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

Pieter Hintjens ph at imatix.com
Fri Oct 30 15:03:12 CET 2015

I'd like to add one more thought to this discussion, which for me at
least is helpful and educational.

A problem I see with the traditional CoC approach is that it suggests
that the threat to conference participants comes mainly from other

This may be true in many events. In FOSDEM I think it's a false
assumption (which is perhaps why it annoys people).

If we are going to build infrastructure to help attendees who feel
they are in trouble, then we should perhaps look at the wider picture.

We have people coming from around the world to visit FOSDEM. They get
into trouble with hotel staff, with taxis, with thieves, with
strangers on the street who try to con them, and so on.

I think some level of emergency hotline would be good. It doesn't need
to be extensive at first, just a multilingual contact point to which
we can add knowledge and experience over time.

I'd volunteer except on Saturday, as I'm running a devroom and then
there will be beer.

Happy to take Friday evening/night though, also Sunday if that helps.


On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 2:41 PM, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> wrote:
> On 30/10/15 14:10, Andreia Gaita wrote:
>> On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 1:47 PM, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro
>> <mailto:daniel at pocock.pro>> wrote:
>>     On 30/10/15 13:06, Andreia Gaita wrote:
>>     > 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.
>> Why would I be empathetic towards people that are being sarcastic and
>> dismissive of something that has been clearly shown to be important
>> through countless examples and conversations over the years? Why am I
>> the one required to be empathetic towards people who apparently don't
>> think that this is important because it doesn't happen to them?
> Because you obviously care about this and that is the effort that
> leaders sometimes have to make when they want to change something.
> Also, because it will show how you would negotiate with people in a
> real-life conflict situation, listening to both sides and gaining their
> trust, no matter how you feel about it personally.
> At no point was I trying to defend any of the more ridiculous things
> that have been said in this discussion.  It is not about showing empathy
> with such comments but looking behind them to try and work out how to
> reach the people who made them.
> Regards,
> Daniel
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