[Foundation-l] Reply to Michael

Philippe Beaudette philippebeaudette at gmail.com
Wed Feb 27 16:40:33 UTC 2008


That seems a logical way to proceed to me.  I regret that my faith in the 
list moderation on this list has been shaken.  I believe that thread was 
ended prematurely and reasonable discussion still existed.  However, what's 
done is done, and it's time to move forward.

My concerns now are process, and the process that you suggest below is 
acceptable to me.  I don't pretend to speak for anyone but myself, of 


From: "Michael Bimmler" <mbimmler at gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 10:28 AM
To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
Cc: <Anthere9 at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Reply to Michael

> Dear Philippe, dear all
> First, I wish to emphasise that no individual contributor was
> moderated. The thread was "killfiled" which means, that all responses
> to the thread, be they from Jimbo, from you or myself are first held
> for moderation, just due to being responses to a thread.
> This inconvenience is necessary, as it is the only measure to stop a
> off-topic / flame-war *thread* instead of a single person. Even if
> your post had been "Stop answering this thread, it is off-topic", it
> would have been held for moderation.
> I agree with you, however, on two counts:
> a) We should have communicated better about this and we should have
> made it clear that the moderation is not directed against particular
> subscribers. Austin already apologised for his delay in communicating
> it and I join him in doing so. We will strive to do better.
> b) There are messages to this thread currently in the moderation
> queue, which have neither been approved nor rejected. The reasons are
> this is the following: Obviously, Austin's reason why he killfiled the
> thread (and I agree with his decision, fwiw) was that he wanted to put
> an end to the discussion. Now, if we approved *some* messages to the
> thread (i.e. all the messages from the very reputable contributors,
> such as you, Anthere and many others) but rejected others, this would
> rightly be seen as censorship. That's why I (and I presume Austin's
> reasoning is similar, though I can't guarantee) did not approve any of
> the messages.
> An alternative might be to alter the "killfile rule", so that messages
> to the killfiled thread are not simply held for approval but
> automatically rejected. However, the software, as far as I can see,
> does not allow for specific rejection messages. So, you would have
> just gotten an email "Your message was rejected by the list
> administrator", which would have been rather offensive as well.
> My proposed solution for now is that next time we feel it necessary to
> killfile a thread, we will do the following:
> Post a clear notice to foundation-l which reads "Thread XYZ has been
> killfiled due to reasons ABC, all replies to the killfiled threads
> will be autorejected" and implement an auto-rejection system
> afterwards.
> I concur that the situation as is now (messages held up in the queue
> "for ever") is insatisfactory. Would this solution find your approval
> and the approval of the other subscribers?
> Michael
> On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 5:13 PM, Philippe Beaudette
> <philippebeaudette at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Michael,
>>  What about my message was incivil?  What about it was off-topic?  To 
>> have
>>  that implied is offensive.
>>  I don't mean to be aggressive, and pray that I'm not, but my message was
>>  on-topic and exhaustively civil (I think you'll see that I work really 
>> hard
>>  at civility) and it never went through.
>>  I'm sorry, but this particular action has greatly offended me.  I sent a
>>  private message to Austin yesterday but since he has not seen fit to 
>> respond
>>  to it, I'm making it public below.
>>  ~Philippe
>>  Message that I sent to Austin follows:
>>  Although I appreciate your mention that you apologize for not notifying 
>> the
>>  group that the message string had been kill-filed, I want to go on 
>> record -
>>  strongly - as saying that it was handled poorly.
>>  I'm a solid contributor to this list.  I think that I rarely - if ever -
>>  generate noise as opposed to signal.  I'm an administrator who is 
>> trusted
>>  with OTRS access and have been a member of the election steering 
>> committee.
>>  I think I'm the very definition of "trusted contributor".
>>  It should be very clear to the moderators how absolutely offensive it is 
>> to
>>  get a "message moderated" email for a list to which I have long been a 
>> solid
>>  contributor.
>>  This situation was bungled, and I'm amazed how badly.  You owe it to 
>>  contributor who received one of those moderation messages to apologize 
>> to
>>  them: individually.  An apology in passing in the last paragraph of an 
>> email
>>  is insufficient.  You (or the software) could be bothered to send us a
>>  message saying we weren't trusted to post to the list.  You owe us the
>>  courtesy of an email of apology.
>>  Philippe
>>  --------------------------------------------------
>>  From: "Michael Bimmler" <mbimmler at gmail.com>
>>  Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 7:13 AM
>>  To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" 
>> <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
>>  Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Reply to Mark
>>  > On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 12:59 AM, Claudio Mastroianni
>>  > <gattonero at gmail.com> wrote:
>>  >>
>>  >>  Il giorno 27/feb/08, alle ore 00:51, Oldak Quill ha scritto:
>>  >>
>>  >> >>>
>>  >>  > And if the killfile was legitimate, why didn't you tell anyone 
>> until
>>  >>  > 15 hours after you did it? Quite a few list regulars were 
>> involved, it
>>  >>  > seems like basic respect to tell them that you did this.
>>  >>
>>  >>  I'll repeat it again: is this respect?
>>  >>  The answer is "no".
>>  >>
>>  >>  Wikimedia, freedom of opinion? Nope: freedom to have the Board's
>>  >>  opinion (it seems).
>>  >
>>  > This is a baseless insinuation. As Austin already pointed out
>>  > somewhere else, we are not appointed by the board and we are not hear
>>  > to defend the board from criticism.
>>  > Foundation-l is a open forum, where everyone, including the board and
>>  > its critics can utter their opinion. Our job is to moderate the
>>  > discussion when it gets offtopic or incivil.
>>  >
>>  > Michael
>>  >
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