Open Source Codes of Conduct and Safer Internet Day

This week, the world commemorated Safer Internet Day, a day set aside to encourage all stakeholders to work together to make the internet a safer and better environment for everyone, particularly children and teenagers.

At Flickr, we believe in establishing online places that consider the safety of all of our contributors, particularly the youngest and underserved.

As a result, we’ve added a code of conduct to our most heavily accessed open source projects on GitHub to commemorate this and to continue the work of making our places safer and more accessible to all.

What is Open Source and why is it important?

Open source is a technique of software development that allows contributors to alter, add, and remove code as they see appropriate, resulting in a more robust codebase that incorporates the ideas and inventions of many developers rather than just a few.

We can use open source to harness the power of these voices to produce the finest software possible.

Flickr hosts 15 open source sources, with four of them being actively maintained. Until today, none of those four had a formal code of conduct to control contributions to the code base or interpersonal interactions between active workers working on the code.

What is the purpose of a code of conduct?

In the open source community, codes of behaviour are extremely prevalent and significant. Linux, Homebrew, Bootstrap, and Kubernetes all have codes of conduct that govern how their open source projects are used and contributed to.

Because open source allows such a varied range of views to be heard, disagreements can develop, and sadly, not all of them are well-intentioned.

Senado Federal’s “Bullying” is licenced under a Creative Commons 2.0 licence.

Codes of conduct allow us to have a preconceived notion of what our community’s interactions should look like and why we have certain expectations of members. Codes of behaviour can cover everything from interpersonal interactions (e.g., in pull request reviews, demonstrate kindness and empathy for other developers) to more universal expectations (e.g.

Focus on what is best for the community as a whole rather than individual desires or needs). Codes of conduct help the entire community while also allowing us to focus on the psychological safety of those in our community who are most vulnerable.

They cares about every one of our members, but they also understand the importance of using special language to protect members of underrepresented groups. The easiest method to do this is to have a written code of conduct that includes clear, tangible procedures for governing community safety.

Why Contributor Covenant?

To protect marginalised minorities and nurture a strong and healthy open source community here at Flickr, we debated whether it would be better to write our own code of conduct tailored to what we value at Flickr, or whether it would be better to find an existing code of conduct to guide our own open source communities.

We eventually discovered a code of conduct that was already in use by a number of well-known businesses and spoke directly to our most critical operating principles.

The Contributor Covenant is a code of behavior for open source contributors that lays out clear expectations in order to foster a healthy open source culture. Since its inception in 2014, the Contributor Covenant has been adopted by over 100,000 open source communities and projects, including Linux, Babel, Bootstrap, Kubernetes,, Twilio, Homebrew-Cask, and Target, to mention a few.

When we thought about it, we found that Contributor Covenant encapsulated all of our beliefs in a single document that was just over a page long.

Both readable and concise, as well as sturdy enough to protect minority contributors on our open source repositories,

%d bloggers like this: