How to escalate a case to the OSMF board?


my account was forcibly deleted by the DWG after this dispute in a note: Note: 2668483 | OpenStreetMap

The deletion of my account caused not just over 8,000 edits to disappear, but several hundred unresolved notes on the map also disappeared together with the account.

I criticized the decision of the DWG member as obviously misguided and wrong, and apparently their reaction was to delete my account altogether (with the added benefit that my criticism disappeared as well - how clever).

Is there any way to escalate this case?

I don’t get it, the note contains an answer by @Fizzie41 giving you a warning not to repeat your behaviour. It wouldn’t make sense to then delete your account?



you can appeal to the board by email at

You should explain the case, what happened up to now and why the decision by DWG should be changed. If you want to have success, you should stay as objective and friendly as possible.

Best regards




one extra note: You should not create a new account to circumvent the block/account deletion. Doing so would be a valid reason for a ban.

Best regards



The DWG does not have the technical means to delete an account. The “eiskalt-glasklar” account is definitely deleted but the only way to delete an account is via the self-delete function or by an admin, and the DWG has not requested the deletion of this account from the admins. I have reached out to find out how this account got deleted. It is possible that your statement “Verzieh dich und lass dich hier nicht mehr blicken, ansonsten knallts!” (which you wrote in the note discussion and which is currently not visible because your account is deleted) was reported as threatening through the web site, which is something that would go to an admin and not the DWG, but it is highly unlikely that an admin would simply delete an account because of that.


Thank you for this information. When you are writing about admins, is that the operations working group (@TomH et al.) or is this some other group of people?

“The admins” (as used by me here) is the group of people who have admin privileges on the OSM web site (they have an orange star next to their user name, as compared to a blue star for “moderators” which is a lesser privilege). To my knowledge this is only Tom and Grant. While not identical to the operations working group, anyone from the operations group could probably become an admin if they wanted :wink:


The account was deleted today at 07:12 UTC through the self-delete function. So either eiskalt-glasklar deleted their account themselves, or their account was hacked and someone else made the deletion request. Please email support “at” to get the account re-instated.


The account was deleted today at 07:12 UTC through the self-delete function. So either eiskalt-glasklar deleted their account themselves, or their account was hacked and someone else made the deletion request.

in either case the contributions are not lost, it’s only the user name that is invisible, e.g.: Way: 942876561 | OpenStreetMap


& I will also jump in here to emphasise that I, as the DWG member who first looked at this matter, did nothing about deleting this account!

I saw the reply to my comment on the Note late yesterday afternoon (my time) & left it untouched to look at this morning. My reaction would have been to again comment on politeness & a warning against what could be taken as personal threats, but any potential block on the account (NB NOT a deletion) would have been a lot further away.

1 Like

Thanks Nakaner and woodpeck.

I am still considering my future involvement in the OSM community, if there will be any at all. Because I got the impression that my entire future communication on the OSM platform is now monitored for “forbidden words” in a similar manner to George Orwell’s 1984 - and I do not feel safe in such an environment and cannot continue to contribute in such an environment.

It might take a few days for me to come to a decision.

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.

1 Like

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”.

1 Like

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.

1 Like