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DH Slack Code of Conduct Summary: Welcome to our community!

The Digital Humanities Slack is dedicated to providing a harassment-free online community experience for everyone regardless of digital humanities experience, employment, technical skills, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of DH Slack team members in any form. Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our community for everyone, regardless of the intent behind these violations. Community members violating these rules may be banned from this Slack at the discretion of the moderators. The rest of this code of conduct document defines these statements in more detail.

Join the Digital Humanities Slack

Anyone with an interest in DH (absolutely no experience needed!) is invited to join us. Join the DH Slack via http://tinyurl.com/DHslack. Make sure to check your spam folder if you don't receive an email with a link to start using the Slack within ten minutes after you submit the form, then email amandavisconti@gmail.com; a few people have encountered the automatic form not sending them an invitation email for some reason. You're automatically accepted (as long as you haven't previously broken the DH Slack's code of conduct), so if you fail to recieve an invitation after filling out the http://tinyurl.com/DHslack form, it's just a technical error.

A list of current DH Slack "channels" (chatrooms devoted to specific DHy topics) can be perused here, though note this list is only updated manually so may be out of date.

DH Slack: Code of Conduct

This code of conduct is an evolving document that changes following discussion on the DH Slack's #meta channel and involves the work and input of many DH Slack members.

The Digital Humanities Slack is dedicated to providing a harassment-free online community experience for everyone regardless of digital humanities experience, employment, technical skills, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of DH Slack team members in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for this Slack. Dismissive or belittling behavior (e.g. answering questions with links to Let Me Google That For You) is not allowed.

Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our community for everyone, regardless of the intent behind these violations. Community members violating these rules may be banned from this Slack at the discretion of the moderators.

Note that the DH Slack is an informal community. It is not sponsored by any institution and is run/moderated by volunteers. Users with the ability to moderate abuse/spam/etc. ("admins") do not regularly check all channels for problems. As DH Slack members we'll do our best to make the community safe and inviting, but please bring any issues to an admin's attention (you can always email amandavisconti@gmail.com or check the list of current admins pinned to the #moderation channel).

Reporting

If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible to Amanda Visconti (via direct message or amandavisconti@gmail.com). Your information will be kept anonymous and never shared unless you explicitly consent to its sharing. You won't be asked to confront anyone and we won't tell anyone who you are.

Welcome & invitations

This section will list suggested behavior and positive, generative uses of the DH Slack:

  • There’s likely someone on DH Slack who is interested in what you’re thinking about! Consider starting some conversations.
  • There are no "stupid" questions. Questions always point out things people who know the answer should teach/document better, and help out others with the same question in the future (or with the same question now but who haven't felt comfortable asking).
  • Don't worry too much about where to ask a question—if you're in "the wrong channel", someone will probably politely point this out, and you can just go ask again in the other channel.
  • People tune into Slack conversations at different times and for different reasons (e.g. someone may look like they're available, but be busy with work or not wanting to take part in multiple conversations at the same time). Don't worry if you don't get a response right away.

We invite and encourage additions to this section (as well as additions/edits for the rest of this code of conduct) made in the #meta channel or by emailing Amanda (amandavisconti@gmail.com).

Consequences

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Messages deleted by a moderator should not be reposted.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, moderators may take any action they deem appropriate. Moderator responses may include deleting a Slack message (including replacing the message with information on why such messages are not allowed), DMing the participant to inform them of their code of conduct violation and requiring acknowledgement that a second violation will result in an immediate and permanent ban, immediate and permanent expulsion from the DH Slack, and identification of the participant as a harasser to other moderators, the DH Slack community, or the general public.

Harassment includes...

Publication of non-harassing private communication.
Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, 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.
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 recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
Sustained disruption of discussion (e.g. disruptive non-constructive criticism, such as complaining at length without the intent to suggest improvements in a manner that disrupts other conversation on a channel and/or directly targets a Slack user)
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 vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
Belittling of people asking for help learning, including directing people the "Let Me Google That For You" links instead of answering their question
Dismissiveness toward oppression, toward complaints about oppression, or toward whether other users could interpret a message as harassment.
Jokes that incorporate any type of harassment (including use of derogatory stereotypes).
Quoting any type of harassment (including using the orignal author's demographics to argue the quote can't be harassment).
Reposting of a message deleted by a moderator.

Note that invoking /giphy with terms that aren't harassment can sometimes result in GIFs that perpetuate one of these forms of harassment. It isn't your fault—just edit your message to remove the GIF (ask a mod if you need help).

The DH Slack prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We will not act on complaints regarding:

Reverse-isms, including reverse racism, reverse sexism, and cisphobia
Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as "leave me alone", "go away", or "I'm not discussing this with you."
Communicating in a tone you don’t find congenial
Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

Additional guidance on being a good community member

  • Consider that your life experiences do not provide you with the best means to judge whether something is harassment to another person. For example, frequently harassed groups deal with regular oppressions throughout the day (microaggressions). Though each oppression may not seem like harassment to someone not regularly experiencing or aware of these oppressions, these instances absolutely are oppressions, constant reminders that society values you less, and such experiences in aggregate (including experiences that mean seem small in scope to an outsider) take a damaging toll.

  • Default toward believing and working to understand someone when they report harassment or discomfort. Civility is important to a good community. Is what you want to post actually worth the risk of making someone feel disrespected, demeaned, or of lesser value, or would the community be just as fine if you didn't take that risk and didn't post the message?

  • If you're not sure whether something you want to say constitutes harassment, don't guess, and don't post the message and wait to see how it's interpreted. Read through these guidelines again, then use the #moderation channel (or DM one of the moderators listed in the pinned list in the #moderation channel) to ask. This reduces the number of community members exposed to your message if indeed it does constitute harassment, showing care for community wellness.

  • If a moderator DMs you about something that is a code of conduct violation (or near to a violation), your explicitly acknowledging you understand the nature of the violation and will work to not do it again shows a willingness to participate in the community's values. Not responding to a moderator message and/or reposting a deleted message shows a disregard of the extra effort the moderator is investing to help you participate in the community, and a lack of care about the community's wellness; this behavior can result in banning from the DH Slack.

  • Consider not just the intent of your behavior, but that your behavior's impact is just as important as your intent. Many people act with good intent (not actively trying to cause trouble), but intent does not effect whether actions oppress or harass.

  • It is not the duty of others to repeatedly educate you to not harass. There are a wealth of online resources for your use; try searching for particular forms of oppression plus "101" for resources aimed at an introductory audience (e.g. "Ableism 101"). Repeated inability to participate in the DH Slack without harassment is grounds for permanent banning.

Moderation

There's a #moderation channel on the DH Slack, where we can specifically discuss moderation policies as well as specific cases if they arise. There is a list pinned to #moderation with information on various ways you can report abuse and spam, and which users have admin privileges (i.e. who can moderate or help with abuse/harassment/spam/etc.).

The pinned #moderation admin list also contains information on how to become a DH Slack admin. DH Slack users already known to the Slack owner will be solicited to take on the admin role. Also, DH Slack users who ask to be an admin can be granted this role, if they have participated on the DH Slack for a while (e.g. 50+ messages on public channels and member for over 3 months). Evidence of some sort of verifiable web presence elsewhere than the DH Slack can help us establish that you're trustworthy, but we strongly respect people's right to rename anonymous and revealing your identity is not a requirement for becoming an admin.

What's an admin?

An admin is a Slack user who has been granted the "admin" role. Admin abilities include removing others from public and private channels, disabling a team member's account, deleting others' messages, mass-deleting messages, and granting the admin role to others (details on Slack roles here: https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/201314026-Roles-and-permissions-in-Slack)

Admin requirements

DH Slack users with the admin role agree to the following:

  1. Just when you're on the DH Slack, willingness to assist with moderation and harassment/spam alerts (either by moderating yourself, or alerting another admin of the issue). No time commitment implied.
  2. Reading the DH Slack code of conduct (tinyurl.com/DHSlackCode) and abiding by it—in particular...
  3. Treating all discussion of abuse, harassment, and related issues as private (privately discussing the issue with or passing the issue to another admin is allowed if necessary, though admins should not share the username of the person targeted nor share with multiple admins unless necessary, and the reporting user should be first consulted as to whether they are okay with the issue being discussed with someone else and/or their username being shared)
  4. Please alert the moderator team via the #privatemoderation channel or DMs if you use any of your admin privileges (moderating messages or users, or creating a new admin).

Any admin can ask to have the admin role removed from their account at any time for any reason.

Technical Policies

Currently, the DH Slack:

  • is ephemeral (but see the "Permanence & Privacy" section below to find out how private/permanent the DH Slack is in practice). In the early months of the DH Slack, we collectively decided to not keep any formal archive of old DH Slack messages; our current free Slack plan limits most users to viewin only the 10k most recent messages sent on the Slack, although DH Slack users with admin privileges are able to export a JSON file of all DH Slack messages via the Slack dashboard.
  • cannot be publicly read (i.e. you must sign up for the DH Slack to read the DH Slack's messages)

All decisions can be revisited as needed. To read more about the decisions behind the two choices above, please see this blog post summarizing our discussion and decision.

Permanence & privacy

Although no one can access messages older than the most recent 10k via the Slack directly, users with admin privileges can export the entire Slack message archive (not just the most recent 10k messages) as a JSON file (this export does not include private group history or files, direct message history or files, edit and deletion logs). The JSON isn’t super-friendly to read, but I’ll bet a good number of DHers are familiar with transforming it into something easily human-readable, so please be aware that this is possible.

The email address used in your Slack profile will be visible to other DH Slack users.

Please also consider that messages on the DH Slack could be captured via screenshot or copy/paste by any DH Slack user. To allow conversational and research reuse of the DH Slack while respecting the privacy and IP of the DH Slack's users, you must follow the requirements below for quoting or reuse of the DH Slack:

  • Screenshots: If you want to share a screenshot or quote from the DH Slack, you must receive explicit permission from any user quoted in the conversation you want to share. This requirement stands even if you block out or otherwise hide the usernames in the conversation.
  • Message archive export use (research, quoting, etc.): you should describe your requested use in the #meta channel, and wait to get an explicit okay from Amanda Visconti (who will synthesize responses and make sure users have enough time to respond; if other admins are willing to also do this, just DM Amanda and she'll note this on the admins list now pinned to the #moderation channel.)

Help us improve this code of conduct

Because of how Slack is designed, the DH Slack currently has an owner (Amanda Visconti; aviscont@purdue.edu) as well as a variety of members who have been given the "admin" role so that they can moderate discussions if needed. Suggestions for improving this structure would be appreciated! In particular, ideas for letting the community grow while protecting against spam or troll activity (since anyone can sign themselves up), and ideas for fairly distributing the "admin" role among users would be appreciated.

Suggestions for improving this Slack or this Code of Conduct are invited and welcomed; please share these in the #meta channel if you are comfortable doing so, or share them directly with Amanda Visconti (via direct message or aviscont@purdue.edu) if you prefer.

License, attribution, credit

The DH Slack has altered the generously CC Zero Geek Feminism Wiki's code of conduct template to our needs (http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/Community_anti-harassment). That policy is based on the conference anti-harassment policy, and is the work of Annalee Flower Horne with assistance from Valerie Aurora, Alex Skud Bayley, Tim Chevalier, Mary Gardiner, and the Geek Feminism community. Both the DH Slack policy and the original Geek Feminism policy are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license. They are public domain, no credit and no open licencing of your version is required.

Thank you to everyone who shared thoughts on improving the DH Slack on the Slack, via email, or on Twitter, including DH Slack members Sam Abrams, Kristen Mapes, Matthew Lincoln, Ed Summers, Alan G. Pike, Liz Lorang, Hyperverses, timfinnegan, Jeremy Throne, Brandon Locke, Lincoln Mullen, Brian Croxall, Jeff Godin, and Micah Vandegrift, and others via Twitter and email.