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

Jens Finkhäuser jens at unwesen.de
Fri Oct 30 14:47:10 CET 2015

On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 01:50:37PM +0100, Pieter Hintjens wrote:
> I think the support for victims of abuse is far more important than
> writing down rules.
  Completely agreed. There's only one counter argument, and that is
that this kind of thing is a leadership problem.

explains it quite well, though the title states "it's a men's issue".
While true, the IMHO most interesting part is towards the end, where
Katz argues that in any organizations, effective leadership defines
community behaviour, and in the case of sexism, effectively decides
how it's treated.

  For a conference, without any doubt, the "leadership" is the
organization team and the speakers. If they - merely by appearing next
to it - endorse a written code of conduct, that sets a tone for the

  As such I'd argue that it's vital a) a code of conduct exist, and b)
it's communicated and endorsed by the FOSDEM organizers.

  *Beyond that* it may not have much tangible benefit, and all other
truly worthwhile effort should go towards supporting victims, just as
you say. I'd just not want to see the written code of conduct fall by
the wayside because it's regarded as largely decorative.

  It's not. It's the thing anyone can point to when they say "you behave
in a way the community does not tolerate".

  FWIW, I realize I may be replying to this email, but it's not you,
Pieter, that I argue with. It's just an argument why a code of conduct
is necessary, even if it's "just some text".

  I hadn't thought of volunteering before, truth be told I wasn't sure
I'd attend the next FOSDEM. But if this thing should fail due to lack
of volunteers, I'd feel terrible. So if you need someone to help out
with responding to incidents, count me in.


1.21 Jiggabytes of memory ought to be enough for anybody.
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