@oshwm @Shamar @cwebber @aral

en.wiktionary.org/wiki/apology

There is *nothing* about apologizing that implies an action is *necessarily* the wrong decision. There are TONS of cases in life in which the right decision involves a compromise *and* an apology, which means an explanation, a justification, and an acknowledgement of the problems and harms the compromise involves.

You have no basis to assume that anyone compromising is "happy" to compromise. That's a condescending way to think.

@Shamar

I can be quite pessimistic, but I don't think this is so hopeless a case. People can and should acknowledge conflicts-of-interest.

@conservancy could very well admit that Google presence and sponsorship **does** present a conflict-of-interest.

Although *avoiding* conflicts-of-interest is *preferred*, the next-best step to reducing their influence is to *acknowledge* them…

@oshwm @cwebber @conservancy @aral

@Shamar @conservancy @oshwm @cwebber @aral

Right, Google has influence here no matter what… so what is the harm of taking their money and having them "sponsor"? They don't get actual inside decision-making, but they *do* get conflict-of-interest positioning and the PR of being associated. And it's precisely *those* things that can be at least *partly* mediated by public apology, especially one that is right there tied to the sponsor listing.

@wolftune @oshwm @cwebber @aral

> what's the harm of having them as sponsor?

Do you mean that is not much good at optimization? :-D

I'm not in the business, but it's naive to think they would spend money on certain Ads if there is no reason to: it's their job to optimise these things!

It's naive to believe that @conservancy won't be "influenced" by Google's money for the speakers' selection, for example.

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