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Re: [ga] List decorum

At 11:26 AM 4/6/2001, Roberto Gaetano wrote:

>I tend to think that there is a misunderstanding.
>I don't remember having said that direct slander is acceptable: please 
>point out where I did, I may be wrong.

No, you did not say that and I'm sure you did not intend it.

However it is, I believe, a simple and direct implication:  Someone 
asserted on the list that I am a paid agent provococateur.  There is no 
substance to that claim, because it is entirely false; in fact it is silly.

False and malicious.  That is slander.

>What I do believe is that it is very difficult, and sometimes 
>counterproductive, to apply strict sanctions whenever and wherever the 
>behaviour crosses the line. In sanctioning, I tend to apply principles 
>like repetition of the fault, in particular if a warning has been issued, 
>or willingness to apologize.

This entire area is extremely difficult.  I have not seen many examples of 
good list behavior enforcement.

A "statistical" approach is understandable, but misses particularly 
egregious, one-time behaviors.  At base the problem is that fully objective 
measures are extremely difficult or else they are extremely 
simplistic.  That leads to subjective assessment and THAT leads to 

And THAT is why I claim that the only reasonable policy is one which is 
intolerant of essentially any and all ad hominem content.  In other words, 
keep is simple.

>I do believe that if we start applying rules in a strict way, we lose the 
>point, which is not to exclude who misbehaved, but to try to bring the 
>people that misbehaved to a behaviour that is more acceptable.

That is a thoroughly laudable goal.  However please note that it really is 
not working very well, as demonstrated by that appalling mass of offenses 

>In this light, I see an apology and lifting of the sanction as a bigger 
>step forward than the suspension.

Assuming that I continue to behave properly (...) you are right.  About me.

But what about the rest of the participants on the list?  That is why I am 
repeatedly pointing to a problem with the normative behavior on the list.

>Hence the mistakes, that I do recognize, and about which I do apologize.

Stop trying to steal my thunder.  *I* am the one doing 
apologizing.  (Besides, you have nothing to apologize for.)

>(hoping to be able to switch to other subjects)

what a good idea.


Dave Crocker   <mailto:dcrocker@brandenburg.com>
Brandenburg InternetWorking   <http://www.brandenburg.com>
tel: +1.408.246.8253;   fax: +1.408.273.6464

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