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Tuesday, April 14 • 9:00am - 9:30am
Keynote: How to Thoroughly Insult and Offend People in Your Open Source Communities, or “Your #$%@ $%@&ing sucks and I $%@&ing hate it" - Gina Likins, Red Hat

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The tone and tenor of conversations in a community is a large part of whether a community succeeds, yet that’s often a hard concept to model and understand. Using a humorous approach, I’ll demonstrate behaviors that create a hostile community (and by contrast, those that create a welcoming community).

We’ll look at the “Defcon Insult Scale for CONversations” (the DIScon level), from mildly insulting to abusive, and at key signifiers of each level.  Moving on, we'll tackle the more subtle forms of riling folks up (ways you can assume ignorance, belittle people, and/or just be condescending).  I’ve even created a “starter list” of helpful phrases that people can use as writing prompts when they want to ensure that folks take things the wrong way 
(phrases like “You may have noticed” and “I’d just like to point out” and “I don’t mean to be [a pedant, sexist, etc], but…”). 

Once we’ve talked about what “high DIScon” situations look like (and feel like), we’ll talk about why they make for unpleasant communities, and why that’s bad.  At this point it’s not uncommon for a host of objections to be raised, from “Well, so-and-so is the leader of the 
community, and as long as she’s that way, I won’t be able to change anything” to “Etiquette is stupid; people should just say what they mean,” so we’ll spend some time debunking many of the common excuses for what is, essentially, poor behavior.  

Finally, we'll spend some time talking about steps that individuals can take to reduce the “DIScon level” of the communities in which they participate and why doing so is so critical for FOSS's survival.

avatar for Gina Likins

Gina Likins

University Outreach, Open Source & Standards, Red Hat
Gina Likins has been working in internet strategy for more than 20 years, participating in online communities for nearly 25, and working in open source for more than three. She's passionate about finding ways to help our open source communities thrive and be more welcoming for everyone... Read More →

Tuesday April 14, 2015 9:00am - 9:30am CDT
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