Towards a Code of Conduct for PPAU

I want to restart party discussion about a generalised code of conduct. We have some narrow ones around ‘don’t post anything illegal and don’t spam’ and around meeting procedure, but I do feel they’re insufficient.

As Pirates we are strong believers in the value of freedom of speech. It’s up to us to model that value, by engaging in discussions that are both robust and fulfilling.

This almost definitely requires us to make some trade offs, and to resolve the Paradox of Tolerance.

I think we can learn from Wikipedia’s guidelines on a number of points:


Other prior art; the Contributor Covenant is used quite widely in quite a few FOSS projects, many of which are pretty high-profile (Linux kernel, Electron, curl, Golang, Kubernetes, any of Google’s FOSS projects, etc).

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Covenant talks about special position in a project to enforce the rules needlessly

To be honest, I didn’t observe any bad treatment of members from anyone’s side on your discuss forums

Leaving rules minimalistic is the best option, CoCV only treats tons of cases without real substance

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Sup Everyone,


I am a firm and unapologetic believer in the right to express a thought and/or an opinion with the right intentions AND constructive purposes (in short, a Right accompanied with a Responsibility). Equally strong is my firm opposition to abuse, personal insults and collective harrassments of individuals for expressed views in opposition to their own.


Having stated the above, I am not in agreement with the Contributor Covenant (CoC) for its prescribed course of action to ‘punish’ individuals for non-conforming opinions / thoughts / actions on political grounds purported by the author/s of the CoC. But I do agree with its stated goals of achieving greater inclusiveness and diversity.

Hence, if a decision on a Code of Conduct is to be made, I propose the spirit embodied within the Free Software Foundation (FSF) Kind Communications Guidelines as an alternative.

They are way nicer.

FSF Kind Communications Guidelines


The spirit of the FSF one is much closer to what I’m going for, thank you!


I just read the ‘It’s Ok To Be White’ thread.

I am now convinced a Code of Code / Guidelines is required. I am really disapointed what transpired in that thread (not about the topic, but how members engaged with one another).

Really, really disappointed.

Maybe they’re not PP-AU members, and only externals joining the chat randomly
I didn’t see members like Alex having harsh reactions

Everyone in the thread was (at the time) either a full or supporter member (except perhaps for you, Steven).

Oh. Well, it’s not healthy to have bad attitude towards each other, but it isn’t the end of the world, it’s just the storm / conflict that pre-dates the calm and stability.

Fixing it requires education, much love and time :slight_smile:

A’hoy @Azuloso

I think I know most respondents in that thread pretty well and I don’t think it displays any need for more … guidelines, although I don’t rule out the need.

… and if that disappoints you, well, welcome to politics, Pirate style.

ps. In fact I have much respect for both @AndrewDowning and @PLB and their discourse. No bullshit, say what ya mean debate. Should be more of it.


I’m experimenting with a CoC that’s so radically short I’m not sure it should bear that name. So often these things are a massive laundry list and I’d like to avoid that. Here’s what I’ve got so far.

Our Party has a purpose.
Our actions and conversations in Party spaces do not always need to serve that purpose, but they should not work against it either.
Party spaces must be welcoming to all those who align with Pirate principles.

We hold ourselves to a standard based on both the pursuit of truth, and on respect and empathy for our fellow Pirates.


Are our Pirate principles defined or listed in our constitution?

Yes, in the very first part: ‘principles and objects of the party’. Our civil liberties & copyright-reform core.


The Contributor Covenant is a terrible idea, in spite of its almost viral adoption amongst the FOSS world.

In fact, the widespread adoption of it led to my needing to write my own project participation policy to act as an almost automatic counter to it in order to just remain active in FOSS projects at all.

The fact is that the Covenants, both Community and Contributor, contain a nasty little poison pill which is a direct result of the bigotry and biases of one of the original authors of the Geek Feminism Wiki policies on which those Covenants are based. It’s also worth noting that as of January, 2014, the discrimination which the Contributor Covenant enables is unlawful in Australia anyway (which I also addressed here).


How about something derivative of

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That’s pretty good, though it has a disadvantage here in that here there’s always going to be discussion of a broad range of political topics. Whereas the GNU Project can clearly cut all of that down due to the technical focus of the project(s).

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just reading this person’s perspective
The problem with the Code of Conduct

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Codes of Conduct are very often used as political tools to enforce particular viewpoints, not as any sort of rules to avoid abuse. The Contributor Covenant is an example of that sort of nonsense. That thing would prevent discussion on a lot of political topics that need addressing and would allow arbitrary censorship powers based around whatever someone feels is offensive, amongst other things. Even the GNU guidelines implicitly sets out to enforce certain politics and would overly constrict discussion here.

Rather than looking at such CoCs from elsewhere, a perhaps better place to start would be to collect and review the various rules documents that PPAU already has for different platforms. Then points of commonality can be identified and specific suggestions can be made for improvement.

Following my own advice, I’ve now gone and reread the FAQ for this place. There are few minor points of concern that I might bring up later, but overall it seems decent enough. I’m curious how people think it can be improved.

Or in other words, I agree with @twisty here.


I just want people to stop being dicks on the internet. Is that so hard?


not even the whole internet, just the PPAU bits…

In a word? Yes. :stuck_out_tongue:

But seriously, there’s at least three issues with that.

The first is that being a dick is already against the rules here. If the problem is that people are still being dicks, then the issue isn’t the rules, it’s lack of enforcement. Changing the rules in that case will not help.

The second is that any discussion where there are opposing viewpoints that people are emotionally invested in is going to get heated. Discussions involving politics, religion, morality, race, sex, etc, are more likely to have this happen.

The third is that being a dick is, to some degree, subjective. Anyone can take offence to anything, really. That’s one of the minor issues I noticed when rereading the FAQ.