Process for reporting a Code of Conduct violation at WordCamp Brighton

To help you understand what happens if a Code of Conduct issue is raised, we’ve outlined the process below.

How to report a Code of Conduct violation:

A report can be made one of several ways.

1. Reporting online via the Code of Conduct contact form

You can report an incident online using the form available on the Code of Conduct page and the Code of Conduct team page.

Your message will only be emailed to the three members of the Code of Conduct team (Alice Still, Tammie Lister and Tom Chute). We won’t discuss your message with anyone outside of the Code Of Conduct team without first discussing this with you.

If, for any reason at all, you would rather your message is only dealt with by certain people, you can specify this using the form.

This form will remain up after the event.

2. Reporting in person during the event to any of our Code of Conduct team

You can report a Code of Conduct violation anytime during the event by speaking to one of the Code of Conduct team members.

If you prefer, you can speak to any of the other WordCamp Brighton organisers.

3. Reporting online via Slack

You can reach the Code of Conduct team members via the UK WP Community Slack by sending us a direct message. You can join the UK WP Community Slack using this link if you haven’t already.

You can contact us on Slack anytime before, during or after the event.

4. Reporting in person during the event to a volunteer

You can report a Code of Conduct incident to any of the volunteers.

WordCamp Brighton volunteers will be wearing orange badges to identify them throughout the event.

If an immediate threat is present

Threats to physical wellbeing on the day will be dealt with by asking the person being threatened to go to a safe room. We’ll remove people from the venue and get security or police involved if a threat to safety exists. Every attendee has a right to feel safe.

We treat threats to mental wellbeing  the same as physical threats and will enforce a similar process on the day.

We’ll only get police involved if a threat to safety of the reporter or attendees is present, or the reporter requests they are involved.

If, at any point, you do not feel safe and want time out in a safe place, please ask a member of the Code of Conduct team or a volunteer. You do not have to report a Code of Conduct violation at this point – that’s up to you. If after a break, you then feel ready to go back to the event, you’ll be given a direct contact method for a member of the Code of Conduct team.

What happens when you report a Code of Conduct violation?

Only the Code of Conduct team or the person/people you report to will have access to  your report. Your information will not be shared without your agreement.

You will be contacted by whoever you have asked for. If you have not requested someone in particular, you’ll be contacted by one of the Code of Conduct team.

If you’ve used the Code of Conduct report form, you may also have identified which method(s) you would like to be contacted by. Someone will contact you within 24 hours of any report.

The Code of Conduct representative will take you through your report. At this point, they may ask for more information such as:

  • Identifying information for the person that committed the Code of Conduct violation
  • The behaviour that was in violation
  • The approximate time of the behaviour
  • What happened, if not clear in the report
  • Other people involved

Unless you’ve asked to escalate to the WordPress escalation committee, the representative will take your report to a meeting. The meeting will only include the Code of Conduct representatives you have asked to be included – if you have requested someone not to be involved, that will be respected.

The meeting will not include either the reporter or those the report was made against.

It will cover:

  • What happened?
  • Who was the report made against?
  • When did this happen?
  • What are we going to do about it? If the reporter has been explicit about what they want to happen, this will be discussed. While it’s their option to say, the reporter will not be asked what they want to happen as a result of the report at any point.

After this meeting, the person the report was made against will be notified and given space to respond. This response will be taken back to the same Code of Conduct representatives for a second meeting.

The second meeting is to decide what action will occur.

At each stage the person who reported the violation will be told what is going on and kept updated with timelines.

After the second meeting, the reporter will be told what the resolution is. The reporter is able to say if they do not feel this is a good resolution for them. A third meeting can be arranged to discuss.

Possible actions from a Code of Conduct report being made could be:

  • A warning: more than one warning will result in further actions.
  • If the incident happens during the event, a requirement could be made to have the person avoid the reporter the rest of the event. Staff would monitor this.
  • If required, the person committing the violation may be asked to leave the event. No refund will be given in this case.
  • If the issue is a talk, the talk may be ended at any point.
  • If a speaker committed the violation, they may be asked not to give a talk at future events.
  • If the issue is with a volunteer (including organisers, speakers and other volunteers), they may be asked to stop volunteering and asked to leave the building.
  • A ban from all WordPress community events are not taken lightly, but could be enforced.
  • If a report is made against a sponsor, the company they represent may be contacted to inform them of the behaviour violation.
  • Apologies are not enforced or required. In person apologies are discouraged.
  • If a violation occurs and is publicly witnessed by a group, or the entire conference, a public response may be required. This will be done quickly and anonymously.

A victim should not be forced or feel they should accept an apology. If the person causing the violation wants to apologise, they can only do it through a Code of Conduct representative. It is only done with the ability of the reporter to not accept.

Any attempt by the person being reported to contact the reporter will be seen as harassment and further action will be escalated.

A summary, anonymous report will be made at the end of the event.

Data will only be passed on to the next organising team anonymously. If someone has been banned, their name will be passed to ensure they do not attend the next year.

Resources

Our process was heavily inspired by these amazing resources:
Reporting: http://2017.pyconuk.org/code-of-conduct/reporting-harassment/
Handling: http://2017.pyconuk.org/code-of-conduct/handling-reports/
http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Conference_anti-harassment/Responding_to_reports
Code of Conduct examples: https://github.com/hacksmiths/code-of-conduct
Reports: http://2016.pyconuk.org/news/20160919-coc/


WordCamp Brighton will be a safe and positive conference for everyone. Learn more in our code of conduct.