👓 I Was Reported to Police as an ‘Agitated Black Male’ — for Simply Walking to Work | ACLU

Read I Was Reported to Police as an 'Agitated Black Male' — for Simply Walking to Work by Reginald Andrade (American Civil Liberties Union)
Last month, I walked across the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst to get to work. It was an ordinary stroll. But to a bystander, the sight of an educated Black professional going about his day was apparently cause for alarm.That bystander called the police. My workplace was shut down. I was, and remain, humiliated.Racial profiling at predominantly white institutions is nothing new, and this wasn’t the first time that I had to grit my teeth through a degrading interaction with police at the university.

Stories like this pain me greatly. We need to have a reverse mechanism to have some sort of consequences come back to the reporting parties, particularly in cases where it is repeatedly done and patently obvious there was nothing untoward going on. It might be likened to the equivalent of people not being able to claim free speech when yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Without any repercussions at all, we only allow this type of activity to fester. Repeated offenses should certainly be more harshly punished.

Similar examples of this in our culture include falsely reporting bomb threats, falsely pulling fire alarms, and even recent incidences of “SWATting“. Swatting is typically a situation in which a party that feels wronged by another will call in a terrorist related threat resulting in the dispatching of a SWAT team to an innocent person’s location. This can occasionally lead to the accidental death of an innocent person. We’re prosecuting against these types of crimes (all examples of dangerous false claims) , so why not prosecute or require restitution in cases like Reginald Andrade’s?

I recall a related case like this in July when a white neighbor called the police  multiple times on an African American boy for mowing a lawn. The national media attention called to the issue likely helped to shame the perpetrators of the situation into never allowing it to happening again, but this type of public shaming often doesn’t occur in the majority of these cases. In Andrade’s case, much of the shame only falls unfairly on Andrade and, potentially worse, on the broader University of Massachusetts Amherst community at large (and in the long run will tend to discourage diversity there in general–part of the intended effect) and not on the particular person who made the false report.

Why don’t we come up with a better name for this type of harassment to call attention to it and help put a stop to it? Giving swatting a sensationalist name has seemingly helped to curtail it. Perhaps “racial terrorism”? or, better, maybe “community terrorism” which includes not only the terrorism inflicted on the individual target but on the broader community which is heavily damaged as well. Is there a way to take anti-swatting laws and have them apply to these cases?

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👓 Wil Wheaton Has a Listening Problem | Amber Enderton

Read Wil Wheaton Has a Listening Problem by Amber Enderton (Amber Enderton – Medium)
Wil Wheaton has left Mastodon after facing pressure and hostility from both the community and the staff. Yesterday, Wheaton got bofa’d. A…
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👓 Lenore Blum shocked the community with her sudden resignation from CMU. Here she tells us why. | Next Pittsburgh

Read Lenore Blum shocked the community with her sudden resignation from CMU. Here she tells us why. by Tracy Certo (NEXTpittsburgh)
This high-tech rockstar has done so much for women in the community, making her own experiences with sexism even more stunning.

Things like this are painful to hear, particularly given the recruitment and numbers that CMU has compiled over the past several years. I’m glad that Lenore and her husband have the wherewithal to do this and raise their voices to draw attention to it.

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👓 As Leslie Moonves Negotiates His Exit from CBS, Women Raise New Assault and Harassment Claims | The New Yorker

Read Leslie Moonves Steps Down from CBS, After Six Women Raise New Assault and Harassment Claims by Ronan Farrow (The New Yorker)
Members of the board of the CBS Corporation are negotiating with the company’s chairman and C.E.O., Leslie Moonves, about his departure. Sources familiar with the board’s activities said the discussions about Moonves stepping down began several weeks ago, after an article published in the The New Yorker detailed allegations by six women that the media executive had sexually harassed them, and revealed complaints by dozens of others that the culture in some parts of the company tolerated sexual misconduct. Since then, the board has selected outside counsel to lead an investigation into the claims.
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👓 a post | Flashing Palely in the Margins | Sameer Vasta

Read a post by Sameer VastaSameer Vasta (inthemargins.ca)
[...] We like to tell ourselves that micro.blog is a great place because we are civil and we have good conversations and discussions, even when we disagree, but I have faced more dismissiveness and insult on micro.blog in the past year than I have at any time in that other “micro” social network. This is not the civil community that we make it out to be, and by pretending that it is, we ignore when people feel actively excluded. [...]
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👓 An open letter | Social.Coop

Read An open letter by Michele Kipiel (loomio.org)
Dear fellow members, the events that unfolded over the past few days have put our cooperative to the test, and we failed miserably. Many voices calling for change were silenced in the past, be it by negligence or by sheer lack of commitment by those, whose position of privilege allowed to disregard such calls. By failing to listen, we became the people MLK warned us about: the white moderates who are more devoted to order than to justice. We wasted precious time and energy in endless debates about trivial details, calling for the creation of ever new committees and processes, and we eventually lost sight of the only true reason our cooperative came to existence: to wrestle control of our social media out of the hands of the rich, white, capitalist elite.

Nice to hear that this Mastodon instance seems to be doing the right thing, but the idea of temporarily shutting down an instance makes me glad I didn’t join and that I have my own personal website instead. It’s nice not to be beholden to outsiders in cases like this or other corporate interests.

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👓 A startling number of women say they have been harassed while running | CNN

Read A startling number of women say they have been harassed while running (CNN)
Mollie Tibbetts' case has raised safety questions for women runners who say men often view an athletic woman in shorts or jogging pants as an invitation for lewd or frightening behavior.
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👓 Cage the Mastodon | Join Mastodon

Read Cage the Mastodon (joinmastodon.org)
An overview of features for dealing with abuse and harassment

Along with some of the strategies practiced by micro.blog and their community, these are some intriguing methods for tamping down abuse within social spaces online. The are certainly worth studying and delving into deeper.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

So that’s already a huge advantage over other platforms due the basic design. And in my opinion it’s got advantages over the other extreme, too, a pure peer-to-peer design, where everyone would have to fend for themselves, without the pooled resources.  

Definitely something the IndieWeb may have to solve for.
August 13, 2018 at 07:41AM

Mastodon deliberately does not support arbitrary search. If someone wants their message to be discovered, they can use a hashtag, which can be browsed. What does arbitrary search accomplish? People and brands search for their own name to self-insert into conversations they were not invited to.

What you can do, however, is search messages you posted, received or favourited. That way you can find that one message on the tip of your tongue.  

August 13, 2018 at 07:41AM

Another feature that has been requested almost since the start, and which I keep rejecting is quoting messages.  

August 13, 2018 at 07:43AM

Each individual message can either be:

  • Fully public, appearing to your followers, the public timelines, anyone looking at your profile
  • Unlisted, appearing to your followers and anyone looking at your profile, but skipping the public timelines
  • Private, appearing only to your followers and people mentioned in it
  • And direct, appearing only to people mentioned in it

  

August 13, 2018 at 07:45AM

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👓 Lawrence Krauss, Celebrity Scientist, Is Replaced At Top University Job Amid Harassment Allegations | BuzzFeed

Read Lawrence Krauss, Celebrity Scientist, Replaced At Top University Job Amid Harassment Allegations (BuzzFeed News)
The Arizona State University professor has been accused of inappropriate behavior spanning more than a decade.
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👓 Feeds and Gardens | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Feeds and Gardens by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
My last post, Connections, gathered a fair bit of response — enough that you can see a good example of Webmentions in action below it. There’s a little back-and-forth discussion there that mostly took place on Twitter, as well as a lot of likes and mentions that came from there as well.
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