[ih] Spam/ limits of acceptable discourse in the IETF
ar at arussell.org
Tue Oct 7 17:29:29 PDT 2003
Mike Padlipsky said:
> At 06:08 PM 9/28/2003, Perry E. Metzger wrote:
>> > Is there a policy reason for the option not being enabled for
>> > the Internet-History mailing list?
>>Yes. The owner of the list insists that it is bad to restrict
>>postings, which means we get more spam messages sent to the list than
>> actual content. I do not understand this decision, but I don't believe
>> he is likely to ever change his mind.
> it happens that i don't agree w/ the decision, either; but i'll
> certainly understand if he continues to adhere to it after you've been
> ... incautious enough to've sent that to the entire list rather than
> just as a private aside to the sender of the first part. i'll regret
> it, but i'll understand it.
This raises an interesting question, that of posting etiquette and
conflict on mailing lists. I've been lurking on various IETF lists over
the past couple of years, and am fascinated by how IETF construes
legitimate limits to discourse. In layman's terms, how/when does the IETF
have the right to tell somebody to shut up? Marshall Rose recently wrote
an I-D about this, and there are various characters on the IETF list who
like to disagree apparently just for the sake of disagreeing (I am
thinking of Dean Anderson in the recent Verisign mess, but Todd Glassey
vs. Harald is another recent case, as is the true identity of the
contrarian "Jeff Williams"). In fact in the recent Verisign squabble,
Keith Moore invoked "Godwin's law," which, if I understood it right,
signaled the end of all useful discussion by way of invoking Hitler.
There is also the recurring "don't feed the trolls" informal method of
dealing with the problem, as well as a suggestion for a more formal
procedure for revoking posting rights (a la Rose's I-D).
I guess this is my point/ question - In an organization that makes
decision based on "rough consensus," what are the limits of acceptable
discourse? When do IETFers stop trying to include certain parties within
the "rough consensus," or, as Keith Moore recently wrote (rather
"In general, trying to teach things to people with read-only minds is an
exercise in futility." [see
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