I was going to post about three panels together, but even though I hate splitting discussions it would have been just unreadably long. But they are all a set and I strongly encourage reading all three panel reports; the other two are The Body Language of Online Interaction and FAIL!. The fourth post of this set is for my general thoughts and for comments spanning more than one panel; you can of course leave comments specific to one panel on the report for that panel.
This is a panel I was on, which means that I have notes for what I was planning to say and a couple of scrawled notes from during the panel on things I wanted to return to. What follows behind the cut is therefore a reconstruction of what I said and some things I remembered other people saying. (Which nevertheless turned out ridiculously long, even after considerable editing. Sheesh.) Please do add your own recollections, correct mine, or request clarification.
One of the strengths of the SF community is that it's almost always open for discussion and debate. Unfortunately, when discussions get intense, the line between "vigorous debate" and "verbal harassment" can go from blurry to invisible. How can we tell when a discussion has crossed that line? What do we do if we're the one who's crossed it? How can we step in to call back a friend who's crossed it? Let's discuss how to recognize verbal harassment and brainstorm strategies for addressing it within a community where everyone is a friend of a friend.
M: Jess Adams. Andy Best, Kate Nepveu, Maevele Straw
(I was convinced that this had been changed to leave out the "Verbal" in the panel title as well, but the online schedule doesn't reflect that.)
First, I'm going to excerpt from the updated version of a post I wrote last year, How to Discuss Race and Racism Without Acting Like a Complete Jerk. That post was in two parts, steps to take and things to consider; the steps to take are quoted below because I referenced them during the panel.
( panel report )
I was pretty happy with this panel, not that I thought we'd solved the problems of the world or anything, because obviously we hadn't, but it seemed that people were listening and interested and that we were able to get a good amount of discussion across in a fruitful way. However, I am aware that I talked a lot, and though at the time it seemed not excessive, I would genuinely welcome feedback and constructive criticism as to my conduct. Seriously: no-one wants me to be that person, least of all me.