>>Hi, everybody! This has been a great weekend,
hasn’t it been? Yeah!
[Applause] And I was just talking to Richard about how
I feel like every year we build upon the work that we do in the previous year
and it just gets better, better and better.
And there has been so many wonderful people here this weekend. It’s been so
productive, and I feel like the Wikipedia community both online and in person is getting
increasingly diverse. It’s really, really inspiring.
So many of us have met here today, connected and we have shared all of the
wonderful work that we’re doing with each other and the local chapter and the organizers
here have done a tremendous job and really, really grateful to them.
And also, you know, the National Archives, you know, the relationships that
they build here with institutions, like the National Archives, it’s just really
promising going forward. And I think I also throughout this weekend there have been so
many conversations here about the people working on things, like the gender gap problem.
And also people sharing strategies for dealing with some of the inevitable bad behavior
that one encounters when working online spaces like Wikipedia. And, you know, much of
this is due to the fact that Wikipedia, it’s not isolated from what Professor Citron has
referred to as the online sub cultures of misogyny. And what she will be talking about
is really familiar to a number of us, you know, sitting here. Danielle Citron is the
professor of law at the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey school of law and
she’s done work analyzing and writing about Internet law, information privacy and civil
rights. Her book Hate Crimes in Cyberspace was published by Harvard University Press
in 2014 and it explores how the law can be used
to combat these abuses. And rather than harness freedoms on line it can support more
openness, more inclusivity and more participation. Professor Citron calls attention
to how dismissive and advertising attitudes about online harassment are similar
to those said about harassment in the workplace and domestic violence and calls
on all of us to work on these problems as 21st
century civil rights issues. We can make the culture of Wikipedia not one shape by
misogyny but one shape by equality. Please join me in welcoming Professor Danielle
>>Danielle Citron: Terrific to be here. I was saying to someone earlier on
I wanted everyone to move up, but, no, this is just right. I can see everyone. So it’s
terrific to be here. Especially given that, you know, your community is self-policing,
and so much, I think we always look to — everyone is not a lawyer. Looks to lawyers to
say, you fix it, right? And lawyers always say, we want to see computer scientists, we
want a technologists to fix the problems, we’re pointing at each other. But you are
all engaged in the process of sorting through
what your norms are on your site, so I’m excited to be here to talk to you about my
book, which focuses on the problem of online harassment and stalking and what is really
interesting is I started this project about seven years ago, not the book, but just working
on the issue when Kathy was first targeted online. At the time — I’m sure everyone
knows who Kathy Sierra is, the technologist? No? Really, okay?
So Kathy is a technologist who had a blog called Creating Passionate Users.
At the time, 2004 to 2007, I think it was in the 50 Top Blogs or most sort of trafficked
at the time and kind of a trailblazer in her own right, wrote books on java and code,
uncontroversial. What she’s writing about is how do we code and how can we make people
happy in creating software? And she was targeted on her blog in comments and also email
that was sent to her, as well as group blogs. So race and death threats, really graphic
on her own blog, and then an email sent to her, and group blogs. Her face appeared in
a doctored photograph with a noose beside her
neck. The only thing Kathy Sierra is good for is her neck size. Another photograph,
she’s very distinctive blond woman and you see her face and she looks like she’s suffocated
by lingerie. At the time she was supposed to give a talk, this all happened
in a two-week period, a perfect storm of what she understood as anonymous abuse. She had
no idea who it was coming from. She canceled her talk at a tech conference in
San Francisco and she blogged about it. She said, look, I’m terrified. I’m afraid to go
to this conference, I’ve gone to the Colorado police, she lives in Boulder, and
shockingly they took her seriously, which is
a struggle even now, right? Don’t leave your house, don’t do anything. And when the
press wrote about her reaction and what was going on, sort of second labor abuse
followed led by people like we and others, stop whining, Kathy Sierra, they spread her
Social Security number all over the Internet, her home and personal contact information,
like a narrative that was fabricated about her life and career and she just got offline.
She really hasn’t blogged since. And so sort of Kathy’s sort of struggle and story,
she’s one of the main three people I talk about in my book, but she’s emblematic about
people who experience online — it’s shocking..when I start talking about Kathy Sierra,
we got me off my script or whatever. You know, the idea that we would bring law to bear
against privacy invasions like the spreading of Social Security numbers that can aid and
abet, you though, identity theft, defamation, the idea we would bring law to bear
against it was — I was told I was going to break the Internet. If idea that, like, we
could regulate some of this behavior, which was criminal, and as I contend a civil
rights violation was heretical to suggest. I was totally out of the mainstream. I was
told I want to break the first amendment. What is interesting, seven years later, is
this completely — not only is it not heretical to suggest we should bring law to bear
against the worst abuses, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation, my friends put up a
post in January that said, we agree, this is a digital rights problem that is — the
victims have a right to speak and express themselves and this sort of, like, threats
and privacy invasions and defamation is preventing
them from expressing themselves, and that was a moment for me. It was like, ah! My goodness!
It went from being an off the wall idea that this abuse is unacceptable to be
something that is — civil liberties organizations were agreeing with and saying
yes. This is a problem of civil rights and civil liberties. So mainstream we were on
John Oliver. This is so uncontroversial now it’s amazing to talk about it.
So what I thought I would do is describe the phenomenon of exactly what I’m
talking about, define it sort of clarify it, who does it impact, it harms, and then talk
a bit about the law and what law really can’t do and a bit about what companies are now
doing. Private entities and the kind of choices they’re making. What does that mean
for our system of free expression? So how do we define cyber harassment and stalking?
And I have to say I read Wikipedia’s description, and I know it’s not
necessarily prescriptive, but your guidelines, and it was really sophisticated,
and I thought, this is terrific. So what is harassment and stalking? It is a repeated
and persisting course of conduct that is targeted at a specific individual that is
designed to and intended to and that causes substantial emotional distress and often the
fear of physical harm. And more importantly, the definition is nothing,
but how it’s perpetrated and the kind of components abuse that I think
are important to understand. And it’s often a perfect storm, right? Sort
of three key features. One is really intent to terrorize people, by threatening
them with physical violence as Kathy experienced, impersonating them online, suggesting
they’re interested in sex and providing their contact information.
It involves reputation harming lives and defamation and often the manipulation
of search engines to ensure that it’s prominent in the search of someone’s name. It
involves privacy invasion. It may take the form of hacking into someone’s computer to
steal sensitive information, including nude photos and the sharing and posting online
and we can think of, of course, Jennifer Lawrence as a prominent example, but the
iCloud is not unusual and not always celebrities. In fact, normally it’s just the
everyday person. But it’s also the posting of people’s nude photos in violation of
their confidence and trust lake we see on revenge porn sites. And the loss technology
is using technology to effectively shove people offline, whether it’s a deed off the
tack or otherwise engaging in manipulation of technologies to — with brute force to
silence people, right? So since I gave you sort of a little sense
of what this abuse looks like, I’m going to give you — I’m sure you guys know
all about gamer games. I know, to say that to this group is crazy. Normally I talk at
universities and people are like — I have two really shy gamers in the audience willing
to admit. So there is a friend that is in my book, and
I think we largely understand the abuse she faced, but it’s important to know,
it didn’t start this last summer, right? So in 2012, Anita announced she was starting
this campaign to have this video series Sex in Video Games, and a week after
she announced the launch of this project she started receiving graphic death and bomb threats,
right? And that same week as the cyber mob descends
on her, the game Beat Up Anita Sakesian. If you Google it this second, you
will find this game, right? Any key you touch in your computer — she’s a distinctive
woman, so you know it’s Anita. Her face gets bloodied and purplish. Now, whoever was
doing this, like a set of people, they went after her livelihood, her kickstarter
campaign. So her kickstarter receives hundreds of false abuse complaints suggesting
that her campaign was fraudulent, like her efforts to raise money. Facebook, Twitter,
and YouTube received reports of her channels — this is the irony, and I love
this moment. Spam and terrorism, right? Seriously friends? And because she was well
known they didn’t shut down her profiles. We know what happened at Wikipedia, to her
Wikipedia page and the kind of monkey business of kind of trying to feed it with
pornography and child porn and seems like Wikipedians had to shut down the page. And
this abuse went on for years. So I met Anita before all this happened, and she called
me and said, I don’t even — I know you’ve been writing about this, but I have
no idea what to do. And I initially urged her to go to law enforcement. She said, what
do I say? There are thousands of people coming after me? I can’t imagine their wrapping
their hands around getting a warrant for all of these posters, right? And we know
that last summer the fever pitch, after the talks on Zoe Quinn, and sort of one example
beyond just the sort of avalanche of rape and death threats with her address and
parents’ address, it sort of escalated this time. The threats were in her inbox, I’m going
to rape you, bitch, I know where you live, including her parents’ address and home
address. She was supposed to give a talk at Utah State University and the day she came
— she’s already there to give the talk. The dean’s office received anonymous phone
calls that says if Anita speaks there will be
a shooting worse than Columbine and New Town combined. She was already there and she
said I’ll give this talk so long as there’s police presence and we’re checking people
for guns. But the response to her was… well, we have
carry laws, so we can’t help you. We can’t check people. Isn’t that the most
ridiculous thing you heard. So President Obama was coming to Utah State, the CEO of
Pepsi, do you really think that’s going to be
the response? We can’t check people to make sure they have no guns?
So she didn’t speak. It was directly impeding what she does for a living,
speak and talk, it’s her work as a journalist and media critic.
But, of course, it’s not just the high profile, whether it’s Kathy or Anita.
Really more importantly or more prevalently it’s the grad student, the nurse, the
dentist, I can’t tell you the countless people I talk to in research and writing my
book. So I’ll tell you about one. So I think we can get a full understanding of what
this abuse feels like from if perspective of the victim. Holly Jacobs was — she had
just graduated from BC and was in grad school at FIU and had a long-distance
relationship with someone and they, as young people do — I feel like I’m 46 and allowed
to call her a young person. There were cameras everywhere and they shared intimate
images with each other. It was two-way street, not just one way. They shared images
and videos with each other. She was taped during sex too which she did not consent to,
but much was consensual sharing, but it was an understanding for their eyes only. They
break up and six months later she starts getting emails from strangers and texts that
say, I saw your ad, I’m interested in sex, where can meet? Holly wasn’t in the habit
of Googling her name, it wasn’t something we
preached or talk to our kids about and discussed. What she found was over 300 sites,
revenge porn sites and adult finder sites with her nude images from videos and one video
of her masturbating, which you can only imagine what sheer embarrassment and horror,
but with all of her contact informing. She had a part-time job, her work address, her
work telephone number, her cell phone number, all of her contact information, and some of
the posts, because she was a grad student said, hot for teacher, Holly, and her former
last name, she sleeps with students. Other posts were like fake ads, but said she
was interested in threesomes and anonymous sex, you know, that looked like
they were solicitations from her. And her deans office, dean of students received
anonymous phone calls saying she was sleeping with her students, and her
part-time employer, she did some consulting work, she got an email that said if you don’t
send me more nude photos, I will send these photos I have of you to your employer,
I know where you work. Of course, she didn’t write back, as I recommended, because,
you know, to feed the beast and give morphos to is like extortion, clearly a crime
going on here. And so, of course, the person lived up to the threat, sent the nude
photos to her employer, her part-time employer. So she left that job because it
was clear from the postings where she worked, the address — she moved out of her apartment
and into her parents’ house. She changed her name. A very unique former last name and
her dean of students said to her, look, if you are going to teach students, the only
way we’re going to let you teach students is
you really have to change your name. These young undergrads can’t be Googling their
teacher. Can you imagine to declare bankruptcy over your — it’s like reputational
bankruptcy to sort of force that on someone, right? It sends like an untenable choice
to say to her. And she hadn’t yet got her Ph.D, so they’re in control of her
doctorate, right? So she did. And there’s a wonderful sort of
end of my talk and tell you what Holly is doing today, but she’s an anti-harassment
advocate and running a wonderful organization called the cyber civil rights
initiative to raise awareness, change laws. They’ve been incredible. She’s so brave. But
when we first met, she could barely tell me her real name and would call me on a different
phone. She was afraid she would get hacked. So going public was a huge step for
her in 2014 and ’13, but she did it and trying change the way we understand this kind
of online abuse. But if you can imagine, it’s a hard thing to swallow, right?
And victims — so the damage, you can imagine — we can imagine what the
damage is of all of this abuse, right? Victims change their lives. So Anita changed
her name. We know the professional costs are incredibly steep, right?
People lose their jobs or it’s impossible to get one. Why? Because online
searchers are — we know that over 95% of employers tell us that they are searching
people in order to figure out if they’re going to interview or hire people. And there are
companies like — that are working on mining data online to identify candidates. So sometimes
you don’t have control over this, right? And a Microsoft study found that over
80% of employers searching people, there’s a negative result, right?
And why? Does that make sense? From the employer’s perspective it makes
imminent sense.do you want a client saying, why did you hire that person? Did you see
in a Google search what this person did? It’s not that employers believe that
individuals have posted their nude photos online by themselves, it’s not that they
believe Holly is a prostitute or whatever. It’s so much safer and cheaper and easier
to hire someone, right? Who doesn’t come with
baggage. It’s just that simple. And victims really struggle emotionally, right?
So many told me, it’s hard not to wake up in the middle of the night
and Google yourself because you think, what next shoe is dropping, right?
And it is silencing. This is like a perfect community to talk about all the
wonderful things of the Internet, all the knowledge creation and access to knowledge
that it provides, right? But for victims of online abuse, they feel like the more they
engage online, the more provocation it is for their harassers. So totally disappear.
It’s just safer and it’s going to provoke less abuse, right?
So they lose the opportunity to do all of the things that we are all engaging
in, politically, socially, economically, all the wonderful things that all these network
spaces offer but they can’t enjoy it. So sometimes I’m often — this is in the beginning
of my work. People feel like, Danielle, can you relax? Stop making
a mountain out of a molehill, it’s one or two bad cases. The bottom line is I wish I
could say it was just one or two bad cases, but the bureau of justice statistics made
clear in a number of studies that it was estimated in 2006 — you can imagine this
is a while ago — it’s clearly gotten worse, that over 850,000 people experience stalking
by network technologies every year. And the study defines stalking in the way I initially
remember my first initial definition, it’s not a loosy goosy definition, it was
a clear definition of the study. And there was a report last year that says this is especially
so for womens in their 20s. At least 20% of women in their 20s will experience
cyber gender harassment in the way I described it.
We know that the majority of victims of online abuse are women, but men
experience it too. And the playbook for men and women are strikingly the same. It’s as
if I step rewind and play each time. The abuse is sexually threatening and sexually
humiliating. For both men and women, it’s not just any old threat, but it’s sort of
either threats of anal rape, impersonation suggesting for men that they’re interested
in rape or anal rape, anonymous rape, and women
it’s rape threats. The same thing, it’s sexually targeted threats. And not just any
old lie or definition, it’s sexually humiliating lies. Individuals are accused
of having sexually transmitted diseases, herpes or AIDS, or so alleged. They are accused
of being prostitutes and available for is sex. It’s not any old privacy invasion,
because golly we know we can invade privacy in so many sundry ways, but it’s the effect
of hacking and sort of then posting of nude photos shared in confidence, the breach of
that confidence, and then the sharing online often alongside personal information.
So it’s a bleak picture now, right? So I’m a law professor, naturally I’m
inclined to what law can do, and it can do something. It can’t solve all of our
problems, right? But it can do something, right?
So what can it do? What can law do right now and then what are some reforms
that I think we should — don’t worry, it’s all good, right?
[chuckles] What are some reforms that I think we really
need and are working on already, right?
So what can law do right now? So often victims to sue your harasser if you
can figure out who they are. There are civil claims victims can bring against harassers
and it’s absolutely true there are well-tailored torts like defamation, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, my wheelhouse, public disclosure of private fact.
The practicality of it is it’s so expensive to bring a lawsuit. It’s fabulous
in theory but not in sort of practical fact, right? So it’s so expensive to sue that
the civil system and the kind of corrective justice it could provide for us is just
often just unavailable. So what about criminal law? So let’s take
— in about half of the dates — at the federal level, which has constrained resources,
there are really well-designed federal cyber stalking threats, extortion
laws on the books, but the problem is, I think, as the FBI often tells victims, look,
this is not an issue of national security. It’s not terrorism. It’s not drugs. We’re
not involved. And they do have their own set of priorities. And so I think to overly
rely on the federal — FBI and federal law enforcement I think is too tall a task. But
the states have stepped in and long been the first movers when it comes to stalking
and harassment. California was the first in the nation to pass a law against stalking
in 1990 and within three years everyone followed. That is all 50 states. So we traditionally
look to the states. So in about half of the states have really well-designed
or they have laws that would reach online abuse. They have stalking laws, anti-harassment
criminal laws, threat laws, laws against solicitation and extortion. In 25
states we now have law that criminalize invasions of sexual privacy, when you go after
the knowing privacy invasion, the knowing person who posts revenge porn sites, the initial
poster, but the key problem is the enforcement of these laws. So when victims
— and you talked about the — in describing some of my work, the kind of trivializing
we do online harassment, the key problem is when people go to law enforcement, they’re
bedeviled by the same attitudes we’re bedeviled by. Turn your computer off is what
they’re told. Boys will be boys. Ignore it, it will go away. Right?
Some of that comes from an — I have talked to so many law enforcement
officers. It’s not to say that they are uniquely — have really poor attitudes, they’re
also just not used to the technology. It’s not a B crime, right? It’s not offline
assault where they say, I’m good at this. This involves technology and often they just
aren’t familiar with the idea of getting a warrant for an online service provider, trace
an IP address and produce the warrant to the IFSP to figure if it’s static IP address,
who is this person? They’re like, whoa, we know idea what we’re doing. And also
they’re unfamiliar with laws. We need a whole nother training. The work I’m doing with
attorney general of California, Pamela Harris — Wednesday I’m going to LA to announce
the roll-out of this exciting project that we have in training law enforcement. So we
have some amazing law enforcers like on the beat, but it is really the beginning stages. It’s really the first of its kind in California
and we’re hoping it’s going to catch fire across the country, the training of law
enforcement in the laws and the technologies in getting from the FBI in training
officers, how to approach and investigate these cases.
But it’s also true that in about half of the states they just do not have laws
on the book that reach this kind of abuse. So you’ve got an aggravated harassment law
in New York that only covers communications that are sent directly to victims. So case
from New York, guy posts — Ian posts nude photos of girlfriend on Twitter and sends
them to her employer, including all her friends and work contacts. And he’s arrested
for aggravated harassment. But rightly so the court dismisses the indictment against
him. Why? Because he never directly sent the communication — abusive communication to
her, and that makes sense. Just a way in which the legislators wrote that law, right?
So we’ve got some work to do at the state level. We’ve got to update
harassment and stalking laws that were written in the ’90s and some of them are like
email harassment laws, do we want to have a moment and laugh — telephone harassment
laws, which always makes me giggle. We’ve got to update those laws. They need to be
technology neutral. And it’s work we can do. We just have to engage some of our law
makers among the many issues they have to worry about, I think we can engage them with
this. You know, we’ve seen some progress. 25 states,
Holly Jacobs, cyber Civil Rights Initiative and Mary Ann francs, a colleague
in Miami working with state legislators across the country, we went from
18 months ago having no — one law, New Jersey, that criminalized an invasion of sexual
privacy and a law invoked to punish the harasser — remember the roommate who tapes
Tyler having sex with a man, views it and surreptitiously shares it with friends and
he’s convicted of invasion of sexual privacy. New Jersey had the law on the books since
2004. Now 26 states, within 18 months, 26 states have criminalized invasion of sexual
privacy. We’re making some really important movement in the law. The kind of court argument
in my book, the way to understand the law, is not only that, look, what we’re seeing
are torts and we’re seeing crimes, but we should fundamentally understand the abuse
as a civil rights violation, right? Why do I
say that? We always think of civil rights violations or long thought of them is when
you interfere with people’s substantial and tangible life opportunities. And you do
that because of their membership in a protected group, right? So think about Anita
Sarkesian. What did the cyber know about Anita that she was a woman writing about sex
in video games, truly. And for that the wrath of rape threats, privacy invasions,
defamation, intimidation and attempts to basically stop her from doing her work, right?
They frequented her website and shutting it down intermittently over the
years. Amanda said it eloquently in Slate, writing a piece for Pacific Standard. She
had a piece about online harassment where she said, you know, threats, what they say
so all women that they can’t be at ease online.
And I think that’s exactly right. Online harassment is often designed to basically
make people unemployable, right? And unable to express themselves, which is a fundamental
liberty. And we have some work to do with our civil
rights laws, but I think once we wrap our head around what this is, right,
the law can only do so much. We can only enforce it only a little bit, right? We can’t
have perfect and don’t want, in fact, perfect enforcement, but what the law does
is teach us, right? It’s an educator, and it
can help teach us that it’s the wrong thing to do, right, to help change both social
attitudes and behavior, right? So how is any of this sort of legal solution
consistent with the first amendment? So I initially started by explaining,
when I first started talking about online harassment, I was told I was going
to break the Internet, the Internet as a forum for public discourse. As a crucial lesson
I think we all now with eight or nine years behind us is that we know that the first amendment
as a doctrine, it doesn’t operate in absolutes, right?
There are certain categories of speech that we know, either receive no action
or less rigorous protection because they give us so little and they cause so much harm.
And so much of online harassment is constituted by speech that has either no protection
or very little protection. So what kind of speech am I talking about? True threats?
The defamation of private individuals about purely private matters? Crime facilitating
speech like extortion and solicitation? And speech enjoys rigorous protection. There
are laws that protect the privacy of communications, right? We think of like wiretap
laws and laws that intervene on behalf of privacy on communications. They’re not going
to be subject to strict scrutiny. Why? Because they foster private speech. If we
don’t think our communications are private, we’re not going to communicate. We’re not
going to use our cell phones. We’re not going to
share nude photos, right? If the assumption is that inherently there’s the assumption
of risk that they’re public. It will chill speech, right? And that’s why the Supreme
Court has explained that we can uphold and we
have less rigorous protection of speech when what we’re doing is punishing knowing
violations of privacy. Okay. So what about free speech values, right?
There’s so many reasons, wonderful reasons why we protect free speech,
right? We protect expression and we think it’s incredibly
important. Why? To help us figure out how to govern ourselves, right?
How do we know the kind of society we want to live in if we don’t speak — I think
for me more importantly is to listen. If we don’t take in ideas, then we can’t figure
out the kind of world we want to live in, right?
But I think it’s really important to realize, so what are the rape threats, a
nude photo of someone posted without their consent and defamatory — like a lie, right?
That contributes nothing to the set of ideas that we need to figure out the kind of
world we live in, even offensive ideas, right? It’s not an idea that we’re punishing,
right? And it’s really importantly, it drives people
from self-governance, so from self-expression, as a victim said to me, I
cannot be a digital citizen when I’m under assault. And that’s no surprise. You know,
so another reason why we protect free speech is we think of the marketplace of ideas,
right? That’s like one of the most popular ways we describe the truth-seeking
function of this kind of marketplace of discussion.
And so we think of — like if there’s bad speech or offensive speech, we
counter it with other speech, and that’s precisely what we do and should do with hate
speech, but we’re not talking about annoying defensive degrading speech to groups.
We’re talking about what is there to say to a rape threat? Don’t rape me? What counter
speech is going to help have a conversation, right?
What is there to say to defamation? No, I don’t have herpes? Right?
I mean, right? Is anyone going to believe that? I guess you can say that,
but is anyone going to buy it? No. There isn’t the kind of conversation and truth-seeking
function. Like it’s almost broken at that point, right?
And it is true, of course, that harassers have expressive interest. I’m not
going to say they don’t. They’re using zeros often, a lot of this is images. So they
are engaging in speech themselves, but the whole reason for doing what they are doing
is to silence other people. And if that’s why
— if that’s what is motivating you, your attempts to silence and destroy people’s careers
and lives, I think we should be less frankly worried, right? About this speech.
And a law is less worry, right? So that — but, of course, law — we’re limited
in what law can do. We know there’s plenty the first amendment lets us
do, right? But that leaves a huge gap. So often we rely on all of us, right? We rely
on private companies. They’re not constrained by the first amendment, right?
Twitter and Google and Facebook, they’re not constrained — they’re private actors and
can do what they want. Federal law provides immunity. The choices they make — this is
the communications decency act, ironically titled. It explains good Samaritans, online
service providers, if they publish other people’s speech we’re not going to treat them
as speakers or publishers, right? Why? It’s a great law. It’s incredibly important
how it’s been interpreted, right? But it means private companies can help police
norms on their own site. That’s the whole point of that law, right?
To provide immunity as the title calls it for good Samaritan blocking of removal of
offensive speech. The title that these very conservative congressmen, senators and house
of representatives, that’s what they wrote in the statute. So we are seeing private companies
sort of step into the act and ban online harassment, revenge porn, right?
We’ve seen them do it. It’s been sort of revolutionary in the last 18 months
we’ve seen sort of one by one, you know, after this is happening and the iCloud,
Harris had a convening with these companies and about a month later we had announcements
from Reddit and Facebook that they were banning revenge porn. And Google and Bing, that
was summer excitement. They announced that they will de-index nude photos of
individuals who explain to them that it’s posted without their consent.
And it was a struggle to get them there. Twitter has banned — this is a big move for
Twitter. It has long, in my conversations with them, since inception they
always said it’s a speech platform. That is, we do not ban anything except impersonations,
spam and copyright violations. Which we can all have a moment and not like either,
But with that said, in the last six months, they have banned specifically what
they call targeted harassment. They have banned revenge porn. They have banned
threats. And not just credible threats, which we strictly understand a true threat, but
threats more amorphous, Anita explained to me it’s incredibly encouraging, because so
much of the threats she faces on Twitter, they’re not “I’m going to kill you,” but they
are “someone should kill you.” They’re designed to scare and terrorize. But you’re
doing it with enough wiggle room so you’re not violating the law, but enough to make
clear that I’m doing this to really chase you offline, right?
So we see these companies moving in, but at the same time they’re doing this,
part of my sort of discussions with them is that they’ve got to be clear about what
their terms of service and community guidelines really mean. How are they defining
harassment, stalking, threats, revenge porn or privacy invasions? And beyond just
defining for the user base, what do we do about it? Explain to users honestly and
clearly what happens when — what are the repercussions, right?
And are there — this will be very familiar. I feel like we are trying to do
this really well, due process. When there has been speech that is complained about,
if you’re going to remove it or you’re going
to ban someone, give them a chance to have something to say about it, right?
You know, most companies just too bad, so sad, this is what happened to you
and there’s really no conversation. And I think we’ve got to sort of adapt and move
beyond that, because they’re so incredibly — our speech platforms are incredibly
important for conversations, so our broader, I think, system of free expression, I
hope — and I think the listening is going to involve to think about digital
citizenship, they often invoke that term to justify their bans of stalking threats and
privacy invasions. But my advice, digital citizenship is so important. Not only rights
and responsibilities, but part of your responsibility as a host of digital citizens is
to engage even the harassers in the conversation about why you’re doing it to them and
being really clear, so there is some sense of we have some protections for the people
who are misusing platforms, like shoving Anita offline reporting her site as hate speech
spam and terrorism. When you’re misusing complaint systems, we’ve got to get at that
too. So I feel like this is such a wonderful audience
because, Wikipedia — I always feel like — this is what happens.
Law professors always look at Wikipedia like you have so much process. You have this…
[Laughter ] Really, I know you’re laughing, but this is
like some of my… I know, you can laugh louder. But we really
admire you, really. At least for your first principles. But you say we are
going to have a dispute system — I know you’re like, what are you saying, lady? Hold
on! We’re going to arbitrate that we have fair
process and engage in really hard conversation, right?
So I think it’s an exciting sort of group to talk to because you’re at the
front lines of trying to work out what that means, due process and fairness and
bringing procedural regularity and fairness to online speech. I’m not going to
criticize anything you’re doing because I don’t really know and I have many friends
now in the audience that say, oh, we want to talk
to you about this stuff, so I think that’s great.
But at least it’s a really important model, I think for others to follow. So
I’m really excited for your questions. I see folks coming to the microphone.
Thank you. [Applause]
>>The Wikipedia article about revenge porn, a few weeks ago, rewrote it using
one of your law journal articles, or at least a potential portion of it. But a lot of
my other comments are going to be directed actually towards the audience just in
contrast to your speech. So I get about 20 emails a week from women
Wikipedians who don’t want to deal with any of the process on Wiki because every
arbitration case with women in the last two years has involved all of them being banned.
The entire oversight team made a blanket statement that they were unwilling
to oversight two words that were gender pronouns that had never been privately disclosed
or rather publicly disclosed, and in the group, one of our breakout sessions about
gender, the word I heard more than harassment was “Manchester.”
>>Danielle Citron: Hmm… I may need a little clarification on that.
Manchester, I’m with you all the way so…>>He’s teasing us.
>>Danielle Citron: I had a feeling, like okay…
So can I just say what I heard and then maybe we can create like a question or
conversation, right? So what I think I heard — and thank you so
much for your comments and question, because you said really you’re saying
it more as a dialogue with the audience, right? Which maybe I can kind of spark. I
think I heard you saying that women editors, female editors were being banned, right, as
a result of disputes. Am I wrong? Is that what I heard?
>>Yeah, that’s correct. [ speaker off microphone ]
>>Danielle Citron: That’s fine. What is really interesting is what I’m
hearing. I just want to look back in history, right?
So it’s true that if we think about these important turning points and the way
we change our attitudes, if we think about sort of women in the workplace in the ’60s
and ’70s, the workplace that my mom and a lot of our parents grew up in, if a woman
objected to sexual harassment in the workplace the response was like, beat it. You
don’t like it, leave. Right? And that kind of punishment is not that — that’s
just the way we said to people, you don’t like this culture, get out
of here. And so I guess — and I’m not suggesting your
community is doing anything consciously, right? And that’s okay if you
are, but… But these are important discussions to have.
I so value being here to hear you have these conversations, because, you
know, so often, at least as a consumer of —
I love Wikipedia. So I’m just — I eat it up. Like I go to — I just observe. I don’t
edit, and I admire people who do, but I’m one of the people who admire fans using pit.
but the conversation how there’s so few female editors has always depressed me, so I
think having this conversation, I want to be part of the solution, I want to make it
easier and more welcoming for women to be part of this important endeavor is really
wonderful. So thank you. You know, that’s sort of my response, I think.
>>The cases Kevin was talking about is an editor that faced extreme sexual
harassment and involved in a dispute on Wikipedia. Somebody modified nude images of
someone else and put them on a site with their name, and among other things, not saying
this editor was otherwise blameless, but among other things the arbitration committee
banned them for seeking out the identity of the person who had placed those things up
there because, you know, they didn’t feel they had any other alternative. And one of
the sort of proposed decisions in this case basically said that the way that editors
should respond to harassment was an editor harassment hacked by others who generally
perceive themselves attacked whether on Wikipedia, not see that harassment for attacking
back or criticizing them. Explicitly or implicitly on other pages is
the way to respond to this is lower your profile. So that’s really all I had to
say. I think it’s a shame. [Applause]
>>Danielle Citron: And I think that’s the devil in all of this, is that it’s
so silencing, right? It troubles me that if we were to say to people who have been
targeted, that they shouldn’t at the very least be able to talk about the abuse that
they’re facing. It strikes me as the wrong move. But I often think of self-help as
inevitably trouble because the smashback by harassers is worse. Vigilante justice, it’s
a gamble. When they talk back — I’m not talking about Wikipedia. I’m talking
generally. You often see a cyber mob that comes back so much harder at victims, right?
So it’s just perilous, it’s personally perilous for victims and supporters. I hope in
thinking forward about your policies and norm creation on your site that you think hard
about how hard it is for people who have faced a — their own photos have appeared on
line or doctored photos, that abuse is so silencing. So the fact you’re in some
respects able to defend yourself, it’s a huge leap forward in many ways and we ought to
credit that and think hard about what that means and how we want to process that. So
I’m not going to tell you how to think about it, right? But I think it’s something you
should think hard about. Yes?>>Hi, I have some things to say about gamer
gate. [Laughter ]
I… Thank you.
Wikipedia, I think, is completely unequipped to deal with harassment,
especially this new paradigm of coordinated offsite harassment. Two problems — I’ll
make two points and turn it over to a question, I promise.
The first one is that we have this distributed volunteer method of policy
enforcement. And so what I’ve seen is in an effort to ramp up the harassment so hard
that no one wants to get involved in the drama. People — I’ve had so many
administrators tell me privately, I’m looking at this and I think you’re doing okay, but
I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want to get harassed, I don’t want to get dodged,
I don’t want this to happen like it happened to you. So they’re keeping — they’re
working the rest, is what I call it, keeping people away from the situation, keeping
people who want to enforce policy away from the situation so they can do what they want.
The second thing is we come out of this paradigm of rights and access. We worry about
the rights and the access of the harassers. We need to offer them a path to
rehabilitation, what about their right to edit? And all this.so we don’t think about
the people that are harassing off Wikipedia, what about their right to edit? What about
their right to access the encyclopedia? We have that paradigm and even without that
paradigm we have this problem of enforcing the rules that we do have. So my question
is: What can we do? What suggestions can you offer to us as a community that we can
address these issues in a new way? Because we’re not doing it at all correctly now.
>>Danielle Citron: So that’s a great question and comment, and, you know, I
think your comment helped answer some of it, that is we’ve got to prioritize and think
really hard and I hope what I’m conveying to all of us today is that the cost expression
on the person who is targeted is something we have to work hard to protect. Their
expression, prioritizing the person who is being targeted so that they don’t slink away
and you lose their voices. It’s not just a cost to the individual but a cost to all of
us to hear their voices. So if the balance is off, and we’re only thinking about the
harassers access and ability to speak and write, to provide knowledge, if you want to
call it that, if they’re posting nude photographs and rape and death threats, I think we
can be more circumspect. I think we need to think hard about what they’re expressing
and contributing. If they’re contributing very little and crucially driving people from
partaking and engaging, then I think you ought to think hard about whether you want them
in your community. I mean, this is your community to self-police, right? So I don’t
want to tell you what to do, but I think it sounds like the balance is skewed and you’ve
got to bring the speech interest of the targeted person back into the picture, right?
And it may help you recalibrate. It’s not to say it’s easy. So if your folks are
telling administrators, we’re saying, like, hey, we don’t want to get docked. Honestly,
I was docked. It’s not fun. On a gamer gate platform. This is not a good time. The
whole family lost their minds. Imagine Anita Sarkesian. No one wants to be targeted.
The reaction is how dare you? It’s amazing. It spirals way out of control. I
appreciate that maybe — maybe there’s a way to insulate the decision makers and make
them less transparent so you can’t — I don’t know if that’s a possibility, right? But
ways in which you can help intervene so that the outside mob takes a lot of this not
what you’re talking about, isn’t destruction happening within your community but outside
of it. Maybe there are ways in which you can sort of change how you present to the
public who is doing some of this blocking or fixing you know, like when you’re monkeying
with Anita Sarkeesian’s site, if we shut it down — we can’t go making decisions about
the mob outside of Wikipedia. We’re going to protect your own so to speak. Maybe you
are to rethink those policies and transparency. Transparency is not an unallied good.
There’s work on this, but we know we need to temper it sometimes. So it may be
self-preservation that you don’t tell the public — self-preservation that you don’t
tell the public who is blocking. So you can police your community and not put your own
hides on the line. And I think we may have to re-think hard about ways in which we need
to start thinking about the targets of harassment and putting them closer into the
picture. Thank you.>>Thank you.
>>Thank you very much. This is a topic that I’ve been very close to recently
because we’ve been working on a code of conduct policy for technical spaces around Wiki
media things. I hope you forgive me. I’m a computer scientist and I want to throw
jargon at you because I think it’s important for the question I want to ask.
So with any rule that we put in place, like we like to talk about things as
precision and recall. Recall is how much of the bad stuff are we getting with this?
And then precision is how much of the stuff that we get is actually bad. And so, like,
precision isn’t very good if we, for example, made a rule that was very easy for people
who are harassed to report that harassment but it also enabled people to use reporting
harassment to –>>Danielle Citron: To harass other people.
>>Exactly. So what I want to ask about, if you have some general advice or
rules of thumb or maybe strategies that we can follow to keep precision really high so
that we can shut down the arguments that, you though, people are going to use this to
harass me and use the harassment policy to harass me.
>>Danielle Citron: I’m going to use CS with you. Audit trails. To get at
we need some traceability, and it sounds like — I always thought of Wikipedia as
beautifully working with audit trails and all sort of recall, right? To know who is
doing what. So that when the harassed person says, I’m being harassed and the harasser
says, no, no, you’re harassing me. It’s sort of like a nonsense cycle which may or may
not be true. Sometimes it’s true but let’s assume it’s not. Then you have some
audit — there’s some ability to have that recall and have precision because you have
very complex and rich audit trails that tell you what is going on, right?
So how do we know the code isn’t buggy, right? We test it, right? We have
audit trails and you’ve got to bring that to this project, right?
Is what I would say. Maybe you’re already doing it and you want more, right?
We’ve been there, but — why isn’t that helping you? Why don’t audit trails
get you there?>>I think that the one we struggle with — I
mean, there’s a lot of rhetorical back and forth that we need to
do in order to even put this thing in place. So even if the system will work, we need to
convince people they should sign on to it so
we can even try it in the first place. So the thing we’re struggling with now, yes,
we’re making like a place where you can safely report harassment, and somebody will turn
around and, well, now somebody is going to in a very hidden place report I’m harassing
them and work against me. And it’s probably a bogeyman and something we can iterate on
and improve, but getting past the threshold is the thing we’re struggling with, getting
it so we can try it.>>Danielle Citron: Don’t we do that with
software, we experiment, throw it out there, open source, let’s do it, or open
code? So let’s experiment.>>Hello, this is smallbones here. I know
Wikipedians don’t like to politicize things. I’m going to continue on
Kevin’s comment. There has been a major problem. There is an election, I believe in
December. I believe there are four fakes up and I would love to see four women.
[Applause] And I will also say if my memory serves correctly,
if everybody in this room voted for all four women, there would be,
I think, now five women. [ speaker off microphone ]
>>Yeah. I think I’ll just leave it there unless you want me to ask a question.
>>Danielle Citron: Sounds like a great call to action, right?
And you have to feel like so that — it’s going to be obvious, but we have to
feel safe if we’re going to put ourselves out there, right?
So I’ll leave it there too. Yes?>>Thank you. I would like to ask you as a
legal scholar if there are — there’s constitutional insights or legal insights
that could help Wikipedia come up with better processes so that it doesn’t have all-male
arbitrations sitting given the fact that such a disproportionate number of the
participants are men, even though there are many men in this audience who are supporting
the anti-harassment, which I think we also need to bear in mind is that it’s not just
women who can be supporting this. But clearly if Wikipedia is going to be the encyclopedia
that anyone can edit an as you mention going to produce knowledge that reflects
the experiences of more diverse people, it needs to think really hard about what are
the processes that put people in place in Wikipedia’s power hierarchy that lead to decisions
like banning women who complain about harassment and all the ways of silencing them.
But I do think that Wikipedia — I mean, often tries to think about, you know, these
processes without looking to the insights that come from all of these legal structures
and constitutions and so forth around the world, and if there’s a way to make that information
more accessible to those who are trying to sort through these rules, this would
be really helpful.>>Danielle Citron: So I love this question,
of course, because it asks me to think about sort to have due process, which
I’ve done a bunch of work on. I have an article called Technological Due Process and
it’s really about automated decision making systems, but there’s so much to draw on the
— lessons of procedural due process. And there’s a whole literature on the core components
of a fair hearing and what that means and it includes a imortial decision maker.
In our doctrine what that means, it means there’s no conflict of interest. You’re not
invested in the company that you’re adjudicating, so you spoke about gender. How
is it that we’re going to — how can a man adjudicate where another man is the harasser?
It’s not always men are the harassers, it can be women, of course, too. But I think
we haven’t — at least in part-time while, that lesson, we’ve never said that, right?
We think narrowly about the way you understand an impartial decision maker.
But the due process tradition teaches us that we should give people a chance to bring
evidence and the ability to present evidence, that we provide at least — when talking
about having a hearing, if the government wants to take something away from you, a
benefit of some sort, a license, then they owe you some fair hearing of some sort, some
process, either before or after adjudication. And so there are some lessons I think we
can take from it and risks, right? So the impartiality thing, it’s something narrowly
understood. What do we mean by impartial decision maker that maybe you can develop and
think through that is more reflective of the Wikipedia experience.
>>Hi. Okay, so you had a lot about the victims, but often the problem is a
lot more two-sided, multi-facetted than this, because the victims can often be abusers
themselves and abusers are victims in their own right and, of course, there’s just
abuses as trolls or bullies or whatever. So what I want to ask is, what about the
abusers? Like what are their motivations and how can this basically affect how we deal
with them?>>Danielle Citron: Right. So some of the
answer about who these folks are is really hard to answer because unlike in
Wikipedia, most other sites, people are either pseudonames or anonymous and we can’t
trace them. If law enforcement never intervenes, we have no idea who they are.
And for the most part law enforcement hasn’t. Does that make sense? Even in Anita’s case
we have not seen forward movement on a law enforcement piece. So it’s hard to make a
set of assessments about people we have no idea who they are and it’s seriously under-studies
at least from the science perspective, who the abusers are, we don’t
know. You know, it’s true that in my book and in
my work, I am focused more on the person who is truly targeted and isn’t striking
back. And that is the better part of the story for harassment and stalking outside
of Wikipedia, right? That is when you face either in a domestic circumstance which
you then recruit and have sort of cyber stalking by proxy, get people to help you,
you get a mob going, it’s sort of one person who knows the victim and then it starts a
flame, and usually someone who you know, right? But it’s true that strangers can engage
in it and we just don’t know who they are.
>>Perhaps that is something to study, perhaps not the individuals themselves
but the toxicology behind it?>>When I talk at universities, it’s like,
we need you social scientists, right? I’m not writing about privacy and norm
entrepreneurship, so I’m — not that I’m leaving the space, but we need more work.
I wrote a book, I’m good, right? We need more work. We need to pass this on to another
generation of people to think about. Right?
So I think that’s right, we do need to think about that. But I think it’s
also unfair to say that it’s true that some — I actually know a bunch of cases in which
a victim became a harasser and a harasser has become a victim. Does that make sense?
And there’s a whole psychological story that I am a lawyer, right? I can’t answer. I
don’t want to get into stuff I don’t know. Does that make sense?
But we do know that domestic violence perpetrators are victims too from their
childhood. It’s not a surprising cycle or story, right? Of abuse. it’s just one I’m
not an expert on, but it’s one to think about.>>I want to take it from a tad different
angle. When I was 15 years old I was nearly raped by a younger boy in my high
school, and it was eight years of traumatic work to get back to normality, but since then,
I mean, in Wikipedia, I have a lot of friends, especially ones who are gay. I’m
not, but there has been harassment and getting people to these conferences, including
WikiMania, the international conference here in 2012, and it’s becoming a case of
absolute work done and absolute pushing, we don’t have any way of dealing with this, plus
for those who have been here on the site a long time, we have two websites — I will
not advertise them, for obvious reasons — that are ex-Wikipedians and critics who take
it upon themselves to harass other Wikipedians in a stage where usually nobody
looks. It was pointed out to me. I am very open on my user page and people were harassing
me on the website looking up my credit card information and doing other things that
really should be targeted and yet I don’t exactly see any method and the foundation
won’t step in to shutting these sites down and
getting rid of — and having Google or something get rid of access to these. Because my
user name, it’s going to show up and who is to say it’s fair?
>>Danielle Citron: Right. So let me take the — let me just say thank you
for sharing that with us and I think it’s important to note that in my work, that, of
course, it’s not just women, but it’s so often sexual minorities, right, who face this
kind of abuse. So I was hope I was conveying that. If I didn’t, I apologize. It’s
true that especially for women, the darker their skin or the more they are sort of
non — the normal traditional story of sexuality, the abuse is so grotesque, right?
So I think you’re totally right. It’s like, Danielle, widen your lens, it’s
true LGBT folks get harassed online, and it’s absolutely right. But your question is —
just quick clarification, the two sites you’re talking about, is that within Wikipedia?
>>They are not held by us but sites dedicated about us.
>>So we can’t control them, right? So, of course, you know, what is
interesting you said if we’re going to publish people’s credit card information, though,
this is one area which normally we think of truthful facts as we — we don’t inhibit
that, right? That is we have this profound commitment to truths, so even a credit card
number if betrayed in confidence, if it’s posted online we might say, look, are you
going to punish someone? In fact, it’s one of the very small areas we say, like nude
photos, credit numbers and SSNs, you can sue someone for public disclosure of private
fact. So first amendment, but that can — a credit card number is like a key to your
bank account, right? So that we don’t think it’s speech producing
or truth producing in that way that we think of truth. So, I mean, you could
frankly Google policy for search for credit card information, social security numbers
and nude photos. That de-index your site.
>>The two sites in question also have probably harassed — have done
harassment of me on the website and many other editors over the years and we still
somehow let Google link to them and we still condone their existence on the Internet
despite the very vulgar and very –>>Danielle Citron: That’s the same problem
victims face. That makes sense. That’s where the rubber does hit the road
in our commitment to free expression. [ speaker off microphone ]
>>Danielle Citron: Right, and we can’t control those folks. To the extent
they’re engaging in criminal activity that we can prescribe and regulate, we do have
jurisdictional struggles. We can’t get at the abuser because we don’t have the
resources to extradite them and there’s no extradition treaty. So we have to have both
the will, the resources, and the sort of legal ground to grab the person, and we may not
have them.>>There was something left dangling earlier.
You were asking why the audit trail doesn’t help. But there are several
reasons for that. One of them is that Wikipedia’s archives are absolutely voluminous,
they’re huge. And to reach for all the instances where a person communicated with
another person and which article they were communicating about and what that article
looked like at the time and what the issue was
at the time can be incredibly complex and quite apart from retracing everything that
has happened maybe over a period of years between
a couple of contributors, then the other problem is that people will see it from different
perspectives. So if you have a woman arguing and a man arguing, like in the recent
arbitration case who was in many ways a very valuable voice in Wikipedia, which has
now been silenced, because she’s gone. I really loved the way she spoke up for women’s
perspectives and she was very outspoken and too many arguments about that as a result.
What happens is if you is a community which is 90% male and who will tend to sympathize
more with the male half of the conversation than with the female half of
that conversation. So while it’s difficult to get consensus that
something is harassment or that something shouldn’t be allowed, someone mentioned
earlier the situation here, there’s a British contributor who uses English in the
British way, so he uses the C word differently than people in the space would
use it and insists on his right to use it when he feels like it and he doesn’t really
care how that affects women who feel that word should really not be used in conversation
with them. And he’s a valuable — [ speaker is off microphone ]
>>Yeah, okay, so basically he has got defenders and there are very many women
who are flabbergasted that something like that can fly. Which is a similar situation
where you’re dealing with a community that is genderrized in the first place and
people’s judgment about what is harassment differs.
>>Danielle Citron: Right. That’s that wonderful comment by — I don’t know
your name. Yes, your question about due process and what that looks like. I think this
is a community that can make its own choices. So when you have a case in which we have
a woman who is very outspoken and has been very outspoken for feminist opinions and is
accused of harassment, I think that’s where you get three adjudicators to women. That’s
for you to decide who is on your review panel.>>That is what the community is struggling
with. Because the arbitration committee is all — nearly all male, and —
>>Danielle Citron: And you might change that, no? Didn’t we have a
political moment a second ago. Right? Fix that.
[ speaker off microphone ]>>Danielle Citron: Okay. So I think we have
some stuff we need to fix here. Right? We clearly do. We have work to do.
>>And I think some of this also needs to be done in public. I think there
need to be press articles about the situation, and if you can help with that —
>>Danielle Citron: Yeah, we can figure that out.
Thank you.>>Hi, I would like to speak up on behalf
of women who live in the United States who have professional jobs, who are
covered by the EEOC guidelines nondiscrimination and harassment, who cannot
bring their families, their agencies, their employers, et cetera, into disrepute. Here
we are on this wild Tumblr website and it’s supposed to be open to everyone, and if you
implement nonharassment for everyone, that includes people just coming out of prison
or still in prison. It includes people in war
zones. It includes people in fire stations and emergency response who have a legitimate
reason to diffuse a little tension now and then in a morbid sense of humor. It includes
places like a place where I used to live overseas where it was considered perfectly
normal to require women to sleep with their boss. That was life in that society. It
includes regional differences where someone says something to you and it means you
better clean their clock or feet don’t fail me now and for them it’s just, hey, we’re
hanging out with our friends doing our thing. But here you are, you don’t know if this
person is local. You don’t know if this is some rap musician cutting loose or you don’t
know if it’s a threat. And at the same time, you can’t say anything because you have
the constraints of maintaining a professional job, the reputation of your family, your
employer and your agency. There’s a certain level of social norms and a level of
politeness in public. There’s a level of politeness in an international setting that is
pretty well determined in Washington, D.C, and in the meantime you set up a social group
for people cutting loose and I have no idea how do you work in the different cultures,
the different nationalities, the different social norms and the different requirements?
I mean, I am really tired of tip toeing around a lot of total psychomaniacs on this
website. I’m tired of it, frankly. I’m tired of it!
[Applause] What do we do?
>>Danielle Citron: So I think like you mentioned — because I think you have
a couple questions in there, so let me take at least two of them. One question is, how
do we figure out what is harassment stalking and threats when we have all sorts of — A,
we don’t know what it means. B, we also have different norms depending on the countries
we’re in, right? And we do have some instruction from the law,
which is how do we determine a threat? We look at all the facts and circumstances.
We look at what is said, how it was said, who said it, who is it directed
at, right? We do have some cues on Wikipedia, so it’s
not like a help — so it’s not like we’re helpless. We do have some measure of
assessment, as a community you can figure out how you want to take those cues and understand
them and work on providing examples to your community of what constitutes a threat,
what constitutes harassment and stalking. Not just define it, but give examples.
And give examples from within your own community, that is editors vis-à-vis
each other what is not okay, right? We have done it in the law, you can do it
here, right? You can make contextual assessments so long
as you know the right questions to ask, right?
I can’t solve the problem of different norms, international, the U.S. I guess
I can only work with ours, right? And if that’s going to guide you, that is our kind of
U.S.-centric norms. What is interesting, internationally you can say what you want.
They hate speech laws. I’m shocked you say that. They don’t have a first amendment.
So in Canada, in France, you can’t — Holocaust denials is a crime, which in
the United States it’s not. It’s interesting to me that you say like anything goes
across the Atlantic, which I find shockingly not true as a matter of the law. I think
let’s all ground ourselves in the reality of that, right? And I think we should take
a U.S. approach if that’s what you want to do,
right? And we have lots of norms we can do state side here, and I think we have the tools.
Your second question is the workplace, what do we do when editors have full-time
jobs and they’re being targeted and there’s a
problem? We know WikiMedia and Wikipedia isn’t for most people their workplace so that
it isn’t the way we understand Title 7, right? There isn’t that kind of accountability.
Title 7 applies to employers and employees and spaces that employers control. So while
we can learn from that civil rights sort of law, title 7 and Civil Rights Act of 1964
we can’t directly import them, right? But it
doesn’t mean we can’t — I guess that’s the whole point of my book, is for us to understand
the economic consequences of online abuse. To realize when we target someone and
it starts to roll and it’s in the first page of their name, that it truly interferes
with their tangible life opportunities and it’s something you as Wikipedians can take
into consideration. [Applause]
>>Thank you. I really appreciate that. That was a lot of
fun.>>Today is unconference day, so I would like
you to know about the sessions coming up, so for the next hour we have — there
is not a break right now. For the next hour we have in this room the lightning talks.
People will give five-minute presentations on any topic you like, including
provincialism and you can announce yours to the committee today. Please do.
Please present that. That would be wonderful. In the Jefferson Room we have the next hour
split into beyond edit-a-thons. Sorry, okay.
Can you hear me now? No?
Hello?>>We’ve started a mailing list, if anybody
wants on a mailing list about updates on sexual harassment get me your email
Yeah, I’m sorry. I want to say what we’re doing.
In the Jefferson room… [ no audio ]
>>Okay, we’re about to get started. My name is Bill Cunningham. I’m not a
Wikipedia editor, but David was kind enough to give me one of these great hats. I’m
going to talk five minutes and go through this very, very quickly. Quiet please! We’re
getting started. I’m rolling through this very quickly, okay? So try to take notes.
There was a handout. Did everybody get the handout?
Basically just a couple of things on Wikipedia and crowdfunding. Let me see
how to make this thing go forward. What I got to do? I got to point this thing? There
we go. I’m an expert on crowdfunding because Oprah
bought a copy of my book. That’s Oprah. I’m going to talk about Wikipedia and
kickstarter as September 15th. I’m not going to talk about title 3 of the JOBS Act.
It happens to be there. As of November 15th, this is the breakout
of 92,425 successful projects on kickstarter. The thing to note is the yellow
bar, 54,667, low dollar amount projects. You’re not going to go on kickstarter and
raise a million dollars. There are 121 of those projects out of 92425 successful projects,
all right? Just something to keep in mind. Crowdfunding
works in that $54,000 low dollar amount type of area, which is, by the way,
exactly what Wikipedia does. Okay? The average donation — you’ve gotten $15
on average from 4.9 million people. That, ladies and gentlemen, is crowdfunding.
That’s crowdfunding. And Wikipedia is the original crowdsource intellectual property,
pioneered the concept. What is it now? How do you move it forward? I don’t know. This
is a lightning talk, so I’m going to go through this very quickly.
Here is an example of one crowdfunding campaign called The Pebble Watch. How
many people have heard of The Pebble Watch? They raised $10.2 million from people.
What this chart shows the crowdfunding profile, all right?
The vertical shelf, the total number of rewards, donations, donators. Across
the horizontal you show what people were getting. The important thing to note is the
category $99 or more early bird black watch. You note there are 200 of those given out.
Why? Because Pebble Watch used that to generate the buzz and interest for their entire
campaign. They said, 200, Double Watches, limit it 99 bucks, go get it. People came
out of the woodwork and went and got it, if you were in the initial grouping, you told
your friends, I got this, I audit. I don’t have it yet, but I ordered this great pebble
watch thingy. What happens? They told their friends and got 40,805 people to pay $115.
They used the 299 category as kindling wood for the big category. That’s the important
part of this slide. Now, what is the implication for Wikipedia?
Again, I don’t know. I don’t know. But there is some implication for Wikipedia
with this profile. Here is the key trend. If White House has endorsed crowdfunding
to aid refugees in Syria. That is all you need to know. The White House — what
did they do? They raised about 1.5 million. Are you tracking that? You’re nodding your
head. Are you tracking that? I think they raised — they met the goal in
six hours, all right? The reason they met their goal in six hours
is because the three keys of crowdfunding are, if you have a pen, you want
to write this down, all right? The three keys are, number one, demonstrable
innovation. I’m not going to crowdfund something I can get at Wal-Mart.
Why would I do that? Unless I’m your friend. The second is authentication. The
third is validation. Authentication is my identity. I am who I say I am. I’m not some
16-year-old kid in Russia sitting in a basement. Validation is I can do with the
money what it is I told you I’m going to do with the money.
Think about the White House campaign for Syria and how all three of those
things came together. The identity was validated by the White House in terms of doing
with the money what you’re going to do with to Syrian refugees, so that’s another
reason it worked so well. And then some other trends. Chicago teachers
using crowdfunding in part to fund demonstrably innovative educational projects
and products. Anybody here from Wikiedu? That certainly fits with what you
see there. What Wikipedia has is a leg up on authentication and validation. In an intellectual
perspective. So the key task is to try to blend those two together.
And then, of course, orange, which is financial company out of the
Netherlands, I think, they’re bringing mobile crowdfunding to Africa. They’re going to
skip the websites and you’re going to be able to crowdfund projects if you’re in Africa.
Give an example. This guy from Kenya wanted to crowdfund solar panels for the school
that he went to in Kenya, and he was living in London at the time. This was only about
two years ago. So he energized the London — he asked for Kenyans living in London,
basically, and he was able to crowdfund these solar panels for this school. So you’re
seeing more and more of this that. Same thing. I just repeated that.
All right, now equity crowdfunding. What is equity crowdfunding? Equity
crowdfunding is crowdfunding — instead of getting a Pebble watch, you get a share of
stock. Shared stock in the Pebble Watch Company instead of the product. How am I doing
on time? Gotcha. watch, people are leveraging up now to be
able to sell you a share of stock in the company that is putting out whatever the product
or project is. one.
So I’m a capstone advisor at Georgetown University advising students and I
advise real estate students on real estate he’s witty. I thought I would throw it
up there. Thank you very much. I think that’s it.
[Applause] our Wiki, because a lot of it — they allow
you to make a dump but they don’t… [ speaker is off microphone ]