[Osmf-talk] Proposal - OSMF Should **NOT** Adopt a Code of Conduct

Andrew Matheny andrewdmatheny at gmail.com
Sun Dec 3 21:27:34 UTC 2017

Hi Ivo (and everyone)-

I'm supportive of exploring a Code of Conduct. I don't want to single any
one person or specific instance out, but the mailing lists have been the
primary place where I've seen troubling behavior that's counterproductive
(and at times even harmful) to the community-at-large.

The point of adopting a Code of Conduct to "support growth" should not be
seen as a growth strategy except in the sense of improving retention of new
users that OSM is already gaining through organic means. What I think is
happening today is that new users sign up for the mailing lists, they see
what is sent back and forth, and then they either disengage or
unsubscribe.  A CoC would be a positive step towards ensuring that we have
fair and consistent standards as to how we behave towards one another, just
as we have basic standards at the State of the Map events.

As far as why this seems like it's suddenly an issue, it really has been an
issue for a while. I've been a part of conversations for some time with
other OSM users who have agreed that mailing list interactions have been
problematic, but given that the mailing lists aren't really moderated and
it doesn't seem like anyone has ownership of them, it's never been clear
who would be responsible for addressing it. I think Clifford (correct me if
I'm wrong) has taken the initiative of speaking up for the silent plurality
by putting this proposal forward.

For what it's worth, I agree that the first step of any Working Group
should be to establish whether a CoC is something OSM needs. If the answer
to that is "yes", then a process should begin of seeking community input
and feedback to establish what that looks like, how it's implemented, and
how it's enforced.

As a final thought, I've seen it mentioned that the fact that OSM has
amazing volunteers is a reason that we don't need a CoC. On the contrary,
that's the reason I'm optimistic that any CoC that comes out of this
community will be something that's fair and reflective of our quality



On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 2:41 PM, Ivo Stankov <ivo at e-stankov.com> wrote:

> I agree completely.
> From the proponents of a CoC, could you please give specific examples of
> previous behavior in the OSMF community which you think makes the
> creation of a CoC a necessity/must in order to suppress it in the future.
> Best, Ivo
> On 12/03/2017 07:29 PM, Rafael Avila Coya wrote:
> > Hi all:
> >
> > I am deeply against the adoption of any code of conduct for our (IMHO)
> > very civilised OSM community. Even the name sounds scary for me, and
> > have never read any CoC; I have more interesting things to do in life,
> > like mapping for example.
> >
> > Any code of conduct will make people more or less autocensure. I can't
> > see any interest of having that thing, unless for control.
> >
> > I also think it's a simple non-sense on what respects to the diversity
> > of cultures we have in a worldwide community: what is unacceptable for
> > some, it's fairly fine for others.
> >
> > I would see a CoC committee a kind of new Inquisition. I wouldn't trust
> > it at all, whoever the members of that committee (even if they were my
> > own family!). And whatever their resolutions, they would be simply
> > subjective. Please, don't compare that with meassures the DWG takes,
> > that are way more objective.
> >
> > We are (I hope) not interested in companies to be happy just because we
> > have a CoC or whatever they like we have. Because we are a community of
> > mappers who love mapping, not business people who want to attract
> > companies or institutions. We don't need to grow to be big. We are
> > great, because we have a healthy, free and independent environment to
> > practice our favorite activity: free mapping. We are bigger than any
> > (awful) ngo, institution or company full of restrictions and so called
> > Codes of Conduct.
> >
> > Some people feel frightened to participate in mailing lists? Well, I
> > think it's very exaggerated and makes me smile in general. But even if
> > that was an issue, the price we would have to pay for "solving" that
> > would be much bigger than the imperfections of a community that is
> > already very healthy in my opinion.
> >
> > I only hope that those of us who oppose any such move are a majority. I
> > don't think I would loose my interest in mapping, but I would certainly
> > loose interest in participating in the many OSM mailing lists (among
> > other media) that populates our lovely community.
> >
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Rafael.
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