Thursday, January 09, 2014

In Reply: Standing up and speaking out against on and offline bullies is about encouraging us not to passively accept their nonsense and to protect and defend ourselves and each other.

Revised and extended a little, in reply to the following comment at the intentionally lyin'assed Other McCain post "Portrait of a Stalker Troll: @Repsac3, Also Known as Walter James Casper III," by "journalist" Robert Stacy McCain:
Actually, no...that's exactly what it's like within fandom communities. Politics,'s generally the same online because the Internet is like never leaving junior high. missed my point. But I think I know what the problem is. I'm sure you know what the Streisand Effect is. (My personal favorite example is the now infamous Charles Carreon) So here are a few helpful guides. (Sorry for the language, folks)

The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck.
The actual advice in here is a little questionable, but the important thing is the point that people are going to believe things about you that you don't think are true, and no amount of "setting them straight" is going to change that, like our friend Girl B's situation. She just wants people to hear her side, too. Does it work, though? Nope. The only thing you can really do is Not Give a Fuck. And as the writer notes, most people neither know nor care. I certainly didn't, and I can tell you this fact right now: if you hadn't responded, I would have forgotten about you already. Really.

My guide to not giving a fuck // Alden Tan.
This one, IMO, has more practical advice, primarily because he's pointing out that bitching on social media won't solve anything. Seriously, I don't even use it to vent. Private journals are a wonderful thing.

And finally, my personal favorite:

wadewilson: Internet Drama And You.
Though this is centered around that wacky subset of fandom known as roleplayers about whom I plead the Fifth on knowing anything about, it's still good advice about this issue. (So you can skip the whole "Pretendy fun time games" bit...unless you want to apply that to political discussions online. Because really, is anyone in any position to do anything even paying attention to us? Ha...big bag of NOPE.) But the big point here is that even though you might not start Internet drama yourself, you can end it.

Oh, and have I been there? You bet your ass I have. Someone on one of these commiseration spirals had badmouthed a good friend of mine. It hurts even worse when one of these spoiled little girls insults someone I care about, but part of learning to not give a fuck was learning that their opinion of her wasn't even worth the thought I was giving it. They weren't going to change their single functioning collective brain cell over it, so I had to make the hard choice to just drop it. Was if fair? HELL NO. Did I have a right to defend her? Sure I did. Was it worth it lowering myself to their level? Not even remotely. But ultimately, I just wanted these mouthbreathers to leave us alone, and they did. The price of that was allowing their short attention spans work in my favor. That's pretty much the universal Internet currency of peace of mind: letting people forget about you.
- La Pucelle

All I can say is we disagree... In my opinion you put entirly too much responsibility on the people being attacked, and virtually none on the people doing the attacking. I would never want to live in a world where people--victims, potential victims, and good people everywhere--don't stand up to bullies, online or off. Standing up and speaking out isn't about convincing the bullies; with very few exceptions, they're a lost cause. It's about encouraging the rest of us not to passively accept their nonsense and to protect and defend ourselves and each other.

You certainly can ignore a single isolated incident or two (and yes, it probably is in your best interest to do so, for exactly the reasons you describe.) But follow McCain's link to Donald Douglas' behavior over the last year or so one more time. These are not single, isolated incidents and they are not motivated by anything I do or do not do. The behavior shown at that link is Donald Douglas' responsibility and cross to bear. That he has chosen to make me the object of his "affections" has nothing to do with me, and my pretending that he isn't behaving the way he is isn't going to make him stop behaving the way he does toward me.

In any case, adding the guy's posts to a list the way I do may not be your solution, but it surely isn't stalking, harassment, or trolling, either. I trust you can see that. (If it helps, think of the list as my tiny contribution to Dr. Douglas' own little Streisand Effect. His attempts to obfuscate his responsibly for his strange behavior, and instead accuse me, is just as deserving of that sort of pushback, is it not? I mean, it's not like you're saying no one should've posted about Charles Carron's (or Babs') bad behaviors, right?)

Thanks for the conversation, though... I appreciate your thoughts, even though I don't entirely agree with 'em...

Personally, I'm glad you haven't "forgotten about me already"... Aside from the enlightening conversation, your willingness to discuss it with me renewed my longstanding belief that, even here on the internet, not every partisan from the "other" side (or "our" side, for that matter) is obligated to behave like all is WAR!!! While I don't plan to spend much time in McCain's comment sections, I hope to run into you again.

Posted Thursday, January 9, 2014, 10:25 AM (or thereabouts)

When I was posing La Pucelle's links here, I took the time to read them more thoroughly than I did initially. The following, from The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck, actually argues for my position, and I'm sorry I didn't notice it until long after I posted my reply comment to him on McCain's site. (It may also explain why he found some of the advice there "a little questionable."):

STEP 4. Tell the truth.

You don’t need to be an asshole, but the world does not need another conflict-avoidant, evasive person. No one wants another individual who steps in line with everyone else. The status quo is doing fine without you, so it’s up to you to call bullshit if you see it.

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