The open source community is nasty and that’s just the docs

The 2017 Open Source Survey was hosted on GitHub, which “collected responses from 5,500 randomly sampled respondents sourced from over 3,800 open source repositories” and then added “over 500 responses from a non-random sample of communities that work on other platforms.” The questionnaire was also made available in Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and Russian.

Interestingly, those behind the survey broke out “negative incidents” into a separate spreadsheet in that trove. That data reveals that 18 per cent of open source contributors have “personally experienced a negative interaction with another user in open source”. Fully half of participants “have witnessed one between other people”.

Most of the negative behaviour is explained as “rudeness”, which has been experienced witnessed by 45 per cent of participants and experienced by 16 per cent. GitHub’s summary of the survey says really nasty stuff like “sexual advances, stalking, or doxxing are each encountered by less than five per cent of respondents and experienced by less than two per cent (but cumulatively witnessed by 14%, and experienced by three per cent).” Twenty five per cent of women respondents reported experiencing “language or content that makes them feel unwelcome”, compared to 15 per cent of men.

This stuff has consequences: 21 per cent of those who see negative behaviour bail from projects they were working on.

Source: The open source community is nasty and that’s just the docs

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