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Canonical, Ubuntu & Debian DebConf19 Diversity Girls E-mail

Posted in Debian, Google, Ubuntu at 11:43 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News

On 8 March 2020, International Women’s Day, somebody forged Mark Shuttleworth’s email address to distribute or leak the email below.

Debian, Outreachy, DebConf, student, intern, female, womanThe Debian Project Leader, Sam Hartman, accused another volunteer of distributing it. Eleven months have passed. Nobody ever gave any proof about the source of this message. Sam Hartman lied. He whipped up a mob much like Donald Trump at the US Capitol siege.

There is so much fake news on the Internet today. Why was Sam Hartman, leader of Debian, so enraged when somebody leaked the concerns about unethical romantic relationships in GSoC and Outreachy mentoring? Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. That’s why.

Sam Hartman, DebianRogue elements of Debian take the approach that this is a hobby and they can do what they want. If we care about diversity that is not good enough.

Is the email below sexist itself? Or does this email simply expose the sexism and misogyny that Debian doesn’t want the world to know about?

Subject: Fwd: debconf19 diversity girls

Date: Sun, 08 Mar 2020

From: Mark Shuttleworth <shuttleworthless@protonmail.com>

behave yourselves!

brazilians!

please don’t name the girl

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: debconf19 diversity girls

Date: Wed, 12 Feb 2020 08:31:50 +0000 (UTC)

From: Sam Hartman <hartmans@debian.org>

To: debian-private@lists.debian.org <debian-private@lists.debian.org>

Debian is not an employer and when we gather at DebConf

we are not under any centralized control. Some of us are

paid to be there by our employers and some of us choose

to come as volunteers. Nobody works 24 hours per day

for 10 days at DebConf and when people are not working

there is no reason they can’t engage in any romances.

Our diversity programs have become overwhelmingly popular

and at every event now we have young women coming

on diversity bursaries. Some of these women are

participants in the current round of GSoC or Outreachy

and some of these women want to join the next round.

So many of these diversity bursarie girls are having

a connection with internships. Almost all the others

have no jobs, they are looking for jobs and they are

under pressure to please people.

Debian has never said anything to ban romances with

these women. We already assumed the mentors would

not get romantic with the interns in the current round.

But it needs to be really clear that no Debian Developer

should become intimate with any woman in the current

round or any woman who is preparing to apply for

subsequent rounds of GSoC and Outreachy.

A problem has been discussed at DebConf19 and it was

seen too at DebConf18. The boy involved is a member

of the Debian mentors team so this is one case where it

is definitely off-limits. The relationship did

not involve a woman he mentors personally but

it was also very clear to the mentor that this

woman had an interest in the program, there is no

way he could have been unaware of that.

He is also a Canonical/Ubuntu employee. We believed he

comes to DebConf as an employee, he is not a Debian

employee of course, so there was discussion with Canonical.

Canonical said they would resolve the issue as an internal

company issue. Some other people became concerned because

Canonical is a DebConf sponsor and maybe I’m being too

lenient on their employee. If other Canonical management

were not at DebConf, how would we handle this issue with

any other volunteer from a different company?

The woman and the other people who share her room don’t

want to comment on the issue. We thought this was a dead end.

There is nothing more going to happen here but please

now remember if you are a Debian Developer, even

if you are not a mentor, if you meet somebody at an

event who indicates any interest in our mentoring

programs within the next year, you need to maintain

a professional relationship with this person.

You can also withdraw from Debian, then you are

free to purse any relationship of course. This is

not only for mentors, it has to be for all of us.

–Sam

Debian Outreachy intern diversity girls unethical

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