Let's #CleanUpGitHub!


Join Us For Our First Event - Let’s #CleanUpGitHub!

Not long ago, Tom Morris blogged about a search he did on GitHub for words like ‘faggot’, ‘bitches’ and other offensive things.

While there’s a lot of fairly harmless swearing (this is the internet, shit (quite literally) happens) in code comments, these searches also showed a far deeper issue.

Laid bare was a prime example of ignorance being bliss, people publicly posting code with comments that could make so many people feel awful, unwanted, and excluded. We’re not just talking about the odd bad word - but very real rants that amount to nothing more than targeted hate.

Often these things aren’t written with awareness of who might see them - but are, often, written with an ignorance of the damage their comments can cause. With just a little education, so many people might look twice at their code and clean it up. And so, with that in mind, on Saturday 22nd March, we got together for our first event.

The first #CleanUpGitHub pull-request-a-thon.

In the spirit of positive action, over 40 coders came together online and in person as an experiment to see whether we could find hate speech on GitHub and suggest some changes. At no point did we aim to target swear words or things that weren’t actually offensive.

This was not about cleaning up every swear word on GitHub. Nor was it about censorship. It was about standing up and saying “this is not okay” to people who are causing real offence.

We can’t force developers to change their code - but eight hours of pull requests from ethical coders the world over might just make people stop, think, and change their ways.

We wanted to show the world that there is no place for sexism, racism, homophobia or any other kind of exclusive attitudes in code and in our industry. Time will tell if this one event made a difference - but EthicalCode is all about trying new things and seeing what sticks.

Questions? Comments? Email hello@ethicalco.de.

Please Note

The Trolls Come Out At Night

As with anything the slightest bit controversial, there have been a number of trolls either parodying, spamming, or sending pretty awful stuff through to members of the EthicalCode community. If you see something that was targetting non-offensive stuff, it’s likely a parody. The aim of the event - and the strong desire of all involved - is to be respectful and act strictly to preserve free speech and not enforce censorship.

Thanks To Everyone

Huge thanks to all who joined us, either in-person or remote, on the day.