Discussion in 'The Sanctum Santorum' started by Eduardo X, Feb 5, 2013.
You can watch Westerns, too. Have fun!
How awesome would it be if the Man With No Name just came riding into town and told all the bad guys "I'm going to tell everyone who you are!"
Django would stand for that shit. He'd name him by giving him a coffin. WITH HIS NAME ON IT!
Look, I'm sorry, but in the situation with Violentacrez, he was in bed with the owners. It took Gawker's outing of the guy and immense public outcry for them to sheepishly tell the guy "sorry, but we have to shut down your jailbait sub-reddit. And some of your other creepy shit too."
Let's not forget some of his other greatest hits:
He didn't make "one little mistake." He was a disgusting, vile creature on Reddit, and just because he was hiding behind anonymity online, if someone happens to find out who he really is, how is that any different than if he posted that shit with his real name? He deserved everything he got, I don't give a single fuck what you think.
And you don't think he's paid his due? You think he should still be paying for that mistake?
He's redeemed himself, many times over, for that mistake. He's not being punished for the rest of his life for a foolish, youthful indiscretion.
What? Vigilantism is not justice.
Being punished for the rest of your life for saying stupid shit is not justice.
Right, because teenagers should be held up to the same standards and expectations as adults. It's why we don't have a separate court system or separate laws.
Because teenagers are well known, far and wide for being forward thinkers who acknowledge the future as shown by, well the example you yourself gave: Spider-Man who did not let his emotions overcome his wisdom and let a criminal escape for fear of future retribution.
I'm all for societal pressure pushing the intolerant and ignorant out to the fringes, I just don't think someone should be punished 25 years from now, for being stupid as a kid because, let's face it, until you're about 25 you're pretty damn stupid.
Let's get this shit straight for now and forever: THIS IS NOT ABOUT VIOLETCRUZ.
VOILETCRUZ AND INTERNET VIGILANTISM ARE TWO DIFFERENT ISSUES
Please stop telling me I'm defending Violetcruz, I'm not, what he did was awful. I am not, in any way, defending him.
For Christ's sake the OP isn't even about him, it's about another case of internet vigilantism and the fall out from that.
So Spider-man, he's pretty Amazing. Some might even say Spectacular. Uncanny even.
Who the fuck is VIOLETCRUZ?
The royal purple knight of the sacred cross, valiant Violetcruz. Duh.
What laws would you enact to protect these tender empty-headed adolescents (or post adolescents, as you seem to indicate they should remain blameless until age 24) from their own indiscretions (like attaching their for real own names to tweets that feature the word "nigger")? Would you take away their ability to tweet? Remove their internet posting rights?
Free Speech is not freedom from repercussions. Never has been. Sorry.
What the fuck are you talking about?
Here, I'll make it simple: do you think a 14 year old who Tweets a racist joke should be punished for it the rest of his life? When he's 39 should an employer use that Tweet as a factor in deciding whether or not to hire him?
A better question. When he's 14 do you think his parents and, optionally, his school should be informed about what he's doing? Clearly you do not, since you value his hypothetical future employment so highly that he should be shielded from all consequences in the present.
In other words, you're part of the problem.
Yes. Hopefully by age 39 he'll understand why it was wrong and be able to articulate that to a prospective employer, but its his 14 year old right to tweet whatever he wants.
Now answer the question - Would you take away their ability to tweet? Remove their internet posting rights?
PUNISHED FOR THE REST OF HIS LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!!! DUN DUN DUNNNN! VIGILANTE JUSTICE! I'll take "what are things that are not the same as Doxxing" for $1000, Alex.
You didn't answer the question. Should he still be punished when he's 39 for what he did at 14?
We're talking about what Jackalop said here:
And the very next post where he says a 39 year old should be punished for what he did at 14.
Punish the 14 year old. Punish punish punish. But for the rest of his life? No.
Your strawman is a strawman. Show us an example of what somebody did at 14 affecting their employment at 39, and then we can talk. Oh, and what they did has to have been exposed because NAMES WERE NAMED.
The real question we're discussing, however, is what consequences should the 39 year old face for acting like a 14 year old online, anonymously.
My primary concern is that he's punished. And by punished, I mean that he gets to face the societal consequences of being a racist dumbshit by having his parents informed and his school gets to consider if he's worth expelling. This way the racist dumbshit hopefully learns to stop acting like a racist dumbshit.
What you're doing instead is setting up a hypothetical scenario to excuse not punishing him in the first place. Because you can't punish him without DOOMING HIS FUTURE!!! HYPERBOLE. If you know a way to enforce societal displeasure against racist dumbshits without violating your precious FUTURE INJUSTICE then by all means, let me know. But right now you're willfully ignoring the injustice done against the victims of racist dumbshits. People whose rights to not get harassed is worth a lot more than your racist dumbshit's right not to have his racism come back and haunt him in the future.
Have you considered that maybe Gawker publishing an article where they explain why the Reddit owners haven't taken action on this - namely, that he's their low-wage plausibly-deniable sleazebag lawsuit protection - is a step in the process of getting the policy changed?
By the way, I responded to a quote from you, where you claimed there was a different way around it and that was to go to the owners. No, dumbshit, there wasn't. The owners liked him. He was a moderator! And when Gawker published the story, the owners begrudgingly shut him down, and proceeded to block/ban all links to anything on Gawker. How can you honestly say what you did in good faith having read everything about what went down? Unless you didn't read it, and you're still a dumbshit.
There is this story:
But who has the means to go through something like this?
There are also services like Reputation Defender which seek to bury odious or embarrassing material through SEO, but such services are very expensive and the common person or youth cannot afford them.
So your solution to curb heinous behavior would be for us to live in a sort of crowd sourced Big Brother type of environment, if we don't already? I shiver to think of what a world like this would look like, and I do not think it would nurture true compassion and respect between differing individuals.
Perhaps I am of a dying breed, but I still believe that people will be more inclined to improve their behavior if they are shown mercy, if they are allowed to keep their dignity and reputation and given a chance to redeem themselves rather than viciously reprimanded and attacked. To me this is a question of encouraging human dignity and nurturing it. A crowdsourced totalitarian, Ministry of Love type of environment where such an attitude would be rigidly enforced would probably nurture spite and hatred instead.
Such examples do exist. One example of this would be Usenet, which for the longest time was reserved to young college students.
I remember reading a case of a person who made a rant about how frustrated she was with her life in general. She didn't say anything vile or anything, she was just ranting bitterly. Some nearly 20 years later she antagonized other people and they unearthed her identity, found her previous rant, and plastered it to countless sites. That is enough to kill someone's chances in front of HR.
Yeah, its kind of interesting that Otterpoop keeps saying "punish" when what is happening - even in his hypothetical and completely hyperbolic example of the 39 year old being brought low by his 14 year old self - is "accountability".
My fault, I guess, for not pedantically refuting every overwrought assertion and flourish.
Re-read your post champ -
Hell yes its a factor. If a 39 year old man can't explain to me what happened there, he has no place at Van De Lay Industries.
And where is the human dignity, respect, and mercy for the victims of their ceaseless harassment, women like Rebecca Watson? http://skepchick.org/2013/02/objectified/
Who is guaranteeing their dignity and reputation?
Otter, you're getting lost in the generalities of being a dickwad on the internet versus the very specific example we have from what actually transpired. A 14 year old posting racist shit to Twitter is just SOP for the internet. Some fuckstick posting pictures of underaged girls to a well traveled site without their permission, but with the blessing of the sites owners isn't.
"Some random story instance" is not remotely the same as this:
This already exists; it's called "reality." For the entirety of recorded history it has not been possible to go out in public and anonymously yell insults at people, or anonymously hang out in public showing people pictures of underage girls.
The closest analogies, anonymous pamphlet distribution from Gutenberg on, and telephone conversations in the 20th century, only let you be anonymous up to the point someone cared enough to make you not anonymous. You can always find the publisher of offensive material, there's only so many printing presses. If someone is crank calling your house and yelling insults at you, you can call the cops and set up a wire trace.
I'm not lost, I understand the difference, I've said so several times.
For example, I got his name wrong but the point still stands that there are two different conversations going on here and a group of people conflating the two and a group of people for whom the concept of two different conversations in the same thread is the fevered dream of a madman.
I'm responding to the point Jackalope made that I quoted:
I was simply pointing out that I do not think someone's "future prospects" should be impacted by by something they stupidly say when they are teens.
Cataloging and organizing a database of stupid shit teens say forever and ever helps no one and is an unreasonable punishment. Even if a stupid teen says something stupid and shitty online, he can delete it forever when he gets older and wiser. Unless you catalog it for future generations.
There are, however, legitimate examples of this. That teacher that was fired for being a porn star years before, that guy who lost his business for, years earlier, getting in a domestic dispute. I'm not tracking down links because I'm not putting forth the strawman, I'm disagreeing with a position.
And then you conflated this side argument over something Jackalope said with the OP. Rest assured these are two different things. I'm sorry you are confused.
It's funny that the guys bringing out Webster's Pedantic and Willfully Dense Edition Dictionary here are claiming to be the ones winning. Maybe if you point out a few more definitions I'll crumble to dust.
Or you can use critical thinking skills.
Oh. But then you would wither to dust :(
I disagree. Children say and do stupid things because they are immature, ignorant, and full of hormones. Are you saying you've never used an ethnic slur? Never made fun of a handicapped person? Never done anything someone would find objectionable?
Otterloop , so what was it you did as a teen that no one is ever going to forgive you for if they found out? You can tell. No one is going to doxx you. Pinkie-promise.
Sick burn. I guess I should be grateful you didn't start capitalizing every third word.
If I did, you'd never know, as I wouldn't attach my name to it and Tweet it out to the world. Or put it on Facebook. Or a message board. The people that do, believe that they are speaking to a receptive and sympathetic audience. The quicker they are disabused of that notion the better off they will be.
Not really so, the Internet effectively allows anonymity if one is cautious enough to cover his or her tracks. It is also possible to make completely anonymous calls through VoIP. It has been used for example during the SWATing of conservative bloggers, and the perpetrators who had sent SWAT team to terrorize them and their family in the comfort of their own homes have never been found. Same thing for the perpetrators of the Pittsburgh e-mail bomb threats. One could easily for example download the TOR browser, start a Blogger site, and even the FBI couldn't find his or her identity.
And the difference is that while anonymous and vile attacks were possible in the past, they weren't perennial, as the global village effect that we have now was absent, and the Internet archives everything for the foreseeable future, making it instantly accessible to anyone at any time. The human scale is also vastly different, as people only dealt with small communities on a comprehensible scale, now it ressembles more a global consciousness, and quite often a wild, infinitely massive crowd that is unthinking, easily manipulated, and bloodthirsty. And there is little to no escaping it, since search engines like Google swallow all, and practically represent what reality is for the unwashed masses. Due to all this, our age is the age of the reputation.
It goes beyond that, it goes far beyond deterring behavior perceived as abhorrent. It has more in common with marking people with a red iron.
Despite being a long sentence enthusiast myself, this is a crime against humanity.
The case of Amanda Todd means this issue is complicated. Both victim and perpetrators were doxxed, there. Was one doxxing a step too far, and the other justified?
As someone who uses his real name to post on this easily searchable message board, I have the belief that anonymity is a soon to be outdated concept. I do change my posting habits because of my username (for example, you won't see pictures of my kids, even though they are cuter than yours), but I feel like this is a good thing on balance. The Internet is not a "safe place," and it should not feel so.
Internet anonymity, it seems to me, is more a privilege than a right. It's polite to not out someone who would not like to be outed, but if they're pretty clearly showing they can't have nice things, I don't think someone outing them is doing a Terrible Wrong. I also know those very people who can't have nice things might decide to out someone who doesn't deserve it, or violate someone's privacy in a way they would be horrified to have happen to theirs, and that is unfortunate, but I don't think frowning disapprovingly when a creep loses his anonymity is the solution there.
I also think the assumption of perfect anonymity on the internet is a bit bizarre. I post as Sjofn most everywhere I bother to talk, but I'm sure someone could probably find my real name and my facebook page and shit in about five minutes if they felt like it, and that just doesn't seem outrageous to me. I am pretty sure I am more "faceless" in real life than on the internet, so I'm always surprised when people who supposedly get how the internet works are shocked and outraged when a GIANT TRAIL OF WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY SAY is followed to the identity they probably weren't even trying very hard to hide.
To be clear, I don't think perfect anonymity is desirable or likely for most people, nor is it what I am advocating for. I just think that it's important that community best practices, enforced with an eye to context, default to respecting the privacy of individuals. Thus, in the abstract, I would prefer that someone be banned for unacceptable conduct, for instance, than that they have a forum witch hunt "out" them.The math changes significantly once illegal or seriously unethical behavior is in play.
Obviously, adversarial situations arise online where, one-on-one or in the case of groups vs. groups, you're going to have "self-defense" type situations where outing people is a reasonable measure. But it shouldn't be the community norm, nor should supervising/legitimizing these posses be a requirement of good moderation. Which, needless to say, does not excuse situations where administrators/moderators abdicate their responsibility to pay attention to context or to maintain an appearance of propriety relative to people they know. But that also means that people assessing and critiquing the situation do their arguments a disservice when they conflate the responsibilities and opinions of community members, mods, administrators, etc. and default to the worst case scenario when presuming a majority opinion exists.
It may also be that the pseudonymous internet is vestigial at this point, but I'm not quite ready to cast it out altogether until the cost-benefit is clearer.
I'm not sure what time period you're thinking of. Until very recently, the vast bulk of humanity spent their entirely lives in maybe a couple hundred mile radius, knowing about the same people from the cradle to the grave.
Said small communities actually did literally mark people with a hot iron, or throw them into wells.
Just a minor point, but Charles Manson committed at least one murder. While he was never convicted of the murders he directly perpetrated, just the murders he directed be perpetrated, he has both ordered and committed murder on separate occasions.
I watch all his parole hearings.
Also, to Jason's point that anonymity is a recent invention, it is and it isn't. People used to be able to move a hundred miles away and start new lives under assumed names for most of the course of human history. That point is informative but not decisive. The fact that our social norms may contemplate much smaller or larger communities and the level of identification that comes with it should be discussed before it is used to bolster either side of the argument.
Yeah, I'm overstating, but "have to run a thousand miles away and start over" was usually to avoid the consequences of previous behavior. This new techno-libertarian expectation that there's a constitutional right to be an untraceable anonymous dick who can't be caught is really something new.
This is all I'm saying. With smaller, dumber words. And a peanut gallery.
Stop bragging about your lack of face no-face.
I agree with your post, I'm just talking specifically about the people who aren't trying very hard to hide because they're too young and dumb to try to hide. Or the people who don't try to hide because they don't think what they're doing is something to get all riled up about. I, personally, had no idea I'd be getting 2am death threats for calling people dumb online because I was bored.
I'm not sure I'm completely on board with what a lot of you are saying, unless I'm misunderstanding. I quite agree that if, in the process of being an internet douchebag, someone violates another person's reasonable expectation of privacy, or commits another serious and direct breach of ethics against another person such as sustained harassment, then they drastically or completely reduce their claim to anonymity. You can't have it both ways, in other words.
But short of that I think an assumption of respecting anonymity is appropriate. If some kid sets up a twitter account and tweets racist nonsense constantly then the correct course of action is to ignore them, not pretend we are his or her parents or the moral guardians of the internet. If the kid goes above and beyond that and starts harassing others in a way that is not easily ignored (pretty much what constitutes harassment) or getting personal in a way that starts treading on others' right to privacy, then refraining from exposing his or her identity starts to become less of an imperative. How much so is context sensitive, and I won't pretend to be a perfect judge, but that's the general approach I think is reasonable.
I'm suspicious of claims that the internet should be no different in terms of accountability to the non-internet world. Clearly I think there are limits to avoiding accountability, as I've outlined above, but a lot of the internet's really important qualities are linked to people having at least a translucent curtain between themselves and their online activities. That curtain is of value, so tearing it down should be predicated on a reasonable high degree of harm/hypocrisy having been committed.
Or maybe everyone agrees with me and I suck at comprehension. Whatevs.
I think the problem we have now is that the internet is effectively a lawless wasteland when it comes to perpetrating some kinds of offences (such as harassment). The barriers to entry to becoming a serious nuisance are so low that you get way more incidences of criminal or borderline criminal behaviour than law enforcement are equipped, or able, to deal with. If you ask police about online harassment often you'll just get a shrug and a 'what can we do?'.
Where there is a vacuum a mixture of community social shaming and some level of 'vigilante' counter harassment arises to fill the hole. It's a far from ideal outcome because you lose all the good things about proper justice, like due process, and it carries a much greater risk of misidentification. However, we are in a situation where our ideals are beyond what is currently practical - it may be that the best strategy available at the present time for overall harm reduction is to try and 'out' an anonymous abuser reach them where it can hurt and brand them, potentially for all time with the righteous fury of the internet mob. It's seems hard to argue, in extreme cases like the violentAcrez one, that a partly poetic outcome for his actions (attacked via the tool he had sought to use to abuse others) was not just. What other recourse can we offer right now to victims of sustained internet abuse? I think we have to regard revoking anonymity as sometimes the least worst tool in the current environment. As Lhowon says once the level of unethical behaviour reaches a certain threshold the demand for accountability should outweigh the respect for anonymity.
Yet we should not completely discount the positive value of anonymity either. Just as it helps shield abusers, creates a 'safe space' for unethical & criminal behaviour and lower the barriers for harassment; it can also protect victims and liberate discourse in a positive way. We all know the extreme example of a chinese blogger under threat of imprisonment, or worse, by the state but there are also all kinds of situations where even a weak shield of anonymity has been enough to allow people to draw comfort from sharing & community discussions that they would be unable to do under their real identities. Anonymity really does provide an enriching second life for some people where they are liberated from the real world and can reinvent themselves in a way that may be more 'true' than the real world person they have become through circumstance. I strongly feel that we shouldn't tear anonymity, without reason, from these people as part of a misguided 'one rule for all' policy.
What of 'internet justice' in general though? As we feel sympathy for the feminist assailed by hourly aggressive rape threats, we might feel some sympathy for a hypothetical man in his fifties still haunted by the time in his teens that he was misidentified by a twitter mob as a rapist so that a google search for his name years later still brings up hundreds of results next to the phrase 'serial rapist'. As well as the lowered barriers to being an individual perpetrator of harassment there is also, for certain people with a platform, a much lowered barrier to idly whipping up and directing, or misdirecting an angry mob. I don't think people in general have properly adapted to modes of conversation that mix elements of causal pub chatter with elements of addressing a stadium sized crowd. Nor have they adapted yet to a world in which it much harder to erase, and move on, from your youthful proto-personalities as you age. I do wonder if the current societal conventions will shift as having facebook documented youthful folly or douchebaggery, among even the elite, becomes the norm rather than the aberration it is now. I'm not sure I'd want to look back on the facebook wall of a twelve year old version of myself.
Briefly on internet 'branding for life' for one mistake, it's worth noting that in most cases our actual criminal justice system does little better with ex-cons, who often find that their youthful crime punishes them forever, certainly long after their sentence is done. That part of the problem at least is not new to the internet age.
In my morning reading and seemed, loosely related:
Separate names with a comma.