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This is a tad cynical, but I believe the vagueness has always been the intent: "everything is problematic". The flowgraph of offense is spaghetti so that punishments can be delivered on a whim.

The problem with this mentality is it gives all the power to the offended party. An accusation of offense is all it takes. You can't tell someone how to feel, so if they say they're offended, they're always right. The offending party is always in the wrong, no matter what they actually said. In Vagg's case, they cited an apology as offensive.

Is it ever the case that the offended party should simply grow thicker skin?

I agree, and then some. I think that most people pushing for codes of conduct aren't trying to make communities kinder and more inclusive. Instead, they are trying to suppress ideas they disagree with and punish the people who endorse them. This may sound like an incredible claim, but I'm not sure how it could be more obvious. Just scroll through the Twitter feed of the author of the Contributor Covenant. This is not a mindset that fosters civility and inclusion.[1][2] She has even endorsed violence against a member of the press.[3]

1. https://twitter.com/CoralineAda/status/874642259672801280 '“Meritocracy” is just thinly veiled misogyny and white supremacy propping up fragile cis het white men’s egos.'

2. https://twitter.com/CoralineAda/status/1029952846492565504 '“Reverse racism” is such a weird phrase for “justice”.'

3. https://twitter.com/CoralineAda/status/823064825366360065 "Why didn’t anyone punch the reporter giving the nazi air time?"

My policy on these things is a variation of the "Robustness Principle" of API design, which is:

> Be conservative in what you send, be liberal in what you accept.

The social version is:

> Try hard not to offend people; and try harder to not be offended.

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