[llvm-dev] RFC: Introducing an LLVM Community Code of Conduct

Bill Kelly via llvm-dev llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org
Wed Oct 14 02:02:11 PDT 2015

Tanya Lattner wrote:
>> On Oct 13, 2015, at 10:23 AM, Bill Kelly via llvm-dev <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>> Renato Golin via llvm-dev wrote:
>>> On 13 October 2015 at 17:16, Kuperstein, Michael M via llvm-dev
>>> <llvm-dev at lists.llvm.org> wrote:
>>>> The FreeBSD CoC is, IMHO, much better in this respect ( https://www.freebsd.org/internal/code-of-conduct.html ).
>>> Nice! This is so succinct and beautiful!
>>> It doesn't need an overseeing foundation to take opaque decisions, and
>>> focus on what's really important: the code.
>>> I particularly like "Do not make it personal. Do not take it
>>> personally.". It means *so* much in such a short sentence.
>> Agreed!
> No offense to the FreeBSD CoC, but I really dislike the line
> “Do not take it personally”. Quite often when someone is offended,
> the offender will justify their statements by saying “You are just
> taking it personally”. I find this frequently used towards women
> (not saying this community necessarily).

I'd agree, "Do not take it personally" could in certain elocutions
come off as vaguely patronizing.  But I think it does hint at a core
concept, which the late Christopher Hitchens expressed as follows:

  When someone says "that's offensive" I respond "I'm still waiting
  to hear your argument."

I would hope to see the above enshrined as a core sentiment in any
Code of Conduct purporting to address speech on the Internet.

Along with R. W. Emerson's wonderful

  "Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am
  persecuted whenever I am contradicted."

Over the past five odd years, I've seen a certain contingent wedge
itself into multiple communities I care about, and attempt to impose
its Code of Conduct -- for the betterment of everyone, dontcha know,
because words and ideas might make someone feel unsafe.

The result has been near-ironic levels of attempted censorship,
followed by a fracturing of those communities.

Today, hardly a week goes by without another student union at a
university banning a publication or disinviting a speaker because
the mere ideas they *might* express are at odds with the Code of
Conduct and are deemed in violation of their "safe space" policy.

It may be that conversations within the LLVM community, with its
speech focused specifically on software, might avoid the type of
censorious impulse that has fractured other communities.

Nevertheless, I remain extraordinarily wary of any Code of Conduct
which seeks to place much value on the notion that someone might be



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