Paizo - Care to rebuttal?


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Cori Marie wrote:

There are many, many reasons that someone may not wish to pursue a lawsuit. Chief among them is the fact that lawsuits take a lot of mental bandwidth whether or not you're actually doing the work. My lawsuit took two years, was incredibly stressful, and caused my ulcer to flare up for the first time since high school.

Lawsuits are also expensive. Even if you find a firm willing to represent you pro bono, there may be times that you have to take days off work without pay to deal with the lawsuit or go to court.

They take a lot of time. As said before, mine took two years. Some people may not want to deal with that for several years, reliving the trauma over and over.

They make you a target. I sued a beloved local grocery store. I got death threats in the mail afterward. That was for a small grocery store in a town of 60,000 people. Paizo is a beloved TTRPG company with many fans. Suing them would bring a hellstorm from people that want to "protect" the company they love.

You can keep saying she should have sued, but there are very good reasons she may not have wanted to.

Not just the fans, but you're also going to have trouble continuing to work there and quite possibly finding other employment in the field. Especially when the field is as small and tight-knit as TTRPGs are.

Dark Archive

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YawarFiesta wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
You can't afford a lawsuit with the money Paizo pays. Unless it's small claims case, but these change nothing in grand scheme of things.

If you have solid evidence some lawyer would take the case in exchange for a substantial cut of the settlement or compensation that would be obtained.

Humbly,
Yawar

Okay, but going back to what you're attempting to illustrate with this, that a potential plaintiff chose not to pursue litigation does not mean that there wasn't a case.

Lots of people have introduced reasons why someone wouldn't want to sue, and all you've offered is that it might have been possible to get a pro bono? You're justifying things with arguments that don't actually answer any of the concerns.

Silver Crusade

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YawarFiesta wrote:
Totally Not Gorbacz wrote:
You can't afford a lawsuit with the money Paizo pays. Unless it's small claims case, but these change nothing in grand scheme of things.

If you have solid evidence, some lawyer would take the case in exchange for a substantial cut of the settlement or compensation that would be obtained.

Humbly,
Yawar

Actively not true of most for-profit law firms. Like I said above, a civil rights firm like Lambda Legal works on this model, but they have to be selective about the cases they take, and Seattle region is not a great location for them because it's already typically a more progressive rgeion and the precedent won't actually help move the needle on the national level.

Dark Archive

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It's just not a logical conclusion to say something can't have happened because there wasn't a lawsuit. It's an insulting argument.


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So to let Paizo off the hook we have to imagine a policy about the escalation of complaints, and then we have to assume that Crystal actively ignored said policy and that she also refused to go to a law firm that we have to imagine would have gladly taken her case.

That's an awful lot of imagining required in order to give Paizo a pass.


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I am confused. Some people were saying that Crystal possibly being vetoed from sharing a room with a biological female because of the existence or perception of existance of some backward law or legal precedent Paizo is no excuse. And Paizo should had incurred the legal and financial risk, and by extension the risk on their employees livelihoods, don't be cowards, and let them share a room anyway.

However, only in Crystal's case, the multiple reasons that may had influenced her are valid.

I fail to see the how, at least some of the reasons why Crystal would be reclutant to sue, wouldn't be applicable to Paizo's case.

Humbly,
Yawar


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YawarFiesta wrote:

I am confused. Some people were saying that Crystal possibly being vetoed from sharing a room with a biological female because of the existence or perception of existance of some backward law or legal precedent Paizo is no excuse. And Paizo should had incurred the legal and financial risk, and by extension the risk on their employees livelihoods, don't be cowards, and let them share a room anyway.

However, only in Crystal's case, the multiple reasons that may had influenced her are valid.

I fail to see the how, at least some of the reasons why Crystal would be reclutant to sue, wouldn't be applicable to Paizo's case.

Let me see if I understand what you're saying.

Someone says that Paizo didn't let Crystal share a room because of legal reasons, and we all said "what legal reason" and the poster couldn't provide one. They then say it was based on a liability issue, when asked to prove one they could not. They then said it was based on HR best practices and couldn't prove that either.

Because we then said that these excuses are not valid, you are claiming that Crystal should have sued and because she did not then the charges are invalidated?

If that is what you mean, then you are missing the point that these are two different issues.

The first one is people trying to create a legal justification to let Paizo OFF THE HOOK for something they are accused of having done.

The second is a personal choice made by an individual whether they wanted to enter into a long drawn out legal process.


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Cori Marie wrote:
Okay, but what is the difference between harassment that occurs from a man to a woman and say the harassment that occurs from a lesbian or bisexual woman to a woman?

The likelihood of it happening. Or at least the perceived likelihood of it. An employer would be on the hook to have foreseen one far more than the other.

HR does have peoples genders on file, but not their orientations. (Even if orientations were completely solid) Right off the bat you're looking at cutting the probability of harassment by what...90%? Over male female rooming or 45% off of random lottery. Why WOULDN"T hr take that step?

Thinking in pure either/or terms on this, or anything else really, is incredibly limiting.


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dirtypool wrote:

So to let Paizo off the hook we have to imagine a policy about the escalation of complaints, and then we have to assume that Crystal actively ignored said policy and that she also refused to go to a law firm that we have to imagine would have gladly taken her case.

That's an awful lot of imagining required in order to give Paizo a pass.

Not really, it just assumes that Paizo has complaint escalation mechanism in place, which are common, and I would be surprised and disappointed in Paizo's management if they didn't had any implemented.

Then you ask if she followed the procedure. If she did not, then she conceded the argument for Paizo being systematically transphobic. If she was being coerced or threatened into not making a report, then that is a very serious accusation that nobody involved is making. If she did, then there is a paper trail.

Humbly,
Yawar


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YawarFiesta wrote:

Not really, it just assumes that Paizo has complaint escalation mechanism in place, which are common, and I would be surprised and disappointed in Paizo's management if they didn't had any implemented.

Then you ask if she followed the procedure. If she did not, then she conceded the argument for Paizo being systematically transphobic. If she was being coerced or threatened into not making a report, then that is a very serious accusation that nobody involved is making. If she did, then there is a paper trail.

Yes those are the exact set of assumptions I said that we have to make in order to let them off the hook. There isn't evidence to support any of those - so we have to invent them in our minds. If you have evidence to support any of these assumptions, please share it. Otherwise, let's all stop INVENTING EXCUSES FOR THEM and restrict to talking about what we actually know.

Dark Archive

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YawarFiesta wrote:
Then you ask if she followed the procedure. If she did not, then she conceded the argument for Paizo being systematically transphobic.

No. This is a ridiculous leap you're making, and it is absolutely wrong.

'She didn't use Paizo's system to complain about Paizo's system so Paizo's system wasn't a problem' is blatant victim blaming, and it is not okay for anyone to blame Crystal for not 'working within the system' that was discriminating against her.

Dark Archive

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Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Completely aside, I have been more harassed as a biologically male gamer rooming with other male gamers at conventions than at any time by either transgender or female gamer roommates.

I understand what you are saying here, and because parts of this thread involve education on trans issues and terminology:

Rather than 'transgender or female women', we would say 'transgender or cisgender women'. The opposite of 'trans' isn't 'normal', nor is it 'biological', or 'real'. I think you can understand how such language might perpetuate some harmful trans stereotypes.


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An individual is not Paizo's system. If there was a system in place and she chose not to use it, the argument that the incident was systemic to Paizo looses weight.
And again, saying Paizo was coercing employees into not reporting is a very serious accusation that nobody involved is making.

Humbly,
Yawar

Silver Crusade

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YawarFiesta wrote:

I am confused. Some people were saying that Crystal possibly being vetoed from sharing a room with a biological female because of the existence or perception of existance of some backward law or legal precedent Paizo is no excuse. And Paizo should had incurred the legal and financial risk, and by extension the risk on their employees livelihoods, don't be cowards, and let them share a room anyway.

However, only in Crystal's case, the multiple reasons that may had influenced her are valid.

I fail to see the how, at least some of the reasons why Crystal would be reclutant to sue, wouldn't be applicable to Paizo's case.

Humbly,
Yawar

Ah, love to have the transphobic language come out. Thanks for confirming.

Silver Crusade

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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Cori Marie wrote:
Okay, but what is the difference between harassment that occurs from a man to a woman and say the harassment that occurs from a lesbian or bisexual woman to a woman?

The likelihood of it happening. Or at least the perceived likelihood of it. An employer would be on the hook to have foreseen one far more than the other.

HR does have peoples genders on file, but not their orientations. (Even if orientations were completely solid) Right off the bat you're looking at cutting the probability of harassment by what...90%? Over male female rooming or 45% off of random lottery. Why WOULDN"T hr take that step?

Thinking in pure either/or terms on this, or anything else really, is incredibly limiting.

Throwing stats out there is absolutely wild, especially when you have no source to back them up. What's your source that harassment is 90% less likely if roommates share genitalia types?


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YawarFiesta wrote:
If there was a system in place and she chose not to use it, the argument that the incident was systemic to Paizo looses weight.

And If there was NO system in place then the argument that Paizo is innocent loses weight.

Can you prove the existence of a system of the type you're discussing - or is it just guesswork on your part because you don't want Paizo to be in the wrong?

Also, no one involved is making an accusation that Paizo was pressuring people into not reporting - because no one involved is claiming that there was a reporting mechanism in place at the time.

There isn't an HR department, there is an HR service that they began using in recent years but we don't know if it was added before this incident, after this incident, or because of this incident.

So take your hypotheticals and either prove them or shut up about them.

Dark Archive

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If all you have is a shovel, it doesn't mean you should keep digging.

Dark Archive

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Now that I've mentioned it, I'm sure we won't see anymore posts with the phrase 'trans or biological woman', right? We're past that bit of transphobia?


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dirtypool wrote:


There isn't an HR department, there is an HR service that they began using in recent years but we don't know if it was added before this incident, after this incident, or because of this incident.

So you are saying that you don't know if Paizo addressed the issue or not?

Humbly,
Yawar


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Once again you do not have to any money to go through the labor board or EEOC. They can provide mediation or taking an employer to court. Instead of talking about suing and the money it would take. Said employees could have and can go through these agencies. It can also provide some protection from retaliation. So there is no need at all to get a lawyer.

I do not know why you keep saying I said there were laws about employees staying in a room together. Never said that and have repeatedly said so. What I did say was that if there was not precedents or laws recognizing someone’s self identification. There could be potential harassment issues if the person was self identify as a women but there was no legal or presedence to acknowledge that. I provided what labor lawyers said about a man sharing a room with a women. Now the person does not identify as a man but is there legal presedence to back that up.
You are saying there is great you may want to share that to help other transgender people with these presedence they could share with the EEOC or labor board when they file compliant. They do not have to get a lawyer or sue. The lawyer would be looking at EEOC laws as it is.


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YawarFiesta wrote:

So you are saying that you don't know if Paizo addressed the issue or not?

I'm saying that unless Paizo releases information one way or another - NO ONE KNOWS whether Paizo addressed the issue or not.

Silver Crusade

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YawarFiesta wrote:
dirtypool wrote:


There isn't an HR department, there is an HR service that they began using in recent years but we don't know if it was added before this incident, after this incident, or because of this incident.

So you are saying that you don't know if Paizo addressed the issue or not?

Humbly,
Yawar

We have testimonial that they have not. Which is more than you have that they did fix the issue.


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Mergy wrote:

I understand what you are saying here, and because parts of this thread involve education on trans issues and terminology:

Rather than 'transgender or female women', we would say 'transgender or cisgender women'. The opposite of 'trans' isn't 'normal', nor is it 'biological', or 'real'. I think you can understand how such language might perpetuate some harmful trans stereotypes.

That's completely an error on my part, and I apologize for the wording.

Post personally deleted after flagging (made the deadline for that). It contributed very little to discussion and caused harm.

Shadow Lodge

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That's more proof than Dave2 has provided. Also, there is the corroboration of a third employee and the statements made in response.


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The burden of proof is on the accuser and is really hard to prove a negative. Crystal's accusation, if I remember correctly, was that Paizo vetoed her from going to a convention, not "I wasn't allowed to go to gencon 2016" or something as easy verify.

Humbly,
Yawar


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YawarFiesta wrote:
The burden of proof is on the accuser

You made the accusation that she failed to use an existing reporting process, the burden of proof on that charge would fall to you. Can you prove it?


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YawarFiesta wrote:

That's is horrible! She should had taken them to court for that horrible mistreatment. That would have been a hefty settlement, to say the least, and an improvement for other trans individuals at Paizo.

Humbly,
Yawar

Because suing your employer is cheap, risk free and a guarantee of victory.

Liberty's Edge

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dirtypool wrote:

Can you cite the laws you mentioned or did you make it up?

It's put up or shut up time.*

Long post, button time:
Sure thing, does the ACLU work for you? Perhaps the WA state department of health? Pay close attention to how a birth cert and sexual designation could not be changed until... funny, at the earliest Jan 2018, well AFTER the incident occurred.

Funny thing too, employers have to register their employees with the state that itself follows its own guidelines and prior to the law in question being passed (Let me be clear this is a GOOD AND RIGHTEOUS CHANGE) certifies these things not only for a birth cert but everything else that flows from that such as state ID, demographics information, and how a person is legally classified for the purpose of criminal and civil litigation. Fundamental definitions also came things such as how sexual harassment guidance and policies were created and enforced by ... again the state. The same legislation that was passed and relevant there was pretty much universally swept across the whole nation around that same time as well, as some of you might remember as being part of huge and long-fought legal victories.

In other words, it was a liability risk that could have cost them untold sums of money if it was discovered that Paizo willingly chose to ignore these guidelines they'd have been in breach of complying and follow the enforcement of these sexual harassment and workplace safety guidelines.

Now, do I think two+ adults of mixed gender/presentation/identity who work together for a business should be able to always just agree to consent and sign off on anything that could occur without it falling back on the company that sent them there in the first place? Of course, I do, but that isn't how these things work, you either enforce all of the regulations you as a company have agreed to or, ironically enough, your company is "doing a discrimination" against some individuals by offering preferential treatment to certain individuals and not others.

Anyone who has been through a decent enough training course in this stuff and absorbed any of it could tell you that bunking employees together regardless of their gender/etc is a minefield and a bad business practice to employ at the VERY least.

Cry that the law and regulations were unjust because they were, but you cannot fault a business nor its employees for protecting themselves from civil or criminal liability. For God Sake, all of these accusations and fiddly need for proofs for you needy people who really don't even care about anything other than continuing to play the victim game so you can lob attacks at people. Trying to tear down people's careers, "burn down" Paizo, sending actual legal and death threats, and shame people over a decision almost certainly made in order to follow existing and legally mandated harassment policy.

Anyway, I doubt I'm going to win anyone over with any of this that isn't already thinking clearly instead of acting tribalistic as if one of your family was attacked but I tried, if you cannot grasp what I (and others) then I really don't know what to say, reason must be lost on you. These people do not deserve your hate, threats being sent their way.

That's my last 2c, I have no intent on replying to this thread any longer as I've already invested enough time and emotional energy in what feels like an effort to convince someone to stop punching their friend in the face because a couple of bullies accused them of saying a bad word four years ago. Your enemies are the people USING you, maybe you should think long and hard about the little bit that SM leaked from her private Twitter a bit harder because it wasn't meaningless.

Shadow Lodge

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Many industries have "The Convention" - the main one that is critical to their industry every year. Smaller companies sometimes double up room occupants to save costs. Sending your key employees to it is not just good for that employee, but as that employee grows, good for their employer.

I can't imagine if there was an issue with room sharing that someone as talented and important to the company as the individual we are discussing couldn't have asked the CEO at the time to spring for their own room. Heck, they could have probably funded that directly by having a sale on adventures/scenarios written by that same person.

The incremental $1000 or so a year is well worth the investment in personnel development and more importantly, employee goodwill. This doesn't feel like an issue of "we're over-spoiling our employees!"


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Nope these are labor lawyers. So not HR. Also would not invalidate HR consultants over people posting here.

https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/is-it-illegal-for-an-employer-to-require -male---fe-1116890.html

So no they have not provided more proof than I have. What I was asked was to provide sources on how men and women sharing a room is not advised due to the potential of a harassment case. Some take it step farther and say sharing a room at all.

Then I said share a room may be more of complex issue than what is thought. At the time of the incident was self identification legally recognized. If it was at that time there could be case. If not then it could be viewed as an issue by them and decided against sharing a room because Gen Con was a voluntary activity and not part of the job description.

If an EEOC case was done through mediation they would be talking about it due to the mediation being confidential. If there was a court case you would know. Also repeated violations could lead to escalation by the EEOC such as court case. Issues seem to have continued.

If they did sue the damages would likely not outweigh the legal cost. Maybe 2 or 3 times yearly salary. They were denied going to Gen con a voluntary activity. Networking with other potential employers.

So at the time they denied the room sharing it could have been based on bad policy at the time. What was there to guide them though. Was there legal presidents and guidelines for self identification. I have not seen any so I do not know.

Moving forward they have taken a step forward if they hire an HR person.
I

Silver Crusade

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So what does changing a birth certificate have to do with who can or can't room together in a hotel? Again, I'd like you to point me to the law that says specifically that two people with differing genitalia can't room together. You can't, because it doesn't exist.


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Themetricsystem wrote:
word soup that does none of that he claimed

The American Civil Liberties Union is an advocacy group that makes no public policy and creates no legislation. The Washington Dept of Health is a cabinet level department in the state of Washington.

Both of those linked sites talk about protecting trans people from harassment and discrimination, make no mention of hotel sharing, and in no way prove some magical liability issue. So: what are you trying to say?

The subtext is everything you say seems to be that the cisgender woman employee would somehow have been at a predatory risk from the trans employee - which would mean that the decision was made in fear of the potential actions of a trans employee. Otherwise known as: transphobia.

Quoting that bunking employees together is a minefield implies once again that the two employees hadn’t both volunteered to room together.

Nothing in your post is, as you claimed, proof that Paizo was legally required to refuse the room request.

Thanks for making it a wall of text to try to make it look more correct though, the effort really shows.


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Dave2 wrote:

Nope these are labor lawyers. So not HR. Also would not invalidate HR consultants over people posting here.

https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/is-it-illegal-for-an-employer-to-require -male---fe-1116890.html

Read the title again Dave. Is it illegal for an employer to REQUIRE… they are rendering an opinion on a different issue than you are discussing.

Do you understand the difference between Paizo requiring a male and female employee to room together and two female identifying employees VOLUNTEERING to room together. Are those words clear enough?

“Dave2” wrote:
So no they have not provided more proof than I have.

. The “they” being referenced was Crystal who provided a corroborating witness. So yes they provided more proof than you.

“Dave2” wrote:
What I was asked was to provide sources on how men and women sharing a room is not advised due to the potential of a harassment case. Some take it step farther and say sharing a room at all.

You were asked to provide evidence to support your claim about a trans woman and a woman. You didn’t provide that, and what you did provide is opinions about a policy forcing a man and woman to stay together - which is a fundamentally different issue.


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It's really funny people are trying to find imaginary transphobic laws to minimise the more-than-likely transphobic actions of someone in Paizo in regards to a trans WOMAN and a cis WOMAN sharing a room together when they want to.

It would change nothing about how horrible an act like that would be. It wouldn't chage anything about what anybody is saying here. It says a lot about some posters views when they keep bringing it up and implying that people are being tricked or mislead. Wonder what that reminds me of.

Trans and non-binary people here have raised valid concerns and want them addressed by Paizo - whether vague or not, they need to at-least show, through action, that they support their transgender and non-binary staff and that those people are welcome and cherished at Paizo, and as customers.

Right now, that hasn't been shown.

Paizo Employee Director of Community

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Removed more posts that crossed into personal attacks. Please take a step back and breathe before you post replies, it will help the entire moderation team. Thank you!


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dirtypool wrote:
YawarFiesta wrote:
The burden of proof is on the accuser
You made the accusation that she failed to use an existing reporting process, the burden of proof on that charge would fall to you. Can you prove it?

It was prefaced under an asumption, and it was one three possible scenarios following that asumption. While there is no proof that either or none were the case, the reasonable possibilty of an scenario different than systemic transphobia compunded by the lack of specifics in Crystal's accusation should be enough to proof reasonable doubt on Paizo's side.

In short, we don't know what happened. It is possible, due to the lack specifics, that even Paizo doesn't know what happened.

Humbly,
Yawar


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YawarFiesta wrote:
It was prefaced under an asumption, and it was one three possible scenarios following that asumption. While there is no proof that either or none were the case, the reasonable possibilty of an scenario different than systemic transphobia compunded by the lack of specifics in Crystal's accusation should be enough to proof reasonable doubt.

Nope. To prove reasonable doubt you would have to be able to demonstrate that there was a process in place, and that a conscious choice was made to circumvent that process. Since the process may or may not actually exist and you can provide no evidence of its existence, you’ve still got bubkiss.

If this were a legal proceeding and I were countering your argument, beyond just saying “objection: speculation” I would only need to go as far as Jeff’s blog post from Monday that indicates there is no current HR department and that their current reporting process is a free anonymous hotline that they established in 2018 - incidentally the same year Crystal left Paizo.

So your clear paper trail reporting process either did not exist because it had already been replaced by an anonymous hotline - or it was a process so ineffective that an anonymous hotline was deemed a better solution.

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