> 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.