The Code of Conduct does not mention harassment

Bug #1602344 reported by C de-Avillez on 2016-07-12
32
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ubuntu Code of Conduct
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

In a mail thread on the Community Team mailing list [1] we had a discussion on the perceived lack of references to harassment. This came after other projects either amended or added text to explicitly incorporate condemnation of harassment for example, [2].

The Ubuntu CoC has always been understood (at least for some of us) as *also* promoting diversity. Nevertheless, perhaps this is not, currently, clear. This bug was opened as a sequence in the process of amending the CoC, making it more explicit both in its own text as with additional external documentation, either linked to, or surrounding the CoC text.

We had a UOS session in May 2016 where we discussed the CoC changes. A summary of the session is available at [3].

[1] https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-community-team/2016-April/001170.html
[2] https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/about/governance/policies/participation/
[3] http://pad.ubuntu.com/uos-1605-code-of-conduct-review (login required)

Related branches

C de-Avillez (hggdh2) wrote :

My *personal* view is that we should add a "and no harassment in any form" somewhere. The CoC is beautifully concise, and we should keep it this way. But, somehow, we should make clear that we:
* do no discriminate in any form;
* do not accept bullying or harassment in any form;
* require that all that participate in the project also abide by the CoC (perhaps making the signing of the CoC superfluous).

The addition of links with more in-depth discussion of the golden rule would be really nice.

Changed in ubuntu-codeofconduct:
status: New → Confirmed

So shall we write a draft now?

summary: - CoC: mention harassment, enforcing, additional docs
+ The Code of Conduct does not explicitely mention harassment
summary: - The Code of Conduct does not explicitely mention harassment
+ The Code of Conduct does not mention harassment
Scarlett Gately Moore (sgclark) wrote :

We don't allow frustration to turn into a
personal attack, and harassment in any form is never tolerated

I am sorry but this just doesn't ring right in my ears.

Perhaps?
Frustrations turning into personal attacks and harassment in any form is never tolerated.

C de-Avillez (hggdh2) wrote :

@Scarlett: your wording suggests that only when frustration turn into harassment we would have an issue. But these are two different behaviours that we do no tolerate:

* frustration turning into attacks, and
* harassment in any form, colour, or shape.

Although the path frustration -> attack -> harassment is clear, harassment can happen independently from frustration.

What about:

"Disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. We work together to resolve conflict, assume good intentions and do our best to act in an empathic fashion. We don't allow frustration to turn into a personal attack. *Similarly, harassment, in any form, is not tolerated.* A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one.

Scarlett Gately Moore (sgclark) wrote :

Much better.

Was only pointing out the first revision made zero sense.

Thanks,
Scarlett

Can we drop the "Similarly", in favour of just:

  Harassment of any form is unacceptable.

Mark

Benjamin Mako Hill (mako) wrote :

<quote who="Mark Shuttleworth" date="Thu, Jul 14, 2016 at 06:22:04PM -0000">
> Can we drop the "Similarly", in favour of just:
>
> Harassment of any form is unacceptable.

Yes. This sounds better.

The CoC was designed to communicate that harassment is never OK in
Ubuntu. It is also designed to make it clear that forms of
inconsiderate and disrepectful behavior that might not rise to the
level of harassment are also not OK. It's hard for me to imagine that
harassment of any form could somehow also be desribed as respectful.

Of course, if having the word "harassment" in the document clarifies a
real misconception that this could somehow ever be OK under the code
and/or makes it more clear that it's something Ubuntu won't tolerate,
then adding this is definitely a good thing.

Regards,
Mako

--
Benjamin Mako Hill
http://mako.cc/academic/

Creativity can be a social contribution, but only in so far
as society is free to use the results. --GNU Manifesto

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Mako! LTNS :)

C de-Avillez (hggdh2) wrote :

So the new proposed text (with context) is:

"Disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. We work together to resolve conflict, assume good intentions and do our best to act in an empathic fashion. We don't allow frustration to turn into a personal attack. *Harassment in any form is unacceptable.* A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one."

Anyway, It is, for me, clear that supporting docs will have to be made available. As one commenter on the original branch pointed out, we should make clearer what meaning we use on the keywords (like "harrasment", a quite-overloaded one).

oldos2er (oldos2er) wrote :

I would've thought "Harassment in any form is unacceptable" to be implicit in the CoC as it is written, but I've certainly no objection to making it explicit.

I think that more important than telling what is aceptable or not is pointing that we have a strong position against it. Moreover I think that a positive statement will have a more positive impact, as to focus on what we want rather than on what we don't want.

As specimen:

"It is natural for people to have diferent views, and our aim to work together is more important that those.

The purpose of personal attacks and harassment is never constructive, and we are strongly positioned against them."

ventrical (dale-f-beaudoin) wrote :

@all.

What about silence? I mean to say that what if a member(s) just decide to silence another individual, ie; on outstanding bugs or requests or personal e-mails are not answered or such as with the ubuntuforums (social networking) private mails are not answered - basically - person(s) being ignored. Is this beyond the scope of harassment ? I mean "disagreement is no excuse for poor manners" is very well altruistic but if we silence or ignore others then it becomes a moot point.

Regards..

ventrical (dale-f-beaudoin) wrote :

@Alberto

As specimen:

"It is natural for people to have diferent views, and our aim to work together is more important that those.

The purpose of personal attacks and harassment is never constructive, and we are strongly positioned against them."

That's a fair comment and easy to abide by.

Regards..

QIII (qiii) wrote :

I think it would be unwise to link harrassment with the statement about "community comfort." This implies that harrassment is disallowed only because of what it may do to the community. The community is affected, of course, but harrassment should be forbidden because of what it does to the individual being harrassed. Regardless of the community to which we belong, none of us, as individuals, deserve to be harrassed for any reason.

The policy on harrassment in the CoC should be clearly and concisely stated in a single sentence: "Harrassment in any form is unacceptable."

ventrical (dale-f-beaudoin) wrote :

Aye, Aye ! +1 :)

I personally prefer to focus on what we want, rather on what we try to avoid. As it's not the same saying "I don't want to suffer" than "I want to enjoy".

Additionally "harassment in any form is unacceptable" doesn't state for who is unacceptable. I think it's important to tell that is improper for us in particular.

C de-Avillez (hggdh2) wrote :

@Alberto: as far as I can understand it, it is clear from context. It is unacceptable for *us*, the Ubuntu community.

@ventrical: silence is not harassment in a generic context. Most of the times people will not comment, if a comment is not needed, or if they fell they do not have the necessary qualifications to comment, or if they consider the issue at hand already well commented about, etc.

If, nevertheless, a situation arises within the community where someone feels being ignored, they can call on the Community Council; alternatively, they can send an email to a mailing list related to the work affected.

I am still strongly favorable to the for in comment 9 above.

C de-Avillez (hggdh2) wrote :

@Alberto: although, in general, I am also much more favorable to positive statements, sometimes stating what one does NOT want is clearer. I think this is one such case.

ventrical (dale-f-beaudoin) wrote :

@hggdh2

Just to clarify my own thoughts .. I spoke to my significant other this morning who is a Grade 1 school teacher at a public school setting. These public schools are inter-faith and children from all walks of life attend there. I asked her how she would define harassment in this school setting. She replied 'harassment is repeated negative response (or negative behaviour) directed towards an individual without providing a valid basis for correction' . This of course is from as aspect in administering discipline or correction to children age 6. From a social networking point of view it could include some of the same things but the term 'harassment' is pulling out the broad brush stroke as it could mean different things to different cultures... so I propose an addendum as such..

'A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one.Repeated negative responses to an individual with no valid basis should be considered as a form of harassment and as a community we should always hold to a higher bar when dealing with any such forms of harassment or bullying.'

Regards..

@ C de-Avillez

Neuro-science tells us that when you focus on what you want, your actions and resourcefulness rises.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo

C de-Avillez (hggdh2) wrote :

@ventrical: we prefer to keep the CoC as short and concise as possible. You suggestion could well be placed as additional information/clarification to the CoC, but I do not feel it belongs directly *in* the CoC.

@Alberto: I do not disagree. Still, it is clearer.

ventrical (dale-f-beaudoin) wrote :

Yes .. I agree .. short and concise is better.
Mark has it bang on.

Regards..

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