Diversity: continuous improvement


I’d like to propose that a first action is done to improve the diversite in the fedeproxy community. It is still tiny and it should not be too difficult :slight_smile: Two ideas:

What do you think?

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ping @misc as you’re well versed in diversity topics.

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Diversity is quite a broad topic, and while I have lots to say, let’s start small.

In my experience, one of the least controversial way to get a diverse user/contributor base would be IMHO translation.

The project summary speak of Iranian developers, but I do not see any iranian living in Iran listed as such on Preparing the User Research . So maybe there is something to do there first, and long term, having a plan to get the software/website/documentation translated in Farsi (and others languages, obviously) would be a way to keep contact with people living in Iran and see if the project is solving their problems.

That’s my non controversial idea. The slightly more controversial idea would to drop the mandatory 2FA requirement for the forum.

While I think that’s a good thing for something sensitive (provided sensible implementation), I think that’s totally overkill for a forum where you expect less comitted people.
People who own a u2f key would be surely ok, but the experience would be worst for others if they just have a smartphone and blocking if they don’t. So forcing 2FA mean the people with u2f key would be more at ease to participate than those who don’t, and so select the community based on that criteria, which seems like a problem.

I would be more controversial and say that reducing friction by offering more than login/password option can be helpful to attract more than the usual crowd of free software die hard. But adding more options requires to drop the 2FA requirements, if I am not wrong (maybe that’s on gitlab).

Now, I get there is also a spam filtering issue solved by 2FA auth, and not much options on Discourse. I also dislike moderation as much as anyone else.

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Done :slight_smile: And FWIW it was my (bad) idea, indeed.

My experience as moderator of multiple discourse forums is that there’s not all that much to moderate, when you just have a small user base. There’s some suspicious bot account signups to watch out for. Usually a gmail email with a generic name and number e.g. mary538@gmail.com and a username often different e.g. @sandra135. Then an IP lookup that leads to India… and you can probably kick the user out of the forum. Akismet will mostly make you aware of these. Sporadically you get bots generating posts, and these can be quite ‘good’ i.e. they use the threads context to formulate sentences. You might confuse them for non-native English speakers. If you leave their posts they will edit them later, and add in a link to a suspicious site.

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This diversity topic just inspired me to write a post on SocialHub (and a related toot):

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4 posts were split to a new topic: Diversity in the languages / translations

Sent a mail today to E. P. who is working in the Free Software field. We had many passionate discussions about diversity in the past years and I invited her to brainstorm how to improve diversity during the fedeproxy monthly meeting.

Update: she kindly replied that she does not feel she can usefully contribute because the project is too technical and that she is not fluent enough in English.

What about sending this toot?

The #fedeproxy #forge federation project needs #diversity, from the start!

Are you willing to step in? Do you know someone interested? Please reply or join our first meeting Fedeproxy updates, April 2021 to brainstorm ideas :bulb:

Boost appreciated.

It’s too short delay for tomorrow. I’ll try this instead:

The #fedeproxy #forge federation project needs #diversity, from the start. Do you want to join?

Boost appreciated.

Small nitpick… Diversity is a hot topic around the world. Many orgs that weren’t diverse are now having it as a “need”. It is a bit like ‘diversity-washing’ and gets criticism. I would avoid “we need diversity” in communication. Instead Diversity is one your core values from the start. The project will become naturally diverse by the message it espouses. You may use that in future communication: “Diversity is our core value, and we need your input to help foster it”, something like that.


Thanks for the useful advice, I’ll keep it in mind going forward. There has been no pushback so far because of that poor choice of words :sweat: I’ve seen my share of “diversity-washing”. And “free-software-washing”. And … They all have one characteristic in common: people involve don’t actually think about the topic, except for advertisement purpose. And they do not spend time on the topic.

Regarding diversity, I intend to continuously work on improving it or maintaining it. I hope other people involved in fedeproxy also care about diversity on a regular basis. But even if none else does, I’ll keep at it.

This is a horizontal community and there is no higher authority to dictate what should be done by who. Only how they should be done, i.e. within the boundaries set by the code of conduct. As a consequence, there cannot be a spokesperson since noone has authority to say we regarding fedeproxy. There only are people who act for the project in their name and can say I will or talk about the fedeproxy project, not in the name of the fedeproxy project.


3 posts were split to a new topic: Diversity & User Research

2 posts were split to a new topic: Diversity and Skills

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Diversity and Skills

From the slides of Time For Disrupting The Status Quo: Diversity In Open Source Software, actionable items:

  • :question: Create and support safe spaces for women I’m not sure how to approach that. My intuition is that it would make sense for such a space to exist outside of the fedeproxy project, for instance a category in a forum dedicated to a designated minority. But maybe creating a space minorities in this forum would also be inviting?
  • :white_check_mark: Create and Enforce customized Codes of Conduct
  • :clock1: Highlight the profiles of successful women the fedeproxy project is too young for that to be actionable, but it will be in the future.
  • :question: Facilitate mentoring and networking opportunities although I can imagine things, I’m pretty sure I don’t fully understand what it entails.
  • :white_check_mark: Engage women in OSS governance: the radical horizontality of fedeproxy solves this. There is no governance (but it is built in a way that also solves the tyranny of structurelessness).