last day (28 days later) » 

9:06 PM
7
Q: Policy for users reporting their employment status at commercial software companies?

DPSSpatialWhat is the policy on GIS SE for employees of software companies to add this information to their profiles? I believe users should add to their profile that they are an employee of a commercial software company when that is the case, and I am wondering if there is a formal policy to do so. The ...

 
I don't believe there is a policy that requires users to state which company they work for. I have certainly never stated which company I have worked for. The Help Center Behavior page states that affiliation needs to be disclosed to "avoid overt self-promotion", however I don't think this quite applies to your question.
 
In addition to what Midavalo and PolyGeo have pointed out, the How to not be a spammer page does touch on this as well, but the emphasis is again avoiding self-promotion.
 
@PolyGeo I think OP is calling out nobody. I don't know who the user is, and even after trying to figure it out I could not. I think OP's wording is legit. Your version of this question was too soft (making incomprehensible the reason why OP asked it). I think if some user reading this think the cap fits, wear it. Take a moment to reflect about posting snarky comments. Also, keeping OP's tone also helps to measure (by votes) if community indeed thinks such level of rudeness is happening (independent of the user) and if so, we can do something about it.
 
I have to agree with @AndreSilva, the additional detail makes this much more clear about why the question was asked, and while I understand the intent of removing some specific details, it changed the meaning of the question. I guess I need to start poking around at the edit history more often...
 
@EvilGenius Be nice cuts many ways and in this question I believe aspersions have been cast not only on an individual (albeit unnamed) but also on a company (by name). GIS SE is a community where I think users of commercial, open source and both software types co-exist in an environment of mutual respect. If the question is what the title says then I think it needs to focus on that. If it is another behaviour that is being asked about then I think it should be asked separately in a more neutral and less charged way. My edit demonstrates how the title question could be asked.
 
9:06 PM
I work for Esri and don't feel that I can vote one way or another on this question as I'll be seen as biased. (Yes, I know normal users can't see how I voted.) DPSSpatial you used to often talk about FOSS4G/open source solutions on Esri questions. I didn't always feel that was very helpful. I haven't noticed you doing that recently though, so thank you.
 
@AndreSilva I have rolled this forward to the state with my edits because they were made to remove what I believe was inappropriate content. I am happy to discuss my action in a separate Meta Q&A but please do not roll the edit that I have made back.
 
@mkennedy Thanks Melita! I think my filters hide questions I may have seen a while back, but if they were open-ended in terms of software, I felt I could add a different solution if required.
 
@AndreSilva Please do not underestimate how much I seek/get peer review from our own moderators and/or from SE moderators as a whole before I take any actions like this one. I have never hidden that I worked for two international distributors of the commercial software company mentioned in the original version of this question, and I am happy to recuse from it, if that is what you are alluding to. I do not like to see aspersions cast upon any company represented by our users irrespective of whether they are using commercial or open source software and I think to do so contravenes Be nice.
 
@PolyGeo, sorry but I need to express my disagreement. If this is about ESRI for you, ok, just edit out the name of the company (I have nothing against ESRI, on the contrary). Your revision is radical (changes the question), besides clearly conflicting with the author's intent. In the edit history your comment says "Removed content that appeared to be calling out a specific user and was contrary to Be nice. OP called out nobody; there isn't a person to 'be nice' to. Just let the question be, if it is the case to be only a rant, nobody will care or will support it. ....
 
@AndreSilva I think it is not nice to call out individuals by using their asserted employer's name. Calling out by name is not the only way that calling out can occur. If there is a behaviour of concern then it is fine to ask about that behaviour in a Meta Q&A but I think we can all discuss any behaviour without narrowing it to a user and asserting that they come from a particular company.
 
9:06 PM
@PolyGeo, please read my comment. I said if the citation of 'ESRI' is the problem (which you did not mention initially in your first review comment), I have no objection removing it (but leave the other parts in OP's words). No user was called out.
 
@AndreSilva As always I read your comment a number of times before responding. The naming of a company is only a part of what I see as the problem with the original content, and I edited out the parts which were the remainder. There were other assertions made which I believe contribute to the question in its original form being contrary to Be nice. For example, "Your tone should match the way you'd talk in person with someone you respect and whom you want to respect you." seems incompatible with referring to one of our users as a 'troll'. If you think someone is being a troll flag it.
 
This may seem minor but it is an important point, in all the discussion above when you say commercial you should be saying proprietary. I work for a commercial supplier of open source software, implying that only proprietary software is commercial undermines people (like me) who make their living from open source.
 
@IanTurton my GIS work has probably been done less than 5% in open source so commercial/proprietary is not a distinction that I've had to think about but your point is fair and taken: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_software
 
I'm having difficulty putting into words how much the behavior around this post disappoints, and somewhat even bewilders me. @PolyGeo , I do believe that you truly believe that you were improving this situation. But, I disagree and I feel this is bordering on censorship. I realize we will not agree on this (and I don't expect us to), but I find the outright dismissal very troubling.
2
 
@EvilGenius I know that this may not be a popular action but I do think that it is the right one. Not every one will be happy with every action that every moderator takes but editing this post, using normal user powers, and requesting that my edit does not get rolled back, is not intended as censorship. My intention is to guide the community away from rather than towards infracting upon the Be nice policy. If anyone is not being nice in comments then those comments should be flagged so that they can be dealt with by whichever of our seven moderators see them.
 
9:06 PM
@DPSSpatial - What if the user who does work for such a company but doesn't want to have their real identity known? There is certainly a privacy issue involved. There may also be situations where if someone did claim to be employed by said company but provides an inaccurate answer to a post, this could look badly on the company especially in this day and age with all the social media.
 
@Joseph That certainly opens up another issue... but given their ESRI GeoNet profile publicly states this users employer and the amount of time they spend on forums while on the clock is certainly troubling to me...
 
@DPSSpatial You don't know whether the user is charging this time or not. As an ex-Esri employee yourself, in a group that pretty closely watches how people are spending their time, that the person might not be easily able to charge the time. I sometimes charge it, and sometimes not.
 
@PolyGeo it's obvious that the community as a whole doesn't agree with your actions. Just stop.
2
 
@mkennedy it was not my experience that employees time was monitored at all.
 
9:18 PM
I'm happy to discuss my actions of editing and locking that twice rolled back edit on this Meta question, and will try to be available in this chat room for most of the day.
 
9:38 PM
@PolyGeo you are probably the only one happy here. That last edit (dbaston’s) was just fine (no user, no company callded out, no disrespect toward anyone, no bad language). You should probably take some time off as moderator. Really. Also, moving comments to chat and eliminating all the votes they were carrying on (which most of them were against your edit) was another bad move.
4
 
In a discussion I think it is important that every voice is heard equally so I am glad that you have spoken.
 
10:02 PM
I think that the original question should not have referred to an employer by name, should not have referred to one of our users as a 'troll', should not have insinuated that an employer should either not support its staff in providing assistance to the GIS community, or that users here should always be off their employer's clock. For that reason if I were an ordinary user I would have voted to close the question and flagged it for moderator attention, and hoped they edited it like I did.
 
I was wondering how long that was going to take. Sad.
 
It happens GIS SE is not about you @PolyGeo. What you think is important, but it is not more important than a bunch of folks saying the opposite. The name of the company was edited out, no specific user was called 'troll'. You are clearly disrespecting us (not being nice) by putting such censorship on a ordinary question.
2
We need to respect someone else's opinion.
Look, the word 'troll' appears in 779 posts in Meta Stack Exchange, and in 362 posts in Stack Overflow Meta.
 
10:23 PM
The name of the company was in the question until I edited it out, and since it was about an active user for me that immediately narrowed it to a handful of users, so I think to refer to any one of them as a 'troll' is not nice. My hope is that we can focus on the content not on our individual personalities.
 
Something else I think is worth pointing out to (@PolyGeo): you've erroded the trust the users of this community have in you. This isn't a new thing and it's not something easily or quickly fixed, if at all. Every time I see a post that you've edited now I'm going to wonder about the intentions and have to look at the history to see what the original author actually intended to convey. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
2
 
@EvilGenius I am sorry that you feel that way. I have perhaps on 2-3 occasions felt that a question like this needed to be edited because its content was not nice to one, a group of, or an employer of our users. I do not do it lightly.
 
@PolyGeo but the last edit from dbaston's did not have the name of the company and preserved the meaning of the question, and you rolled it back anyway. About the user, we can't know who he/she might be, because OP did not cite him/her. Anything else besides/beyond that is pure speculation.
 
While I wish this discussion could be fruitful, past experience leaves me with doubts. I've contacted Stack Exchange about @PolyGeo's behaviour (which has gone on for years) and would encourage others to do the same.
3
 
10:47 PM
I don't explicitly say in my profile that I work for Esri. Should I add that information? What if you just use Esri products in your job? What should you add to your profile then? What if you FOSS4G software exclusively? Shouldn't you reveal that too? Should everyone add the software they use most frequently so that it's easier to determine their expertise on answers and comments?
 
@PolyGeo, you mentioned I underestimated how much you seek/get peer review from the other moderators (fair point), but where are they now to support the actions you have taken in this particular Meta Post? How many GIS SE mods did you consult? Can you at least step back and let another mod handle this?
 
The question should be generalized and I don't care by whom. I feel that, somehow, DPSSpatial feels that having proprietary software employees reveal their employers will solve a problem he's having with another person. Really? This seems like an XY problem.
 
@mkennedy @mkennedy, my opinion to your questions. "No", "I use them". "No". "I also use them". "No". "No".
@mkennedy the last edit of that question (dbaston's) was generalised (no user called out since beginning, the company was edited out). About DDSSpatial's motivation, I agree. I don't think that revealing someone's employer will solve a problem he's having with another person. But to me, this is not the main discussion here. It is...
The main discussion to me is. Did that question hurt the be nice policy? The way it was edited last time (dbaston's edit) it did not to me, for the reasons already explained in many previous comments. Can a moderator make a drastic change to a question changing its meaning, and overruling the majority of contrary opinion's from peer users with a justification that does not hold? Or does it hold? continues..
Does the OP (and everybody else) have the right to express disagreement in Meta to what he sees as inappropriate behaviour from one generic user, while focusing on the user's action/behaviour, without calling him/her out, and without being censored by a peer user? (I think it does). As per my answer is GIS Meta this would not be my first option, but it is an option (see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66444/…).
*I think one/he does
 
11:11 PM
I consulted all GIS SE mods and have heard back from two of them. Neither said my action was wrong, neither strongly supported it. In parallel, because I am in an awkward time zone, I sought advice from the SE mods as a whole. Support for, and in advance of, each action I took was clear there. The only action on which I went it alone was bringing this discussion into chat when I saw it becoming more personal than I felt healthy for all individuals involved.
 
@dbaston I feel bad, because I don't want to promote a witch hunt on PolyGeo, but I think you are right in this particular occasion. One thing is being firm while trying to be the most fair as possible, another thing is being (trying to pick the best word I can) 'bossy'.
I already got upset other times (it can happens with anyone), but one thing I decided to do was that leaving GIS SE (or putting aside) was too easy for the other person. Instead I encourage everyone here to have a word when one believes he/she has a point. Keep an eye on Meta, keep an eye on main and help this community to grow.
 
I hope we will see more moderators join this discussion but we are all volunteers, and cannot always drop what we are doing for GIS SE. I think their input would be helpful.
 
@PolyGeo thanks for explaining. My suggestion here would be to have waited a little bit more, because perhaps more mods could have helped you on this (even if it have ended up in a way you did not agree).
 
The last thing that I want for GIS SE is to lose any users who are contributing content to this great resource. I am always happy to have my ideas on what I think is best for the site questioned and I hope will always be permitted to question the ideas of others when I think differently to them. Seeing posts that seem not nice is where I feel my moderator hat obligates me to step in.
 
About the 'volunteers' argument we cannot use it for everything. I acknowledge you have done good services for this site, but you seem to have a lot of difficult to give way and even to meet people half way. I think this is one quality a moderator cannot lack. Because of this, it is difficult to me to relieve this side of your moderation style and wanting from you to step out as moderator; but keeping around contributing with your knowledge and also using the +10k moderator tools.
 
11:28 PM
Unfortunately, I think waiting longer on this one would have been condoning what I thought (and received confirmation from SE mods) was inappropriate content. I see this as a site where open source and proprietary software users coexist and learn from each other. Although I use mostly proprietary software I know that I have learned lots from members of the QGIS development team, and our PostGIS, GDAL, etc users looking in on my questions here.
 
Ok, but you probably you know GIS Meta has a very, very low traffic. Regularly there, have been participated less than five users. So, waiting one or two days would not have compromised the situation in my opinion (suggestion to take into account, next time).
 
11:47 PM
I think your estimate of Meta GIS SE traffic is noticeably lower than mine, but I cannot back my perception with any numbers.
 

  last day (28 days later) »