Commit b5a35716 authored by Sid Sijbrandij's avatar Sid Sijbrandij
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Merge branch 'customer-inclusion' into 'master'

Customer inclusion reasons

See merge request !30656
parents e1ff3827 aea45c4c
Pipeline #84805212 passed with stages
in 33 minutes and 28 seconds
......@@ -228,8 +228,17 @@ user choice and is not transparent. So we will always let you BYOK (bring your
own Kubernetes) and never lock you into our infrastructure to charge you an
opaque premium on those costs.
## Customer acceptance
We do not currently exclude anyone from being a customer based on moral/value grounds. We firmly comply with [trade compliance laws](/handbook/people-operations/code-of-conduct/#trade-compliance-exportimport-control) and welcome everyone outside of those restrictions to be customers of GitLab.
We do business with customers with values that are incompatible with [our own values](/handbook/values/) for the following reasons:
1. Our mission is 'everyone can contribute', while there is a [code of conduct for contributing]( we want to get as close to everyone as possible.
1. We [do not discuss politics in the workplace](/handbook/values/#religion-and-politics-at-work-) and decisions about what customer to serve might get political.
1. [Efficiency is one of our values](/handbook/values/#efficiency) and vetting customers is time consuming and potentially distracting.
1. It maps to the MIT expat open source license we use that [doesn't discriminate against fields of endeavor](
## Challenges as we grow and scale
Losing the interest of the open source community would be detrimental to our success. For example, if someone wanted to make a contribution to CE and decided not to merge it because a similar feature already existed in EE, we would have lost out on an important contribution from the community.
  • This change is disgraceful and opportunistic.

    Further information can be found here.

    Edited by Michael
  • Add GitLab to the list of places, and @sytses to the list of people whom I'll avoid working with like the plague.

    *edit* You may as well have said "shut up and ignore your better judgement about whatever it is we’re telling you to do, and whether it’s moral/ethical or not".

  • This is short-sighted at best. While increasing shareholder value is the only real function of a capital venture, it's up to our ethos to fill that gap and determine the direction capital enterprises take us and what they enable in the real world. The verbiage used here tells me that you don't really believe in the idea of an "us" though. Simply banning employees from political discussion doesn't make ethical or social challenges go away and could hurt your product and company long-term. The "chilling effect" is real. Vetting customers is an ethical duty. Who stands to benefit from you banning political discussion? Telling your employees to shut-up and ignore reality says a lot about your moral character and where the company is headed, so I'll happily delete my GitLab account, which used to be impressive alternative to GitHub.

  • Smart move, ignore the snowflakes 👍

  • @bern_warner's comment should be indicative of what a bad move this is. Siding with people who unironically use the word "snowflakes"... embarrassing.

  • I have just done a POC in our organisation of moving off Bitbucket/Bamboo CI/CD to Gitlab (with its kinda flakey still very much BETA Kubernetes integration) vs Harness/Kubernetes CD

    This move is rather disappointing and incompatible with our companies charter and code of conduct.

    Looks like Harness just got a new enterprise customer. Sorry Gitlab.

    Edited by Rob
  • Good. Anyone getting mad at this is just overly sensitive.

  • This is a far worse (and legally dubious) position than GitHub's, which this is presumably in response to.

    • What's the point of "getting close to" people whose values are diametrically opposed to your own? Besides more money for you. I struggle to see the point of having corporate values if you're willing to provide services to customers who are not just incompatible, but diametrically opposed to your values.
    • Your policy of not discussing politics in the workplace is potentially illegal, at least in the US, and may be elsewhere as well. Considering GitLab's employees are spread across the globe, I fail to see how this doesn't expose GitLab to an unacceptable level of legal and regulatory risk.
    • I don't think vetting customers is as inefficient as you seem to think. I'd say it's more likely that you'll lose more efficiency in dealing with the consequences of this decision than you'd lose with a quick spot check on potential customers. At the very least it is more distracting to deal with the pushback than to just quietly say nothing.
    • This is correct, but you don't have to take blood money.
  • When tech companies choose profit over ethics

  • We do business with customers with values that are incompatible with our own values

    What do you call values if no the ideas you base your decisions on? What do values mean to you? How can you say you value something but will refuse to do anything at all about it?

    Be honest GitLab, you no longer have values.

  • I've been a huge proponent of GitLab since day one; recent business decisions have changed that. You are an open source company. You might not be able to choose who uses GitLab but you can choose who you take money from.

  • This is a great strategy. Thank you for not being part of the leftist technocracy that is banning Bad Think people constantly, even deplatforming media individuals.

    You already have my business and I'm sticking with you, GitLab!

  • Here is the referenced paragraph from the Handbook on religion and politics discussion for everyone to read:

    We generally don't discuss religion or politics in public forums because it is easy to alienate people that have a minority opinion. It's acceptable to bring up these topics in social contexts such as coffee chats and real-life meetups with other coworkers, but always be aware of cultural sensitivities, exercise your best judgement, and make sure you stay within the boundaries of our Code of Conduct.

  • A business should have values and should of course seek to align those values with those that they do business with. Or change the values.

    "Everyone can contribute'` is meant for the community writing open source code and has nothing to do with business and customers. In this update, it's confused with the Mission Statement, which doesn't contain this.

    I've never seen a Code of Conduct misunderstood this way, but perhaps other Code of Conduct teams should consider this before their inclusivity ideals are hijacked by profit-seeking.

  • Smart move

    This will help get perpetual victims out of the company and allow it to become profitable and faster reacting

    Google are already doing the same, only quietly and sneakily. Its nice to see an honest tech company for a change. Good job GitLab

  • To be absolutely clear: you now support doing business with literal Nazis, because asking yourself if you should is inefficient?

  • @dalvizu You are a perfect example of why this should happen. "Literal Nazis"?!?! That comment borders on the insane. The fact that you have to pretend that GitLab is doing business with a group of people that dont exist is mind boggling. The rest of the world looks at our industry in total disbelief of how you people behave. Its brainwashed people like you that caused the rest of the world to revolt against the tech industry and ultimately why we ended up with extremists in power

    If you have to continually lie about reality to support your values then your values are worthless

    Edited by Bot Fap
  • Very disappointed by Gitlab taking the moral stance that making money is the ultimate value that justifiably overrides everything else, as long as its legal. Don't kid yourself, this is a moral position you are taking here.

    Then if that wasn't enough, you also ban some topics of discussion at the workplace which is potentially even illegal! For me, this contradicts everything that I liked about the company and its culture. The motivation about efficiency is especially chilling.

    'Everybody can contribute': when you look away while knowingly facilitating deeply immoral acts of exclusion with your products this value blows up in your face. It's just marketing now. Sure, you aren't and should not be responsible for what your customers do, but you have a free choice with whom to engage. Taking such an absolute stance of not caring about who you engage with is very extreme, especially when you ban discussion about this at the workplace.

    Given the discussion about Chef this looks like a well-considered move and not just a gaffe.

    EDIT: I want to clarify: I'm not in favor of gitlab becoming overly 'political correct' and take the role of editor of any content published on their platform. Nor am I of the opinion that anything done with the Gitlab product is implicitly condoned by them - on the contrary. The thing I do object to however is the unconditional waving of all responsibility with regards to which customers Gitlab engages with. Excluding a customer for Gitlab should be a very, very rare thing to do, but excluding this possibility is just so cynical that Gitlab lost all appeal for me. I hope you reconsider a less extreme position.

    Edited by Lutger Blijdestijn
  • Thank God there's SOME tech company that won't bend to the political correctness and victim agendas. I feel even better about using this site, now.

  • @dalvizu show me one Nazi on Gitlab. That's right, zero, now go find something else to be a 'victim' of.

    Hand picking who can 'git push' some code is censorship. Read the constitution, stop virtue signalling and get your testosterone levels checked.

  • Thank you, Gitlab. You didn't have to do this - further, in this case, doing the right thing is getting you demonized by many. Keep being awesome - I'm staying. You're appreciated.

  • Although I agree this statement is poorly timed with current political events, you can't expect large companies to hand pick customers.

    Having said that, not allowing the discussion of politics is something I would not have expected.

    Edited by Martijn Lafeber
  • GitLab won’t enforce my political beliefs? I literally can’t even!

  • I get this; after what just happened with the NBA, its probably a smart business move given that a lot of Gitlab's users are out of China.

    That said, compromising on human decency for the sake of business is almost always a terrible decision. People will (and should) hate you for it. If you truly follow through on what you have written here, you will earn well-deserved infamy in the historical record. There is no type of human more universally hated than a profiteer. @sytses may feel there is no moral imperative to enforce a basic level of human decency as a business standard (esp. with no financial incentive to do so) but I hope that he -- or more likely the employees of gitlab in opposition to him -- will have the courage to put people over money (and more importantly this policy) when the time comes to confront evil.

  • #boycottgitlab or #deletegitlab as you prefer.

  • Got it. Basically, the new policy is: "We don't care if you're using Git to commit fraud or murder people, as long as you pay your bills."

  • Just posting here to show support for GitLab decision as most people commenting will be so against it.

    It's funny that there is a freedom of choice, speech etc, well as long as you agree with majority.

    How is it GitLab's job (or any other company) to say who else can use their products and to mark "non-worthy one". If it is, how should they filter out who is worthy or not? Years ago democracy said that black people couldn't access some services. How is this different?

    It's free country (world?), let them do what they want, you are not forced to use them. Don't agree? Switch providers.

    For me GitLab give me insane amount of value for what I am paying, it's great and I will be recommending it to others.

    Do not like what they are doing? Open your own company, and deny it's services to whoever you like, it's simple really...

  • "Do not like what they are doing?"

    Start a boycott campaign.

  • An IMHO relevant question in this context: Are individual GitLab employees allowed to refuse working on a particular project/issue/etc. for a customers who is known to violate GitLab values? "vetting…is time consuming", but recalling previous knowledge isn't.

  • You list 4 points, but they're all labelled "1." and they're all bad.

  • 1. is correct markdown syntax. It will create an <ol> HTML element, and the browser will number them correctly, no matter what the number is in the source markdown.

    Putting 1. in the markdown source rather than different numbers means you don't have to re-number all lines when you add or remove one line. So it was most likely intentional!

    As per the content, it was bad, thankfully it has been rolled back: !32614 (diffs)

    Edited by Remi Rampin
  • This move is rather disappointing and incompatible with our companies charter and code of conduct.

    @robj_sbs This doesn't make any sense. I'm unsure how your company can possibly use any service on the internet, or the internet itself if you're required to agree with the actions or beliefs of every other single user.

  • Efficiency was also one of IBM's values. So, for instance, when it zealously sold Hollerith (punch card) machines to the Nazis.

    In contemporaneous posters the company advertised : "Surveil everywhere with Hollerith punch cards" (own trans.), reproduced in Black's 'IBM and the Holocaust'.

    "When Watson visited Berlin that June (...) Everywhere, Jewish misery was evident. (...) Signs declaring Jews "not wanted" were prominently posted outside stores and cafes. But Watson did not focus on the Nazi war against the Jews and other non-Aryans. He was concerned with IBM's market victories in Germany" (ch. 4, ibid.).

    Watson must have thought not unlike Sid Sijbrandij, in that June of 1934...

  • Nazis

    Straight to Godwin's Law without even making an attempt to form an actual argument, just like TheRegister article.

  • Dude, can it. Gitlab has already reversed course, and you're making specious arguments all over the place.

    We're not talking about the software, we're talking about the service. Using or creating open source software isn't the same as directly offering your services as an enterprise vendor. Supporting, maintaining, and customizing open software for a specific organization in return for a specific fee.

    We probably agree that OSS should continue to be unconditionally worked on, and may be used by anyone for any purpose. But a company's business strategy and values need not strictly match the terms of the OSS license of the software it uses, even if the same company writes said software. Gitlab's argument in that regard was not sound. Technological innovation should continue unconditionally, OSS licenses themselves should remain pure (I personally disagree with do-no-evil clauses at the license level -- troubleshooting at the wrong layer), but directly aiding and abetting for profit is a different matter.

    Also, the "actual arguments" you're asking for have been made a lot in recent years. There are some chilling similarities between the "culture war" we're fighting in the USA today and the one that preceded the Holocaust. Sure, we're not quite to the posters -- oh wait! My hometown of Tacoma, WA has white-nationalist propaganda plastered on telephone poles, it started in 2016. And I guess people aren't being gassed, but they are being concentrated, in... well, facilities. I guess you could argue about whether to call them "camps". A few souls have met their end. The conditions aren't what I'd want to endure, and we have a bunch of people out here going "they shouldn't have broken THE LAW, those officers are just doing their jobs!"

    Beyond those remarks, I'm not going to rehash it for you. Godwin's law call-outs stopped being that relevant to me around the same time I started feeling the heat. As a queer person and a sufferer of PTSD, I've gotten called a "snowflake" more than once. Somehow, I haven't melted. Just gotten fed up at all the craven lack of integrity I see around me, be it morally, intellectually, financially, baseline human compassion, the works. I'm more than a little disgusted.

    Thanks for reversing course, Gitlab. It'll take awhile to regain my trust nonetheless. I saw that.

    Edited by Chad Cassady
  • Dude, can it.

    Sounds like something a Nazi would say.

    you're making specious arguments all over the place

    The irony.

    Edited by BitAlt
  • I wish I could say I did Nazi that coming, but I truly did.

    Saying it, along with the more salient stuff, anyway. Carry on.

  • Yes, we fought Nazi Germany because it was prone to lose its temper on Internet forums. No other reason, that's what history books say. That's what they were about.

    Regardless of whether they are doing business with Nazis, which I suppose we can disagree on whether Nazi-like groups exist in today's America, the problem is that the statement here (and GitLab agrees and removed it) seem to have no other purpose than to enable them to do business with groups similar to them (should they appear). If you don't believe such groups exist or might pop up, what are you complaining about exactly? You don't have to believe that history repeats itself to believe that such a (purely historical to you) event would be wrong.

    This is the argument. It's not about calling you or anyone Nazis. It's not difficult to understand. It has nothing to do with open source, nothing to do with political correctness and spending time vetting every customer. In the case that Nazis appear, and you know they are Nazis, you don't want a policy on place saying it's fine to do business with them. It's not fine, and you're own ancestors (regardless of political inclination) have fought over this.

  • Guys, the handbook has been updated already: !32628 (diffs)

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