Software Development as Direct Action

Recently, I was invited to speak at the local Code for America brigade in Albuquerque, Code4ABQ. The presentation I put together with the help of R. Foxtale was the first public articulation of the development methodology we have been using for some time in projects like the Predator Alert Tool, the WordPress SeedBank plugin, and […]

Predator Alert: Mark Elrick (Albuquerque Police Officer) and Elizabeth Escogne (“Community Support Worker”)

This is a public service alert. Meet Elizabeth Escogne (left) and Mark Elrick (right): Mark Elrick is a cop in the Albuquerque Police Department. Elizabeth Escogne is a “Community Support Worker” employed by AgaveHealth, Inc., an Arizona-based company whose mission to provide “health care to communities within the state of New Mexico” would seem great […]

“centering the needs of survivors and the safety of vulnerable people in the way that we build the infrastructure of the Internet is possible”

Over the Winter of 2014, the core Predator Alert Tool developers were interviewed for Medium.com’s Backchannel, an online outlet geared towards Silicon Valley insiders. As the maintainer and one of the two primary developers of the Predator Alert Tool project, I was contacted by Caleb Garling, Medium’s writer, about the piece and asked for input. […]

How would you design an online social network that was hostile to abusers?

Everyone realizes that the Internet’s public squares have a harassment problem. No one seems to know what to do about it. I argue that’s because they don’t know how to think about online harassment and abuse—or even power, more generally. I argue that I do. But don’t take my word for it. Take my ideas, […]

Dear friends, please help. I am asking you for help.

Yesterday I posted Professor Kevin Westhues’ “Checklist of Mobbing Indicators,” and, as if by clockwork today I was mobbed on Twitter in a thread that matched 13 of the 16 indicators, point for point. I’ve been the target of what Westhues describes as mobbing, which is evidently a sociological term that sometimes also goes by […]

Shall. We. Play. A. Game? Predator Alert Tool as a game theoretic simulation of countermeasures to rape culture

In “Strategies Without Frontiers,” one of this week’s BSides LV information/security conference talks, software engineer and co-originator of the language-theoretic approach to computer security Meredith L. Patterson used Predator Alert Tool as an example of “an organic response against predatory [societal] games.” Or, in simpler words, Predator Alert Tool was cited as an example of […]

New “Support Circle” feature in Predator Alert Tool for Twitter helps cyberbullying targets get help from friends

Tonight’s update to the Predator Alert Tool for Twitter adds a feature inspired by the award-winning Circle of 6 anti-violence iPhone app to help cyberbullying targets call for help when they need it: Your Support Circle are other Twitter users who you know and trust to publicly back you up when you’re getting bullied on […]

Predator Alert Tools for OkCupid, Facebook, and Twitter featured by LifeHacker.com

The Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid was featured on LifeHacker’s “After Hours” sex and dating themed site: Predator Alert is a userscript, which means you’ll first need to install Tampermonkey for Chrome, or Greasemonnkey for Firefox, and then install Predator Alert. Once installed, the add-on will prompt you to log in to your profile, and […]

Why a “Predator Alert Tool” for Twitter?

Despite many “anti-bullying” campaigns, online harassment and cyberbullying are prevalent behaviors. Most anti-abuse efforts fail because they tend to focus on appeals to authority. The now-ubiquitous “Report Abuse” buttons on social networking websites like Twitter are one such example, yet their ubiquity have not curbed the behaviors or harm they purport to address or mitigate. […]

Predator Alert Tool for Twitter is here.

I released the code for my proof-of-concept and first functional prototype of the Predator Alert Tool for Twitter to the public domain. If you want to try it out yourself, you can use the public Predator Alert Tool for Twitter facilitator at https://pat-twitter.herokuapp.com. I’ve seeded it with a demonstration warnlist called “Reputation-addicted putzes” onto which […]