Meeting 03/06/20

  • Updates on overall conference planning from John & Aleszu
  • John - Do I need to go on stage and speak about this at the beginning? Wondering about details for this
  • Determine who can be "on call" for different time periods of the conference - here's a proposal:

"Lead" person checks the anonymous Google form every 10 mins or so and works with any staff at registration desk to inform them that they are the "first responder" to any code of conduct inquiries or reports. Desk staff should be able to locate the lead person physically or by texting them.

Secondary person just promises to be around during those times for consultation should anything be reported.        

Proposed schedule:


9 -1:30: Catherine is lead, Naeemul is secondary

1:30 - 5:30: Aleszu lead, Catherine secondary (Catherine has to leave at 5)

5:30 - 8: Naeemul lead, John secondary?


8:30 - 10:30: John lead, Naeemul is secondary

10:30 - 1:30: Aleszu lead, John secondary

1:30 - 3:30: Catherine lead, Aleszu secondary

Meeting 01/24/20

  • Hellos
  • Any updates to share on signs/lanyards? On diversity fellowships?
  • Bathrooms?
  • Talk through 4 cases from incident reports and how we would respond
  • Our committee gets together to determine seriousness/whether to take it further
  • If yes -- Notify community that we are on it in some way - as soon as we see the Google form. We issue communication that we've received incident. Short and sweet that communicates. How notify? Email the whole conference that we are on it and/or tweet? “An issue has come to our attention, TKTKT. We strive to keep this community and event a safe space and are addressing this issue immediately. If there is someone else who’d like to report an issue, we are on alert… We’ve had a conversation with the TKTK and we’re logging the incident. ”
  • Consider bringing up this kind of incidents at Town Hall meeting - use Town Hall as reporting out mechanism? In the past, have used that as forum for thinking about gender diversity.
  • Queer person hassled entering a bathroom & they report the incident to us: from 2014 — A person with an androgynous appearance was hassled when entering the men’s bathroom at Chaos Communication Congress 31. Signs for gender neutral bathrooms were torn down
  • In advance, make sure we announce gender-neutral bathrooms and the location
  • John: Does this become Title IX issue? Catherine - check in about Title IX.  
  • Our committee gets together. Was it a person at our conference? We might not be able to know.
  • Should we make a public statement about this? Or would that be outing someone?? When does this happen during course of conference, does it make it harder for them afterwards?
  • Perhaps we work directly with the person who reported to make sure they feel included. Maybe we communicate directly that day or maybe we communicate later in a list of reported incidents (and even then try to obfuscate their identity)
  • Discriminatory interpersonal exchange: Pubcon incident 2016. A male speaker told a first-time female speaker, "Don't be nervous! You're the hot girl at the conference, no one expects you to do well."
  • We would get together + talk to the person who reported
  • Then go and talk to the male speaker and tell him he violated the code of conduct
  • Possibly name it in the report of incidents that comes out later (depending on whether/how the person who reported wants to be named/identified)
  • Twitter/Virtual space example: A speaker requests that no photos be taken during their presentation. Two people do take photos and post them on Twitter. Another participant reminds them on Twitter that the person requested not to and then reports the incident to us.
  • We get together as a committee
  • We remind photo posters that speaker requested not to and ask to delete - point them to the policy in CoC
  • Then take it from there
  • If things are not reported but blow up on Twitter in an unhealthy way, then we consider stepping in
  • Catherine idea of having folks report ideas for improvements to us - how should they do this? Email (Catherine to double check that outside ppl can post)

Meeting 12/13/19

  • Intros and hellos
  • John and Aleszu discuss how C+J came to be at NEU and their vision for it
  • Catherine present about how the CoC came about / what the work consists of
  • Discuss a couple conference organizing things:
  • Lanyards and question about taking/publishing photos
  • Information storage questions
  • Where should we make a shared doc/workspace?
  • How should we do group email to report incidents?
  • Catherine present proposed process/timeline:
  • Early Jan 2020 - finish code of conduct working asynchronously. Publish on conference site along with our names
  • Jan 2020 - Meet to discuss how we will handle incidents. Catherine will select 2-4 incident report examples from GeekFeminism for us to talk through.
  • Early Mar 2020 - Meet for final logistics (who is staffing which times, any announcements we need to make, final tweaks to Google form, etc)


  • We'll use Google forms for anonymous reporting
  • We'll do the red/yellow/green lanyards for photos[a]
  • We'll have a way to indicate gender identity on badges[b][c]
  • Presenters will be responsible for telling audience if they do not want people to take photos during their presentation (but we should tell them this in advance)
  • Committee will be called Conduct & Inclusion committee
  • Catherine will intro our work on Fri AM and then we'll do periodic reminders throughout event
  • We'll have CoC printed large in 2 places: 1) registration desk and 2) inside conference

To Dos from Meeting


  • Revise Code of Conduct & send around to others √
  • Schedule meetings √
  • Ask Nick D if there's a C+J Drive or information space √
  • Make some kind of googlegroup or group email-y thing for reporting incidents √


  • Coordinate Red, yellow, green lanyards w/ students
  • Coordinate pronouns on badges (stickers are a great option for this)
  • Coordinate CoC printed large and posted at the registration/info desk and also inside the conference (maybe on easel, for example)
  • Review CoC once Catherine takes a pass
  • Get CoC on website once it's ready


  • Review CoC once Catherine takes a pass


  • Will tell Jessica about Catherine announcing committee's work
  • Communicate anything else relevant to Jessica
  • Review CoC once Catherine takes a pass


  • Be cute and fall asleep

Code of Conduct (CoC) Committee:

These folks will help with drafting the final Code of Conduct, communicating the CoC, developing a reporting & documentation process, handling any reports and decisions at the event and documenting the process & lessons learned for future C+J symposia.


  • Catherine D'Ignazio
  • John Wihbey
  • Aleszu Bajak
  • Naeemul Hassan

Proposed CoC training for program committee & staff:

  • Propose that CoC committee will make a short video about the CoC and reporting process and that leadership will email link to all members of program committee and all volunteers prior to the event with emphasis that this is a very important aspect of their work on the conference

Proposed – How is CoC communicated:

  • On website with top-level link
  • In any printed materials distributed at conference (one poster at registration table. One somewhere else).
  • By leadership (John Wihbey, David Lazer, Jessica Hullman) in person/on stage when giving welcome at the event. Very important that the community sees this endorsed by leadership        
  • CoC committee members wear some kind of colored lanyard or have a special badge denoting that people can report things to them

Proposed CoC Text:

Quick Version

The Computation + Journalism Symposium is dedicated to providing a safe and harassment-free environment for everyone, regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental health, neurotype, age, physical appearance, body, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion or class. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate in a professional environment. We do not tolerate harassment in any form and we are committed to partnering with you to foster a healthy symposium environment.

Full Version

The Computation + Journalism Symposium prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of marginalized people who are underrepresented in computer science, journalism and related fields, and who are oppressed by structural sexism, racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, xenophobia, and transphobia. This includes but is not limited to: women, people of color, people with disabilities, people with prior military service, formerly incarcerated people, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender nonconforming, Indigenous peoples, first and second generation immigrants, and people from low-income families.

The Computation + Journalism Symposium recognizes that prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of these groups is a step towards the greater equity and inclusion that computer science, journalism and related fields urgently need.

By attending the symposium as an organizer, speaker, sponsor, volunteer, or attendee, you agree to abide by this code of conduct, and cooperate with the C+J Code of Conduct Committee that enforces it. The Code of Conduct applies to all official symposium spaces and proceedings. 

Expected Behavior

Individuals are expected to behave appropriately and professionally during their participation in all projects, collaborations or events. In particular, all individuals should actively avoid intentionally or unintentionally participating in the harassment of individuals. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, mental health, neurotype, age, physical appearance, body, race, ethnicity, nationality or religion, deliberate misgendering, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption in meetings, lectures or other spaces, physical contact and simulated physical contact (e.g. emoji or textual descriptions) without consent, and unwelcome sexual attention. Consent must be enthusiastic, informed, freely given, specific and reversible upon request.

If you are taking a photograph or video at the symposium, you must ensure that your subject has granted permission - green lanyard = yes, yellow lanyard = ask, red lanyard = no photos please. Red/yellow/green lanyards also apply when the person is presenting their work. Our expectation is that photographs of presenter's slides may be taken and shared online unless the presenter has explicitly asked the audience not to share their work.

Consent for photos and video must be freely given, enthusiastic, informed, specific and reversible. If you do not receive consent, you may not take a picture or record video. If a person requests that an image of themselves captured during the symposium be unpublished and/or deleted at any time and for any reason, you must comply. Refusing to do so is considered unacceptable behavior and is a breach of the Code of Conduct.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

In the course of enforcing this Code of Conduct, the Computation + Journalism Code of Conduct Committee may, at its own discretion, ask an individual to stop some behavior, warn the individual of their violation, or further sanction the individual. Consequences may include expulsion from the symposium with no refund (including no return of sponsorship contributions). Individuals are expected to comply immediately with such requests from the C+J Code of Conduct Committee.

Reporting Unacceptable Behavior

If someone makes you or anyone else feel unsafe or unwelcome, please report it as soon as possible. Harassment and other code of conduct violations reduce the value of our event for everyone. We want you to be happy at our event. People like you make our event a better place.

Please contact a member of the C+J Code of Conduct Committee by talking with them in person, filling out the anonymous reporting form, or emailing them: (This goes to Catherine D'Ignazio, Aleszu Bajak, Naeemul Hassan and John Wihbey).

The Computation + Journalism Symposium prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. C+J reserves the right not to act on complaints regarding “reverse-isms”, reasonable communication of boundaries, communicating in a tone you do not like, or criticizing racist, sexist, classist or otherwise oppressive behavior[d]. If another individual asks you to stop engaging in some behavior in the course of participation in the event, you should comply immediately, and are encouraged to contact a member of the Code of Conduct Committee for further guidance.

If you are more comfortable submitting a report anonymously, please do so using this Google Form. We will do our best to respond to the situation, and reports submitted anonymously are taken seriously.

Thank you and Credits

This code of conduct is based on the Bocoup Code of Conduct which was in turn inspired by the Processing Day Code of Conduct, JSConf Code of Conduct, Citizen Code of Conduct, NodeConf Photography Policy, and Open Source Bridge Recording Policy. We also sincerely appreciate the work of Geek Feminism for making Codes of Conduct the norm in tech spaces.


Ways to make the conference friendlier for newcomers:

  • Birds of a feather themed lunch tables
  • Name tags with "3 things to talk to me about"
  • Newbie's guide to the conference

Points for Committee to discuss:

  • What is our response time commitment (24 hours?) How do we report incidents back to community?
  • VERY IMPORTANT: have at least one meeting to discuss sample incidents from geek feminism (openvisconf case is a really good one) - what would we do in these situations?
  • Use this meeting to inform our reporting out responsibilities and process
  • Records & retention policy. What data handed over next year? How? Maybe a person who serves on committee both years. Access control. Maybe delete from year to year if situation handled? Or wait one year. Put whatever we decide into the code of conduct.
  • What level of promises can we make about confidentiality? Check in with person who reported if we need to disclose their identity
  • How long should we take indicents in? Maybe one week following the conference to start with

[a]Need to make sure we are doing badges

[b]instead of stickers could we supply sharpies and suggest pronouns, etc...

[c]Yes, that's fine as long as there is a "demo badge" on display that shows people that they should write it out and people at the desks are trained to tell people to write their pronouns. Otherwise ppl might miss it

[d]This is important to state directly because sometimes Codes of Conduct are used to police ppl with less power who call out racist or sexist behavior - here's another code that specifically references that -