Etiquette Violations by NorthCrab

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Relevant documents

Overview of violations

On 14 August 2023, user NorthCrab posted a diatribe on the community forum against alleged expenditure of €25,000 by the Operations Working Group (OWG) on Amazon Web Services. Several community members, including members of the OWG, responded to the question NorthCrab raised, but over successive exchanges, NorthCrab remained hostile and combative in violation of the Etiquette Guidelines. The thread of these communications can be found at The tone of NorthCrab's (since edited) remarks speaks for itself. The original title of this thread was "Why does 25% of my donation go to Amazon".

Two moderators of the foundation channel of the forum publicly admonished NorthCrab to adopt a more civil tone, in accord with the moderation guidelines. Moderator warpath-peacock's intervention earned him a public complaint from NorthCrab, which can be seen here: Moderator apm-wa's admonition was ignored. Moderator apm-wa followed with a formal warning via private message on 20 August 2023, which in part reads as follows (full text is in the PDF linked above):

This message is a formal warning to you in accordance with the Etiquette/Process for Moderation - OpenStreetMap Wiki (viz.) by a moderator of the Foundation channel appointed by the OpenStreetMap Foundation Board of Directors.

Your combative approach to communication in the community forum as attested by multiple community members[1][2][3][4][5], your unwarranted ad hominem attack of volunteer moderator warpath-peacock[6], and your insinuations of bad faith on the part of the Operations Working Group volunteers[7] violate the Etiquette/Etiquette Guidelines - OpenStreetMap Wiki as well as the general rules for civilized behavior of the forum. I have admonished you once already in accordance with the Process for Moderation, and am now escalating the matter to a formal warning. Other community members have pointed out to you the inappropriate manner with which you communicate[1]-[5], and have pointed out that moderation to date (including the temporary closing of the thread) has been light.[8] In particular, warpath-peacock’s temporary closure of the thread is in full compliance with the intent of the Process for Moderation, to wit:

Proactive Moderation: Help OSM conversation channels provide new community members with a useful and durable introduction to the project by encouraging open and healthy dialogue, and discouraging breaches of OSM’s etiquette guidelines, as well as communicating the guidelines of conduct and codes of etiquette.

[1] Why does OSMF Budget €25,000 on Amazon

[2] Why does OSMF Budget €25,000 on Amazon - #13 by pnorman

[3] Why does OSMF Budget €25,000 on Amazon - #21 by mtmail

[4] Why does OSMF Budget €25,000 on Amazon - #34 by mtmail

[5] Why does OSMF Budget €25,000 on Amazon - #37 by iandees

[6] Positive Feedback & Complaint About Moderators

[7] Why does OSMF Budget €25,000 on Amazon

[8] Positive Feedback & Complaint About Moderators - #8 by Spatialia

[9] Positive Feedback & Complaint About Moderators - #9 by CactiStaccingCrane

User NorthCrab responded that the formal warning was "invalid" and provided spurious justification for that attitude. When Moderator apm-wa replied, "If you continue to push back, you will be sanctioned. This is your final warning," user NorthCrab continued to push back, concluding his response with, "I do hold valid concerns regarding the actions you are taking in this matter," apparently referring to the admonitions and formal warning to cease and desist from violating the Etiquette Guidelines.

User NorthCrab has clearly demonstrated continued resistance to abiding by the Etiquette Guidelines unless forced to do so, and then only very reluctantly. User NorthCrab has demonstrated disrespect for both the Etiquette Guidelines and the Process for Moderation ("I do hold valid concerns..."). NorthCrab's assertion, "I am genuinely seeking an open and respectful discussion" is belied by the tone of all his communications, which tone ranges from accusatory ("Why are OWG operations kept secret?") to condescending ("I think the source of your confusion might be this line"), from deliberately misleading ("I could not find any information that would justify applying Etiquette Guidelines to the community forums") to willful ignorance of basic facts (denying that the Etiquette Guidelines apply to the community forum, despite user iandees' having pointed this out to him in

Therefore, the Moderation Team imposes on user NorthCrab a 28-day suspension from the general, general:tagging, and foundation channels. PDF copies of the threads mentioned above plus the direct messages between moderator apm-wa and user NorthCrab are linked above on this page.

Note: Due to technical limitations of the Discourse software powering the community forum, suspension of a user is only possible forum-wide, and cannot be applied to specific channels. For this reason, although the Moderation Team requested only suspension from three channels, this user is suspended from the whole forum.