Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins

Keith Moore <> Sun, 02 October 2022 20:32 UTC

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From: Keith Moore <>
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Subject: Re: [Last-Call] Last Call: BCP 83 PR-Action Against Dan Harkins
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On 10/2/22 14:54, Tim Bray wrote:

> Just want to point out that the IETF is not alone. For the first few 
> decades of life online, it was generally considered OK to be an 
> asshole in community discourse. Disclosure: I have been such an 
> asshole. In recent years, in many online communities, a consensus has 
> grown that things work better when that kind of behavior is actively 
> discouraged.  Another obvious example would be the Linux kernel 
> community, and I've seen this happen in Apache-land too. Many (most?) 
> high-visibilty GitHub projects now have a code of conduct. These days, 
> when you're setting up a new GitHub project that expects to have a lot 
> of people, the conversation is usually along the lines of “We should 
> have a CoC, right?" "Right. Let's copy the one from ${Other-Project}."
Codes of conduct are very fashionable these days and seem likely to 
remain so.  On one level, codes of conduct serve two useful purposes: 
(1) outlining the bounds of acceptable speech or behavior within a 
community, and (2) informing people how to remedy the situation if 
someone crosses those lines.  Different communities necessarily have 
different rules, so making those things clear is a valuable service.

Unfortunately codes of conduct can also be forms of virtue signaling and 
empowering control freaks, and can themselves be toxic for those 
reasons.   Fortunately I think we've dodged that bullet in IETF, but 
there's always some risk there.