Title
#administrivia
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Ivan Reese

07/16/2020, 7:30 AM
I have banned Edward from the community. He received a final warning, and directly counteracted it. He knows that I am sharing this news here (edit: and gave me permission to do so). Since I took over as steward last winter, I've received about a dozen complaints from different people about him, including two in the past week. He's the only person I've ever received these sorts of complaints about. The nature of the complaints varied, but in general people felt that he was exceedingly negative, and insensitive to the ideas of others here. That's not sufficient grounds to be banned, but it is certainly not in line with the supportive, welcoming, collaborative spirit that our community should foster. I also received complaints about the way he discussed the issue of gender diversity. Again, not grounds to be banned, but a big red flag. As early as February, I tried to work with him in an attempt to help him be a more positive presence here. I've spent hours discussing with him, in public and private, how his behaviour here made people feel unwelcome, and how some of the things he said were unacceptably regressive. I tried to work with him, at first (months ago) asking him to be more careful when he talks about women in tech, and more recently asking him to change messages or avoid certain subjects. He has not once shown any kind of acknowledgment of the substance of my concerns. When I made specific requests, he ignored them, or responded with counter-accusations, pettiness, disrespect, or distraction (in ways that I won't detail, out of respect for his privacy). After yet another person messaged me today saying he made them want to leave the community, I issued a final warning to Edward: stop posting entirely, and just lurk, or else you will be banned. He ignored that as well, and continued posting. Please feel free to discuss this action in the thread for this message, or to DM me about this. I've talked with a lot of you about Edward already in various capacities, so I'm sure this doesn't come as a surprise. Still, I would love to learn from this and avoid ending up in this situation ever again.
Tim Plotnikov

Tim Plotnikov

07/16/2020, 8:35 AM
Hello! I’ve been in the community only a week or so, but chatted with him couple of times in threads. First it seemed to me that his replies were kinda rude or something, but I didn’t pay attention to it (it’s not rare to meet rude, grumpy man in my country). But it still wasn’t comfortable to chat with him and now it seems I understand why. Thank you for the transparency and for protecting from this kind of communication.
Duncan Cragg

Duncan Cragg

07/16/2020, 9:55 AM
Edward was the only person on this forum who's opinions I consistently agreed with or at least found interesting. However, he never engaged with me when I voiced that agreement in hopes of starting a dialogue. In any case, I will miss those positive aspects of his contributions. Don't forget that he is the way he is for unknown reasons, as we all are. You may be sanctioning someone for having what could be a "neurodiversity" which would be something like discrimination, as well as already being something like censorship of free speech. Maybe hurt feelings are a price you pay for robust, inclusive discussion.
10:23 AM
In fact, just type "from:@Edward de Jong / Beads Project" into the search bar to see the breadth of experience and insightful commentary that we'll now be deprived of.
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Ian Rumac

07/16/2020, 11:02 AM
What was the problem that caused the ban?
the way he discussed the issue of gender diversity
I didn’t see him saying anything like “diversity is bad”, “we don’t need women in tech”, or anything in that sense. He openly claimed he wanted to see more women in tech. I didn’t see his stands as negative, but as eliciting discussion, which is important and healthy, especially because then you see the community discussing the issue and can get more voices on the issue and more quality opinions than everyone just saying yes. If someone agrees with him and then they see a discussion around the subject and decide to change their opinion due to healthy discussion seems like a better path to a good community than having no discussion and just “you can’t say stuff that people don’t agree with” politics. For example, in the latest #meta discussion, him and Shalabh are saying the same thing, tho thorough different language and you seem to disagree with one and agree with the other. I’ve seen the same thing happen in a few communities already, where members who elicit and provoke discussion get banned, and it’s usually not a good sign. And usually it’s senior, experienced members with tons of knowledge. And banning them to me is blantantly age-ist and anti-diverse. They grew up in a different context, they think differently than we do and they express their opinions more sharply and openly because they don’t succumb to cancel culture. They don’t see what’s wrong with a discussion, and IMO that’s the right attitude, because that’s what leads to growth.
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Doug Moen

07/16/2020, 12:15 PM
When I saw Yoshiki's post in general yesterday, and saw Edward's icon in the reply list, I decided not to read that thread, because I guessed it would be a horror show. I assume that was the trigger. Edward's the only forum member that I actively avoid. Oh, and he's DM'ed me to bully me on the subject of functional programming, which he despises. The functional-programming channel was created as a safe space for discussion away from him. When you have to change your behaviour and limit your engagement in order to avoid one person in a 1200 person community, that is not a healthy situation.
12:46 PM
This:
Don't forget that he is the way he is for unknown reasons, as we all are. You may be sanctioning someone for what could be a non-neurotypical disorder, which would be something like discrimination, as well as already being something like censorship of free speech.
and this:
usually it’s senior, experienced members with tons of knowledge. And banning them to me is blantantly age-ist and anti-diverse. They grew up in a different context, they think differently than we do and they express their opinions more sharply and openly because they don’t succumb to cancel culture.
frame the issue as discrimination against Edward based on his identity. But that's not what happened. Edward was banned for his actions. He repeatedly violated the code of conduct, and refused to accept that he should conduct himself according to the code. It's legitimate to ban somebody for this kind of behaviour. It's not reasonable to argue that old white men should have a special exemption from the code of conduct. Everyone should be treated the same with respect to COC violations.
Duncan Cragg

Duncan Cragg

07/16/2020, 12:52 PM
(I edited "non-neurotypical disorder" to be "neurodiverse", by the way, a more positive description)
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Ian Rumac

07/16/2020, 1:09 PM
Oh, and he’s DM’ed me to bully me on the subject of functional programming, which he despises. The functional-programming channel was created as a safe space for discussion away from him
Didn’t know that one. That’s terrible. I don’t think anybody is saying that “old white men” should have a special exemption, I’m just saying that people have different views and communicate in a different matter - while someone will say “I disagree with the content”, someone will say “this is such bullshit”. And we should tell them to reformulate the messages. I don’t know what the ban is about exactly, I just disagree with banning people for having different opinions in discussions and feel like those complaints should be public and part of the discussion. If he’s bullying people via DM, that’s a whole another discussion.
Duncan Cragg

Duncan Cragg

07/16/2020, 1:20 PM
So you felt bullied and part of your way of dealing with that is to create a category of "old white men" to drop him in to. As an old white man, I could be feeling bullied myself right now with the energy you put behind that, but I don't think conversations that are driven by negative emotions ever get anywhere useful.
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Doug Moen

07/16/2020, 1:32 PM
@Duncan Cragg No, that was a response to Ian's "usually it’s senior, experienced members with tons of knowledge. And banning them to me is blantantly age-ist and anti-diverse". I don't think people that fit into this category should be given an exemption from the code of conduct. The same thing goes for diagnosing him as non-neurotypical, and then saying "that's just the way he is". I don't personally think it is helpful to drop Edward into a category and treat him as a member of some group. What I argue is that he should be judged solely on his actions and behaviour in this group, with respect to enforcing the COC.
ogadaki

ogadaki

07/16/2020, 1:34 PM
Thanks a lot @Ivan Reese for taking the efforts and time and support the emotional load in managing the moderation of the community. It isn't an easy task and it is often not rewarding. In particular when it comes to ban people which contributes so much to the community but with serious issues in their behavior. I won't discuss the details (my opinion might be found here and there) but my feeling is that you are doing it well. So thanks again!
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Ian Rumac

07/16/2020, 1:38 PM
@Doug Moen you mistunderstood my point then, the “senior, experienced” was just a addition to the first part: members who elicit and provoke discussion get banned.
Duncan Cragg

Duncan Cragg

07/16/2020, 1:45 PM
@Doug Moen Obviously no-one should be exempt but I don't think anyone here is saying that. Also, to be fair on me, I didn't do any diagnosis (and smoothed my wording out to make that clearer). I agree that actions and behaviour - what people say, not what they "are", or what stereotype or category anyone labels someone with - is the most important thing. If Edward's behaviour is causing pain, though, it's hard to stand back and be objective about it.
Ryan King

Ryan King

07/16/2020, 1:50 PM
I fully support @Ivan Reese's decision. Whilst he is clearly knowledgable, I find Edward every abrasive and rude - and the way he treats issues of diversity prevent other very smart and knowledgable people from contributing to this community.
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Ivan Reese

07/16/2020, 1:53 PM
@Ian Rumac
while someone will say “I disagree with the content”, someone will say “this is such bullshit”. And we should tell them to reformulate the messages.
I had asked Edward, on 3 or 4 different occasions, to be more careful about how he talked about certain issues and how the negativity in his posts pushed other people away from discussing with him. He never once made any of the changes I requested. He'd either ignore my DMs entirely (not respond but continue posting away), or he'd call me or other people here names, or he'd call me ageist.
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Ian Rumac

07/16/2020, 1:56 PM
Thats just sad 😕
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Ivan Reese

07/16/2020, 2:11 PM
@Duncan Cragg
In fact, just type "from:@Edward de Jong / Beads Project" into the search bar to see the breadth of experience and insightful commentary that we'll now be deprived of.
I know! When you got past the negativity, he had a lot of historical perspective, smart contrarian takes, and a willingness to explore seemingly every topic. Definitely going to miss the content of his thoughts on technology, though not the form.
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Ian Rumac

07/16/2020, 2:45 PM
@Ivan Reese you think maybe it would’ve helped if those discussions with him were done in the open? I assume if everyone could see he’d have more responsibility to act better, can’t ignore the whole community. Maybe this would help in future cases
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Chris G

07/16/2020, 2:47 PM
I’m not young, found Edward’s posts marginally interesting, and I’m supportive of this move. It was evident that his posts were more to sew controversy than to contribute to conversations. A community breaker. Unfortunate and obvious decision.
ibdknox

ibdknox

07/16/2020, 3:17 PM
FWIW we had similar issues with him in the Eve community. 😞
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Ivan Reese

07/16/2020, 3:26 PM
@Ian Rumac
you think maybe it would’ve helped if those discussions with him were done in the open? I assume if everyone could see he’d have more responsibility to act better, can’t ignore the whole community. Maybe this would help in future cases
Some were. See the thread immediately above this one. (Also, note the very last sentence in my original post for that thread, asking what should be done if the offender doesn't respond to gentle reinforcement / requests.) If memory serves, there were two or three other threads that either started out with, or were turned into, folks talking to Edward about his behaviour here. He most certainly was ignoring the community around him, again and again, which is why I'm banning him. If he had shown willingness to even acknowledge the concerns of others around him, rather than refusing at every turn, we'd be in a very different situation.
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Ian Rumac

07/16/2020, 3:26 PM
Ah, okay. Was offline for quite a while and only saw the last one, so missed the previous debacles 😕
Kevin Moore

Kevin Moore

07/16/2020, 3:48 PM
As a fellow moderator of an internet community, my feedback is to ban earlier.
3:51 PM
Moderator time is a valuable resource. Once someone eats up too much of it, it doesn’t really matter what exactly it is or what they’re doing wrong. Duty is to the community, toxicity is contagious, and if someone can’t play nice, that’s just it. It’s great that you tried to educate. I generally say 2 strikes and you’re out, unless they are bringing other overwhelmingly positive stuff to the table, in which case I will try harder to educate.
3:53 PM
It’s been deleted from the internet bc NYT doxxed them, but Slate Star Codex’s “RIP Culture War Thread” article was instructive here. It’s probably been archived somewhere on the net.
shalabh

shalabh

07/16/2020, 4:56 PM
@Ian Rumac :
For example, in the latest #meta
discussion, him and Shalabh are saying the same thing, tho thorough
different language and you seem to disagree with one and agree with the
other.
Are we? I sure hope not. I found Edward's comments offensive and excluding. I may have used overlapping words to try and connect with him and show Edward the problem with his comments. But I really think those comments are damaging. (As much as I really dislike the framing of "interested in people" vs "things", if someone else finds it relevant I'd encourage them to view programming as a broad endeavor involving both). I actually had a follow up draft which went like this "I find statements of the form 'they're just not interested' quite bothersome..." but then the conversation went elsewhere. Now that's I've distanced myself from Edward's comments in that specific thread... • I did find some of Edward's posts interesting • I like contrarian takes • I found his behavior often rude and abrasive. E.g. early on when he joined, I DMed him about a few comments he made which I thought were too abrasive, insensitive. One was directly in response to an 'introductions' post from someone excited about FP. • I had not discussed the issue earlier with Ivan but after this thread, I DMed him to express support in this hard decision. In the end, I think the main problem was that the behavior was pushing other people away and wasn't improving.
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Ian Rumac

07/16/2020, 5:16 PM
Really? I felt so, with him being more concrete and your being more abstract and general but encapsulating his - took the things/people frame and said yes, this is one of the tribal/societal behaviors that we have to counter. Sorry if I misunderstood your comment.
Zach Potter

Zach Potter

07/16/2020, 5:46 PM
@Ivan Reese Thanks for the thoughtful effort trying to engage with Edward. Given the current social climate, it's easy for frequent offenders to blame "cancel culture", when the reality is that moderation has always been an important part of cultivating good discussion! I'm happy to see he was given many warnings and chances, but sad to see he ignored them all
Robert Butler

Robert Butler

07/16/2020, 6:27 PM
In my view, creating an inviting community trumps content. Ironically, by creating a more inviting community, you actually get better content. You may lose 1 very smart individual, but that 1 individual may cost you 100 or 1000. In a community where you are exploring the future of coding, shutting down ideas should be an anti-pattern. Critiquing and providing feedback and relevant information is good, dismissing, bullying or dehumanizing is bad. We are all trying to do something a bit out of band here. At some level we have to be free to explore ways of using functional programming, for example, without getting attacked or bullied for it. In my experience, communities that are explicitly affirming end up with way more ideas and experience, because people will start talking more if they don't feel jumped on or dismissed.
shalabh

shalabh

07/16/2020, 8:29 PM
@Ian Rumac
Really? I felt so, with him being more concrete and your being more abstract and general but encapsulating his - took the things/people frame and said yes, this is one of the tribal/societal behaviors that we have to counter. Sorry if I misunderstood your comment.
No worries I don't think I was very clear. The tribal/societal forces I was talking about countering is forming close groups that become exclusive, even (unintentionally) unwelcoming, and may go down a narrow path of ideas. (Preferences - I'm not so sure of - as both the boundary of the topic and the social environments that influence preference are forever changing)
Aleks

Aleks

07/16/2020, 8:38 PM
My experience with Eduward wasn't that bad. He seemed abrasive and oblivious, but obviously cared deeply about this subject matter and consistently contributed to conversations. It sounds like other people had far worse experiences with him than I did, though. @Ivan Reese - A lot of internet communities make moderation a shadowy process that happens in the background. It becomes a burden mods bear with martyr-esq stoicism. If moderation ever feels like a burden, there's no reason to blindly embrace that model. There's potentially lots of ways to modify the moderation process so all the weight doesn't fall on one person.
Chris Knott

Chris Knott

07/16/2020, 9:38 PM
how his behaviour here made people feel unwelcome, and how some of the things he said were unacceptably regressive
In a realpolitik sense, it might have been a mistake to bring up both of these, it probably made it easier for him to think of himself as the victim, and doubt your sincerity. The primary issue was he was just rude. It's not complicated, he just broke the rules of polite conversation. The second issue is much more nuanced; you are saying that his (I assume) honestly held beliefs are unacceptable. Way, way, trickier position to take. Way, way, way harder criticism to take on board. With regards to his positive contributions I found he had an annoying habit of speaking in the same tone of absolute certainty regardless of his actual expertise. I remember one post where we talked about the history of Javascript and ActionScript 2 which read like he had first hand experience of it, but actually turned out to be nonsense (as another user pointed out the timeline made his story impossible). After this I found myself having to check anything he said, most of which was completely correct, but there was no way of telling without checking myself.
9:39 PM
Anyway, it's obvious this whole affair was very taxing on you; thank you for your enormous contribution
9:40 PM
Hopefully without this weight on your shoulders you are filled will a renewed creative energy!
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Ivan Reese

07/16/2020, 10:03 PM
@Aleks
A lot of internet communities make moderation a shadowy process that happens in the background. It becomes a burden mods bear with martyr-esq stoicism. If moderation ever feels like a burden, there's no reason to blindly embrace that model. There's potentially lots of ways to modify the moderation process so all the weight doesn't fall on one person.
I have received constant, enthusiastic support from countless people here since I took over as steward. I also do as much moderation as I can in public, moving to private DMs only when I want to respect people's privacy. I feel good in general, though it's tough to have to make the call, yes.
Kartik Agaram

Kartik Agaram

07/17/2020, 2:45 AM
On a slight tangent, @Duncan Cragg:
Edward was the only person on this forum who's opinions I consistently agreed with or at least found interesting.
Only person?! This makes me sad. Either for you or this group, I'm not sure which 🙂
Duncan Cragg

Duncan Cragg

07/17/2020, 8:02 AM
😄 Don't be sad for the group, because it is what it is, and is made by its members. As for me, I mean I found myself agreeing with him on the threads more often than another single person, not that I don't find others to agree with around the place, just it was more consistently with Edward. Of course I found the rudeness and reactionary elements awkward to read, and I'm sorry that others felt worse about them than I did. But it's a net loss from my own perspective. And yes, the certainty about ActionScript and various other dud techs was hilarious. 😄
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Marco Monteiro

07/17/2020, 8:20 AM
Ivan, you mention that the reason for the ban was that he ignored other peoples comments. Can you elaborate on that? On the surface, that does not sound to me reason enough for this extreme measure.
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Ivan Reese

07/17/2020, 2:08 PM
@Marco Monteiro not sure what you read that gave you the impression that that was the only, or even major, contribution to his being banned. I ultimately banned him because he, firstly, said hurtful things that upset other people in unnecessary ways and drove them away from participating, secondly, didn't act on any of the things I requested him to do, like avoiding saying things that suggest that it's normal and natural that there are very few women in this community, and then thirdly, reacted to any feedback from myself or others with insults and abject refusal. Aside from all of that, I felt he rarely responded to the substance of what people said. He'd pattern match on small details in their posts, and then launch into a tirade about those details, digressing again and again, asserting unfounded claim after claim, making it nearly impossible to have a real conversation with him. That breaks no rules, but it does go against the point of having a discussion group. This was not a factor in me deciding to ban him (or I would have done it long ago), but it was a factor in how I feel about the outcome and how I think it'll affect the community.
Duncan Cragg

Duncan Cragg

07/17/2020, 2:11 PM
That's a point I alluded to above: he never engaged with me when I agreed with him! So yeah, this is a discussion group not an Edward blog!
2:13 PM
I do however think that anyone, including me probably, would react the same way given behaviour objectives: if you say to someone, "here's a behavioural conformance test you have to pass in order to stay until the next complaint", I would expect anyone to 🖕🏼 the screen and carry on the same!
2:14 PM
If he's not ready now to take feedback on board, he never will be.
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Ivan Reese

07/17/2020, 3:25 PM
You make it sound authoritarian. That's not how I want to be. If I reached out to you and said, "a few people felt that this word you used was hurtful, here's why, would you mind changing it?" would you still flip me off?
a

Andrew F

07/17/2020, 4:00 PM
Honestly, if it was a word I felt "should" not be offensive, I would think long and hard about it. Specifics side, resisting censorship is a healthy instinct, even if, as I would probably do, one eventually decides it's not worth throwing a tantrum over. (Going back to specifics, the reports of bullying via DM alone confirm you made the right choice in this instance)
Duncan Cragg

Duncan Cragg

07/17/2020, 5:02 PM
@Ivan Reese of course not. I'm referring to something you said above which sounded more like what I was describing. I'll look for the quote...
Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson

07/17/2020, 5:48 PM
This is a little sad but not unexpected. I liked his general philosophy around Beads and he had a ton of interesting experience
5:48 PM
But he was at best abrasive and often rude
5:51 PM
I experienced some of the other patterns people mentioned, he'd kind of rant without actually discussing, he would talk in absolutes about areas he had very limited expertise and exposure in
5:52 PM
I experienced this first hand when he called SIMD instructions useless 🤣
6:07 PM
I wasn't aware he was bullying people talking about functional programming. If someone isn't interested in a topic not engaging is a better approach than attacking members that are
6:09 PM
Writing off an entire paradigm because it doesn't fit the your immediate problem domain seems... Extreme?
m

Marco Monteiro

07/17/2020, 6:53 PM
Ivan, the only explicit reason you gave for banning him, was on a comment that read "... He most certainly was ignoring the community around him, again and again, which is why I'm banning him. ...". I have no reason to believe that you banned him only for that, and that's why I asked you to elaborate. Thank you for your answer. It seems to me that the very valid reasons for the ban is that he says hurtful things and that he insults people, you in particular, that ask him to not say hurtful things. The other things you mention is him being irrelevant or not replying to the point, and ignoring people's comments, but by your comment these are not reasons for the ban. His comment about the number of women in the community makes him wrong. I have not read his original message, and you using this as one reason to ban him confuses me and makes me think there is more to it in the original message, because being wrong about stuff is, I hope you agree, not a good reason for a ban. I am wrong so many times, I would not last long in this group! 🙂 If I am missing something, please let me know. I am really interested in understanding this situation. Back to the reasons for the ban, can you please point me to, or give complete quotes of a few of the last examples where he said hurtful things and/or insulted people?
Duncan Cragg

Duncan Cragg

07/17/2020, 7:11 PM
@Ivan Reese I was thinking about these challenges that were bound to fail:
Now that we've had this thread, and a consensus has emerged — @Edward de Jong / Beads Project, would you kindly change that post to say "had the guts" or something similarly innocuous?
I issued a final warning to Edward: stop posting entirely, and just lurk, or else you will be banned. He ignored that as well, and continued posting.
Admittedly, these do sound more reasonable now I revisit them, but in each case when I read them I was struck by how inevitable it was that they'd be ignored.
7:14 PM
So, not "using a test that is bound to be failed as the trigger for banning" is the fine tuning of your otherwise impeccable moderation skillz that I'm suggesting here!
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Ivan Reese

07/17/2020, 7:44 PM
@Marco Monteiro
can you please point me to, or give complete quotes of a few of the last examples where he said hurtful things and/or insulted people?
No, sorry, I won't do that. I've spent a lot of time already dealing with Edward and the ways he's hurt people here — closer to 24 hours than 0 — and many others have joined this thread saying, in effect, that they aren't surprised by this outcome. I'm not going to spend the additional hours digging through our archives in an attempt to justify my decisions to you. That's an unreasonable request.
Kartik Agaram

Kartik Agaram

07/17/2020, 7:46 PM
One challenge in giving lots of examples is that Slack keeps expiring the past. But as someone who has been following this over the past year, I totally agree with this decision.
d

Doug Moen

07/17/2020, 7:55 PM
With Edward as a member, there were certain conversations that we couldn't have on the #general channel, because Edward would try his hardest to disrupt and troll those conversations. These topics included functional programming, APL, and diversity in computing. I understand from Ivan's comments that Edward refused to stop disrupting those conversations. Nobody else in our >1200 members has been behaving this way. Banning Edward was the right decision, for the health of our community.
Kartik Agaram

Kartik Agaram

07/17/2020, 8:18 PM
It wasn't just a disagreement about some topics (though that can be a valid reason in itself). There was also the over-arching failure to even try to engage with feedback. Edward's first reaction to someone telling him not to do something (besides ignoring it) was to attribute bad faith to others.
8:22 PM
Ooh, look at this, you can search the history for comments Edward made that I've thumbs-downed: 'from:@Edward de Jong / Beads Project has:👎'
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Ivan Reese

07/17/2020, 8:34 PM
As for the second quote,
I issued a final warning to Edward: stop posting entirely, and just lurk, or else you will be banned. He ignored that as well, and continued posting.
This sounds like a set-up, totally. The context is that I already had more than enough cause to ban him. But I wanted to give him the option to continue existing here as a reader. So this wasn't a final test to determine if he should be banned. It was a way of enacting a ban that (A) was arguably gentler on him, since I didn't think there was anything I or anyone else would gain or lose by banning him completely, and (B) left the door open for him to ask to be reinstated in the future, if after some time away he reflected on what had happened and decided to take a different approach here.
8:34 PM
@Duncan Cragg — Point taken. I see where you're coming from. We're definitely in a tricky grey area here. Let me handle those two examples individually, in the hope that it'll help you feel a little more like you might have done the same if our roles were switched, or at the very least understand better the context behind what I said. First, your quote of me from the previous #meta thread, reflecting on Edward's use of the word "cojones" in a Steve Jobs anecdote.
Now that we've had this thread, and a consensus has emerged — Edward de Jong / Beads Project, would you kindly change that post to say "had the guts" or something similarly innocuous?
A few days before I started that thread, I wrote to Edward privately. Here's the entirety of what I said:
The reason Steve Jobs is a legend in product development is because he had the cojones to order a million units of his products before he knew if it was going to be popular.
(From this post)
I'd like to keep the community free of this sort of gendered language. Would you edit your post to say something like "guts" instead of "cojones"?
(The words "this post" were linked to the now-deleted message) He never responded, and continued posting to the site, indicating to me that he ignored my message. This was the 3rd or 4th time I'd sent such a request to him. All previous requests of that sort, he'd responded to fairly quickly and refused, which led to us discussing the matter... sometimes for hours (sigh)... but it never resulted in him giving an inch. So, after I resorted to starting a thread about how I should handle such situations, and he rolled in with..
The second attempt by Ivan, who hates my guts, to try and get me kicked out of the group. I don't remember paying dues to hire a word/thought police. I thought even dinosaurs such as myself were welcome.
... I then responded in that thread with the post you quoted.
Now that we've had this thread, and a consensus has emerged — Edward de Jong / Beads Project, would you kindly change that post to say "had the guts" or something similarly innocuous?
This was my way of re-upping the original private request that he'd ignored, once more with feeling. My appeal to the group consensus was in the hope that, since it seems he felt I had it in for him, he'd recognize that it wasn't just me who felt this way, and that I acted in the way many other people here would have acted. Yeah, groupthink a bit, I know, but this is me learning in public how to help deal with someone who has decided they don't care about how they make others feel. (The first "attempt by Ivan [...] to try and get me kicked out", I presume, is a reference to one of our long private discussions, which included me saying things like "If I hear from anyone that you are harassing them via private message, I will have to ban you" in response to him saying things along the lines of (not direct quote) "Tell me who these people are who are complaining about me so I can confront them directly". [I'm trying to be vague about what he said out of respect for Edward's privacy. Very difficult tightrope to walk when being asked to explain the few public flare-ups of lots of private simmering.]) (Also, yes, I do make "would you kindly" BioShock references when issuing official requests in my capacity as mod, because the dark humour of it helps me personally deal with the heavy emotions.)
8:35 PM
I will die clinging to the naive belief that all people have in them the capacity to be good natured, and deserve second chances, and that behind any person who hurts others is a situational, cultural, incentive, or systemic failure, and that while it may be expedient to punish the person, that is merely treating a symptom, not a cause.
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Marco Monteiro

07/17/2020, 9:07 PM
Ivan, I have been in this community only for about a month. In that time I have not seen Edward insulting people and I have not felt hurt by what he said. I did read a lot of things he wrote with which I do not agree. I only read a handful of his comments, including all the "thumbs down" comments that Katrik provided, so I do not have the entire picture. I am aware he was here for a long time. The thing I see that could be hurtful is the "who hates my guts" comment. I do not know what to make of that. I understand it might make you feel hurt; on the other hand he was reacting to your bringing his comment to discussion, besides all else was happening outside public view between you two. Hard case to "judge". Your admission of being tired of dealing with him makes me uncomfortable. Hopefully, that tiredness was not the deciding factor for this move. If it was, all I can say is it is unfortunate. At this point, the lack of evidence to look at makes me slightly, but not too much, reluctant to participate in this community, which ironically is the biggest complaint that is thrown at Edward comments. It will pass.
Aleks

Aleks

07/17/2020, 9:47 PM
At this point, the lack of evidence to look at makes me slightly, but not too much, reluctant to participate in this community
This. As a newcomer at the tail end of a long standing conflict, a little paper trail would have gone a long way towards making me feel like the right outcome was reached. Like Marco said, it will pass. Its just not the best introduction to a new community.
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Ivan Reese

07/17/2020, 10:05 PM
@Marco Monteiro
Your admission of being tired of dealing with him makes me uncomfortable. Hopefully, that tiredness was not the deciding factor for this move
I did a search for "tired" and couldn't find anything. Whatever I did say, it was probably my own lack of eloquence leading you to have the wrong impression. Edward broke rules(*), was given multiple second chances, and acted always without regard for the wellbeing of others. I tried throughout to be open and highly communicative with everyone involved, while still respecting people's privacy. There should be ample information in this thread to support that summary. (* Edit: see below. He didn't break the hard rules that cover things like "don't use racial slurs", but he did violate the guidelines around respecting other community members, the authors of linked works, and our values. I said "rules" in the paragraph above, when I probably should have said "guidelines" or "values".)
the lack of evidence to look at makes me slightly, but not too much, reluctant to participate in this community
This has been unfolding for many months now, across very many conversations. If it looks like a mess from your vantage as a newcomer, that's because it is truly a mess. There's no tidy set of links I can give you that will help you understand what it was like to participate in this community with Edward at his worst, and the effort it would take me to present that case is a burden I don't have the life capacity to be saddled with.
Ryan King

Ryan King

07/17/2020, 10:15 PM
I'm also a newcomer to this community and I find it very obvious why Edward has been banned. Everyone has shown more than sufficient evidence for this within the thread, and considering Ivan's inhuman levels of patience, I don't believe there's any reason to be concerned. If you make the odd faux-pas, you won't be disappeared on the spot. Just be nice people and you'll be fine 🙂
Aleks

Aleks

07/17/2020, 10:20 PM
I'm gonna try to avoid the meta channel for a little while. I'm drawn to the drama like a friggen' moth. There's way cooler things to be talking about in this slack.
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Ivan Reese

07/17/2020, 10:31 PM
Here's part of what might make it hard, @Marco Monteiro and Aleks (removing the @-mention since you just voiced the desire to avoid this channel — totally understand!), to understand where I'm coming from: Edward didn't commit a single grave offence that broke a specific rule that I can tidily quote. He didn't run a red light. Rather, it's more like he yelled "people who use coloring books will grow up to be idiots" in a kindergarten classroom. No law was broken, but there are still well-deserved consequences. If you read our Code of Conduct, you'll see that the things it covers fall into two broad categories. There are some points that deal with specific infractions and the consequences thereof — for instance, if someone posts a racial slur, they'll almost certainly be banned outright. That's not Edward. But then the CoC also covers the underlying values of our community — things like a welcoming atmosphere, inclusiveness, a pro-diversity stance. If someone routinely speaks out against those values(*), or acts in ways that violate them, that's also grounds for moderation. That's Edward. His rudeness and disrespect towards others created a toxic environment around him, violating our spirit of welcomeness and inclusiveness. He believed that negativity was important for critical discourse. It's not (though that's besides the point) and the way he employed negativity as a conversational bludgeon again stood in contrast to our values. He also never missed an opportunity to argue about our pro-diversity/pro-inclusion stance. Since these aren't tidy violations of firm rules, they're not the sorts of things I can apply a tidy moderating action against. So, what Edward experienced over the past six months was a gradual series of escalating requests in an attempt to make him aware that he was violating our values, that these values are negotiable(*) but not optional, and that if he continued to do it the consequences would get more severe.
10:37 PM
(*) The values were arrived at collectively, and have been fine-tuned via many difficult conversations. People should absolutely be able to question the values in a constructive way meant to improve the CoC, but not merely to avoid having to face the social consequences of violating them. You don't have to be pro-inclusion, but you can't just be anti-inclusion without mild consequences.
Duncan Cragg

Duncan Cragg

07/17/2020, 10:58 PM
OK, I think we should probably wrap this up now, as poor Ivan must be ragged. Thanks, Ivan for all your diligent and patient work handling this! 🤗
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Ivan Reese

07/17/2020, 11:02 PM
Don't worry about me! I went running in the heavy rain yesterday, didn't see a pothole, wiped out hard... ripped up my elbow pretty good and have something bad going on with my knee. Also, I'm stuck on Tomb of the Giants.

Everything's coming up Milhouse

!
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Marco Monteiro

07/17/2020, 11:50 PM
Ivan, my assumption that you are tired was from you saying "No, sorry, I won't do that. I've spent a lot of time already dealing with Edward...", as a response to my request. You did end up expanding on it. Thank you for that and for not brushing me off. 🙂
curious_reader

curious_reader

07/21/2020, 12:39 PM
wow in some sense that explains some things. On the other hand its really sad that it went that way. We really could need better ways of interactinmg with each other
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jeff tang

07/22/2020, 1:04 PM
Lurk more than post here, and trying to change that, but I agree with this decision based on the public posts I have read between Ivan and Edward, and my intuitive understanding of the community values at large. Here is another policy to consider. I recently joined the SlateStarCodex Discord. The rationalist crowd can have very borderline conversations about intelligence, race, gender, etc. What I found really interesting was how frequently they banned and kicked members. Some were permanent, but many were day/week-long bans. I personally wonder if more frequent but temporary bans might be a more effective form of feedback. I say this all as a moderator of a 1000-person Discord. Thanks @Ivan Reese for the (emotional) work you put into FoC. Conversations on conversations are the hardest!
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Ian Rumac

07/22/2020, 1:19 PM
@jeff tang IIRC the solution back in the good ol’ days of IRC was muting
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Ivan Reese

07/22/2020, 3:58 PM
@Ian Rumac — (repeating earlier info in case you didn't read this gargantuan thread) I originally offered to let Edward continue to lurk but not post, sort of like a mute he would need to impose on himself. Slack doesn't offer much in the way of moderation tools, since it's focused on business where moderation would happen within the company hierarchy itself, not just within the chat tool. @jeff tang — I can imagine that discussion in the rationalist communities can get quite heated, and not always in a good way. In this community, I hope that we won't need to ban folks very often. The community used to be quite a bit more toxic and negative than it is now, back when there wasn't a strong assertion of our chosen values (like being a welcoming and supportive environment). Edward was the only remaining person who felt entitled to make this community a harsh, negative place despite the protestations of everyone around him. Hopefully, if we have someone else show up in the future who decides to cause problems, their problematic behaviour will stand out in stark relief and we'll be able to confront them about it before they become entitled, and it won't require a ban. Or if it does require a ban, it'll be less of a loss since they won't be an entrenched part of the community. In any case, I feel it'll be easier for me now.