This guideline covers all channels of interaction
BSG is about showing humanity to one another: the word itself captures the spirit of being human.
We want a productive, happy and agile community that can welcome new ideas in a complex field, improve every process every year, and foster collaboration between groups with very different needs, interests and skills.
We gain strength from diversity, and actively seek participation from those who enhance it. This code of conduct exists to ensure that diverse groups collaborate to mutual advantage and enjoyment. We will challenge prejudice that could jeopardise the participation of any person in the project.
The Code of Conduct governs how we behave in public or in private whenever the project will be judged by our actions. We expect it to be honoured by everyone who represents the project officially or informally, claims affiliation with the project, or participates directly.
We strive to
Leadership, authority and responsibility
We all lead by example, in debate and in action. We encourage new participants to feel empowered to lead, to take action, and to experiment when they feel innovation could improve the project. Leadership can be exercised by anyone simply by taking action, there is no need to wait for recognition when the opportunity to lead presents itself.
Delegation from the top
Responsibility for the project starts with the "benevolent dictator", who delegates specific responsibilities and the corresponding authority to a series of teams, councils and individuals, starting with the Community Council ("CC"). That Council or its delegated representative will arbitrate in any dispute.
We are a meritocracy; we delegate decision making, governance and leadership from senior bodies to the most able and engaged candidates.
Support for delegation is measured
Nominations to the boards and councils are at the discretion of the Community Council, however the Community Council will seek the input of the community before confirming appointments.
Leadership is not an award, right, or title; it is a privilege, a responsibility and a mandate. A leader will only retain their authority as long as they retain the support of those who delegated that authority to them.
We value discussion, data and decisiveness
We gather opinions, data and commitments from concerned parties before taking a decision. We expect leaders to help teams come to a decision in a reasonable time, to seek guidance or be willing to take the decision themselves when consensus is lacking, and to take responsibility for implementation.
The poorest decision of all is no decision: clarity of direction has value in itself. Sometimes all the data are not available, or consensus is elusive. A decision must still be made. There is no guarantee of a perfect decision every time - we prefer to err, learn, and err less in future than to postpone action indefinitely.
We recognise that the project works better when we trust the teams closest to a problem to make the decision for the project. If we learn of a decision that we disagree with, we can engage the relevant team to find common ground, and failing that, we have a governance structure that can review the decision. Ultimately, if a decision has been taken by the people responsible for it, and is supported by the project governance, it will stand. None of us expects to agree with every decision, and we value highly the willingness to stand by the project and help it deliver even on the occasions when we ourselves may prefer a different route.
We invite anybody, from any company, to participate in any aspect of the project. Our community is open, and any responsibility can be carried by any contributor who demonstrates the required capacity and competence.
A leader's foremost goal is the success of the team.
"A virtuoso is judged by their actions; a leader is judged by the actions of their team."A leader knows when to act and when to step back. They know when to delegate work, and when to take it upon themselves.
A good leader does not seek the limelight, but celebrates team members for the work they do. Leaders may be more visible than members of the team, good ones use that visibility to highlight the great work of others.
Courage and considerateness
Leadership occasionally requires bold decisions that will not be widely understood, consensual or popular. We value the courage to take such decisions, because they enable the project as a whole to move forward faster than we could if we required complete consensus. Nevertheless, boldness demands considerateness; take bold decisions, but do so mindful of the challenges they present for others, and work to soften the impact of those decisions on them. Communicating changes and their reasoning clearly and early on is as important as the implementation of the change itself.
Conflicts of interest
We expect leaders to be aware when they are conflicted due to employment or other projects they are involved in, and abstain or delegate decisions that may be seen to be self-interested. We expect that everyone who participates in the project does so with the goal of making life better for its users.
When in doubt, ask for a second opinion. Perceived conflicts of interest are important to address; as a leader, act to ensure that decisions are credible even if they must occasionally be unpopular, difficult or favourable to the interests of one group over another.
This Code is not exhaustive or complete. It is not a rulebook; it serves to distil our common understanding of a collaborative, shared environment and goals. We expect it to be followed in spirit as much as in the letter.
THE SHORT VERSION
HOW TO POST AND COMMENT
There are three ways to interact on BSG. Here's the basics, but there’s much more information down below.
Post a comment
Join a Forum
Get in touch
RULES OF THE ROAD
Here are things that will get your comment or forum post removed and quite possibly get you banned. Note that this is not a comprehensive list. Our moderators reserve the right to remove anything we deem inappropriate.
Racism, sexism, and other discrimination
Multiple accounts and throwaway emails
Complaining about coverage
Above all, our team of moderators works to keep conversation here friendly, engaging, helpful, and productive. If we feel a comment or forum post is harming that endeavor, we’ll take action.
See any of the above? You can help us out by flagging (more on that below). Any comments that are a reply to spammy / inappropriate / trolling comments will also be deleted with the original comment, so don't reply — just flag!
Isn’t this censorship?
Questions about moderation
Helping out our moderators
Becoming a mod
Comments are a lovely way to talk about the stories, forum posts, and reviews you find on BSG. They can also be a lot to keep up with, so we have some tools to make it all easier. You can preview your comment before you post it, and you will have 90 seconds to edit a comment afterwards. Every comment also has a few links associated with it:
It’s important to know that comments are threaded and if the top comment in a thread is a problem, we may delete it, and that will delete all the replies to it. So if there's an inappropriate comment and you reply to it with something eloquent and heartfelt, there's a very good chance that your highly intelligent and meaningful comment will nonetheless be lost.
BSG offers a full WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor on forum posts.
Our editors and moderators will be watching out for great content to promote on the site as well as inappropriate content. In other words, all the rules above about spam, abusive behavior, and basic human decency apply double to forum posts. You can help! Recommend or Flag forum posts to bring them to our attention. If a forum post is terrible, please flag it instead of commenting — even if the comments are great, we will remove forum posts that run against our community guidelines.
Finally, please post in the appropriate forum. Have a question about the new iPhone? Apple Core is the place. Want to talk about BSG itself, we have a Meta forum. Want help compare an Android phone to a BlackBerry? We have a general Mobile forum for that. Not sure where your post belongs? Ask in Meta or ask us directly.
COMMENTS VS. FORUM POSTS
Although there is no hard and fast rule for when you should make a comment on somebody else's post or when you should make a new forum post, we do have some clear guidelines. Essentially, if there is already a post on a topic you're interested in talking about, it's better to comment on that post than to make a new one. We have a very large search box at the top of the forums and we encourage all users to search before you post. Duplicate posts may be closed or removed.