Internet Intimidation

bully_free_zone2I have started a couple of blog posts and stopped.  Why?  Partly because I wasn’t feeling it, but partly because of inhibition.  You see, I have gotten a couple of trolls who have commented solely to tell me off.  I’m a hater, a baby-killer, and a bitter liberal.  I will cop to the first, but I haven’t killed a single baby in my life, and I’m not bitter.  We fucking won, bitches!  I’m just disgusted at how quickly the ‘real Americans’ have crumbled into masses of whining, sniveling, secession-wannabes.  

As for baby-killing, I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned my opinion on abortion in my blog.  Oh, wait.  I think I may have in my letter to the religious right.  Maybe.   Ok.  I checked.  I never explicitly said I was pro-choice, but it can be inferred from some of the things I’ve written.

Let’s back-track.  First troll sent a comment for my tea party post.  He said that I should learn the history of my country and get over my Bitter Liberal Syndrome.  Notice what he didn’t mention WHAT I should research or why he thinks I don’t know the history of my country.  He couldn’t, really, because I know the history of my country pretty damn well.  Since he couldn’t attack me on what I’ve written, he resorted to calling me names.

The second troll wrote in response to my post about Michelle Bachmann.  He starts out trying to sound moderate by saying he was “researching” the web to find out more about M.B.  First of all, is that what they call looking for naughty pictures these days?  Secondly, the fact that he used her initials tipped me off that he wasn’t as moderate as he appeared.  

From that dubious beginning, he went off the rails.  He ranted about me being a hater.  He said why was I so intolerant of the other side’s ideas?  He said especially as I was a baby-killer.  What?  Oh, no, he didn’t!  Oh, yes, he did!  After saying I should learn my facts and not be so full of hate, he then delivers what he no doubt thinks is the coup de grace.  He told me that he hadn’t bothered to spellcheck or proofread his comment because I wasn’t worth it. Then he has the fucking nerve to say  he didn’t hate me–he was just disagreeing with me.  Fine bit of hypocrisy, that.  He finishes by saying that maybe, maybe he’ll be back. 

Gee.  I fucking can’t wait.  

Do you see what’s missing from the second screed?  Let me give you a hint–I was writing about all the bat-shit crazy things Bachmann has said lately and refuting them one by one.  Give up?  Ok, he didn’t correct me on any of my statements.  He didn’t counter that Bachmann didn’t mean what she said or that I had misinterpreted her words.  In other words, he didn’t touch the facts I had presented in my post.  Instead, he called me a hater (while hating on me himself), insulted me by saying that he won’t do what I have requested from my commenters because I’m not worth it, then managed to sound vaguely ominous with his parting salvo.

I have to tell you, I don’t fucking understand why someone feels the need to troll like that.  I have a feeling this guy just put Michele Bachmann into Google (with or without the requisite ‘bat-shit crazy’ appellation) and just ripped off a bunch of mostly-generic spam to send to each site that dissed her.  I also know that there are some guys who simply cannot tolerate a woman speaking up anyway she pleases.  Many of these men troll the internet, looking to figuratively slap down all the uppity bitches who wouldn’t give them the time of day offline.  

Then, there’s the more common practice of commenters of a blog dictating to the blog owner what s/he can say.  This happened today in Balloon Juice.  It’s the Open Thread that starts, Because I care.  John posted a funny review of a pompous professor who was reviewing a book written by a pompous religious dude.  It was pretty fucking funny, and people were joking about religion in general.  Two people got really offended.  One got snippy in saying that all religious questions have been answered.  The other said he didn’t come to the blog for religion-bashing.  It was a politics blog.  If he had a Mormon neighbor who was a good person, he (the poster) wouldn’t bash Mormons in his (the neighbor’s) earshot.  

I pointed out to the latter guy that he didn’t have to visit the blog.  John posted lots of stuff cracking on bloviating fools of every ilk.  I also said the analogy wasn’t comparable because nobody was forcing anyone to read John’s blog.  The poster conceded it, but he said it was like if he invited the Mormon back to his home and then bashed Mormonism in front of him.  It would be rude.  The poster then went on to lecture about why we shouldn’t bash people who believe in god.  I also said that given how much damage the religious right has done to this country, it has damn well crossed into politics.  He conceded that, but said the post went further.

I didn’t respond, but I wanted to tell him that his analogy was still shitty.   A better one would be that the blog is like a bar.  Let’s say that John is the owner of said bar.  Every night, he has a strip show.  Let’s say that one night, he has men stripping instead of women.  In that case, the guy who objects can take his business elsewhere and come back at a later date to see if things are back to his liking.  Or, he can leave for good and never come back.  What he most likely wouldn’t do is bitch to John about how John should only have women stripping because he (the poster) wasn’t comfortable with men stripping in front of him.

It amazes me when people expect blogs to cater to them.  I have always been firmly in the camp of the blogger, especially ones that are free to the public.  This poster seemed to think he had the right to visit and not have people make fun of religion.  By the way, why is religion off-limits for questioning in this culture?  That’s a question for another time, however.  I’m running long as it is.

This guy’s religion is so delicate that he can’t bear to hear anyone speak negatively of god.  He got mad because we were joking about Zeus not being real, and I said you can’t take Zeus away from me.  I’m sorry, but if you really believe in GOD, don’t you think GOD would be a bit more thick-skinned than that?  I bet GOD has a sense of humor–GOD allowed W. to be president, after all.  Which proves that GOD has a motherfucking sick sense of humor.

Anyway, back to entitlement and trolls.  The commenter I mentioned above is most emphatically not a troll, but he’s actually on the same continuum.  He expects other to adhere to his standards.  If he doesn’t like it, then he should have the right not to read it.  It’s like a parent who wants to ban books from the library because the parent doesn’t want his or her kid to read the book.   

You know, I’ve visited websites where I don’t like a post or the content.  You know what I do?  I skip that post or go to a completely different website.  It’s not really that hard.  I mean, there are so many fucking websites out there, I’m sure you can find one that caters to your particular tastes.  Actually, I’m not.  It’s true that in any group, you’ll like some of the people, hate some of the people, and be indifferent to the rest.  The same is true of any particular website.  I highly doubt you’ll find a website that will be 100% compatible with your beliefs–unless you control the website yourself.

Back to my trolls.  I know this shit is common and that I can expect more of it.  The thing is, it fucking sucks.  Part of the reason I write this blog is because it’s fun for me.  Quite frankly, it’s not fun to cringe when I receive notification that I have a new commenter to my blog.  Thus far, I am pretty lucky that my trolls have been fairly tame.  I don’t expect that to last.  

Back to my first paragraph.  I’m starting to feel a bit inhibited by the trolls.  I started a few posts, and then I put them on the shelf.   Quite frankly, I just didn’t want to deal with the shitty responses again.  This, in turn, angers me because that’s their fucking point.  They want me to shut the fuck up or learn how to play nicely with others.  Because they are for the most part impotent in their real lives, they take their powers where they can get them.  I’m not ready to concede that power, my power to anyone.   I have never been one to share my toys, and I’m not fucking ready to make nice.

6 Responses to Internet Intimidation

  1. Sock it to ’em! Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pay someone to pre-screen your comments? Then you wouldn’t have to deal with the slimy feeling that lingers after deleting these bullying attacks. You’re not alone, and calling out these messages certainly enlists my support. Keep writing – I want to keep reading!

    Some trolls are now being forced to pay for their bullying behavior:
    The personal information that’s been revealed about this individual shows that trolls cannot really hate behind a wall of anonymity. That bad online behavior may have unexpected results. And unexpected costs.

  2. Well, my dad did say I would make a great management type, so maybe I should hire a personal assistant. I know I can always count on you to back me up. Thanks for being a sympathetic ear (and for teaching me how to defend myself if necessary). I just have to keep repeating to myself that it’s more about the troll than about me.

    Wow, that Fortuny guy is some asshole. I am glad that he had to pay for his idiocy. I don’t think people have the right to hide behind the privacy claim when they clearly break the law (like posting pictures that are copyrighted).

  3. Fuck the trolls.
    Ya know what you do?
    Ignore the little shits.
    Delete them.
    Don’t give them a single ounce of the attention they want you to waste on them.
    It’s YOUR Blog, it says so right on top!
    Fuck them.

    ELEVEN TIMES MINNA, you typed some variation of the word Fuck!
    Hahahahahahaha. You’re getting fucking rusty!

  4. whabs, yeah, you’re right of course. I know that the trolls will only get worse, and I have to just shrug and move on.

    Damn. I’m slipping on my fuck usage. I will have to try harder.

    As for it being my blog, you’re fucking right! In fact, the url says so!