> Surely, there are people out there who won't appreciate you, no matter what you're like or where you're from, but you're always very free to simply walk away when that's the case.
One problem with this as strategy is that it makes moderate, constructive or polite people to leave first. It also makes me easy to use passive aggression or hidden-not-so-hidden bullying to make people leave when I disagree with them.
As someone who ran a medium sized community for almost a decade, I saw such reasonable people leave for both a lack of rules (X should be forbidden, I am leaving) and also when we had a fully fledged code of conduct (I am tired of all the drama over X, I am leaving), and ambiguous/transparency issue (I am leaving because of the cabal who try to enforce their own interpretation of the rules). When the first happen followed with the second and third what you are left with was only members who either completely did not care or where inactive. At that point we removed the code of conduct and replaced it with a more common sense guideline of "just treat people with respect, and if you don't you get a friendly warning/reminder" and we slowly regained stability.
Code of conduct has an inherently risk of becoming a weapon for those who want to use passive aggression or hidden-not-so-hidden bullying against an out group. The more strict the rules the more you need to have a transparent community process for enforcement, but sadly those tend to be mutually exclusive.
I picked on that, because it is common cheap talking point that I was forced to re-evaluate few months ago (not just because of online issues).
The linked article is in fact code of conduct and even specifies what will get you banned.
This article say things like "Email that person, and try to work it out. Email the owners of the community, and alert them. Whatever you do, do not make a scene, as that will burden the entire community with your issue. If it's truly a problem and you're truly an asset to the community then you will probably get an email back. Sometimes, you have to be the bigger person. Say your piece privately, and don't dwell on it".
The community I ran in the past even had a similar statement, but using other words. Instead of saying "do not make a scene" we said "don't create drama". We were frankly tired of peoples personal disputes escalating and dividing the community, and so was the community. Sadly at that point a lot of reasonable people had already left.
Why can't you ignore the douchebag?
Widening the range of participatory reach requires specific effort to further optimize for welcomingness.
Could the platform the community uses make it easier to hide posts and discussion threads that people don't want to see? That would minimize the time spent trying to deal with it.
A really good example would be Linus calling people fucking stupid, or screaming at them to shut the fuck up.
(Note: I know there are people reading this who want to read 100% of what Linus has to say regardless of how mean he is in saying it. That is not a refutation of my claim above, as it does not negate the fact that the vast majority of people in society never want to be spoken to in this manner by anyone, for any reason, least of all for making a small judgement error in software that isn't even "prerelease" yet.)
Do they? I can flag a post here on HN, or I can report one on reddit or facebook, but that still requires a moderator or forum administrator to handle the issue. In my newsclient, the effect is immediate and only affects my own view of the forum.
> Why can't you ignore the douchebag?
Why the "No Code Of Conduct" author could not just ignored those discussions and want to threaten bans?
Also, back to strategy, it depends on what kind of douchebag we are talking about. When douchebags are the only one who talk and are unopposed, it is douchebags who sets what the culture will be.
I think the whole point is: if somebody has no incentive not to insult or harass you, that kind of behaviour can be used to bypass technical discussion.
Would you be happy if, after many years you're involved in a community and you do good work, some people start insulting you, and your answer is just to leave?
Yes, sometimes CoCs are too complex and deal with idiotic details. Yes, I don't think that changing "master-slave" into "leader-follower" really has an impact or whatsoever. But some basic rules about what's acceptable and what not are a good thing, IMHO. No two adults share the same vision of the world. Just state the obvious, if needed; is that SO hard?
Would you be happy if, after many years you're involved in a community and you do good work, some people start a smear campaign against you and invoke CoC to push you out of the community?
Sensible people can tell when insults or harassment are being used in this way, and ignore the noise. And if an overly 'welcoming' project is being overrun by less-than-sensible people, no CoC is going to save it - it needs a clean fork to start a new community from scratch around it.
Codes of Conducts are a lightweight way of expressing how interactions are goverened and disputes resolved.
The idea that adults don't need rules and guides to fix things is disproven by politics and conflict. Good politics is based on rules. Bad conflict happens when there are none.
The various uses and normal behaviour are not mutually exclusive!
that's still a CoC. you've just added entitlement.
The straw-man "Frequently Asked Question" about the project name sounding like cock makes me lean to the latter option. In any case, this isn't really worth discussing much, as it's primary use seems to be to poison that discussion right from the beginning.
This (and the original NCoC) is naive wishful thinking that won't survive first contact with an actual community issue.
Once you have a few other maintainers and contributors, there will inevitably be disagreements, and you have to have a realistic framework for resolving them respectfully and equitably.
You know, most git hosting platforms have nice "clone this project" and "fork" functions.
> a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually preceded by the)
Which dictionary did you get yours from? What other definitions did it have?
I can cite examples of a CoC being abused, where the alternative is impossible to prove, right? Look our CoC is holding back the flood gates of douche.
I'm not saying there's no discrimination, humans heuristics are deeply flawed, I'm only arguing that this problem was solved with block/ban/ignore.
No, we got codes of conduct because "post-meritocracy" activists (not invective, actually what they call themselves: https://postmeritocracy.org ) had enough political leverage in the software industry to force these overtly political documents on various projects.
This feels too dismissive, with an hand-wavey "let's be adults"; Clearly, the problem is people either don't act like adults, or the idea of how an adult should act differs.
"or possibly, you are wrong?" will be called "victim-blaming", "gas-lighting" or "lamp-shading",
"Email that person, and try to work it out" will put the onus of resolution on the victim, etc.
For these culture wars we need to directly address the two viewpoints; This naively assumes best intentions, the traditional CoC crowd falsely assumes the worst. We need to discuss distinctions of behaviour - separate the "micro-aggression" from the outright crime and make it very clear they are to be treated entirely differently, that "scorched earth" policies rarely work, but neither do "lets all get along" policies.
<tangent> TBH, I see a similarity to arguments over programming methodologies; trying to promote a handful of catch-all methods when the best solution is one tailored to the situation </tangent>
edit: Ok, so someone flagged the article. seriously? Can we all review what flagging is supposed to be for: To flag abusive or inappropriate material, not a special super-downvote option.
In any case, I expect there will be flame wars, and meta-flame-wars in here soon.
Leaders who don’t take their responsibility for leadership seriously are very bad leaders, as we have had demonstrated for us quite recently.
I hope that groups replace their leaders who think this way.
If the scale of a project is such that leadership is actually important, it's 1000x more useful to e.g. form a nonprofit than to slap a list of behavioral proscriptions on contributors.
A “reasonable person” test can be applied to judge these things. It’s not very popular because it isn’t a strict, objectively-applied code, which is what hackers generally prefer, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good and workable solution.
As hackerdom gets more mainstream and the mean moves closer to neurotypical, these sorts of non-objective “if they are being mean, kick them out” ideas are gaining popularity without meanness having to be strictly, objectively defined.
These people are trying to make a political statement with this CoC; they are solving a problem that doesn’t exist (or is solved by simply not having one without proclaiming loudly how not-having-one you are). It strikes me as YAGNI.
Unless you like being an asshole, just don’t have a public, defined CoC (just an unwritten informal “no assholes”) and quietly kick out any assholes who show up.
My toddler also wants pancakes for every meal. As adults we grow past such a narrow and self-serving view.
Most of us, anyway.
> Q: As a community manager or leader, what happens when the mob arrives, or when someone starts to engage in discussion that could lead to more endless discussion?
> Lock, and ban your way to freedom.
Our problem is "debating how members should behave in their communities, only to be found to never be fully resolved to anyone's liking".
And the problem is solved by "lock, and ban your way to freedom".
Probably not a true statement. Accept them based on its own merits is probably more in line with how most projects work.
I recall some project on Github that really did accept all contributions. Very funny. For a short time.
I think probably a lot of this is people trying to claim that because the outcomes are unequal, the procedure is unequal; when the simpler answer is that some subsets of people just tend to be composed of those who choose not to contribute to open source software projects or gain the professional competence often required to do so. Free people are not spherical cows, they have their own sets of incentives, even ones you don't understand as a career hawk businesslady or an ordinary schlub grinding at the keyboard.
The very first line is the problem here: 'We are all adults. Capable of having adult discussions.'
Some people are less capable of behaving themselves in online communities than others. Also, the definition of "behaving" is subjective.
There are just too many issues with having a CoC for kids and not everyone else. It doesn't solve anything and makes it even harder to figure out interactions. You're better off with a simple CoC for everyone, or none at all, but don't pretend that you're community is adults only so you can justify allowing people to be crap to each other.
No need for a CoC.
IMO outlining what is "professional" and what isn't in a CoC solves that issue.
You get those anyway. Also empirically speaking, having a CoC to try and spell out "professional" behavior seems to make things worse. It's not a solution at all.
Especially, for example, the kind of people who insist on foisting overbearing codes of conduct on every project. From a practical standpoint, those people seem to cause vastly more trouble than whatever marginal improvements their codes of conduct might nominally capture.
Do you have the ratio of the number of CoC implementers who dont add to open source vs the number of CoC implementers who do add to open source? I'm aware that there have been a couple high profile incidents where project outsiders have created drama by insisting on a CoC. But your statement could be very untrue if there is a larger number of CoCs created without incident by members of the project (I think this is likely).
(counterfactual number of problems without CoC - factual number of problems with CoC) / (factual number of problems caused by CoC)
The denominator is very large (I have personally seen this come up dozens of times, including this thread), and I suspect the numerator is very small (but obviously I cannot prove it, since there's a counterfactual in there).
Additionally I'd argue that you think the denominator is largest because dramatic incidents are the most visible. The vast majority of big github projects have a CoC, if they really caused so many issues you'd have way more than "dozens" of examples.
What on earth about being nice to each other is overbearing? Which bit of the contributor covenant do you find particularly overbearing?
Well, are people nice to each other because they want it or because it's in the CoC? I'd rather deal with somebody that doesn't like me upfront rather than mask the quarrel with policies.
If you don't pay attention to the erosion of community occurring under such projects, then that's your own ignorance, not the basis of an argument. You can reframe the discussion in terms of "being nice to eachother", and your opposition as "in favour of not being nice to eachother" in turn, but that doesn't mean that's the actual dichotomy.
Oh, let me just pull up all the peer-reviewed studies that people have done comparing the impact of CoCs versus... oh wait, that obviously doesn't exist. Do you have "some evidence" you'd like to share? I'm not really sure what you are looking for here.
> What on earth about being nice to each other is overbearing
This is such an absurd motte-and-bailey. Are you really trying to sell us on the idea that the 5000+ word "contributor covenant" is nothing more than "be nice to each other"?
"Be nice to each other."
Unless you're CoC is targeted toward a hypersensitive kindergarten, that language has no place. You need to realise that it's extremely unprofessional, infantilising, and patronising. You're going to alienate a lot of talented people who have no patience for that rubbish. You're going to be on the fast track to a mess where blue-haired amateurs are feverishly reminding everyone of their pronouns rather than having a group of grounded, professional adults getting things done.
People "feverishly reminding everyone of their pronouns" are not being polite, professional, or nice.
Getting worked up over occasional polite requests about pronouns is not polite, professional or nice either.
Because they are professionals, and your new look or whatever else has nothing to do with the job that needs to be done.
I'd say the same about your behavior. If you keep doing the job and politely point out that you'd like to be called Sally, that's fine. If it interferes with you doing your job, then that's a problem.
The problem really lies in this mentality of being offendable 24/7 by anything read or heard anywhere, which ironically enough is way more prevalent in adults than kids. Breath, this whole thing doesn't matters as much you think it does.
On the other side, there is a tiny portion of the population who specializes in being offended to impose their rules. It's a power game. Again, the only effective solution is to not listen.
All the anti-CoC people seem to assume that there are no assholes on the internet and that “why don’t you just leave” is what’s supposed to happen.
some, not all. It's a strawman that being anti-CoC means you are that naive.
1. This is a CoC
2. Read #1
3. "We are all adults..." Then why are we having this discussion?
4. I'll continue to try an format text because I'm crazy
Wow. I mean, I was expecting “we don’t care that you’re being abused” to be the subtext here, but they just came out and said it.
"making a scene" isn't the same as any and all complains, nor does the wording imply any kind of complains is "making a scene". But there are plenty of example where people purposefully make a complaint as public as possible to shame the accused before any formal complaint is made in order to influence the outcome - it's the community equivalent of "trial by media".