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Making Online Collaboration Safer at GitHub

15d8946b2d4141db558701c2327ceb25?s=47 Danielle Leong
September 14, 2016

Making Online Collaboration Safer at GitHub


Danielle Leong

September 14, 2016


  1. Making online collaboration safer at GitHub Danielle Leong Application Engineer

    Community & Safety, GitHub
  2. @dmleong Community & Safety

  3. Title Text

  4. I help make online communities safer

  5. What’s an online community?

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  7. Title Text

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  9. All people have the right to merge

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  12. Community & Safety builds the infrastructure for healthy online communities

  13. None
  14. Online harassment is destructive behavior that undermines productivity

  15. Types of online harassment • Posting personal info (doxing) •

    Hate speech • Sexual or pornographic content • Impersonation • SWATing • Spam • Identity theft • Exclusionary behavior • Death and rape threats • Dog piling • Personal attacks • Threatening and inappropriate images • So many more
  16. Microaggressions

  17. Women are more likely to have their pull requests merged

    if they hide their gender* *Study is not yet peer-reviewed California Polytechnic State University North Carolina State University
  18. Age, gender, and sexual orientation are overwhelming factors in online

  19. The further you are from being a straight, cis-gender, affluent,

    able-bodied white male, the more likely you are to be harassed
  20. 25% of women 18-24 experience severe online sexual harassment Pew

    Research Center
  21. Women receive twice as many death and rape threats than

    men The Guardian
  22. 25% of LGBT* women suffer serious online harassment The Guardian

  23. Who are these jerkfaces?

  24. None
  25. “These are mostly normal people who do things that seem

    fun at the time that have huge implications.” Whitney Phillips Mercer University This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture.
  26. “I never felt bad. I found [your work] so vile

    that I thought you didn’t deserve sympathy.” Troll, TIME Magazine
  27. None
  28. “It’s not done to express an opinion, it’s done to

    scare you.” Leslie Jones Actress
  29. Any time you have user-to-user interactions, there can be harassment.

  30. Targets of harassment are chosen because they are visible

  31. Women "holding prominent, visible positions in the open source community

    [are] targets of harassment". Jérôme Petazzoni
  32. Notable examples of harassment • Organizing doxing using repositories and

    issues • Young open source developer targeted with porn and homophobic slurs • Racist repository names • Spamming people with ASCII genitalia
  33. Common every day harassment • Spamming issues and repositories with

    comments • People not merging pull requests because the author is a minority • People getting spammed with threats that were immediately deleted • Sock puppet accounts that dog pile on a person’s pull request
  34. None
  35. Internal debate + lack of moderation tooling + no set

    definition of harassment = paralysis
  36. Paralysis hurt our users

  37. People were silenced and pushed off the platform

  38. Harassment isn’t free speech because it silences others

  39. Online harassment is destructive behavior that undermines productivity

  40. Build tools that encourage good behavior, not policy to punish

    bad behavior
  41. We are a core engineering team whose purpose aligns with

    the company’s values of positive social impact
  42. Community & Safety is not a nice-to-have, it is mandatory

  43. None
  44. Build systems that empower inclusive and healthy communities and encourage

    good online citizenship. Discourage behavior that is destructive or threatens personal safety.
  45. Give community managers the tools they need to succeed

  46. Build explicit consent into every user-to-user interaction

  47. Some things we’ve shipped

  48. None
  49. None
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  51. Community & Safety consults on feature reviews to catch potential

    abuse vectors
  52. None
  53. In the works

  54. Repository reputation system

  55. Tools to measure and encourage Code of Conduct adoption rates

  56. Site-wide Community Guidelines that define harassment

  57. Crisis management tools for community managers

  58. Future vision

  59. Communities on GitHub are safe and inclusive, composed of diverse

    users acting as model online citizens.
  60. Model online citizens are not jerkfaces. They respect one another

    as people and contribute meaningful work.
  61. Build enthusiastic and informed consent for every interaction

  62. Reward good behavior

  63. Curiosity and learning is encouraged without fear of ridicule

  64. Community managers have the tools to de-escalate situations and foster

    inclusive culture
  65. Concluding thoughts

  66. Harassment happens any time you have user-to-user interaction

  67. Build tools that align with company values

  68. "Communities that purport to be for everyone have an obligation

    to cultivate a community of inclusive values...a space where participants aren't silenced by fear or shouted down.” Sarah Jeong The Internet of Garbage
  69. None
  70. Resources • https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/08/online- harassment-of-women-at-risk-of-becoming-established-norm-study • http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/10/22/online-harassment/ • https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/08/online- harassment-of-women-at-risk-of-becoming-established-norm-study •

    http://time.com/4457110/internet-trolls/ • https://peerj.com/preprints/1733/?td=sd • The Internet of Garbage by Sarah Jeong • http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2416765/open-source-hostile-to- women-claims-docker-devops-guy
  71. Thanks!