10.24.20

Celebrating Code of Conduct Violations

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 10:28 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

When Toastmasters was formed in 1924, women were not permitted to join. When Helen Blanchard joined in 1970, she used a man’s name, Homer, on the application form. Simply by joining, Blanchard was breaking a Code of Conduct, at least in the way that free software organizations use that term. This was not a little white lie, it was an act of courage. Fortunately the rules were changed, Blanchard became the first female president of Toastmasters International. Why couldn’t a woman call herself a Toastmaster?

When Australia federated in 1901, it wasn’t considered necessary for aboriginal Australians to vote. When volunteers in free software organizations ask about voting rights and financial transparency, we are accused of running a campaign of harassment. Nonetheless, after 66 years, Australia granted voting rights to the aboriginal population in 1967. In comparison, women in Switzerland had to continue their campaign for the right to vote up to 1991. Swiss men felt they were victims of a campaign of harassment. During the period when Australia’s aboriginal population were prohibited from voting, a number of communities allowed them to vote anyway, in free-software-speak, breaking the Code of Conduct for aboriginals at that time.


Appenzell, Switzerland

One of the most remarkable stories of a Code of Conduct violation could be the petition for gay rights at the Salamanca Market in Tasmania. This wasn’t a petition for gay marriage, they were simply asking to revoke laws that made homosexuality illegal. A massive police response was organized and 120 people were arrested for running a booth about diversity. Gay relationships and men holding hands were a violation of Tasmania’s Code of Conduct. The charges against their petitions and leaflets were as overzealous as the accusations of spamming and trolling in free software organizations.

In the world of free software, we have now overreached in the other direction. For example, in one organization, a volunteer was expelled in the week before Christmas when he used the wrong pronoun for a transgender developer. That type of expulsion is every bit as extreme as the arrests at Hobart’s Salamanca market. Just as gay Tasmanians work and pay taxes, the volunteer in question had spent 10 years packaging the LaTeX software used widely in the academic world.

Fedora is still considering the Community Publishing Platforms proposal. It is important to keep in mind that many of these reforms that we take for granted today didn’t come about through submission and obedience. It is more important than ever to look for constructive alternatives to the Code of Conduct mania that has encouraged a culture of accusations and intimidation in free software organizations.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2020/10/24/celebrating-coc-violations/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, March 01, 2021



  2. Links 2/3/2021: Maui 1.2.1, RSS Guard 3.9.0

    Links for the day



  3. ZDNet Really Hates Golang (Maybe Because Microsoft Does)

    The Golang programming language seems to be the target of intense FUD campaigns from sites connected to Microsoft, so it’s likely a bit of a Nemesis/endgame to Microsoft monoculture (unlike Rust, which Microsoft has already pocketed and is actively besieging to promote Microsoft monopoly and hardware monoculture)



  4. Links 1/3/2021: KStars 3.5.2, ET: Legacy 2.77, Flameshot 0.9

    Links for the day



  5. Five Years of António Campinos Coverage in Techrights (We Correctly Predicted His Presidency in March 2016)

    We've warned about António Campinos since March of 2016; well, António Campinos isn't just EPO President right now but he's also an oppressor who demonises the union of the EPO's staff



  6. In 2021 the EPO Works for Parasites Instead of Scientists (and It Cannot Even Hide That Anymore)

    Europe's second-largest institution is working for those who attack instead of create (or those who attack actual creators, with lousy and sketchy patents as ammunition)



  7. Links 1/3/2021: Manjaro ARM 21.02 and First Linux 5.12 RC Released

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 28, 2021



  9. On Gangstalking and Victim-Blaming

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  10. If the Web Can Be Increasingly Replaced (or Complemented) by Gemini and IPFS Etc., Then Large Monopolists Will Try to Dominate Those

    Monopolists and sociopaths won't be clapping and cheering for whatever stands a chance of replacing the Web (or Big Banks); if they ever embrace those replacements, it'll be to dominate and in turn undermine these



  11. Links 28/2/2021: Nitrux 1.3.8 and Kraft 0.96

    Links for the day



  12. Techrights Over 3 Internet Protocols and From the Command Line, Using Either Curl/Wget/Text Editor (Over WWW) or IPFS or Gemini

    A quick demo of how Techrights can be accessed without a browser, either over gemini:// or over http://



  13. The Command Line for Weather and Football Scores, Among Other Stuff

    A lot of stuff can be done from the command line and productivity (not to mention privacy) enhanced by automation and scripting over the Web (or even Gemini, as we shall show in a future video)



  14. You Know Gemini Space is Getting a Lot Bigger When You Need to Implement DDOS Protection

    Techrights is currently working on tools or programs that help detect and respond to DDOS attacks (or abusive over-consumption of pages) over gemini://



  15. The Fall of The Register

    A word of caution about The Register, a British publisher that nowadays does a lot of reputation laundering for Microsoft and Bill Gates (instead of news about actual technology, as opposed to clown computing, big brands, and oligarchs)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 27, 2021



  17. Links 27/2/2021: IPFS 0.8, OnionShare 2.3.1, and New Stuff in KDE

    Links for the day



  18. The Internet After Social Control Media (and Maybe After the World Wide Web Too)

    There seems to be a growing trend of protests and backlash against centralised Internet disservices; there's also growing dissatisfaction over bloat and spyware, which the Web rendered a 'norm'



  19. SCO's Darl McBride is Finished (Bankruptcy)

    Some news about the site and about the long-forgotten SCO, whose infamous old (and sacked) Darl McBride (responsible for decade-long attacks on Linux) loses everything, based on fresh legal documents



  20. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, February 26, 2021



  21. Links 26/2/2021: Wine 6.3, Genode OS Framework 21.02

    Links for the day



  22. Links 26/2/2021: GNU Poke 1.0 is Out and Rocky Linux Leaves Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  23. Microsoft's Status in Web Servers is So Bad That It Has Fallen Off Charts, is Now Partly Delisted

    In several categories or criteria Microsoft is no longer even listed by Netcraft; the share has become rather minuscule during the pandemic, which convinced more companies to explore expense-cutting moves



  24. We Take Away Your Freedom for Your Own Safety...

    People are herded like cattle and protest/dissent will be demonised as part of the new norm; what will be the cost of the pandemic and will resistance to the status quo ever be permitted to resume?



  25. EPO President Pushes Illegal Software Patents in South America (Over the Telephone With a Misleading New Puff Piece)

    The EPO's "news" section has become worse than a form of distraction (from the EPO's internal rot); it celebrates illegal and unlawful practices, spreading them to other continents



  26. The Free Software Foundation Warns Against Using Twitter

    Richard Stallman said Twitter was OK because it was possible to use it without proprietary software; that's no longer the case, so the Free Software Foundation (FSF) speaks out against it. It speaks about it more than 3 months after the problem became a known one and also an irreversible one (maybe Twitter would have reversed the decision if the media or the FSF actually spoke about it early enough).



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 25, 2021



  28. Stéphane Bortzmeyer Explains Gemini Protocol (February 2021)

    A recent talk from Stéphane Bortzmeyer about Gemini and what it is for (or why)



  29. Links 26/2/2021: Istio 1.7.8 Announced, Blender 2.92, Firebird 3.0 Language Reference, FSF Against Twitter

    Links for the day



  30. Special Thanks to Mogz

    Credit where it's due to Mogz


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts