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List Archive: gentoo-council
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To: gentoo-council@g.o
From: Donnie Berkholz <dberkholz@g.o>
Subject: CoC enforcement proposal
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007 04:05:07 -0800
This is a bit later than I intended because of real life interference, 
but here's some ideas for how to enforce the CoC. It's a little long, 
sorry about that; we can push off the vote again if we don't have a 
majority of people prepared for it by the meeting.

I separated it into problem, conceptual solution, and implementation so 
you can decide which levels you like and which could use tweaking.

CoC enforcement proposal

Consider this entire document a draft open to council discussion. I 
appreciate the people on the gentoo-project list who contributed to the 

The problem

My basic philosophy is: compliment in public, criticize in private. One 
of the problems with the proctors last time around was that their 
actions became too public, embarrassing the parties involved. Another 
problem with the proctors was that real action was not taken soon 
enough, and too long was spent talking. Real action in this context 
means that someone is temporarily blocked from posting to the relevant 
forum (mailing lists, IRC, forums), rather than sitting around talking. 
A third problem with the proctors was the difference in interpretation 
of the CoC within the group and with the council. It's particularly 
important to discriminate technical discussions from personal attacks 
and misconduct.

The conceptual solution

A primary focus of CoC enforcement is deterrence from continued 
violation, so permanent action is unnecessary. Thus, what seems 
necessary is a way to take rapid, private, temporary action.

By making initial actions temporary (e.g., 6-12 hours in most cases), 
they can be taken rapidly with little negative consequence in the case 
of a mistake. The goal is to provide developers with a cooling-off 
period but allow them to rejoin the discussion with little loss. Since 
the actions are always private, the only reason other developers will 
learn about them is that either the affected developer or whoever took 
the action (the actor) leaked it. Leaks by the actor will be taken 
seriously as a CoC violation in their own right.

The basic idea behind the time frame is that the longer the action, the 
fewer people who can choose to take it. Perhaps only one or two people 
besides the council could decide to take any action longer than 12 
hours, which would severely impede a developer's ability to participate 
in a discussion.

Whoever's taking action also needs to have a similar interpretation of 
the CoC as the council, which is the problem that came up with the 
proctors. To ensure this, the council will need some kind of role in 
deciding who could take action. But we don't want to fall into the trap 
of writing down every little rule and every possible infraction; that 
just makes it easy to find loopholes.

The implementation

One way to enable Gentoo to enforce the CoC with these ideas in mind is 
to create a highly selective team with only short-term abilities and a 
strong lead to ensure the team's actions fit the council's CoC 
interpretation. Adhering to the principles mentioned above is what 
discriminates between this group and the former proctors.

All this team's actions must be approved by the lead within a short time 
period or must be reverted. It's expected that many actions will range 
from 6-12 hours, so 12 hours seems like a reasonable time to require 
lead approval. Whenever the lead is unavailable, approval falls to the 
council. (Remember, two council members together can make decisions.)

The lead of this team must gain council approval for any action lasting 
3 or more days. To ensure that this process remains temporary, in no 
case can any action last longer than 7 days. These actions must also be 
forwarded on to devrel or userrel, depending on who's involved, and they 
will consider longer-term suspension or termination.

There is no conflict of interest between the council and this team's 
members, because the council is considered to have the best interests of 
Gentoo in mind. Developers can be members of both groups. The council 
must approve all members of this team, and it must reassess them 
annually to ensure they still interpret the CoC in the same way. 
Furthermore, the team's lead will be appointed by the council to further 
ensure a cohesive CoC interpretation.

It is expected that membership on this team will be highly selective and 
not all who wish to join will make the cut. The team will be limited to 
3 people for a probationary period so we don't get dumped in the deep 
end right away, and it will never have more than 5 people. Once 
appointed by the council, the team lead will choose applicants for the 
rest of the team to forward on for council approval.
Re: CoC enforcement proposal
-- Alistair Bush
Re: CoC enforcement proposal
-- Luca Barbato
Re: CoC enforcement proposal
-- Steen Eugen Poulsen
Re: CoC enforcement proposal
-- Wernfried Haas
Re: CoC enforcement proposal
-- Ferris McCormick
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