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Harassment in gaming

Rottle

First Post
So, in the face of inadequate legal recourse for an illegal act... you expect folks to just sit there and take it? Are you trying to tell us that people don't have a right to self defense when the cops aren't willing or able to intervene?

I am worried this road you want to take. I want to protect those who need it as much as anyone. But this line you are crossing it leads to a dark place where individuals get to meet out justice, individuals with no accountability.

All I can say is be careful not to become that which you are fighting against.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Ah, the kafkatrap, again.

Just upthread, you complained about someone using a buzzword ("terroristic"), did you not? But you bust out the Raymondism* "kafkatrap"? I'm not sure that's even-handed, sir.

Moreover, I think the use here is unwarranted, and, again, itself counts as a logical fallacy - thus:

Raymond's original "kafkatrap" is inspired by the works of Kafka - specifically, "The Trial" in which someone is (1) accused of *unspecified* crimes, and (2) in which any protests of innocence are taken as evidence of guilt.

But, in our case, the crime is pretty well defined (harassment). So, (1) does not apply.

doseyclwn above makes no accusations of guilt at all. He simply notes that he might personally be a bit blind to the impact of certain speech, not having been subjected to it very much, so maybe he should not pass judgement on what is offensive. He is not assigning guilt to anyone - in fact, quite the opposite, he seems to be saying he can't really pass judgement. So, (2) does not apply.

I think this puts your kafkatrap accusation as being from out in left field, and far more buzzwordy than referring to threats that scare people enough to have to leave their homes as "terroristic".

Earlier, I gave a different pushback, but it also wasn't kafkatrap. I didn't say, "if you object to the language, you are guilty". I said, in effect, that language use was a *separate issue*, and that through repeated (I might even say continuous) diversion into the language issue, one will derail a meaningful discussion, and effectively dismiss real harm done on people. As if, after being harmed, we don't already expect people to be angry, and to speak angrily? And that we shouldn't make allowances for that and look past it to see if we can deal with the thing that made them angry?










*The term "kafkatrap" was first coined by Eric S. Raymond, in a political essay in 2010. In that essay, he starts off acknowledging the worth of equality before the law and of treating others with respect, but in his workaday discourse (to which I have unfortunately been exposed) he abjectly fails to treat people with respect. He was, once upon a time, very bright about software, but while he talks about politics a lot, he has no real experience in human governance. So, I find his socio-political chops are somewhat wanting. Not that this makes the term false or useless, but it means we cannot accept it on the basis of the strength of its origin, and we must examine it, and its use, on its own merits.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
While I appreciate your anecdote, it really doesn't have much at all to do with the idea of doxxing people, does it? Now, don't get me wrong, the kind of engagement in your story is fantastic, but it's a bit optimistic to expect that people being harassed will maintain enough detachment to do that (the rabbi in your story is inspiring). It is also an example of that tactic working -- it doesn't often. People that hate faced with reason and kindness will often just go look for another target and not stop to listen. So, while your tale is truly inspiring, it's also a best case example of a truly self-possessed victim and a perpetrator willing to listen. It's not a good model for general cases.
I fully agree that constructive engagement isn't a panacea. It only works when the victim or ally can maintain an even keel and the harasser has some sense of empathy/ functioning moral compass. Finding the proper leverage also helps. I was thinking of it mostly in the context of the friend who is the Internet troll whose friendship I'd have to reevaluate- remember, when I posted the example, I couldn't edit due to lack of access.

In that case, you have the leverage of your friendship.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I am taking bits out of order here, because a relevant point got raised late in the post I'm responding to, but it shold be addressed earliy in the response.



This one is actually pretty easy.

Doxxing to enable harassment is a problem. However, if you release the address and name of a person *who has committed harassment* or made threats, you are now enabling proper legal action (see below). As you've already noted, online harassment is enabled by anonymity. Breaking that anonymity, while not sufficient, is a *required* step in addressing the issue.
No. Absolutely not. Doxxing is releasing that information to the public, not to the authorities. If you're talking about calling the police and giving information you have, that's one thing, but it's not doxxing. Also, the act of doxxing can often be an invasion of privacy as well. You're way off base here.

TO BE absolutely clear: I would expect that you would notify the authorities if you have information regarding a crime, whether that crime is shoplifting, robbery, murder, or harassment. This is good. However, it is not good to just release the names of people you suspect are guilty of a crime to the general public for the purposes of enabling the public to address the perp. That's not kosher.


Um, no. Harassment is generally *illegal*. It is not protected speech. For example, in my state of Massachusetts:

MA General Laws, Part IV, Title I, Chapter 265:
Section 43A. (a) Whoever willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person, which seriously alarms that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, shall be guilty of the crime of criminal harassment and shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

So, what you get out of it is enabling legal action.
Legal harassment is not always the same as the common usage of the word harassment. For instance, if I call you a series of bad names here, that's not harassment. If I continue to do so over time, following you to other venues, that may be harassment. But if I just do it here, which is a publicly accessible place, then it's likely not harassment. But that pattern of non-illegal name calling is what's described as harassment, and it's the large part of the type of behavior we're discussing here. It's behavior that isn't illegal, but it's highly unwelcome, and is the kind of behavior that we wish to end. As horrible as it is, saying that you want to rape someone isn't illegal harassment. If you mail people rape threats, it is. If it crosses the threshold of a true threat (which mailing people rape threats can easily do, but anonymous posting on the internet has a very high bar), then that's also illegal. (TO BE CLEAR: any rape threat is horrible and shouldn't be tolerated, I'm just addressing the narrow deference between horrible but legal speech and illegal harassment).

You're playing bait and switch with words, again. For instance, describing a rape scene involving your new female player's character in graphic detail is clearly sexual harassment. It is not, however, illegal.
Yeah, there's this thing we call, "punishment". Perhaps you've heard of it. The Rabbi mentioned above notwithstanding, our psychological sciences have not progressed to the point where we can regularly and reliably correct bad behavior through purely positive means. We occasionally (actually, regularly) need to use some forces on bad actors that are not pleasant. Until you can state a workable alternative, your rejection of it does not constitute constructive criticism.

Can we agree that there is inadequate recourse available through legal channels at this point? Given a justice system that is overburdened, police forces that are not trained or equipped to deal with internet issues, and those forces being largely male and unfortunately often dismissive of rape, much less harassment against women, I mean?
So, then, lynch mobs for those you deem worthy of them?

So, in the face of inadequate legal recourse for an illegal act... you expect folks to just sit there and take it? Are you trying to tell us that people don't have a right to self defense when the cops aren't willing or able to intervene?[/QUOTE]
What on Earth gave you the idea that you should sit and take it? I've been clear and adamant that harassment must be confronted. However, I've also said that means matter, and turning the tables so that your presumed harassers can be harassed by others because you doxxed them is not morally good. It's catharitc, perhaps, and if your only criteria for using doxxing is that it satisfies your primal need for vengeance, then I suppose that's an excellent example of how you're really not interested in solving the issue, you're just interested in getting an emotional payout, whoever it hurts.

And you will hurt people. The number of people that have been incorrectly doxxed and abused for things they didn't do continues to grow. Yes, a lot of bad actors have also been doxxed, and you might get some vicarious joy out of watching the pile-on, but I adhere to the founding principle of our justice system - better a guilty man get away with it than an innocent man suffer. We aren't perfect on this, by any stretch, but it's still a founding principle. And doxxing completely ignores that principle to whip up the lynch mob of public opinion. I cannot morally support that.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Just upthread, you complained about someone using a buzzword ("terroristic"), did you not? But you bust out the Raymondism* "kafkatrap"? I'm not sure that's even-handed, sir.
I explained what I meant by the word I used. You can claim it's a buzzword to use, I find it useful to express a concept that doesn't have it's own word, yet.
Moreover, I think the use here is unwarranted, and, again, itself counts as a logical fallacy - thus:

Raymond's original "kafkatrap" is inspired by the works of Kafka - specifically, "The Trial" in which someone is (1) accused of *unspecified* crimes, and (2) in which any protests of innocence are taken as evidence of guilt.

But, in our case, the crime is pretty well defined (harassment). So, (1) does not apply.
Then you fail to understand the usage, both of the kafkatrap and of logical fallacy. A mistaken usage isn't a fallacy automatically, it's can just be a mistake. But this is not a mistaken usage. The crime is unspecified because there is no specific crime proposed. Instead, I am to be guilty because of my membership to a group that presumably commits some crime -- in this case harassment. This is my guilt because of my privilege of being a white male. Any statement to the contrary just reinforces my guilt of having privilege.

Also, the legal definition of harassment doesn't meet the usage in this thread. That's not a logical fallacy, either, it's just a mistake.
doseyclwn above makes no accusations of guilt at all. He simply notes that he might personally be a bit blind to the impact of certain speech, not having been subjected to it very much, so maybe he should not pass judgement on what is offensive. He is not assigning guilt to anyone - in fact, quite the opposite, he seems to be saying he can't really pass judgement. So, (2) does not apply.
Yes, he does. It's subtle. He asserts that people are harassed, and that white men cannot see the harassment because of their position. He then states that if some woman decides to be angry and categorize white men as offenders that we should just accept that categorization because we can't tell either way. Implicit in the argument is that white men should accept the terms, like 'terrorist', used to describe us. The point of the post was to encourage white men to accept that guilt and keep quiet because we deserve it, presumably because of our privilege. It was rank signalling.

I think this puts your kafkatrap accusation as being from out in left field, and far more buzzwordy than referring to threats that scare people enough to have to leave their homes as "terroristic".
I'm sure you do, as you based your entire argument on semantics and a failed grasp of the argument made.


Earlier, I gave a different pushback, but it also wasn't kafkatrap. I didn't say, "if you object to the language, you are guilty". I said, in effect, that language use was a *separate issue*, and that through repeated (I might even say continuous) diversion into the language issue, one will derail a meaningful discussion, and effectively dismiss real harm done on people. As if, after being harmed, we don't already expect people to be angry, and to speak angrily? And that we shouldn't make allowances for that and look past it to see if we can deal with the thing that made them angry?

Yes, you should accept and ignore the language because addressing it perpetrates the heinous behavior that we should feel guilty for. Every argument is 'you shouldn't comment on the intemperate language because, by doing so, you're harming people by distracting from the real issues.' The unspoken part of that is that by not saying anything, you're accepting it and accepting that it's deserved. For if it were not deserved, then there would be no problem in saying so.

I reject that I cannot speak as to the words used. I reject that by speaking I cannot contribute to the problem. In fact, let's analyze this: of the posts of yours in this thread, how many are about actually addressing the issues of harassment of women and how many are about ensuring ideological purity of thought and speech? I've at least put forward ideas on how to better craft anti-harassment policies and discussed the issue at large. You've spent a lot of words telling me how wrong it is of me to question the wording used and/or question people who're making blanket statements about those words. Perhaps you should grow some thicker skin, ignore the distractions, and actually address the issue? That is, if you really care more about the actual issue that ensuring that everyone in the thread conforms to the approved thoughts.







*The term "kafkatrap" was first coined by Eric S. Raymond, in a political essay in 2010. In that essay, he starts off acknowledging the worth of equality before the law and of treating others with respect, but in his workaday discourse (to which I have unfortunately been exposed) he abjectly fails to treat people with respect. He was, once upon a time, very bright about software, but while he talks about politics a lot, he has no real experience in human governance. So, I find his socio-political chops are somewhat wanting. Not that this makes the term false or useless, but it means we cannot accept it on the basis of the strength of its origin, and we must examine it, and its use, on its own merits.
Goodness me. Given I never once refered to the origin of the term and made all of my arguments in the thread, I'm not sure what this bit is for other than to signal that I should be ignored because i used a word from a person you don't like. I never once referenced this, and I don't need to -- I make my own arguments, even if I take some things, like a good term or a form of argument, from somewhere else. If you feel that you've successfully shut down this argument by impeaching a source not even quoted, there's a logical fallacy for that.

Also, I'd like to take a moment to congratulate you: you've finally found an example of a tone argument. Unfortunately, you're the one that's made it in dismissing Raymond's essay because you don't think he's nice to people. Still, it's a step in the right direction.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I fully agree that constructive engagement isn't a panacea. It only works when the victim or ally can maintain an even keel and the harasser has some sense of empathy/ functioning moral compass. Finding the proper leverage also helps. I was thinking of it mostly in the context of the friend who is the Internet troll whose friendship I'd have to reevaluate- remember, when I posted the example, I couldn't edit due to lack of access.

In that case, you have the leverage of your friendship.

Ah, I see and understand, now. I afraid I am not as kind or understanding as your rabbi friend. To be honest, that I know I would react very poorly is one of the reasons I'm against the idea of doxxing -- I'm not very uncommon in regards to how I would react.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I am worried this road you want to take. I want to protect those who need it as much as anyone. But this line you are crossing it leads to a dark place where individuals get to meet out justice, individuals with no accountability.

It is not, "a road I want to take". I would prefer we take other roads. But those roads do call from somewhat concerted peer pressure to be exerted. Other roads generally require a cultural shift. Thus the discussion.

In the meantime, I think this makes a fair question. Set aside what we want. What do you *expect* those who have legitimate grievance to do when both peers and legal system falls short most of the time?

There's a couple different answers. 1) Work to change the culture, so peers don't fall short (that's what the article that inspired the OP came from, and that's what this thread is about. 2) Work to change the legal system, so that doesn't fall short - historically, this is difficult, and really out of scope for EN World. 3) Hit back.

You want folks to avoid (3)? Then assist with (1) and (2).
 

Rottle

First Post
It is not, "a road I want to take". I would prefer we take other roads. But those roads do call from somewhat concerted peer pressure to be exerted. Other roads generally require a cultural shift. Thus the discussion.

In the meantime, I think this makes a fair question. Set aside what we want. What do you *expect* those who have legitimate grievance to do when both peers and legal system falls short most of the time?

There's a couple different answers. 1) Work to change the culture, so peers don't fall short (that's what the article that inspired the OP came from, and that's what this thread is about. 2) Work to change the legal system, so that doesn't fall short - historically, this is difficult, and really out of scope for EN World. 3) Hit back.

You want folks to avoid (3)? Then assist with (1) and (2).

Want was a bad choice of words, sorry for its misuse. What little I can do I will for roads one and two. But 3 is not to me a safe or even legit option. It's online lynching and that can't end well. I get the frustration, I do, I share it. Resorting to this type of hitting back is a line I don't think we can cross and still be on the side of angels. I would rather lose the war then lose myself in the fighting of it.

That is why this frustrates me so. I want to hit back so hard no harasser would dare to show their face, but if I am wrong just once then I will have become the very coward I was decrying.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I get the frustration, I do, I share it.

With respect, you probably don't. I mean, has one of your personal friends had to leave their home because of threats against their person that couldn't be prosecuted? I know I'm not that close to it - but a lady I know in game development had it happen to her boss. I don't claim to get or share their frustration, and unless you've been there, you probably shouldn't either.

Resorting to this type of hitting back is a line I don't think we can cross and still be on the side of angels.

We? Dude, nobody is asking you to do so, or to be complicit in such an act. And I'm not going to do it, for much the same reason you won't. But, realistically, as a sheer practical matter, *someone* is apt to do so, aren't they? I'll not be surprised if someone informs me that it has already happened.

I mean, among gamers and geeks, don't we already nearly worship Batman?
 
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Rottle

First Post
With respect, you probably don't. I mean, has one of your personal friends had to leave their home because of threats against their person that couldn't be prosecuted? I know I'm not that close to it - but a lady I know in game development had it happen to her boss. I don't claim to get or share their frustration, and unless you've been there, you probably shouldn't either.

If you don't accept that I am frustrated enough by this then you don't, enough said.

We? Dude, nobody is asking you to do so, or to be complicit in such an act. And I'm not going to do it, for much the same reason you won't. But, realistically, as a sheer practical matter, *someone* is apt to do so, aren't they? I'll not be surprised if someone informs me that it has already happened.

And it wouldn't be a good thing if it has been done.

I mean, among gamers and geeks, don't we already nearly worship Batman?

Never liked batman, he does things we would as a society would throw cops in jail for doing. He is, in some comics, as bad or far worse then some of those he fights. Always been a Superman fan.

Still I do get why you and I are not seeing eye to eye on this.... you live in Boston and I am in New York.
 

DOTTIE

First Post
The woman should have been taught by her mother how to respect men, to dress conservatively and not provocatively, and not to take provocative stances like leaning over tables with a skirt on. At 13, she shouldn't have been at the store alone, because there are nasty men out there. If someone dresses conservatively, and isn't being provocative around men, and she is still being bothered, then she should only go with a group of girls or a male friend or relative.

It's not fair to the gaming industry or white male gamers to accuse all of them of sexual harassment or worse. We don't want to give gaming a bad reputation, and any case of rape should be handled by the police.
 
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MechaPilot

Explorer
The woman should have been taught by her mother how to respect men, to dress conservatively and not provocatively, and not to take provocative stances like leaning over tables with a skirt on. At 13, she shouldn't have been at the store alone, because there are nasty men out there.

You're blaming the victim.

The way you "respect men" is by treating them with the same human dignity that you would expect for yourself. The notion that you have to dress like a nun to protect men from falling to their own raging desires is disrespectful to men because it treats them as if they were unable to resist turning into rape-monsters when they see an attractive woman.

Also, leaning over a table is not "taking a provocative stance." It's often an integral part of playing a game. In any game that uses miniatures, it's a practical necessity to get a good look at the battlefield before taking your turn, and that can certainly mean having to lean over the table. I've often had to lean over tables to play Risk, Axis & Allies, Shogun, Chess, and TTRPGs where minis were used for combat encounters, and I never did it with the intent of showing off anything other than my skill at playing those TTRPGs/board-games.

The wearing of a skirt is also a total non-issue. Skirts cover far more than bikinis, and men can be around women in bikinis without suddenly transforming into rape-hungry tentacle monsters. And if you want to talk conservatism of dress, skirts are part of the uniform for attending certain religious schools, not to mention them being part of the uniform for a vast number of non-religious schools. Most skirts are not micro- or mini-skirts. Most skirts are knee-length and allow a fair amount of lean to occur before any glimpse of panty is visible.
 

[MENTION=82779]MechaPilot[/MENTION],
Don't respond to such statement. If it wasn't meant as sarcasm, then it was obvious trolling. DOTTIE is a brand new account, 1 post, just created to rile you up.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The woman should have been taught by her mother how to respect men, to dress conservatively and not provocatively, and not to take provocative stances like leaning over tables with a skirt on. At 13, she shouldn't have been at the store alone, because there are nasty men out there. If someone dresses conservatively, and isn't being provocative around me, and she is still being bothered, then she should only go with a group of girls or a male friend or relative.

It's not fair to the gaming industry or white male gamers to accuse all of them of sexual harassment or worse. We don't want to give gaming a bad reputation, and any case of rape should be handled by the police.

I got a fever, and the prescription is...MORE MONOLITH!

 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
If you don't accept that I am frustrated enough by this then you don't, enough said.

Totally not the point.

I will risk overstating to make the point: Would you walk up to a veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan who had PTSD, and say, "I know how you feel,"? Probably not, right? Without getting into an argument about degree, the basic logic is the same. Not that you aren't frustrated, but that your frustration should not be compared directly with theirs, and your feelings on the matter are not the same as theirs.

(This was a note they gave us in training for convention security - don't compare your own feelings, even if you've been through something similar)


Still I do get why you and I are not seeing eye to eye on this.... you live in Boston and I am in New York.

I was born and raised in New York. I'm a transplant to Boston in my adult life. Which means I either keep my mouth shut in discussions of baseball, or I say, "Go Mets!" and both sides will shake their heads sadly in pity and leave me alone.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
[MENTION=82779]MechaPilot[/MENTION],
Don't respond to such statement. If it wasn't meant as sarcasm, then it was obvious trolling. DOTTIE is a brand new account, 1 post, just created to rile you up.

You're right, I shouldn't. I often don't, just as a matter of personal policy. I've just had a bad day today.
 


Hussar

Legend
Ovinomancer said:

But, isn't that the point here? That the harassers, and I think we've all pretty much agreed on this point, are almost always white men, in this social situation. Now, there are many, many reasons for this, primarily demographics - the hobby is very much populated and dominated by white men, so, it does make sense that just simply through numbers most harassment would be done by white men. But, since this specific group - in this case, predominantly white men - have a fairly lengthy history of harassment in the hobby, I'd say that it's not terribly unfair to say that white men are not recognizing the problem.

If they were recognizing the problem, then the problem would largely be solved. The whole point of the rhetoric is to get people talking. Job well done there. We've got considerable conversation going on here, and I would hope that it's being seen by more than just the people posting in this thread and the word is spreading. And that word is, "In our hobby, we have a problem with the majority group either directly harassing minority demographics in the hobby or standing on the sidelines and not doing anything to help resolve the issue." That you and I both belong to that majority group does not mean that we are automatically terrorists or cowards.

She's pretty specific in the blog post. Those perpetrating these actions are doing so maliciously with the intent of forcing women and POC out of the hobby. Those standing on the sidelines and not doing anything, are every bit part of the problem, since they aren't actually doing anything to prevent those who are maliciously driving people out of the hobby. Thus, they get called out as cowards.

Now, if someone is actively doing things to resolve issues, then they are not part of the problem, they are part of the solution. Whether those actions are relatively minor like complaining on a forum about chainmail bikinis or taking the time to tell buddy that maybe dick jokes aren't appropriate at that particular time, or taking more direct action like getting involved in a legal dispute or whatever. Doesn't matter what you are doing, so long as you are doing something. Those that just stand on the sidelines are not relieved of any responsibility. Closing your eyes doesn't make the problem go away. And anyone who isn't stepping in is part of the problem, whether directly or indirectly.
 



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