[DRAFT] Policy for Advocacy on Drupal.org

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This is a draft policy, based on the discussion in this thread: https://groups.drupal.org/node/411803


The Drupal Association is a non-political organisation and the default position is not to engage in political advocacy. The Drupal Association supports the rights of individuals to voice their views and to promote the discussion of issues on Drupal.org, as long as they are in line with our community Code of Conduct

On rare occasions or in extreme circumstances, issues may arise that potentially affect our community significantly, either in part or as a whole, including issues that might threaten our community mission and values. In these situations, the Drupal Association will take action to protect and advocate on behalf of the community's interest based on the following criteria and process:

  • The issue must fall under the mission of the Drupal Association and/or directly relate to the Drupal Project's s stated mission and values including issues regarding general Open Source and Internet activity.
  • A public "call for action" will be posted across the most trafficked areas of Drupal.org that highlight the issue in question and gathers feedback from the community about any possible action that should be taken by the Drupal Association, including banners or other site wide advertising.
  • If the feedback from the community is in the order of magnitude of 500 responses, and there is consensus about the action to be taken and its implementation details, the action will proceed.
  • If the feedback from the community does not meet the volume required or consensus can not be reached, the Drupal Association will take no additional action.

Comments

Hi Ryan, Thanks for putting

fizk's picture

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for putting this draft together. I think the real difficulty with this version of the draft is that it assumes that a majority of the community agree that Drupal.org and the Drupal Association should be involved with external political activism that isn't directly related to the Drupal software:

...The issue must fall under the mission of the Drupal Association and/or directly relate to the Drupal Project's s stated mission and values including issues regarding general Open Source and Internet activity.

From https://groups.drupal.org/node/411803, I would say the majority of responses are against Drupal.org and the Drupal Association getting involved with external political activism that isn't directly related to the Drupal software. This policy should reflect that.

On rare occasions...

Do we set a monthly or yearly limit?

...or in extreme circumstances...

What's an example of an "extreme circumstance" that we can all agree with?

Mixed

rootwork's picture

From https://groups.drupal.org/node/411803, I would say the majority of responses are against Drupal.org and the Drupal Association getting involved with external political activism that isn't directly related to the Drupal software.

On the contrary, I'd say the responses are pretty evenly mixed.

For that reason, though, I agree with you that it's probably going to be hard to determine a policy here that satisfies everyone.

^ I would say the majority of

Michael-Inet's picture

^ I would say the majority of responses are against
^ I'd say the responses are pretty evenly mixed.

Hi Holly,

The statistics they are referencing do not have a large enough sample size to be valid.

If a raw vote count is even desired, can we get a vote/poll setup on both D.O. and Groups, running a few months, to clarify this issue? You should also have someone vet the poll for bias, determine what constitutes a valid vote [1], etc.

[1] But, what constitutes a valid vote? It's easy enough to create hundreds of accounts by using public proxies, so one voter per account seems erroneous. And this side topic needs to be addressed elsewhere ;)

Personally, I'd rather have Dries define this, carte blanche. Then if Drupal Governance even wants a member vote, considering the difficulties in getting a legitimate result, have a pass/fail vote, and be done with it...

#

Politics are a fact of life. D.O., and thereby Dries, have to do enough politicizing to protect themselves.

Best,
Michael

This should really be a

pwolanin's picture

This should really be a decision of the DA board (certainly not Dries alone) since the DA runs the *.drupal.org sites (as opposed to the Drupal software itself).

The board should be willing to exercise their responsibility to make and explain the reasoning for a coherent policy. Possibly some other body like the Drupal.or Content Working Group could be a venue for proposing and vetting these (rare) banner or other protests since they are in a sense becoming a temporary part of the site content and experience.

Hi Peter - I would agree that

holly.ross.drupal's picture

Hi Peter - I would agree that the board should approve the policy - but not every potential action we take. That's an operational decision. If we are operating within the approved parameters of the policy, the we should be good to go.

Yes, sure - that's what I

pwolanin's picture

Yes, sure - that's what I meant. The board should decide the policy.

Thanks Ryan - I am really

holly.ross.drupal's picture

Thanks Ryan - I am really happy that someone took that next step. It makes my life easier! I think this is a pretty great draft that I can definitely get behind. I like that there is some amount of ambiguity with this statement:

On rare occasions or in extreme circumstances,

I think that we can agree that rarely is likely in the less often than annually kind of time frame. But I wouldn't want to lock a specific time frame in that gives us no flexibility.

If the feedback from the

Dave Reid's picture

If the feedback from the community is in the order of magnitude of 500 responses

When we rarely ever hit that number of comments on an issue queue (and counting the same people posting multiple comments), how could we ever hope to hit the "tipping point" here? Is this just a rough number?

Senior Drupal Developer for Lullabot | www.davereid.net | @davereid

How to get 500+ responses?

Michael-Inet's picture

A poll for a month in an all pages block on every D.O. related site. That would get the 500+ responses, but still probably wouldn't have any statistical relevance to the actual viewpoint of D.O. membership.

But as Dave identifies, this requirement is problematic as written, so it's probably better to just re-write the action sequence to a go/fail structure:

  • {Replacing everything after point 1}

#

  • A public "call for action" will be posted across all areas of Drupal.org, Groups.Drupal.org, and [add other relevant properties] that highlight the issue in question.
  • Dries and the Drupal Association will present a preferred action and alternatives to solicit feedback and additional actions and considerations from the Drupal Community.
  • If the feedback from the Drupal Community is in the order of magnitude of 500 negative responses {replace 500 with % of membership, see [2]}, the preferred action(s) will rejected. If all Drupal Association and Drupal Community submitted alternatives receive 500+ negative responses, then the Drupal Association will take no action.

Details of what constitute positive and negative responses and voting TOS are here. [Link to new document that defines and codifies how D.O. votes for issues.]

#

Please cut, chop, and replace as is best for D.O.

Best,
Michael

Footnote:
- [1] “Drupal Community” is intentionally capitalized to give equal standing with the Drupal Association.
- [2] 500 is too specific a number. A suggestion is percent of total active open members, or percent of Drupal Association membership, ... Depends on what a valid 'vote' turns out to be.

Some rationale

rcross's picture

glad posting a draft policy has been helpful. The idea with the draft is to make whatever changes are necessary for there to be consensus on this. In that sense, I don't want to argue specific point, but i thought so some notes on my rationalisation might be helpful:

  • Volume - I was trying specifically not to define a set number of votes, and I also specifically didn't call them votes, this way there is some leeway in determining what constitutes "enough", but still gives an impression of what should be expected. I also initially had an order of magnitude of 100, but after consideration felt that might be too small. 500 (votes/comments/whatever) seemed like a substantial amount, but still smaller than my assumption of the quantity of votes we see in the DA Board elections.
  • Go/Fail option - As most people don't want to see much, if any, political advocacy from the DA, I think the default action should be no action, rather than that being dependent on enough negative responses.

I personally think we should avoid being overly specific - we have been determining community consensus on 1000's of issues since Drupal began, we don't need to say what constitutes a positive vs negative response. Perhaps this should even be called a "Guideline" vs "Policy"

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