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Our Community Participation Guidelines

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Our Community Participation Guidelines
Moving from policy to action
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Moving from policy to action: Learning to live by our Community Participation Guidelines
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thank you
hi this is my first FOSDEM and I'm having such a good time can you hear me okay awesome um I'm Larissa you wanna just did a great job of introducing me she's right I am a former developer and product manager I worked on many things but the open source projects you would know are buying the name server software is C DHCP open Solaris and then Mozilla project used to be a Perl hacker hacked a lot of Perl long ago so other things about me which are may be interesting I'm a mom I'm 45 don't have a technical degree I'm from California English is my first language I attempt Spanish and I attempt German in French but if you come at me too fast I won't understand you I'm pointing those things out not so much because they're relevant to the content of the top of the relevant to Who I am and they're elements of diversity right I'm also a queer woman what else not there's a lot of things about me that are me that are part of who I am and they're part of what I bring to work into my community contributions right and all of you have lots of things about you that are relevant to your work into your community contributions and the best environments for us are the ones where we can bring all those things and not have fear about that so that is what we're gonna get around to talking about it some things we might cover I'm gonna talk to these loads but I'm also going faster than I would have because it's a half an hour or not an hour took a little bit about our CPG is a quick way of writing community participation guidelines a little bit about why we changed them because we went through a big process of changing them what we have learned through changing them in case you might want to change ORS or you might want to learn from our mistakes or you're part of our community and you're curious any of those things just a side note I love questions there are no wrong or stupid questions with me ever and you can ask them any time just put your hand way up because there's a lot of you okay so feel free to interrupt me it's okay so this is something that Mitchell
said about why we have our community participation guidelines I like people to read it I'll let you read it basically if our mission as Mozilla is to make the internet a global public resource open and accessible to all we need to be a community made up of the diversity of the world and we need to be a community and a product welcoming of the diversity of the world and to do that we need to have ways that we work together that we know how to work together okay so I'm gonna have you answer questions if you want I have t-shirts they look like this they are this t-shirt I will give you one after this out there so that we don't interrupt the next talk if you want to answer any of these questions and you don't have to be right just like there's no stupid questions there are no wrong answers there are just different answers anybody or I can answer them all the t-shirts will be mine it's okay if you don't want to I'm gonna start and people can jump in so what are the community participation guidelines we talked about that but basically they are Mozilla's code of conduct for how we treat each other are the behaviors that we expect and their behaviors that we do not think are acceptable and they are applied everywhere that mozillian czar together when did we make them I believe it's eight years ago the first version and what's changed about the guidelines and why I'm gonna get into in my presentations that we learned to worry about that why do we need them at all well we talked about that and I would say because in order for us to feel safe bringing our whole selves into a project we need to know that that's not going to cause us a problem or a barrier and also that if you're a person who is in some way substantially different than the other people already in the project you need to know that you're specifically welcome not just that people are welcome but that you are welcome that's really important anyway I'm going to keep going because
so I like to highlight this slide because it's sort of why we have the guidelines right we need to have a baseline shared understanding for how we treat each other and a process for what to do when that doesn't work out if we don't have that then we don't know what's expected of us and we don't know what to do when things go wrong which happens more often than we would like to think all right a few statistics about more about the why and there's three here first one is based on an EU study about inappropriate behavior and it's a workplace statistic but I think in many ways open-source is like a workplace and this in this regard so 14% of people in the EU report problematic behavior and 20% of Mazzilli UNS have reported something happening online that they found inappropriate and that was a Mozilla staff statistic but it's also seems to be being borne out in community research and also relevant is that these kinds of situations often shift who feel safe to participate and that may be one reason why only 11% of open-source community participants are women there are lots of other diversity demographic statistics we could go into that's not really the theme motifs talk but I love to talk about it someone wants to find me at lunch tomorrow feel free okay so one of the things I
want to talk about is like how and why we changed our process so we created our community participation guidelines and they were much like an event could have conduct but a little more general and they were not necessarily extremely specific about the different groups of people and communities and attributes of people that they protect or what would happen if something went wrong right it was more general than that and over time we got a lot of feedback from people as well as I would say the entire culture around these types of documents shifted and has moved forward and so we decided we needed to do a revision and I tried there to map out what we did but basically we got a lot of feedback then we also did two different substantive diversity and inclusion research projects one broad broad project with a more more involving Mozilla stuff and the second one being very specifically community focused and in both cases we got a lot of information that people didn't know what the guidelines were or what they were expecting them to do or how to make a report of a problem or what would happen if they did or whether the guidelines applied see were protected them so we were like well this is a problem right so we started a revision and we did some community forums where we met with lots of folks and asked people what they needed we gave a revised version a period of comment or we put it on a lot of different Mozilla discourse and other forums public blog posts etc to get feedback we got a lot of feedback we incorporated a lot of feedback we then revise the guidelines with a team and with Mozilla leadership so what we ended up with involves directly editorial work by our most senior leadership which i think is important for any project that your that your leadership team your your whatever that group of people is really support and buy-in to whatever you come up with as guidelines because otherwise when things go sideways they may not feel strong about backing you and you really want that and then we re-release the guidelines and I'll go over the content of them in a second but we also very much consider them a living document and that people can recommend change or effectively make a pull request and submit a patch right anytime and in fact there's one place in here where I tell us has something because it's something that we're really into grating in right now based on someone's contribution so what's in the guide lens anyway does anyone have any questions yet all right I'm gonna talk about what's in there and then a little bit about what you might want to do if you have your own guidelines or you're trying to make them
I'm gonna go quickly there's a lot of stuff here but also I put the slides on the FOSDEM page and I'll send them to anyone who needs them this is the first two paragraphs of the guidelines I like to share them separate from talking about the more sort of bulleted list sections because I think they get into the spirit of why we have it and what it really means we really want to recognize appreciate and respect the diversity of our global contributors everyone who engages with mozilla in any way and all of the different things that we are right and we expect agreement and adherence to the guidelines from everyone who's involved right so that we can have a safe and positive experience and that is important enough to emphasize many times and I would encourage those of you who organize Mozilla's stuff to make this that clear to your communities I find it has nothing but a positive benefit when we do lots of words here but the high level the TLDR of this is that any place that you are representing mozilla or in a mozilla space or engaging with mozilla ins or doing the thing that you have mozilla attached to you you are covered by the guidelines and so are the other people there so like one of the things people don't always think about is if you're at a conference that's not a mozilla conference but you're representing mozilla and something happens to you that's really not awesome then you feel violates the guidelines the other person is not necess mozillian we will still try to help you and we will talk to the conference and do our best to advocate with you because you are there as a resilient right for example basically if you're not sure whether a situation is covered by the guidelines it probably is um you know the long list of diversity dimensions and then you'll notice the nice Firefox Orange any other dimensions not listed comment that means if it turns out that in your community there's a huge war between the people that wear the blue socks and the people that wear the orange socks and someone insults someone else based on their stock choices still in the guidelines right we just don't take our commentary to personal attributes we don't and also there's a lot of things here that are specifically described in English that may not be described in the same way in your native language and maybe aren't clear and that's what I mean when I say there's no stupid questions if you want to ask me later like what does that mean I don't understand it's really okay I'm happy to talk about it whatever it is and I mean that sometimes people don't think I mean it there you go and sometimes there are also dimensions of diversity that are really important in a specific cultural context that aren't listed because either we were unaware of them or they're really important to a small group of people as opposed to the broader global community they're still they're still covered okay there we go so these are like the the titles of for long paragraphs in the actual text of the guidelines which is on mozilla.org and there's a link to it in the slides but also if you just use your favorite search engine DuckDuckGo community participation guidelines you will find them the four things that we really expect from mozillian Zand which I believe are really important in general for all of us are to be respectful hopefully I don't need to explain what that means being direct but professional and professional is a little bit of a funky word in the context of volunteerism but I would say what we mean there is it's really ok to have conflicts it's really okay to disagree but we need to do it in a way where we really let the other person know but in a respectful manner right and then listen to them and have even a heated argument just without devolving into personal attacks appreciating and accommodating similarities and differences I think the really important thing here is accommodating and like within Mozilla one of the things that comes up a lot here is thinking about other people's language or timezone or food it was too
dark Thanks yeah it's getting back outside and I were really jet-lagged so if I don't notice like you know meteors coming at us that's because I'm I'm from California oh it was just like nothing all right thanks for that so um and there's more detailed examples on the and again in the full version but also I think leading by example is really important we're all anybody who's here is probably involved enough in your communities that you are in fact a leader so the ways that we act in the ways that we treat people other people notice and do the same it's really important to me and I think too many of us right this is the fun slide about the things that we don't do so I think what's important to me to point out here is a lot of this is relatively obvious but one thing is that the impact of violent language that is just and I'm using what Americans call air quotes there in words on a screen is big and it sometimes might seem like that's not a big impact but one of the things that studies show is that violent words lead to violent behavior right so we don't tolerate violent words we don't tolerate people talking about killing each other people talking about guns know another thing that's maybe not always obvious is influencing or instigating unacceptable behavior so like heckling a speech is not okay neither is elbowing your neighbor and being like oh this person yeah let that guy right that's not okay the thing that's in italics that's because that's a recent submission that I'm adding in to the guidelines which is that it's not okay to be at an event and see someone say something totally racist or sexist or homophobic to someone else and not deal with it that doesn't mean to like interrupt and make a giant scene you need to find a way to deal with it right and that's hard that's a big expectation right but I think it's important that as as community we stand together and take care of each other so that's why we're making that evolution of our guidelines well this is a big long slide and I'm not gonna go into detail here but what I want to say is if you are a person who's creating your own guidelines our code of conduct it's really important to spell out really clearly for people what will happen if they make a report or if someone makes a report what potential sorts of consequences there are who will hear about it because that makes people both to a more safe reporting and feel hopefully less worried that there's going to be some random thing that's going to come after them right if people don't know who's at the other end of the thing right they have something really painful that they need to tell someone and they're sending it to an anonymous email alias and they don't know who's on the other end they may not do it right so we try to be really explicit you will reach these people these are the things that could happen when people respond to us we have a whole process that we go through and you'll hear like I will get back to you in this many days I will not tell anybody else about this until you tell me it's okay those kinds of things really I have found this to be important and in general I would say if you're the person who's created a code of conduct or guidelines for your organization what are the number one things and I'll get to this more is just be prepared for people to actually use them it's really a big deal things we've learned we learned a lot we're a little tired so the first thing I noticed when we revised the guidelines we just started talking about them more talking about them a lot more going to lots of meetings and talking about them and we started getting a lot more reports and I'll admit it at first I was like oh my gosh something's going on suddenly there's all this problematic behavior so I went and talked to people who know a lot about this kind of thing you know about this kind of thing human resources departments because they deal with it at work right I said oh no that doesn't mean there's more problematic behavior it means people are telling you about the behavior that was already there so then I started hearing other things I started hearing I feel so much safer thank you for making it really clear that it's not okay for people to bug me about why I'm not drinking right thank you for making it really clear that it's not okay for people to walk up to me and touch my hair right thank you for being really clear that it's not okay to comment on my religion it's not okay to make snarky comments about my not doing work on the Sabbath whatever it is because it's not okay and it was going on all along and once you start talking about it things start changing but they start changing in a lot of ways there's a lot of value in the positive reinforcement there's a lot of surprises here was a really unexpected story that I heard I got this email and it was from some people who had gone to JavaScript Brazil and at JavaScript Brazil something had gone down that they felt like was really not awesome and they were like we really want to write this letter of support to this woman who got up on stage at Java Script Brazil and talked about gender and tech and had this really negative experience and we want to know if we can say in it that this but that we got this idea from your guidelines and I was like yes please go for it javascript people of Brazil I don't know these people I've never met them it's just the power of the internet doing something really awesome it's gonna happen it happened to me in a few so I would say the biggest thing that we've learned is that enforcement is hard but not impossible if you build these policies you have to expect that people will use them you need to practice responding we literally came up with scenarios and talked about them and we're still doing this I think not everyone has gotten to do it yet but it's like all right here at a conference and somebody comes to you yeah question time it's been half an hour thank you for that um I'll wrap I'm almost done so I want to take questions oh this is a plug we only have the cpg in five languages those are the five languages if you speak another language and you'd like to help us localize it we want you this is advice for people who have guidelines I'm just gonna zip along and you can read this or ask me it's a
quote from a miserable person about how when they don't have resources to solve conflicts they just don't solve them and they go underground that's not what you want we're done that's how you reach me I'm happy to talk about any of your own code of conduct issues or DNI questions and I'll be here all weekend and tomorrow I have like no formal plans so just send me a message all right that's it thank you [Applause] you