CoC Violations: The Reporting Process and You

CoC Violations: The Reporting Process and You

What you are reading now is not the Code of Conduct (CoC).
It is one of a series of aids to learn more about CoC violation reporting.
Code of Conduct
Methods of Reporting
The Reporting Process and You
Supplemental Reporting Information
Submit a Listeners Report (coming July 2024)

Overview

The Listeners team is a group of people whose mandate is to receive reports on potential violations of the Code of Conduct (CoC). They can escalate issues appropriately, discuss them in a totally confidential manner, and/or act as mediators, according to the wishes of the person raising the issue.

Reporting Process Summary

Just as the CoC has a “Short Version”, this is the brief version of the process that Listeners Reports will follow. Read further down for more details and explanations.

While the timing and the response may vary significantly from report to report, the basic process for reporting a CoC Violation can be described in just a few practical steps:

  1. Notification of team(s): We are notified of a problem.
  2. Investigate: We invite all involved parties, including Witnesses, to have a conversation. This includes the Respondent, where possible. If necessary, we will escalate.
  3. Recommend Actions: We will communicate their proposed reactions to the Reporter and other parties or Teams, as needed.
  4. Implement Actions: We will act, as needed.
  5. Document Results: We will ensure that all LISTR documentation is complete..

Reminder: if nobody tells the Listeners (or Online) team that a possible violation occurred, then this process has no way to begin.

Reporting Processing Expanded

This is the expanded version of the report processing that any given Listeners Report will follow. 

Paths to resolution

Based on what is learned, investigators may take one of three paths:

  1. Close without further action;
  2. Continue investigating, or
  3. Escalate investigation.

Regardless of who investigates, both continued and escalated investigations will be documented in LITRS.

Close with no additional actions

There are many reasons why the investigators may determine that no action is the best action. One example is when a complaint is made anonymously and no trace can be found of a violation. Since there is no possibility of getting additional information from the Reporter, there is nothing more that can be done.

This will not be the investigators’ default action.

Continue investigating

Most reports will follow either the previous path or this one. Generally there are very few that require escalation.

1. Notifying the investigation team(s)

There are actually two parallel processes in place, one for the Online Convention, and one for everywhere else. Regardless of which of the processes a given report follows, some things are consistent. One such thing is that all investigation documentation is kept in LITRS. Another is that all reports made fall under the umbrella term: Listener Report.

  1. For violations that occur in and related to the Online Convention, the process is handled by the Online Convention Area Head (AH) and their deputies, with as-needed consultation from the Listeners team. 
  2. For all other violations, the process is handled by the Listeners team.

2. Investigate

  1. The Online Convention AH (or their designee) invites all Reporters, Witnesses, and Respondents (collectively “Principals”) present to have a conversation in a private chat room (one room per discussion). This invitation could be sent publicly or privately, at the investigator’s discretion.
    1. Due to the nature of the Online Convention, these options are available only during the convention itself. 
  2. Listeners will invite all Principals to have conversations.
    Where the conversation takes place depends on when it occurs.
    1. Prior to the convention, these conversations may take place synchronously (voice or video chat), or asynchronously (secure messaging can be arranged on request).
    2. During the convention, these conversations could take place in any number of places, depending on the nature of the original incident. These may occur in:
      • a corner of a nearby hallway
      • in the tent behind the Listeners Table in Hall 4, or
      • in a more protected setting, each as appropriate to the situation and the wishes of those having the conversation.
        Note: during these conversations, there will always be two members of the Listeners team present: one to focus on the Reporter and the other to take notes.
  3. Based on information gained during this step, investigators may determine that the violation is serious enough to escalate to the CoC team.

2.5 Escalate investigation

  1. Most reports will be handled entirely within the team that originally received them. However, if the initial investigators determine that there has been a serious violation, they will escalate to the CoC team and turn over responsibility of the investigation to them and it will remain with them.
  2. When the CoC team receives the escalation, they may repeat any, all, or none of the previous investigators’ steps, but they will start with the benefit of having the baseline information already documented in LITRS.
  3. CoC team investigation might include having additional conversations with any or all Principals, or with those who were not initially identified as being part of the initial investigation.
  4. Once the CoC team finishes their investigation, the process is nearly identical to that used when the original investigators did not escalate, continuing with step 3 (Recommend Actions), below.

3. Recommend actions

  1. The investigators, regardless which team they are from, will develop a list of one or more recommended actions. Notifications to other Team members will be made where appropriate.
  2. The Reporter will be invited to discuss these recommended actions and give their opinion. The Reporter’s opinions will be respected and, where feasible, be the action implemented.

4. Implement Actions

With assistance from other Teams as needed, the investigators will implement these actions and notify the Respondent as appropriate.

5. Update documentation

The investigators will ensure that all LISTR documentation is complete.

Keeping You Safe

The Glasgow Listener team is always available outside of face-to-face circumstances. This availability will extend to 24 hours per day during the convention. Please see Caveats for a note regarding email.

For those not from the area, think of your local contact information. Providing information that will be invalid until you return home leaves us no way to contact you in a timely fashion.

Remote reporting

If you choose to submit your report remotely, we do ask that you give us some way to contact you in a timely fashion. This is both for us to acknowledge that your report has been seen by a human being and for us to be able to follow up in case there are any questions. If you do provide this information, we will take care that no one outside of the Listener team is privy to our conversations with you.

Please be assured that, of everyone connected to Glasgow 2024, only the Listener team has access to what you send us.

In Person reporting

We will ensure that you feel safe and cannot be easily overheard when you make your initial report, when we follow up with you, and at any other point you are in contact with us. 

All reports are confidential. See Protecting Your Privacy, below, for more details.

Confrontation-free reporting

As a Reporter, you will never be forced to confront the person(s) any Respondent. 

In a very few specific incidents, the Listener team may not be able to exceed a specific set of actions without such a real-time interaction. If the team is subject to such a limitation, you will be clearly informed.

Regardless, the choice of whether to proceed with such a meeting will always be entirely your decision.

Protecting Your Privacy

Unless you consent to its disclosure beyond what is listed here, the information you provide will only be released if necessary to protect others or prevent further CoC violations.

Your Listeners Report: Full text

Details of your report will never be shared beyond the minimum details necessary to ensure that it is managed properly. The list of people who may see your full report will be limited to only specific need-to-know members of:

  • Listener team; 
  • Code of Conduct team; and
  • Glasgow 2024 committee.

To reiterate: your full report will not be shared with all members of any of these three groups. When these groups are included, only with a limited subset with a need-to-know will be informed.

Your Listeners Report: Select details

Specific and relevant pieces of information from your report may be anonymised and then shared to a larger number of teams who, because they are better equipped for it, they can perform specific tasks or implement specific changes. 

Unless your personal information is essential to the accomplishment of these tasks, it will not be shared.

All Listeners Reports: Aggregated data

After all identifying information has been completely redacted, aggregated information about the Listener team’s workload will be made available to several sources including to future Worldcons.

Caveats

Not legally protected professionals

Members of the Listener team are not a part of your health care solution nor are we solicitors. We are volunteers, and many of us are in a country other than where we call home. As such, the privacy of what you say to us is not shielded under Scottish law.

Where we keep your information

We will be documenting our investigations in a standalone instance of Atlassian’s Jira software, and everything there is subject to the GDPR. If you have further questions about this, please reference Atlassian’s privacy policy.

So long as we are not legally prevented from doing so, we will delete all data from the Jira instance will be on or about December 1, 2024. Aggregated data which has previously been reported on will be kept for not less than two years.

Email is not secure

As a routine communication tool, it is superb, but email is inherently insecure. If you choose communicate to us via email, that is your decision. We recommend using less insecure methods if you are providing sensitive information about yourself or others.