PKP stands in solidarity with victims of online harassment
For the past few years, our organization, its team members, and individuals in our user community have been subjected to online harassment by, we have reasonable grounds to believe, an individual who claims PKP is attempting to destroy their business (even though their business relies on the open source software PKP maintains). We have been collectively and personally accused of having done all sorts of inappropriate and even illegal acts, with these claims made through a combination of fake websites and Twitter accounts, with additional sites registered with domain names that suggest further personal attacks. Even though most people that see these claims would dismiss them outright, these activities undermine our credibility, dealing with them is annoying, and they take up valuable time.
It is frustrating that we have not been able to stop the harassment campaign against us and our user community despite the fact we are a tech-savvy group that is very knowledgeable about online environments and comfortable working in them. We have been documenting these incidents and have had some success in having the more extreme tweets and twitter accounts deleted. The harassment is more than a nuisance. We are deeply troubled by how it has emotionally affected some members of our community who have seen this harassment extended to them or others close to them simply for responding and expressing their support for PKP.
We write this because the experience has been incredibly eye opening, and want to affirm that we stand in solidarity with anyone who is the victim of cyber-bullying or online harassment. Being subjected to it ourselves, we are now acutely aware of the limitations of law enforcement in maintaining a civil cyberspace, and of the need to create mechanisms for curtailing the damage done by such behaviour. There are steps that everyone should consider following, both as proactive and responsive measures, to address instances of online harassment. An online search for “cyberharassment” or “cyberbullying” is a good starting point, and will provide useful guides on steps one can take to counter such attacks. There are also many websites that will provide information on how and where to report this activity, but remember it will only apply to a specific country or legal jurisdiction. We are including a few links below only as representative examples:
A number of us have individually made a donation to several organizations working on this issue and we invite you to consider making a similar donation.