Updates from the Incident Response Team

In recent months, the Incident Response Team (IRT) has received excellent questions about its role and responsibilities and its approach to confidentiality. To that end, this post aims to share some current thinking with an invitation to ask further questions and provide your feedback. 

About the team

In WordPress spaces, including Make Team blogs, the Making WordPress SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/., and official social media accounts, all participants are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct. This is upheld by all WordPressers in their interactions and efforts to de-escalate situations. 

The Incident Response Team can assist in determining if the Code of Conduct has been breached and addressing situations that are in question of doing so. Our approach favors mediation, de-escalation, and correction over punishment, promoting positive conduct.

The Incident Response Team is not for policing tone or intervening in every disagreement. Disagreements, when productive, can be beneficial, reflecting our shared commitment to developing great software and a strong community. This page captures the team’s current practices. 

Recent challenges

The Incident Response Team was formed in late 2022 and handled a wide range of reports in 2023. In doing so, there were a number of challenges: 

  • Reports received were increasingly more nuanced and difficult to take clear action on. 
  • There was a higher volume of reports, especially toward the latter half of the year.
  • Scheduling meetings for reporters, reported people, witnesses, and IRT members was challenging and often slowed down the process. 

In light of this, the IRT members came together in January to explore how to improve our current practices. Identified areas for improvement include: 

  • A handbook to publicly document existing processes
  • Improved training for new members and ongoing training opportunities for current team members
  • Improved communication, such as sharing how long inquiries might take with all parties. 
  • Onboarding more members to the Incident Response Team

How you can help the IRT and WordPress Community

The Incident Response Team strives to keep identifying details of incident reports confidential to support those hesitant about reporting and desiring a swift resolution process. However, we have seen more reports and their outcomes being made public beyond the IRT’s annual reporting. The IRT asks that before you do this, please consider the possible unintended consequences.

Publicly shared reports attract a wide range of feedback, from well-informed to uninformed perspectives. This can cloud the original issue, complicating the IRT’s understanding and response. Moreover, the influx of opinions can hinder maintaining an objective approach.

Sharing outcomes without appropriate context can also be problematic. It can lead to misuse of information, exacerbating division and mistrust within the community. 

In all cases, the IRT encourages careful consideration before making such details public to avoid these issues. While some conflicts should be public, not all conflicts need such visibility. 

The Incident Response Team will update its processes and create a more thorough handbook (V1 published here). Further work on this handbook will be done in the #incident-response channel and posts published on https://make.wordpress.org/project/ to invite your feedback and questions. 

Lastly, a gentle thought. Our Code of Conduct outlines the behaviors we aim for and explains the steps to be taken if these are not met. Remember, we’re all human and should treat each other with kindness and respect. If a situation becomes challenging, taking a brief pause is helpful. This allows us to approach these moments with a clear and respectful mindset, seeking solutions together.

Thank you to the Incident Response Team members for helping to write and edit this post!

Proposal: Updates to Five for the Future from the Community Summit

Last year, I published a blog post requesting feedback from contributors on how to improve the contributor journey of WordPress. The post, which garnered insightful feedback, was followed up by an innovative session on Five for the Future at the recent WordPress Community Summit. What follows below are actionable recommendations for our program based on Community Summit discussions to achieve our collective goal of making the WordPress contributor experience the best it can be.

Effort Impact Analysis

In view of our contributors’ precious volunteer time, we can only implement the most impactful ideas from Summit Discussions. Experienced Five for the Future contributors @nao and @jeffpaul joined me to find answers to this problem by diving deep into the Community Summit Discussion notes and dividing them into four sections as the first step: increasing program awareness, matching contributors with projects, improving participation, and addressing problems. We then rearranged the discussion points based on these action items in the following Google Doc for clarity. 

Next, we further divided the ideas into four discrete categories: Process Improvement, Visualization, Sponsorship (of contributors by companies), and Mentorship. We then listed all the ideas (and their corresponding categories) in an ‘Effort Impact Matrix graph’ with ‘Effort’ on the X-axis and ‘Impact’ on the Y-axis. Last, we shortlist a final set of action items that are impactful, actionable, and can be achieved successfully in a shorter timeline. You can find a visual representation of our Effort/Impact Analysis in the image below, where different action items are listed in boxes on the quadrant where we felt they would best fit.
The boxes with thick blue borders are the action items we identified as most likely to have a significant impact and are achievable in 2024. You can also find the source slide of this matrix in the following link.

Effort/Impact Analysis for the Five for the Future Next Steps

Final List of Recommended Action Items

Here is our final recommended list of action items as depicted in the list below:

Process Improvement

  • Implement the Make/Contributor Tool into contributor recruitment for Five for the Future.
  • Establish constant communications with current and new pledgees to help them stay active (automated email check-ins for existing pledges and email onboarding for new pledgees)
  • Improve Onboarding Processes for Make/Teams – Identifying and sharing impactful projects for teams, standardizing handbooks, simplifying team handbooks, and onboarding.
  • Treat 5ftF Sponsorship like WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. sponsorships with similar benefits.


  • Task-based or project-based contributor sponsorships, where companies sponsor contributor time for a certain task or project in a Make/Team.
  • Project/release-based contributor sponsorships where companies could sponsor external contributors for a limited time as they work on specific projects.


  • Create team health dashboards for all Make/Teams, which help contributors identify impactful projects and areas that need help (Already underway).


  • To Provide dedicated mentoring and onboarding for Five for the Future companies and self-sponsored contributors. 
  • Helping companies set up contribution teams and onboarding sponsored contributors to Make/Teams
  • 1:1 or group mentorship to help self-sponsored contributors onboard effectively.

Next Steps and Request for Feedback

Our next steps are to incorporate feedback to refine Action Items, publish a program direction page on the Five for the Future website, and recruit contributors to focus on these items.

We would love to have your feedback before we finalize these action items and proceed toward implementing them in 2024. 

  • Do you have any feedback on the recommended action items for Five for the Future implementation? 
  • Which among the suggested ideas could have the highest impact, in your opinion? 
  • Are there any missing ideas from the Community Summit Discussion in the recommended list that you strongly wish to implement?
  • Are you interested and available to help with any of the recommended action items?

Your feedback goes a long way in improving our project’s health and long-term sustainability. Please leave your comments on the post by February 7, 2024 February 16, 2024.

The following people contributed to this blog post: @harishanker @nao @angelasjin @jeffpaul

#5ftf, #five-for-the-future

Big Picture Goals 2024

It’s been exciting to see how this community of contributors has come together in the past year to rebuild so much of what we lost in the wake of covid. It has not been an easy journey, but it has certainly been rewarding. With this renewed foundation, I invite you all to join me in focusing our energy on engaging and attracting users of closed-source products.

A Quick Caveat

There are always unexpected projects that arise over the course of the year. And there are big projects to move forward over multiple years. This project is too big for me to see everything all the time, and I rely on the information from team reps and the vision from both Matt as project lead and Matías as technical architect to help navigate any surprises.

Keep in mind that even if a project isn’t listed here, many unmentioned ones still contribute significantly to the overall success of our work.

The Top Focuses


There are three focuses for our projects this year:

  • CMS: Test, iterate, and ship Phase 3 of the GutenbergGutenberg The Gutenberg project is the new Editor Interface for WordPress. The editor improves the process and experience of creating new content, making writing rich content much simpler. It uses ‘blocks’ to add richness rather than shortcodes, custom HTML etc. https://wordpress.org/gutenberg/ project
  • Community: Continue to support the community through learning, events, and mentorship of current and future contributors
  • Ecosystem: Address the difficulty in moving platforms through the Data Liberation project as well as streamline existing review processes across repositories


  • Growth: Our new installations are stagnant year over year. The time to encourage the use of open sourceOpen Source Open Source denotes software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified. Open Source **must be** delivered via a licensing model, see GPL. software solutions like WordPress is now. Our project is pro-business and pro-commerce, and we’re committed to aiding in our users’ success by providing access and opportunities to those who might not have them otherwise.
  • Differentiation: Our event series needs to grow past a “one size fits all” strategy. With more advanced topics and more focused events, we can meet our community where it is—in a moment where time is valuable and joining an event should clearly help them reach their goals.

I believe that the WordPress software, ecosystem, and project can be the open source alternative of choice to any proprietary system you need to get your business going. And I need your help to get us there.

How Can You Help?

Code isn’t the only indicator of our achievement. If you already know what type of contribution you’d like to make, you can check out this list of teams (with links to their community sites) and team reps. If you’re not yet sure, here are a few teams and the areas they fall into:

  • Development, Technology, Code: CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress./Editor, Mobile, CLICLI Command Line Interface. Terminal (Bash) in Mac, Command Prompt in Windows, or WP-CLI for WordPress./Tide, Security, Performance
  • Design, Product, UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it./UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing.: Design, AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility), Test, Triage
  • Community, Extending WP, Education: Community, Themes, Plugins, Polyglots, Training
  • Contributor Experience: MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress., Docs, Hosting, Privacy
  • Communications: Marketing, Support, WPTV
#goals, #planning

Incident Reports 2023 Recap

The Incident Response Team (IRT) receives and handles incident reports following the Community Code of Conduct. This handbook page includes information about the Incident Response Team, its members, and insight into their processes. 

If you witness behavior that doesn’t align with the project-wide or events code of conduct, please contact any IRT members, email reports@wordpress.org, or submit a report via this form. The IRT is also available for general inquiries, clarifying how incident response functions within WordPress.

Per Incident Response Team practices, this is an annual recap of reports received in the prior year, the method of reporting, and the action taken after investigation into each report. 

The Incident Response Team received 17 reports in 2023, 5 of which were resolved through mediation*. The remaining 12 reports are summarized as follows:

Report #1

Reports were received between December 2022 and January 2023 alleging that local community members influenced WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more.’s organizing decisions to benefit particular companies and individuals.

Outcome: The inquiry process revealed insulting and personal attacks, public and private harassment, influencing and inciting harassment, retaliation, and discrimination. As a result, the Incident Response Team took several actions. The WordCamp was cancelled, a Community deputy and mentor role was removed, and involved companies were banned from sponsoring WordPress events for one year. As the issue also extended to the local meetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area., all organizers were removed from their roles and asked to complete Meetup organizer training before becoming an organizer again. 

Due to the unique nature of this situation, an announcement was shared with the community.

Report #2

In May 2023, reports alleged gatekeeping behaviors by a longtime Meetup organizer. 

Outcome: Following the inquiry, the Incident Response Team issued a warning and provided guidance to the meetup organizer.

Report #3

A WordCamp in late 2022 did not provide a thorough financial transparency report despite Community Program Supporters reaching out to request information. After giving significant time for the lead organizer to provide the requested information, the issue was escalated to the Incident Response Team due to the missing funds. 

Outcome: The Incident Response Team deduced that ample time had been offered to the individual to provide the information. As such, and due to the financial severity of the situation, the Incident Response Team took steps to remove the reported person from organizing roles. The individual eventually provided the requested information and was able to regain roles. 

Due to the unique nature of this situation, a reminder and clarification around the process were shared with the community

Report #4

In July 2023, reports alleged financial fraud by a WordCamp. 

Outcome: This report is still under investigation.

Report #5

In September 2023, reports shared that a member and speaker of the local community was directly insulting other community members and expressing derogatory comments.

Outcome: The Incident Response Team’s inquiry learned that the individual’s behavior did violate the Code of Conduct. They were removed as a speaker from an upcoming event and issued a warning. 

Report #6

In August 2023, a WordCamp attendee found an unwrapped condom hidden in the roll of toilet paper at the venue. 

Outcome: Incident Response Team members reported this to the venue, requesting increased security. 

Report #7

In September 2023, reports alleged hostile and aggressive behavior from one community member to another. 

Outcome: After an inquiry, the Incident Response Team issued a warning to the parties involved with a reminder of the Code of Conduct in place for all events. 

Report #8

In September 2023, reports alleged insulting and derogatory comments from one community member to another.

Outcome: This report is still under investigation.

Report #9

In August 2023, reports alleged harassing and inappropriate behavior from one community organizer to another. 

Outcome: This report is still under investigation

Report #10

In September 2023, community members reported an unfair banning from wp.org and requested additional review. 

Outcome: This report has gone through an investigation and is now working toward a resolution.

Report #11

A WordCamp attendee reported frustration with the organizing team. 

Outcome: In investigating this further, the Incident Response Team determined that there were misunderstandings on the attendee’s part and that their behavior (continuous contacting and harassing of event organizers) was inappropriate. The attendee was asked to refrain from attending the event. 

Report #12

In December 2023, a WordPress event organizer reportedly used threatening and rude language towards a Community Event Supporter. 

Outcome: This report is still under investigation.

Thank you

The Incident Response Team is essential to supporting our community, providing a straightforward method for members to report and address incidents that go against the WordPress Community Code of Conduct. A huge thank you to the Incident Response Team Members this year for their tireless, often invisible work to ensure a safe and respectful environment for all participants. 

Incident Team Members this year include Aaron Campbell (@aaroncampbell), Aditya Kane (@adityakane), Angela Jin (@angelasjin), Cate DeRosia (@mysweetcate), Devin Maeztri (@devinmaeztri), Destiny Kanno (@piyopiyofox), Evangelia Pappa (@evelina87), Harmony Romo (@harmonyromo), Hari Shanker (@harishanker), Isotta Peira (@peiraisotta), Julia Golomb (@juliarosia), Katie Richards (@katiejrichards), Kevin Cristiano (@kcristiano), Megan Rose (@megabyterose), Naoko Takano (@nao), Rocío Valdivia (@_dorsvenabili), Sam Suresh (@samsuresh), Timi Wahalahti (@sippis).

And thank you to the reporters and the individuals who assisted along the way. Reporting can be scary, especially if you’ve experienced an uncomfortable situation. At the same time, reporting allows for the opportunity to address and prevent unwelcoming challenges in the future. 

Looking forward to 2024

The Incident Response Team will continue to do this critical work in 2024. Additional activities will include refining and adding to existing training for Incident Response Team members and inviting and onboarding new members to the team. If you have questions about the Incident Response Team’s work, join us in the #incident-response SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/. channel or email us at reports@wordpress.org.

*Mediation is when the involved community members, with or without support from the Incident Response Team, work through issues by discussing them. This is a common and effective step to take before any enforcement guidelines. The Incident Response team appreciates being notified of these situations in case they escalate. 

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