Update to Django Community Code of Conduct

Posted by Russell Keith-Magee on October 4, 2014

The Django Community Code of Conduct has been in effect for a little over a year. It hasn't brought about any significant change to the way the community operates, as it was just a codification of the civil tone that has always been a feature of the Django community - but it has been a valuable symbol to declare the Django community's commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

During DjangoCon US this year, members of the Django core team were approached by an individual who had some suggestions to improve the text of the code. In accordance with policy, these changes were debated on django-developers. The outcome of those discussions produced a set of changes that were presented to the Django Software Foundation board and the membership for ratification. The board and membership have now ratified those changes.

The ratified changes consist to two key themes.

The first theme is a clarification that we may take into consideration behaviour outside official Django community spaces. This is to ensure that if someone is consistently offensive or discriminatory outside the Django community, and is known to be so, but doesn't ever cross the line in official Django forums, we (as a community) can act. The previous text implied that the code only applied to actions in official Django spaces, and that behavior outside the Django community wouldn't be considered.

Note that the phrasing is "may", not "will". The intention is to allow us to give due consideration to all available evidence, not to require us to become some sort of global behaviour police.

The second theme is a case of making explicit something that was previously implicit - the classes of backgrounds and identities that we consider to be covered by this code. The advice we've received from the Ada Initiative is that being explicit is desirable as it removes all doubt over what we're talking about. The phrasing we've chosen says "includes, but not limited to", highlighting that although the list we've provided is extensive, it isn't exhaustive. It also removes the explicit naming of "sexist and racist" behavior, as we consider discrimination against any background or identity to be equally offensive.

If you have any questions about these changes, please get in touch.

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