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analoq

Artist Profile Privacy Concerns

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This change may have happened six months ago or 6 seconds ago but I checked my remixer profile today and noticed an image "male.png" next to my name that ostensibly identifies my gender.

I wouldn't go as far to say that this bothers me but I'm not happy about it. My expectation is to only see personal information on my remixer profile that I've offered when submitting music or updating my forum profile. I did not offer my gender, age, sexual orientation or any other number of other personal things about myself so I don't expect to see them on this site in any formal context like the artist pages.

Is this an unreasonable expectation?

EDIT: This is more generally about privacy concerns rather than specifically about gender privacy, changing thread title to reflect this.

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This change may have happened six months ago or 6 seconds ago but I checked my remixer profile today and noticed an image "male.png" next to my name that ostensibly identifies my gender.

I wouldn't go as far to say that this bothers me but I'm not happy about it. My expectation is to only see personal information on my remixer profile that I've offered when submitting music or updating my forum profile. I did not offer my gender, age, sexual orientation or any other number of other personal things about myself so I don't expect to see them on this site in any formal context like the artist pages.

Is this an unreasonable expectation?

We didn't post anything regarding your sexual orientation, but given the public availability of your Youtube videos, etc., we considered sex (not gender) basically a "known fact" and acted accordingly.

As far as the expectation being unreasonable, if this were an individually controlled, personal profile I would agree that we acted in bad form. However, artist profile pages - for composers and ReMixers alike - are more like IMDB/MobyGames/Wikipedia pages, i.e. informational in nature and not maintained directly by artists themselves. Our intent is to provide biographical information and not to present a Facebook/MySpace style page that individuals have more control over - we have forum profiles for that. Hypothetical example: Nobuo Uematsu emails us and tells us to remove sex information from his profile. That he is male is widely known; while we'd like to comply since he's... you know... Nobuo Uematsu... we would not, because we would essentially be lying or omitting publicly available information. Now, you aren't Nobuo Uematsu, but we've ascertained this information through publicly available means, so it's still an appropriate policy, in my opinion. Similar example: should Wikipedia let Yasunori Mitsuda edit his own article and identify his gender as "Space Alien," if he's convinced that he is? I'd hope not.

I'm not trying to shoot you down, and I think this warrants more discussion, but I think perhaps the primary point to consider is that artist profile pages are more about factual information that we can ascertain rather than personal information artists themselves choose to share, which again, we have forum profiles for...

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I agree with analoq. In my case, it's not by accident that I've never given my full name to anybody on this forum directly, yet there it is on my artist page - something which I assume was found on my (private) Facebook page. (It might also be worth mentioning that my birthday is publicly available on my forum profile, but missing from my artist page.) As for the "space alien" example, I didn't lie about my name, I just chose not to disclose it.

It's not something I'm gonna pull my remixes over, but it doesn't seem right to me.

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I agree with analoq. In my case, it's not by accident that I've never given my full name to anybody on this forum directly, yet there it is on my artist page - something which I assume was found on my (private) Facebook page. (It might also be worth mentioning that my birthday is publicly available on my forum profile, but missing from my artist page.) As for the "space alien" example, I didn't lie about my name, I just chose not to disclose it.

It's not something I'm gonna pull my remixes over, but it doesn't seem right to me.

This is only my guessing but isn't it possible that you gave your full name in your submission e-mail?

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This actually looks like our bad; AFAIK Larry entered this, and it looks like he did get the info from Facebook, as I couldn't find it anywhere else.

I'll change it if you want. My personal preference is that, assuming it's correct, it remain in place, but since it's not public info, we shouldn't have assumed it was cool to add.

From our perspective, we just want to make OCR more personable, to connect listeners with artists more, and we feel like full names for ReMixers and composers, and any other data that is public, only helps achieve that goal. I personally have never understood those who seek extreme anonymity on the Internet, but I respect that there may be different considerations involved.

Clearly, though, we at least need a policy where we only add information that is publicly available, without friend status, etc.

Let me know what you want to do, and thanks for bringing this to our attention.

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For the last 7 years I've had a public profile on OCR which contained only information which I had consciously provided, so yesterday's observation sparked my concern. I accept that my expectations were the result of a false sense of control inflated by years of mere coincidence. I understand the intentions now.

artist profile pages are more about factual information that we can ascertain rather than personal information artists themselves choose to share

You could obtain my telephone number thru a public phonebook but it wouldn't be appropriate to post it, so help me understand where the line is drawn. At the moment I see fields for Real Name, Sex, Birthdate and Birthplace. I expect if any of that information is determined to be publicly available, requests to omit it will not be entertained. Is this correct? What other fields can you conceive being added in the future?

we considered sex (not gender) basically a "known fact" and acted accordingly.

The sex/gender distinction isn't specified on the profile pages. The symbol has no label. And while I know my gender cannot be ascertained publicly, I don't necessarily agree my sex can. I don't specify my sex on any public profile, nor are relevant medical records nor testimony of those who've examined my genitals publicly available*. One could certainly make assumptions based on my youtube videos, but it would still be an assumption. You may consider that to be an unrealistically high benchmark for accuracy or just frivolous but if it's my privacy we're talking about, I'll consider everything.

*Or at least I very much hope not...

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The sex/gender distinction isn't specified on the profile pages. The symbol has no label. And while I know my gender cannot be ascertained publicly, I don't necessarily agree my sex can. I don't specify my sex on any public profile, nor are relevant medical records nor testimony of those who've examined my genitals publicly available*. One could certainly make assumptions based on my youtube videos, but it would still be an assumption. You may consider that to be an unrealistically high benchmark for accuracy or just frivolous but if it's my privacy we're talking about, I'll consider everything.

*Or at least I very much hope not...

The symbol's file name and alternative text both indicate "male"; gender would be "masculine".

The argument you're making is an academic, ideological one, and while I always like fighting the good fight and might agree on some abstract level with the essence of your point, we unfortunately live in something college professors, MTV, and parents alike love to refer to as "the real world"; it is not a perfect place, and there are not unicorns.

The real world has innumerable circumstances, from ordering a chalupa at Taco Bell to pumping gas to interviewing for a job to simply walking down a street where your sex is not in any way "private"; people are ascertaining it based on your physical appearance. If the standard for referring to someone as "him" or "her" required documented genital evidence, as you sarcastically suggest, we'd live in a very awkward world; see SNL's "It's Pat" skits for reference. English and to a much greater extent many other languages like Spanish, French, Russian, etc. all have completely different words/conjugations that are employed based on sex/gender. What you're essentially proposing is that each individual should only be referred to as male or female once he/she/it has explicitly acqueisced to such a label. Based on your existence on the planet thus far, does that really seem to be how things work? I'm curious here... maybe you walk the walk AND talk the talk, but I'd highly suspect that you yourself, even on a daily basis, make conclusions about the sex and gender of others.

It's a sketchy issue and I do acknowledge some gray area, but I'm not convinced there's a huge degree of privacy involved. I consider it a reality of the human condition that participating in society requires sex/gender identification & labeling as an implicit process. Perhaps, when Scotty's beaming us up and we're using replicators to make our Earl Grey tea, society (and language itself) will have evolved... but I wouldn't hold your breath.

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I do live in the real world. I don't mind when people say "Yes m'am" or "Yes sir" when I'm at a restuarant or pumping gas because those are all informal situations.

The difference is you are trying to provide "factual information" as you say and present it authoritatively. That's a formal context which I expect to have higher standards for accuracy than when ordering a chalupa. To ascertain is to "find out with certainty" and since I did not offer the personal information in question nor do I consider it accurately available in public record, I don't agree that you've made certain of it.

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I do live in the real world. I don't mind when people say "Yes m'am" or "Yes sir" when I'm at a restuarant or pumping gas because those are all informal situations.

The difference is you are trying to provide "factual information" as you say and present it authoritatively. That's a formal context which I expect to have higher standards for accuracy than when ordering a chalupa. To ascertain is to "find out with certainty" and since I did not offer the personal information in question nor do I consider it accurately available in public record, I don't agree that you've made certain of it.

Well, we'd like to make certain of it, but there are only a few of us, artists are often unreachable (temporarily or permanently), etc. If you could confirm or deny it, I don't think that's asking for too awful much. Your definition of certainty involves genital inspection... we don't really wanna go there. At a certain point, you're just simply being unreasonable.

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Let me know what you want to do, and thanks for bringing this to our attention.

At this point, I'm fine with it. I did consider bringing it up when you sent out the e-mail about the new profiles, but even then I felt like it wasn't such a big deal. I guess all I'm saying is I would've liked it to have been my call. Thanks for understanding though.

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If you could confirm or deny it, I don't think that's asking for too awful much.

If the choices are binary then I can't confirm or deny without implicitly offering the information that I wish to keep private in formal contexts.

Your definition of certainty involves genital inspection... we don't really wanna go there. At a certain point, you're just simply being unreasonable.

It's not my intent to be unreasonable. I know I'm probably the only person who would be uncomfortable in this situation so I don't expect anyone to bend over backwards for me. But if there is a means to which my sex can be unspecified on my artist profile, I'm willing to do what it takes to make that happen. If not, I can accept that I have no control over it - whether I like that or not.

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If the choices are binary then I can't confirm or deny without implicitly offering the information that I wish to keep private in formal contexts.

It's not my intent to be unreasonable. I know I'm probably the only person who would be uncomfortable in this situation so I don't expect anyone to bend over backwards for me. But if there is a means to which my sex can be unspecified on my artist profile, I'm willing to do what it takes to make that happen. If not, I can accept that I have no control over it - whether I like that or not.

Well, it's an interesting situation & conversation. I guess my question becomes, what about mix writeups? http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR00909/ is the first example of a mix by you where I employed a male personal pronoun. In my opinion, it would be somewhat silly to keep those as is but remove "male" from your artist profile, as the one basically confirms the other... Are we really talking about completely neutralizing all references to you that involve gender pronouns? Why object now to the icon but not way before, to the pronouns?

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My impression of your write-ups is that they are your personal observations. Your write-ups often contain opinions not just about the music but about video games, movies and current events. They're pretty subjective and in my opinion, informal.

When contrasted with the artist profiles which are intended to provide factual information that is ascertained, you may see how I could be uncomfortable with one but not the other.

Though you do have a point when it comes to practicality; someone reading your write-ups would be left with the same conclusion on my sex even if it were removed from the profile page. My consolation is there are no doubts to whose opinions are represented in the write-ups. Yet the artist profile pages do not list authors or cite specific references, so visitors wouldn't know whether the information on that page was provided by myself or assumed by a staff member.

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Much in the same way I'd prefer to avoid talking to the judge when contesting a traffic ticket, I'd prefer to avoid this conversation -- but it's my only hope for finding resolution. I've been waiting a month for a response so, bump.

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Yet the artist profile pages do not list authors or cite specific references, so visitors wouldn't know whether the information on that page was provided by myself or assumed by a staff member.

You mentioned something interesting. djp, what would it take to cite references (just as a footnote at the bottom of a profile page) or include sources for all the information obtained outside of volunteered information from the artist themselves?

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Though you do have a point when it comes to practicality; someone reading your write-ups would be left with the same conclusion on my sex even if it were removed from the profile page. My consolation is there are no doubts to whose opinions are represented in the write-ups. Yet the artist profile pages do not list authors or cite specific references, so visitors wouldn't know whether the information on that page was provided by myself or assumed by a staff member.

Well, we actually do have reference links for artist profiles. Yours has your homepage as your Youtube channel, a 1st-party reference that contains your (very cool) "Incredible Singing Analoq" video, in which you appear fairly conclusively male. No, we haven't "checked" and don't want to, but it's not completely un-referenced, and you haven't denied it. We want to provide information on both mixers and composers and we want to provide as much of it as we can ascertain, with parity to what can (easily) be found on the Internet, and without the artist's ability to request that we call them "Britney Spears" and specify a birthdate of 10,000 BC because they feel like it. What specifically are you proposing our policy be, at this point, that jives with those goals?

You mentioned something interesting. djp, what would it take to cite references (just as a footnote at the bottom of a profile page) or include sources for all the information obtained outside of volunteered information from the artist themselves?

We do have the list of references, as mentioned above. It would be quite the nightmare to associate individual links with individual artist fields; but perhaps a freetext field for biographical information could accomodate such info.

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Well, we actually do have reference links for artist profiles. Yours has your homepage as your Youtube channel, a 1st-party reference that contains your (very cool) "Incredible Singing Analoq" video, in which you appear fairly conclusively male.

If my weakly-referenced Youtube profile specified my sex I would consider that to be a good source. In this case you are concluding based upon my appearance and bearing in mind persons whose appearance does not “match” their assigned sex, your conclusion is a forgivable assumption but not necessarily factual.

We want to provide information on both mixers and composers and we want to provide as much of it as we can ascertain, with parity to what can (easily) be found on the Internet, and without the artist's ability to request that we call them "Britney Spears" and specify a birthdate of 10,000 BC because they feel like it.

I’m not saying my sex is Space Alien or my birthdate is 10,000BC or my name is Britney Spears. I am not misrepresenting myself or providing disinformation. I have made a logical argument questioning the accuracy of the assumed sex on my artist profile so I requested that the dubious information be removed.

I don’t consider that request to compromise the goals of the artist profiles given that I’ve consistently chosen not to volunteer the information in question within any authoritative, public context.

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OK, I neglected the 'public' qualifier so I added it. But if you do happen to be a law enforcement officer and I happen to be operating a motor vehicle then I will be compliant in showing you my drivers license if asked.

cheers.

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Don't worry, analoq, I'll always want to procreate with you no matter what your profile says.

Edit: Holy cow when did you morph into GeckoYamori??

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If the argument can be made that almost all remixers with an Artist profile wouldn't care if the information is provided, would it not be OK to allow the remixers to ask that certain information not be given on the profile page? Surely a few omissions at the request of an individual will not be counterproductive to the website.

For instance:

  • Name: JasonP27 (Jason Patterson)
  • Roles/Credits: Idiot (27)
  • Aliases: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt
  • Birthdate: Information Omitted Upon Request
  • Birthplace:Information Omitted Upon Request

I found out my fiance's middle name early on in our friendship/relationship via the Internet... and she wondered how I knew it... and even when I told her she didn't remember putting her middle name online anywhere... and that it was publicly available just by searching. There are people that may try to keep their identity on OCRemix.org and YouTube or Facebook separate, and just because you are able to make the connection that the two users are one in the same does not mean that the user intended that.

I think if you want to be able to give that information in an Artist Profile without the artist having a say, the only way is to put it in as part of the terms of an accepted submission. If an artist wishes their remix(es) to appear on OCRemix.org, that they must accept that certain information may be gathered and provided by the staff.

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