Responding to sexism and trolling

Trolling and sexism have both been ongong problems on the #p2 hashtag. Here are some potential appoaches for dealing with them. Our goal is to can discuss this on Twitter and the wiki over the next week, and include this on the agenda at the May 28 tweeting.

For background, please see the twitter conversation near the bottom of this page, the "sexism and #p2" section of the
May 14 tweeting, and Dealing with trolls on Twitter: #p2, #tcot, #topprog, #bipart, and a magic search query (on Liminal States). For references on how trolling and flaming tends to marginalize people in online conversations, see the Diversity online page. -- Jon


  1. Invest effort in teaching people how they can browse #p2 to get the experience they want: using Twitter search magic (for example this query ignores the five loudest tweeters and cross-posts to tcot), unfollowing and blocking users
  2. If you see a tweet to #p2 that you consider sexist, let people know about it by flagging it with the #sexistmuch tag
  3. If you see a conservative or libertarian trolling on #p2, ignore them: "please don't feed the trolls". If you see somebody who identifies as a progressive trolling on #p2, politely ask them to stop. If they continue even after being asked, oh well: ignore them.

Customizing the #p2 experience

JakeAryehMarcus: seems a key for #p2 users is a guide to filtering. I filter out all tcot. If #p2ers are engaging them, I don't have to read it.
deletrian: Choice is central to the ideas of #p2. How else can we provide people a choice re: how to interact with #p2?

-- from the May 14 tweeting

How do you follow #p2? Please let us know in the discussion thread below!

Things that could help here
  • example filters, and perhaps tumblr feeds, illustrating common situations: filtering out cross-posts to conservatives, ignoring the loudest tweeters, ignoring a particlar troll, etc.
  • a "how-to" page (or pointer to an existing one if there's a good one already out there)
  • (potentially) tweetleft enhancements


For now, please see the discussion thread here.

Background: a twitter conversation

Excerpts from a broader discussion on Twitter. This twitter search has more of the overall discussion on #p2; jdp23's favorites include all the relevant tweets I could find, whether or not they went to #p2. The specific converstation I excerpted here focuses on

jdp23: the consensus at last thursday's #p2 tweeting was that we would challenge sexism on the hashtag. we talked about using #sexistmuch for situations like this ... thoughts?

myrnatheminx: thinks its best to approach privately first if possible.

jdp23: this did get approached privately first

myrnatheminx: well, sometimes people dont want to entertain suggestions ;-)

DocPowers: I think a public discussion or why you think it is sexist without snark is best. the purpose should be to engage and help learn for future writing because once it tweets its out. why do we have to suggest or change people? why can't we educate and uplift?

myrnatheminx: uh, yeah. I agree completely. That's what I was trying to do actually if you read my first tweet on subject

jdp23: do you think we could turn this into a good learning opportunity?


Jillmz: there's a diff btwn shaming/calling out user as sexist and flagging a tweet as sexist, yes?

myrnatheminx: yes, big difference.


cyn3matic: Limited time/energy/attention as well. @jillmz I'd agree.

Jillmz: so I'd suggest different hashtags depending on purpose of flagging-I tend toward more objective. ex: I see it, I flag it, others see it, decide for selves if sexist, worth flagging or no. b/c honestly, 1 of my big probs is others tellg me what they think I should think is sexist. sometimes I agree, sometimes not; but I hate if told something isn't sexist "enough" to be noted. debate it, sure but I'm totally happy with my sexist radar thanks

cyn3matic: Agree. RT @Jillmz ex: I see it, I flag it, others see it, decide 4 selves if sexist, worth flagging or not

Jillmz: thanks :) that so angers me lol when "THAT's not Sexist! THIS is sexist!" Matt Stoller did that in a HuffPo once - ooooo. here's the Stoller piece: my point being: it's ALL sexist, it ALL should stop & the Dems did plenty of it too

jdp23: makes sense : the purpose of the tag is to flag tweets as sexist.

Jillmz: cool; should others care to add some shaming element, that's up to them I'd think?

jdp23: also say why you think it's sexist when flagging? that'll help with the eductional aspects.

myrnatheminx: yeah, maybe. I'm not guaranteeing I'll do that. Explanation leads to more explanations, spinning wheels

cyn3matic: My problem: predisposed 2 like all & want kumbaya. Come fr shame-y culture, so I try not 2 do tht Operative word "try." But will speak up/out if it seems appropriate. Knowing that calling out also can mean getting called out myself.

Jillmz: systemic approach preferable to shame. by flagging, you build a catalogue of examples; from examples, a continuum of expression. viewing that continuum, ideas evolve re: how to combat

myrnatheminx: If a sexist/racist tweet is tagged with #p2 I have MORE reason to call it out. I expect people to know & do better.

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