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

Emanuil Tolev emanuil.tolev at gmail.com
Fri Oct 30 14:14:04 CET 2015

On 30 October 2015 at 13:01, Pieter Hintjens <ph at imatix.com> wrote:
> 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?

I would agree. We are going to react in such a situation anyway.

Think about it, if I'm volunteering at Infodesk or carrying a bunch of
supplies around campus and somebody comes with a complaint like that, I
*am* going to listen to them and use my best judgement. Thinking about what
to do in such a situation before the conference is IMO an extremely good
idea, as is thinking about what to do after. A "hotline" type of informal
organisation would be helpful to everybody who finds themselves involved in
such a situation.

The two issues of support and rules have been conflated unnecessarily. I'd
still support a "Be excellent to each other. Everybody is here to have a
good time." type of thing posted around because it's true anyway and if it
helps people feel better or not behave badly, so much the better. My main
interest is better support (to ALL, staff, volunteers, devrooms...) for
handling of complaints.


> -Pieter
> 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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