GHC Steering Committee adopts guidelines for respectful communication

Based on what I’ve heard about CoCs in the last few years, this one seems to be excellent. My knowledge on the topic doesn’t run very deep, however, so I’m interested what other people in this community have to say about it.

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It’s great in a lot of ways… for being the healthy-guidelines that it is.

RMS’s / GNU guidelines (that inspired GHC) are already linked in an issue for me to review when updating our own Guidelines to Healthy Communication.

These types of unenforced guidelines are indeed valuable. I’ve aimed to have ours relatively complete, drawing on the best of each thing we come across.

On CoC vs healthy-communication guidelines

I don’t like the trend where we see that some people (especially young activists) use CoCs in a toxic, retributive, zero-tolerance way. But I don’t support writing off CoCs as inherently like that.

A good CoC isn’t entirely negative-focused and has a nuanced approach to enforcement. Most communities will be better off with a full CoC and not only some general guidelines. To avoid an overly-punitive CoC, just don’t make it overly-punitive.

On not enabling toxic call-out culture and shaming

we will not make public accusations… …write to that person privately, gently drawing attention to their lapse. If you’re not comfortable with that, please contact the chair of the committee…

Important key points, and a cornerstone of our approach.

Our CoC for reference

In case anyone hasn’t seen it, our CoC 2.0: — unlike any others, we combined the concept of honor-pledge (not our original idea) with the CoC to frame all the rules as positive pledges to good behavior. (I plan to write a blog post about this whole topic and our policies).

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