Reasons for hall monitoring

Matt McCutchen matt at
Fri May 7 20:41:14 UTC 2010

On Fri, 2010-05-07 at 20:05 +0100, Adam Williamson wrote:
> (if you go to the policy to check this, you may be surprised to notice
> it's suddenly sprouted the following section:
> "In addition to non-excellent individual behavior, there can be
> occasions where a mailing list thread gets "out of hand", and is no
> longer productive.  [...]

This would appear to be the action from the recent board meeting:

> This seems to have been added 'for review' yesterday, which to me is a
> rather odd approach for a policy which is already in practical use,
> however much the top of the page claims it to be a 'draft'. Proposed
> changes for review should happen elsewhere, not in the 'production copy'
> of the policy.

FWIW, I agree.

> What worries me is that it was always my understanding, and I think the
> understanding of others, that the hall monitoring policy does not grant
> hall monitors the power to shut down threads they judge to be
> repetitive. My understanding is it should only grant them the power to
> shut down threads which violate the 'be excellent to each other' motto -
> i.e., it's about the civility of the discussion, not the subject matter.
> Whether shutting down repetitive threads is a good idea and they
> _should_ have that power is a separate question; even if you think they
> should, it's surely not appropriate for them to exercise that power
> before it's actually been duly granted.

The board meeting log suggests that they intended the policy to have the
broader goal of keeping the discussion "constructive".  I'm not sure to
what degree the policy can be considered something to follow by letter,
independently of its intent.

(BTW, John Poelstra made two more revisions to the policy 20 minutes


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