Hackspace foundation code of conduct


#1

Hi Peeps,

We kicked off a discussion some time ago regarding code of conduct which needs to be a little easier to find both on the website and the forum but can be found at https://www.hackspace.org.uk/foundation/codeOfConduct.md

We discussed this in github issue https://github.com/UKHackspaceFoundation/foundation/issues/5 and didn’t really come to a conclusion, so I’m going to kick off a discussion here to try and get a conclusion so we can close the issue and move on to the next fun thing!

At the moment our CoC is applicable to both virtual and physical meetups and the question was raised of if that’s appropriate or indeed needed?

My feeling is that if we can keep the two areas covered by one CoC then we don’t need to worry about this in either circumstance however there were opinions on the side of simplification and keeping it to a minimum.

I’m going to page @russ, @NotQuiteHere, @amunizp and @axford as participants in the original discussion to add there thoughts here for discussion.

Thanks, Ian.

P.S. If you’re unclear on the merits of having a code of conduct, then you should discuss that, however please can you create a new thread so that we can keep the focus here on the question above. Thankyou :slight_smile:


#2

Personally I feel we should keep the reference to the physical as we are planning to have at least one meetup and do have representatives at places like Maker Faire UK.

We need consequences for it as well however, as a CoC without consequences has no teeth.

tamarisk


#3

@NotQuiteHere it does have consequences… the last paragraph of the CoC links to: https://www.hackspace.org.uk/foundation/badBehaviour.md

:slight_smile:


#4

I coulda sworn that vanished entirely…

The formatting, across both documents, has gone a touch awry. I will add fixing it to my list of things to do but if anyone else fancies fixing it they should go right ahead :slight_smile:

tamarisk


#5

As an external reader, I have a problem to understand the context of the document.
It is my understanding, the the HSF will be a membership organisation comprised of membership organisations and individual members. Membership organisations will have representatives to the HSF.
Most of the code of conduct and the consequences document above appears to be cut and paste of those from the underlying member organisations, It appears to deal with mainly personal interactions, but the consequences described may be on the member organisations.
It is also not clear if the code applies to member organisations representatives and individuals who are interacting within HSF, or if it applies to all members activities at the member hackspaces.
In either case I would expect a clear description of the interaction between a member hackspace and the HSF in the resolution process if the consequences are upon a member organisation.


#6

I also am not sure the document is tailored for its current use. For
what it’s worth, it also seems to me to be written in quite a negative
tone - the way you would speak to someone you didn’t like and from
whom you expected trouble. I think it could usefully be expressed in a
more positive way and without some of the barbed asides.


#7

Please could you give examples of what you consider to be “barbed asides”.

Mark Wainwright wrote:


#8

Well, for example - one point reads:

“Aggression and elitism are unwelcome – knowledge is not a competition.”

The second part of this sentence is not about conduct per se, but
reads like a put-down to someone who has said something obnoxious.
Whether even in that case such a put-down is helpful is another
matter, but here I would call it a barbed aside.

The first half of the sentence also demonstrates what I mean about
tone - it is almost aggressive itself. The same information could be
put with more, or any, focus on the positive behaviour being requested

  • for example, something like this (which could no doubt still be much
    better):

“Be respectful and courteous to others, and help ensure everyone feels
welcome to participate, even if you disagree with them or believe that
you know more than they do.”

In my experience it creates a much better community feeling to read a
document about respect and courtesy than one about aggression and
unwelcomeness, even if they express the same thing.

Mark


First UK Hackspace Foundation V2 meetup
#9

I’m not directly responsible for this code of conduct, but it is ultimately based on something that I happened to help write, so I’ll weigh in:

What you’re interpreting as barbed here is meant to be concise and pithy. I don’t think it’s the purpose of a code of conduct to make people feel warm and fuzzy; its purpose is to make it clear what behaviour is unacceptable.

For better or worse, a lot of codes of conduct end up as long documents with lots of exhaustive lists of possible infractions. This invites both skim-reading and rules-lawyering.

There’s no need to dress it up. A code of conduct should be short enough for someone to quickly read and straightforward enough for them to struggle to sensibly disagree with. (When we originally wrote this, we said that “we have a complexity budget”.)


#10

CoC looks good to me as it is but to be biased I’d like xenophobia to be included on the first paragraph list. Or show support to diverse cultural background (Liverpool vs Manchester, England vs whales, Croydon vs Chelsea). But I agree we can’t list all.

The mention about moving other’s stuff, I agree, should be kept but with a change in context or an example using stalls?


#11

I’m not directly responsible for this code of conduct, but it is ultimately
based on something that I happened to help write, so I’ll weigh in:

I should say that I am not criticising anyone for the form of the
code, but suggesting a possible improvement. But of course, if
everyone else is happy with it as it is, that’s fine.

I don’t think it’s the purpose of a code of conduct to make people feel warm
and fuzzy

Not its principal purpose, no. But I do think it helps if people
reading it feel they are being welcomed into the community with a
reminder of what is expected of them, rather than vetted for possible
unsuitability - of course, provided it can be done with equal force.

its purpose is to make it clear what behaviour is unacceptable.

Yes, or put another way, what behaviour is expected :slight_smile:

There’s no need to dress it up. A code of conduct should be short enough for
someone to quickly read and straightforward enough for them to struggle to
sensibly disagree with. (When we originally wrote this, we said that “we
have a complexity budget”.)

Yes, sure - but I don’t think that asking for positives rather than
listing the corresponding negatives needs to be more complex or
longer. Admittedly my hasty example was too long and could have been
shorter.

Mark