[Lingtyp] Building consensus for a Code of Conduct

Sebastian Nordhoff sebastian.nordhoff at glottotopia.de
Tue Nov 21 20:11:44 UTC 2017

Dear all,
my personal summary of this long thread is:

1) all participants agree that harassment is a problem. No one denies
that harassment needs to be addressed. Good. I have seen other
communities where this is very different.

2) all participants agree that a Code of Conduct can be a useful option
to address 1). No one says that CoC are useless, a waste of time, or
similar. Good.

3) People have expressed opposition to particular portions of the
proposed text, but have also signalled that they would be willing to
suggest and discuss amendments.

For a Code of Conduct to work, it has to be accepted by the community.
The community has to accept it as "their" Code of Conduct. As such, a
majority vote is the WORST POSSIBLE PROCEDURE to arrive at a Code of
Conduct. DON'T DO THIS! Imagine that the result is 51:49 in favour. Do
you think anyone who voted against will feel bound by the CoC in such a
case? Such a result will actually *strengthen* the position of
harassers, since they can say that it is actually not a true majority etc.

I believe that the ALT community consists of very sensible people, and I
believe that it will be possible to arrive at a Code of Conduct which
will be approved by 80% or even 90%. I do not want to see this important
topic burned by a premature vote on a text which has not received the
discussion which this topic merits.

Best wishes

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