VidCon Debrief

I must say, I have never been this disgusted in my entire life

I have yet to see such a blatant and unrepetant double standard, you have one panel member on Online Harrassment harass an audience memeber, one that payed for his ticked, being in breach of your own rules of conduct, and what do you do?

You not only don‘t punish the panel member for the breach of rules, you defame the audience member.

That panel Member, Ms. Sarkeesian, did not only insult the audience member, unprovoked I might add, Mr. Benjamin by calling him a „Shithead….“ and a „….a garbage human“, but then used her power granted by being a panel member to harass Mr. Benjamin and his group.

She did this by using security guards as a means to intimidate them, and then she and the other panel members did also use those security guards to get people who asked questions they did not like off the questions queue. One audience member was dragged off, it seems because a panel member took offense at the phrase „freaking out about it“.

I am quite sorry, since when is that phrase an insult?

If this is a Q&A people have a right to ask questions, there were no words used in those questions that were intentionally insulting, no swear words, no insults.

Even the tone was at worst, challenging, which is to be expected on a panel and Q&A which has rather controversial speakers.

The key thing however, is that Ms. Sarkeesian was in breach of your code of conduct, to which she agreed, and she did not get reprimanded or punished for it.

Either rules are for everyone, or no one.

If you let people get away with breaking the rules, how will you insure that the rules are kept later on?

If people find out that you don‘t enforce the rules, you will only find them broken more and more.

A famous positive example was Ghandi‘s Salt March where he picked up salt, even though it was against the law, and the indian people saw him not being punished, and started breaking that law.

Which lead to the weakening of british authority over india.

I called this a positive example, because it was against an unjust law.

Your‘s is a negative example, as it is a weakening of a justified code of conduct.

Let‘s take a look at your text, shall we?

Under „Who‘s is harrasing whom?“ you say the following:

„…..It is openly known that women on the internet are subject to far greater amounts (and intensity) of harassment and abuse than men. This is a pattern and it’s pervasive…… „

Ok, do you have evidence for that?

As it seems rather the other way to me, as in that overall, men tend to be harassed more, (44% of the men 37% of the women) for example

Called offensive names:

32% of the male internet users, 22% of the female users.

Which meas that roughly a third of the men, or close to 1 in 3 men get online harassment, while it‘s between a quarter and a fifth of the women, or between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5.

If you look at the groups, that 10% difference means that the male group is close to a third bigger than the female one.

Purposefully embarassed, 24% of the men, 20% of the women, closer but not quite equal, again the male group is 20 larger, hence men are 20% more likely to get harassed then women.

Physically threatened: 10% of the men, 6% of the women, which means the male group is 40% bigger, that means a man is 1.6 times as likely to get physically threatened online.

That is uncomfortably close to twice in my opinion.

Thank goodness it‘s „only“ 1 in 10 men, and 1 in 16 women.

But that is a serious issue, and the number is still way to high.

Sustained stalking is rather equal at 8% of the men and 7% of the women.

Now we get to the two categories where women lead, Stalking and sexual harassment.

Stalking: has 6% of the men and 9% of the women, hence a woman is 1.5 more likely to get stalked.

Stalking again is a serious issue, and while the numbers seem low, they are again to high.

I must say I was rather surprised that the difference between women and men in this case wasn‘t higher, based on reporting I would have expected women to be atleast twice as likely than men.

Sexual harassment: 4% of the Men, 7% of the women. Which means that women are 1.75 times more likely to be sexually harassed then men, which is really close to twice as likely.

The problem in both this case and the physical violence threat, is that the percentage is that low, that 1% can make a big difference, and due to the overall numbers on sexual harassment being lower, the one percent has more impact.

That‘s why I called both close to twice as likely, because 6% is just 1% more than 5% which is the half of 10%, so that 1%, makes 2.0 into 1.6 times as likely.

And 4% is 1% more than 3%, in which case it would be 2.333 times as likely, or if you go to 5% it would mean 1.4 times as likely.

In short, the smaller the numbers get, into the single digits, the more imprecise the full percentages get, if we had say the first number behind the dot, we would get a more precise comparison.

Another key finding is that „Young Adults“ here defined as 18–29 are 65% or over two thirds of the victims, which are itself thankfully „only“ 40% of the userbase.

I have issue with Young Adults being stretched to 29, I am more used to it as 18–21, as I count 21 as the big turning point in adulthood.

Let‘s look closer, among that the 18–24 age group:

Called offensive names 51% of the male users, 50% of female users, overall 27% of the usership.

Both males and females are above average, men are 1.59 times, and females 2.72 times

Purposefully embarassed 22% of the usership, 38% males, 36% females

Again above average, males 1.58 times, females 1.8 times.

Stalked overall 8%, males 7% females 26%, now that is a marked difference in that age group, that is close to 4 times as likely for a young woman to be stalked. 3.72 times to be exact.

What is also interesting is that the both are higher than the average, in the male case a neglible 1% but in the female case it‘s nearly thrice the average.

Sexual harassment overall 6%, 13% men 25% women. Again women are close to twice as likely to be harassed as men. Again both groups are way above the average, both are more three times the average for all ages. (3.25 for men, 3.57 for women)

Yes you could say that young women are more victimized than men, but what i find shocking is that young people of both genders are more than three times as likely to be harassed that way.

Again that trend contineues in Phyically threatened, 8% of the overall, where we see a 2.5 increase on the male side to 25% and a 3.84 times increase on the female side.

Now the interesting thing is that this time the men are more likely to face that kind of harassment, the increase on the female side is higher than the increase on the male side, in contrast to all other categories before.

I don’t have data to say if there has been a paradigm shift in violence against women, compared to earlier generations, much less if it is violence perpetrated by men against women, or violence perpetrated by women against other women.

Again that is the problem overall in this analysis, we only know the ammount of harassment perpetrated, not by whom it is perpetrated. That is not in this statistic.

Also the higher numbers in young people could simply be due to the fact, that younger people are more likely to get physically violent than older people.

After all older people are more at risk in brawls.

It also shows that this massively higher likeliiehood of victimization for 18–24 year olds is irrespective of which gender is more harassed, as we have a massive above average representation of them in both sexual harassment and threats of physical violence.

If we compare Sustained Harassment among the 18–24 year olds (7% overall, 16% male, 18% female) to the overall (8% males, 7% females).

We find that it’s actually flipped, you women are harassed more, with a two percent “lead”.

Young Men are 2 times above the average, and women 2.57 times.

So what’s the TL;DR of this?

Men are more likely to be harassed online overall then women, safe for Stalking and sexual harassment. Men are most harassed in 4 out of 6 categories.

Young Adults 18–24 year old, are at far greater risk then any other group.

With each sex being most harassed in 3 out of 6 categories each among the 24 year olds

However the claim that women are subjected to far great ammounts and intensity of harassment does not hold up under scrutiny at all.

The intensity can’t be quantified, and there is a 1% difference in the sustained harassment overall and 2% among the 18–24 year olds.

Interestingly there is a switch between overall and 18–24 year olds, while overall men are 1% more likely to be the victim of a sustained harrasment campaign, among the 18–24 year olds women are 2% more likely to be a victim of said campaign.

Additionally, when it comes to the ammount, the two categories women lead overall are the two least numerous ones.

In the 18–24 Year olds, the female “led” categories are the three least likely, with the most numerous one, Stalking, being tied with Threats of Physical violence, where men “lead”.

I would rather say then, that the appearance of theuniversal knowledge of women being more impacted by harassment seems to spread rather from an under reporting on cases with male victims.

“Running this event, we have to be aware when a creator has potentially dangerous harassers or stalkers, and our list for our female creators is a whole lot longer than the list for male creators. „

Again, were Mr. Benjamin and his group potentially dangerous?

Did they cause and uproar or any outbreak of violence?

Were they being provoking?

„There is a fairly prominent genre of social/political commentary on the internet that focuses on specific individuals as a path to attack ideas and build outrage. These creators do not violate harassment policies, but the result is often that the vitriol of their followers ends up focused not on ideas, but on people (usually women.) „

Usually women? Again to quote a rather famous youtuber: Citation needed!

That aside what is wrong with attacking ideas? Aren‘t we supposed to attack ideas in a discussion, and wouldn‘t it be worse if we attacked people instead of their ideas?

Also would it not be reasonable to assume that certain ideas, if they are for example racist, or sexist, to create outrage?

Might there not be ideas that are so outlandish so outrageous that no outrage needs to be built, as they are created by the idea and it‘s impact itself?

Also no person is responsible for the actions of another person, unless the second person is the first person‘s child or ward.

„Many people in these communities end up believing the righteous thing to do is threaten, harass, and dox the thinkers they’re arguing with. Whether or not this is an intentional strategy to cultivate harassment or an awful side-effect, the result is some of the worst discourse and most intense harassment on the internet. „

I do wonder which communities are you speaking of?

Can you tie Mr. Benjamin and his group to any dox?

Have Mr. Benjamin and his group not spoken out against such a behaviour?

On the other hand, has Ms. Sarkeesian and her group not been involved in any doxxing incidents?

You know like one Rebecca Watson?

„This year, we had a contingent of attendees (some who paid, some who snuck in with fake passes) who had been either perpetrators of this harassment, or had, for years, watched as the outrage they cultivated resulted in followers doxxing, harassing, intimidating, and even threatening the lives of the creators on these panels. „

Citation needed.

Do you have evidence that Mr. Benjamin or his group did not pay for their tickets?

If not that would be defamation of character.

If you don‘t have evidence that would constitute a try of poisoning the well against Mr. Benjmain and his group.

Also do you have evidence that Mr. Benjamin and his compatriots cultivated harassment among their followers or did encourage them to doxx?

I haven‘t heard of a single such instance so far, so based on the lack of evidence cited, I have to call that another try of poisoning the well.

„It is difficult to imagine that this group of people (who are aware that their channels have been base-camps for years of harassment of some of our panelists) did not realize that their arriving early to fill up the three front rows of a panel was going to be intimidating. In any case, it looked like intentional intimidation to most people in attendance, and the panelists were understandably on edge throughout the discussion. „

Again is that claim of intimidation reasonable? Did that group of people behave in any way or form threatening?

Since when is when is merely being present intimidation?

And wouldn‘t you think that using institutional privilege as a speaker to call security on disagreeing persons would constitute intimidation?

And a rather stronger from of it?

„During the panel, a panelist called out one of the audience members for being someone who has made her life very difficult, and wished she didn’t have to give him attention because he was a “garbage human.” Look, we don’t want our panelists to insult our audience members, even when we completely understand that the comment exists in a much broader (and pretty messed up) context. Even when people have said hateful things that everyone in our office disagrees with, we have a policy, and it exists not just to protect people at the show, but to protect our ability to have these conversations. „

Wether or not the context outside Vidcon exists is pretty immaterial, Ms. Sarkeesian called Mr. Benjamin also known as Sargon of Akkad a „shithead“ and a „Garbage Human“ unprovoked!

Unless you suddenly call sitting and breathing as provoking…….

She is a professional speaker at this event, and like every person expected to show curtesy to other people, also as you said earlier, Mr. Benjamin had attacked her ideas, not her person.

She now did attack him, personally, not his ideas, and did so in contempt of your code of conduct, as she thought she could get away with it.

A thought that seems to not have been unreasonable, given your reaction.

„Our founder, Hank Green, talked with our panelist and said two things:

  1. He told her that her comment had violated our policy, but that he understood that there was a broader context (which to be clear, we were blissfully ignorant of until this weekend, and remain inexpert in.)
  2. He apologized to her for not having been more aware of and active in understanding the situation before the event, which resulted in her being subjected to a hostile environment that she had not signed up for.“

In short, he gave her a slap on the wrist and said, well we‘ll let you get away for it.

And then basically begged her forgiveness for not disallowing anyone that disagrees.

Anyone who goes to a convention should expect to meet people who agree or disagree with them,

„We agreed that she would go forward and continue on as a panelist on a later panel. „

This is farcical, a putting a person on an anti-harassment panel that clearly harassed people who disagree with her. That is putting the fox in charge of the hen-house.

„This is a difficult situation to build policy to alleviate, but we ask that all of the people involved consider the power of our actions and statements both online and in the real world. But one specific note, if people attend VidCon to collect footage to later use in videos that criticize not just ideas, but focus the outrage of their followers on individuals, they will not be welcome back. „

In short you are saying that people should not shoot videos at a convention about videos?

That they should not report in videos about a convention about videos?

Talk about irony.

I won‘t comment on the rest, as it doesn‘t make a lick of sense, and is just a bit of sanctimonious drivel to justify the cognitive dissonance and the double standards of Vidcon.