Scope of "Mozilla" and Planet Mozilla

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Mitchell Baker

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Mar 8, 2012, 7:30:59 PM3/8/12
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This week has seen heated discussion about the scope of materials
syndicated to Planet Mozilla. Here's my view.

Mozilla is a community unified around the Mozilla mission and manifesto.
We agree on these things, but we are extremely diverse on almost every
other topic. In fact, Mozilla is remarkable in how many people with
otherwise differing views we gather around our mission.

How do we handle this?

First, we should be very clear that being a "Mozillian" is about
supporting the Mozilla mission. If we start to try to make "Mozilla"
mean "those people who share not only the Mozilla mission but also my
general political / social / religious / environmental view" we will
fail. If we focus Mozilla on our shared consensus regarding the
Mozilla mission and manifesto then the opportunities before us are
enormous.

Mozilla's diversity is a success condition. Our mission and our goal is
truly global. Our mission taps into a shared desire for respect and
control and user sovereignty that runs across cultures and across many
other worldviews. We may even offend each other in some of our other
views. Despite this, we share a commitment to the Mozilla mission.
This is a remarkable achievement and important to our continued success.

What does this mean for how we handle planet.mozilla.org?

We could say that Planet Mozilla focuses on our mission and related
work. This view means getting to know the full personality of
Mozillians will take more work and happen in other areas for those who
want to do so.

We could say that Planet Mozilla reflects the general worldview of
Mozillians, including areas outside of the Mozilla consensus. This
view expresses a larger slice of each Mozillian's life, but means we'll
spend more time reacting to areas where we disagree or even offend each
other.

I believe the former is the best path. It's a path based on the
promise of the web, of inclusion, and of user sovereignty. It's the
path of the Mozilla Manifesto, and its adoption by people of all sorts
of different views. It allows us to focus on issues, such as SOPA and
ACTA, that are directly related to our mission. It allows Mozillians
to have divergent views on other topics without tearing ourselves apart
and damaging our ability to fulfill our unique mission.

In the past we've chosen the latter for planet.mozilla.org. I believe
we need a core information flow and gathering space that is focused on
what we all came to Mozilla for -- how to move our particular mission
forward.

Proposals have been made to change planet, or to start a similar
planet.mozillians.org. I'm personally learning towards the idea of
remaking planet to be the gathering place for updates about Mozilla
activities. I'll talk with the planet module owners and peers, as well
as monitor the discussion forums. I'm not sure of the particular
solution yet, but in my mind I'm clear that we need a forum focused on
the thing we all agree on -- Mozilla and our mission.

Mitchell

Axel Hecht

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Mar 8, 2012, 8:25:22 PM3/8/12
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Hi Mitchell,

I agree that the Mozilla Mission should be the anchor to what planet is.

OTH, I don't think that it should be the *consensus* around the Mozilla
Mission that constitutes planet.

As an example I'd take your key note at MozCamp in Berlin, which was
challenging that very consensus, and opening up the mission to places
that are uncomfortable and new.

That belongs on planet, and any community member should feel free to
challenge our perception of the mission and where we can apply it.

Axel

Tim Chevalier

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Mar 8, 2012, 7:37:15 PM3/8/12
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On Mar 8, 4:30 pm, Mitchell Baker <mitch...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> Proposals have been made to change planet,  or to start a similar
> planet.mozillians.org.  I'm personally learning towards the idea of
> remaking planet to be the gathering place for updates about Mozilla
> activities.

In my opinion, the name "mozillians" is too close to Mozilla and
implies endorsement by Mozilla. We as Mozilla contributors may
understand that such a forum would represent the sum of the
individuals involved in it -- not the Mozilla community -- but the
rest of the world doesn't necessarily appreciate such fine
distinctions. I think that Mozilla's reputation is too important to
give a single individual the power to damage it the way that has
happened over the past couple of days.

I'm sure there are creative people in the project who are good at
thinking up interesting names, and could choose a name that does not
sound like "Mozilla".

More broadly, I must say I'm disappointed that this post does not
acknowledge that what happened was an attack on a marginalized group
by a member of a privileged group, in which Mozilla resources were
used to tell a subset of Mozilla contributors that we are unwelcome.
It is more than a mere "difference of opinion". It is a false
equivalence to say that expressing bigoted views and being called out
on the bigoted nature of those views is just as terrible an experience
as being told in your own workplace that legislation should be passed
to make you a second-class citizen. Pragmatically, though, I think
that making planet.mozilla.org focused on Mozilla-related content is
the right answer, and sets clear expectations for everyone.

Cheers,
Tim

Stuart Parmenter

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Mar 8, 2012, 7:42:05 PM3/8/12
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I agree entirely that we don't want to try and have everyone conform
to the same thinking, however I think that we should look at this
slightly differently.

The first problem seems to be that people don't want so much noise on
Planet, however I find that problem is fairly unique to *our* planet
and not to others such as Planet GNOME. Planet has problems of
readability due to its theme, the poor formatting of the automated
meeting notes, etc. Planet GNOME seems pretty easy to read and easy to
skip over things that I'm not interested in and seems to have a
similar # of updates to our Planet. I believe there is huge value in
being able to see the whole of the community and things that aren't
just "Project X did Y today" updates. A better theme and removal of
some of the automated note posts (or making them more readable) seems
like it would address a large number of the problems people have
today. That said, enough people have said they want a filtered feed of
"project specific" updates that I don't see why we wouldn't also
provide that.

The second problem is that people don't like people posting about a
narrow set of certain very controversial topics. I don't have a
problem with people posting interesting things they're doing that
aren't necessarily related to Mozilla (how do you want to define
Mozilla? The projects, the people...?). I enjoy knowing what is going
on with people and the other things they might be doing (side
projects, photography, travel). Really, I'm pretty OK with people
posting just about anything they want to their blogs. However, people
need to realize they are responsible for what they write and say. They
need to understand certain things they say can and will destroy
relationships and their own credibility. Things you say can hurt the
community and divide people in completely unproductive ways. People
should self-censor. If your beliefs and your need to express them to
such a wide audience outweigh the consequences, then I don't think we
should stand in the way.

stuart


On Mar 8, 4:30 pm, Mitchell Baker <mitch...@mozilla.com> wrote:

Mike Connor

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Mar 8, 2012, 8:37:35 PM3/8/12
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My own view:

Mozilla is more than a company, and more than a software project. It is a rich and diverse community with a shared mission, focused on choice and freedom on the Internet. We have many challenges and many competitors, and it has only been through trusting each other and working incredibly hard that we've reached the point where we are today. Without both that trust and that passion, Mozilla cannot continue to scale, and cannot continue making a difference. I believe that as a community, we must focus on that which unites us, and leave aside all that could and will divide us.

While it has always been a venue for controversy, the events of this week have clearly highlighted Planet as a potential source of damage and division within the community. I believe that the amount of anger and hurt I have read and heard this week is far beyond anything I have seen in nearly nine years working on the project. I personally feel that we must learn from this and ensure that this type of incident cannot be repeated.

It brings me no joy or happiness to say this, but at this point I believe that the current Planet Mozilla cannot continue to exist, at least as a Mozilla-supported or Mozilla-branded site. Mozilla is not about religion, or politics, or morality, and as currently constituted we are providing a platform (in the form of orders of magnitude more readers) for any or all of these issues, in a way that is inevitably associated with both our brand and our community. I simply do not believe this is in the best interests of the project, or of the community, to continue to provide this platform, with a module policy defending the use of this platform to advance goals separate from those of Mozilla.

I don’t expect anyone to be happy about this, on either side. No situation like this will ever be happy. But I believe that we, as a community, must collectively decide to move on from this and find a new way forward.

-- Mike

On 2012-03-08, at 7:30 PM, Mitchell Baker wrote:

> This week has seen heated discussion about the scope of materials syndicated to Planet Mozilla. Here's my view.
>
> Mozilla is a community unified around the Mozilla mission and manifesto. We agree on these things, but we are extremely diverse on almost every other topic. In fact, Mozilla is remarkable in how many people with otherwise differing views we gather around our mission.
>
> How do we handle this?
>
> First, we should be very clear that being a "Mozillian" is about supporting the Mozilla mission. If we start to try to make "Mozilla" mean "those people who share not only the Mozilla mission but also my general political / social / religious / environmental view" we will fail. If we focus Mozilla on our shared consensus regarding the Mozilla mission and manifesto then the opportunities before us are enormous.
>
> Mozilla's diversity is a success condition. Our mission and our goal is truly global. Our mission taps into a shared desire for respect and control and user sovereignty that runs across cultures and across many other worldviews. We may even offend each other in some of our other views. Despite this, we share a commitment to the Mozilla mission. This is a remarkable achievement and important to our continued success.
>
> What does this mean for how we handle planet.mozilla.org?
>
> We could say that Planet Mozilla focuses on our mission and related work. This view means getting to know the full personality of Mozillians will take more work and happen in other areas for those who want to do so.
>
> We could say that Planet Mozilla reflects the general worldview of Mozillians, including areas outside of the Mozilla consensus. This view expresses a larger slice of each Mozillian's life, but means we'll spend more time reacting to areas where we disagree or even offend each other.
>
> I believe the former is the best path. It's a path based on the promise of the web, of inclusion, and of user sovereignty. It's the path of the Mozilla Manifesto, and its adoption by people of all sorts of different views. It allows us to focus on issues, such as SOPA and ACTA, that are directly related to our mission. It allows Mozillians to have divergent views on other topics without tearing ourselves apart and damaging our ability to fulfill our unique mission.
>
> In the past we've chosen the latter for planet.mozilla.org. I believe we need a core information flow and gathering space that is focused on what we all came to Mozilla for -- how to move our particular mission forward.
>
> Proposals have been made to change planet, or to start a similar planet.mozillians.org. I'm personally learning towards the idea of remaking planet to be the gathering place for updates about Mozilla activities. I'll talk with the planet module owners and peers, as well as monitor the discussion forums. I'm not sure of the particular solution yet, but in my mind I'm clear that we need a forum focused on the thing we all agree on -- Mozilla and our mission.
>
> Mitchell
> _______________________________________________
> governance mailing list
> gover...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance

Majken "Lucy" Connor

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Mar 8, 2012, 9:02:23 PM3/8/12
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> > governa...@lists.mozilla.org
> >https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance

I've actually been thinking about planet lately, and I'm sorry to see
it came up in this manner. However, I think if we address planet's
shortcomings as they already existed, we also solve the specific
problem we've hit here. Back when it was last decided that planet
should contain a person's personal posts, Mozilla and planet were much
smaller than they are now. Also twitter has taken over much of the
"getting to know you" work that planet used to do. I don't think we're
losing out at this point in time the way we would have in the past, by
making planet project only.

Many teams are having their own planets now, interns had one, mozilla
reps has one, womoz etc. I propose that we make this standard
practice. Team planets aggregate blog posts from their community
members (on topic only) and planet itself aggregates from that. I
think at this point if people want to know more about a specific
person they should use planet to find the person's full feed and
subscribe to each individually.

I was already going to propose this simply to make it easier to
follow Mozilla itself and for community members to find tasks that
they want to get involved in. It also makes it much easier for people
who only want to follow specific teams, they can follow the team
planet rather than trying to make sure they get everyone by hand.

Mitchell Baker

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Mar 8, 2012, 9:17:32 PM3/8/12
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Axel

Yes, i agree. I was trying to use "consensus" to mean the thing that we
agree is Mozilla -- the mission, etc. Perhaps it is too tricky a word.
I do think we have an expression of our mission -- open,
participatory, individaul-focused, choice, innovation, opportunity in
online life. that's big but there are a lot of thing it doesn't cove.
so probably we're talking about how we fulfill the mozilla mission, but
that's getting further than we need for this discussion.

mitchell

Mitchell Baker

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Mar 8, 2012, 9:19:09 PM3/8/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On 3/8/12 6:02 PM, Majken "Lucy" Connor wrote:
Lucy
this is an interesting idea, various planets aggregating up so one could
follow a part of planet. thanks for raising it

mitchell

Asa Dotzler

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Mar 8, 2012, 9:33:30 PM3/8/12
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I am the original Planet Mozilla Module Owner and currently support the
Module as a Peer. These are my thoughts alone; I expect other Planet
leaders will share here when they finish their day jobs. (The Module
Owner and other two Peers are project volunteers.) That being said, I am
confident that these views are in mostly line with those of the rest of
the team and well represent the mission and purpose of the Planet
Mozilla Module.

I think it's very important that people in this discussion get the
opportunity to understand what the Planet Module has been trying to
accomplish for the last half a decade before we all dive into "how to
change it" discussion.

Mozilla is a large and growing community of people spread out all over
the world. We don't all share offices and a neighborhood pub. We don't
all have the opportunity for hallway conversations and grabbing a beer
after work. As a widely distributed group, we face challenges getting to
know each other, being able to build the camaraderie and trust that
direct social interaction facilitates for traditional (not open-source)
companies.

A big part of the Mission of the Planet Module is to aid in that
challenge, to facilitate communication among a community of human beings
-- people who share more than just a work product.

Mozilla is more than just some lines of code. It's more than a few
websites. Mozilla is all about *people*. Our Mission and Manifesto are
about *people*. Our work is in support of *people*.

We create change in the world by organizing *people* and our forums for
discussion and interaction, from IRC to Planet, all carve out space for
*people* to relate to each other as human beings -- rather than simply a
bunch of automatons in a factory cranking out products Foxconn style.

And we are not alone in this. Many of the most successful open source
projects have set up Planets for this very same purpose. They realized
as we have, that a healthy open source community is about people more
than it is about code or products or anything else. Take a look at the
excellent Gnome Planet for what this looks like when it works. It's
inviting, and inspiring.

I realize that the recent events at Planet have caused many people a
great deal of strife and wasted time. I empathize with those who feel
wounded by some of the content that's made it into the Planet feed.

Some have said that we're just too big, that our community is of a size
that requires giving up the rich and empowering diversity that we share
across our various communications channels.

Others have said that they're simply not interested in the non-work
lives of our global community. They are only interested in reading about
what code others are writing or status updates on projects Mozilla is
sponsoring.

I appreciate all of those views and concerns, and I would like Planet to
address them. I believe that the Planet Module should address them. I
have confidence that we can address them.

But I reject the idea that our community has somehow outgrown its
ability to share as a group of human beings. I reject the idea that
Planet requires an editorial regime to filter and censor or that
participation in Planet should demand self-filtering and self-censoring
of content. I reject the idea that our primary communications must be
limited to only the technical and work related.

The Planet team has been working to make Planet more usable. We have
pulled the robot-powered status updates and the project blogs into their
own feed. http://planet.mozilla.org/projects/ We are also beginning
work to create a sub-feed at Planet that will be exclusive to content
about our mission and related work.

Planet has served us well over the 5 years since the formation of the
Planet Module and it will continue to serve our amazing community going
forward. To do that it will grow and evolve. But Planet should not
devolve into sterile reports of only the lowest common denominator content.

Mozilla is more than just “a job” and I hope that Planet will continue
to make that more obvious, not less.

- Asa

Asa Dotzler

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Mar 8, 2012, 9:35:36 PM3/8/12
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On 3/8/2012 5:37 PM, Mike Connor wrote:
> My own view:
>
> Mozilla is more than a company, and more than a software project. It is a rich and diverse community with a shared mission, focused on choice and freedom on the Internet. We have many challenges and many competitors, and it has only been through trusting each other and working incredibly hard that we've reached the point where we are today. Without both that trust and that passion, Mozilla cannot continue to scale, and cannot continue making a difference. I believe that as a community, we must focus on that which unites us, and leave aside all that could and will divide us.
>
> While it has always been a venue for controversy, the events of this week have clearly highlighted Planet as a potential source of damage and division within the community. I believe that the amount of anger and hurt I have read and heard this week is far beyond anything I have seen in nearly nine years working on the project. I personally feel that we must learn from this and ensure that this type of incident cannot be repeated.
>
> It brings me no joy or happiness to say this, but at this point I believe that the current Planet Mozilla cannot continue to exist, at least as a Mozilla-supported or Mozilla-branded site. Mozilla is not about religion, or politics, or morality, and as currently constituted we are providing a platform (in the form of orders of magnitude more readers) for any or all of these issues, in a way that is inevitably associated with both our brand and our community. I simply do not believe this is in the best interests of the project, or of the community, to continue to provide this platform, with a module policy defending the use of this platform to advance goals separate from those of Mozilla.
>
> I don’t expect anyone to be happy about this, on either side. No situation like this will ever be happy. But I believe that we, as a community, must collectively decide to move on from this and find a new way forward.
>
> -- Mike

"We can't have nice things" :(

- A

Benoit Jacob

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Mar 8, 2012, 10:23:24 PM3/8/12
to Mitchell Baker, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
I just wanted to say that I agree 100% with this. So I'm not sure if I can contribute anything to this conversation; the below turns out to be a mere paraphrasing of what Mitchell already said, feel free to skip.

I understand the counterargument about diversity, but it seems to me that precisely, diversity is better served by restricting the scope of Planet Mozilla. The Mozilla mission unites us, but other beliefs that we have can easily divide us. Therefore, a narrow focus on the Mozilla mission allows us, a very diverse group of people, to work with each other.

In fact, even from the sole point of view of sharing more of our personalities with each other, this is still beneficial, because we share more in the course of working with each other, than we otherwise would.

Therefore, I don't see any downside to restricting the focus of Planet Mozilla to the Mozilla mission.

Benoit
> gover...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
>

Deb Richardson

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Mar 8, 2012, 11:01:58 PM3/8/12
to Benoit Jacob, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org, Mitchell Baker
"Therefore, I don't see any downside to restricting the focus of
Planet Mozilla to the Mozilla mission."

I concur.

~ d

Majken Connor

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:47:56 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org, Benoit Jacob, Mitchell Baker
Asa,

I don't think any of us are talking about throwing out any of those goals.
Certainly I'm not. The way people use planet, and the size, and the
constitution of the community means that how to achieve those goals
changes. I have stopped following planet, it's too much for my routine. So
how does that meet your goal of enabling me to be better connected to
people?

Do you know what mconnor and I talk about when we see each other to
exchange the kids? Mozilla. People in this community are passionate about
it and when they talk about Mozilla you *are* seeing them. If you want to
know their thoughts and dreams, and how their ears are doing (still hasn't
popped btw, getting an xray for my sinuses and a referral to an ENT not
being able to hear properly for a month sucks!!), then you can follow the
planet link to their full blog.

There is nothing wrong with getting to know the rest of the Mozilla
community through their involvement and passions with Mozilla. For instance
I <3 sunbird, and talking about sunbird involves talking about my personal
life, my kids, my ex, our travel. Including everything on planet has a cost
of making planet unusable, and making people unsure of what to post or not.
I certainly wouldn't post rants about my ex to my blog and I don't even
have the full feed streamed to planet. It's a big part of my life and it
would definitely help people get to know me but is this actually a good
idea to have on planet?


-Lucy

n.neth...@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:58:56 AM3/9/12
to mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Thursday, March 8, 2012 4:37:15 PM UTC-8, Tim Chevalier wrote:
> Pragmatically, though, I think
> that making planet.mozilla.org focused on Mozilla-related content is
> the right answer, and sets clear expectations for everyone.

That's a common viewpoint, it seems. It's not quite clear to me what it means.

Imagine that today we all agree that Planet should be for Mozilla-related content only. What happens if I violate that? How is the rule enforced?

What happens if I post something horrible but Mozilla-related, e.g. if I say something discriminatory about several Mozilla contributors. I won't have violated the new rule, but damage will be done, just as it was done earlier this week.

If our goal is to prevent this week's actions happening again, it seems to me that the policy should not be "no non-Mozilla content on Planet" but rather "no horrible (discriminatory, etc) content on Planet". And without some kind of pre-moderation of posts (which seems impractical) it's always possible that someone will violate that policy. So there need to be clear rules on how violations are dealt with -- who decides whether a post represents a violation, and what the follow-up action is.

Nick

n.neth...@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:58:56 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Thursday, March 8, 2012 4:37:15 PM UTC-8, Tim Chevalier wrote:
> Pragmatically, though, I think
> that making planet.mozilla.org focused on Mozilla-related content is
> the right answer, and sets clear expectations for everyone.

Majken Connor

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Mar 9, 2012, 1:03:54 AM3/9/12
to n.neth...@gmail.com, mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 12:58 AM, <n.neth...@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thursday, March 8, 2012 4:37:15 PM UTC-8, Tim Chevalier wrote:
> > Pragmatically, though, I think
> > that making planet.mozilla.org focused on Mozilla-related content is
> > the right answer, and sets clear expectations for everyone.
>
> That's a common viewpoint, it seems. It's not quite clear to me what it
> means.
>
> Imagine that today we all agree that Planet should be for Mozilla-related
> content only. What happens if I violate that? How is the rule enforced?
>
> What happens if I post something horrible but Mozilla-related, e.g. if I
> say something discriminatory about several Mozilla contributors. I won't
> have violated the new rule, but damage will be done, just as it was done
> earlier this week.
>
> If our goal is to prevent this week's actions happening again, it seems to
> me that the policy should not be "no non-Mozilla content on Planet" but
> rather "no horrible (discriminatory, etc) content on Planet". And without
> some kind of pre-moderation of posts (which seems impractical) it's always
> possible that someone will violate that policy. So there need to be clear
> rules on how violations are dealt with -- who decides whether a post
> represents a violation, and what the follow-up action is.
>
> Nick
> _______________________________________________
> governance mailing list
> gover...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
>

If it's about the contributors and not their work then I think it's very
easy to define that as personal and not mozilla related. The problem here
is that if there is a policy people can be politely told that they violated
it and then have the content pulled. Mistakes happen, people get upset, I
don't think anyone has been intentionally malicious. In this case, gerv's
post didn't violate the current policy so rather than being able to just
take it down and remind him of the policy there has to be a huge
discussion. If someone does something overt to upset or offend another
member of the community then it is also very easy to pull their feed.

Majken Connor

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Mar 9, 2012, 1:06:26 AM3/9/12
to n.neth...@gmail.com, mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 1:03 AM, Majken Connor <maj...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
>
> On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 12:58 AM, <n.neth...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> On Thursday, March 8, 2012 4:37:15 PM UTC-8, Tim Chevalier wrote:
>> > Pragmatically, though, I think
>> > that making planet.mozilla.org focused on Mozilla-related content is
>> > the right answer, and sets clear expectations for everyone.
>>
Which is to say you raise some valid points that I agree with!!

think I'd better give up for the night, my reading comprehension is slowing
down.

Mike Hommey

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Mar 9, 2012, 2:11:22 AM3/9/12
to Mitchell Baker, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Thu, Mar 08, 2012 at 04:30:59PM -0800, Mitchell Baker wrote:
> We could say that Planet Mozilla focuses on our mission and related
> work. This view means getting to know the full personality of
> Mozillians will take more work and happen in other areas for those
> who want to do so.

Even defined like this, what content may or may not go to Planet Mozilla
is ambiguous. What is "related work"? Would posts about e.g. MemShrink
fit the bill? MemShrink is not really about Mozilla's mission, and not
really a related work. It's merely a technical detail of Firefox.

Anyways, I agree with Nick, that neither your proposals are adressing
what actually started this attempt at an overhaul. I'll go further,
though. I think the whole debate that has been going on for three days
now is misplaced, out of line, and pointless.

Yes, there was *one* problematic blog post on Planet Mozilla. According
to my RSS reader, there's an average of 140 posts a week. That's twenty
a day. More than 7000 a year. Now let's put this in perspective. How
often do we have problematic content? Do we really need to disrupt
what Planet Mozilla is because of that?

And more importantly, do we really need to comment so much about it?
IMHO, the real problem this week was not so much about the content of
that blog post, but about the publicity that was made of it. The
problematic blog post is not on the planet web page already. However,
there are still 5 posts talking about it 3 days later.

Finally, we better ourselves by trial and error. Someone made a mistake
this week, and I think the response made it pretty clear that it was a
mistake. I'm convinced that someone won't repeat the same mistake in the
future. How about we just cut him and everybody else some slack, and...
do nothing more?

Mike

Tim Chevalier

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Mar 9, 2012, 2:47:46 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Mar 8, 11:11 pm, Mike Hommey <m...@glandium.org> wrote:
> Finally, we better ourselves by trial and error. Someone made a mistake
> this week, and I think the response made it pretty clear that it was a
> mistake. I'm convinced that someone won't repeat the same mistake in the
> future. How about we just cut him and everybody else some slack, and...
> do nothing more?

Attacking a vulnerable group in the name of Mozilla is not just
"making a mistake". Gerv should have known better. No adult should
need to be told that it's not okay to use your employer's resources to
undermine other employees.

We can't just "do nothing more" because "doing nothing more" doesn't
repair the damage that has been done to Mozilla's reputation and to
the morale of a significant percentage of Mozilla contributors, who
have been told -- though the organizational and institutional
responses to the incident -- that our contributions just aren't valued
as much as those of heterosexual people.

Cheers,
Tim

da...@illsley.org

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Mar 9, 2012, 3:09:44 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
+1

Tim Chevalier

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Mar 9, 2012, 2:45:14 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Mar 8, 9:58 pm, n.netherc...@gmail.com wrote:
> Imagine that today we all agree that Planet should be for Mozilla-related content only.  What happens if I violate that?  How is the rule enforced?
>
> What happens if I post something horrible but Mozilla-related, e.g. if I say something discriminatory about several Mozilla contributors.  I won't have violated the new rule, but damage will be done, just as it was done earlier this week.
>
> If our goal is to prevent this week's actions happening again, it seems to me that the policy should not be "no non-Mozilla content on Planet" but rather "no horrible (discriminatory, etc) content on Planet".  And without some kind of pre-moderation of posts (which seems impractical) it's always possible that someone will violate that policy.  So there need to be clear rules on how violations are dealt with -- who decides whether a post represents a violation, and what the follow-up action is.
>

Yes, I also think we should have community standards. Communities
establish norms for good behavior. It worries me that I see (even in
this very thread) Mozilla community leaders insisting that norms are
harmful. When people don't come together to set norms, the right thing
doesn't magically happen -- what happens is that bullies use power and
violence to dominate discussions. I don't think we want the Mozilla
community to be driven by bullying.

I don't think that having a code of conduct (something that, I
understand, has been in progress for a while) is at all opposed to
having Planet be focused on work. If there had been an expectation and
an understanding that Planet is for work-related content and that
purely personal blog posts should remain on individuals' blogs, then
this week's events would never have happened. Certainly, it's possible
for somebody to tie violent or discriminatory speech in with Mozilla-
related content, like the person who suggested that someone should
have their fingers cut off for disagreeing about the Firefox
versioning policy. That is why we need a code of conduct as well.

Cheers,
Tim

n.neth...@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 4:45:03 AM3/9/12
to mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Friday, March 9, 2012 6:47:46 PM UTC+11, Tim Chevalier wrote:
> On Mar 8, 11:11 pm, Mike Hommey <m...@glandium.org> wrote:
> > Finally, we better ourselves by trial and error. Someone made a mistake
> > this week, and I think the response made it pretty clear that it was a
> > mistake. I'm convinced that someone won't repeat the same mistake in the
> > future. How about we just cut him and everybody else some slack, and...
> > do nothing more?
>
> We can't just "do nothing more" because "doing nothing more" doesn't
> repair the damage that has been done to Mozilla's reputation and to
> the morale of a significant percentage of Mozilla contributors, who
> have been told -- though the organizational and institutional
> responses to the incident -- that our contributions just aren't valued
> as much as those of heterosexual people.

I have a proposal that I think might satisfy both Mike and Tim.

First, let us note the two prime characteristics of Gerv's post:

(a) it was discriminatory;

(b) it was non-Mozilla-related.

Characteristic (a) was the one that caused all the problems. Nonetheless, many people are suggesting that we should ban posts with characteristic (b). Let's not tangle the two characteristics! It's simple: if we want to ban discriminatory posts, then let's ban discriminatory posts. Let's not instead ban non-Mozilla-related posts just because this week's discriminatory post happened to also be non-Mozilla-related.

In order to achieve this ban, I suggest we create a "Planet Mozilla Code of Conduct". It would read something like this.

- Planet Mozilla represents and belongs to the Mozilla community.

- Discriminatory posts will not be tolerated.

- If discriminatory posts are made, the Planet Mozilla module owners will take action as they see fit, such as removing said posts from Planet Mozilla and/or removing the blogs hosting those posts from Planet Mozilla.

This obviously needs some fleshing out, but you get the picture. A link to this code of conduct could be put somewhere prominent at the top of planet.mozilla.org.

And that's it. Good things about this proposal:

- It's extremely simple, and can be implemented very quickly.

- If discriminatory posts are made in the future, the actions that can and will be taken are clear, and the responsibility for who can take those actions is clear.

- It establishes what behaviours are not acceptable. And if a discriminatory post is removed from Planet Mozilla, this serves as an official Mozilla community renunciation of them. I hope these two characteristics will satisfy Tim.

- Although it ends Planet Mozilla's five years of "post anything" rules, in practice it will make no difference to how Planet operates 99.99% of the time. I hope this will satisfy Asa and Mike. (It's very common for new systems and communities to start with few or no rules and then to add rules later in response to bad events. I think it's a testimony to the civility of the Mozilla community that the "post anything" rule worked as long as it did.)

- There's no restriction of free speech. People can still say whatever they want on their own blog. But they cannot expect discriminatory content to be amplified and implicitly endorsed by the Mozilla community.

Now, this proposal does nothing to address the other criticisms of Planet Mozilla -- that non-Mozilla-proposal posts are uninteresting or irrelevant, that the signal-to-noise ratio is to low, that the formatting is bad, and so on. But those issues are *entirely orthogonal* to the issue of discriminatory content. They should be discussed and addressed separately, and in a less urgent manner.

Nick

n.neth...@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 4:45:03 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Friday, March 9, 2012 6:47:46 PM UTC+11, Tim Chevalier wrote:
> On Mar 8, 11:11 pm, Mike Hommey <m...@glandium.org> wrote:
> > Finally, we better ourselves by trial and error. Someone made a mistake
> > this week, and I think the response made it pretty clear that it was a
> > mistake. I'm convinced that someone won't repeat the same mistake in the
> > future. How about we just cut him and everybody else some slack, and...
> > do nothing more?
>
> We can't just "do nothing more" because "doing nothing more" doesn't
> repair the damage that has been done to Mozilla's reputation and to
> the morale of a significant percentage of Mozilla contributors, who
> have been told -- though the organizational and institutional
> responses to the incident -- that our contributions just aren't valued
> as much as those of heterosexual people.

Zack Weinberg

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Mar 8, 2012, 9:02:53 PM3/8/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
I conducted my own little poll about what sorts of arguably off-topic
content I, personally, should continue syndicating to Planet:
http://www.owlfolio.org/administrivia/what-goes-on-planet-mozilla-a-survey/

Responses are roughly evenly split into two groups: people who actively
like "reading posts which tell [them] about the people of Mozilla" (i.e.
content which is not directly related to Mozilla or The Web) and people
who feel there is way too much off-topic chatter and they want a more
focused feed.

I think one feed cannot serve both purposes, and we should have at least
two: one roughly equivalent to what we have now (perhaps minus the
meeting notes, which IMHO should get their own dedicated feed) and one
which is specifically focused on content relevant to the project. I
think we can rely on everyone involved to tag things appropriately.

HOWEVER, I think we should also institute a ban on broadly-construed
political advocacy that is not directly relevant to Mozilla's mission,
on BOTH feeds. So, concretely, anti-ACTA advocacy would be acceptable,
but anti-nuclear-energy activism would not -- both examples
intentionally not things I can recall seeing go by on Planet.

I think this because I agree with Mitchell's statement

> we should be very clear that being a "Mozillian" is about supporting
> the Mozilla mission. If we start to try to make "Mozilla" mean
> "those people who share not only the Mozilla mission but also my
> general political / social / religious / environmental view" we will
> fail.

and I think it is necessary to our collective ability to do that, that
we collectively do not rub each others' noses in our non-mission-related
political/social/etc views.

I would like to think that we can all be trusted to not rules-lawyer a
policy stated in nonspecific terms, and that actual enforcement of this
ban will not be required (but if it ever does come up, I would support
sanctions up to and including permanent removal from Planet, depending
on how egregious the violation is and how often it is repeated).

zw

anthony....@gmail.com

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Mar 8, 2012, 11:21:10 PM3/8/12
to mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
Let me start by saying that I agree nearly 100% with everything that is being echoed in this thread.

I personally use Planet as aggregator of all the things which contribute to Mozilla's mission (ideas, projects, discussions, etc) from both paid and volunteer contributors. That said, I understand that this may not be the original intent of Planet.

I also understand that we are a far more diverse community now than when Planet was originally designed. One thing to consider is that our community as it exists today includes a much larger outside audience than it did before (press, friends, family, etc). A person without prior understanding of what "Mozilla" means could have a wildly different reaction to a personal/controversial post than an "outsider".

I'm not sure what the best solution is, what other communities have done to solve this problem, or even if this is a problem that needs solving.

I'm just happy to be part of such a coalesced yet so diverse community; and that we can have these kinds of discussions without fracture.

Joshua Cranmer

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Mar 8, 2012, 9:36:57 PM3/8/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
I will admit that in my 4.5 years of interaction with the Mozilla
community, I have (to my recollection) never subscribed to
planet.mozilla.org. The primary reason for this is that, if I find
someone's posts interesting, I want to read everything they say, not
only that which gets syndicated on planet.mozilla.org. Since my RSS
reader is incapable of detecting duplicate posts arising from
aggregation, and I already get a large fraction of planet.mozilla.org
posts anyways, subscribing to planet.mozilla.org never made a lot of
sense to me.

One idea I would like to propose would be to offer a feed for all those
posts written by the community that *do not* get syndicated to
planet.mozilla.org. I think it is valuable to be able to see the full
contents of all the blogs of people who are part of the Mozilla
community without having to do a lot of work to exclude the posts that
would otherwise be seen.

anthony....@gmail.com

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Mar 8, 2012, 11:21:10 PM3/8/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Thursday, 8 March 2012 16:30:59 UTC-8, Mitchell Baker wrote:
> This week has seen heated discussion about the scope of materials
> syndicated to Planet Mozilla. Here's my view.
>
> Mozilla is a community unified around the Mozilla mission and manifesto.
> We agree on these things, but we are extremely diverse on almost every
> other topic. In fact, Mozilla is remarkable in how many people with
> otherwise differing views we gather around our mission.
>
> How do we handle this?
>
> First, we should be very clear that being a "Mozillian" is about
> supporting the Mozilla mission. If we start to try to make "Mozilla"
> mean "those people who share not only the Mozilla mission but also my
> general political / social / religious / environmental view" we will
> fail. If we focus Mozilla on our shared consensus regarding the
> Mozilla mission and manifesto then the opportunities before us are
> enormous.
>
> Mozilla's diversity is a success condition. Our mission and our goal is
> truly global. Our mission taps into a shared desire for respect and
> control and user sovereignty that runs across cultures and across many
> other worldviews. We may even offend each other in some of our other
> views. Despite this, we share a commitment to the Mozilla mission.
> This is a remarkable achievement and important to our continued success.
>
> What does this mean for how we handle planet.mozilla.org?
>

jpr...@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 1:07:06 AM3/9/12
to mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Thursday, March 8, 2012 4:30:59 PM UTC-8, Mitchell Baker wrote:

> I believe the former is the best path. It's a path based on the
> promise of the web, of inclusion, and of user sovereignty. It's the
> path of the Mozilla Manifesto, and its adoption by people of all sorts
> of different views. It allows us to focus on issues, such as SOPA and
> ACTA, that are directly related to our mission. It allows Mozillians
> to have divergent views on other topics without tearing ourselves apart
> and damaging our ability to fulfill our unique mission.
>
> In the past we've chosen the latter for planet.mozilla.org. I believe
> we need a core information flow and gathering space that is focused on
> what we all came to Mozilla for -- how to move our particular mission
> forward.

Mitchell,

First thank you for helping to clarify the issue and focus the discussion.

I have a few questions:

>From various forms of feedback we've had over the years, up to and including posts in response to this incident, Mozilla contributors have repeatedly said they desire a space that is an unedited collection of voices of Mozilla contributors, that may include personal content about those individuals' lives, beliefs, and non-Mozilla-related content.

Do you have a proposal to fill this desire? In such a "new-Planet world," where would people seeking that go?

If we were to move Planet to a Mozilla-only-information format, who would be responsible for content enforcement?

Would there be veto power by certain individuals? (A group?) Do you have a sense of what the chain for resolving such disputes, as we've seen here, might be? Would we expect posts to be queued for review before posting to Planet, or?

(I know these seem like a lot of details, but I'm trying to understand the mechanics of your proposal.)

Who do you envision would write the content policies for new-Planet content?

What would the consequences being for those who break it (either intentionally, or mistakenly, as Gerv has said was the case with this particular post)?

Would content regarding issues related to Mozilla, but not directly to its mission (for instance, the post on my own blog from last night) be considered part of new-Planet?

To be clear, I certainly see the necessity for multiple content feeds. As a Planet Team module peer, I've said before, and will say again: we've largely failed at providing this; I wish that weren't the case. (I know there are some technical issues with the aggregation software we use that we were trying to overcome.)

So I'm definitely on board with _providing the ability_ to easily get at the content you care about (which may be only-technical, or only-about-interns, or only-about-women-in-Mozilla).

Taking a position gets more complex for me when we propose _entirely removing_ the ability to get "the RSS fire-hose" of the Community that we've always had in any form, and starting to try and define what is acceptable to discuss.

Everyone loses a little bit of their own humanity when that happens, we lose the most powerful tool we have to engage, education, and empathize within our own community, and Mozilla loses something too[0].

thanks,
preed

[0] If nothing other than I wouldn't know how to begin explaining to someone that we stand for "An Open Web... that we ourselves only allow our own community to converse about certain things on."[1]
[1] You had to know I'd work a footnote in here somehow ;-)

axel....@googlemail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 4:14:30 AM3/9/12
to mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Friday, March 9, 2012 12:30:59 AM UTC, Mitchell Baker wrote:

>
> Proposals have been made to change planet, or to start a similar
> planet.mozillians.org. I'm personally learning towards the idea of
> remaking planet to be the gathering place for updates about Mozilla
> activities. I'll talk with the planet module owners and peers, as well
> as monitor the discussion forums. I'm not sure of the particular
> solution yet, but in my mind I'm clear that we need a forum focused on
> the thing we all agree on -- Mozilla and our mission.
>
> Mitchell

After delving into the interesting, if somewhat heated discussion on Gerv's blog

"http://blog.gerv.net/2012/03/coalition-for-marriage-petition/#comments"

I agree that moving posts such as these to a new planet (mozillians.org) could be the best way forward. I think mozilla and mozillians should allow personal opinions outside of the Mozilla topical sphere, even if they are controversial or vastly differing from the mainstream, so that an open discussion may continue.

There might be a mechanism that allows posts to be "moved" from one planet to the other, but that in itself might be viewed as a controversial act.

Axel


axel....@googlemail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 4:14:30 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
Message has been deleted

Robert Accettura

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Mar 9, 2012, 9:42:27 AM3/9/12
to n.neth...@gmail.com, mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 4:45 AM, <n.neth...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Friday, March 9, 2012 6:47:46 PM UTC+11, Tim Chevalier wrote:
>> On Mar 8, 11:11 pm, Mike Hommey <m...@glandium.org> wrote:
>> > Finally, we better ourselves by trial and error. Someone made a mistake
>> > this week, and I think the response made it pretty clear that it was a
>> > mistake. I'm convinced that someone won't repeat the same mistake in the
>> > future. How about we just cut him and everybody else some slack, and...
>> > do nothing more?
>>
>> We can't just "do nothing more" because "doing nothing more" doesn't
>> repair the damage that has been done to Mozilla's reputation and to
>> the morale of a significant percentage of Mozilla contributors, who
>> have been told -- though the organizational and institutional
>> responses to the incident -- that our contributions just aren't valued
>> as much as those of heterosexual people.
>
> I have a proposal that I think might satisfy both Mike and Tim.
>
> First, let us note the two prime characteristics of Gerv's post:
>
> (a) it was discriminatory;
>
> (b) it was non-Mozilla-related.
>
> Characteristic (a) was the one that caused all the problems.  Nonetheless, many people are suggesting that we should ban posts with characteristic (b).  Let's not tangle the two characteristics!  It's simple:  if we want to ban discriminatory posts, then let's ban discriminatory posts.  Let's not instead ban non-Mozilla-related posts just because this week's discriminatory post happened to also be non-Mozilla-related.
>
> In order to achieve this ban, I suggest we create a "Planet Mozilla Code of Conduct".  It would read something like this.
>
> - Planet Mozilla represents and belongs to the Mozilla community.
>
> - Discriminatory posts will not be tolerated.
>
> - If discriminatory posts are made, the Planet Mozilla module owners will take action as they see fit, such as removing said posts from Planet Mozilla and/or removing the blogs hosting those posts from Planet Mozilla.
>
> This obviously needs some fleshing out, but you get the picture.  A link to this code of conduct could be put somewhere prominent at the top of planet.mozilla.org.
>
> And that's it.  Good things about this proposal:
>
> - It's extremely simple, and can be implemented very quickly.
>
> - If discriminatory posts are made in the future, the actions that can and will be taken are clear, and the responsibility for who can take those actions is clear.
>
> - It establishes what behaviours are not acceptable.  And if a discriminatory post is removed from Planet Mozilla, this serves as an official Mozilla community renunciation of them.  I hope these two characteristics will satisfy Tim.
>
> - Although it ends Planet Mozilla's five years of "post anything" rules, in practice it will make no difference to how Planet operates 99.99% of the time.  I hope this will satisfy Asa and Mike.  (It's very common for new systems and communities to start with few or no rules and then to add rules later in response to bad events.  I think it's a testimony to the civility of the Mozilla community that the "post anything" rule worked as long as it did.)
>
> - There's no restriction of free speech.  People can still say whatever they want on their own blog.  But they cannot expect discriminatory content to be amplified and implicitly endorsed by the Mozilla community.
>
> Now, this proposal does nothing to address the other criticisms of Planet Mozilla -- that non-Mozilla-proposal posts are uninteresting or irrelevant, that the signal-to-noise ratio is to low, that the formatting is bad, and so on.  But those issues are *entirely orthogonal* to the issue of discriminatory content.  They should be discussed and addressed separately, and in a less urgent manner.
>


Playing devils advocate here.

Who decides what is discriminatory? Is WoMoz discriminatory or
exclusionary because it's female centric? If some men got together
and created DudeMoz (MeMoz sounds weird and ambiguous), would that be?
Is a Mozilla related LGBT community exclusionary to people with
strong christian beliefs?

Again, who makes this decision? This sounds like someone will be
setup to fail because no matter what they do they will be the assholes
of the community for "enforcing" or not "enforcing" the rules.

I'm not asking you personally to answer that question. It's more rhetorical.

Regardless, I don't think this should be a planet specific policy, it
should be community wide and apply to groups/mailing
lists/bugzilla/mozilla hosted blogs/events/etc.

Might be good to let module owners scapegoat to conductors? Or maybe
that's also a bad idea (I'd feel bad to say "here you take the heat").

Robert O'Callahan

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Mar 9, 2012, 9:46:51 AM3/9/12
to Mitchell Baker, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
I agree completely with what Mitchell said.

I think we can have a generous definition of what "Mozilla-related" content
is, and err on the side of generosity. I expect we won't run into problems
there, and I don't think we'll need a predefined enforcement procedure for
violations.

I personally enjoy reading the non-Mozilla content of Mozilla community
members that currently appears on Planet, so I think an alternative feed
(less Mozilla-branded) with all that content would be a good thing. But due
to time constraints I might choose not to read it.

Rob
--
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your Father in heaven. ... If you love those
who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors
doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more
than others?" [Matthew 5:43-47]

Gian-Carlo Pascutto

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Mar 9, 2012, 5:58:12 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On 9/03/2012 10:45, n.neth...@gmail.com wrote:

> First, let us note the two prime characteristics of Gerv's post:
>
> (a) it was discriminatory;

Your entire line of reasoning is based on the presumption this is
something that everyone agrees on and will always agree on. I would
postulate that isn't so.

I think that, arguing from the line of reasoning that was reflected in
Gerv's original post, you could take a position that he was making a
post *against* discrimination.

I don't personally agree with that, but I could see that his position
leads to that point of view. It often happens that when two sides
fundamentally disagree on a contentious issue, they consider each others
position "hate speech", "discrimination", "indecent", "inflammatory",
"trolling", etc.

So, a proposal to filter on that, IMHO, can't work, because either you
disagree whether posts are acceptable or not - which just leads to the
situation we're already in now -, or you have someone who has to judge
it, and that will amount to censorship.

> - There's no restriction of free speech. People can still say
> whatever they want on their own blog. But they cannot expect
> discriminatory content to be amplified and implicitly endorsed by the
> Mozilla community.

Can they say what they want or not? Let's not pretend limiting speech by
some criterion still allows free speech to exists. It's a terminal
incompatibility.

--
GCP

Dao

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Mar 9, 2012, 7:46:40 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On 09.03.2012 10:45, n.neth...@gmail.com wrote:
> First, let us note the two prime characteristics of Gerv's post:
>
> (a) it was discriminatory;
>
> (b) it was non-Mozilla-related.
>
> Characteristic (a) was the one that caused all the problems. Nonetheless,
> many people are suggesting that we should ban posts with characteristic (b).
> Let's not tangle the two characteristics! It's simple: if we want to ban
> discriminatory posts, then let's ban discriminatory posts.

+1

luke....@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 10:11:20 AM3/9/12
to mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
So something like:

planet.mozilla.org - aggregated feed of Mozilla-mission posts; established content policies; "Report abuse" feature

MozilliansFirehose.com - anything and everything from a Mozillian?

luke....@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 10:11:20 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org

jorgev

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Mar 9, 2012, 10:40:16 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
I also think that it is a tad extreme to enact such policy changes
based on one bad post. While it is certain that it caused lots of
damage within the community, it is unclear that these actions will do
anything to prevent this from happening again. In fact, I feel that
the public outcry and pushback is what will prevent this from
happening again in a long time, while there's still memory of the
incident.

Like somebody else said already, unless the official planet is
actively edited, someone will still be able to post offensive content.
There's also the possibility of creating posts that are work related
but at the same time give opinions on touchy subjects. It didn't take
more than a couple of sentences to fire up this controversy, and it's
hard to believe that every single line will be reviewed before being
posted to the official Planet. The only real mitigation in the
proposed changes is that all of us will roughly know what is right and
isn't right to post, but what we post will continue to be under our
discretion.

Moreover, I feel that having a completely uncensored Planet Mozillians
feed might encourage even more bad posts, given that there's already a
separate, on-topic feed. What kind of restraint will bloggers have in
this other planet? Is that planet going to have a code of conduct? I
feel that the current unspoken rule of keeping your posts mostly on
topic on planet has served us well (even if often there's plenty of
content that doesn't interest me), and throwing it all away for one
post (and arguably a couple others in the past) is too much.

- Jorge

Robert Kaiser

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Mar 9, 2012, 11:55:06 AM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
Asa Dotzler schrieb:
> Mozilla is more than just some lines of code. It's more than a few
> websites. Mozilla is all about *people*. Our Mission and Manifesto are
> about *people*. Our work is in support of *people*.
>
> We create change in the world by organizing *people* and our forums for
> discussion and interaction, from IRC to Planet, all carve out space for
> *people* to relate to each other as human beings -- rather than simply a
> bunch of automatons in a factory cranking out products Foxconn style.
[...]
> Mozilla is more than just “a job” and I hope that Planet will continue
> to make that more obvious, not less.

Fully agreed. I *want* to see all those differing, sometimes
controversial, opinions of the people in our project. I've developed a
thick skin and a good sense what to read in what detail to be able to
grasp it all, I think anyone who wants to fully live Mozilla would do
good if (s)he would go a similar way.


I can envision having another feed for all those who are only interested
in sterile work, where we can only subscribe our feeds to if we care
that only strictly "Mozilla" topics go in there.

Robert Kaiser

Gervase Markham

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Mar 9, 2012, 11:57:35 AM3/9/12
to Mitchell Baker
On 09/03/12 00:30, Mitchell Baker wrote:
> This week has seen heated discussion about the scope of materials
> syndicated to Planet Mozilla. Here's my view.

+1.

Gerv

Gervase Markham

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Mar 9, 2012, 11:57:56 AM3/9/12
to jpr...@gmail.com
On 09/03/12 06:07, jpr...@gmail.com wrote:
> What would the consequences being for those who break it (either
> intentionally, or mistakenly, as Gerv has said was the case with this
> particular post)?

A small point of clarification; I have not (as far as I can remember)
said that. It is not possible, either intentionally or mistakenly, to
break an "all content is welcome" content policy.

Gerv

Robert Kaiser

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:04:04 PM3/9/12
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jorgev schrieb:
> What kind of restraint will bloggers have in
> this other planet?

Hopefully almost none. That's what openness on the web is about.

Robert Kaiser

Blake Winton

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:09:53 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On 09-03-12 11:55 , Robert Kaiser wrote:
> Asa Dotzler schrieb:
>> Mozilla is more than just “a job” and I hope that Planet will continue
>> to make that more obvious, not less.
> Fully agreed. I *want* to see all those differing, sometimes
> controversial, opinions of the people in our project. I've developed a
> thick skin and a good sense what to read in what detail to be able to
> grasp it all, I think anyone who wants to fully live Mozilla would do
> good if (s)he would go a similar way.

I think that requiring a thick skin to contribute to Mozilla would
exclude many people whose input and contributions we want.

> I can envision having another feed for all those who are only interested
> in sterile work, where we can only subscribe our feeds to if we care
> that only strictly "Mozilla" topics go in there.

Can you imagine a middle ground between "anything goes" and "sterile
work"? How about "no controversial topics, but all the personal stuff
you want"? Would that be good enough in your opinion, or do you really
feel that taking stands on divisive issues (and possibly splitting the
community, and likely driving away people who don't want to deal with
the controversies) is necessary?

Later,
Blake.

Robert Kaiser

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:11:00 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
Gian-Carlo Pascutto schrieb:
> So, a proposal to filter on that, IMHO, can't work, because either you
> disagree whether posts are acceptable or not - which just leads to the
> situation we're already in now -, or you have someone who has to judge
> it, and that will amount to censorship.

Right. And one could in theory argue that a statement that we should
block installation of non-AMO add-ons by default would be
discriminatory, or about not supporting people using older OSes any
more, or similar things. It's pretty hard to draw the lines there.

Robert Kaiser

Robert Kaiser

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:14:08 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
Blake Winton schrieb:
> Can you imagine a middle ground between "anything goes" and "sterile
> work"? How about "no controversial topics, but all the personal stuff
> you want"?

I think that would raise the question if WoMoz or, say, an LBGT event,
or even stuff like dropping support for older OSes must be excluded as
well because those all will be seen as controversial by some group of
people.

Robert Kaiser

Gervase Markham

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:26:00 PM3/9/12
to n.neth...@gmail.com
On 09/03/12 09:45, n.neth...@gmail.com wrote:
> I have a proposal that I think might satisfy both Mike and Tim.
>
> First, let us note the two prime characteristics of Gerv's post:
>
> (a) it was discriminatory;

The problem with your proposal, as Gian-Carlo and Robert have pointed
out, is that there is some dispute about a).

Without wanting to have the same arguments again (not the point of this
thread), there are two overlapping uses of the verb 'discriminate'.

The first is simply "make a distinction". I don't think anyone would
dispute that my post called for UK law to continue to do this, as it
does now; but the act of making a distinction is not, in itself,
automatically offensive.

The second way the word can be used is something like "make a
distinction in a way which leads to _prejudicial_ treatment". I think
that there is not consensus within the Mozilla community as to whether
the current state of UK law is discriminatory in this respect.

And, in general, if you were to take a survey across the entire Mozilla
community, including those bits of it living in Eastern Europe, Africa,
South America, Asia and so on, you would find a diverse range of opinion
on the components of how you identify a post as "discriminatory" in the
second sense.

> - Discriminatory posts will not be tolerated.

So the question that raises is: under your plan, who gets to decide what
is discriminatory, and why? Me? Tim? Mitchell?

Gerv

Ken Saunders

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:28:40 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
Sorry if this goes through twice, I didn't have JS enabled the first
time.

On Mar 9, 9:46 am, "Robert O'Callahan" <rob...@ocallahan.org> wrote:
> I agree completely with what Mitchell said.

ditto

> I think we can have a generous definition of what "Mozilla-related" content
> is, and err on the side of generosity. I expect we won't run into problems
> there, and I don't think we'll need a predefined enforcement procedure for
> violations.

+1

--ramble--
For what it's worth, I've always been interested in getting to know
Mozillians beyond their Mozilla work and efforts. Doing so, I've
formed some great relationships and have learned some interesting
things like Mitchell makes cool quilts, and that Mary is an awesome
athlete, and that Asa digs high tech sneakers.

My best friend is a Mozillian who has totally opposite religious
beliefs than I do. Other Mozillian friends have different political
and/or moral beliefs or other stances yet we're still friends and it
isn't that I was a horrible person at one time, but I will tell you
that being a part of Mozilla for the past 8 years and getting to
actually know people has taught me to be more tolerant, accepting, and
less closed minded because I've focused more on the things that we do
have in common and realized that others are actually great people,
they just believe in something different than I do.

It would be great for Mozilla, heck, the World if we all could do that
so perhaps y'all could give that some thought.
--end ramble--

In any event, I agree with Mitchell and with Asa's human element
comments, but like I said, there's Facebook and other venues that
weren't in place a few years back for actually getting to know people.

Ken

Blake Winton

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:43:13 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
Yes, exactly. It certainly raises the question. It seems to me that a
reasonable basis for what to include and what to exclude would be the
things mentioned explicitly in the Mozilla Harassment Policy. (Sorry,
OS/2 and Amiga lovers! ;)

I notice you still haven't answered whether or not you feel that taking
stands on divisive issues (and possibly splitting the community, and
likely driving away people who don't want to deal with the
controversies) is necessary, though.

Later,
Blake.

Robert Accettura

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:45:05 PM3/9/12
to Blake Winton, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 12:09 PM, Blake Winton <bwi...@latte.ca> wrote:
>
> Can you imagine a middle ground between "anything goes" and "sterile work"?
>  How about "no controversial topics, but all the personal stuff you want"?
>  Would that be good enough in your opinion, or do you really feel that
> taking stands on divisive issues (and possibly splitting the community, and
> likely driving away people who don't want to deal with the controversies) is
> necessary?
>

How do you define "controversial topics"? Or better yet, who gets to?

While I love the idea*, I can't imagine how this would work in
practice as the community grows and diversifies. Something that's not
controversial in one place may be a hot button issue in another. I
know I'm not culturally aware enough of every place mozillians are
(all 7 continents) to feel 100% comfortable about that.


* preed I think put it better than anyone in his blog post my personal
sentiments towards what the planet team has been trying for and how
every decision has been made, it's highly relevant, and I suggest a
read if you can spare a few minutes:
http://soberbuildengineer.com/blog/2012/03/a-stroll-through-planet-mozilla-history/

--
Robert Accettura
rob...@accettura.com

Ken Saunders

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:21:00 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Mar 9, 9:46 am, "Robert O'Callahan" <rob...@ocallahan.org> wrote:
> I agree completely with what Mitchell said.

ditto

> I think we can have a generous definition of what "Mozilla-related" content
> is, and err on the side of generosity. I expect we won't run into problems
> there, and I don't think we'll need a predefined enforcement procedure for
> violations.

phillipadsmith

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Mar 9, 2012, 12:39:58 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Mar 8, 6:30 pm, Mitchell Baker <mitch...@mozilla.com> wrote:
> This week has seen heated discussion about the scope of materials
> syndicated to Planet Mozilla.   Here's my view.
>
> I believe the former is the best path.   It's a path based on the
> promise of the web, of inclusion, and of user sovereignty.  It's the
> path of the Mozilla Manifesto, and its adoption by people of all sorts
> of different views.    It allows us to focus on issues, such as SOPA and
> ACTA, that are directly related to our mission.   It allows Mozillians
> to have divergent views on other topics without tearing ourselves apart
> and damaging our ability to fulfill our unique mission.
>
> In the past we've chosen the latter for planet.mozilla.org.  I believe
> we need a core information flow and gathering space that is focused on
> what we all came to Mozilla for -- how to move our particular mission
> forward.
>
> Proposals have been made to change planet,  or to start a similar
> planet.mozillians.org.  I'm personally learning towards the idea of
> remaking planet to be the gathering place for updates about Mozilla
> activities.  I'll talk with the planet module owners and peers, as well
> as monitor the discussion forums.  I'm not sure of the particular
> solution yet, but in my mind I'm clear that we need a forum focused on
> the thing we all agree on -- Mozilla and our mission.
>
> Mitchell

At the risk of wading into a conversation that I've not been invited
to, I wanted to propose that "fixing" Planet Mozilla is not merely a
matter of technical "plumbing." IMHO, it's a challenge that requires a
*human* solution.

I spoke with several folks in the Mozilla community last year and
asked them what they loved about Planet Mozilla, and what needed
improvement. Some of the themes from those conversations are
summarized here:

http://www.phillipadsmith.com/2011/12/rethinking-planet-mozilla-the-challenge-of-too-much-signal.html
http://www.phillipadsmith.com/2011/12/rethinking-planet-mozilla-hacking-the-core-of-mozillas-story.html

Planet Mozilla is _one_ fire hose of Mozilla's activities, but there
are many others now: e-mail lists and groups, blogs that aren't on the
planet, social media, events, conference calls, and so on. Planet
Mozilla -- if one kept the name and intention, but let go of the
historical idea of a "Planet" as an RSS feed aggregator -- could be so
much more than it is today.

Viva Planet Mozilla! :)

Phillip.

Asa Dotzler

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Mar 9, 2012, 1:43:16 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On 3/9/2012 1:45 AM, n.neth...@gmail.com wrote:
> In order to achieve this ban, I suggest we create a "Planet Mozilla Code of Conduct". It would read something like this.

Why single out Planet. If Planet is expected to police and enforce a
code of conduct than so should Bugzilla, IRC, Newstgroups, Wiki pages,
blog posts on Mozilla servers which aren't syndicated to Planet, web
pages, HTML forums, AMO, any any other location where people publish
under a Mozilla banner.

- A

Mike Connor

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Mar 9, 2012, 1:53:52 PM3/9/12
to Asa Dotzler, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
+1. Christie has already posted in another .governance thread advocating for the creation of a community code of conduct, and that is a critically important, community-wide discussion in which I hope everyone supports and participates.

-- Mike

Mike Connor

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Mar 9, 2012, 2:04:04 PM3/9/12
to Gian-Carlo Pascutto, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On 2012-03-09, at 5:58 AM, Gian-Carlo Pascutto wrote:

>> - There's no restriction of free speech. People can still say
>> whatever they want on their own blog. But they cannot expect
>> discriminatory content to be amplified and implicitly endorsed by the
>> Mozilla community.
>
> Can they say what they want or not? Let's not pretend limiting speech by
> some criterion still allows free speech to exists. It's a terminal
> incompatibility.

Limiting speech is not the same thing as limiting what speech Mozilla amplifies. Whether Planet exists, and what form Planet takes, has no inherent limiting factor on the ability of individuals to speak freely on any subject.

Many people seem to be conflating "what gets syndicated by Planet" and "what individuals can say personally" in this way. I don't think that's correct, or relevant, unless one presumes that being a part of the Mozilla community grants an individual some sort of right to use Mozilla resources to promote their own agenda.

-- Mike

Taras Glek

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Mar 9, 2012, 2:07:36 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
I support this proposal. The current notion that planet.mozilla.org is a
collection of free speech that doesn't have obvious connections to the
Mozilla mission is entirely non-obvious. I know quite a few people who
would benefit from following planet, but avoid it because of the
terrible signal/noise ratio.

I would be more comfortable posting non-Mozilla related items if I knew
that they would go onto a separate aggregator.


Taras

Asa Dotzler

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Mar 9, 2012, 2:29:07 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
This is also not really a fair response, Mike. If I have a blog that
will be read by no-one directly but will be read by thousands at Planet,
if I am told cannot post to Planet, Mozilla has effectively said to me
"you are denied the opportunity to be heard." Speaking and being heard
are two different things in reality, but conceptually, I think lumping
them together is completely legitimate in this context.

I agree that this is not a "free speech" issue, but just as corporations
and the wealthy in our country have far more effective speech (the
ability to be heard) because they can buy the megaphone of advertising
and various other forums, so do Planet syndicators have more effective
speech (the ability to be heard) because they have the megaphone of
Planet. Taking that megaphone away absolutely does impact their speech.
It doesn't take it away, it just makes it a lot less useful.

If a tree falls in the forest and all that.

- A

jpr...@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 2:29:28 PM3/9/12
to mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org, jpr...@gmail.com
On Friday, March 9, 2012 8:57:56 AM UTC-8, Gervase Markham wrote:

> A small point of clarification; I have not (as far as I can remember)
> said that. It is not possible, either intentionally or mistakenly, to
> break an "all content is welcome" content policy.

Apologies Gerv.

Lots of words exchanged with lots of people on this in the past 56 hours. :-)

I think my memory is keying off of you saying something about having recently moved to a new Wordpress installation, and changes to the way your feed was syndicated due to that? I may have inferred that to mean "I didn't think this would get syndicated to Planet, but it did" and thus it being a mistake in that regard, not in regards to breaking any content policy.

Your analysis is spot on about it being impossible to break an "all content is welcome"-policy.

sorry about that,
preed

Kyle Huey

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Mar 9, 2012, 2:53:58 PM3/9/12
to Asa Dotzler, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
On Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 11:29 AM, Asa Dotzler <a...@mozilla.org> wrote:

> On 3/9/2012 11:04 AM, Mike Connor wrote:
>
>> Limiting speech is not the same thing as limiting what speech Mozilla
>> amplifies. Whether Planet exists, and what form Planet takes, has no
>> inherent limiting factor on the ability of individuals to speak freely on
>> any subject.
>>
>> Many people seem to be conflating "what gets syndicated by Planet" and
>> "what individuals can say personally" in this way. I don't think that's
>> correct, or relevant, unless one presumes that being a part of the Mozilla
>> community grants an individual some sort of right to use Mozilla resources
>> to promote their own agenda.
>>
>> -- Mike
>>
>>
> This is also not really a fair response, Mike. If I have a blog that will
> be read by no-one directly but will be read by thousands at Planet, if I am
> told cannot post to Planet, Mozilla has effectively said to me "you are
> denied the opportunity to be heard." Speaking and being heard are two
> different things in reality, but conceptually, I think lumping them
> together is completely legitimate in this context.
>

No, mconnor hit the nail right on the head. I don't think the Mozilla
project owes its contributors the right to be heard on anything that's not
related to Mozilla. If I want to promote my Minecraft server/model train
club/political views/whatever on my own time that's fine, but why should
Mozilla allow me to use its megaphone? Lumping them together is absolutely
not legitimate in this context.


> I agree that this is not a "free speech" issue, but just as corporations
> and the wealthy in our country have far more effective speech (the ability
> to be heard) because they can buy the megaphone of advertising and various
> other forums, so do Planet syndicators have more effective speech (the
> ability to be heard) because they have the megaphone of Planet. Taking that
> megaphone away absolutely does impact their speech. It doesn't take it
> away, it just makes it a lot less useful.
>

So? The fact that I don't have rights to post to
https://twitter.com/#!/firefox limits the impact of my speech too. So does
the fact that I don't own a 24 hour cable TV news network. Nobody owes me
either of those, and nobody owes me the usage of Mozilla's
servers/bandwidth/domain name that I get on planet either.

- Kyle

Benoit Jacob

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Mar 9, 2012, 2:54:22 PM3/9/12
to Asa Dotzler, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org


----- Original Message -----
> On 3/9/2012 1:45 AM, n.neth...@gmail.com wrote:
> > In order to achieve this ban, I suggest we create a "Planet Mozilla
> > Code of Conduct". It would read something like this.
>
> Why single out Planet. If Planet is expected to police and enforce a
> code of conduct than so should Bugzilla, IRC, Newstgroups, Wiki
> pages,
> blog posts on Mozilla servers which aren't syndicated to Planet, web
> pages, HTML forums, AMO, any any other location where people publish
> under a Mozilla banner.

Any off-topic discussion on Bugzilla is immediately RESOLVED INVALID, but on Planet everyone is welcome to talk about personal issues. This is so different, that if you don't see the difference, I don't know what I can say!

Ditto for newsgroups / mailing lists and wiki pages. IRC channels sometimes digress, but that's generally only on innocent subjects and among people who know each other.

Planet is the only Mozilla resource where there is no rule against off-topic content.

Benoit

Benoit Jacob

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Mar 9, 2012, 3:18:40 PM3/9/12
to Asa Dotzler, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org
A quick chat on IRC brought up some links to similar past discussions, that may be useful to have here for context. Just to underline that this discussion didn't suddenly start this week.

Similar mozilla.governance discussion 3 years ago:
https://groups.google.com/group/mozilla.governance/browse_thread/thread/b78c4ff7d4d5e967?hl=fr&pli=1

Bug report from last year:
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=657098
> _______________________________________________
> governance mailing list
> gover...@lists.mozilla.org
> https://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/governance
>

n.neth...@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 3:24:19 PM3/9/12
to mozilla.g...@googlegroups.com, mozilla-g...@lists.mozilla.org, n.neth...@gmail.com
On Saturday, March 10, 2012 1:42:27 AM UTC+11, Robert Accettura wrote:
> Playing devils advocate here.
>
> I'm not asking you personally to answer that question. It's more rhetorical.

I'm happy to answer it, and more or less I covered it in my proposal.

> Who decides what is discriminatory?
> Again, who makes this decision?

Two groups: (a) whoever writes the code of conduct, and (b) whoever interprets the code of conduct on a day-to-day basis. I suggested that the Planet Mozilla module owners be responsible for (b).

As for (a), the Planet Mozilla module owners should be involved, and probably Mitchell, and to a degree, everyone. It shouldn't be that hard. I'm pretty sure Mozilla Corporation has a policy about these sorts of things, that could be used as a starting point. Graydon also suggested http://citizencodeofconduct.org/, IIRC.

Any rule system has people responsible for writing the rules and interpreting the rules. If you disagree with the rules, you can try to get them changed or become one of the people responsible for interpreting them. For example, if my proposal was enacted and you didn't like the outcome you could try to become a Planet Mozilla module owner. It's all pretty simple.

Nick

n.neth...@gmail.com

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Mar 9, 2012, 3:24:19 PM3/9/12