Table of Contents

    Effective: May 3, 2021

    Our Goal

    The Code of Conduct aims to set a foundation for Techqueria as a safe place for the members of our diverse community and allies.  We believe in respect, compassion, understanding, and inclusion and expect all community members to uphold those values. 

    All members and allies of Techqueria are expected to abide by our Code of Conduct, both online and during in-person events that are hosted and/or associated with Techqueria. 

    Our Pledge 

    In the interest of fostering an open and welcoming environment, we pledge to make participation in our community an inclusive experience for everyone, regardless of age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation. This includes:

    • Using welcoming and inclusive language in all interactions
    • Being respectful of views and experiences that differ from our own 
    • Giving others actionable and constructive feedback when asked 
    • Referring to people by their preferred pronouns and otherwise using gender-neutral pronouns
    • Assuming the best intentions of others and approaching each other with humility

    Conflict Resolution

    We encourage members of the Techqueria community to try exercising de-escalation and good faith conflict resolution before reporting a fellow community member for a potential violation of the Code of Conduct.

    Steps:

    • Assume best intentions
      • This is the best first step and will go a long way in helping de-escalate conflict. Assume the person you’re talking to is coming from a good place.
    • Seek to Understand
      • After assuming that the person is able to engage in good faith, reach out. If it’s difficult to take this step, consider asking a common contact to set up this initial conversation in a neutral manner.
    • Listen
      • Listen to your fellow community members. Sometimes you’re both saying the same thing in a different way. Even when you’re on two sides of an issue listening is helpful to understand where they’re coming from. Ask questions of each other and look for common ground.
    • Be open to dialogue 
      • We don’t always have to agree, but the most important thing is that everyone feels heard.

    Our Community Guidelines

    In order to foster engagement and support for the Techqueria community, Techqueria facilitates events and digital platforms for members to engage and communicate with each other. The health & Safety of these fora rely on positive engagement among members with the understanding that certain negative behavior by members may come at the detriment of others’ wellbeing and the integrity and usefulness of our fora. Those violative behaviors and the enforcement of the conduct guidelines are described below.

    The lists of examples provided below are illustrative, not exhaustive. 

    Harassment

    Techqueria isn’t a place to insult, hurt, or antagonize individuals or groups. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Name-calling
    • Targeted profanity
    • Intentional shaming body or romantic/sexual history

    Antagonistic Behavior

    Techqueria isn’t a place for intentionally divisive or antagonistic behavior. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Unwanted sexual advances
    • Non-consensual communication
    • Repetitive behavior meant to annoy or harass

    Hate Speech

    Techqueria isn’t a place for hate speech, in particular against protected characteristics such as gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, physical ability or appearance, mental ability or neurotypicality, race, or religion. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Slurs, 
    • Harmful stereotypes, 
    • Intentional misgendering

    Private Information

    We don’t allow content that reveals personal or sensitive information. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Personal ID or passport information
    • Private contact information or addresses
    • Online login information (usernames and passwords)
    • Photos of private people that they don’t want to be posted online
    • Personal financial or medical history

    Misrepresentation

    Techqueria isn’t a place to impersonate or misrepresent people or entities. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Using a name or likeness that is not your own
    • Impersonating a brand or person
    • Misrepresenting your affiliation with a group, organization, or entity

    Zero Tolerance Behaviors 

    There are a limited number of behaviors that if found will be grounds for an immediate ban from engagement with the community. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to engage in self-harm
    • Doxxing, broadly defined, individuals (e.g., releasing private information or images without explicit permission)
    • The usage of sexualized language/imagery (including the creation of synthetic media) towards or about another community member
    • Non-consensual physical contact

    Enforcement

    Our Approach

    Being an inclusive community means allowing people to respectfully express their point of view, even when we do not agree. We also understand that our broader community is made up of people from many countries, diverse backgrounds, and experiences so there may be moments that we misunderstand each other or our motives are unclear. Our approach to enforcing the Community Guidelines centers on three main considerations:

    1. Context 
    2. Intent
    3. Fairness

    Trust & Safety Team

    The Trust & Safety Team (“T&S Team”) is composed of individuals that have taken up the cause of investigating claimed violations of the Community Guidelines. The T&S Team investigates allegations by: 

    1. Reviewing the CoC complaint submitted through the website
    2. Reviewing submitted evidence connected to the complaint (e.g., chat logs, screenshots, interviews, etc.)
    3. Determining if a violation has been committed

    The T&S Team investigates specifically alleged violations and does not take into consideration the individuals involved. The team reviews alleged violations and makes a determination based on the evidence available. The team may seek additional information to either (1) enhance situational context and/or (2) understand a party’s intent. 

    The Trust & Safety Team will also maintain appropriate records related to complaints and outcomes. 

    Process

    1. A member reports another member’s Code of Conduct violation to the Trust & Safety online form.
    2. The Trust & Safety Team members acknowledge the report and notify all parties involved that an investigation has begun.
    3. The Trust & Safety Team reviews evidence and engages parties as needed.
    4. The Trust & Safety Team decides to affirm or deny that a violation has been committed, and what if any action should be taken.
    5. The Trust & Safety Team alerts parties involved of the finding and next steps for resolution.

    Enforcement Guidelines

    The outcomes of an investigation are recorded and associated with an individual for the duration of their membership in Techqueria. Enforcement actions accumulate with the following penalties for multiple violations by an individual:

    1. First Written Warning
    2. Second Written Warning
    3. Three-month Suspension
    4. One-year Suspension
    5. Permanent Suspension

    Suspensions apply to attending community events, engaging in community platforms and fora, and accessing community resources.

    Timeline 

    Investigations shall be acknowledged by the Trust & Safety Team within 5 business days of a report, and reviewed and enforced by the Trust & Safety Team within 10 business days of acknowledgement. 

    If an investigation is expected to take more than 10 business days, the Trust & Safety team will provide written notice to involved parties. 

    Any harmful conduct between the involved parties during the investigation period may initiate a new case whose outcome will accumulate to a violator’s existing penalties.

    Investigation Results

    Written notice of Trust & Safety decisions to the involved parties will contain the following information:

    • The original complaint
    • All evidence considered (e.g., screenshots, chat logs, etc.)
    • Any statements made by the involved parties
    • A written explanation of the finding of fact, and the reason for the outcome
    • Applicable penalties or resolution paths

    All investigations and outcomes are presumed private & confidential. Findings and outcomes shall only be released to the party who filed the complaint and the party against whom the accusation was made. If any information is released by either party regarding the outcome of their investigation the Trust & Safety Team shall publicly release any related documents at their discretion, by simple majority vote. 

    Appeals

    Each decision of the Trust & Safety Team shall be subject to the decision review rules no more than 30 days after an official finding has been entered.

    Decision review shall be granted for any of the following reasons:

    • New facts to be considered
    • At the request of the full Board of Directors, by unanimous vote

    Trust & Safety Team decisions shall be reversed if new facts presented create a new understanding of the situation that lead to a different decision.

    Members shall request appeals through the website within 30 days of the written notice for the case’s original decision. All appeals must be in writing and must include any supplemental documentation at the time the appeal is submitted.

    The Trust & Safety Team shall decide whether to grant or reject an appeal request within 5 business days of acknowledgement. If granted, the Trust & Safety Team shall notify the parties involved as well as the Board of Directors in writing and review the decision within 10 business days. If rejected, the Trust & Safety Team shall notify the parties involved and the Board of Directors that the request has been rejected. 

    Once a decision review is complete, written notice shall be given the parties involved in the original complaint with regard to the appeal outcome with a copy sent to the Board of Directors.

    Questions, comments or concerns?

    Reach out to us at safety@techqueria.org.

    Change Log

    The Trust & Safety Team is responsible for making updates to the Code of Conduct and can do so through a majority vote at a team meeting. Those changes are recorded below:

    May 3, 2021Code of Conduct & Community Guidelines updated to include examples of violative behavior, enumerate enforcement actions for repeat violations, describe the role and operation of the Trust & Safety Team, and provide guidance for appeals and conflict resolution.

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