My friend @sandro (who also was the W3C staff member on the Social Working Group as it turns out) has put together a chart about "ways to harm people online" (whether you agree all are harms, most are, and all are claimed as such) that I think is really useful:

What's interesting is that most of these are about harm caused by *distributing* information.

I have a lot of thoughts about which of these are preventable and how that I'd like to write up. Briefly, if we engineer our systems differently, I think column 1 can be mostly mitigated. It gets harder as we move to the right, and the upper right might be impossible to completely prevent in a decentralized system (but even there, some cooperative work can be done, but not as much)

(arguably, this is true even in a centralized system, and preventing these things through centralized control is usually constructed where only the powerful get to prevent anything)

@cwebber @sandro This is *really* useful and helpful. In particular, column 2 and 3 aggressions can get written off as "socially awkward enthusiastic fan behavior" in isolation, and it helps to categorize why they're different from column 1 aggressions.

@cwebber lots of activity on that document :)

@cwebber @sandro I've added some examples; going to take a break, since this is emotionally draining.

There are so many ways to harm complete strangers on the Internet.

@cwebber @sandro Somewhat ironically, "using Google Docs to host information" is missing.

@_emacsomancer @cwebber That's too specific. Can you generalize that into a harm statement?

Who is being attacked, how are they being harmed?

If you're not willing/able to use gdocs to edit it, tell me here, and I'll add it for you.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!