[FOSDEM] It's time for a Code of Conduct

Emanuil Tolev emanuil.tolev at gmail.com
Fri Oct 30 13:20:54 CET 2015

As I didn't include it at the end, after reading that account of 2015, I'm
+1 on working on one at least. We'll see if we can come up with something
good for our conf, it might take some time.

After reading it, I can second
http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Anti-harassment_policy_resources as an
impartial and a well-distilled source of information. A lot of time and
experience seems to have gone into that page.

On 30 October 2015 at 11:58, Emanuil Tolev <emanuil.tolev at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 30 October 2015 at 10:38, Imifos <imifos at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I'm a bit shocked by the pattern here… All resistance against the idea of
>> a Code of Conduct is formulated by mockery, disrespect and/or sarcasm.
> FOSDEM is a unique conference in its efficiency and the amount of
> conversations that it enables with only 40-70 people (incl. volunteers).
> This is only possible because it's pretty self-organising, and I think
> people are grossly overestimating the tiny amount of control that staff /
> volunteers have. If you see something bad, call out the person doing it. If
> you see something criminal, call the police and tell staff. There is
> nothing more than that that staff and volunteers can do (we can't ban
> anyone!), so you have the same powers!
> However... I find the statement in
> http://skade.me/blog/2015/fosdem-2015.html that "FOSDEM Is an Unsafe
> Space" disturbing. I had written a longer email for a -1 as it would IMO
> create false expectations (that volunteers and staff have power to deal
> with these incidents where they don't). I still think that's true, but I
> also think we should try to do something about it, I do want us to be able
> to deal with this.
> If some volunteers or staff members have had a lot of experience
> organising conferences and has ideally dealt with such an issue first-hand,
> their experience should be distilled into some very brief and clear
> guidance. If we want to call this Code of Conduct, why not? This can then
> be disseminated to staff, volunteers, speakers, devroom organisers and
> attendees (via the site and brochures). I understand it's going to be
> ineffective in the last group, but that's no excuse not to do it for the
> first 4. I think it will have a positive effect there by preparing people
> to *deal* with such situations.
> We're all focussing on using a Code for preventing bad behaviour in this
> email thread and reacting to the perceived slight of freedom. What about
> how to deal with such behaviour? I'd find talking, discussing, keeping this
> at the front of your mind as you volunteer, to be a lot more valuable than
> "rules not to break", and that stuff is also part of typical good Code. You
> may say "*I* know what to do" but others may well find it useful.
> We've got to think carefully about how such a situation would play out in
> practice with the busy staff and volunteers though. If we tell people "this
> is how you report a problem" and then drop the ball completely when it
> happens because we're overloaded, that's almost worse than not having a
> Code in the first place. I can say that I would personally be happy to stop
> serving people at the Infodesk or drop out of the 2-3 strong moderating
> team in a room for a bit if somebody reports excessive behaviour to me.
> Greetings,
> Emanuil
>> On 30 October 2015 at 11:25, Christophe Vandeplas <
>> christophe at vandeplas.com> wrote:
>>> It's funny how some subjects become a repeatable story a few months
>>> before FOSDEM  .
>>> I've spend many years into organising FOSDEM, and I must say that
>>> during this time, I've have learned very interesting things about
>>> human behavior.
>>> In the end from what I learned, (but then again I'm not organiser
>>> anymore), the best thing will probably be to print the whole Belgian
>>> legislation into the FOSDEM Brochure.  Fortunately we can exclude the
>>> European one, as all EU laws need to be transcribed into local law as
>>> I understood.
>>> This Code is definitely more complete than an ad-hoc Code of Conduct
>>> written by geeks that are far away from the reality and don't have the
>>> experience.
>>> Kind regards
>>> Christophe
>>> PS: if the irony is unclear: Let's also publish a FOSDEM driving-rules
>>> for the conference ground. I guess that this will definitely clear
>>> things out in addition to the Belgian driving rules....
>>> On 29 October 2015 at 23:03, Tom Marble <tmarble at info9.net> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > FOSDEM Organizers:
>>> >
>>> > FOSDEM is a fantastic conference and the only thing I can
>>> > think of that would make it better is publishing a Code of Conduct:
>>> >
>>> > http://www.sarahmei.com/blog/2015/02/01/the-fosdem-conundrum/
>>> >
>>> > https://twitter.com/fosdem/status/561885201383821312
>>> >
>>> > Will the FOSDEM 2016 edition have a CoC?
>>> >
>>> > --Tom
>>> >
>>> > _______________________________________________
>>> > FOSDEM mailing list
>>> > FOSDEM at lists.fosdem.org
>>> > https://lists.fosdem.org/listinfo/fosdem
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> FOSDEM mailing list
>>> FOSDEM at lists.fosdem.org
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>> _______________________________________________
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