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Governance & Code of Conduct

This topic contains 37 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 1 year ago.

Arthur Lutz arthurlutz

Governance & Code of Conduct

03/06/2019 at 17:58

Follow up of the topic of nurturing a friendly online community and handling inappropriate ways of communicating of certain community members, here is a link to the code of conduct in place in the Funkwhale community : https://funkwhale.audio/en_US/code-of-conduct

This code of conduct was co-build with the members of the community, and maybe Loomio as a tool is also useful for that  (see the example here https://governance.funkwhale.audio/g/kQgxNq15/funkwhale) In this process they conducted an “anti-abuse audit” https://governance.funkwhale.audio/d/pQS1Uznd/abuse-audit which might be useful as inspiration.

More at large in open source projects, the https://www.contributor-covenant.org/ is a good base plate if you don’t have a code of conduct.

Another tool I know for this kind of issue is the “move commons” label which is similar to creative commons in some ways http://movecommons.org/np-rp-rc.di-gr/0.1/en/ (the site doesn’t seem to be updated since 2012, so there might be a good replacement for this).

Hope this collective and this initiatives finds the right tools and methods for its community ! Good luck and my thoughts go out to people who feel abused in this community. ❤️️

ps. sorry, I haven’t looked deeper into the discussions with the members with whom you are having difficulties.

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04/06/2019 at 12:38

hey, great pick up; i didn’t read all but I think it’s easier to address rights first before getting lost in opinionated set of rules which favor personal preference but not basic rights fought out over centuries;  I side by with Julian Assange  and James Madison : you have 2 choices : ignore or argue/ask (and it’s hopefully given)

and secondly as seen in the last clash, privacy first; the forum is a pretty hidden place; for a pretty narrow minority; I think we can agree on @s2019 and others also said: whats in the forum, stays in the forum unless agreed otherwise; just like under friends.


04/06/2019 at 13:35

The forums are all public.
They can be read by anybody – nobody needs an account.
There is no privacy in a public forum – nor should there be.

04/06/2019 at 13:43

@frogfall, sure, but here is a little but important detail, given the context of PP, there is only handful people here and 1% of our users went to the forum; which is also backed up by seeing 99% of all PP activists (instagram, facebook, non-english audience). Looking down at 100K + PP users worldwide and a handful of enthusiast here, i think there is huge difference, allowing me to say, this place here is the backstage of PP.

04/06/2019 at 13:58

i would agree with @frogfall here. forums are public and thats the cool thing about it, everyone can read and interact here. Slack,discord, whatsapp those are tools people use for “backstage” PP. Community members around the world already use those for their own local communities, maybe we should have one for the entire community? However I do also like the openness, accessibility and transparency of forums

04/06/2019 at 14:07

sure, that’s all ok but please really don’t forget the actually reality when it comes down to the numbers. youtube != forum. there are worlds in between and cherry picking stuff from here and put it on a large screen is a sort of privacy violation , especially when there was no consensus and we actually love each other so much 😉
sorry, i just stick to what the reality is.

04/06/2019 at 14:09

anyway, keep moving 🙂

04/06/2019 at 14:13

btw, my last forum data mining also showed, we have around 90% trespassers, 0.2 % permanent active members, and the rest seem to come back on occasion; i actually didn’t need to run the algorithms 😉

04/06/2019 at 14:33

Well whether the forum should be regarded as public or private could be defined in the “Governance & Code of Conduct”.

This goes beyond privacy maters, because it also affects the fundaments of the forum.


I for one treat the forum as public, and always try to add as much information (mostly links) so random visitors (through e.g. search engines) can also follow what’s going on and be helped on their way.


Private messages I send through Personal Messages.

Direct involvement in projects mostly goes through Slack (or private email, meetings).


All I am missing are ‘comments’ in which you can react to a specific reply, without disturbing the flow of the Topic, as these comments can sometimes become quite distractive.


And also these comments could be private(!), for members only, just as on most Forums…


Replies would always be ‘public’, while comments are community.

Also solving the YouTube problem.

These are part of the public side of the forum, just like the replies!


04/06/2019 at 14:44

thanks, makes sense and this all is fine with me; I just wanted to point out, there is a clear boundary between the forum and the ‘public’, I’d also like to point out that those ‘invisible’ lines shouldn’t be really crossed when it comes down ‘don’t do this others when you won’t do it to yourself’, I hope that makes sense; of you course you can apply strict usage of definitions but as we know, it can easily hurt somebody abusing them when it is not needed 😉 For my part however, I never perceived the forum as the ‘public’ channel of PP; there was little to no evidence ever for me;

04/06/2019 at 14:56

Well it was public for me, because I have been following PP this way (anonymously)  for a couple of years now 😉

And with me quite a few others.

That’s one of the reasons I now actively try to make all the information more accessible, because i also get your point, there was quite some ‘privacy through obscurity’. There are some topics I can’t even find today 🙂


However: always plan for success!

It may have been so in the past, but when V4 launches and we all get our act together, ‘privacy through obscurity’ will be obliterated!

Especially once we get the indexes running.




04/06/2019 at 15:08

@davehakkens, yes; there seems to be a need for a local based community with up/down stream possibilities into a global and ‘public’ space. ‘Liferay’ and I think the french guy’s platform did work out exactly this. i don’t know discord at all but if it’s really open-source and we can build apps and bots in top, then there you go 🙂

04/06/2019 at 15:12

all this reminds me again to build Precious Plastic TV, ASAP; there is so much need for a real-time video stream platform, dealing with different labs, projects and more importantly: interactive workshops, etc…

04/06/2019 at 15:19

I think Discord might be a good choice.

Slack has it’s limitations (especially when going global), Liferay, well seems to overcomplicate stuff.


I too like openness, but I’ve also organised plenty of events (to stay with the backstage analogy) and the public should have the choice ‘how deep the rabithole goes’.


As long as the discord is also open to everyone (and the discord also shares back to the forum), people have the choice what level of information or involvement they get.


Come for the info? Enjoy!

Want to become involved in the community? Become a forum member (and have access to comments).

Want to help develope? Join the discord.


Kind of an  ‘if you don’t WANT the heat, stay out of the kitchen’ scenario…


04/06/2019 at 15:26

right, should we come to an outcome ?

1. ‘code of conduct’ as proposed by the OP ?
2. definition of ‘privacy’ and ‘public’ may rely on proportions and thus requires consensus in case of doubt ?
3. anything i missed ?

i think it’s rather your terrain to build consensus of what has been figured til here

04/06/2019 at 17:17

My suggestion in the other thread that “what happens in the forum stay in the forum”  was not meant to imply that the forum is not public. A full forum thread or related threads provide the context for the comments in the discussion. When someone selects a portion to broadcast in a new venue to a different audience, that context is invariably lost and usually confusion or worse is created.

04/06/2019 at 17:27

yeah, that sums it up well; transferring sensitive material on subjective grounds between two spaces with different audiences and privacy policies should seek agreement of the involved parties before.
i guess we’re now through that 🙂

04/06/2019 at 18:51

there is always good material on hacker news on the subject, as often, the answer comes out within the comments; regarding privacy, there is a great article ‘Assume positive intent‘ 😉

05/06/2019 at 00:10

Unfortunately, some “codes of conduct” have destroyed forums.

Bizarrely, they seem to end up being used as a weapon, by someone with anger issues, to attack bemused users (and even to attack the forum hosts or moderators) following even the slightest disagreement.

The wording has to be incredibly carefully written to prevent creating semantic ammunition for unreasonable people.

05/06/2019 at 01:14

i am very, very happy to hear that; that’s why comparing it to gibberish around basic rights was the first coming to mind

05/06/2019 at 08:32


Often these codes are more ’emotional’ than ‘legal’, making them weak.

‘be nice to eachother’ is not the same as ‘freedom of speech’.

‘freedom of speech’ is not the same as ‘allowed to say anything’.



All forums, incl. the internet are bound by International Law (basic rights).

Local laws only are involved when it comes to legal enforcement of these rights.

A ‘Code of Conduct’ is nothing more than the ‘house rules’ you agree to when entering the place.

They are by nature ‘limitatations’ of these basic rights, as you can’t expand them.

I can’t e.g. legalize murder in my house/venue.


One of the most important basic laws is the right of ‘protection’.

Protection from Violence.

Protection from Abuse.

Protection from Age inappropriate Language.

Protection from Hatespeech.

Freedom of Religion (protection from persecution based on your Religion)


Most of these are defined by International Law.

The others are defined by the Victims(!)


Example 1: a public forum can’t have adult language or topics (by law). This can only be the done on a ‘private’ site on which the users have declared to be over 18 (or in other words: users wave their right for ‘protection from Adult language/content’).


Example 2: Hatespeech is never allowed. (Treatening) Violence or abuse is also always illegal. Unless it is done on a private forum, on which boundaries are clearly defined. “I’m going to hit you so hard you’re never going to be able to walk straight again” could be hatespeech or treatening violence, unless it is understood to be happening within the boundaries of ‘the ring’ of a boxing match. By entering the site users accept these broadened boundaries, and wave their rights to be protected from hatespeech and treats (within context (see next example))


Example 3: The internet has no religion, unless the site/forum states clearly it has a Religion.

Freedom of Religion also means Freedom from Religion. I can’t talk about my believes, without imposing them on the listener (believ me 😉 ). For a forum to DO have religion, it must be defined in the clear context of what religion(s) are deemed to be accepted. By entering the site user accept these religions as (possibly) true, waving their rights to protection from ‘Freedom of Religion’.


In all these examples the waving of their rights makes it so the user can’t claim to be a ‘victim’ whose rights have been violated…


These are extreme examples, but illustrate the CoD must at least contain:

An age indication (in this case public is ‘all ages’)

Boundaries (e.g. no advertising any closed source products or of topic topics)

Context ( Open Source and Open Minded)

And yes: ‘Assume positive intent‘ can/must be part of this context.

Sometimes ‘Lets eat Grandma’ is just a typo…


There should also be a system in place in which ‘victims’ can report ‘abuse’.

If I call somebody an Idiot, and this person does not mind, it’s not abuse, so nobody else has the right to report (this is the ‘freedom of speech’).

If the ‘idiot’ DOES mind, (s)he CAN report, because the right of Protection trumps the ‘freedom of speech’ in this case.

A moderator only has to determine ‘context’ and ‘intent’ and base his/her judgement on this.

‘Governance’ can determine the ‘abuser’ first gets a chance to correct his/her behaviour (post be quarentined), gets a ‘strike’ when not responding (post removed) and gets a time-out/removed/banned(!) from the forum after X strikes.

‘Governance’ could also state a ‘strike’ only lasts for 1 month.



Makes any sense?

05/06/2019 at 10:34

ok, may be it’s easier then to talk about guide lines, ‘code of conducts’ sounds more like a strict set of rules. i am also not sure what laws we’re referring to here; here in the EU people are sent to prison just for having fun on royal families. in the US you can say what ever you like so far which makes sense because definitions of
hate speech will be broaden to a point that operators hit the ban button for whatever reason they like.

05/06/2019 at 11:09

let me correct, we have currently over a dozen artists in jail here in espanistan because unveiling the connections of the crown doing arm sales to the saudies as well the crowns enrichment through public funds; the absurd part is they put them then in prison for glorifying terrorism and hate speech. mind the irony.
I think germany is now also practicing this sort of abuse of laws; whatever fits to their ‘hate speech’ definitions will be used. seems to be a general trend for social network providers as well and we all know well how fast they take down ‘freedom fighters’, activists, etc …

05/06/2019 at 11:16

hate speech will be broaden to a point that operators hit the ban button for whatever reason they like.

Which in itself is a form of hatespeech.

Giving the order to ‘ban’ (speech (through computer code)) because you don’t like (hate) something…


Hatespeech is defined by law.

True not all operators know these laws, but in a CoC this could also be overcome by defining ‘Hatespeech is defined by the operators’, as most sites do.


Guidelines are indeed much user friendly, but this still does not negate the fact there are always also laws in effect.

These Guidelines are only there to try to explain them.


As a Dutch citizen I could insult the Dutch King on a US forum without getting kicked of the Forum. Still could be arrested in the Netherlands though for ‘majesteitsschennis’ (insulting the king)). If an American did the same on a Dutch forum, the forum could get into trouble is they didn’t ban the American.

Americans insulting the Dutch King on an American forum, hosted on a Dutch server, server can be taken down…

So as in real estate so it is by law: location, location, loacation.

The guideline would be: Try to stay away from Politics and Royalty on the Forum.


You want to be free of these laws, you’d have to go behind the closed doors of a dark web with the forum. Laws would still apply, but only when actions enter the real world, like drugs or actual abuse.

Or go into politics, and try to change/get rid of the laws.


Again, I’m not advocating these limitations on Freedom (as a matter of fact, I hate them as much as the next guy), I’m simply stating they are FACT and we should be aware of them (they should be respected (at least in a public forum)).


Or in short:

There already is a Code of Conduct (Laws).

There also already is Governance ((administrative) site owners and moderators).

The Guidelines also exist: Common Sense.

These are however too broadly defined.


What is needed:

–An age indication (in this case public and registered is ‘all ages’)
–Boundaries (e.g. no advertising any closed source products or of topic topics)
–Context ( Open Source and Open Minded, Assuming positive intent)


05/06/2019 at 11:17


“An All Ages, information sharing public forum, regarding Precious Plastic and it’s Open Source Ecology, on which the readers are asked to keep an open mind and assume positive intent”


05/06/2019 at 11:32

which is a hard thing for me to do; realizing also PP needs a sort of ‘consumer protection’ body (we’re alone with that), looking at the scale those broken machines being still build on a daily base ….

05/06/2019 at 11:32

yeah yeah, Precious Platics is too limiting for the complete Dave Hakkens Forum, but all other activities are part of the PP OSEcology, so are still covered 😉

I did not use One Army (which would have been better) as it has not yet been as clearly defined as PP..

I’m my own worse critic!

05/06/2019 at 11:35

Quite a lot of ink dripping down for one single person.

05/06/2019 at 12:41

i am so happy to see @sonik being back at the table 😉

05/06/2019 at 13:48

quick sum up,
so we have these parties involved :
1. PP Eindhoven, as owner of the car but sitting rather on the back seat but yet, with the feet on the brake pedal.
2. DIYers with not much complaints of course
3. Machine builders but obviously never really here but belong on the front seat of that very car, just as described in ‘You slowing us down
4. neutral supervision to make sure customer/user protection is being respected in every aspect, that’s us, unfortunately; i never wanted to do this, really but the dimension we’re looking at it requires a body which minimizes damages and gets hot-fixes though the system ASAP. btw, I am not the only one who has lots of frustration and disappointment for the PP project, I am just the one who speaks it out as is, and I am very sorry not to be fan of soft-languages in such matters 😉
5. normal (often fully under skilled, with good intend ) end-user/customers who want to make a change by using the machines in questions (i don’t see much traffic other than about using, buying and building the machines)

I understand PP also as platform, also a great experiment to test a virtual project kamp; the economics and interest driven audiences will be also there, …

now to the problem, obviously; we actually don’t need a code of conduct; i think it’s waste of time, but eventually we could look at how can get all parties being able to steer the car 🙂 and i hope, not just by abusing democracy, ownership or similar

05/06/2019 at 15:05

First: I prefer to use PPHQ (headquarters) instead of PP Eindhoven, as these are not necessarily the same (being from Eindhoven myself).


Second: Most of what you describe only concerns ‘the bazar’.


I refer to the mission statement of Precious Plastic:

Precious Plastic is a global community of hundreds of people working towards a solution to plastic pollution. Knowledge, tools and techniques are shared online, for free. So everyone can start (yes, you too!).

The tools are only part of the mission…


I understand the (precious plastic) machines are the most important part to you (and the V4 team), but they aren’t the most important part to the community and forum. If they became the focus of the forum, 90% of people would leave again to go look elsewhere.


This is also why PPHQ is sitting in the backseat (or rather: under the hood) of the Forum and why most of the machine builders are not here.
It may not have started out this way, but that’s the current reality.


Again not saying the machines and their issues are not important, just that these are only part of the platform, not the enitre platform by itself.

Most of the ‘machine’ forum is backstage or on private/local platforms, if online at all.


By keeping the Forum about disseminating information (in general) and setting up a public (anyone can join) backstage (like a discord) for machine builders* (including V4) the car can start to run smoothly again.

*and a discord for local activities, and a discord for research and…


Now EVERYBODY is being drowned out.

Not just the machine builders are not here, most of the local communities also are not(!). Why? in part because of endless discords like this.

This conversation belongs on a yet non existing dedicated administrative platform.

Just like the machine discussions belong on a machine builders platform.

Just like the research topics belong in dedicated research platform.

All linked by public topics (presentations) on a community platform, where questions can be asked and answered (dissemination of knowledge), but discussion are moved to ‘free to join’ dedicated channels.

I stick to my original proposal for a guideline: Davehakkens.nl is

“An All Ages, information sharing public forum, regarding Precious Plastic and it’s Open Source Ecology, on which the readers are asked to keep an open mind and assume positive intent”

and would like to continue researching the options for the backstages.

I’m not ignoring your concerns, far from it, but in this forum they mainly fall on deaf ears, hence also your frustration with not being heard. And I know you are not alone in this, as this is not just about you.
Creating a potent backstage platform, with all interested parties involved would get your (and everybody elses) concerns heard.


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