Code of Conduct Transparency Report

This report summarizes CoC incidents reported to or resolved by the CNCF Code of Conduct Committee. CoC incidents occurring in the CNCF community reported to and resolved by the Linux Foundation Events team (LF Events), or project-level Code of Conduct responders are not addressed in this report. LF Events publishes its own separate transparency report, available here.

This report aims to provide a balance between transparency and protecting the privacy of victims and reporters to ensure a safe space for reporting. To ensure we are honoring our commitment to protect victims’ and reporters’ privacy, this transparency report does not provide personally identifying information about victims or reporters and provides only summary information rather than details of each incident.

All incidents resolved by the CNCF Code of Conduct Committee have been handled in accordance with the CNCF Code of Conduct Procedures, which were first published for comment on June 29, 2022, and were subsequently revised in response to feedback received from the community during the public comment period.

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Incidents Reported in 2024

Incident 2024-1

  • This incident is currently under evaluation. To preserve the integrity of the investigation and decision-making process, information is not being shared publicly at this time. A transparency report will be published after the outcome has been determined and the involved parties have been notified of the results.

Incident 2024-2

  • This incident is currently under evaluation. To preserve the integrity of the investigation and decision-making process, information is not being shared publicly at this time. A transparency report will be published after the outcome has been determined and the involved parties have been notified of the results.

Incident 2024-3

  • This incident is currently under evaluation. To preserve the integrity of the investigation and decision-making process, information is not being shared publicly at this time. A transparency report will be published after the outcome has been determined and the involved parties have been notified of the results.

Incident 2024-4

  • A CNCF community member reported defamation and public harassment by another CNCF member but later withdrew the complaint to seek other resolutions. Subsequently, the reporter publicly apologized to the reported party. To address any residual feelings or needs for closure beyond the public apology, the CoC Committee and CNCF Ombudsperson offered to facilitate a conversation between the two parties. The reported party did not respond to the invitation.

Incident 2024-5

  • An attendee of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU 2024 reported that they received unwanted romantic and sexual attention from several other attendees at the event and recommended that the foundation adopt an anti-harassment policy. The reporter was informed that the LF Events Code of Conduct and CNCF Code of Conduct both prohibit harassment in all forms, including harassment in the form of unwanted sexual romantic attention or advances. The reporter was asked to provide additional information, including the names of the people who engaged in the harassing behavior, so that the LF Events Team and Code of Conduct Committee could perform an investigation and take appropriate action. The reporter did not want to participate in an investigation, so they declined to provide the names or identities of accused parties.

Incident 2024-6

  • Incident: An in person report was received by a CoC Committee member alleging that a KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU 2024 attendee (the “accused party”) made comments to another attendee (the “impacted party”) that were inappropriate and sexually suggestive.
  • Anonymity: The reporter asked that their identity be kept anonymous. Therefore, throughout the investigative and evaluation process, their identity was known only to the CNCF Ombudperson and the CoC Committee member who received the in person report. The reporter’s identity was redacted from the evidence and investigative report before these materials were shared with other members of the CoC Committee. Update: After the involved parties were notified of the outcome, the reporter revealed their identity by choosing to speak publicly about the incident.
  • Request by Impacted Party: During the initial interview with the impacted party, the impacted party requested that it be explained to the accused party that comments of a sexual nature are not appropriate in professional settings. Later in the investigative process, the impacted party requested that more severe consequences be considered.
  • Interim Remedy and Investigation: The CNCF Ombudsperson conducted an investigation with the help of the CoC Committee member who received the initial report. The involved parties and several witnesses were interviewed. The involved parties had different recollections of the reported incident. The impacted party said that the accused party had made inappropriate comments that had “sexual innuendo” but were not outright propositions, and that these comments were very upsetting. Consistent with the impacted party’s request, the day after the incident was reported, the CNCF Ombudsperson explained to the accused party in a spoken conversation that making comments of a sexual nature is not in alignment with the CNCF Code of Conduct or LF Events Code of Conduct. The accused party verbally responded that they understood and agreed that such behavior is inappropriate. However, the accused party also denied making any such comments. Although witnesses were able to confirm conversations that happened between the accused party and the impacted party in group settings, no witnesses were present during the alleged inappropriate statements. When the committee was originally planning to conclude the investigation, the committee became aware of public statements regarding the incident from a person who was not previously identified as a potential witness; this prompted another round of investigative interviews and extended the investigation.
  • Findings: The accused party and impacted party had conflicting accounts of the reported events, and there were no third party witnesses or additional evidence that could resolve the conflicting accounts. Because the committee’s determination of whether the CoC has been violated must be based on sufficient evidence, the committee was unable to make a conclusive determination of whether the CoC was violated or not violated. Nonetheless, to prevent such inappropriate behavior from occurring in the future, the committee took action consistent with the impacted party’s original request (see “Final Remedy” below).
  • Final Remedy: The CoC Committee issued a formal written notice to the accused party reiterating that comments of a sexual nature are inappropriate in professional settings and are not in alignment with the CNCF Code of Conduct or LF Events Code of Conduct. The notification to the accused party also explained that if additional reports are received in the future alleging similar behavior and a violation is found, appropriate action will be taken including consideration of more severe consequences. 
  • Factors Considered: When evaluating potential remedies, the CoC Committee considered the severity of the incident, the fact that there were no known prior incidents involving the accused party, and other factors set forth in the Incident Resolution Procedures. The action taken by the committee was consistent with enforcement actions for prior CNCF Code of Conduct incidents of a similar nature and severity.
  • Additional Support: The impacted party was offered an opportunity to speak with the CoC Committee and CNCF Ombudsperson about the outcome of the investigation if they had any further questions or concerns, and notified about options and resources to support their well-being and safety at future CNCF events.

Incident 2024-7

  • While a community member was traveling to attend KubeCon+CloudNativeCon EU 2024, an inflammatory and accusatory Instagram message was sent to the community member’s spouse. The message was sent from a fake Instagram account that was deleted shortly after the message was sent. The CoC Committee determined that the message was harassing and unprofessional. However, because there was no way to identify the sender of the message, or confirm if the sender was a CNCF community member, no action could be taken to enforce the Code of Conduct in response to this incident.

Incident 2024-8

  • Multiple complaints were received alleging that an extensive thread and comments posted by an individual to a CNCF Slack channel were rude, offensive, and harrassing.  The Code of Conduct Committee determined that the comments violated the Code of Conduct, and directed CNCF Slack administrators to remove and block the user from CNCF Slack and delete the comments.

Incident 2024-9

  • Incident: a project member reported that several comments on a pull request were rude and offensive to another contributor.
  • Investigation and Resolution:  A member of the CoCC reached out to the commenter, who immediately admitted that they had overstepped.  They apologized to the contributor they had offended.

Incidents Reported in 2023

Incident 2023-1

  • Multiple complaints were received alleging that comments posted by an individual to a CNCF Github repository were rude and offensive. The Interim Code of Conduct Committee asked the accused person to remove the offending posts, and the individual did so.

Incident 2023-2

  • A complaint was received about a direct message sent via a project’s Slack by one project participant to another participant. The Interim Code of Conduct Committee determined that the message was harassing, discriminatory, threatening, and highly inappropriate, and that it targeted the recipient based on their perceived nationality and ethnicity. As a result, the sender of the message was banned from participating in all CNCF project and community spaces for a period of 3 months, during which time they were not permitted to make contributions, participate in CNCF communication platforms, or attend CNCF events.

Incident 2023-3

  • A complaint was received regarding allegedly discriminatory behavior exhibited by a community leader. The Interim CNCF Code of Conduct committee found that no violation occurred but had a discussion about general leadership principles with the community leader.

Incident 2023-4

  • During a public community meeting, a comment was made by a participant that others shouldn’t express an opinion on a topic if they didn’t have certain credentials. A complaint was received about this comment. Due to conflicts of interest, multiple committee members recused themselves, and alternates served in their place as decision-makers. The committee determined that the Code of Conduct was violated and issued a warning to the accused person, asking them in the future to please be more respectful of differing opinions and experiences, since the CNCF community values open discussion and the free exchange of ideas.

Incident 2023-5

  • Summary of Complaints: Several complaints were received about a project leader’s communication and leadership style, which caused numerous participants in the project to feel marginalized and excluded. The complaints described a pattern of behavior that included dismissing others’ opinions and perspectives, acting in a non-collaborative manner, and making decisions in a manner that was not in alignment with community expectations regarding openness, transparency, and inclusion.
  • Evaluation Process: A thorough review of the available evidence was conducted, including a review of meeting minutes, recordings, and numerous communications related to the project. Fifteen (15) witnesses were interviewed, including the accused person. The accused person was provided a notice that included a summary of the complaints and the evidence that had been reviewed, and they were given an opportunity to respond with additional evidence. They provided some additional information and context, which was evaluated and investigated by the Committee.
  • Findings: After review of all available evidence, the Committee determined that some of this person’s prior behaviors violated the Code of Conduct, and had a detrimental effect on the project community and its participants.
  • Remediation: As remediation, for a minimum probationary period of 1 year, this person will not be permitted to serve in any leadership position within the CNCF community, including but not limited to being a maintainer or chairing any TAG, SIG, or committee. During the probationary period, although they may not serve in any leadership roles, they may continue to participate in the CNCF ecosystem in a non-leadership capacity. After the one-year probationary period, they may become eligible again to serve in leadership roles within the CNCF community, subject to the Committee’s review of their progress and demonstrated change in alignment with the CNCF Code of Conduct and TOC Technical Leadership Principles.

Incident 2023-6

  • Complaint: A complaint was received alleging that a community member’s communications and interactions with others in a community body was disruptive to group decision-making and experienced by other community members as frustrating, stressful, and at times hostile. 
  • Investigation: The CNCF Ombudsperson spoke with over 10 witnesses, including the reporter, the reported party, and multiple other community members who interact regularly with the reported party.
  • Findings and Resolution: After reviewing the Ombudsperson’s report, the CoC Committee determined that the reported party had not violated the CNCF Code of Conduct, but that nonetheless improvement in how the reported party communicates and collaborates with others would be beneficial. The reported party was notified of the findings along with invitation to a facilitated conversation with a CNCF staff member. The reported party met with the Ombudsperson and CNCF staff member, and during that conversation the reported party expressed the intention to be more mindful in how they communicate and interact with others in the community. They and the CNCF staff member also identified the need for more clearly documented decision-making procedures. The reported party was also offered professional communication coaching, at no cost to them, to help improve their communication and collaboration skills. 
  • Acknowledgment of Improvements: Shortly after the facilitated conversation described above, improvements in the reported party’s communication and group dynamics were acknowledged within the community body.

Incident 2023-7

  • This incident is currently under evaluation. To preserve the integrity of the investigation and decision-making process, information is not be shared publicly at this time. A transparency report will be published after the outcome has been determined and the involved parties have been notified of the results.

Incident 2023-8

  • This incident is currently under evaluation. To preserve the integrity of the investigation and decision-making process, information is not being shared publicly at this time. A transparency report will be published after the outcome has been determined and the involved parties have been notified of the results.

Incident 2023-9

  • A complaint was received about the display of country flags in exhibitor booths at KubeCon+CloudNativeCon North America 2023. The apparent purpose of the flags was to express support for a particular nation state in an ongoing international conflict. The complaint alleged that the display of flags would make attendees who have certain religious, national, or ethnic identities, affiliations, or beliefs feel uncomfortable. In order to ensure that future events help all attendees feel more welcome and included, the CoC Committee worked together with the LF Events team to modify the LF Events Code of Conduct to clarify that exhibitor booths are intended for the presentation of business or projects, and must not be utilized for political campaigning or promoting political causes, including the display of materials that support such endeavors.

Incident 2023-10

  • A CNCF Ambassador posted a political cartoon on LinkedIn. The CoC Committee determined that the post was not in alignment with the Code of Conduct because it was offensive and derogatory to people with certain identities and beliefs. Because the post was not in alignment with either the CNCF Code of Conduct or the CNCF Ambassador Program Standards of Excellence, the CoC Committee collaborated with CNCF staff who support the Ambassador Program on resolution. The Ambassador was asked to remove the LinkedIn post and issue an apology. The Ambassador promptly removed the post, and after discussion with the CNCF Ombudsperson and CoC Committee, the Ambassador issued an apology on Slack channels that were deemed appropriate by the CoC Committee.

Incident 2023-11

  • A report was received expressing concern about whether a PR that had been opened presented security risks. The CoC Committee redirected the report to the Technical Oversight Committee.

Incident 2023-12

  • Original Report: A participant in a project that was not part of CNCF (but had submitted an application) complained that their access to certain repositories had been disabled, purportedly due to their geography and/or a code of conduct violation. At the time the complaint was received, the project was not a CNCF project, and therefore the incident was not subject to the CNCF Code of Conduct.
  • Update: Subsequent to handling of the original incident report, the project joined CNCF. The project now allows contributions from any contributor regardless of geography.

Incidents Reported in 2022

Incident 2022-1

  • Incident Summary: A CNCF community member and leader was concerned about health and safety at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU 2022 in light of changes to the event mask policy shortly before the event. The community member’s health concerns were valid, and it appeared that they were trying to achieve an outcome that they felt was beneficial to the community–i.e., reinstatement of an indoor mask requirement. However, the manner in which they expressed their concerns was seen and experienced by many people as rude, hostile, and unprofessional; and one of their tweets raised concerns about whether the individual or their social media followers would engage in disruptive behavior onsite at the conference. As a result, onsite security was enhanced for the conference. Numerous community and staff members involved in organizing the conference also found the individual’s statements demoralizing and anxiety-inducing. Multiple complaints were received about this individual’s statements.
  • Investigation: CNCF engaged a professional investigator and mediator who interviewed the accused person, the reporters, and numerous witnesses and people impacted by the statements at issue. The accused person assured the investigator and mediator that they would not engage in disruptive behavior at the event, so the accused person was allowed to attend the event.
  • Invitation to Participate in Mediated Discussion: After the event, the accused person was invited to participate in a mediated conversation with event organizers and staff as a path to reconciliation. In order to help the mediated conversation feel more welcoming and supportive to all parties involved, a small group of community members who held leadership positions in CNCF or its project communities were invited to help facilitate that conversation; all of these community member facilitators were individuals that both the accused person and event organizers were comfortable with and had consented to having participate as facilitators in the mediated discussion.
  • Separate Meeting to Discuss Accused Person’s Grievances: In the course of preparing for the mediated conversation, the accused person asked for a forum in which the accused person’s own concerns and grievances about events occurring after the incident described in the Code of Conduct complaints could be heard. Two Linux Foundation board members, one CNCF governing board member, and one CNCF staff member met with the accused person to listen to and discuss the accused person’s concerns and questions. During this conversation, the accused person stated that, although they were willing to have a mediated conversation with event staff regarding the accused person’s own conduct, they did not desire to have such a conversation. Therefore the plan for a mediated conversation was agreed to be abandoned.
  • Lack of Understanding and Empathy: When speaking with the investigator and foundation board members and staff about the incident, the accused person did not communicate acknowledgement of why their actions were harmful, did not communicate willingness to refrain from engaging in similar conduct in the future, and did not show empathy for how others were impacted by their actions. The accused person invalidated others’ feelings by asserting that the concerns, fear, and anxiety expressed by others were not honest or valid, and that anyone who interpreted the accused person’s social media statements literally was engaging in a willfully dramatic misreading of their tweets.
  • Review and Recusals: After the accused person expressed that they no longer had a desire to pursue the mediated conversation that they, the event staff, and community member facilitators had been preparing for, the Interim Code of Conduct Committee proceeded to review the incident. All foundation staff recused themselves from voting due to hard or soft conflicts of interest in accordance with the Conflicts of Interest policy, and one community member also recused themself due to a soft conflict of interest. Therefore, no foundation staff members voted on the decision, and the Interim Code of Conduct Committee’s findings and determinations were made entirely by non-conflicted community members serving on the committee.
  • Consequences and Resolution: Non-conflicted community members serving on the Interim Code of Conduct Committee determined that the accused person violated the CNCF Code of Conduct. The committee further decided that the accused person should not be permitted to continue serving in a specific community leadership role for a period of one year. The accused person was informed of their removal from the leadership position and that they would be eligible to reapply after one year.

Incident 2022-2

  • Incident Summary: A complaint was received regarding allegedly discriminatory statements made by a community member and project leader.
  • Resolution: Because the accused person participates in only one project within CNCF, and that project has its own code of conduct committee, the Interim CNCF Code of Conduct Committee transferred the incident to the project-level code of conduct committee for resolution at the project level.