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

Pieter Hintjens ph at imatix.com
Fri Oct 30 14:01:03 CET 2015

Please stop the personal comments.

We can agree that there have been issues, and that there is the wider
perception of FOSDEM as an unsafe space. Whether this perception is
accurate or not is irrelevant.

To put the responsibility of this onto the organizers is not a
coherent demand. This is a free event run by volunteers who are by
definition overloaded. To repeat this demand at a higher volume does
not make it more coherent.

Do we agree also that rules + enforcement are a weak to implausible
solution? Abusive people do not care about rules. They enjoy breaking
them. There is no gatekeeper at FOSDEM, no security guards. And this
is not going to happen.

Let's assume there will be incidents. Let's assume people will get
drunk, jealous, argumentative, etc. Let's assume the police will be
called at least once a year.

Do we agree that support and intervention during/after incidents is a
plausible solution? That we can make a hotline, and staff it, and have
a small team with training and experience to deal with trouble, defuse
it, and if absolutely necessary, take it to the police?


On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 1:47 PM, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> wrote:
> On 30/10/15 13:06, Andreia Gaita wrote:
>> Wow, I can't believe I just read this. I was already extremely
>> disappointed by the way this thread was going, but this is some really
>> out there BS.
>> It's 2015, there have been countless reports, blog posts, discussions
>> for *years* about the problems that happen in tech conferences and
>> events. For years we've all been working towards making the tech
>> industry more inclusive and diverse, promoting dialog and creating safe
>> spaces for everyone. This includes codes of conduct both online and
>> offline, because they are an extremely important piece in making sure
>> everyone is welcome and safe and allowed to practice that freedom that
>> you just boasted so dearly about.
>> As a member of the majority, you face no obstacles in that regard, so
>> you walk around with blinders about how everyone else feels when they're
>> in a tech environment. I assume this is why you just wrote what you
>> wrote, and why most other people in this thread are also writing all
>> this "just be nice to each other" BS. Ignorance is bliss.
>> This is not a question of "Why". It's a question of "When". If you're
>> asking why, especially in shocked, appaled or sarcastic tones, you
>> seriously should take it upon yourselves to rethink your attitude
>> towards other people and maybe realize that being an unempathetic
>> asshole might work well when you're chugging beers with your mates, but
>> doesn't really help towards making the tech environment a place where
>> everybody can feel safe and supported.
>> You want to know why a code of conduct is needed? Because of you, that's
>> why.
> You have written about people being unempathetic but I feel this
> conclusion fails to show empathy with the people you are trying to
> convince.  You literally conclude with an "us-and-them" posture.
> Many people do agree and acknowledge that there are some problems and
> would probably like to find some improvement, it is just a question of
> how to go about it.  Many of the concerns raised (e.g. who is going to
> enforce the code) are practical questions that do need to be answered,
> volunteers already do a lot.
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