back to article Careful with the 'virtual hugs' says new FreeBSD Code of Conduct

The FreeBSD project completely updated its code-of-conduct in early February, complete with a definition of "harassment" that included "Physical contact and simulated physical contact (e.g., textual descriptions like "*hug*" or "*backrub*") without consent or after a request to stop." And as will happen these days, considerable …

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  1. jake Silver badge

    Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

    We've stopped evolving as a species.

    Stop the planet. I want to get off.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

      If you want to get off this planet, don’t stop it, but make it rotate faster. With one rotation per hour or so you’ll take off.

      1. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

        Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

        ...and so will most of the topsoil.....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

      Don't worry, we'll stop breeding soon and restore the planet to a better state.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

        @Lost all faith

        The breeding will stop because anything likely to cause it will need consent forms in triplicate, notarised and submitted to court before anything starts.

        1. Dinsdale247

          Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

          Don't be silly. People are too self centered to have kids. Fill in the forms for offspring? Na, book a vacation to Mexico instead.

        2. Chemical Bob Bronze badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: consent forms in triplicate, notarised and submitted to court

          Ooooh, queuing as foreplay!

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: consent forms in triplicate, notarised and submitted to court

            Ooooh, queuing as foreplay!

            Well, that's got us British breathing heavily.

    3. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

      Because if I ask you to stop messaging me and you keep doing it that's not harassment? Or because some people need to have that explained to them?

      I'm loving the outrage but it's a bit vague in it's targetting!

      1. LenG

        Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

        I have no problem with text comments being considered harassment after a request to stop, or genuinely offensive explicit messages being unacceptable at all times but asking for permission before ::Hug:: ? Someone in need of a sympathetic hug is probably not in the best frame of mind to be queried on whether it is appropriate.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

        FreeBSD was built on a meritocracy. Running code trumped all.

        It is now built on argumentum ad passiones. The most easily offended is in charge.

        Unfortunately, the entire world seems to be headed that way. Sad, that.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

        What is the difference between witty reparte' and sexual harassment?

        Oh

        about 20 pounds.

        Keep those fat developers away from the data entry pool!

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

        "I'm loving the outrage but it's a bit vague in it's targetting!"

        By the nature of the organisation, it has to be. There are people involved, volunteers, not paid staff, who are from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds. What might be offensive in one culture might simply be the height of politeness in another. eg <loud belch>, yes that was a lovely meal.

        This, of course, is all the more reason for any code of conduct to be fairly generic and keep away from specifics do's and don'ts, especially long lists of don'ts.

        Code of Conduct.

        1. Be polite

        2. Don't be a dick.

        Job done.

        1. razorfishsl

          Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

          Trigger warning.....

          Then they should just fuck off.

          Many of these code project have extensive histories, when you join you abide by the rules that have been established by the group.

          Everyone seemed to manage before the SJW's and soy boys came onto the scene, but no these individuals just cannot resist inserting themselves into every process, continually trying to control the way humans reach consensus.

          The answer from the group should always be "fuck off you are not wanted here" if you cannot abide by the current group consensus ... then don't come here to contribute.

      5. CommanderGalaxian
        Unhappy

        Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

        @sabroni "Because if I ask you to stop messaging me and you keep doing it that's not harassment? "

        And then when you do stop, the office bunny boiler sticks in a complaint that you won't talk to her anymore.

    4. PerlyKing
      WTF?

      Re: We've stopped evolving as a species.

      I'd say it's exactly the opposite, that we're consciously trying to improve ourselves rather than leaving it to the "blind watchmaker".

      Uh oh - did I just argue in favour of "intelligent design"?!

      1. CommanderGalaxian
        Flame

        Re: We've stopped evolving as a species.

        No, it's just that your understanding of what Dawkins was writing about has been lost on you.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

      CLEARLY, there is a bunch of way-too-vocal WIMPS out there who "FEEL" too much and waste time with these 'codes of conduct' when they should be WRITING CODE.

      I use FreeBSD because it's a developer's OS. But Snowflakes gotta act like overly senstive self-focused navel-gazers wanting their safe spaces because they can't handle ANY amount of stress. They need a nice BOOT CAMP and a REAL crisis or two to adjust their attitudes. Once they realize that their own personal feelings aren't the most important thing on the planet, they'll GROW THE HELL UP and stop acting like CRY-BABIES!

    6. Alistair Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

      @ Jake:

      I'd offer you a hug, in hopes that it might make you feel better, but you might be offended, since you project a male image in your online persona, and I project a male online persona also. Not that I assume you're actually male.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Oh my fucking gawd/ess ...

        Alistair, I see the "joke" icon, but I assure you I'm not easily offended.

        This entire thread reminds me of Sam Clemens comment: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

        I've traveled. A lot. I feel no great pressing need to "feel better", but if it helps you, hug away.

    7. ShelLuser
      Devil

      People should stop with the thought crimes.

      I'm a very vivid FreeBSD user and quite frankly I think some criticasters are just as bad as the stuff they criticize here.

      You see, there have been several discussions about this and it all boils down to one thing: "But they can ban you whenever they want to!". And "So you can't even hug someone?".

      So basically what a lot of offended people are saying is that they'd rather focus on the negative than the positive. Instead of focusing on the (also shared!) intent of the CoC they'd rather focus on "what if...". What could happen if. Oh dear, you could get banned! But tell me: how exactly is this any different from hanging around on their forums (or this forum for that matter!)? If you make a huge ass of yourself you risk finding yourself on the other side of the "Internet police" (moderators/staff) who will indeed show you the door. I'm sure this will even apply to El Reg if you totally overstep your boundaries. I really don't see the problem. Nor do I see much difference from what it was before.

      Basically some complain that "politics" slipped in and SJW in specific. And that's where I have to draw the line a little bit. Because from my perspective they're saying that "Just because it looks like SJW it has to be SJW and if it is SJW it is bad per definition".

      Let me get one thing out of the way: I also don't particular care for SJW taken to extremes. Take the new Star Wars movie, I really didn't enjoy that because of the massive plotholes and the shallow story telling (if even my gf tells me that: "all the women seem to know whats best, this is just as bad as your "all men know best" kind of movie!" then yeah...). But that doesn't mean that every attempt in creating a better environment is automatically associated with this politically correctness nonsense.

      I've been on the FreeBSD forums for several years already (a good 5 years at least) and I have never ever felt the need to apply virtual hugging. Not even if I knew I was talking to a female. I mean, why would I? This is tech we're talking, not My Little Pony for crying out loud.

      My problem is that the nay sayers are often just as extreme as that SJW agenda they claim is in affect here. They sometimes make it look as if this CoC is only made to randomly ban people while completely ignoring what the whole intent is. Worse yet: while nothing has happened so far.

      Wake up call: there are morons roaming the Internet. There are tards who really have no common sense at all and who will harass others "because", even when being asked to stop. All this CoC does is to give the Foundation a means to put a stop to that if needed. No more, no less.

      I also think the nay sayers are hypocrites at times. See, I remember that Drupal incident where a developer got shunned just because he happened to be interested in a kinky form of sex. There was a major outcry and many people we're upset and outraged about his expelling. That wasn't SJW crap, that was merely someone getting framed (the fora he attended had a major rule: privacy. Still someone on that same forum leaked to the Drupal staff) and then got accused of thought crimes (just because he was interested in kinky sex people figured he wouldn't be able to separate business and pleasure, even though that's what he had done for years already). They cried out for a CoC, uuhmmm..

      See, the thing which most people are totally overlooking is this: The FreeBSD CoC applies to the project as a whole. Including the team overlooking all this.

      I think the CoC is a good thing because now the FreeBSD foundation is not at risk of "Making a Drupal", and I'm really happy with that. Judge people by their performance and how they act instead of judging them by their life style and private fantasies and such.

      That is what this CoC is all about. And if you can't handle that... Too bad.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: People should stop with the thought crimes.

        I see your 5 years and raise you several decades ...

        I've been using and contributing to BSD since before it was called BSD. I personally see the FreeBSD CoC as a complete fucking joke at best, and a guaranteed route to division regardless. It is a document designed purely to exclude developers, not to include them. As your colophon points out quite nicely.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: People should stop with the thought crimes.

        "SJW"

        That must have passed me by. Mentioned a lot but I have no idea what it is.

        1. Vector

          Re: People should stop with the thought crimes.

          SJW: Social Justice Warrior

          These are the people determined to protect you whether you need it or not.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: People should stop with the thought crimes.

            "These are the people determined to protect you at your own expense whether you need it or want it or not."

            FTFY

      4. CommanderGalaxian
        Boffin

        Re: People should stop with the thought crimes.

        @ShelLuser

        TL;DR

  2. msknight Silver badge

    Ummm...

    "The project therefore sought outside help with outside help to draft the new document" ... did El Reg seek outside help to write this particular article, perchance?

    1. sabroni Silver badge
      Happy

      No

      they dodn't.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: No

        Sneaky joke running edit!! Shane on you!!

  3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Complicating matters further is that the code is report-driven, so a review team within the FreeBSD team will tackle every report, even if the result is no action.

    More paperwork.

    Quite funny how EVERYTHING now resembles the old politics discussion board cartoons: https://www.politicsforum.org/flame-warriors/

    Though everyone pretending to be an Eagle Scout is not a solution. Neither is putting Royals in writing. They should be Royals just by the fact of being Royals.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      ah, yes, the flame warriors.

      I'm usually Evil Clown like at LEAST half of the others who post comments on El Reg.

    2. Alistair Silver badge
      Pint

      @ VRH:

      How is it I've never seen that ...... Thanks Voland......

  4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    You have to put the onus on people not to offend.

    No, the responsibility is shared equally. People shouldn't be intentionally and gratuitously offensive, but there's also a responsibility not to be over-sensitive or to look for offence where it wasn't intended, and certainly not to take offence on behalf of someone else.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Or, as we used to say on Usenet ...

      ... Be slow to give offense ... and even slower to take it.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      " not ... to look for offence"

      Or manufacture it when merely looking for it fails to find an adequate supply.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Pint

      "People shouldn't be intentionally and gratuitously offensive"

      I disagree with THIS part. I *REFUSE* to go around *AFRAID* to be myself because some FEELING SNOWFLAKE is always passive-aggressive-bullying EVERYONE ELSE AROUND HIM to "not offend".

      Joke 'em if they can't take a FEEL! They can BITE MY HAIRY NAKED ASS!!! I mean, what're they gonna DO about it, "beat me up"? Good luck with THAT. I'd probably invite their fair-weather "friends" to watch, and even PARTICIPATE! I haven't beaten on a gang in quite some time... might be fun! [I use THIS comparisons because they're just acting like wimpy kids on the playground, so if you confront them with it, it's fun to watch the meltdown].

      It's a fair bet that these over-sensitive easily offended snowflake types have *NEVER* been through *ANYTHING* even *REMOTELY* resembling a *REAL* *CRISIS*. Or even BOOT CAMP, like having a drill sergeant screaming that classic phrase 2 inches from your nose: "What is your MAJOR MALFUNCTION, NUMB-NUTS?" Because, if you can't handle THAT, you can't handle combat. You can't handle a crisis without melting down. That's why they do that to you in boot camp. It weeds out the 'snowflakes'.

      and...

      "there's also a responsibility not to be over-sensitive or to look for offence where it wasn't intended, and certainly not to take offence on behalf of someone else."

      For THAT, sir, YOU deserve a BEER! Hence, icon.

    4. Walter Bishop Silver badge
      Devil

      You have to put the onus on people not to offend.

      Phil O'Sophical: "No, the responsibility is shared equally. People shouldn't be intentionally and gratuitously offensive, but there's also a responsibility not to be over-sensitive or to look for offence where it wasn't intended, and certainly not to take offence on behalf of someone else."

      You've just described the whole social justice/identity politics movement ..

    5. earl grey Silver badge
      Devil

      You have to put the onus on people not to offend.

      You point your onus at me and I'll stick my boot in it.

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    What is a 'hug' ?

    To one person a 'hug' might mean 'sympathy' (over a loss, misfortune, ...) while another might read it as an attempt of physical, sexual, ... closeness. The interpretation might even depend on how you feel about the person saying/hearing the word.

    This big problem with this code of conduct is that it places too much weight on the perception of the 'listener' of the comments; a code of conduct should deal with the intent of the 'speaker'.

    Add to this that we are dealing with people from all over the world with varying abilities in English/whatever, and who use words that have different subtleties of meaning in different cultures. Just because a geek can speak good techno-babble does not mean that they understand the nuances of all words.

    Also we all make mistakes: how often has a smart/funny comment seemed great in your head but you realise a disaster when it comes out of your mouth ?

    I am worried that someone will find themselves with a ban and either not understand why or feel that they are maligned by the ban.

    I also worry that people will abuse the code of conduct to hurt someone who they dislike.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: What is a 'hug' ?

      "I also worry that people will abuse the code of conduct to hurt someone who they dislike."

      http://dilbert.com/strip/2018-01-12

      Well, arent you special? :P

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: What is a 'hug' ?

        "Well, arent you special?"

        Good one! have a beer!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is a 'hug' ?

      @ alain williams

      "Also we all make mistakes: how often has a smart/funny comment seemed great in your head but you realise a disaster when it comes out of your mouth ?" My wife assures me that many of my jokes are only funny to me. So, I doubtlessly suffer from foot in mouth disease.

      As a commenter above and I'm sure I'm misquoting, "Be slow to offend and be more slow in the taking of offense."

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: What is a 'hug' ?

      This big problem with this code of conduct is that it places too much weight on the perception of the 'listener' of the comments; a code of conduct should deal with the intent of the 'speaker'.

      Careful!! The message conveyed is what's received, not what's transmitted, otherwise the spam I receive can be justified as "valuable marketing messages" by the spammer.

      who use words that have different subtleties of meaning in different cultures.

      Indeed. What's a back rub, virtual or real, and why would I even want one?

    4. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: What is a 'hug' ?

      Meanwhile in the physical world. If I'm out walking, I'll expect to meet random people and domestic animals.

      With my own species I can exchange a friendly greeting. Not all of them, but many are fine with it, and some even like to extend it to a good natter.

      With our canine friends, I can exchange something more physical: a pat on the back, a tickle behind the ears, even a hug. Again, not all of them, but friendly individuals will bound up to me and introduce themselves. Obviously no power games, no question of sexual politics, just a physical expression of being friendly.

      And I sometimes think, what kind of a world is it where such casual friendship can only come from a different species!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: What is a 'hug' ?

        "With our canine friends ... friendly individuals will bound up to me and introduce themselves."

        Unfriendly ones can also bound up and take a piece out of you.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: What is a 'hug' ?

        "what kind of a world is it where such casual friendship can only come from a different species!"

        dogs don't have attorneys

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: What is a 'hug' ?

          My dawgs have an attorney. But then I train K9s ... I'm not paranoid, I'm pragmatic.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: What is a 'hug' ?

          "dogs don't have attorneys"

          Only because no one gave one a camera to take copyrighted photos with. Yet.

      3. razorfishsl

        Re: What is a 'hug' ?

        Living in Asia I go out carrying a large two by four,

        I don't want to meet wild animals OR random people,

        Nor do I enjoy directors of the company I work at continually doing high fives every time they manage to successfully wipe their own arses.

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