Velorooms - Cycling Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: AG on February 26, 2014, 09:36

Title: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: AG on February 26, 2014, 09:36
In Australia this week we have had the tragic suicide of Charlotte Dawson ... and its highlighted - for me at least - a number of things about the internet and our level of personal responsibility for what we say.

Charlotte Dawson was a model and tv presenter who had depression and other mental illness issues, and who had a fairly substantial presence on social media.  She was could be contraversial at times, but no different from other media identities.

Last year she was subjected to a bucketload of twitter abuse, and as a direct result of that attempted to commit suicide.

http://www.mamamia.com.au/health-wellbeing/charlotte-dawson-and-the-twitter-trolls/

She was admitted to hospital and recovered - and went on to give an interview on 60 minutes about her depression, the issues with cyber bullying and what happened. 

It has made me deeply consider everything I write and read on forums such as these.  We post opinions and ideas so easily, get into arguments - sometimes heated ones - and say all kinds of things that you would not necessarily say to a real person standing in front of you.  If you are talking to someone, you can see them, judge for yourself how they react to your words and tone things down if you think its appropriate ... but on a forum (or twitter), you cant.   You cant see them, you dont know anything about them, and we hand out insults and say things that can be taken so badly

It highlights for me the fact that you just don't know the mental state of the person reading your posts 

While a normal, rational person might be able to accept your harsh words and petty insults, walk away and not be bothered ... if the person on the other end of the computer is already vulnerable, how might your words affect them?   

I would ask that people take a moment to think about what they are posting ... about how it might be received, and if you think it might be considered insulting or overly harsh ... reword it.  or walk away.     

Is it really that important that someone on the internet thinks you are right? 
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: cj2002 on February 26, 2014, 09:59
Barely a week goes by over here without some story of Twitter abuse. It's terrifying to think that there are people out there who feel that these are acceptable things to say in what - although some will argue against me - is, to all intents and purposes, a public arena.

We are moving towards it, but I fear there will need to be a few more situations like Charlotte Dawson, or Caroline Criado-Perez (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25641941) before internet behaviour is brought more into line with normal behaviour.

Rule number 1: don't say anything to someone or about someone, on the internet, that you would not be willing to say to that same person's face.

Rule number 2: Refer to 1.

We will also need, I think, for the networks through which this abuse is sent to start taking on a duty-of-care/corporate responsibility. And sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Capt_Cavman on February 26, 2014, 10:11
...
Is it really that important that someone on the internet thinks you are right?
If only...

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png)






I think one of the issues is that people fall into the trap of equating internet interaction to 'real' interaction. But it isn't, there's nothing like it in the real world at all. And there should be a massive warning on the front of it that there are down sides to being able to speak to anybody in the world, whoever they are, wherever they are. They can all talk to you too.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: DB-Coop on February 26, 2014, 10:47
Rule number 1: don't say anything to someone or about someone, on the internet, that you would not be willing to say to that same person's face.

This rule doesn't really work, first of all this would mean that if you troll people irl then you can also troll online. And in regards to politics it has issues. A North Korean citzident might want to say Kim is terrible. But I would not want him to say that to his face if he bumped into him.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Echoes on February 26, 2014, 12:17
I can be sometimes (often? nooo  ;)) violent in debates. You all know. But my intention is never to force anyone to commit suicide. And I don't do Twitter anyway.

I usually think before posting but sometimes it's hard. What I mean is that primarily I'd like to say what is on my mind (the aim not being to shock anybody!) and if we are stripped off our freedom of speech, it would be sad.

It might be shocking to say (against such a tragic event) but I think Twitter should be taken [edit: read: shoud NOT be] that seriously either. If you are insulted, let it go! The insulter always places himself 'below' the insulted. But of course I don't know what it is to be depressive, so it's easy for me to say.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Jimmythecuckoo on February 26, 2014, 14:34
Is it really that important that someone on the internet thinks you are right?
Not at all.

Differing approaches and opinions are part of life. Its how we share our views and interact with others who may not share them that marks us out.

In the main this forum is one of the better places for that debate to take place.

Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: cj2002 on February 26, 2014, 14:57
I think Twitter should be taken that seriously either. If you are insulted, let it go!

Yes, in general this is true. But there are people out there who send hideous and targeted abuse to people, just - so it seems - for sport. The example I gave above, Caroline Criado-Perez, was receiving explicit threats of rape from the same people, multiple times per hour, 12 hours a day. You or I shouldn't have to alter our Twitter habits to avoid or ignore this... and these are the sort of people who generate new accounts to get around blocks. So being unable to just let it go, Twitter should step up and take firmer action... IP blocking is imperfect but is at least something proactive.

And DB... I was being at least slightly tongue-in-cheek. I agree that there are people who would be just as unpleasant in real life as they are online. But for most people, just being pleasant isn't too much of a difficulty!
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Tuart on February 26, 2014, 15:14
You don't really have freedom of speech. Everything you do has repercussions

I can't walk down main street shouting "cocksucker" at everyone I meet and not either a) get done for slander b) physically reacted to violently or c) people viewing me in a rather negative light.

Meanwhile if I was to join a forum like this and start calling every poster before me a "cocksucker", then I don't think me or my IP address would last very long here.

Now, I can make those decisions, just the same as people in Kiev can make the decision to shout anti-president remarks, but they are not free of consequences.

Also as kids we were told not to take other people (or children's ) words to heart and that it is what we think that matters...but as soon as we get on the internet everything is taken to heart.

When did maturity and having a thick skin regress at the touch of an 'on' button?
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Gotland on February 26, 2014, 15:17
Communication online is the problem of generalized other. I ripped this definition from the wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generalized_other (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generalized_other)  "It is the general notion that a person has of the common expectations that others have about actions and thoughts within a particular society, and thus serves to clarify their relation to the other as a representative member of a shared social system"

Right there is a problem when culture A is talking to culture B, or even different social classes within the same culture. Working class is often regarded as vulgar by the upper class etc.

Besides generalized other, our brains are hardwired to fill in any missing bits of information. Which is really good when walking on the African savanna searching for prey/ on the look out for a lion.

Conversely,  this is not so good in online communication. Where the whole scope of human communication is cramped into 140 characters. Just by automatically filling in the *wrong* piece of information in the brain, a person can perceive a mild remark as deeply insulting.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: froome19 on February 26, 2014, 17:43

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/driver-in-bloodycylists-storm-found-guilty-after-knocking-cyclist-off-his-bike-8949449.html

Emma Way: Driver in #bloodycyclists Twitter storm convicted after knocking cyclist off bike

The fine was very minimal but she lost her job because of it and her image was totally ruined. This is slightly off topic, but I think it is a very promising and important sign of developments on twitter and other social interfaces. It shows that the repercussions are real and whilst you hear about it, this really brings it down to earth for many people. Hopefully the fact that legal justice can be taken via actions on social media will make people think twice about their language on the web, because it is very hard to relate to someone who you will never ever see or hear from in all likelihood.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Echoes on February 26, 2014, 19:02
Yes, in general this is true. But there are people out there who send hideous and targeted abuse to people, just - so it seems - for sport. The example I gave above, Caroline Criado-Perez, was receiving explicit threats of rape from the same people, multiple times per hour, 12 hours a day.

By freedom of speech, I mean the freedom to voice an opinion on a given topic, call it 'freedom of opinion' in a way. Moral harassment and threats is very different. That is not an opinion. In my country this is sanctioned by the law, as in many others, I think. It should be.

However freedom of opinion is something I strongly believe in. Even the most shocking ones should be tolerated and sometimes it should be understood that we get a bit hot in debate and resort to some 'ugly' words. I don't approve them!! But it's "human". It's a weakness... 

I can understand that there are things going on on Twitter that I can't imagine (I don't do it, I repeat, so I can't really judge, I am aware of that), which is certainly a matter of upbringing. Believe me, I am still siding the victims. I don't support these trolls. But I don't know how to realistically avoid it. I guess such people will always be there.

If an authority is making rules about it, then there might be abuses in the other way. The French are now very active in prosecuting for people's convictions. I mean Bob Dylan says something about the Croatians because of their attitude during WWII, tribunal ! Person A says this, tribunal. Person B says that, tribunal ! Opinion crimes! I mean where are we heading to? Is that a society we want to live in?

PS: CJ, it's not too much of a problem but I wish you hadn't snipped so much of my post before quoting me. "If you are insulted, let it go! The insulter always places himself 'below' the insulted." That way you have the 'why' of my opinion. ;)
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: AG on February 26, 2014, 23:33
while I agree with you Echoes that IMO the insulter is lower than the person being insulted ... I have learned to walk away and let things go.  And I am the kind of person who can do that.  I am rational and level headed (mostly) and of sound mind (sometimes :P ).

But what about the many people who suffer mental illness.  They arent so rational, and cannot just 'walk away and not let it bother them'.     No that does not mean that everyone has to walk on egg shells just because someone might get offended.   But it does mean that each person has a responsibility to make sure that their posts do not cause irreparable harm to another person.

Discussion and debate are great - even robust discussion and disagreement.  But when it comes to insults and putting people down ... I ask everyone to think carefully about the actual person on the other end of the computer who is reading that you think they are a "mindless idiot who cant read, write or form an opinion"   

I dont have too many issues with anyone posting here.  All in all, we are a forum where the people are incredibly friendly and tend not to dish out too many insults.  More than that, we dont tend to have all that much of the "jump on the bandwagon" type stuff where everyone jumps on one person who said something silly or has an opinion that is different to everyone else. 

There are other social media sites where this is much more prevalent, and it bothers me.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Arb on February 27, 2014, 10:42
I don't really get distilling depression down to "internet trolls".

Terrible illness, massive amounts of suffering, in some cases it's terminal. To go looking for a few responsible factors is trivialising how bad it is. When it's someone close we struggle with the burden of guilt knowing we shouldn't, yet we're happy to attribute it to others.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Flo on February 27, 2014, 15:35
Kiwi :hug good to see you again :wave
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Echoes on February 27, 2014, 17:06
while I agree with you Echoes that IMO the insulter is lower than the person being insulted ... I have learned to walk away and let things go.  And I am the kind of person who can do that.  I am rational and level headed (mostly) and of sound mind (sometimes :P ).

But what about the many people who suffer mental illness.  They arent so rational, and cannot just 'walk away and not let it bother them'.     No that does not mean that everyone has to walk on egg shells just because someone might get offended.   But it does mean that each person has a responsibility to make sure that their posts do not cause irreparable harm to another person.

while I agree with you Echoes that IMO the insulter is lower than the person being insulted ... I have learned to walk away and let things go.  And I am the kind of person who can do that.  I am rational and level headed (mostly) and of sound mind (sometimes :P ).

But what about the many people who suffer mental illness.  They arent so rational, and cannot just 'walk away and not let it bother them'.     No that does not mean that everyone has to walk on egg shells just because someone might get offended.   But it does mean that each person has a responsibility to make sure that their posts do not cause irreparable harm to another person.

I understood your point perfectly, AG. You'd notice that I did post something in my poor English that went your way: "But of course I don't know what it is to be depressive, so it's easy for me to say."  I meant that I do not know how a mentally more fragile person may react to an offensive comment, so my post is perhaps easy to say. I admit it. Perhaps a weaker person shuld try to avoid such kind of social media sites. I know it is hard to say that because it gives the impression that I amm siding the assailant and not the victim. But real life is so much more important. Also I have to say, the poor person you were talking about is a celebrity in Australia, if I understood well. At the beginning of Facebook, when I saw all these celebrities having an account, I was really wondering how that was gonna end. I mean they are really huge risks, unveiling their private life, that way ...

There's not much I disagree with you on. I like your posts [though should be understood, I don't like what happened, I like your recommendations!]. But I'm also thinking about the solutions and I have to say I can't see any. There will always be bullies on Twitter or some other Internet boards, I'm afraid. Also I guess it's testament of a huge educational problem. I can't spek for Australia but here at school, for instance, everything is focused on "Children's Right" (they have the right to choose their classes, etc.) and in the end growing up they think everything is permitted to them.

What I however am really afraid of is if some authorities (whether legal authorities or webmasters) are taking advantage of such cases to take actions because I think it opens the door to any kind of arbitrary measures and abuses on the other side. "I don't like your opinion, you are banned". Censorship really is an enemy. I think the Internet is a great source of information. I'm reading a lot of alternative media (though of course there's a lot of crap too). Compared to TV, its a real revolution because TV is obviously some kind of an elitist media, newspapers as well. So I really wish we could keep this freedom and diversity of opinion on the net. But I realize that it also has its dangers, that is what you showed with this thread. There is a real problem there, for sure.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: batchuba on February 27, 2014, 21:53
Without being too dramatic, the only reason you hear about this "issue" of online bullying, trolling and the like, are because they are part of a concerted effort to expand policing of the internet. Likewise with the horror stories about the non-existent pedo army hunting our kids ,"debates" about the damage of copyright infringement and so on. The world is full of bad things and people being nasty to eachother, and most of them aren't happening on the internet.

Our western media ain't what it used to be. Practically every single item on every single news channel, or major internet information source has the purpose of engendering an emotional response which renders people amenable to greater reductions on personal freedom or regime change in a foreign sovereign state. It has been this way since roughly 2003. Its best to ignore them all, other than to observe the techniques they use.

I must acknowledge however, that I always check my more flippant internet posts to make sure I didn't stray into abusive territory, for the very reason you talk about. You are right of course about the huge gap in perception and emotional investment possible between the participants in an internet conversation. I can't say it keeps me up at night though. Unlike say, an abusive workplace, one can pick and choose when to interact on the internet, and any unwanted attentions can effortlessly be avoided unless one actually chooses to be an exhibitionist. In which case you'd better get yourself a suitably thick skin.

Entire nations going up in flames due to brutal invasions of unimaginable horror upsets me. Rich, famous, vacuous, abrasive extrovert attention seekers topping themselves because they apparently can't handle the atmosphere of hostility they decided to make a career from - not so much.

First world problems, man.

I'd best shut up now though, lest I actually begin to troll in a thread about trolling. Which would not be good. :)
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: AG on February 28, 2014, 00:35
:hug  :hug  :hug   Kiwirider

drop by anytime   :D
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: DB-Coop on March 22, 2014, 00:04
In relation to cyber bullying, poor Bradley.

Ive never actually met Brad, hes seen me around, knows who I am, but theres clearly bad feeling between us. Part of it stems from a blog post I wrote on TSF. I only ever wrote two opinion peices on the site. One where I said that sky shouldnt sign Cav. And another where I said I didnt think Brad was good enough to win the tour and should focus on peeking for the Dauphine or Tour de Suisse to get one of those on his palmares.

The tipping point though was, either 3 days of de panne, or 4 days of west flanders, i cant remember which, but the final stage was a TT that Brad was favourite to win. This was the early days of Sky and a win for Wiggins in the TT would have been important for them. He rolled in HC on the previous stage with half the bunch and didnt ride the TT and I slated him for not making an effort to finish in time, that there were fans who made the trip purely for the TT to see him and he let them down. He Blocked me on twitter.

A few days later I had a really long chat with Cath (his wife) about it. Brad was hurt by comments, and also felt let down by my comments, because, he felt that as the owner/admin of a Team Fan Site I should be supportive of all the riders regardless of my personal opinion. He was possibly right, as admin of a site dedicated to the team I perhaps did have a responsibility to support that team regardless, but then, what ive been accused of is "letting my support of the team cloud my judgement", which is ironic if you consider that it was my "judgement and opinion" that led to the falling out with Brad.

I had a very long chat with Cath, and what became clear was that Brad isnt the tough guy he makes out, he does actually give a sh*t about peoples opinions and thoughts, and I genuinly upset him. Did he deserve it, was I right to slate him for not giving a crap and not doing the TT. Maybe, or maybe I slated him without knowing if he was ill, or injured, or some other reason. Brad was home when me and cath had this chat, and no doubt she told him what I had said (im not going to share the conversation), and no doubt his response was "hes just a flipping masturbator", but it did make me realise that Brad is just a guy with feelings the same as everyone else, with pressures the same as everyone else.

(http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=5219.0)

I think the line between internet abuse and criticism when it comes to celebrities is really thin. Really I think much of it is about where it is posted. I mean there is no need to go on twitter and tell @ladygaga or what ever that there music is bad and stupidities the youth, however in a music forum such an opinion may be perfectly fine.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Dim on March 22, 2014, 00:52
It is a fine line.

I think, or to try and explain two different approaches using the above example.


version 1
@bradwiggins, lazy bastard, you didnt make an effort to finish, wont do the tt, fans went there to see you race, disrespectful etc.

version 2
I see that @bradwiggins decided to roll in the groupetto today, lazy bastard etc etc...

simililarly

version 1
@albertocontador You are crap

version 2

I think @albertocontador is crap


Now on one hand, option 1 in both cases is clearly targetted at an individual, whereas option 2 is an observation not directly aimed at the individual but discussing them.

are they different.

I have though seen a growing trend of people including the person they are targettng mid tweet so as not to directly "harass" them, but still make sure they appear in their mentions.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Dim on March 22, 2014, 00:52
But then I would so Flo and her gang bully Michelle Cound. :D
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Tom on March 22, 2014, 01:08
Difficulty with twitter/internet is one persons troll is just another persons honest opinion.

I recall when some twitter 'famous' guy called Nick Harvey (and he isn't alone on this) threw a fit over people not finding him funny and disabled his twitter account due to trolling, this trolling took the form of people discussing him and his tweets and basically saying he wasn't funny, they never included his @ in the conversation (and weren't bar one person abusive) but he searched for people linking his status and set off a feud between his followers and people who didn't find him funny which ultimately as I previously mentioned led to him being runoft and his followers earnestly complaining about the state of society nowadays.

Long story short whilst genuine trolling is awful too many people find it easier to write off differing  opinions as trolling when it really isn't, I guess that's preferable to contemplating that they might actually have a point.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Flo on March 22, 2014, 14:35
But then I would so Flo and her gang bully Michelle Cound. :D

 :shh
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Drummer Boy on March 22, 2014, 16:50
Interesting thread, with many interesting perspectives offered. I see what I consider to be a lot of truth in all the above opinions. It's a vast topic, to be sure.

RE: Charlotte Dawson
Any story like that has its own inherent tragedies, but what jumps out at me is the addictive nature of online communication and the pitfalls attached. To me, that is something that society needs to look at (although I am not pretending to have the answers). In reading the attached articles relating to the OP, I found these comments:

"It is understood it was Dawson’s failure to appear at a lunch appointment — as well as the fact her Twitter account had remained dormant for 19 hours — that alerted one friend to contact the building manager at Dawson’s apartment building early Saturday morning."

and

“She had failed to show up to a lunch a couple of days ago and then when I had seen she hadn’t tweeted in almost a day it was clear something was wrong.”

To me, there is something very sad that abstaining from Twitter, for less than a single day, would be an immediate sign of dire consequences for any person. What have we become when we can no longer unplug ourselves from the matrix? The explicitly disgusting suggestions that were directed towards Charlotte Dawson are unforgivable, and I've no idea as to what kind of people would be behind such things, but it is possible to disconnect from the source. The inability to do so is what I find troubling and sad, in a very empathetic way. Some people are not cut out for online communication, and when those same people's careers are intertwined with social media, things can become quite difficult.

A couple of years ago, I had an "interesting" exchange, via twitter, with a very famous and extremely well respected drummer. In fact, I've been a huge fan and supporter of his for years. But then things went awry. He is quite active with Twitter, Facebook, etc and I would follow his adventures and sometimes compliment him on things here and there. But then one day I did the unforgivable: I called him out on a somewhat minor display of hypocrisy, and had the audacity to question why he posted a link to a god-awful, death-metal band. This was all through twitter, and I really had no reason to believe he would even notice what I had said, or that he would respond (he never had in the past when I always had only good things to say on his behalf). In all honesty, I was mostly doing it to amuse a few of my friends that I knew would see my remarks.

But then he did reply to me, with all the maturity of a 10-year-old. It seemed that I was perhaps the first person in his life who had ever questioned anything he had ever done. He sense of self-importance was most revealing. He then sent out a cry-baby tweet that he was shutting down all social networking, include Facebook and Twitter and that all communication would have to be done directly through his personal website.

Fade to black...He actually did shut down his accounts.  :s

Here was a perfect example of someone that probably is not ready for the internet, even though they were content to exploit it to their own means, as long as they could have it their way and only their way. I even sent him a message to his website, fully introduced myself, and explained what I thought to be a general misunderstanding (in terms of severity). I never got a response (more maturity on display).

I thought to myself: Here's a guy who has some of the best gigs on the planet, has played with some of my very favorite artists, has no-doubt made more money than I will ever see, and possess and extraordinary talent as a musician. But apparently my comments on twitter were too much for him. It's hard to have much sympathy for such people. In his case, I have none. Needless to say (and I knew his ego would make it so) it was only a matter of time before his accounts were all back up and active again.

I suppose one of my points is that as much as the internet can be a breeding ground for toxic vitriol—and because of that it's easy to question this supposed downfall of human civility—what seems to be overlooked is that much of the "criticism" and negativity is no different than what most of us might express among close friends when riding in a car or standing around one's kitchen. We say all sorts of things that, in the past, would be kept within those confines because do to otherwise, would significantly change the context and, thereby, the meaning. But much of the phenomenon of Twitter is that this barrier has, for some reason, been removed. Perhaps many people are simply much more honest? As hurtful and painful as some things come across, they are often no different than any of those kitchen conversations that most of us have had.

'"That newscaster is such a *#@*&  *@#$%#&%@, I can't believe that ******* **** still has a job."

I'm  sure that most of us have had such moments, the difference being that we never shared them with the world. But now that is changing, although I'm at a loss to explain why necessarily.  But the manner (and tone) in which these things are expressed is not much different than it has even been, besides the fact that it used to happen only in mostly private confines. The vehicle of that expression, however, has changed immensely.

While I fully understand the appeal made in the OP for vigilance and self-monitoring of what we post, I fear that if everything we do is guided by the fear that someone, somewhere, might not react well to it, then the internet may become a rather dull place. Polite and informative, yes. But in time, mind-numblingly dull and possibly lacking in the ability to truly challenge our view of the world around us. I am certainly in favor of finding the proper balance though.

I have many more thoughts on the subject, but that is quite enough for one post at the moment.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: The Hitch on March 22, 2014, 16:58
Maybe Brad Wiggins should take other people's feelings into account before he starts crying about his own. Didn't seem to care about other people's feelings when he insulted garmin as a sh*t team, when he suggested sastre was doping, when he suggested schleck was doping, when he bullied Landis for doing the right thing, when he insulted Kimmage, when he claimed not to know who Purito is etc. The guy slings sh*t at people more than anyone else in the peloton bar none.

When Brad Wiggins learns to treat others with respect, the argument that he has feelings may have some merit. Until then, cry me a river. No one has said a single thing on the internet about brad wiggins that he didn't say at some point about someone else himself. Typical of the double standards he and his loyal fans demand of everyone else. 1 rule for prince brad, another for everyone else.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: mew on March 22, 2014, 20:27
lol DB
 :D
Quote
Here was a perfect example of someone that probably is not ready for the internet

I like this quote... :cool :D
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Drummer Boy on March 22, 2014, 22:12
We are moving towards it, but I fear there will need to be a few more situations like Charlotte Dawson, or Caroline Criado-Perez (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25641941) before internet behaviour is brought more into line with normal behaviour.
I think we're talking about two, very different, issues here.

1) The overall lack of civility and respect that is often displayed online (and I'm often shocked at just how "candid" well-known people are with their "opinions.")

2) Mentally unstable people taking advantage of the ease of internet communication.

In the above article about Carolin Criado-Perez, the two perpetrators that were brought before the courts were clearly in this second group: mentally unstable individuals with unlimited time on their hands. Those people always have been, and always will be, out there. But in the past, these abuses would often be more frightening than a tweet. I can think of a few cases around here where someone had done something publicly, only to unexpectedly incite a reaction that was much more personal: Letters sent to their home, packages left on their doorstep, etc (the most extreme case would be the Yale professor who became one of the victims of the Unabomber).

But now, it would seem, we've surrendered too much power over to Twitter and other online vehicles. To quote from the Criado-Perez article:
Quote
"Caroline Criado-Perez has suffered life-changing psychological effects from the abuse which she received on Twitter," she told the court.
Now, this is not to defend the indefensible, but FFS, is it so difficult to just get oneself off of Twitter?!?! These weren't threatening messages painted on her front door in blood. They were Tweets, for god's sakes. Should she have had to alter her own online habits, or cancelled her Twitter account just because someone harassed her? I suppose not, as that really wouldn't be fair. But it is an option, no?

The premise seems to be: We need Twitter to survive in the world, and the very thought of having to, god forbid, NOT USE TWITTER, is simply unbearable.

Again, I am not trying to make light of very ugly and inexcusable behavior. But if I were ever harassed on Twitter (don't get any ideas, mew) I'm pretty sure I have the solution to put an end to it. That certainly doesn't offer any guarantee that the abuse wouldn't assume some other guise, but Twitter and Facebook, etc make it very easy for some people to "pretend" that they have all the intentions of the Unabomber, when really, they are just pathetic and disturbed individuals with no intention of doing anything other pressing "Enter" on their unclean keyboards.

Not to mention that, should it come down to it, it is far easier for the authorities to track a tweet, email, text or phone call to its source, than it is to track the origins of a potentially deadly package assembled in a shack in the woods and dropped off at a random post office.

I just find it disturbing that we have allowed something like Twitter to become so indispensable to our existence that some people will remained glued to it even in the face of life-altering events. Especially when we consider that Twitter, like Facebook (god willing) will likely not even exist in a generation or two. Or will at least be relegated to the importance and significance of USENET...or AOL.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Carlo Algatrensig on March 22, 2014, 23:20
Dave Gorman spoke about trolling/abuse on twitter a while back on a TV show. Basically he said that you could understand people talking about famous people using their name and it being positive or negative but as soon as you actually used the @personsname on twitter it was wrong as you were personally directing it at them even if you just felt you were just talking amongst your friends about them. I agree with this as there are many things that i think I would say about people in general conversation with work colleagues and friends that I wouldn't actually say if they were in front of me in person which is what you essentially do by using the @personsname on twitter.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: AG on March 22, 2014, 23:56
:snip

Perhaps many people are simply much more honest? As hurtful and painful as some things come across, they are often no different than any of those kitchen conversations that most of us have had.

'"That newscaster is such a *#@*&  *@#$%#&%@, I can't believe that ******* **** still has a job."

I'm  sure that most of us have had such moments, the difference being that we never shared them with the world. But now that is changing, although I'm at a loss to explain why necessarily.  But the manner (and tone) in which these things are expressed is not much different than it has even been, besides the fact that it used to happen only in mostly private confines. The vehicle of that expression, however, has changed immensely.

While I fully understand the appeal made in the OP for vigilance and self-monitoring of what we post, I fear that if everything we do is guided by the fear that someone, somewhere, might not react well to it, then the internet may become a rather dull place. Polite and informative, yes. But in time, mind-numblingly dull and possibly lacking in the ability to truly challenge our view of the world around us. I am certainly in favor of finding the proper balance though.

I have many more thoughts on the subject, but that is quite enough for one post at the moment.

some good points DB.   Its certainly hard to find a balance


My issue is that when you have a conversation around the kitchen table, you dont usually include the person you are being insulting towards.  they dont hear that.   

And if you do say something TO someone in that kind of situation, you see them, see their reaction, form an opinion about their state of mind and ability to accept criticism.

Its not about being guided by the possibility that someone, somewhere might not react well to what you say ... more about simply not going over the top with unnecessary abuse or nastiness.   Eg - Is it necessary to abuse that newsreader - and especially is it really necessary to tag her in with it?   :P   

 
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Drummer Boy on March 23, 2014, 00:49
Eg - Is it necessary to abuse that newsreader - and especially is it really necessary to tag her in with it?
Nope. That is one aspect of twitter that definitely reeks of pure bullying, based on the way it is often used. It is certainly provocation, and usually quite unnecessary.

Then again, some people's seeming obsession with always wanting to know when others are talking about them on Twitter in another thing that mystifies me. Some folks do go out of their way to track such things. Makes one wonder what we did with all this free time in the past...
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Drummer Boy on March 23, 2014, 18:44
This discussion has reminded me of my very first online experience.

Funny thing, I still remember in the very early '90s when a friend of mine who worked for a defense contractor told me, "We have this thing at work called the 'internet.'"  :D

After reading quite a bit about this new horizon and all the possibilities that it offered, I truly adopted a somewhat naive and overly optimistic view of what was to come. I was intrigued by the idea of chat rooms where like-minded individuals could share their interests and passions in a receptive and encouraging environment. I wanted to believe that when stripped away from the daily antagonism that one might often encounter in real life (people yelling or honking in traffic, rude customers in line at the bank, etc) what might be left would be nothing but positive, supportive sharing amongst like-minded individuals.

I had read about The Well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_WELL), one of the internet's very first, and most selective, online communities, and was truly inspired by the possibilities. I was very idealistic about this Brave New World.

Fast-forward a couple of years to my own maiden voyage—this probably would've been around 1995 when my roommate at the time just got AOL for his mac. I was exploring one of the AOL chatrooms, I believe the title was simply "Mac vs PC." I was new to computers myself at the time, and asked if there was a way to minimize windows on a Mac they way you could with MS-Windows.

The response I got was, "Macs suck."  :o :lol

And there you have it. Everything I needed to know about online communication was given to me in just two words!  :P
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: DB-Coop on March 24, 2014, 15:52
The response I got was, "Macs suck."  :o :lol

Some hate it to be fair I find this form of communication fine. Just don't take dumb people comments to heart and try to have a witty response.

"wush wush - What's that draft? oh yea please close windows cause it freaking blows"


Spoiler (hover to show)

Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Sizzle on March 27, 2014, 10:51
This discussion has reminded me of my very first online experience.

Funny thing, I still remember in the very early '90s when a friend of mine who worked for a defense contractor told me, "We have this thing at work called the 'internet.'"  :D

After reading quite a bit about this new horizon and all the possibilities that it offered, I truly adopted a somewhat naive and overly optimistic view of what was to come. I was intrigued by the idea of chat rooms where like-minded individuals could share their interests and passions in a receptive and encouraging environment. I wanted to believe that when stripped away from the daily antagonism that one might often encounter in real life (people yelling or honking in traffic, rude customers in line at the bank, etc) what might be left would be nothing but positive, supportive sharing amongst like-minded individuals.

I had read about The Well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_WELL), one of the internet's very first, and most selective, online communities, and was truly inspired by the possibilities. I was very idealistic about this Brave New World.

Fast-forward a couple of years to my own maiden voyage—this probably would've been around 1995 when my roommate at the time just got AOL for his mac. I was exploring one of the AOL chatrooms, I believe the title was simply "Mac vs PC." I was new to computers myself at the time, and asked if there was a way to minimize windows on a Mac they way you could with MS-Windows.

The response I got was, "Macs suck."  :o :lol

And there you have it. Everything I needed to know about online communication was given to me in just two words!  :P

Which reminds me of my first venture into the online world. Also mid 1990s, exploring various chat rooms. I would attempt conversation in some room that looked interesting and very quickly would be met with A/S/L? (Age/Sex/Location?) Then, having learnt I am a woman, "Pic pls". When I wouldn't send a photo, any "conversation" quickly died. I had naively thought there might actually be conversation in these chat up rooms.  :D



Back to the topic -- I have found myself agreeing with much of what has already been said. The anonymity of the web and social media gives rise to behaviours/interactions that wouldn't pass muster in face-to-face interaction. The physical absence of those being interacted with gives a liberating sense of freedom (no need to pay attention to those cues and gestures) which encourages some people to speak more freely or critically.

I was happy to leave another cycling forum because I found it to be an unnecessarily brutal and aggressive place. I used to think of it as the Wild West or Lord of the Flies. It seemed to me at the time that many people confused their right to "free speech" with the right to insult and bully. It was also a male-dominated environment and I wondered then and again now whether sex/gender makes an important difference in what kind of interaction we feel is appropriate. To put it bluntly, men (in general) seem more comfortable with trading argy bargy and insults.

I was very touched by Kiwirider's post. In fact, I shed a few tears, and if you are reading this, Kiwirider, I thank you for taking the time to write it.  I too have a long history of mental illness. It manifests differently to that of his girlfriend, but much of the experience he described has echoes in my own experience. For me too, resilience is something that varies greatly from day to day.

My own view on the plethora of contemporary media is that my primary challenge is to make it work for me. There's a glut of info, news and otherwise -- find what sources and forms work best for me & ignore the rest. There's a whole heap of TV, movies, music .... ditto. And use phones, Facebook, Twitter, online forums etc when they are working for me (time-wise, emotions-wise, interest-wise) and don't let them take over.

I agree with Drummer Boy that there are ways to put boundaries on these platforms and interactions. I think we all need to learn how to do so, particularly if our media overload or interactions are having a negative impact. It's part of maintaining our emotional/mental health in environments that can be funny, fun, social, interesting but also insensitive, cruel or emotionally challenging.

I also believe it's worth us staying mindful of the fact there are actual living human beings behind the avatar or pixels. Or, harder to remember, lurking invisibly. They are possibly much less emotionally invested in the interaction than me or you. Or possibly very much more. They might be having a great day or a terrible one. They might have let their guard down and be more affected by something than you or I would expect. It is not your or my responsibility to protect them from harm and we can't, in any case, not knowing what constitutes their harm, not knowing them, in fact. In my view, however, that is not justification for being rude or vindictive or bullying.

For my part, I'm appreciative of the reminder to take some care and I appreciate the discussion.


ETA -- The phrase "do unto others" might work as a guide to what's appropriate.  Though, without the non-verbal information of face-to-face conversation, an awful lot can be misinterpreted and taken as offensive, when no offence was intended.


Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Drummer Boy on March 30, 2014, 21:53
My own view on the plethora of contemporary media is that my primary challenge is to make it work for me.
This brings me to a question I'm constantly asking myself.
Has it worked...for me?

It may seem overly cliche, but I'm alwyays reminded of this clip from the movie Contact (esp @0:48).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFcHpamkHII (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFcHpamkHII)

When I look back 20 years, before cell phones, daily internet, social networking, the web, etc. I can't say that much in my life is really any better as result of this "progress." Back then, I was making more money, was more productive creatively, was more "networked" (in ways that actually impacted my life), was less distracted, and had more friends. Not to mention, I wasn't straddled with the burden of the expense of "being connected." Take away computer purchases (and upkeep), internet access, and cell phones (purchasing, accessories, monthly fees) and I had better things to spend my money on.

Sure, I can do a ton of things now that weren't even conceived of back then. But so what? Most of it is cheap entertainment, and very fleeting at best. And now we are expected to be connected and available 24/7, to employers, friends and family. I miss being able to travel and actually get away from all that. I was recently reminiscing about a two month tour I did in Japan, Okinawa and Korea back then. I mailed some postcards but was not receiving anything the entire time. When I came back home, I had only my phone answering machine to fill me in on any essential information that I may have missed.

Two months. Coming back home actually felt like something due to the complete lack of communication while I was away. Reunions were sweet and there was much to share, including my photo albums of actual pictures. That will never happen again. It's something that a younger generation will likely never know. Two months. No cell phones or computers. God, it was beautiful.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Sizzle on April 03, 2014, 04:55
This brings me to a question I'm constantly asking myself.
Has it worked...for me?

It may seem overly cliche, but I'm alwyays reminded of this clip from the movie Contact (esp @0:48).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFcHpamkHII (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFcHpamkHII)

When I look back 20 years, before cell phones, daily internet, social networking, the web, etc. I can't say that much in my life is really any better as result of this "progress." Back then, I was making more money, was more productive creatively, was more "networked" (in ways that actually impacted my life), was less distracted, and had more friends. Not to mention, I wasn't straddled with the burden of the expense of "being connected." Take away computer purchases (and upkeep), internet access, and cell phones (purchasing, accessories, monthly fees) and I had better things to spend my money on.

Sure, I can do a ton of things now that weren't even conceived of back then. But so what? Most of it is cheap entertainment, and very fleeting at best. And now we are expected to be connected and available 24/7, to employers, friends and family. I miss being able to travel and actually get away from all that. I was recently reminiscing about a two month tour I did in Japan, Okinawa and Korea back then. I mailed some postcards but was not receiving anything the entire time. When I came back home, I had only my phone answering machine to fill me in on any essential information that I may have missed.

Two months. Coming back home actually felt like something due to the complete lack of communication while I was away. Reunions were sweet and there was much to share, including my photo albums of actual pictures. That will never happen again. It's something that a younger generation will likely never know. Two months. No cell phones or computers. God, it was beautiful.

To me one of the fascinating aspects of ageing is this business of living through changes in technology that are so profound as to significantly change the way people live. My great-grandmother lived through the advent of the motor vehicle, electricity, refrigeration, indoor plumbing, sound recordings & players, penicillin, telephone, radio, television and air travel and died about a decade before the internet and mobile phone technology started to become commonplace.

As I see things it's not a matter of us being "better off" for all this new-fangled web and mobile phone technology. It's just different.

I do remember a spaciousness of time and place as something that infused life then. I too travelled in the days before the internet and mobile phone technology. I backpacked around Europe, solo, for over three months. I knew no one in the northern hemisphere and sent postcards regularly so that if anything happened to me police would have a point from which to track me. (“The last postcard was sent from Crete.”) International phone calls were prohibitively expensive and as I had no set itinerary it wasn’t possible to receive mail at poste restante. How alone is that? Almost incomprehensible today.

These days I find it hard to imagine life without being able to use the web to find out information. I cast my mind back, and all I come up with is that we used libraries and, far more commonly, the telephone, spending hours speaking to various people to find a solution or correct information.
 
In the “olden days” we'd make arrangements to meet at a particular time and place and have to be prepared to hang around for 30 or more minutes, there being no way of advising people if you were stuck in traffic or your train was cancelled. I also remember the frustration of waiting for someone who was running late and cycling through phases of annoyance, anger, worry ("What if they've been in an accident?") back to anger etc.

It’s fun having a smart phone but, as a woman, it seems like a safety device too. I keep mine on mute most of the time so that I am not “on call” to friends and family at all times. Instant access, be damned.

Time certainly seems more pressured for most people, although how much of this is due to technology and how much might be due to economic imperatives to be more “productive” and to work longer and harder, I’m not sure.
 
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Vespertine on April 03, 2014, 07:41
Yeah I am another genuine nutcase with a deep and long history of mental illness. This thread has not only been really interesting but also seems to me to be either a sign that attitudes to online communication are changing or confirming that this is a pretty safe forum  for me.

I am a fully grown man with kids etc. I work in an industry that is known for its absolute insensitivity and I get on just fine. I think this is because I am very good at what I do, I know that sounds odd coming from someone like me, but I am and it makes me feel stable, so I can cope very easily with anything at work.

However I am ridiculously sensitive and insecure online, even though I don't even use my real name.

It is all because I was brought up by an abusive alcoholic and I just want to be accepted and validated rather than told that me and my opinions are totally worthless... I know what is going on, but that doesn't ensure that I am able to "Just forget it" or "take it with a pinch of salt" or "laugh it off", I just can't, so deep rooted is my insecurity.

Indeed, for some strange reason it seems to be magnified online as it is almost me bare. I can't use body language or my physical presence ( I am not a massive muscly presence at all, I am cyclist, tall and thin, but I also know that I am not ugly and I dress carefully, so use this as a mask and project a real air of confidence even when I am not) to socially engineer to my satisfaction or comfort, I can only write what I write and hope that someone doesn't take the mickey as it hurts me.

This simply is what it is, I can't change it really no matter how much I want to. This is me.

I have left most forums that I have ever joined as I just end up thinking that everyone is "better" than me. Yeah it is that bad.

Sounds so silly when I type it out, but I know that it is true.

I am happy to say though that this place seems very very different, it just doesn't seem to go down much if at all.

You know there is a flip side also to the negative aspects of this condition or mind set and that is if people respond nicely or even "like" what I say, I feel on top of the world and it can totally make my day, it often does.

I find it interesting that for some reason I feel comfortable sharing this brutal truth for the first time ever.

I feel better for it. I need a cup of tea.

Thanks for the thread AG, it is important to me.



Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Sizzle on April 03, 2014, 11:10
Thanks for sharing that brutal truth, Vespertine. (The more of us, the merrier.  ;))



Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Vespertine on April 03, 2014, 16:37
To be honest I have been quite proud of myself all day for it. I am not sure why I decided to do it, I think it was the thread and Kiwiriders story which I could just have swapped out me for his partner word for word, road instead of mountain.

Thank you for your comment and everyone for their likes.

It did indeed make my day.

Velorooms therapy. That's twice this week!!
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Dim on April 03, 2014, 17:20
Yeah I am another genuine nutcase with a deep and long history of mental illness.

Ah, dont worry, this forum has several medical confirmed nutcases, myself included. :D
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Vespertine on April 03, 2014, 17:31
Yet it remains one of the most civil forums I have ever come across :) I wonder if I search for a forum called "The Black Dog" or something I will find forum Nirvana. Somehow I doubt it :)
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: DB-Coop on April 03, 2014, 23:11
Yet it remains one of the most civil forums I have ever come across :)

I think it is a result of the limited size of the forum mainly, it is more like a group of people one would know in real life, than some 5000 member active forum where only very active members knows any significant amount about the rest of the forum.

I have to say the tine of the forum was the main reason for me joining in the first place, I think I had a question I had to ask regarding cycling so I had to pick a forum, so I picked this one over another one which shall remain nameless based around the fact that the people here seemed pretty well behaved and there were only few moderation, if I saw any, where as the other place(s) I looked at seemed to have either serious problems with members or a fascist moderation squad. I used to think it was the latter, but come to think of it later I may very well have been wrong in that assumption.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: AG on April 04, 2014, 00:37
To be honest I have been quite proud of myself all day for it. I am not sure why I decided to do it, I think it was the thread and Kiwiriders story which I could just have swapped out me for his partner word for word, road instead of mountain.

Thank you for your comment and everyone for their likes.

It did indeed make my day.

Velorooms therapy. That's twice this week!!

you should be proud of yourself Vespertine.  Its scary sharing that much of yourself sometimes.  Even when its anonymous.

As for the forum - it is a great community.  And the more we put into it, the more we will get out of it.  :D
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Sizzle on April 04, 2014, 03:42
you should be proud of yourself Vespertine.  Its scary sharing that much of yourself sometimes.  Even when its anonymous.


I agree with AG, Vespertine. To be so articulate, so clear, honest and open about such difficult, painful stuff especially when it's the internet and all those fears and insecurities are to the fore ... very impressive.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Vespertine on April 04, 2014, 11:59
Wow, what an awesome start to my day!!! Beaming!!!! :)
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: LukasCPH on April 04, 2014, 17:24
Wow, what an awesome start to my day!!! Beaming!!!! :)
You can indeed be proud of what you did, sharing your personal issues (for lack of a better word). :cool

It's important to realise that it's normal that we aren't "normal", nobody is "normal". There's nothing "wrong" with us. We're all simply "different" in various aspects. :)
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Gotland on April 04, 2014, 19:24

It's important to realise that it's normal that we aren't "normal", nobody is "normal. There's nothing "wrong" with us. We're all simply "different" in various aspects. :)

*insert random Focault quote here*  ;)
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: just some guy on May 06, 2014, 10:57
Maybe doed not fit here, but does show how different we have become


Look Up: http://youtu.be/Z7dLU6fk9QY
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: AG on May 06, 2014, 11:02
yeah I watched this.

Really ... social media has to be managed in your life.  If you are forgoing real life events for online ones on a regular basis .. then you need to cut back.

But social media does have a place. 
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Drummer Boy on May 06, 2014, 17:47
Maybe does not fit here, but does show how different we have become
It definitely belongs in this thread. I'll need more time to respond to this but it raises so many important issues.

Of course I just watched that video on my laptop, while sitting in a cafe. So...

Much to ponder though. I've got lots to say on the matter.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: just some guy on May 06, 2014, 17:49
The irony of watching it on youtube and posting vwas not lost on me either
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Eric on May 09, 2014, 17:07
I'm usually very thick skinned when it comes to this sort of thing (mostly because I talk a lot of sh*t myself and know that almost all of the time, it's just some lighthearted fun with no malicious intent to it) happening to me, but I have been quite stubbornly depressed for the last three or so months, and so sometimes a throwaway remark can be really hurtful. Especially because my depression manifests itself in overpowering feelings of self hatred, so if somebody presses the right buttons, it'll reinforce my self-evaluation that there's literally not a single positive thing about my prolonged existence on this planet, and that's when my thoughts get really dark.

There are a few personal topics I'm really sensitive about, because even in the deepest pits of self-loathing, they're things I can cling onto, remind myself that I'm not all that much of a waster. And I'm sure I'm not alone in this, reading through this thread, there are quite a few people on this relatively isolated corner of the internet that have self esteem issues; magnify that onto a huge scale like what you get with Twitter and of course there are going to be greater instances of people suffering psychological damage.

Not that I expect people anywhere, least of all on the internet, to walk on eggshells around me - if you want to go through life without ever having to hear some unpleasant things being said about you then your only chance is to lock yourself in a room and throw away the key. But I can definitely understand and sympathise with people who are really deeply affected by things they read on the internet. Nobody likes to cop abuse, least of all when you're in a fragile state of mind.

What does annoy me about people on the internet giving it large is those that do it to blow off their own steam. It's straight disrespect to take out whatever it is that's put you in a bad mood on the people that aren't responsible for it, people who are effectively complete strangers. Though I suppose this is somewhat healthier than what I do, turning it entirely inwards. Come to think of it, that really is somewhat amusing. During my bouts I'm too polite to take it out on everybody - which should indicate to myself that at the end of it, at least I have a strong code of personal ethics that I never break under any circumstances, which of course is a good thing - but I never seem to think about it like that.

I think at the end of it, the internet is a good thing, that is occasionally misused by people. In the same way as any other technology really, it has no inherent characteristics to it; it's how an individual uses it that determines whether it's 'bad' or not and so the blame should go on the user, not the technology. For me, the internet has been a Godsend, because I can frankly talk about the personal issues I raised earlier, which I wouldn't be able to do otherwise. I posted this so casually, without really caring how it would be received, whereas if I would be far too afraid and embarrassed to bring this up with people I know physically. Even with people who would have a vested interest in my situation improving, like a therapist, I wouldn't feel comfortable opening up to this degree.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Gotland on May 09, 2014, 20:15
Thank you Alphabet for sharing your innermost thoughts. I do hope you find a way out of your dark and gloomy place really soon. Sharing your story contribute to keep VR an open and friendly place! 
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: AG on May 10, 2014, 00:58
For me, the internet has been a Godsend, because I can frankly talk about the personal issues I raised earlier, which I wouldn't be able to do otherwise. I posted this so casually, without really caring how it would be received, whereas if I would be far too afraid and embarrassed to bring this up with people I know physically. Even with people who would have a vested interest in my situation improving, like a therapist, I wouldn't feel comfortable opening up to this degree.

:hug Alphabet

this part is definitely true for me too.

I had some pretty major issues a few years back, and the friends I made on the internet (on a forum even) helped me an amazing amount.  Much more than my friends in real life - simply because I had been able to open up and address my issues on the 'net ....

Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Slow Rider on May 10, 2014, 01:26
It's interesting that so many of you find it much easier to talk about important stuff to people they don't in person. I have the opposite: I love talking to people online and discussing things with them, but if there's anything serious going on then I'd much rather call a friend or family and meet to talk face-to-face. They know me better, and usually know something of the context as well. I don't feel there are any things I can't discuss with them - of course I choose who to discuss what with, but overall there's someone for all kinds of issues I might have.

But then again, those issues are never depressions or really serious stuff for me, so that may have something to do with it as well.

In fact, I'm often quite reluctant to share things online. Especially on public places, where everyone who reads back a topic months later can still see it. Not sure exactly why. I don't mind reading others' stories at all, to the contrary, but it would take quite something for me to share on a similar level without knowing the other in person.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: AG on May 10, 2014, 01:47
Not everything SR.   

Most of the things that are important to me I talk to my friends and family about.

But with my fertility issues, it was something I simply couldnt talk about in person.  Not having someone right there in front of me made it so that I could actually talk.  Before finding that forum, I just bottled it up inside ... as actually talking about it simply wasnt an option.

Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Eric on May 10, 2014, 06:52
It's interesting that so many of you find it much easier to talk about important stuff to people they don't in person. I have the opposite: I love talking to people online and discussing things with them, but if there's anything serious going on then I'd much rather call a friend or family and meet to talk face-to-face. They know me better, and usually know something of the context as well. I don't feel there are any things I can't discuss with them - of course I choose who to discuss what with, but overall there's someone for all kinds of issues I might have.

But then again, those issues are never depressions or really serious stuff for me, so that may have something to do with it as well.

In fact, I'm often quite reluctant to share things online. Especially on public places, where everyone who reads back a topic months later can still see it. Not sure exactly why. I don't mind reading others' stories at all, to the contrary, but it would take quite something for me to share on a similar level without knowing the other in person.

I kinda understand where you're coming from. It really depends on the place and it's atmosphere. I can't make a personal post like that somewhere like on CN, which has such a hostile atmosphere. VR on the other hand is really friendly and supportive. No disrespect to people who like CN, it's not a bad forum at all, but there's definitely a vibe of negativity about that place as opposed to over here.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Havetts on May 10, 2014, 20:06
Maybe doed not fit here, but does show how different we have become


Look Up: http://youtu.be/Z7dLU6fk9QY




The video makes a very good point. Generations now are growing up with technology and can not even imagine living without it anymore. Case in point was my roommate in Winnipeg. He has a little three year old daughter, the kid hasnt learnt how to read yet, doesnt speak coherent sentences, just some random words, still poops in a diaper but manages to use an iPhone. Then whenever the kid needs to be entertained she constantly keeps repeating the word PHONE to her dad, and isnt satisfied until she has the phone.

She has a plastic drum kit, all kind of toys and still screams for the iPhone the whole day. And that made me think back of my youth, granted I dont remember much of when I was 4. But in the later years, I spent my days outside, playing cops & robbers with the other kids in the neighbourhood, playing hide and seek or variants of it. Playing football. And when it was around 6 o clock, and it was dinnertime the parents' would whistle on their fingers, so loud that everybody in the neighbourhood heard it. Then we'd all look up and check who's parents had whistled for dinner.

I grew up with a gameboy too. When I was 7 or 8, I bought one of my saved pocket money.  And even then, I only used it in the car on our way to relatives, or when we were in the car on our way to the holiday destination. But we always played outside, till middle school. We had a gamecube as well when I was 10, and sometimes we went inside to play on it when the weather was terrible.

Then I look back to kids that are three or four years younger than me, and they didnt really play outside as much as "we" did. They spent more time inside or playing with consoles or the moderner mobile phones, not smartphones yet, but they got more modern.

And nowadays you see people who are not able to converse without a mobile phone or social media, theyre simply addicted to their smartphone/tablet/whatever. Now I'm an introvert, but I know how to start a conversation, or to be social. It took me a while though, middleschool was a bitch with regards to social development, eventhough I was never bullied, I always kind of am late with discovering things socially etc. Living & working in Canada & Germany has really helped with that too and so have my friends who I consider irreplacable. But yea to come back on the whole phone thing, I wonder how these kids who are now four years old will behave when theyre at my age, 21.

But I find it hard to "really" open myself, both online and in real life. I think I can count the people that really really know me well on three hands. I can convey what I think, but I never "really" open my feelings, if that makes sense. I am not depressed, thank god after reading what you all have been through, and I enjoy life every single day. I dunno, I'm just me :lol


( I really have to learn how to coherently write a story that just doesnt go from A to B, to C, to B to A to C :D )
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Drummer Boy on May 10, 2014, 22:22
She has a plastic drum kit... :o
I think I've discovered this young child's predicament. Real drums may be just the cure!  :P


Seriously though, you've raised a lot of very concerning issues. But I will say I am encouraged by the fact that even you, at your tender young age, had a childhood that quite resembled mine in terms of playing sports outside until someone's parents beckoned for dinner (my next door neighbor used a large bell on the back porch to summon her three kids!)


But here is the real problem:
And nowadays you see people who are not able to converse without a mobile phone or social media, theyre simply addicted to their smartphone/tablet/whatever.
What's most alarming about this to me is that it is hardly a condition limited to youth. I am staggered by the brainwashing that has taken place amongst older adults too.

Just last week I attended a very small Independent Film Festival in a neighboring town. It took place in a local historic building, and the film for that evening was preceded by a solo musical performance by a local 21-year-old, singer/songwriter girl. She was only performing three short songs. But during that entire time, a grey-haired woman sitting next to me, who was most likely in her mid-60s, never put down her iPhone. At first she appeared to be checking emails, then reading some lengthy text...then she was playing a game. I was so discouraged by this. There were probably only 30 people in this small room, and this woman simply could not place herself in the moment. So what chance will someone have who is raised on this technology?

About ten years ago, when I could really start to see the landscape changing, I envisioned a point in the future where the youth of the day would rebel against the very notion of constantly being monitored, of being tracked on their cell phones, of always having to be within digital reach of their parents, of never having a private moment to themselves. I no longer have any faith that such a movement will ever take place.

I can't imagine the pressure of growing up in today's world of TwitterBookagram. Just simply "keeping up" must be taking a toll in countless, unseen ways. I often wonder what the next generation will do...when the power goes out.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Claudio Cappuccino on May 11, 2014, 10:22
I often wonder what the next generation will do...when the power goes out.
A very good question. When all computers fail the youth of now will not know what to do, they will have to think for themselves, something that appears not to be in the schoolbooks anymore.

Judgement Day is coming...

But it is not only the youth, it is also present day. When at my job our CRM system fails some of my collegues do not know what to do anymore. True, the CRM system is important but you can also just pick up a pen and a piece of paper and go work with that.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Drummer Boy on December 06, 2014, 17:24
A good thread worth bumping...


Just came across this.

http://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/12/6/7342171/trolls-einstein-curie (http://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/12/6/7342171/trolls-einstein-curie)

Quote
Einstein's advice to Marie Curie on dealing with trolls: "Don't read that hogwash"

Trolls are not a new problem.

Way back in 1911, in fact, Albert Einstein was giving Marie Curie advice on how to deal with them, as astrobiologist David Grinspoon recently discovered in a huge trove of new Einstein letters put online this week.

(https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/87nlPVEigHKLDt4SrTlymhWU0Ao=/800x0/filters:no_upscale()/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2523512/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_4.57.00_PM.0.png)
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: L'arri on December 06, 2014, 20:51
A good thread worth bumping...


Just came across this.

http://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/12/6/7342171/trolls-einstein-curie (http://www.vox.com/xpress/2014/12/6/7342171/trolls-einstein-curie)

(https://cdn2.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/87nlPVEigHKLDt4SrTlymhWU0Ao=/800x0/filters:no_upscale()/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/2523512/Screen_Shot_2014-12-05_at_4.57.00_PM.0.png)

Brief digression: the encounter in Brussels to which Einstein refers here was the Conseil Solvay, the first international conference of its kind established to discuss cutting edge science problems. The list of attendees in 1911 is stuffed full of scientific rockstars, among whom Curie was, of course, the only woman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solvay_Conference
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: Echoes on August 19, 2016, 07:56
I know realise how my first post was disconnected with reality.

The Internet is really inhuman. Most of the people I've met on it are incomprehensible (incl. on this forum). I've lost believe in mankind since this thing has come.
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: AG on March 25, 2018, 10:51
Interesting reading back on this thread

so much of it still so applicable .... we really havent learnt much in the last 2 years
Title: Re: Trolling and Abuse
Post by: M Gee on March 25, 2018, 14:48
Had to go back to the start to figure out what you were talking about, AG. A lot of names on this thread it would be nice to see more of these days.
. . . tragic suicide . . .highlighted - for me at least - a number of things . . .personal responsibility  . . . subjected to a bucketload of twitter abuse, and as a direct result of that attempted to commit suicide.

 . . . cyber bullying  . . .

It has made me deeply consider everything I write and read on forums such as these.  We post opinions and ideas so easily, get into arguments -  ... but on a forum (or twitter), you cant.  . .see them, you dont know anything about them, and we hand out insults and say things that can be taken so badly

 . . . 

Is it really that important that someone on the internet thinks you are right?

If only...

(http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png)






I think one of the issues is that people fall into the trap of equating internet interaction to 'real' interaction. But it isn't, there's nothing like it in the real world at all. And there should be a massive warning on the front of it that there are down sides to being able to speak to anybody in the world, whoever they are, wherever they are. They can all talk to you too.

Oy, AG, I had to go back. So, have we learned anything? Are some people still going to be trolls and asshats? Yes, and no, eh?

I would say we've learned a lot, but I'm not dealing with trolls and bullies on a daily basis anymore, either. Not all of what we have learned has been good.

The Arab Spring: wouldn't have happened w/o social media. Results? Mostly worse. There are other examples. Yesterday's gun-control marches in the US - wouldn't have been w/o social media. Results? Too soon to know. Many more examples. So those people have learned something.

Russian hacking. Ransomware. Data breaches. I think the world has learned a lot. Today the world at large is MUCH more aware of the possible uses of malware. Just to pat meself on me own back, I've been on that soapbox, preaching warnings for years.

Are we all better people? Nope. On that score, I think you are right.

Anyway, good thread.

Cheers, it's a beautiful day here! Cloudy, with a little rain that is spitting snow! But it is freakin' SPRING! And I love spring. And there's Gent-Wevelgem today. That should worth a little something, eh?