Code of Conduct

Electronic Literature Organization

Community Code of Conduct

Summary

The Electronic Literature Organization (hereafter ELO) is dedicated to providing an inclusive, equitable, and harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, race, class, religion, or linguistic and cultural background. We do not tolerate harassment of community members in any form.

This Code of Conduct applies to all ELO spaces, including our mailing lists, Discord, Facebook group, and conferences, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the ELO Board of Directors.

Some ELO spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Our  goal is to nurture a vibrant and growing international community by ensuring that ELO spaces encourage the respectful exchange of ideas, sharing of art, discussion of research, promotion of events, and other community activities. This Code of Conduct will help us advance the field, stimulate collaboration, expand personal and professional networks, and build a community around our shared interest in electronic literature and related fields.

Values

As a growing organization with an increasingly diverse international community, the ELO is committed to upholding the values set forth in the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights. It also aligns itself with more recent special publications from the UN Human Rights Commission, including:

We have linked to the publications in English above. For a complete list, including links to translations of these publications, visit the UN OHCHR Special publications page.

To uphold these values, the ELO Board of Directors commits to not sponsoring nor promoting the work of people or organizations that have been proven to violate the values expressed here. It has also developed its Code of Conduct, policies, and procedures.

Anti-harassment Policy

The Electronic Literature Organization is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.

This Code of Conduct applies to all ELO spaces, including our Facebook group, Discord server, and mailing list, and conferences, both online and off. Anyone who violates this Code of Conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the ELO Board of Directors.

Some ELO spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.

Harassment includes acts like:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, class, religion, or linguistic and cultural background.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “*hug*” or “*backrub*”) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Doxxing.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

Reporting

If you are being harassed by a member of ELO, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact the ELO President or any member of the Board of Directors. If the person who is harassing you is on the team, they will recuse themselves from handling your incident. We will respond as promptly as we can.

ELO prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. We reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith and to not act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you”
  • Communication in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticism of racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions
  • Works of art judged ‘offensive’ and/or ‘challenging’ for reasons other than the ones we have described as harassing

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may privately warn third parties about a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of ELO members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

Consequences

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the ELO Board of Directors may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including defunding of any ELO-support to that participant, and expulsion from some or all ELO spaces.

Depending on the nature of the offense and sanctions, the participant may be given the opportunity to renounce their prior offending actions, take positive actions to rebuild the goodwill of the harassed party, and appeal to the Board to lift the imposed sanctions. The Board will consider each case on its merits and lift sanctions, if the majority of its members agrees to do so.

ELO Conference Policies

Future organizers of Electronic Literature Organization events, including the annual ELO Conference and Media Arts Show, will be required to adopt a version of the ELO Community Code of Conduct, appointing an appropriate team to address any reports that emerge from the event’s physical and virtual platforms.

In addition, all ELO events will adopt the following practices to strive towards inclusion and parity.

  • Transparency and Inclusivity in Review Processes. The names of all reviewers and/or curators for any event should be publicly available prior to the submission process. Updates to the composition of the review team should be made public as soon as feasible as changes are made. ELO event organizers are responsible for working towards diverse review teams.
  • Double-Anonymized Review. Wherever possible, conference submissions should be made anonymous for peer review, and the names of specific reviewers on a work-by-work basis should not be made public during the review process. In the case of artistic work (particularly work that is iterative or previously displayed), full anonymization may not be possible; however, the omission of identifying information should be the goal wherever feasible.
  • Clear and Reasonable Deadlines. Deadlines for all stages of event submission should be communicated at least two months prior, with an emphasis on providing clarity and, whenever possible, translations of the call to circulate across the international community. While circumstances may occasionally necessitate closer deadlines, all consideration possible should be given to early communication to enable broader participation.
  • Support for and Compliance With the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Consideration of the status of any potential host country with regards to support for human rights, as documented by the United Nations, will be taken into consideration when choosing organizations to host ELO events to ensure that all members of the community feel safe and welcome in those locales. All conference organizers commit to upholding those values as annotated above.
  • Accessibility and Archiving. The shift to virtual conferencing has enabled the full participation of members of the community left behind by an emphasis on in-person events. Future ELO events should build on the inclusivity and accessibility enabled by virtual conferencing, prioritizing access in both physical and virtual venues, and following principles of universal design wherever possible. Events focused on physical participation should be documented, streamed, or otherwise made available through the ELO’s archival projects.

Here’s a link to a downloadable PDF version.