Re: Code of Conduct at events

From: John Goerzen <jgoerzen(at)complete(dot)org>
To: David Graham <cdlu(at)railfan(dot)ca>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct at events
Date: 2010-11-10 15:10:14
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On 11/10/2010 07:00 AM, David Graham wrote:
> On Wed, 10 Nov 2010, Adrian Bunk wrote:
>> You don't need a code of conduct for going to the police and report a
>> crime.
> I come down firmly only the side of Adrian on this.
> It is totally inappropriate for any event organisation to have to put
> out a code of conduct that says "you must follow the law." That code of
> conduct exists. In fact, it is called "the law."

I am mostly in agreement with you, David. But what the law says, and
how well it is implemented, varies widely across the world. While in
much of the west, we can count on police help, can the same be said of
every country that might host, say, Debconf?

I'm still not sure that a "code of conduct" is really the right thing.
I think that the more appropriate thing would be training for conference
organizers on how to deal with various situations. This is obviously
one that they should be prepared to deal with. There are others:
medical emergencies, disruptive behavior, etc. How to deal with them is
probably going to be different in different places.

I am in complete agreement that it should not be up to conference
organizers to attempt to adjudicate allegations. They have the right to
ask someone to leave, but ought to do so without leveling allegations at
that person. There will obviously be judgment involved in such cases.
But to attempt to declare someone's guilt or innocence opens one up to
serious potential for lawsuits, at least in the USA (libel, slander,
discrimination, etc.) Plus, it's not something that tech conference
organizers are trained to do well.

-- John


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