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Reasons for GNU governance to avoid public shamings is to encourage cont

From: Jean Louis
Subject: Reasons for GNU governance to avoid public shamings is to encourage contributions
Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2019 10:25:06 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.10.1 (2018-07-13)

Main reason to disapprove public shamings on GNU and Guix pages is the
purpose to encourage contributions by everybody without
discrimination, see:



The GNU Project encourages contributions from anyone who wishes to
advance the development of the GNU system, regardless of gender, race,
ethnic group, physical appearance, religion, cultural background, and
any other demographic characteristics, as well as personal political

There are some references to teach and educate people on what is
exactly public shamings, and there are referenced reasons why such
shall be avoided by any current or future GNU governance hierarchy.

Since the Guix leaders initiated public shamings of Stallman on their
Guix pages, it is evident that some people were discouraged from
further contributions to Guix. One can review logs and see that some
of them are way to careful in communication and my impression is that
they are discouraged and less dare to communicate.

Excerpt from Guix IRC log from

<quiliro> I will not retire from gnu...just from signer's projects...and 
convince all my contacts too


<superkuh> You guys are actually buying into this media circus?
<superkuh> Shameful.


<quiliro> well, it hurt Guix...I am leaving...that is not hypothetical

and maybe one other person from:

<rain2> if guix cares so much about inclusion why did you let thaht
        guy bully me off of contributing for helping somebody set up
        gnu linux libre


<dkorzhevin> Hilarious is that "Joint statement on the GNU Project"
             listed on subproject page


<dkorzhevin>I can't recall that guix represents "GNU Project"


If we guide ourselves with the purpose:


The GNU Project encourages contributions from anyone who wishes to
advance the development of the GNU system, regardless of gender, race,
ethnic group, physical appearance, religion, cultural background, and
any other demographic characteristics, as well as personal political

then some of those people would not be discouraged to contribute to


The shame of public shaming

Quote from above link: "Public shaming is not new. It’s been used as a
punishment in all societies – often embraced by the formal law and
always available for day-to-day policing of moral norms. However, over
the past couple of centuries, Western countries have moved away from
more formal kinds of shaming, partly in recognition of its
cruelty. Jon Ronson explores some of the darker sides of public
shaming. Pan Macmillan

Even in less formal settings, shaming individuals in front of their
peers is now widely regarded as unacceptable behaviour. This signifies
an improvement in the moral milieu, but its effect is being offset by
the rise of social media and, with it, new kinds of shaming.

Indeed, as Welsh journalist and documentary maker Jon Ronson portrays
vividly in his latest book, social media shaming has become a social
menace. Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (Picador, 2015) is a
timely contribution to the public understanding of an emotionally
charged topic.

Shaming is on the rise. We’ve shifted – much of the time – to a mode
of scrutinising each other for purity. Very often, we punish decent
people for small transgressions or for no real transgressions at
all. Online shaming, conducted via the blogosphere and our burgeoning
array of social networking services, creates an environment of
surveillance, fear and conformity."

Online shaming, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote from the above link: "without wanting intended public broadcast
using technology like social and new media. Proponents of shaming see
it as a form of online participation that allows hacktivists and
cyber-dissidents to right injustices. Critics see it as a tool that
encourages online mobs to destroy the reputation and careers of people
or organizations who made perceived slights.[1]

Online shaming frequently involves the publication of private
information on the Internet (called doxing), which can frequently lead
to hate messages and death threats being used to intimidate that
person. The ethics of public humiliation has been a source of debate
over privacy and ethics."

The price of public shaming in the Internet age

Quote from the above link:

"It's so corrosive to create that kind of society," Ronson said in a
phone interview. "This desire we have to be like amateur detectives,
(looking for) clues into people's inherent evil by finding the worst
tweet they ever wrote, is not only wrong; it's damaging."

Father James Martin, the editor-at-large of America magazine and a
Roman Catholic priest, observes that what starts out as disapproval
ends up "as a complete shaming of the person." The biblical admonition
of "an eye for an eye," after all, was a way to describe proportionate
justice, not go overboard.

The new shaming is much more relentless.

"There's a real cruelty that comes with this mob mentality," he
said. "I sometimes compare it to bullies in a schoolyard all ganging
up on person who, for one second, said the wrong thing."

Public Shaming Is Out Of Control, And It’s Hurting All Of Us, by Christine 

Quote from the above link:

Public shaming is out of control, y’all. And the ones who suffer the
most are the kids. Remember the story about the 13-year-old girl who
committed suicide after her father recorded a video of him cutting off
her hair as a punishment? Or what about the mom from South Carolina
who made her son walk around Walmart wearing a tutu and a women’s
undergarment with the word “bad” written on his shaved head? A few
weeks ago I heard about a mom who not only made her kids give away all
their toys but took a photo of their sad little faces next to piles
discarded toys and posted it to Facebook asking for likes and
shares. And recently a video went viral after some guy decided to
publicly shame two parents for leaving their baby in their restaurant
booth while they went to the buffet.

Part of me wonders what the hell these public shamers are
thinking. The head-shaving video or the photos of kids holding signs
listing the details of their various “sins” are over the line and
cruel. And part of me tries to understand why people are driven to
share private mistakes in very public ways. I suspect the parents are
desperate, confused, and willing to try anything to keep their kids in
line. I don’t agree with this kind of discipline, but I don’t
necessarily think they intend to harm their children either.

My final comment on public shamings withing GNU project:

It is injust and cruel to use the RMS's statements from the private
mailing list, such as those from MIT, not related to GNU project, and
then use media accusations to cause damage to GNU project by
calling-out RMS to step down.

It is even ridiculous to misuse RMS's statements which purpose was to
point out to inflated accusations and bad journalism to inflate
accusations against RMS in his own web and communication space of GNU.

Few of current GNU maintainers, in Guix community could find it
justified and started public shamings campaign on Guix pages.

That is uncalled for. That is not kind and not manner and spirit of
the GNU project. I do not know how to tell that more kindly, it is
necessary to say so.

Public shamings and inflated accusations including any kind of other
politics shall be disallowed by current and future GNU governance and
any persons that have power to govern it, even if not under official


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