The Con Anti-Harassment Project aims to formalize rules and standards to be enforced by con organizers in order to ensure a safe and non-threatening environment for all convention attendees.

It was prompted by a rather … bizarre event. After one recent convention, a blogger posted about how he had expressed a desire to live in a world where one could ask women if you could feel their breasts and they wouldn’t be offended. Whereupon, one of his female friends said “no problem”, and from there it snowballed into asking random females if they minded being groped. Apparently, many said “no problem”. This snowballed in an attempt to give out buttons with “Yes, you may ask me” and “No, you may not ask me” to female con attendees.

Some of the reactions to the post describing these events – from both women and men – were positive. A great number were appalled, however, with many women saying that they already feel creeped out by less-than-gentlemanly male con attendees, and that this type of attitude, couched as voluntary participation or not, is going to make them liable to never attend another con.

The original poster has since realized the damage his post has caused, and has retracted the suggestion that others take up the program. A billion reactions to the post can be read here.