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

Martin Koppenhoefer dieterdreist at gmail.com
Mon Dec 4 12:57:57 UTC 2017

2017-12-04 10:23 GMT+01:00, Nikos Roussos <comzeradd at fsfe.org>:
> To reverse the question posed many times in this thread. What do we have to
> fear from a CoC? If a part of our community feels safer and more empowered
> by having a CoC to declare what probably most of us already consider common
> sense, then it worths it. Why so much discussion about it? What's the
> drawback?

a part of the risk is imposing cultural norms from a certain context
to the whole world.
This whole topic is ultimately about finding a community-wide balance
(in case of international context): asking all contributors to be
tolerant and respectful. Both are required, but for both values there
aren't absolute scales. It depends on the context, and where you
actually put this border (the actual effect) will vary a lot based on
whom you ask.

The term "code of conduct" itself could seem offensive, it puts
paternalism over personal judgement and reflection, it puts people in
the situation that they have to obey to certain rules with regard to
their behaviour (and what is considered "adeguate behaviour" depends
on social / cultural norms that might not be their own) and without
being allowed to make an autonomous decision based on their own
evaluation about an adequate form in the given context. People might
refrain from posting if they have to fear someone judging (and
ultimately potentially punishing) them based on a CoC.

some risks I can see:
- cultural imperialism
- cultural monotony
- self-censorship (i.e. some topics might not be discussed anymore,
although they would be relevant)
- frustration and misunderstanding (many non-native English speakers
might not be able to decipher the actual message, if it is sugarcoated
in conversation codes).


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