Communication Breakdown — We're sorry

Content Warning: this post discusses abuse and transparency. It also mentions Laurelai Bailey, a past member of the ForkOff/ForkTogether initiative (which later transformed into the Florence project).

Thank you all for your patience with us as we’ve taken the time to process this. We wanted to make sure to cool our heads, have a proper conversation between each other, figure out what had gone wrong, and figure out how to avoid doing anything like this ever again. We also took almost a month to write and edit this post, which shows that we honestly didn’t know how to approach this subject, apology, or situation to begin with.

What Happened

In July, a thread on the fediverse featured abuse of Laurelai Bailey, as well as a heated argument involving a few members of Florence, namely maloki and lightdark. While it is tempting to recount everything that happened leading up to this event we decided to keep this post short and to the point.

First, we would like to apologize to Laurelai, for how this incident came about and where it came about. We spoke out about an issue in absolutely the worst possible place we could have done it, and although we can't change what happened, we're going to try and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Second, we would like to extend an apology for our lapse in communication about the issue from the start. We have yet to reach a point where our process is transparent enough about these sorts of decisions, and we want to acknowledge and improve this.

We completely understand if we’re not forgiven for this incident, and we understand if this has destroyed any trust in the project we're working on. However, we've always been open to give people second chances in this project, and we hope that one day you can to do the same for us.

How We Want to Do Better

We recognize that we do not have a lot of the processes in place yet to handle communication regarding events like these, nor have we had time (even if we've been working on this project for the past eight months at a baby-step pace) to internalize some of the previous decisions we have made. We did lapse in judgement, and it's possible that this is growing pains, and it is also possible that we are just human.

Currently there are some quirks involved with team communication, both internally and externally, which we hope to be able to iron out over the next few weeks and months by clarifying to ourselves what we respond to, and how. We're finalizing the Code of Conduct, and while we agree on its general content, we've been putting off actually saying “this is our current draft, and this is how we’ll handle reports”. We need to continue figuring out how our entire outreach process should work, especially in regards to responding to certain types of comments, and we hope that you'll stay with us along the way.


Florence Team: