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Re: Moderation

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Ricardo Signes
February 10, 2018 16:44
Re: Moderation
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* Andreas Koenig <> [2018-02-09T01:18:59]
> That being out of the way, here [are a lot of questions]:
> [...]

The presentations of the questions was really off-putting, because it read like
a list of accusations, and so at first I was, well, put off.

On a second or third reading, and since there seems to have been a sort of
shotgun style of response here, I thought I might as well cast my pellets to
the wind.

As far as I know, every moderator understood the situation with Marc's ban and
its failure to terminate correctly.  I certainly posted my understanding of the

Then there was a lot of discussion about how to respond.  This took too long
because it was an unpleasant discussion among volunteers.  I present that as an
explanation, but it's not an excuse.  Surely this could've been turned around
faster, but the discussion was seeking unanimity, because the moderators tend
to shoot for everybody consenting, not unilateral action.

>  4. since it was a pumpking who instigated the moderation team, do the
>     moderators believe they should report to the pumpking or to
>     perl5-porters? Or to nobody at all?

I think this is a very pertinent question.  It has never been discussed as far
as I know.  If you asked me -- and I guess you did -- I think we have an
ethical responsibility to perl5-porters, rather than the pumpking, and I
would've told you that x years ago, too.

>  6. which moderators have access to the system that handles bans?

None.  It's handled by the Perl NOC.  Perl's mailing list system is extremely
manual, run by two volunteers in limited time.

The buck can stop with me, here:  I requested the ban, the ban was apparently
not sufficiently removed.  I'll see if there's any interesting details behind
the scenes, but I doubt it.  I'll let you know.

In a private email earlier this year, or late last, I said we'd be setting up a
better mailing list for the moderators to use.  This hasn't happened yet, but
it will.  I don't expect it to have public archives, though.

> 13. did anybody of the participants in the discussion come to the idea
>     that changes to the rules would have to be discussed with and
>     decided by the people on perl5-porters themselves and not by the
>     moderators alone?

I don't think so, no.  Starting a conversation about specific problems with the
policy as committed seems like a reasonable step for anybody unhappy about it.

I really believe that everybody involved here wants what they think is best.  I
would like us to have whatever conversations we need to have while all trying
to keep believing that.  It's really hard to work toward a mutually acceptable
conclusion when your discussion partner seems to be assuming bad faith.

> 18. would you agree that the border between acceptable and unacceptable
>     behaviour is not cast in stone and for this reason the moderation
>     team might decide wrongly, at least occasionally? Which part of the
>     moderation system would automatically correct such potentially wrong
>     decisions?

As with any decision, mistakes can be made.  I hope that the moderators will
remain open-minded to reasoned arguments from the group.  So, the answer to
"which part" is "the part where decisions are made publicly in a large room
full of people who care and try to help."


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