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OSDC2010 had a code of conduct

OSDC2010 had a code of conduct

Posted Dec 6, 2010 9:04 UTC (Mon) by ras (subscriber, #33059)
In reply to: OSDC2010 had a code of conduct by laptop006
Parent article: The dark side of open source conferences

I was worried there for a second. I am not particularly fond of the policy being promoted by geekfeminism, and you say OSDC's policy was based on it.

One problem with geekfeminism policy it is it is not well written. For example, defining "Harassing Photography" as harassment is circular. And while the geekfeminism says following someone can be harassment, so could staring at them, talking about them, drawing them, and a thousand other things not mentioned. In computer terms it could be described as a very poor filter, getting both far too many false positives and false negatives. That is I guess that is why the real law is not written in such specific terms. Or to put it another way, this is what you get when amateur lawyers making up the rules.

The other thing you get when group representing a particular subsection of society writes the law is an obvious bias towards their interests and concerns, and that has happened in this case. The policy is pretty obviously written with the concerns of women in mind. A policy that was written with the concerns of the disabled, or race, or religion would look different. I don't think a policy of an open source group should openly favour any of those groups. All are equally important.

OSDC's policy avoided both those pitfalls, and so kudo's to OSDC. I hope other conferences adopt something like OSDC's policy and not the geekfeminism one.

Some will construe this the wrong way. I am not disagreeing with the emphasis of the article. It perpetrates the awareness of what happened Apachecon and its consequences. The more that incident and its outcome ricochets around cyberspace, the more likely it is that the message that such treatment of women is unacceptable sinks into our group. It is just that this geekfeminism policy has been fired off as response to a single high profile incident. It reminds me of 9/11, which generated a whole pile of responses, some of which were in retrospect obviously not the best way to handle the problem.

In this case, there are other ways to generate awareness of this problem that do not involve inflicting a poorly worded policy on open source conferences.


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