The Fedora Council has been working with the Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator to update and improve Fedora’s Code of Conduct. This work began with Brian Exelbierd during his tenure as FCAIC and was then picked up by Marie Nordin at the start of 2020. The new draft of the Code of Conduct is more comprehensive than our current Code of Conduct and will be accompanied by a set of Clarifying Statements. The Clarifying Statements are a work in progress.
2020 has been a tough year for Fedora(and the world) and as noted in the recent Code of Conduct Report there were more than two times the number of incidents than the year prior. Based on this increase, the Council has agreed to expand management of incident reports to a Code of Conduct Committee, which is still in development.
The updated Code of Conduct will go through the policy change policy process and will stay open for two weeks for community comment before moving to a Council vote. Please discuss this on the Discussion thread linked below. Significant updates on the Clarifying Statements and Code of Conduct Committee will be communicated via the Community Blog.
I’ll go ahead and be first to comment here. I’m going to repeat something I posted on Reddit recently, when someone recommended a minimalist Code of Conduct which says in its entirety “Be excellent to each other.”
“Be excellent” alone does not work. I know for sure because this literally was the Fedora code of conduct for many years. A statement like this does not influence people’s behavior or provide any help in keeping a community on track.
So, we switched to the current Fedora code of conduct, which describes itself as “a guide to make it easier to be excellent to each other.”
This is better, but it still has problems.
First, it is not specific enough. We have had several unfortunate situations with problematic behavior where the person involved simply felt that their actions were considerate and respectful. Sometimes it’s a troll; other times, someone with no clear idea what this is supposed to mean and cultural or other difficulties in getting to a shared idea. And for some people, it seems to just invite testing boundaries. (It’s a “code”, right? Let’s find the edge cases!)
Second, it is focused on intent, but not on impact. Behavior can be disruptive and harmful to other community members or to a community as a whole even if it was not intended to be so. These kind of violations don’t necessarily need to lead to suspension or similar consequences, but they may lead to a request to alter behavior, and possible escalation from there if that behavior doesn’t change.
Which leads to the third thing: it has no teeth. It says “It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively”, which we absolutely work very hard to do (often exhaustingly so), but it doesn’t give any clear indication as to what might happen when that’s not working out. And again, lack of clarity leads to boundary-testing.
So, I would definitely love to live in a world where “be excellent to each other” is sufficient. But we don’t, so we have to figure out a way to make the reality we have work.
I know these are examples but perhaps it should simply say “Official Fedora communication channel” and linking it to Marketing social networks - Fedora Project Wiki
Here, how will the Committee follow-up with the person who submitted the issue and vice-versa?
I’m pretty happy with this new version, it’s much clearer.
This is going to go in the to-be-developed supporting documents.
Fedora Community in their elected bodies? Communication channel moderators? As a collective brain?
Per my comment on the ticket at Issue #145: Code of Conduct Proposal - tickets - Pagure.io :
I find the term “sealioning” inappropriate and objectionable for inclusion in the code of conduct:
“Sealioning” feels like an “un-word” (from the German, Unwort - I don’t know what this really should be in English). I believe there are more common terms with legal applications like “badgering” (yes, another animal, as in “badgering the witness”) that are in wider use and could convey the same or similar meaning (which I understand to be repetitive hounding (yet a third animal!) of an individual to answer the same question when clearly no answer is forthcoming) without requiring knowledge of an obscure web comic.
Having now seen the web comic, I don’t really understand how “sealioning” has taken on the meaning it is intended the have here. It seems like the comic woman’s comment would run afoul of our code of conduct since it’s a public expression of dislike (hatred?) towards an entire class with no justification. Given the source material, I find the use of the term “sealioning” in the code of conduct objectionable. Substitute “sea lions” for any class or group of people in a comment within the Fedora community and I would hope that the speaker be called to account by some appropriate means (not necessarily “sealioning”).
If I am being honest, I agree with you in principle. Sealioning is not a conventional term and it is often used in niches. But knowing that the lawyers have signed off on this and that we have a Clarifying Notes and Statements section, I am not sure if it is enough to turn my vote.
I remain +0 on the new draft for this reason, at least for now. I’ll change my vote to a -1 or +1 before the end of the discussion period depending how this discussion goes and what other points folks bring up.
What is Sealioning?: A Type of Trolling | Merriam-Webster
I think that this term is like “trolling”. " Trolling" is a common term in tech communities since many years. And it is now common outside internet.
However I guess that also “trolling” was not a widely known and accepted term when it was coined. Like “sealioning” right now. But, as a devil’s advocate why “trolling” should be OK while “sealioning” should be not?
A good fix here would be “The Fedora Project has the right…”, since the Project has a specifically selected leadership that can make calls in cases where consensus or other agreements don’t happen.
Agreed. And the leadership can (and does) delegate that authority (e.g. to Magazine editors to moderate the comments, to Teams to moderate their discussion channels, etc).
@riecatnor tells me that we can make this level of change without triggering a full review. I think that probably also applies to the “Fedora Project has the right…” statement.
Continue the discussion at discussion.fedoraproject.org
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