I learned a lot during the long process that led to the establishment of the code of conduct for Wikimedia technical spaces. It is important to clarify in the CoC itself what are the motivations to have a CoC in the first place. Most people associate a CoC with the need to deal with bad behavior. This is of course a main motivation but I would argue that a connected motivation just as important is the need to be welcoming and friendly to newcomers and to a wide diversity of participants.
Just like in most human communities, newcomers and other “minorities” (some are quite big!) are more likely to become victims of bad behavior, discrimination, marginalization… sometimes conscious and personal, sometimes unconscious and systemic. These are also the people less likely to participate in the design of a CoC or other types of guidelines, and less likely to even know that such things exist. Wikimedia is no exception.
The Wikimedia 2030 strategic direction is all about growth, diversity and support to the underserved:
we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities.
Ideally the discussion about the Universal Code of Conduct should driven by the needs and the experiences of potential and actual victims of harassment, and also by those who potentially or actually are doing something to prevent problems and handle crisis. In practice this is hard, and often the discussion is dominated by people who (like me) haven’t been direct victims of harassment. It is also symptomatic when the discussion focuses more on the rights and comfort of potential harassers than on the rights and pain of potential victims. (I’m not referring to this conversation here! I’m commenting on frequent patterns.)