The FTB community has been working on the rather slow process of solidifying our policies on conduct, ethics, and conflict resolution over the past few weeks. To a large degree, our views on those topics are discernible through the contents of the blogs here, but having clearly defined policies is a useful thing. The need for that has been underscored by the recent allegations against Dr. Richard Carrier, and our efforts to address those as the community that was hosting his blog.
The ethics committee currently consists of five FTB bloggers, whose recommendations and comments are then offered to the rest of the network for additional commentary and approval. Here’s the official statement:
Freethought Blogs unequivocally condemns any behavior that threatens the safety of atheist community members, including particularly marginalized groups. Freethought Blogs also recognizes the role of sexual harassment as one of numerous barriers for women that limits access to and participation within atheist conferences and spaces.
When the recent allegations against Richard Carrier were made public, Freethought Blogs initiated a process to investigate these claims and formalize its policy concerning the conduct of its members. The FtB Ethics Committee received several reports of Carrier’s behavior and was in the process of reviewing them when Carrier chose to leave the network. A thorough review of the allegations against Carrier cannot be completed by Freethought Blogs without his cooperation.
As part of our commitment to equitable access to freethinking spaces for all, Freethought Blogs members who violate our commitment to social justice by creating or maintaining barriers to participation will be removed from the network as a matter of policy. All reports submitted to us in furtherance of this policy will be kept in the strictest of confidence, unless the accusation was made publicly or in the event we have express permission to reproduce the complaint.
-The FtB Ethics Committee