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Here's an idea: every time you feel like sharing a new exciting app / tech / program, don't limit yourself to looking at its features. But also look at:

- Who is developing it? Is the team diverse? What kind of organisation is it?
- What resources are they relying on?
- Have they, **from the beginning**, published a code of conduct, and/or released a statement that specifies that fascists, racists, queerphobes, patriarchs, down-punchers are not welcome to use or contribute to the tool?

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@stragu Also, look to see if it can be used by people with disabilities.

@devinprater oh yes. Very good point, sorry I missed that one!

@stragu
A code of conduct is about as useful in stopping racism and transphobia as "we have a rainbow/black logo just to show we care" advertisements from mega corporations looking to make a quick buck.

@mysticCabinboy I don’t agree, I think they do help in stating from the beginning that some discourse is not going to be tolerated, and might save people some spoons otherwise dedicated to challenge dealing with online oppressors. Obviously, one can’t argue that having that is sufficient. But are you saying that you might as well not have it? A code of conduct will at least make people feel they can join a project that will be more likely to be an enjoyable, safe space for them...

@stragu
The issue is when those codes of conduct can be enforced and when they are ignored. Not to mention where the line would be as to how the language should be used.
Heres the thing, the internet is inherently anonymous. The same reason i dont post pictures of myself and use my full real name in 90% of the things i use is because of that anonymity. The things people say and the things they do in real life may not match and there is no way to tell if they do match unless you actually know them IRL. This makes it REALLY hard to make a code of conduct that actually works for what it does, its even harder to find the right people to enforce whatever rules you set down correctly.

I can cite a LOT of times where this is the case.
Discords double standard when it comes to...certain moderation. Not to mention the cancerous moderation of individual servers, abusive mods in any chat fall in this category.
Youtube and their vague rules about what counts as bullying and whats considered not advertiser friendly(which is still bullshit considering what is allowed on other streaming services/cable channels that allow things like rick and morty, squidbillies, drinky crow etc.).
Even contexts where moderation isnt involved, but alleged 'safe spaces' where people thought they were welcome... as long as you play a certain game of twister with a ruleset that was corrupted by people just wanting some internet points, only caring about the attention rather than the actual morality of the thing they claim to fight for.
(Look up Zamii070)

So yes, the illusion of giving a safe place to be in, in my opinion, is much worse than accepting that people can be assholes sometimes. Because the people who pretend to care are honestly doing more work in tearing people down being manipulative narcissists than the people who are committing NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER in a file somewhere that can easily be reported to github, and the commit deleted with a few commands at worst, and with a refusal of a pull request at minimum.

@mysticCabinboy thanks for expanding.
Not sure the N-word example was absolutely necessary though. Also, I think it’s a bit presumptuous to assume that anyone who posts a code of conduct is doing it “to look good” and is not going to put every effort in enforcing it, with whatever tools they have access to.
So, in your opinion, how do we effectively make it safer for oppressed minorities and communities online? I’m genuinely interested in knowing how we can make things less crap.

@stragu
After seeing what people will do to ruin someone elses life for internet points, ill stick to being cynical about a code of conduct.
As for a solution, the internet is too wild for it to be used as ANY starting point to real change. Changing software jargon does even less. The reason people are arguing about the 'master' branch isn't because they are racist, its because the master branch is standardized in git. Should we change "mastering" in music production to some other term as well?
The first solution to the "problem" is stop giving your "enemy" ammunition. Making a solution to a problem that you just made up(like changing the master branch to the main branch) shows a lack of either dedication, or the lack of real issues that give your words importance. So instead of focusing on the goddamn master branch, something so small that the only people who actually care are fucking insane anyways.

tl;dr: Codes of conduct mean fuck all. The internet should be a tool to help with communication and by NO MEANS a place one should attach their identity to. Fixing the world outside the internet should be priority one, starting with the problems in your own town is a good bet and not necessarily safe either but real change is never safe.
@stragu
Post note: Using/developing software made by (supposed)racists/sexists does not mean you support said racists/sexists either. Especially given that git doesn't track the number of times a git repo has actually been cloned/forked. Think of it as reading a harry potter book and ignoring JK rowlings tweets. This is doubly true when pull requests from many different contributors are also put into the mix. If there's an improvement to software and its actually worthwhile to implement it, do so. It doesnt matter what your background is, CoC or not, if its good code, people will accept said code, complicating matters does nothing.
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