Talk:IDESG Code of Conduct

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Please use this discussion page about the Code of Conduct to aggregate views and questions for later discussion.

Remember, these Codes are for use by our IDESG group as currently is formed, but that these Codes will be used possibly in two years, with a completely different makeup of participants. While we all want to believe we are doing our best, and I believe we are trying, there are people who could use these provisions against good actions. Writing a Constitution is hard to get right, and I would like to see us do the best work we can to contain bad actors and action while still maintaining good actors and work even if it conflicts with a majority view at some point. We want to keep the org moving, but not at the expense of shutting down dissenting views or constructive criticism.
Thank you,

By Mary Hodder, 2 Dec 2014
With my usability hat on, I have to say that reading the Codes in their current form, I'm concerned about several things noted below.
1. From General Provisions: "All persons are expected to take full responsibility for their contributions and behavior and show each other patience, courtesy, respect, and dignity."

  • Bad actors could use the codes against good actors
    • CASE example: If "disrepute" is a matter of interpretation, an behavior can be interpreted negatively as disreputable and therefore a dissenting opinion could be used to remove someone from the organization.

2. From General Provisions: "Comments regarding personalities and/or motives of other participants, or that bring the organization itself into disrepute are not permitted."

  • Good actors will be prohibited from calling out bad actors, as they attempt to name negative behavior
    • CASE example: Comments relating to "motive" are prohibited, but if the motive of a bad actor is to manipulate the group into doing something that would benefit their own company or financial interest, addressing that motive is currently prohibited.

3. From Conduct in IDESG online discussion forums and lists: "Comments relating to personalities and motives, slurs, personal insults, and obscenity, or any conduct that is unacceptable under IDESG’s Code of ethics or NSTIC guiding principles is prohibited. Members should also show proper consideration for the privacy of others and for topics that may be considered inflammatory."

  • Good actors can be prohibited from sharing conflicting views
    • CASE example: if conflicting views are classified as "insulting" or "inflammatory" to the dominant paradigm because they are bringing up a different view that is currently being considered, differing views could be shut down.
  • Bad actors could use the codes against good actors
    • CASE example: profanity is prohibited by the Codes, and yet in the Chair's Call on Dec 2 2014, one Chair used the word, "damned" to express frustration. That Chair is a very good Chair but that person has now broken the rules.

4. From Appeals: "Any two members of an assembly may appeal the chair’s decision by motion prior to moving to the next item of business and in accordance with the provisions of Roberts’ Rules of Order."

  • It's not clear when or where this objections would take place as a chair may quickly move on leaving an appellant no chance to appeal.

"An appeal to the Chair of Plenary (with regard to a decision of a committee chair) or to the Chair of the Board of Directors (with regard to a decision of the Chair of Plenary or of Management Council) will only be considered if it indicates how the original decision was not taken in accordance with the rules or the provisions of this Code."

  • The problem as it stands now is that the Code is flawed.. so negative behaviors could be appealed, yet still be in keeping with the code allowing bad actors to prevail (see above examples). This would mean that either good actors or dissenting views constructively submitted could be shut out under the current document.

................. by Mary Hodder

By Andrew Hughes, 2 Dec 2014 Ok, I see the points you make, but am having difficulty coming up with language that works.

The issues that the board is trying to sort out are related to when obstructive behavior is blocking discussion. Without declaring a 'decider' how does the majority squelch minorities that actually are not helping advance. (Let's assume in the first instance that the majority is in the 'right' and deal with the 'majority-as-bad-actor' next)

.................. by Andrew Hughes

By Bob Pinheiro, 2 Dec 2014 First, regarding the method of commenting on your concerns about the codes of ethics and conduct: Leaving comments in the Discussion area of the wiki is more cumbersome, and less user friendly, than simply replying to emails on the list. You have to first login to the wiki using a federated ID, and then navigate to the appropriate place to leave the comments. Even then, unless someone is familiar with the nuances of adding and editing material on the wiki, it's possible that the comments may not be well formatted after the editing is saved and displayed. You're asking people who probably have minimal interest in this topic anyway to respond in a way that's less obvious and more time consuming than simply replying to an email.

Second, regarding the codes of ethics and conduct themselves: I read them and found them to be uncontroversial. I realize that others may not share that view, and you've described several hypothetical scenarios in which bad actors can potentially cause mayhem. But if the only actual misdeed you've observed is someone using the word "damned" on a call, I'm not upset. No matter what the codes of ethics or conduct say, it's always possible for disruptive behaviors to exist, or for someone to feel that he/she has been wronged. IDESG members who participate in the committees have only limited time and resources to devote to this work. Let's focus those efforts on specifying an identity ecosystem that satisfies the goals of NSTIC, and let's deal with these other kinds of issues as they arise. If the existing codes of ethics and conduct are found to be lacking as time goes on, let's fix the problem then, instead of now diverting resources away from our primary purpose.

On that note, I'd be happy to see some activity on this list devoted to consumer issues and the identity ecosystem. My own particular interest is in how the widespread use of the identity ecosystem can help prevent online impersonation of individuals.....others I'm sure will have other interests. There was some activity on the list in September, 2012 (see the email archive here), but things kinda fizzled out after that. Since our representative Jim Barnett of AARP also represents an organization that knows a lot about people aged 50+, I would much rather see him help guide our work towards helping to meet the needs of that group of people, rather than getting bogged down trying to revise the codes of ethics and conduct. .................... by Bob Pinheiro

By Marc-Anthony Signorino, 2 Dec 2014
I apologize for interjecting myself at this late point in the conversation, but I wanted to share something that has served me well in the past in various group settings, which I call The Consensus Rule (adapted for IDESG use):
While formal meetings may adhere to Robert’s Rules of Order, regular discussion in the normal course of IDESG business is best conducted more informally. In decision making we aspire to unanimity, but failing that we aim for consensus. Consensus is defined as the absence of sustained objection by more than one participant. Should consensus not be achieved, a majority vote of the group at hand will prevail.

In its application, the Chair’s action must be swift, resolute and unequivocal. Otherwise, you get shenanigans.

.................... by Marc-Anthony Signorino

By aestetix, 2 Dec 2014

That said, have you seen HOPE's code? I had a hand in writing it. It's not perfectly applicable here, but it may be worth drawing on:

.................... by aestetix