We had conversations that were civil, it wan’t uncommon to have friends with heterogeneous opinions and you could have a passionate discussion without it ending in name calling or death threats.
The primary differences were that we were face to face, we’d been taught conflict resolution, we understood that the world didn’t revolve around us or our feelings. We knew that sometimes people will say things that we don’t like, agree with, or believe, BUT that it was other folks right to say those things, just as it was our right to express ourselves freely.
These were to some extent, lessons learned in the sandbox, or when we learned to share, or when we learned that for every bully, there’s someone stronger who may or may NOT be more “Just” than the bully they took out.
Then came the internet.
And people could sit behind their screens and say some of the most horrific things imaginable. For many years those of us who understood the old ways simply did what we’d done before. We ignored people who were trying to be offensive and moved on with our lives.
On IRC (Internet Relay Chat) groups we knew where the loudmouth dunderheads were likely to be mouthing off, and where folks who were interested in conversing were likely to be hanging out.
That’s what adults do.
We make choices, we take responsibility for what we see, read or hear. We remember that there is an off switch on our televisions, radios, and computers. If something offends us, we have the ability, right, and duty to ourselves, to turn it off. One thing that happened in the IRC groups was that someone would start mouthing off in a purposely offensive way and we’d all leave the room. The person could type their offensive stuff ’till their fingers bled but we’d not be reading it. They’d try to follow us and we’d leave again. Eventually, they’d get tired and go away.
Then came ICQ. Yeah, remember that? 1996, it was pretty cool. Unfortunately within 2 to 5 years the service was overrun with spammers. “Hi there, do you like date me?”
By 2010 when the service went from AOL to a Russian company I’d not been a user for 5 years or more. Even so, we’d all been able to block users and I’d blocked hundreds of spammers if not thousands. Again, taking responsibility for myself.
Facebook and Twitter had eclipsed the ICQ service long before I’d opened and closed my Facebook account.
With Facebook I got tired of ever-changing terms of service, and oversharing my information every time Facebook updated their service. I didn’t like feeling like I had to watch what was supposed to be a fun leisure program as if it contained banking information. Then Facebook added a financial component and I was gone.
I moved to Twitter.
I like a lot of the features. The following of people while stalker-ish is pretty neat and Twitter’s hash tagging and presentation of folks with similar interests to those people I’ve already followed is convenient.
Twitter and Facebook are both facing issues. The way these two businesses are trying to deal with these problems is via censorship. I think this is the wrong way to go.
Rather that allowing some very immature people to dictate via censorship what I can read because they, not I, are offended. Twitter should instead make the offensive situation a teachable moment.
I agree with the ability for me to block certain persons who are chronically offensive to me. I do not think that Twitter or Facebook should sit in judgment of content.
A prime example of why I feel this way, is the story of a 175 year old pub whose Facebook page was deleted because of the pub’s name and over sensitive arbiters of taste. The pub is called “The Black Cock Inn”. Facebook apparently decided this was racist. Uhh 175 years ago in England the most likely meaning was black cockerel (black male chicken). In all probability at the time the place was named they had a ton of black chickens running around.
“Excuse me good man, where might I find food and lodging for the night?”
“Ahh Sir, not a quarter mile from here is an inn.”
“How will I know it?”
“Sir, The yard be full of black cocks, there be one or two in the cook pot too, I’d wager.”
We really must stop looking at everything through the lens of today’s morality and start looking at things in context using the moral lens in effect at the time of an event. We should then compare and contrast the difference so that we may learn from mistakes. However we needn’t impose guilt on today for the abuses of yesterday, we need only learn, and vow to not make the same mistake moving forward.
Imagine how we’re going to feel when we find out Whales and Dolphins are in fact as intelligent as we are and that we murdered them for food and accidentally while we were fishing without permission in their ancestral waters.
I can hardly wait to see the SJW crowd throwing themselves off the nearest pier or drowning themselves in their bathtubs wracked with guilt.
Pardon me, that was a private fantasy… I’m back now.
Twitter’s Gulag methodology is so prone to abuse that all it takes is a butt hurt person to rally a very few of their friends and BOOM, you’re blown off Twitter, for the simplest of infractions.
The best recent example was when Adam Baldwin had his Twitter account locked over a recent gamer gate tweet.
Mr. Baldwin used no profanity, didn’t single anyone out, and said simply that his opinion was; (I’m paraphrasing) Gamergate folk were more joyous and attractive than anti-gamergate folks.
For that Twitter suspended his account.
The problem seems to be that the progressive liberal social justice warriors, using these services don’t understand that their opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.
At the same time, these people have enough Whine power that they are dragging what should be simply services into politics and forcing these services to choose sides when these services should be completely agnostic about race, religion, politics, and everything else.
Twitter says that they’re going to be taking on trolls in the coming year. I suspect that means it will be easier for someone with a conservative bent to have their account locked, and harder for a SJW or ISIS recruiter to get tossed off Twitter for making death threats. (Yep, it’s a common occurrence. Direct death threats, or wishing people would die, or that their families would be shot, raped, killed… you name it.)
Usually this is the end of the conversation where the SJW has been proven wrong, or called on to prove their allegations and they are either unable or unwilling to do so.
A.K.A. (also known as) They’ve lost the argument and been humiliated in the process. This happens quite a bit especially when the SJW insinuates themselves into a conversation then starts mouthing off about a subject on which they have little direct knowledge, and are instead parroting “what they’ve heard” from other SJWs.
Oddly, the SJW is not usually called a troll. The people called “trolls” are the folks that demand the SJW back up their assertions with facts. I consider it another example of blaming the victims but that’s another story altogether.
Since I tend to say what I mean on Twitter, I wonder how long it will be until I’m labeled a Twitter Troll and have my account locked out.
I wonder if my old IRC handle is still available…
At least there, I’m the master of my own fate.