Code of conduct in any online community in our time:
- Nice idea. Or seems so.
- Nightmare in reality as it gets weaponised to enforce an Agenda, usually totalitarian.
Earlier today I found myself typing out point 2. for an email list I frequent, then thought better of it. There is a great way to use a code of conduct and a bit of authority to shut down opposition. Simply ignore criticism until opponents get frustrated, then accuse anyone who lets exasperation creep into their tone of violating the code of conduct. The exact message I had thought of replying to contained approximately: "stop trying to silence people, I suggest you read the code of conduct", with a follow-up repeating the suggestion.
A code of conduct is useful, you need something to stop genuine abuse, but it needs to be implemented in an even-handed and constructive way.