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RIPE Meeting Code of Conduct 2.0 - DRAFT

Note: This is a draft document


For over a quarter of a century, the RIPE community's strength has come from its breadth of experience, diversity of views, and open, respectful exchange of ideas – values that we want all of our RIPE Meeting attendees to uphold. Therefore, everybody who participates in our community is required to conform to this Code of Conduct (CoC). The scope of this CoC applies to anyone engaging with the RIPE community or Meeting either in-person or online, including, but not limited to: meeting attendees, speakers, sponsors, RIPE Working Group Co-Chairs, the RIPE Programme Committee, moderators, organisers, volunteers.

If you believe someone may be violating the Code of Conduct, please report it. The Code of Conduct Response Team [TBD] will handle reports, can support you if you make a report, and will decide on a response.


Why do we have a Code of Conduct?

Our goals with having this Code of Conduct are:

  • To help everyone feel safe and included. Many participants are new to our community. Some participants may have had poor experiences in other communities. We want to set the expectation that harassment and other unpleasant behaviours are not acceptable. If people do have an unpleasant experience, they will know that it’s neither the norm nor acceptable to us as a community.
  • To build trust. We understand that reporting an incident places the reporter in a vulnerable position. The Code of Conduct response team will listen without judgement or blame, and always with the utmost confidentiality. Even, for example, if the incident concerns someone in a position of power.
  • To ensure everyone is aware of expected behaviour. We are a diverse community, and having a Code of Conduct makes the expectations of everybody’s behaviour explicit and transparent.
  • To have a framework for report handling. The Code of Conduct is the basis for dealing with a report, assessing whether the CoC was violated, and what action should be taken.

The Code of Conduct is not an exhaustive list of things that you must do, or cannot do. Rather, take it in the spirit in which it is intended. It is a guide to make it easier to enrich all of us and the communities in which we participate, and which we represent.

The principles

  • Be friendly and patient.
  • Be welcoming. We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to, members of any race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, colour, immigration status, social and economic class, educational level, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, size, family status, religion, and mental and physical ability.
  • Be considerate. Your work will be used by other people, and you, in turn, will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we are a diverse community so you might not be communicating in someone else’s primary language.
  • Be respectful. Not all of us will agree all the time, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It is important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. Members of the RIPE community should be respectful when dealing with other members as well as with people outside the community.
  • Be careful in the words that you choose. We are a community of professionals, and we conduct ourselves professionally. Be kind to others. Do not insult or put down other participants, individually or as a group. Harassment and other exclusionary behaviour are not acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Violent threats or language directed against another person.
    • Discrimination and discriminatory jokes and language.
    • Posting sexually explicit or violent material.
    • Personal insults, especially those using discriminatory terms.
    • Inappropriate physical contact or unwelcome sexual attention.
    • Harassing photography or recording, including taking photos of someone who does not want to be photographed.
    • Sustained disruption of talks or other events.
    • Deliberate misgendering.
    • Deliberate “outing” of any private aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse. This includes sharing personally identifying information (“doxing”).
    • Knowingly making harmful false claims about a person.
    • Pushing a person to consume drinks or food that they don’t want to, or deceiving them about the contents of a drink or food (e.g. regarding alcohol or dietary needs).
    • Harassment of others in any form. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop.
    • Advocating for, threatening to, or encouraging, any of the above behaviours.

Some events may provide alcoholic drinks. Participants are expected to drink responsibly. Alcohol use or other intoxication is never accepted as an excuse for CoC violations.

What to do in case of violations?

If a Code of Conduct incident happens that affects you, or if you witness it affecting someone else, please contact the CoC Team immediately. <INSERT CONTACT DETAILS REFERENCE>

Guidelines for reporting incidents

Please do not feel like you may be a burden by reporting incidents. Even if you happen to report multiple incidents. We rather consider reports an opportunity to act: by knowing about an incident, we can act on it, and often prevent it from continuing or repeating. But if we do not know, we cannot take action.

If you are not sure whether the situation was a Code of Conduct violation, or whether the CoC applied to that particular space, we encourage you to still report it. We would much rather have additional reports where we decide to take no action, rather than miss a report of an actual violation. We do not look negatively on you if we find the incident is not a violation. Knowing about incidents that are not violations, or that happen outside our spaces, can also help us to improve the Code of Conduct or the processes surrounding it.

In your report please include, when possible:

  • Your contact info (so we can get in touch with you)
  • Names or descriptions of anyone who was involved or who witnessed the incident.
  • When and where the incident occurred. Please be as specific as possible.
  • Your account of what occurred. If there is a written record (e.g. tweets or slack messages) please include screenshots, or otherwise a link.
  • Any extra context you believe existed for the incident.
  • If you believe this incident is ongoing.
  • Any other information you believe we should have.

If you do not have all of this information at the time or do not want to share some of the information, please still make the report and include as much information as you have.

All reports will be kept confidential. In some cases, a public statement might be required (e.g., in a CoC transparency report following conferences), but these reports are anonymized and will never include any personally identifying information. Do note that if the incident was a one on one interaction, any action by the Code of Conduct response team could lead the other person to conclude that you reported it, as nobody else could have.

If you feel unsafe reporting in person, you may choose someone to represent you. In this case, we will need their contact information, but we ask you to make clear that this person represents you.

When handling a report, we follow our <INSERT RESPONSE GUIDE REFERENCE>.

If you believe anyone is in immediate and serious physical danger, please consider notifying appropriate law enforcement first when possible. If you are unsure which law enforcement agency is appropriate, please include this in your report and we will attempt to notify them.

Other assistance

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference. However, we will not contact security or law enforcement without your consent unless the safety risk is so significant that there is no other reasonable option.

Where does the Code of Conduct apply?

This Code of Conduct applies to all spaces of the RIPE community. This includes:

  • RIPE meetings (including social events and peripheral activities)
  • Presentation materials used in talks or sessions
  • Mailing lists and forums
  • Any other forums created by which the community uses for communication.

The Code of Conduct does not exclusively apply to events on an official agenda. For example, if after a scheduled social event you go to a bar with a group of fellow participants, and someone harasses you there, that can still be a CoC violation. Similarly, harassment in Twitter direct messages related to the RIPE community can still be covered under this Code of Conduct. In addition, violations of this code outside our spaces may affect a person’s ability to participate in them.

Sponsors, affiliates, and exhibitors

When you sponsor a RIPE Meeting, we welcome you as a member of our community, and we expect you to be respectful to the community you operate within.

All exhibitors in the meeting venue or similar activities are also subject to the Code of Conduct. In particular, exhibitors should not use sexualised images, activities, or other material. Booth staff (including volunteers) must not use sexualised clothing/uniforms/costumes or otherwise create a sexualised environment.

What can happen if the CoC is violated?

In the case of a Code of Conduct violation, some of the most common actions that organisers may take are:

  • Requiring that a participant stops their behaviour.
  • Giving a warning.
  • A private or public reprimand.
  • Requiring that a public apology is made.
  • Requiring that a participant prevents further contact with certain other participants.
  • Not publishing the video of a conference talk.
  • Cancelling a conference talk.
  • Removing a participant from the conference, meetup or online space, without refund.
  • Not allowing someone to participate further in RIPE Meetings and/or other RIPE community spaces, for a set period or an indefinite period.
  • No action (if the team determines no violation occurred).

The action taken is at the discretion of the Code of Conduct Team. Participants are expected to comply immediately, and further action may be taken in case a participant does not comply. A record will be kept of all incidents.

Reports about a Code of Conduct Team Member

If your report concerns a member of the Code of Conduct Team, you can report the issue to any other team response member or any other organiser. <INSERT FURTHER CONTACT DETAILS>


This Code of Conduct was originally based on the Write the Docs Code of Conduct, in turn, based on the DjangoCon Europe 2018 Code of Conduct and the Django Project Code of Conduct, the Speak Up! Project, the Fedora Project, as well as the Python Mentorship Project and many others.