USENIX Code of Conduct

As approved by the USENIX Board of Directors on January 31, 2024

USENIX is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants in its communities by offering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that welcomes and encourages the free discussion of ideas. We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form during events or in any USENIX online space or social media.

All USENIX event attendees, speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, staff, volunteers, and community participants are required to refrain from harassment and to attempt to avoid potentially offensive imagery or language when participating in USENIX events, online communities, and social media. USENIX staff will enforce this Code at all times, and expects cooperation from all participants.


If you have any concerns about inappropriate behavior by any participant during an event or in any USENIX online space or related social media, please contact the USENIX staff:

  • Via the Google form for reporting incidents.
  • At an in-person event, staff can be identified by their clearly marked "USENIX Staff" badge holders.
  • At virtual events where Slack is in use, you may direct message (DM) any member of the @usenix-coc user group.
  • You can also phone USENIX at +1 510­.528.­8649 or email staff members directly; contact information is available at


Harassment includes—but is not limited to—unwelcome conduct or offensive verbal comments related to age, education, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, gender identity, national origin, neurotype, race, religion, belief system, spiritual practice, sexual orientation, physical ability, physical appearance, body size, use of personal protective equipment such as face masks, or other unique characteristics; deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, unwelcome or unauthorized photography or recording (including screenshotting or otherwise recording an individual’s participation in virtual events and online community spaces), sustained disruption of talks, other events, or online community spaces, inappropriate physical contact, unwelcome sexual attention, and sexualized images in public spaces. Similarly, encouraging others to engage in such behavior is not permitted, nor are false accusations of harassment.


USENIX expects that all participants attempt to avoid potentially offensive imagery or language.

Regarding images, participants should avoid displaying violent, degrading, or sexualized images, or otherwise create a sexualized environment, including via clothing.

Regarding language, participants should especially avoid words where one meaning, even if it is not the one you intend, may be used to refer to another person or group of people in a derogatory manner. For example, avoid discriminatory language (e.g., master/slave, blacklist/whitelist, gendered pronouns, militarized metaphors). For more information on the reasoning behind this request please see IETF Draft knodel-terminology. Also, since USENIX has a broad multi-cultural and international community, we also recommend avoiding the use of colloquialisms and culturally-specific humor.

Authors and presenters are responsible for the content of their work, but USENIX requests that they be cognizant of potentially offensive actions, language, or imagery, and that they consider whether it is necessary to convey their message. See the Conference Submissions Policy for more information.


Interpersonal Behavior: If it is safe to do so, we encourage you to request that the person stop the unwelcome or harassing behavior. Participants who are asked to stop any such behavior are expected to comply immediately. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any related concerns, please contact USENIX staff or event organizers immediately.

Sponsor/Exhibitor Complaints: Please contact USENIX staff.

Talks and Presentations: USENIX staff and event organizers welcome feedback of all kinds about talks and presentations. Attendee comments are taken seriously when planning future events and will be kept in confidence if requested.

Virtual Events and Online Community Spaces: USENIX moderators and editors may participate in online community spaces and will take action as they deem appropriate if they observe harassment or offensive language or imagery. If you observe inappropriate behavior, please contact USENIX staff.


Interpersonal Behavior: If an incident of harassment is reported, USENIX staff will conduct an investigation. If they determine—to the best of their ability, and in their sole discretion—that a participant has violated this Code, they may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event (or the online space) with no refund. Under certain circumstances and at their discretion, USENIX staff may contact hotel security and/or appropriate law enforcement authorities. To protect all parties involved, USENIX will generally not make any detailed public statements about Code of Conduct incidents.

Sponsor/Exhibitor Complaints: USENIX staff will investigate the complaint. If they determine—to the best of their ability, and in their sole discretion—that action is warranted, they may resolve the matter as they deem appropriate, including removing the exhibit.

Talks and Presentations: Concerns will be relayed to current and future organizers, who will take the information into account when selecting speakers for future events. USENIX requests that attendees understand, however, that determining whether material is "offensive" is a subjective call.

Virtual Events and Online Community Spaces: Moderators and editors will generally first respond to such remarks or content with a warning, although egregious harassment may be responded to without a warning. If the warning is unheeded, the user will first be removed temporarily from the space. Users who persist in violating this Code of Conduct will be indefinitely excluded. If a moderator or editor bans someone and you think it was unjustified, please contact USENIX staff in private. Complaints about bans in-channel are not allowed. If harassment is reported in USENIX online community spaces, USENIX reserves the right to review private messages between participants involved.


USENIX has a separate network policy.


USENIX intends for these policies to meet the needs of our constituents to have positive experiences at our events and in our online community spaces, and we welcome comments and suggestions from the community. Please contact USENIX staff if you would like to provide feedback.

For concerns related to a USENIX conference’s processes for peer reviews, publications, and presentations, view the USENIX Concern Reporting Process.