Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Everyone is Wrong. And Right. Whatever.

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  • Joanna,

    And believe it or not, not every misog-troll is some techno-wizard. They’re sad little gits who shit on uppity women because they can, because they’re never had to face any cost or consequences.

    I got a super not nice comment on my website not too long ago, in response to a post I'd written about getting date-raped, in which the lovely commentator took it upon himself (I'm assuming) to tell me that clearly I'd enjoyed it and it was going to happen again. The comment came from a vodafone IP address, and so I asked Vodafone on Twitter about, and they were amazing. They called me up straight away to talk about it, sent the guy a letter telling him he'd violated their terms of service, and gave me more information about making a police complaint if I wanted to. I only wish that I could have seen the face of the guy when he got the letter, when he saw that actions have consequences. I am really grateful for how great Vodafone was in dealing with it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Joanna,

    I only wish that I could have seen the face of the guy when he got the letter, when he saw that actions have consequences. I am really grateful for how great Vodafone was in dealing with it.

    So glad you got some action. Sorry you had to deal with it, though. Even if the right things happen, these things are super distressing. Hugs.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Twitter is full of user-created spaces with their own standards and vernaculars, none of which can be parsed at a glance.

    I agree with Emma: Twitter must work harder on abuse, but the bar for sanctions will have to be high, and we shouldn’t expect miracles.

    Yes, I don't disagree with any of this. But I think the really nasty stuff is obvious at a glance. I'm not expecting Twitter to make people play nicely with each other, just to stop scum making threats of violence.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    And believe it or not, not every misog-troll is some techno-wizard. They’re sad little gits who shit on uppity women because they can, because they’re never had to face any cost or consequences.

    Of the couple of dozen bannings here (yes, that few), two or three have attempted to come back and carry it on under different names. One – who may or may not have a diagnosis in the DSM – was particularly persistent. There have been a few other incidents, including one very ill-advised attempt by someone to pose as me.

    But although not every misog-troll is a tech wizard, there’s a relatively high proportion of them in geek circles. Some of those fuckers will keep coming, in part because they have trouble conceiving of the impact of their actions on others, and in part because they don’t manage their own emotional responses well.

    I encountered that more than once talking to “hackers” as an IT journalist. These guys very often see themselves as the victims.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm personally of the view that swinging the ban-hammer at rape-grade trolls is attacking the symptom and playing whack-a-mole.

    Hoisting them on their own petard, and and publicly humiliating them by outing their real identity (and other dirty laundry for good measure), would probably be far more effective than attempting to censor them. A lot of them would probably see the error of their ways, and the ones that don't, well, they'd make Whaleoil look like Mother Teresa.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    and publicly humiliating them by outing their real identity (and other dirty laundry for good measure),

    Good luck with that.

    1) How're you going to identify them? Possible in many cases, but don't we all get online from many places - home, work/school/university, phone/tablet, cafe's free wifi, etc.... that would seem to translate into more than one IP address, with many of them not terribly specific as to who was doing the trolling.

    2) How can you be sure you won't turn into precisely the monster you're trying to fight? You seem to be advocating what is called here in China the "human flesh search (人肉搜索), which has had some rather frightening real world consequences.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I’m personally of the view that swinging the ban-hammer at rape-grade trolls is attacking the symptom and playing whack-a-mole.

    It works with spammers. Well enough that spam doesn't significantly intrude on anyone's experience. And it makes the community standard clear: no spammers, nohow.

    Tracking down and publicly humiliating rape-threatening trolls is a hugely time-consuming enterprise, if nothing else.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    publicly humiliating them by outing their real identity (and other dirty laundry for good measure),

    Isn't that rather like a 21st Century equivalent of the stocks, though?

    Personally, I can think of quite a few people who could do with an hour or two of being pelted with shit, but I seem to recall we got rid of those old-timey punishments for a reason (lousy liberal do-gooders never learn).

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    attacking the symptom

    While it is always nice to attack the cause and cure it, it's worth remembering that medicine has succeeded for a long time in improving peoples lives and extending and saving lives by addressing symptoms first. Usually because that's all they could do at the time.

    I tend to think dealing with trolls and spammers etc is along the same lines. You deal with the cause if you can, but you also deal with the symptom because you can. And sometimes that's enough to make everyone's life better.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Isn’t that rather like a 21st Century equivalent of the stocks, though?

    I don't think so. It's unmasking people who abuse their online anonymity to make threats of violence. What these troll-men are saying is quite extreme stuff.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lilith __,

    What these troll-men are saying is quite extreme stuff.

    Two things I noticed about that article:

    1: The first troll named had been arrested for his trolling.

    2: The links down the righthand sidebar seem to do a very good job of helping perpetuate the sexism.

    I disagree strongly with "naming and shaming" because that has been done for a number of years now here, and while sometimes it has led to actual justice being done, it's a phenomenon that is far too easy to manipulate for less than angelic ends, and far too often it goes all vigilante with some pretty nasty results. But "name, arrest and prosecute", fair enough.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Isn’t that rather like a 21st Century equivalent of the stocks, though?

    It's more like exposing members of the KKK during a prayer meeting...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    2: The links down the righthand sidebar seem to do a very good job of helping perpetuate the sexism.

    And yet somehow, despite the sexist culture in which we are steeped, most of us manage not to send rape threats to feminists.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Lilith __,

    I don’t think so. It’s unmasking people who abuse their online anonymity to make threats of violence. What these troll-men are saying is quite extreme stuff.

    And at least one of the outed trolls claimed his Twitter account was hacked. Another one for the Tui billboards.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Danielle,

    And yet somehow, despite the sexist culture in which we are steeped, most of us manage not to send rape threats to feminists.

    It is true that some people have a lot more trouble with that whole "growing up" thing than others, but as I sit around twiddling my thumb waiting for a painfully slow website to do what I need it to do, I flip through the Guardian and wonder just how widespread a problem this is. For one thing, these lads' mags really don't help. And crying "free speech" really doesn't win any respect from me. And this is disgusting. And surely a girls' school shouldn't be obstructing a feminist society founded by its students? And instructing them to take down photos protesting the need for feminism after they attracted abusive comments from boys - surely that's only empowering boys to abuse girls? And a 14-year old girl kills herself after being bullied online, then her 16-year old sister is abused as she's trying to mourn her sister and prepare for the funeral?! Sometimes I wonder just how large a majority that "most of us" is.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Danielle,

    And yet somehow, despite the sexist culture in which we are steeped, most of us manage not to send rape threats to feminists.

    This is the bit that completely throws me. I honestly can't get my head around the idea that there are folks who don't think their day is complete without threatening someone with violent assault. I guess it's yet more proof that my world is not "average" ... something for which I am grateful.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Just to cheer us up a little, here is a nice piece on the benefits of Twitter for teh ladies .

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lilith __,

    Does she realize that "Gentleman's Club" is a synonym for brothel?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to BenWilson,

    Does she realize that “Gentleman’s Club” is a synonym for brothel?

    Not in conventional usage. Which is clearly what is meant here.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But although not every misog-troll is a tech wizard, there’s a relatively high proportion of them in geek circles. Some of those fuckers will keep coming, in part because they have trouble conceiving of the impact of their actions on others, and in part because they don’t manage their own emotional responses well.

    And apparently athiest/skeptic circles. Here's our old friend Jen McCreight. (Trigger warning for harassment/assult and general skeeviness.)

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Lilith __,

    The gym is the "massage parlour" of our age. Of course it's clear I'm using the conventional mean of massage parlour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Attachment

    Gentleman's Clubs

    Places like Whites and the Garrick?

    Would explain why they have a penis-owners-only rule. Are they bisexual knocking shops, or are only boys of ill repute on the menu (probably codenamed as "spotted dick" - see attached)?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Subversively painted nails might be better than a boycott.

    Isinbayeva defends anti-gay laws as Swedish athletes give Russia the (rainbow) finger

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

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