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New FreeBSD Code of Conduct (freebsd.org)
77 points by doppp on Feb 18, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 137 comments



I wonder why tech communities need their CoC...

I'm a member of a local HAM radio group and we don't have any CoC and we don't have any issues at all. The male/female makeup is about 70/30 and there are people of various political/religious viewpoints, but I haven't once seen any issues over these differences. I've seen leftists amicably talk and work with conservatives because when we meet as a group it is all about HAM radio, nothing else. I'm not sure why tech communities have all these problems to be honest...it seems like there are groups that purposefully want to stir up discord because they make money (get funding) if there are issues...


Your local HAM radio group isn't being infiltrated by social justice activists. Tech orgs don't need a CoC and have functioned mostly fine since the beginning without them. CoCs are pure entryism (the most famous example being Opalgate).

Consider this line from the CoC:

>Comments that reinforce systemic oppression related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neurodiversity, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.

Why even include the line 'reinforce systemic oppression' ? I guarantee that the CoC won't be enforced against someone saying stuff like "Kill all men" or "white men are garbage". They're a tool for expelling anyone who doesn't kowtow to social justice ideology.

One of the most widely used CoCs - Open Code of Conduct -specifically has a section about not accepting complaints regarding ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’


What do you think of the FIOL Code of Professionalism [1]? To me it seems very fair. Note: This COC has come a long way in the past year or so since Matthew Garrett criticized it for being an abuser's fantasy.

[1]: https://github.com/fantasylandinst/fcop/blob/master/CODE_OF_...


I assume you have some standards of behavior, though, right? If a member of your group, say, punched another member, you’d probably kick him out, right?

If so: you have a code of conduct, you just don’t have a _written_ code of conduct. You’re relying on the relative homogeneity and shared context of the group to know and follow the unwritten rules.

This tends to work ok for smaller more homogenous groups with shared social values. But unwritten rules fail for people on the margins, and falls apart at scale.


> But unwritten rules fail for people on the margins, and falls apart at scale.

How ever did society survive before written CoC's?


Badly. I for one am glad Bronze Age people had the brilliant idea to write down their laws, as I'm glad Romans and Byzantines decided to spread their legal system around.


I suspect we're the first to attempt to codify rude behavior.


> I suspect we're the first to attempt to codify rude behavior.

Many private groups have rules on good and bad behavior. There's simply nothing new about it.


I never heard of any before about 20 years ago when speech codes started appearing on campuses. I've been going to conferences for 40 years, and the first time I had to sign a CoC for one was last year.

It was simply if you behaved badly, you were asked to leave. Nobody needed a definition of rude behavior.


That's an interesting observation: a shift towards using a law-code paradigm for regulating personal social behavior, from an informal consensus-based one.

I suspect that has something to do with the fact that law codes are legislated by a select body, which is more susceptible to influence than an informal consensus.


I think that is a fair point. Our group is relatively homogeneous in our interest in HAM radio (and there aren't that many of us), so when we find others that share the same interest, perhaps we're more likely to overlook any political/religious/racial differences...


Just FYI, "ham" isn't an acronym and shouldn't be capitalized. It comes from the pejorative "ham-fisted", which professional telegraph operators used to describe radio amateurs back when the only option was morse code. (Source: I have a general license, like trivia, and am a pedant for better or worse.)


Perhaps Codes of Conduct are imagined as a solution by people who fundamentally have sucktastic social skills. They think if you make a rule, it will fix it, without them needing to genuinely develop social skills.


local HAM radio group.

Perhaps being local creates more social cohesion.

I've seen plenty of these issues in online ham groups, including political and religious sniping.


CoCs are useful for coordination among large, non-local, diverse communities.

Have you considered that instead of "purposefully want[ing] to stir up discord" for funding the rules are meant to reduce the incidence of actual harassment/abuse? Or to promote inclusivity?

How does an articulation of values "stir up discord?" I can point you to numerous examples of harassment and inequity in the tech community. Can you point me to an example of "discord" brought about by better rules of conduct? Or to this funding that you mention?


> "Can you point me to an example of "discord" brought about by better rules of conduct? Or to this funding that you mention?"

Only my wife's anecdotal experience...she was a full-time software developer and the companies she worked for routinely tried to use her as an example in their "we support women in tech" PR. She hated it and said it felt degrading. Also, there were various "women in tech" groups that reached out to her, based on some of her open source work, for conference speaking engagements/panels/writing/etc, and they were pushy about it. When she was showing the groups to me, they were all operating off of donations from various Fortune 500 companies. The "discord" is that a lot of these "women in tech" groups, advocated in some cases by women who aren't even doing anything tech related, castigated my wife, on two various instances, for not wanting to participate. My wife didn't want to be a pawn for some corporate PR or for some "women in tech" group...she just wanted to engineer things in peace.


That's a great example. Someone (like your wife) may be bothered by being contacted by pushy activist groups and then even castigated for not participating. We weigh that against systematic income inequality and sexual harassment along gender lines.

It seems like that minor inconvenience is worth the net benefit to the community, from which your wife benefits (for example, by being legally protected against sexual discrimination in the workplace).


> "It seems like that minor inconvenience is worth the net benefit to the community, from which your wife benefits"

You'd be hard pressed winning her over with those arguments in all honesty

> "...for example, by being legally protected against sexual discrimination in the workplace"

Sexual discrimination in the workplace protections aren't the result of the work done by groups previously mentioned...


Still, those pushy activists should see the GP's wife as a person with her own interests, priorities, and desire to be left alone, not just a token [insert group identity here]. A generalized version of what I just said might even make a good item in a CoC.


I don't think this would need to be codified...There seems to be too much of that going already


No, that minor inconvenience is absolutely not worth whatever benefits you imagine.


> Comments that reinforce systemic oppression related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neurodiversity, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.

Harassment should be harassment, no? Does it matter if the perpetrator is "reinforcing systemic oppression" or just being obnoxious? Why put this clause in here? Will it be enforced when someone says "kill all men" or "apply for our speaking position if you're not a white male"?

This CoC seems sharply political, which is sad because something like FreeBSD should more or less be totally free of politics.


When "killing all men" type of behavior becomes problematic you will have a point. The problem has been that some people don't understand what "being obnoxious" is and need it spelled out for them. Because men have not been historically a target of oppression, the explanation now has the language that it does, using actual examples / lines of harassment.


And this is what I mean by dragging politics into an open source project where it doesn't belong.

> When "killing all men" type of behavior becomes problematic you will have a point.

Every time someone "ironically" tweets this, it's a problem. I've yet to see a CoC used effectively to stop it.


Consider that from your point of view the open source project is free from politics and the anti-harassment policy is "dragging politics into it." But from the point of view of someone who has experienced harassment, politics were indeed an issue. The inconvenience to you is minor. You now have to spend an extra moment to consider another point of view. The inconvenience to your aggrieved peer was major. They were actually harassed. The benefit to them outweighs your annoyance.


Anyone can be harassed, white males included. There is a very legitimate fear of speaking out against extreme left wing political statements in the tech industry. This CoC is yet another weapon to use against people who don't agree in inherent white male privilege (a concept that is most definitely political).

The politically neutral move would be to not have a CoC or have one that excludes all demographic white/blacklisting.


>You now have to spend an extra moment to consider another point of view.

Stop right here to consider every other possible point of view.

>Because men have not been historically a target of oppression

In some cultures it's men who were hunted for witchcraft and men were burnt alive or drawn. You just offended them. Also in our culture men go to war, men die and fight wars. That's pretty quite oppressing that politicians have no problem sacrificing men. Consider that point of view.


> Comments that reinforce systemic oppression related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neurodiversity, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.

So, there's a lot of "politicking" going on back and forth over this, but I'd like to suggest a specific problem: by attempting to formalize what used to be intuition, you're opening the door for people to follow up bad behavior with legal arguments that it was actually allowed. For example, someone could say something that was obviously meant against a group, and then defend it by pointing to specific wording in the CoC. ("But can you prove the oppression was systemic? Says the person who is obviously acting maliciously but is not obviously part of a system.")


I think a lot of potential technicalities like that are handled pretty well by this paragraph at the start:

> This document is not an exhaustive list of things that you should not do. Rather, consider it a guide to make it easier to enrich all of us and the technical communities in which we participate.


That's vague and hand wavey. Their definitions are ripe for abuse and I'm sure someone will create e.g. an app for female rape victims and argue that excluding male rape victims is fine because "you can't be sexist against men."


By that reasoning, we should never have rules, because any rule will create the possibility of people trying to lawyer out of the rules.


The cost of rules is a court system and the lawyers to argue in it. In the end, introducing rules can lead to more time spent on strife than was spent before the rules, because of this overhead.

If you try to avoid this by interpreting the rules according to the present and changing intuitions of the project leaders, then you haven't really changed much from before.


Doesn't sound bad. Most communities survived 20+ years, and even thrived, without any such rules.


A group thriving does not mean it didn't do damage to (former) members or others while doing so, and neither should "but look at what we achieved!" be a good excuse for it. (of course, groups also can have written rules and still behave badly, rules do not automatically solve these problems)


On the other hand, a group having a list doesn't mean it wont do damage to members or others while having one. So there's that.


Yes, that's what the last part of my comment said.


Your example is not a 'legal argument', nor is the CoC a law. Lots of organizations have rules that don't have the formality or rigor of laws and they have little trouble interpreting them, applying them and enforcing them in letter and spirit. It's pretty much a non-problem.


Possibly. But the benefits outweigh the marginal scenario you are envisioning. I again return to the example of HN, which has higher standards of conversation than many other boards, due in part to strong moderating guidelines: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

To draw a parallel, do you think HN would be more successful if it relied on "intuition" for norms of discussion?


The benefits of that kind of CoC remain to be proven. Meanwhile, I note that HN's moderating guidelines do not mention sex, gender, religion, food choices, or most of what FreeBSD's new CoC describes.

HN's moderating guidelines are about content whereas FreeBSD's new Code of Conduct codifies human behaviour, as the name would imply. They are different things.


Most of the "human behavior" described in the FreeBSD Code of Conduct is speech.


To your first point: The detriments of that kind of COC remain to be proven as well. But why even bring this up? Even a perceived benefit to a marginalized group is worth it. Do we imagine the status quo as somehow harmed by stronger anti-harassment policies? There are numerous examples of sexual harassment online and in person. The potential chilling effects of stronger guidelines have to be weighed against the actual chilling effects (trauma, non-participation) of those affected.

To your second point: The BSD guidelines address content ("comments") and physical meetings, which I assume apply to conferences and hackathons. I don't see the distinction you are making between "content" and "human behavior," as content is human behavior online. There is good research on moderated communities. Anecdotally, I am talking to you here and not on Reddit because of stronger guidelines (and the resulting, to my mind, higher quality of discussion).


>I am talking to you here and not on Reddit because of stronger guidelines (and the resulting, to my mind, higher quality of discussion).

That's a really interesting statement - I think that it has more to do with the actual people in the community (including the individual people moderating) than the guidelines they wrote. I think that if you took the HN guidelines and told a major subreddit's team to implement them, the discussion there wouldn't get any better. Why? Because it's all dependent on the judgment of the community and the moderators, and you either have that resource (and are already using it) or you don't.


I note that HN's moderating guidelines do not mention sex, gender, religion, food choices, or most of what FreeBSD's new CoC describes.

You might also note that HN regularly fills up with pages upon pages of sexist (more rarely, racist) tripe. Which might be ok for HN but the people who participate in the FreeBSD project have decided it's not ok for their thing.


yeah, ive been wondering if it was just me or if comments were starting to seem more reactionary?


I guess that would mean yes...


Not the original commenter, but I don't believe that was the point (to suggest abolishing rules in favor of intuition or to compare the pros & cons of the two). I read it as a simple observation that codifying things, writing them down, is hard, especially that which is (debatably) "known intuitively." And I think anyone can affirm this who has ever tried to write a law, a computer program based on business rules and tribal knowledge, or this selfsame FreeBSD code of conduct. It's surprisingly hard to describe and define things that previously fell under "we know it when we see it." That's why if a contractor gets hired to build a building the contract is 20 pages but the specs are 2,000 pages. For every word that says "build a building," there are 6 that are there strictly to remove wiggle-room.


> I again return to the example of HN, which has higher standards of conversation than many other boards

Do you truly think so?

I like it here well enough, don't get me wrong. But I don't know that replacing flame wars with passive aggressiveness - which is essentially what HNs moderation does - is a great tradeoff.


I've always read that whitelisting is more preferable to blacklisting. So wouldn't a rule like "FreeBSD projects' communication media are strictly restricted to technical and philosophical discussions related to the projects themselves, and all use of language for branding and naming must be politically and socially neutral and not-offensive" would be actually better than a list of what not to do? The law has lots of lists, and quite often we find out that those lists were a bit too short, and things like loopholes happen.


If more and more groups insist on forcing their ideological agenda down the throats of contributors and users maybe it's time to start hacking on projects that don't feel the need to bring politics into software.


This is the exact opposite: It's rules for how to work on code without bringing personal crap into it. Do you want a date? Do you think there is something wrong with trans people? Do you have thoughts on race relations? Nobody cares, check that baggage at the door.


As far as I can see, the real problem here is that some forms of baggage are still allowed (an inevitable problem with any finite list of rules), meaning that you will end up with baggage imbalances and endless debate over which baggages are permissable self-expression and which ones are unacceptable.


It is not a finite list of rules. It is an explanation of the values (eg, respecting diversity) and a list of examples of things that are obviously prohibited. It is explicitly "not an exhaustive list of things that you should not do", and although it does list some _examples_ of things that are prohibited - it provides examples that are "not limited to" the ones provided.

This clearly reduces the ambiguity in the community. And even if some ambiguity does remain - which, as you point out, is inevitable - having examples of obviously impermissible behavior and a framework for conflict resolution is requisite for a community.


> It's rules for how to work on code without bringing personal crap into it.

The previous CoC did fine at this.

This new CoC almost ensures that what it's attempting to curb will inevitably happen, because of it's existence.


"Comments that reinforce systemic oppression related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neurodiversity, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion."

This doesn't preclude thoughts on race-relations—if that was the goal, it would've simply said so.

We know what this means.


OK then, what does it mean?


But do people actually do that? I have not seen anything like that in technical internet communities.


Open source software is as much a social endeavor as it is a technical one. As such it is important for people to get along if a project wants to get anywhere. There are far too many developers that use their technical prowess as an excuse for their lack of basic social skills. Unfortunately the same group of developers is also almost entirely comprised of men.


FreeBSD's new CoC wouldn't ban a sexist comment like this, because of the odd "oppressed group" language. Hopefully it was just a copy/paste mistake from the Geek Feminism code.

There's no place in a software project for insulting someone's gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. just because it's a more typical one. There are certain toxic community members who use well-intended rules like this a shield while they proceed to insult certain groups or stereotype them.

Better to avoid that type of discussion entirely. It's a software project, not a place to discuss politics or race relations. Hopefully they take a look into this and adopt a more neutral CoC like LLVM's: https://llvm.org/docs/CodeOfConduct.html


FreeBSD wouldn't sanction the poster for that comment for several reasons:

1. The CoC committee acts on reports -- someone has to be bothered by it.

2. It isn't an insult.

3. It isn't sexist.


"Unfortunately the [group engaging in negative activity] is also almost entirely comprised of [x]." where x is some immutable or deeply personal characteristic, is advancing an offensive stereotype.


I very much empathize with Code of Conduct, and as many I regret that it is necessary to have to make explicit what seems fairly obvious.

On a tangent though, I feel the word "harassment" is now generalized and used for any "inappropriate conduct". It loses the meaning that I'm getting from dictionaries ( https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/harassment and https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harass ) or Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harassment#United_States ) which seems to include some specific elements that make it stand out, like "repetition" or "persistence" in a behavior, or continuing after someone asked to stop.


>I regret that it is necessary to have to make explicit what seems fairly obvious.

I don't think it was (necessary). Given the incident where someone tried to get a github user 'fired' from a project for 'transphobia' on twitter, I have no faith anything wrong even happened in FreeBSD's virtual workplace.


This is great: simple and easy to understand. For everyone feigning confusion about modern professional behavioral norms, just memorize this list.


Yeah really! cperciva had a great tweet on this a few days ago: "Probably the most important thing to keep in mind when reading the FreeBSD Code of Conduct is that we weren't trying to change any rules. Rather, we were trying to elaborate on the rule under which the FreeBSD project has operated for years: Don't Be An Asshole."


Exactly what happened in LLVM as well: let make it explicit what the expectations have always been and how everyone (most) already behave! https://llvm.org/docs/CodeOfConduct.html


It rather looks like an elaboration on the rule: "be free to label your critic as asshole"


Well that's easy to avoid- don't give anyone ammunition with which to dismiss you as an asshole. It's totally unrelated to whether or not someone really is an asshole. It's trivially easy, and if it's not trivially easy, well that's a big giant glowing arrow pointing at an impending personal growth opportunity with a reward:effort ratio that's off the charts.

Whether or not someone is an actual asshole, the ability to avoid misunderstandings is critical to moving forward and getting stuff done and not wasting time on distractions and petty arguments. CoC's are simply an organization's defense mechanism against pointless interpersonal chaos that doesn't belong on their mailing lists (or whatever) in the first place.

Source: genetically inclined to be a total and complete asshole, have spent the last few decades trying to get better though.


Or "anyone not familiar with the fashionable norms du jour, here's a list of potential thought crimes as derived by one country's culture (and its internal conflicts, cultural politics, and religious and post-religious baggage) and imposed on supposedly global communities".


Nothing in the list is a thought crime. Everything in the list is an action.


In what country is it acceptable to not treat others with basic courtesy and respect? Which is really all the list is asking for.


Basic courtesy and respect doesn't need much of a list.

This is a long list of codified norms du jour to launch endless power micro-games and let attention-seeking holler than though people to run the show.


Why not just say that, then?


Because experience has taught us that some people need it explained in a bit more detail what constitutes basic courtesy and respect.


If they don't know it already, I doubt thrusting a CoC document at them will enlighten them. People who are rude are intentionally rude. It's kinda the whole point to being rude.


I agree with you to some extent, but note that we have all sorts of traffic laws and not just a generic "drive safely."


"Comments that reinforce systemic oppression related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neurodiversity, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion."

It doesn't take much creativity to recognize the inherent contradiction in this systemic line of thinking.


Asking you not to relate your religious opinion of fat people is not the same as oppressing your religion.


This makes me sad. Do people really need to be told what not to do and say like that? To me it feels insulting that I am not trusted to be nice to others.


> it feels insulting that I am not trusted to be nice to others

This isn't targeted at you, though, or even the average person. Even if this stuff is obvious to most people, there certainly exist people who can't be trusted to be nice to others, and they're the ones causing problems, so they're the most important target audience for a code of conduct.


Rules existing doesn't say that you aren't trusted, it just says that there are some people that are not. Are you insulted by laws forbidding you to do bad things?

I'm more concerned about rules that I think might apply to me in a way I'd consider unfair than about rules that I'm already staying a safe distance from violating.


Given that there's groups of people railing against being told not to do the things on this list, yes, apparently.


Not liking being told what not to do does not imply that you want to actually do it though. Maybe I don't want to leave the house today, but that doesn't mean I will accept being locked up.


> Not liking being told what not to do does not imply that you want to actually do it though. Maybe I don't want to leave the house today, but that doesn't mean I will accept being locked up.

So you agree with the contents of the code of conduct but your not going to following them just to be difficult?


>Do people really need to be told what not to do and say like that?

There isn't any evidence of it. On the other hand the language in the CoC itself is evidence that it comes from busybodies.


> On the other hand the language in the CoC itself is evidence that it comes from busybodies.

And just what evidence is that? You inferring something is not evidence.


Normal people don't rewrite "harassment" in a CoC as "reinforcing systemic oppression". (They might a few years from now)

In fairness, FreeBSD say at the end they lifted material from another CoC (geekfeminism), although looking at it (http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Community_anti-harassment...) it's actually all on FreeBSD.


Is there a definition of "normal people" that says they don't write "reinforcing systemic oppression" or is that you asserting your opinion as fact, again?


It also makes me sad. Precisely because, yes, people really do need to be told that.


I am always surprised at the backlash against such codes of conduct. One can point to numerous cases of harassment, abuse, and inequality in the tech community. Who is harmed by a stronger CoC? Let's discuss an example where CoC led to a negative outcome for some group.


What’s the purpose of a Code of Conduct? If someone is abusive and harassing others, you can eject them without having some Code of Conduct giving the community permission to do so, and if you lack clout to eject someone for actual abuse and harrasment, how will CoC help you? Do you think that without CoC, people in the community believe that harrasment and abuse is OK, and it’s only CoC that will make them change their minds?

Instituting the CoC is a power play. It allows you to increase your power and influence by pushing the boundaries of what counts as harrasment much further than it would otherwise be understood, for very simple reason — for most people, fighting against CoC is not the hill they want to die on, as nobody wants to be seen as defender of abuse and harrasment.

It is similar to child pornography legislation — you can go to jail for hand drawn pictures of specialized children, which is pretty stupid if you think about it, but most people don’t care: they aren’t pedophiles and so they aren’t interested in sexualized content featuring children, and the personal gain of feeling good about defending individual freedom and liberty is not worth the status loss from, you know, defending actual pedophiles.

With CoC it is similar — you are expanding your sphere of power and influence, and everyone opposed is just dirty defender of abuse and harrasment, and so basically a harraser herself, and thus we need to eject her for the good of the community.


Let's take a starker example, for the sake of the argument. The building I live in today did not allow Jews, Asians, or people of color until the 1960s (my family would not be allowed in). An explicit Code of Conduct, now in our bylaws, prohibits discrimination based on those categories. Was it a "power play"? Would you make the same argument as above to justify not passing bylaw amendments that argue against discrimination?

The BSD rules are a softer version of that starker example. I am truly perplexed by the resistance to it. It has huge benefits for a marginalized group and marginal inconvenience for those already in power, already privy to all of the benefits.


FreeBSD (and OpenBSD) has a lot of problems right now, and rewriting CoC makes me think they put effort into completely wrong places.

Hey FreeBSD (and OpenBSD) developers have you patched spectre and meltdown already? Have you fixed your communication issues with security researchers who stopped notifying you of serious bugs? No? Oh I would hug you to cheer you up, but it's now allowed now.


> FreeBSD (and OpenBSD) has a lot of problems right now, and rewriting CoC makes me think they put effort into completely wrong places.

You realize people and projects can work on multiple things at once right?

> Hey FreeBSD (and OpenBSD) developers have you patched spectre and meltdown already?

The FreeBSD and OpenBSD developers were notified 6 months late and you expect them to magically have a patch ready.

> Have you fixed your communication issues with security researchers who stopped notifying you of serious bugs?

FreeBSD did nothing wrong to security researchers so there isn't anything to fix.

> Oh I would hug you to cheer you up, but it's now allowed now.

You sound like a wonderful person, not! Seriously the COC is to keep toxic people like you away.


>Seriously the COC is to keep toxic people like you away.

Then they did it right, I am most probably not going to donate to FreeBSD foundation first time in 5 years.


> Then they did it right, I am most probably not going to donate to FreeBSD foundation first time in 5 years.

You must not care much about FreeBSD if a code of conduct saying don't be a asshole is what drove you to stop donating.

Also I'm skeptical you ever donated, you were spreading misinformation in you previous post about FreeBSD and now your mad they wrote a CoC that say things like don't threaten violence or stalk people.


> code of conduct saying don't be a asshole

That's a disingenuous summarization, you're dropping all of the important details to arrive at a platitude. It's akin to claiming "govern well" is an accurate summarization of the Republican party platform.


You should be happy, I care enough to let non-toxic people take care of it. For the best.


Some of us don't want to be part of a community that ejects you for writing: "hug"

Some of us just want to keep politics out of tech.

We are probably the weirdos I guess.


"Keep politics out of tech" is extremely disingenuous.

This CoC can be summarized as "don't be a jerk to other people". I can't even fathom how that's a controversial or political statement, but yet, here we are.


> This CoC can be summarized as "don't be a jerk to other people"

That is true if in your world saying or writing the following is being a jerk:

- hug, <3

- smoking is bad for you, you should eat healthier food, I think that food is disgusting

- men have higher testosterone levels

All of these violate their CoC.

If all they wanted is a CoC that says "don't be a jerk" then they would have put that into their CoC and not what's in it currently, like many other projects had done so[1].

> I can't even fathom how that's a controversial or political statement, but yet, here we are.

It's political because it's being pushed by political activist groups and it's controversial because not everyone agrees that writing hug should get you banned from a technical community.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxNdQJSlg54


Writing "hug" won't get you banned from a technical community. Grow up and realize that context is important.


> Writing "hug" won't get you banned from a technical community.

Then why did they explicitly put that into their CoC?

> Grow up and realize that context is important.

I think I'm going to stop here, because I don't like arguing with people who use condescending language to hide the fact that they don't have an argument.

It is obvious that no matter what specific part of the CoC I will point out, you will defend it by poisoning the well, no matter how wrong it is.


If the actual thing was summarized, it wouldn't be political. Instead it's sesame street time where we learn about systemic oppression.


> This CoC can be summarized as "don't be a jerk to other people". I can't even fathom how that's a controversial or political statement, but yet, here we are.

Your summary is as disingenuous as someone summarizing the Republican party's platform as "run the US government well." It drops all of the important details to arrive at a meaningless platitude. I'm pretty sure you can fathom the controversy, but you're just being deliberately obtuse.


I wonder how short you could make a code of conduct. Here's my attempt:

1. No politics

2. No religion

3. Don't be a cunt


Your rule 3 would probably create a looooot of drama.

So, attempt failed.


> Your rule 3 would probably create a looooot of drama.

I could provide a translation into US English. Asshole? Jerk? Douche?


I'm writing a CoCoC before he attempts another CoC.


I like that they tried to define terms, but what does "the ways" mean? For example, would someone not be allowed to say certain things, and if so, what are those things?

> Systemic oppression: The ways in which history, culture, ideology, public policies, institutional practices, and personal behaviors and beliefs interact to maintain a hierarchy — based on race, class, gender, sexuality, and/or other group identities — that allows the privileges associated with the dominant group and the disadvantages associated with the oppressed, targeted, or marginalized group to endure and adapt over time. (Derived from Aspen Institute, via Open Source Leadership)

Edit: Added example ambiguity.



There is a reason why laws are not drafted as specific as this code of conduct.

If someone can think of another way of harassing then making "Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes" it's allowed? I doubt that's the intention. So why the oddly specific rules?


So why the oddly specific rules?

Not weirdly specific rules; weirdly specific examples. And the answer is "because these are things which have happened".


It's sad that things like this have to be explicitly spelled out


While I’ve been persuaded that the CoC trend is probably net positive, I am still very interested in this larger background problem.

“There is deep infantilism in the culture ... They want to be told, or, they want to decide and say, ‘This is good, this is bad, I’m saying so.’ Anything that in any way conflicts with that is not to be borne.” -Stephen Fry


If you’re operating on the internet and you truly have global reach, you have to.

Assumption is the mother of all fck-ups.


"Only permanent resolutions (such as bans) may be appealed." - why?


Bryan Lunduke did an episode on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxNdQJSlg54


Can someone please explain why this was necessary and what was wrong with the previous CoC?


Hugs and kisses. If you don't mind.


Where has the official debate or contributor feedback about this CoC been occuring? I've looked through the FreeBSD forums and mailing list archives, and I haven't seen a peep about this, not even an announcement.



[flagged]


Which part exactly do you find funny and why?


The part where they have to write a CoC to please some groups, and disregard a thing called "common sense" which always existed inside the community. Thus making this a joke.


I'm not sure why it matters how long we've been using FreeBSD, but I've been using FreeBSD off and on since roughly 2.1.

You may be shocked to learn that some people actually do not have common sense. And that there is very little recourse when those people - the ones lacking common sense - decide to harass or intimidate people. Unless you actually _make rules_ about your community, you cannot _enforce those rules_.

So there are no "common sense" solutions to these problems unless you actually spell them out in advance. As an open source maintainer myself, I assure you that we do not do these things "to please some groups" but to have a framework for operating when people who lack "common sense" decide to be jerks and harass or intimidate other members of our community.


You're like the Federalists who think we shouldn't have had to put down a Bill of Rights in the United States, because "obviously" any right not granted to the government is the right of the people.

Just like "Warning: Object is hot" seems stupid on an iron, it may seem silly that we have to say "Don't be racist; don't troll; don't pick on someone because of their attributes or beliefs; just be nice" but there it is.

I'll eat my hat if you have used FreeBSD as a daily driver for the past 15 years, and are going to uninstall it and re-architect your homelab or business because of this CoC. "I've dabbled in FreeBSD occasionally but have lost interest" is a different statement.


Someone comparing a open source project with the bill of rights... time to sleep!


Ignoring the text of the rules, which are mostly an elaboration on "don't be an asshole", there is also a very important piece -- that there is a reporting and response procedure. In many groups, where there hasn't been a need for this function, when the need arises, nobody knows what to do, and the issue tends to get rapidly worse while people figure out how to handle it.


Lamenting the need to write down common-sense rules may be reasonable. But if you truly value meritocracy, as those who dislike codes of conduct often do, then it would make more sense to keep using the OS as long as you are happy with the software itself, while arguing against the CoC.


This "pleases the group" that experiences harassment. Are you in favor of harassment? Or against protecting those who experience it?

If that's not a problem for you, and if your "common sense" makes you a nice person, these rules don't affect you in any way. However, my "common sense," which you don't seem to share, tells me that communities with explicit anti-harassment guidelines do better in creating a positive, smart, collaborative environment.

For example, on HN we rely on explicit guidelines for polite conversation and not on some implicit sense of common sense. Without those guidelines the conversation devolves into well... harassment, name calling, trolling etc. (See any unmoderated forum on Reddit).


Because sadly nowadays common sense is uncommon.


Why? Has the formalisation of previously implicit rules harmed you in some way?


[flagged]


The following is from the very top of a random file in the removed set I clicked:

  A bad little girl in Madrid,
  A most reprehensible kid,
          Told her Tante Louise
          That her cunt smelled like cheese,
  And the worst of it was that it did!
Wat!? Good riddance.


One fears that by repeating the verse here, you've stamped it on eternity.


Do you seriously not know what `fortune` is?


Why am I supposed to know it? For the matter I do know it, but nobody needs their computer tell them jokes, especially tasteless ones like this.




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