Tools like IRC, HipChat, and Slack are creating new possibilities for the creation and growth of online communities. Communities thrive when their members share a common core set of values and put those values into practice through all of their interactions.
In order to keep an online community healthy and to make it possible for people of all types to participate fully, we need to be overt in our openness, welcoming all people to contribute, and pledging in return to value them as human beings and to foster an atmosphere of kindness, cooperation, and understanding.
The Community Covenant can be one way to foster such an atmosphere.
You can view and download the latest version of the Community Covenant here:
Make reading and agreeing to its terms part of the sign-up process for your Slack community, post it prominently in your online forum, or link to it in the topic of your IRC channel.
Important! You must add a reporting method and contact email to the placeholders in the document so that people know how to report violations.
The Community Covenant is released under an MIT license, which requires that the copyright notice and permission notice be included.
Do not simply adopt the Community Covenant for your community and assume that any problems with civility, harassment, or discrimination will be solved. As a community leader you must be committed to enforcing the code of conduct. A code of conduct without enforcement sends a false signal that your community is welcoming and inclusive, and can create a dangerous situation for marginalized people who participate. Adopting the Community Covenant requires a responsibility that must not be taken lightly.
Before adopting the Community Covenant take the time to discuss and decide how to deal with problems as they emerge. Document the policy and procedure for enforcement, and post it in a visible, appropriate place. Consider if your administrators have the willingness and maturity to follow through on your enforcement procedures.
Some resources useful for thinking about enforcement:
The Community Covenant is an open source effort and is built on codes of conduct that came before it, including the Contributor Covenant and the LGBTQ in Tech community code of conduct. Its repository can be found here. Contributions in the form of issues and pull requests are welcomed and encouraged.