Proctors (project archive)

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The information in this article is representative of former times and has been archived. It can be used for reference, but is most likely not appropriate for current usage. Generally, archived articles should not be edited.


The objective of the Gentoo Proctors is to make sure our communication mediums are a friendly and productive place. A cornerstone for this is that all Gentoo community participants adhere to the Gentoo Code of Conduct as laid out in the linked document. The Proctors will routinely monitor communication mediums and act on CoC violations. As they can't be "omnipresent" one can / should notify them in such cases. The Proctors will also try to foster better behavior by example and may step in to provide advice and help clarify any misunderstandings and thus de-escalating conflicts.


When should the Proctors be involved?

A lot of things are being said and posted in the community every day. The Proctors may act in a pro-active way when a direct CoC violation happens. This covers CoC violations in various real-time media such as IRC or asynchronous media such as mailing lists or Bugzilla.

While the more prominent violations of the CoC may be spotted by the Proctors themselves, it is impossible to keep up with every post. If you think the CoC is not followed somewhere, you have the following options:

  • You can report forum guideline violations directly on the forums to the forum moderators.
  • For #gentoo, please talk to the people in #gentoo-ops (webchat).
  • If it is in another medium like the mailing lists, you have the feeling the issue is not only limited to one of the media already moderated primarily by another group of moderators, or not taken seriously enough by them, please contact us using the engagement process below.
  • The Proctors are usually present in the IRC channel #gentoo-proctors (webchat) (check the list of operators there), but since they are probably not reading along all the time, it is usually better to use email or ping on IRC so your issue does not get lost.

Disciplinary action for CoC violations

The following disciplinary actions may or may not be enforced when the Proctors become aware of a direct CoC violation.

Gentoo has a number of IRC channels. Each channel has a number of operators managing it and ensuring proper use of this media. This project has faith that the current operators are capable to manage their channels so it will not interfere with them unless a conflict is escalated to the Proctors by the channel operators or a user. However, there are a few channels where all developers are operators such as #gentoo-dev (webchat). In this case, the Proctors will actively enforce the CoC and impose the following list of possible penalties if necessary.

Before applying any of the following disciplinary policies, the Proctors team will try to discuss the problem with the offender in order to solve it in a more peaceful way. However, it is possible for the Proctors to apply the penalty without further discussions in severe CoC violations (direct attacks, insults, name-calling etc).
  • 24 hour ban from the IRC channel.
  • Every third ban may be followed by a 7 day ban.
  • For repetitive violations, the case may be escalated to Community Relations for further disciplinary actions

For CoC violations in Bugzilla the following list of disciplinary actions may be followed.

  • 48 hour ban from Bugzilla.
  • Every third violation, the developer may lose his/her git push access to gentoo.git for two days.
  • For repetitive violations, the case may be escalated to Community Relations for further disciplinary actions.

For CoC violations in the mailing list, the following list of disciplinary actions may be followed.

  • 7 days ban from the mailing list.
  • Every third violation may be followed by a 30 days ban.
  • For repetitive violations, the case may be escalated to Community Relations for further disciplinary actions.
In order for any of the previous penalties to be applied, two or more Proctors members have to agree with the proposed penalty. The majority of Proctors members can render any decision void within 72 hours in order to prevents accumulative effects.

In case a disciplinary action is applied, one of the Proctors members must contact the offender as soon as possible (preferably by e-mail), informing him/her of the situation and possible consequences for repetitive violations.

The Proctors team can not and must not request any disciplinary actions beyond those listed above. The list can only be modified via a Community Relations team vote.

Disciplinary actions for escalated conflicts

For escalated conflicts, disciplinary action must be decided on a case-by-case basis by Community Relations.

Appealing against Proctor team decisions

A review of disciplinary actions by the Proctors can be requested by appealing to Community Relations. To avoid an overburdening bureaucracy, and taking into account the limited impact of Proctor decisions, such an appeal is only possible from the third violation (and the corresponding harsher action) on. In an appeal, Community Relations may override Proctors decisions via majority Community Relations team vote.


Executing Gentoo's Code of Conduct is a sensitive issue. As a consequence proctors are carefully selected.

  • A Proctor must be a respected member of the Gentoo community. Of course this is hard to put into numbers or other hard facts, but new additions to the team need to be approved by the existing team members first.
  • A Proctor must be a Gentoo developer for at least 1 year and during this time must have demonstrated good behavior.
  • All Proctors have to be impartial. We realize it may sometimes be hard to do this, but acting as a team fair decisions should be made. However, every proctor should be as neutral as possible.
  • A Proctor should be easily reachable and present online. This means for example often available on IRC and well-informed about events on our mailing lists.
  • Proctors can be dismissed or vetoed by either a vote of a majority of Community Relations team members or by a vote of a majority of Proctors team members.
  • The Community Relations project lead or one other Community Relations project member designated by the Community Relations lead is automatically also as liaison member of the Proctors. Otherwise, Proctors project members must not be Community Relations team members.

Engagement process

A community member may engage proctors on a perceived code of conduct violation by filing a bug assigned to proctors@g.o, or by sending an email to the alias. A link to list archives/etc, or IRC logs, should be provided. For IRC include the Gentoo channel name and timestamp with GMT offset.

Note: All proctors matters will be tracked in public bugs, including all communications sent in the request. The scope of proctors actions is limited to activities on public communications media, so there is no expectation of privacy around the handling of these issues.

Resolution process

  1. If a bug wasn't created by the submitter, a proctor will create it.
  2. Any proctor may comment on the bug to propose a resolution (using a standard template). They should also ping the other proctors in IRC on the #gentoo-proctors (webchat) channel.
  3. After the first proctor proposes a resolution, other proctors may vote in agreement or disagreement.
  4. Four hours after the resolution is proposed, and after at least one other proctor has agreed with the proposal and a majority of all votes so far are in agreement, any proctor may enact the proposal.
  5. Alternative resolutions may be proposed at any time and voted upon, and proctors may indicate preference. These proposals must also be four hours old before they are acted upon.
  6. The four hour delay can be cut short if all proctors have already voted.

Any decision may be overturned by a majority of all proctors within 72 hours of being enacted.

When communicating a decision a standard template should be used, followed by any situation-specific comments at the discretion of the proctor responding.

Guidelines for enforcement

Warnings are to be preferred when the violation was not severe, or when it is clear that the original violator has already apologized for their actions and the warning is non-repetitive in recent history.

Otherwise the bans chartered by Council should be followed on the proctors page.

The guiding principle behind bans should be to give community members an opportunity to cool off and de-escalate tensions, and not to re-escalate things if they are already de-escalating and there is a sense that the lessons are already learned. Another goal is to reinforce the sense in the community that they do not need to "fight fire with fire" in continued escalations to be taken seriously.

Note that immediate repetitions of the same violation (allowing time for communication of the original warning/ban) can be immediately escalated to the longer-duration ban. Eg, if somebody engages in harassing behavior on a list thread and is given a 7 day ban, and then on the first day back immediately resumes their behavior on the same or similar thread, the ban can be escalated directly to 30 days at the discretion of proctors, without a need for additional repetitions.

Likewise, if repetitive violations are greatly separated in time there is no requirement that the longer-duration bans be applied. For example, if a developer is given a week to cool off on a list on several occasions a year or more apart, it is up to proctors to decide whether a 30 day ban is warranted.

Standard templates

No violation

(Directed to submitter:) The Proctors have reviewed your request and have decided that the Gentoo Code of Conduct was not violated...


(In reply to violation on original medium:) The Proctors have decided that this post/message/etc is in violation of the Gentoo Code of Conduct and are issuing this warning...


(In reply to violation on original medium:) The Proctors have decided that this post/message/etc is in violation of the Gentoo Code of Conduct and are issuing a(n) n day ban ...