Greetings to our community,
We recently became aware of an incident at IA Summit 2018, involving an offensive comment made during a talk towards a speaker. We want to make the community aware of what we have learned, and what we did to address this.
First, we contacted the speaker and discussed this incident with them. We apologized directly to the speaker, and talked with them about some of the things we are sharing with you all today.
What we learned is that the offending comment was a poorly conceived joke made in jest from a member of the community of whom the speaker knew. The instigator has owned up to the transgression. They have profusely and sincerely apologized to the speaker. We consider this matter resolved.
Why we have our Code of Conduct
However, we’d like to reiterate to the community that the comment violated a clause in our Code of Conduct:
We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or experience levels. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form.
Even though the remark was not made maliciously, it shocked and disturbed the attendees who heard it, and we apologize to the members of the audience. This is not the kind of attitude we wish to foster.
Due to these particular circumstances, we have decided to take no further action. In the future, if we feel that the safety of the speakers and/or attendees is, or could be, in danger, enforcement may include removal from the talk, conference and/or a ban from future events.
Your safety in this community is the most important thing to us. Our Code of Conduct is the baseline from which we can have discussions about expectations of behavior. We are determined to maintain a safe and welcoming environment. That will remain the case as we transition to the Information Architecture Conference in 2019.
As always, we welcome your questions and comments.