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Preserving Your Privacy

Ahri-chan November 17, 2015 User blog:Ahri-chan

Hello, Wikians and newcomers. And welcome to my blog post.

This blog post is all about protecting, and preserving your own privacy in all parts of Wikia. As the Wikia has a very vast network of wikis, there will be threats to the privacy of our own personal information on Wikia and most of them usually happen on the live Special:Chat. In this blog post, I will be tackling about the importance of protecting your personal information and maintaining your sense of privacy as this blog post will be able to..

  • provide awareness about online stalking and harassment
  • provide the users the preventive measures that would be useful when they find themselves in specific situations
  • educate them about the loopholes of the chat's private message/screenshot policies.

Now that the goals of this blog post are established, let's get to business and dive in to the grim parts of Wikia's chat function.

What is 'online stalking and harassment'?

Online stalking is a breach of Wikia's policies wherein a gatherer deliberately compiles and gathers personal information of an unsuspecting victim for the gatherer's personal gain. There are a couple of methods used to gather personal information, and the most common way of doing so is to ask the victim directly. There are also subtle means of gathering personal information like, finding all the people who know about the victim and questioning them one by one.

Harassments are a different issue compared to stalking, but the gatherer will strive to attain what he/she wants from you through the means of threats like the tracing of your internet protocol address so that 'he could pay you a visit' and all other sorts of cybercrime that includes the leakage of your personal information over the internet (doxxing), and some unorthodox methods like the unwanted delivery of pizzas right at your doorstep, and the sending of law enforcement teams at your doorstep thinking that there are illegal goods/acts that might be taking place inside your homes.

What can I do as a member of Wikia about these things?

As a responsible member and user of Wikia, you can totally do something that would raise the awareness of online stalking/harassment by encouraging your friends and other users to think twice and think carefully before going on to the chat and socialize with other people. You can also provide chat moderators, administrators and even the Staff reports about harassments and stalking that you come across to. This things doesn't only apply to Wikia, but also its tens of thousands of subwikis.

What should I do as a victim?

If you find yourself a victim, speak out! Voice out your concerns and let the chat moderators and administrators know that your grounds of privacy are being violated. If possible, send them screenshots of the offender doing his work and report the issue as soon as possible. Hopefully the problem will be solved in no time, and the offender shall be punished for the breach of your privacy.

And as a victim, there are a couple of ways to prevent yourself from being stalked and harassed in Wikia chats, and most of them should be good enough to keep the potential offenders at bay.

  • Always have second thoughts to strangers who message you privately on Wikia chats. Buy yourself some time and carefully observe what they talk to you about, and always picture out their possible motives.
  • Never give your personal information to strangers who private message you on Wikia chats until you reach the point where you think you can trust them.
  • Do not respond to questions asked in private messages such as "asl?", "Are you single?", "How old are you", "Where do you live", and "What country are you from?".
  • Learn when to say "no" and when to say "yes". It makes much difference.
  • Minimize the number of personal information you put on your user page. It's better that you only give them to people who you really trust.

Here's a little caveat though, it's totally up to you should you decide to give your personal information to strangers lurking on Wikia chats. If you do so, the wiki's management will not be liable for any cases of theft. The best that they can only do is to ban the offender.

What are the 'loopholes' of chat?

Some opportunistic offenders exploit the loopholes of Wikia's chat policies. Some wikis exclude private messages from the area of moderation, and some managements follow the principle of 'not guilty until proven'. That means, offenders won't be banned or punished for breaching the privacy policy until the administrators/moderators catches the offender on act. Some wikis do not accept screenshots as evidence, as they can be easily tampered with any image editing program, and the much more easier 'inspect element' function installed on the computer's internet browser.

Conclusion

Now that you've read the informative content of this blog post, I'm mostly hoping I've educated a lot of users with the insightful awareness blog post I made. I'm hoping that it would bring changes on some wikis' privacy policy and I'm hoping I'll be able to help a lot of people having trouble on dealing with Wikia harassers and offenders that would go far on breaching others' privacies for their own personal gain. I'm also hoping the victims of Wikia stalking and harassment will be given justice that they deserve, and I'm wishing that this blog post will raise awareness of minor cybercrimes commited on the internet, especially to the minor and teenage users of Wikia.

That being said, I hope everyone who will read this blog post will learn from this blog post.

Have a good day, everyone.

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