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Of harassment and doxxing... [CLOSED]
UncleBob Ripto Gems: 4565
#1 Posted: 00:30:12 13/01/2017 | Topic Creator
In the past 48+ hours, there has been a lot of misinformation floating around with regards to the most recent incident for which I was recently suspended. I do not know if this misinformation is just ignorance or willful malfeasance, but I would like to be given the fair opportunity to address it. Even though some folks have taken to spreading the drama to additional sites and chats, I'd prefer to keep it here, in one place, so that everyone involved can have their say, instead of talking about folks behind their backs on other forums and such. Honestly, I'd prefer to just let it drop altogether, but I really dislike when folks spread lies (willful or otherwise) about me and I feel it is only fair I be given a chance to clarify the misinformation being spread. Additionally, as I detail at the end, there is a clear need for clarification from the leaders of this forum regarding the official policy on this matter going forth. There's going to be a lot of stuff to unpack here, so I do hope you'll stay with me.

For those who don't frequent the Skylanders forums, essentially, there's a bit of a hub-bub floating around the internet that the next game in the series is either going to be cancelled or postponed - and that the entire franchise may be going under. As part of this topic, one forum member, which I will not name (but if you are following the situation, you'll know who it is) took it upon herself to start digging around the internet to find and share personal information about individuals who have previously been associated with the production of Skylanders games. When this started, a few others started commenting with related information.

Now, let me be clear - this is DOXXING. There is no question about this among anyone who looks at this situation without bias or personal emotion. There are those who believe that taking personal information from LinkedIn and re-posting it elsewhere is not doxxing - that the information is posted on a public site, thus is a free-for-all. This is simply untrue.

Let's go to the horse's mouth.
https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement

In the LinkedIn user agreement (which any individuals who signs up for an account with LinkedIN *MUST* agree to - and, as noted in this agreement "You are entering into a legally binding agreement."), there are a few applicable things to note:

Quote:
As between you and LinkedIn, you own the content and information that you submit or post to the Services and you are only granting LinkedIn the following non-exclusive license: A worldwide, transferable and sublicensable right to use, copy, modify, distribute, publish, and process, information and content that you provide through our Services, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or others.


Translation: By joining LinkedIn, an individual is ONLY giving LinkedIn the right to publish the information that the individual posts to LinkedIn. Not anyone and everyone who joins their service.

Quote:
Don't: Copy or use the information, content or data of others available on the Services (except as expressly authorized)


Pretty self-explanatory. Are you expressly authorized? No? Then don't do it.

Quote:
Don't: Collect, use, copy, or transfer any information obtained from LinkedIn without the consent of LinkedIn


Almost the same thing as above.

Quote:
Don't: Share or disclose information of others without their express consent


So, you need LinkedIn's permission AND the express permission of the person who's information you are sharing.

With that out of the way, you might be thinking "So what? That only applies if you're a member!"

You're right - but here's the thing about LinkedIn - you can only view profiles if you are a member of their service... and the person who chose to re-post private information from this service did acknowledge this fact in a post they made:

Quote:
I've been looking up the job pages of some of the staff that worked at TFB and Acti on LinkedIn, you have to have an account on the site in order to see the info.

(Emphasis mine)
This means that the individual in question would have had to sign up for an account, agree to these terms, and choose to ignore them, then broke a legally binding agreement... all in order to see and re-post the private information.

Why does this all matter?

We're a mostly friendly forum. And we're a large forum. Probably the largest Spyro/Skylanders forum on the net. As such, over the years, we've attracted attention from folks at Activision, Toys for Bob, Vicarious Visions, n-Space, and, I *think* Beenox. i.e.: Potentially the EXACT same people this forum member has decided to start invading the privacy of and sharing it with the world. I want these people to feel welcome on the forums and share information with us when they can. They're nice people. But now, we have a fairly prominent member of the forums sharing their personal, private details with other folks - and really, for no good reason. Folks can have more than one job at a time. I had four in college (and went to college at the same time!). Folks move on from one job, without meaning that the old job ceases to exist. Even IF Skylanders, as a franchise, is dead, sharing the personal information of these fine folks achieves NOTHING. These actions serve no purpose than to potentially drive away folks from our forums - and, potentially, cause harm to the folks' who are having their personal information shared without their permission.

So, we have established what was being done was, unequivocally, doxxing.
We have established why it's not good.

After several posts of this, when folks started talking about non-video game related jobs currently being held, I made a post, with, I believe, a fairly reasonable request:

Quote:
Hey, uh... guys.... Chillax.

Can we do less creepy stalking/doxxing of private individuals? This is seriously getting out of hand.


Now, you'll note, even though there was primarily one person that was doing the doxxing in this thread, I made a choice not to call them out by name. It would serve no purpose - my goal wasn't to cause a fight or drama - my goal was to get folks to stop re-posting personal information before things got too far out of hand.

In response, the primary individual jumped on my case and personally insulted me.
I replied, explaining my position.

Quote:
If a private individual chooses to post their information to websiteX, that doesn't make it open season to repost that information on websites A, B, and C.

It's bad form and quite tacky.

I mean, xxx, would you like folks here to repost every personal piece of information they can find out about *you*?

It's not productive and not the kind of environment we should really be fostering here.

Note, the "xxx" was altered into the original post by a moderator on the forum. We'll get to that in a short bit.

Again, with this reply, I'm clearly stating the issue. Personal information posted on another site is intended for the other site. Not everywhere on the internet.

In response to this, the individual then replied again with multiple personal attacks on me. In this reply, the individual claimed that the information was no longer private when it was posted online. This is an important thing to remember - According to this individual, it is her belief that simply by posting your information online, you lose the right to consider it private.

I posted another reply - I wasn't as nice in it, and, honestly, I don't really even remember what it said. Shortly after posting it (less than ten minutes, and before the other individual chose to reply, I edited my post to indicate that I was no longer interested in carrying on this conversation, and that the other individual could do whatever.

Quote:
Nevermind - I'm out. Some folks don't understand 'Personal' and I'm sure not paid to explain it to them.

Do what you want folks.

(Part 1 of 3)
UncleBob Ripto Gems: 4565
#2 Posted: 00:33:07 13/01/2017 | Topic Creator
Additionally, I sent a message to dark52, administrator of the forum. While I sent this message privately, instead of posting it on the forum (which, I'm sure, would have caused nothing but more drama), I'm now choosing to post this as an open message - even with the spelling errors...

Quote:
To: dark52
From: UncleBob
Date: 22:30:00 01/06/2017
Subject: Of Stalking, Doxxing, and Online Harassment...
Hey,

I wanted to avoid saying something as it was just mostly one user doing it and we already have... history. Didn't want to be seen as trying to stir stuff up again, but now, several members have started reposting personal infomation about TFB/VV/ACTIVISION employees in the "Allegedly..." thread on the Imaginators sub. If you're okay with this, I won't post another thing about it - but it's pretty universally seen as in bad tatse to do... so... wanted to bring your attention to it and see if you had an opinion on it.


There was no reply from dark. I know he was active on the forum after sending this message, but, obviously, I have no way of knowing if he read it, had to think about it, didn't read it, didn't care, or whatever...

So that's that.

NOW - for the part y'all want to know about. Did I legitimately dox another member of the forum?

I am not proud of what I did, but, in my humble opinion, I did not dox said member. But, this isn't simply limited to *my* opinion.

First, how did I learn the real name of the individual I am accused of doxxing? Plainly, contrary to the lies and misinformation a select few are spreading, I did *not* learn of this individual's real name from their Facebook page, their YouTube channel, Instagram, Tumblr, imgur, reddit, deviant art, or wherever else I have been accused of gathering this information from. The fact is, this member has posted their name multiple times in multiple threads on this very forum. If this member has apparently posted their real name across these multiple various media, it simply makes the argument that I doxxed them even more ridiculous - but, ultimately, it doesn't matter, because that's not how I obtained the information. Between her posts and her profile, this member has made public to this entire forum her first and last name, her home state, and her birthday. On this forum.

Here is what I did do:
1.) In the earlier post, the "xxx" replaced a phrase that was said user's formal title: "Ms. Grimes." (Note, Grimes is not said user's name - merely a placeholder for this discussion - The Walking Dead rerun is playing on the TV right now).

2.) In a later post, after said user replied to one of my posts, a post that was in no way a response to anything she has written in the thread, nor in any way intended to be a comment towards her, nor in any conceivable way could be considered a comment towards her, she choose to reply, making a snarky comment and calling me "Bobby", as she often does. I replied to her, calling her "Grimey" (again, "Grimey" being a placeholder for the sake of *this* post, not the real name). Her real name was not posted, as it was altered in the similar fashion to how she altered mine, adding the -e sound onto the end.

3.) In a third post, I posted a music video from a musician that shares the same first and last name as the individual, with the snarky title of "The best thing to come out of Rick Grimes' mouth" (yet again, placeholder name).

So, did I dox the user?

Again, in my opinion, no. This user has chosen, of her own free will, to post her name onto this same very forum. In fact, later during this fiasco, I sent her a PM with links to where the stuff was posted (obviously, I've removed the important parts of the links, as I don't want to double my trouble by sharing them openly):

Quote:
To: xxx
From: UncleBob
Date: 06:48:19 01/09/2017
Subject: Your name
...and, because I'm not a horrible guy, here's where you've posted your name (and State) on the forum previously so you can have it removed.

Starting here, and several more posts into the thread:
//forum.darkspyro.net/spyro/viewposts.php?topic=xxxxx

Starting in the OP, while you later appear to have edited it out, your post is quoted, unedited (which is why it sucks when someone reposts your personal information where you have no control over it!).
//forum.darkspyro.net/spyro/viewposts.php?topic=xxxxx

As for your last name, I've been scouring trying to find that post and I cannot. It was in a thread where you mentioned one of the authors of the Skylanders books and you shared a last name (Carl Grimes). It's possible you have since removed that part of the post and that's why I can no longer find it. If I do, I'll shoot you a link.


(And, again, Carl Grimes being a placeholder name for the sake of this post).

(Part 2 of 3 - sorry for the triple post, but as I was previously told by leadership on this forum, if the post has too many characters, just break it into multiple posts...)
Edited 2 times - Last edited at 00:40:02 13/01/2017 by UncleBob
UncleBob Ripto Gems: 4565
#3 Posted: 00:35:59 13/01/2017 | Topic Creator
The purpose of this PM was to share with this member (and this member alone) where, exactly, on this forum she had previously posted this information that it appears she is unaware that she had posted - so that she could begin the process of getting it all removed, as it appeared at the time she did not want this information made public. However, as of about an hour ago (from the time of this post), the first two posts are still up, fully unedited, with no noticible effort being made - either by the individual who *now* doesn't want the information to be posted, nor from the moderators involved - to remove the personal information that I, apparently, so wrongly shared with the rest of the forums. This leads to the only obvious conclusion, that the issue isn't really with the information being posted on the forums, but with me, personally. Regardless...

We go back to a previous part of this long-winded explanation: The user in-question previously stated that it was her belief that merely posting information onto the internet means that information is NO LONGER PRIVATE information. Since she posted this information (both onto this very forum, and, from the accusations being lobbed at me, apparently on multiple sites all over the Internet), she, herself, would have to agree that she was not doxxed.

On top of that, after my first of these three posts had been edited by a moderator, Buzzer, I contacted him(/her?).

After discussing it, Buzzer stated the following in two different messages:
Quote:
but I didn't know that she posted it on the net time ago so that was a mistake on my part.

Quote:
You can edit by yourself the post if you want.


So, a moderator of these forums, an individual of power, stated what I did was okay and that he(/she?) was mistaken to remove it - and gave me permission to re-add the information back into the earlier post. At this time, Buzzer's replies are the ONLY communication I had received from any authority on this forum regarding this subject. Essentially, at this point, only one authority on the forums had spoken with me in regards to this and that person said it was okay.

Now, why don't I think it's doxxing? Because the individual shared it on the same forum.

Consider this: A hypothetical poster makes a post and says "My name is Rick Grimes and I'm a law enforcement officer in Georgia." - we'd all agree this was pretty personal information. Now, according to some of the moderators on this forum, if anyone were to use the quote button on this post, you would be re-posting that user's personal information, thus you would be doxxing them. These same mods believe that if you go to another site, violate that site's terms of service, and re-post personal information from that other site here, then you are not doxxing. If this makes sense to you, please explain it to me in small words. It is my opinion, as long as you keep the information to the medium where it was originally shared, then it is not doxxing.

So, we have myself, the person I supposedly "doxxed", and a moderator of the forums, all agreeing that what I did was not doxxing.

For what it's worth, I spent about an hour going over various resources and definitions of "Doxxing" and haven't been able to find a single source that would agree that re-posting someone's information onto the exact same site they had already posted it onto would be considered doxxing.

Incidentally, the Wikipedia article on doxxing has this to say:
Quote:
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Linkedin offer a wealth of private information, because many users have high levels of self-disclosure (i.e. sharing their photos, place of employment, phone number, email address), but low levels of security.



Now, the third post that I made, the post with the music video... It was wholly in bad taste (not the video itself - it really is a beautiful version of the song!), and I admit that I should not have posted it. I was irked that someone (who I assumed their identity without actually knowing) lied and stated that I had shared the poster's name in the second post when I had not (Grimey isn't Grimes - again, placeholders), and getting another, different, moderator to take action based on this lie. There's a pattern of behavior with this individual, where they lash out, someone (me or someone else) responds in kind, and this individual has one of her moderator friends come out and attack or punish the individual she started the fight with. This was yet another example of her doing this. It annoyed me and thus, I responded poorly. For this very obvious attempt at harassment and fanning the flames, I agree with the temporary suspension I received and in no way contest it.

However, to note, at no point in this music video thread did I mention the other user's forum name or in any way tie the music video thread to that forum member. Afterwards, in the fallout still visible on the Help forum, several of this user's moderator friends came in and very plainly tied this thread to the forum member, even stating that it was her real name. Essentially, these moderators are the only ones that tied it to the member herself. Before the Help thread, the only ones who would have known that the artist in the music video and the forum member shared the same name would have been folks who already knew the forum member's name (and thus, it wouldn't really matter). These moderators are the ones who chose to make this member's full name public, essentially, "doxxing" the member (assuming that you, the reader, disagree with me, the other moderator, and the individual I am accused of doxxing and still believe that simply by 'revealing' her name, someone is doxxing her).

There you have it. The backstory of who was and wasn't doxxed, with citations and agreement from a forum moderator *and* the individual I supposedly doxxed, that this was not a doxxing (on my part...). I apologize for the length of this post, but it's a pretty detailed issue and I wanted to make sure I included everything relevant to the situation.


So, why come back and post all this as soon as my suspension is over? Two reasons. First, as I said at the beginning, there are some folks that are going around spreading misinformation and blatant lies surrounding the events that occured. Be it on S/N, through PMs, on other media (and I appreciate the links and screenshots a few have emailed me in order to give me the opportunity to tell my side and correct the record), I feel that I should fairly be given the opportunity to openly allow others to see the full details and make their own judgements.

Second, the forum still has no official policy regarding doxxing. And, considering several mods believe that simply reposting information an individual has posted themselves on the forum is doxxing, I feel it is important to create an official rules regarding this. Without it, merely quoting a post someone else has written could be considered doxxing by a moderator who is looking for a reason to stir trouble with another forum member. Additionally, these same mods are making the argument that taking personal information from another website, violating that website's T&C, and reposting the information here is okay. If that is sincerely going to be this site's policy, I do feel it needs to be set in stone. Right now, one moderator specifically tells me via PM that it is okay to repost it when it was previously posted, yet other mods are using this as a partial basis for their decision to suspend me and the majority of their basis for dragging me through the mud here and elsewhere. While I cannot change their aditudes or actions, no matter how much information, facts, and proof I provide, I can ask that an official policy be created so myself and all other members can fairly know what is and isn't considered okay (again, stressing the fact that moderators, themselves, are not even in agreement on this subject.)

Thank you for reading!

(Part 3 of 3)
Bifrost Platinum Sparx Gems: 7201
#4 Posted: 01:08:17 13/01/2017
You already got Aura out of the forums, and you proved you don't respect other people's privacy and will use it to provoke them, doesn't matter what reasoning you made up to do it. I don't think you need to say much compared to what you did.

In fact? After that ****show, I think it's not safe for any user to engage you at all if that's the risk.
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 01:09:36 13/01/2017 by Bifrost
UncleBob Ripto Gems: 4565
#5 Posted: 01:33:27 13/01/2017 | Topic Creator
Quite a leap in logic you make there. I'm literally the only one who spoke out against users on this forum violating the privacy of other individuals and literally the only one who has spoken publically about the need for a formal policy regarding folks re-posting people's private information without their permission. From that, you go into personal attacks on my character and accuse me of not caring about people's privacy.

Gotcha. Have fun!
TheToyNerd Gold Sparx Gems: 2137
#6 Posted: 01:42:54 13/01/2017
No no no no no... This is not a "gotcha" moment. What Aura did and what you did are two completely different things that are in no way equal in gravity.

A quick Google search to look up game developers and GIVING OUT THE NAME OF AN INDIVIDUAL WHO DOESN'T WANT HER GODDAMN NAME TO BE SHARED IN AN ANONYMOUS FORUM... are not the same thing, you dip****!

You got butt hurt and overreacted, and now you're trying to justify your stupid mistake with paragraphs upon paragraphs of nonsense that no one cares about. You should be banned, plain and simple. There is NO EXCUSE for this. You got your suspension, and you got Aura leaving again... What else do you want!?
Trix Master 100 Platinum Sparx Gems: 6416
#7 Posted: 01:48:21 13/01/2017
Okay idk where things went wrong to warrant THIS kind of post.

But you agreed to punishment as long as the other got punished (since both did the same crime technically. You just did another crime to add on top of it). The other got punished for the doxxing too. There should not be any complaints about this. Doxxing is still doxxing both people got punished. Even if what you did wasn't doxxing. It was still considered harassment. By your logic from your last thread, "You need permission to repost information from the user". You didn't ask for that user's consent to use their name and used it as a platform to harass. So it counted as a form of harassment. End of story. You do not make the calls of who should be punished and for how long. Please actually drop it.

I am closing this thread immediately because it's actually going to start more fights and issues. Followed by confusion.
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If you cannot handle me at my pumpkin spiciest, you do not deserve me at my pumpkin sweetest
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