[Members] NEW: XEP-0458 (Community Code of Conduct)

Dave Cridland dave at cridland.net
Fri Jun 25 16:11:06 UTC 2021


On Mon, 14 Jun 2021 at 11:03, Dave Cridland <dave at cridland.net> wrote:

>
>
> On Fri, 11 Jun 2021 at 13:51, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> On 11/06/2021 13:16, Dave Cridland wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > On Thu, 10 Jun 2021 at 19:31, Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro
>> > <mailto:daniel at pocock.pro>> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >     On 10/06/2021 19:57, Jonas Schäfer (XSF Editor) wrote:
>> >     > Version 0.1.0 of XEP-0458 (Community Code of Conduct) has been
>> >     > released.
>> >     >
>> >
>> >
>> >     I notice that a lot of professional organizations have a Code of
>> Ethics
>> >
>> >     A Code of Ethics tries to establish a balance between the rights of
>> the
>> >     member and the rights of the organization
>> >
>> >     In comparison, many Codes of Conduct simply end up creating Kangaroo
>> >     courts.
>> >
>> >
>> > I'm not sure that's a correct characterization - some organisations have
>> > both a code of ethics and a code of conduct, but in researching these
>> > things, the general advice seems to be to get a code of conduct in place
>>
>> General advice?  Or pressure from bigger organizations funded by Google?
>>
>> Many small organizations have come under pressure or influence to have a
>> CoC when they request a booth at an event or a speaker requests travel
>> funding.  If the XSF received such pressure or influence it would be
>> useful to disclose that.
>>
>>
> No, no, and no.
>
> To clarify:
>
> By "General Advice" I mean advice published generically by groups
> promoting women in tech, LBGQT groups, and so on, as opposed to "Specific
> Advice" given to the XSF - I'm not aware of any of the latter and nor did I
> seek any.
>
> A lot of this general advice is conflicting - I've tried to resolve the
> conflicts as best as I can in the text I've written and would greatly
> appreciate feedback on it.
>
> The Board did (as noted in minutes), discuss CoCs for some time before I
> started writing, including discussing some of this general advice.
>
> We have had no pressure from any organisations I'm aware of; and had we
> received any I would certainly ensure this was known. We have had explicit
> comments from individuals on the fact we do not have a Code of Conduct in
> some areas, as Matt Wild notes.
>
>
>> In practice, it is very murky
>>
>> After people elected me as Fellowship representative in FSFE, I have
>> publicly commented on misuse of the Code of the Conduct there.  Various
>> people showed me messages they received from Community Teams.  In each
>> case, the person was afraid to speak or seek help.
>>
>> No matter how the accusations are written, it often creates bad feelings
>> for the recipient.  Some people admitted leaving organizations rather
>> than appealing.  When they receive any kind of message from somebody
>> with a uniform and badge, they just want it to go away.
>>
>> Moreover, as we are all remote, there is a tendency to write down too
>> many things in a dispute.  In an office environment, if there is some
>> minor dispute, people usually have a meeting and resolve the problem
>> verbally.  When you make written records of a problem, it makes the
>> problem appear bigger and it creates gossip culture.
>>
>> If you are unaware of the recipient's environment and somebody sends
>> them a written reprimand it can be particularly harmful.  Consider all
>> those people with periods of depression (10% of the population will have
>> that at least once) or reprimanding somebody in the week that they lost
>> a family member.  These are things that actually happen in some
>> organizations now.
>>
>> These written reprimands are often delivered at bad times: sometimes the
>> volunteer is on holiday or it is evening in their timezone.  It is not
>> clear if that is always deliberate.  Nonetheless, if a Conduct Team
>> interrupts somebody's rest then there is every risk that their future
>> responses and interactions will reflect that intrusion.  The strategy is
>> therefore counterproductive.
>>
>> When Debian's men-with-a-badge sent the rape accusations to Jacob
>> Appelbaum they demanded a response in 48 hours.  Nobody can respond to a
>> rape case that quickly.  He didn't answer them so they went to the press
>> and started doxing him.  You may think this would never happen in XSF
>> but I suggest watching this move, The Experiment, there are various
>> other re-makes of the same movie about the real Stanford Prison
>> Experiment:
>>
>> https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0250258/
>>
>> In some cases and in some countries, a message sent by the Conduct Team
>> could itself be classified as an act of harassment.  This is a situation
>> to avoid and for good reason.
>>
>>
> It may surprise you, but I'm broadly in agreement with you (though I would
> explicitly not comment on specific cases of which I am unaware of the
> details).
>
> I note some of your issues in the XEP itself, as I hope you saw, but I'm
> happy to make more explicit that, in particular:
>
> * Involving the Conduct Team should be routine, and not reserved for
> serious issues.
> * Equally, the Conduct Team need not do anything overt, and probably
> shouldn't for the vast majority of cases. Sanctions, formal Actions, and
> public discussion ought to be anything but routine.
> * Exclusion and harassment by the Conduct Team are indeed exclusion and
> harassment, and the Code of Conduct applies to the Conduct Team and Board
> as much as, if not more so, than anyone else.
>

Tried to make this more explicit in the update.

>
>
>> >
>> > I think both of these are, indeed, positive ways to improve how people
>> > interact with each other - but I don't see why you'd want to do those
>> > instead of a code of conduct.
>>
>> The point is this: if you have a Code of Conduct but you don't have
>> anything else then:
>>
>> a) the community standards may not really change much
>>
>> b) you have some punishments that you didn't have before
>>
>> If you invest in positive efforts then:
>>
>> a) the community standards /do/ improve
>>
>> b) you are /less likely/ to have punishments
>>
>>
> I appreciate your point but introducing a Code of Conduct is intended to
> be a positive effort.
>
> Furthermore, the Conduct Team is a first step in measuring "community
> standards", and without that there is little possibility of saying whether
> standards change much, improve, or get worse.
>
> Also, we should make clear that the intent of Sanctions and Actions is not
> punishment, retribution, or revenge. It is to maximise inclusion and ensure
> that the maximum number of people feel comfortable participating in our
> community.
>
>
And that.


> Finally, you are correct in your assertion that creating a CoC is not the
> end of the process, but the beginning.
>
>
>> Given that the XSF and XMPP is fundamentally about communication (from a
>> technology perspective), I would suggest that this is a community that
>> could seek to take a step back and look at the big picture.
>> Understanding the ways that people communicate and behave can help
>> improve things in both the technology and organizational domain.  It is
>> an opportunity for XSF to show significant leadership by putting the CoC
>> on hold and doing a wide-ranging examination of online communities,
>> remote working issues, membership rights and human rights as they all
>> intersect with the CoC.
>>
>
> I'm not sure that I disagree with this, except that I strongly feel that
> not putting in place a Code of Conduct is not a sign of good leadership and
> putting one in place does not in any way preclude putting effort as a
> community into broadening our efforts in the ways you suggest.
>
> Dave.
>
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