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That's a motte-and-bailey argument. The easy to defend idea of CoC is of course that one shouldn't discriminate and act unprofessionally. But declaring a CoC is just the first step - it needs to be enforced. And by design the enforcement seems to involve backroom committees and no chance for the accused to even know about specific allegations, let alone defend against them. It can result in downright kafkaesque situations and unnecessarily forces identity politics into the mix.



The Drupal "he didn't know" argument was widely disproven. You should go look it up.

Besides that, do you have a concrete example of how the CoC actually defines an unfair practice, rather than an argument from final consequence?


University code of conducts have lead to some pretty egregious violations of common sense.

For example, I know of a black girl who was harassed using the code of conduct. Her harasser was white, and constantly complained of being made to feel unsafe—-no actual accusations mind you, just a feeling she had.

Unfortunately making someone feel unsafe is against the university code of conduct, so each incident resulted in a long tribunal before everyone concluded that nothing had happened.

It was a waste of time, and lead to the humiliiation of the black girl, whom was always innocent, but to people who didnt know her only saw that she was being accused of something.

Universiities have more, not less, infrastructure to deal with adjucating code of conducts. They get to do it in person, and have written guidelines of how to conduct enforcement. And yet situations like I described are not uncommon.

How do you think a software group will fare in comparision?


So what you're saying is a racist find a way to abuse the rules and no one thought to change the rules in the face of obvious abuse?

This just reminded us we need to be vigilant for folks abusing the rules, and be prepared to alert them in a public & justified way to prevent CoC Snyder by truly dedicated and despicable racists and sexist. Good moral!


The definition of enforcement is left extremely vague in standard CoC, so let's extrapolate a bit. Biased enforcement will follow quite naturally.

The generic call for project leadership to resolve all issues will eventually become unworkable for larger projects. This process can be hastened by swamping the project leadership with a large number of reports.

It's likely that a subcommittee or enforcement team will be formed to deal with this at some point. These teams will naturally attract people interested in moderating the project and enforcing CoC. Mostly left-leaning people who are interested in achieving "social justice", I'd expect. Thus, a separate branch of leadership with mostly homogenous viewpoints and considerable power to prosecute is formed.

Unless the enforcement is done by randomized jury, this outcome is almost inevitable.




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