Presenters to get first warning: Linux Aus

The process to introduce an official code of conduct for Linux Australia events is continuing, with the Linux Australia council today issuing a re-drafted code for the consideration of members, including a proposed new warning system for inappropriate speakers.

The process to introduce an official code of conduct for Linux Australia events is continuing, with the Linux Australia council today issuing a re-drafted code for the consideration of members, including a proposed new warning system for inappropriate speakers.

The new draft of the code once again sets out how attendees and presenters should conduct themselves at Linux Australia events, strongly emphasising appropriate, all-ages conduct at all times.

Included in this draft of the code is a caveat specifying that presenters and/or attendees exhibiting or engaging in offensive or distressing conduct are entitled to a first warning, but only if the first offence is minor.

Any public presentation, which is part of the conference, including but not limited to keynotes, presentations, lightning talks and addresses, is subject to the appropriate behaviour guidelines above, and thus may not contain:

  • Sexual or violent imagery
  • Exclusionary language
  • Exclusionary humour of any kind
  • Language which is not appropriate for an all-ages audience.

Any presenter who violates these guidelines will be given a warning at the first violation if it is minor, and the presentation will be stopped if either a second minor violation occurs or any major violation occurs.

Presenters are now also being encouraged to show their presentation material, including notes and slides, to event organisers, if they feel they may be at risk of infringing on the code.

"If presenters are unsure whether their material is suitable, they are encouraged to show it to the conference's speaker liaison before their session," the code says.

The original draft of the code did contain reference to a warning system for presenters; this re-draft formalises the system, however.

Linux Australia president John Ferlito told ZDNet Australia in September, when the code entered the development phase, that it was being developed after it was decided that nobody was reading the existing anti-harassment policy.

The code was also spurred on by a controversial event last year, which saw a keynote presenter include potentially sexually explicit material in his slides, to the offence of some attendees.

Linux Australia is once again calling for comments on the revised code of conduct, with a view to implement it at events in the near future.

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