python admin abuse complaint

Steve Holden steve at
Fri Feb 5 00:02:53 CET 2010

Xah Lee wrote:
> 2010-02-04
> Hi Steve,
> thank you for the reply.
> I appreciate that you taking this more seriously than normal
> newsgroups postings. In fact, for this complaint, the response you
> made is all i asked for.
OK, in that case I won't trouble anyone else about it.

> I have a lot things to say about the various political struggle that
> one sees everyday in just about every communication channels that are
> predominantly young male groups, of relatively few people, in online
> posting forums, ircs, online massive multiplayer games... as you may
> know, the quarrels, accusations, bans, happen every hour.
I understand that the diversity of the various channels available to
Python users (and indeed of the Python community overall) is not as high
as it could be. This does from time to time lead to inappropriate behaviors.

I suspect dash kicked you off #python simply because of the reputation
you have established on comp.lang.python, but of course I cannot speak
for him.

> But to be concrete and constructive, i would suggest that in
> freenode's python irc channel:
> • when a admin bans someone, the admin needs to tell the person the
> reason, and not in some rude way. (a single sentence will do.)
That would, I agree, be appropriate.

> • The list of ban'd person's names, the reason for banning, and the
> name of admin who ban'd them, should be public. (irc already provides
> means for this that allows admins to annotate in the ban list.) In
> particular, if you are going to ban someone by ip address, make sure
> the person's handle (or preferably real life name), be listed together
> with it. (again, this needs not elaborate. A single sentence will do,
> e.g. “repeatedly asking same question”, “continously raising
> controversial issues”, “refused to use paste bin when requested” will
> do. Again, be as precise in description as possible. For example,
> “ban'd for trolling”, “annoying others”, are not a meaningful reason.)
This is perhaps a little formal for something that (as far as I know)
happens less than once a month. I am reluctant to start up any kind of
bureaucracy around bannings unless they become too frequent (in which
case your suggestions above seem reasonable).

> • additionally, i would suggest that bans be temporary. The following
> period seems a good start: 5 min ban, 1 hour ban, 1 day ban, 1 week
> ban, 1 month ban. Each can be executed according to severity per the
> admin's judgement. There should be no permanent ban, unless it's
> machine generated commercial spam.
Again, this is probably over-formal for the current levels of banning,
but a reasonable idea in principle.

> Thank you.
> For anyone reading this thread and interested in my opinions, i have
> written many essays related to this and netiquette. Many of which
> detail other similar incidences that i personally experienced, such as
> freenode's irc ban in #emacs channel. If you are interested, they can
> be found on my website, search for “ban xah lee”.
Xah, your opinions are I think pretty well-known around here. I
understand that you consider yourself an authority on netiquette, but as
I mentioned in my last response I have personally observed you on many
occasions indulging in inappropriate behavior such as cross-posting
irrelevant material to many newsgroups at the same time. It is actions
like that, combined with your use of intemperate and abusive language,
that caused you to get banned before you had chance to say much.

It's a bit like the boy who cried 'wolf'. People see you doing these
things, and so when you appear on an IRC channel where this is known
about you get banned as a pre-emptive measure.

I have discussed this matter with dash, and he has agreed not to kick
you off without reason the next time you join #python. This will only
last as long as your behavior remains acceptable, so please don't abuse
the privilege I have won back for you. If you do, that will make me feel
(and look) like a real dick, and get you banned again straight away.


>   Xah
> On Feb 2, 2:23 pm, "Steve Holden, Chairman, PSF" <chair... at>
> wrote:
>> Xah Lee wrote:
>>> This is a short complaint on admin abuse on #python irc channel on
>>> Here's a log:
>>> 2010-02-02
>>> (12:11:57 PM) The topic for #python is: NO LOL |
>>> | It's too early to use Python 3.x | Pasting > 3 lines? Pastebin:
>>>| Tutorial:| FAQ:
>>>| New Programmer? Read
>>> | #python.web #wsgi #python-fr #python-es
>>> #python-br #python-jp #python-nl #python-ir #python-
>>> offtopic
>>> (12:12:00 PM) _habnabit: pr100, I replaced it with str.startswith,
>>> actually.
>>> (12:12:01 PM) jarray52: Jarray
>>> (12:12:11 PM) _habnabit: jarray52, yes, you are.
>>> (12:12:16 PM) xahlee: is hash={} and hash.clean() identical?
>>> (12:12:18 PM) eggy_: OhnoesRaptor: getting sockets (and event loops
>>> etc) right is quite tricky
>>> (12:12:21 PM) OhnoesRaptor: I know how to do sockets right eggy, just
>>> wondering whats up with the python verison :D
>>> (12:12:24 PM) mode (+o dash) by ChanServ
>>> (12:12:30 PM) You have been kicked by dash: (No.)
>>> ---------------
>>> I have not been using irc for the past about 2 year. (possibly perhaps
>>> 2 times in i think #web channel) In particular, i have not been in in
>>>'s #python channel. I don't know who is dash.
>>>   Xah
>>>>> Frankly, Xah Lee, I find it ironic that you see fit to complain about
>> abuse of the IRC channel when you have apparently felt free to ignore
>> the many complaints about your behavior on this and other newsgroups
>> over many years.
>> "As ye sew, so shall ye reap". I imagine that your reputation has
>> preceded you, and that dash (whom I *do* know) is simply looking to keep
>> a well-known nuisance from bothering the rest of the users on the channel.
>> For the present my sympathies are all with him. The PSF will, however,
>> investigate this issue and I will report back to you off-list in due course.
>> regards
>>  Steve
>> --
>> Steve Holden        Chairman, Python Software Foundation
>> The Python Community Conference
>> PyCon 2010 Atlanta Feb 19-21
>> Watch PyCon on video now!

Steve Holden           +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
PyCon is coming! Atlanta, Feb 2010
Holden Web LLC       

More information about the Python-list mailing list