In order to keep such a culture thriving, I have to enforce a few rules, and while they may seem unnecessary, several past attendees encouraged me to write them down here, as a formal code of conduct.
THE THREE RULES
The first rule (for attendees) is: you agree not to be rude to the speakers.
You are, of course, allowed to dislike or disagree with their talk! In every event, you will probably find one presentation that doesn't work for you. But it is not acceptable to insult speakers, demand multiple times that they answer your question, or post derogatory remarks in the chat.
People who seem to be doing this absent-mindedly will be reminded of the "first rule." People who seem to be doing it maliciously will be removed from the event.
Complaints about the speaker's looks, vocal mannerisms, accent etc are definitely included in this first rule.
Of course, this is not to say you need to be a silent participant in the session. Feel free to speak up, share your thoughts, and if there a tech problem you've noticed, mention it! -- "You're still muted, speaker!" -- that's obviously fine.
For example, if the text on a speaker's slides is too small for you to read, please tell us ASAP. We will try to find a real-time solution.
On a related note (rule 1.1, perhaps): we should try to keep conversations in the chat relatively on track and relevant to the speaker's talk. Making quips and side references is great; getting into an argument with other attendees about a minor factual detail or your own pet theory is not okay.
The second rule covers both attendees and speakers (and me, the host):
As participants at this event:
- we agree not to make hurtful or discriminatory statements about people based on their race, gender, sexuality, age, ability / disability, or class.
(We also agree that it's much easier to get this wrong than we like to think, and we all mess up from time to time, so we will stay open to hearing criticism, advice, and feedback if we crossed a line without realising, and commit to apologising and working to do better going forwards.)
- we also agree not to post chat comments or share writing samples that contains slurs or gross stereotypes.
(You may well feel your intentions are good, but in a busy event like this, chat posts fly by in a split-second, and if your post doesn't pass the "this will concern Daniel and other attendees for more than a split-second," please edit before you post.)
The third rule is about me, Daniel, the host:
I agree to listen to your concerns and to take action if something is bothering you.
If I do something that concerns you, or a speaker does, feel free to reach out, either immediately or at any point in the future. There is no deadline here.