I will killfile Andrew Suffield so I do not recieve Debian list email from him but only if 100 other people on Debian lists will too.
-— Benjamin Mako Hill
If you read the Debian private email list, you understand my immediate motivation for starting this pledge. If you do not but interact with the Debian community in other ways, there’s a good chance you can come up with many other examples of why agreeing to pledge might be a good idea.
I think the Debian project would be a better place if people stopped responding to comments that, in effect and often in intent, are little more than provocations, put-downs, and trolls. Andrew Suffield’s emails to Debian lists fall in this category all to often.
However, since responses that quote unecessarily provocative messages are visible by folks who have ignored the sender, blocking email from a person (also known as killfiling) only works if done en-mass.
While Andrew is by no means the only person whose comments have a disruptive effect on Debian lists, he is a one example of a person whose negative effect outweighs his positive contributions in the minds of many. While those fulfilling this pledge would miss Andrew’s positive contributions on the lists, I believe it would be worth it.
The point of course, is not to pick on Andrew Suffield. It’s just that his behavior makes him a good example.
The point is to raise a little awareness about (and get a few names behind) the feeling that messages that are not intending to troll can have the identical effects — and that perhaps the best policy is to treat them accordingly. If the only outcome is that people understand this, it will have been a success.
You can sign up for the pledge at: http://www.pledgebank.com/killfileandrew