Brussels / 4 & 5 February 2017


F as in Freedom

Codes of Conduct & Community Guidelines

This talk examines the way the free software community communicates with one another, and ways codes of conduct and community guidelines affect language. By analyzing mailing lists, looking at the frequency with which participants use slurs and expletives before and after the institution of codes of conduct, we can see how effective these policies are, and what sort of spaces they are creating for community members and project contributors.

This talk is the follow up to talks at Libre Planet (2016) and SeaGL (2016), taking a mostly (and then progressively less) humorous look on language used on Twitter and mailing lists, and the positive and negative ways we use strong language to talk about free software, and talk to each other about free software. This talk will include a general look at the purpose of codes of conduct and community guidelines, what sort of things make one policy "good" or "bad," and, when possible, the process by a given community agrees on the institution of one. It will then focus on statistical analysis of language use on a chosen number of mailing lists (including the Linux Kernel Mailing List), with outstanding examples.

This talk will likely include some strong language.


Photo of Molly de Blanc Molly de Blanc