[Noisebridge-discuss] Patrick being banned

Rigel Christian rigelc at gmail.com
Wed Feb 23 21:12:37 UTC 2011

the Appeal to the Dictionary is a cliche.


vigilante - any person who takes the law into his or her own hands, as
by avenging a crime

in the absence of Best Practices for dealing with this type of
situation, and as a do-ocracy, this is in point of fact exactly what
has happened. some amount of order must be kept in any group,
especially one like nb which seems to be growing steadily, because
different people will give different weight to the social contract
implicit in using the space.

that said, i think that if nb were a more hierarchical organization,
then yes, the appearance of vigilante action would be more troubling,
because those actions can have the dual purpose of consolidating

but who has this kind of power at noisebridge?

i think that there is something of a category error underneath this.

so then let's look at outcomes. as a practical matter, what is the
downside of booting patrick from the space? i think one can reasonably
say that:
1) some people are going to feel a little uncomfortable about it (but
i also think this would likely happen regardless of the circumstances.
it is, as rachel noted, a Big Thing), and might even leave.
2) ....?

and upsides:
1) people who were harassed will feel safer
2) these people might start coming back to the space
3) less energy devoted to trying to explain why That Behavior is Not
OK to patrick
4) the people who felt icky about booting him will help ensure that
some sort of best practice guidelines for this situation are advanced
for any next times that will happen.

that looks to me like a net win. it is of course unfortunate about the
form it takes, but it still seems like a win nonetheless.

On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 3:53 PM, Albert Sweigart <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'd just like to say that last night's meeting was one of the most
> well attended meetings I've seen in quite a while. And I have never
> seen such a diverse and large group of Noisebridge members agree on
> something so consistently. Your idea that this is *anywhere* close to
> "vigilante action" is incorrect.
> -Al
> On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 12:43 PM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
>>    i wasn't there and i'm sure lots of other members
>> and regular participants weren't there. i worry that
>> this has been a little too close to vigilante action
>> for my comfort.
>>    rachel's initial email somewhat addressed this
>> discomfort in asking that those of us who were not
>> there trust the action at least until we see the
>> "evidence", i.e. basis for this drastic action. okay,
>> i'll suspend my alarm for a little bit, but the burden
>> is on you all who took the action.
>> On Wed, 2011-02-23 at 10:02 -0800, Albert Sweigart wrote:
>>> I would also like note that this was discuss for a couple hours last
>>> night at the weekly meeting. Lots of people from all over the spectrum
>>> of "what Noisebridge ought to be" were there, and EVERY SINGLE PERSON
>>> supported barring Patrick from coming back to the space.
>>> In Patrick-style bullet points:
>>> * This isn't about his personality quirks or obnoxious mailing list
>>> posts, it's about him sexually harassing people.
>>> * He's harassed multiple people.
>>> * He refuses to talk with others about it, change his behavior, or
>>> even admit that he's done anything wrong or apologize.
>>> * It's to the point where multiple women feel uncomfortable enough
>>> that they would avoid Noisebridge if Patrick could still come.
>>> * This is exactly the situation that calls for banning from ever
>>> physically entering the space again.
>>> Also, he's stolen our printer. He clearly said he donated it (
>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/pipermail/noisebridge-discuss/2011-February/020804.html
>>> ) but took it back this morning when he was told he couldn't come back
>>> into the space.
>>> -Al
>>> On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 9:26 AM, rachel lyra hospodar
>>> <rachel at mediumreality.com> wrote:
>>> > hooray!  well-put, VonGuard.  I will chime in to say that while people
>>> > must trust that our doocratic decision was made in good faith, we did
>>> > not yet consense on banning patrick because of how our consensus process
>>> > works - everyone will have a chance to view the evidence and decide for
>>> > themselves.
>>> >
>>> > There is evidence.  This is not a witch hunt.
>>> >
>>> > We are viscerally and hugely concerned for the safety and well-being of
>>> > the vast majority of our users, and feel that this negative person's
>>> > behavior has passed beyond something that we can influence and/or help
>>> > to improve.
>>> >
>>> > Noisebridge exists to provide a safe space to hack, not as a place to
>>> > help those who behave reprehensibly to improve themselves.  We aren't
>>> > banning him from humanity, just our workshop.
>>> >
>>> > R.
>>> >
>>> > On 2/23/2011 9:04 AM, VonGuard wrote:
>>> >> So, I just wanted to nip this in the bud: We are all very appreciative of
>>> >> advice from newcomers, but if you are watching all this Patrick Keys drama
>>> >> from the outside, and you think to yourself "Hey, that's some very
>>> >> unexcellent behavior towards Patrick!" I ask you to stop and think for a
>>> >> moment.
>>> >>
>>> >> Noisebridge is a super accepting space. It was only after tremendous
>>> >> discussion, debate, and evidence gathering that we decided to ban him. Until
>>> >> the next official meeting, most of you are just going to have to trust that
>>> >> we have made the best decision for Noisebridge here. That is why so many
>>> >> names were appended to the bottom of that email. This was to say "We are
>>> >> signing to say this is legitimate, and that this action needs to be taken."
>>> >>
>>> >> This was actually never about personality, or even about the mailing list.
>>> >> This was about Patrick making women at Noisebridge feel unsafe. This was not
>>> >> done based on any form of speculation or jumping to conclusions. This was
>>> >> done after a careful, considered process where it was decided that not
>>> >> banning Patrick was the same thing as banning a number of women who would no
>>> >> longer come to Noisebridge because of his presence and his unwanted
>>> >> attentions, and his stalking behavior.
>>> >>
>>> >> Noisebridge has plenty of socially awkward geeks. We all know that if yer a
>>> >> chick at Noisebridge, someone might stare at your boobs. Awkward though this
>>> >> is, it's actually OK. Sure, it's not the most polite thing to do, but it's
>>> >> harmless. Women and men at Noisebridge are still perfectly free to behave
>>> >> like women and men. This is very far from what is taking place here.
>>> >> Patrick's behavior was well over the line of acceptable.
>>> >>
>>> >> This was not a witch hunt. This is not a precedent for banning annoying or
>>> >> creepy people. This was about physical safety in and outside of the space
>>> >> for ladies with whom Patrick had crossed the line, and continued to cross
>>> >> the line after being told to stop.
>>> >>
>>> >> Finally, I will say that the "intervention, mediated talking" route had
>>> >> already been tried with Patrick. If you are interested in reading more about
>>> >> Patrick's complete inability and unwillingness to listen to ANYONE about
>>> >> ANYTHING, there are about 4 months worth of email backlogs in our archives
>>> >> documenting his complete inability to listen and understand people's
>>> >> problems with him. It's a pattern with him.
>>> >>
>>> >> This extended to also being unable to accept the word "no!" from women. And
>>> >> that makes me want to do something truly terrible to him. But instead of
>>> >> hurting him or assaulting him online or offline, we all decided to solve
>>> >> this within Noisebridge's processes. Believe me, there are others here who
>>> >> would have done far worse to him given the chance. The man is a menace, and
>>> >> does not even treat women like people. They are sexual objects to him, ones
>>> >> that owe him sexual attentions, in his eyes.
>>> >>
>>> >> This is not someone we will ever be allowing back. He is pure fucking scum,
>>> >> and he is absolutely the antithesis of everything Noiserbridge stands for.
>>> >>
>>> >> Let it be known: you cannot sexually harass or endanger ANYONE at
>>> >> Noisebridge. You will be banned if you do so and do not correct the behavior
>>> >> when you are told to stop. This is the precedent we're setting. And I think
>>> >> it is a very good one. Everyone should be safe at Noisebridge. And no one
>>> >> should feel unsafe outside of Noisebridge because a person associated with
>>> >> the space is following/harassing them.
>>> >>
>>> >> If you are still not convinced, come to the meeting next week. I agree, this
>>> >> is all quite ugly, but at the end of the day, this is 100% Patrick's own
>>> >> fault. Noisebridge remains %99.999 inclusive. But stalkers will NEVER be
>>> >> welcome.
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 6:49 AM, Rikke Rasmussen <
>>> >> rikke.c.rasmussen at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> >>
>>> >>> I know that my being very new at Noisebridge may cause some of you to find
>>> >>> it inappropriate for me to interfere in this matter, but I hope you'll bear
>>> >>> with me and hear me out. I've met Patrick multiple times through
>>> >>> Tastebridge, and know him only as polite, if perhaps a little  formal, even
>>> >>> stiff, at times. However, I have never found his behavior untoward in any
>>> >>> way. I will of course read the material available tomorrow, but given the
>>> >>> very rapid development of the situation, I feel like I should add a comment
>>> >>> in his defense immediately - I've witnessed a lynching before and have no
>>> >>> desire to see another.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> Exclusion is the worst punishment  Noisebridge has because of the no
>>> >>> policies-policy, our equivalent of capital punishment, and I do not feel
>>> >>> that the crime merits this measure. It is as big a deal as the offended
>>> >>> party chooses to make of it, but since this has only been brought out in
>>> >>> public by a flamewar, and not by the person herself, I can't help but feel
>>> >>> that Frantisek may have a point about attempting mediated dialogue first.
>>> >>> More than anything, though, I would like to hear from the female in question
>>> >>> - if you are following this discussion, I would like to know whether you
>>> >>> feel that this is reasonable?
>>> >>>
>>> >>> I hope it's clear that I'm trying to pour water, not gasoline, on the fire
>>> >>> here.
>>> >>>
>>> >>> /Rikke
>>> >>>
>>> >>> _______________________________________________
>>> >>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
>>> >>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>> >>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>> >>>
>>> >>>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >>
>>> >> _______________________________________________
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>>> >> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
>>> >> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
>>> >
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