New GNOME online code of conduct

Dear community members,

The GNOME Foundation Board of Directors is pleased to announce our new code of conduct for online behavior. The new code was developed by our own Code of Conduct Committee, led by Federico Mena Quintero, with expert advice from Otter Tech's Sage Sharp. The board vote to adopt the code was taken at the meeting on Monday 23rd September, and was passed unanimously.

The GNOME project is generally a friendly and inclusive space, but if and when issues arise, it is important for us to have a robust and fair process to deal with them. The new code of conduct is a strong statement of our values and our commitment to inclusivity.

In the coming days, the new code of conduct will be advertised on our websites and communication channels, and will replace the old online code of conduct. In the mean time, you are encouraged to read it here.

Some key points about the code of conduct:

  • It covers all online behaviour related to the GNOME project. This specifically includes all communications and interactions on GNOME infrastructure, as well as GNOME communication channels that are externally hosted.
  • The code of conduct can cover discussions about the GNOME project, whatever the context.
  • The code applies to all GNOME project contributors and participants.
  • Key behaviors that are prohibited by the code of conduct:
    • Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following.
    • Sustained disruption of online discussion and events.
    • Harassment of people who don't drink alcohol.
    • Sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist language or otherwise exclusionary language.
    • Unwelcome sexual attention or behavior that contributes to a sexualized environment.
    • Threats of violence.
    • Influencing or encouraging inappropriate behavior.
  • The Foundation's Code of Conduct Committee is responsible for dealing with incidents when they do happen, and has been granted powers to take action when necessary. The committee has already received training in the appropriate and sensitive handling of reports.
  • The code of conduct includes best practices for handling matters confidentially, avoiding conflicts of interest between reporters and individuals on the committee, and providing periodic transparency reports so that the community can see that the committee is being well-run.
  • The current events code of conduct is still in place, as we have a number of events already planned for this year under the existing code. The board has asked the committee to review the new code of conduct and propose any amendments needed to implement it for all of the GNOME events in 2020 and thereafter.

We are excited about the positive benefits that the new code of conduct will bring to the GNOME project. The new code includes advice for how to help create a positive environment, and this is a great opportunity for us all to reflect on our own behavior, and work together to make GNOME an even better place to contribute and have fun.

Huge thanks to the Code of Conduct Committee for developing the new code and for volunteering to maintain and enforce it, and to Sage Sharp for their invaluable advice and expertise throughout the process.

On behalf of the board,

Robert McQueen
President, GNOME Foundation Board of Directors

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