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Code of conduct

Hypothesis's community is an inclusive space, and everyone in it is expected to abide by a code of conduct. This applies in issues, pull requests, etc. as well as in the various Hypothesis community spaces.

At the high level the code of conduct goes like this:

  1. Be kind
  2. Be respectful
  3. Be helpful

While it is impossible to enumerate everything that is unkind, disrespectful or unhelpful, here are some specific things that are definitely against the code of conduct:

  1. -isms and -phobias (e.g. racism, sexism, transphobia and homophobia) are unkind, disrespectful and unhelpful. Just don't.
  2. All software is broken. This is not a moral failing on the part of the authors. Don't give people a hard time for bad code.
  3. It's OK not to know things. Everybody was a beginner once, nobody should be made to feel bad for it.
  4. It's OK not to want to know something. If you think someone's question is fundamentally flawed, you should still ask permission before explaining what they should actually be asking.
  5. Note that "I was just joking" is not a valid defence.
  6. Don't suggest violence as a response to things, e.g. "People who do/think X should be Y-ed". Even if you think it is obvious hyperbole and that it's very clear that no actual threat is meant, it still contributes to a culture that makes people feel unsafe.

Resolution of Violations

David R. MacIver (the project lead) acts as the main point of contact and enforcer for code of conduct violations. You can email him at, or for violations on GitHub that you want to draw his attention to you can also mention him as @DRMacIver.

Other people (especially Hypothesis team members) should feel free to call people on code of conduct violations when they see them, and it is appreciated but not required (especially if doing so would make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe).

We don't currently have a formal policy for resolutions and it's mostly based on subjective judgement calls, but the high level intent is as follows:

  • minor one-off infractions will just be met with a request not to repeat the behaviour and, where it would be useful, for an apology.
  • Major infractions and repeat offenders will be banned from the community.

If you disagree with David's judgement on any particular event, please feel free to tell him so.

Also, people who have a track record of bad behaviour outside of the Hypothesis community may be banned even if they obey all these rules if their presence is making people uncomfortable.