GNOME Code of Conduct committee procedures

The audience for this document is the GNOME Code of Conduct committee. The goal of this page is to document how the Committee is run.

Committee members

The GNOME Code of Conduct committee has the following members:

Temporary committee members

The GNOME Foundation executive director, president of the board, vice president, and other GNOME Foundation executives may serve as temporary Code of Conduct committee members. They will only serve as temporary members when less than three committee members do not have a conflict of interest for a report.

The executive with the most authority without a conflict of interest will be invited to become a temporary Code of Conduct committee member for this report. GNOME Foundation executives will be added as temporary committee members until there are at least three people to evaluate a report.

Temporary committee members will discuss and vote like any other committee member, as outlined in this document. Temporary committee members will only have access to documentation for that report. Documentation for other reports will remain restricted to the permanent GNOME Code of Conduct committee members.

Additional access to reports

Please note that GNOME sysadmins have administrative access to some private committee resources. If a report is received that involves a GNOME sysadmin, all committee report discussion and documentation should occur off GNOME servers. GNOME sysadmins making a report and people reporting GNOME sysadmins are encouraged to contact committee members individually via private email. If a GNOME sysadmin accesses private committee resources, the committee will contact the GNOME Foundation board.

Committee roles

The committee has one chairperson. The committee chair's duties involve:

  • Calling committee meetings
  • Contacting committee members for term renewals
  • Tracking the status of active reports

The currently acting committee chair is Federico Mena Quintero.

The committee has one director. The director provides a communication link between the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors and the GNOME Code of Conduct committee. The board appoints one committee member to be the committee director.

The currently acting director is Federico Mena Quintero.

The chair may assign a committee member, or a committee member can nominate themselves, to do the following duties:

  • Communications lead for a particular reporter, witness, or reported person
  • Communications bridge to GNOME event organizers or online moderators
  • Records keeper to ensure the committee notes related to a report are up-to-date

On-boarding new committee members

Should there be two or fewer committee members, additional committee members will be added.

New committee members will be appointed by the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors. The GNOME Code of Conduct committee may recommend new members to the board. The committee may provide feedback on potential candidates under discussion by the board. The GNOME Foundation Board of Directors will vote on all potential candidates.

All committee members will be re-confirmed by the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors once per year. The committee director will ask all committee members if they wish to continue serving on the committee. The committee director will then report back to the board which committee members wish to continue serving. The board will then vote to re-confirm those members.

Confirmed committee members will be given access to the following committee resources:

When a new committee member is on-boarded, they will be asked whether they have a conflict of interest with any open or closed reports. Go through the list of reported people verbally and see whether they have a conflict of interest. If not, grant them access to that report's documentation.

Off-boarding committee members

Committee members shall serve for a term of one year. After one year, the committee chair will check in with the committee member. If the member confirms they wish to continue serving, the committee liaison to the board will report this to the board. If the member fails to respond to the chair request communications, they will be removed from the committee and off-boarded.

If a committee member displays behavior that makes them unfit to continue serving on the Code of Conduct committee, the committee should discuss their removal. One person should email all committee members privately to discuss the person's conduct. If necessary, committee members will privately email the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors to recommend the member be removed. The board will then vote to remove the member, and notify the subset of the committee with the results of the vote.

If the board vote passes, the committee chair will email the person to let them know they have been removed from the committee. Their access to committee resources should be revoked before the email is sent.

When a committee member is resigning or being removed, they should have their access removed from the committee resources listed in the on-boarding section.

Ratifying Code of Conduct Changes

When discussing a change to the Code of Conduct or enforcement policies, the GNOME Code of Conduct committee will follow this decision-making process:

  • Brainstorm options. Committee members should discuss any relevant context and brainstorm a set of possible options. It is important to provide constructive feedback without getting side-tracked from the main question. Brainstorming should be limited to 3-7 days maximum.

  • Vote. Changes to the Code of Conduct will be decided by a three-fourths majority of all the Code of Conduct committee members

  • Board approval. The GNOME Foundation board will review and approve the Code of Conduct changes

Reporting methods

Reports will come in from the email code-of-conduct-committee@gnome.org. This is a private mailing list with archives. It is only accessible to committee members and GNOME sysadmins.

Conflicts of Interest

When a new incident report is received, it's important to only involve the Code of Conduct committee members who don't have a conflict of interest. Committee members who have a conflict of interest should not have access to discussion of the report, documentation of the report, or information about who made the report.

Examples of conflicts of interest include:

  • You were directly impacted by the incident and reported it to the committee
  • The reporter or reported person is your manager
  • You have a romantic or platonic relationship with either the reporter or the reported person. It’s fine to participate if they are an acquaintance.
  • The reporter or reported person is your metamour. (This is a term used in the poly community; the short definition is here, and a longer description is here).

  • The reporter or reported person is your family member
  • The reporter or reported person is your direct client
  • The reporter or reported person is someone you work closely with. This could be someone on your team or someone who works on the same project as you.
  • The reporter or reported person is a maintainer who regularly reviews your contributions

Committee members do not need to state why they have a conflict of interest, only that one exists. Other committee members should not ask why the person has a conflict of interest.

Data Retention Policy

Each reported incident will be documented in order to retain records of:

  • Contact information for the reporter, third-party witnesses, and reported person
  • Incident description, including discussions with reporters or third-party witnesses
  • Details of the inappropriate behavior
  • Committee meeting minutes
  • Committee decisions regarding report jurisdiction and impact/risk assessment
  • Committee decisions about behavioral modification plans and consequences
  • Discussions with the reported person, including whether they have agreed to a behavioral modification plan and/or consequences
  • Follow-up actions to make the community more safe or inclusive

Records must be retained to:

  • Review incident documentation during committee discussion of the incident
  • Identify repeated inappropriate behavior
  • Identify patterns of borderline inappropriate behavior
  • Determine whether stricter consequences are necessary, based on past records
  • Contact a reporter or third-party witnesses with the resolution to their report
  • Contact a reported person to deliver a behavioral modification plan and/or consequences
  • Contact a reported person to lift a temporary ban or remove a sanction
  • Review documentation during a decision appeal
  • Contact a reporter or third-party witnesses with an updated resolution to their report

These records might also include communications such as copies of electronic correspondence between the committee and reporters, third party witnesses, or reported people.

Records must be securely kept on GNOME Foundation servers or under individual access control under Google Documents. Do not turn Google doc link sharing on. Only committee members should have access to the records. Information can be shared with the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors on a case by case, need to know basis. Personal copies of information should not be retained by anyone who has access to them.

If a GNOME online community wishes to abide by the GNOME Code of Conduct, or a GNOME event wishes to abide by the GNOME events Code of Conduct, the moderators or event planners must notify the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors. Such online communities or events may share information about Code of Conduct reports with the GNOME Code of Conduct committee. Appropriate safeguards should be in place to ensure that data can be legally transferred between online community moderators/event organizers and the GNOME Foundation.

Records should be retained for no more than six years after collection. After this time, they should be put beyond use. This means that they must:

  • Not be used to inform decision making or actions
  • Be stored securely
  • Not be passed to external organisations unless legally required to do so
  • Be deleted once it is reasonably expected that it will not be required to be produced in the future

Records may be retained for longer than six years if a sanction is active or record removal would negatively impact GNOME community safety.

Transparency reports

Once every three months, the GNOME Code of Conduct committee will provide a public transparency report about the resolved and ongoing reports it has handled. The committee may decide to delay a transparency report if the timing of releasing a transparency report would jeopardize the privacy of the reporter, the reported person, or third-party witnesses.

The transparency reports will remove any information about the reporter and the reported person. If there is no way to anonymize the report without revealing the identity of the reporter or the reported person, the transparency report will simply note that a report was made. If no reports have been made in the specified time period, the transparency report will state that.

Transparency reports will include:

  • A description of how the Code of Conduct was promoted to community members
  • A summary of the total number and types of incidents that have occurred since the last transparency report
  • A summary of the resolutions to those incidents, including unresolved incidents
  • A generalized description of each incident, and how the incident was resolved

Examples of transparency reports include:

License

The GNOME Online Code of Conduct is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License

Creative Commons License

Attribution

The GNOME Code of Conduct committee procedures was forked from the Code of Conduct template, which was created by Otter Tech and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Additional language and graphics were incorporated and modified from the following resources:

Foundation/CodeOfConduct/CommitteeProcedures (last edited 2020-10-08 00:10:41 by RosannaYuen)