Threats, Violence, Suicide, Palestine and Censorship in Debian


There have been renewed discussions about aggression, violence and suicide messages in Debian recently.

In 2018, the Debian Project Leader Chris Lamb started denouncing volunteers. One consequence of Lamb's aggression is that the volunteers have been receiving extraordinarily abusive messages from other community members ever since. Some of those messages refer to suicide or encourage volunteers to kill themselves. Here's an example:

Subject: Poll: Suicide choice
From: <name of volunteer/target>

A Condorcet Internet Voting Service poll named
Suicide choice has been created. You have been
designated as a voter by the poll supervisor,
<name of volunteer/target> Fuckup

Description of poll: In 2019, I want to die. I am a
despicable human being ...
<rant, rant, rant>
... I want to let you
choose how I end my worthless life.

If you would like to vote, please visit the following URL:

< snip >

Suicide jokes are simply not fun.

Another suicide email appeared on Sunday, suggesting that it was one way for people to escape from being blackmailed by Enrico Zini, Joerg Jaspert and Jonathan Wiltshire. A disturbing reflection on the culture of the Debian Project today.

This appeared on the debian-project mailing list at Christmas. Merry Christmas indeed:

Subject: Re: Some thoughts about Diversity and the CoC
From: Dato Simó <dato@debian.org>
To: debian-project@lists.debian.org
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2019 19:08:05 -0300

I almost punched a wall while reading the message
I'm replying to. I cannot possibly convey to you all
the rage that it provoked. Should the author had been
nearby, I wish I could say I would have charged against him.

These messages about suicides and threats are a reflection of leadership quality in many free software organizations today.

Why are messages about violence and suicide accepted by the mailing list censors but this message about a DebConf20 (Israel) speaker going to Palestine was censored?

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