Loomio
Wed 29 Aug 2018

Code of Conduct and Reporting Guidelines RC1 -- membership vote.

MN
Matt Noyes Public Seen by 335

The Release Candidate Code of Conduct and Reporting Guidlelines were approved by the Community Working Group. Now they are proposed to the Social.Coop membership.

The documents are here:

Code of Conduct
https://git.coop/social.coop/community/docs/wikis/code-of-conduct/Code-of-Conduct-V3-Release-Candidate-1

Reporting Guidelines
https://git.coop/social.coop/community/docs/wikis/Reporting-Guide/Reporting-Guide-v3-Release-Candidate-1

We refer to them as Release Candidates to emphasize that they are subject to revision as we apply them and discover opportunities for improvement.

Following the bylaws (https://social.coop/bylaws), these two documents are posted here for six days for Social.Coop members to vote and comment. The text includes key elements in brackets -- these are procedural pieces that need to be determined by the CWG when it comes to implementing the CoC and RG. (In addition, Fabián Heredia, Matt Cropp and others are preparing Federation Guidelines that address off-instance violations, which will be discussed and adopted separately.)

For more info and background see the Git repo: https://git.coop/social.coop/community/docs/wikis/home as well as the various Community Working Group threads here on Loomio. (Starting here: https://www.loomio.org/d/nwTUWefP/exploring-a-code-of-conduct-for-members)

People involved in the preparation of these documents include: @manuelabosch @jakebeamish @emido @asimong @matthewcropp @michelekipiel @nev @robertbenjamin @leosammallahti @tomelliott @wolftune @fabianhjr @mayel @stephaniejokent @meltheadorable and many others who made comments and suggestions.

MN

Matt Noyes started a proposal Wed 29 Aug 2018

[Urgent] Social.Coop Code of Conduct & Reporting Guidelines Closed Sat 1 Sep 2018

Outcome
by Matt Noyes Sun 2 Sep 2018

The Social.Coop Code of Conduct and Reporting Guidelines RC1 passed the membership vote. 49 out of 219 people voted, of those 87% voted Agree, 6% Voted Disagree, and 6% Abstained. There were no blocks.

The next step was to be for the Community Working Group to create the procedures and teams necessary to implement the CoC and RG. That step is on hold pending discussions about a possible re-organization of Social.Coop.

Suggestions made during the voting process are being included in updated versions of the CoC and RG, which may then be submitted to the membership for approval at at future date. See https://www.loomio.org/d/iuqQFGS6/code-of-conduct-reporting-guidelines-rc1-revisions-group

Please vote and comment on the proposed Code of Conduct and Reporting Guidelines RC1. The text includes key elements in brackets that are procedural pieces that will be determined by the Community Working Group (CWG) when it comes to implementing the CoC and RG. The CWG is empowered to amend the CoC and Reporting Guidelines in ways that don't substantially alter the intent.

Code of Conduct
https://git.coop/social.coop/community/docs/wikis/Code-of-Conduct/Code-of-Conduct-V3-Release-Candidate-1

Reporting Guidelines
https://git.coop/social.coop/community/docs/wikis/Reporting-Guide/Reporting-Guide-v3-Release-Candidate-1

Due to the recent issues around moderation this is an urgent matter. [See the CWG Embassy thread for more details]

Results
Agree - 42
Abstain - 3
Disagree - 3
Block - 0
45 people have voted (22%)
MC

Matthew Cropp
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

LS

Leo Sammallahti
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

Thank you to all those involved!!

J

John
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

FHM

Fabián Heredia Montiel
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

KS

Karl Schultheisz
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

AS

Arini Suhono
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

ES

Ed Summers
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

It's great to see this happening. The only question I had is how report submission will work. But I guess that's TBD?

ES

Ed Summers
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

It's great to see this happening. The only question I had is how report submission will work (google forms, etc). But I guess that's TBD?

R

Risabee
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

N

Noah
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

K

kawaiipunk
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

Looks good! We can always revise over time.

C

captainbland
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

JB

Jake Beamish
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

@

@h
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

I'm voting in the affirmative understanding that this is urgently needed and that we will continue to update and improve upon this first version often. Thank you all who contributed.

JH

Jeff Hardin
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

My thanks to those who contributed substantial time and labor on this effort. The use of "we" in sections of the copy strikes me as less than optimal. But overall a very thorough document.

ED

emi do
Agree
Wed 29 Aug 2018

DVN

Dave V. ND9JR
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

NZ

Ned Zimmerman
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

MI

Mathew Inkson
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

Thanks for all your work on producing these documents.

MK

Michele Kipiel
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

Great stuff indeed, thank you for all the time and effort you put into formalizing this!

M

mike_hales
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

NS

Nick S
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

SG

Simon Grant
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

Really great team work, thanks!

AW

Aaron Wolf
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

echoing @h I think adoption is clearly positive. I expect there will be concerns raised and room to improve as it's put in practice (and several things to just be fleshed out / added that aren't complete enough yet).

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

I'd like to add my thanks as well to all who carried this initiative forward!

B

Brian
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

RB

Robert Benjamin
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

K

Keith
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

This is very good. Thanks to everyone who worked on it.

TB

Thomas Beckett
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

Excellent work by the drafters. Thanks!

G

Greg
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

T

Tao
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

I strongly agree with @jamescurryiv that we should be more explicit about being antifascist, antiracist, anti-transphobic and that we prioritize creating a safe space. That being said, a CoC is better than no CoC so I'm voting yes!

M

Michael
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

The documents are a good starting point as they stand, and a solid base on which we can build going forward. Thanks to everyone involved.

NP

Neville Park
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

This is just part of a long process; I think there is much that could be improved, but that it's good enough to use for now.

GIM

G I McGrew
Agree
Thu 30 Aug 2018

D

Darren
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

EM

Erik Moeller
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

Excellent work.

M

Melody
Disagree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

This is absolutely not good enough. I'm disappointed that all the time spent on this was unable to produce a better draft, and the current reporting guide is inadequate to resolve anyone's concerns about social.coop's moderation. I suspect this proposal will pass, but if it does, work on new revisions should start immediately, this is not done yet.

CG

Cathal Garvey
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

Plenty of work and improvement yet to make, but good to have basic frameworks in place.

@

@caribou
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

TD

Tobias Damm-Luhr @tobiasfdl
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

Thank you to everyone who worked on this. I’m also looking forward to seeing how it’s revised in the future.

D

dphiffer
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

a vote for incremental progress

IS

Ian Smith
Disagree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

The reporting guidelines need to address off-instance harassment and federation.

LO

Luke Opperman
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

FHM

Fabián Heredia Montiel
Abstain
Fri 31 Aug 2018

Only the CoC should pass.

AT

Ana TA
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

GSF

Gil Scott Fitzgerald
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

ZL

Zach L
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

I tend to agree with folks who say there are things that should be added but it is a good starting point

ZL

Zach L
Abstain
Sat 1 Sep 2018

Interested in only approving CoC and making reporting guidelines explicitly anti-fascist and anti-terf

AW

Aaron Weiss
Disagree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

I’m really worried about the collection of language around positive conduct which is framed in a way that could be weaponized against marginalized people. It seems like that whole section could basically be used to say “you were assuming bad faith” when you read e.g. someone’s coded racist language the way it was intended. Also co-signing concerns about off-instance harassment reports.

MK

Michele Kipiel
Abstain
Sat 1 Sep 2018

After being made aware of the severe limitations inherent to the reporting guidelines as proposed, I can't approve of both documents anymore. The CoC may pass (albeit as a tentative version in need of deep amendments).

MN

Matt Noyes Wed 29 Aug 2018

As has been pointed out, it has taken some time to create a Code of Conduct and Reporting Guidelines. A lot of work went into incorporating critical feedback and suggestions and various examples were consulted. Still, there is room for improvement. My hope is that people will vote "Agree" if they feel these are "good enough" to adopt at this point, understanding that they will need to be revised as we put them into practice.

N

Noah Wed 29 Aug 2018

Definitely not a blocker, just a clarification, but can anyone elaborate on the "Stewards" that are referred to in the reporting guidelines? I know I am not well-informed on what's happening here in Loomio but I don't think I've seen that role defined anywhere.

(edited to add) Thanks to everyone who worked on this, it's important work and it's apparent that you put a lot of care and effort into the process.

MN

Matt Noyes Wed 29 Aug 2018

The CWG or relevant subgroup is going to have to figure out the best way to organize the work. Stewards is language from the Enspiral code, I believe. Really, it should be in brackets as an aspirational placeholder for "the people who will do that work."

FHM

Fabián Heredia Montiel Thu 30 Aug 2018

Hey @mattnoyes, I think due to the recent issues around moderation this is an Urgent Matter and the time for this proposal should be reduced to just 3 days (another 51 hours from now)

/cc @mayel / @matthewcropp (or someone with admin power to reduce the time)

MK

Michele Kipiel Thu 30 Aug 2018

Agreed. We don't have the luxury of time now

FHM

Fabián Heredia Montiel Thu 30 Aug 2018

The time was reduced and the urgente header added per the bylaws. It was scheduled to close in 5 days. (Now 2)

M

Melody Fri 31 Aug 2018

It's extremely frustrating to me that suggestions along the lines of making "diverse political opinions" explicitly protected and removing all explicit language around which marginalized groups can expect to be defended here was relegated to a completely inadequate footnote. I remember arguing against this change in a prior draft, but it seems that several of the people trying to reduce this code of conduct's value to marginalized people got their way in the end.

It's absolutely ridiculous that the draft has been allowed to be shaped this way, and if this is the draft that passes, it's unlikely to make anyone outside this instance feel better about this organization, what it stands for, or who it stands behind.

I realize that I was not available at some critical stages in this process, my life has made it difficult to devote the kind of energy and attention it would have required to argue this case, but I felt the need to express my frustration, disappointment and words of warning -- this draft is not good enough to renew the trust that this instance lost, and it's barely adequate as a first step.

The reporting guide is, in all honesty, absolutely horrifying to me. I'm not sure I could even begin addressing the problems that I have with it at this stage, but at the most basic level, the community working group is far too large a body to be receiving and acting on violation reports, and reporting requires an extraordinary amount of labor from somebody who may be actively experiencing sustained harassment or abuse. The framing that a report of a violation should also only be pursued as a "last resort" is going to significantly deter people from doing it. The process as it stands is effectively just going to silence or push away victims of harassment and is not designed for the kind of immediate action that people in acute distress will need in a delicate situation. The deliberative, investigative process is not appropriate for most of the more urgent kinds of reports, it's only appropriate for resolution after the harm has stopped.

We need to do much better than this.

ED

emi do Fri 31 Aug 2018

Thanks for taking the time to give feedback Melody. It's really really needed.

The CoC and RG posted here are most definitely Release Candidates. With the small group of us working on it, we felt like we had reached a point where we needed more feedback like yours in order to make sure members voices were heard.

The concern you have raised about not making specific marginalized groups explicitly listed was one that was agonized over and was made because we didn't feel that it could ever be inclusive enough. Your concerns were definitely heard but may not have been adequately represented. I hope the next CoC candidate will better reflect the needs of the groups you have expressed concern for.

The 5 of us that were able to meet on a video call to discuss the last iteration of the CoC and RG before releasing this version as the first release candidate tried our best, but it is clear we need more diverse voices at the table. I understand that it is not fair to ask people who are feeling the pinch for time/energy or emotional and mental capacity to participate in video calls or even in editing documents. I really like the idea of more of us engaging in one-on-one or small group conversations/toot-a-thons where we can discuss solutions and changes that would better reflect our collective needs. It's a big challenge, but an exciting organizational one, where we truly have a membership run CoC and accountability process.

M

Melody Fri 31 Aug 2018

So part of the purpose of the explicit list is a commitment and a signaling mechanism -- being 100% inclusive in a list is obviously impossible, it's also likely to be counterproductive to purpose. That being said, one of the things a list does is it acts as a way of saying that, at the very least:

"these are oppressions we understand, expect to be able to recognize, and believe we are capable of enforcing the code of conduct around"

so part of the value of a list is it allows people to see if their group is represented, to see if the creators of the code of conduct believe themselves to be capable of enforcing it along those lines, or are at least committing to try

by footnoting the list, what's happened instead is that information is now buried, along with a vague statement that the idea of inclusivity was more important than the commitment to represent those groups' interests

MK

Michele Kipiel Fri 31 Aug 2018

I agree with restoring the original position of the list and remove the footnote.
On a side note, our bylaws already include an "in-line" list:

including but not limited to gender/gender identity, nationality, religious background, ethnic and racial identity, sexual orientation, economic status, and disability status.

Let's put that list in-line as soon as possible.

CG

Cathal Garvey Fri 31 Aug 2018

Agree that we should include that inline statement ASAP and make a vote on an RC2. I don't think we should block RC1 because of the urgency and the long delay, but this is a key thing to include.

On this note though, I have concerns:

"these are oppressions we understand, expect to be able to recognize, and believe we are capable of enforcing the code of conduct around"

I actually like this framing, but if we accept it then we also accept what it implies. That is, if we are saying what we understand, can recognize, and believe ourselves competent at handling... we're also saying that anything outside that list might be outside our capacity to handle competently.

This is actually always true, it's just a question of whether we make it kinda explicit. So for example, if we get conflict between two sectarian groups that the rest of us basically know nothing about, how do we decide who is being oppressed? Even here in Ireland if a Northern Ireland catholic and protestant start attacking each other, it's really not possible for anyone outside to decide who's in the right/wrong.

I don't actually want an answer to the above, and I don't want to make it into a tarpit. It's not for RC2, RC3, etcetera to decide the undecideable. But maybe if we start thinking early about what's not possible to resolve with a CoC or even with expert community management, it will help us to frame a better one. Just thinking aloud and sharing thoughts, here, sorry.

M

Melody Fri 31 Aug 2018

People keep focusing on the list but it's barely a problem compared to the massive screaming gaping holes in the reporting guide. The policy that guide describes is hostile to victims of harassment and abuse, it needs to change urgently.

MK

Michele Kipiel Fri 31 Aug 2018

reporting requires an extraordinary amount of labor from somebody who may be actively experiencing sustained harassment or abuse.

How can we improve on this?

CG

Cathal Garvey Fri 31 Aug 2018

Last I checked there were comments in the docs suggesting that we formally change this to "use the Mastodon report feature", because we're primarily discussing Mastodon activity. Looking at the requirements on the report form as proposed, I'd have issues with it also.

This maybe calls back a little to what I said a little while ago, but two-way conflicts are naturally hard to adjudicate upon. Necessarily then, we focus mostly on one-way forms of abuse, where we're talking about the wrongness of the interaction, rather than the wrongness of people involved (yes, this wrongness can reflect on the people involved, naturally). So reports can, and by default maybe should, be "fire and forget" for the plaintiff.

If someone's being awful to you, as much as possible it should be possible for you to block and click "report", give minimal context, and let the software (e.g. Mastodon) handle the rest.

We should have a form for exceptional cases, but most of the fields on the form should be optional.

Would that be an improvement in your view, @meltheadorable?

M

Melody Fri 31 Aug 2018

Ask less of people, don't frame the whole thing as requiring reports to come from somebody directly involved, migrate the responsibility for investigation to a group handling appeals, or somewhere later in the process, make sure that initial reports go to a much smaller group that can act swiftly and unilaterally on a temporary basis for harm-prevention and sort out the messy parts later.

CG

Cathal Garvey Fri 31 Aug 2018

I would also endorse proactive silencing of accused accounts or instances in cases where the issue can't be summarily resolved.

Because social.coop isn't a dictatorship, we necessarily move more slowly (volunteer democracy, eh). Normally I'd be against proactive forms of punishment before resolution is in place, but in our case I think it's an appropriate trade-off.

The only hazard that I can see right now, besides bruised egos, is direct abuse of a proactive silencing system to silence people out of disagreement. But that's a behaviour pattern that is relatively easy to describe and punish.

My next question, maybe best to reiterate at top-level in this thread, is when do we start drafting RC2? Because it looks overwhelmingly like this will pass, now.

MC

Matthew Cropp Fri 31 Aug 2018

@meltheadorable To address what I think is an ambiguity:

My understanding of how this will flow in practice is that the CWG ops team (which is looking like it will shake out to 5-7 people, with a rotating "on-call" role) will be the front-line first responders to reports. As the Ops Team will be a creation of, and accountable to, the CWG, the empowerment of the CWG in this provides a framework to delegate to the team to make those swift, in-the-moment calls.

M

Melody Fri 31 Aug 2018

That addresses one issue, but the CWG being 50+ people and basically opt-in membership makes trusting the confidentiality claims made in the document nearly impossible. 50+ people can't keep a secret, and basically anyone could join the CWG in order to get access to the "confidential" details of reported incidents. I suspect that the CWG will need to be dramatically pruned or that the community ops group will need to be separate and then empowered specifically for this work instead. It's fine to have a large group working on policies, but not to have that large of a group handling sensitive confidential information.

MC

Matthew Cropp Fri 31 Aug 2018

I agree - we're discussing the ops team proposal in more detail on Sunday, but my sense is for it to have a closed space to deliberate and make its decisions, with consulting the Standing Jury, which is also a closed, limited size elected group, on cases it doesn't feel it can decide independently.

So, ideally something would only be processed at the "open community" level in an appeal-type situation.

CG

Cathal Garvey Fri 31 Aug 2018

Whether upgraded to "Urgent" or not, it seems highly likely that the RC1s will be passed. The largest objections so far have not been "blocks", which would be the only likely way to prevent them.

But, those objections are serious, particularly surrounding the data/exposure intensive reporting system based on a form, per @meltheadorable's thread. So there's clearly already a list of issues to address in RC2.

May I suggest that the CWG commence work on RC2 presumptively? :)

MN

Matt Noyes Fri 31 Aug 2018

Hi Cathal, I would say, based on experience, that anyone who calls for a new version is thereby volunteering to write it. If you are ready to do that and others are ready, too, then by all means.

AW

Aaron Wolf Fri 31 Aug 2018

I get the point here is of encouraging people to volunteer to do important work. I suggest framing that as opt-out, as in: "Great points! I'd like you to please start the process for immediately drafting the updated next version. Ok?"

That pulls someone in and lets them opt-out still. And it doesn't spread the message of "don't speak up if you don't have time to volunteer". So, for example, @meltheadorable has extremely valuable input and points here, and the last thing we'd want is to discourage that just because she may not have bandwidth to volunteer further.

MN

Matt Noyes Fri 31 Aug 2018

Sorry -- that was an expression of frustration. I agree with your re-framing.

MN

Matt Noyes Fri 31 Aug 2018

@iansmith Did you see this proposal? https://www.loomio.org/d/tZd5gIS1/permanent-federation-policy-proposal It is intended to fill that gap.

FHM

Fabián Heredia Montiel Fri 31 Aug 2018

Hey, @mattnoyes I agree with everything @meltheadorable said about the Reporting Guidelines and I strongly think that regardless of the passing of the proposal the Reporting Guideline shouldn't be used.

FHM

Fabián Heredia Montiel started a proposal Fri 31 Aug 2018

[Urgent] Disregard the Reporting Guidelines and only adopt the CoC should the previous proposal pass, adopt the CoC otherwise. Closed Mon 3 Sep 2018

(this is a proposal so that we only adopt the CoC)

Results
Agree - 16
Abstain - 1
Disagree - 1
Block - 0
18 people have voted (9%)
FHM

Fabián Heredia Montiel
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

AS

Arini Suhono
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

DU

[deactivated account]
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

IS

Ian Smith
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

@

@h
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

I agree with @jamescurryiv and @tao that we should be more explicit about being antifascist, antiracist, anti-transphobic, and against of all forms bigotry.
Just so there aren't any doubts left that condoning eliminationism is absolutely, unquestionably wrong because some people still aren't clear about it. That can only seem redundant to people who feel safe in relation to eliminationism, and people who lack all sense of empathy, but many people can't afford that luxury.

DVN

Dave V. ND9JR
Agree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

MN

Matt Noyes
Disagree
Fri 31 Aug 2018

We can proceed to edit the Reporting Guidelines without a new proposal. Much of the weakness of that document stems from our decision to kick many procedural questions to the CWG to resolve. It would be great to make those more explicit in a new version of the RG.

MK

Michele Kipiel
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

JH

Jeff Hardin
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

ZL

Zach L
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

SG

Simon Grant
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

M

muninn
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

Good enough. Get it in and amend as needed later.

GD

George Dorn
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

J

Joho
Agree
Sat 1 Sep 2018

M

Michael
Agree
Sun 2 Sep 2018

LO

Luke Opperman
Agree
Sun 2 Sep 2018

NS

Nick S
Agree
Sun 2 Sep 2018

CW

I’m coming to this vote without time to educate myself on the issues. Most votes seem to want to entirely scrap Reportong Guidelins. Why can’t they be amended to work with new proposals?

MN

Matt Noyes Fri 31 Aug 2018

Hi Fabián, in that case wouldn't it make more sense to disagree with the current proposal and urge others to disagree? People can change their votes. You could even block -- which seems to me like a terrible idea, but it is an option and it lowers the threshold needed to reject the proposal.

FHM

Fabián Heredia Montiel Fri 31 Aug 2018

I think the CoC should pass and be reformed. But the Reporting Guidelines are counterproductive. (Specially now)

This way it will only be a 2 day limbo for the reporting guideline.

DU

[deactivated account] Fri 31 Aug 2018

I am persuaded by others' arguments above (especially @meltheadorable and @fabianhjr) that the reporting guide is not workable. I am prepared to support whatever emerges as the most effective path for addressing the situation, including changing my vote on this proposal to "disagree" or by voting "agree" on the new subproposal to disregard the reporting guidelines should the CoC pass. Can you three find consensus on what you think would be the best path forward, both in terms of better protecting our members ASAP and getting a sustainable process in place for the long haul?