WikiConference India 2016/Code of Conduct

Hashtag: #WCI2016
Main pageHackathonProgramsEdit-a-thonPress coverageFAQSitemap
The VenueThe City of ChandigarhCode of ConductLearn Basic Punjabi Phrases
Official logo

July 10, 2016

Scope edit

This code of conduct applies to the main event, pre-conference and post-conference events, auxiliary tracks to the main event such as fireside chats, and online components of the conference such as video conferences, IRC rooms, and mailing lists.

Summary edit

Be excellent to each other. Don't make us create more rules.

Code of Conduct edit

  1. Please be kind and courteous. There is no need to be mean or rude. (WP:Civil)
  2. Please be considerate. Resolve disagreements with dignity and respect. Avoid personal attacks.
  3. In general, if someone asks you to stop, then stop.
  4. Harassment and exclusionary behavior are not acceptable. Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, language, place of origin, and caste.
    2. Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, religion, language, place of origin, or caste.
    3. Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment
    4. Discriminatory jokes and other forms of ‘humour’
    5. Sustained disruption of talks or other events
    6. Posting or showing sexually explicit or violent material without explicit and prior consent
    7. Display of sexual imagery in public areas
    8. Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
    9. Posting someone's personally identifiable information online without their explicit consent or threatening to post it
    10. Death threats and/ or threats of violence or physical harm
    11. Personal insults
    12. Unwelcome sexual attention
    13. Inappropriate physical contact
    14. Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
    15. Publication of non-harassing private communication.
    16. Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
  5. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

Friendly space policy (for participants) edit

  1. Include everyone in the circle. The event should not be viewed as a competition to prove who is most knowledgeable, but rather as an opportunity to broaden our networks of skill, collaboration and understanding. Strive to ensure that no one is left out; introduce yourself to strangers early and often, and speak in language that is accessible to all. In particular, please define acronyms and technical jargon when using them in discussion.
  2. We believe that everyone is an expert in their own realm, and encourage each participant to please contribute their wisdom to the mix. Breaking down barriers between the vague notions of "novice" and "expert" will be the order of the day. As Wikimedians, all of us know something and none of us knows everything.
  3. Share first, debate later: Many among us possess strong beliefs on matters of technology, politics, philosophy and community. While the organisers endorse debate as a key component in building understanding, we ask that participants focus on finding common ground for sharing during sessions, and endeavor to debate "offline", outside of sessions, with others who welcome the debate.
  4. Closed discussion groups may have a volunteer “vibe checker” to prevent offensive talk. The role of the vibe checker is to sense any discomfort in the discussions and intervene.

Redressal policy and mechanism for resolution edit

If you are being harassed by a member of the community or a participant or organiser at the conference, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the Response Team, in person, or at wci16responseteam @

If the person who is harassing you is on the Response Team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. If the person who is harassing you is a member of the organising team, they will not receive differential treatment than any other participant in the handling of the complaint.

We will try to respond as promptly to complaints as we can. These steps will be taken once you make a complaint:

  • One or more members of the Response Team (RT) will discuss the issue with you in a safe, quiet and private space.
  • They may take notes, with your consent, of what you say.
  • One or more members of the RT will separately speak with the person(s) against whom the complaint is lodged.
  • The process will involve attaining resolution while ensuring safety, dignity and respect for everyone involved.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the Response Team may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Wikimedia spaces during the event, and identification of the participant as a harasser to other Wikimedia members or the general public.

We prioritise marginalised people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. The Response Team will not act on complaints regarding:

  • Reverse sexism, racism, casteism, cisphobia, and similar reverse-isms
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticising racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

For organisers edit

Diversity and Inclusion guidelines edit

Speaker selection (Main conference) edit

The organisers should try their best to include speakers of various genders and socially and culturally diverse backgrounds for the purpose of a balanced representation of different social and cultural interests and view-points. The Diversity and Inclusion team especially disapproves of the presence of manels (all-male panels) and tanels (manels with only a token woman) at sessions and talks. We recommend that the organising team make sincere efforts to find suitable female speakers for the sessions.

Participant selection (Main conference) edit

We recommend that the selection committee encourage more women to participate in the conference and to apply for scholarships. We also recommend reserving a percentage of travel and support funds for scholarships for women.

Profile of Response Team edit

Members of the Response Team should be non-partisan. A member of the organising team cannot be a member of the Response Team at the same time. The team should comprise a diverse set of individuals in terms of gender and language and should include members of different socially under-represented groups.

Logistic requirements for inclusivity edit

  • Childcare facilities
  • Accessibility for all irrespective of disability, e.g, ramps in all common access areas and signs in braille
  • All-gender washrooms
  • Participant and speaker sign up forms should include a section on indicating dietary restrictions and preferences (vegetarian, vegan, and so on).
  • Prayer room(s)

Friendly space requirements edit

  • A quiet space to take a breather.

It could a space in a corner with cushions and chairs and could be called "Quiet space" to let everyone know of its utility.

  • A “vibe checker” in closed discussion groups.

The role of the vibe checker is to stop offensive speech in the group, and to sense any discomfort in the discussion and intervene. The vibe checker volunteers for the role.

Dissemination edit

  • Hand out a copy of the policy at WCI along with the conference kit. The policy and guidelines could be printed in different languages.
  • Publish on Meta-Wiki.
  • Publish translations in Indian languages.
  • Make an announcement at the beginning of the conference

WCI Response Team edit

  • Rohini Lakshané
  • Chinmayi S K

To be populated further

Email address to contact Response Team: wci16responseteam [at]

Prepared By edit

WikiConference India 2016 Diversity and Inclusion Team (in alphabetical order)

  • Chinmayi S K (chinmayi at riseup dot net)
  • Harpreet Sandhu
  • Rohini Lakshané (rohini at riseup dot net, PGP: 74DB 163B 3215 7C76 3441 707F 4322 5733 1814 1C60)
  • Shobha S.V.

License edit

This policy is licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license. No attribution is required.

References edit

Comments edit

This version was open for comments till July 15, 2016. It is now closed for comments with respect to WikiConference India.

To do edit

We urge everyone to:

  • Translate the page into their languages before WikiConference India takes place.
  • Adopt the code of conduct and friendly space policy for future national, regional and city-level events, conferences and meetups, with suitable modifications.