Code of Conduct Violations: How to Report


In 2022, MetricsDAO passed the Code of Conduct through our governance process (you can look back on step 1, 2, 3, 4).

At the time, the issue of reporting Code of Conduct (CoC) violations was intentionally left open-ended after some discussion. The intention was to allow the community to assess any violation reporting needs and possible solutions over time.

Now the time has come to revisit this issue, and establish a mechanism by which community members can report CoC violations.

Summary of current issues:

  • Recently, MetricsDAO has learned of instances of potential Code of Conduct violations that take place in DMs between our community members in relation to our 3-step community analytics process.
  • While feedback (given respectfully, constructively, and overall professionally) is valuable, feedback shared in an unprofessional manner violates the CoC. It is appropriate to share a friendly reminder of our community standards of conduct with the individual providing such feedback, but if the behavior persists, this is a violation of the Code of Conduct and is eligible for recourse.
  • The issue is how to hold MetricsDAO community members accountable for their communication standards, when they engage with other community members on MetricsDAO-related issues, but it does not take place in public.

  • How do we create a safe space for anyone affected to accurately report CoC violations to MetricsDAO?

Potential solutions:

Approaches to this issue have been under discussion in MetricsDAO Discord. Broadly, one category of solutions involves public reporting, and another – reporting in private. Both have pros and cons.

  1. Public board where the affected community member(s) can share the nature of the problem and the username(s) of the community member(s) involved. MetricsDAO already has a similar setup for Plagiarism Reporting using Canny as the tool.
    Public format supports transparency.
    Reported user(s) have a chance to engage in conversation.
    Even if specific team member(s) monitor the board and act, the responsibility rests on the DAO collectively to ensure the community standards of behavior are upheld: anyone in the team or community will be able to share their input.
    It is possible that some community members might not feel comfortable reporting an issue in public.

  2. Private reporting either via DM or form.
    Private which may make some community members more comfortable to report.
    Significantly less transparent.
    A significant amount of decision-making and responsibility will fall on the specific team member(s) who will either receive DMs or be responsible for monitoring a closed form.
    In addition, the avenue for private reporting of issues may become a destination for potentially more serious issues.
    Overall, not all team member(s) may be comfortable accepting this type of responsibility on behalf of the DAO.

I am personally significantly in favor of the public option (option #1 Canny board). In Discord discussion some team members have agreed, others have pointed out that the flip side of transparency is the reduced privacy protections for someone who makes a violation report.

At this stage, we would like to hear from the DAO team and community regarding the issue and options described above. Your feedback will help us devise a system for Code of Conduct violation reporting that adheres to our values, and helps the community uphold high standards of behavior. Please share your thoughts below in the comments! :point_down:

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This one is tough. I think providing both options (public and private), and encouraging public, is the way to go. Those who are truly uncomfortable with making a public complaint have some resource, while the default remains that we handle as much as possible in a transparent and open forun.

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I think that for the sake of speed and simplicity, violations should be reported privately, to a group of members either from the core team or community-selected. Any of the parties are of course free to discuss it further in public channels (in a civilized manner) if they feel like it, but there is no need to put every report on display as it can very often just generate more aggression.

If my wildest dreams were to come true, those who want to report a Code of Conduct violation would assemble their own group of peers to review the complaint and issue the warning (perhaps a light set of rules around selecting the peers will help ensure the process is not being abused).

If the report turns out to be true, the offender can be issued several warnings/strikes directly and privately. When someone reaches the max number of warnings, the violations history should be made public (so that the community has a clear picture of what happened) and the case forwarded to the decision-making group consisting of “at least 3 MetricsDAO contributors, including at least 1 governor” as per the Code of Conduct Kicks/Bans process.