[llvm-dev] Resuming the discussion of establishing an LLVM code of conduct

Charles Davis via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Fri May 6 03:44:22 PDT 2016

On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 4:53 PM, Philip Reames <listmail at philipreames.com>

> On 05/05/2016 04:14 AM, Charles Davis wrote:
> In the interests of individual liberty and individual justice, I feel I
> must speak now.
> The last sentence of the third paragraph bothers me:
> In addition, violations of this code outside these spaces may affect
>> a person's ability to participate within them.
> ​This essentially gives the committee *carte blanche* to police our
> thoughts no matter where we are or what we're doing. I don't like the idea
> of having my thoughts policed. There are people out there who *will* abuse ​this
> for their own ends! I can't let those people do that.
> I disagree strongly with your interpretation of this clause.  I also find
> your wording inflammatory and utterly unhelpful to the discussion at hand.
​Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. When I said, "There are people out there
who *will* abuse this for their own ends!" I was not talking about any of
y'all. I think Chandler and David understood that. You, on the other hand,
took this as an attack; this was not my intention at all. My intention is
to guard both myself and this community (i.e. all of you!) from attack.

> The intent of this wording is to ensure that harassment done off the
> mailing lists can still be considered a violation of the CoC.  For
> instance, send of private harassing email, harassing tweets from a non-work
> account, etc...
​I get th​at. I just don't think it's our business to regulate people's
activities on a forum that we do not control--especially if the activity
has nothing to do with LLVM, other than the two or more participants
happening to be LLVM contributors or developers. If someone is harassing
you on Twitter, you report it to Twitter. And if someone harasses you by
email, then feel free to be as rude as you please in your replies to them.
If someone threatens you with death or rape, the right thing to do is to a)
report this to the appropriate law enforcement agency, b) get a gun and
learn how to use it, so you shoot that murderer or rapist dead in the event
you do get attacked, and c) take martial arts or other self-defense
classes. *Death threats are no joke*--no matter which side is making them.
My point is, I think people are more than capable of managing their safety
and of thinking for themselves. (It's just that they don't want to...)
Anyway, we don't need to coddle people because they can't handle an
opposing viewpoint to their own; we are adults here.

> Do you have *specific and targeted* wording changes that you feel would
> resolve your concerns while still meeting the stated purpose?
​​No. My concern is that, if I express an opinion that somebody doesn't
like because her politics say she shouldn't like it, and she decides it is,
say, hateful to young men and women carrying buckets of water on their
shoulders, the power of the committee could be abused to get me banned from
this project, just for expressing my opinion. It doesn't even require the
committee to be in on some sort of conspiracy; it just requires that the
accuser be more convincing than I (which isn't very hard in my case). Nor
does my opinion have to actually *be *hateful to the water-carriers; it
just has to be presented as such. (Obviously, this is a contrived example;
but it's based on a real-life incident...)

I think that whole sentence should be deleted. But I know now that's never
going to happen, because at least three of you (and probably more, too)
agree that it's necessary. That puts me in the minority, ironically.

> I'm afraid if this sentence goes in, I go out--and fork the LLVM family.
> Yes, I feel *that* strongly about freedom of thought.
> In the sample list of unacceptable behaviors, I'd consider adding the
> following:
>    - Demanding special treatment for being a particular race, sex, sexual
>    orientation, gender identity, etc. *Nobody* gets this privilege.
>    - Kafkatrapping (e.g. denying X proves you are part of problem X)
>    - False accusations
>    - Dog-piling (inviting a bunch of people, many outside the community,
>    to join the conversation and attack the target)
> I view all of these as being already covered by the current proposal under
> the "Be respectful" and "Be careful in the words that you choose and be
> kind to others" sections.
​Then why list any unacceptable behaviors at all?​ They should all be
covered by "Be respectful" and "Be careful in the words that you choose and
be kind to others" sections. I just wanted to call attention to a few
pathological behaviors that I find problematic.

> I'd also consider, in the "Personal Attacks" item, that the emphasis on
> racist and sexist terms be removed. Yes, they're bad. The individual is not
> the mass, after all. Perhaps in addition to the "Personal Attacks" item we
> should also have an item for treating people as parts of groups instead of
> as individuals. There's no need to deny their lived experience by jamming
> them under some worthless label.
> Strongly disagreed.  History has shown that sexist and racists actions are
> unfortunately common and that explicitly calling out said behavior as
> unacceptable does change peoples actual behavior.
(Oh boy. *This* one's gonna get me hated for sure, simply because I define
"racism" and "sexism" differently.)

​*Were* unfortunately common. Now *real* racism and sexism are mostly gone,
confined to a few extremist (far-right *and* far-left) nut jobs.​ (The
stuff that far-left nut jobs like to call "racism" and "sexism" only
cheapens their definitions IMO. We can't deny ourselves the truth, just
because we don't like it. Unfortunately, they continue to dominate the
debate.) And don't just tell me "they've done studies" (you haven't yet,
but David Chisnall just did); surely you've heard of the replication crisis
in science--especially social science? If a paper has not yet been
independently replicated, or I haven't read it yet to verify it, I don't
place any stock in it. *Show* me the studies. I want to read them for
myself, draw my own conclusions, and see how they compare to the study
authors' and to my observations. (By the way, this should be in no way
taken as an endorsement of a white male supremacy position. I just don't
like bullies--I don't care who they are or where they're from.)

> Finally, I fear that the reporting process will be abused by less savory
> people to destroy their enemies. For this reason, I suggest that there also
> be consequences for the *accuser* if:
>    - The accused is punished, and
>    - The accused is later found to have been innocent.
> In this case, the accuser would also suffer the punishment. (Of course,
> this can be abused, too. We'll have to strike the right balance between the
> rights of the accuser and the rights of the accused. This is hard to get
> right.)
> I believe this already covered by the reporting policy.  In particular,
> you'll note that there is no assumption in the document about who actually
> violated the CoC.  It absolutely could be the person who initiated the
> report.  Someone trying to abuse the system in this was would absolutely be
> violating the CoC as stated.
​OK, this makes me feel a little better. But it would be nice to have it
explicitly stated that the accused will not necessarily be punished.

> Just my two cents. I actually don't expect you to act on any of these. In
> fact, I expect you all to write me off from this point forward, just for
> that last proposal. ;)  But if you act on only one, please make it the
> first one. I'm willing to compromise on the others, but no controls on my
> speech outside of LLVM's spaces is non-negotiable.
> If you are not willing to avoid personal attacks and keep your behavior
> professional, I, personally, will not be sorry to see you leave.
​This is a personal attack. Not only have I never said I wasn't willing to
avoid personal attacks and be professional, ​it's simply untrue. It also
implies (whether or not you meant it to) that I am a terrible person for
even bringing up this concern and refusing to budge on it (which I do not
appreciate at all).

Turns out I was wrong anyway. It's my *first* suggestion that produced the
most controversy.

>   A highly relevant quote: "Your right to swing your arms ends just where
> the other man’s nose begins."
I believe that only applies if that other man is not himself swinging his
arms at my own nose.​
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