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Re: [board-discuss] Harassment and lack of code of conduct

Hi *,

On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 12:45 PM, Eike Rathke
<> wrote:
On Thursday, 2017-01-12 12:24:47 +0100, Katarina Behrens wrote:

it has been brought to my attention that one of our (female) contributors, who
is also a TDF member (this is why membership committee is in Cc:) has been
harassed in a private mail by someone who reads development and general user
mailing list.

This is of course inacceptable.

It definitely is. But what I am asking myself is:
How would a Code of Conduct help here? I mean people not using common
sense wouldn't suddenly change because there is a code of conduct.

Even more so in the case of using private mail and not using any of
the TDF hosted mailinglists.

This is quite a strong incentive for me to bring up the topic that is
perceived as controversial by many, namely (the lack of) code of conduct in
the community around TDF and (the absence of) action plan, as for what to do,
when bad things happen.

So what *could* be done? Tell that person he/she is a persona non
grata with that behaviour, but apart from that?

The most frequent (and in fact the only) argument I hear when mentioning code
of conduct, or the fact that TDF has no code of conduct to be precise, is "but
but but, we're such a bunch of nice guys, nothing bad has ever happened here,
nobody has ever been harassed, so why bother, why restrict freedom of speech
preemptively etc."

While I'm not opposing a code of conduct, my point is rather that it
wouldn't help, as there's not much TDF could do to prevent such
incidents, if at all only afterwards, but as you say the attacked
hesitate to bring it to attention.
(so a code of conduct without a dedicated point-of-contact for those
issues would be even more pointless)

I agree we'll need such code of conduct. Even if we are (or were?)
a bunch of only friendly people it would be no reason to not have one to
make others feel more safe and secure who are not yet.

Personally I like the Berlin Code of Conduct
which is already supported by various user and hacker groups.

If agreed, I suggest we make a formal decision at Bruxelles during our
meet-ups along FOSDEM.

So say we have adopted the above CoC, and something like a PM
harassment occurs. What can TDF do? revoke TDF membership and revoke
editing/commit privileges. There's not much leverage unfortunately.

Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not opposing a CoC, after all it
should be common sense anyway, but I just don't think it is a magic
wand that will help. But if it makes feel people better more assured
in bringing those incidents to TDF's attention, that alone would be
reason enough to have one.


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