Wikimedia Engineering/WMF Tech Days 2012/Code of Conduct

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Code of Conduct / Online Behavior / Dev Privileges [edit]

How do we structure online conversations?

  • Mailing lists
  • BZ
  • IRC
  • Gerrit


  • brandon: Need something concrete to look at and say "No, you have screwed up." Ability to look at it and say that someone crossed the line, as opposed to a fuzzy, subjective line.
  • Trevor: Who makes the decisions?
  • sumana: MW core merge group. Makes sense, because they're the leaders of the community.
  • ariel: But if someone in that group is crossing the line, we have trouble.
  • guillom: Maybe those people don't want the responsibility, either
  • JamesF: And technical leaders don't necessarily make good leaders in this respect.
  • sumana: Well, and I'm willing to communicate the response of the "council"
  • asheesh: Not necessarily good to have people who select themselves to have power.
  • brandon: Everyone needs to be able and willing to step up and say "you're being a jerk"
  • sumana: But that feeds the flame wars rather than extinguishing them?
  • rob: "You're out of line" almost always leads to meta conversations about conduct....
  • RoanKattouw: Distinguish between telling someone that they're out of line and actually taking action against them. Very little precedent. If we had a policy, that would be good.
  • sumana: Need to talk to the community, but is there any opposition to even having a code?
  • Quim, JamesF, and Trevor at least somewhat opposed:
  • Quim: Confrontation happens. It's OK. But ending the conversation is not good.
  • JamesF: We're really good at being jerks. The rules on enwiki are bad. Because they're too much. Writing it down doesn't add value, so we just need people to use their common sense to take action.
  • sumana: I agree, but we need to consider that having a code of conduct will give others some peace

of mind that may not be there without.

  • Trevor: It's scary to have too many rules. But having a few rules might be OK.
  • sumana: Maybe having people, who are admins, simply extend their power to conduct.
  • Chad: Careful to talk as a community member, not as an employee.
  • brandon: Admins on enwiki may mark themselves as willing to take the heat for a decision, and

maybe we could replicate this into our other communities.

  • guillom: Maybe better to talk to this person privately or on IRC about their conduct, as opposed

to publicly and loudly.

  • brandon: Dangerous to do things privately, though, because it may mean that nobody will do it.