To ensure contributors have the proper conditions and resources, enabling them to work without having their personal and communal security compromised, we recommend an approach based on several actions. We must bring clarity to our policies on behavior and adopt a universal Code of Conduct developed through community consultations and contextualized for local circumstances, which determines acceptable behaviors essential for the entire Movement. Beyond the Code of Conduct for our internal relations, we will need a system that outlines procedures to provide for protection and safety from external factors. This system needs to encompass evaluating training needs in diverse contexts, providing training and technical solutions, and developing a system for emergency response.
We must establish a methodology of documenting the different contexts in which volunteers contribute, the current threats that might be encountered while contributing, and communication channels available in stakeholders’ environments. Based on those findings, we need to develop a digital security plan that includes processes to protect the safety and security of our stakeholders, as well as emergency procedures to follow if the need arises. It must be widely available and include best practices on suicide prevention and support for vulnerable consumers of knowledge.
We must offer training, as needed, to raise awareness and build response capacity to provide ways to safeguard the privacy and security of those contributors who put themselves at risk or face complex challenges due to their participation. For prevention, we need built-in platform mechanisms aimed at anonymization. When that is not possible, we must disseminate knowledge among contributors on preserving their anonymity through external mechanisms (such as VPN, IP masking, Tor, etc.), which might require some technical support and personalized training. Equally, training needs to be established for volunteers and staff dedicated to trust and safety (including members of communities, such as administrators or Arbitration Committee members) in order to provide psychological and resource support to participants.
In the event of an emergency, we need to have a clear, rapid response and support infrastructure ready and easily accessible, so that editors have available resources to mitigate harm, such as psychological support (e.g., psychologists, mediators), legal assistance (e.g., list of partner lawyers, facilitation of legal representation at a local level), or a fast-track escalation path in life-threatening situations. These might also include procedures for reacting to large-scale challenges, like Internet access shutdowns.
The entire Movement must be aware of the different risks involved in contributing from specific regions and balancing those conversations with our strategic needs for public neutrality. Nonetheless, for a matter of effectiveness, the training and support infrastructure needs to be provided by stakeholders in touch with the region who have a higher degree of knowledge of the legal aspects and cultural idiosyncrasies (in the frame of an emergent regional structure or another entity which can ensure this knowledge). Regional structures would be active participants in adapting and evaluating safety and security guidelines and procedures.