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


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.

The existence of code of conduct doesn't mean that people will suddenly stop 
behaving like jerks, just like the existence of (civil, criminal) laws doesn't 
mean people don't go ahead and break the law.

It does mean, though, that if they do, there will be consequences (when was 
the last time you got speeding ticket?)

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

This is why harassers frequently harass in private, as the likelihood they 
will get away with it and the victims will not speak up is orders of magnitude 
higher. It is irrational (not that those people would otherwise behave 
rationally *grin*) to harass on public ML, where they can be immediately named 
and shamed and called out on their crap.

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

Many things, some less severe, some more radical: give people stern warning, 
block mail/bugzilla accounts, ban from IRC, kick offenders out of events, 
recommend that they rather not participate in any future events, publicly name 
and shame them, ask your mobster acquaintances to deal with the issue (not 
entirely serious with that one :-)),... 

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. 

Given how diverse the community around TDF is by now, "common sense" is 
actually not so "common" anymore... or in other words, what I also told 
Michael yesterday, one person's joke is another person's micro-aggression

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.

It does indeed (make people feel more safe and believe that if they speak up, 
they will be helped instead of being ignored or silenced)

B.

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