This section should define a range of possible responses from verbal warnings to long-term removal from participation. Typical responses to a code of conduct issue include:

  • Verbal warnings.
  • Written warnings.
  • Temporary absence from participation.
  • Long-term absence from participation.
  • Being required to follow a conduct agreement that dictates the process of returning to the community.

Below is an example of context-setting for unacceptable behavior.

If a community member engages in unacceptable behavior, the community organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including a temporary ban or permanent expulsion from the community without warning (and without refund in the case of a paid event).[^9]


  • Multiple possible responses that include short- and long-term consequences.
  • Escalating or proportionate consequences based on the scope, impact, and frequency of the incident. Many projects use consequence ladders to create visibility for escalation.
  • Defined scope or spaces for the consequence (where enforcement will happen) — IRC, trackers, events, other kinds of contribution.

Red flags

  • Removal from the community as the only possible response to a reported situation.[^10]

  • Using the details of past incidents to outline what responses may be taken, even if anonymized or historical. This is harmful to the safety and privacy of all people involved, including reporters.

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