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ML Collective (MLC) is dedicated to providing enjoyable, educational, motivating, and harassment-free experiences for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. In keeping with these aims, we do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. This code of conduct applies to all MLC spaces, including mailing lists, chat servers, research meetings, reading groups, and other events, both online and offline. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the Organizers.

The current Organizers are: Rosanne Liu and Jason Yosinski.

The Ethos of MLC[edit]

We at MLC aim to:

  • Be excellent to each other. We hold ourselves to a higher standard than simply not doing harm to each other; we treat others as we wish to be treated and strive to obtain better outcomes for all community members, not just for ourselves. We are inspired here by Noisebridge’s principle of Excellence and Wikipedia’s Don’t be a Jerk.

  • Take action. If you are acting in the interest of others, feel free to take charge and to coordinate, organize, teach, and learn from your fellow MLC members.

  • Obtain consensus. If actions you would like to take affect others (the best do!), seek feedback from those who will be affected and aim for group consensus when possible.

  • Learn humbly. None of us know everything, and for anything known there were moments before knowing and a process of building knowledge. Respect those earlier in the process than you, and be humble enough to learn from those later in the process. Be brave enough to ask dumb questions.

  • Be curious. You’ll come across all kinds of people in MLC, including people quite different from yourself: those coming from a different upbringing or background and who communicate with different norms and from different perspectives. Practice relentless curiosity about the person right in front of you, especially when your initial reaction might be to stay away or to judge what’s unfamiliar to you.

What we do not tolerate[edit]

Harassment, including the following activities, will not be tolerated:

  • Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, age, race, or religion.
  • Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
  • Deliberate misgendering or use of ‘dead’ or rejected names.
  • Gratuitous or off-topic sexual images or behaviour in spaces where they’re not appropriate.
  • Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub“) without consent or after a request to stop.
  • Threats of violence.
  • Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
  • Deliberate intimidation.
  • Stalking or following.
  • Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
  • Sustained disruption of discussion.
  • Unwelcome sexual attention.
  • Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others. MLC is intended to be a welcoming platform, so while friendships in support of research are encouraged, note that MLC is not a dating platform. Flirting or other unprofessional behavior may make someone uncomfortable. If a member requests another member to stop this type of behavior and it continues, it will be considered harassment.
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
  • Deliberate "outing" of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
  • Publication of non-harassing private communication.

Expectation of Confidentiality[edit]

A central tenet of MLC is openness, but many participants in MLC activities are working on projects for which confidentiality is necessary before publication. Reasons for confidentiality include:

  • ensuring that ideators and early project contributors receive proper credit for their work before it is published and their names are clearly attached, and

  • ensuring the validity of double-blind review processes.

These two factors create a tension between a desire for openness and a desire for confidentiality. This tension is resolved by setting clear expectations for the level of confidentiality expected in different spaces, which allows participants in each space to choose how much they wish to share.

Expectations are as follows:

  • (Confidential channels) When discussing ideas 1:1 or in small group settings, whether via chat, in person, or on a call, do not assume without affirmative consent from someone that you are welcome to share their ideas with others. This means that you should ask if you wish to share, and if they do not agree, or if you have not asked, do not share their ideas or work with anyone.

  • (Open channels) In any events advertised to and open to the general public, assume there is no confidentiality. If you are presenting or commenting at such an event: share only ideas, thoughts, and work that you are ok with being copied and modified by others. If you attend such an event and end up finding someone’s ideas or work valuable, feel free to share, but note that the fact that the channel is open does not recuse you from the responsibility to give them credit for their work! Scientific integrity requires that any sharing be prefaced with giving proper credit to the originator of the idea or work, just as with citing published papers.

  • (Uncertain channels) Invariably some events and forums will not be clearly open or clearly confidential. In these cases it is the responsibility of the event organizer to communicate clearly (prior to the event, at the beginning of the event, or both) what expectations are. Both Confidential and Open events are allowed, as both serve valuable purposes. Only through communicating expectations can each MLC participant be empowered to make an informed choice for themselves as to what they will share.


If you are being harassed by a member/guest/participant of/at MLC, notice that someone else is being harassed, believe confidentiality has been violated, or have any other concerns, please contact the Organizers via email or a message on Slack or Discord. We will respond as promptly as we can.

This code of conduct applies to MLC spaces, but if you are being harassed by a member/guest/participant of/at MLC outside our spaces, we still want to know about it. We will take all good-faith reports of harassment by MLC members seriously. This includes harassment outside our spaces and harassment that took place at any point in time. The Organizers reserve the right to exclude people from MLC based on their past behavior, including behavior outside MLC spaces and behavior towards people who are not in MLC.

We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of MLC members or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.


Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the Organizers may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all MLC spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other MLC members or the general public.

Credit and License[edit]

This policy is licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license. It was inspired by and parts were copied from the Orange County R Users Group Code of Conduct.

This article was last modified: May 24, 2023, 11:22 p.m. UTC

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