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Participation Standards and Guidelines

Participating in Networks

To do our work well, we have written agreements that guide the decision making for network moderators and Fellows. This is the key document that works with our Data Sharing Terms and Policy.  

In all our work we strive to create networks that are respectful, professional, and free of abuse or spammy promotion. The aim is to uphold network value for everyone and to be welcoming and inclusive.

Questions or Concerns?

At any point you find that we are slipping or missed the opportunity to better or missed a comment, person, or event that is spammy, abusive, unprofessional, or disrespectful, please flag it or send us an email to at safety@netcentriccampaigns.org  – We will do our work and contact the member privately, remove the offending posts, etc. 

The elements and agreements are spread across our sites, online community, and on the webpage. However, the values and commitments here apply to all our work including our live discussions, conferences, chat rooms, calls, etc. If we are failing to meet the bar we have set, we ask that you send an email to safety@netcentriccampaigns.org  and someone from outside our team will take up review of the issues and guide our actions and responses.

If these agreements are important to you and you want to help us maintain a healthy, growing and safe network you can volunteer as part of our Welcome Committee.

About 

Netcentric Campaigns is dedicated to supporting people working to build networks and network power. We organize services, provide campaign assistance, and find ways to connect the participants in the network to each other to advance the work. We aim to build new ties among good people we have come to know. In fact, the network strategy is dependent on the value not only of the services we provide, but in the quality, value and effectiveness people find in connecting with each other. As such, we prioritize service to people that are contributing to important work or campaigns AND conduct their work with the same spirit of collaboration, service and value to networking. 

We don’t insist our most confrontational brothers and sisters become network builders. We don’t insist that people that don’t need or care about networks participate in this work either. 

Participate only if the totality of what is offered provides you more value than what you are asked to do in return. We evaluate our work on the impact we are contributing to fighting the industry and harms as well as the value the network brings others. We know that people can very quickly stop opening the emails, drop off the subscriptions, and stop showing up for each other. People connecting to each other is the life of strategy. 

Over the last few years, we have come to settle on a few key agreements that guide our work keep organizing Network builders feasible. Those agreements are our statements about kind of network we are building, the work we will do to keep it organized, the way we manage the data, membership, and content. The agreements are about us and our values and vision. The agreements are about what you can expect from us and the civility and level of discourse we aspire to cultivate. We think such agreements are necessary to maintain in online spaces, grow loose networks, and conduct email correspondences, etc. The agreements mostly strive to create the space for supporting each other, informing each other, organizing each other, and calling each other for help. They only apply to you if you choose to engage with us (although many of them contain examples and values honed by partners we aspire to emulate.) You are encouraged to adapt and use these for your organizations, networks, movements and events (as we were by Mozilla!) 

Network Participation Guidelines

The heart of the network is people. We put people first and do our best to recognize, appreciate and respect the diversity of network participants. The network welcomes contributions from everyone who shares our goals and wants to contribute in a healthy and constructive manner. 

As such, we have adopted this guideline and require all those who participate to adhere to these Participation Guidelines in order to help us create a productive, professional, and safe network. These guidelines aim to support a broader movement where all people should feel safe to participate, introduce new ideas and inspire others, regardless of:

  • Background
  • Family status
  • Gender
  • Gender identity or expression
  • Marital status
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Language
  • Age
  • Ability
  • Race and/or ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Religion
  • Geographic location
  • Any other dimension of diversity

Openness, collaboration and participation are core aspects of our work. Everyone gains strength from diversity and we actively seek participation from those who enhance it. These guidelines exist to enable diverse individuals to interact and collaborate to mutual advantage. This document outlines both expected and prohibited behavior.

When and How to Use These Guidelines

These guidelines outline our behavior expectations both offline and online. Your participation is contingent upon following these guidelines in all Network activities, including but not limited to:

  • Working in Netcentric Campaigns spaces.
  • Working with other Netcentric Campaigns community participants virtually or co-located.
  • Representing Netcentric Campaigns  at public events.
  • Representing Netcentric Campaigns  in social media (official accounts, staff accounts, personal accounts, Facebook pages).
  • Participating in Netcentric Campaigns offsites and trainings.
  • Participating in Netcentric Campaigns related forums, mailing lists, wikis, websites, chat channels, group or person-to-person meetings, and Netcentric Campaigns related correspondence.

While these guidelines / code of conduct are specifically aimed at Netcentric Campaigns work and community, we recognize that it is possible for actions taken outside of Netcentric Campaigns online or in-person spaces to have a deep impact on people and network health. (For example, in the past, we publicly identified an anonymous posting aimed at a participant in a non-Netcentric Campaigns forum as clear grounds for removal from the our services.) This is an active topic in the diversity and inclusion realm. We anticipate and have participated in wide-ranging discussions across the movement about appropriate boundaries.

Expected Movement Building Standards 

The following are expected of all participants in Netcentric Campaigns  discussions and meetings:

Be Respectful

Value each other’s ideas, styles and viewpoints. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. Be open to different possibilities and to being wrong. Be kind in all interactions and communications, especially when debating the merits of different options. Be aware of your impact and how intense interactions may be affecting people. Be direct, constructive and positive. Take responsibility for your impact and your mistakes – if someone says they have been harmed through your words or actions, listen carefully, apologize sincerely, and correct the behavior going forward.

Be Direct but Professional

We are likely to have some discussions about if and when criticism is respectful and when it’s not. We must be able to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. We cannot withhold hard truths. Doing so respectfully is hard, doing so when others don’t seem to be listening is harder, and hearing such comments when one is the recipient can be even harder still. We need to be honest and direct, as well as respectful.

Be Inclusive

Seek diverse perspectives. Diversity of views and of people on teams powers innovation, even if it is not always comfortable. Encourage all voices. Help new perspectives be heard and listen actively. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, it is especially important to step back and encourage other voices to join in. Be aware of how much time is taken up by dominant members of the group. Provide alternative ways to contribute or participate when possible.

Be inclusive of everyone in an interaction, respecting and facilitating people’s participation whether they are:

  • Remote (on video or phone)
  • Not native language speakers
  • Coming from a different culture
  • Using pronouns other than “he” or “she”
  • Living in a different time zone
  • Facing other challenges to participate

Think about how you might facilitate alternative ways to contribute or participate. If you find yourself dominating a discussion, step back. Make way for other voices and listen actively to them.

Understand Different Perspectives

Our goal should not be to “win” every disagreement or argument. A more productive goal is to be open to ideas that make our own ideas better. Strive to be an example for inclusive thinking. “Winning” is when different perspectives make our work richer and stronger.

Appreciate and Accommodate Our Similarities and Differences

Network participants come from many cultures and backgrounds. Cultural differences can encompass everything from official religious observances to personal habits to clothing. Be respectful of people with different cultural practices, attitudes and beliefs. Work to eliminate your own biases, prejudices and discriminatory practices. Think of others’ needs from their point of view. Use preferred titles (including pronouns) and the appropriate tone of voice. Respect people’s right to privacy and confidentiality. Be open to learning from and educating others as well as educating yourself; it is unrealistic to expect participants to know the cultural practices of every ethnic and cultural group, but everyone needs to recognize one’s own culture is only part of positive interactions.

Lead by Example

By matching your actions with your words, you become a person others want to follow. Your actions influence others to behave and respond in ways that are valuable and appropriate. Design your work for inclusion. Hold yourself and others accountable for inclusive behaviors. Make decisions based on the highest good for supporting each other’s fight against oil and gas industry.

Behavior That Will Not Be Tolerated

The following behaviors are considered to be unacceptable under these guidelines.

Violence and Threats of Violence

Violence and threats of violence are not acceptable – online or offline. This includes incitement of violence toward any individual, including encouraging a person to commit self-harm. This also includes posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxxing”) online.

Personal Attacks

Conflicts will inevitably arise, but frustration should never turn into a personal attack. It is not okay to insult, demean or belittle others. Attacking someone for their opinions, beliefs and ideas is not acceptable. It is important to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve, but such discussions must be conducted respectfully and professionally, remaining focused on the issue at hand.

Derogatory Language

Hurtful or harmful language related to:

  • Background
  • Family status
  • Gender
  • Gender identity or expression
  • Marital status
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Language
  • Age
  • Ability
  • Race and/or ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Religion
  • Geographic location
  • Other attributes

is not acceptable. This includes deliberately referring to someone by a gender that they do not identify with, and/or questioning the legitimacy of an individual’s gender identity. If you’re unsure if a word is derogatory, don’t use it. This also includes repeated subtle and/or indirect discrimination; when asked to stop, stop the behavior in question.

Harassment

We have adopted an anti-harassment policy and system of reporting that exceeds what the law dictates in order to promote the type of community values we want to experience in networks we support and in the world. The definitions of harassment outlined below apply both online and offline.

What is harassment? Harassment can be verbal, physical, or emotional. We give thanks to Double Union’s harassment policy for the following examples. As stated in their guidelines, harassment includes:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, citizenship status or religion
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour in spaces where they’re not appropriate
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “*hug*” or “*backrub*”) without consent or after a request to stop
  • Threats of violence
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm
  • Deliberate intimidation
  • Stalking or following
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
  • Sustained disruption of discussion
  • Unwelcome sexual attention
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect others from intentional abuse
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication

If you have a question about whether something may cross the line, please email safety@netcentriccampaigns.org 

Unwelcome Sexual Attention or Physical Contact

Unwelcome sexual attention or unwelcome physical contact is not acceptable. This includes sexualized comments, jokes or imagery in interactions, communications or presentation materials, as well as inappropriate touching, groping, or sexual advances. This includes touching a person without permission, including sensitive areas such as their hair, pregnant stomach, mobility device (wheelchair, scooter, etc) or tattoos. This also includes physically blocking or intimidating another person. Physical contact or simulated physical contact (such as emojis like “kiss”) without affirmative consent is not acceptable. This includes sharing or distribution of sexualized images or text.

Disruptive Behavior

Sustained disruption of events, forums, or meetings, including talks and presentations, will not be tolerated. This includes:

  • ‘Talking over’ or ‘heckling’ speakers.
  • Drinking alcohol to excess or using recreational drugs to excess, or pushing others to do so.
  • Making derogatory comments about those who abstain from alcohol or other substances, pushing people to drink, talking about their abstinence or preferences to others, or pressuring them to drink – physically or through jeering.
  • Otherwise influencing crowd actions that cause hostility in the session.

Influencing Unacceptable Behavior

We will treat influencing or leading such activities the same way we treat the activities themselves, and thus the same consequences apply.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Reports of harassment/discrimination will be promptly and thoroughly investigated by the people responsible for the safety of the space, event or activity. Appropriate measures will be taken to address the situation.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately. Violation of these guidelines can result in you being asked to leave an event or online space, either temporarily or for the duration of the event, or being banned from participation in spaces, or future events and activities in perpetuity.

Network fellows are also accountable to these guidelines, and violation of these guidelines may be subject to further consequences, such as disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. For contractors or vendors, violation of these guidelines may affect continuation or renewal of contract.

In addition, any participants who abuse the reporting process will be considered to be in violation of these guidelines and subject to the same consequences. False reporting, especially to retaliate or exclude, will not be accepted or tolerated.

Reporting

If you believe you’re experiencing unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated as outlined above, please contact the welcome committee safety@netcentriccampaigns.org. Reports go directly to the Welcome Committee. 

After receiving a concise description of your situation, they will review and determine next steps. 

In addition to conducting any investigation, they can provide a range of resources, from a private consultation to other community resources. They will involve other colleagues or outside specialists (such as legal counsel), as needed to appropriately address each situation.

Please also report to us if you observe a potentially dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of these guidelines, even if the situation is not happening to you.

If you feel you have been unfairly accused of violating these guidelines, please follow the same reporting process.

Network Spaces & Network Events

All Netcentric Campaigns events will have designated a specific safety guidelines with emergency and anti-abuse contacts in the event one is not posted send an email to safety@netcentriccampaigns.org for help. When available contacts will be posted prominently throughout the event, and in print and online materials. Event leaders are requested to speak at the event about the guidelines and to ask participants to review and agree to them when they sign up for the event.

Reports will receive an email notice of receipt. Once an incident has been investigated and a decision has been communicated to the relevant parties, all have the opportunity to appeal this decision by sending an email to safety@netcentriccampaigns.org

Ask questions

Everyone is encouraged to ask questions about these guidelines. If you are organizing an event or activity, reach out for tips building inclusion for your event, activity or space. Your input is welcome and you will always get a response within 48 hours (or on the next weekday, if it is the weekend) if you reach out to safety@netcentriccampaigns.org  you wish you receive notice when we update the guidelines, drop us a line and we will add you to the updates notification list.

License and attribution

This set of guidelines is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

These guidelines have been adapted with modifications from Mozilla’s original Community Participation Guidelines, the Ubuntu Code of Conduct, Mozilla’s View Source Conference Code of Conduct, and the Rust Language Code of Conduct, which are based on Stumptown Syndicate’s Citizen Code of Conduct. Additional text from the LGBTQ in Technology Code of Conduct and the WisCon code of conduct. This document and all associated processes are only possible with the hard work of many, many dedicated people.

Modifications to these guidelines

Netcentric Campaigns may amend the guidelines from time to time and may also vary the procedures it sets out where appropriate in a particular case. Your agreement to comply with the guidelines will be deemed agreement to any changes to it. In case Netcentric Campaigns amends the guidelines, the date and version number will change, and be available here.

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