Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why not join "Durova and friends"

Yesterday I started a Facebook group called "Durova and friends". This group is to get more attention to the stalking phenomena and the victims of stalking. Stalking as a phenomena is quite something... Just look at the Wikipedia article; its neutrality is disputed, it is in need of an expert sociologist, an expert psychologist, it needs additional citations and it even may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.

I am happy to find currently 36 members of this group. Two people have written on the group wall about Wiki related stalking. I informed a person on another project about the group, I was pointed to this website and was told in the strongest terms that he would stay away from Wikipedia and its phenomena after past experiences. Names of other victims and stalkers were given... There is a self help group of Wikistalking victims... People are still rubishing the idea, people are suggesting that you should be street wise ...

I have not been stalked. The closest I come is by being asked to reconsider friendship because of me being outed as a friend of Durova. I am angry and I use my anger to get attention for this phenomena. Anger however is not how to help, it needs cool expertise, it needs a protocol that expresses how to deal with stalking incidents, it needs compassionate people that help victims with the stress of being stalked and it needs an overall understanding of how it affects the Wikimedia Foundation and its projects.

As I am not an expert in this field and as stalking is belittled and ignored, I feel that we indeed need, like the Wikipedia article suggests, experts with a sociologist and psychologist background to help us understand stalking in all its gradations. Once stalking has been identified as happening in real time, we need a protocol that allows us to help victims in their dealings with the authorities. When we KNOW that stalking is happening, the protocol should allow us to invoke the name of the Wikimedia Foundation, name its multi million budget and its multi billion worth. It should be a protocol because we cannot be seen to be the boy who cries wolf.

To answer the question, you should not join "Durova and friends" when you are afraid of the stalkers. You may be outed as a friend of Durova. Then again, I think she is a wonderful person so you could do worse. When you are a victim of stalkers, there are other places where you can get some comfort and support. When you feel like me, you may choose to defy the stalkers and become a "friend".

For Durova and myself the action of Mr Brandt has been good; we have many more Facebook friends now.
Thanks,
GerardM
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