RE: PWE minutes

Thanks Chaals and Jeff 

We are working with Jory to prepare chairs' training that gives more hands-on information to chairs. I am quite hesitant to offer chairs (or anyone for that matter) what looks like unilateral authority to make a decision that has potentially long-term effects. I think that the role of chairs and how they manage specific scenarios is extremely nuanced. Editing and redacted archived content is something that (whether good or bad) is viewed as quite alarmist in the W3C in my experience. Because it is just one approach of many, and it may be perceived as extremely harsh, I do not wish to include it in this iteration of CEPC.

I am envisioning a scenario where Person A does something in Github perceived as offensive by Person B who contacts their chair. Chair agrees and edits the GitHub comment to reflect that. A is offended by the edit and contacts and ombuds because they feel that the edit is itself a violation of the CEPC, showing a lack of respect. Further, Ada and I discussed as we were working through the edits yesterday that (in keeping with the section called "If you've done something improper" [1], the more appropriate action for the Chair or other leader is to ask Person A (potential violator of CEPC to apologize and make the edit themselves. 

Ada and I spent several hours working on a revision to this section yesterday [2]. I think this MUST go hand in hand with actual training sessions for people in a leadership position. I am very much looking forward to Jory's Deescelation training, which we hope to roll out in the next few months.



Tzviya Siegman
Information Standards Lead

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles 'chaals' (McCathie) Nevile <> 
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 4:51 PM
Subject: Re: PWE minutes

In the minutes, the people who were at the meeting felt it was unlikely chairs would unliaterally redact harmful comments or block someone on a mailing list. In my experience I have both done, and seen other chairs do that - fortunately not frequently, but more than once. I think it is worth anticipating the possibility, and being clear that we invest chairs with the authority to do so in cases where it is necessary.

Note that behaviour of chairs is subject to claims that it contravenes the code, so this is not "carte blanche" for chairs to become to become petty dictators, and such authority should be exercised with thoughtfulness and restraint.

FWIW We should be far more proactive in talking to chairs about this. I never learned to do this in chair training, but I have often been backed up by other chairs and group members (including people in this CG), and unsurprisingly have also backed off and apologised for overstepping the boundaries of reasonable and proportional. I have likewise found myself in the position of feeling that a co-chair has overstepped, and imposed an unduly harsh restriction. With no apparent guidance resolving these situations is one of the most challenging aspects of chairing, and one where I really felt more help from W3C is important.


Charles "chaals" Nevile
PegaSys Standards Architect, ConsenSys

Received on Tuesday, 17 December 2019 14:20:32 UTC