Re: [Last-Call] Change of position: Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins

Toerless Eckert <tte@cs.fau.de> Thu, 27 October 2022 15:10 UTC

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Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2022 17:10:29 +0200
From: Toerless Eckert <tte@cs.fau.de>
To: Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com>
Cc: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>, last-call@ietf.org, IETF Chair <chair@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Change of position: Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
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Ted,

What you write is not wrong, but it should IMHO already apply to
every level of transgression, and not only a severe one. I would say we
have a continuum of bad behavior in the community and it would likely
help our community and work product more to think about how to
foster a more supportive, friendly, and less biased and oppressive
community environment than to look only at a binary BCP PR action incident.

Without a proven track record of proportional response and ongoing efforts
to improve our climate, this whole BCP PR action process does very much
look like selective prosecution and will be worth for the climate
of the organization than it would help.

Cheers
    Toerless

On Thu, Oct 27, 2022 at 12:20:45PM +0200, Ted Lemon wrote:
> There are quite a few steps in the reconciliation process when someone has
> engaged in transgressive behavior that needs to be corrected.
> 
> The first step is getting the person engaging in the behavior to come to
> understand how to differentiate between transgressive behavior and other
> behavior.
> 
> Second, the person needs to want to stop engaging in transgressive behavior.
> 
> Third, the person needs to actually stop engaging in transgressive behavior.
> 
> Fourth, the person needs to work to repair the damage they have done by
> engaging in transgressive behavior in the past. This includes at a minimum,
> successfully not engaging in further transgressive behavior for some
> significant period of time, so as to establish that there is an actual
> behavior change, and not just verbal agreement to change behavior.
> 
> The point of this is not to punish the person. It is to stop the harm that
> the person has been doing through their behavior. We don't actually care
> why the person is behaving this way. We don't need to decide that the
> person is "a bad person." We just need to identify the behavior, explain
> why it is a transgression, and what is expected.
> 
> It is quite common when trying to address problems like this to value the
> person committing the transgression over the health of the organization,
> because the person is a person, and the organization is not a person. It's
> much easier for us to cognize the person as someone whose interests should
> be protected than it is to cognize the organization in the same way.
> 
> Nevertheless, if we truly value the organization, we have to prioritize the
> organization's health over the ability of a particular person to
> participate in the organization. It is not appropriate to even refer to the
> person as a bad person. All we care about is the person's behavior. The
> behavior is the problem that needs to be corrected. The corrective action
> isn't a punishment. It need not continue longer than necessary, but it must
> continue for that long.
> 
> So, to Brian's point, we are now perhaps at stage one in this four stage
> process. That's great, but it's way too soon to declare victory. I'm a bit
> disappointed that Brian has decided that we are done when we've only
> perhaps just started, but he's entitled to his opinion.
> 
> 
> 
> On Thu, Oct 27, 2022 at 6:26 AM Brian E Carpenter <
> brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> > Hi,
> >
> > I'd like to change my position on this. In a recent message, Dan
> > acknowledges that using sarcasm or satire is problematic:
> >
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/last-call/-8qnygF1ywCc3nQAWg0jGCEtLdo/
> > To my mind, given that Dan has been a significant technical contributor
> > over many years, that is really all the community can ask for. I don't
> > think the IETF would gain anything at this point by applying a PR Action,
> > and would possibly lose future significant technical contributions.
> >
> > Regards
> >     Brian Carpenter
> >
> > On 01-Oct-22 10:06, Brian E Carpenter wrote:
> > > I've had a filter in place that deletes mail from Dan Harkins
> > automatically
> > > for some years, so I haven't been disturbed by most of their recent
> > postings.
> > > But I think that this PR action is fully justified by their long record
> > > of uncivil and disruptive messages,
> > >
> > > Regards
> > >      Brian Carpenter
> > >
> > > On 30-Sep-22 05:15, 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:
> > >>
> > https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/draft-les-white-intersectional-dots
> > >>
> > https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/html/draft-les-white-tls-preferred-pronouns
> > >>     (following these links displays the tombstone notice explaining
> > their removal)
> > >>
> > >> * His posting rights were restricted on the admin-discuss mailing list:
> > >>
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/admin-discuss/ZANH2VPN-U8VMvvOWLb5l03FdCs/
> > >>
> > >> * A final public warning was issued on the gendispatch mailing list:
> > >>
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/gendispatch/68a4amMa1aiaRUPzPGgXdiY9gHg/
> > >>
> > >> 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
> > >> last-call@ietf.org mailing lists by 27 October 2022. Exceptionally,
> > comments may
> > >> be sent to iesg@ietf.org 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:
> > >>
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/gendispatch/zdq3F0PV40Cyw5ooj0orOWaYyUw/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/gendispatch/i-d7HlWgrkmrVlC7JZQSXDwIJCQ/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/gendispatch/YhPI9zZ_3xfidt5V-ORRnET36yY/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/gendispatch/B33zk8VfOYt4b4Cj-kIHXG3AXdg/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/gendispatch/d3iDS4WNkCJA3aMFnX2HjP4tsps/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/gendispatch/-On8AHrdnnCMlJOOyb1M1nlYMpk/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/terminology/n6UMvDuYLKmmvpP1ajICFvf634M/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/terminology/QCdjDbokmlARcwVqQ1TV3Rlz7eQ/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/terminology/X6OF0MBKAzyLhYaAfAxS6srXRNw/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/terminology/idJhG1MsLmKHyRlaAafcW2JF6Z8/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/ipsec/LoGSVatZ4EsYRq4K52rmvRZTndk/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/ietf/pl2lVqhtF4Z-0YuTjhCOmdyi1qE/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/ietf/DFgnF_j8py_eMBGI1IUFdMahTKw/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/terminology/T3oCpY3BbTNLXWAWsCnFvahRLUQ/
> > >> *
> > https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/admin-discuss/xLuz4WTCm5ibIiMVN5ID8OWsCI0/
> > >>
> > --
> > last-call mailing list
> > last-call@ietf.org
> > https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/last-call
> >

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