Talk:Anti-Harassment Policy Vote
Too late to modify this vote, but we should add "age" to the list of things that are not allowed to be harassed on.
TLDR (Too Long, Didn't Read): This is not a harassment policy. It is a policy that bans offensive works; particularly sexual works. Offensive works are often not wrong and most sexual works are not wrong. Other important points follow.
This policy is bad for a number of reasons but primarily because it bans behavior that is NOT harassment. According to Wikipedia, harassment "...is commonly understood as behavior intended to disturb or upset, and it is characteristically repetitive." This policy attempts to ban most OFFENSIVE comments and material. The offending behavior does not need to be repetitive or intentional. Restrictions as broad as these can vastly restrict the types of creative content that can be created in our space; a space which is intended to explore the "intersections between technology, science, art, and culture."
Other reasons this policy is bad:
- I firmly believe that one does NOT have the right to NOT be offended. Offensive speech is important. It can have great comedic and artistic value. It is also often used in content intended to provoke social or political change. It was not too long ago that homosexual artwork was generally considered offense. Who knows who we are discriminating against now who will soon have their own civil rights movement. Pumping Station: One should be a safe place for these people to create those controversial works.
- Cussing is often offensive and often sexual in nature. Can this policy be used to ban cussing? I remind you that we have "Just fucken do it!" written on our wall.
- This policy implies sexual art and content is bad. I was raised to believe that sex is beautiful and natural activity. I find this censorship of non-educational sexual content as fundamentally wrong.
- A big part of Pumping Station: One is a place for the creation of art. Whenever sex is used in art, it often is NOT used in a way that is "advocated by professional sex educators". If we enforce this part of the policy literally, this will limit a lot of legitimate art.
- I suspect this policy will most likely not be enforced literally and will instead be enforced selectively. This follows a common pattern banning all behavior and limits enforcement to the discretion of a select few. Because this policy will be enforced selectively, it will probably be applied (unintentionally) to those who the board favors the least.
- This policy can arguably be used to only limit verbal forms of "offensive" content. The word "verbal" should be removed from the third paragraph of the policy language. (Although I would hate to make this language apply more broadly.)
- Again, unless I missed a mailing list thread, I believe this policy was not presented to the membership before it was submitted for a vote. We had no opportunity to address specific concerns about the language.
Let me be clear, I think that harassment is bad and that we should not tolerate it in any form. But offensive content does not have to be (and typically isn't) harassment. I feel this policy vote should be repealed and with the help of the Pumping Station: One community, be redrafted to actually be a harassment policy.