Although I am not a member, it has come to my attention that the American Philosophical Association has adopted a very unusual Code of ethical conduct, quite unlike that adopted by other disciplines such as the Modern Language Association, the American Historical Association, or the American Psychological Association. None of these other codes purport to proscribe extramural speech beyond one's campus, let alone speech that might constitute what is capaciously defined as "bullying and harassment"; they focus instead on actual professional obligations in dealings with faculty colleagues, students, and research subjects.
Yet the APA purports to proscribe "bullying and harassment" quite generally, meaning, inter alia, "verbal agression...spreading malicious rumors; calling someone conventionally derogatory names or using derogatory stereotypes to describe them...'cyber-bullying' through email, text messages, or social media...subjecting an individual to repeated, unsolicited criticism, except when this is clearly limited to a matter of scholarly dispute; subjecting a person to public ridicule..."
Most of these terms admit of considerable interpretation, meaning the reach of the Code may be very broad. As the sociologist Randall Collins has noted, there has been massive inflation of the term "bullying" over the last generation so that it encompasses more and more ordinary interactions in which one party says something critical about another. By incorporating this inflation into the APA Code, you purport to expand the APA's authority over matters no other professional organization purports to regulate.
In any case, I am writing to inform you that the following philosophers have been in violation of the Code of Conduct based on their social media conduct: Linda Alcoff, Elizabeth Barnes, John Drabinski, Sally Haslanger, Richard Heck, Bryce Huebner, Jonathan Ichikawa, Carrie Jenkins, Leigh Johnson, Ed Kazarian, David Koepsell, Rebecca Kukla, Mark Lance, Christopher Lebron, Aidan McGlynn, Rachel McKinnon, Paul Prescott, John Protevi, Alan Richardson, Jennifer Saul, John Schwenkler, Jason Stanley, David Velleman, and Justin Weinberg, among many others. (See, e.g., here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, among other places.) It is worrisome that several of these violators have been officers of the APA itself!
Admittedly, the misconduct by some of these individuals sometimes pertains to their "bullying and harassment" of me, and sometimes to their "bullying and harassment" of Christian philosophers, conservative philosophers or others not currently part of the APA power structure. Of course, I understand the Code was not really intended to prohibit "righteous" bullying and harassment, but poor drafting means it does.
I look forward to hearing what steps the APA will take to address this misconduct, at least by those who are APA members.
Alternatively, I look forward to the APA consulting with a lawyer who might explain to them why attempts to regulate speech in the terms proposed violate the academic freedom rights of all philosophy faculty in the United States. Academic freedom, as you presumably know, protects the extramural speech of faculty, including, inter alia, verbal aggression, calling someone (not a colleague or student) a derogatory name, repeated criticism of someone unrelated to their scholarship, and so on. In addition, it protects much speech related to a faculty member's scholarship that might well fall within the proscription of the Code's capacious language.
In light of the preceding, may I suggest an amendment to the Code of Conduct, namely, that it require professional organizations of philosophers to refrain from infringing the constitutional and contractual rights of faculty they purport to represent? I look forward to learning about the disciplinary proceedings the APA will then take against itself. Doing so might even help redeem the APA's currently rather dismal reputation among philosophers.
P.S. May I also note that the Code's injunction about "respecting the philosophical opinions and traditions of others" has never played any role in the history of philosophy, and would presumably mean that the APA would have to exclude from membership G.E.M. Anscombe, Noam Chomsky, Rene Descartes, Ruth Barcan Marcus, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Plato, W.V.O. Quine, and Arthur Schopenhauer, among other luminaries.