Re: Code of Conduct at events

From: Julien Danjou <julien(at)danjou(dot)info>
To: John Goerzen <jgoerzen(at)complete(dot)org>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Code of Conduct at events
Date: 2010-11-10 16:07:17
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On Wed, Nov 10 2010, John Goerzen wrote:

> 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.

I agree with John that the code of conduct is probably not the right
thing in its current form.

I can't see how it can be useful to say to people in a code of conduct
what to do and not to do, like e.g. do not kill anyone.

If killing is not prohibited in the country of the event, therefore you
are just threatening them to be kicked out in response of such an
I would not come to an event where I could be killed, even if I'm
protected by a code of conduct telling people not to do it. YMMV.

OTOH, if it's prohibited by the country law, I don't see the point to
write a code of conduct which says that you can't do anything that is
prohibited by the law of the country.

A solution is to make sure events are organized in countries where every
participant estimates that the law is sure/good enough.

Writing your own set of laws and make the organizers have judgement
calls sounds like western.

My 2¢,

Julien Danjou
// ᐰ <julien(at)danjou(dot)info>


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