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bad apples in the partner forum


Original Post
Pamela W · · California · Joined Sep 2017 · Points: 0

Hello Climbing Community,

There are a few goals I'd like to facilitate through this post:
1. Shift what was a negative experience into, hopefully, useful beta and system changes to make it more difficult for folks to be targeted with partners whose primary intentions do not involve climbing
2. Bring awareness on how to navigate meeting climbing partners - applicable to all folks but from the perspective of a younger female climber
3. Determine if the suggested changes are supported by the greater climbing community

In summary, sexual harassment and objectification took on a whole new level of vulnerability on the rock. I was naive to think this was an isolated incident. I recently came to find out a fellow younger lady climber also had a negative experience with the same person - and thus the pattern revealed itself: this person targets younger female climbers for activities unrelated to climbing, and in my experience, becomes aggressive when events don't go his way.

I have a few suggestions to make it more difficult for jerks using the partner forum with intentions unrelated to climbing:
1. The Mountain Project platform provides the option to hide your age - MP administrators have already replied positively to this suggestion, but the changes have not been implemented. I'm of the opinion that ability and goals, and not age, serve as a better indicator of a good climbing match. In the mean time, I would offer to other younger lady climbers to list your age arbitrarily as 40 or 50 to discourage targeting.
2. The MP platform provides a rating/comments system for climbers (similar to Lyft, Couchsurfing, etc.) to provide a space for partners to record positive/negative experiences. Of course, there are ways around this, such as making a new account, but it would make it more difficult for the intended party.

Please feel free to comment on suggestions 1 and 2 and more generally, if you've had a similar experience and have words of wisdom to pass along. Thank you all for your insight and commitment to maintaining a safe space for all climbing enthusiasts.

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 456

All good suggestions from the sound of it. Sorry you had a bad experience; that's pretty inexcusable.

Harry Harpham · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2017 · Points: 0

With regards to the review system: as you said, these bad apples can create new accounts and drop all of their negative reviews.  I would just like to point out that it would usually be possible for Mountain Project to identify when multiple accounts are linked to the same real-world person.  More sophisticated websites do this already.  Mountain Project could even note this in the reviews section, saying something to the effect of "this account is linked to other flagged accounts."  Savvy users could probably find ways to create multiple accounts without being caught, but I think most would not, especially if users are unable to see their own reviews and linked-account notes.

Ryan M Moore · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

That’s a shitty thing to have happen...

I think the option not to disclose age would be fine. If age is important you can ask the person before you meet up, and I’m sure most people will choose not to hide age. 
I also would not be adverse to a sticky thread on the partner forum in lieu of a rating system for creeps and nut jobs, all posts on it should be reviewed by an admin prior to publishing though.

Colonel Mustard · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Sep 2005 · Points: 1,186

That’s a nightmare scenario. What a bummer and violation of the trust of the community. I hope the site management is comprehensive and transparent in their response to this issue.

michael s... · · Denver, CO · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 60

A rating system seems 100% like a good idea. Meeting random strangers on the internet has a lot of unknowns and more data regarding what you are getting into could be beneficial in a myriad of ways.

Very sorry to hear about bad experiences. No excuse for predatory behavior and anyone who does so should face consequences.

That being said,  I have been fortunate to have met some of my favorite people through this website.

Gilman Coryell · · Mount Vernon, ME · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 65

Speaking from a position of enjoying the privilege of not having to worry about such experiences, I support these and other measures to make our community safer for all.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Yep, you have to screen your partners. And decide whether to climb with them again or not. Where is this going? Comments like "he objectified me" would be on a review?

michael s... · · Denver, CO · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 60
Comments like "he objectified me" would be on a review?
Sounds fine to me. 
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
michael s... wrote: Sounds fine to me. 

What if the person being accused says it never happened and objects to MP posting it? Does MP have liability for posting alleged false accusations? What if a person was angry for another reason and decided to post revenge comments? Any concerns about that? 

Sounds like a can of worms to me.
michael s... · · Denver, CO · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 60

Good questions, thanks for bring them up.  

 Those are all issues with reviews of anything (AirBnB.....Ebay....etc....).

I strongly feel the likelihood of some dude acting shitty to be much higher than a woman posting a "revenge review", so I feel the rewards outweigh the risks.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,460
FrankPS wrote:

What if the person being accused says it never happened and objects to MP posting it? Does MP have liability for posting alleged false accusations? What if a person was angry for another reason and decided to post revenge comments? Any concerns about that? 

Sounds like a can of worms to me.

Probably no liability issues but ya, huge can of worms on so many levels.

Caveat emptor.
PWZ · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
FrankPS wrote:

Any concerns about that? 


Not really.

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 436
FrankPS wrote:

What if the person being accused says it never happened and objects to MP posting it? Does MP have liability for posting alleged false accusations? What if a person was angry for another reason and decided to post revenge comments? Any concerns about that? 

Sounds like a can of worms to me.

I JUST WANTED TO GO CLIMBING! I HAVE A WIFE AND KIDS!  THIS IS A HIGH TECH WITCH HUNT BY THE RADICAL LEFT!


Lovena Harwood · · MA · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 400
FrankPS wrote:

What if the person being accused says it never happened and objects to MP posting it? Does MP have liability for posting alleged false accusations? What if a person was angry for another reason and decided to post revenge comments? Any concerns about that? 

Sounds like a can of worms to me.

I thought this too. But in this case, the OP said that she found out a fellow younger lady climber also had a negative experience with the same person - and thus the pattern revealed itself: this person targets younger female climbers for activities unrelated to climbing, and in my experience, becomes aggressive when events don't go his way. 

Try Cam · · Ft. Wayne, IN · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0
michael s... wrote:
I strongly feel the likelihood of some dude acting shitty to be much higher than a woman posting a "revenge review", so I feel the rewards outweigh the risks.
This. And fuck the guy who made OP and her friend feel unsafe. That kind of shit burns me up. Pamela, I’m sorry that happened to you. I hope MP implements your suggestions.


Holly Thomas · · Kingfield, ME · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

I've been fortunate enough to not be youngwomanwhosayssheclimbsbutprobablywantstobang targeted but I've definitely had some uncomfortable situations with unsafe mp partners. What are the communities thoughts on *if there were to be a partner rating system* on incorporating a spot to identify the person's sketchiness factor? Worries about that being too subjective? I'm not sure but I've definitely seen some shenanigans. In one instance, encountered serious resistance when I tried to point out the concerning action.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,460
Holly Thomas wrote: I've been fortunate enough to not be youngwomanwhosayssheclimbsbutprobablywantstobang targeted but I've definitely had some uncomfortable situations with unsafe mp partners. What are the communities thoughts on *if there were to be a partner rating system* on incorporating a spot to identify the person's sketchiness factor? Worries about that being too subjective? I'm not sure but I've definitely seen some shenanigans. In one instance, encountered serious resistance when I tried to point out the concerning action.

It is highly subjective to be reviewing people's "sketchyness" when it comes to safety.

People get crazy defensive when reviewing things or concepts, can you imagine what would happen if we started reviewing people?

I internet research anyone I will be climbing with, their Facebook profile usually tells me all I need to know.
Benjamin Chapman · · Small Town, USA · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 13,401

Thanks, Pamela W, for bringing this issue to light. Sounds like we have a Bill Cosby in the climbing community. If this is a witch hunt, let's burn that witch.
^^^+1^^^ for the CAVEAT EMPTOR comment.

mbk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

What do the dating sites do?

Em Cos · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 5
mbk wrote: What do the dating sites do?

Represent themselves accurately as dating sites, so that women can avoid them if they aren't currently interested in a date. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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