Code of Conduct

ArtOfCode edited this page Sep 5, 2018 · 5 revisions

Standard of Behaviour

Stack Exchange has a Code of Conduct. If you're not familiar with it, you should go and read it now.

Charcoal fully supports and expects all members to abide by that code. We also extend that standard a little: we expect that you take a professional and constructive approach to moderation, and that you're capable of getting along with the users and administrators of SmokeDetector. Remember — getting along is not the same as liking. Additionally, the chatrooms are a professional environment — we're friendly, so laughing and joking within reason are fine, but keep it professional.

The unofficial standard of behaviour is this:

If a system administrator ends up getting pinged more than once because you're abusing the system or seriously bugging other users, your privileges are likely to be revoked.

Exercise some common sense, bring your sense of humour, and we'll all get along just fine.


Charcoal intends to create an environment where everyone is welcome, regardless of who they are or how they identify. The best teams are diverse and can only be created through being inclusive of everyone. You can be part of this by being respectful of others and mindful of how what you say may be construed by others.

Policy Breaches & Dispute Resolution

If someone is consistently failing to behave appropriately, or if you have a dispute with another user that you feel unable to resolve, please get in touch with a Charcoal admin. If you'd like to get in touch in private, you can email Your concerns will be handled promptly and sensitively.

External Liaison

Occasionally, spam on SE sites gets handled incorrectly. Historically in these cases, a Charcoal member has often reached out to the people involved in this situation to offer advice on how spam should be handled correctly. However, as Charcoal has continued to expand, it has become more difficult to have experienced team members do this, so this is some guidance on how to approach liaising with other people or communities around the SE network.

If you're going to go to other sites and advise people on how to deal with spam, that's awesome, but make sure you're doing it diplomatically. Bear in mind that you will likely have little activity on the target site, and this is the first impression many users will have of you and of Charcoal.

Start off with this template, and make what modifications you need to. The template has been written to give the best possible impression to everyone involved, so try not to deviate more than you have to. Remember that, in the vast majority of cases, you don't need to mention Charcoal at all.

  • Consider necessity. It's good to give advice, but don't get over-invested. Remember that one mishandled spam post isn't a disaster, and won't bring a site to its knees.
  • Provide context. Make sure you tell your audience who you are (and if pertinent, who Charcoal are and what we do), what happened with the spam post, why that wasn't the right outcome, and what could be done instead. Wherever you can, provide links to back up your statements so that it's not just "some random person from outer space somewhere else on the network".
  • Phrase what you say carefully. Avoid anything that could seem accusatory — it seems silly, but try to avoid saying you. If it seems personal, someone'll take it personally, and won't be able to see the real issue because they think they've been insulted. Instead of "You did X and you shouldn't have!", try "X happened to Y post, and I think this could have been done Z way instead, according to [SE policy](link to it)". Talk about actions or posts rather than users or people.
  • Assume good faith. Even if a post has been handled incorrectly, it most likely wasn't done out of malice. Remember that, and don't treat people like they're idiots for not knowing the policy.

Ideally, have another Charcoal member who's active on the target site post the question for you. People are more likely to be receptive to feedback if it's coming from someone who they're familiar with.

Remember to abide by Stack Exchange's Code of Conduct at all times. If at any point you don't feel you can start or continue a conversation diplomatically and in line with that standard of personal conduct, step back. There are plenty of other users who can help out; if necessary, call on one of the mods involved in the project — they're used to being diplomatic with irksome users.

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