the database of bullshit that anyone can edit
a compendium of products and services and reasons to boycott them
Violations Tracker is a database of bullshit, particularly as found in products, services and organizations that make those products and services. It is the evolution of my own personal mental blacklist; whenever I see an organization institute a practice which I consider unconscionable, I add it to my mental list of boycotted products, services and companies. When I see a practice instituted which is at least dubious, I make a mental note. I have created Violations Tracker since that mental list grows ever larger and more unwieldy, but moreso because there is surely value in informing others of these violations. We see dubious practices as they are perpetrated in transactional news articles and negative press, but this is quickly forgotten, and rarely are the underlying issues rectified; the short memory of the press creates a fatal impotence.
Violations Tracker aims to be the database of anti-consumer practices that never forgets. If an issue is rectified, that will be noted and lauded, but the historical records will always be preserved. The idea is anyone considering purchasing a product or service can see any bad practices currently or previously perpetrated by that organisation.
Structure. The structure of Violations Tracker is that products and organizations are created, and have zero or more violations tracked against them. Each violation is of a certain violation type, of which there are a finite number. Each violation type describes an archetypal practice which is problematic or concerning. Each violation type has an abbreviation assigned to it for succinct reference to the practice it describes.
Multi-viewpoint. The presence of standing violations against a product or organization is not intended to be an authoritative moral pronouncement, nor are visitors supplicated to condemn any and all violation types or instances which might be found herein. Rather, the purpose of the site is to provide advisories which have potential to be of interest to persons investigating a product or organization, whether prior to procurement or otherwise. Since violations of a nature unconcerning to the reader can easily be ignored, it is considered preferable to support a broad diversity of viewpoints in the classification of undesirable practices, rather than a singular, narrow orthodoxy. This maximises the utility of the site.
Editability. The site is operated as a wiki using MediaWiki and Semantic MediaWiki. New products, organizations, and violations can be freely reported using the links found on the corresponding pages. Visitors are encouraged to do so.
Proposal of new violation types. The classification of violation types is central to the site, and ensures that violation instances are not arbitrary. Violation instances will only be accepted where a listed violation type is applicable. Where the reporting of a violation is desired but no applicable violation type exists, a violation type proposal must be made. Such a proposal must make the case for the new violation type, using examples to support the case. If the proposal is approved, it becomes a new violation type and violations of that type can thereafter be reported.
The GPC war. The initial focus of Violations Tracker is on things that act against the interests of people who own or use items of technology, and in the interests of the manufacturer or other entities. In particular, my aim is to keep track of all known transgressions in the “GPC war”. The linked essay forms a cogent and unifying identification of practices which long predate it, but which are only accelerating in frequency and consequence. In particular, violations of owner rights as conceptualized therein are particularly emphasized, and many violation types relate to "owner rights" issues.