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

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 #fosstodon 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.


I disagree.

I disagree with many statements Kev has made in his *personal* capacity. But I also see him—and others—working hard to keep the site running well.

And my broader point is that, since there are six of us, you don't *need* to agree with any one person to be safe and welcome

@codesections a person who disagrees with your own code of conduct is not fit to moderate in accordance with that code of conduct.

Kev's statements make it clear that he doesn't buy into your code of conduct.

If you have him on your mod team at all, you have demonstrated your priorities, and I cannot trust you.

@codesections furthermore, those statements were from his main account, weren't they? How is anyone supposed to tell that they were "personal"?


I mean that they were statements he made, expressing opinions about behavior he does or doesn't like.

I've never heard Kev advocate for or against a moderation action based on anything similar. He has never asked me not to ban someone who had violated our CoC

@LogicalDash @codesections he never made any specific mention of it being in his capacity as admin, didn't say anything about this affecting the admin/moderation of the instance, and he put it behind a CW. If you want to claim that we can't tell it was personal, then I claim just as much evidence that we can't tell it was an admin toot.

Also I fail to see how he is disagreeing with the COC. He was stating an opinion about other people's behaviour.

@LogicalDash @codesections people are free to speak up and state their opinion but we can't structure society in a way where you can't ever say anything that someone might possibly take offense at, because there's no way to set that bar low enough that it accommodates for everything anyone might ever find offensive.

It has to be allowed that you sometimes say things that people take offense at, apologise to them, and then we all collectively move on.

@kungtotte @codesections It isn't really about "offense". I'm not bothered that Kev hurt anybody's feelings. I think he's unfit to moderate because he doesn't take oppression seriously.

@kungtotte @codesections
Examples of unacceptable behavior by Fosstodon users include:

Personal attacks
Trolling or insulting/derogatory comments
Public or private oppressive language or actions

Telling someone their opinions on their oppression don't matter is itself oppressive; people consider particular forms of language to be oppressive; Kev thinks that doesn't matter; therefore Kev is being oppressive.

@kungtotte @codesections * specifically, /oppressed/ people consider particular forms of language to be oppressive

@kungtotte @codesections

Insulting someone you don't like for their taste in music or whatever, using inappropriate language: offensive

Expressing irritation, however polite, at the things trans people do to get people to gender them correctly: oppressive

@LogicalDash @codesections and do you feel like Kev was speaking out against gendering people correctly? If you think that's true I think you need to take a step back from everything and take a few minutes for yourself before you re-read his toot and see if he actually said that or if your feelings on the matter made you think he said that.

In fact, he never once spoke at all about genders or trans people, so that's something you've added based on your interpretation of his toot.

@LogicalDash @codesections and that, in a nutshell, is the problem.

You are going off of your interpretation and ascribing behaviour and intent to Kev and judging him based on that interpretation.

How is that fair or reasonable?

@kungtotte @codesections I don't give a shit about Kev's intent. I care about his effect.

He did something oppressive and didn't give any indication that he understood why it was oppressive. He's probably going to keep doing that. What's going on in his head? No clue, but he can't be a good moderator while he's like this.

@LogicalDash @codesections and I disagree with you that what he did was oppressive. Which takes us back to my previous point that I don't think he has violated the COC; neither the spirit or the letter of it.

And you not giving a shit about his intent and only caring about the effect is again reinforcing his point! You think that some people's feelings (yours and others') get to dictate what's true, and that's the end of the story.

@kungtotte @codesections Oppression isn't a feeling, but oppressed people still have the best perspective from which to judge it, because it affects them directly.

Trans people think it's oppressive to tell them it's silly to post their pronouns. Kev doesn't. But trans people's opinions on the oppression of trans people matter more.

A person who doesn't agree to that is not fit to decide for the instance what constitutes oppression.

@kungtotte @codesections I'm cis btw. The pronouns in my bio are for solidarity and because I'm not terribly committed to my gender.

@kungtotte @LogicalDash @codesections I don't think he violated your CoC in any posts that I saw. But he also pretty clearly said that he doesn't agree with it. How can you have a moderator who disagrees with, and presumably will not enforce, your code of conduct?

@kungtotte @LogicalDash @codesections

Actually, he did. As much as I'd like to stick up for @kev, he replied to somebody saying that "pronouns in bios make them cringe" with "same".

I don't think this was malicious. But it was said. fosstodon.org/@kev/10238830713

@wizzwizz4 @LogicalDash @codesections @kev right, I missed that toot (not surprising), so he did mention genders/pronouns and I was wrong about that. The original toot makes no mention of it though.

@kungtotte @codesections @LogicalDash His current pinned toot is about "snowflakes", a right-wing talking point dismissing minorities. You're giving him the benefit of the doubt way too much.

@kungtotte @LogicalDash @codesections

> and do you feel like Kev was speaking out against gendering people correctly?

Yes. He agreed that pronouns on profiles are “cringe”y.

@kev @kungtotte @LogicalDash @codesections you feel it has “no relevance” in a forum where people talk to each other that someone says “hey, please address me as x”, when you might be inclined to address them as y based on photo, name, whatever?

That seems _quite_ relevant to get a conversation right.

@kev @chucker @kungtotte @LogicalDash @codesections that sort of thing is WHY i felt the need to have pronouns in my bio. the cringey, masculine-assumed FOSS geek culture that yall throw your toys over anytime someone wants to do things differently. i just am not a part of that.

@kev @jackie

> Anyway, if anyone did call you 'dude' I'm sure it was just a mistake.

And that right there is why some people put pronouns in their profile. To reduce the potential for mistakes.

@kev @jackie

> do you check the profile of every person you interract with on Mastodon, before hitting reply?

No, but I also don’t publicly poke fun at the topic while running an instance.

> If someone has their identity misrepresented in a comment, like 'dude' for example, then that person says 'I actualy identfy as X, can you please refer to me as such in future?' and the person who made the mistake fixes it, what's the issue?

The issue is your public comments on the matter.

@kev @chucker yeah i didn't feel comfortable doing this because i could detect that you'd take issue with it and/or not take it seriously, like you've now made explicit.

why's it my responsibility to respond to your default, which makes me feel like i don't belong, when you could just avoid the issue by being respectful?

i hate talking about it now, even. this drives women out of tech but you


even when it happens right in front of you.

@kev @chucker like just do a second's reading or listening before speaking and you might not have to cry about how minorities (and the users that try and protect them) make you feel before they leave your server. or how people are oversensitive to words when you delete their profiles for saying "fuck you" for harbouring people that want to freely use hate speech.

@codesections that last sentence isn't really how being safe & welcome works.

If an admin of the instance makes you feel unwelcome because he thinks you're a snowflake and have your pronouns in your bio, it doesn't matter who the mod team is because you can't be sure they aren't going to be overridden or replaced with people who think more like the admin.

What confidence can that person (or I) have that the place is on the level?

Put another way, how is Kev's post itself not a CoC violation?


Those are all fair points.

I hope that no one feels unwelcome using pronouns in their bio on Fossodon—so many people do!

Our practice has been to draw a distinction between "speech to" and "speech about"—if I were to say "I hate Republicans", that would be fine, but if I were to @ someone and say "I hate Republicans, like you", that wouldn't be. By that standard, Kev's comments aren't a CoC violation.

There are problems with that approach, I admit

@codesections @lawremipsum Using the same standard for chosen identities like "republican" as for socially imposed ones like "trans" is weird and bad

Makes me think you're one of those people who think that all trans people can opt out of their gender

@LogicalDash @lawremipsum

I don't think that and never claimed too. I was picking a neutral insult (and one that I didn't think would offend anyone—basically no republicans on the fediverse after all :D )

@codesections @lawremipsum I just had a long subthread with kungtotte explaining why this issue has nothing to do with how insulting the language is, did you read it?

@codesections the most glaring problem is that it isn't consistent with your code of conduct: "Examples of unacceptable behavior by Fosstodon users include: [...]
Trolling or insulting/derogatory comments
Public or private oppressive language or actions"

That's a bold and laudable constraint that doesn't at all suggest it only applies when you direct it at a specific person.

@codesections To narrow it's application as you describe guts the protection it provides. I doubt the original toot cat authors would find it consistent with the intent of the document.

@codesections @LogicalDash I'm not sure that his personal capacity and admin capacity are separable, unfortunately.

@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".

@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 @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.
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