please be excellent to each other (Re: application for FSFE e.V. membership and resignation)

Erik Albers eal at
Wed Aug 29 09:22:21 UTC 2018

Hi Daniel,

On 28.08.2018 09:25, Daniel Pocock wrote:
> On 27/08/18 16:02, Erik Albers wrote:
>> Hi Daniel,
>> I like to believe that your activities and communication are with good
>> intention and you like to change things for the good. However, you should keep
>> in mind that we are a organically grown organization with an established
>> communication and community culture. And although we are in a process of
>> change, the methods you use are currently maybe not the best approach to
>> achieve your goals.
>> In any case it would be helpful if you could to stick to our rules of
>> communication and try to be excellent to each other.
> When council included a motion in the agenda of the extraordinary
> general meeting calling for the immediate termination of my membership,
> that was not "being excellent to each other".

"being excellent to each other" does not mean that people should not argue or
insist on different opinions. But they should do so with a respectful
communication towards each other.

> Council has unleashed this poison into the community and only the
> president can drag us out of that by resigning.  Trying to shift the
> blame onto me won't make any difference.  I have felt bad about this
> organization ever since I saw that motion in the notice of meeting.  Any
> way you look at it, it is bullying and abusive behaviour.

I am feeling sorry for you that you feel so bad since then but this seems to
be a personal problem.

1) the motion you are referring to was changed after your first criticism and
   so is nothing to refer to.
2) it was one motion out of three to decide on. so why not telling the
   whole story and also cite the other two motions?
3) most important: the vast majority of the FSFE members voted for another
   motion. A motion to  keep you in office for the whole 2 year-term!

Everybody can read this in the offical minutes:

	"The current Fellowship representatives' membership ends as soon as
	the constitutional change is successfully registered, or 2 years after
	their election, whichever comes later."

	(, p. 9)

this vote is the result of a weighing in the reasons that speak against
keeping "the institution of a fellowship representative" and the benefits to
keep you as a person inside the GA.

Unintelligible, you feel personally attacked since then although people voted
to keep you in.

>>> For example, you previously wrote in a private GA discussion that my
>>> communications to fellows should be censored to ensure that
>>> communications maximize donations (your comment in February: "people
>>> might even stop to support us financially" if I write emails to the the
>>> people who I am mandated to represent).  But that is nonsense: the role
>>> of a representative is not to maximize donations, my role is to ensure
>>> the money already given to you is being spent as well as possible.  For
>>> trying to fulfil that role, you immediately set up an illegal conspiracy
>>> to stab me in the back, publishing an internal censorship policy for
>>> future communications and calling an extraordinary general meeting[4] on
>>> a Saturday while I was out in Kosovo doing real free software activities
>>> and voting on a motion tacked onto the end of the agenda to immediately
>>> terminate my membership without cause.  It is never nice to write such
>>> strong words, but in a case like this, fellows deserve to know the ugly
>>> truth about FSFE Council's behaviour and as the elected representative I
>>> would be negligent if I didn't blow the lid on this.  As the #MeToo
>>> movement has demonstrated, sometimes it is necessary to call out
>>> obnoxious behaviour to begin a process of reform.
>> You are using very offensive language here that is against our code of conduct:
>> 	"To foster tolerance, respect and hospitality in our community, we
>> 	agree not to engage in discriminatory, disparaging or offensive speech
>> 	or actions"
>> Please refrain from doing so.
> This looks like another attempt at censorship, this time trying to use
> the code of conduct as justification.

No, it is not. If you trespass our community rules and I kindly ask you to
stop it, this is not censorship! Just as it is not intolerant if someone does
not tolerate offending behaviour.

Actually, speaking up and making myself target of your aggressive language
unfortunately becomes more and more an act of courage. Your offensive language
has a chilling effect on our discussions and I represent a silent majority who
simply feels threaten to object your messages.


No one shall ever be forced to use non-free software
Erik Albers | Communication & Community Coordinator | FSFE
OpenPGP Key-ID: 0x8639DC81 on

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