[odf-discuss] Proposal for Moderation of ODF discussion list

marbux marbux at gmail.com
Sat Sep 29 14:11:09 EDT 2007

Lars, I think the goal is laudable and you have a start on how it might be
realized. Pre-moderation is a powerful tool so long as it is applied
consistently and even handedly.

But it is not a complete solution.  E.g., what happens if the moderator
doesn't recognize an ad hominem for what it is and and it makes its way onto
the list? When last heard from on the topic, Jean still did not recognize
the ad hominem in Max and Daniel's posts. And as a further illustration, I
was just subjected to the most serious ad hominem attack on me in this
entire episode by Andy Trevor, a legally actionable libel, who in the same
message threatened to ban me if I continue to object to the ad
hominemattacks against me. That situation fairly raises the question
of who will
moderate the moderator? There's been some blatant favoritism going on, with
four people now having engaged in five separate personal attacks against me
and not a one of them drawing so much as a rebuke. And one of them claimed
both the power and the intent to ban me if I respond, in the very same
message that he libeled me. And of course Jean, when acting in her
self-appointed role of moderator, threatened to ban me if I continued to
object to Daniel's personal attacks against me.

So I think your proposal still needs fleshing out. Minimally, there is a
need for procedures to deal with ad hominems that make their way onto the
list despite moderation and procedures for correcting favoritism and other
abuse by the moderator.

Best regards,


On 9/29/07, Lars Noodén <lars at umich.edu> wrote:
> marbux wrote:
> > ...
> > In conclusion, I request definition of what is intended by the word
> > moderation in the ballot description, that discussion be held after
> > sufficient clarification is provided, and that a new ballot be started
> once
> > the clarification and discussion are completed.  Neither I nor anyone
> else
> > knows what they are being asked to vote on.
> Messages containing argumentum ad hominem attacks do not get forwarded
> to the list.  They are a form of distraction and as such disruptive to
> the free flow of ideas and mult-faceted debate.
> Here is a good description of what will get filtered out:
>         http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html
> Messages *about* open standards and opendocument get through, with a
> wide and generous margin for digression.  However, again, disparaging
> remarks about individuals will not be accepted, even if sandwhiched in
> between pearls.
> It is really the only one of the logical fallacies that is problematic.
> The others won't get filtered, but usually meet their demise when
> presented with a well documented counter.
> As pointed out, moderation is standard practice on most special-purpose
> lists.  Since this is an all-volunteer list, it behooves us to keep the
> noise as close to zero as is possible.  We are all of us busy.
> Regards,
> -Lars
> _______________________________________________
> odf-discuss mailing list
> odf-discuss at opendocumentfellowship.com
> http://lists.opendocumentfellowship.com/mailman/listinfo/odf-discuss

  Director of Legal Affairs
  OpenDocument Foundation
-- Universal Interop Now!
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