[IAEP] Arbitration request: Caryl Bigenho a first warning for moderation [WAS: Re: Improving our Code of Conduct (was: Re: Code of Conduct Motion to add Anti-harassment policy - Sugar Labs)

Benjamin Berg benzea at sugarlabs.org
Thu Oct 5 10:26:33 EDT 2017


I am not following this list closely these days, but I happened to see
this thread and was rather baffled by the (covert) hostility
perpetrated and apparently observed by people on all sides.

I do *not* know the background of the whole issue. But I don't think
that this matters right now. If people have strongly opposing positions
on a topic, then it can be next to impossible that no one will be hurt
at some point. In my experience that can easily happen even if everyone
tries to keep the discussion civil.

Keep in mind that priorities differ a lot. Ideological believes differ
a lot. People may agree on most facts about an issue and still come to
entirely independent conclusions.
At first glance this does appear to be a case where there is no clear
perpetrator or victim and each sides escalation is likely a sane
response from their point of view. Focusing on a few selected ("well
defined") infractions seems odd, when the history of the conflict shows
that all parts have done their part in escalating things further and
further. And such escalation can already happen due to communication
issues like bad wording or misinterpretation based incomplete
information or false assumptions.

Starting an arbitration process does seem like a viable course of
action to me. However, I strongly believe that any punitive action must
be at the discretion of an independent party. I am noting this as this
request appears rather direct in asking for a certain action to be
taken. I believe that this is incompatible with the purpose of an
arbitration process where it is likely that all sides will need to make
an effort to understand each others motives to then find some common

In such a process an (enforcement/punitive) action may be a possible
outcome in the end. But as I said, the party doing such a decision
needs to be independent and hopefully is able to understand the motives
and arguments of each side.

I do hope that everyone involved is dedicated to a proper arbitration
effort. I expect that untangling the whole situation will require a lot
of effort. This is an effort that requires both time and emotional
energy from all parties so that they can try to understand the
different aspects.

If successful, there is the potential of resolving the conflict well
enough that everyone can still be part of the community and work
together. If unsuccessful, my guess that one or more parties will be
alienated from or pushed out of the community.


On Wed, 2017-10-04 at 22:00 -0500, Laura Vargas wrote:
> Dear SLOBs and community members;
> cc Ombusman
> We need to clearly state every member when interacting within the
> Sugar Labs project channels is expected to serve as an example for
> children.
> This is logical as within Sugar Labs, children make software,
> documentation, art, testing, etc. 
> I am sad because today, again, me and my family have been mistreated
> on a Sugar Labs mailing list by a Sugar Labs member.
> I am sad because our Code of Conduct is not sufficient to deal with
> these situations and other than Walter no other SLOB notice me
> needing the addition of the anti-harassment Policy earlier.
> It is necessary we make a list of acceptable and unacceptably
> behaviors within Sugar Labs communication channels so we can add that
> to the Sugar Labs Code of Conduct.
> In this case Caryl might be unaware: in our culture, it is completely
> unacceptable to mention someone's mother.
> Sebastian's mother is my mother in law, a real person. 
> So my petition is: to send Caryl a first warning for moderation and a
> suggestion to apologize to Sebastian.
> Thank you for your consideration.
> Regards,
> Laura V
> 2017-10-04 19:34 GMT-05:00 Caryl Bigenho <cbigenho at hotmail.com>:
> > Sebastian, 
> > 
> > In my culture and, possibly in James's culture, accusations such as
> > this one you are making against James, and the one Laura made
> > against me a few weeks ago, are considered "harassment"...
> > actually, extreme harassment.
> > 
> Caryl,
> We are far from understanding what your culture is.
> > You are denying us the freedom to express our opinions or feelings
> > in a rational way without fearing reprisals and intimidation as
> > what the two of you have chosen to do. 
> > 
> > We are all adults here (at least will be after Samson turns 18 on
> > Halloween 😊 ). It's time we start acting like adults and sto
> > p "running to Mommie!"
> > 
> In my culture you can be a "Grannie" but it would still be extremelly
> rude and disrespectfull to talk about someone's mother.
> I may have to make you realize this person you are talking about
> actually exists!
> We are a family.
> > GrannieB 
> > 
> > From: IAEP <iaep-bounces at lists.sugarlabs.org> on behalf of
> > Sebastian Silva <sebastian at fuentelibre.org>
> > Sent: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 7:41 PM
> > To: James Cameron; Laura Vargas
> > Cc: iaep; SLOBs
> > Subject: [IAEP] Improving our Code of Conduct (was: Re: Code of
> > Conduct Motion to add Anti-harassment policy - Sugar Labs)
> >  
> > Hi,
> > I had asked that we discuss changes to our Code of Conduct in a
> > wiki page I have worked on, where I put the result of a lot of
> > research.
> > The time I spent, back in January, on this document, is because I
> > myself felt not only harassed but threatened. It came as a
> > realization then, that perhaps more people have had similar
> > experiences and have abandoned Sugar Labs because they were less
> > tenacious than others. Hopefully you'll find the references I put
> > there (beyond geek feminism) interesting. They represent a broad
> > spectrum of approaches to making a community more welcoming.
> > I found our current Code of Conduct was not sufficient because (1)
> > it is vague and difficult to evaluate when it's been infringed.
> > Cultures vary widely with regard to what is considerate,
> > respectful, collaborative, and flexible. It would be much better if
> > specific acceptable or not acceptable behaviors were listed. (2)
> > There is no defined procedure on how to report a problem and what
> > the expected outcome, timeline, or response could be. (3) There's
> > no defined solution or action such as warning or temporarily
> > moderating a person to signal bad behavior.
> > James, you insist on victimizing yourself and have a
> > confrontational form of writing. Perhaps I'm misreading you. Please
> > improve your tone. I have only seen vague complaints on the alleged
> > dispute ("rate of posting and Wiki editing", and "use of many paths
> > to achieve your goals").
> > If all of this is because I had the audacity to merge an icon, I
> > feel your attitude is disproportionate, unfair and itself
> > sufficient for a complaint. Trying to flag my github profile seems
> > particularly aggressive and harmful, considering the market use of
> > such profiles.
> > The trademarked icon has already been reinstated in master branch,
> > but my valid concern (that neither Sugar Labs nor downstream
> > distributors have permission to use it), has not been resolved. I
> > raised the same question openly in 2016, and you responded with
> > sarcasm. I don't think this is acceptable.
> > At the moment I don't support Laura's motion because I think it's
> > necessary to write something more specific for Sugar Labs, taking
> > into consideration the other references listed in the page at the
> > least.
> > Regards,
> > Sebastian
> > 
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