I want to tell y'all something I love about .

We're small (<1000 weekly users), but we have a *huge* team of moderators: hub.fosstodon.org/about/the-te There are six of us—more than the team a mastodon.social!

That means that we pretty much always have *somebody* around to moderate.

It also means that no one person speaks for the whole instance. We have a whole team devoted to enforcing our CoC. We might not always agree, but we're all working to make welcoming for everyone

@codesections kev has made it quite clear that he is not, in fact, working to make fosstodon welcoming for everyone. Kick him out or shut up.


@LogicalDash @codesections

I also disagree. @kev has been a massive help to the community; kicking him out just because of one toot wouldn't be fair.

Opinions aren't immutable, and he should be given a fair chance to try to understand why his actions have caused harm. I don't even expect him to apologise – forced apologies are meaningless –, though he might decide to anyway if and when he sees why it's important to "pander to people's feelings".

I wrote up a three-part toot trying to explain why "what words people use" is significant when there's a lot more of one type of person than another in a group. fosstodon.org/@wizzwizz4/10239

Because nobody else seemed to be bothering to point out why this was important, and instead was making it a Holy Moral Issue.

@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev His current pinned toot is about "snowflakes", a right-wing talking point. You're giving him the benefit of the doubt way too much, and I don't think any perceived past services justify breaking a Code of Conduct and getting away with it.

@hypolite @LogicalDash @kev @wizzwizz4

It's not a pinned toot; it just happens to be the most recent toot

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @kev So, it doesn't tell you anything that he's said nothing "publicly" since the whole incident?

@wizzwizz4 @codesections @kev He didn't pull this toot either, which looks like he's standing by it.

I have no personal stake with Fosstodon, this conversation popped into my timeline because of @LogicalDash, and a cursory search shows me that based on this currently published toot, this Kev I know nothing else about is unfit to be a community moderator, especially on Mastodon.

It doesn't mean he's a Bad Person, just that he shouldn't be in any capacity to take moderation decisions possibly involving people he clearly has no business interacting with. And that's okay, many people aren't fit for this position. But there's absolutely no righteous ground to stand on to defend his position in the Fosstodon community.

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @kev

Some would consider pulling the toot to be an attempt at censoring those arguing against it. Conventions and culture vary; the safest option is to keep it up until lots and lots of people are calling for it to be taken down.

If this toot was taken in isolation, it'd suggest that he was unfit for his job. However, his other actions suggest that he's quite a good fit for his role. He doesn't fit the archetype of unironic "snowflake" sayers.

@hypolite @wizzwizz4 If you can get Kev to delete it and apologize in a way that suggests he's actually learning, I still won't trust him as an admin, but I will at least believe that you, @codesections, are committed to building a friendly environment

@LogicalDash @hypolite @codesections

Others would take deleting it the wrong way—as trying to cover up past mistakes. Regarding deleting or not deleting, I don't think there's a way to "win" here. This mistake will follow him around for a while.

And again – "get" him to apologise? Yeah, I understand not trusting him until he apologises, but making him apologise is mere virtue signalling.

The reason I'm willing to give him "benefit of the doubt" is that this is not representative of past acts.

@wizzwizz4 @hypolite @codesections "in a way that suggests he's actually learning": the way you "get" him to apologize is to really convince him he's fucked up

@LogicalDash @hypolite @codesections

Yup! But that'll take more than a day, regardless of how strongly-held that opinion is.

@wizzwizz4 @hypolite @codesections not necessarily! If all his mods threatened to quit, I think he'd change pretty fast. People's convictions are totally subject to social pressure.

@LogicalDash @hypolite @codesections

That'd clearly be an idle threat. And if it wasn't? Where would that leave us then?

People's actions are constrained by the situations they find themselves in. I don't see why we're going into such detail bashing a human for being imperfect, when we haven't seen whether he's willing to change.

Though, you're right – people's convictions are subject to social pressure. And lots of people have provided it, from all opinions he Should™ have.


@LogicalDash @hypolite @codesections

In such a situation, I think he'll defer to the opinions of his fellow moderators – those he knows well – and ignore the rest of us throwing opinion after opinion at him. So calling to chuck him out is incredibly premature, and calling for such a threat is entirely unnecessary.

@wizzwizz4 @hypolite So far I've only seen @codesections speaking in tepid defense of Kev and Fosstodon

If you're going to take a rhetorical route to persuading him, this isn't it

@wizzwizz4 @hypolite @codesections if your admin doesn't see anything wrong with his bad behavior, and you're still comfortable moderating under him, you are standing with him, and this constitutes tacit approval, irrespective of your own opinions

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @kev

That's not his pinned toot; merely his most recent. (Unless I'm looking at a different one to you.)

The reason I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt is… Look. Kev messed up. Once. That doesn't make him a Bad Person™. He hasn't proven himself unfit to moderate the community; merely less fit. He'd still do a better job than most, and I think he cares about the community here enough to try to change.

@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev No, you're right, but it still doesn't look good. I don't think you can be a good community moderator when you're admitting to be that dismissive of minorities and unwilling to listen to them. And that's okay, Kev doesn't have to be a moderator, and yet you're giving him even more benefit of the doubt based on nothing.

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @kev

The thing is, he wasn't "admitting to be that dismissive of minorities". You're assuming that he knows the effect his behaviour has on other people, and let me tell you that that is NOT obvious to somebody who's never experienced systematic abuse in that way.

I'm not famed to be good at explaining things, and yet I was one of the only people in that thread who tried. How do you expect him to get better, if nobody's willing to tell him why it's wrong?

@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev That's the thing, I don't expect him to get better. We're far enough into the alt-right era that if someone doesn't realize that "snowflake" is offensive and made to cement power structure at the expense of minorities, then they just haven't been listening to minorities. I've never experienced systemic oppression and I know it, Kev has no excuse.

Also people have been willing to tell him why it's wrong in the conversation, but he hasn't shown any sign of contrition, which doesn't look good either.

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @kev

HPMOR, chapter 87.

> "If you believe that," she said with her voice unsteady, "if you can believe that, then you're evil."
> Harry's voice was rising. "Do you think […] if you'd been transported back to fifteenth-century London as a baby, you'd realize all on your own that burning cats was wrong […]?

xkcd.com/1053/ – "Ten Thousand"

You don't learn things in a vacuum.

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash

And note that @kev hasn't said anything since; of course he hasn't shown contrition.

I don't think he's ever seriously encountered people with such experiences before, in a situation that'd cause them to bring it up. Which is unsurprising, because those people are, by analogy to the Anthropic Principle, minorities in the groups that @kev participates in. It's not surprising he hasn't encountered this before, nor seen the effects of his words.

He has now.

@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev Granted, you don't learn things in a vacuum, but if your reaction to people saying "using this word hurts me" is "you're weak" and "why should I have to accommodate you", it isn't about learning, it's about basic human decency.

By his own admission, he has encountered people with such experiences, and he has admittedly chosen to dismiss them.

And quote HPMOR one more time at me to make any point around empathy and I'll block you. If this is the foundation of your philosophy we have nothing to talk about. It's an entertaining piece of work for its general cleverness, but not for its human values.

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @kev

Noted. (And no, it's not the foundation of my philosophy; that'd be silly.)

> if your reaction to people saying "using this word hurts me" is "you're weak" and "why should I have to accommodate you", it isn't about learning, it's about basic human decency.

But do people say "using this word hurts me"? I've never seen anybody stating it that plainly. "Stop using hurtful language" I have seen, but you see how different people can take that differently?

@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev Are you saying abuse victims should be careful to always frame the abuse as something they feel and not something abusers do, lest they lose any claim at being actually heard?

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @kev

No. No, no no, no, no. No. Abuse is something people do.

I'm saying that it's easy for people to react in the same way that everybody around them is reacting, if nothing is directly invoking their empathy. If they don't see a sad person, or have somebody tell them they're upset.

Communication over text is hard. A moderator needs to be able to understand how text relates to what's actually going on, but nobody starts off knowing all that.


@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash

Moderators need to learn things. They need to be receptive to learning things. If, next month, and the month after, @kev's still saying these things, then you can think about kicking him out. But if you kick out everyone who isn't perfect at their jobs, you'll end up keeping somebody even worse simply because there's nobody left to replace them with.


@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev Okay, I've had enough. You have been basing your defense of Kev only on hypotheticals (empathy is learned, he can/will improve, he would be replaced by someone worse if he was deposed) while I've only been dealing with his own words that he hasn't retracted yet.

Evidently neither of us will change their mind today, which is another reason why I doubt Kev will change his as well. Until then, that'll be all for me.

> he would be replaced by someone worse if he was deposed

Nitpick: I was merely arguing that the policy of quick replacement would lead to this situation. (Nevertheless, this changes nothing you've said, and I agree that arguing about it is unproductive at this stage.) 🙂

@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev Good, but not that "he has more important things to do" and that he's "going to be more careful", not more compassionate.

It still is something.

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @kev

Judge him by his actions, not his ambiguous words. (Everybody started arguing about whether what Kev was saying was right, but nobody stopped to clarify what the comment meant… but I digress.) His actions show that he's not uncompassionate in general.

I think he was referring to the sorts of people who'll complain about "nigga" being used in rap songs. I've asked for clarification, and if it proves my rose-tinted view wrong… well, I'll reconsider.

@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev Since his retraction toot, he's boosted two uncompassionate toots by davey@fosstodon.org, which shows to me that he hasn't changed opinions, he just will probably be more careful not to express them in the future from his admin account.

It still is something.

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @kev

How are those uncompassionate? I'm having a bit of a values dissonance here, so be gentle in your explanation!

I assume you're talking about this one: fosstodon.org/@davey/102400917 (and the one above it).

@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev Yes. The first toot is a laundry list of assumptions people have that Dave has been made aware of. But note that these assumptions are qualified as "trolls", e.g in bad faith, only intended to hurt.

I'm guessing Dave assumes bad faith because it's probably the first time he's been in an environment where he isn't systematically enjoying the benefit of the doubt as a straight white dude. And since he doesn't feel like he matches the assumptions based on his gender, race, sexuality, politics and religion, this must means these people are out to get him, because he can't figure out any other reason for having these assumptions, like for example having repeated negative interaction with other conservative Christian straight white males.

He can't figure out any other reason, and he visibly doesn't care about any other possible reason. Not only he has unilaterally labeled these assumptions as trolls, he moves on to label anyone expressing these assumptions as trolls as well. Trolls are indeed a staple of online communities, but to assume that everyone that express these assumptions should be regarded as trouble-makers and socially ostracized from said community shows an abysmal lack of compassion.

The second toot is about his idealized vision of an online community. Yes, it would be great if people of different walks could all come together around a given passion, but this ignores the existing power structures outside this specific community that are bound to be reproduced to the identical if specific efforts aren't made to avert it.

The last sentence is the epitome of this little expose: "Lets show grace, tone down being self-absorbed and keep it focused on FOSS."

He's pleading for people to show grace when he showed none by labeling people using justifiable assumptions as trolls , he's pleading to be less self-absorbed when both his toots have been about him and himself alone, and he's asking instead to focus on FOSS for technical reasons I assume when it has a massive political side that needs to be reckoned with and addressed.

Let me know if you need more details about the specific concepts I named without elucidating in this toot.
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@wizzwizz4 @codesections @LogicalDash @kev (You'd be surprised at how many people consider HPMOR and more generally "rationality" as the alpha and omega of their beliefs, which is kind of paradoxical, but heh)

@hypolite That's especially funny considering how many times HPMoR's author has written about _not_ doing that. lesswrong.com/s/M3TJ2fTCzoQq66 is one of the more recent ones.

@hypolite @codesections @LogicalDash @wizzwizz4 pinned toot? I’ve never pinned a toot to my profile, that I know of. Where do these comments come from? They’re just bizarre to me.

@kev @codesections @LogicalDash @wizzwizz4 I simply mistook your most recent toot for a pinned one at the time of writing.
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