Making WordPress.org

Opened 3 years ago

Last modified 2 weeks ago

#957 new enhancement

Create a community Code of Conduct

Reported by: melchoyce Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Component: General Keywords:


We have one for WordCamps, and we've talked about making one for the overall community before, but it hasn't happened yet. I think it would be beneficially to finally publish one.

Attachments (3)

conduct.md (4.9 KB) - added by pento 2 years ago.
conduct.2.md (4.9 KB) - added by pento 2 years ago.
conduct.3.md (4.9 KB) - added by pento 2 years ago.

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (36)

#1 @jorbin
3 years ago

I agree very much with this idea. There are occasions in slack or trac that I would to be able to easily point someone who is just getting started with WordPress to a document so they know that we as a community hold ourselves to the a high standard of respect for ourselves and each other.

#2 @jorbin
3 years ago

  • Cc aaron@… added

#3 @pento
3 years ago

Let's do it. :-)

I've just been reading a few different Codes of Conduct for various OSS projects, they all seem to have similar language in them, here are a few examples that we could base ours on:


2 years ago

#5 @pento
2 years ago

Thanks for that link, @melchoyce! conduct.md is a first pass at adapting the jQuery text for our usage. I've made some notes in the file on things that we need to clarify.

It's also worth having a look at the jQuery ticket for adding their CoC, they've been working through the organisational requirements for it, too.

#6 follow-up: @melchoyce
2 years ago

Thanks for taking a first pass, @pento.

[1] "founders" and "mentors" are jQuery project terms, what would be better for WordPress?

Maybe instead of This code applies equally to founders, mentors and those seeking help and guidance, we could do This code applies equally to lead developers, core committers, new and existing contributors, and visitors seeking help in the support forums.

[2] We don't have reporting guidlines, or an email address that I'm aware of. I assume we need one that goes to the [Escalation Team](https://make.wordpress.org/community/2015/07/02/escalation-team/)?

Yeah, this should probably direct to the Escalation Team. @jenmylo, where can people report issues?

#8 in reply to: ↑ 6 @netweb
2 years ago

Replying to pento:

Thanks for taking a first pass, @pento.

[1] "founders" and "mentors" are jQuery project terms, what would be better for WordPress?

... project leads, project committers, new and existing contributors, and visitors seeking help in the support forums or IRC.

This code of conduct applies to all spaces managed by the WordPress Foundation and its projects. This includes Slack, the mailing lists and forums, the issue tracker, WordCamps and other official WordPress events, and any other forums created by the project team which the community uses for communication. In addition, violations of this code outside these spaces may affect a person's ability to participate within them.

Include IRC and Meetups in the above, maybe add "Trac" to "issue tracker" so it's explicitly named?

* **Be considerate.** Your work will be used by other people, and you in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and you should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Remember that we're a world-wide community, so you might not be communicating in someone else's primary language.

And timezone? e.g. Remember that we're a world-wide community, so you might not be communicating in someone else's primary language or timezone.

#9 in reply to: ↑ 7 @netweb
2 years ago

Replying to melchoyce:

Another example: http://contributor-covenant.org/

There's some nice nuanced language in this.

Also wherever this lands it should be made available for #polyglots to translate :)

2 years ago

2 years ago

#10 @pento
2 years ago

Thanks for the suggestions, @melchoyce and @netweb - conduct.3.md includes these changes.

I haven't tried to incorporate any language from Contributor Covenant - it seems that the current draft covers everything mentioned there. Is there anything I've missed?

#11 @netweb
2 years ago

Nothing stands out at the moment...

+1 on oxford comma's, +1000 on correct use of semi-colon, and +1000000 for combining them :)

#12 @sabreuse
2 years ago

  • Cc sabreuse@… added

#13 @Gwendydd
2 years ago

  • Cc morgan@… added

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #outreach by melchoyce. View the logs.

2 years ago

This ticket was mentioned in Slack in #outreach by melchoyce. View the logs.

2 years ago

#16 @Ipstenu
2 years ago

  • Cc ipstenu@… added

#17 @jcastaneda
2 years ago

  • Cc jose@… added

#18 @mayukojpn
2 years ago

  • Cc hello@… added

#19 @mrwweb
2 years ago

  • Cc info@… added

#20 @melchoyce
2 years ago

Should our CoC have more explicit instructions for people who have been harassed? Maybe reworking the "Questions" section a bit?

If you have questions or have been harassed by a member of the WordPress community, please contact us at [contact info]. Not sure if you've been harassed, but feel uncomfortable with how another member of the community has treated you? Send us an email and we can talk through the situation together.

#21 follow-up: @Gwendydd
2 years ago

Explicit instructions are good, as well as explicit information about what will happen after a violation has been reported. Some people are afraid to report violations, because they are afraid that the information will be made public, or they are worried about discussing the incident (will they have to confront the harasser? will the person they discuss the incident with be sympathetic?). So people need to know how the information will be handled and who they will have to talk to. There should also be a process for submitting reports anonymously, for people who are afraid of retaliation over incident reports.

#22 @melchoyce
2 years ago

@Gwendydd: +1

#23 @BandonRandon
2 years ago

  • Cc bandonrandon@… added

#24 @siobhan
2 years ago

Cool! Here's the community expectations document that we put together ages ago: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14Ewrqv8pMJS3PDP43nUzEDjGev7alp4gJWTBG_urqCE/edit?usp=sharing

It might have some useful ideas in it. I'd definitely back seeing something along these lines as an official doc on WordPress.org.

#25 @iandunn
2 years ago

There's a somewhat related conversation going on in #events about including language around technology choices or not.

That particular issue doesn't occur in the latest patch here, but it might still be worth following.

#26 @jenmylo
23 months ago

This was being worked on through the community team off and on, but hit some snags based on approval process. This ties closely with what we are doing around setting up an updated CoC, reporting site, and escalation policies, so had expected to work on this (or have a group work on this if I'm on something else at the time) on the summit working day with anyone around who's interested in that.

#27 @ericlewis
22 months ago

@jenmylo @mor10 does the escalation team have an email address yet?

Is there anything else we can do to push this forward?

#28 @mor10
21 months ago

An update of sorts:

As @jenmylo mentioned, a group started working on both the CoC and the reporting system / site at the summit in Philadelphia in December. Out of this came some draft documents, a draft proposal for a form, and a plan of sorts on how to move forward.

The documents prepared at the summit + a bunch of related materials are found in this Drive folder:

The draft proposal for a form was provided to Jen and work was done to add it to the WordPress.org site so submissions could be completed. I am not aware of where that process is at the moment. Last I heard, a page was being set up to host the form.

Moving forward

Considering the significant discussions that are being had around Codes of Conduct in the wider Open Source community, and our lack of the same, I believe this work is of some urgency.

As far as I see it, there are five main pieces to this puzzle:

  1. The Code of Conduct itself, stipulating a framework for interactions in the community and clearly defining what spaces (online and offline) it pertains to.
  2. An enforcement policy outlining consequences for breaches of the Code of Conduct, who has the right to make decisions on enforcement, and how to raise complaints about enforcement.
  3. A clearly defined framework for, and the official formation of, an "Escalation" group whose responsibility it is to objectively collect, assess, and make judgement on, complaints about Code of Conduct breaches.
  4. An anonymized system for reporting of Code of Conduct breaches that provides the means to report breaches and the option to do so anonymously in line with various international laws and regulations.
  5. A transparent system through which community members can be informed about the CoC and Enforcement process, any decisions made by the Escalation team (anonymized), and how to contribute, question, or take part in the evolution of either.

While this looks like a major undertaking, much of the groundwork for this has already been done in the wider community. Codes of Conduct are well established, both in online communities and in companies, organizations, even nations, and these should be relied on when creating our own.

Likewise, enforcement policies and frameworks for "Escalation" teams or roles already exist in many forms throughout various social and professional spheres.

Building on these materials, I am confident we can create a solid CoC and system for enforcement that provides a positive frame of reference for our community and its interactions.


The biggest challenge in this process is the CoC itself, mainly because it is a document that is loaded with emotional elements. This is typically why such documents take a long time to write, and also why they become controversial and are often not adopted.

If we use existing legal documents and CoCs as a baseline for this process, we may be able to avoid the typical resulting vague document that uses colloquial phrases and becomes unenforceable. All things considered, a Code of Conduct is a legal document of sorts, and should be treated as such. This includes review by legal professionals.

Proposed action points

I propose whomever wishes to contribute to this project take a look at what's currently in the Drive folder linked above to start. The folder contains source materials as well as several draft documents, all open and free for editing and comments.

Moving forward I hope we can organize meetings on Slack to discuss the process and set a timeline. I am willing to take on the responsibility of leading this work, but to do that I need approval from the larger group.

Establishing a Code of Conduct for the WordPress community is an important undertaking, and I believe we can get this done in 2016. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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

21 months ago

#30 @netweb
12 months ago

Linking here for reference the new GitHub Community Guidelines that were introduced last week.
GitHub are seeking feedback here on these new guidlines.

#31 @mor10
5 months ago

Good news everyone! It took a lot longer than expected, but here's the proposal for the Community Code of Conduct Project:


Please sign up and let's get started!

#32 @mor10
2 months ago

Kickoff meeting for the Community Conduct Project has been called for 17:00 UTC 5th September 2017. Details in the linked post:

#33 in reply to: ↑ 21 @drmike
2 weeks ago

Replying to Gwendydd:

for people who are afraid of retaliation over incident reports.

Yes, because getting your servers DDoS for making such a report is so much fun.

I'm sorry but I'm calling BS on this. As someone who had to deal with distasteful remarks and actions coming from a couple of highly placed members of the WordPress community, all this is going to get is lip service from the community.

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