Talk:Community Code of Conduct (Draft)

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Discuss Community Code of Conduct (Draft) here


I think such a proposal should also avoid vague wording and just enumerate things that will not be tolerated (e.g. name calling, ad hominem attacks, threats, etc.). The other stuff should and will be come clear over time (what is the point of emphasizing collaboration in a community project such as such this; if we do not have yet it, the project has ultimately failed). Alharaka 10:15, 16 October 2010 (BST)

A lot of the points we have so far are vague and obvious/common sense, although having these things written down can be useful. It gives people something link to and say "Hey! You're not being very collaborative!" I agree it would be good to get more specific with a few additional headings there. I'm actually not a big mailing list user so I've left that for somebody else write. How d'you think a section on "name calling, ad hominem attacks" should be worded? Put your ideas here, or just edit the document (it's still just a draft, and not intended to be a published "version 1" draft or anything) -- Harry Wood 12:00, 21 October 2010 (BST)
"Be nice to each other" - Sure, an understandable goal, but hardly a definition of what is considered a ban-incurring offense. Not to mention that this very page has just been cited as the reference of what the definition of being nice would be. It turns out, it is... to be nice. Nice...
"'re representing not only yourself, but OpenStreetMap itself..." - I really don't think so. In contributing to OSM (or attending an event), sure. But we're allegedly talking about mailing list and forums here, where people come exactly to represent themselves and their personal views in order to get heard and try to influence a debate. Themselves. Not OSM.
"...a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one..." - Absolutely, and I agree that ad hominem attacks and threats should indeed not be tolerated. These are at least specific terms to respect.
"Collaboration is central to OpenStreetMap" - that is a desiderate, not a requirement. It has no place in a list of punishable offenses. And the same goes for the next few items as well.
"Many of the rules and guidelines are rather broad and vague, and so [...] final decisions need to rest with some authority" - Which pretty much proves my earlier point: "nice is what I (we) say it is". To put it more bluntly, I'd be much happier with two different lists: "this is what we'd like you to be like", which may be as lofty and vague as it wishes, and a different "this is what will get you banned" one, with clear definitions.
In general, the problem with clear rules is that they can be used against legislators by abiding them thus effectively preventing said entities to punish whoever they see fit whenever they see fit. Since no authority is willing to accept such a restriction on their power, laws and rules are all rather broad and vague in general. I can accept that this is how the world works, but I don't have to agree with it or like it, and certainly wouldn't want to see it happen here too. --Max 12:14, 1 June 2011 (BST)
Spoken like a software engineer :-) If only we had an algorithm or formula for "nice"! But yes, more specific "this is what will get you banned" items. Why not just add them onto this page? Add it to the end of the list, so general principles lead into more specific points. But I can't really think of specific points myself. Partly because I'm not a big mailing list user. Is there a problem with swear words? Problem with too many posts in short succession?
I don't see a problem with rules being used against the legislators. Perhaps you're referring to outbursts from Steve Coast. Nobody is suggesting that he should be a "legislator". He hasn't volunteered for the job. And yes I can well imagine him falling foul of this code of conduct and receiving a warning like anyone else. For "the legislators" we'd probably want to have a group of people who are a little more calm and level-headed in the heat of a debate. Suggestions for how to go about choosing these people?
-- Harry Wood 12:57, 1 June 2011 (BST)

"Instigating" A Ban

I would steer clear of this wording, because of the implied meaning. If the sysadmins instigate the ban, it sounds like "they started it" and the banned user was not to blame. I would recommend something like perform or initiate. Like the sysadmins do not get enough grief as it is. Haha. Alharaka 10:15, 16 October 2010 (BST)

Yeah I was trying to find the right word. I thought about "Executing a ban" or "Carrying out a ban". -- Harry Wood 13:56, 19 October 2010 (BST)
Perhaps "implementing" a ban? Or "applying sanctions"?


I wrote the section on enforcement, and predictably enough, it is this which people pick out as the objectionable part of the draft page as it stands. See Ulf's comments in particular. I pretty much agree with what he's saying. Not that it helps move anything forward. There's no doubt that the "who" and "how" of enforcement is the really difficult part of introducing rules. I notice that no wiki edits have come out of that (People complain about it, but fail to make any improvements)

But in fact what I've written there so far can be summarised as "The rules will be enforced, but we haven't yet decided who by". My ideas for improving this now. We either:

  • Make some decisions. Set up a foundation working group or some other kind of authority, and then edit the page to give more details of who and how the rules will be enforced.
  • Remove the entire section. I partly put it there to provoke discussion, helping to zero in on the aspect of this which really needs to be decided. The section inevitably seems top-down and heavy handed. But this page doesn't actually need to have that section. A page with a list of rules sort of implies that the rules will be enforced. If we remove it, the page is much more palatable to everyone, but of course means we fail to tackle the issue.
  • A bit of both. Maybe a much shorter sentence or two on enforcement, or perhaps we link to another page about enforcement of rules.

-- Harry Wood 17:09, 22 October 2010 (BST)

I added two strawman sections for community council and OSMF WG enforcement options. Please discuss and improve. I prefer the idea of lists, etc. that regulate themselves with OSMF intervention only when requested when / if community resolution in ineffective.

-- Rw 21:04, 23 October 2010 (BST)

Moving from draft to reality

We could do with the code of conduct not being marked as a draft, even if there is no enforcement process. Focussing on that is derailing the overall purpose of the Code of Conduct in the first place - to guide the vast majority of people into Doing the Right Thing.

I've seen few objections to the Code itself so my proposal is

  • Bless the current version as the actual Code. Just the bit in the box.
  • Create an "additional guidance" page to highlight things like trolling, ad hominem attacks and so on, where each circumstance is related to one or more sections of the Code
  • Create an "enforcement" page, with a better name, that documents the facts of how things are currently enforced (they generally aren't 'enforced' as such, since they generally don't need to be - peer pressure takes care of most things).

Thoughts? Gravitystorm 09:24, 3 June 2011 (BST)

Yeah that'll work. People will criticise the bit in the box as being too imprecise and vacuous, but it will at least serve some purpose if we take that out of draft. Need to think of a wiki page name for the enforcement section "Enforcing the Code of Conduct" or how about "Applying the Code of Conduct". That page could then still be labelled as "draft". -- Harry Wood 23:55, 11 July 2011 (BST)

Mailing list code of conduct on github

Over on github more recently there's been another Code Of Conduct document developed:

It's come out of recent "diversity" discussions, and addressing the talk-us mailing list I think, but with the intention of being more widely applicable. Mind you it does seem to be quite mailing list specific. A few points on there which wouldn't make sense in relation to forum/irc. Even so I think it's better than the document we drafted here. It feels less wishy-washy. I like it.

Pointing out duplication and discussing a merge here But maybe the outcome of "merge" might be to adopt that better document.

-- Harry Wood (talk) 23:01, 13 October 2014 (UTC)