I am defining harassment primarily as personal attacks, not merely disputes (even strongly-worded disagreement) over content.

Some examples of what I consider harassment:

- Vandalizing an editor's user or talk page (hence my Inspire proposal: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Protect_user_space_by_default)

- Making derogatory comments about an editor's gender, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or (dis)ability

- Posting personal information about an editor that was gathered off-Wiki

- Evading bans with IP-hopping to do any of the above.

These actions not only cause "net harm to community health," they cause unnecessary, avoidable harm to specific individuals, and discourage marginalized people from participating in the project.

- Pax

On 6/5/16 5:09 AM, Pine W wrote:
Hi Pax,

I agree that blaming the victim is an unsatisfactory resolution.

On the other hand, defining what is meant by "incivility" and "harassment"
can be very tricky. Just because there is a strong disagreement doesn't
imply that people are being uncivil, and we cannot expect that no one will
ever lose his or her temper when provoked. Similarly, a pattern of
disagreement doesn't necessarily imply harassment, and the presumption of
good faith is rebuttable which means that questioning the motives of others
is occasionally OK.

So, as Sumana once said, we have a tricky situation with regards to
balancing free speech with hospitality.

I think there are situations in which behavior is egregious enough that it
is a net harm to community health and cannot be excused. For example,
comments that demean someone on the basis of race, gender, age,
nationality, or religious or political beliefs, are generally out of bounds.

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts about how we should define
harassment, and how we should seek to reduce the frequency of it on
Wikimedia sites.

Thank you for speaking up.

On Jun 4, 2016 19:15, "Pax Ahimsa Gethen" <list-wikime...@funcrunch.org>

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
[4] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:IdeaLab/Don't_feed_the_trolls
[5] Queer, trans, and black, in my case.

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

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