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Code of Conduct/Draft

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Note: The process of which this document was a part resulted in the Community Participation Guidelines.

Mozilla Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct covers our behaviour as members of the Mozilla Community, in any forum, mailing list, wiki, web site, IRC channel, bug, event, public meeting or private correspondence. The Mozilla Community Council* will arbitrate in any dispute over the conduct of a member of the community.

  • Be considerate. Our work will be used by other people, and we in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision we take will affect users and colleagues, and we should take those consequences into account when making decisions. Mozilla has millions of users and thousands of contributors. Even if it's not obvious at the time, our contributions to Mozilla will impact the work of others. For example, changes to code, infrastructure, policy, documentation, and translations during a release may negatively impact others' work.
  • Be respectful. The Mozilla community and its members treat one another with respect. Everyone can make a valuable contribution to the Mozilla project. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It's important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. We expect members of the Mozilla community to be respectful when dealing with other contributors as well as with people outside the Mozilla project and with users of Mozilla products.
  • Be collaborative. Collaboration is central to Mozilla and to the larger free software community. This collaboration involves individuals working with others in teams within Mozilla, teams working with each other within Mozilla, and individuals and teams within Mozilla working with other projects outside. This collaboration reduces redundancy, and improves the quality of our work. Internally and externally, we should always be open to collaboration. Wherever possible, we should work closely with upstream projects and others in the free software community to coordinate our technical, advocacy, documentation, and other work. Our work should be done transparently and we should involve as many interested parties as early as possible. If we decide to take a different approach than others, we will let them know early, document our work and inform others regularly of our progress.
  • When we disagree, we consult others. Disagreements, both social and technical, happen all the time and the Mozilla community is no exception. It is important that we resolve disagreements and differing views constructively and with the help of the community and community processes. We have the Steering Committee, our Module Owners, the Community Council*, and a series of other governance bodies which help to decide the right course for Mozilla. There are also several Project Teams and Team Leaders, who may be able to help us figure out the best direction for Mozilla. When our goals differ dramatically, we encourage people to fork the relevant code, so that the community can test new ideas and contribute to the discussion.
  • When we are unsure, we ask for help. Nobody knows everything, and nobody is expected to be perfect in the Mozilla community. Asking questions avoids many problems down the road, and so questions are encouraged. Those who are asked questions should be responsive and helpful. However, when asking a question, care must be taken to do so in an appropriate forum.
  • Step down considerately. Members of every project come and go and Mozilla is no different. When somebody leaves or disengages from the project, in whole or in part, we ask that they do so in a way that minimises disruption to the project. This means they should tell people they are leaving and take the proper steps to ensure that others can pick up where they left off.

We pride ourselves on building a productive, happy and agile community that can welcome new ideas in a complex field, and foster collaboration between groups with very different needs, interests and goals. We hold our leaders to an even higher standard, in the Leadership Code of Conduct, and arrange the governance of the community to ensure that issues can be raised with leaders who are engaged, interested and competent to help resolve them.

Mailing lists and web forums

Mailing lists, Newsgroups, Bugzilla and our web forums are an important part of the Mozilla community platform. This code of conduct applies to your behaviour in those forums too. Please follow these guidelines in addition to the general code of conduct:

  1. Please use a valid email address to which direct responses can be made.
  2. Please avoid flamewars, trolling, personal attacks, and repetitive arguments. On technical matters, our Module Owners can make a final decision. On matters of community conduct, the Community Council* can make a final decision.

Mozilla Leadership Code of Conduct

The Mozilla Code of Conduct describes the standard for all conduct in the Mozilla community. Leaders however, are expected to be held to a higher standard. This document provides a set of guidelines and explains to all members the high standards of conduct that leaders in the Mozilla community should be held.

There are many, many people who hold leadership positions in the Mozilla project - from the leaders of translation teams for specific languages, to the folks who hold positions as Module Owners and on our Community Council*. Our community depends on the drive and inspiration of many people who start localization teams or project teams focused on a particular end goal. We expect anybody who takes on a leadership role to meet this higher standard of conduct.

Leadership By Example

We expect leadership by example. In the Mozilla project, leadership is not an award, right, or title; it is a privilege. A leader will only retain his or her position as long as he or she acts as a leader. This means that they act with civility, respect, and trust in the ways described in the Code of Conduct. It also means that their contributions are sustained, significant, and reliable for the period that they lead. Leaders in Mozilla project are not autocrats. Leaders in the Mozilla project can not and will not stay leaders only because they got there first. Their role stems from shared recognition and respect from their team.

Respecting Mozilla Processes and Principles

The Code of Conduct does not only apply to leaders. It applies to leaders more. Leaders show more patience, more respect, and more civility than other members of the Mozilla community. As leaders, they represent their team and, ultimately, the whole Mozilla project. Leaders do their best to reflect the values that Mozilla stands for and the behaviours that Mozilla holds as paramount. Additionally, they take care to act in accordance with Mozilla governance principles and structures and work within the Mozilla system to change them.


A virtuoso is judged by their actions. A leader is judged by the actions of their team. A leader in the Mozilla project knows when to ask for help and when to step back. Good leaders know when not to make a decision but to delegate it to their team. The best leaders balance hard work in the community. Of course, leadership does not mean that leaders delegate unpleasant work to others. Instead, leaders balance hard work on their own -- leadership by example -- with delegation to others and hard work on their own. A leader's foremost goal is ensuring that their team members and team succeed.


A good leader does not seek the limelight but aims to congratulate their team for the work they do. While leaders are frequently more visible than their team, leaders in the Mozilla project use their visibility to highlight the great work of their team members and others.

Conflicts of Interest

A leader notices when they are conflicted and delegates decisions to others on their team or to other teams or governing councils. When in doubt, leaders publicly ask for a second opinion. They realize that perceived conflicts of interest are as important as real conflicts of interest and are cognizant of perceptions; they understand that their actions are as tainted by perceived conflicts as by real ones.

Keeping the Personal Personal

No team is an extension of its leader's personality and leaders' personal feelings and desires will diverge from the interest of their teams. When acting in their capacity of leaders, leaders should not ignore their own beliefs, feelings, and principles but must hold the interests of their team and the Mozilla community above their own convictions. Leaders make difficult choices but are careful to act in the best interests of their communities. They work with established processes in the community and delegate decisions to others who can.

Stepping Down

The Mozilla Code of Conduct discusses the importance of gracefully stepping down from a position. This is particularly important for leaders who are responsible for decisions or specific processes - for example, if your participation is needed to reach quorum in a team council. If someone in a leadership role does not have time to fulfill their role temporarily, they should warn their team in advance. If an absence becomes extended, they should step down from their leadership position until they have more time to follow through. Similarly, leaders should step down gracefully -- as described in the Code of Conduct. When someone takes on a leadership position in Mozilla, they are making a commitment to step down gracefully and to ensure that others on the team can easily continue where they leave off.

Note that this is less important in cases where the leadership role does not "block" decisions while the person is absent. For example, if you are one of a team of 50 list moderators, then an extended absence does not mean you should necessarily step down, because decisions will not be blocked by you not being there. Conversely, if your leadership seat is essential for decisions, then extended absences should be very carefully managed, and you should consider stepping down or at least nominating a stand-in while you will be away.

Mozilla Diversity Statement

The Mozilla project welcomes and encourages participation by everyone. We are committed to being a community that everyone feels good about joining. Although we may not be able to satisfy everyone, we will always work to treat everyone well.

Standards for behaviour in the Mozilla community are detailed in the Code of Conduct and Leadership Code of Conduct. We expect participants in our community to meet these standards in all their interactions and to help others to do so as well.

Whenever any participant has made a mistake, we expect them to take responsibility for it. If someone has been harmed or offended, it is our responsibility to listen carefully and respectfully, and do our best to right the wrong.

Although this list cannot be exhaustive, we explicitly honour diversity in age, culture, ethnicity, genotype, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, neurotype, phenotype, political beliefs, profession, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, subculture and technical ability.

Mozilla Community Council

* TBD - As a Community Council represents a modification to the existing governance system, its make-up, formation, membership, and purpose should be discussed separately.

Original Source

Please note: We are currently unsure of the license status of the original Ubuntu Code of Conduct & related documents. If it turns out that they are not and cannot be made available under an open source license, we will have to rewrite this document.

Original source text for the Mozilla Code of Conduct, the Mozilla Leadership Code of Conduct, and the Mozilla Diversity Statement is from the related documents at the Ubuntu Project website: