Code of Conduct
This document includes suggestions made for the code of conduct from the initial survey, the Fork meeting Code of Conduct (link), suggestions made in the discord #code-of-conduct channel, and subsequently additions made to the document directly. It may be that not all parts of this document will be included in the Code of Conduct. This is intended as more of a brainstorming document where all ideas may be proposed.
Proposals made should be treated with respect and not be ignored. Comment to propose an alternative wording, advocate for the removal of a line, or to otherwise discuss specific points. If you use the “Suggesting” functionality you can propose an edit to line and make it clear what the last version is.
Guiding principles of the CoC
Goals for the Code of Conduct
The Code of Conduct should
- Be Inclusive.
- Use welcoming and inclusive language.
- Protect vulnerable members and establish plans to deal with incidents.
- Emphasize the importance of kindness and empathy.
- Apply to community members, board members, and contributors.
- Provide a description of how members may be held accountable and how conflicts will be managed transparently.
- Allow people accusing someone of sexual assault or behaviour of a similarly serious nature to be heard fully, without prejudice, and as soon as possible.
- Provide constructive ways to deal with conflict in the community (meetings, polls...).
We strive to reduce barriers to access of our organisation, our software and our community, as well as to dismantle any ableist assumptions and practices in our process. We recognize that there is no one solution for universal accessibility, and strive to provide alternatives and choices whenever possible.
The stakeholders of this project pledge to institute and abide by a consistent, transparent and accountable human-centered resolution process with a low bar to entry that allows every stakeholder a voice on decisions to do with structural changes and features of both the project's organization and software protocol.
If you support an idea, you must contribute towards its implementation. If you reject an idea, you must contribute to an alternative solution to the problem it tries to solve.
CoC Outline Brainstorm
- Principles of positive participation and communication.
- Where does this CoC apply?
- Who does this CoC apply to?
- Prohibited behavior.
- When something happens - Give the chance to improve.
- Examples of how promote and teach respectful, effective communication.
- How to make a Code Of Conduct Report.
- Outline how CoC reports will be handled in a transparent and fair way.
- How CoC Reports are handled by moderators.
- Accountability for board members of moderators.
- Definitions of terms.
Code of Conduct
We strive to reduce barriers to access of our organisation, our software and our community, as well as to dismantle any ableist assumptions and practices in our process. We recognize that there is no one solution for universal accessibility, and strive to provide alternatives and choices whenever possible. The stakeholders of this project pledge to institute and abide by a consistent, transparent and accountable human-centered resolution process with a low bar to entry that allows every stakeholder a voice on decisions to do with structural changes and features of both the project's organization and software protocol. If you support an idea, we would like you to help implement it. If you reject an idea, we ask you to help find alternatives.
Positive participation and communication
Florence wants to encourage positive participation and communication, in order to make people feel welcome. Positive communication doesn't mean tone policing or that everyone always has to be positive about everything. It means that we want people to feel safe when bringing up their concerns, and create a space where people can have the difficult conversations. To attain this together, we want to:
- Maintain respectful and effective communication.
- Use welcoming and inclusive language.
- Show kindness and respect towards others.
- Encourage and promote the ideas of others.
- Be respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences.
- Assume good faith.
- Understand the challenges in online discussion.
- Give others the chance to improve.
- Keep criticism constructive.
- Take criticism constructively.
- Respect others’ privacy.
- Avoid sexualized language without consent of all parties involved.
- Don’t resort to personal attacks or condescension.
- No hate speech or similar.
- Promote and teach respectful, effective communication.
- Welcome contributions to the project in all the forms they take.
There is also going to be behaviour that will be more strictly prohibited.
- Do not participate in discrimination or comments promoting or reinforcing the existing systems of oppression of any groups or people based on gender, gender expression, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, religion, disability, mental illness, neurodivergence, personal appearance, physical appearance, body size, age, or class.
- Do not claim “reverse-isms,” e.g. “reverse racism”
- Do not participate in xenophobia or violent nationalism.
Harassment and privacy violation
- Do not contribute to behaviour intended to stalk, harass, or intimidate other users.
- Do not continue to engage with a user that has specifically asked you to stop, whether or not they have blocked or muted you. Do not ask others to engage with them on your behalf.
- Do not participate in aggregating, posting, and/or disseminating a person’s demographic, personal, or private data without express permission.
- Do not post or circulate disseminate a person’s posts, including screen captures or any other content, without express permission, unless to protect others from the bad behaviour displayed.
- Do not post or circulate libel, slander, or other known disinformation.
Harmful and/or adult content
- Do not distribute sexual or violent imagery without a Content Warning.
- Do not distribute any sexualized depictions of minors, in any way. (This includes drawings and 3D renders.)
Where does this CoC apply and who does this CoC apply to?
This code of conduct applies to all official public discussion forums related to this project, including but not limited to public chat, forums, and comments on code.
This code applies to any member of the community participating in discussions, contributing to the project, or otherwise discussing the project publicly.
It also would apply in the future main Florence instance. Members of the instance must agree to the CoC.
What if someone violates this Code of Conduct while outside of Florence instances, or in a space or medium to which the Code does not apply?
Use your judgement, but always feel free to let us know -- we’d rather know more than less. If the person who violates the Code of Conduct intersects with the Florence community in any way, we encourage you to make a report, even if the offending behavior itself was outside of our space.
When Something Happens
If you see behavior that is not aligned with this Code of Conduct, here’s how you can handle it.
Consider the situation and if it might be useful to screenshot messages in case the messages in question are deleted.
The person may not be completely aware of the Code of Conduct or specific items within it. If you consider it safe and you are comfortable in doing so you can start by letting them know that their actions weren’t appropriate and point them to specific parts of the Code of Conduct. One suggestion is to send a private message first, because this can avoid potentially embarrassing someone. Politely and patiently let the person know that their behavior isn’t in line with the Code of Conduct. Share the code of conduct with them and refer to specific parts which you think their behavior is not in line with. You may ask them to adjust their behavior or possibly edit or delete a message.
If you don’t feel safe or comfortable telling that person, or they refuse to change their behavior or delete text which is not in line with the CoC, it may be time to report the incident. See how to report an incident in the following section. You may also directly contact admins or moderators, especially if the behavior requires immediate attention
Mary calls John an ableist slur in a discussion chat because he made a mistake. Ana tells Mary via DM that she shouldn't do that because it reinforces the oppression of disabled or neurodivergent people, but Mary calls Ana the same slur, and says that she shouldn't take this so seriously. Then, Ana proceeds to report Mary to a moderator.
How to make a Code Of Conduct Report
If you would like to report a Code of Conduct violation contact our moderators via email at email@example.com. Regardless of outcome, they (or committee) will respond in private to first acknowledge your report within three days and later with an explanation of the actions taken within a time frame of 14 days.
Please include any relevant details, links, screenshots, context, or other information that may be used to better understand and resolve the situation.
Information to include in your report
- Contact information for the reporter including name, email and username.
- You may report incidents anonymously if you are uncomfortable providing your contact information. However, this may hamper the investigation.
- The names of all people directly involved in the incident, including relevant nicknames or pseudonyms.
- Include witness names if possible.
- Time and forum/location where the incident occurred. Be specific.
- Details about what happened. Note any supporting materials, such as message screencaps, IRC logs, or emails.
- Additional context for the situation, if appropriate.
- Whether or not the incident is ongoing.
- Any additional information that is relevant to investigating and resolving the incident.
Code of Conduct Reporting Guide
Most people will feel more comfortable reporting the code of conduct violation rather than directly confronting it, and we encourage those people to email firstname.lastname@example.org. All reports will be kept confidential. In some cases we may determine that a public statement will need to be made in order to inform the broader community. If this need arises, the identities of all parties involved will remain confidential unless those individuals instruct us otherwise.
If you believe anyone is in physical danger, please notify appropriate law enforcement first. If you are unsure what law enforcement agency is appropriate, please include this in your report and we will attempt to notify them.
We encourage you to report incidents, even if you are unsure whether the incident is a violation, or whether the space where it happened is covered by this Code of Conduct. We would much rather have a few extra reports where we decide to take no action, than miss a report of an actual violation. We do not look negatively on you if we find the incident is not a violation. Knowing about incidents that are not violations, or happen outside our spaces, can help us to improve the Code of Conduct and the processes surrounding it.
What happens after you file a report?
You will receive an email from the moderators acknowledging receipt. The current Working Group members are @1011X@mastodon.social, @email@example.com and @firstname.lastname@example.org.
The moderators will meet to review the incident and determine:
- What happened based on the perspective of all involved.
- Whether this event constitutes a code of conduct violation.
- Who the bad actor was.
- Whether this is an ongoing situation, or if there is a threat to anyone's physical safety.
We promise to acknowledge receipt within 72 hours (and will aim for a faster response). If this is determined to be an ongoing incident or a threat to physical safety, the working groups' immediate priority will be to protect everyone involved. This means we may delay an "official" response until we believe that the situation has ended and that everyone is physically safe.
Once the moderators have a complete account of the events, they will make a decision as to how to respond. Responses may include:
- Nothing (if we determine no violation occurred).
- A private gentle reminder of the code of conduct.
- A public gentle reminder of the code of conduct.
- A private reprimand from the working group to the individual(s) involved.
- A public reprimand.
- An imposed vacation (i.e. asking someone to "take a week off" from a space).
- A temporary (for a specified time) or indefinite ban from some or all Florence Work Spaces.
We'll respond within one week to the person who filed the report with either a resolution or an explanation of why the situation is not yet resolved.
Once we've determined our final action, we'll contact the original reporter to let them know what action (if any) we'll be taking. We'll take into account feedback from the reporter on the appropriateness of our response, but we don't guarantee we'll act on it.
Ana reports Mary. She explains the situation and gives the links and screenshots as proof to the moderator. The moderator examines the case and decides to give Mary a warning. Mary is told this and she will no longer be able to participate if she does that again. Ana is notified of the actions taken by the moderator.
What if your report concerns a possible violation by a moderator?
The entire code of conduct working group will see all incident reports sent to email@example.com. Anyone directly involved in the incident will be immediately recused and will not participate in any discussions of the incident or its resolution.
- If you are uncomfortable submitting a report that will be seen by a person involved in the incident, you can instead send the report directly to the other moderators for resolution.
How CoC Reports are handled by moderators
When a Code of Conduct report is made, moderators should take the issue seriously. If it’s not possible to deal with the report immediately, moderators should send a response saying that the report was received and is being looked into.
Moderators will take all reports seriously and prioritize the well-being and comfort of the person making the report recipients of the violation over the comfort of the violator.
As soon as available, a moderator will join, identify themselves, and take further action.
You should offer people the kind of support they ask for. If you aren't sure what you're offering will be helpful, ask if that type of thing would be useful.
Accountability for board members and moderators
Board members, moderators, and other community members who contributed to running this project will be held to the same code of conduct. Reports against those in positions of power will be taken seriously and handled with respect, prioritizing the safety and well-being of anyone who makes such a report.
Definition of Terms
We acknowledge that Systemic (structural) oppression works on a society-wide level, enacted by laws and policies, institutions, and culture. It is reflected in and reinforced by individuals’ discriminatory beliefs and actions. As such, we expect people’s commitment to ending oppression to extend to their own behaviour.
- Ableism: Discrimination against disabled, ill, and/or neurodivergent people.
- Disability: A physical or mental condition that limits a person's abilities to interact with their environment.
- Gender: Social construct tied to the perception of social and cultural roles. The most common are male and female.
- Gender expression: Includes personal behavior, mannerisms, interests, and appearance associated with gender in a particular cultural context.
- Harassment: Behaviour towards a person that causes mental or emotional suffering, which includes repeated unwanted contacts without a reasonable purpose, insults, threats, touching, or offensive language.
- Hate speech (includes Holocaust denial or Nazi symbolism): Speech that oppresses, dehumanizes, and endangers marginalized people or anyone perceived to have a particular marginalization.
- Homophobia: Discrimination against gay people and people who are thought to be gay, incl. the use of homophobic terms where they cause harm.
- Inclusivity: Attitude that recognises and considers people's differences in order to create a welcoming environment without requiring minority assimilation to the majority.
- Marginalization: A social phenomenon by which a minority or sub-group is excluded, and their needs or desires ignored.
- Mental illness: Behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning.
- Microaggressions: brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioural, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative prejudicial slights and insults toward any group, particularly culturally marginalized groups.
- Neurodivergence: Behavioral or mental pattern that doesn't cause distress but affects the way the person interacts with the environment.
- Race: Social construct tied to phenotypical and social characteristics of a group of people.
- Racism: Discrimination against people of color, including but not limited to microaggressions, tone policing and slurs.
- Reverse-isms (like “reverse racism”): Claims by people privileged on an axis that they are somehow oppressed by people marginalized on the same axis.
- Sexism: Discrimination against women and non-binary people. Including derogatory language about women or people perceived as women.
- Sexual orientation: The pattern of attraction to 0 or more genders.
- Transphobia: Discrimination against trans people. This includes arguing someone’s gender, policing their presentation, and malicious misgendering.
- Tone Policing: Attempts to dismiss marginalized people's perspectives by claiming their tone, rather than the content, is unappealing.
Original Source Links
Maloki’s CoC Working document https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m2c93jLqjnXpcNRwQIG_EqWVwdsDIJWBzSvA8ahLUOw/edit
Reference Codes of Conduct
- https://docs.google.com/document/d/1V2-YNCRW-Ya2tFzapwLMPMbqWAJZNw4qE40cIWqZti8/edit# (NOVA DSA Socialist Meetings: Participation Guide) This ones nice because it's specifically designed for meetings run with a similar format to ours, though theirs take place offline.