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> 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.


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.


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> 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.

> 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"?




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