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The TerFblocker list

145 replies

FourRustedHorses · 27/08/2018 10:06

Are there any legal people here who could answer a few questions about the legality of this list?

1- The list is held/created by a political party candidate so surely this list must comply with data protection rules given its political in nature?

2- what’s the legality of a political party candidate using such a list to not only silence women but also people in the constituency they plan to run for?

3- data protection has very specific rules on the holding of data especially when that data includes names, locations and sexual orientation. There are many women on that list using real names, their town locations and declaring their sexual orientation primarily leabians. Does this list fall under those rules?

It is created and presumably ‘held’ in the UK given who created it.

4- could the list be considered a form of deformation of character given everyone on it is labelled a ‘terf’?

5 does the list cause any issue with regards to the equality act (I think) given its mostly women and highly sexist?

6 what about safeguarding if there are under 18s on that list? Holding data on children is a different kettle of fish surely?

7- Are there any other issues such a list could cause given its held and used by people in positions of power to primarily silence an oppressed class - women?

8- what rules must political party candidates adhere to when creating lists of this nature?

This list has existed for a while and I can’t find anybody information whether it’s legal, whether there are any conflicts or if the latests GDPR rules apply. Specifically because of who created it and it’s intent.

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BraveAndStunning · 28/08/2018 11:49

That threat by Terfblocker has been deleted

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Xenia · 28/08/2018 16:02

I just haven't had time to go through the many legal issues raised but it is very interesting legal question. It could almost be a law exam question there are so many issues in it.

So let us take one individual (but I am hampered by not really using twitter so not quite sure how it works)... if I decide to block on twitter one person some weirdo ex boyfriend or something that is clearly not a breach of anything. If I decide only to admit one follower and exclude the rest of the planet - no breach of anything either. if I decided not to let people who weren't white or who were men respond to my posts (or invite them to dinner at my house) and blocked them (the ones I was sure were non white or were male) I am not sure that would breach the law (however wrong it might feel morally perhaps in some contexts) as it is just an on line account you choose with whom you discuss things - eg some people will want to correspond with a few liked persons like a family whatsapp chat and others want to comment to and receive comment back from everyone on the planet potentially.

Let us assume as FourRusted says there are a core group of people who use their real name on twitter and people know who they are, they even call themselves "writer" or "nurse" or gay or a mother or something they choose to make public. Then X decides to block everyone who appears to be a nurse or non white or gay or whatever it is. Let us assume X is not running the official Labour Party account but a personal account off the top of my head i think they can block whomsoever they choose just as MN can bar whoever they want to.

So our X now has their long list of non whites or men or gays or whatever which they have gleaned from an even longer list of mostly anonymous names on twitter of people who in the past had responded to their tweets and follow them. If they do nothing with the list except have those people blocked I tihnk it probably does not breach the law any more than mumsnet keeping a list of particularly awful posters whom they have banned is lawful. Twitter's terms and conditions may say something general about not being racist which might stop a white supremacist blocking everyone black from replying/following which another legal area - what the terms and conditions of the place you post say.

Where I think data protection law may come into play is when people start doing things with their lists. Eg in the construction sector there are a group of workers who are as lazy as sin or always causing strikes, late for work, malingerers etc. Not surprisingly a lot of employers wanted to see who these people were so they could avoid hiring them. A company sold access to the list. They were fined by the Information Commissioner.

So if in our example person X starts supplying their list to others so they can also block those people on their accounts and that list has identifiable people in it and perhaps because it is being used by organisations rather than just private twitter feeds it may well breach data protection law.

Anyway just a few quick thoughts above.

The bottom line is most websites, MN included and those with twitter accounts can just about block whom they choose and those people are free to correspond on line elsewhere if they choose once blocked.

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SingeBuggerCack · 30/08/2018 09:43

I have a question about block lists, and their use by people working in politics.

Has this sort of mass blocking, or indeed the automatic blocking of anyone with a dissenting view no matter how mildly expressed, happened on anything approaching this sort of scale before with any other issue?

My feeling on this is that it’s fundamentally undemocratic for politicians to block the people they represent, no matter how strongly they might disagree with those views.

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Xenia · 30/08/2018 10:07

First of all it is of cousre a very new issue and usually no one wants to be a test case in going to courts and losing as it's very expensive so I don't think we have a lot of precedent. In the old days there was speakers' corner at Hyde Park where then and now people can speak freely and always people have either let everyone in to a talk or only their friends or only men into a men's club or whatever else it might be or anyone into a church or only people who show ID and pay the religion's fee.

In terms of the law as long as you don't breach specific legislation when it applies like equality laws I suspect the bottom line and the terms on all social media companies let you block anyone you want to and indeed no one is required to be on line as a politician at all if they do not want to and people can have totally private snapchat, whatsapp groups or totally open. So I think it would be hard to challenge in law block lists.

A lot of politicians will get all kinds of deranged people threatening to kill them and it will be in the public interest to allow them and others to block anyone they choose just as mumsnet can ban or block any person they want to. That does not stop people setting up their own websites but you cannot force people into a conversation with you whether on line or walking down the street if they don't want to speak to you.

We had the same issue at university - we invited as young Conservatives members of the Thatcher cabinet to speak and other students chose to try to stop free speech. Organisers then have to decide if they only allow those with tickets in or others. The Pope I think had problems recently when those who hate him bought up tickets and didn't attend. They are fascinating issues but usually no law is broken unless people start throwing things, breach terms of contract on twitter/facebook, make threats of violence, throw eggs etc.

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SingeBuggerCack · 30/08/2018 10:37

Thank you, Xenia, but I wasn’t asking about the legal ramifications, but simply whether anything like this has happened before with any other issue where emotions run high.

And of course politicians should be able to block abusive individuals. That isn’t in question. The trouble lies when dissenting views, no matter how politely expressed, are automatically classified as abusive. That’s pretty convenient.

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UpstartCrow · 30/08/2018 10:41

I don't understand your post, Xenia. People can no longer speak freely at Speakers Corner; it's where Maria Mac was assaulted. She had her camera grabbed and smashed and was punched in the face.

Gender critical feminists aren't deranged individuals, we aren't assaulting other people or threatening anyone on social media.
In the example you have given, we are the unpopular politicians who are being no platformed, even after being invited to speak.

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jadefinch · 30/08/2018 10:59

Aimee Challenor’s partner Katrina Swales (mtf) is Kilgore Sprout (now Kilgore Nowt) on Twitter. Strongly suspect KS is behind Terfblocker, alongside AC. Apologies if this is already common knowledge.

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R0wantrees · 30/08/2018 11:09

Aimee Challenor’s partner Katrina Swales (mtf) is Kilgore Sprout (now Kilgore Nowt) on Twitter. Strongly suspect KS is behind Terfblocker, alongside AC. Apologies if this is already common knowledge

Shock

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paintedwingsandgiantrings · 30/08/2018 11:20

OMG, no, I had no idea. Interesting connection.

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BraveAndStunning · 30/08/2018 13:07

jadefinch

Didn't know. Interesting FB page. Not going on the Kiwifarms things though

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Auldspinster · 30/08/2018 13:16

I'm on half a dozen block lists.

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paintedwingsandgiantrings · 30/08/2018 13:48

So, how do we know KS is sprout?

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FourRustedHorses · 30/08/2018 13:55

People are doing things with thier lists. They are using them to silence mostly female and lesbian voices. The very second they are shared even via a link that is ‘doing something with them’ they’re making a private blocklist public and labelling every person on it as a bigot/terf/transphobe. That could, iirc, be classed as defamation.

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jadefinch · 30/08/2018 14:26

I only found out KS is sprout last week & unfortunately can’t say how but if you look into Swales everything fits. Sprout/Nowt has been a staunch defender of AC for a long time & their escalation of the Linehan smearing has been designed to distract from the Challenor story this week. Kilgore Nowt’s tweet yesterday about ‘the abused kid in the David Challenor thing’ are even more disgusting seen in this light.

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Xenia · 30/08/2018 14:27

A lot more work seems to have been done on this than my few posts above so I can leave it to others and be very glad I don't use or read places like twitter. I suspect it makes me happier not to do so. Perhaps we should all move off line a bit more.

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IncrediblySturdyPyjamas · 30/08/2018 14:29

It does fit.

Not going to give them the benefit of the testeric rage against MN by commenting on KS but it so fits.

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R0wantrees · 30/08/2018 14:44

I only found out KS is sprout last week & unfortunately can’t say how but if you look into Swales everything fits. Sprout/Nowt has been a staunch defender of AC for a long time & their escalation of the Linehan smearing has been designed to distract from the Challenor story this week. Kilgore Nowt’s tweet yesterday about ‘the abused kid in the David Challenor thing’ are even more disgusting seen in this light.

If this is the case then it raises many really serious questions for AC and The Green Party.

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Mamaryllis · 30/08/2018 14:52

Oh. Oh my goodness. I had no idea that the repugnant sprout was one of Aimee’s partners. I did not know that Katrina Swales was the sprout. But of course.
Well fuckety fuck. How bout them apples...

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Mamaryllis · 30/08/2018 14:53

Is that absolutely definitive? I might have to brave Kiwi Farms...

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jadefinch · 30/08/2018 15:16

I’m not sure Kiwifarms have fully made the KS/KS connection but they got pretty close.

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Amalfimamma · 30/08/2018 15:41

I'm on 20 blocklists. I feel like I need a prize

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TheFemaleGaze · 30/08/2018 16:22

jadefinch KS is also behind the Unblocker, I suspect given the tweet used as an exemple on the webpage.

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Bowlofbabelfish · 30/08/2018 17:49

Apologies if it’s been mentioned and I am absolutely not an expert in this area but prejudice by algorithm is supposed to be outlawed by GDPR. The examples we went through at work were things like automatic cv filtering, but surely this applies to terfblocker as well?

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WomblingWoman · 30/08/2018 18:04

Amal - you beat me.

I'm on a mere 15 Grin

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