Category Archives: Harassment

Katherine Maher on harassment

Katherine Maher speaking on “Privacy and Harassment on the Internet”, MozFest 2016, Ravensbourne, London UK, Oct. 29, 2016.

Privacy and Harassment on the Internet

Moderator: So without further ado, let me welcome to the stage Katherine Maher. She is executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation.
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John Lewis, Bloody Sunday, and “allies”

Until I saw the tweet from John Lewis, from the floor of the House of Representatives, I had been totally unaware of the “Blood Sunday” episode in the story of American civil rights.

John Lewis - good trouble

Representatives John Lewis and Katherine Clark were on the House floor, leading a sit-in to protest the lack of gun legislation in the aftermath of the Orlando shootings.

clark and lewis sitin june22.16

Lewis (center, in blue tie) and Clark (left, in blue suit) lead a sit-in on the floor of the House

Lewis is no stranger to demonstrations. He was at Selma on Bloody Sunday, marching for the right to vote.  When the demonstrators crossed the bridge, they were met by police with clubs.


john lewis selma

John Lewis, front, had his skull fractured.


Lewis had his skull fractured.

It is becoming popular for anti-harassment “experts” to encourage other people to act as “allies”.  But are they prepared for what comes next, after crossing the bridge?

If you have never seen this, you need to watch the video of original march here.

Ableist language

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.

For starters, I don’t like the label “ableist”.  There are way too many glib labels already.  But we need a way to start thinking more carefully about how we use language, and the secondary messages that are being communicated.

ableist language1



Danielle Citron’s WikiCon online harassment speech


Danielle_Citron - Oct 11 2015
Note: this is a transcript of law professor Danielle Citron’s “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace” keynote speech at WikiConference USA 2015 in Washington DC on October 11, 2015. The YouTube video follows the text.  The speech begins at [0:45:38] and ends at [1:25:31]–about 40 minutes.
A transcription of the Q&A following the speech is available here, The Q&A  begins  at [1:25:33] and ends at [1:57:23] – about 30-35 minutes.
If you can only listen to one of these, I recommend the Q&A, but I really, really recommend you listen to both, as some of the material is a bit technical, but easily grasped when you hear it spoken in her voice. It takes about 70 minutes altogether, if you listen to both.   [Image credit.]
Cross-posted to Wikisource.


Danielle Citron:

[0:45:38] It’s terrific to be here. I was saying to someone earlier on, like, I wanted everyone to move up, but no, but this just right. [laughter]  I can see everyone.

So it’s terrific to be here, especially given that your community is self-policing.  Continue reading

Criteria for good community and “the missing stair”

missing stair[H/T Leigh.]

In the aftermath of the Linux culture problem, Sarah Sharp offered some insights about what makes a good community, which are well worth repeating.

The concept of the “missing stair” I find intriguing:  “an abuser or harasser who is tolerated in a community, even though their misdeeds are well known”, as well as the idea of warning newbies about them.

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Danielle Citron’s WikiCon online harassment speech Q&A

Danielle_Citron - Oct 11 2015Note: this is a transcript of the Q&A session following law professor Danielle Citron’s “Hate Crimes in Cyberspace” keynote at WikiConference USA 2015 in Washington DC on October 11, 2015. The YouTube video follows the transcript.  The recording begins at [1:25:30] .  A transcript of the speech itself is available here.  Listening to both, which I highly recommend, will take about 70 minutes–40 minutes for the speech and about 30-35 minutes for the Q&A session.  [Image credit.]
ArbCom elections: More information about the arbitration committee elections discussed in this session can be found at WP:ACE. Nominations are open from November 8-17 and the election itself is from Nov. 28 – Dec. 6.  In order to vote, you need to register an account before October 28 and have 150 edits.  And don’t forget to check how the votes are counted, especially  your crucial “oppose” votes.
Cross-posted to Wikisource.


[1:25:30] Danielle Citron: Questions… I like that that I see folks going to the microphone.  So I’m ready.  [applause] Thank you.

Question #1: Official Wiki process and banning all the women

[1:25:34] Questioner #1 (male voice): Thank you for being here. I actually didn’t know you were going to be here.  I’m using the [unintelligible–off mic] …vandalizing the Wikipedia article about revenge porn a few weeks ago and rewrote it using one of your law journal articles, or re-wrote at least a substantial portion of it, but a lot of my other comments are going to be  directed actually towards the audience, just in contrast to your speech.

So, I get about twenty emails a week from women Wikipedians who don’t want to deal with any of the process on Wiki, because every arbitration committee case that has involved women in the last two years, has involved all of them being banned.  Continue reading