Friday, December 11, 2009

Insults, Boorish Behaviour and Other Internet Silliness

It always amazes me when some people act out on forums and blogs on the Internet. Many seem to do it because they are anonymous and really can't be held to account for it. We see this type of posting on websites for the Free Press and the CBC. It really amounts to a driveby where someone posts a shot at something or someone.

I can't say I find much value in the anonymous posting after a new story. It seems the refuge of those prone to less than thoughtful comments. Even with the presence of a moderator, it seems a corrupt process of airing an opinion.

There are some blogs that are written by anonymous writers. Numerous reasons exist why people write anonymously but throughout history it has been problematic because the identity of the writer is important in determining the authenticity of the writing. While some writers are compelling and write cogent thoughts, there is always a little doubt as well as questions about the writer themselves.

Some anonymous bloggers use their anonymity to act poisonously. We have seen in recent lawsuits that this has limits. Many fall short of crossing that limit but still act out in their writing. Some are admired for it while others are reviled. The same issue of authenticity keeps coming up though. Does the writer really have these views or is it just blowing smoke?

We have seen a few bloggers from Winnipeg that go to great length to spread mischief, don't allow for anyone to contradict them with commentary on their posts and correct complete inaccuracies with no admission they were wrong in the first place. Eventually the credibility of these writers is hurt.

Many anonymous posters and bloggers use insults and boorish behaviour to make their points. It can get really tiresome and has hurt more than one forum.

In recent days, it hasn't been anonymous posters and bloggers who I have encountered exhibiting insulting and boorish behaviour, it is people who actually who can be identified by name. For those who have seen my posts in Winnipeg blogs, I generally try to be civil even if expressing an opinion.

I do admit that I have gotten carried away on political forums although I have kept it within the parameters of being evicted from the forum and tried to stay to the topic at hand. With that in mind, I often don't react immediately to the type of personalizing that can happen. Nowadays, when it happens I find the best response is to ignore such people.

I'll always express my view as well as defend it but I feel no need to act as someone's foil while they insult and act out.

Sadly, I had to disengage from a poster today. I won't bother stating who has earned an ignore. Those tracking a number of different blogs in Winnipeg will know. It is unlikely that any response I made was going to end the behaviour so I felt it was for the best. Still, you wonder how such a person acts in public? Do they call people names to their faces? I can't imagine that ends well.

I'd like to say though that the majority of people I see post or have posted to me in local forums and blogs have been civil, thoughtful and a credit to their person. Hope to see a lot more of that in the years ahead.

hit counter javascript

myspace hit counter

No comments: