so, ervin blogged about about “stop energy” and the poisonous people that we’ve been failing to deal with.
“The story started several weeks ago (probably even months ago) ” – ervin, it’s been going on a lot longer than that. ever since I started trying to get involved in plasma last year, I’ve watched aaron deal with these people over, and over, and over… his patience with them amazes me. I probably would’ve snapped pretty fast if I was getting that amount of negative energy thrown at me on a daily basis. This has been coming for a while, and none of us seems to have done much about it.
The fact that he’s both the president of the KDE e.V (which is mostly just an organisation that deals with KDE’s paperwork!) and project leader for plasma (which far too many people seem to equate with all of KDE) puts him in an uncomfortably public place. many people seem to be treating him… almost like a celebrity. it’s creepy. it’s not a healthy way for a community to behave. it makes me somewhat nervous about my own involvement in KDE; I’d hate to end up in a position like that. I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I’d love to be able to get more involved in the KDE community in future, and do useful things beyond just writing code… but not if it’ll mess with my life like that.
So… what can we do about this? I’m glad ervin made some suggestions, because I know fuck all about dealing with things like this. Properly moderating the dot seems like a very good place to start; I think of it as the cesspool of the community. :P
I think it might also be good to have a place to send people when we tell them “this discussion has been done to death, please stop talking unless you’re sure you have something new to add.” (because how can they know whether they’ve got something worth saying until they’ve read the old discussions?) – but that’s one of those things that requires manpower, and I’m currently behind schedule on my soc project.
Another thing I’ve noticed; when aaron is patient and tries to reply to these trolls, people wonder why he doesn’t just ignore them. when he tries to put an end to conversations, he gets called names like “dictator”. what’s anyone supposed to do in a situation like that? as a community, just what the heck do we expect from people?
Of course we don’t want to ignore users entirely. Of course we don’t want an environment where certain people are Always Right and nobody can voice dissent. but I think we’ve gone too far in the other direction. we’ve become so tolerant of people voicing their opinions and arguing about things that we’re unable to say Enough is Enough. There has to be a balance somewhere, where users can still be heard but developers can still get on with things instead of constantly justifying and re-explaining every little thing they do.
I hope we can work towards finding that balance, before more harm is done.