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Author Topic: Dalhousie Facebook scandal  (Read 1743 times)

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Offline Sheoldred

Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #50 on: January 11, 2015, 05:38:07 PM »
The problem is when someone's fantasy and comments start to make other people uncomfortable.

Isn't that the beauty of freedom of expression though? You're more likely to figure out which people you're better off avoiding.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #51 on: January 11, 2015, 06:21:44 PM »
Not when I am forced to choose between my work environment, my school environment and having a feeling of personal security and safety.  Freedom of expression is not meant to be used as a cover for intimidation and bullying. 

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #52 on: January 11, 2015, 08:17:06 PM »
Not when I am forced to choose between my work environment, my school environment and having a feeling of personal security and safety.  Freedom of expression is not meant to be used as a cover for intimidation and bullying.

This Dalhousie situation is no different from someone on E writing a fantasy involving one of their real-life co-workers.  This isn't problematic unless someone chooses to inform the co-worker of this fantasy (and/or make the fantasy public).  Because for all we know, this individual may be an exemplary employee who treats this co-worker with the utmost respect.  This only becomes an issue when otherwise private/personal fantasies are made public without the individual's consent.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2015, 08:27:40 PM »
From what I am reading this is completely different and contributes to a hostile and potentially dangerous environment by singling out certain women as potential victims.

Offline Blythe

Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #54 on: January 11, 2015, 08:45:10 PM »
Hmmm, it looks like the complaint asking for the formal disciplinary process has been thrown out, if I'm reading correctly?

Offline consortium11

Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #55 on: January 12, 2015, 01:37:52 AM »
Hmmm, it looks like the complaint asking for the formal disciplinary process has been thrown out, if I'm reading correctly?

Yes and no.

The complaint won't be investigated under the Student Code of Conduct but is being investigated by the professional standards committee within the dental school. The SCoC contains a limiting clause that means that the code does not apply to conduct which is already subject to action as an alleged failure to meet standards of professional conduct as required by a college, faculty or school.

Offline Blythe

Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #56 on: January 12, 2015, 01:48:12 AM »
Yes and no.

The complaint won't be investigated under the Student Code of Conduct but is being investigated by the professional standards committee within the dental school. The SCoC contains a limiting clause that means that the code does not apply to conduct which is already subject to action as an alleged failure to meet standards of professional conduct as required by a college, faculty or school.

Ah, thanks, consortium11--much obliged for the explanation.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #57 on: January 12, 2015, 03:37:55 PM »
Well, not to flog a dead horse, but its possible to hold both of those opinions at once.  To think that the attitudes espoused and demonstrated by the group are wrong and shouldn't be held but not to go so far as to think they should be publicly outed for having them.

But... here's where I'm having the conflict. Isn't saying "This shouldn't have come out" functionally equivalent to saying "these attitudes are just fine behind closed doors"?

This Dalhousie situation is no different from someone on E writing a fantasy involving one of their real-life co-workers.  This isn't problematic unless someone chooses to inform the co-worker of this fantasy (and/or make the fantasy public).  Because for all we know, this individual may be an exemplary employee who treats this co-worker with the utmost respect.  This only becomes an issue when otherwise private/personal fantasies are made public without the individual's consent.
Your faith in people's ability to compartmentalize completely and perfectly is... very unwarranted.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #58 on: January 12, 2015, 03:46:06 PM »
But... here's where I'm having the conflict. Isn't saying "This shouldn't have come out" functionally equivalent to saying "these attitudes are just fine behind closed doors"?

I don't think so no.  Lets say I...man, I dunno, lets say I make a homophobic joke to my boyfriend.  That's not an attitude that's just fine behind closed doors, but neither is it being made public to a worldwide audience an appropriate reaction. 

I see from Blythe and consortium11's conversation above that its being looked in to by a professional standards organisation.  That strikes me as an appropriate response, my boyfriend saying "cut that out Kythia" strikes me as an appropriate response. 

The issue is that "it coming out" has consequences which aren't (IMHO, obvi) appropriate to the scale of the transgression.  The IRL boss consortium11 mentions might well merit a "dude, that's a little creepy" from a friend, it doesn't merit a worldwide public naming and shaming. 

tl;dr - "accepting the behaviour" and "going public" aren't the only two options.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #59 on: January 12, 2015, 03:56:59 PM »
Except you're ignoring the fact that it coming out was instrumental to the investigation. That the massive public outcry is the only reason there is an investigation. Saying "publicizing is inappropriate" cuts off "investigation is appropriate" - you can't have it both ways.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2015, 04:02:10 PM »
Except you're ignoring the fact that it coming out was instrumental to the investigation. That the massive public outcry is the only reason there is an investigation. Saying "publicizing is inappropriate" cuts off "investigation is appropriate" - you can't have it both ways.

I can.  It's just in this case it didn't (note: not couldn't) pan out that way.  A situation where there was an investigation without a public outcry is certainly not inconceivable.  The fact that, for whatever reason, it didn't happen in this case doesn't invalidate the general point.  "Going public" is neither necessary nor sufficient for "investigation" in the general case.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2015, 04:11:57 PM »
Given a huge number of similar (and worse!) incidents, I feel comfortable saying that public outcry is necessary to investigation in a significant number of cases, though not in all. EDIT: Public scrutiny also seems to be important to making sure that a lot of these investigations stay "investigations" and not "attempts to whitewash the school".
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 04:17:08 PM by Ephiral »

Offline Kythia

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2015, 04:14:22 PM »
Given a huge number of similar (and worse!) incidents, I feel comfortable saying that public outcry is necessary to investigation in a significant number of cases, if not in all.

That would takes stats on how many investigations have happened without things having gone public.  Which, obviously, we don't have.  Absence of evidence and all.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2015, 04:18:18 PM »
That would takes stats on how many investigations have happened without things having gone public.  Which, obviously, we don't have.  Absence of evidence and all.

No, no it wouldn't. All it would take is enough incidents that did require public outcry. Statistical is not the only kind of significance.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2015, 04:18:39 PM »
I do agree with Ephiral that this incident going public is probably the only reason there is an investigation at all.  Such incidents as this tend to get swept under the rug until they burst into something larger.  Look at campus rapes, fraternity pranks and what would happen at comic cons and such.  These are all examples of a promoted rape culture that was simply ignored until being made public.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #65 on: January 12, 2015, 04:21:44 PM »
No, no it wouldn't. All it would take is enough incidents that did require public outcry. Statistical is not the only kind of significance.

Well, I was actually referring more to the "if not in all" coda, but could you expand on this?

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #66 on: January 12, 2015, 04:28:09 PM »
I edited that coda precisely because I didn't think it was conveying what I intended. I meant to say "I know not all cases require this, but that does not invalidate the ones that do, and saying "public outcry is wrong!" will make sure those cases never get handled."

Statistics would be wonderful, sure - as you know, I'm huge on backing my decisions with numbers whenever possible. But the absence of statistics doesn't prevent me from reaching a conclusion here. "Significance" in this case is a bit arbitrary - basically "enough cases that required public outcry to put it on the table as a valid course of action" - but, as Pumpkin Seeds mentions, there's already a lot of those cases - especially in the context of sexual wrongdoing. I'm not comfortable taking public outcry off the table entirely in that context. I would say the ideal course of action is to report to appropriate authorities, and then resort to the public if the authorities fail to handle the matter properly.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #67 on: January 12, 2015, 04:35:47 PM »
I edited that coda precisely because I didn't think it was conveying what I intended. I meant to say "I know not all cases require this, but that does not invalidate the ones that do, and saying "public outcry is wrong!" will make sure those cases never get handled."

Ah, so you did.  Sorry, missed that edit.

Quote
Statistics would be wonderful, sure - as you know, I'm huge on backing my decisions with numbers whenever possible. But the absence of statistics doesn't prevent me from reaching a conclusion here. "Significance" in this case is a bit arbitrary - basically "enough cases that required public outcry to put it on the table as a valid course of action" - but, as Pumpkin Seeds mentions, there's already a lot of those cases - especially in the context of sexual wrongdoing. I'm not comfortable taking public outcry off the table entirely in that context. I would say the ideal course of action is to report to appropriate authorities, and then resort to the public if the authorities fail to handle the matter properly.

I getcha - you mean significance in a "this is significant" way, not a p value (or whatever) way.  I guess I just assumed you were talking stats.

This isn't a case of sexual wrongdoing, campus rape or anything similar though, so I think that's a little bit of a red herring.  Regardless of how seriously you think this should be taken, there is no sexual assault or similar here.  That is a more serious offence, and merits a different reaction.  This is a case of a set of fantasies that you (and I, and others) feel are creepy.  There is, to the best of my knowledge, no suggestion of any sexual wrongdoing let alone anything more serious.  Applying the rules we would apply to that situation to this one feels like an overreaction to me. 

Offline consortium11

Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #68 on: January 12, 2015, 04:45:37 PM »
Look at campus rapes, fraternity pranks and what would happen at comic cons and such.  These are all examples of a promoted rape culture that was simply ignored until being made public.

Let's look at campus rapes then.

It was ignored because the evidence of rapes (and sexual assaults) on campus indicated that the "rape culture" there led to less rapes and sexual assaults then outside colleges. But people didn't like that idea so they misused studies, relied on terrible methodology and pretty much made up stories until they got the narrative they wanted about how dangerous colleges were (apparently more dangerous then the war torn parts of Congo where rape is regularly used as a punishment) and how evil frats were then decided to publicize that narrative until they got what they wanted.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #69 on: January 12, 2015, 05:27:20 PM »
Ah, so you did.  Sorry, missed that edit.

I getcha - you mean significance in a "this is significant" way, not a p value (or whatever) way.  I guess I just assumed you were talking stats.

This isn't a case of sexual wrongdoing, campus rape or anything similar though, so I think that's a little bit of a red herring.  Regardless of how seriously you think this should be taken, there is no sexual assault or similar here.  That is a more serious offence, and merits a different reaction.  This is a case of a set of fantasies that you (and I, and others) feel are creepy.  There is, to the best of my knowledge, no suggestion of any sexual wrongdoing let alone anything more serious.  Applying the rules we would apply to that situation to this one feels like an overreaction to me.
You agree that it is wrong, so "wrongdoing" seems not to be the issue. As for "sexual": Why is it creepy? Because it normalizes sexual violence.

Let's look at campus rapes then.

It was ignored because the evidence of rapes (and sexual assaults) on campus indicated that the "rape culture" there led to less rapes and sexual assaults then outside colleges. But people didn't like that idea so they misused studies, relied on terrible methodology and pretty much made up stories until they got the narrative they wanted about how dangerous colleges were (apparently more dangerous then the war torn parts of Congo where rape is regularly used as a punishment) and how evil frats were then decided to publicize that narrative until they got what they wanted.
This is completely orthogonal to the current discussion. Nobody is even discussing the prevalence of campus rape at all, except to say that it does in fact happen. Given that "college is a magical rape-free bubble!" is just as nonsensical a position as the one you claim the other side holds, I'm going to assume you do not hold it.

What is being discussed is that sometimes public outcry is needed in order for incidents to be addressed at all. Like, say, this case or these ones. (Not meaning to imply that this is a Christian college problem specifically; these were just the first ones that popped into my mind.) Your argument does not in any way even address this, let alone rebut it.

Offline Kythia

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Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #70 on: January 12, 2015, 05:37:24 PM »
You agree that it is wrong, so "wrongdoing" seems not to be the issue. As for "sexual": Why is it creepy? Because it normalizes sexual violence.

No, that's not my reason for finding it creepy.  Were these make-believe women involved or simply pictures found on, I dunno, tumblr or whatever I'd have literally no issues with it.  I find it creepy when the women involved were people they know.  I don't believe - as a quick glance at the games on here I'm currently involved in - that rape fantasies in general normalise sexual violence (and, in other news, I don't think I'd classify actions that did as "creepy" - just not the word I would use). 

As an aside to the college rape discussion - I just read this and found it quite interesting.

ETA:  Ha, forgot to make my actual point.  So no, that's not why I find it creepy but also it's a distraction from, as I see it, the issue.  Whether that was why I find it creepy or not, the fact remains that using the "toolbox" we have for addressing campus rape is not appropriate for addressing every single situation, trivially, and IMHO not appropriate for addressing this situation.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2015, 05:39:54 PM by Kythia »

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Dalhousie Facebook scandal
« Reply #71 on: January 12, 2015, 06:00:45 PM »
This is a case of sexual wrong doing because this is the establishment of bullying and promoting a threatening environment for those women to occupy.  Honestly this does not even have to be a woman only issue, because these individuals were singling out and targeting a specific group of people with suggestions of violence.  This was not a fantasy as they were writing stories or discussing some sort of literary circle, but were discussing known people among a circle of acquaintances and co-workers of those people.  Essentially this was a group of people discussing violence acts against people they were alongside each day.  This is no different from a bully picking on someone “privately” by passing misinformation or making crude drawings of violent acts that are passed among friends.  So here these people are setting aside a certain group as reserved for violent acts.  How long until someone, bolstered by group mentality, acted upon or started to push those boundaries? 

Asking others to curb their desire to publicly discuss wanting to hate fuck their coworker in order to promote a safe and comfortable environment should honestly not require this much debate.  This is not a case of men writing out their desire to have sex with a co-worker, not a case of men even discussing their co-worker sex fantasy.  This is someone mentioning by name another person and singling them out for a hate-fuck fantasy with other men.  That is singling out and targeting a person for sexual violence.  That is a threat.