Expected Code of Conduct at MERGE

The Short Version

A primary goal of MERGE! is to be inclusive to the largest number of participants, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible, from as many groups and points of view as possible. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion (or lack thereof).

The following behaviors are expected and requested of all conference participants:

  • Participate in an authentic and active way. In doing so, you contribute to the health and longevity of this conference and gain the respect of others.
  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
  • Attempt collaboration before conflict.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert conference community organizers if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.
  • Remember that conference community event venues may be shared with members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations.

To report any issues immediately, and to share any feedback, please contact our inclusion team, via email at info@merge.show. Please take a moment to read through the full version below.

The Long Version

1. Purpose

A primary goal of MERGE! is to be inclusive to the largest number of participants, with the most varied and diverse backgrounds possible. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and religion (or lack thereof).

This Code of Conduct outlines our expectations for all those who participate in our conference community, as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

We invite all those who participate in View Source to help us create safe and positive experiences for everyone.

2. Encouraging and Recognizing Participation

A supplemental goal of this Code of Conduct is to increase meaningful collaboration by encouraging participants to recognize and strengthen the relationships between our actions and their effects on our conference and the sub-events.

Intentional, positive action is essential to avoid replicating within our conference the many forms of inequality that exist in greater society. For this reason, we outline in this Code of Conduct expected behavior as well as prohibited behavior.

If you see someone who is making an extra effort to ensure our conference is welcoming, friendly, and encourages all participants to contribute to the fullest extent, recognize them for their good work either personally or by letting conference organizers know.

3. Expected Behavior

The following behaviors are expected and requested of all conference participants:

  • Participate in an authentic and active way. In doing so, you contribute to the health and longevity of this conference and the sub-events.
  • Exercise consideration and respect in your speech and actions.
  • Attempt collaboration before conflict.
  • Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory, or harassing behavior and speech.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert the conference organizers if you notice a dangerous situation, someone in distress, or violations of this Code of Conduct, even if they seem inconsequential.
  • Remember that conference facilities may be shared with participants at other MERGE! Sub-Events, other conferences, and members of the public; please be respectful to all patrons of these locations.

4. Unacceptable Behavior

The following behaviors are considered harassment and are unacceptable within our conference and sub-events:

  • Violence and threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Derogatory comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, or socio-economic status.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”).
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of “dead” or rejected names.
  • Inappropriate photography or recording.
  • Physical contact or simulated physical contact (e.g. textual messages like “hug” or “backrub”) without affirmative consent.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention. This includes, sexualized comments or jokes; inappropriate touching, groping, and unwelcomed sexual advances.
  • Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following (online or in person).
  • Sustained disruption of sessions, discussions, or other conference activities or sub-events, including talks and presentations.
  • Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior.

5. Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior from any conference participant, including sponsors and those with decision-making authority, will not be tolerated.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If a conference participant engages in unacceptable behavior, the conference organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the conference without warning (and without refund).

6. Reporting Guidelines

If you are subject to or witness unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify the conference conduct team as soon as possible by emailing info@merge.show.

Additionally, conference organizers are available to help conference community members engage with local law enforcement or to otherwise help those experiencing unacceptable behavior feel safe. In the context of in-person events, organizers will also provide escorts as desired by the person experiencing distress.

7. Addressing Grievances

If you feel you have been falsely or unfairly accused of violating this Code of Conduct, you should notify the conference organizers by email at info@merge.show with a concise description of your grievance. Your grievance will be handled in accordance with our existing governing policies.

8. Scope

We expect all conference attendees and participants (contributors, paid or otherwise; sponsors; and other guests) to abide by this Code of Conduct in all conference activities and venues – online and in-person – as well as in all one-on-one communications pertaining to conference business.

This Code of Conduct and its related procedures also applies to unacceptable behavior occurring outside the scope of conference activities when such behavior has the potential to adversely affect the safety and well-being of conference community members.

License and attribution

This Code of Conduct is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

It has been adapted with few modifications from Stumptown Syndicate’s Citizen Code of Conduct, portions of which are derived from the Django Code of Conduct and the Geek Feminism Anti-Harassment Policy. Additional text from LGBTQ in Technology Code of Conduct.