Re: Code of Conduct at events

From: "Thijs Kinkhorst" <thijs(at)debian(dot)org>
To: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct at events
Date: 2010-11-10 09:44:26
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On Tue, November 9, 2010 16:07, Ian Jackson wrote:
> Recently I've been very disturbed to see that some FLOSS conference
> organisers apparently don't think it's their business to see that
> attendees to their events aren't sexually assaulted by other
> attendees. (And the blogospheric victim-blaming heaped upon the most
> recent victim[0] to come forward has been utterly vile.)

> I think SPI could usefully play a role here by encouraging and helping
> our Associated Projects take more responsibility for these issues.

I do not want to say anything about this specific case you cite as I do
not know anything about it. However, you seem to want to generalise.

In general, the majority of the accusations of sexual harassment reported
to the police turn out to be false, but also a significant number is sadly
indeed true; both very sad situations. This leads me to believe that it's
wise to (a) not take such accusation to be false out-of-hand, but (b) also
not to take it to be true in the same way. There are authorities who can
and will deal with these situations and conference organisers need to do
nothing more with such an accusation than to refer it to those who are
equiped to find out what really happened and can take all approriate

Your proposed code seems to request an active role of organisers while I
think the best way is just to leave it to professionals to resolve.
Organisers should facilitate this but nothing more.

There's already a code of conduct and it's called the legal code.
Violence, threats, racism, homophobia all are already illegal and putting
it into a code is not going to be more deterrent than the law. It seems
rather strange to me to recodify certain illegal behaviours while leaving
out other similarly undesirable and illegal ones.

Writing into a code which is already not allowed and for which exists an
entire system of enforcement professionals and fact finding procedures,
seems superfluous at best.



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