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Hand gesture to get IRT attention when being Harassed Brought up by an attendee at the Cosplay/=consent panel

#1 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:04 AM

I'm surprised no one brought this up here, but I don't know if anyone on the forum attended the panel. The Cosplay/=Consent panel had an interesting comment made by the head of the IRT after an attendee suggested a universal hand signal for anyone being harassed. She said that IRT can't create one, but if the attendees on the forum came up with one, then IRT would pick it up and have it taught to the IRT group and in their book.

Honestly I think it's a great idea and would help out given some of the stories that I've read, heard, and had friends experience. So cosplay community, can we come up with some sort of universal hand gesture that could get the IRT's attention when we're being harassed by another con goer?

I thought that maybe making an H like gesture with two hands (middle and ring fingers pointed down, pinky and index finger pointed up with the palms apart) might work. But that's just my idea, any others? I really think this could be a big help, espcially if IRT isn't sure if someone is getting harrassed or if someone is just screwing around.
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#2 User is offline   evaunit01berserk 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 06:08 AM

Or rather then looking like you are trying to throw up ridiculous gang signs, stop worrying about what everyone thinks of you, tell the idiot to get lost and/or walk over to irt since they are obviously in vjsual range to see this hand motion
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#3 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:07 PM

View Postevaunit01berserk, on 21 May 2013 - 06:08 AM, said:

Or rather then looking like you are trying to throw up ridiculous gang signs, stop worrying about what everyone thinks of you, tell the idiot to get lost and/or walk over to irt since they are obviously in vjsual range to see this hand motion


Right, because people clearly listen when you tell them to stop. Please tell that to the Black Cat cosplayer that had the reporter keep harassing her and call her a witch, when she walked away from the interview. Then later have people at other cons learn about the situation and harass her more because she dared to complain about it and say what happened to her. Or how about the Laura croft incident where minors were treated like sexual objects by a reporter for a local news station and when asked to stop by the person in charge of the event, which mind you was by the game company itself, she too was harassed by this guy who was finally removed when the con's security got wind of the problem well after it had escalated. Lets not ignore things that have happened here at ACen itself due to people not getting that "Stop means Stop" or even stalking and following people even after they have tried the "Walk away" option.

The hand signal isn't just for IRT, it's for other cosplayers or con goers as well to catch onto and probably would let someone know that another person needs a way out of a situation. Not everyone is able to just tell someone they're an idiot, certainly not if they feel intimidated. That's the point of this, to get some sort of attention and let others know "Hey I need help." Sort of why we have the "T" sign for Time out, or other hand gestures that are used. It's just a suggestion, that is all, and IRT certainly seemed interested when it was brought up in the panel.

This post has been edited by Dark Spellmaster: 21 May 2013 - 08:09 PM

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#4 User is offline   evaunit01berserk 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:21 PM

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 21 May 2013 - 08:07 PM, said:

Right, because people clearly listen when you tell them to stop. Please tell that to the Black Cat cosplayer that had the reporter keep harassing her and call her a witch, when she walked away from the interview. Then later have people at other cons learn about the situation and harass her more because she dared to complain about it and say what happened to her. Or how about the Laura croft incident where minors were treated like sexual objects by a reporter for a local news station and when asked to stop by the person in charge of the event, which mind you was by the game company itself, she too was harassed by this guy who was finally removed when the con's security got wind of the problem well after it had escalated. Lets not ignore things that have happened here at ACen itself due to people not getting that "Stop means Stop" or even stalking and following people even after they have tried the "Walk away" option.

The hand signal isn't just for IRT, it's for other cosplayers or con goers as well to catch onto and probably would let someone know that another person needs a way out of a situation. Not everyone is able to just tell someone they're an idiot, certainly not if they feel intimidated. That's the point of this, to get some sort of attention and let others know "Hey I need help." Sort of why we have the "T" sign for Time out, or other hand gestures that are used. It's just a suggestion, that is all, and IRT certainly seemed interested when it was brought up in the panel.


In your fit of irrationality, you must have missed the part about not caring what people say about you. Could have saved you a ton of typing if you actually stopped and used your brain rather then your emotion. Each of those problems could have been solved easily

Shall I list each example for you or are you going to go on a Arm Chair tumblr activist rage about privilege?


Just like the fake c.com interviews, the solution is almost as easy as pushing the hang up button, but for some reason they stayed on the line

This post has been edited by evaunit01berserk: 21 May 2013 - 08:23 PM

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#5 User is offline   evaunit01berserk 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:30 PM

Also I will bring to your attention of another major flaw in this plan. If someone is so intimidated, do you think they are actually going to flash this "universal" sign knowing the harasser will likely know what it means too?
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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:44 PM

Hey look! A moderator/IRT member appears!

As Spellmaster said, some people do not get the message to stop. Some outright ignore it and press on. Some even attempt physical action upon their target. This is part of the reason IRT exists - to protect you, the congoer, and prevent this from happening as best as we can.

I wholeheartedly support the idea of a hand signal in the event of harassment. I do not, however, support your attitude, evaunit01berserk. Not at all. Chill out or keep it out. I expect this thread to keep a civil tone from here on.
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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:56 PM

View PostValkyrie, on 21 May 2013 - 08:44 PM, said:

Hey look! A moderator/IRT member appears!

As Spellmaster said, some people do not get the message to stop. Some outright ignore it and press on. Some even attempt physical action upon their target. This is part of the reason IRT exists - to protect you, the congoer, and prevent this from happening as best as we can.

I wholeheartedly support the idea of a hand signal in the event of harassment. I do not, however, support your attitude, evaunit01berserk. Not at all. Chill out or keep it out. I expect this thread to keep a civil tone from here on.


Thank you! I wasn't trying to start a fight, but the idea was one that was supported in the panel and I thought it would be a good idea to bring it up here. I'm sorry if fit caused anyone to be upset at the idea.
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#8 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:56 PM

I think this is a great idea!

If we can market this right and make everyone aware of this gesture it could really help when IRT aren't immediately available. I know other con-goers, myself included, would be more than willing to rush over to someone who needed help if we saw them making a specific help gesture.
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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:31 PM

^_^ You have no idea how happy it makes me feel that people genuinely care about this problem. I hope others come up with some better ideas that my H shaped gesture.

If things go well maybe other cons can pick up on it as well?
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#10 User is offline   rondo 

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:40 AM

It is an interesting thought but I get the feeling that a hand gesture could be abused or be too hard to see among a crowd of people, particularly if the person is short. Best bet is to locate an IRT/staff member or ask for help from others around you. You'd be surprised at the people willing to help if you call out for it. Also, instead of a hand gesture..how about some kind of sign that is included in the con packets that could be used, maybe a red sign of some kind.

I get the feeling that instead of trying to visually determine a hand sign (time is of the essence if there is a potentially dangerous situation), just yelling out for help would be a bit more effective. Or carry an airhorn with you if you have a very low voice.

This post has been edited by rondo: 22 May 2013 - 07:44 AM


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Posted 22 May 2013 - 10:03 AM

How about an app? I am not a mobile programmer but maybe a team could make a app that sends out a signal to security staff/IRT phones or equipment that tells them the location and that someone is in need of help? Maybe like rondo mention give check con-book a flag that can easily be seen and known to flag someone down for help, maybe a small red or orange flag?

If all else fails call for help. The IRT staff were everywhere at ACen and I am sure other cons have staff mixed in with crowds and if they don't they should.

Just spit-balling ideas here...How about arms crossed over the chest in the form of an X as a sign for "NO!"?

This post has been edited by Delta's Back!: 22 May 2013 - 10:05 AM

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#12 User is offline   evaunit01berserk 

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 06:56 PM

View PostValkyrie, on 21 May 2013 - 08:44 PM, said:

Hey look! A moderator/IRT member appears!

As Spellmaster said, some people do not get the message to stop. Some outright ignore it and press on. Some even attempt physical action upon their target. This is part of the reason IRT exists - to protect you, the congoer, and prevent this from happening as best as we can.

I wholeheartedly support the idea of a hand signal in the event of harassment. I do not, however, support your attitude, evaunit01berserk. Not at all.


Not surprising considering I had issues with staff harassment before when I called yal out on something before. But thats not the subject at hand here.

For IRT to support a universal hand signal that would

1. Warn said harraser and possibly cause a retaliation attempt

2. Might not even be used as I said earlier, if the person is intimidated, pretty likely they are going to assume this gesture that would be so widely advertised, that the harasser is going to know what it means so they will not even attempt to use this gesture.
Is incredibly short sighted to say the least and makes me question if you guys actually take this further then "oh good idea! hur Hur"

The major flaw in this idea is the major flaw of the whole basis of cosplay does not equal consent, you can't fix stupid. You want to educate people not to harass, but donyou honestly think discussion will fix these morons?

Just like the hand gesture, stupid people do stupid things, like thinking it will be cool to flash this and in the end causing more issues and slower response times for security.


There are ways to fix this, but until people stop worrying about their image and social standing, actually get active physically rather then blogging about the issue and also take their personal safety accountable rather then throwing it on the ground and expecting others to provide it for them, the harrassing will continue because the biggest consequence they are getting in majority is someone yelling creeper, after the con and too late

Also, you might want to check your region. ..I had major issues with cons in that area regarding people keeping their hands off me while moving down south and cons like otakon, the issue was almost non existant
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#13 User is offline   evaunit01berserk 

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 07:04 PM

View PostDelta, on 22 May 2013 - 10:03 AM, said:

How about an app? I am not a mobile programmer but maybe a team could make a app that sends out a signal to security staff/IRT phones or equipment that tells them the location and that someone is in need of help? Maybe like rondo mention give check con-book a flag that can easily be seen and known to flag someone down for help, maybe a small red or orange flag?

If all else fails call for help. The IRT staff were everywhere at ACen and I am sure other cons have staff mixed in with crowds and if they don't they should.




This would be a good idea, only problem would be that not everyone has smart phones but it would st least be a valid option

Point is people need to learn that if an irt is visual, there is no reason not to be intimidated enough to not scream or cause a scene. The last thing the harasser wants is for you to call attention to him, but he also banking on that you feel the same about yourself. A hand signal that they also recognize could actually escalate the situation in their favor because it signals that you are trying to do this quietly and can use that to their advantage.
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Posted 23 May 2013 - 03:23 PM

I think a hand-signal is a good idea, but I think it could be better if it were NOT universal. Make an ad campaign (or other ways of getting the idea out to everyone) recommending people at con be with at least one other person ["friend"] (logical recommendation for everyone's safety) and to have a pre-determined signal within the group. The person being harassed can use their group signal to non-verbally communicate to the friend/s that there is a problem with RandomCreeperA and to get IRT.

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 04:48 PM

Regarding the app idea it could work, but the issue is, not everyone has a smart phone, but maybe a text based thing since I believe most phones can do that.

Someone suggested a card as a means of flashing it? I do like the idea of an ad and a group signal. My only question is, should you be in a situation where your friends weren't around, how could you get someone to notice something was happening? Maybe a noise from the phone could work too, to get attention from those around? But it's certainly would make more sense to have it so that the harasser doesn't know what's going on, and better then trying to make eye contact.

Quote

From Agatha:

I think that this is an interesting idea, but that there are some issues.

-How would ACen ensure that everyone knows about this gesture? The vast majority of attendees don't visit the forums, and I'm willing to bet that a lot of them also don't look at the program book beyond looking at events that they're interested in. Since this is something totally foreign to people (a completely new gesture that they've never heard of before) getting that information out and ingrained, so that when caught up in the moment they know what to do, would be vital.


The only way I can think of is facebook and if it's discussed between those in the forums and those outside the forums. Maybe a Thursday night panel or something on Friday or Saturday in the day that IRT can go over what to do if you're in a bad situation? I know that it seems a bit odd but it might help?

Quote

-If this is to be a universal gesture that everyone knows, then the person doing the harassing is going to know about it too, which brings up the same issues that having the target of the harassment tell IRT would. Namely, making this gesture would be the same thing as saying, "Get away," or going to get IRT, so if someone feels too intimidated to do those, it could also be that they'll feel too intimidated to make this sign (because if it's distinctive enough *not* to be mistaken for anything else it's going to draw attention to itself.)


Which is a valid point. Although the fact that the person is even flashing might get the harasser to leave. No one really wants a confrontation with IRT or even worse, the cops. On this one I'm not sure, it's something that needs to be looked into. Maybe others will have a better idea?

Quote

-If it's meant to be flashed subtly, (say, I look like I'm fixing my costume, but my hand is shaped a certain way) - a method which could avoid the problem mentioned above - it's going to be a lot easier for people to miss. Even if it's not meant to be subtle, I think for someone scanning a crowd of hundreds of people it would be difficult to detect the precise position of someone's hands while looking at everything else too! I could see this working in a smaller room, but I'm trying to picture it happening in a place like the exhibit hall and I just don't know that it would be noticeable enough.


Yeah in a huge place like that you would need something bigger. someone said cards? I know shouting wouldn't work because there's a lot of shouting in there, and you can't yell fire in a place like that. Maybe a card that IRT knows about? You get it in your bags when you register at the hall and it has it in there? Although will people remember to bring it with them?

Quote

I think that last part could really be trouble, if someone's in a situation where they feel unsafe and they think they've called for help but no one saw it.

I do agree that harassment is a serious issue. As someone who's previously been on the receiving end of harassment and not been able to speak up, I also understand what it's like to not want to directly engage with someone and/or cause a scene, and if there's an effective way of getting help without doing those things, I think it would be good. However, given the issues presented above, I don't know that I'd be comfortable making this the official method to deal with it. I also feel that once a policy like this is effected, there's a risk of viewing the issue as done with - as in, "Well, if someone was feeling uncomfortable, they should have signaled and since they didn't it's their fault. Didn't know the signal? Too bad, should've read the program book, no one to blame but yourself," which is obviously not a constructive attitude to have.

In short, I think the concept is good but I think the sheer size of ACen presents some difficulties for implementation. Unfortunately, I don't have any ideas for overcoming those.


Agatha you raise some really serious issues. I wish I knew a good answer for it. Mostly because I've known friends on the reciveing end and it caused one girl, who wasn't in cosplay but was wearing a skirt to an event at a different con, to not want to go to any conventions again. (Some dude took panty shots of her and when she tried to get him to remove it, he said he couldn't because it was part of the press, and he had a right to keep them, and how could she prove it was her underwear, etc.

I know someone suggessed an X across the arms, but that might be used for a pose too. Hummm, so many factors.
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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:26 PM

View Postrondo, on 22 May 2013 - 07:40 AM, said:

I get the feeling that instead of trying to visually determine a hand sign (time is of the essence if there is a potentially dangerous situation), just yelling out for help would be a bit more effective. Or carry an airhorn with you if you have a very low voice.


Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the panel (too far back in line to get in) but can appreciate this topic having been opened for discussion.

The suggestions here seem to point toward a common goal.. Draw Attention To Your Situation.

And adding something to what rondo said earlier about air horns.. There are compact personal alarms that people could carry discretely and quickly deploy if necessary AND continue to operate while fleeing from a situation. (Not so much with hand signals or props which would only work line-of-sight.)

If the siren didn't drive off an offender then it would certainly draw the attention of anyone nearby (and presumably IRT as well).

IRT could establish a standard response for personal alarms. If they did then attendees might be prepared to use them. It may not be practical but alarm loaners (with deposit) might be an IRT option too.

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 10:43 PM

Alarms could be usesful, but would that fall into the "Calling fire in a large auditorum" law zone? I know that certain objects are banned from convention centers due to the noise level and some other things. Although an alarm thing might be enough to drive off some of the more persistant attackers.

Maybe some sort of shout that someone can do?
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Posted 25 May 2013 - 03:58 PM

heres an idea for those trying say this wont get around one way to solve this is make a small pamplet that would be distrubuted thoughout the con and left at the photoshoot botths and other places cosplayers gather, irt members and volunteers could distribute it to cosplay gatherings and mass ammounts left at the information, registration and customer service booths. seperate from the swag bags, sence everyone dosent take those. it could include the sigh ways to execute it without giving yourself away, i personally think the 2 handed symbol is a would be hard to execute without giving yourself away
the pamphlet would also mention that this symbol is for emergency use only
it could be listed as something that would only interest cosplayers and include all convention rules in the back the harassment suggestions in the front before the table of contents contents, it could even list the cosplay gatherings and events in an easy to access format for cosplayers.
the pamphlet could be given to those in cosplay anywhere there is one however if someone wants it who is not in cosplay would need to go to an out of the way place and get one say IRT for example or another idea
2 editions could be made 1 for cosplayers and another for regular attendees
the cosplay edition would could be everywhere however it would need to be would need to be asked for it would be complete, it could be distributed by hand to those in costume. irt and/or volunteers could go to the cosplay gatherings, photoshoot booths, etc and distribute them as well
the regular attendee edition would include everything except the suggestions for harassment and could include a list of repercussions for harassers and would be put in the swag bags left next to the loose guides and left at all customer service booths
cosplay edition guides would not be given to regular attendees even if they can prove they are cosplayers no exceptions
my reason for keeping the cosplay edition from regular attendees is simple "the less potential harassers who know about the hand signal the better"
the regular edition guides could have a note saying that the there is another edition is available to those in cosplay and it should be picked up
an excuse for to use if someone asks for one not in costume is "we have limited supply for this use this year"

View PostDark Spellmaster, on 23 May 2013 - 10:43 PM, said:

Alarms could be usesful, but would that fall into the "Calling fire in a large auditorum" law zone? I know that certain objects are banned from convention centers due to the noise level and some other things. Although an alarm thing might be enough to drive off some of the more persistant attackers.

Maybe some sort of shout that someone can do?

something like a rape whistle

This post has been edited by mer2329: 25 May 2013 - 04:00 PM

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Posted 26 May 2013 - 04:48 PM

**THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION AND SHOULD ONLY BE VIEWED AS SUCH**

I'm glad you're coming up with ideas (and please, keep them coming), but restricting the pamphlets and only including the harassment info for cosplayers would mean that non-cosplayers wouldn't be able to use it! Just because you don't cosplay does NOT mean you won't be harassed and the harassers aren't limited to only one category either!

If any pamphlet would be distributed, it would need to be available to EVERYONE!

Think about the dances/raves...a lot of people do not cosplay in them and some still get harassed (I've dealt with a few myself)

Any sort of official symbol, hand-sign, what have you would need to be available to everyone so that anyone who needs to do so can use it, I agree that it MIGHT notify the perpetrator, but it is probably less likely to do so than shouting for IRT.....I really don't think you'll be able to get around this (in my opinion)

If you want something that isn't available to everyone, and something that definitely should be doable without informing the harasser you want help, I think you need to come up with something within your group, and when you do it a group member goes and gets IRT or hotel security (IRT's number has been posted on the website for a couple years, so just check a day or two before the con so you can call it from a house phone, then you should be able to get an IRT Op there very quickly if one isn't in the area)

This post has been edited by Kiezer: 26 May 2013 - 04:52 PM

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#20 User is offline   mer2329 

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 01:23 AM

View PostKiezer, on 26 May 2013 - 04:48 PM, said:

**THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION AND SHOULD ONLY BE VIEWED AS SUCH**

I'm glad you're coming up with ideas (and please, keep them coming), but restricting the pamphlets and only including the harassment info for cosplayers would mean that non-cosplayers wouldn't be able to use it! Just because you don't cosplay does NOT mean you won't be harassed and the harassers aren't limited to only one category either!

If any pamphlet would be distributed, it would need to be available to EVERYONE!

Think about the dances/raves...a lot of people do not cosplay in them and some still get harassed (I've dealt with a few myself)

Any sort of official symbol, hand-sign, what have you would need to be available to everyone so that anyone who needs to do so can use it, I agree that it MIGHT notify the perpetrator, but it is probably less likely to do so than shouting for IRT.....I really don't think you'll be able to get around this (in my opinion)

If you want something that isn't available to everyone, and something that definitely should be doable without informing the harasser you want help, I think you need to come up with something within your group, and when you do it a group member goes and gets IRT or hotel security (IRT's number has been posted on the website for a couple years, so just check a day or two before the con so you can call it from a house phone, then you should be able to get an IRT Op there very quickly if one isn't in the area)

this is also my opinion
i quite agree i was just sating some opinions and this pamplet was directed at the hand gesture for cosplayers use but i was trying to say on topic. this could be expanded to the general public just as easily

This post has been edited by mer2329: 27 May 2013 - 01:23 AM

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#21 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 08:29 PM

I really like this idea of having a discreet way to alert IRT or the cops to harassment. I do think that a hand sign would be too small and too hard for people to do. They might forget what it is, short people might not be noticed, IRT may not be tall enough to scan over the crowd, etc.

I think having something that people are supposed to wave or press on their phones is a better idea. Unfortunately, I have learned that making apps is not that easy and requires money and time and as others have pointed out, not everyone has a smart phone. The texting program idea is smart. A simple 5-digit number and a keyword like "HELP" would alert IRT. But how would the person be found especially in huge areas like the Dealer's Hall or grand ballroom? That would be something to work out. Hmm....off the top of my head maybe there could be signs in these larger places that have section #'s easily visible. So for example, let's say someone is being harassed by one of the food courts in the con center, they would look up and see "FC1" so then they would text "HELP FC1". Then the IRT base/break room would get this and would have pre-split the IRT team into certain areas of the con center. Then it's just a matter of sending a signal to the IRT person(s) on the floor with the same code "HELP FC1" and bam! they know where to go fairly quickly. Just an idea. Course, phone signal strength and other factors can make this harder but....nothing is perfect.

I was also thinking that in places like the Con center, the dealers should go through a quick meeting before con with IRT (if they don't already) that just explains to them that they can help with Harassment if they see it near their booths and maybe give them a special number to call or a button to press that dings the nearest IRT to them. That way, if the person being harassed maybe has not gotten the info, hasn't read the info, or isn't able to remember the hand signal, or isn't seen doing the hand signal by IRT etc, the dealers (who are closer to the people)can also be a help to the con goers.

Obviously in the hotels, the front desk is the main place to go and from what I've seen isn't TOO far from where the biggest groups gather and IRT does seem to have a better presence in these areas.

Hope I made some sense.

TL;DR version
- hand signs have too many flaws but the idea is good
- against app
- I am for a texting program in conjunction with noticeable signage and IRT contact
- Suggesting the implementation of a dealer hall system that allow them to aid victims by having a direct line to IRT
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#22 User is offline   evaunit01berserk 

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:48 PM

View PostCrimsonAnime, on 27 May 2013 - 08:29 PM, said:


- I am for a texting program in conjunction with noticeable signage and IRT contact
- Suggesting the implementation of a dealer hall system that allow them to aid victims by having a direct line to IRT


Cell phones are not 100 percent guaranteed line and also, with that many people in the area, the cell towers are overloaded so texts and data have a tendency to slow down to a crawls pace or even worse, not even connect.
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#23 User is offline   CrimsonAnime 

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 10:18 AM

View Postevaunit01berserk, on 27 May 2013 - 11:48 PM, said:

Cell phones are not 100 percent guaranteed line and also, with that many people in the area, the cell towers are overloaded so texts and data have a tendency to slow down to a crawls pace or even worse, not even connect.

Which I understand and as I stated in my full post, I know that the suggestions I made are not 100% flawless. But thanks for your feedback.

This post has been edited by CrimsonAnime: 28 May 2013 - 10:18 AM

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Posted 31 May 2013 - 02:08 AM

View PostCrimsonAnime, on 28 May 2013 - 10:18 AM, said:

Which I understand and as I stated in my full post, I know that the suggestions I made are not 100% flawless. But thanks for your feedback.


Then I'll be even more blunt.
They have a 40 percent success rate of transmission with that much load on the towers, including texts.
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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:00 AM

There's no need to be "even more blunt," as you put it. We got the hint the first time.

Any other constructive suggestions? Keep them coming!
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Posted 31 May 2013 - 12:20 PM

I've seen this whole topic going around on different websites and wasn't entirely sure what was going on at first. Honestly, and this is just my opinion, why is it people can't stand up for themselves or verbally ASK for help? I understand the hand sign thing (i really do) but really, don't beat around the bush with things. If the harraser isn't going to listen if you do say no/back off/leave me alone then call over IRT. Obviously this all depends on the level of the harrassment happening. I'm not gonna lie, before the con i was a little nervous to be walking around alone. First time being at one that large, didnt know the area well, etc. I was always within range of an IRT member though. If i felt like it was something i couldn't handle, I'd have said something. I felt much more relaxed after i got used to the area. This was just my personal experience. Hope this doesn't come off as rude. Just putting in my 3 cents!
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Posted 31 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

I dont understand the deal here. making signals to say that your being harassed? why not just actually call for help or do something?
Being passive isn't going to fix anything, If you're being harassed you do something about it. not throw your hands up and flail
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Posted 01 June 2013 - 11:48 PM

As someone who is this way i want to earnestly comment on that.
Sometimes it is against ones nature to say or do something when they are being treated wrongly. I am like that and as much as I can feel the words bubbling in my throat it is nearly impossivle to say them. I am scared of retaliation that I cannot handle. I am scared that i will be somehow in a worse situation. But of course i want the bad thing to stop (and i say bad thing because i have never been harrassed at a con and cannot speak on that. I can only address the idea from other instanxes.) So i would feel better if i could get help or call attention to the situation without risking harm to myself. In this case i would use a gesture or app or something.

It is the same reason people carry rape whistles. A safe way to call attention without having to necessarily stand up to their aggressor.


Hope that makes some sense.
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#29 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 03:12 AM

View PostWingypoo, on 31 May 2013 - 12:20 PM, said:

I've seen this whole topic going around on different websites and wasn't entirely sure what was going on at first. Honestly, and this is just my opinion, why is it people can't stand up for themselves or verbally ASK for help? I understand the hand sign thing (i really do) but really, don't beat around the bush with things. If the harraser isn't going to listen if you do say no/back off/leave me alone then call over IRT. Obviously this all depends on the level of the harrassment happening. I'm not gonna lie, before the con i was a little nervous to be walking around alone. First time being at one that large, didnt know the area well, etc. I was always within range of an IRT member though. If i felt like it was something i couldn't handle, I'd have said something. I felt much more relaxed after i got used to the area. This was just my personal experience. Hope this doesn't come off as rude. Just putting in my 3 cents!


First I'm glad it's not just being talked about here. Second, in regard to people standing up for themselves, there seems to be a level of harassment that happens and, depending on the person and the level of harassment, just walking away or saying "Go Away Jerk Face!" in some cases won't cut it.

A few examples: We'll use this scenario, you're walking along, minding your own business (you may or may not be in cosplay doesn't matter) and suddenly some one harasses you...

Level 1: this would be said person whistles or makes some sort of "Hey sexy (baby, mama, papa whatever)," or does something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Usually a serious, "Get Bent" will get them off your tracks...if not it leads to...

Level 2: which is the person sluffs off your first comment and decides to keep at it even as you walk away, or in some cases may follow you. This usually means getting over to IRT or a cop and normally they will back off. But if there is no cop around...

Level 3: so lets say you can't just walk away, telling them to bug off isn't working, and it gets bad enough that they seem to be following you, this is where I'm talking about some sort of way to contact IRT right away or some safe place to bolt to. Even if it's just something to get other peoples attention. I've heard of stories where girls and guys have been in situations where they feel threatened, and in some cases the harasser gets physical or can imply something physical.

It's great that IRT is around, but there are times when a person may be in a place where IRT isn't in sight and you may need their help, like in one of the dances or in a line, or other matter. I guess my main idea is to try to come up with something that could get someone out of a bad situation as quickly as possible. Yes in some cases the harasser may get away, but at least the victim of it is safe and IRT can keep an eye out for this person. One of the reasons I really want something like this is because of a story I heard of where a, well there's no nice way to put it, pedophile, was walking around another convention and apparently trying to get a kids or teens.


Some people may not be vocal, they may be scared or they just don't know what to say, that's where this idea comes in. It's not a hundred percent foolproof, but at least it would be something that could be used as a means of giving someone something to feel safe with.
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#30 User is offline   Dark Spellmaster 

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Posted 06 June 2013 - 03:26 AM

View PostDarko, on 31 May 2013 - 05:59 PM, said:

I dont understand the deal here. making signals to say that your being harassed? why not just actually call for help or do something?
Being passive isn't going to fix anything, If you're being harassed you do something about it. not throw your hands up and flail



As Crimson Anime said, some people have a hard time being aggressive back to the person bothering them. They may be scared of being hurt if they try to scream, some people can be that threatening, certainly more so if they have a few drinks in them, which can happen at a con. It's basically a way of trying to protect yourself should you be in a situation that you can't handle or need someone to back you up.

Best example I can give is of a girl who was dressed as Ciel from Black butler at a different convention. while there a rather creepy man kept stalking her because he thought she was a little boy. At first she tried to avoid him, didn't work, and she wasn't sure where to get help because he had not touched her but he was giving her major creepy vibes, then he started to stroke her hair and she told him to back off, but he didn't leave her alone. Lucky for her another cosplayer (Pyramid head) saw her in need and got her out of there by saying he was with her and steered her over to his group, (mind you this is a very rare occurrence) but it would have helped out if there were more people that noticed earlier that she was having a problem with this guy. That's all that I'm looking for here, something that would get others to notice the situation and either get them to get IRT or maybe to have the guts to go over and be like "Hey man we were looking for you!" and get the person in a bad situation out of it.
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