Code of Conduct Transparency Report

This report summarizes CoC incidents reported to or resolved by the Interim 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 Interim 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.

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:

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.