So, this ate my morning:
Tl;dr, Having a harassment policy is a basic first step. IMPLEMENTING it is going to be harder.
Conventions are fan-run, volunteer things. We have the problems of a conference AND the problems of a family. We are not trained detectives, or judges, or victim advocates, or forensic investigators. (Most of us.)
Do banning policies work? What is the goal? Life-bans inhibit reporting, we KNOW this. No bans leave harassers free to continue. Partial bans force conventions to be parole boards.
Here’s the takeaway, and I truly want you all to take this into your hearts:
Every convention EVER from here on out will piss people off with their harassment policies and enforcement.
EVERY ONE. ALL OF US. ALL OF YOU.
We have to decide which way we want to fail.
Do we want to allow probable harassers in our conventions, and defend everyone’s right to presumed innocence and evidentiary rules?
Do we want to blacklist and ban people on hearsay and rumor, and protect abused victims at all costs?
Do we want to strike a middle ground of calm reasonableness, and offend everyone on every side through milquetoast half-measures?
Take your pick.
No, I mean it. Choose how you are going to proceed and fucking proceed.
Someone will rake you across the coals no matter WHAT you do. So pick a damn position.