Edward LearSince the folks at File 770 said I disapprove of anti-harassment policies, I guess that’s the first thing I should address for the New Year.

First of all, that’s a pretty broad statement. I’m not sure what in the “Safe spaces and personal self-defense” blog post gave them the idea I disapprove of anti-harassment policies, but the truth is, I don’t disapprove of them at all. I think they’re a great effort from convention management to make sure the events are safe and happy experiences for all concerned. What I do disapprove of is the possibility that convention goers might use zero-tolerance policies as a weapon against people they disagree with. The whole thing comes down on management, in the final analysis, to investigate and make a considered decision about the best action. The policies need to allow them to do this.

To answer another question I received about this: As far as I know, the kerfluffle dates from last summer when WorldCon management made a decision some felt was contrary to their published policy, which was allowing Lou Antonelli to attend the convention after he SWATed the guest of honor prior to the con. The guest of honor did not complain to convention management, but various other employees and attendees apparently harassed the management committee that made the decision, attempting to have it reversed. Afterward, the harassment continued. I disapprove of this.

The internal email exchange on this was published so readers got to make their own opinion on who was getting harassed in the exchange and whether the decision was appropriate. The format is harder to read than when it was first published, but you can still find it here.