Code of Conduct at events

Ryan Golbeck gowlin-lists at
Thu Nov 11 17:58:37 UTC 2010

On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 9:43 AM, Wichert Akkerman <wichert at> wrote:
> On 11/11/10 18:23 , Ian Jackson wrote:
>> Wichert Akkerman writes ("Re: Code of Conduct at events"):
>>> On 11/11/10 17:57 , Ian Jackson wrote:
>>>> I _am_ suggesting that if the conference organisers receive a
>>>> complaint that Bob seriously sexually assaulted Alice, they should
>>>> investigate.  If on investigation they are sufficiently convinced that
>>>> it's true, they should eject Bob.
>>> I think many of us disagree here: if such a serious accusation is made
>>> it should be investigated by professionals, ie the policy.
>> So if someone was at the conference and the organisers were convinced
>> that they were stealing laptops, the organisers would just call the
>> police and if the police don't arrest the culprit and imprison them
>> right away, they would allow the thief to continue ?
> I am extremely sceptical of the capability of people to make correct
> accusations or to prove them. The police should be much more capable to do
> so than conference organisers due to their training and experience, and if
> they decide not to arrest someone they probably have a good reason to.

Fortunately we don't live our lives requiring absolute proof for
everything we act on.  Proof in these situations has already been
pointed out to be extremely hard to establish, but that doesn't mean
the events didn't happen or shouldn't be acted on.  People have to
make decisions like this all the time without proof of what they are
hearing.  Also, as has been pointed out, the burden of proof for
finding someone guilty should rightly be a higher in a court, but
requiring that standard socially doesn't seem to make sense.

The default position of favouring such a high standard of proof and
without it doing nothing is exactly why these situations are prevelant
and ignored.  Social pressure is what's going to change that.

Also, fortunately, having the police involved and ejecting someone
from a conference aren't mutually exclusive actions.


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