SIBR Code of Conduct and social rules

Last updated: November 23, 2021

Our mission is to create a community that fosters the creativity of Blaseball fans who put their love of the game toward research of all kinds. We want everyone in SIBR to be able to focus as much attention as they desire toward the research and fanworks they wish to create and collaborate on. This is impossible to do if you are spending a significant amount of your time dealing with unwelcome behavior.

Accordingly, by being a part of the SIBR community, you are expected to show respect and courtesy to each other in all interactions, whether in our Discord community or in other contexts.

To make sure that everyone has a common understanding of “show respect and courtesy to each other,” we have adopted the following code of conduct. The code of conduct is enforced by the Caretakers, who have green usernames and are displayed at the top of the member list in the SIBR Discord server.

Table of Contents

Unacceptable behavior

The following types of behavior are unacceptable in SIBR and constitute code of conduct violations.

Abusive behavior

Unwelcoming behavior

Behavior that jeopardizes SIBR’s existence

Best practices

SIBR’s Code of Conduct isn’t just for defining and preventing unacceptable behavior — it’s also an intentional effort to define our culture. Everyone in SIBR takes part in building it, so we hope you will model the behavior you’d like to see in others and remember these three guidelines:

Care for each other

Care for the community

Care for yourselves

Scope

Members are held to the standards outlined in this code of conduct when interacting in our Discord server and on SIBR-operated GitHub repositories.

In addition, the Blaseball community and experience usually extends outside those spaces; SIBR members interact with other fans on the main Blaseball Discord, team sidecords, and social media. Abusive or unwelcoming behavior between SIBR members still has a profound impact on individuals and on the community when it happens beyond our “walls”. Caretakers will use our discretion when deciding whether to enforce this code of conduct and potentially remove someone from SIBR after reports of such behavior happening outside of SIBR, taking into account the impact on the individual members involved as well as the impact on the community at large.

When in doubt, please report unacceptable behavior to us. If someone’s behavior outside of SIBR makes you feel unsafe in SIBR, that is absolutely relevant and actionable for us.

Enforcement

The Society Caretakers evaluate each report or Code of Conduct violation on a case-by-case basis. Caretakers collectively use their best judgment to determine whether a member is acting in good faith and is likely to improve their behavior. Caretakers make moderation decisions as a team, and no action is made at the discretion of a single Caretaker.

In some cases we will remove content or take another publicly visible action, but in other cases we might take other actions that aren’t publicly visible or watch the discussion closely and evaluate further actions as the conversation progresses. We ask you to keep in mind that if you report something to us and it is not removed it might mean that we have taken other actions.

Here are some of the actions we may take:

Please keep in mind that when we take any of these actions, we do not reveal who has reported the content so that your privacy in reporting is still assured.

Caretakers do keep a record of every report. Over time this helps us to identify patterns of abusive behaviour, and take the necessary actions.

Reporting

If you see a violation of our code of conduct, please report it to the Caretakers.

Why should I report?

You are responsible for making SIBR a safe and comfortable space for everyone. Everyone in our community shares this responsibility. Caretakers are not around the Discord server at all times, so we cannot enforce the code of conduct without your help.

The consequences for the community of not reporting bad behavior outweigh the consequences for one person of reporting it. We sometimes hear “I don’t want X person to meet consequences because I told someone about their bad behavior.” Consider the impact on everyone else in SIBR of letting their behavior continue unchecked, and remember that the Caretakers only take action after careful deliberation. Reports help us see where there is friction that we may not immediately recognize.

SIBR only works as a self-directed, community-driven community because of shared trust and radical respect between members. Reporting code of conduct violations helps us identify when this trust is broken, to prevent that from happening in the future. It also helps us understand where the edges of this document are, and reports help us continually improve our community as a welcoming space.

Where and how to report

Please report all code of conduct violations either via the ModMail bot, pinging the @Society Caretaker role directly in a channel, or via email to caretakers@sibr.dev. (Caretakers do not respond to code of conduct violations via individual Discord DMs.)

If your report pertains to a Caretaker, contact the Headmistress directly at iliana@sibr.dev. If your report pertains to iliana, contact honu at honu@sibr.dev.

In your report, include as much of the following as you feel comfortable:

Confidentiality

We will keep all reports confidential, except if we’ve discussed with you and agreed otherwise. When we discuss incidents with people who are reported, we will anonymize details as much as we can to protect the privacy of other parties.

However, some incidents happen in one-on-one interactions, and even if the details are anonymized, the reported person may be able to guess who made the report. If you have concerns about retaliation or your personal safety, and do not want us to share the details of your report with anyone (including the perpetrator) please let us know explicitly in your report. Unfortunately, in that situation we may not be able to take any action.

In some cases we may decide to share an update about a major incident with other SIBR members, or with the entire SIBR community. If that’s the case, we may need to share the identity of reported individuals for the safety of the community. The identities of all other involved parties will remain confidential unless those individuals instruct us otherwise.

Social rules

In addition to having a code of conduct, we have four lightweight social rules. The social rules are different and separate from the code of conduct. They help us create a better environment by giving names to counterproductive behavior and acting as a release valve so that frustration doesn’t build up over time.

We expect people to unintentionally break the social rules from time to time. Doing this doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad member of the community. When this happens, it’s not a big deal. Just apologize and move on.

The social rules are:

We won’t give you a formal warning or expel you from SIBR just for breaking a social rule once. However, given repeated instances of breaking our social rules and an unwillingness to grow to follow them, we may begin to consider your actions as Unwelcoming Behavior and take stronger actions.

If you have any questions about any part of the code of conduct or social rules, please reach out to any Caretaker.

No well-actually’s

Alice: I just installed Linux on my computer!
Bob: It’s actually called GNU/Linux.

A well-actually is when you correct someone about something that’s not relevant to the conversation or tangential to what they’re trying to say. They’re bad because they aren’t helpful, break the flow of conversation, and focus attention on the person making the well actually.

This rule can be a bit tricky because there isn’t a clear line between relevant to the conversation and not. Sometimes your correction might actually be necessary, and it could still come off as annoying when you make it. The best rule of thumb is, if you’re not sure whether something needs to be said right now, hold off and see what happens. You can always say it later if it turns out there’s no way for the conversation to move forward without your correction.

No acting surprised about someone not knowing something

Carol: Wait, you didn’t know the At Bats stat doesn’t include Walks?

Responding with surprise when someone doesn’t know something makes people feel bad for not knowing things and less likely to ask questions in the future, which makes it harder for them to learn. Even if you are legitimately surprised that someone doesn’t know something, it has the same effect. Don’t feign surprise and then post a clarification right afterwards — that’s still bad.

Further reading: “No feigning surprise” by Julia Evans

No backseat driving

Eve: (after pages of discussion about database choices) Why are you using Mongo? CouchDB is better.

Backseat driving is when you lob advice without really joining or engaging in a conversation. Because you haven’t been participating in the conversation, it’s easy to miss something important and give advice that’s not actually helpful. Even if your advice is correct, it’s rude to burst into a conversation with unsolicited advice without asking. If you overhear a conversation where you could be helpful, the best thing to do is to ask to join.

No subtle -isms

Carol: Windows is hard to use.
Bob: No way. Windows is so easy to use that even my mom can use it.

Subtle -isms are subtle expressions of racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia and other kinds of bias and prejudice. They are small things that make others feel unwelcome, things that we all sometimes do by mistake. Subtle -isms make people feel like they don’t belong in SIBR. We want to create an environment where everyone can focus their energy on their research and fanworks. It’s hard to do that if you’re regularly being made to wonder whether you belong.

Subtle -isms can also be things that you do instead of say. This includes things like ignoring the feedback of people who describe themselves as non-technical.

The fourth social rule is more complicated than the others. Not everyone agrees on what constitutes a subtle -ism. Subtle -isms are baked into society in ways that can make them hard to recognize. And not everyone experiences subtle -isms in the same way: subtle homophobia won’t hurt someone who’s straight in the same way it hurts someone who’s gay.

There’s two additional parts of no subtle -isms:

References

These rules are largely based on the Recurse Center’s code of conduct and social rules, which in turn are based on the !!Con Code of Conduct, the PyCon 2013 Code of Conduct, and the example conference anti-harassment policy on the Geek Feminism Wiki, created by the Ada Initiative and other volunteers. They are also partially based on the Metafilter Content Policy.

The RC and !!Con codes of conduct, and the Geek Feminism anti-harassment policy, are available under the terms of the CC0 license. The PyCon 2013 Code of Conduct is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. The Metafilter Content Policy is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.