#244 Ban from #fedora-commops
Closed: resolved 5 years ago by bcotton. Opened 5 years ago by johnmh.

I'm sorry for bringing drama to the council, however it has been made clear to me by @jflory7 that this is the only way that I could reach a resolution.

At 00:07:53 EST, I was banned from #fedora-commops for giving my opinion in #fedora-diversity. The kick message was as follows:

You are no longer welcome here because of your behavior in this community and elsewhere. If you feel this removal is unjust, open a ticket with the Fedora Council. https://pagure.io/Fedora-Council/tickets

While I don't know what jflory7 could be referring to when mentioning behaviour outside of Fedora, behaviour within the community refers to a discussion in #fedora-diversity which took place from 22:49:32 EST to 23:52:15 EST. Following this discussion, jflory7 set a quiet on my usermask at 23:55:24 EST.

@jflory7 made it clear that the reason for this moderation action was because I held a different opinion.

[23:56:31] <jwf> JohnMH: Your view of diversity and inclusion is not the views held by this community. Your repeated arguments are cyclical not substantiated. This is not up for discussion.

While I disagree with that action, I actually would have been fine with that, as I am not an official member of the Diversity and Inclusion team, and jflory7 is an operator in the channel.

However, the moderation action did not stop there. At 00:07, jflory7 banned my usermask from all mutual channels in which he is an operator.

I understand that jflory7 could have been overcome with emotion, but I feel that this moderation action is unjust at best. I am, and have been, a member of the CommOps team since 2016. At the time of this action, nothing had been said in #fedora-commops, by myself nor any other user (bot messages aside), for several hours.

If council members lack logs for either of the two channels, I am certain that both @jflory7 and myself could provide logs for either channel, or an unaffiliated third party can provide those logs.


<tg-fed-di1> <recursedd> https://twitter.com/gdcfpday/status/1091990986568409089
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<JohnMH> Sounds like a great opportunity, it's a shame, however, that it is limited to people who meet the vague "underrepresented or marginalised group" requirement
<meskarune> JohnMH: there are far more speaking opportunities for cis white men than there are for marginalized groups
<meskarune> having diverse perspectives can honestly be really useful in tech since users are diverse
<JohnMH> meskarune: That's not true, but sure
<meskarune> someone who is blind is going to have a very different idea about computing from sighted folks
<JohnMH> I agree
<meskarune> someone who is indian will also since they use different written and spoken languages
<JohnMH> Well, that would depend on the audience, wouldn't it?
<meskarune> not really
<meskarune> people from china and india make up a huge portion of the earth's population and most tech like fedora for example will benefit from hearing their perspectives and issues
<JohnMH> Right
<meskarune> so encouraging people who don't often get speaking gigs to speak is actually useful. not just in terms of getting new perspectives but it gives visibility to those groups being in tech and can inspire more people to go into tech
<JohnMH> What I'm suggesting is that it would be best if it were inclusive enough to include everyone, rather than vague terms such as that.
<meskarune> there are a lot of benefits
<meskarune> JohnMH: why?
<meskarune> most talks aren't inclusive of marginalized people
<meskarune> they in fact often discriminate against them
<JohnMH> Because whether they're "cis white men" or anything else doesn't matter, it's whether or not they have something they'd like to share with others.
<meskarune> it does matter though
<JohnMH> Why?
<meskarune> I already gave some reasons above
<meskarune> however I am pretty sure you don't give a shit about this group
<JohnMH> That's not true
<meskarune> since you don't see the point of diversity
<JohnMH> I wouldn't be here if this wasn't important.
<JohnMH> It's false that I don't see the point in diversity either, I encourage diversity, but racism and sexism is not the same as excluding "cis white men"
<meskarune> then why are you confused about marginalized groups having the oppertunity to speak
<JohnMH> We don't have to be racist against white people or sexist against men in order to achieve diversity.
<meskarune> what if I told you that not all sexual discrimination or racial discrimination is bad?
<meskarune> We have bathrooms split by gender and locker rooms
<meskarune> that is a form of sexism
<JohnMH> That's not sexism, and it's elective regardless.
<meskarune> hindu's are often given vegetarian options for meals
<meskarune> aka making a change based off someone's religion and most likely their ethnicity
<meskarune> JohnMH: it is actually sexism :P
<meskarune> it is discrimination based upon sex
<JohnMH> meskarune: Well, it's not. It's separation, but it is not discrimination.
<meskarune> sometimes people have to make choices to have certain outcomes, for safetly or whatever
<JohnMH> 'the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.'
<meskarune> JohnMH: right, and you think its 100% fair there is bathrooms split by sex? Often the line is huge for the women's bathroom and there isn't even a line for the men's.
<meskarune> or in a tech company the men's bathroom can be pretty busy but the women's hardly used
<JohnMH> It's elective in most places.
<meskarune> most discrimination is actually a choice people make
<meskarune> there are cases where racism and sexism is within laws
<meskarune> but in most cases these things happen on the personal level in one's day to day life
<JohnMH> Anyway, it's just not representative of the current state of affairs to suggest that most talks are against having marginalized people, if anything quite the opposite. For example, Freenode.live actively encouraged transgender participants to submit proposals to speak at the conference, which led to several great talks, such as that by the Libreboot project's leader. This is an inclusive method of encouraging diversity, which is preferable to
<JohnMH> methods which are exclusive, such as actively excluding "cis white men".
<meskarune> I have to disagree having experienced a lot of sexism and racism
<meskarune> and also seeing it happen to others
<meskarune> maybe you live in a place where it isn't as huge a problem
<meskarune> but that isn't the case everywhere
<jwf> meskarune++
<JohnMH> meskarune: What exactly do you disagree with though?
<JohnMH> I'm not saying that racism and sexism don't exist, just that they're not a good thing.
<meskarune> you are arguing that having a speaking opportunity which is recruiting marginalized groups is a bad thing because its sexist and racist against white men
<JohnMH> No, that'd be fine. My problem is that they're actively exclusing "cis white men"
<JohnMH> excluding
<meskarune> I am saying that having this discrimination is not bad because it is in response to bad social norms and trying to fix unjustice
<JohnMH> Well, I guess white women also couldn't participate in many areas, in that case
<JohnMH> The wording is quite vague, perhaps they also accept people from lower income classes as 'marginalized'?
<JohnMH> meskarune: I'm trying to encourage Leah Rowe to write more about this, but what she refers to as "inclusive diversity" is really the best way to go, in my opinion.
<meskarune> JohnMH: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_exclusion
<meskarune> that is what most people mean when they discuss a marginalized group
<meskarune> "affected individuals or communities are prevented from participating fully in the economic, social, and political life of the society in which they live" this group of people is different depending on the place you are discussing as well as the industry.
<meskarune> But also increasing diversity does not mean you are inclusive of everyone. It means you are currating a community that is open and welcoming and that means you remove people who don't help with this goal.
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<JohnMH> I don't see why that's necessary at all. Neutrality is always an option, and is not harmful to anyone. There are many in software projects that just want to contribute, and don't want to jump into politics. Personally, this used to be my position. I definitely don't understand how excluding certain people could ever be a beneficial result of diversity and inclusion.
<meskarune> neutrality doesn't exist though
<meskarune> in the real world there is sexism and racism and unequal treatment of people
<jwf> JohnMH: Women, trans, non-binary, and people of color are historically excluded from the sciences for centuries. There is established research to demonstrate this. Programs and scholarships targeting people in these groups to participate in STEM are fairly common and there are explanations about why these programs are helpful. If you are going to debate these programs, can you precisely explain why you view these programs as
<jwf> harmful or share what you have read that contradicts these?
<meskarune> if you are "neutral" and go with the status quo, things don't get better because the status quo is shit
<meskarune> but anyways, diversity and inclusion is not unlimited. Nazi's for example are not included because they actively harm lots of other people with their presence. Same for trolls.
<JohnMH> meskarune: I definitely am not suggesting that sexism and racism don't exist, but neutrality definitely does. That used to be my position. People who just don't consider the issue aren't inherently bad, and don't inherently agree or disagree.
<meskarune> Neutrality only exists for people who meet all social norms
<meskarune> because real world society unfortunately affects things involving people
<meskarune> that includes in tech talks
<meskarune> I get that it is exclusionary when an opportunity is made available only for marginalized people
<meskarune> but marginalized people are excluded all the time
<meskarune> so giving them a chance is only fair
<meskarune> then I would totally agree with you that when society is more equal and fair, we can just have all opportunities be neutral
<meskarune> that would be the ideal, to have everyone get a fair chance at being hired for speaking events
<JohnMH> jwf: Yes, I'm well aware, and I agree. We've made great strides in the last century, especially in the last few decades. I am well aware of programs targeting these groups, especially in relation to STEM fields. In most cases, I don't actually have an issue with them, as there are usually programs which provide the same deliverable (for example, subsidies, grants and low interest rate college loans) for all races. That doesn't really exist for
<JohnMH> potential speakers, especially not to this extent, and the programs that do exist are certainly not exclusive of minorities.
<JohnMH> meskarune: With all major conferences, that is the current state of affairs, and then some. Most major conferences not only provide everyone with a fair chance of being hired, but go out of their way for "diversity picks".
<JohnMH> Personally, I believe that that is counter productive, as it calls out the minority status of the people they hire.
<JohnMH> I don't know about you, but I would definitely prefer to be hired by the merits of my work and my ideas than by the color of my skin, and my sexual identity.
<meskarune> maybe I can give an analogy though. A green person has 10 cookies and an orange person has 2 cookies. Someone brings in a tray of 20 cookies. The green person says they must split the cookies equally 10/10 because that is more fair. In reality the more fair thing is to give the green person 6 cookies so they have 16 total and give the orange person 14 so their total is also 16.
<JohnMH> Equality and equity, yes
<meskarune> that is what it means when some speaking opportunities are given to marginalized groups
<meskarune> they aren't taking anything away from white men
<meskarune> they literally lose nothing
<meskarune> and then we all gain because we get to hear a more diverse group of speakers
<JohnMH> I disagree. The issue isn't that something is being taken from "cis white men", but that individual merit is disregarded, and somebody is picked solely because of the color of their skin, their sexual identity or other minority status.
<meskarune> merit isn't disregarded though
<meskarune> the people who are marginalized and speak are still very qualified to do so
<meskarune> its not like they are grabbing randos off the street
<jwf> Actually over the last century it's been reverse. In the 1940s-1950s, women were around 40-50% of programmers in the field, in 1985 37% of US CS grads were women. In 2013, 26% of computing professionals are women and 2014 17% of US CS grads are women.
<tg-fed-di1> <bt0dotninja> Umm jwf, just a question what is a fair translation of 'cis white man' ? (To Spanish)
<jwf> Not to mention the higher probability of men to claim confidence in performing the same work a female colleague wouldn't
<jwf> Or imposter syndrome
<tg-fed-di1> <bt0dotninja> (I'm just reading it's a very interesting talk)
<jwf> These programs aren't about putting people in a room arbitrarily because of their identity. That also defeats the whole purpose if implemented like that. These claims are not being made.
<JohnMH> meskarune: You've missed my point entirely. They've disregarded several people solely for their racial and sexual identity, rather than putting everyone on an even playing field and weighing it entirely by merit. That would be true diversity and inclusion, equality.
<meskarune> JohnMH: people aren't on an even playing field. As I have already said, while it is a form of discrimination it is more fair due to societal unjustices.
<JohnMH> meskarune: Right, that's the problem, that people aren't on an even playing field. So let's put everyone on an even playing field.
<meskarune> you can't unless you change all of society first
<meskarune> and since we have to deal with society as it exists right now
<JohnMH> That's not true. You don't have to chance society in order to pick speakers for a conference by merit.
<meskarune> we have to do stuff like encourage some marginalized folks to give talks because they are almost never hired for talks
<jwf> @bt0dotninja: Un hombre blanco cuyo sexo al nacer es el género que identifican como. No es una traducción perfecta. No sé una mejor manera de escribirlo.
<meskarune> JohnMH: the speakers are being chosen by merit
<meskarune> unless you want to argue that marginalized people are inherently worse at giving talks about technical topics
<JohnMH> But not by merit alone, they're thrown into a system which tries to create equity.
<meskarune> again, you realize that is the goal of fedora-diversity ?
<JohnMH> meskarune: I'm certainly not, which is why I am suggesting that everyone should be considered entirely by merit.
<JohnMH> meskarune: I do, that's why I'm here. ☺
<tg-fed-di1> <bt0dotninja> OMG I'm one of then, thanks jwf
<meskarune> JohnMH: I think you should do some reading: http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Meritocracy
<meskarune> the problem is that marginalized people aren't judged based soley on merit alone
<JohnMH> Right, and I'm suggesting we change that.
<meskarune> you can't change it by just having a free for all
<JohnMH> Instead of pushing for equity, let's push for equality. ☺
<meskarune> you don't have control over every single speaking opportunity in the world
<JohnMH> We don't need to.
<meskarune> yes you do if you want to make sure they are purely merit based :P
<meskarune> and obviously that is impossible
<meskarune> you can't control everything
<JohnMH> I'm not sure that's in the scope of something at the Fedora level, though.
<meskarune> we only can control our small parts
<JohnMH> We can definitely work to ensure equality within the Fedora project ☺
<JohnMH> Further, we can inspire equality outside of the Fedora project
<meskarune> its not just about the fedora project, its about the inequality in the whole world
<meskarune> and if someone specifically brings in speakers from marginalized groups, they reduce the inequality within tech speakers
<meskarune> because you can't ignore the rest of the world and pretend it doesn't affect small speaking events
<JohnMH> Right, which is why I suggest we work within the project to implement equality, and work outside of the project to inspire equality.
<JohnMH> Going out of your way to find marginalized groups is not equality, that is equity.
<meskarune> that is in direct conflict with your "only give speaking opportunities based off merit"
<JohnMH> Not at all.
<meskarune> yes it is
<JohnMH> How so?
<meskarune> the vast majority of speaking ops in tech go to cis white men
<JohnMH> I'd disagree, but I'll take your word on that. What does that have to do with my suggestions?
<meskarune> so like the cookies, if you set aside some spots for marginalized people, it helps even things out in the general sense
<JohnMH> Again, that is equity, not equality.
<meskarune> it doesn't matter
<JohnMH> With equality, everyone stands on their own by their own individual merit.
<meskarune> the end result is less inequality
<meskarune> individual merit is totally arbitrary and made up though
<JohnMH> Potentially, but only by creating another culture of discrimination.
<JohnMH> How exactly is individual merit "totally arbitrary and made up"?
<jwf> JohnMH: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/the-odds-that-a-panel-would-randomly-be-all-men-are-astronomical/411505/
<meskarune> no, merit is literally a list of things that people make up to use as a way to "fairly" judge others
<meskarune> but often that list of things is not actually fair
<JohnMH> merit "the quality of being particularly good or worthy, especially so as to deserve praise or reward."
<meskarune> for example, "cultural fit" as a hiring practice in companies
<jwf> JohnMH: It's unclear what you are suggesting. You made a reply stating it was a shame that a scholarship was made available to underrepresented / marginalized groups.
<jwf> That tone pushes people away from this group and this community
<jwf> This is not the kind of thing we are arguing or debating in this channel
<jwf> There are other mediums and places for you to take this conversation and debate, if you want to have a philosophical debate on this
<jwf> But this is not the place to open this discussion and your previous comment you said is harmful.
<JohnMH> jwf: In the example of speaking opportunities, am suggesting choosing people whose ideas and whose message seem to be the best to share, rather than weighing the speakers by their physical appearance, disabilities or other attribute.
<jwf> JohnMH: That statement with the same words has a different meaning to you and the Fedora Project community.
<jwf> Diversity work is active work, not passive work.
<jwf> Sometimes it takes more effort to include different groups in a community or field they are historically and presently excluded from.
<jwf> This is not up for discussion.
<jwf> There are other places to have this conversation.
<JohnMH> jwf: That is equity, not equality. That's called discrimination, and it's exactly what most Diversity and Inclusion efforts are trying to end, for all people.
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<jwf> JohnMH: Your view of diversity and inclusion is not the views held by this community. Your repeated arguments are cyclical not substantiated. This is not up for discussion.
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<fm-commblog> planet.post.new -- admin posted "Fedora Strategy FAQ Part 2: What does this mean for me?" https://communityblog.fedoraproject.org/fedora-strategy-faq-part-2-what-does-this-mean-for-me/
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<commops-watch> pagure.issue.new -- jonatoni opened a new ticket mentored-projects#54: "[Project idea for GSoC 2019] Fedora Happiness Packets" https://pagure.io/mentored-projects/issue/54
<JohnMH> 'For example, if you only want to work on the very latest version of a particular piece of software as it comes from upstream, that’s cool — but you have to leave room for someone else who wants to maintaining older releases of that same software.' That's not possible with traditional packages
<JohnMH> Unless I misunderstand what's meant by "maintaining older releases"
<JohnMH> 'These development environments are essentially highly-tailored solutions with extremely specific applicability. ' Reads as a marketing stance, rather than something useful to software developers
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<commops-watch> pagure.issue.tag.added -- sumantrom tagged ticket mentored-projects#54: GSoC https://pagure.io/mentored-projects/issue/54
<commops-watch> pagure.issue.comment.added -- sumantrom commented on ticket mentored-projects#54: "[Project idea for GSoC 2019] Fedora Happiness Packets" https://pagure.io/mentored-projects/issue/54#comment-552563
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jwf sets ban on !@openblox/johnmh
jwf has kicked JohnMH from #fedora-commops (You are no longer welcome here because of your behavior in this community and elsewhere. If you feel this removal is unjust, open a ticket with the Fedora Council. https://pagure.io/Fedora-Council/tickets)
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<tg-fedcommops> <alciregi> What happened?
<jwf> I opened a new private ticket in CommOps Pagure about it to discuss

I try to be unbiased in looking at these issues, but I know we all bring our own point of view to the table. As a former member of the Ubuntu Council I have had to address these issues in another community and this is an area that requires careful discussion and not hasty action.

In Ubuntu we had four 'steps' for poor IRC behavior:
1. Warning via a private message
2. A kick from the room
3. A ban from the channel
4. A ban from all Ubuntu channels

In this case there was a clear request to cease the discussion, but it quickly escalated to a ban. I agree fully with the silence, without previous issues I am not sure a kick and ban was the appropriate response.

We are discussing this privately and will update soon.

Metadata Update from @kevin:
- Issue private status set to: True

5 years ago

Metadata Update from @mattdm:
- Issue private status set to: False (was: True)

5 years ago

Hi, this is my perspective on what happened.

I issued the ban in #fedora-diversity because of what was said in that channel. I mirrored the ban in #fedora-commops because I don't believe there is positive intent to collaborate and work together in the future.

Two days ago in #fedora-diversity, someone shared this tweet about free conference CFP workshops for underrepresented groups. This conversation ended with JohnMH's view that these workshops promote "equity, not equality. That's called discrimination…"

Programs and scholarships aimed at underrepresented groups in technology are common practice. They encourage underrepresented folks to participate in communities and professions they are traditionally excluded from. This is a well-established base and it is not helpful for the Fedora Diversity & Inclusion Team to spend time debating this. These arguments are beyond the scope of what this team is responsible for and side-tracks time and effort from working on current tickets. Additionally, debating whether programs offered to underrepresented groups is discrimination in a diversity and inclusion channel is the antithesis of the team's goals. It pushes people away from participating in tasks supporting our goals, instead of inviting others to get involved.

I mirrored the ban to #fedora-commops because of simultaneous discussion from ##politics-uncensored on Freenode. The comments made there during the conversation in #fedora-diversity led me to believe JohnMH does not have positive intent and does not want to collaborate positively to the community. Some excerpts that led me to make the ban and believe in enforcing it:

  1. <@JohnMH> I hope, more than anything, to prevent this group from killing the Fedora project.
  2. <@JohnMH> And nobody gives a fuck about race, sexual identity or whatever else
  3. <@JohnMH> I'd send a message to their mailing list, but it'd get moderated. Instead, I'll just change my usermask in a few weeks during one of their meetings.

Shortly after the ban, John pinged me in #fedora-admin, emailed me, and tweeted me about the ban, even though I answered him previously.

Additionally, his previous behavior is inconsiderate towards others when he expresses his views and opinions. The behavior discourages others to participate. Two specific examples:

Also, he was quieted for 24 hours in #fedora-commops December 12th, 2018 for disruptive behavior. When we talked about email notifications with Discourse in the 2018-12-12 meeting, JohnMH's comments took us in unproductive direction, beginning with this comment:

<JohnMH> One of the other major issues with Discourse is that it doesn't support proper threading, such that jwf ended up closing a thread (what many would consider a form of censorship) when Discourse displayed the substread directly after the original thread, with no indication of the subthread itself.

For these reasons, I made the ban and stand by my decision.


These snippets from ##politics-uncensored are out of context, as even your own partial logs show. When I have time to connect to my bouncer, I will provide more complete logs for that channel during this period. After this ticket is resolved, I would appreciate it if either content that is not written by me in those logs, or the log file as a whole, is made private. We have a policy against public logging of that channel.

Shortly after the ban, John pinged me in #fedora-admin, emailed me, and tweeted me about the ban, even though I answered him previously.

I did not see the response in #fedora-admin until the following morning, and I sent both the email and tweet at roughly the same time, after being unable to contact jflory7 via query on IRC. As soon as I read the message in #fedora-admin, I created this ticket.

As far as contributions on Discourse go, what is wrong, in your opinion, with https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/t/positive-feedback/289/9 ? It doesn't seem hostile or discouraging to me.

https://discussion.fedoraproject.org/t/adding-inclusion-tag-to-commops-pagure/758 shows only that I have a different viewpoint on the implementation of Inclusion programs, which I shared. Some of the wording there was hostile, and I responded to that in the thread when I noticed it while rereading.

I am posting this on behalf of the Fedora Council:

One of the key tenets of the Fedora Project’s strategy is to give
teams the ability to make decisions in the best interests of their
members. This includes the ability to determine what communication is
on-topic in their channels. Fedora is not a public forum — our project
spaces are for advancing the project’s goals and moderation is to be
expected. However, because there are different teams within Fedora,
what may be on-topic on one channel may be off-topic in another

In this case, the Diversity & Inclusion team determined that arguing
against the need for active diversity work is off-topic. This is in
line with Fedora’s active effort to improve our inclusiveness. We do
not question the need for diversity as a project.

However, just because messages were off-topic in #fedora-diversity,
they should not necessarily trigger an automatic ban in other groups.
These messages were not shared there or even referenced.

As such, the Council agrees:
1. the Diversity & Inclusion team should file a ticket in the Code
of Conduct issue tracker (https://pagure.io/CoC/issues) to report this ban for the record. @jflory7 as you effected the ban, can you please take ownership of getting this ticket filed?

  1. the ban in #fedora-commops is overruled. If the CommOps team wishes
    to appeal this decision, they should file a new ticket with the Fedora
    Council. @nb would you please reverse this ban?

  2. this incident has highlighted gaps in policy that the Council will
    work to address separately.

We will hold this ticket open to track the action on items 1 and 2 above.

Metadata Update from @bcotton:
- Issue assigned to bcotton

5 years ago

Metadata Update from @bcotton:
- Issue priority set to: Waiting on External (was: Needs Review)
- Issue tagged with: code-of-conduct

5 years ago

@bex I have reversed the ban.

I believe this is ready for close. Policies are in flight and the ban has been reversed.

Metadata Update from @bcotton:
- Issue close_status updated to: resolved
- Issue status updated to: Closed (was: Open)

5 years ago

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