The latest revision of the Code of Conduct removes the phrase “Be kind and friendly" entirely.

What was the rationale?

  • 2
    Where are you going with this?
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 23:16
  • 11
    It seems like an important phrase, so I wonder why it was removed. Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 23:42
  • 11
    Copy editing. What were you expecting, some profound reason? Design by committee. A desire to focus the CoC more closely on social issues.
    – user102937
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 23:44
  • 50
    It's all about priorities. Until recently, you could not say "His code is cr4p", but had to say "His code should be improved". Now you can no longer say "His code should be improved", but ... I think you could say "Their code is cr4p"..(?) *scratches head* *looks it up*... nah, probably not that either. But seriously: It basically was rephrased, and replaced with a mix of even more ambiguous requirements on the one hand, and irritatingly specific ones on the other.
    – Marco13
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 23:47
  • 27
    Related: We need “assume good intent” back in the Code of Conduct
    – user204841
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 23:48
  • 1
    @Marco13 Calling someone's code "cr4p" would not be "respectful" so nothing has really changed here. A lot of things about how the recent changes were rolled out were done very badly, but this isn't one of them. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 10:05
  • 4
    @user568458 You might have missed the humor. But to address this point: When someone dumps a homework assignment here, with (objectively!) cr4ppy code and the question "Solve urgend help plz!", then I don't respect that person. Of course, I would try to keep some basic decency, and e.g. not be personally insulting and such. But "respect" is something that has to be earned. Nobody can be forced to respect someone else. One can be forced to behave as if one respected that person (namely: Be kind and friendly!), but not to actually do it. And that's only one problem...
    – Marco13
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 14:24
  • 1
    better question is what happened to assume good intent ...
    – user148287
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 15:10

1 Answer 1


"Be kind and friendly" was replaced with "Be inclusive and respectful" in an attempt to "build a more welcoming and inclusive community".

This doesn't mean that we shouldn't be kind or friendly anymore though. The Code of Conduct still mentions "(un)friendly" in four places and "kind(ness)" in three.

As the announcement says, replacing the specific phrasing is not "a change to our policy" but a "clarification".

  • 8
    In the grand scheme of things, this particular change seems pretty minor and unobjectionable Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 10:03
  • 3
    I would have preferred "Be kind and inclusive" personally as the optimal choice of 2 out of these 4, but this still works fine. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 18:24
  • 6
    They're not at all the same. 'Be kind and friendly' trusts each person to find a way to each be kind and friendly to each other. 'Be inclusive and respectful', however, mandates the current definition of 'inclusion' which does not trust each person to act kindly and, therefore, requires the definition and enforcement of an ever-growing list of rules (as seen in the new COC). Commented Oct 18, 2019 at 0:19
  • This "inclusivity" rhetoric is actually really toxic, as demonstrated in part by the demonstrated willingness of its backers to exclude individuals in the name of supposed inclusivity. The bigger problem is the implication that kindness and friendliness are somehow... at best not guarantees of; at worst incompatible with that kind of "inclusivity". The even bigger problem is the premise that "XYZ people are underrepresented here" (relative to what, anyway?) necessarily implies "we must be explicitly, actively doing something that scares XYZ people off". Commented May 9, 2023 at 6:16
  • Finally, this use of the word "respectful" is insulting - both to the English language and to my intelligence. Respect is earned, and has value because of that process. What people get by default is courtesy, not respect. For example, it is not possible, in principle, for me to "respect" someone's triumph over adversity before I have evidence of the acts in question; and when I use appropriate etiquette in conversation with strangers, that is simply not part of what the word "respect" means. "Respect" also connotes deference, which is often not merited. Commented May 9, 2023 at 6:17

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