When do we get to give informed consent?

Miri is angry. She’s right to be angry. What’s she angry about? People who don’t know jack shit about psychology making pronouncements about psychology, especially aggressive personal “you don’t have that you liar!!” type pronouncements.

Apparently a bunch of Skeptics™ don’t know what posttraumatic stress disorder is, but insist on lecturing those diagnosed with it (or those who have studied it) without ever bothering to educate themselves about the disorder, its symptoms, and its etiology. Because nothing says skepticism quite like blathering on about what you have no evidence for! [Read more...]

Classmates were reveling in her humiliation

Al Jazeera America reports on online harassment and revenge porn. It’s a revolting read.

Lena Chen, as a freshman at Harvard, started a blog called Sex and the Ivy, where she wrote about her hookups, self-medication with alcohol, recovery from an eating disorder and crushing desire to be liked. All standard stuff for a college student. But then an ex-boyfriend posted naked pictures of her on the Internet.

For some, this was righteous comeuppance for the campus harlot. For others it was just great gossip. Classmates and other titillated parties reposted the images around the Web, and comment threads exploded with colorful debate.

You know the kind of thing. Ugly, whore, disgusting, blah.

Chen wasn’t so shaken by the original sin; the ex-boyfriend was a troubled person, she said. But she was horrified that classmates were reveling in her humiliation. “It was much more dismaying to me that people behaved in the way he wanted,” she said. [Read more...]

Everyday sadism

Another chapter in the annals of harassment, especially harassment of women. A guy called Hunter Moore posted a photo of a young woman that had been hacked from her computer on his Revenge Porn website. Her mother had worked as a private detective, and she got on his case.

I emailed the site owner, Hunter Moore, and asked him to take down the photo in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. He refused.

I was not surprised. By this time, I’d perused Moore’s online TV and newspaper interviews. He called himself a “professional life ruiner” and described his website as “pure evil.” He threw legal letters in the trash, addressed his followers as “my children,” taking a page from the Charles Manson handbook; and regularly taunted victims, encouraging them to commit suicide. People claimed to be afraid of him. He had no fear of lawsuits; he knew a victim would be unlikely to sue because a civil suit would cost $60,000 (according to attorney Marc Randazza), and forever link a woman’s name with the image she hoped to hide.

Moore maintained that his victims were sluts, asked to be abused and deserved to lose their jobs, embarrass their families and find themselves forever ruined. Below photos on the site, his followers posted crude and mysogynistic remarks. Victims were taunted as “fat cows,” “creatures with nasty teeth,” “ugly whores,” “white trash sluts” and “whales.” One commenter said, “Jesus, someone call Greenpeace and get her back in the water.” The website was not about pornography; it was about ridiculing and hurting others. [Read more...]

No “dialogue” to be had

Rebecca has a post about the fetish for “dialogue” which starts with some great tweets by Jeff Sharlet pointing out how stupid the fetish is.

What I keep saying. There is no “dialogue” to be had with people who just enjoy harassing people. They’re not confused or uninformed, they’re just people of that type, who have found a safe way to engage in harassy behavior without paying any social costs. That’s all. Normally adults have to give up that kind of thing, or displace it into more covert and disguised forms like office politics. They are very lucky to be alive now when it’s possible to go on acting like a pubescent shit for the rest of your life. Trying to have (let alone force) a “dialogue” with them is futile at best and yet more harassment at worst.

The last Sharlet tweet Rebecca quotes is very apt.

Well-intentioned liberals always ask how we can “educate” haters. Elite haters don’t need “education”; they need to be challenged. [Read more...]

And in Sweden

Udo Schuklenk alerted me to a post by a philosopher at the University of Gothenburg on online hate harassment.

In my country, there have been repeated public debates about the completely unacceptable and many times obviously criminal behaviour of some people when they use the anonymity of online resources to react to other people’s open and publicly expressed opinions. In particular against women, especially those who express some sort of view on gender, family or sexuality related policy issues.

Yours too, huh? How about that. It’s the same here. [Read more...]