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Re: Formal Recorded Complaint

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@us.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 16:21:50 -0400
Message-ID: <46AE485E.9080603@us.ibm.com>
To: Maciej Stachowiak <mjs@apple.com>
CC: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>, steve@w3.org, timbl@w3.org, jbrewer@w3.org, "'wai-ig list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, wai-xtech@w3.org, public-html@w3.org, www-html@w3.org

Maciej Stachowiak wrote:
> On Jul 30, 2007, at 12:28 PM, Sam Ruby wrote:
>> The first thing I would like to point out is that I've seen nobody 
>> questioning the competence of anybody who has participated this 
>> working group.  Nor are we talking about classing 'troll' behavior 
>> here.  We are talking about people who have value to contribute, but 
>> seem entirely unable to disagree without being disagreeable.  Putting 
>> forward a counter argument isn't sufficient for such people, they seem 
>> compelled to do so in a manner that shames the person who advanced the 
>> other point of view into silence.
> While the issue you raise can certainly be a problem, the RFCs you 
> linked are not designed to deal with overly heated but valid and 
> on-topic discussion. They are designed to deal with outright trolling, 
> and the means to address it is banishment from the group. Quoting from 
> RFC 3683:

permanent banishment from the group should never be the first recourse.

> "Notably, in a small number of cases, a participant has engaged in what 
> amounts to a 'denial-of-service' attack to disrupt the consensus-driven 
> process. Typically, these attacks are made by repeatedly posting 
> messages that are off-topic, inflammatory, or otherwise 
> counter-productive. In contrast, good faith disagreement is a healthy 
> part of the consensus-driven process.
> For example, if a working group is unable to reach consensus, this is an 
> acceptable, albeit unfortunate, outcome; however, if that working group 
> fails to achieve consensus because it is being continuously disrupted, 
> then the disruption constitutes an abuse of the consensus-driven 
> process. Interactions of this type are fundamentally different from 'the 
> lone voice of dissent' in which a participant expresses a view that is 
> discussed but does not achieve consensus. In other words, individual bad 
> faith should not trump community goodwill."

Compare that last paragraph to the email posted by John Foliot on this 
very subject not ten minutes before yours.

What we have is not a 'lone voice of dissent'.  What we have is a 
consistent and persistent pattern of abuse of the consensus-driven process.

> I've certainly seen vociferous disagreement in the group, and often 
> participants on both sides of a contentious issue can get overly worked 
> up.  But I think if situations like that go too far, then removal from 
> the group is not the right solution. If some action beyond letting the 
> discussion work itself out is needed, then probably some form of 
> mediation would be the best option.

Again, permanent banishment should never be the first recourse.

> Regards,
> Maciej

- Sam Ruby
Received on Monday, 30 July 2007 20:22:48 UTC

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