Opened 9 months ago

Last modified 9 months ago

#7203 new defect (bug)

Update process for reporting unacceptable community behavior

Reported by: ironprogrammer's profile ironprogrammer Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: Handbooks Keywords:


The WordPress Community Code of Conduct page indicates that "Instances of abusive, harassing, or otherwise unacceptable behavior" in the community can be reported via email.

Alternatively, reports can be sent via direct message (DM) to Slack admins and owners, where instances are handled like WordPress forum spam (as indicated in a recent Slack thread surrounding this question).

Some drawbacks to these options include:

  • Lack of a reporting protocol or structure when reporting via email. Composing a report without guidelines may not work for many people, and could hinder reporting.
  • Finding an online Slack admin/owner might slow down or prevent the issue from being reported. For instance, this option isn't documented officially, so would first depend on inquiring directly or searching in Slack.
  • DMs to Slack admins/owners put the responsibility of investigation on a single person, or could result in the same report being sent to several people.

Could the reporting process be improved?

It has been suggested that a form would facilitate an easier reporting process, and improve the chances that an issue is actually reported. Form submissions might be more easily aggregated and searched by enforcement parties, and provide additional context during investigations.

Some ideas:

  • The Community CoC could include a documented process and guidelines for submitting a report.
  • If a reporting form were implemented:
    • Categories of the type of infraction could be helpful to triage/prioritize incidents.
    • The ability to identify parties by name, ID, Slack username/ID, or other community contact points.
    • Reporter anonymity should be an option, at least for certain types of issues. (A disclaimer may be that some issues might necessitate sharing screenshots or personally identifying info.)
  • Given the cultural diversity within the project, updates to the process should still account for the possibility of "honest mistakes", and not necessarily assume mal-intent.

Change History (1)

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #meta by ironprogrammer. View the logs.

9 months ago

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