Eightmaps.com mashes Prop 8 donors with Gmaps, slightly queasy feeling

Eightmaps.com is a mash-up of Google Maps and California's public database of those who donated to support or fight Proposition 8, the amendment to the state constitution that eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry. Not all donors are shown on the mashup map, however, which instead only shows the names, addresses, and amount donated by those who supported the bill banning gay marriage. I'm unequivocally in support of same-sex marriage, but I did arch an eyebrow at Prop8Maps. It's not that I think putting public information into a more easily digestible form is bad, but that I hope desperately that no one uses the information for any sort of fruitless retribution. I'd be just as worried if someone made a map of anti-Prop 8 supporters (and it could just as easily be done). But it's out there, here I am a'linkin', and I suppose that's the way of things. Suppose that's the nature of open government. Prop 8 donor mash-up [Eightmaps.com]
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40 Responses to Eightmaps.com mashes Prop 8 donors with Gmaps, slightly queasy feeling

  1. calwatch says:

    From a technical standpoint, it doesn’t appear they have access to the addresses, only zip+4 information, which goes down to the block level (and usually requires access to a database of several thousand dollars to transmogrify zip+4’s into street locations, since Google Maps does not geocode zip+4’s). Zip+4s go down to the street level, and a few checks from the downloadable database on the Secretary of State’s web site show that they did not bother to convert the contributions with just regular zip codes into the map. The solution in the future for the address coding is pretty simple: stop publishing zip+4 data, much like addresses are not posted online. Zip+4 data goes down generally to the block and side of the street level, which usually narrows down the target to just a handful of homes.

  2. noen says:

    I don’t want to live in a society where bigots are oppressed. I want them to be stigmatized, ridiculed and ostracized. I don’t care about changing their minds either, it’s their behavior that needs to change. That’s not “turning prejudice upon the prejudicial”, that’s “actions have consequences”.

    “When we stop hating, and start making friends, then we become a universally tolerant society.”

    This is a Utopian pipe dream. Such a society has never existed and never will exist. In reality a society is a balance of competing forces. Fascists, Religious Theocracy, Aristocracy, Corporatism, Marxists, Social Democrats and so on. All competing for their ideology. All held together in a dynamic equilibrium. I believe that the best we can hope for is to tamp down the worst elements and maintain eternal vigilance. Which I hear is the price you pay.

  3. sgj says:

    @13 who said “I will boycott businesses who’s owners donated to prop 8, but there is a line, and this crosses it.”

    Wouldn’t this map help you do that? I mean, avoiding businesses (and people) who don’t share your values is completely legal and fair, and you’re now more equipped to do that.

    Further, and I have no information, but would it be illegal to correlate people on the map with their businesses, to better equip like-minded SF’ers to “vote with their money” and let the majority build the community it wants to live in?

  4. clueless in brooklyn says:

    I think it would be a little scarier showing those who approved prop 8 had it failed versus what we are seeing on this site.

    I think the fruitless “retributioners” more often come from the anti-choice, anti-women, anti-gay sect than those who seek equality for all people.

    Not a lot of assassins, bombers & extreme acts of hateful protest coming from the left, minus a few eco-warriors stabbing your Hummer’s tires in Oregon.

  5. gogsy1999 says:

    Is “fruitless retribution” a pun?

  6. styrofoam says:

    There was a story awhile ago in The Register about a mashup of some Nationalistic right wing donor list and google maps. It was causing quite a brouhaha.

    I’m torn on the transparency here. Voting booths are supposed to be private, but not donor lists. But without disclosure on the donor lists you can end up with massive impropriety with funding of candidates. This is where you start to pic your poison, I guess.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m a little stunned by some of the ambiguity I’ve read here. That map is for one purpose only, and that’s to harass and to terrorize. Now granted, historically acts of harassment or terrorism have come from the far right in this country, but the far left has no monopoly on tolerance either. Invading and disrupting church services, vandalizing property, ripping a large cross from an old woman’s hands and then stomping on it, beating up a Christian girl in downtown SF by a gay man, emails designed to get people fired who supported Prop 8 have all been part of the mix (that has gotten little attention from the liberal media).

    Tolerance goes BOTH ways, Gay Lobby. If you really believe in democracy and civil government, then you will RESPECT my right to disagree with you and to think you’re wrong. For years the Left has been telling us to turn the other way, change the channel, etc. Well they’ve forgotten that that applies to them as well. Mob rule does not a great country make.

    BTW, tolerance today has been twisted in its definition. It actually means “to put up with”. It does NOT mean that I am supposed to eagerly embrace your ways, beliefs, etc., regardless of how repugnant I might find them. That is the OPPOSITE of true tolerance, because it means I have to engage in self-inflicted thought-control just to appease you. The radical Left that is represented by this Prop 8 map seems to have forgotten what the 1st Amendment means. It means that even something you’d define as “hate speech” you MUST TOLERATE. You try to change it through debates, votes, etc., but NOT by this Hitlerian-style intimidation.

    I think, ironically enough, these gay radicals are taking a page out of the books of Nazis, radicalized Muslims, etc., people who’ve historically squashed gays and who still believe that that’s legitimate policy. Idiotic and hypocritical all day long.

  8. Joel Johnson says:

    Gogsy1999: It is, despite the fact that I was trying to leave levity completely out of this one. But then I saw it sitting there and decided, you know, why not?

  9. mgfarrelly says:


    The far right has no monopoly on hatred or acts of violence/destruction. I don’t think it will escalate to the level of physical assaults, but petty vandalism and property crimes? Lots of red paint has been spilled on many a fur.

    I share the queasy feeling of this. Yes, it’s open government, but I worry about a chilling effect on people supporting any controversial legislation or candidate for fear of being mapped out.

    Prop 8 is a loathsome and deplorable piece of legislation but I’d rather engage the people who supported it in vigorous debate than single them out and make them fearful.

    As I see it, being scared is what got them where they are in the first place.

  10. icky2000 says:

    Information that was public in text is now public in pictures. I don’t get the outrage.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t muss the thread with this but I’ve not heard this position much publicly…every time I hear someone argue for same sex marriage publicly I get upset..shouldn’t we instead point out that marriage itself is a religious thing and ask that the government get out of the business entirely? Seems like it would make more sense to let religious organizations marry whomever they wish and let the government adopt a secular civil union type thing that is gender neutral. There need be no connection between the two. Then those that want to keep marriage between a man and a woman are free to do that within their own religious institution. There’s no religion embedded in a historical sense of a civil union so perhaps it would be less controversial for those folks.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Noen, you’re paranoid to say the least. Or just plain bigoted. To suggest that anyone opposing gay marriage is secretly out to eliminate all homosexuals is mind-numbingly stupid. *I* am a Christian. Bible-believing. I voted FOR Prop 8. In your troubled mind you’d actually accuse me of wanting you dead or at least thrown in a prison camp somewhere. I’m all for moral absolutes, but to say that you either love gay marriage or you want gays dead shows a bit of an imbalance on your part. Indeed, it is probably someone with just such an imbalance who posted that fascist map.

    A lot of you have equated a distaste for gay marriage to bigotry. For those who still have a clear head, this is a typical tactic of the Left: If you disagree with them you’re a hater. It’s a great debating technic as it puts your opponent instantly on the defensive. It’s based on emotion and feelings, not reason or intellect. Unfortunately it has been very effective, however thoughtless it may be.

    Want illegal immigration stopped? You’re a bigot. I’m not sure against whom since illegal aliens come in all sizes, shapes and colors, but you’re prejudiced nonetheless.

    Believe that gay BEHAVIOR is morally wrong? You’re a neanderthal who needs to be publicly shamed. Oh, and you’re also a bigot and a homophobe.

    Look, I believe that homosexuality should not be publicly legitimized and equated to heterosexuality in the form of gay marriage. Evolutionarily speaking, Biblically speaking, rationally speaking, homosexual behavior has no natural justification. Period. Sorry, that’s the truth. Homosexuals know this but desperately need “straight validation” to make them more comfortable with their lifestyle. That’s what this gay marriage debate is all about. But that’s where any sane person ends it. I’ll support any homosexual who’s been assaulted, harassed, kept out of an apartment, etc., because there must be a balance between ostracizing them and putting them on a pedestal. The Left has done the latter, the Right, the former. And neither is constructive; neither, IMO, is American.

    Back to the bigotry argument… where now does one draw the line since even personal behavior can no longer be held up for moral scrutiny or a differing opinion? It used to be that prejudice was about hating where someone came from, their religion or what their race was. Now it applies to what they DO, and in the supposed privacy of their bedrooms no less. This is very, very dangerous, because any behavior can be put under that umbrella and therefore protected from some “neanderthal’s” judgment. Beastiality? Pedophilia? Adultery? Bank robbery? C’mon folks. Oh of course I’m crazy. All the above examples are ridiculous, right? Well was gay marriage on the map in the US even 10 years ago? I believe it’s in the Netherlands now that adulterers are a “protected class”. Then there’s NAMBLA’s attempt to redefine pedophilia as an alternative lifestyle. And if I have my facts straight, they’re actually getting some backing from so-called psychologists, including the APA.

    The dam’s been broken and more holes are popping through. I’m one of many trying to plug them up. If you don’t think they should be repaired, then publicly debate me. But stop with the name-calling, intimidation, harassment and violence and then in the same breath complain about intolerance. (And in all fairness I’d call upon all of the unhinged on the Right as well to do the same. Your fear only gets you violence in return, putting gays on a defensive posture.)

  12. Milo Minderbender says:

    This kind of device is tailor made to squash freedom of expression by use of fear. Fear of retribution for how you think.

    We can all be Joe McCarthy now.

  13. guy_jin says:

    I unequivocally approve of this. All too often, bigots are protected by walls of silence. Now we can know which of our neighbors are potentially dangerous.

  14. grimc says:

    A friend of mine who’s black and grew up in the South once told me he preferred Southern racists over Northern ones.

    “Because Southern racists don’t hide it.”

    You cannot change hearts and minds that pretend to be your friend in public while in reality are your enemy in private.

  15. pork musket says:

    @6 Are you delusional? All of your neighbors are potentially dangerous.

  16. AirPillo says:

    I’m a little frustrated by how ambiguous my feelings are about this.

    One side of me thinks that if people wish to suppress others’ rights, they should be willing to stand up to public scrutiny and be known for the position on which they stand.

    On the other hand, anonymous (or, at least, somewhat anonymous) participation in the democratic process is something that we all understand as being an inherent right, and this does seem to creep a little close to the line, there.

    In the end, I guess that if I don’t wish to fall into some childish eye-for-an-eye thought model, I need to focus more on the latter feeling… even though I would really love to believe in the former. :/

  17. SuperMario__Galaxy says:

    Are there any well-known names on the map?

  18. bloggowoggo says:

    Oh the possibilities —-

    So the gays decide to vote with their pocket book.
    I’m sure many businesses would consider that a gift — having the gays stay away from their business that is.

    So the gays get ticked off when they realize this, and decide to protest or picket the business. Those living straight, of which there are many more of, take sides and help out the YES ON 8 owned business that much more.

    So the person who set up the site is hoping that there will be some retribution for having such an employee that donated to YES ON 8. Then, a YES ON 8 donor gets fired. What wonderful publicity for the gay community —- showing how intolerant they are. And with a little bit of luck, it’s revealed that the person was fired for how they voted. Lawsuit to the max.

    So now, it’s said that the gays will use this to talk to their neighbors about how they donated to YES ON 8. That is, they’ll do the very thing they hate having done to themselves — they will PREACH to someone who believes other than them.

    So now they decide to just talk behind their neighbors back or give them the dirty eye. What a classy move by those gays.

    With nothing else to satisfy their desires, they decide to vandalize a YES ON 8 donor’s property. And in doing so, they show themselves for being the biggest of slime-balls and hypocrites.

    Oh the consequences.

    The purpose of the Prop 8 Map was not altruistic as some would like you to believe.

  19. clueless in brooklyn says:

    I wouldn’t call it a monopoly, Mgfarrelly, but who from the left has killed US presidents, blown up US Federal buildings, started militias up north and lychnmobs in the south, mailed bombs to celebrities, politicians and medical clinics and called dead American soldiers fags at their own funerals?

    Sorry, not liberals. There’s always exceptions, it’s alot scarier when the right wingers have your personal information.

    If we had someone as polarizing as Bush coming from the left, I highly doubt he would still be alive.

  20. Downpressor says:

    A friend of mine who’s black and grew up in the South once told me he preferred Southern racists over Northern ones.

    “Because Southern racists don’t hide it.”

    You cannot change hearts and minds that pretend to be your friend in public while in reality are your enemy in private.

    Chuck D once said something very similar about “liberals” and “conservatives”. One would think its good to know where people around you stand on things, but OTOH this kind of mapping turns my stomach. OTOOH if it were a map of people contributing to a group which sought to legislate my group out of something I’d probably let my curiosity trump my feeling of disgust.

  21. GeekMan says:

    Shame on all of you who support this in the slightest.

    We do not stop prejudice by being crafting more prejudice in return.

    It is horrible that there is still such a high degree of intolerance in our society. But we you can’t force someone to change their mind. You can silence them, you can demonize them, but you can’t WILL them to think differently. You have to convince them.

    We live in a democracy. And that unfortunately means that sometimes we have to put up with people who have despicable political opinions. We live in a society where anyone can engage in discourse to enlighten, educate, or change people’s political opinions with the discussion of IDEAS.

    When we try to make people more tolerant of diversity by going to their houses with torches and pitchforks to say, “We don’t want your kind here”, then we have invariably become the very people we criticize for intolerance.

    I can’t express how utterly disappointed I am.

  22. Halloween Jack says:

    The closest thing to “fruitless retribution” was right after Prop 8 passed when a bunch of fundies went down to the Castro and started waving bibles in the faces of some very angry protesters, with what should have been very predictable results.

  23. mkultra says:

    Not sure this is entirely a good thing, but technically it isn’t prejudice. Prejudice can be described as pre-judging: judging someone before they have done anything to warrant the judgement.

    This is the exact opposite: judging people for what they have already done.

    The irony is that the pro-8 crowd is such a fan of judging people not on what they have done, but on who they happen to be. And here they are crying foul when they find themselves being judged for working to deny civil rights to others.

    So yes, I judge them: I judge them and their ilk to be despicable. Shame on them.

  24. clueless in brooklyn says:

    Giving money to political parties and/or movements should and will be public information. This is important on a federal lobbying level as well as per individual.

    There’s no pitchforks and torches here, only some unnecessary melodrama.

  25. noen says:

    Intolerance should not be tolerated. Hatred, bigotry and racism is not “discourse”. Those who promote torture, racism and other forms of hate should not be given a free pass to spread their filth. We do not have to put up with those who seek our destruction.

    Shaming and social opprobrium are how societies regulate themselves. The alternative is to allow fascist elements to succeed. That strategy is a losing one.

    I’m not advocating violence. I am advocating boycotts, public humiliation, loss of social status. It is the only way.

  26. CGI_Joe says:

    I can only look at this abstractly, as “hey, there are a lot of red dots around me.” However clicking on any of those red dots doesn’t make me feel better. Knowing their names, or their address, does not in any way make me feel like something progressive is being accomplished.

    As a gay man I was very upset about Prop 8, and very upset about the lies, and the hate being pointed my direction. This seems like the worst sort of behavior. I will boycott businesses who’s owners donated to prop 8, but there is a line, and this crosses it.

  27. guy_jin says:

    I would prefer to live in a society where bigots are the oppressed, rather than the oppressors.

  28. GeekMan says:

    You may not be the ones lighting the torches or sharpening the pitchforks, but there is no difference between this and stepping into a conservative southwestern town to say, “That feller down the road is gay.” You know exactly what the outcome is going to be, and you complicit.

    “Intolerance should not be tolerated.”

    That is such a silly mantra.

    Hatred, bigotry and racism is not “discourse”.

    No, but if you are better than to stoop to prejudice, use the power of your righteous ideas and arguments to change minds, not grind axes.

  29. clueless in brooklyn says:

    I do not know what the outcome is going to be by telling someone that their neighbor is gay.

    I’m going with the “silly mantra” on this one.

    I think you need help defining the difference between being knowledgeable and being destructive.

  30. Anonymous says:

    “Intolerance will not be tolerated”.

    Are you serious? Please tell me I’m not the only one to notice the dichotomy here. How dare you be intolerant of my intolerance. “Tolerance” is the mantra of the society without morals. You can’t enforce laws without being intolerant of people who think stealing is alright, or murder is no big deal.

    This website appalls me. Why? Do you think its coincidental that when we go to vote, there is a curtain that is around the booth? In this country, we WANT people to express WHATEVER opinion they have in their ballot, and not be pressured into a certain opinion. If you want a society that removes the secret from our expression of beliefs, and has soldiers watching you as you put your ballot in one of two boxes, waiting to put you in a dark, dank cell when you place it in the “wrong” box, I suggest you move outside of the United States.

    Oh, and in regards to the first comment, no the left usually IS the side to express their beliefs violently. Hence why church members were attacked by gay activists as they left their service, and riots causing damage occurred in a restaurant owned by an individual who donated to Prop 8.

  31. GeekMan says:

    Clueless In Brooklyn:

    A poor choice of wording, perhaps. “You have a pretty good idea”. At best, there will be a degree of segregation and ostracization. At worst, pitchforks and torches.

    I understand that records of political donations should be public. That too is a symptom of a healthy democracy. But building a tool to “out” people’s political views can only serve one purpose: to meet prejudice with more prejudice. I can’t agree with that.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Note to the rest of the world:

    Don’t do stuff to other people that you can’t handle them finding out about. All you need is the courage of your convictions – if it ain’t worth fighting for, it ain’t really worth your support. Don’t promote hate unless you’re willing to go to the wall.

    There, problem all gone. Everybody happy? No? It’s a god-given right to be able to anonymously and safely support interference with other people’s lives to suit one’s particular bigotries? Geez, people are just so hard to please these days. Next you’ll want dehydrated water.


  33. Anonymous says:

    It may be helpful for sociologists, etc, to study a map similar to this (I’m thinking tints over blocks, rather than pins) which could and should be done by polling station, but as much as I hate the pro-8 opinion, I see this as a big “Lynch em now!” arrow that serves no one.

  34. GregLondon says:

    “Don’t Divorce Us” campaign:


  35. clueless in brooklyn says:

    No one was tricked or “outted” by this website.

    When you donate your money to any political action you must know that this is now public information.

    It’s not like anyone is being wire-tapped and exploited on deeply personal beliefs.

    Just because one guy took public information and made a little google map visually describing it, doesn’t infringe upon anyone’s rights.

  36. GeekMan says:

    What is the point of this map?

  37. clueless in brooklyn says:

    There are several points to be learned from creating this kind of tool. One off the top of my head, is that it’s a good reminder that your neighbors may not be the tolerant, open-minded San Franciscans that you once thought they were.

    I lived in SF for a long time and I always kind of felt that there was a collective tolerance exhibited in people that was harder to find on the East coast.

    This map is a good reminder for me that I was Clueless in San Francisco also.

  38. Marshall says:

    This kind of thing should be standard for all propositions. People might “buy influence” with more forethought (on any issue) if they saw just how public their giving is.

    It’s kind of freaky, within a 5-10 minute drive from my house, I found three individuals who gave $25,000 each. That’s quite an investment in bigotry.

  39. noen says:

    “Intolerance should not be tolerated.”

    That is such a silly mantra.


    Prove it. My opinion is that you are wrong.

    “there is no difference between this and stepping into a conservative southwestern town to say, “That feller down the road is gay.””

    You want to live in a reality that does not exist. Some of your neighbors want to cut your throat and given a chance they will. If they had their way they would make your sexual orientation a capital offense and imprison you for your political affiliation. They think of you as an enemy that must be exterminated.

    All things being equal, in a society where everyone respects everyone else’s right to exist, where we all share the same values more or less, I would agree with you. Such is not the case. Conservative extremists want to wipe you off the face of the earth. They say exactly that, in so many words, to your face. Your a fool if you think they won’t.

  40. GeekMan says:

    You are naive if you think that there was no intention, nor will there be any efforts to persecute the people on that map.

    Just because someone supported Prop 8 does not automatically cast them as a dark, bible-clutching, soulless Nazi figure.

    All I can do is repeat my assertions. You do not change people’s minds by turning prejudice upon the prejudicial. You do not end hatred by trying to hate back even harder. When we stop hating, and start making friends, then we become a universally tolerant society.

    The problem is, one side always has to stop hating first.

    Have fun with your ironic angry mob.

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