Community Standards

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The first principle of Noisebridge is to be excellent to each other. We get a lot more specific in our anti-harassment policy, but there are a whole load of other social norms which keep Noisebridge a safe and happy place to work and learn.

Noisebridge's Vision attempts to avoid hard-and-fast rules. Many of these are guidelines, and rightly so. In the past, we've noticed that certain actions and behaviors are good for the space and other actions cause problems. This page exists to help you determine whether something you're considering is a good idea, and to help you work things out when reasonable people disagree.

Although we work together and attempt to ensure that this page reflects what we collectively think, it's not our formal consensus.


Contents

Purpose and Vision

  • Noisebridge is a place for hacking, hackers, and learning to hack.
  • Noisebridge should be welcoming to those who visit, and a safe place to learn and work.
  • Noisebridge operates by do-ocracy and consensus.
  • The Noisebridge Vision describes what we are for, and what we are about.


Entrance and Membership

  • You do not need to be a member to hack at Noisebridge or to participate in the community here.
  • Members can come and use Noisebridge at any time.
    • It's often easy to find someone on IRC or the mailing list.
    • You can also try coming to the space and introducing yourself as soon as you get here.
    • If you're coming for a class or other event: don't sweat it, your teacher or a fellow student is taking responsibility for everyone at the event.
  • You should take responsibility for the actions of anyone you invite or let into Noisebridge.
  • If you are a regular participant in Noisebridge, you should consider becoming a Philanthropist or Member.

Disagreement

  • If you disagree with another person you should try to work out your differences with them.
  • If you cannot work out your differences one-on-one, you should consider mediation.
  • If someone asks you to leave them alone or to otherwise stop a behavior that is directed toward them, please do so. Continued unwanted behavior directed toward another person is Harassment.

Requests to Leave

  • If someone is acting in a way incompatible with our community standards, you are empowered to ask them to leave Noisebridge immediately.
  • You are under no obligation to do ask someone to leave, and absolutely should not confront someone who you think poses a physical danger to you. Please ask for help if you feel you need or want help.
  • If someone asks you to leave Noisebridge, you should immediately leave, whether or not you think their request was legitimate or in good faith.
  • If someone asks you to leave, you should not return until the conflict has been resolved, hopefully through mediation.

Reporting

If you would prefer to privately report unacceptable behavior (including violations of our anti-harassment policy), you can email <secretary@noisebridge.net>. This email address is monitored by a number of upstanding and trustworthy folks. They'll handle your request privately if you prefer, and otherwise work to resolve the problem in a way which keeps you safe and protects the community from unacceptable behavior. You may also contact one of the people who have volunteered as a mediator on the Mediation page.

General Guidelines

  • Talk to people and make friends. Part of the point of Noisebridge is interpersonal interaction, and we want to meet you and learn about whatever cool project you're working on. It's amazing how often random discussions between people at Noisebridge have turned into things that show up on the world stage.
  • On the other hand, do be sensitive to people's desire to stop talking and start hacking. If someone starts looking away, returning to their laptop or project, or begins walking away, consider that you might be the Nth person to strike up a conversation with them, and they may want to actually get something done.
  • Noisebridge is your hackerspace, not your home. Living here is definitely an anti-pattern, so don't even try to do this! If money is a problem, have a look at our page of starving hacker resources for ways to get around and crash if you're short on cash.
  • Pull your own weight. We don't have housekeeping service, so clean up after yourself and put things away when you're done. In fact, you're going to get a lot of good karma by tidying up twice the amount of space you use on a regular basis.
  • Everything in Noisebridge is hackable. If you don't want something taken apart and turned into a giant robot the moment your back is turned, leave it on your shelf, or mark it clearly with your name, a way to contact you, the date, and what you're doing. Even then there are no guarantees -- it's just mildly rude to hack on a labelled thing unannounced, as opposed to positively encouraged.
  • If you find yourself having to explain something in the space more than once, you should probably label it.
  • If you can't throw something away in a full garbage can, you should probably empty it.
  • If you see someone being awesome or something which is awesome, it's awesome in turn to sing its praises. Motivation is a rare commodity among us and a compliment here and there can work wonders in terms of creating more of it. We have a Noticeboard of Excellence by the door which is a good place to leave a semi-permanent thankyou.
  • People of all ages are welcome at Noisebridge. But, please know that bringing minors to Noisebridge might result in them being exposed to ideas outside of your control. This is worth considering before deciding to bring minors (or anyone) to Noisebridge.
  • Bringing pets hasn't historically been a serious problem, but it not always considered excellent. If you bring a pet to Noisebridge, please ask others in the space if it is OK with them, and please do not stay with your pet if anyone objects.
  • Don't bittorrent from the space, it causes lots of problems for other people trying to use the network. We've also gotten DMCA notices about people snarfing copyrighted content using our links, and these notices are very annoying and unexcellent. Please don't download copyrighted content illegally using our Internet links.
  • If you're going to smoke, smoke downstairs on the sidewalk, away from our doorway. This includes all substances, including tobacco and marijuana. Do not smoke on the fire escape -- it affects everyone in the space, plus the ash falls down onto the fruit below, and the fire service gets mad at us.
  • Don't talk about politics or religion in a way that may be considered trolling within the community. If you push peoples' buttons, it is considered very excellent to consider that you, at least in part, responsible.
  • Going on the roof is, except in narrow conditions that you almost certainly aren't covered by, a violation of our lease agreement. It also causes leaks, and in the past a leak destroyed some irreplaceable artwork belonging to a member. Don't go up there without talking to someone who knows about the lease details.
  • Taking stuff from the space, even very temporarily is a surefire way to cause problems. Taking stuff permanently is definitely unexcellent.
  • Please ask before playing music through the public audio systems, especially if people are quietly enjoying the space.
  • Try to keep infodumps to new acquaintances to under a few minutes. Many people at Noisebridge are walking libraries on their field of expertise, but people rarely like being fed a textbook through their ears.
  • Noisebridge must not be involved in any activities which could affect legislation or political campaigns, with certain limited exemptions. While not illegal, these activities may be grounds for the IRS to revoke our tax exempt status. Talk to the officers of the corporation for guidance if you are unsure whether your proposed activities will be exempt or not.


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This document is part of the Noisebridge Manual
Infrastructure - Things we do - The Prologue - Getting along - Day to Day operations - Staying in touch - Lore - Inner Mechanizations - Visitors and Guests - Ask to leave
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