In the summer, we organized the very first Drupal Governance Sprint. We sat down and discussed how to evolve Drupal's governance structure to support the Drupal community's continued growth. The result of that meeting was a proposal on how to evolve our governance.

As a first step towards implementing this proposed governance structure, we set out to charter the "Community Working Group" (CWG), one of different groups we'd like to set up. Inspired by the Fedora Community Working Group, the mission of Drupal Community Working Group would be to maintain a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project on the different drupal.org websites, official IRC channels, and mailing lists. Specifically, the Community Working Group's purpose is to defuse tense situations, to keep discussions productive, and to act as a point of escalation and final arbitration for intractable conflicts within the Drupal community.

With the help of Randy Fay, Greg Dunlap, David Strauss, George DeMet, Donna Benjamin, Jeremy Thorson, Jennifer Hodgdon, Angela Byron and others, we drafted a charter for the Community Working Group. Before we officially launch this group, I would like to get your feedback. We'll iterate on the draft charter based on all your feedback. Thanks!


Community Working Group Charter (BADCamp DRAFT)

Mission

The mission of the Community Working Group (CWG) is to uphold the Drupal Code of Conduct in order to maintain a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project.

The CWG acts as a group to maintain documentation and processes focused on the health of the community. In case of disagreements, they guide community members through the conflict resolution process in an effort to help defuse tense situations and keep discussions productive. In rare cases of intractable conflicts, they act as a point of escalation, mediation, and/or final arbitration for the Drupal community.

Scope / duties / responsibilities

Scope

The CWG charter applies to situations involving "Drupal Community Members", which includes (but is not limited to) anyone who participates in the Drupal project by i) creating and maintaining a Drupal.org website account, ii) posting on *.Drupal.org web sites, iii) participating in the Drupal IRC channels, or iv) attending international, regional, or local Drupal events. This definition extends to any Drupal-related participation regardless of medium (e.g. Drupal.org, IRC, Twitter) or location (e.g. local meetup, DrupalCon).

The primary goal of of the CWG is to facilitate discussion and provide conflict mediation assistance. However, the CWG is also empowered to take action in response to community conflicts where individuals/groups can not reach a resolution on their own; for example, i) issuing binding arbitration, ii) issuing warnings, iii) temporarily banning someone from particular aspects of community participation, or iv) enforcing permanant bans in extreme cases.

Specific duties of the CWG

This is a group that exists primarily to help the community resolve conflicts themselves. They do so by engaging in one or more of the following capacities:

  1. Facilitation and Documentation: The CWG enables community members to resolve their own conflicts by guiding them through an established conflict resolution process. The CWG maintains the Conflict Resolution Process (CRP) and related documentation, including the Drupal Code of Conduct and "What to do in case of X" guidelines.
  2. Mediation: When presented with a conflict that cannot be resolved by the individuals involved using the established conflict resolution process, the CWG may serve as a mediator or provide mediation suggestions.
  3. Arbitration: In the event that conflict mediation breaks down, the CWG is empowered to enforce binding arbitration and/or decide on appropriate courses of action.
  4. Escalation: In extreme cases which could result in disciplinary actions extending beyond the CWG's mandate and/or potentially into the legal realm (e.g., harassment, stalking, etc.), the CWG may provide educational and advisory support to community members regarding potential escalation alternatives.

Exclusions

Items specifically not within the scope of the CWG's duties:

  • Barring extreme cases, the CWG does not get involved with conflicts until members have tried and failed to resolve the conflicts themselves using the Conflict Resolution Process.
  • The CWG does not respond to requests to take specific punitive action.
  • Members of the CWG cannot Arbitrate (see definition above) conflicts individually unless empowered to do so by the group as a whole.
  • It is not the role of the CWG to initiate contact with law enforcement on behalf of any of the community members involved in an incident brought before the CWG.
  • The CWG cannot make technical policy decisions (this is the responsibility of the Technical Working Group) or community-wide governance decisions (this is the responsibility of the Governance Working Group)
  • The CWG cannot change or extend its own charter.

Process

Resolving community conflicts

Individuals should always begin any conflict resolution process by following the CRP, with the assistance of the CWG if necessary. The CRP will set forth when it is appropriate to bring the CWG more directly into the process (Mediation, etc.), and how to contact the CWG to bring them in.

Process Considerations

  • Impartiality: Individual CWG members must disclose any potential conflicts of interest in any matters brought before them, and excuse themselves from participation in any decisions in which they may have a direct or perceived conflict of interest, so as to maintain impartiality of the CWG as a whole.
  • Safety: CWG members may decline to get involved with mediating or arbitrating a conflict if they feel that their involvement would expose them to danger.

Transparency and appeals

The CWG aims to be as transparent as possible by deliberating and documenting its decisions publicly when able. In sensitive situations, however, the group may omit details out of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved.

If any of the involved parties feels a decision of the CWG is unreasonable, they can escalate it to an appeal. The appeals person/panel will then review the decision, and may choose to either uphold or change it. In the meantime, the decision of the CWG stands.

The appeals panel shall consist of Dries Buytaert and/or his designate(s). In the future, this charter may be revised to modify the appeals panel selection process.

Membership

CWG members shall be selected from the Drupal community by Dries Buytaert and/or his designate(s). In the future, this charter may be revised to modify the CWG selection process.

Charter revisions

Any proposed charter revisions must be ratified by Dries Buytaert and/or his designate(s) prior to acceptance into this charter. In the future, this charter may be revised to modify the charter revision process, subject to the aforementioned condition.

Files: 
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#23 cwg process.png788.43 KBwebchick

Comments

xjm’s picture

This is exactly what we need. I agree on all points. Thank you so much for your work on this.

webchick’s picture

So despite having worked on drafting this, there are a couple of things I'd love to discuss further. Some of these were comments in the docs added towards the end. Others are things I've been thinking about since #1815958: Define enforceable consequences for online + in person harassment.

In general, what I like about this charter is that it outlays a mission for the CWG that is more than just the people to come crying to when you and another contributor get into a fight, and more than booting out community members in extreme cases (although is empowered to do both). I also like that part of its mission is accentuating the positive: empowering community members to take conflict resolution into their own hands, and to generally keep discussions proactive and keep the community a fun place to be.

I also like that we finally have an answer to the question "Who can ban someone?" and almost have one for "And for what?" I think we'll need to observe this group's actions, but OTOH it's gotta be loads better having a team of even-keeled individuals acting as judge, jury, and executioner than a bunch of solitary individuals who were often blessed with permissions to extradite someone not because of their temperament and objective conflict resolution skills, but because of how well they could fight for their changes in the do-ocracy, thus earning the respect of their peers.

I wavered back and forth quite a lot about the scope (e.g. Twitter, IRC, mailing lists, what have you), because having been a defacto member of this group for most of my Drupal life, I know first-hand how incredibly exhausting it is that at any given moment to be thrown a curveball by someone that requires you to drop everything—patch reviews, core commits, time with family, deadlines, paying client work, anything fun you might've wanted to do that weekend—in order to help ameliorate some kind of community crisis. So the instinctive reaction to "turtle shell" a bit, to try and protect the future members of this group from being forced to solve all of the world's problems at the expense of their own personal health and well-being is incredibly strong for me, because I've been living this life uncertainty regarding what lies ahead on any given day for years now, as have a few others of us. (One fantastic thing about this structure is we no longer have to go it alone—folks in the community now have a group of people to contact instead of a collection of individuals, and that group can help with "routing" these requests so they don't overwhelm any particular person on the team.)

OTOH, when talking to Greg Knaddison some about this, he rightly pointed out that if this group isn't empowered to deal with situations like Ariane's, that there really isn't a point in setting up any kind of big fancy governance structure so that people in the CWG can wipe their hands and say "Sorry, not in scope." For the CWG to have any merit, it needs to be a body that Drupal community members feel safe talking to, and know they can be heard, and know that even if they dont' agree with the arbitration on a particular situation, that it was given its opportunity to be heard. So I do find myself now agreeing with what's written there, that this group needs to be empowered (and prepared) to deal with "Drupal community stuff," with the widest possible interpretation of that language.

I don't actually agree, however, that it is this group's responsibility to contact law enforcement, as stated under "Escalation." For one, I don't think "by proxy" reports work legally, and for another it's possible that doing so could escalate a situation and put a victim at risk. I believe that decision should be solely with the victim. The CWG can support/encourage them to exercise their rights, can help scrounge up log files or whatever that help make the case, but I think actually engaging with law enforcement is far beyond the call of what a collection fo volunteers should be asked to do.

The CWG does not get involved with conflicts until members have tried and failed to resolve the conflicts themselves using the Community Conflict Resolution Process.

Plus. Frigging. One. The only caveat is that there are legitimate situations (e.g. harassment, stalking) where the idea of making a victim go through some kind of resolution process is both laughable and cruel. We should probably re-word this to something like "Barring extreme circumstances..." like we did on the note about ban requests.

To bring a matter before the CWG, send an e-mail to community@drupal.org.

Jennifer pointed this out in the draft, but I don't think we need to get that prescriptive in the group's charter. The main gist to communicate here is that requests go to a private area (mailing list), rather than a public area (issue queue). While that flies in the face of transparency that we as a community normally embrace, I think that for this specific area, we're a lot less likely to further inflame situations caused by peoples' names forever being captured in Google for what they feel was wrongful accusation about some such or another thing. So even though I'm a huge advocate for transparency, I support a private workflow for the CWG. The only thing then is how we do oversight to make sure claims are actually being responded to in a timely manner.

This charter also puts a lot on Dries's shoulders—naming the group members, amending their charter, being the point of escalation beyond the CWG—but for now, I think this is probably wise. Once this group is up and running and we see how it goes, we can always iterate from there.

I want to sincerely thank every single person who helped with the creation of this document. This is a HUGE step for us as a community, and I think once we work out some initial bugs, we'll be so much better off for it.

mariomaric’s picture

IMO existence of CWG can only bring good things to our community.
I can only repeat xjm's words: thanks to all involved! :)

One thing that bothers me is definition of Drupal community member, or, when someone wear a Drupal community member hat?

Oh, and I also really like broad scope of the CWG. ;)

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

I am very much +1 for removing the escalation part. It is a toothless tiger.

I recommend that charters of similar organizations be studied before finalizing this in case this has not been done. I am thinking of professional organizations that e.g. doctors or lawyers have (at least where I live).

kattekrab’s picture

This is a great start.

However, I'm not sure it's going to help us with harassment complaints. Expecting the parties of such a complaint to go into mediation doesn't really make sense to me.

Because I knew this charter was being drafted, I've been holding off working further on #1815958: Define enforceable consequences for online + in person harassment

Now it's out, I think we need an additional guideline, and response process.

My suggestion is we use our method for handling security issues as a blueprint for handling harassment issues.

Harassment often goes unreported, and people silently leave the environment in which they've felt harassed.

The 2nd compounding factor, is that all too often when harassment is reported, the consequences for reporting disproportionately impact the person who made the complaint, and are worse than the incident that led them to complain in the first place.

So - I suggest we have a means to report harassment privately, but ask for some kind of evidence with that report. In our online forums such as IRC, twitter, issue queues, mail lists etc, that should not be too onerous. It also saves us spending time attempting to investigate situations we can't possibly verify.

Report
1. Private reporting / complaint lodgement. Via email, or webform?
2. Ask for supporting evidence of the incident(s) that occured.
3. Ask for them to quantify their sense of the threat level.
4. Maybe ask them for what action they'd like taken. [?]

Respond
1. Immediate acknowledgement the issue has been lodged,
2. Contact the person and determine need to discuss it further.
3. Depending on severity and threat level, act accordingly.

  • Contacting the accused for their side of the story.
  • Warning the accused (perhaps putting them on notice)
  • Time out for the accused.
  • Banning the accused.
  • [This bit needs work - I'm not sure]

As part of this - I'd like to have 3-5 "threat levels" for us to measure incidents against. A bit like the security risk levels. http://drupal.org/security-team/risk-levels

Personal note:
I've stuck my neck out defending the Drupal Community as a great place for women. I now feel obliged to help make sure that's true. But I also believe this is not just a problem for women. It's a problem for all of us. What we tolerate defines our community.

LeeHunter’s picture

The word "punitive action" should definitely be changed to something less ambiguous and inflammatory, perhaps "corrective action" or preferably "administrative action". That would be much more clear and precise since the available "punishments" couldn't possibly be anything harsher than banning. And these days, even the justice system doesn't go in for the word "punish" much.

I also wanted to note that it's quite odd for a charter to specify actors by name rather than by title or role. I'd also question whether it makes sense to put the technical lead for the entire project as the arbiter for resolving community issues. Wouldn't it make more sense to make this the responsibility of the Drupal Association executive director (along with ratifying and updating the charter as needed)?

LeeHunter’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Removed redundant sentence.

webchick’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Removing the word "punitive," replacing with "administrative" per LeeHunter.

webchick’s picture

Priority: Normal » Critical
Status: Active » Needs review

@LeeHunter: Good call on "punitive action." I've replaced with "administrative action" since that is much more inline with the intent of the sentence. I agree that it is a bit odd to specify people by name in a charter. We could sub in "Dries Buytaert" for "Drupal project lead" but I think I'd rather be really explicit than ambiguous in this case; people reading this charter might not be that familiar with who people are in the community.

I would really not expand the DA executive director's scope to handling interpersonal issues between community members. The DA doesn't "own" the community, and its involvement is much more of a supporting role than a directing role over its activities, by design. Of course neither does Dries "own" the community, but as BDFL he is much more directly responsible for setting the overall tone/guidance/leadership of the community itself, so him being in the "ultimate escalation point" role makes a lot more sense, to me.

Since neither @killes nor myself liked the "Escalation" part, I also scratched that out and replaced it with a @TODO about how to deal with "extreme" cases like harassment and stalking, where you can't reasonably ask a victim to go through a conflict resolution process.

I need to ponder a bit more what @KatteKrab laid out, but for now picking off the easy stuff.

Also, fixing the metadata here.

webchick’s picture

Also, per mariomaric's point about "What constitutes a Drupal community member?" I again think we probably want to make the definition as inclusive as possible. The incident with Ariane happened with someone who has a d.o account literally 2 weeks old (a week old, at the time). I think the CWG response "Sorry, that doesn't count as a community member, then. Out of scope." would not really have been acceptable.

webchick’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Removing the current wording of Escalation, per webchick, killes, KatteKrab... replaced with @TODO.

Dries’s picture

I think we need to keep the escalation part, we just don't need to require mediation. The reason we need to keep it is because I'd like someone one to be responsible for it, and preferably not an individual. Would love to hear more people's thought on that.

@kattekrab; lots of good ideas but ... the charter does not need to describe the process on how to deal with harassment. It just needs to define that the CWG is responsible for defining and maintaining that process. The charter can enforce that policy to have certain characteristics though.

jhodgdon’s picture

I just made a very small edit in the last paragraph of the Process section (it appeared to be a typo; I used a DEL tag so you can see what I crossed out, just in case).

Other than that, I think this is looking pretty good... I have a few comments and thoughts and suggestions:

--- a)

One thing that I think is a bit unclear though is the first sentence of the Process section. It currently says

To bring a matter before the CWG, send an e-mail to community@drupal.org.

But I think that maybe it should mention something about following the dispute resolution process, because I don't think the CWG wants to get email unless this process is being followed? How about changing that to say:

To bring a matter before the CWG, at times that are appropriate according to the [link]dispute resolution process[/link], send an e-mail to community@drupal.org

--- b)

I also think that the details of the "how to deal with serious harrassment" stuff belongs in the Dispute Resolution Process document, and not in this charter -- the charter should cover the general responsibilities of the CWG and not the details of dispute resolution.

--- c)

I think we do need a definition of "member of the community" to be added to the charter. The last sentence of the first Scope paragraph currently reads:

Its scope extends to Drupal community members, regardless of medium (e.g. Drupal.org, IRC, Twitter) or location (e.g. local meetup, DrupalCon).

I think we could just add to the end of this:

By "Drupal community member", we mean anyone who participates in the Drupal project by posting content on Drupal.org or other *.Drupal.org web sites, participating in discussions in Drupal IRC channels, or attending international, regional, or local Drupal events.

--- d)

I think we should simply scrap the Escalation clause entirely, because as stated by others, we don't want the CWG to get involved in law enforcement, and I don't think we need to put into the charter that they will or won't encourage victims to seek out law enforcement.

webchick’s picture

@Dries: Yeah, that makes sense. I completely agree that there needs to be something next to the word "Escalation."

The reason I'm not crazy about this particular wording:

Alerting law enforcement and/or other appropriate bodies in the case of extreme conflict that is beyond the CWG's ability to handle (e.g., harassment, stalking).

is:

1) I don't believe it's actually technically feasible for one party to make a law enforcement claim on behalf of another, in the first place. But let's say that's not the case...
2) $perpetrator finds out that someone "official" from Drupal.org, uninvolved in the conflict at hand, filed a law enforcement claim against them, which tarnishes their reputation/harms their professional standing. That's probably grounds for suing a community volunteer, who was only trying to help.
3) But worse than that, let's say we're actually dealing with an honest-to-goodness complete wackadoo creepazoid person, and they take #2 very, very badly, and they move from merely pestering $victim to actually making real honest-to-goodness threats against them, or worse.

So I would vastly prefer to hand control over the path of escalation to $victim. I think the CWG should merely try and support them in whatever they want to do, within the boundaries of what $victim feels comfortable with and feels safe with. (Obviously, though, they would need to supply evidence that such harrassment/stalking is taking place, and this has to pass a basic sanity check by the CWG.)

So I would prefer to amend that sentence to something like:


4. Escalation. In the case of extreme situations such as harrassment and stalking, assist the victim in obtaining whatever information they need (log files, etc.) in order to report the infraction to the proper authorities.

Does that make sense? Agree/disagree?

jhodgdon’s picture

Actually, regarding escalation/law enforcement... There are cases where things are required to be reported to law enforcement, such as if you have reason to believe a child is being abused in any of 18 states in the US, you are required to report it... this seems unlikely to affect the CWG, but there could be other law enforcement requirements.

Given that, and the things expressed above, and that we also want to preserve the safety of the CWG members themselves, maybe we should add this to the "not within the scope" list:

The CWG may, acting as a group, feel that getting involved in a particular conflict would expose members of the CWG to physical danger, and therefore decide that this conflict would be best dealt with by law enforcement officials. In this case, they will limit their action to communicating that decision to the people who requested the CWG get involved, unless required by law to take further action.

jhodgdon’s picture

RE #11 - I think "assisting the victim in obtaining information" sounds like a very reasonable step.

webchick’s picture

Responding to @KatteKrab. Like @Dries, I would prefer not to get too prescriptive here in the charter with the actual mechanics of how the CWG does its thing. I would prefer instead to agree on their scope and responsibilities, see the group populated with highly qualified people, and then have those people be empowered to figure out a process that works for them (and that the community can get behind as well, of course). Do-ocracy should prevail here.

On the specific proposal at hand about security levels... I think we need to recognize that for the most part (and particularly so in "extreme" cases), we're not going to be able to work out an objective formula ahead of time that covers all of the bases of what messed up things people are going to do, and a lot of the CWG's arbitration is going to be case-by-case calls. And I worry if we try and start by laying out a strong framework of rules, we're merely inviting people to skirt around those rules, and this is particularly a problem when the CWG will be dealing with almost nothing but people who enjoy skirting around rules. :\

At the same time, I can recognize a general desire for objective metrics, so that when $contributorX violates the code of conduct for the 1400th time, you can point to a rule book and say "Sorry, it says right here that after the 1400th time you are perma-banned. Buh-bye. Nothing personal." And I do worry about punting this entirely from the charter, as it gives the CWG a lot of leeway to develop a process that turns out to be unreasonable (e.g. "never banning" or "always perma-banning first shot").

But I think we should try to pull our thinking up a level from a tactical "how should this group work day to day?" level (which IMO should be up to the group themselves to decide) and more to the strategic "what powers / limits do we want to give this group to ensure that what they do is harmonious with community values?"

webchick’s picture

Cross-posting a lot here, but I really like the suggestion in #12 to amend the scope to protect the CWG members' safety as well.

jthorson’s picture

I strongly agree with webchick's comments in #11 ... and threw together some wording suggestions on the 'escalation' front:

Escalation: In extreme cases which could result in disciplinary actions extending beyond the CWG's mandate and potentially into the legal realm (e.g. harassment, stalking, etc.), the CWG may provide educational and advisory support to community members regarding potential escalation alternatives which may be available or appropriate in any particular situation, as well as through the establishment of 'What to do in case of X' guidelines which can be referenced by any community member who has witnessed or experienced such an event.

Under "The following items are not within the scope of the CWG’s charter":

While the CWG will cooporate with law enforcement as required in the course of any resulting investigations, and advise members as to when escalation to law enforcement may be appropriate, it is not the role of the CWG to initiate contact with law enforcement on behalf of any of the community members involved in an incident brought before the CWG.

We should be careful with regards to the "assisting the victim in obtaining whatever information they need" wording, to ensure that CWG members do not inadvertently violate the privacy rights of the accused in any given situation ... they should, by all means, provide logs (et al) to law enforcement to assist in the course of an investigation; but providing certain information directly to the accuser could result in liability concerns in some juristictions. EDIT: Looking back, this is less of a concern when taken in the context of "provide any information they need in order to report the incident to law enforcement", as this would contain an implied limitation to what information would actually be required to file a police report.

webchick’s picture

Apart from a tad bit of run-on-sentence syndrome, I am +100 to #16. I think it is a realistic scope that both protects the CWG team members, but also provides support to people who find themselves (or someone they observe) in a really bad situation. Let's see what others think.

dddave’s picture

Some thoughts:

1. Break out the procedural part for harrassment

I also think that the details of the "how to deal with serious harrassment" stuff belongs in the Dispute Resolution Process document, and not in this charter -- the charter should cover the general responsibilities of the CWG and not the details of dispute resolution.

My feelings exactly. After reading this draft yesterday I was pretty astonished about its wordings, scope and attitude towards the community. After I found what spawned this I got a better understanding. Some sleep also helped me to clarify my thoughts.
I do understand the urge to create something that enables us as a community to react to cases of harassment and stalking even if it happens outside of the drupal.org infrastructure (e.g. Twitter). But please let's limit the scope of this draft without getting bogged down in details and specifics so that this document makes clear that this Group is built to help the community (i.e. focus on conflict resolution in contrast to punishing somebody).The overall (underlying) tone of the original document was/is really disturbing for me.
The rules for reactions to said cases of personal abuse should be clearly and accessibly referenced but put into a different document. We should also make clear that this group is charged with policing said behaviors. One reason why we need to put it into a different document is that we need specific procedural regulations for this process which would taint this document if included (e.g. a point like

So - I suggest we have a means to report harassment privately, but ask for some kind of evidence with that report. In our online forums such as IRC, twitter, issue queues, mail lists etc, that should not be too onerous. It also saves us spending time attempting to investigate situations we can't possibly verify.

needs to be carefully crafted. "Some kind of evidence" should be defined if somebody could be banned)

2. The entitlement problem

Reading the last paragraphs aloud really should make clear that the position of Dries is problematic. This is a community issue but the last paragraphs stressing the role of Dries really sound uncomfortable. Webchick acknowledged this already and I think these points need more consideration.

3. Anglo-American centric crafting

This is an important issue for the community and really needs some additional input. Killes already mentioned similar documents from professional organizations (not based in the US) which would be a good start. Additionally I hope we get more input from people from different communities to see how the wording of this document makes them feel.
This partly goes hand in hand with my second point but I wonder how community members from India, Latin-America or Africa think and feel about an enforcement body constructed as currently intended.
The discussion about the DCCoC should be an example (in the end we got something pretty fine out of it).

4. Acknowledge the problem of relationships/ conflict of interest

We need to acknowledge that there can be problems when prominent members of the community are part of a process covered by these docs. This should be written down and considered when Dries appoints "judges". There is also a conflict of interest if company members are part of the process (i.e. somebody working for Acquia). This may be part of this document OR part of a different additional document. But the problem exists.

tsvenson’s picture

Priority: Critical » Normal
Status: Needs review » Active

While I 100% support the goals for what this charter is about, I am also quite concerned about a few things.

Escalating
Many has already touched on this and changes already been made. However, what law enforcement agency are we talking about here? How is this going to be handled if the conflict is between someone from Nigeria and someone from South Korea. Or maybe more commonly someone from USA and someone from a European country? Countries and states often have very different laws and what may be illegal in one country might very well be perfectly legal in another.

Political Correctness vs. Common Sense
The same expression in one country may mean something completely different in another, or even another region within the same country. At DrupalCon Munich I noticed several occasions where particularly our US friends took offence to expressions used. The root to those where in almost every case down to "political correctness", but here in Europe just normal stuff that no one take any offence to whatsoever...

The charter, nor DCoC, doesn't cover this at all. Nor does it cover that not everyone has English as 1st language, or even 2nd, etc... I watched Brian Teeman's DrupalCon Munich session Joomla! - Hippies, Pirates, Revolutionaries or a Distributed Community where he devoted a large part to how the Joomla community have tackled the language and cultural differences. I highly recommend everyone here to watch it as it is very relevant information to this discussion.

Particularly listen to the example he gives in the language part starting at 23:24 into the video. It is a great example how the use of the word "pussy" escalated completely out of hand. We have already had our own version of that if you remember Dries DrupalCon Copenhagen prediction about when Drupal will have its sex scandal before year 2020 and the storm it caused. For many of us it was an innocent joke we just laughed about, but for others...

So, in the same sense that we of course shall respect one another, we also need to respect the language and cultural differences. Drupal is a world wide community and because of that political correctness in one country/region should not be possible to use as the norm for the whole community.

We must be better on using common sense before going ballistic. It is not difficult to find out what country the person that "offended" someone is from. In fact, he/she might not have offended at all from his/her point of view.

Proactive and preventative
DCoC is great in that is is written in a positive way, trying to educate the reader about how to behave.

This charter on the other hand is written in a much harsher language. But, at the same time it is still wage in many ways as it doesn't say anything about what will be the base for the conflict resolution, including those things I have mentioned above.

I think, in the way it is written now it may actually cause more harm than good.

tsvenson’s picture

Priority: Normal » Critical
Status: Active » Needs review

Sorry, didn't mean to change priority and status. Reverting...

dddave’s picture

Thank you Thomas for wording the PC vs Common Sense part in such a comprehensive and unoffensive way. I was afraid to touch it.

killes@www.drop.org’s picture

Actually, regarding escalation/law enforcement... There are cases where
things are required to be reported to law enforcement, such as if you
have reason to believe a child is being abused in any of 18 states in
the US, you are required to report it... this seems unlikely to affect
the CWG, but there could be other law enforcement requirements.

Any of these requirements will only apply to a real or judicial persons. Some working group of an open source project isn't any of these. That's why it doesn't make sense to have this in the charter.

Of course, not having this in the charter doesn't prevent a member of the working group to make such a report. But this applies to anybody else as well.

webchick’s picture

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So, I see people reacting to some of the language in here, and this is an indication we indeed need to clean it up some, but the intent is that the ratio of community conflicts that go to the CWG vs. the number that are able to be solved by community members themselves is incredibly, incredibly low. The goal of the CWG first and foremost is to empower community members to resolve conflicts themselves. It's just there as a backup mechanism in case things get stuck, and in the absolute worst case, when everything else has failed (it needs to go through at least 3 steps before this), a way to eject someone from the community who is a repeat offender, or turning the community into an extremely unhappy place.

In other words, this is how I see conflicts in the community roughly breaking down, both process- and ratio-wise (click for a big version):

Roughly 80% of issues can most likely be handled by community member themselves, 15% handled with assistance of the conflict resolution process, 5% with CWG mediation assistance, 2% arbitration, ~0.0001% escalation.

In other words, by the time we get to Arbitration/Escalation, the situation is pretty effing bad, and community members have been unable to resolve their own problem themselves, resolve their own problem by following the documented Conflict Resolution Process, AND resolve their own problem with mediation assistance from the CWG. And that's exactly why we need this group, because right now we have no arbitration/escalation process, and it's spilling toxic sludge over into all kinds of places into the community, and putting enormous strain on certain specific trusted individuals who are known for being good at diffusing tense situations.

So this isn't about stifling anyone's speech, it isn't about punishing anyone. It's about providing a structure and process for us to by and large solve our own problems, but also an escalation point if this breaks down.

webchick’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

fix apparent typo (actually I put it in DEL tag to make the edit obvious)

jhodgdon’s picture

A few thoughts on all of these great comments:

a) Let's stay focused here on the CWG charter itself:
- Political correctness etc. -- the Code of Conduct document is where we define what acceptable and not acceptable behaviors are within the community, not the CWG charter.
- Details of process etc. -- these questions belong in the Dispute Resolution document, not the CWG charter.

b) #16 - I am also +1

c) Dries' position... I do think we want to be explicit about his role. We do need to have someone or some people explicitly stated in the charter, and independent of the CWG itself, who is/are tasked with appointing the CWG and acting as "appeals judge". Right now Dries is who we have -- there is not a viable alternative until such time as the Governance committees figure that out -- he is the de facto Benevolent Dictator of the Drupal project (and IMO doing a pretty decent job of it). And I have to say that as I've gotten to know Dries better over the past few years, and seen how he works, I feel confident that he will perform this duty in a careful and considered manner, with community input, as he does with the other decisions he makes on a regular basis in the project.

And I think that the current wording that says "for the moment" in the Membership clause should also be added to the charter paragraph at the end of the Process section....

---> Anyway, I've just added a new proposed draft to the issue summary (the previous one is still there too in case no one likes the new one).

dddave’s picture

re #23

So this isn't about stifling anyone's speech, it isn't about punishing anyone. It's about providing a structure and process for us to by and large solve our own problems, but also an escalation point if this breaks down.

Agreed.
The difference between the steps as outlined by webchick are that steps 1 and 2 represent a stage where the CWG comes in to help. This overall intent should be clearly represented in language and approach.

When we get to step 3 we enter a judiciary situation which is clearly different than the situation in steps 1 and 2. The CWG now is no longer acting as a helper for community to resolve a conflict but as an enforcer. Therefore I would like to see that we make clear that the CWG has this power but it shouldn't look normal in a way that anybody gets the impression: Let's enter the process and as a result I get a ban for my adversary.

For step 4 situations (like the one that got this going) I think we are no longer talking about "conflict resolution". In such a case a ban (and maybe additional assistance) is obvious. If said behavior would happen on drupal.org a ban by the webmaster would be easy to get and what we need is a similar process for action that happened outside the direct drupal infrastructure. But this is structurally a completely different situation than steps 1 and 2.
This in addition needs other procedurals as the helper function in steps 1 and 2.

So I want to underline that I don't have problems with the overall intent of the draft. I nevertheless think that we should be careful how we craft and formulate the difference between helping to resolve a conflict and acting as judiciary instance with severe punitive powers. And we should make clear that there are situations where immediate action is necessary but also that the CWG is not a stand-by axe-wilder to achieve punishment against adversaries.

tsvenson’s picture

@webchick:

So, I see people reacting to some of the language in here, and this is an indication we indeed need to clean it up some, but the intent is that the ratio of community conflicts that go to the CWG vs. the number that are able to be solved by community members themselves is incredibly, incredibly low. The goal of the CWG first and foremost is to empower community members to resolve conflicts themselves.

The reason this is created is that community members aren't always able to deal with these things themselves. As the community keeps growing, particularly with new members with a lot more different backgrounds such as language and cultural as well as skills and experiences, we have seen these problems growing to.

When this charter is in place it means community members have a new tool for solving conflicts - Alerting CWG to help dealing with it. This is basically the same thing as governments creating new laws with processes and punishments for those that breaks them. As those laws become more known and people gets aware of how to use them, they will as they see it as an easier way than dealing with it themselves. The threshold for when they give up trying to solve it themselves will get much lover.

Therefore, we can certainly expect there will be some misuse of this new tool. We will not know to what extent that will be until it is in place and becomes common knowledge in the community. But, it is something we must be prepared will happen. It will then also affect the members of the CWG and thus also take away resources, and energy, from the legitimate cases that will be brought to it.

webchick’s picture

When this charter is in place it means community members have a new tool for solving conflicts - Alerting CWG to help dealing with it. This is basically the same thing as governments creating new laws with processes and punishments for those that breaks them. As those laws become more known and people gets aware of how to use them, they will as they see it as an easier way than dealing with it themselves. The threshold for when they give up trying to solve it themselves will get much lover.

And this is exactly why in the group's charter it specifically forbids them from getting involved (except in extreme cases like harassment/stalking/death threats) until both parties have shown that they've tried and failed to go through the documented conflict resolution process themselves. Only then can members escalate to CWG. If they try and escalate before then, CWG will direct them to the conflict resolution process.

heyrocker’s picture

One thing I think is worth noting is that from my personal viewpoint, the CWG should be 100% focused on resolution rather than judgment. Sometimes this will involve punishment of some sort (which is why the group is empowered to make those calls) and sometimes violations of the COC are so flagrant that it is the only option, but as webchick notes we expect this to be extremely rare. If two community members in conflict come to the group and say "We are in disagreement, and the only solution we will accept is full punishment of the other party, please judge who is right and act accordingly" my implication would be to tell them to get lost because there is no grounds for mutual agreement and understanding there. This is a place to solve problems, not a place to extract justice (while we acknowledge that in very extreme cases, it may look that way.) Not sure if I'm making myself clear about the difference here, but I hope I am. I'm not sure if the wording can be adjusted to express this, but it would be nice if it was possible. I don't have a lot of time to manage that at the moment myself.

The discussion so far has been really great. Most comments I would have had are being addressed already which is really heartening to see. I especially agree with jhodgdon's point about where the divisions lie between CWG charter, COC and dispute resolution.

Thanks everyone.

tsvenson’s picture

And this is exactly why in the group's charter it specifically forbids them from getting involved (except in extreme cases like harassment/stalking/death threats) until both parties have shown that they've tried and failed to go through the documented conflict resolution process themselves. Only then can members escalate to CWG. If they try and escalate before then, CWG will direct them to the conflict resolution process.

Sorry, but its to easy to point to that and think everyone will clearly understand, both language and context, what to do and when they have done enough themselves. Particularly if that someone is the victim.

It also requires that all involved parties understands to the sort of conflict resolution used in the western world, or more specific the Anglo-American world as @dddave points out in #18.

The Escalation has been reworded and are now talking about "potentially into the legal realm". Still no one has clearly answered the questions about what laws are we talking about here. If it is a conflict between two people in the US it is of course pretty easy and can most likely be dealt with without even the CWG be involved.

But what about two or more individuals from different countries. Who's law is it then? How much is the community involved due to the fact that the servers are in the US and so on. What about DA as it is sponsoring the infrastructure and so on?

I think we need to be very careful here about what measures to use, particularly include in the charter. If bad goes to worse and members of CWG does get involved then what about their personal responsibility due to the decisions they make then?

This goes beyond borders, while most laws does not.

We need this, but we also need to realise that we must limit the actions and punishments to what is possible for an international community. And we need to make sure it is balanced with the language and cultural differences.

jhodgdon’s picture

OK folks...

I actually think we pretty much all agree on what the CWG should be doing... Great discussion -- but this issue is about the *charter*, which is the document that needs to put all of that agreement into words.

So. Can everyone read through the current proposed draft charter and suggest specific places where the wording could be made better, and the specific changes that would make it better? Otherwise we will not be able to adopt a charter, or we'll adopt one that doesn't reflect what (again) I think we pretty much all agree upon.

And please do it *consisely*, like "See discussion in #x - the wording in paragraph A, which is currently xyz should be changed to zyx".

Otherwise we are just going back and forth saying "this isn't good" which doesn't get us closer to "this is fine".

dddave’s picture

Otherwise we are just going back and forth saying "this isn't good" which doesn't get us closer to "this is fine".

Yeah especially since the discussion about this is raging since forever with input from a broad scope of community members. ;)

I see what is wanted and for that the current draft is pretty fine. We have to make sure though that the procedural questions get done with as well. This is as important as getting a charter!

A point that needs not only consideration but should be written into this charter too is how this CWG should be comprised. We trust in Dries (who has a fantastic trackrecord a community lead) and let him appoint the judges (this might not be the wording you like but de fact the position for problematic cases). Having a charter that is constructed with a very Anglo-American background and then only appointing people from Canada and the US (in the "best" case mostly working for Acquia) would look bad. I am pretty sure Dries wouldn't do that but as a matter of fact look who has worked on this charter in the first place so far...
Our community is a world-wide community and this should be reflected in the construction of this group.

And coming back full circle to the beginning of my post:
What would it take to let (prominent) community people from Latin-America, India, Asia take a look on this (how much European input do we have so far btw?)? I doubt that there will be massive objections but at least we would ensure a bigger base of legitimacy for this charter and the group itself.

Additionally I'll try to dig up some similar documents from (professional) organizations based not in Northern-America.

jhodgdon’s picture

RE #31 - This is frustrating... THIS issue is about the charter, not the other documents. And what you are saying in #31 about the selection of people has been said before (by you even) in previous comments on this issue. And there is no specific wording change suggestion in #31.

So, can you suggest something specific please?

jthorson’s picture

But what about two or more individuals from different countries. Who's law is it then?

I understand that the current wording is vague ... but your point is precisely why we can't get more specific. As to the intent of the wording, I meant it in the sense of 'any legal entity' ... because we can't really do much better and still maintain a global scope.

dddave’s picture

re #32
Sorry to frustrate you. That was never my intent. I want to underline that I back the current wording:

I see what is wanted and for that the current draft is pretty fine

The second sentence was a kind of a "let's get this done" with no intent to harm this discussion.

And what I have said about the selection and composition of this Group may have been said before but it never received an answer beyond: In Dries we trust. I wanted to show that this point might need some additional consideration. I would love to see an addition in the draft which contains something like this (should be reformulated by a native speaker):

[Dries picks members...] This Group shall consist of X-Y number of community members. They should reflect the broadness of our community and thusly include at least Z number of people (which have a non-North-American/European background).

Do plans already exist of how many individuals this Group shall be put together?

An additional point which should be included would be that no employee of Acquia should be part of this Group (or specifically if punitive decisions are made?). If Dries appoints members and is the sole instance of revision this would be looking very bad imho.

dddave’s picture

re @heyrocker (#28)

Good point but this might be better added here: #1493430: [meta] Develop a conflict resolution process for community issues

webchick’s picture

Responding to #34, though I can understand that this sounds like a good idea in theory, I am really NOT a fan of "quotas" in any form. And especially for the CWG.

Consider what this group is going to need to consist of in order to be successful:

- People with a never-ending well of patience
- People with a never-ending well of empathy
- People with a never-ending well of objectivity
- People who are extremely trusted by others in the community so they feel safe about coming to them for help
- People who are able to jump into a really raucous situation, evaluate it impartially and non-emotionally, and come up with a plan that is both fair and equitable to all parties involved, regardless of who those parties might be or what they might've done in the past
- People who are able to in 0.00001% of cases to deal with extremely sensitive situations, possibly including up to suicide attempts, rape, death threats, and the like.
and finally:
- People who actually want to take on the burden of all of the above, as an unpaid community volunteer.

There are a very, very small subset of our community who meets even half of those criteria. Some of them do indeed work for Acquia. Others are indeed from North America. Are we really going to appoint a non-universally trusted, non-objective/empathetic person to this group so that we can make ourselves feel good about how diverse our CWG is? I definitely would NOT support that.

And about the Acquia thing specifically. Acquia's a great place to work, and offers a lot of big, challenging projects to work on. And as such, they employ a lot of Drupal people, particularly a lot of the key trusted people in the project who've been around a long time. I am a strong believer that workers should have the freedom to work wherever they want to, and not have community participation opportunities taken away from them because they decided to move to a career that offered more awesome co-workers, more excitement, more family stability, or whatever the reason is that they decide to move. And I think the idea that we'd take someone who had all of the above outlined necessary traits and was doing a great job in the CWG handling really dicey issues, but then kick them out for the audacity to move to another company (or country) is quite frankly, the silliest thing I've ever heard.

We are real, honest-to-goodness, autonomous, thinking, caring human beings. We are not mindless drones that parrot the corporate line of whoever happens to be paying our paycheck at any given time. Let's give ourselves and others in the community a bit more credit than that, hm?

What I would prefer to address your concerns instead is some general language in the charter, like:


"Individual CWG members must disclose any potential conflicts of interest in any matters brought before them, and absolve themselves from participation in any decisions in which they have a direct conflict of interest."

(Jennifer can probably come up with much better wording. :D)

Because limiting this to fellow employees isn't remotely the only "conflict of interest" I can think of. Maybe one of the people involved in a conflict is someone I've had a real life relationship with. Maybe it's a former customer or client who I feel some allegiance to. Maybe it's someone at a user group meeting who I can't stand at all, and so couldn't possibly be impartial.

So let's come up with some generic language to cover all of these cases, because I agree that we don't want CWG members ruling in cases where they can't be all of those things outlined above.

jthorson’s picture

include at least Z number of people (which have a non-North-American/European background)

The group acts first as a mediator, based on "community" norms, one of which is the concept of "mutual respect" regardless of cultural background. I'd expect that helping members understand opposing cultural viewpoints during a conflict would be one of the common roles for this group. That said, I don't feel we need to put explicit limits on cultural representation. I'd argue that if any CWG member did not demonstrate a sensitivity and openness to cultural differences while participating within the group, this attitude would end up manifesting itself through appeals of CWG decisions ... and that particular member would quickly find themselves being removed from the working group.

This does bring up a new point, however ... similarily to the 'conflict resolution process', this doesn't necessarily belong to the charter directly - but a documented process for appealing a CWG decision (whether in the case of new information coming available, or due to a CWG member failing to declare a conflict of interest, for example) would help provide a safeguard against perceived unfairness in CWG operation. This appeals process should not be widely invoked ... but an escalation channel to whoever appoints CWG members (currently Dries) ensures that any issues with particular CWG members are quickly uncovered.

... no employee of Acquia should be part of this Group

Again, I don't see the need for such an explicit limitation ... Any perceived 'unfair corporate influence' can be taken care of with a properly defined conflict of interest policy.

tsvenson’s picture

I am really NOT a fan of "quotas" in any form.

I am not a fan of quotas either, but we can just brush it away. We need to consider a lot more factors than when we are talking about quotas within for example a country. Not being well versed in English is a very big disadvantage for a community such as Drupal.

I am a strong believer that workers should have the freedom to work wherever they want to, and not have community participation opportunities taken away from them

I agree with you, but it also needs to be balanced with the overall goals for the project and in this case the community too. If too much "power" is concentrated to one or a few organizations as well as regions it will to some extent color their decisions. Simply due to that a big part of their normal communication and work task are with the same group and thus are people they know much better than others.

While I am certain everyone working for Acquia, and are also having high profile roles withing the community, can separate those roles, we can not ignore it is a topic that is brought up more and more.

We are real, honest-to-goodness, autonomous, thinking, caring human beings. We are not mindless drones that parrot the corporate line of whoever happens to be paying our paycheck at any given time. Let's give ourselves and others in the community a bit more credit than that, hm?

Sorry Angie, but that is OTT. I haven't seen anyone even come remotely close to portraying you or anyone else as such.

Just because a person is the most qualified for the job doesn't always mean its the best candidate. Having a more spread mix is in many cases a good thing in itself. Especially if we are serious about making Drupal grow in new markets.

We are getting rather off topic so I will resist from commenting more about this subject for this issue.

tvn’s picture

The new draft with all the changes looking good, specifically changes to Escalation part.

Re: #34 I really do not think we should put restrictions like "at least X people from Y country" into the charter. And even less so restrictions like "people working for Z company are not allowed". I'd prefer to have in the working group (and in community WG specifically) right people for the job instead of people from the "right" country (right part of the world/company etc.). What means "right for the job" webchick perfectly listed in #36. I do think that adding general note about conflict of interest and defining clear policy is a good idea.

webchick’s picture

Hm? I'm not being off-topic at all. dddave plainly suggested that we not allow Acquia employees on the CWG. You are also plainly suggesting that we ensure that there are non-North Americans on the CWG. I am explaining why I think CWG members should be evaluated on their qualification and merits and not on their current employers or where they happen to pay rent.

Please make a concrete charter amendment suggestion that captures what you are asking for in terms of the CWG membership make-up.

kattekrab’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Add a new draft

kattekrab’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Added "uphold the DCOC" with a link to the opening mission statement.

kattekrab’s picture

@Dries - I agree the process does not need to be in the charter. However it does need to be defined and documented somewhere.

@Webchick - I believe threat/risk levels would be useful to the working group when determining an appropriate response to a harassment or bullying complaint in order to speed up deliberation and decision making under tense and emotional circumstances. The levels/continuum are not intended for victims to define their problem, or for offenders to look for gaps to exploit. I imagine drafting such levels could be something the group does once convened, based on the types of incidents members have had to deal with in the past.

@tsvenson / dddave - you may find it useful to review international & european laws on human rights. Laws against sexual harassment are not a politically correct invention of the United States of America. They have been enshrined in the declaration of human rights since the 1950s.

Here are some references:
http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
http://www.eige.europa.eu/content/women-and-men-in-the-eu-facts-and-figures
http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/employment_and_social_policy/equa...

In general:
It is inappropriate to expect someone being harassed or bullied to confront the person attacking them, or enter into mediation. The CWG charter seems mostly concerned with other kinds of conflict and dispute which can be adequately dealt with through mediation / arbitration etc.

The escalation clause is for "extreme" situations. However harassment and bullying are not always extreme, life-threatening, physical, etc... yet these types of incidents still have potential to damage our community, and turn away valuable contributors.

Actions.

1. Add a statement to the charter that it upholds the code of conduct.

The mission of the Community Working Group (CWG) is to **uphold the Drupal Code of Conduct in order to** maintain a friendly and welcoming community for the Drupal project on the different *.drupal.org websites, official IRC channels, and mailing lists.

2. Add a specific clause to the Drupal Code of Conduct that we won't tolerate bullying and harassment.

DRAFT - to be included under the paragraph under "Be respectful"

We will not tolerate bullying or harassment of any member of the Drupal community.

If you feel threatened or violated as a result of intimidating, bullying, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning conduct, please speak up and ask it to stop. If you are fearful of speaking do not feel that you can speak up, contact the Community Working Group immediately with evidence of the incident. Incidents of bullying and harrassment can be reported privately and will be treated seriously and discretely.

Please speak up if you notice someone else being subjected to such behaviour. Refer people to our code of conduct and point out such behaviour is unwelcome.

EDITED: amendment suggested http://groups.drupal.org/dcoc#comment-843218

kattekrab’s picture

Have edited the charter - changing " take administrative action" to "take action".

This leaves the CWG room to take whatever action is most appropriate. Administrative just sounds bureaucratic, and doesn't actually define anything. Simpler = better.

kattekrab’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

missed a space

moshe weitzman’s picture

Looks like a logical next step after establishing a DCOC. Nice work. I'm a little concerned about the proliferation of documents about behavior. I think CWG and DCOC are fine, but the Drupalcon specific COC should really be folded into the DCOC IMO.

It would scale better of we found a different person to be the appeals judge. Dries can't be at the top of every food chain here. That could be changed later, I suppose.

dddave’s picture

@kattekrab
I never said something to the affect that acting against sexual harassment is merely a "PC" thing to do or some special invention of the US. I assure you that I don't need any schooling in general law related matters. If you are under the impression I have said stance on sexual harassment please contact me directly via my contact form so that we don't pollute this issue with such a discussion.

re @webchick in #40
To clarify why I would like to see such an "Acquia" provision:
Provisions like suggested by me do have two intentions. The first one is to avoid collusion (to be perfectly clear: I seriously DON'T see a situation where actual collusion might happen concerning the players involved).
The second reasoning for such a provision is much more important in this case. Such a provision would actively prevent anyone from insinuating that collusion exists. This provision would not only protect the integrity of the group but more importantly the perceived integrity.
I specifically added that perhaps Acquia-personnel might only be excluded from punitive decisions (where Dries would be the only instance of appeal).

tsvenson’s picture

@kattekrab
Being a Swede I know a lot about the international work being done when it comes to human right. Sweden has, and is, at the frontline in the fight against that.

Of course sexual harassment, stalking etc has no place in the community and needs to be dealt with swiftly. While a conflict can in really bad cases lead to that, or even worse, it is not happening all the time. Most other conflicts are about two or more people that are disagreeing about something.

What I have tried to point out here, including giving the example from Brians DrupalCon Munich session, is that a lot of conflicts that escalates and gets out of hand do it because of misunderstandings. In the example, due to a particular phrase being used that for other members had a completely different meaning than the person using it.

Should I feel offended every time when someone in the community gives me a lecture that are based on the political correctness and the meaning of words where they live, while where I come from they are completely harmless? In the context of what we have discussed here I would clearly be a victim of harassment. If I then try and solve it on my own it would in many cases be very difficult for me to try and convince that other person about the facts. That would then lead to an escalating situation where I have two choices. Give up proving my innocence and as a result be "branded" as admitting I did something very wrong and bad, or continue to waste time on it. If I chose to continue trying to prove my innocence it will in all likelihood lead to that I have to call in CWG in the end.

Even if, in the end, I am proven right a lot of people will still treat me differently and maybe even as a troublemaker. All because I used a word/phrase that somewhere else in the world had a completely different meaning.

Situations such as this can not be avoided all the times. But, if for example DCoC also cover that we shall respect that in other languages and cultures word and phrases have different meaning and also leave political correctness on the outside of the community, then a lot of them can be avoided. That I am sure of.

reglogge’s picture

@tsvenson and @dddave: I can't follow you at all. The charter as it is being proposed and evolved here is a great piece of work. I also think that webchick has it exactly right when she insists that people on the CWG will be first and foremost "real, honest-to-goodness, autonomous, thinking, caring human beings".

Judging people like her, Dries and many many others in this great community from past experience, I have every confidence in them being nothing but selfless and well-meaning individuals whose main driver is the desire to foster the community.

Also, any attempt to somehow exclude people working at a particular company or having quotas on people coming from specific regions seems plain nonsensical to me (pardon my english). The cultural differences between the US and other regions in the world are also pretty well known to everybody and don't worry me in the least bit. I am sure that everybody on the future CWG will be perfectly able to take a literal step back in case of possible conflicts of interest or cultural misunderstandings.

Let's get this charter finished and have Dries appoint members to the CWG. The community will profit greatly from that.

dddave’s picture

@reglogge
I gave some additional background in #44 and I might add that similar provisions are common in self-regulatory bodies. If you have quasi-legal power you have to write some things down for various reasons (partly stated in #44 but also to avoid mistakes if

I am sure that everybody on the future CWG will be perfectly able to take a literal step back in case of possible conflicts of interest or cultural misunderstandings.

might fail.

HOWEVER:

I have tried to raise points that I would like to have seen considered as they are of ethical importance to back-up quasi-legal empowerment and to add legitimacy beyond that which is derived from Dries (as a formidable Lead, that is) . Nearly all of you don't see any issues with that and I for sure hope that not even considering them won't bite us in the ass in the future. Who am I to stand in the way of this draft (which btw I never opposed but instead tried to make it better -at least in my eyes)? Nobody, exactly.

So let's get over with this as no one else seems to have the same issues as I (and for some parts Thomas).

But maybe someone grants Moshe with an answer before setting this to fixed.

I stand 100% behind the spirit of this revised draft and totally support the construction of a dedicated conflict resolution process (in case that somebody here might doubt that).

heyrocker’s picture

If I then try and solve it on my own it would in many cases be very difficult for me to try and convince that other person about the facts. That would then lead to an escalating situation where I have two choices. Give up proving my innocence and as a result be "branded" as admitting I did something very wrong and bad, or continue to waste time on it. If I chose to continue trying to prove my innocence it will in all likelihood lead to that I have to call in CWG in the end.

This is exactly the kind of thing we *don't* want to be doing, and is one of the reasons I posted my comments in #28 in the first place. The CWG should not be about 'proving innocence', it is about resolving conflict. There are no 'facts' to be proven, there is a disagreement to be resolved. Our cultural diversity means that in many situations there is no *right* and there is no *wrong*. There's just people angry about things, and in many if not most cases they both have justification to be angry. Getting them to understand each others' position and come to some kind of agreement about moving forward is all I personally, were I on the CWG, would really care about. So ideally, what you describe would never happen at all. Anyone approaching this process as "I want vindication" or "I want to prove my innocence/the other parties' guilt" would just give me a reason to not get involved at all.

I'm sure many people will accuse me of living in a utopian dream world (ditto my feeling that, like webchick, I think having membership restrictions is a gigantic mistake,) but I would like to see us make a best faith assumption about the board and its membership and how it will work, and only adjust if problems occur.

tsvenson’s picture

@reglogge

The cultural differences between the US and other regions in the world are also pretty well known to everybody and don't worry me in the least bit.

This is not about the US against the rest of the world, it is about language and cultural differences between any two, or more, countries. I have lived 4+ years in the UK and 7+ years in Spain and I can tell from experience that you don't fully understand those differences just by reading about it or watching the news on TV. There's much more to it that that. Even for countries, that in my case, are all on the same continent, all part of the EU and all countries I am sprayed with news from and about every day.

Heck, there are big language and cultural differences between Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmo that many swedes doesn't really understand.

@heyrocker
I'm completely with you about focus should be on resolution and not judgement, before it comes to that focus should be on prevention that disagreements becomes conflicts. That's why we have the DCoC.

What worries me though is some of the attitudes against my comments here. I am not well educated, most of my knowledge is from experience about these things has come as a student of life, long after I left school, and as my interest for understanding these things have grown. Some of my objections are because I simply don't fully understand how this will work and how they will affect me and other members of the Drupal community.

What I do understand is that these, and other community organizing work, guides, charters, etc going on, are important things and will to a small or large degree affect the future of the Drupal community. That is something that affects not just my own future, but everyone in the Drupal ecosystem.

Then getting replies that to some degree just brushes my questions and arguments aside saying they are off-topic, that we need to get on getting this draft OK:ed (within 48h after it was made public to the community) is not helping me. Actually they are quite disrespectful not only to me, but to everyone that want to better know where the community is heading but don't "dare" to speak up.

There are 23 people following this issue, plus maybe a few hundred that has read it. drupal.org says there are almost 900k active members in 228 countries speaking 181 languages. Thats 180 languages that is not English and well over 200 countries where English isn't the native language.

My English is pretty good and all I want to do is better understand what is going on here and to some degree contribute to make the community better.

tsvenson’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

propose changing " take administrative action" to just "take action"

jhodgdon’s picture

I just read through all the comments here since my plea to *please* be specific and suggest actual changes to the Charter doc... I just edited the draft charter in the issue summary with:

- webchick's suggestion in #36 (about conflicts of interest)
- Some wording about what kind of people we want in the CWG (taken from various comments)
- Some wording about how to go about nominating and/or protesting if the make-up of the group isn't to your liking
- A bit of rearrangement and section headers and the like

I didn't find any other actionable items...

So I personally really think this charter is ready to go. Can people who are subscribed here please read the current draft, and then either:
a) Say they also think the charter is ready to go, or
b) Point out specific wording in the charter that they think needs to be added/modified/deleted before they would say it is ready to go.

And do keep in mind that we're aiming for a document that is *good enough to guide the CWG*. Really, the success of the CWG is not going to depend on this Charter but on the make-up of the group.

LeeHunter’s picture

I would suggest rewriting the Charter Change section from this:

At present, only Dries Buytaert can make changes to the CWG's charter, and he can make changes at any time. At least once a year, the CWG will meet with Dries Buytaert to review the charter. In the future, the charter may be revised to change the charter revision process.

To something like this:
At least once a year, the CWG will review the charter to determine if adjustments are needed. Proposed changes must be ratified by Dries Buytaert. In the future, the charter may be revised to change the charter revision process.

That way, it's clear that Dries is not tasked with writing and editing the charter and that he isn't obligated to meet with the CWG if there's nothing of importance to discuss. The bit about Dries being able to make changes at any time doesn't make sense to me. There has to be some involvement from the community.

jhodgdon’s picture

Good idea Lee. I think that wording is clearer and does reflect the intention. Thanks! I'll update that now.

jhodgdon’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Removed previous draft (we have revisions, after all). Added some new wording and new ideas. Rearranged a bit.

jhodgdon’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

update clause about charter revisions as per Lee Hunter's suggestion

kattekrab’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

minor amendment - "the different" drupal.org websites to "all" drupal.org websites

jhodgdon’s picture

I happened to be on a plane with jthorson yesterday, and he suggested one more thing that we both think would be a good change to make to this document: take out the specific wording about how to contact the CWG and put this into the Dispute Resolution Process document instead [the reasoning: if the CWG decides they want a different contact mechanism, they wouldn't have to go through a charter amendment process, they would only need to amend their own document that they have the power to revise] [also: specifics like this probably don't belong in the charter anyway].

So, in that case, we would take out the paragraph beginning "To contact..." and make the previous paragraph say:

Individuals should always begin any conflict resolution process by following the (link)conflict resolution process document(endlink). At times identified in this document, and for situations identified in this document, the CWG can be contacted (by means identified in the document) to bring them into the process.

Thoughts?

jhodgdon’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

removing "administrative" as there seemed to be no objection in the discussion to doing so.

heyrocker’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

typo

tvn’s picture

Agree with #53, only I suggest we make the wording more simple and add links to relevant parts of the conflict resolution process document, which explain what times and how to contact:

Individuals should always begin any conflict resolution process by following the (link)conflict resolution process document(endlink). At (link)specific times(endlink) identified in this document, the CWG can be (link)contacted(endlink) to bring them into the process.

Similar to contact process specifics, I do not think that the list "Members of the CWG need to be: Patient ..etc. " should be in the charter. Later on CWG will probably have some documentation on "Who can be CWG member", "How to nominate yourself" etc. and such information better be there.

So I would suggest to change bottom part of the document to the following and then it's ready to go in my opinion:

Transparency and appeals
.....
At present, Dries Buytaert is serving as the sole person hearing appeals; in the future, the charter may be revised to appoint others.

Membership

Members of the Drupal community can nominate themselves to be CWG members, and the CWG membership appointer will decide on the appropriateness in consultation with other trusted members of the Drupal community. If members of the Drupal community have concerns about any CWG member, they should bring them up to the CWG membership appointer. At this time, Dries Buytaert is the sole membership appointer; in the future, the charter may be revised to adopt a more formal process.

Charter changes

At least once a year, the CWG will review the charter to determine if adjustments are needed. Proposed changes must be ratified by Dries Buytaert. In the future, the charter may be revised to change the charter revision process.

okwari’s picture

I like the document.

(no commenting while sick, okwari)

okwari’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

typo

jthorson’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Updated issue summary with results from the charter review session at BADCamp.

jthorson’s picture

I've updated the version in the issue summary with the results of a CWG Charter review which occured at BADCamp, as well as a number of my own suggested tweaks and adjustments.

These changes include a number of wording changes to better highlight the 'facilitating' role of the community working group, as well as the removal of process-related information which could tend to be dynamic and subject to more frequent revision than the charter itself.

Unless further revisions are proposed by the community, I would recommend that this be bumped to RTBC one week from today, at which point it can be reviewed and/or ratified at the next meeting of the Governance Working Group committee.

jthorson’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Updated issue summary.

jthorson’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Updated issue summary.

jhodgdon’s picture

Looks good jthorson!

One thing webchick mentioned as we were packing up at BADCamp was that the "revision" process should not imply that the CWG can revise its charter, and it kind of does now. She thought the wording we have in their now should go back to what it said originally (just say Dries can revise the charter and no one else).

Also I think we should just have the most current draft in the issue summary. We can get old versions by looking at the revision log if necessary.

jhodgdon’s picture

Oh, we seem to have lost anything in there about membership?

jthorson’s picture

I tend to agree with tvn's comments in #54, in that I felt the 'membership characteristics' are something that definately belongs in a CWG 'policy manual', so to speak, but not necessarily in the charter itself.

The portion regarding how membership gets appointed to the working group sounded like it fit more into the 'process' side of things, so I left it out for the same motivations as our earlier discussion in #53.

jhodgdon’s picture

tvn suggested in #54 that we take out the part about characteristics of members, but I think we still need to say in the charter that Dries appoints them. The appointment of members isn't something that the CWG itself has control over, so it isn't something they should be defining in process documents.

jhodgdon’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Updated issue summary.

jhodgdon’s picture

Status: Needs review » Reviewed & tested by the community

I just edited the issue summary draft slightly:
a) Took out the part that implied the CWG could change its own charter.
b) Added a line saying Dries appoints members.

I also removed the previous draft (we have revisions if anyone wants to look).

I think this is probably ready to set to RTBC. Any objections?

jhodgdon’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Took out old draft (we have revisions after all). Added a bit about who chooses members, and slightly revised the bit about charter changes.

jthorson’s picture

Removed "At least for the time being," from the statement regarding membership selection, as the time-sensitive nature of the phrase probably doesn't belong in what I would consider a 'time-agnostic' document.

jhodgdon’s picture

Status: Reviewed & tested by the community » Needs review

RE #62 - I had put that "in the future" clause in because it was similar to what is still being said in the appeals and the charter revision sections of the document. We should either put that back in or take them all out.

jthorson’s picture

I don't mind the 'in the future' wording ... as it always describes a 'subsequent' action, no matter when the phrase is read.

In contrast, wording that reflect the 'present' infers a specific point in time as opposed to an abstract point ... in other words, there is room for ambiguity in that the 'present' when written could be interpreted as the 'now' when read by one person, but the 'back then' when read by the next. (Not sure if that explanation makes any sense ... but that was my motivation.)

From this perspective, though, you are correct in that I should have done something with the 'At present' in the appeals section ... I'll tackle that now.

jthorson’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Removed "At least for the time being, " from the membership section.

jthorson’s picture

Reworded the 'At present' as described in #64.

I also added some wording with regards to "Dries Buytaert or his designate(s)" in various locations, to provide some flexibility for Dries to identify alternates to cover for him in the case of absence, vacation, illness, etc. without first requiring a full charter amendment.

jthorson’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Updated issue summary.

jthorson’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Updated issue summary.

jhodgdon’s picture

Status: Needs review » Reviewed & tested by the community

Excellent! I just read through the entire draft, and I think it is a mostly-positive, very clear, and correct document. I'm going to take the liberty of marking it "RTBC" (at least tenatively).

Could everyone who is still following this issue please give the current draft (in the issue summary) another look and see if we need to make any more changes?

kattekrab’s picture

Yep RTBC++ from me too. I think this is clearer, tighter.

Well done all.

David_Rothstein’s picture

  1. The CWG charter applies to situations involving "Drupal Community Members", which includes (but is not limited to) anyone who participates in the Drupal project by i) creating and maintaining a Drupal.org website account, ii) posting on *.Drupal.org web sites, iii) participating in the Drupal IRC channels, or iv) attending international, regional, or local Drupal events. This definition extends to any Drupal-related participation regardless of medium (e.g. Drupal.org, IRC, Twitter) or location (e.g. local meetup, DrupalCon).

    The primary goal of of the CWG is to facilitate discussion and provide conflict mediation assistance. However, the CWG is also empowered to take action in response to community conflicts where individuals/groups can not reach a resolution on their own; for example, i) issuing binding arbitration, ii) issuing warnings, iii) temporarily banning someone from participation in the community, or iv) enforcing permanant bans in extreme cases.

    Those paragraphs seem to imply that the CWG can ban someone from attending, e.g., a local Drupal meetup... Certainly there could be good reasons for wanting to do that, but in practice I don't see how the CWG itself would ever be able to. The local meetup organizers would have to be involved, wouldn't they?

    So perhaps "banning someone from participation in the community" needs more clarification; could it be along the lines of "banning someone from participation in certain community events or websites" instead?

  2. The CWG aims to be as transparent as possible by documenting its decisions publicly when able. In sensitive situations, however, the group may omit details out of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved.

    I think there's a big difference between "documenting its decisions publicly" (i.e., after the fact) and "conducting its deliberations publicly" (i.e., while they are occurring). As far as I can tell, the latter is closer to what happens now (e.g., in d.o. webmasters issues), so the former looks like a step backwards for community transparency.

    I understand there are times when this is not possible or not a good idea, but that's also already covered by the "when able" phrase and by the second sentence, isn't it? If a dispute breaks out in public (as most do), I'd think the usual course of action would be to resolve it in public also.

David_Rothstein’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Updated issue summary.

jthorson’s picture

#68: Agreed on both points.

1. Given that community participation is such a vague term, which probably encompasses actions which are out of the CWG's scope of influence, I adjusted the wording from

iii) temporarily banning someone from participation in the community

to

iii) temporarily banning someone from particular aspects of community participation,

2. Changed the wording from

The CWG aims to be as transparent as possible by documenting its decisions publicly when able.

to

The CWG aims to be as transparent as possible by deliberating and documenting its decisions publicly when able.

jthorson’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Added 'deliberating' publically to the 'Transparency' section, and changed ban wording to "temporarily banning someone from certain aspects of community participation" to address David's comments.

Dries’s picture

Status: Reviewed & tested by the community » Fixed

Thanks everyone for your hard work. I like the changes that have been made as part of the discussion at BADCamp. I've made a few more small changes to text myself and checked in the final v1 into Git. You can find it at http://drupalcode.org/project/governance.git/blob_plain/refs/heads/maste.... Going forward, please submit patches to make further revisions to the charter.

The next step is for me to appoint the inaugural team and to announce our work to the rest of the community.

Automatically closed -- issue fixed for 2 weeks with no activity.

Anonymous’s picture

Issue summary: View changes

Updating ban from community participation wording.