Tag Archives: harassment

Indiana Police Chief Accused Of Harassment Faces Calls To Resign

CHICAGO (CBS) — Calls continue for the top cop in St. John, Indiana, to step down over allegations of harassment. At a rally Wednesday night, residents and current and retired police officers called for St. John Police Chief James Kveton to resign over what they call a culture of fear in the department. Kveton has been accused of assaulting an officer, and penalizing officers who failed to meet ticket quotas. Five officers went to the City Clerk and several patrolmen have contacted CBS 2, all with identical stories about harassment and fear and a quota for the number of tickets issued each day. “People are afraid of losing their jobs,” said Corporal Steven Rudzinski of the St. John Police Department. “We have officers with years on that are applying with other departments.” Rudzinski says one of his fellow officers was allegedly battered when he was called into Police Chief James Kveton’s office for failing turn in his time sheet. “The chief had words with him and battered him,” Rudzinski said. The officer says Kveton slapped him. One officer tells CBS 2 he could hear it from the hall. The St. John Clerk’s office and town council are investigating the allegations. Kveton has yet to respond to interview requests.

#ThatsHarassment Campaign Launches In Chicago

Chicago (CBS) – The city of Chicago is taking new steps to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and actor David Schwimmer are launching a series of public service announcement videos called “#ThatsHarassment.” The campaign encourages victims and bystanders of harassment in the workplace to speak out and provide tools for employers to create a safe work environment. The public service announcements will appear on City billboards along the highways and information panels throughout the city, and in Creative Mobile Technologies and Curb Technologies taxicabs. “By confronting sexual harassment, discrimination and misogyny directly, we can help more people understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to this incredibly important issue,” said Mayor Emanuel. “The #ThatsHarassment series is part of a coordinated, concerted campaign to educate and empower everyone to recognize and respond to unacceptable behavior in the workplace. Together, we can create safe, empowering professional environments for all.” “No longer does the shame of sexual harassment and assault belong with the victims and the survivors,” said actor, producer and director David Schwimmer. “These PSAs showcase the pervasiveness of abuse in the workplace, and make very clear that perpetrators who use positions of power to demean, deride, discredit, harass and assault anyone will be held accountable.” David Schwimmer and his team created the project to highlight behaviors that are unacceptable and to end institutional silence and complicity. The films take place in various professional settings and depict scenarios of sexual harassment where men in positions of power cross the line. Based on real events, the videos include: “The Boss” starring Zazie Beetz and David Schwimmer, “The Coworker” starring Grace Gummer and Joseph Sikora, and “The Doctor” starring Cynthia Nixon and Michael Kelly. The PSAs can be found at: www.CityofChicago.org/ThatsHarassment. Every day hundreds of Americans are affected by sexual violence and abuse. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) estimates that one in four women face harassment in the workplace, and many are hesitant to report it. Sexual harassment is pervasive across industries, especially in low-wage service jobs. More than 25 percent of sexual harassment charges filed with the EEOC in the last decade came from industries with service-sector workers.

Twitter’s Tribute To Women Rings Hollow For Some Targets Of Abuse

(CNN Money) — Twitter is attempting to shift the narrative around how women are treated on its platform, but some women who’ve been viciously attacked on the site say the company hasn’t put enough muscle behind protecting vocal female users. During the Oscars, Twitter ran a TV ad featuring the words of queer poet Denice Frohman alongside a series of women, including filmmaker Ava DuVernay and actress/producer Issa Rae. “I heard a woman becomes herself the first time she speaks without permission,” the ad begins. It finishes with the hashtag #HereWeAre. The campaign is intended to spark positive conversation around the strength of women. But some women who spoke with CNN about the ad say the problem is too complicated to be fixed by a single commercial. “I loved the poem but would have preferred to see the money spent on that ad go to the staff and resources needed to make their platform a safer space for women,” Nani Jansen Reventlow, a human rights lawyer, told CNN. Twitter has said the ad is its “biggest single ad spot buy,” but the company declined to share how much it cost. It comes days after CEO Jack Dorsey issued a mea culpa about harassment and misuse of the platform. He asked the public to help the company evaluate the health of Twitter conversations — a move that many said was long overdue. Related: Twitter wants help measuring its ‘health’ On Friday, the company published its latest diversity report, which revealed that women still make up only 38% of its overall workforce. That’s up from 37% one year prior. Twitter has long been in the spotlight for allowing harassment against women to exist on its platform. In 2014, actress Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked nude pictures were widely circulated on Twitter. Two years later, comedian Leslie Jones took a temporary hiatus from the site after being attacked with racist and sexist tweets. Last year, feminist and pop culture writer Lindy West quit Twitter, calling the platform a place where “men enjoy unfettered, direct access to my brain so they can inform me, for the thousandth time, that they would gladly rape me if I weren’t so fat.” Reventlow, who has written that the online harassment of journalists is a threat to democracy, said “Twitter’s recent efforts to step up its work to address online harassment — and many other online platforms — seriously lags behind addressing online harassment of women.” Lauren Duca, a Teen Vogue columnist who has been a frequent troll target, called the Twitter ad “absurdly exploitative.” “To capitalize on the power of the women’s movement while doing next to nothing to combat the toxic harassment that routinely works to silence our voices on their platform is beyond disingenuous,” she said. “I’d be more moved by an ad for BP oil featuring a duck splashing around in a bathtub.” Twitter declined to comment on the backlash to the ad. However, its CMO Leslie Berland tweeted on Monday: “We want women to feel safe on Twitter, and we need to do so much better here. We’re working both on our technology and our policies to address the issues that we know are still impacting your experience here.” Like #MeToo and #TimesUp, Twitter intends #HereWeAre to lift up the voices of women. The hashtag originated from a tweet by Berland remarking on the lack of female speakers at this year’s CES conference. A week after her tweet, Berland announced that she assembled an all-female panel called #HereWeAre ahead of the January trade show. Related: Twitter just had its first profitable quarter Twitter said it’s seen a 50% increase in conversation around women’s rights in the past six months. University of Maryland law professor Danielle Citron, who studies online harassment, said there’s a disconnect between the outside perception of Twitter and harassment and what’s happening internally. Citron has been working closely with Twitter’s trust and safety team on issues of online harassment for more than two years. “I’m not a cynic about [the ad],” she told CNN. “It’s reflective of who the safety team is and I’m encouraged by it.” Citron said she’s seen “some pretty seismic change” in how seriously the company is taking harassment issues compared to its early years. But Brianna Wu, a game developer who is a frequent target of online harassment, said the problem is far from fixed. “We are still seeing very hostile environment for women on Twitter, particularly women of color and transgender women,” said Wu. “I get emails every day from people asking for advice when Twitter fails to enforce its own terms of service.” © Copyright 2018 CNN. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Twitter Wants Help Measuring Its ‘Health’

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN Money) — Is Twitter as much of a cesspool of bots, trolls and bullies as its critics say? The company wants to measure the overall health of conversations on its platform to decide. On Thursday, CEO Jack Dorsey posted a series of tweets that addressed the toxicity and misuse of the platform and put out a call for proposals from experts on how to size up the platform’s health. “If you want to improve something, you have to be able to measure it,” he tweeted. “The human body has a number of indicators of overall health, some very simple, like internal temperature. We know how to measure it, and we know some methods to bring it back in balance.” Dorsey concedes that the company has long focused on removing content in a sort of whack-a-mole system for dealing with abuse. Instead, Twitter needs to focus on “building a systemic framework to help encourage more healthy debate, conversations, and critical thinking.” Related: Twitter is trying to crackdown on spam bots Dorsey also said the company didn’t “fully predict or understand the real-world negative consequences” of such a popular global messaging platform. “We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers. We aren’t proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough.” wrote Dorsey. Twitter has struggled to moderate its platform without infringing on its users’ freedom of speech, but many have criticized the platform for becoming a hot bed for the spread fake news and misinformation, as well as online harassment and bullying. He added that while working to fix misuse of its platform, “we’ve been accused of apathy, censorship, political bias, and optimizing for our business and share price instead of the concerns of society. This is not who we are, or who we ever want to be.” Dorsey said his goal is to use a “rigorous and independently vetted set of metrics” to gauge the platform’s health and plans to share the results of those metrics publicly. Proposals are due by April 13; Twitter expects to announce selected applicants in July. © Copyright 2018 CNN. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.