Code of Conduct

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IFF Code of Conduct

The Internet Freedom Festival is committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for discussing issues related to freedom of expression. We encourage all participants to approach the event with open and positive attitudes, and to engage constructively with others at all times.

It is vital that discussions include many different opinions and experiences, so we have zero tolerance of any kind of harassment. We will take action in response to harassment related to national origin, gender, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical characteristics, disability, religion, and age. We welcome people regardless of their choice of software or operating systems.

Guide to Communication

IFF is an international, multidisciplinary festival. There will be people speaking multiple languages and using nomenclature from various fields of study. Together, we can make sure that we don’t miss out on valuable insights from our amazing participants.

1. Speak clearly and at a moderate pace

2. Be an active listener, and be patient with people who are speaking their second (or third, or fifth!) language

3. Don’t interrupt or speak over other participants.

4. Avoid jargon. Assume that people don’t use the same terms, and explain them.

5. Address the idea, don’t attack the person

6. Disagreements happen, it’s okay to walk away from a conversation that isn't fruitful or is becoming tense

7. Your personal choice of technology doesn’t fit all users’ needs. There is space for different devices, software, tools, operating systems, programming languages, and licenses. Focus discussions on tools, whether closed source and commercially supported or open source, on the needs of users.

8. If you do not like a solution someone else is proposing, explain why, and state an alternative

9. Ask for help! We have facilitators!


Harassment may occur online or in person. Examples of unacceptable behaviors include:

1. offensive comments

2. verbal threats or demands

3. sexualized images in public spaces

4. intimidation

5. stalking

6. harassing photography or recording

7. sustained disruption of sessions or events

8. unwelcome physical contact or sexual attention

9. drugging food or drink

10. violating the conference privacy policy in order to attract negative attention to an attendee

11. enlisting the help of others, whether in person or online, in order to target an attendee

Let someone leave a conversation that makes them uncomfortable, and do not follow people who asked to be left alone. If you discuss difficult topics that may be traumatic for participants, provide warnings so people may leave a conversation or plan coping strategies.

Participants who are asked to stop harassing behaviors are expected to cease immediately. Depending on severity of harassment or repeat offenses, IFF staff will respond with warnings and expulsion from the event as appropriate. With the consent of the person being harassed, local authorities will be called if needed.

We count on everyone from partner organizations to individuals to do their part to ensure positive experiences for all participants. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of IFF staff immediately. IFF staff can be identified by conference logo shirts, and will be at the information desk by the front entrance throughout the conference. Reports can be made anonymously via @InternetFF Twitter DM or in person. Reports are confidential. You will not be asked to take actions that make you feel unsafe.

Conference staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the conference.

Privacy Policy

Since many participants rely on privacy-enhancing technology to protect their freedom of expression, the Internet Freedom Festival will use the Chatham House Rule for sessions:

“When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.”

Do not take pictures, or record audio or video inside the festival venue. When taking pictures outside the venue, please make sure that only people who consent to pictures are included.

There will be an area for press where they can conduct interviews. This area will be clearly marked.