Hi all, I'm Pax aka Funcrunch [1]. I've been a Wikipedian since 2008, but this is my first post to this mailing list. (I've been reading list messages on the archives page occasionally for the last several months.)

I'm writing because of a concern I have about the community's attitude toward harassment on Wikipedia. I got a Wikinotice about this month's Inspire Campaign, which specifically asks: "What ideas do you have that can help prevent and generally address cases of harassment?" [2] As a victim of several of the harassing behaviors mentioned as examples - " name calling, threats, discrimination, stalking, and impersonation" - I was encouraged to see that this problem was (hopefully) being taken seriously by the Foundation, and submitted a proposal.


Looking at the other proposals submitted, I soon noticed that the most popular "ideas" on the list included complaints of "political correctness" and suggesting we shouldn't be so sensitive [3], and that we should just get some sleep and exercise and reconsider why we're so offended. [4] (That first "idea" has since been recategorized by a WMF staffer to remove it from the current campaign.)

It really bothers me that a campaign specifically designed to combat harassment - which is a very serious and real problem for people of marginalized identities like myself [5]- is being co-opted by people saying things like " Harassment doesn't cause actual damage," " The existence of harassment is an opportunity to improve ourselves further through self-discipline," and " Harassment on Wikimedia has been exaggerated." I suggest that people who honestly believe this, but are willing to accept that they might be wrong, read a recent essay about online harassment by Anil Dash: "The Immortal Myths About Online Abuse." [6]

I'm not "looking to be offended," and I'm not trying to "censor" people who simply disagree with me. I'm trying to help build an encyclopedia, without being harassed by block-evading stalkers hurling hate speech my way. The existing tools and policies are *not* sufficient to deal with this. That's (what I thought was) the point of this Inspire campaign, not complaining about censorship and " crybullying."

I've posted a much shorter version of this concern on the Inspire Campaign talk page [7], so feel free to weigh in there instead of here on the list if that's more appropriate. Thank you for reading.

- Pax, aka Funcrunch


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Funcrunch
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Inspire
[3] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Stop_%22Political_Correctness%22_as_gauge!
[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Don't_feed_the_trolls
[5] Queer, trans, and black, in my case.
[6] https://medium.com/humane-tech/the-immortal-myths-about-online-abuse-a156e3370aee [7] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants_talk:IdeaLab/Inspire/Meta#Blaming_the_victim

--
Pax Ahimsa Gethen | p...@funcrunch.org | http://funcrunch.org


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