1. Really, freedom of speech is beside the point. Facebook and Twitter want to be the locus of communities, but they seem to blanch at the notion that such communities would want to enforce norms—which, of course, are defined by shared values rather than by the outer limits of the law. Social networks could take a strong and meaningful stand against harassment simply by applying the same sort of standards in their online spaces that we already apply in our public and professional lives. That’s not a radical step; indeed, it’s literally a normal one. Wishing rape or other violence on women or using derogatory slurs, even as “jokes,” would never fly in most workplaces or communities, and those who engaged in such vitriol would be reprimanded or asked to leave. Why shouldn’t that be the response in our online lives?
    Curbing Online Abuse Isn’t Impossible. Here’s Where We Start | Game|Life | WIRED (via brutereason)

    "Social networks could take a strong and meaningful stand against harassment simply by applying the same sort of standards in their online spaces that we already apply in our public and professional lives."

    Reblogged from: brutereason
  2. 5 Things I've Learned About Making Friends as an Adult - HelloGiggles

    "Now that we’re older and we all understand ourselves a little better, we allow other people to be different from us and we’re not threatened by that fact.”

  3. Fall is my favorite season, and frankly the average Americans’ favorite season. But, last fall was stripped of a lot of enjoyment I was looking forward to having in fall. I allowed myself to be affected by the hate of someone else.

    A boyfriend at the time and I (mostly I) were being pestered online via various channels of social media by a person. I do believe it was all the same person. It all started for him prior to my time, but was just starting for me when we started dating in April of last year. For anyone who has never been harassed by someone manipulating the internet, this probably won’t make much sense to talk about as often as I do, but it is traumatizing and twistedly-humorous at the same time.

    I say humorous only because, once you get past the traumatizing part of being successfully targeted, you can then realize that the person who is doing the act is very sad, full of hate and it is obvious that this is what they are doing to entertain themselves. You have become the center of their world and you are on their mind constantly. What sort of sad life is that?

    Whenever I received a tweet from a fake account, an email from a fake person, a friend telling us what that person has been saying about us/posting about us, an image texted from a fake Craigslist account someone posted on my behalf, I laughed. I laughed because someone obviously thinks that they are getting away with it, and that no one knows it is them.. we all know. How flattering that they would want to contact me any way possible for something so petty. The struggle of all of this was with not stooping to the lowest of lows (to their level) and responding to posts, and that I couldn’t prove any of it aside from just being coincidence. None of these instances could be proven without opening a civil case, because they were just inside the realm of “anonymity of the Internet”.

    Someone was literally spending hours, and probably days, of their life creating numerous emails to start fake social media accounts, crafting strategic messages for those channels and stalking my social media pages. Sounds a lot like love. I feel like a big deal.

    After the passing of Robin Williams this summer, Internet harassers took to Twitter to attack Williams’ daughter, Zelda Williams using fake accounts and sometimes their real accounts. The absolutely only positive note that came from that situation was that Twitter is looking to revamp its user-protection policies.

    From an article on CNN.com, Twitter’s Vice president of Trust and Safety, Del Harvey, was quoted for saying, “We will not tolerate abuse of this nature on Twitter. We have suspended a number of accounts related to this issue for violating our rules and we are in the process of evaluating how we can further improve our policies to better handle tragic situations like this one.”

    That will have to be a start. What is wrong with people? This is the way people choose to live their lives?

    I don’t wish this new advancement to protection (and more) to happen only because it will help me move forward and feel confident in who is behind certain Twitter or Facebook accounts, but also so that others would not have to deal with the hatred like the person who did this to me.

    More “funny”/crazy/stalker/harassing instances that took place in the past year:

    • My boyfriend at the time didn’t care much about what this harassing person was doing, it was me who wanted to fight it so bad, because I knew who it was and knew the crazy behind each post. We believe the reasons for the crazy stalking/messages were to break us up. Now that we are actually broken up, we are still very good friends and co-workers, and he is in a very good part of his life now.
    • A person went to a high-level person in our company to try and persuade them that my boyfriend at the time was “releasing confidential information and should be in trouble”. Shut. Down. We work with cool people. They couldn’t have picked a better person to try and talk to.
    • Once, a person created a Twitter account for a guy named Shane. Lol. “Shane” tried to tweet at me about a post I used the word “crazy” in from weeks prior to that day. Calling me out for supposedly being a Christian who was not being nice. I responded nicely, even though I knew who it really was. I can say it now, “get a life and get over it.” I can still be a nice, Christian lady, though.
    • A person made up a fake person to email my boyfriend at the time, to keep up in his life, to tell him he was a horrible person, that I was a child, etc. Then, when they killed that fake person off pre-maturely, they made up a sister for that fake person. How cute. No one bought it.
    • I love going to events that they are somehow magically aware I am going to be at, and then they show up! Then, they talk to people I am talking to or have long-life connections with. Borderline real-life stalking. And, forcing friendships with people we know. All scary stuff.
    • It’s not so funny that they aren’t getting help. That part I pray for.

    I find that I write about this a lot, because it is something that I know happens to people, maybe rarely, but it still happens. It might sound like a selfish cry for help or a way to get attention, but at the end of the day it is scary and sad and should be discussed. I’m lucky to have loyal family and friends.

    This fall is starting to be much more enjoyable. 

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