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25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 5:23 UTC (Sat) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
In reply to: 25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women by duffy
Parent article: 25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

I think blujay is pretty wrong too but that doesn't mean it's right to silence which I believe is a genuinely held opinion, we should welcome the discussion and, at the end, maybe agree to disagree. LWN is generally open to having a frank discussion of ideas as long as the conversation remains civil, and even after civility has left.

If you want to not see these comments you can always censor yourself by using the ignore feature provided to subscribers, I have found it useful to get rid of the most offensive noisemakers, people who seem impervious to logic, reason or a clue-by-four and who seem to like the drama.


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25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 7:53 UTC (Sat) by AlexHudson (guest, #41828) [Link]

Offensive noise-makers are an obvious and explicit community problem. The problem of sexism in this community is just as obvious, but the people who perpetuate it are not obvious, and it's an implicit problem.

Even if we could, with a wave of the magic wand, immediately make the community entirely non-sexist and as welcoming to women as men: this still wouldn't solve the problem. Inequality created the problem, but equality alone can't fix it effectively.

LWN is an excellent community resource. If a woman wants to get involved in our community she should be reading it. For me, a discussion about whether an Outreach programme is sexist against men - no matter the conduct of the discussion - is not going to be understood by such readers as a jolly exercise in freedom of speech, or the mature discussion of a community that thinks it might have solved it sexism problems.

She may take one look and wonder how insecure we must be as a male community if we cannot tolerate a programme to encourage minority participants. That's probably about the most positive view I can think she would go away with; the other possible interpretations are far worse.

I don't restrict this belief to posters who are against pro-women programmes. I genuinely believe that comments whose content is largely destructive ("I want you to stop doing X because I don't like it", whether X is "developing systemd", "GNOME UI improvements", "development under a BSD license", whatever) shouldn't have a place here.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 12:16 UTC (Sat) by xan (guest, #58606) [Link]

> I don't restrict this belief to posters who are against pro-women programmes. I genuinely believe that comments whose content is largely destructive ("I want you to stop doing X because I don't like it", whether X is "developing systemd", "GNOME UI improvements", "development under a BSD license", whatever) shouldn't have a place here.

Hear, hear.

It's getting to a point where I basically skim through the first comments and when I see the usual mix of violent and destructive garbage I just ignore everything else (possible missing the hidden gem among the trash). I think the only way to fix this is to implement serious editorial control in the comments to make this place a high quality technical debate forum that is welcoming for everyone. As thing stands now it's only welcoming to angry privileged geek males that seem to hate most things.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 19:09 UTC (Sat) by duffy (guest, #31787) [Link]

"It's getting to a point where I basically skim through the first comments and when I see the usual mix of violent and destructive garbage I just ignore everything else"

Exactly. To me this is really sad, because LWN didn't used to be that type of place.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 21:22 UTC (Sat) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639) [Link]

let me humbly suggest that this algorithm for comment skimming is going to tend to be a downward spiral for you. The most thoughtful comments, seldom come first.

I would posit that generally speaking the first people to post on a comment thread on a political/policy subject are the people who are less likely to be thinking rationally, or with an open mind. They more likely or not either reacting primarily emotionally, or have a lovingly crafted (and generally well-used) ax they are looking to grind into razor edge perfection. Or they are just bored.

And I include my own behavior in that observation, I'm no saint.

Sometimes its really unfortunate that the first people to post, are the people who set the tone and agenda for discussion for days afterwards.

And with the above said in mind, I would make a different proposal with regard to editoral control.

Implement a peer subscriber ranking system attach a post visibility delay to the ranking. People ranked highly by their peers have their posts delayed for shorter periods of time than those rankly low. This takes the negative impact out of destructive first posters. The posts still show up, but only after highly ranked posters get to set the tone and direction of the visual discussion. The less appreciated posters, as their posts show up after the extended delay, just end up looking like sidebar spurs to what is hopefully a more nuanced discussion for the main threads.

-jef

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 23:29 UTC (Sat) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106) [Link]

> Implement a peer subscriber ranking system attach a post visibility delay to the ranking.
This seems to implicitly presupposes a peergroup that is of a single mind on average. For divisive issues where there are >=2 passionate, reasonable sides it might not work very well. I guess it would probably fail open, where most posts show up quickly, so it's worth a try.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 23:58 UTC (Sat) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639) [Link]

No, such a system would never stop discussion when there are substantial disagreements. But it would give all of us a chance to have the discussion be led by those among us who we recognize as thoughtful and well-spoken. It would delay some of the the anticipated noise, even my noise. If there is going to be a debate on a thorny issue, I'd rather see the discussion led by people we've come to expect to be able to talk through conflict, instead of just random people who push the submit button first.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 16:44 UTC (Sat) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

> For me, a discussion about whether an Outreach programme is sexist against men - no matter the conduct of the discussion - is not going to be understood by such readers as a jolly exercise in freedom of speech, or the mature discussion of a community that thinks it might have solved it sexism problems.

I understand that there is a danger there but I think the greater good is served by having the discussion because I think the response shows more good things about our community than if such content is censored. It shows that we can have an adult conversation and it shouldn't be a newsflash that there are people with many different opinions out there, it would be a disservice to pretend anything different.

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 19:22 UTC (Sat) by nix (subscriber, #2304) [Link]

It certainly shows things about our community. I'm not sure they're good, though.


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