Hi everybody, I was editing our participation guide, and there’s a section explaining that we may ban people from the site if they behave badly, so I wanted to link to our Code of Conduct, and I realised… we don’t have one!
At the moment our participation guide basically just says 'play nice, and read this wikipedia page on etiquette.'
But I don’t think it’s enough - we need to have clear guidelines, and a course of action for when things go wrong.
This is something I think we need to sort out before OSCEdays 2016.
A CoC is like a bike lane - it doesn’t stop bad behaviour from happening, but it shows the expectations and standards of a community, and makes it clear to everybody when someone crosses a line - even regarding offences which may otherwise be hard to call people out on - ‘everyday sexism’ etc. If there’s a CoC, it’s easier for other community members to either step in directly and say ‘hey, that’s not on’, or go to the right person who will take responsibility for dealing with the situation.
The tricky part for us as a distributed event is of course enforcing a CoC. What if people come along to a local event and have bad experiences, and the CoC is not followed - harassment or other bad behaviour is not dealt with, problems are not taken seriously, etc?
So my suggestion would be a template for following and enforcing a Code of Conduct at local events. To develop a template Code of Conduct we can use these guidelines set up by the Ada Initiative.
We can’t be certain it will be enacted perfectly everywhere, but we can make it as easy as possible for local teams to follow our lead:
- provide a template CoC which they can use ‘out-of-the-box’ if they want
- ask local organizers to have a CoC discussion with participants either before or at the start of their event (it’s ok if this is brief)
- ask local organizers directly to prominently link to CoC on their local event page/forum category, and name at least one person who is the local contact person for issues regarding the CoC.
- provide a list of local events on our main website which shows which local events have a CoC and a contact person, and which do not (yet)