The war between hacker culture & codes of conduct

On the war between hacker culture and codes of conduct

Did you know that a Code of Conduct war is underway in the world of open-source software development? I realize that this sounds ridiculous. Codes of Conduct boil down to: “a) don’t be an asshole, b) this is how we define ‘asshole’ around these parts”. Who could argue with that? And yet this has become eruptively controversial — and with good reason. A quick rundown of the recent history can be found in Model View Culture’s “ The New Normal: Codes Of Conduct In 2015 And Beyond .” (If you find MVC too left-wing, here’s Breitbart’s take , but the former has much more actual information.) Briefly, progressive activists are trying to persuade open-source communities to adopt Codes of Conduct such that: They establish the ground rules for interactions between participants. They outline enforcement mechanisms for violations. They serve as a signaling mechanism, a way of broadcasting the intent of organizers or maintainers to create safe spaces for the full participation of members of the community regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, or physical ability. But most importantly, they codify the aspirations and values of a particular community A widely adopted CoC is the Contributor Covenant , whose preamble notes: Meritocracy also naively assumes a level playing field … These factors and more make contributing to open source a daunting prospect for many people, especially women and other underrepresented people So far so good! …But the (most) controversial thing about these codes is that their remit actually extends outside the communities in question. That MVC piece refers to “the so-called Opalgate incident, in which transphobic tweets by an Opal maintainer on Twitter led to a heated discussion about the appropriateness of his continued representation of the project.” In true open-source style, this was raised as an issue […]