this situiation down to “Rod made a tweet about the CoC” is removing both context and actual other actions; even the original thread cited more than just that thing.

              I don’t have receipts handy because, well, that’s not the kind of thing I generally do, and I’m not directly involved, I just know almost everyone who is, on all sides.

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                “I don’t have receipts handy because, well, that’s not the kind of thing I generally do, and I’m not directly involved”

                Right. You just spontaneously do politics in threads from this one to I hear the Urbit guy with no records kept since it keeps your end of the conversation neater looking. The amusing thing is that your type depends on your political schemes staying at least half-secret with moderates like me pretty open about what we’re doing and defending our beliefs or thought experiments quite openly against the hordes. You instead drop these kinds of comments in a way to evoke emotional reactions then retreat upon any close inspection.

                And in this one you act like you’re a casual observer of these things reporting events instead of the activist with some kind of goal you actually are. The pushing some reaction followed by backtracking or “look into things” reactions you’ve done a few times should make that more apparent here. Given that and my schedule, I’m done for the night…

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                  Okay, so I wasn’t going to reply, but one more thing.

                  The amusing thing is that your type depends on your political schemes staying at least half-secret with moderates like me pretty open about what we’re doing and defending our beliefs or thought experiments quite openly against the hordes.

                  If you’ll notice, what I’m saying here is that the TSC didn’t present the whole story in this issue. That’s not obscuring things, in fact, it’s the opposite. The TSC further redacted the actual list of things that were presented, as well, which is something that I’m quite critical of.

                  If anything, I’m the one saying “there’s more information here, you should use it to inform your opinions”, not “trust me and believe X.”

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                    Ok. With that clarification, Id agree with you their redaction is the root problem that led to the heresay-looking statements I was countering. If they’re keeping the data secret, the reporting on it will look bad as a consequence.

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              That is the kind of thing I talked about in other threads about political censorship. You implied upthread we should consider the person evil and deserving of the punishment. Let me paraphrase your justification above:

              “You will be charged with unlawful conduct and treason to the party. We want to sentence you to banishment. Any resistance will be appealed. Anyone wondering why will be told by party followers to accept that ‘various people said you were guilty at varying levels of privacy.’ They must take our word as that is our custom. We call this ‘expedient process’ versus the ‘due process’ some ineffective governments of old times had.”

              Sounds a lot scarier than an Internet without Codes of Conduct and just enforcement of civility by good moderators. One where they’re tried on specific evidence so outsiders can vet the integrity of the process. I watched that work for decades now in communities with decent moderators. Then, in the past five years or so, all kinds of people are telling me it’s impossible today without a huge list of specific, constantly-changing behavior with strong enforcement by similarly-thinking groups of people often working in secrecy with much backchanneling off-forum. Strange if not politically-motivated versus necessary for Internet civility.

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                You implied upthread we should consider the person evil

                I have no idea what you’re taking about with most of this comment. I never said anything of the sort.

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                  “It was just his anti-CoC tweets that did this.”

                  “You’re too late. It was a lot of other stuff going on that got people to come after him. I’m not going into detail. It’s secret. Take my word with whatever that implies.”

                  “Any details past the anti-CoC tweets on what you’re referring to?”

                  “People were saying stuff happened and I can’t/won’t talk about that. Implication here is to just trust me that negative shit is maybe associated with him via non-public events I saw or people I know. Why else would I be putting effort into posting vague implications on a public forum without any specific, public evidence about the topic? Obviously, read into this what you will based on the vague, ominous wording of my comments speaking on authority you will take on blind faith or what you perceive my political standing to be.”

                  You’re right though. You didn’t say much at all but intended to achieve something with what little you said. Politics in action. Wonder what your political goal was there. To be clear to readers, I’m just confused by this situation I’m casually observing at a distance with a lot of upvotes on your comment maybe supporting action against someone for whom you then claimed to have no evidence against that you could share. I’m big on due process and avoiding gossipy BS. So, that was strange to me if you don’t have hidden motivations you didn’t want to share about what went on in a FOSS project of all things.

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                    I did not say that you should feel any particular way here, though I do have my own opinion. You also don’t have to trust me; I’m repeating public statements others have made here; and most of this stuff is public. I just don’t have a list of URLs handy. You could read the statements of those who have stepped down, you could read the tweets. “This is not just about one tweet” is my only real point here.

                    Project whatever weird stuff on me you want, and ignore me if you want too. I’m not going to reply to you putting words in my mouth.

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                Some things have also happened in non-public venues.

                Saying this sort of thing is exactly the sort of observation that is not falsifiable and leads to accusations of dishonesty @steveklabnik. You speak from a position of relative privilege and authority given your work with Rust and community outreach, so please act accordingly.

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                  please act accordingly

                  Isn’t respecting the privacy of others, and not breaking their trust, acting appropriately?

                  Again, you don’t have to believe me; most of this stuff is public, and you can read it. My point, as always, is “This situation isn’t just some random tweets about the CoC.”

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                If TSC/issues/310 were about more than the CoC tweets and the “victimless or minor” grievances, I’d have loved to see that brought up. The way this was phrased to Node.js outsiders didn’t make any reference to earlier behavior, which is making the strong reactions to the TSC decision a bit bewildering.

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                  I agree; as I’m not on the TSC I can’t state why some things were included and some things were not. The overall situation with Rod goes farther back, regardless of what was presented at the meeting.

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              I’ve found some more information (not from original sources though, so treat with care):

              • HN thread of someone stepping down from TSC (with a lot of occurances of “SJW” in the comments)
              • Someone in a german forum did some research and claims the actual reasons are “thoughtless use of pronouns” and “assumtions of gender”.

              Personally, I’m kind of not sure whether it’s a good idea to give this too much attention. It feels like either side can only lose from this….

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                I don’t understand at all why so much arguing happens over code of conduct pages on projects. Don’t be a fuckin dick to each other, nerds. How is that hard, and how is that hard to enforce?

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                  it happens because some folks know they are dicks and they stick up for other dicks. If you’re working on something alone you can be as much of a dick as you want, but if you’re working on a team it’s pretty fucking reasonable to have some ground rules that everyone agrees on.

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                    If you read any deployed CoC, they’re vastly more overbearing than “don’t be a dick”. If a CoC was literally those four words, I would support it wholeheartedly, but it never stops there.

                    I also disagree that every social interactions needs explicit rules. I don’t really feel the impulse to codify social interaction. If someone is being a dick, I will respond according to the situation rather than preemptively trying to bring playground-style rules into the mix.

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                      People come from different backgrounds and cultures where one set of behaviours might be socially acceptable, so yes - sometimes, it needs to be spelt out.

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                        How does this work when the power dynamic is working against the person who is harassed? What if the harasser is a star contributor or friend?

                        Hasn’t “don’t be a dick” been historically insufficient?

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                          Not sure how the code of conduct changes that. If the high council of conduct adjudication are the ones doing the harassing, what happens then?

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                            If the high council of conduct adjudication are the ones doing the harassing, what happens then?

                            That is part of the reason why this situation is so contentious; that’s what’s happened here.

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                            Hasn’t “don’t be a dick” been historically insufficient?

                            Yes if there’s good management or moderation that actually care about the work above the politics. If they value politics more, then it’s not sufficient since they’ll protect or reward the dicks if they politic correctly. The leadership’s priorities and character are almost always the most important factor. The rest of the benefits kind of spread as a network effect from that where good leadership and good community members form a bond where bad things or members get ejected as a side effect of just doing positive, good work or having such interactions. I’ve seen so many such teams.

                            Interestingly enough for purposes of CoC’s and governance structures, I usually see that break down when they’re introduced. I’m talking governance structures mainly as I have more experience studying and dealing with them. The extra layers of people doing administrative tasks setting policies can create more trouble. Can, not necessarily do since they reduce trouble when done well. Just the indirection or extra interactions are a risk factor that causes problems in most big projects or companies. A good leader or cohesive team at top keeping things on track can often avoid the serious ones.

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                            If it wasn’t broadly worded, it’d be harder to aim at the people we don’t like.

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                              If it wasn’t broadly worded, it would be easier to abuse loopholes in order to keep being a dick within the letter of the CoC.

                              The things are broadly worded for a reason, and it’s not “to enforce it arbitrarily”.

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                                Is that more of a real or hypothetical concern? Any examples of a project that adopted a code of don’t be a dick, then a pernicious dick couldn’t be stopped, and the project leadership threw up their hands “there’s nothing to be done; we’re powerless to stop his loopholing.”?

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                                  Boom, you said it. I’ve usually seen the opposite effect: people make broad rules specifically to attack or censor opponents by stretching the rules across grey areas. Usually, the people surviving in projects of multiple people due to “loopholes” are actually there for another reason. As in, they could be ejected if they were so unwanted but whoever is in power wants them there. Those unstated politics are the actual problem. In other cases, the rules were created for political reasons, often through internal or external pressure, rather than majority of active insiders wanting them there with enforcement pretty toothless maybe in spite. The OP and comments look like that might be the case if they voted 60% against getting rid of this person.

                                  Also, I noticed the number of people and their passion on these “community enforcement” actions goes way up with most of them not being serious contributors to whatever they’re talking about. Many vocal parties being big on actions to control or censor communities but not regularly submit content or important contributions to them. I’m noting a general trend I’ve seen on top of my other claim rather than saying it’s specific to Node which I obviously don’t follow closely. Saying it just in case anyone more knowledgeable wants to see if it’s similar in terms of people doing tons of important work in this project cross-referenced against people wanting one or more key contributors to change behavior or disappear. If my hypothesis applies, there would be little overlap. The 60% number might give indicate unexpected results, though.

                                  EDIT: For broad vs narrow, just remembered that patent trolls do the same thing. They make the patents broad as possible talking up how someone might loophole around their patent to steal their I.P.. Then, they use the patent to attack others who are actual contributors to innovation asking them to pay up or leave the market. Interesting similarity with how I’ve seen some CoC’s used.

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                                    Yeah that’s what I don’t get. If someone was being a jerk on a project I was on I wouldn’t think twice about banning them once they’ve proven they’re a repeat offender.

                                    1. [Comment removed by author]

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                                        Do codes help or hinder such agreement? Those I’ve seen applied have largely been counterproductive, as their definition of dickery has not aligned adequately with the wider project community’s.

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                                      node.js could serve as an example.

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                                        Of the opposite? A code of don’t be a dick doesn’t work in theory because there’s no agreement. So node has this nice long list of banned behaviors and remedial procedures, but what good has that done them? Meanwhile it seems everyone agrees Rod was being a dick, so if the code were that simple it’d be a fine deal.

                                        I mean, I don’t really know what’s going on since it’s all wrapped in privacy, but the more complicated the rules the more likely it is someone will play them against you. Better to keep it simple.

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                                          Part of having a CoC is enforcing a CoC. Yeah, the CoC doesn’t mean much if it isn’t enforced, but that’s not an argument against codes of conduct. By anology: the fact that people break laws isn’t an argument against the rule of law.

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                                            Right, but if a law didn’t bring any clarity to the community - if it wasn’t clear who was and wasn’t breaking it, or it wasn’t able to be enforced consistently, or it was applied consistently but still seemed to be capricious in who it punished and who it didn’t - then it would be a bad law. The criticism isn’t that this “Rod” broke the CoC, it’s that the CoC didn’t seem to help the community deal with his behaviour any better than it would have without the CoC, indeed possibly worse.

                                            (my general view, particularly based on seeing them in the Scala world, is that CoCs as commonly applied are the worst of both worlds: they tend to be broad enough to have decent people second-guessing everything they say, but specific enough that less decent people can behave very unpleasantly without obviously violating the code)

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                                  “don’t be a dick”. If a CoC was literally those four words, I would support it wholeheartedly, but it never stops there.

                                  Sorry bro^Wsibling, it’s not diverse enough. It would have to say “Don’t be an asshole” to be gender-inclusive.

                                  As for the CoCs working, I think it’s unreasonable to expect bad people to turn good because a file was committed into the git repository saying they should.

                                  Maybe something like a Code of Misconduct is even more important than the CoC. The link is for IRL events, and quite obvious, but online the escape hatch is to gtfo.

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                                    Interesting. Didn’t know he wrote on that topic. He made some interesting points but oversimplified things. I think Stephanie Zvan has some good counterpoints, too, that identified some of those oversimplifications with a lot of extra details to consider. Her focus on boundaries over democratic behavior or tolerance reminded me of a video someone showed me recently where Kevin Spacey’s character argued same thing with appeal to a more mainstream audience:


                                    She’s certainly right that a focus on boundaries with strong enforcement can create followers of such efforts and stability (conformance) within areas they control. Hard to say if that’s idea versus the alternative where other folks than those setting the boundaries also matter.

                                    Edit: Read the comments. Lost the initial respect for Stephanie as it’s the same political dominance crap I argue against in these kinds of threads. The contrast between her style/claims and Pieters’ is strong and clear.

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                                Don’t be a fuckin dick to each other, nerds.

                                Upvoted for this. Without actual decency, a CoC can only make the semblance of decency last for so long.

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                                  People disagree vehemently about what it means to be a dick so that guideline is useless.

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                                  About the article retweeted.

                                  As a non diagnosed asperger, I really don’t get how a code of conduct might be offensive to neurodiversity.

                                  My personal experience is of one diagnosed asperger clearly repeatly abused in the absence of code of conduct.

                                  Being neurodiverse is not an excuse to act as a dumbass.

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                                    Does anyone have any information on what actually happened? It seems to have been all scrubbed. Hard to have feelings about it without knowing. Although violations of the CoC should of course be enforced.

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                                      Here is a screenshot of some of the scrubbed issue: https://twitter.com/maybekatz/status/899760806551666690

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                                        Thanks a lot. “anti-Code-of-Conduct article” linked is The Neurodiversity Case for Free Speech. I support CoC, and I also support this article. I don’t see how the article can be construed as anti-CoC. (It’s also written by Geoffrey Miller, a scientist I highly respect.)

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                                          As a perceived leader in the project, it can be difficult for outsiders to separate Rod’s opinions from that [sic] of the project.

                                          This is a pretty cancerous attitude. Rod can’t control what you perceive. Without coming right out and saying it, this reads to me as The Community Shall Dictate/Censor Rod’s Personal Views. What a bunch of crap. If I perceive The Darn Kat to be a ‘perceived leader’, can I tell her what to tweet?

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                                            I think the problem manifest itself differently in that case: To me it seems that Rod has a rather important role in the Node project and at one point in time he accepted the projects CoC. As the perceived leader of the project you cannot decide to apply the CoC sometimes and sometimes not.

                                            Please bear in mind that nobody in this thread knows the full context of this problem.

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                                          The guy, Rod, posted an article that was critical of codes of conduct

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                                          I’m mostly disturbed by all the censorship of the ‘evidence’.

                                          Btw, Is voting for Donald Trump a CoC violation?

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                                            It’s interesting to note that this is the second major fork of node using the sound “IO” as the name. I suppose “Ayo” is playing homage to that other one, but it’d have been pretty neat for the forkers to use a new name that meant something like “peaceful, thoughtful community” or something. Or does Ayo happen to fit both roles?

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                                              Ayo was chosen for the similarity in sound, yeah. I don’t have the link to the tweet handy but that’s what I remember Kat saying.

                                              We’ll see how it develops as a project. The open issues have some discussions on this kind of thing: https://github.com/ayojs/ayo/issues and specifically https://github.com/ayojs/ayo/issues/4#issuecomment-324167724