the looming spectre of the sjw
May 14, 2016
I just caught what I might consider one of the most random invocations of the looming spectre of sjws. This is a story about some dubious information ethics and how people are kind of… displeased with these two researchers. The story is: These two br0s from denmark or whatever just released a huge okcupid dataset where many other researchers claim its possible to find out the real identities behind the user names.
Okcupid says this is against their terms of service, which is nice. The data is somewhat ‘public’ given that people freely post it on their accounts and is accessible to anyone logged into okcupid (and since anyone can sign up… is basically kind of public or something… at least these two br0s seem to think so). So they scraped the site and collected a bunch of user data.
Doesn’t sound problematic at all, right?
While I do care about the privacy and ethical parts of this, I wouldn’t’ve written this post if not for this comment by one of the researchers:
Kirkegaard, one of the authors of the paper, told Motherboard in an email “Preferably I would like to wait until the heat has declined a bit before doing any interviews. Not to fan the flames on the social justice warriors.”
Social justice warriors!? How exactly are we/they invovled in this at all????
The article main cites other academics and similar Authorities(tm) on the matter. But, alas, they are naught but social justice warriors because only sjws are concerned about online privacy? Or whatever?
Because I was there when ‘sjw’ began to become the popular, derisive term it is today, its really really interesting for me to see just how far it has travelled. What was once a pejorative by br0s on reddit and the like, has now become this generic thing to refer to, um, I guess anyone who cares about something and expresses this on the internet?
Its hard to tell at this point. The only thing for sure is that being a social justice warrior is Bad. You don’t want to be one of the those people.
The fact that it also comes up in this particular context is extra amusing to me bc the very people who popularized ‘sjw’ as a term are the exact people who tend to be the most vocal about online privacy. And, as a result, perhaps one of the more vocal critics of this particular study/dataset.
Anyway. This is hilarious.