OpenRespect and the Problems of Endorsing Civility

“Two years ago, I suggested that the free and open source
software community could use a code of conduct to make
conversations more polite and more constructive. My views haven’t
changed any, so I am delighted at Canonical Community Manager Jono
Bacon’s launching of OpenRespect.org that attempts to codify
respectful conduct. My only concern is that the effort is already
receiving some of the abuse that it attempts to counter.

“The project home page starts with the declaration that “Our
methods and opinions may differ, and our definitions of what
constitutes freedom and openness may vary, but this united belief
in freedom and openness remains the same.” It then goes on to list
five characteristics of respectful interaction: judging people only
by the quality of what they say, civility, agreeing when necessary
to disagree, debating constructively, and being sensitive to other
people’s feelings. The site also includes some guidelines about how
to carry out these goals, as well as some web buttons you can use
to show your support of the project.”

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