Grants:IdeaLab/Define Harassment before taking it head on.

Define Harassment before taking it head on.
We first need to define what harassment is before we try to tackle it.
idea creator
Ahmer Jamil Khan
Ahmer Jamil KhanHat6000
this project needs...
created on03:53, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

Project idea edit

What is the problem you're trying to solve? edit

Harassment is a big issue: make no mistake about that! However, it can be used as a means to stifle free speech. Before anything, we need to draw a clear line as to what harassment is and is not, before tackling the issue.

What is your solution? edit

I suggest we define harassment as "intimidating words or gestures that would make a reasonable person fear personal violence or persecution at the hands of the harasser(s) or a third-party." If there is a consensus on the above definition or any other definition, we should discuss how to tackle it. I would NEVER want or approve of a Twitter like "Trust and Safety Council" on Wikimedia projects. And seriously, "You suck" is NOT harassment, it is stifling of free speech.

Goals edit

I suggest we narrowly define harassment and expand the task to include things that may be confused with harrassment.

Get Involved edit

About the idea creator edit

I'm a law student, who's about to step into the legal profession. I've been working at a prestigious law firm in my city for about 3 years now.

Participants edit

  • Volunteer I'd love to contribute to defining harassment so that we may tackle it. Ahmer Jamil Khan (talk) 03:54, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Volunteer Assist in clear definition of the term Harassment Hat6000 (talk) 03:51, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Endorsements edit

  • I agree; the closest thing they have to a definition is that "Harassment can include behaviors such as name calling, threats, discrimination, stalking, and impersonation, among others.".

I would suggest something like similar to:

"Harassment consists of knowingly pursuing a pattern of conduct that is intended to annoy, seriously alarm or terrorize another person and that serves no lawful purpose. The conduct must be such that it would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.", taken from NM Stat § 30-3A-2 (1996 through 1st Sess 50th Legis). Zombiedude347 (talk) 05:17, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

    • To this I would add that harassment is
      • Repeated - They are doing it over and over again.
      • Unwanted - If you keep deliberately trying to interact with someone who is "harassing you", it is pretty clear that you want to interact with them, no matter what you claim, and indeed, you're probably antagonizing them as well.
      • One-sided - If you are engaging in uncivil behavior in relation to the other person as well, it isn't harassment - it is a fight.
    • Let's be realistic here, though - is there any time that harassment is not a violation of WP:CIVIL? It seems to me that harassment is by its very nature uncivil behavior. Titanium Dragon (talk) 07:37, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I can't fight a very broadly construed idea, so I am for nailing down definition for what it is that we are supposed to be fighting with the stipulation that any working definition be understood from the start to include the disclaimer "including, but not limited to" so that we have some room to work with in the event we need it. TomStar81 (talk) 05:42, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Absolutely we need a definition of harassment.--3family6 (talk) 15:10, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I think we all know it when we see it but it is hard to put into words. Bright lines rules are great for extreme cases, but tend to miss the subtle parts of harassment. TParis (talk) 18:09, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I concur with the need for definition, and anticipate useful definitions would include a hierarchy of objectionable behaviors coupled with appropriately tiered administrative disincentives. Reliance on broad or ambiguous definitions may stifle debate by inappropriately sheltering individuals who refuse to engage in discussion: I'm too sensitive to listen to people who disagree with me. Make them go away. Thewellman (talk) 18:00, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Strongly agree. In the Wikimedia's Harassment Report of 2015, trolling and vandalism are included in the harassment statistics. In fact, they make up about half of the numbers! I really don't think these should be classified as harassment though (at least not vandalism). Doveofsymplegades (talk) 10:43, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree, Harassment must be clearly defined, also any other actionable terms.. Hat6000 (talk) 02:19, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • this needs support Hat6000 (talk) 03:52, 11 June 2016 (UTC)
  • The Interpol policing agency has a definition of a cybercrime called "SEXtortion" PDF link. This is exactly what I am facing on another wikimedia site, pay $10,000USD or we will leave the nasty comments up on our site, I can't afford 10K an the site is hosted in Panama so I am trying to work with the agencies on an international level to get my name off. I am making great leadway and feel that I can help others resolve cyber crimes committed on wikimedia.
  • I agree that clear and careful definitions should be agreed upon before taking on the problem officially. Aaronmhamilton (talk) 19:13, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  • Cyber-bullying is detrimental to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Hat6000 (talk) 00:31, 4 August 2016 (UTC)

Opposition edit

  • I would caution against getting bogged down in definitions; harassment is much like porn -- you know it when you see it. Or to put it another way, if you feel harassed, then it's harassment; it's in the eye of the beholder. And when you start adding disclaimers like "not limited to", you're undermining the whole idea of a firm definition; so what's the point? I've seen too many situations where people trying to solve a problem get so enmeshed in trying to define it that they totally lose sight of the original goal, and never solve anything. DoctorJoeE (talk) 13:38, 3 June 2016 (UTC)
I know this reads a bit like a Request for Comments, but it isn't. This is only for endorsements for those who wish to show support for the idea. Any issues you have with it go in the discussion tab for this page. See Things to know about idea pages Robert Walker (talk) 21:10, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Expand your idea edit

Would a grant from the Wikimedia Foundation help make your idea happen? You can expand this idea into a grant proposal.

Expand into a Rapid Grant
Expand into a Project Grant
(launching July 1st)