May 18th, 2011

YouTube serves a social purpose: Yale's DKE suspended

Back in October, a YouTube video got a lot of media coverage. It showed DKE members (the Bushes were once members) saying very, very bad things. There was much outrage.

Over six months later, Yale has finally figured out a response. The fraternity chapter has been suspended and may not conduct any activities on campus including recruiting for five years. Apparently particular individuals were punished as well.

"Yale's disciplinary actions Tuesday come several weeks after officials confirmed the university was under federal investigation for a possible Title IX violation. The complaint that prompted the investigation alleged that the school's policies permitted a "sexually hostile environment" to exist on campus."

I think what we are looking at here is really solid proof that elite institutions do not, actually give a flying fuck about their reputation. They are completely okay with the idea that the population at large looks at them and thinks, I Will Never, Ever, Ever Let My Child Near That Cesspool if that's what's going on over there. They do, however, care about action by legal authorities. If there are, indeed, any starry-eyes anarcho-capitalist idealists out there (doubtful) this should be a clue that reputation is not strong enough an enforcement mechanism.

UK coverage of French coverage of DSK scandal

Each country has law governing what can and cannot legally be said or depicted about people in the media. According to this article, "The CSA, the government's media watchdog, warned to use "the greatest restraint" in broadcasting them because the French law on presumption of innocence does not allow suspects to be shown in handcuffs."

It isn't just US media taking pokes at French media. "The feminist French lawyer Gisèle Halimi, praised the US justice system, which she said protected women's dignity. "I am convinced that if this affair had taken place in France, we would never have heard anything about it," she told Le Parisien." (I'm assuming the Guardian produced the translation?)

This is a discussion that has to happen in every country, as each country weighs the risks of amplifying a false accusation vs. allowing people to continue abusing a position of power. It is an iterative process that tends to lag cultural consensus, IMO. I'm a big believer in making the powerful feel their position is precarious. I think it's good for them.

Where are the March 2011 numbers from AAP?

Here are the dates on press releases for previous months:

April 14 (for February)
March 17 (for January)
February 16 (for year end)
January 14 (for November)
December 8 (for October)
November 8 (for September)

I don't see press releases for earlier months, however, it's possible I am failing to see a link somewhere. Because I don't have earlier press releases, I can't do a year-over-year comparison -- perhaps they always run late in the middle of the year?

I really don't sit around checking this every day, nor have I set up a reminder to check. It just occurred to me that the numbers were probably out since it was the middle of the month and I went to look.

The absence of the numbers, however, is fertile ground for speculation. AAP has been saying that digital numbers were strong for some reason associated with the holidays and/or the gift cards kiddies got at the holidays or whatever, however, that excuse will be kinda thin if March was strong for digital.

Perhaps they'll be posted tomorrow. Maybe I'll go look around for speculation elsewhere.