Craig, we don't always agree on TV shows, or on what constitutes fair game in them, but this is a really fantastic piece of writing, sharp thinking, clear, and to the point. Thank you.
I do also think there is at least some element of truth to what Jane says. But you're right, lets keep the dictionaries on their shelves.
I wondered if that would be one of the examples. I think about him every single day.
When I saw the link I thought this would be about commuting & public transport and such, but it was so much better than that. Thank you.
We can respect that without getting into shaming value-judgements of anyone.
Everyone judges everything and some people do shameful things. I will shame and judge as I see fit. And I see you do the same quite often. However usually I don't see suicide as shameful. Or if they are shameful then only in the sense that it's a terrible shame some other option didn't do the trick.
Some suicides though are shameful. Murder suicides, lads who won't let a woman leave them and decide it's better that "no one can have her if I can't have her". And everything's on a continuum around that.
Let's not pretend this isn't the case.
What's with the self righteous judgement against people who suicide?
I'm going to assume you mean people who commit suicide because of depression, rather than those who do it because of terminal illness - because I don't think people perceive them equally.
It's going to be a long time before people see mental illness the same as other kinds of illness.
Everyone understands a broken arm, you can see it at a glance. Everyone understands the flu, because everyone has had it. But not everyone understands depression. Especially when, like OCD and such, many of the people who talk about having it don't - if you're used to people who are merely sad about something claiming they're depressed you won't understand how serious real depression is.
David Herkt’s “nasty”, “bile-spitting”, “bullying” obituary for Charlotte.
What the fuck. Does he realise other people have also read Herkt's obituary and know it wasn't any of those things? Jesus.
There’s always something wrong on the internet.
And that'll be true until you rip the keyboard from my cold dead hands, but Robyn, listen, I'm right here and I have a name. Ruuude!
I understand Jon Ronson's next thing is going to be about pile-on culture, so that will probably be quite interesting.
The hounding of Liz Shaw got quite disturbing at one point, especially as it involved people who’d probably see themselves as compassionate right on types.
Liz is quite extraordinary. She's been a target of derision for people on the internet for a very long time. 10 years or more. I don't know how she's withstood it.
I spoke to her on Discourse a few years ago (s2e5) when she decided to run for Auckland Central. Now this might come as a shock, but she's actually a human being. She had some reasonable things to say about homelessness and alcohol and social services and public transport and she seemed pretty honest. (And also rambly and naive, but I'm in favour of both traits.)
I find the conception and assumptions behind Charlotte's Law and other similar previous proposals to be toxic and ill considered.
In a world where essentially anything you don't want to hear can be cast as bullying it would just be another way to silence people you don't agree with. (And for other people to silence you.)
You can't legislate to make people nice. Or make people suddenly agree with you. You can't even legislate to just make people shut the fuck up.
Yet, every now and then I encounter this very peculiar type of person. Not just your regular sort of hater, content to make a mean spirited one liner and then get on with their life (which most of us probably do once in a while, let's be honest).
But that strange creature that makes a real hobby of their hatred and rage.
They're almost universally men, which is a shame, but there you go.
Now I only follow people on twitter that I'm really interested in interacting with, so I don't actually have to interact with a lot of those proper fuckwits in situ (I mainly just read about them after the fact), and I'm very happy to block people on the odd occasion it's been necessary -- which in my experience instantly solves the problem.
(But doesn't instantly take away the bitterness. That's a long lingering aftertaste in my experience. I'm one of these stupid saps that replays things in my head for a while. Sometimes for the rest of my life.)
So block. Block is easy. Block early, block often.
But then I see what happens with people like Anita Sarkeesian, and when you're dealing with a certain kind of professionally vile cuntish motherfucker on the internet, using block really isn't enough. They'll create additional accounts just so they can squirt another shot of hate at you. And it doesn't matter that they're pretty rare beasts, on the internet rare still adds up to millions of people.
But even so, even knowing there are those people out there, I worry terribly about the dangers of any kind of legislation about "bullying".
What is bullying?
I rather enjoy getting a bit feisty.
I often quite like disagreeing with people.
Is that bullying? I don't think so personally. Unless your name is David Bain I doubt anyone would have any really plausible complaint about the way I treat them online.
But it's clear that if you tasked Craig with deciding who was a bully and who wasn't you'd get a very broad answer.
(He might think I'm being bullying right now just by disagreeing with him a bit snarkily. Who knows.)
What would the mechanism even be?
If there's a complaint process, who do you think is going to use that? For each person being persistently targeted by someone who represents a genuine threat, how many false complaints would you get? How many people who politically or religiously disagree with someone else? How many of the really nasty people ironically complaining about their targets in the hopes of getting them shut down?
The Catholic church, an extraordinarily powerful and wealthy organisation sometimes acts like its being bullied. Is it i though? And if it is should we care enough to do anything about it? Is all sustained criticism bullying? What about when it actually is right?
When I looked at the Charlotte's Law petition the top comment was something to the effect of "we should track the IP addresses of all the bullies". Just how do you think that would function? What you're asking for is for _everyone_ to be tracked all the time.
What is the standard of behavior and who decides?
It might be all flowers and butterlies if it was the most vulnerable and fragile person you could possibly find would never be confronted or upset by anything, but actually most of us don't need to be treated with kid gloves like that. We can't build our entire society around outliers.
The way we treat other people is called etiquette not law for a reason.
We can expect whatever level of politeness we like, but we can't force it on people, not everywhere. The only person any of us can hope to control is ourself. (So be cool as much as possible, and maybe think about stepping in when you see things kicking off.)