Call for Vote: Should the SecureDrop Community have a Code of Conduct?


#1

Bonjour,

A discussion about the Code of Conduct for the SecureDrop community started a few months ago and there was no consensus. In that case, a vote can resolve one of the following two problems:

  • for a minority to clearly state they are opposed, for their voice to be heard instead of being silenced by the majority
  • for a majority to block a minority of vocal community members who pretend there is a consensus

This poll is only about the existence of a Code of Conduct, not its content. The language of the Code of Conduct will then be discussed in a separate thread and is a significant work. This poll is a decision made by the SecureDrop Community and will only influence the spaces it is responsible for.

Should the SecureDrop Community have a Code of Conduct?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

The voters will not be displayed, only the Yes and No count. The vote will be closed in two weeks.

Cheers

Note: The Freedom of the Press Foundation will not be bound by the result of this vote. It is a non profit with a different decision process and is responsible for spaces and events where they can independently choose other rules, points of contact etc.


Code of conduct
The step too far
#2

As another note, there’s no defined language for the CoC yet. There’s been a few drafts, so this could be ever so slightly rephrased as “Yes I think we should have a CoC if we can write one with appropriate clauses” and “No, I don’t think we should have a CoC regardless of language used.”


#3

What about rewriting the sentence that is before the question instead of rewriting the question itself?

This poll is not about the content of a Code of Conduct, it is only about its existence.

It could be:

This poll is only about the existence of a Code of Conduct, not its content. The language of the Code of Conduct will then be discussed in a separate thread and is a significant work.


#4

I think that would remove all ambiguity. Fire away!


#5

Some open source spaces have incredibly inadequate CoCs with weak language that would likely fail when tested to protect people who are harassed. Other open source spaces (Rust comes to mind) have strong CoCs. That SecureDrop still does not have any language establishing expectations about what sort of behavior and language are and are not acceptable in this space is deeply sad.

I have resisted chiming into this conversation, but I am going to briefly say something because I think the existence of this poll shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what a CoC is and who it is for. It gives legitimacy to the idea that CoCs are optional. The digital rights world has a sexual violence problem, and combatting that requires actively writing these guidelines into projects from their inception. They should be among the first of commits to repos. Personally, I intentionally avoid engaging with projects or spaces that do not have CoCs, as to the vast majority of non-white, non-men I know in the digital rights world.

There’s this idea repeated again and again by men in open source spaces that it’s impossible to be both respectful and honest, and that a project cannot grow if its communications are limited by a CoC. It’s ridiculous, this should be a non-issue, and this poll should not exist. What kind of growth do we want for SecureDrop? Whose voices have been dominant in the CoC conversation thus far?

I want people to feel comfortable contributing to SecureDrop who have never done so before, knowing that this is a project that is intolerant of harassment and abuse. This poll isn’t how we do that.


#6

the existence of this poll shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what a CoC is and who it is for. It gives legitimacy to the idea that CoCs are optional.

Could not agree more! The points you raise @magpiewings are terrifically well articulated. Thank you for chiming in, and please consider doing so more in the future, both as we hammer out a CoC—frustrating though that process may be—and long after.

Responding to the original post, I believe the poll results adequately demonstrate that the community is dedicated to writing, publishing, and maintaining accountability to a CoC. Controversial as the question on whether we should have a CoC is, there is clearly not substantial dissent to the call for a CoC. Accordingly I motion to close the poll and resume discussion of the written details, so we can forge ahead.


#7

We usually let a week pass for everyone, even contributors who only check-in once a week or so, to get a chance to read & comment. Unless you think it would be damaging to keep this poll open for a few more days?


#8

No objections, @dachary.


#9

I just want to point out that the people least likely to comment on a forum post about a CoC are those we most want to protect. If people don’t comment publicly about needing a CoC does not mean we don’t need one. In fact, the opposite situation is likely true.


#10

^ What @bmeson said. Many might have concerns but many aren’t going to do something that turns their afternoon-to-several-days into their 90000th re-run of CoC internet debate.


#11

A week passed and it is decided to have a Code of Conduct, 11 votes against 1.


#12