Sexual Harassment

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Sith-Lord-Gunray, Aug 3, 2008.

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  1. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5
    Because Philip Wise said so. Unfortunately, TFN is not a democracy. It's a privately owned board whose continued existence is only allowed because the creator of SW is allowing it. Wise knows that any adverse publicity could close this place down faster than you could say Millennium Falcon.
  2. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I was talking about action the other way. If we said that public accusations were fine, there are some people here who would make baseless and untrue accusations against others. It's sad but it's true. We all know that mods get called Nazis on a regular basis, and in the UK we've recently had a court case where someone won £60,000 for being called that in public. And an internet message board is considered public when it comes to libel laws. It's just something that we're not prepared to get involved in at any level.

    But if a user wanted to take legal action against another, we would of course hand over any relevant information we had.

    MaidenLumpe: Those are the issues I'm talking about. Issues, not responsibilities.
  3. LemmingLord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 4
    We are in partial agreement. We do need to have empathy for our fellow users. We should recognize that harassment must be dealt with in a quick and efficient manner.

    I do NOT agree that we should do EVERYTHING we can to ensure that harassment doesn't recur. The only certain way I know to prevent harassment from occuring on an open forum is to close the forum. If you give people a voice, which is the purpose of this forum in my opinion, they can use that voice for whatever they wish. We can't preemptively stop something as subjective as harassment. I wish we could create some kind of jerk-filter out there. Even with one in place, you know that if someone wants to break the rules bad enough they can do so in this kind of free market of ideas environment. I empathize with those who feel betrayed, but if you are coming here to feel safe from jerks, I got news for you - every community is going to have jerks no matter how free or totalitarian the society. If there were no jerks there would be no need for mods (or governments)..

    I agree that mods should deal swift and just punishment to users who misuse their free speech to hurt others. I also believe we should show compassion for those suffering from the consequences of jerky behavior.
  4. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    There are plenty of things we don't allow users to post about other users. In fact, I'd go as far to say that unless either the original user agrees or it's something the original user has already posted, we don't allow anything personal to be posted about them
  5. EmpireForever Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 8
    Ok, but if you've blocked one and then you get another, and you block it, and you get another, aren't you still being harassed? Isn't it easier to just tell the person to leave you alone, and if they do it again then you report it? You're going to have to report it after they've PM'ed you with a few socks anyway.
  6. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    Not really. As far as the mods in here have said, Philip Wise only said that the administration could not publicly name the offender in this case. He didn't, as far as I know, say anything about victims saying that something happened to them.

    As for your newspaper analogy, consider the case of Valerie Plame, who was prevented by the CIA from publicly stating anything that happened to her. So when she published a book, it was redacted, and she included as appendices newspaper articles and public domain documents that filled in the redacted holes.
    What we're talking about here is the officials not being allowed to say "X has been banned." But as far as the administration/Phil Wise have explained the restrictions, victims should still be able to say "X harrassed me."
  7. Natasi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2008
    star 4
    I meant more along the lines of blocking a certain user from PMing you, not just a single PM at a time.
  8. EmpireForever Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 8
    And I meant that they could use other accounts to PM you.
  9. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5
    I didn't say this situation is right. I think that Philip Wise should definitely reconsider this whole issue and allow open discussion to take place regarding the name of the offender, the enormity of the offense and how the admins and mods and users can work together to keep this (or at least anything approaching this magnitude) from happening again.


    That being said, if Philip Wise tells the admin, "No, you can't name the perpetrator who was banned", he's basically saying he doesn't want the banned perpetrator named. Allowing the users, even if they are the victims, to say "Darth_So-and-So did this to me" is essentially allowing the banned perp's name to come out.

    I think it sucks, but I don't own this message board.
  10. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    No.

    If Phil Wise tells the admin, "No, the admins can't name the perpetrator who was banned", he's basically saying "No, the admins can't name the perpetrator who was banned"

    I don't see why you insist on reading more into it, unless you really want to silence the victims.
  11. Gabri_Jade VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 9, 2002
    star 5
    I think the interpretation of Wise's mandate here depends very heavily upon the exact wording he used, to which none of us non-MS people are privy at the moment.

    Personally, I'd love to see the creep in question named, too. I'm just not sure that anyone outside of the MS knows exactly what Wise's wishes here are.
  12. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5
    Please understand me, on my very first post on this thread, I said that I thought the perp should be named. I later spoke to a friend, who is a current moderator, who stated that despite multiple different attempts to state their case to Philip Wise that they felt the perp should be named, they were told they could not do it. In this thread alone, more than one attempt to name this guy has been edited by the moderators/admin. I'm NOT saying it's right, but considering that no moderator or administrator has contradicted me on this, I think I'm right in reading the mindset of the administration that they don't feel they can overstep the line of what Wise has said by allowing Darth_Moronic to be publicly named even by the victims.

    That's all.

    Again, I think it's wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

  13. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    That's all I have to say. I am also a little concerned that no mods have really responded to this question straightforwardly. If SLG or Gay-Len or any female user wants to say "X user sent me a PM that made me feel harrassed." Can she?
  14. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    Personally, I think Wise is going to end up making this a much bigger issue than it even has to be. People are already pissed about what happened. Now he's pissing them off even more, and what does he expect? That a good deal of his forum, who wants the name released, is going to just suddenly shut up and not be ticked off anymore? No, the situation is going to become even more inflamed, it's going to become an issue like what Natasi said - naming names. Who did what. There is more importance being placed on the situation then there needs to be - and now what, we're forced to focus on this one situation that is being mishandled by a very un-sapient Wise, rather than deal with the initial general point of sexual harassment.

    And I'm sorry, but I don't agree with that legal thing. Not many users read Comms, how are all those people in the other forums going to know what happened. How many of *them* were involved in this, and don't know that it was put to an end?
  15. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    The problem would come if the user in question was named publically and then sued for libel. The owner's lawyers may have advised him against naming this person publically because of that -- and maybe not, I don't know for certain, but there can be legal issues.
  16. MaidenLumpe VIP

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2000
    star 3
    Since the boards aren't responsible for what's posted here, how can they be sued for libel if it's not an agent of the boards that post it?

    Also, I'm not a lawyer (Lassic, around?) but is it really libelous to state your own feelings?
  17. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    Whether or not I agree with the owner, I understand the decision.

    Sexual harrassment is a crime. It can lead to a prison sentence. Now should someone be publically accused of crime, then that can also lead to lawsuits in the other direction (I am NOT saying that this is what has happened here. I'm talking about a general boardwide policy). What people are talking about here is being allowed to publically accuse people of a criminal act. And that is something which is not ever going to be allowed here.

    It's a very messy legal situation for both sides, and it's quite understandable that the owner doesn't want to be a part of that.

    Should a victim of crime want to press charges, then we would of course hand over anything that may be relevant.

    But this is a massive community, and there is no way that we are going to jeoparise that with even the faintest possibility of lawsuits against us.

    Again, I am in NO way saying that the current situation may fall under that category, BUT there is a reason why this policy is in place and as I said before, it would be a very dangerous road to break that.
  18. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    An organisation may not be legally responsible, but they do have legal responsibilities. And not making LEGALLY unproven accusations is one of those

    (And I stress the use of the word "legally" there)
  19. MaidenLumpe VIP

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2000
    star 3
    That argument doesn't really help, halibut. If it actually was at criminal levels, then shouldn't you guys be doing something more serious about it, rather than just banning? If it wasn't serious enough to be criminal, then naming them isn't a problem, because you're not accusing them of a crime.

    Also, I guess 506 is the only one that can really answer this, but I still want to know if Wise said specifically that no one can name him, or if his comment was specifically aimed at the mod team.
  20. MaidenLumpe VIP

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2000
    star 3
    I don't think you can legally prove or disprove the statement "soandso sent me PMs that made me feel harassed." And, again, I'm not talking about the mods making the accusations, but instead about users saying what happened to them, and how that made them feel.
  21. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    Speaking generally here, and not about this incident, if person A commits a crime against person B, then that is a legal issue between those two, and it's up to person B to take action. Person C could be called up as a witness, but it's still down to person B to take action against person A.

    As for the 2nd part, let's use person A and person B again. person B accuses person A of a crime publically. SHOULD that be proven untrue, then if person C is directly involved in publicising that accusation, then person C would also be liable to legal action.

    It's a sad truth but there are people on this board (and any other board) who would have no hesitation in making unfounded claims against other users. A simple example of this is users calling mods Nazis. Someone in the UK has just won £60,000 for being called that publically. And the organisation that published that remark was also liable. Now I'm not comparing what's happened with being called a Nazi, but the point is that if public accusations were printed here, it would open up TFN to legal action. This is precisely the reason we have a blanket rule about this kind of thing.
  22. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    While I am crafting large stocks of bolts of netherweave, let me have a chat with some of my male brethren who have posted in here, 'cause man they're pissing me off almost more than SithKnowledgable at the moment.

    So, gents, have a seat. I know, I know... most of you have never been the victim of sexual assault, either physical or mental. Some of you may simply have never seen it, being too young, or just not recognizing it for what it is. Some of you may not understand the loss of trust when a superior or a public face of something takes a nosedive in perception because of an abuse of that said trust. Moreover, I'm willing to guess you have no sisters. No aunts. No female cousins. No mothers who have told you some of their stories.

    Certainly, you don't have a sister who was fed alcohol while underage by a cop and then made out with. You know, someone who has a moral and legal authority to prevent pretty much that exact thing.

    I'm also willing to guess you don't have another sister who, while living alone at 17 years old in a different state for a career, had found the perfect boyfriend until he became a stalker, broke into her apartment by scaling balconies after breaking up with him and then nothing happened to him because he was the son of a prominant family in the community. Certainly, you -- the male -- never took over her apartment 10 years later and still got the letters and phone calls from the mental institution he ended up in (mental note: even if you're prominent, you can't hit cops in a cop community. They apparently don't like it) since you also took over the last phone number she had.

    I'm willing to bet you don't have an aunt who climbed her way to the top in a male-dominated newspaper world. Especially in the political department, where most of the politicians functioned in the "old boys' club" for much of the time she was getting ahead.

    These things aren't normally facts of life for us. I'm proud that my company is in the top-3 of "best places for female executives" and appalled that we still need to measure such things. To suggest that, somehow, the problem is simply "getting over it" or "let it go, Indiana" is a pretty ludicrous statement. When you are violated -- as a man or a woman -- in any way that destroys a sense of security or privacy, be it physical or mental, it's HARD. It's not something that's easy. Nor is something online any less real than something in the real world; the only benefit is that in most cases (not all) it's less dangerous. But that makes it harder to see and more nebulous, which makes it much more difficult to deal with since you're never really sure.

    As always, "it is far better to remain silent and be thought an idiot than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
  23. LemmingLord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 4
    I say let the idiots step forward and share. :)
  24. G-FETT Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2001
    star 7
    Given the way this conversation has gone, in the last page or so, I definatly think we need some clarification from Philip Wise about what is/has been going on. I hope MS is urging Philip to come to Comms and at least update us about this. I know he doesn't usually post on the forums, but on occasion he had done. For instance during "Wisegate" he made a few posts from what I remember, and this situation is probably more serious than that was, IMO. This is, potentially, the most serious crisis I can remember in JC history and we really do need the head of this site to made some formal comment, IMO.

    Excellent and thoughtful post dp. =D=
  25. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I agree and have also said that this is the probably the biggest thing this site has seen, and likely will see. But this is also the reason that things MUST be played by the book. An updated policy is being hammered out but it does take a little time.

    But by the book is the way to go.
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