Updating our Code of Conduct and reporting procedure

A few weeks ago, we posted a grievance procedure to explain how we would respond to Code of Conduct (CoC) violations at IAF events, including IAC19. On learning of potential violations of the CoC at IAS18, we realized that there was no guidance in the IAS documentation library for how to actually address them. And we realized that there were serious information gaps for victims around how to seek help and what to expect if they made a report. So we researched examples of reporting procedures used by other reputable conferences1For example, CSICOP, TED, Open Source Bridge, and Geek Feminism, iterated on a version with a small (in hindsight, too small) group of editors, had the document reviewed by our lawyer, and posted it.

It didn’t take long to learn that we fell short on empathy by not prioritizing the safety of victims of harassment or abuse. We have the IA community to thank for opening our eyes to that. We will use your feedback to make some necessary improvements.

To that end, we have invited Jeff Pass, Michael Hardy, and Anita Cheng to join our co-chairs in helping us rewrite both the CoC and the reporting procedure to enforce the CoC. We also invite the community at large to email us at info@ias4ias.org with any concerns, recommendations, or comments.

We’ll also take the following series of steps:

  • We will hold AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions in our IA Conference Slack #askmeanything channel on Friday, August 17th, and Saturday, August 25th, in order to address concerns. Details to be published here and in our social media channels.
  • Once the people collaborating on creating the new documents have agreed, we will have the final revised document reviewed by our lawyer.
  • We will then release the CoC and the reporting procedure under a Creative Commons license and encourage others to add to them and amend them and share back their edits.

We’re targeting mid September to publish the revised CoC documents. We intend that they will be representative of the values this community stands for.

Many of you were passionate enough about this subject to tweet, email us, and write blog posts. We heard you, and we value your feedback. We humbly ask you to continue to help us improve this vital aspect of our conference.

IAF Co-Directors Stuart Maxwell, Nate Davis, and Coco Chalfant