You provided us with some really helpful feedback on our first draft attempt to expand our 'Be nice' policy into a formal code of conduct, and we're extremely grateful for your time, patience and insights. This was not an easy discussion to have and we are extremely proud of the civility and insight that everyone brought to the table.
We'd also like to thank the folks who took time to provide us with insight off the stage and out of the spotlight through email, in-person interviews, surveys and other research channels. Your voices were positively critical in forming a well-balanced code that aims to represent all reasonable needs.
Together, you helped us to form a Code of Conduct that reinforces our expectations of civility, charitable intent, mutual respect for individual feelings and the emotional labor that helping strangers entails, and our commitment to always learn and improve.
Please, have a look at the second draft (Google Doc), and tell us what you think.
There are some notes that we'd like everyone to keep in mind:
Major changes to the document have settled.
Based on hundreds of hours of feedback (on both your part and our part), we've incorporated all major changes that we felt strengthened the document and ensured that it met as many needs as possible. At this point, we're considering all major construction done - what we're looking for are things like small sentence tweaks, accidental loopholes, grammar fixes, opportunities for brevity, and similar improvements.
Any feedback that needs to be evaluated prior to the new CoC being implemented must be posted on or (ideally) prior to Friday, July 27, 2018.
This document is designed to evolve.
Implementation doesn't preclude improvement, it just means that we have to arrive at a point that looks sound enough to test in the real world for a while, and then see what (if anything) needs to be changed.
We will be opening periodic surveys to solicit feedback on the efficacy of the CoC, and will make adjustments based on the results. Similarly, you can suggest improvements to the CoC by creating a feature-request or discussion with the code-of-conduct tag to raise any concern. Please open all discussions here, on Meta Stack Exchange, so that everyone interested can find them in one place.
Try not to worry, well, not too much.
In case you didn't hear us, we're extremely proud of you, and thankful that we've even gotten to this point. We want to make sure that we remain a relevant tool that our kids will use one day, and we know that we will.
Teachers have to talk to everyone in the class, even those sitting at the front looking annoyingly over their shoulders at the concealed spit-ball launching arsenal behind them; I learned that in my second year of college.
When you're speaking to something like a code of conduct, you must be extremely clear, it applies to everyone, and we're not making any exceptions.
With that said, we don't expect most folks reading this to find themselves in a precarious place due to enforcement; the worst most might expect is seeing a hastily-written comment that was uncharacteristically insensitive removed unceremoniously by a moderator in flag-processing mode.
You're here talking to us because you care - these aren't easy conversations to have and we get that. You, the folks that put a sincere effort into helping us shape this code are the people that understand why it's so important to embrace the intent of the document, and the ones most likely to learn from mistakes, however unlikely they might be.
The need for this stinks, but embracing it sends a strong signal that we care about everyone enough to commit to not being demeaning and honestly listening to them if they feel like we got that wrong. While that might sound trivial, like something we do every day, it's a major thing for an online community of this size to achieve.
Over to you.
See anything? Let us know. Do you have further questions? Let us know. Please be respectful, try not to assume the worst in folks, and keep in mind that having these kinds of problems is also a sign of lots of other stuff going right - let's not lose sight of that.
Thank all of you again, so much, for your time and patience here. I'm not sure what yet, but we're going to have some kind of decompression festival once this all gets put in place.