Right on. Your enthusiasm is infectious, Danny. Congratulations to all who
are making this a reality.


On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 8:24 AM, Danny Horn <dh...@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> The project has four focus areas, and blocking is just one of them. Here's
> the whole picture:
> * Detection and prevention: Using machine learning to help flag situations
> for admin review -- both text that looks like it's harassing and
> aggressive, as well as modeling patterns of user interaction, like stalking
> and hounding, before the situation gets out of control.
> * Reporting: Building a new system to encourage editors to reach out for
> help, in a way that's less chaotic and stressful than the current system.
> * Evaluation: Giving admins and others tools that help them evaluate
> harassment cases, and make good decisions.
> * Blocking: Making it more difficult for banned users to come back.
> We'll be actively working on all four areas. There aren't a ton of details
> right now about exactly what we'll build, for a couple reasons. The product
> manager and the analyst haven't started yet, and the research that they do
> will generate a lot of new ideas and insights. Also, we're going to work
> closely with the community -- talking to people with different roles and
> perspectives, and making plans in collaboration with contributors who are
> interested in these issues. So there's lots of work and thinking and
> consulting to do.
> But here's one idea that I'm personally excited about, which I think helps
> to explain why we're focusing on tools:
> Right now, when two people end up at AN/I, the only way to figure out whose
> version of the story to believe is by looking at individual, cherrypicked
> diffs. You can also look through the two editors' contributions, but if
> they're both active editors and the problem has been going on for a while,
> then it's very difficult to get a sense of what's going on. Sometimes it
> really matters who did what first, and you have to correlate the two
> contributions logs, and pay attention to timestamps.
> The idea is: build a tool that helps admins (and others) follow the "story"
> of this conflict. Look for the pages where the two editors have interacted,
> and show a timeline that helps you see what happened first, how they
> responded, and how the drama unfolded. That could reduce the time cost of
> investigating and evaluating considerably, making it much easier for an
> admin or mediator to get involved.
> There are lots of UI questions about how that would work and what it would
> look like, but I don't think it would be too difficult on the tech side.
> The information is already there in the contributions; it's just difficult
> to correlate by hand.
> Assuming it works, that tool could have a lot of good outcomes. Admins
> would be more likely to take on harassment cases, because there'd be
> greater return for the time investment. It would take some of the burden
> off the target, so they don't have to figure out which individual diffs
> they should provide in order to make their case. Also, it would be harder
> for harassers to get away with mistreating people, because they wouldn't be
> able to hide behind a smokescreen of random diffs.
> As folks on this thread have said, there are lots of other components to
> tackling the harassment problems. There will probably be groups of admins
> and others who are especially interested in helping with the reporting and
> evaluation, and the Foundation could provide trainings and resources for
> those groups. Making changes to the reporting system will involve a lot of
> community discussions about policies and competing values. Some of those
> conversations and plans will probably be led by the Foundation, and some of
> them will arise naturally within the community.
> For this specific team -- the Community Tech product team, working with the
> community advocate -- our focus is on doing research and building tools
> that will support those conversations and plans. We're not going to take
> over the community's proper role in setting policy, or making decisions
> about how to handle cases.
> To Fæ's point, the community will determine the social and cultural
> decisions about how to treat harassment cases, and our team's job is to
> build software that will help to put those decisions into practice.
> On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 3:06 AM, Fæ <fae...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > On 27 January 2017 at 09:21, Lodewijk <lodew...@effeietsanders.org>
> wrote:
> > ...
> > > Do I understand correctly that this particular initiative will focus on
> > > fighting harassment, and not necessarily on preventing it? Basically
> in a
> > > similar pattern that vandalism is fought on most wikipedia projects?
> > >
> > > I really hope that prevention, education and (social) training will
> > become
> > > a major point in the overall agenda, but I can imagine that we can't
> pay
> > > all that from the single grant :) So I just would like to place it in
> the
> > > proper context.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Lodewijk
> >
> > +1 Spot on.
> >
> > The plan appears to hinge on blocks as the outcome. Based on cases of
> > long term harassment targeted at individuals which invariably involved
> > off-wiki doxxing or contacting friends and family members of their
> > target, blocking Wikimedia accounts is an approach that may remove
> > Wikimedia projects as a platform but does little to help reform the
> > person causing harassment. I would rather see systems that include
> > reaching out to the apparent harasser to help them recognize and deal
> > with their anger or obsessive issues. Treating badly behaved
> > individuals as the "other", without aiming for a lasting resolution,
> > means we are back to the old days of telling the unfortunate
> > target/victim to change their identity or grow a thicker skin as the
> > on-line harassment may never stop.
> >
> > Fae
> >
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