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NEXT UW MEETING:
#ubuntu-women on IRC [at freenode(dot)net] provides support to anyone that needs to discuss mentoring, volunteering, or any other Ubuntu-related activity. Keeping a pleasant atmosphere in #ubuntu-women has been possible with the continuous efforts of the friendly operators who adhere to a certain set of unwritten rules.
The channel has experienced some negative behavior, hence the need for these guidelines for participants and operators. For people wondering about what is allowed and what not on #ubuntu-women, this page should be a good start.
The Code of Conduct should always be obeyed
This one should not need further explanation, the Code of Conduct forms the basics of the pleasant atmosphere in Ubuntu Women. Being nice to each other, being co-operative and respecting each other is a must.
#ubuntu-women is an English language channel. If you speak in another language in #ubuntu-women, you will be redirected to the appropriate Ubuntu channels in other languages.
Language and Subject
- #ubuntu-women is an international channel visited by people whose ages vary, and whose tolerances of language and subject choice vary equally as much. Please be considerate of everyone and keep all banter as family-friendly as possible. Avoid the use of swearing and touchy subject choices such as race, religion, politics and sexuality. For general chatter you can visit #ubuntu-offtopic, please note that even in there, swearing and other annoyances will not be appreciated. Additionally, please avoid asking personal questions outside the scope of normal conversation. For example : joining the channel and asking the age, sex and location of channel members will not be tolerated. Do not ask for pictures either.
We are not a technical channel by design. While technical discussion about Ubuntu is on topic, our intention is not to provide a separate -user forum for/by women. We strongly encourage everyone to seek out help for -user related problems from the appropriate Ubuntu channels. A little more on asking technical questions on #ubuntu-women can be found at IRCHelp, because this comes up a lot. It's natural for channel members to get into friendly conversations in channel, this is acceptable. But the main purpose of the channel is to discuss, promote, support and get involved with the Ubuntu-Women project. If you discussion gets too far off-topic you may be asked to move it to another channel, like #ubuntu-offtopic.
Don't flood the channel
Flooding the channel disrupts all conversations. Please don't do it. If you want to show large texts, such as errors, use the pastebin
Don't use public away messages
- Really, don't! People idle a lot in IRC, we leave it on while we're sleeping, at work, out to play - no one really expects us to be sitting at our computer 24/7. If you use away messages, you may get kicked without warning. Given that you are away, a warning would not help anyway; consider a kick to be a warning since it can be followed by a ban if you don't stop using them. Changing your nick to user-away is also frowned upon. If you really feel the need to set some sort of away, consider the silent /away option offered by most IRC clients.
Don't repeat your question every few minutes
#ubuntu-women is a support channel and we do our best to answer them but are not omniscient. If you don't get answers immediately, please wait a few minutes before asking again. If no one answers: don't get mad, maybe no one who is around right now knows. You can always try the ubuntu-women mailing list.
Don't be annoying
- Flooding, away messages and repeating questions are not the only ways you can be annoying. Personal attacks when things don't go as planned, continued misbehaving after you have been advised against, and similar behavior will be rewarded with a ban.
No Harmful "Humor"
As women working in FLOSS, we've heard all the jokes. Please refrain from making "jokes" that look like trolling, are insulting to women or about wanting to pick up women in channel. "I was just joking! Get a sense of humor!" is not an acceptable response to these actions. We don't lack a sense of humor, it might have been funny the first 400 times it happened, but it's not funny now. Plus you might make Joanna mad, and we don't want that.
Don't private message people you don't know
- Sending an unsolicited private message may be acceptable in some channels, but it's not in #Ubuntu-Women. Please keep conversation in channel and don't send private messages to people you don't know unless you have permission. Harassment of people in the channel via private message is grounds for removal. Channel members: If someone has sent an unsolicited private message to you, please report this in channel so the Ops can handle it. In many of these cases a user will join the channel and message several of the users, so speaking up when it happens helps us all.
When helping: be helpful
- #ubuntu-women welcomes any help, but we do ask you to stay as helpful as possible. If you get stuck, say so instead of guessing; someone else will step up and continue. There is heaps of information available on the wiki and at other places. Try to familiarize yourself with that information. Telling people to RTFM or to "just google it" is not very polite. Find them a url or at least give them some directions to documentation which they can use. Please try to avoid outdated, or possibly wrong information.
The operators in #ubuntu-women are active contributors to Ubuntu-Women and the Ubuntu community. They do their best to keep #ubuntu-women a friendly place, but they're also human so they make mistakes. If you disagree with the decision of an operator, then talk to him/her about it in a polite manner. Cursing and swearing will not help, so please don't do that. If talking to the operator personally does not give you a solution you like, then talk to another operator. If neither helps, join #ubuntu-ops and explain the situation. You should make full, unedited logs available of anything you don't agree with.
Just as important as knowing how to use the software is using how to properly act in IRC channels. This is a list of tips for easing into IRC without upseting anyone with unintentionally rude behavior, this is not specific to the Ubuntu-Women channel.
- DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS - It's considered shouting.
- Do not greet every person in the channel individually, just saying "hello" to the whole channel is sufficient
- Do not join and part a channel several times in a short period
- Use proper grammar and spelling as much as possible, using "l33t sp34k" will not impress anyone
- Do not advertise your website/channel/etc in other channels unless it specifically comes up in conversation - mass advertising is cause for removal on most networks
- When you join a social or project channel you may want to hang out for a bit and get the feel for the channel before jumping into conversation.
- IRC Channels are not AOL chat rooms, asking for personal information by saying things like "A/S/L?" not appropriate.
Finally, as with any forum where you interact with others, be nice and try not to stir up trouble.
- Trolls, flooders, people with no social skills; they all visit #ubuntu-women from time to time. If someone is abusive, warn them. If someone won't learn or gets aggressive, remove them from the chat. If someone is (accidentally) flooding: mute or remove that person and give the url to the pastebin (don't forget to unmute when you think the flood is over). Never swear at people though, always stay friendly. If you remove a very abusive person, don't respond to the cheering you will get. Don't be surprised at the abuse and swearing in private messages you will get either.
For more on managing trolls, check out this excellent document: Searching for Safety Online: Managing "Trolling" in a Feminist Forum
Know thy channels
There exist quite a few special purpose Ubuntu channels on Freenode. These are all listed on the Internet Relay Chat page. Keep this this page handy so you can direct people to the correct channel when needed.
Don't use ignore
Even when people are very offensive to you in private chat, don't use your /ignore function. A soft-ignore (aka simply not responding) works also. If you /ignore too much, chances are you miss problems in the channel. Do not filter your channel info (joins/parts/klines etc). These also hold much info. It is also recommended that you disable the Freenode filter that filters out private messages from unregistered users. /msg nickserv set unfiltered on
Use remove rather than kick
Freenode has a rather nice /remove function (either /remove #ubuntu-women nickname reason or /quote remove #ubuntu-women nickname reason) that lets you kick a user without actually kicking. To the user (and all others) it seems as if he has simply left the channel with a special part message ("Requested by your_nickname"). This has the advantage that it does not trigger auto-rejoin scripts.
Use mute rather than ban
- Another nice thing on the freenode servers is the mute function (/mode +q hostmask_or_nickname). This will not ban the user, but prevent him from sending text to the channel. Useful to stop (accidental) floods.
Ban on sight
- So far there have been very few really abusive users. These users are added to a special list in Chanserv that prevents them from ever entering the channel again. If you think someone qualifies for this list, discuss it with the other operators in #ubuntu-ops.
Clean your bans regularly
- It is unavoidable that people will be banned. Make sure that you look at the banlist from time to time and clear old bans you have set. The bantracker will help.