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Re: [Debconf-team] Code of Conduct


* martin f krafft <madduck@debconf.org> [2014-05-02 16:18:24 CEST]:
> if I didn't love you so much, I would call you a witty troublemaker.

 Starting off with a personal classification is surely helping get your
point across, don't you think so?

> I fully agree with you on everything you say and the link to
> emotional correctness is spot on.
> However, neither you nor I are the target audience. And the
> existence of a code of conduct does not make any change to our
> participation of any conference, because we'll fit right in, anyway,
> without having read it.

 To some degree it might.  To others it doesn't because people might
fear consequences for a slip in a bad mood, which is what Enrico tried
to address.

> But there are two good reasons why such a code of conduct is helpful
> and sometimes even necessary.
> First, it creates an expectation for those people who would like to
> attend DebConf but who are too afraid, be that whether they were
> previously bullied, molested or don't need to be exposed to juvenile
> humour. We aim to boost these peoples confidence by promising to
> them that our conference does not consitute a forum where abuse is
> tolerated.

 Which is a very good reason.  But for that it just requires to state
that there is a group of people willing to take abuse reports serious
where participants can turn to in case they feel harassed or offended.

> And second, there are people unlike you who just don't get it. And
> when push comes to shove, it's far easier to be able to point to
> a document and cast a ruling than to struggle and discuss and delay
> a decision.

 If they don't get it, they wouldn't get it when it's written down
neither.  You can't make something foolproof, there will always be
bigger fools than you can assume which will proof you being the fool
while trying to do so.  We should rather try not to regulate by the
fools then but rather by regular people.

> I remind you of the events around DC6, which went on for *days*, and
> it didn't give us a lot of credibility that we weren't able to act on
> the spot.
> Of course, this code of conduct does not permit us to do that
> either,

 So why do you bring it up at all then?  Sorry.  That kind of reasoning
is used by getting mass surveillance applied, please do not use it.

> it's purposely worded loosely and by example, but it does serve the
> purpose to align expectations all around a bit better than if no such
> document exists.

 Listing stuff isn't getting us somewhere.  May I remind you of the
discussion around our diversity statement?  There were suggestions of
starting to list what we like to embrace, but in the end that would have
backfired.  We wakenly decided to NOT list stuff but rather concentrate
on the positve side of things.

 And in principle, the suggested Code of Conduct does that.  In its
headlines.  Please do not try to fall into the pit of using negative
explenations, and especially lists in the explenation of the otherwise
great headlines.  It makes me (and as you can see others too) cringe to
see the title "Be inclusive" explained in a way that excludes stuff, and
explicitly starts to list negative behavior.

> I don't think the existence of such a document should make you think
> twice about participating, nor is it reasonable of you to say that
> you would feel patronised.

 Enrico isn't the only person who feels awkward about it.  And yes,
people always said the Debian policy is not a stick to beat people with,
but it happens.  And it will also happen with the CoC if it is worded
like a pointed stick.

> It does not forbid mistakes, it only sketches what participants can
> expect to happen.

 Then concentrate on that organizers are willing to take complaints
serious instead of what participants are regulated for.

> But it does create a basis upon which it'll be easy for everyone to
> take action if the offender doesn't stop.

 Does it *really* need something written down for anyone to take action
if the offender doesn't stop?  I very very very seriously hope that it
does not.

> And it communicates this to potential participants, the hope being
> that they then feel comfortable enough to attend when otherwise they
> might not.

 Well, then you give people the excuse of "but that wasn't on the list,
I wasn't aware of that, you can't kick me out!", what then?  Others
might argue that they find "all those men in skirts"[1] offending and
might want to have that added to the list.  Yes, I am exxagerating, but
where to draw the line.  Once you started a list you must be willing to
adjust it, and there might be grey areas that one considers acceptable
while others don't.

 Think about it,

[1] not made up just for the argument
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