How to escalate a case to the OSMF board?

If you are the least bit surprised that someone takes offence at your words I quoted above, then you clearly need a while to think this over. While your words are not actively monitored by anyone, the person to whom you say something like this may well feel threatened and ask others for help. In a well-functioning community, there will be others who will tell you to take it down a peg if you use language like this. We’re not kicking people out just because they misbehave once or twice - it takes a lot of serious misbehaviour to be kicked out of OSM.

This is not some shadowy authority watching you - it is your peers with whom you are doing OSM together. It doesn’t take much to “fit in” in OSM - we are a large group of many very different people with different outlooks and different interests. But one thing that is required is showing a modicum of respect towards the other mappers. In the days you want to use to decide whether to continue contributing to OSM, ask yourself if you can muster that modicum of respect - or if you are likely to say things like “go away and don’t come back, or else…” to other mappers in the future. Think about whether an apology to the mapper is in order.

Also, think about whether an apology to DWG is in order, whom you publicly accused of deleting your account, when in fact you deleted your account yourself.


I take it that my continued presence on the OpenStreetMap platform is no longer wanted, and if so I terribly apologize for having tried to improve the map and having spent countless hours and a lot of money in surveying places all over the country.

In that case, I’ll have no choice but to accept my permanent ban. Farewell, and take care.

Before I leave for once and for all (but I will also bring this up with the board in more detail, as I have promised) that there is a clear difference between calling someone out for incivility, and telling someone that a specific list of words is permanently banned, in any discourse, no matter the context of the discussion. But it seems you don’t want to understand that, in which case I’m sorry.

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I don’t think that you describe the situation accurately. This is how I see it:

  1. Someone criticized that you used the word “must”.
  2. You answered in a very emotional and threatening way.
  3. DWG intervened and told you that the comment of the user was correct your reaction was not ok

Nobody said that you should leave the project.

But I do actually think that DWG shouldn’t have commented on the conflict but only on your tone. Because it now really can be interpreted as it the DWG was agreeing that the word “must” shouldn’t be used in notes, but that is not for the DWG to decide.


Das hat niemand gesagt. Warum solltest du nicht mehr willkommen sein?

Du bist nicht gesperrt oder gebannt.

Dein OSM-Konto wurde, laut Logs, mutmaßlich von dir gelöscht, es kann sich aber auch jemand in dein OSM-Konto gehackt haben, um es dann zu löschen. Siehe:

Ich habe nicht ausprobiert, ob man das eigene Konto versehentlich löschen kann, es war mir zu riskant auf das rote “Konto löschen…” zu klicken. :grinning:

Wenn du dein OSM-Konto wieder aktivieren möchtest, dann melde dich bitte bei der hier angegebenen E-Mail-Adresse:

Quelle: How to escalate a case to the OSMF board? - #8 by woodpeck


The self-deleted user’s comments on the note are no longer visible, but the first visible comment translates as for me as “Please do not use words like “must” in a note. Nothing needs to be done here, at most something should or can be done”. That reads to me as an entirely reasonable request. Everyone is a volunteer here, and it isn’t OK to say “(some volunteer) must do X”. @Fizzie41’s response seems entirely reasonable and proportional to the sort of problem that we (the DWG) deal with all the time.

My apologies if this is a translation nuance between English and German, but I don’t quite understand “DWG shouldn’t have commented on the conflict but only on your tone” here. The whole problem is the nature of the comments (“…must…” / “please don’t say must…” / “Get out of here and don’t show up here again, otherwise there will be a bang”).

@eiskalt-glasklar’s comment at suggests that they still want to manufacture drama here, which is is at the very least unhelpful.


Since you don’t seem to have the context: the original bug report amounted to:

“The two banks (Stadtsparkasse Kaiserslautern and Kreissparkasse Kaiserslautern) merged, so the branches need to be renamed accordingly and any duplicate branches that have closed as a result of the merger need to be deleted.”

I do think that there is probably a translation nuance between German “müssen” and English “must” that was missed here, because German “müssen” equates more to “needs to” and does not have the same strong tone as the English “must”.

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Solange die DWG hier weiterhin nach dem Motto “wer zurückschlägt, fliegt” agiert und dabei noch dem Opfer die volle Schuld im Sinne eines victim blaming gibt, sehe ich einfach keine Grundlage für eine vertrauensvolle Zusammenarbeit.

Das hatte ich alles schon in der Schule durch. Bin dann tatsächlich geflogen - Befreiung von der Schulpflicht wegen Unbeschulbarkeit. Die eigentlichen Täter wurden natürlich nie belangt.

Noch einmal muss ich mir so etwas nicht antun. Und wenn die DWG wirklich der Auffassung ist, Notes dürften nur noch in Newspeak verfasst werden (und bislang gab es zu diesem Punkt keine Widerrede hier, nur Unterstützung), dann mögen sie doch die Contributor Terms entsprechend ergänzen - ich bin dann raus.

Having read through this…interesting thread, I agree with your assessment that this project isn’t a good fit for you. I am also confident that an appeal to the OSMF board to argue your case would go nowhere.

My experience has been very different from yours. Overall, I’ve found my fellow contributors cordial and accommodating. I’ve found the folks that run things on the various working groups - including the DWG - to be hard-working and even-handed. I’ve found that the people who have taken leadership positions in the organization are dedicated to the cause of a free, global geodatabase.

I’ve also found that it’s possible to disagree on things without being nasty or disagreeable. That’s an important skill not just on this collaborative map project but in succeeding in life in general.

Every so often, a contributor comes along that clashes with the culture and the people in it. This friction causes conflict with other mappers, angry words are written, and sometimes censure or sanction results. These contributors either abandon the project or adapt their behavior to the community’s demands of minimum standards of behavior and conduct. It’s a negative experience for all involved.

I applaud you for having the courage to recognize that you’re encountering this social friction and saying, “I choose to step aside”.


NotesReview has it all on record. I cannot think of any community on earth, where such mode of expression would be welcome in any kind of communication. A note is not a command.

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I will also point out that the person who first commented on “must” is also German (or, at least, most of their comments are written in German & most of their mapping is done inside Germany)

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Hi eiskalt-glasklar,

I agree with you that both the comment of HostedDinner who said that the word “muss” (english: must / needs to) should not be used, as well as the comment of Fizzie41 who confirms the opinion of HostedDinner (even on behalf of the DWG!), are unnecessary.

However none of what HostedDinner said justifys your hostile response including insults and threats. A better way would have been to discuss with him why a particular phrase should or should not be appropriate. Maybe you could have even come to a common conclusion and maybe it would have turned out that it was really just translation difficulties, as you even noticed yourself in post #17.

I don’t know what happened to you in school, maybe you really were the victim there and maybe back then you had to defend yourself with insults and threats. But this is not school anymore. Here no one wants to do you any harm. So until you realize that it is YOU who has shown serious misconduct, you really should take some time off to think.

To justify hitting back, you would first have to have been hit yourself. But that was not the case at all! Also, I don’t understand why you are shooting so much against the DWG. As I said above, I think that Fizzie41’s comment is unnecessary, but that’s all the DWG has done. Certainly they have not deleted your account, as initially claimed by you.


To justify hitting back, you would first have to have been hit yourself. But that was not the case at all!

I generally agree with what you write, the tone of the message was clearly less than uncooperative, and the explanation given why he was triggered can maybe explain it, but not justify the aggression. Still I also think it was a quite useful note, but the reply picking on the “must” was offtopic and asking for trouble, useless and unproductive criticism.


Glad that we’re agreeing on that part. Unfortunately the DWG does not agree yet, they still think they’re allowed to restrict my usage of the vocabulary, even with regards to a language the person who made the decision on behalf of the DWG does not even speak, and the DWG still refuses to acknowledge that there might have been a translation error in play here.

That interpretation also goes a bit too far, though. I might have been overly aggressive yes, and I’m willing to apologize for that, but calling it a threat is really not justified by any margin.

Well I’m definitely not getting my account back now, since @woodpeck has made it clear with his post that the offer made by him several posts above is void now, and I will not get my account back under any circumstances.

I fail to find this statement.


The DWG got involved in this topic because of your insult/threat (for which you still haven’t apologised), not because of the word “must”. They just said that HostedDinner’s suggestion was reasonable, not that you’re banned from using “must”.

I personally don’t see an issue with a note text like “X muss umbenannt werden (X has to be renamed)” in the passive voice, it is not an order to anyone.


The message in the note discussion reads a bit differently to me:

The poster who suggested you don’t use “must” is perfectly correct.

Sounds like a ban to me.

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Um sprachliche Verständigungsprobleme auszuschließen schreibe ich auf Deutsch:

Schreibe bitte einfach eine E-Mail an die genannte Adresse (“Bitte die über die Selbstlöschfunktion versehentlich erfolgte Löschung meines OSM-Kontos “eiskalt-glasklar” rückgängig machen.” oder ähnliches, dazu braucht es keine weiteren Begründungen), dann bekommst du dein OSM-Konto zurück, wenn du das möchtest. Spätestens dann haben sich alle deine Spekulationen, Befürchtungen oder Annahmen über einen angeblich erfolgten Ausschluss von OSM oder eine Sperre deines OSM-Kontos erledigt.
@woodpeck hat dir sogar mitgeteilt, dass die Löschung durch die “self-delete function” und folglich nicht durch die DWG, die Admins oder die OSMF erfolgt ist und dir gesagt, wie du dein OSM-Konto einfach zurück bekommen kannst. Irgendetwas anderes irgendwo hinein zu interpretieren ergibt für mich keinen Sinn.


Hi all,

This topic was flagged because it’s becoming a bit heated after a solution was provided.

I would recommend that if the next steps for an appeal are clear, let the original poster contact the relevant appeal body and avoid discussing in circles here.


This is at most a ban on using in notes language in form of orders/commands and behaving like boss/overseer/emperor in note comments. And confirmation that this specific complaint was valid.

It is not a ban on all your activity in OSM.

So, you are not banned, your account was not deleted by DWG but by yourself. Therefore escalation to OSMF in either case would be a waste of time. So instead of following what was marked as answer you need to follow what is quoted here and was initially described here.

Though apologising to DWG would be nice given mistaken claims. And not accusing other people of what you just did.


The text you’re quoting is about whether or not the user was “banned” from using this kind of language, not whether they were banned from OSM. Also, could you please avoid accusations of “behaving like boss/overseer/emperor”? I see no basis for that and this thread has enough heat as is.

FWIW, I feel that the admonishment not to use the word “must” was unnecessarily confrontational. From what I can gather on this thread, there was nothing wrong with the original note. As such, I find it unfortunate that a DWG member responded in a manner which suggests otherwise.

However, like @Shaun_das_Schaf, I feel that this doesn’t come close to justifying the subsequent verbal attack/threat. And of course, the various misunderstandings about the account deletion and the surrounding back-and-forth are just sad to read. :frowning: