Wednesday, June 11, 2008

With a little help from my friends

Warm thanks to the dozens of people who have been supportive. The group Gerard started has blossomed and my personal friends list hasn't grown this fast since I joined Facebook.

It wasn't an easy decision to step forward. And I hadn't intended to do it in quite this way. Sometimes a well-meaning misquote or two makes all the difference in the world.

But here it is. I'll be talking to the press soon. As in...erm....already. And tomorrow morning. The point is to speak up and represent the people who aren't in a position to step forward. Basically David Shankbone and I want to change things so that reporting serious online harassment is like reporting a stolen car.

  • If your car gets stolen, you don't have to explain to law enforcement what car theft is.
  • If your car gets stolen, people don't accuse you of being unwilling to defend your car.
  • If your car gets stolen, people don't laugh and tell you to turn off the car.
  • If your car gets stolen, people don't lecture that you'd still have your car if only you'd used better locks.
  • If your car gets stolen, it's a hassle. But society and the law know how to deal with the hassle.

We're talking serious stuff. Things a reasonable adult would understand as threats of violent assault. Not one-offs, but sustained. Or other actions that really endanger a person's safety or livelihood.

Part of changing things for the better means a handful of people want them just like they are. And are very aggressive about keeping things that way. It is an honor to report that several members of Wikipedia Review support the change. Thank you, each of you.

Please note that this is presently an off wiki dispute. I ask anyone who wishes to discuss the matter to please contact me rather than migrating the discussion onto Wikipedia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Durova, this is great news, and I applaud your efforts wholeheartedly. I haven't been as I probably should in supporting David and others in his position, so it's great to see others in the community rising to the occasion.

This is only one of many ways in which government's reluctance to adapt to modern technology hurts us all. It's important for us to make the case for better laws, and better law enforcement, regarding the Internet. We in the wiki world have some good experience with collaborative decision-making and document production, and should put those skills to good use -- both on and off the 'net.

Out in Oregon, one of our immediate concerns is getting the Legislative Counsel to stop asserting copyright ownership over state law. There's a hearing next week; stay tuned to the WikiProject Oregon blog for developments on that one.