A Code of Conduct for the Go community

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Andrew Gerrand

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Jun 18, 2015, 5:20:16 PM6/18/15
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Hi gophers,

Since Go was launched nearly six years ago, our community has grown from a small group of enthusiasts to thousands of programmers from all corners of the globe. I am proud of us; so many great projects and such a helpful and passionate group of people. Sincerely, I consider myself lucky to be involved.

But as we grow we should reflect on how we can improve.

Take this mailing list, for example. While the majority of discussions here are respectful and polite, occasionally they take a turn for the worse. While such incidents are rare, they are noticeable and have an effect on the tone of other discussions. We can do better.

At times we can be overly didactic, meeting opposing ideas with inflexibility. When challenged by a differing opinion we should not be defensive, but rather take the opportunity to discuss and debate so that we may better understand our own ideas.

I'm also concerned by reports of abuse, harassment, and discrimination in our community, particularly toward women and other underrepresented groups. Even I have experienced harassment and abuse myself. This may be common in the tech industry but it is not OK.

We are the Go community; we get to choose what is OK and what is not. It's not a choice but a responsibility, and it is a responsibility that we have neglected too long.

The positive effects of diversity in communities are well-documented. If our community is to continue to grow and prosper, we must make it a more inclusive place, where all are respected and nobody is made to feel dismissed, unwelcome, or unsafe. 

To that end, I propose that we establish a Code of Conduct that would cover the behavior of community members on the various Go mailing lists and the golang subreddit, on IRC, in private Go-related correspondence, and at Go events.

I believe that any Code of Conduct we adopt should be goal-oriented ("this is what we aspire to") rather than rules-oriented ("don't do this!"). I also believe it should empower the community to help maintain a high standard: I want everyone to feel comfortable calling out bad behavior, without the need to appeal to authority.

I have done a survey of similar codes in various communities and the Django Code of Conduct is the one I like best. I am in favor of basing our code directly on that document.

I invite all members of the community to discuss, here in this thread, what they would like to see in our Code of Conduct. I will incorporate those ideas into an official Code of Conduct proposal document that I will submit using our new Change Proposal Process.

I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts.

Andrew

Josh Bleecher Snyder

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Jun 18, 2015, 5:38:45 PM6/18/15
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This is great. Thank you.

-josh

Peter Kleiweg

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Jun 18, 2015, 5:46:41 PM6/18/15
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I don't think I like this.

Dave Cheney

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Jun 18, 2015, 5:50:22 PM6/18/15
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Thank you for raising this Andrew.

I believe the Go community is not diverse enough and this directly impacts the success of the language and how it is perceived. A code of conduct combined with effective moderation of online spaces lays the groundwork for addressing this imbalance and you have my complete support.

Thanks

Dave

Jason Smith

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:06:07 PM6/18/15
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I appreciate the endeavor, but how does this trickle down to the online spaces.  A few weeks ago I called out a user for a racist handle on IRC and I was booted for not talking about Go.  I was not degrading the user I was just trying to explain to someone who obviously did not understand their handle was racist.

Chris Manghane

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:15:42 PM6/18/15
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Online spaces like the IRC and slack group will have to follow these codes as well to be officially endorsed by the Go team. I use the go-nuts IRC very often and find it to be one of the easiest and fastest ways to engage with the community. I imagine others do as well and it is unfortunate when situations like the one you described take away from that experience.


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Erik St. Martin

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:21:34 PM6/18/15
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I think the Django Code of Conduct is a perfect starting point. It reads more as the type of people and community we should aspire to be rather than written law.

I am also appalled by some of the discrimination and violent and disgustful threats i've heard about going on behind the scenes in many technical communities, including ours. I think that it's our duty to out these people publicly. With people afraid to call out others for their behavior we continue to allow them to abuse and threaten others, and that's not the community we want. One of the things people love most about this community is how welcoming it is, i'm happy to do whatever I can to help keep it that way.


On Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 5:20:16 PM UTC-4, Andrew Gerrand wrote:

Erik St. Martin

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:25:22 PM6/18/15
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Chris, we try to heavily enforce a code of conduct on the Slack group. We also require users to go by their full name instead of handles. I think removing the anonymity from the equation does wonders for having people choose their words carefully. Even some of the noblest of people can get out of hand when given an audience and anonymity.

Brad Fitzpatrick

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:27:27 PM6/18/15
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On Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 2:46 PM, Peter Kleiweg <pkle...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
I don't think I like this.

Any part in particular?


David Crawshaw

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:36:41 PM6/18/15
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Thanks Andrew, I think this is a great idea.

The Django code of conduct does look like a good starting point. One
possible adjustment, the last point "When we disagree, try to
understand why" sounds like a version of the Principle of Charity[1]
which could be referenced directly. I find it an invaluable technique
in technical discussion.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_charity

Keith Rarick

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:37:03 PM6/18/15
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Yes! This is wonderful. I wholeheartedly support this effort.

--

Peter Kleiweg

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:48:27 PM6/18/15
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Op vrijdag 19 juni 2015 00:27:27 UTC+2 schreef bradfitz:



On Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 2:46 PM, Peter Kleiweg <pkle...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
I don't think I like this.

Any part in particular?

The code of conduct part. 


Keith Rarick

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:49:55 PM6/18/15
to Erik St. Martin, golang-nuts, jasonric...@gmail.com
On Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 3:25 PM, Erik St. Martin <alak...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Chris, we try to heavily enforce a code of conduct on the Slack group. We
> also require users to go by their full name instead of handles. I think
> removing the anonymity from the equation does wonders for having people
> choose their words carefully. Even some of the noblest of people can get out
> of hand when given an audience and anonymity.

I think this is a noble sentiment, but we should also keep in mind that
requiring people to disclose their "full name" or government-documented
name can be harmful itself:

http://www.salon.com/2015/03/30/say_my_name_facebooks_unfair_real_names_policy_continues_to_harm_vulnerable_users/

Peter Kleiweg

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:51:58 PM6/18/15
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Op vrijdag 19 juni 2015 00:06:07 UTC+2 schreef Jason Smith:

I appreciate the endeavor, but how does this trickle down to the online spaces.  A few weeks ago I called out a user for a racist handle on IRC and I was booted for not talking about Go.  I was not degrading the user I was just trying to explain to someone who obviously did not understand their handle was racist.

Who gets to decide what is racist? And even whether or not racist is a bad thing? 

The morals of which country determine what is good conduct?

Burcu Dogan

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:54:52 PM6/18/15
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I think removing the anonymity from the equation does wonders for having people choose their words carefully. Even some of the noblest of people can get out of hand when given an audience and anonymity.

Even though removing the anonymity is encouraging others to choose their words wisely, anonymity is also a powerful tool when used with responsibility. It gives those who systemically discriminated a chance to speak up and participate. I wish this community will never have to adopt a real-name policy.

On the contradictory, I want to propose an anonymous reporting mechanism and a responsibility chain to review and address these concerns.

I have concerns about the negativity in the Go community and believe that it might be resolved easily with healthy discussion, good citizenship and a strong non-retaliation policy against whose raise their concerns.

Andrew Gerrand

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Jun 18, 2015, 6:59:12 PM6/18/15
to Peter Kleiweg, golang-nuts
On 19 June 2015 at 08:51, Peter Kleiweg <pkle...@xs4all.nl> wrote:
Who gets to decide what is racist? And even whether or not racist is a bad thing? 
 
If it's speech that makes people feel unwelcome and discriminated against, then I personally believe that's a bad thing.

Even now, without an official code of conduct, racism is not tolerated on this list, at least. I hope that representatives from the community who use the IRC channel will be involved in this conversation. 

The morals of which country determine what is good conduct?

The answer is that we get to decide what is good conduct. This includes you.

andrewc...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 7:10:52 PM6/18/15
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Sounds good,

If you have a problem with something, you should be able to logically outline why it is flawed in a civil way without personal attacks. We should also discourage playing the victim, which is on the other end of the spectrum.

Jason Buberel

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Jun 18, 2015, 7:17:33 PM6/18/15
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+1 to Burcu's suggestion:
 
On the contradictory, I want to propose an anonymous reporting mechanism and a responsibility chain to review and address these concerns.

Something like code-of...@golang.org, along with strong confidentiality and a commitment to a timely response.

-jason 

andrewc...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 7:21:06 PM6/18/15
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I don't think burdening someone like Andrew with the duty to be a private investigator and judge over personal issues is a good use of time.

Jason Smith

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Jun 18, 2015, 7:26:10 PM6/18/15
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I cannot imagine any situation where if someone found something offensive you could not respect that in a public space devoted to programming.

Burcu Dogan

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Jun 18, 2015, 7:26:11 PM6/18/15
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> without personal attacks

I had bad personal experiences with this. The definition of a personal
attack is far-fetched and our cultural differences make it even
harder.

Rust's code of conduct perfectly explains what to do in such cases:

"... if someone takes issue with something you said or did, resist the
urge to be defensive. Just stop doing what it was they complained
about and apologize. Even if you feel you were misinterpreted or
unfairly accused, chances are good there was something you could've
communicated better"

http://www.rust-lang.org/conduct.html

> We should also discourage playing the victim, which is on the other end of the spectrum.

This is type of response I get every time I am trying to talk about
about sexism. Tech community is not diverse and always crying out loud
that someone is playing the victim rather than acknowledging the
ongoing problems.
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Burcu Dogan

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Jun 18, 2015, 7:41:15 PM6/18/15
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> I don't think burdening someone like Andrew with the duty to be a private investigator and judge over personal issues is a good use of time.

It must be handled by a group of elected people and it is a good use
of time to make this community a healthier place. If people are
feeling unsafe or oppressed, nothing matters. I applaud anyone who is
trying to make this language a better place.
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Robert Melton

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Jun 18, 2015, 7:48:05 PM6/18/15
to Brad Fitzpatrick, Peter Kleiweg, golang-nuts
I have a few concerns I consider worth at least mentioning.

When reading the linked Django Code of Conduct they have a part in there
"In addition, violations of this code outside these spaces may affect a
person's ability to participate within them." which is really a push to
force Django's Code of Conduct on other communities. I am involved in
many different online communities, and what is considered acceptable
conduct in them varies greatly and often conflicts. The LKML may view
acceptable conduct very differently than Django.

Beyond that, you mentioned "in private Go-related correspondence" --
could you clarify the meaning of that? If I email a co-worker about Go,
is that a "private Go-related correspondence"? Is that something you
believe the Go Code of Conduct should apply to?

Now, those points are obviously slightly nitpicky (but I still hope you
will address them) and I think can be fixed by just cleaning up the
language a bit (or just removing it).

My more deeply held concerns are around repercussions. Because that is
what actually matters at the end of the day. Rules and consequences are
paired. Depending on the consequences some of the things decided by the
"review board" regarding the Go Code of Conduct could be career
destroying (or worse), and yet the way communities tend to handle this
is to have it "investigated" by a bunch of untrained, biased, personally
involved software engineers hearing a subset of the facts then rendering
a verdict, which unsurprisingly often finds on behalf of the person they
like more or know better.

The Django reporting (https://www.djangoproject.com/conduct/reporting/)
is an example of such a system. Now most of the consequences are
relatively trivial until you get to things like "banning" or "public
reporting"... because those can impacts peoples career or whole lives,
and in that case I would very much like to know who exactly gets to make
those decisions. Who are the "judges" and who picks them? What are the
core principals for deciding guilt or innocence? If you want to run a
mini-justice-system -- these are the things that have to be answered...
Presumption of innocence? Right to face your accuser? Rights to
fact-finding? Repercussions for false reports?

For example, as I wrote this, one of the posts on this thread was:

Burcu Dogan wrote:
> On the contradictory, I want to propose an anonymous reporting
> mechanism and a responsibility chain to review and address these
> concerns.

Anonymous reporting obviously flies in the face of the right of someone
to face their accuser, and makes a handy tool for blackballing someone
you don't like in a repercussion free way.

I hope everyone takes a moment to think about the possible very real
consequences such a system can have, as well as the responsibility it
entails.

--
Robert Melton | http://robertmeta.com

andrewc...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 7:55:52 PM6/18/15
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This is type of response I get every time I am trying to talk about
about sexism. Tech community is not diverse and always crying out loud
that someone is playing the victim rather than acknowledging the
ongoing problems.
 
There are people who are very sensitive, and there are people who are not sensitive at all. In general, we need to take the average case as the measure of legitimate problems. This is a matter of practicality. Just because some people are allergic to peanuts, doesn't mean we remove them from all menus.

Jeff Hodges

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:00:21 PM6/18/15
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This is great and essential for our growing group of folks. With our own Code of Conduct, it will be easier to bring in and keep friends and colleagues who would not make it through the exclusive winnowing of a community without explicit norms for behavior. The communities that are least explicit and introspective about what is not okay are those that suffer the most loss without even knowing it. This is happy first step. I look forward to the discussion!

james...@typesafe.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:00:39 PM6/18/15
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I'm not part of the Go community, but I think this is an excellent initiative, it's great to see more open source projects be intentional about diversity.

Varun Saini

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:00:39 PM6/18/15
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After a certain size, most of the communities need some type of "code of conduct" (Otherwise why we have all the laws and rules in real life). This is a good start. I totally support it.
 
But as the proposal says, make it something we aspire and not force.

Thanks,
Varun 

ad...@dashwith.me

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:00:50 PM6/18/15
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What's not to like?

stan....@readytalk.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:01:57 PM6/18/15
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I agree with this and I'm encouraged by this direction.  I would hope as a community we could elevate towards and maintain a high level of discourse.  Personally, I would like to see questions asking for code examples and help moved to a forum like stack overflow as standard practice and have the users link to the questions/answers from here.

Christopher Nielsen

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:02:00 PM6/18/15
to Andrew Gerrand, golang-nuts
Well said, Andrew! Thank you for proposing this. I support this 100%.
I've seen some exchanges on the Go lists that have been less than
civil, and I feel it is very important to be all-inclusive of ideas. I
also support the goal-oriented approach over rules-oriented.
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Paddy Foran

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:02:10 PM6/18/15
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Whole-heartedly welcomed. This is a welcome addition and I'm ecstatic it's happening.

alb.do...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:02:11 PM6/18/15
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My more deeply held concerns are around repercussions.  Because that is
what actually matters at the end of the day.  Rules and consequences are
paired.  Depending on the consequences some of the things decided by the
"review board" regarding the Go Code of Conduct could be career
destroying (or worse), and yet the way communities tend to handle this
is to have it "investigated" by a bunch of untrained, biased, personally
involved software engineers hearing a subset of the facts then rendering
a verdict, which unsurprisingly often finds on behalf of the person they
like more or know better.

The Django reporting (https://www.djangoproject.com/conduct/reporting/)
is an example of such a system.  Now most of the consequences are
relatively trivial until you get to things like "banning" or "public
reporting"... because those can impacts peoples career or whole lives,
and in that case I would very much like to know who exactly gets to make
those decisions.  Who are the "judges" and who picks them?  What are the
core principals for deciding guilt or innocence?  If you want to run a
mini-justice-system -- these are the things that have to be answered...
Presumption of innocence?  Right to face your accuser?  Rights to
fact-finding?  Repercussions for false reports?

This is extremely true. The creation of a "commission" of people that
rule about those anonymous reports is not something that should be
proposed lightheartedly.

pink...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:03:15 PM6/18/15
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Earlier this year, the Ada Initiative published a short article, HOWTO design a code of conduct for your community - they also specifically recommend the Django Code of Conduct as a specific good example.

It's important to provide a list of specific negative behaviors that are not allowed, as it clarifies expected behavior for the community, and prevents some month-long discussions on "Was this action inappropriate? How could the person have known it was inappropriate?"  It also lets people who are the victims of harassment know that if they report the harassment, they'll be taken seriously, and not chided or publicly shamed for being "too sensitive."

As they mention, it's sometimes difficult in an online space to determine people who "enforce" the code of conduct, as well as define specific, enforceable, consequences.

--Jemma

shre...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:03:16 PM6/18/15
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I strongly support this, thanks for recognizing the need and value of codes of conduct for healthy and positive communities.

Mark Mandel

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:03:17 PM6/18/15
to Josh Bleecher Snyder, Andrew Gerrand, golang-nuts
Yes. Thank you!

I quite like the Django one as well. Honestly, there isn't much I would personally add or change.

Mark


This is great. Thank you.

-josh

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Caleb Spare

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:03:55 PM6/18/15
to Andrew Chambers, golang-nuts
> There are people who are very sensitive, and there are people who are not
> sensitive at all. In general, we need to take the average case as the
> measure of legitimate problems. This is a matter of practicality. Just
> because some people are allergic to peanuts, doesn't mean we remove them
> from all menus.

If by "peanuts" you mean "actions that only harm a few people" then I
think it's a fine goal to run a peanut-free community.

Burcu Dogan

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:04:27 PM6/18/15
to Andrew Chambers, golang-nuts
> There are people who are very sensitive, and there are people who are not sensitive at all

This is not about sensitivity. I expressed this point a couple of time
in private threads and I want to repeat it publicly. The argument of
"There is no [x] issue in Go, because I didn't experienced it" is
flawed. Each individual who raises an important concern deserves
respect.

andrewc...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:11:40 PM6/18/15
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If by "peanuts" you mean "actions that only harm a few people" then I
think it's a fine goal to run a peanut-free community.

No, that is not what I meant. Peanuts are things enjoyed by the majority of people, but harm very few people. Many jokes are an example of this. Take the thread recently where someone was offended by the use of russian language. Many people thought it funny, and just joked. Some were apparently offended. Should anyone who wrote some Russian there be anonymously reported?

andrewc...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:13:40 PM6/18/15
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If by "peanuts" you mean "actions that only harm a few people" then I
think it's a fine goal to run a peanut-free community.

That is implying removing peanuts from people who enjoy them is not harming them.

Andrew Gerrand

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:20:06 PM6/18/15
to Andrew Chambers, golang-nuts

On 19 June 2015 at 10:11, <andrewc...@gmail.com> wrote:
No, that is not what I meant. Peanuts are things enjoyed by the majority of people, but harm very few people. Many jokes are an example of this. Take the thread recently where someone was offended by the use of russian language. Many people thought it funny, and just joked. Some were apparently offended. Should anyone who wrote some Russian there be anonymously reported?

Many people enjoy pornography. Does that mean we should allow it here?

Your posts seem to illustrate exactly why someone would want an anonymous reporting mechanism.

In the case of peanuts, let them make the report. Whoever reviews the reports can say "Well, just don't eat the peanuts. We don't want to deny everyone peanuts just because you don't like them. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable." 

In other cases, the reporter might bring our attention to behavior that is alienating people, likely in a way that we hadn't considered before. I think there's great value in that.

An important part of this process, IMO, is improving communication. If people don't feel that they can tell anyone of their discomfort, they'll just leave. That's a shame.

andrewc...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:29:05 PM6/18/15
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Many people enjoy pornography. Does that mean we should allow it here?
A fair point.

Your posts seem to illustrate exactly why someone would want an anonymous reporting mechanism.

In the case of peanuts, let them make the report. Whoever reviews the reports can say "Well, just don't eat the peanuts. We don't want to deny everyone peanuts just because you don't like them. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable."

You guys (Go team) are pretty level headed, so it would probably work fine under your judgment. I just don't want to see anyone crucified for lukewarm comments.

frogo...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:53:21 PM6/18/15
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On Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 4:48:05 PM UTC-7, Robert Melton wrote:
[snip]

This. The Django Code of Conduct — combined with the Reporting Guide — isn't merely a set of aspirational documents; it establishes a body of judges who act on anonymous reports and, at their discretion, makes career-ending pronouncements ("a public reprimand").

The Django Reporting Guide lacks a number of protections against false accusations; if someone makes false accusations that warrant a public reprimand and a permanent ban, then the accuser ought to have those same repercussions.

Jason Smith

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Jun 18, 2015, 8:54:21 PM6/18/15
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Removing offensive language from your dialog in a forum about programming is not harming anyone.  So if peanuts are statements that offend people, then no, you should not have peanuts.  You should be denied peanuts, but you can get by without peanuts.  People with peanut allergies do everyday.

Jokes about Russians, women, etc.  Those jokes have no reason to be in a discussion about programming. If you want to discuss those things, bring them to some other forum.

Your inability to make those jokes does not impact your or anyone else in regards to how you or they program in Go. 

macki...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 9:12:32 PM6/18/15
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Wow, more censorship?

Luckily I'm just barely into Go, so I'll just quit and learn another language with a community that doesn't forcefully censor people.

Fuck "social justice" and fuck this internet.


On Thursday, June 18, 2015 at 4:20:16 PM UTC-5, Andrew Gerrand wrote:
Hi gophers,

Since Go was launched nearly six years ago, our community has grown from a small group of enthusiasts to thousands of programmers from all corners of the globe. I am proud of us; so many great projects and such a helpful and passionate group of people. Sincerely, I consider myself lucky to be involved.

But as we grow we should reflect on how we can improve.

Take this mailing list, for example. While the majority of discussions here are respectful and polite, occasionally they take a turn for the worse. While such incidents are rare, they are noticeable and have an effect on the tone of other discussions. We can do better.

At times we can be overly didactic, meeting opposing ideas with inflexibility. When challenged by a differing opinion we should not be defensive, but rather take the opportunity to discuss and debate so that we may better understand our own ideas.

I'm also concerned by reports of abuse, harassment, and discrimination in our community, particularly toward women and other underrepresented groups. Even I have experienced harassment and abuse myself. This may be common in the tech industry but it is not OK.

We are the Go community; we get to choose what is OK and what is not. It's not a choice but a responsibility, and it is a responsibility that we have neglected too long.

The positive effects of diversity in communities are well-documented. If our community is to continue to grow and prosper, we must make it a more inclusive place, where all are respected and nobody is made to feel dismissed, unwelcome, or unsafe. 

To that end, I propose that we establish a Code of Conduct that would cover the behavior of community members on the various Go mailing lists and the golang subreddit, on IRC, in private Go-related correspondence, and at Go events.

I believe that any Code of Conduct we adopt should be goal-oriented ("this is what we aspire to") rather than rules-oriented ("don't do this!"). I also believe it should empower the community to help maintain a high standard: I want everyone to feel comfortable calling out bad behavior, without the need to appeal to authority.

I have done a survey of similar codes in various communities and the Django Code of Conduct is the one I like best. I am in favor of basing our code directly on that document.

I invite all members of the community to discuss, here in this thread, what they would like to see in our Code of Conduct. I will incorporate those ideas into an official Code of Conduct proposal document that I will submit using our new Change Proposal Process.

I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts.

Andrew

andrewc...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 9:15:33 PM6/18/15
to golan...@googlegroups.com, andrewc...@gmail.com

On Friday, June 19, 2015 at 12:54:21 PM UTC+12, Jason Smith wrote:
Removing offensive language from your dialog in a forum about programming is not harming anyone.  So if peanuts are statements that offend people, then no, you should not have peanuts.  You should be denied peanuts, but you can get by without peanuts.  People with peanut allergies do everyday.

Jokes about Russians, women, etc.  Those jokes have no reason to be in a discussion about programming. If you want to discuss those things, bring them to some other forum.

I never mentioned jokes about Women. The implication that I want to make sexist jokes is offensive to me.  Perhaps you should censor your own biases, it is impossible to avoid offending everyone.

Dan Kortschak

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Jun 18, 2015, 9:29:18 PM6/18/15
to Jason Smith, golan...@googlegroups.com, andrewc...@gmail.com
On Thu, 2015-06-18 at 17:54 -0700, Jason Smith wrote:
> Jokes about Russians, women, etc. Those jokes have no reason to be in
> a discussion about programming. If you want to discuss those things,
> bring them to some other forum.

Offence is very hard to define, the case Andrew was raising was a month
or so back where an OP posted asking in Russian whether there were any
Russian Go programmers. This provoked a number of answers in Russian,
some were intended to be directly helpful and some were obviously
playful games with language and languages and clearly not intended to be
offensive. However, offence was taken. They were not jokes about
Russians.

Dan Kortschak

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Jun 18, 2015, 9:30:44 PM6/18/15
to Jason Smith, golan...@googlegroups.com, andrewc...@gmail.com
On Fri, 2015-06-19 at 10:59 +0930, Dan Kortschak wrote:
> However, offence was taken.

I should add, not by the OP, but another list member.

adon...@google.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 9:38:04 PM6/18/15
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On Thursday, 18 June 2015 21:12:32 UTC-4, macki...@gmail.com wrote:
Wow, more censorship?

Luckily I'm just barely into Go, so I'll just quit and learn another language with a community that doesn't forcefully censor people.

Fuck "social justice" and fuck this internet.

The Code of Conduct is working already. :)

mcamero...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 10:10:49 PM6/18/15
to golan...@googlegroups.com, adon...@google.com, macki...@gmail.com
It proved the need for it and effected a change in one fell swoop. I'm on board with this! 

Dan Kortschak

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Jun 18, 2015, 10:29:02 PM6/18/15
to mcamero...@gmail.com, golan...@googlegroups.com, adon...@google.com, macki...@gmail.com
On Thu, 2015-06-18 at 18:58 -0700, mcamero...@gmail.com wrote:
> It proved the need for it and effected a change in one fell swoop. I'm
> on board with this!

But is also demonstrating how easily pitchforks can be brought out. The
poster said their piece and left. Let's move on.

Cameron Palone

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Jun 18, 2015, 10:32:00 PM6/18/15
to Dan Kortschak, golan...@googlegroups.com, adon...@google.com, macki...@gmail.com
Yes, let's. Good point.

Nate Finch

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:17:21 PM6/18/15
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I think this is a fantastic idea. I fully support it.  

Also, for the record, put me down as +1 to every last thing Burcu Dogan says on this thread, both past and future.  She is EXACTLY the voice we should be listening to. 

Those of you who are some or all of the following things (like me): straight, white, upper middle class, male, from the US... please realize that your view of the world comes from a position of power that is unrivaled by any other in the world.  Your view is skewed. My view is skewed.  We have to overcompensate for that, in order to put forth what is in actuality a balanced perspective.

There's no "playing the victim".  If someone says you're hurting/offending them, you are.  Period.  The fact that they have to speak up at all indicates that.  It is very rare for people to say you're offending them when you're actually not.  And regardless of how "overly sensitive" you think they're being, they are still being hurt.  So stop.

Nate Finch

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:24:19 PM6/18/15
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So... the code of conduct is a great idea... but it seems like Google Groups is an exceedingly poor place to enforce such a thing.  There are effectively zero moderation tools (I think you might be able to ban people?).  And Groups is not exactly Google's most actively maintained software.  Is there any thought of moving to a more modern system that might give us more tools to make the community a welcoming and friendly place?   Discourse seems to be built specifically for the purpose of making online discussion groups more friendly and useful.  I know it's not Google software, but it seems to have all or nearly all the features of Google Groups, and a hell of a lot more (moderation etc).

some...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:29:20 PM6/18/15
to golan...@googlegroups.com, mcamero...@gmail.com, macki...@gmail.com, dan.ko...@adelaide.edu.au, adon...@google.com
What about false accusations of homophobia / transphobia / racism / classism / sexism?

I see the Django Standards are silent on this point.

Do you refuse to have any standards, and will assume any person accused of thoughtcrime is guilty until proven innocent?

Do you abjure libel? Or is "punching up," as if by some secular transubstantiation, made to be not libelous?

I am a bisexual male and I must say, without such guarantees, I would feel very threatened by such word police.

-p

Chris Broadfoot

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:29:20 PM6/18/15
to Nate Finch, golang-nuts
On Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 1:24 PM, Nate Finch <nate....@gmail.com> wrote:
Discourse seems to be built specifically for the purpose of making online discussion groups more friendly and useful.

This thread isn't really the place for suggestions, other than ones relating to a Code of Conduct. I do suggest you start a new one, though :)

sc...@spotman.net

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:29:20 PM6/18/15
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Hi,

Being a daily user of Golang for several years, and encourage the use of it all the time, this is of interest to me.

Firstly, I completely agree that harassment is unacceptable in an online (or offline) venue.  

Curious, though, is this being proposed for the language of Go, or the discussion forum of go-nuts?

I think it makes sense for go-nuts, and should include things like "no porn", because its obvious porn would be out of place here and inappropriate.

I think it also makes sense for this to outline how a reasonable member of the go-nuts community should behave.

However, for an entire language guideline, I feel like something like what django has, is way too complex, and comes with it ways to enforce this, but seems to mostly be about enforcing it in their discussion forums.

If you look at Python's Code of Conduct, it is very short and sweet.

I hope that if what we are discussing goes for the entire language, it is short and sweet as a "recommendation" rather than some framework for telling people how to behave.

Personally (not saying it doesn't happen) have seen nothing offensive (I don't come on this forum much, and have never posted), so its hard for me to gauge how much of this is preventative, or reactionary.

Obviously we shouldn't put up with racism, misogyny, or harassment of any type.  Is this happening at rate that it needs to be in the main cultural prescription of the language?

The flip side is that sometimes we don't live in a perfect world.  Beyond the real bad stuff, engineers can be edgy and stubborn, and can even be coarse (see: LKML).  Yes this is intimidating. No, it's not anywhere near ideal.  So, guidelines to tell people this is not cool is one thing.  But enforcing that someone can't be a part of the entire programming language or be reprimanded for being edgy is far from ideal and sure to alienate some people that don't have time to deal with overly sensitive people.

But once again, what is our concern, and how much will we enforce it?  Something like a general "hey this is how to be respected here" is a totally different thing than "these are the rules, and this is how we enforce them".    

If I could possibly suggest that if we are making rules for how to engage the community, lets glue that to the individual communities, like IRC or go-nuts, and not the language, and if we are going to make some sort of cultural suggestion guideline for go as language overall, lets keep it short and sweet and "recommended", not "enforced".

Just my .02, cheers :)

Andrew Gerrand

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:34:48 PM6/18/15
to some...@gmail.com, golang-nuts, mcamero...@gmail.com, macki...@gmail.com, Dan Kortschak, Alan Donovan
On 19 June 2015 at 13:25, <some...@gmail.com> wrote:
What about false accusations of homophobia / transphobia / racism / classism / sexism?

Maybe that qualifies as "harassment"? 

Do you refuse to have any standards, and will assume any person accused of thoughtcrime is guilty until proven innocent?

Do you abjure libel? Or is "punching up," as if by some secular transubstantiation, made to be not libelous?

I am a bisexual male and I must say, without such guarantees, I would feel very threatened by such word police.

I will admit that I am utterly mystified by your message. Can you elaborate?

simran

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:37:36 PM6/18/15
to Nate Finch, golang-nuts


Those of you who are some or all of the following things (like me): straight, white, upper middle class, male, from the US... please realize that your view of the world comes from a position of power that is unrivaled by any other in the world.  

Funny... but that's actually quite an offensive statement. Feeling that your view comes from a "position of power that is unrivalled by any other in the world" is just arrogance! Despite it being offensive, i'd never like to see it "banned". 

Whilst i think the community guidelines are definitely beneficial, their implementation is paramount. I'm all for the founders and core contributors listing values / principles they live by. We will follow their leadership (everyone does not need to be a leader in everything!) - we can still have a sense of belonging without a sense of ownership. Effort will of course be needed to ban that which abuses the values/principles - if one of the principles were no mention of "12 letter words" - that's fine... we might think it's silly, but no big shakes... we can live with that and abide by it, alongside the other rules that do make sense. 

There is no wisdom in crowds (the community should not need everyone's buy in), only mob mentality. If the founders / core-contributes have values worth following - and from my perspective from what little i have seen, i definitely respect what they have to say - individuals will ignore the idiosyncrasies (like no 12 letter words), be able to still abide by it out of respect for the founders/cc, while still abiding by what they might believe in (eg. no abuse of other individuals) - and the "loosely structured" community will work :) 

IMHO, i think the founders/core-contributors (perhaps a dozen of them) should get together, form the guidelines and let the rest of us know their thoughts... i'm sure most will be happy, and i fact grateful and thankful. 
 
Your view is skewed. My view is skewed.  

Absolutely true... but there is nothing *wrong* with that... :) A recognition of it is good, but trying to fit the LCM every time will only get dumb outcomes. 

We have to overcompensate for that, in order to put forth what is in actuality a balanced perspective.

Balance... what a lovely word. A lot of times a "balanced view" is attributed to the Buddha... and yet, when one looks at his life, it was a life of extremes... i wonder if balance comes not from the "middle path", but from being able to capture two extremes :) 
 

There's no "playing the victim".  If someone says you're hurting/offending them, you are.  Period.  The fact that they have to speak up at all indicates that.  It is very rare for people to say you're offending them when you're actually not.  And regardless of how "overly sensitive" you think they're being, they are still being hurt.  So stop.

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mrek...@gmail.com

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:40:02 PM6/18/15
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I like this idea.

Thanks,

P.

David Chase

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:40:54 PM6/18/15
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To the people objecting on theoretical/hypothetical grounds -- are there examples of these theoretical problems actually materializing in other similar communities with codes of conduct?  Do we have anything beyond anecdotes, to the point that we could look to parts of the code of conduct that lead them to occur, and improve them?

I ask, because bias is not a theoretical problem -- it happens.  Harassment is not a theoretical problem.  Public behavior that is (to me) jaw-droppingly inappropriate/rude/tasteless is not a theoretical problem.  All these things happen, there are companies that I personally boycott because they tolerate this sort of behavior by their upper management.  I haven't been involved with Go enough to know if it happens in this community, but I know that we're not very diverse, and that is a problem.  I have been involved long enough to get the very strong impression that we assign a much greater weight to practical problems than we do theoretical-only problems.

My wife follows this stuff (she is threatening to send me some references even now), and low diversity in corporate boards is correlated with lower financial returns.  Higher diversity is linked to better decision making.  The only positive result correlated with low-diversity groups is "greater happiness" -- but those studies don't include excluded people in their happiness measurement.

So, really, this is a problem, and I think it is great that we're working on fixing it.

To look at this a different way that completely ignores diversity and only counts heads, have we observed in other communities that more people are excluded because of false accusations and process run amok, or are more people excluded because of harassment and bias?  A rational person seeking to grow a community would seek the policy that included the greatest number of people, even if it isn't perfect.

One older but useful reference (according to my resident expert): “Searching for Common Threads: Understanding the Multiple Effects of Diversity in Organizational Groups” by Frances J. Milliken and Luis L. Martins in The Academy of Management Review, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Apr., 1996), pp. 402-433

Dan Kortschak

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Jun 18, 2015, 11:41:31 PM6/18/15