[UbuntuWomen] Ubuntu-women IRC channel discussion

Melissa Draper melissa at meldraweb.com
Wed Jan 6 12:31:52 GMT 2010

On Tue, 2010-01-05 at 09:50 -0500, Elizabeth Krumbach wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 1:00 AM, vid <vid at svaksha.com> wrote:
> > Women
> > do need support in floss and if an unlogged channel makes the
> > transition to floss as a contributor easier, probably reduces the
> > silent loss of female contributors, then why not have a unlogged
> > channel !?!
> >
> > I'd love to hear more thoughts....
> I think it's vital to keep in mind that the channel is not inherently
> "Safe" right now, logging or not. It may have been true when the
> channel had fewer than 20 people in it and we knew everyone, but that
> is no longer true. There are now frequently over 70 people in the
> channel, several of whom we don't know, new people all the time, and
> general Ubuntu IRC policies (which I strongly approve of) mean we
> can't just remove folks because they don't introduce themselves and we
> have to give everyone a chance even if they may "seem creepy" at first
> join, etc.
> Since we don't know everyone, there could be a bot or a user logging
> the channel and posting logs (or, perhaps worse, collecting key log
> snippits they feel can harm the project and posting them somewhere
> where they can highlight them). I'd really, really hate for people to
> be talking about their employer, other people within the Ubuntu
> project, or other F/OSS projects and then getting hurt because they
> were under the impression that it was completely safe to discuss
> everything and name names, it's just not.

Ok, I have a problem with the tone of argument you're using here Lyz. It
seems to me to be borderline on "since it's not 101% safe, lets not
worry too much about making it less so".

And that hurts.

Throwing away the level of safety we currently have for something
inherently *less* safe also makes it *hard* to go back the other way, to
something *more* safe. Worst case, impossible.

And that is something that will, in my experience, hurt us badly in the
future. If it gets to the point that in order to get safer we need to
abandon the ship we built from scratch and start over, then we've lost.

I've saw that happen in another $project-women group last year, and I
really times infinity-and-one do not want that for us.

What tends to be needed from a safe space is:

* The ability to approach people who advertise to care about the issue
at hand, and can share experiences and advice.

* The ability for these approaches to be an environment where we can
seek privacy if we need it,...

* ...and likewise do not feel shamed into a confessional booth if we do
not wish for such.

* A *balance* between public and privacy.

* A moderation policy that is accommodating of proactive moderation, not
just reactive.

* An understanding that the boundaries of the target demographic takes
absolute priority over the boundaries of those who are not of that

* The ability to socialise and learn in an atmosphere in which the above
principles establish the tone.

None of that guarantees cotton-wool-and-bubble-wrap safety. We can't
without background checks, fingerprinting and DNA sampling. But under
*no* circumstance should that mean that we should give up trying and
throw all caution to the wind, just because.

Melissa Draper

w: http://meldraweb.com & http://geekosophical.net
p: +61 4 0472 2736

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