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curate users #118

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chadwhitacre opened this Issue Dec 24, 2014 · 131 comments

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 24, 2014

8chan has joined Gratipay. See FD1518 (copied below) and also gratipay/gratipay.com#3032. This brings to a head the discussion we started over a year ago about what kind of userbase we want to cultivate.

My inclination is to start curating our userbase more closely. We want users who align with our mission, to enable an economy of gratitude, generosity, and love. However, I'm not going to take any action before we have a conversation on this ticket, and even if a day were enough time (it's not), today is Christmas Eve and I'm offline with my family. I expect tomorrow's payday to include 8chan.


Update: The conclusion of this particular ticket was that we would not start curating our user-base based on alignment with our mission. However, we reversed this decision four months later, removing two users (8chan and weev) through an unfortunately idiosyncratic and non-transparent process. Then, a month after that, we went out of business for unrelated reasons, and as part of bouncing back we implemented a proper team review process.

tl;dr We now carefully curate our user-base.

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techtonik commented Dec 24, 2014

You can not enable an economy of gratitude, generosity, and love with force. It requires more than just banning people to sustain.

@colindean

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colindean commented Dec 24, 2014

You can not enable an economy of gratitude, generosity, and love with force. It requires more than just banning people to sustain.

👍

This is a hard problem to address: How do we deal with users of our service who abide by the rules and terms we've set forth to protect our other users and ourselves, but do things we personally don't like outside of our service?

Right now, as written, our Terms and Conditions point #5, "Guidelines for User Generated Content", the result of #1425, seems to govern a user's behavior, but only within Gratipay.com, and specifically any communication facilities that Gratipay.com provides. Right now, that's limited only to usernames, "I"m making the world better by", and any other unvalidated, user-editable field.

A series of questions, expanding as I think of implications:

  1. Should Gratipay extend its terms of service to include behavior outside of Gratipay's purview, i.e. gratipay.com, inside.gratipay.com, our GitHub presence, Twitter interaction with us, etc.?
    1. If Gratipay does decide to care about user behavior outside of Gratipay's purview, does that obligate Gratipay to police outside of its world?
      1. Would Gratipay be obligated to do some kind of background check before enabling a user to receive gifts?
        1. Should Gratipay then conduct ongoing background checks to ensure that a user hasn't become evil since signing up?
        2. This could occupy time and resources that Gratipay simply doesn't have available.
      2. If Gratipay does not police, would Gratipay then be obligated to have a mechanism set up for people (not necessarily Gratipay users) to report the terms-breaking activity?
      3. What would the response time look like on this?
      4. Would this diminish the promise of Gratipay as a safe and reliable method of receiving gifts?
      5. What happens if people fraudulently report activity that doesn't actually exist, or is an attempt to frame the user?
        1. What if Gratipay's kneejerk suspension or banning is wrong or erroneous, and we disrupt someone's income stream wrongly?
        1. To what level of legal risk does Gratipay expose itself in the event of erroneous or fraudulent service disruption?
    2. If Gratipay decides not to care about user activities outside its purview, what is its cohesive response to criticism that it is or may be enabling the funding of evil outside of its purview?
    3. What constitutes "evil?"
      1. Ilwill?
      2. Injustice?
      3. Hate speech is already a crime, but a crime with seemingly rare convictions despite being incredibly common online
    4. What does Gratipay have to do?
      1. Legal orders are already covered in the Terms and Conditions (I think? section 12); Gratipay must abide by injunctions and probably even garnishments.
      2. Is Gratipay equipped to assess legal and illegal behavior, and suspend/ban an account ahead of a legal order if Gratipay detects the illegal behavior outside of its purview before law enforcement due process is carried out?
      1. The implications of acting without a legal order return consideration to the above legal risk question.

There are a lot of (bad|good) actors in the world. Sometimes, they get a loud enough voice and enough attention that they can do and say (bad|good) stuff, then ask for money so they can afford to continue to act or speak.

I think Gratipay, specifically the Gratipay team and its community of users, is well within its right to ask bad actors to cease using the service. However, it should not ban them unless they are violating the law or effectively posting on Gratipay's properties content that violates its Guidelines for User Generated Content. Banning bad actors without a legal order may expose Gratipay to legal risk in addition to the social risk it faces by terminating a bad actor's permission to use its service.

I don't think Gratipay should be in the business of deciding what is (bad|good). That's for the legal system and users themselves to decide. This stance could cost Gratipay users, but neutrality is the preference of business when acting any other way could harm the innocent bystander customers of the business, let alone be even more detrimental to the business itself.

@rummik

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rummik commented Dec 25, 2014

A slightly related situation that CloudFlare found themselves in where a client wasn't violating their terms of service, but they didn't particularly like the nature of their client: http://blog.cloudflare.com/58611873/

Snippets of relatable bits from paragraph 4 in the article:

[...] First, CloudFlare is firm in our belief that our role is not that of Internet censor. There are tens of thousands of websites currently using CloudFlare's network. Some of them contain information I find troubling. [...] While we will respect the laws of the jurisdictions in which we operate, we do not believe it is our decision to determine what content may and may not be published. That is a slippery slope down which we will not tread.

So yeah, pretty much just going with what @colindean already stated. Unless there's a violation of the terms, or some other legal reason to remove someone (like Gratipay being put at risk by allowing these transactions to process), I don't think Gratipay can make that decision.

@chadwhitacre

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 25, 2014

Copying over from https://gratipay.freshdesk.com/helpdesk/tickets/1518:

One of the sites on gratipay is known to host exploitative child and teen pictures.

https://gratipay.com/infinitechan/

https://medium.com/@FoldableHuman/the-mods-are-always-asleep-7f750f879fc

This is on top of 8chan being a known board for harassment campaigns and doxxing.

https://storify.com/a_man_in_black/gamergate-harassment

I will not go to the site to get direct links to these events, but I believe that this all violates the TOS of gratipay. Thank you for looking into it.

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seanlinsley commented Dec 25, 2014

We are not the government. It's impossible for us to censor them by banning them. They can go elsewhere. We shouldn't accept them after they've been forced off of Patreon simply because we're too unorganized to create and enforce the necessary policy (yes I am volunteering :-).

@colindean could you elaborate on the possibilities for legal risk? Copying from the TOS:

Notwithstanding any of these Terms, Gratipay reserves the right, without notice and in its sole discretion, to terminate your license to use the Site and/or to block or prevent your future access to, and use of, the Site.

That should be updated to say that we will contact them before / upon termination, but it seems pretty clear that we reserve the right to boot people off.


Let's take a look at the Patreon community guidelines. This section clearly explains that you're liable to be banned if you do harmful things to people anywhere else outside of Patreon:

Facilitating Harmful or Dangerous Activity:

We don’t allow funds to be collected for organizations that promote, forums that distribute, or anything else that primarily facilitates harmful or dangerous activities. For example, an organization that promotes sexual abuse, intellectual property violations, weapons, commercial spamming, self harm, drug manufacturing techniques, or property crimes would be prohibited from receiving funds through Patreon.

People Who Can’t Use Patreon:

Because Patreon empowers people financially, we impose restrictions not only on the types of media and projects that can be funded on Patreon, but also on which people can and cannot receive funds through Patreon. After creating a Patreon page, any creator caught in the act or convicted of making credible violent threats, committing violent crimes, malicious doxing, coordinating nonviolent harm such as fraud, or encouraging others to do the aforementioned harmful activities may be banned from using Patreon.

People with a dangerous criminal history or known affiliation with violent or dangerous groups including terrorist or cyberterrorist organizations, organized criminal groups, and violent hate groups, cannot receive funds through Patreon, no matter the purpose or apparent intention of their Patreon page. Similarly, anyone who has ever been convicted of child sex abuse, fraud, or money laundering is not permitted to collect funds through Patreon.

This is a good policy, and we should adopt something similar. My only contention with their rules as a whole is on porn, which I think we should allow as long as the individuals aren't violating our other policies. We can get away with this where Patreon can't because there isn't strictly speaking an exchange of goods with Gratipay, whereas Patreon has a Kickstarter-style incentive system to provide donors with actual content.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 26, 2014

An unexpected twist: in researching 8chan, I discovered /christian/, and I am smitten.

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clone1018 commented Dec 26, 2014

@whit537 8chan is just the reddit of chans. You'll probably find the best this world has to offer and the worst, it's up to the user.

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colindean commented Dec 26, 2014

I changed the bullets to numbering in my above post for easier reference to its contents.

@seanlinsley, you're right on with the Patreon policy citation. I think that adopting a policy like Patreon's would take Gratipay down the path of 1.i.b. I'm OK with that, but then we get into outcries of censorship despite being in the right. We will definitely lose some users while also reducing risk created by disallowing users who fall into those categories.

Also, I, too, believe that the termination clause (TOS #13) would cover us, but by clearly stating intentions and exclusions upfront, we certainly mitigate the risk of enraging infringing users and reduce the possibility that such a user might come after Gratipay regardless of the termination clause should they feel they Gratipay has terminated their account wrongfully.

What would really strengthen this policy is citation of statutory and case law for each exclusionary reason, but I'm not sure that's an effective use of time. Also, we non-lawyers are neither qualified or do we have the resources to find specific examples. I'd take it as a challenge myself if I didn't believe it to be incredibly laborious.

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colindean commented Dec 26, 2014

Personally, some of the above exclusions are too vague for my tastes.

organization that promotes

  • sexual abuse - definitely exclude, pretty well-defined socially and legally, using progressive definitions of abuse 🚫
  • intellectual property violations -
    • Host links or howtos? 🆗
    • Host pirated content with no takedown process according to the site's local laws? 🚫
  • weapons -
    • Talks about guns, e.g. NRA? 🆗
    • Coordinates a site for gun trading and advocates following laws regarding transfer? 🆗
    • Smuggling guns? 🚫
    • Advocates build WMDs to kill people 🚫 🙅 ⛔️
  • commercial spamming - clearly defined 🚫
  • self harm -
    • Techniques? 🚫
    • Where to get help/counseling? 🆗
  • drug manufacturing techniques - information is 🆗
  • property crimes - I'm not really sure what this means, other than maybe graffiti

After creating a Patreon page, any creator caught in the act or convicted of making credible violent threats, committing violent crimes, malicious doxing, coordinating nonviolent harm such as fraud, or encouraging others to do the aforementioned harmful activities may be banned from using Patreon.

100% OK with this, because they are all clearly defined in legal terms. Fraud can be little more unclear, and I think that's one we'd have to act only on conviction. Maybe Gratipay needs a part of its terms that more clearly indemnifies Gratipay in the event of fraud and protects Gratipay against chargebacks resulting from a user's feeling defrauded.

People with a dangerous criminal history or known affiliation with violent or dangerous groups including terrorist or cyberterrorist organizations, organized criminal groups, and violent hate groups, cannot receive funds through Patreon, no matter the purpose or apparent intention of their Patreon page.

Gratipay is not equipped to define these, so we'd have to decide on someone else's list. US State Dept List of Foreign Terrorist Organizations would suffice internationally, and we're technically required by law not to do anything with them. Hate groups defined by the SPLC is a good list for that one.

Would we permit a user who claims to associate with Anonymous? What about other domestic organizations that are considered by some to be terrorists, such as eco-terrorists?

Similarly, anyone who has ever been convicted of child sex abuse, fraud, or money laundering is not permitted to collect funds through Patreon.

100% agreement with excluding those convicted of fraud or money laundering. I hate child sex abuse just as much as any rational person, but when state courts are convicting without the presence of or under antiquated Romeo and Juliet laws, I rollback that agreement to a case-by-case basis, defaulting to excluded.

Determining with whom one can do business is hard, especially when one wants to be upfront about it.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 27, 2014

@colindean Thanks for the thorough taxonomy in #118 (comment).

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colindean commented Dec 27, 2014

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seanlinsley commented Dec 28, 2014

@chadwhitacre

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

FD1533 is a +1 for removing 8chan.

FD1543 is the follow-up from #118 (comment) re: RHExcelion.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

I've asked for permission to copy comments from both FD1533 and FD1534 over here.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

As a basis for comparison, I started looking into what PayPal does. Here's their Acceptable Use Policy, and here's the eBay/PayPal Law Enforcement Center. They use a third party called LeadsOnline.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

Three examples from eBay of ways they've worked with law enforcement:

http://ebay.com/securitycenter/Blotter.html

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

eBay in legal wrangling over who is responsible for fencing:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/163535/article.html

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

From FD1533:

Hello. I thought you might want to be made aware that one of your users is fundraising money for a website that breaks at least these terms of service:

Campaign: https://gratipay.com/infinitechan/

  1. Defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the rights of others.
  2. Post content or imagery that is offensive and/or harmful, including content that promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any individual or group of individuals.
  3. Post content that provides materials or access to materials that could be used to exploit minors in an abusive, violent or sexual manner.

In the past few months alone, 8chan or infinitechan has been the headquarters for a known group of harassers - GamerGate. They recently also became home to a group called "pol" which is known white supremacists. As well, the owner of 8chan has stated that he will begin writing for known white nationalist website, Daily Stormer.

This website is used regularly to coordinate threats, doxing attempts, and launch large scale harassment campaigns.

It has also been recently linked as a hub for child abusers & pedophiles to share images & stories of acts with minors.

https://medium.com/@FoldableHuman/the-mods-are-always-asleep-7f750f879fc

It was also shown to contain similar just a few months ago:

http://www.dailydot.com/politics/8chan-pedophiles-child-porn-gamergate/

And here is the owner saying that he can't manage to compete with a site like 4chan without allowing such content:

https://twitter.com/HW_BEAT_THAT/status/547013158116663296

A cursory view of the website listed on the campaign should give you plenty enough information about the kind of content being cultivated, and how the owner of the website specifically & monetarily benefits from hate speech, borderline illegal child pornography, and white nationalists (aka neo-nazis).

He was also recently kicked off of Patreon for these very things, because they refused to be associated with such a toxic website.

I just wanted to give you a heads up about this company and its owner. Thank you for your time.

Then:

Oh, and I realized I forgot to add this screenshot about his new involvement in TheDailyStormer: http://i.imgur.com/PV9KDaf.png
https://archive.today/NMGM9

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

From FD1534:

The account in question is owned by RHExcelion. He runs a fairly large operation that takes streamed content from media providers (generally Funimation or Crunchyroll) and illegally redistributes it. Then he asks for donations to continue doing so (this is where gratipay comes in).

This is the post on his site where he talks about soliciting the donations: http://commiesubs.com/state-of-the-cartel-2015/

As you can see, he references that PayPal could shut him down at any time, which they do... often... because the kind of redistribution he does violates copyright law. He has also had his accounts banned from Flattr and Patreon for the same reasons.

If you want more detail around the quality of his character, a large portion of the money he acquires for such donations go to vacations, so he's even scamming his donators. Here's one conversation around it:

Dec 31 22:42:31 <BardicheAssault> Also the first jimmy wales donation drive was spent on madoka trip to nyc and I want to do something similar for axpo
Dec 31 22:42:41 <&herkz> wow that sounds really useful
Dec 31 22:42:43 <&herkz> oh wait
Dec 31 22:42:45 <&herkz> not at all
Dec 31 22:42:47 <&herkz> what the fuck
Dec 31 22:43:21 <&herkz> why the hell would you spend donation money on that
Dec 31 22:43:29 <BardicheAssault> I paid for food and hotel for like 6 people
Dec 31 22:43:36 <BardicheAssault> Why not

Apologies for the length, but I thought it'd be better to be more thorough than not.

Then:

For what it's worth, on the curation front, when I brought this issue to my readers' attention, one of them tweeted me with "Imagine all the other accounts that are really fronts for drug dealing & such..." I imagine others could get that impression too. Anyway, just food for thought on that end as well.

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colindean commented Dec 29, 2014

I wonder if there can be some process here kinda like DMCA Safe Harbor, where if we receive an accusation/evidence of badness, we can suspend the account and pass that to the accused, who can counter-notice or roll over. If they counter-notice, we’re absolved of any wrongdoing and let the court decide. If they roll over, well, that’s the end of it.

The missing piece here is that copyright is a civil matter, and the submitter is supposed to be the owner of the copyright, who can then sue if they receive counter-notice.

The RHExcelion one leans toward civil behavior that is addressable by vigilance on the part of the copyright holder. I feel like the copyright holder would be within their rights to enjoin Gratipay from facilitating gifts to the user in question as a part of legal action against them.

The 8chan one, however, leans toward criminal behavior. I think that’s something that we might have a something (obligation? duty? preponderance of financial evidence?) to provide law enforcement with what it needs to investigate.

I’m not sure of the action here. I think we should continue to research other money transmitters’ policies, and seek the counsel of both Balanced, since they’re our real transmitter, and some lawyers of our own.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

I'm not a white nationalist (I live in Philippines lmao).

Here's what happened:

[...]

Now, of course certain people have come out of the woodwork to call me a Nazi, but that was exactly as planned. You guys need to realize that I'm the admin of 8chan, not the "leader" of GamerGate. Building hype around my business is my job, especially when we are strapped for cash and can't advertise directly.

http://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2qlpst/hotwheels_gets_invited_to_write_an_article_on/cn79uo2

and, thank you gamerghazi for hyping my article before it goes out
are you really surprised the owner of a chan is trolling? really?

https://twitter.com/HW_BEAT_THAT/status/549104955001303040

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Changaco commented Dec 29, 2014

What goes on outside of Gratipay is not our problem. What people do with the money received through Gratipay is not our problem. What people post on 8chan is not our problem. Copyright infringement is not our problem unless it happens on Gratipay itself. Etc.

I am against curating users. It would consume time and create conflicts within the team (there will inevitably be disagreements on whether a particular user should be banned or not).

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rohitpaulk commented Dec 29, 2014

I'm with @Changaco on this. (As long as it makes legal sense of course)

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DSRK commented Dec 29, 2014

If you guys want to be known as the premiere money laundering service, I guess that's your call. I imagine it'd be profitable.

Just seems to me that if certain people are too toxic for even one of ThePirateBay co-founder's side projects (flattr), there's probably a good reason for that.

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Changaco commented Dec 29, 2014

This discussion is not about money laundering, we already try to prevent that by blacklisting suspicious accounts, and payment processors also have their own algorithms that try to detect frauds.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

@Changaco I was about to make a similar reply, but then started down this rabbit hole on Wikipedia:

Money laundering is the process in which the proceeds of crime are transformed into ostensibly legitimate money or other assets.

Gratipay isn't useful for money laundering in the narrow sense, because we only offer soft anonymity, not strong anonymity. If law enforcement comes to us with an investigation, we do have useful information we could provide.

However, in a number of legal and regulatory systems the term money laundering has become conflated with other forms of financial crime, and sometimes used more generally to include misuse of the financial system [...], including terrorism financing, tax evasion and evading of international sanctions. Most anti-money laundering laws openly conflate money laundering (which is concerned with source of funds) with terrorism financing (which is concerned with destination of funds) when regulating the financial system.

What are our obligations regarding detecting other sorts of financial crime besides money laundering in the narrow sense?

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

"International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism & Proliferation"
http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/pdfs/FATF_Recommendations.pdf

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Changaco commented Dec 29, 2014

I think our obligations are the same as Paypal, we offer a similar service, financially speaking. Maybe Balanced would be able to tell us if there's something we're not doing that we're supposed to do. In any case this should be discussed in another issue.

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 29, 2014

Agreed, AML/CFT is a separate issue. There are two lines: legal and (I suppose) moral. This ticket is about the moral line.

everyone

The text reads "Everyone," "Unsavory," and "Criminal," and "Not to scale!" :-)

We have to deal with the moral line in a way that PayPal doesn't for two reasons:

  1. We are social. There are no public profiles or other communication features baked into PayPal.
  2. Idealism is part of our brand. PayPal's mission is to build the Web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution. Ours is to enable an economy of gratitude, generosity, and love.

Notice that both lines are fuzzy.

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ghost commented Dec 31, 2014

One last thing. Rats are not done by hackers, much less 'hackers on steroids', they are dreadfully easy tools for any script kid to find, and require no advanced knowledge to use. Again, ratters are not hackers, they hav no actual skills in this area, nor do they need them.

They just ask for the tool that does it for them.

https://8chan.co/hack/res/471.html

Good luck Gratipay.

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Deadbeard commented Dec 31, 2014

So short of someone here being stupid enough to click links sent to them by randoms in emails/DMs you've got nothing and are just fearmongering?
Good to know

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freeWards commented Dec 31, 2014

Firstly, @ToooLate (now ‘ghost’, the poster two posts above this one) is a troll, for anybody that didn't catch it. He's here solely to stir up trouble and by the looks of it, he has already deleted his account.

8chan is a website that seeks only to provide its users with the freedom to speak. It has gained popularity due to several other social mediums demonstrating censorship of their users in unsettlingly high magnitude and close succession.

I take issue with allegations that 8chan is the home of ‘harassment campaigns’ and ‘doxxing’. I assume these allegations are made in reference to the GamerGate board(s). These boards have rules against both harassment and doxxing and the administration of these boards removes content that violates these rules as quickly as possible.

8chan is not a CP hub. I have unfortunately seen CP posted a couple times, but I and several others always report it and it gets removed.
There isn't any ‘icky stuff’ on /tech/ or /v/. Very rarely on /gamergate/. There's ‘icky stuff’ on /pol/, but much of it is jokes.

You may disagree with some of the users of 8chan. You bear the freedom to do so and we welcome you to enjoy your freedom, but do not try to infringe on ours.

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Secretsquirrel73 commented Dec 31, 2014

I will say one thing about this. 8chan came to you believing you would be a fair and honorable site to do business with. After the Paetron fiasco involving a bunch of people fearmongering and shouting baseless slander Paetron decided to take the dive and kick off 8chan from the site. The entire point of that site is for Freedom of Speech on the Internet and without any oppression from any overzealous mods. The ability to say or do whatever you want within the confines of the law should be upheld everywhere. But look around the internet. Every forum has mods that have very strict guidelines that regulate their boars to the point of facism. Political boards will ban you for the unpopular opinions you might have instead of letting you have your say and then debating you on it to try to prove that you are wrong for thinking it. They would rather censor you.

Video game Journalism has gotten to the point where its either the select few who are all in bed together who have zero journalism degrees or integrity, or no main stage at all. The majority of video gamers are sadly so impressionable that they are led to believe whatever is given the highest rating so they will go out and buy it, leading to a massive corruption of the entire industry. Lets not forget how its becoming more Cultural Marxist and saying anything against what these people say will have you labeled as a hate monger among other things.

8chan is gaining popularity because the owner of 4chan decided to not have the interests of the users in mind but his own social tight knit group, that is some what apart of that gaming journalism fiasco, where he censored the video game boards. Later he abused the political board to the point where any discussion pertaining to the board was almost impossible.

So instead of having to deal with a website who's admin clearly does not care about its users everyone went to 8chan, where you can say what you want with an admin who isnt power hungry or afraid to speak his mind about any issues. His mission statement was that all boards should not be censored by him and that they are user made. Meaning if a board's owners for some reason or another do not have their users interests at heart, another user can make a board with the identical topic and re-establish. That way we are not forced to stay on boards who we know have corrupt moderation teams that would rather market to you and censor you than develop.

This isnt about which petty board some people dont like, or which board might have questionable content like a pornography board of a politics board that might talk about topics that are sensitive to most in nature or a site that people like to be mean on. This is about the ability to post on a board without fear of corrupt or biased moderation.

The reason im posting this is because 8chan needs support and we would gladly give it to him. The problem is that every time we find something, the group that hates chans and chan culture swoops in like a hate group and does nothing but attack and make smear campains without any evidence to back up any claims on why a site should be devoid of funding.

So I ask you gritipay, to allow 8chan to be apart of this site and to support free speech. Sure you may not like what some people say on that site, but we will support your right to say it on that site to those posters face. That is the kind of users we are. We value freedom above all else and wouldnt want anyone to feel that they cant post on the site. If people disagree with said posts, they will let it known, but that leads to a type of site where at the end of a thread you will have much more valuable input than any focus group ever could have.

This would be a good business move to allow 8chan to be apart of your site. I will be honest, I have never heard of Gritpay before 8chan said that they where moving there but if you support us, we will support you all the way because you will be known as a site that would take us when another wouldnt for no reason at all.

@Gnokey

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Gnokey commented Dec 31, 2014

There are too many in this discussion who state their beliefs about the nature of 8chan and claim them to be proofs about the site. You tell us that a man has published an article where he claims to prove that content harmful to minors is allowed to remain on the site yet you provide no proof, only your beliefs that his claim is correct. You go further and state that it is child pornography that is allowed on the site, yet it is only your fervent your belief you give us. We get the claim, repeatedly, but nothing to back it up.
If my understanding of the nature of this process is correct, this is a court of public opinion and some wish to rush to judgement based on what you believe to be true, not what you have seen proven as true.

I can tell you what I believe about the issue, for what it's worth. I believe that very few sites or services on the internet are capable of preventing the introduction of photographs or videos they do not wish to host. I don't see how there can be many places at all on the internet that have never had such material introduced to them. Therefore, I believe that it falls upon these sites and the members thereof to ensure that such material do not remain on the sites.
I think the laws the Government of the United States has put forth in the interests of protecting minors delineating what materials constitute a danger to children are sufficient to identify materials which can cause harm to minors in their creation and dissemination. I believe that the obscenity policy of 8chan, if followed as written, are capable of identifying and eliminating material that is harmful to minors as defined by U.S. law.
I further feel the owner of 8chan as well as the owners and moderators of boards on site do in fact follow their guidelines on obscenity to the letter and do well in eliminating these materials from the site.
This last one I've seen for myself because I've never seen it there. In months of visiting 8chan, I've never seen child pornography on /v/. I've never seen it on /pol/. I've never seen it on /leftypol/ or /cats/. I've never seen it on any board I've randomed while board. I've never looked for child pornography on 8chan and I've never stumbled across any. If I thought the place was a den for this stuff, I wouldn't go there.

There are of course some of you who do not wish to to take my word that 8chan follows their obscenity guidelines over the word of those who they believe when they tell them it doesn't, but here is an area in which you can find some proofs. I don't know much about the structure of an anonymous image board, but i'll not be surprised if reports and bans and deletion of files and closures of boards are logged. While I cannot speak for those with access to those logs, I think it likely that they will be willing to provide these logs so that you can see the actions taken when child pornography is reported, so that you can see the removal of the material and know the work they do keep this stuff off of the site.

Whether you feel US laws is good enough to determine what you should be willing to accept from a member of your community or a customer of your company, however you view yourselves, is up to you. If you determine it doesn't go far enough and wish to set guidelines based on the presence of drawn art, then choose for what you feel is right there.

What I am here to ask you to do is to not rush to decide that 8chan be excluded it based on how you've heard the site handles it child pornography. Ask for proof from board owners in the form of logs. Get specifics from those claiming the site doesn't follow its obscenity policy, without giving anyone the hint of an idea they should go looking for this shit. Do not deny 8chan because of hearsay. Deny 8chan if you have credible accounts they don't do their duty as far as US law goes for illegal material. Deny 8chan because some material they do not consider too obscene is beyond where you see the line. When you consult other sites as you indicated you'd do, Ask them on what basis they made there decision. Ask them if they decided based on US law or a guideline they'd made, and whey they chose that guideline if it was the latter. If it was a question of whether 8chan complied with the law, find out what evidence they had that it didn't, what proof it requested that they did. Just don't do it because someone is truly convinced they are a haven for this crap because of an article they read or what a friend swore to be true and they've passed along here. Don't let yourself be another battleground for some mudslinging on the internet.

If you do that you will lessen yourselves. You'll be denying a whole group of people whom you don't even know the ability to provide support for a man you don't even know and nobody is going to win anything. Nobody can stop anyone from sending Hotwheels money in Paypal or a check in the mail. Don't let this be about a two groups of people who've been flinging shit at each other for the last five months, let it be about what you are willing to accept as a community or company from those who wish to use your service and how far you are willing to go to ensure that accusations of impropriety have merit.

@Charles-Barkleton

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Charles-Barkleton commented Dec 31, 2014

I am in support of 8chan's continuation to use Gratipay in order to continue to provide a website where communities of all shapes and sizes may form and grow.

To push them aside on the account of a few user's actions to post illegal content, is pushing away any website that can have people maliciously post illegal content (practically anywhere).

8chan takes the proper precautions by making rules against illegal content and actively enforcing it with the help from board admins, board volunteers and it's users. Just like any site with moderation would do.

To discount a website because of it's "harassing" speech that's based on nothing more than differing opinions goes beyond immoral on the stance of Gratipay, as anyone can claim harassment when someone disagrees with another. And would the same discussion need to happen to try and stop funds from going to those websites as well?

Which I can say, seeing that your top receiver of funds for the LGBTQQIAAP community, Ms. Lynnmagic, when her statement reads:
"I am making the world better by
Aggressively flushing out misogynists / transphobes / racists"

I and many others can see this as a way to harass anyone who she finds to be any of those things.
The word "Aggressive", and the act of "flushing out" or as it's defined " To frighten someone or something from a concealed place; To drive or force someone into the open." Even though I may not agree with misogynists / transphobes / racists. If those people are not spreading violence, they reserve the right to their own opinion.

I would also like to mention that there has been no Doxxing (releasing of personal information to harass physically) on 8chan and if their had been it would have been met with a post deletion and a ban. If you were to compare this to tumblr users who actively and openly gathered information of one of it's users, CommunismKills, using an extension, statcounter, in order to gain her IP address. An extension that tumblr allows despite the fact that it gives users access to other users IP addresses and their subsequent locations. And with that, they used that resource to find, harass, and make threats against her and her family.

Now if tumblr were to use this service. Would you disallow them from using it because a few users harassed and threatened? Despite their rich culture of artists, writers, and other like-minded people who can express their ideals with one another? The same goes for sites like reddit, livejournal, and anything else that fits.

This is a community, and in this community are users who hold the keys to the town, Fredrick Brennan (Hot Wheels/Founder of 8chan) is only the overseer of all, while the rest of us double checks what Hot Wheels misses. We have a diverse group of communities within this big community ranging from video games, anime, politics (of both sides of the political spectrum), equalism, Christianity, LGBT and pedophilia support, just being whacky, and the list is literally endless. You think of it, and it can become it's own community despite a person's lack of web development or lack of funds to maintain.

I see no malice or intent to harm others here. I do not see a sign that welcomes the posting/linking of illegal content. I see a place anywhere can go and post without being bogged down by registration, where people are not criticized by a name or past posts, but the post that is at hand. Why destroy such a beautiful thing?

tl;dr I support 8chan, won't you allow me and others to continue to support it using this service?

@actuallywoo

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actuallywoo commented Dec 31, 2014

I have serious reservations on this issue. It is clearly a non-trivial issue for Gratipay which is sure to cause complaint regardless of the outcome.

There are a number of persons who believe that moral judgement should guide Gratipay in providing a platform for project funding. I can sympathize with this viewpoint to a degree. However, I think that Gratipay should very carefully and clearly define what it does and does not consider moral outside of the laws that a website must operate under.

I will state my biases up-front: I believe strongly in free-speech; I agree with Steven Pinker in that I think places which allow free speech are critical to the progress of our species. I am an egalitarian having previously considered myself what would be described as a 3rd wave feminist. I am a scientist and advocate evidence-based decision making. I sometimes visit and post on message-boards.

As such, I find some of the content on reddit/4chan/8chan entirely contrary to my worldview. I've found boards obsessed with ridiculous, trivially debunked conspiracy theories, discussion of how rubbish [insert country] is and political opinions that I simply cannot agree with. Whilst I have difficulty understanding the rationale behind posting this kind of content I cannot accept that it should not exist as long as it abides by local laws.

Currently social justice as a concept is taking a beating due to some of the people who claim to be advocates. You will find persons who claim tolerance whilst being intolerant of those who do not completely agree with the very specific group mindset that has been formed by excluding alternative viewpoints. You will routinely encounter the highly divisive "you're either with us or against us" rhetoric claiming that one cannot be neutral. Highly emotive language is employed to put "problematic" persons on the defensive in an attempt to make the complainant's demands appear morally justified. Generalization is routinely used to make those who are critical appear to be part of some amorphous "hate group". Any concession made is seen as an opportunity to drag the person(s) attempting to be reasonable into a never ending complaint list. Free speech in the public sphere is demanded by the complainant with a simultaneously inexplicable expectation of no criticism.

I know that my points may seem rather detached from the discussion at hand but I thought it was important to point out that the aforementioned rhetoric is used widely to shame persons into adopting the beliefs of persons who excel at self-justifying their righteous anger.

As such, all I can hope for is that Gratipay look at and base their final decision upon the available evidence.

Best wishes.

@doublezeta

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doublezeta commented Dec 31, 2014

I am a channer who registered to post my opinions on this discussion and also clear up some misconceptions.

1, it is absolutely a lie that 8chan allows child porn on their website or benefits from child porn. They delete dozens of CP spam per day with permabans and it is their most common type of ban. Just look at this. https://8chan.co/meta/src/1420013206291.png Someone previously mentioned that that's not good enough, and the fact that anyone can submit content to 8chan means it facilitates child porn. This person said they also believe Reddit is complicit in facilitating child porn. Well here are some other websites where anyone can make an account and upload content: YouTube, Twitter, Imgur, Facebook. I wonder if you would accuse GitHub of being a child porn hub since commits aren't pre-screened and can have images attached to them.

2, it is a lie to say that Commie subs steals content or revenue from Funimation or Crunchyroll. They take raws from Japan, reencode the videos and add their own translations as subtitles. This takes hours of volunteer work from multiple people who love what they do. Nothing is being stolen from American companies along the way. Fansubbers are the backbone of the foreign anime market and they generate more revenue than they take away, both from American licensors and imports. Crunchyroll themselves started by stealing fansubs and hosting them online before they went legit.

More broadly, I just want to say a message to 8chan's critics. You people speak of love and compassion, against harassment, importance of diversity, making sure everyone feels welcome. Yet it is always you attacking us and trying to chase us out of shared spaces. Instead of being the moral police, why not practice what you preach and reach out to us and show us love. You talk about being good members of our communities yet you always run us our of your communities and call us names. Why not try the Golden Rule for a change. Because how would you feel if you were treated how you treat us? We are easy to dehumanize since we're anonymous, but there is a real person behind that computer screen, not nazis, terrorists, pedophiles or whatever.

Gratipay has the right to host or ban whoever they wish, however I do not think they should remove 8chan and Commie on made-up lies. Critics should have the integrity to be honest about why they want these organizations removed instead of making up falsehoods about child porn and content piracy.

@tonygiang

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tonygiang commented Dec 31, 2014

I was brought into attention of this issue by a friend because he heard that GratiPay is one of my consideration for a future project, so this issue could affect me eventually.

I'd like to remind GratiPay administration that they, as a US-based service provider, are protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (legally passed through a near-unanimous bipartisan vote) just as much as 8chan administration, or any other service provider administration for that matter. This law states the following:

(1) Treatment of publisher or speaker
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker any information provided by another information content provider.
(2) Civil liability
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—
(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or
(B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).

This legislation is backed back the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

I urge GratiPay administration to honor this right for other service providers without discrimination. There's no telling when will GratiPay's turn come where your own protection under §230 may come under risk. If GratiPay decides not to honor §230, I have no choice but to send the EFF a notice to alert them about this problematic decision, as your site no longer offer a safe space where service providers are assured their protection under §230 will be honored.

@kellyrued

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kellyrued commented Dec 31, 2014

Dear Gratipay,

Maybe if 8chan was allowed to continue using Gratipay, they could obtain enough funding from their supporters to acquire resources (more users, therefore more mods) to provide better moderator coverage and improve the speed and thoroughness of their CP take-down efforts.

Blocking fundraising efforts mainly harms the site owner, a young programmer trying to make the world a better place for the people he serves, and the majority of the site's users who have nothing to do with any CP or illegal content on the site.

There is no percentage of CP posting or speed of CP removal which is acceptable to knee-jerk moralizers who would define all of 8chan by such a small, unrepresentative portion of its users and user-posted content. These people know full well that every free, popular online community struggles to police CP posting, yet they are posturing as if 8chan has a unique CP problem.

What is unique about 8chan is its acceptance of the burden of policing some of the most offensive user-posted content in existence because they believe free speech is worth the trouble. I can't even imagine the horrible things 8chan mods have to see/verify/remove on a regular basis to provide an invaluable, rare service that few of us are willing or able to provide.

While everyone else sits comfortably behind their overly-broad TOS (most of which throw out all legal adult content along with the illegal stuff), 8chan is trying to do better. They are walking a razor's edge at the absolute extent of what is permissible, legal free speech in a day and age where even relatively free countries like the UK are imposing morality laws to filter adult content at the ISP, and the ability of individual adults to make media choices for themselves is under attack from busy-bodies who cannot tolerate even the idea that anyone be permitted to make different moral choices than they would.

The value of the service 8chan is striving to provide is lost on many people, but that does not change the fact that they are making the world a better place for the group of people they serve in the chan subculture.

Most sites take the easy way out and ban huge swaths of unpopular yet perfectly legal content because everyone else is doing it and organizations rightly hope to avoid the moral panic, threats and bullying. It's no coincidence that the people in this very thread most opposed to 8chan's participation on Gratipay are the same ones threatening to not only abandon Gratipay but speak ill of it, smearing the service to anyone who will listen. These are not the tactics of people who are willing to live and let live, to be truly inclusive and empathetic toward substantive differences in world view. These are the tactics of people who will not be satisfied simply expressing gratitude, generosity, and love to the people and projects they support; these are the bullying tactics of people who are most satisfied when they are depriving the people and projects they despise of gratitude, generosity, and love. These are people working to make the world a worse place for those who are truly "other" to them.

I don't frequent chans much. I was on Patreon to support indie game devs and game writers, but also ended up supporting 8chan and a feminist video maker. I'm now going to support 8chan on Gratipay because they are so wonderfully idealistic about free speech that they are willing to manage the ugly, messy parts of a free-speech-friendly site, not just the cool, fun parts that people romanticize when they are donating to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 8chan isn't halfassing their commitment to free speech, and I respect the hell out of that.

So I ask Gratipay to please maintain your inclusiveness. We already have a Patreon. Differentiate Gratipay and stand up for the outsiders, the unpopular, the misunderstood and misrepresented, the truly marginalized people and projects who just want to make some small part of the world a better place for some group of people. 8chan is definitely doing that for channers, and more broadly for anyone who NEEDS a place to have conversations that are difficult, if not impossible, for anyone else to host.

Please allow people like me to express our gratitude, generosity, and love according to our own moral frameworks. Trust and cooperate with law enforcement to address any legal issues, leave the moralizing to your users, and stay in the business of doing what Gratipay does best: helping people to support the people and projects they care about.

Some may take their money to other services, but at least you will know they were able to make that decision for themselves, rather than have you take away their choices by developer fiat.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Kelly Rued (real name, real person, really believes tolerance and inclusiveness are only worthwhile when extended to those you dislike or disagree with)

@plasmacutter

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plasmacutter commented Dec 31, 2014

As a donor to 8chan, I would like to start by qualifying my background. I'm a systems engineer working in a field which requires numerous security clearances. My very living depends upon freedom of speech and the neutrality of the internet, and also upon my associations being clean enough to pass smell tests for incredibly conservative organizations. I am required to submit to periodic audits and have absolutely zero concern regarding them noting my financial support to this organization. I'm also a Jew who, despite piled allegations of Nazism and White supremacy, feels welcome on 8chan, and does not appreciate people using my ethnicity as prop in attempts to shut down a forum for free speech.

The very reason this is being discussed at all is because 8chan is serving its purpose of free speech by harboring political dissent against certain pressure groups who do not wish dissent to be allowed at all. These pressure groups over the past month have been engaged in an all out propaganda war in an attempt to bully this site off the internet, and I find their efforts so repulsive I have volunteered to fully fund this site's costs should all other efforts become closed to this site's proprietors.

Regarding the serious allegations being repeatedly flung against 8chan, I would like to posit the following:

The proprietor of 8chan resides in a nation in which distribution and possession of child pornography are illegal without exception, and which has extradition treaties with the United States. If 8chan truly were facilitating such horrendous behavior, the individuals could have the board administrator arrested, his equipment seized, and neither ever seen again with a few simple reports to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or his local authorities.

The fact it has not happened given the repeated and intensive pressure put upon 8chan by these political groups is indicative of their innocence.

The reality of the matter is 8chan's proprietor, while making every effort to avoid censorship of any material deemed legal, has a militant stance against child pornography. Action is taken swiftly against individual posts, not only to remove the material and ban the offender, but to report the IP address to federal authorities. Boards which are alleged to facilitate such abuse are also reviewed, and if found to be encouraging said behavior, are shut down and their names permanently blacklisted.

I ask that Gratipay not become a tool for political repression. Do not simply take the politically expedient route of using the behavior of a few bad actors as an excuse to give what can only be termed as bullies what they want.

Thank you.

@Changaco

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Changaco commented Dec 31, 2014

I think we've heard enough of both sides, please refrain from posting additional comments unless you believe that what you want to say hasn't already been said and really needs to be said.

@benhc123

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benhc123 commented Dec 31, 2014

@Changaco good idea. This issue is really just supposed to be internal.

@seanlinsley

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seanlinsley commented Dec 31, 2014

So 8chan has been talking about us:

https://8chan.co/gamergate/res/157609.html#q158537

The SJWs raided first.

We take this information to the public then and make them breathe fire and smoke in the streets and in the hills they live in. Don't relent and don't let them breathe any ounce of fresh air they can spew out into a lie. They did wrong, they are wrong, and nothing they say or do can be right.

Burn the heretics. Don't let them breathe air that belongs to the free.

That's the sort of people we support by supporting 8chan.


So, this ticket has overflowed with people coming from that thread to argue that 8chan doesn't allow child porn. But what about doxing? We already know that GamerGate is a group that will use threats of violence to silence those they disagreee with. They will send a SWAT team to your house. They can get you killed.

Looking around the site, I found a couple things that would definitely be against our community guidelines, when we write them:

There's /dox/ that provides instructions and websites to aid doxing.

There's this thread on /gg/ endorsing doxing and posting multiple records of doxing. This might me a joke thread, but the fact that they can joke about something like this shows how little they care about the privacy and safety of others.

There are undoubtedly more, but this is all I had the time to find.

@Koriath

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Koriath commented Dec 31, 2014

@seanlinsley
I just made this account because you've just commited a severe error in your post.
I've been with hatechan for a while, from before all the 4chan peeps came.
And the site has some story that you should be aware before posting stuff like that thread on /gg/ you mentioned.

The board /gg/ fell. Hard. To cut a long story short, several people were trying to harm their cause, a 3rd party known as the GNAA. So, in 8chan style, people just made a new board and left the old one. As a partying gift, they ruined and defaced the board (hence, the [trigger warning] and removal of one of the first tenets and original laws of the board: NO DOXXING).

The new board is https://8chan.co/gamergate/ btw.

8chan was always against doxxing. Some of the GNAA once tried shooting the board down by posting doxx, screencapping them and posting them on twitter. Anons found out based on details in the pictures posted. Since that one episode, posting Dox is met with a ban, post deletion and no warning at all. Noone dox's, and the few who did quickly learned to stop. Doxxing doesn't help their cause.

Secondly, you claim 8chan SWATS people. And can get people killed.
The few examples from swatting that I can find were caused by people outside the site, and in months upon months of lurking the site I never saw a thread about swatting someone.

And exactly how can they kill people? That just sounds like you're wielding fear as weapon to scare Gratipay from supporting them.

And please, please, next time you open one of their boards, lurk a bit more to understand the culture.
The /dox/ board isn't for mass doxing and sharing of details online. It's to give users tools.
Some of us have been harassed too, and were able to find the culprit and bring them to proper justice (eg: police) thanks to doxxing. Those tools exist outside the site and are provided by other parties. Telling people about them doesn't mean you endorse doxxing or harassement.

@Koriath

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Koriath commented Dec 31, 2014

Also, before you think about cutting support to an online comunity of any sort:
This is the kind of think that got Wizardchan down. The owner disappeared (given the nature of the site, suicide is suspected) and after 4 months without payment, the thousands of users that relied on the site for support found a 404 when acessing their comunity.

Instead of censoring/not censoring, talk with Frederic about improving his site and thus, improving the world, like your mission is.

God knows, we could use a couple more moderators around.

@blind7125

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blind7125 commented Dec 31, 2014

@SeanLinsey

I just had to comment because you don't understand the police side of SWATTING anymore. PD's rarely send actual seat teams out anymore let alone kick in your door. The reason? Cops like my stepfather back in Texas have been abused by people being swatted multiple times.

As for the /gg/ thread. The gamergate community hangs out at /gamergate/ because /gg/ was trashed by the admin. People vacated the board because of that very thread. Please learn what you are talking about.

I've been meaning to get on github since I've been programming again, but this thread made me do it. 8chan and previously 4chan is and always will be my home. It's a place where quite literally a family exists that I will defend. Like any family (holy this Christmas with mine was terrible), there can be the black sheeps, but they often get shunned by the good members. The Chan's have been a place where I'm free to ask a question, and expect a challenge without a strict moderation from the admins. ALL illegal content does get reported and removed ASAP. Please don't do this.

@doublezeta

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doublezeta commented Dec 31, 2014

It is a complete lie that 8chan/Gamergate SWATs people. Seriously, WTF.

@mimiheart

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mimiheart commented Dec 31, 2014

So Chris Kluwe's dox and call for swatting has been taken down? A few minutes on the site, nope, still there (right above someone else's dox, a woman who has committed the insufferable crime of being a feminist.) I don't know (or care) if it's gamergate or not. It IS currently on 8chan and has been for days.

@shadowcat-mst

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shadowcat-mst commented Dec 31, 2014

Capitulating to outrage machines is almost never a positive-sum action. I'm reminded of the donglegate debacle where an outrage machine got two people fired, and then a second outrage machine got a third person fired - and none of the three seemed, to my mind, to have done anything sufficiently wrong to even come close to justifying it (note that the first two had apologised, and the third had accepted said apology, before either outrage machine got going).

I'd rather avoid ideological curation on the basis that even the most important ideologies start out as a tiny voice crying in the wilderness; I once did a little research into e.g. the attacks made on feminism in its earliest days, and came away with an impression of "I dislike actions that might risk helping similar attacks on the next social movement that would cause so much good to succeed".

This was referenced Dec 31, 2014

@ScortchDearth

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ScortchDearth commented Dec 31, 2014

I can't believe anyone is actively trying to destroy an individual's ability to earn a living, especially an wheelchair-bound individual with brittle-bones disease.
HotWheels did nothing more than start an anonymous image board, and perhaps the fact that he respects freedom of speech attracts a minority of people with unpopular ideas, but does that mean he must give up one of his only sources of income? Just because some individuals that use his image board say things that others disagree with?
An individual with the challenges that HotWheels faces has few options when it comes to employment, but he has excelled in one of the few things he can do from his chair.
This is nothing but a witch hunt, by some mob that is frustrated they cannot control the way this man operates his boards, his own creation.
What has become of society, when the bullies & gangs can take over and demand control over EVERY narrative?
HotWheels does not agree with everything everyone posts on his boards, but he does believe in freedom of speech, within legal limits.
Why will they not respect his beliefs in this matter? Why do they think they have the right to crush opposing opinion through force and backdoor treachery?

@chadwhitacre

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chadwhitacre commented Dec 31, 2014

Thanks to all for joining this conversation, and for by and large keeping it civil. We've decided (IRC) to go ahead and lock the thread for now, for the following reasons:

  • Both sides have had a pretty good chance to make their case.
  • The longer this goes on the more likely it is to descend into incivility.
  • We (the Gratipay team) need time to catch up with the discussion so far.
  • We're having our annual in-person Gratipay company retreat this weekend, at which we're planning to carry forward this discussion (we're discussing recording/broadcasting logistics on #123).

While locked, only repo collaborators will be able to post comments.

Note that we're not closing this ticket right now. This is still an open issue and we'll be working on it over the weekend. Thank you.

@gratipay gratipay locked and limited conversation to collaborators Dec 31, 2014

@chadwhitacre

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chadwhitacre commented Jan 1, 2015

Printed out 23 pages of comments between reopening and locking this ticket:

photo on 12-31-14 at 9 54 pm 2

@chadwhitacre

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chadwhitacre commented Jan 1, 2015

I finished a first pass through the comments I printed out. I also skimmed "Safe Conferences are Deliberately Designed" (ref) and "Morality, Legality, and Enforcement" (ref; I slowed down and started reading at, "So now let’s get specific, OK?").

@chadwhitacre

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chadwhitacre commented Jan 1, 2015

I did finally put tape over my webcam at #118 (comment). :-)

@chadwhitacre

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chadwhitacre commented Jan 5, 2015

As part of our agenda for the Gratipay company retreat this past weekend, nine of us met in person to discuss this issue, which is not directly about the fate of any given user, but is instead about the meta question of how and how much to curate Gratipay's userbase. Based on our in-person discussion, and the discussion on this ticket leading up to our in-person meeting, here is how we are going to proceed:

  • We've adopted a new procedure for handling violations of our terms and conditions. Our new procedure calls for private internal investigation of potential violators, taking into account reports from our users and the general public, and working with law enforcement. We will directly notify any user whose account we decide to suspend.
  • We've reticketed a "report user" button as gratipay/gratipay.com#3060. Until then, please continue to report possible violations of our terms using any of our existing contact methods.
  • We're going to hire a lawyer to help us better understand our legal obligations around policing user accounts. We'll track this publicly on #122.

Thank you to everyone who weighed in on this issue. Speaking just for myself, I am quite proud that Gratipay's turf is a space where both sides of a highly contentious issue have been able to interact in a more or less civil fashion, however briefly.

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