Codes of Conduct


Do sites need codes of conduct? Do you think they work?

If you do, where are the best examples of good ones/lessons we can learn from poorly worded ones?

What makes a code of conduct work?

(Here’s ours)

Introduce yourself!

This discussion was spurred by PHP withdrawing their attempts to create one.

Should codes of conduct be punitive, positive or both?


It’s always good to write it down.

I really like The Guardian’s Community standards and participation guidelines.


While I agree that explicit norms should always be codified, they need to be paired up with that community’s implicit norms so that people can quickly fit in to the expected social norms that reflect that group’s character.


One of the most interesting terms of service I have seen (and web sites) is:

Above Top Secret (ATS)

This is a very heavily moderated web site. They are good manners extremists. Lol

I would say they set the bar in some fashion and would be interested in other peoples opinions on this site’s rules. They can be found HERE


Thanks DHorse - I’d never seen this before, and they’re certainly comprehensive. My thoughts:

  • there are a lot of strong guidelines there about what shouldn’t be done, based on real situations. They make a good series of guidelines of what to guard against when building or moderating in community software

  • I’d like to see more of what they want, vs what they don’t. What does good behavior look like?

  • The text is very small, hard to read, and buried beneath the privacy policy. I think most users would be put off by its presentation.