|| ||Toshio Kuratomi <a.badger-AT-gmail.com> |
|| ||advisory-board-AT-lists.fedoraproject.org |
|| ||Reasons for hall monitoring |
|| ||Wed, 5 May 2010 02:51:30 -0400|
|| ||Article, Thread
Forgive me if this goes out twice, I didn't see it show up in the archives
so I assume I missent it or something the first time.
The Fedora Hall Monitoring Policy doesn't currently encompass all the
actions taken by the Hall Monitors. I think that the policy needs to be
clarified/added onto in order to encompass their current criteria or the
hall monitors need to be instructed that hteir current criteria is off base.
The thread that brought this to my attention has had three mentioned
reasons for being hall monitored:
1) Redundancy of information in the thread
2) Increasing number of posts from a single party
3) Multiple complaints that people don't want to read the thread anymore
None of these are mentioned specifically in the Hall Monitor policy
currently. There are two general pieces of the policy that I could see
being the basis of additional Hall Monitoring activity:
From the Background section which lays out the spirit of the policy:
The Fedora Board has adopted a simple motto for general behavior as
a member of the Fedora Project. It is simply "Be excellent to each other".
There doesn't seem to be any lack of courtesy present in the thread yet or
in the reasons given for hall monitoring the thread so this doesn't seem to
be the root justification.
In the Overall Procedures section, there's an entry that says this:
Hall monitors are allowed to send 'thread closure' posts to aggressive or
problematic mailing list threads to curtail issues before they become
serious enough to warrant an official warning.
The definition of "aggressive and problematic" seems to be that the thread
seems to be leading to need to issue an official warning to an individual.
That's outlined here:
They [hall monitors] will be subscribed to and monitor the selected
mailing lists for instances of posts that are out of line with the "be
excellent to each other" motto. This includes, but is not limited to:
personal attacks, profanity directed at people or groups, serious threats
of violence, or other things seen by the monitor as to be purposefully
Which brings us back to the "Be excellent to each other" motto.
So here's some ideas on how to resolve this:
1) Decide that these justifications fall outside of the Board's intention.
In addition to letting the current hall monitors know, it might be good to
add a clarification to the policy like:
Although we hope the signal to noise ratio of the lists will increase due
to this policy, the intent is primarily to keep discussions from veering
off into personal attacks and negative comments to one another. Remember
"be excellent to each other" is what it's all about.
2) Add increasing signal to noise as an explicit goal of Hall Monitors along
with some sample criteria. This should probably be added to both the
Background and the Overall Procedures sections:
Insert between second and third paragraphs to the Background section:
In addition to needing to have a communication channel that is a positive
and supportive environment for people to express themselves we also strive
to make our communications efficient so that people can more effectively
process the communication that they do receive.
Insert between first and second bullets in the Overall Procedures page:
* Hall monitors will also look for cases where posts are not adding
any new information to a discussion. This includes but is not limited
to: Restating facts already stated in the current thread, trying to
have the last word with another contributor, presenting old arguments as
if they were new arguments, presenting old arguments as the basis for
refuting a new argument or new idea, debating old issues because new
people are in positions to make changes to rectify those issues.
3) Add some policy to allow hall monitoring of threads that have too many
complaints. I don't see how a sane policy about this really works as it's
something that just moves who can shout the loudest from the public mailing
lists to messages to the hall monitors (if done objectively) or introduces
a lot of bias based on what the hall monitors believe if done subjectively.
For the record, I would strongly favor option #1 as the others are taking us
too far into the realm of giving a few people the power to decide what is
and is not useful communication.
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