Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action [snip]

Rene Struik <> Thu, 27 October 2022 01:16 UTC

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Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2022 21:16:51 -0400
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action [snip]
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Dear IETF:

I cannot agree with this proposed action (and think it has been poor 

I have read the last-call text and "evidence" presented therein and 
reflected on some of the discussion on this mailing list since. While 
one could argue about the tone of messages and personal likes or 
dislikes of people in the community, I don't think the alleged behavior 
was sufficient grounds to warrant this extreme "going after the throat" 
IESG leadership behavior in its last-call message.

I cannot escape the impression that the IESG was very well aware 
beforehand of the damage that this last-call message (subject line, cc 
list etc, all in public) would do right away to the individual 
concerned. From the discussion that followed, it seems clear (to me) 
that this action has done severe damage to IETF's standing, presumed 
tolerance, and community feel itself.

IETF would be a much better place if "be conservative in what you send, 
be liberal in what you accept" would be applied in the context of human 
interactions more.


On 2022-09-29 12:15 p.m., IETF Chair wrote:
> Following community feedback after various incidents, as documented below, the
> IESG has initiated a posting rights (PR) action that would restrict the posting
> rights of Dan Harkins, as per the procedures found in BCP 83 (RFC 3683).
> Specifically, his posting privileges to these lists would be suspended:
> * admin-discuss
> * gendispatch
> * ietf
> * terminology
> In the IESG's opinion, this individual has a history of sending emails that are
> inconsistent with the IETF Guidelines for Conduct (RFC 7154) and thereby
> "disrupt the consensus-driven process" (RFC 3683). Among these are contributions
> that:
> * Express racism in the form of denying, belittling, and ridiculing anti-racist
>    sentiment and efforts
> * Are rude and abusive, and often amount to insulting ridicule
> (Links to examples of such emails sent to the lists above during the last two
> years are provided at the end of this email.)
> Multiple attempts have been made to enter into a private discussion with this
> individual, both by IESG and community members, to communicate disquiet with his
> conduct on the lists. These attempts to restore respectful and courteous conduct
> on the lists have been rebuffed with communication that can be considered both
> antagonistic and hostile, and the pattern of behavior observed has continued.
> The IESG also notes that the following actions have already been taken in
> response to the individual's actions:
> * Two I-Ds were removed from the public archive due to their offensive nature:
>    (following these links displays the tombstone notice explaining their removal)
> * His posting rights were restricted on the admin-discuss mailing list:
> * A final public warning was issued on the gendispatch mailing list:
> None of the attempts to discuss his participation style or warn the individual
> have led to any improvements. The IESG therefore believes that a PR action is
> the correct response to his continued problematic behavior across a number of
> different lists.
> The IESG plans to make a decision in the next few weeks, and solicits final
> comments on this action. Please send substantive comments to the
> mailing lists by 27 October 2022. Exceptionally, comments may
> be sent to instead. If sending private feedback to the IESG,
> please indicate if you would be open to having your comments anonymized and
> shared in a summary.
> Please note: Comments should be limited to the criteria described in BCP 83,
> notably on whether the individual in question has engaged in postings that are
> "unprofessional commentary, regardless of the general subject" in a manner
> disruptive enough to warrant this action.
> Lars Eggert
> IETF Chair, on behalf of the IESG
> –-
> Examples of problematic emails during the last two years include:
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *
> *

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