Community admin diversity

There was a recent post here on how the Elm community can improve in which I mentioned that my biggest concern is the lack of diversity in the community. I was looking at the new site today (which looks great, by the way!) and noticed that it looks like the community admin team that is designated for responding to Code of Conduct violation issues appears to be all men and appears to be at least mostly white.

I think diversifying the group of people responsible for responding to CoC issues could be a really positive thing and wanted to put that suggestion out there. I think it would make it much more likely that people who aren’t white men would feel comfortable reporting any CoC issues they experience, and as such help the community feel more welcoming to more people.


Thanks for bringing this up. It’s a tricky thing to respond to, but I’m going to try my best.

First, a technical point: the community admin team you linked to is out-of-date. Unfortunately, 4/5 of those people are no longer particularly active in day-to-day moderation. We should really update it, but because the team has shrunk we have less time overall to deal with documentation tasks like that.

Second, you’re right that the moderation team is not particularly diverse. I believe I can say on behalf the group that we want to do better on this. If nothing else, it’s easier to report a code of conduct violation to someone who you feel will represent you better. It also avoids creating a moderator monoculture—if we all think alike, we won’t notice problems that someone unlike us would notice. That’s a problem!

On the other hand, community moderation is largely invisible and heavy on emotional labor: incident response in particular usually involves dealing with strong emotional responses and bad behavior. In the past I’ve personally been hesitant to ask people to do that, even though it’s necessary. (Part of that has to do with experiences in my past, which ideally would not affect this.)

All that said, thank you for the suggestion! If you have ideas about how we could implement it, I would love to hear them!


Hey Brian,

First, thanks for the thoughtful response! Also, if I remember correctly, you do a lot of the organizing for ElmConf? In which case I’d also like to say y’all seem to have done a really good job on gender diversity of speakers this year, and I appreciate that!

That definitely makes sense about the labor involved in moderation. And definitely there’s also a hopefully-to-be-avoided phenomenon where people from underrepresented groups end up with a disproportionately large amount of that type of work in a lot of communities. I realize that due to limited resources this isn’t always an option, but one possible solution is to see if there are ways to compensate people for that work? Either through sponsorships or community fundraising?

If that isn’t possible, I’d say generally keeping up the work on diversity in other areas of the community can only be helpful, so that if/when more people are added to the team it’s more likely to be a more diverse group. I’m not sure outside of that, but I’m going to ask around a bit and see if I can come up with some other ideas.

Will let you know what I hear; and thanks again for the thoughtful response!


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