Sexual Harassment

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

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  1. Master_Keralys Sometime Technical Aide and Erstwhile Lit Mod

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 8, 2003
    star 5
    While I can't address the rest of your post, I can speak to this: we are looking into exactly this sort of thing, and will continue to do so until we're as sure as possible about any such situations. We absolutely want to know whether this did or did not happen, and do whatever we can to make it right - knowing, of course, that truly making it right is going to be impossible. Nonetheless, we're doing our best here.

    - Keralys
  2. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I completely agree with Josh. I mean, hasn't anyone ever watched Dateline and seen how many guys say "it was just online, it wasn't serious. I wasn't going to do anything". Obviously not true in those cases. But even just saying the things in the first place is doing something. No matter how much some people would like to pretend their internet personas have no correlation to reality, but sorry, I just don't believe that's true. You are who you are inside, but you are also how you act. I think people get away with things online that they never would in RL. But I also think they get away with things here that they, sadly, would also get away with in RL. But it doesn't mean we have to go on allowing this very real kind of behavior.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  3. George_Roper Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2005
    star 7
    Is there some sort of automatic record that can't be deleted that shows up when an Admin looks up a password to a user's account? Or could the banned user have happily been browsing people's PMs without anyone being able to notice (or able to determine it now)?
  4. Dantana Skywalker Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2002
    star 5
    That is a very, very scary thought. [face_worried]
  5. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5

    There's an admin log that's supposed to log any actions performed with the extra moderator buttons. I assume that administrators should have their own logs that would record such an action. Otherwise, barring such a log, the only way the user would know if someone had been in their account would be if they were paranoid, routinely logged on as a sock and checked their main username's profile to see if the last log-on time was different.
  6. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Things have gotten more detailed over the years. In the past, and it may still be true, the only way to tell if someone was looking through your PMs would be to look at the server log (assuming that's possible, which I'm sure Matt knows).
  7. Dingo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 5
    Nope. The only to have told was to catch an IP at the time of being logged in, or if there had not been another login after that point. As far as I know, IPs are only stored against posts, PMs, admin actions that are logged, and the last logged in IP.

    And I can give you about 5 reasons why an account might have an admin IP against it that would seem legitimate, doesn't mean any would be true in a specific incident.


    But really, this line of discussion isn't going to produce anything overly productive.
  8. MaidenLumpe VIP

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2000
    star 3
    My memory is that IPs aren't tagged on PMs
  9. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    I'm sorry, but I've found a whole of what you've had to say in recent posts somewhat disturbing, and it worries me that a you are in a position of "authority."

    I have to say, I would not feel comfortable turning to you for pretty much anything... not being rude, but you generally aren't all that approachable.
  10. MaidenLumpe VIP

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2000
    star 3
    I think that his comment was in agreement with dp4m's post, which ended with "As always, "it is far better to remain silent and be thought an idiot than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.""
  11. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    Ok. I am going to be very very honest about what is bothering me at the moment, and I'm going to try to not say too much of what is not meant to be spoken about.

    The primary person who harassed me, did in fact have access to all that private crap etc. that we've been discussing, while he was a head admin. Besides changing my IP address, which I cannot do because this is not my house, what exactly is someone like me supposed to do just in case? Yes, just in case - because I think a lot of people are taking this situation a bit lighter than it should be taken. I'd rather be overly paranoid than do nothing about it.

    And I'm sure this might add to the benefit of other girls in similar situations.
  12. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    Yes, and that's why it was a little hincky in Harpuah's estimation.
  13. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    I suppose it could be, but in earlier posts he was agreeing that if victims would ""forget it and move on" the problem would go away... that was also what I was addressing.
  14. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    I'm going to say this publicly, because I've said it privately to some people. Now, it may be that I am completely naïve and can't read a book or the cover but here's my two cents on this anyways:

    Do you remember the scene in Silence Of The Lambs after Hannibal Lecter has just escaped from where they are keeping him? Clarice's friend takes the call and runs and lets her know that he's escaped and asks her if she (Clarice) is worried that Hannibal will come after her? Clarice's response is that she isn't worried because "I don't know... I think he would find it rude."

    And, despite the horrific comparison to Hannibal Lecter which probably doesn't mollify people, I view it similarly. I DON'T think there would have been an abuse of mod powers because, quite honestly, I don't think he necessarily thought he was doing anything wrong (later conversations and unban requests may prove me wrong, but I dunno so I'm going on my hunch of working with him for so long and seeing the other behaviors). So I guess what I'm saying is... I think he would have found it rude.

    In addition, there weren't many people who really knew how to use the mod tools; I was one of a handful that exploted them for their full potential in terms of tracking down trolls and identifying people but I often taught other Admin-level folks how to use the tools. Not everyone who uses the JC or is staff is technically competent, so no one should assume anything. Obviously, I was never an Admin, so I don't really know what more tools an Admin would have that I didn't that could be "dangerous" but I'm willing to guess there weren't any or else troll-detection at the manager-level would be more of a pain than it already is.
  15. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    Looking up a password is not recorded in the admin action log.
  16. Sith-Lord-Gunray Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Aug 20, 2003
    star 7
    Honestly, although I would love to agree with you 100% (let's say I agree 90%), there is still that chance. Which is the only reason why I'm asking.

    I really don't trust anything about him, after hearing what he said about me. Outright lies, exaggerations, completely distorted things. I'm not going to put anything past him, even the act of ignorance that he put up.
  17. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    What Tiff is referring to is his extremely long winded message explaining his behavior towards her to me.

    It's really quite astonishing.

    I'd love to post it here so that people can see how he operated... his way of twisting the truth and planting seeds of... geez, a number of things. I'm sure that's not okay though.
  18. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    It's totally fair and, again, I wasn't the one being harrassed by him. I am merely offering my two cents on the matter as someone who was around for a long, long time. I freely admit I may be completely wrong.
  19. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    It's worth pointing out that as far as I'm aware, Wise hasn't said a single thing about legal ramifications. All that we've been told by Wise--via 506--is that the person oughtn't be named. 506 can elaborate on whether that refers to users or not, but as far as I'm aware, Wise hasn't mentioned his reasons for not wanting the person to be named and hasn't said anything about legal matters. We--the mods--are just speculating on the matter.
  20. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    I agree that we could really use some boardwide sensitivity training, although it would have to be done in a JC-friendly way.

    Agreed, and I also agree 100% with the ex-mod who said that the people who do this here, it's their personality and a problem specific to them--especially when they're carrying it out here with so much planning for so many years--and chances are indeed high they are doing it in other areas of their life as well.

    Also the sentiment, expressed by several here over the last few pages, that the attitude of objectification of women overall is just rampant in our society, whether males appreciate it for what it is or not, rings very true to me.

    Sex, sex, sex, sex. Looks, looks, looks, looks. Shape, shape, shape, shape. Weight, weight, weight, weight. To be a woman in this society is to have your life ruled by these things, which are absolutely a nonissue if you are a male. However, males everywhere have the tacit prerogative to judge each and every female by these criteria, and first and foremost by these criteria. It's on the boards here, and it's real. If a person has a vagina, some people simply cannot get their minds around the idea that that person could be about anything more than superficial attributes relating to biological functions, or that they could even be thought of on any other basis. And it shows.

    I never go on certain boards on these forums, because the first time I visited threads like the post a picture thread and a few others with similar subject matter, I read a few pages and ...[face_sick] . I just didn't want to go back there. Ever. We even had a small tiff on one of the fic boards over a female character where this kind of attitude bled over there. FF is usually immune to this kind of stuff.

    All I'm saying is, guys, good grief. Just because a person is female, try to get your thoughts off the gutter and post respectfully and with dignity. Some threads would be a lot more appealing to participate in, and in a more respectful board culture the kind of sexual harrassment under discussion here would automatically be somewhat retarded, because folks could see plainly that this isn't the kind of community where this kind of attitude is welcome or even common. That "heh, heh, wink wink" factor does a lot to encourage these folks whose main purpose in coming here is to make targets out of the female users.

    People bemoan the fact that fandom has fewer females than males. In order for females to feel comfortable we need a culture that says, You're welcome here. We see you as people, not things. We'll treat you with as much respect as we treat ourselves.

    We're the biggest SW site on the net. We can't change the whole world, but we can set a good example.

    So let's, when we post in the social forums. How about it?
  21. LemmingLord Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2005
    star 4
    We should treat everyone with dignity and respect. The obectification of women is rampant and it is sad. We should work to change in that in whatever small way this forum can.
  22. Dingo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2001
    star 5
    BTW halibut, you might want to confirm with ObiWan506 as to what victims of harassment are allowed to say and reveal according to the clarification of what Carmen has been asking for the last few pages.
  23. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I wish I could have posted some yesterday, considering everything that has been added, but I was unfortunately out of town.

    First of all, it is important to note that men aren't the only harassers out there, and women aren't the only victims of harassment or abuse. To claim that it's largely a matter of being a "male-dominated, male-run forum" (as solojones did), or to claim that a woman would better understand the problem than a man is highly insulting and belittling to the men who have been victims of such abuse. And yes, I am among that number. While the abuse that I suffered wasn't online, it was still severe emotional and mental abuse (although never physical), from someone that I held in high esteem and trusted completely.

    I very much understand the feelings of betrayal and violation that come with that sort of abuse. It has taken me years to get as far as I have in acknowledging, accepting, and healing the wounds that I suffered. I'm still working on that, and probably will deal with elements of it for the rest of my life. It's hard to trust people after that sort of thing happens.

    The best response to that is to remind everyone of their responsibilities, and there are more than enough responsibilities to go around.

    First and foremost, each user has the responsibility to behave in an appropriate manner at all times on these boards. Each time you post something, you explicitly agree to abide by the TOS, Rules of Conduct, and everything else that goes with them. When you post something, you need to be aware of how it is likely to come across, and ask "Is that really what I want to say?". If each user followed that guidance, we would have no problems here.

    But, not everyone does that, which leads us to the next layer of responsibility. Each victim, of anything on these boards, from flaming, to harassment, to abuse of power, to anything in between, has the responsibility to speak out about it. If you don't report it when someone does something inappropriate to you, then how can you expect the mods to take action, especially when the offense happens in private? You have a responsibility, not just to yourself, but also to anyone else who may be a victim of the same person, to report it. If you don't report such things, then you are failing in your responsibility, and you could be helping others to become victims as well.

    And finally, the administration has a responsibility to take action. This is why the MS instituted the Moderator Complaint Resolution Policy. Looking back through the lens of this incident, I can see where I failed in writing that document, because I didn't include measures for dealing with abuse at the highest levels. To answer that, I propose that the MCRP be modified to include explicit provisions for how to handle a complaint specifically about any of the Administrators, especially the Head Admin himself. The MCRP was an attempt to implement better checks and balances on the MS's use of power, but it is incomplete, and needs to be updated to address these deficiencies.

    Along with that, the MS has one other responsibility, and that is to hold current mods and VIPs to the highest standards of behavior. When a mod or VIP behaves inappropriately, especially in public, they need to be dealt with swiftly and harshly. They are the ones who should be setting examples for everyone else, and when they are allowed to get away with inappropriate behavior, it only serves to undermine the moderators' authority and convince victims that there is no point in reporting problems.

    As an example (and I honestly am hesitant to use this one, as I have since mostly resolved the core incident with the user in question), a few months ago, a former mod and current VIP made a blatant, over-the-top, personal attack on me relating to the failure of my marriage. This was the sort of remark that a normal user would have been banned immediately for (for likely 48 hours minimum). While the attack was edited out, that user was not banned for it (as he remained a VIP, and you have to demot
  24. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Thank you...

    I wasn't sure who to ask about that. I was told that it was okay, but when I saw the edit I wasn't sure.
  25. Maulfly Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2001
    star 7
    Just to prefix this, I'm mainly just thinking aloud here. Take what you will from it...or not. :p



    I think the thing that's getting me is the realization of the scale. Even if in theory a large number of people on these boards either had heard something in passing, knew a friend or a few friends that had been harrassed by this person, or had their own personal experiences, the information was so compartmentalized that it probably only aided the 'alleged' perp's ability to go after new victims. It would be interesting to see how many people were totally unsurprised by him being banned for this. That might give you an idea how wide-spread this was.


    The Net is a powerful thing. When used to share information (whether the information's true or false...), things can happen in a flash. When information is restricted, everyone can know a small part of the picture, but never put all the pieces together until waaaay down the line.


    Actually, this is now reminding me to some extent of the "Tessark" stuff that went down years ago. That person "misrepresented" who and what they were to everyone. I know for sure of at least one male victim of this person, for really, it's hard to describe it any other way. From what I remember, news of what that person was and did spread like wildfire on these boards, effectively shutting down anything and everything that person was doing under their login name. Course, the news probably spread in the form of PM gossip, IMs, and user posts more than anything else. Been a looong time, so I'm sure others that were more directly involved can correct me.


    It's a double-edged sword, information.

    On one hand, if the "alleged" victim posts something they found out about the person that victimized them, they are posting what is true from their point of view, so not against TOS in that respect, right? This might allow others to connect the dots and keep the "alleged" perp from doing more harm...like in the above case.

    On the other hand, the mods keep an eye out and edit posts with too much personal information and/or seeming attacks for a reason. The so-called victim could in actuallity be the harrasser using a public forum to go after their target. The information could be false. Sticking with the same example, what if the above person HAD been telling the truth the entire time and was run out based on one person "planting" a false story about them? It didn't take long for everything to hit critical mass once news got out.



    It just seems like there should be some sort of middle ground. Something that allows users to protect themselves more effectively....but at the same time doesn't turn the boards into the Wild West. And don't get me wrong. The policy 506 posted is a very good step towards improving both reporting and investigations.


    Oh, for those that worked closely with him and say he didn't overtly abuse his position. That's the thing, they don't just manipulate their targeted victims.

    From what I've observed, they habitually manipulate everyone around them. They can show one face to one audience, and a totally different one to someone else. And that's one of the traps of these situations...and something they count on. If this person's peers only see their polished public face, how hard is it for those peers to believe he'd be capable of doing some horrible thing that some alleged victim comes along and claims he did? Now place that person in any sort of role of power or responsibility.

    Suddenly, you have to reconsile the person you've known and worked with side-by-side for perhaps years with this new information that may not match what you've personally experienced with this person. If you ask them directly, often they have some good story that will jive with what you want to believe about them. For really good ones, you may not see them crack until you literally have them pinned in a corner...and then (as happened in one case) they might get desperate and try to manipulate you by saying they'll kill themselves if you s/>
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