AISC Code of Conduct

This code of conduct applies to all AISC spaces, including the mailing list, slack channel as well as any other spaces that AISC hosts both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the Steering Committee. Some of our hosts may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Reporting

If you are being harassed by a member of AISC, or notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the members of the steering committee ([email protected]). If the person who is harassing you is on the committee, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respond as promptly as we can.

Confidentiality

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of AISC members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

Consequences

Participants asked to stop any behavior in violation of this code of conduct are expected to comply immediately. If a participant engages in harassing behavior, organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all AISC spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other AISC members or the general public.

Fine print: In order to protect volunteers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.

Zero tolerance for harassment

AISC is a welcoming and respectful environment and we are dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

Harassment includes:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

Recruitment activities

Networking with the purpose of finding jobs is an important aspect of the community. However, members who choose to engage in that should do so with respect.

  • Mass job postings is only allowed on the #jobs channel on slack. Posting job ads publicly anywhere else will be considered spamming and consequently removed
  • Private messaging members to inquire about job opportunities or their interest in positions should be done by respect and care. If the recipient interprets the approach as inappropriate, unwanted, or disrespectful, it can result in you being reported and consequently removed from the group

Participation in events and other spaces

Conversation and discussion about advanced machine learning topics is the core of AISC. These discussion would naturally get heated but the participants should never cross the line of decency and respect.

Examples of unacceptable behavior follows:

  • You repeatedly interrupt others
  • You attack people rather than ideas
  • You use the platform to show off your knowledge about things that are completely unrelated to the topic at hand and therefore derail the conversation
  • You behave with ego and act dismissively rather than trying to understand the other person’s point of view

Accepting new members

Principles

  • We should not create barriers of entry that harms the diversity of our participants. Diversity, in various dimensions and perspectives, is always important to what defines our community.
  • With every limitation we put in place, we will envision ways to proactively engage with groups that we believe are valuable but under-represented in our community
  • As a healthy community we would like our members to benefit from each other but also contribute back in one form or another

Membership pathways

We only accept members if they are either

  1. Referred by an existing member, or
  2. Selected to lead or facilitate discussions by a stream owner.

Given the current size and composition of our community, this would not necessarily limit the number of new members (or the diversity).

Rules and responsibilities of referral

  • We are a community of practitioners and researchers interested in technical details of machine learning advances, and we expect new members to share the same interest, and be able to engage and contribute
  • You should only refer people that you personally know and trust; there is a mandatory field in the registration form that they need to enter your name to be able to join
  • You are responsible to inform the new members of our rules, format and code of conduct before they join by pointing them to the right part of the website
  • If people you refer violate our code of conduct, they might face consequences as outlined in Consequences section
  • You should make sure not to refer members that are only interested in activities that are not the main focus of this group; for example an individual who is a member with the sole purpose of recruitment activities.

Citation: this code of conduct is partly adapted with modifications from: https://www.meetup.com/ExploreTech-Toronto/pages/20514122/Code_of_Conduct/