There has been much hemming and hawing online about the IGDA blacklist. Many have misrepreseted my position. They are falsely claiming that I said someone could sue for being blocked on Twitter, or could be sued because they were named as a member of some group. I said nothing of the sort.
I have never said anyone can sue for being blocked on Twitter. That would be a madness. Blocklists are legal and even ethical. I wish people would "block" me on Twitter rather than come to my Twitter page, read my Tweets, and then claim I'm harassing them. (How I harass people by writing about them and not to them escapes my comprehension.)
I have never said that anyone could sue because they were part of a group that was defamed. That would be madness, as group defamation claims are untenable.
If IGDA had simply said, "Here's a blocklist someone wrote in order to target what she views as online harassment," OK. Whatever. That'd be a bit sleazy, but such is life.
That is not what happened. Here is what happened:
1. IGDA linked to a list that contained a person's real name.
A young trans person (among other vulnerable people) was characterized as a harasser by IGDA. They have reached out to me, as they fear they may suffer harm for being labelled as someone who commits harassment.
Their actual real names were posted on the list. They hadn't posted on Twitter in ages. In one case, the person had never posted on Twitter.
If IGDA had simply linked to the blocklist, whatever. It would have been scummy and unfair to thousands of people. Such is life. (There is considerable evidence suggesting that IGDA had a role in creating the list. Let's leave that aside for now.)
Yet IGDA has implied that vulnerable people are part of an Internet hate mob. Again, the list IGDA linked to identified people by name.
2. IGDA characterized the blocklist as a collection of names of online harassers.
IGDA's described the blocklist as being, "A Twitter tool to block some of the worst offenders in the recent waves of harassment."
IGDA chose to characterize the list as containing "some of the worst offenders." That was a choice IGDA made.
The characterization was also false, as the blocklist maker herself called the people on the list "sheep" rather than harassers.
3. "It's only some of the worst offenders!"
IGDA and its supporters are now claiming IGDA is off the hook because the list did not claim that everyone was an offender.
Let's set the legal issues aside for now. I am interested in hearing how far the SJWs want to take their arguments.
Here is a thought experiment:
- Take a list of registered sex offenders.
- Add every SJWs name to the list.
- Put at the top of the list, "This list contains some of the most dangerous sexual predators."
Would they be OK with that?
Again, forget the legal issues. Does anyone seriously think that's ethical behavior?
After all, no one would be saying anyone in particular is a dangerous sexual predator. Rather, the list actually would contain some of the most dangerous sexual predators, and a whole lot of people who have never so much as had a speeding ticket.
Would creating such a list be OK?
I do not believe so.
That list and the characterization of it imply that each person named is a sexual predator. That "some of the worst offenders" language is a slippery and dishonest way to avoid being held accountable.
Enough with this guilt-by-assocation bullshit.
If someone wants to debate, let's debate the issues rather than attack people or try claiming people are "guilty" because they follow someone on Twitter.