In the Spirit of Halloween and Election Season, Scary Technology that “Outs” Your Neighbors

Prop 8 is not one that encourages sedate emotion. People are either vehemently for it, or they are just as vehemently against it. The debate between the two camps, heated as it is, often erupts into full out fighting, which we all know from our rhetoric classes is actually the opposite effect civilized, fair debate is supposed to have. The fights themselves can even get violent, as seen in this article about a Bakersfield man who attacked, punched, and kicked a No on 8 proponent (article and disturbing video here). 
 
That’s why I wonder whether the Chronicle’s new technology that allows you to see who in your area has contributed to “yes” or “no” on 8 is a good idea. Here you can type in a city, a zip, or even a name to see who has contributed to which side, as well as the dollar amount contributed. I do see the logic of printing the names of corporations who donate to or against the proposition, as you can retaliate by ceasing to spend your money with those companies whose views differ from your own. But how do you retaliate against an individual person? Punching and kicking? And though candid information about campaign contributions helps us understand the actions of our elected leaders, in this case the revealed data seem akin to publicizing people’s ballots after they’ve voted, when by law our votes are supposed to be secret. 
 
Essentially: I’m happy enough to say I’m voting no on 8; but I’d like the freedom to keep that to myself if some frothing-at-the-mouth Bakersfield psycho is waving a blood spattered YES ON 8 sign in front of my face.

9 thoughts on “In the Spirit of Halloween and Election Season, Scary Technology that “Outs” Your Neighbors

  1. For the record, I’m not vehement about this issue on either side — although it’s clear to me that ‘No’ is the informed decision.

  2. Appears to me as further erosion of our right to privacy. Why the media is now in this game is beyond comprehension. I fear the Chronicle along with many of its contemporaries has lost sight of the tenet of journalism; the unbiased reporting of true fact. Nothing more nothing less. Write the Chronicle. Vote no on 8. Hope that some day we can live in peace with one another.

  3. This sucks.

    When you submit a resume, generally it contains your name, street address, and zipcode. Generally potential employers hire an outside firm to outsource the background checking when it receives a resume. A report is generated for the potential employer based on data available in the resume by the outside firm. One “checkbox” in the report could be “Did this applicant support Proposition 8?”.

    The outside firm can use this tool to obtain this data.

    Based on the answer to this question, the potential employer can decide to skip the resume and not to invite the applicant for interview, even though the applicant is completely qualified.

    Although there are laws against discrimination, it is very difficult to prove that a potential employer has systematically filtered out resumes where the applicant donated No on 8.

    That’s why you see names like “Micky Mouse” for donations to the Obama campaign — People don’t want their real names known in cyberspace — because once you make a political donation your name and the fact you donated become public information. That information can then be aggregated by companies like RapLeaf (which is being used by employers for background checking already) to generate a ‘reputation’ score of an individual in the digital (and physical) world, which the individual does not own himself, and cannot manage, or control.

    I voted No and I donated. I am pissed that my name has been made public, not because I don’t want to stand behind my donation and my vote; but because there is one more place now in cyberspace where my real name shows up that’s linked to a piece of information about me in real life — a piece of information I have no control over, and I cannot erase.

  4. anon- yes, this is exactly the kind of worse case scenario I was thinking of. How ironic, and wrong, that you can anon on the Front Steps but not on this issue that might be used to invade your privacy– in fact, has already been used thus.

  5. lets not assume that the only bad behavior is being exhibited by the “yes” side. i had to tell my kid the other day that even though we are voting “no” on 8, it still wasn’t okay for benji’s moms to rip a “yes on 8″ sign out of someone’s yard…

  6. crazy. I am so sorry.I voted for the rights of both… maybe in time, everyone (avian, mammal, humanoid) can be treated humanely.

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