Mozilla Community Participation Guidelines

Proposed Version 1.1. Updated: March 24, 2016

Community Participation Guidelines

These guidelines describe the type of community we are building. They work in conjunction with

  • the Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy [1] which sets out protections and obligations of Mozilla employees, and is crafted with specific jurisdictional legal definitions and requirements in mind.
  • Mozilla groups for escalation and dispute resolution.

The Community Participation Guidelines cover our behavior as members of the Mozilla Community in Mozilla-related forums, mailing lists, wikis, web sites, IRC channels, bugs, events, public meetings or person to person, Mozilla-related correspondence.

The Community Participation Guidelines have two parts -- an Inclusion and Diversity section and a general section called “Interaction Style” about how we treat each other. Each is an important part of the community we’re building.

Diversity and Inclusion

  • The Mozilla Project welcomes and encourages participation by everyone. It doesn’t matter how you identify yourself or how others perceive you: we welcome you. We welcome contributions from everyone as long as they interact constructively with our community, including, but not limited to people of varied age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views.
  • Mozilla-based activities should be inclusive and should support such diversity.
  • Some Mozillians may identify with activities or organizations that do not support the same inclusion and diversity standards as Mozilla. When this is the case:
    • (a) support for exclusionary practices must not be carried into Mozilla activities.
    • (b) support for exclusionary practices in non-Mozilla activities should not be expressed in Mozilla spaces (which extends to Mozilla-hosted events, even if not in our spaces).
    • (c) if (a) and (b) are met, other Mozillians should treat this as a private matter, not a Mozilla issue.

Raising Issues Related to Diversity and Inclusion

If you believe you’re experiencing practices which don’t meet the terms outlined above, please contact which reaches our VP of People, D&I Program Manager, and Employee Relations Specialist. They can provide a range of resources, from a private consultation to other community resources, and of course cover the legal aspects the Mozilla organization should address.

Intentional efforts to exclude people from Mozilla activities are not acceptable and will be dealt with appropriately. It’s hard to imagine how one might unintentionally do this, but if this happens we will figure out how to make it not happen again. We suspect there will be some questions about when and if something moves from a private to a public matter, which we’ll have to sort out.

Interaction Style

This is a more general section about how we treat each other. Each aspect is an important part of the community we’re building.

  • Be respectful. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor manners. We will all experience some frustration now and then, but we don’t allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one.
  • Try to understand different perspectives. Our goal should not be to “win” every disagreement or argument. A more productive goal is to be open to ideas that make our own ideas better. “Winning” is when different perspectives make our work richer and stronger.
  • Do not threaten violence.
  • Empower others to speak.
  • Strive for excellence. For our products to be great our communities must be healthy and vigorous. Being respectful does not mean papering over disagreements or accepting less than we can do.
  • Don’t expect to agree with every decision.

Raising Issues Related To Interaction Style

  • Inevitably, conflicts will arise. Sometimes we’ll differ about style or about what’s respectful. Sometimes attempts at humor will backfire.
  • We are also likely to have some discussions about if and when criticism is respectful and when it’s not. We *must* be able to speak directly when we disagree and when we think we need to improve. We cannot sugar-coat hard truths. Doing so respectfully is hard, doing so when other don’t seem to be listening is harder, and hearing such comments when one is the recipient can be even harder still. We need to be honest and direct, as well as respectful. That takes work. If you need help with discussion, again, please contact

[1] The anti-harassment policy is accessible to paid staff here.