Public forum code of conduct

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This page documents an adopted policy of Free Geek Vancouver
Approved by: General on December 8th, 2009.
For use when participating in public forums such as public mailing lists, IRC, or meetings

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This is the code of conduct we Geeks use when participating in public forums such as public mailing lists, IRC, or meetings

This list is not exhaustive and is meant to be a living document. Please consider suggesting other guideline that you feel would be helpful.

Code of Conduct

Free Geek is an idea and a place collaboratively built by humans. Communication is essential for the growth and maintenance of the organisation. This code is designed to provide guidelines about what constitutes safe, positive and healthy. Freedom is important to us, but so is mutual respect and tolerance.

This code of conduct is not optional. People wishing to participate in the Free Geek community must follow this policy, to facilitate the enjoyment of this community by its participants. Every day presents opportunities to renew and maintain a safe, positive, and healthy community!

  • We should abide by netiquette ("net etiquette") at all times
    • These guidelines are detailed here

  • We should assume good intent on behalf of the author
    • We are each here because of our love of Free Geek

  • We should be conservative in what we say, and liberal in what we accept from others (just like when writing internetwork code!)
    • Make extra effort to convey your messages in a way they can be received
    • Make extra effort to understand messages in the way they were intended

  • We should not send private info to public forums
    • e.g. Foo Corp wants to drop off some equipment, and we should call their manager Jane Doe at 604.555.1234
    • Private or performance-related information about staff, directors, or volunteers has no place on the mailing list. They are people, not celebrities.

  • We should not make things personal.
    • e.g. A complaint about a volunteer, staff, or director - criticise ideas, not people
    • Criticise in private, Compliment in public
    • Criticise ideas, not people

  • We should be civil, even if the conversation heats up
    • Seek to understand before being understood
    • Don't forget a sense of humour :)
    • Even if you disagree, try to understand how the person feels and trust that they are saying something that is important to them.

  • Directors, staff, and senior volunteers should be mindful that they are official representatives of Free Geek Vancouver, and that their words carry additional weight and responsibility
    • Leaders in a community must be extra mindful and disciplined to set a positive and productive tone

  • We should use public forums for relevant discussion and proposals
    • Use discretion when cross-posting from non-Free Geek related events/links/news; they should not be contradictory to our principles.
    • Public forums are not the best place for back and forth arguments

  • We should not pursue disputes in public forums
    • Free Geek's public forums are for Free Geek business and communication amongst folks who are interested in Free Geek. There are separate avenues to address grievances and complaints. Contact a staff person, director, or member of HR for help. They can act as your ombudsperson and can keep your issue in confidence.
    • If you have an issue with an individual at Free Geek, you can ask for mediation to resolve the conflict. Contact a staff person, director or member of HR for help with conflict resolution.

  • We should not post libel, insults, or threats
    • Kindness and respect are required of everyone
    • Making unprovable or untrue remarks about people is not fair and can be illegal

  • We should not use profane language, or terminology that excludes or targets others
    • Demeaning remarks related to ability, gender, orientation, ethnicity, age, class, religion, nationality etc. are not okay
    • While swearing is no big deal to some, it can alienate people of certain generations, cultures, or sensibilities
    • Be sensitive when using acronyms or jargon. Do not assume others are familiar with them, and understand that they may present barriers to understanding or make people feel inadequate or excluded.

  • Free Geek's public forums are an extension of Free Geek's physical building.
    • Very occasionally, Free Geek bans someone from the premises (e.g. for theft, or violence of any kind, etc.). If you have been banned from Free Geek's premises, you are also banned from Free Geek's public forums for the duration of your ban.
    • If you wish to appeal a ban, contact a staff person, director or member of the HR workgroup who can act as your ombudsperson.

Messages that do not respect of this code of conduct are subject to the Mailing List Message Removal Policy and may be removed from our public archives.