[Linux-aus] Some Anti-Harassment Policies considered harmful

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Sat Feb 19 13:52:09 EST 2011

Hash: SHA1

On 02/01/2011 12:30 PM, melissa at meldraweb.com wrote:
> On Tue, 1 Feb 2011 10:28:02 +1030, Sarah Stokely <sarah at foxforcefive.com>
> wrote:
>> I'm also interested to know if anyone spoke to the rogue
>> photographer/photographers who didn't seem to understand that no means
> no.
>> :/
> I did, though I hold no official capacity (which should have approximately
> zero impact on the result).
> It was at this point that I was chastised for the unwilling subject's
> sabotage. Apparently the bird-flipping was deemed more rude by the
> photographer in question than taking photos of someone who repeatedly
> declined to no effect.

Sorry for digging this out of the grave, but I'm only now trying to sort
through the deluge of email here.

I believe the photographer you're talking about, if we're not naming names,
was the official conference photographer.  So I doubt "rogue" is a good label.
 I also know that he did not use any photos of the person in question, so I
doubt "to no effect" is accurate either (yes, I think he took them; no, I
don't think they were kept).

I understand people's desires not to be photographed.  But how much effort
should the conference organisers go to to make sure everyone's desires are
accommodated?  If I prefer not to have C++ programmers look at me, surely it
is my job to enforce that rather than have a conference-wide mandate that
specifies who can and cannot look at other people?  There were vegans and
vegetarians at the conference, but should the whole conference be vegan?
Should we have a policy of only allowing laptops if they are running a
distribution of Linux - it is a FOSS conference after all?  Is there a point
at which something like not wanting to be photographed is simply too difficult
to implement conference-wide and must simply be dealt with on a personal level?

Ultimately, I think the policy was clear, the conference organisers did the
right thing to apologise afterward, and those calling even some
anti-harassment policies harmful need to put themselves in the place of the
people harassed.  I found some of Mark's images quite disturbing and his
language over the top.  He wanted to make everyone angry at Facebook and
corporations controlling our social lives, and instead he made everyone angry
at everyone else.  I don't think that's a win for his cause.

Have fun,

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