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Oh good. This again.

The very first line is the problem here: 'We are all adults. Capable of having adult discussions.'

We're not. Some people are less capable of behaving themselves in online communities than others. Also, the definition of "behaving" is subjective.

Easy. If someone cannot behave like an adult, block him. But don't allow snowflakes to dominate the discussion, to demand blocks. In usenet days it was the endpoint who had to block or filter, not the central point. Blocking the central point is not a democratic solution.

Not to mention that some people who want to get involved in OSS are literally not adults.

If that's the problem you're trying to solve, make a "CoC for folk under 18" and let that be the end of it.

Great, then you're enforcing rules on one group and not the rest. They're not necessarily even the problem group. Bullies and snowflakes are often the adults. And why 18? Why not 16? or 21? Are you going to make people prove their ages in order to take part? If not, you're going to just get people lying so they can either be protected by the CoC, or lying so they can go around being an asshat. Are you allowed to be an asshat to the people under 18? If not, then you've just created a CoC.

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.

Well if they do not conduct themselves in a manner befitting of an adult and professional then just sanction them eg. warnings, kicks, bans,....

No need for a CoC.

If one person thinks something is fine and someone else thinks it isn't you get disagreements and arguments based on misunderstandings and assumptions.

IMO outlining what is "professional" and what isn't in a CoC solves that issue.

> you get disagreements and arguments

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.

That sounds like a code of conduct...


The lack of self-awareness in this comment is truly staggering.

To behave is defined by the Oxford dictionary as "[to] conduct oneself in accordance with the accepted norms of a society or group."

Which society? Which group?

What if your only interested in working with adults who are able to stand up for themselves? When I do code review, I need contributors who both believe and can argue their implementation is good/correct. I assume the intersection of people willing to write and defend their code can also tell the random asshat to shove off.

> Some people are less capable of behaving themselves in online communities than others

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.

> 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).

I think the actual metric we care about is

(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).

I think the first term is by far the largest term in your equation. Source: the entirety of human history demonstrates that large groups of people need laws in order to function justly. In small groups, people are fine. But as you scale up, the likelyhood of bad actors reaches 1. Human societies need codified methods of dealing with bad actors, which is what a CoC does.

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.

Not having a CoC doesn't mean you don't address bad actors, resolve disputes, etc. It just means that these things are entrusted to the project leader's best judgment. And anyone can fork the project if they think the project leader isn't doing a good job of keeping things orderly.

It's a matter of scale. Humans have thousands of years of history codifying rules for communities. From Hammurabi to your HOA, people have found its easiest to enforce rules when you write them down.

I'll need some evidence to back up that wild conjecture please.

What on earth about being nice to each other is overbearing? Which bit of the contributor covenant do you find particularly overbearing?

> What on earth about being nice to each other is 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.

The idea that the imposition of, for example, the Contributor Covenant, is just about "being nice to eachother" is exactly the sort of thing that precedes long periods of abuse and bullying predicated on it.

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.

> I'll need some evidence to back up that wild conjecture please.

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"?

This is exactly the kind of language used by the unbearable sort of person who insists on a CoC.

"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.

"Be nice to each other" is just another way of saying be polite, which is part of being professional.

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.


> How on Earth could my colleagues ever carry on the same if I turned up in lipstick and heels and demanded they call me Sally?

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.

Welcome to HN. I'm glad you felt the need to create an account to say this.

People need to take a seat-back from online interactions. Someone insulted you on the internet? Fine, that won't change anything on your life unless you allow it to change anything. If this person is angry it's in most case because he is powerless in respect to the current situation and wants to be listened to.

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.

And the point about not caring about a person’s identity is missing the point. A CoC is intended to empower people who would otherwise be given the choice of leaving or silently putting up with assholes who create an environment that makes people uncomfortable. And yeah that tends to involve people’s identities but it doesn’t have to. Like using gay or retarded to mean bad. Or just openly disrespecting trans women and calling them men “bEcAuSe bIoLOgY”.

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.

> All the anti-CoC people seem to assume

some, not all. It's a strawman that being anti-CoC means you are that naive.

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