Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Editorial: Quit Being Jackasses, You Jackasses


It is becoming, I think, an overused label.  It is unfortunate that the same label is used for both the 'playful', antagonist who is simply trying to get a rise out of someone by poking them, as well as the outright cowardly, inarticulate, cyber-bully who believes he has the "right" to say and do whatever he wants, regardless of the harm it may cause.  And whoa be unto anyone who dare disagree with him, because obviously those that do (disagree with him) are just puppets dancing to some master's tune.

I have said it before (though I believe not on this specific blog) that this world (and the internet) would be a far better place if people would focus more on their responsibilities rather than clamoring about their "rights".

I refrain from using profanity in (most of) my posts.  Mainly because I believe that I have a responsibility to remember that there are many underage wanderers out here in the web.  Any website that regularly posts profane or other "inappropriate" content should, at the very least, put up a "Warning" sign before allowing entry (if only trolls came with parental controls...).

Additionally, I generally find that those who (over-)use it are unimaginative* and inarticulate.  Oh, really?  You can't think of another way of expressing your displeasure other that throwing out an expletive in an uncontrolled tirade?  How about making rational arguments?  What's that?  You don't know how to do that?  Gee - I never would have guessed that.

I also find the overuse of it lessens its impact.  The whole reason for using profanity in the first place is to make it stand-out, but if every other word is an expletive, they all become meaningless.  It should never, ever be used in day-to-day, common discussions.

If you are going to leave a post or comment on a website, you should remember your responsibilities to follow that web-sites' "code of conduct" (if they have one).  And when you fail to abide by it, quit being surprised and outraged that you are then sanctioned for it.

Geoff Hanna has a website** with some blogging areas.  With respect to his website, he has the right to post whatever he wants.  But he is under no obligation to extend those rights to you, even if he does have "public" posting areas.  He is free to edit or delete anything and everything that is posted on his website, and you have zero say in the matter:  you have no "rights" there.  And he is under no obligations to provide any indication whatsoever that he has edited or deleted anything.

And yet, he extends to you the basic courtesy of allowing you to post and/or comment on just about anything there.  In fact, he encourages it; not only that, he also encourages dissenting viewpoints.  He only asks that you follow a few, basic rules of courtesy in your writings; among them is "refrain from profanity" and "don't make personal attacks".  Furthermore, he has gone on the record as being one who rarely edits other peoples' postings.  And when he does make an edit, he is quite clear on the reasons for his edits.  On large edits, he also clearly defines where they started and stopped.

Prior to today (6/24/15), there were only (2) people whom he had edited in his (I don't know how many, but at least two) years of running his own website/blog.  And yet, today he was accused of being 'edit happy', as if he would routinely and without thought wield his editing rights capriciously and haphazardly.  Words are thrown out like "toxic behaviour" (sic), aimed at Mr. Hanna, and claims of "Geoff is not an honest broker." and for what?  For insisting that certain posters follow his rules of conduct on his website?

The main repeat offender kept trying to re-post the same violating post over and over again, telling Mr. Hanna that he needs to quit editing him and either allow his post to be displayed unedited, or delete everything.

Wow.  Rarely do I see such arrogance.  Once again I feel the need to remind this jackass that it is not his website - it is Mr. Hanna's and the jackass has no rights to dictate how Mr. Hanna should do things on his own website.

A supporter of jackass #1 spammed the comments section by re-posting #1's "unedited post" 19 times in a row.

There are others.

Clearly, they keep violating the sites 'rules of posting', and yet, they cannot understand why they keep getting censured and are even incensed when they are not allowed to post whatever they want, regardless of the 'rules of posting'.

I have no idea how old these people are, but I have to wonder if their parents knew about this behavior, would they be proud? or ashamed?  Do they go around IRL with the same behavior? or is it only under the (semi-)anonymity umbrella that is the internet where they behave so shamelessly?

I suspect the later.

It truly grieves me to see such behavior.  Rights, rights, rights, rights - that's the mantra of all (super[?]-)trolls:  "I have the right to...", when the reality is, "No, you don't."  When it comes to 'free expression', you have rights on your website(s) only, not on anyone else's.   However, you do have responsibilities, but you seem happy to simply ignore them.  You are, sir, the very definition of  "jackass".

You must be so proud.

{I have decided to disable all commenting on this post.  I have no illusions that some will see this post as me 'sucking up' to Mr. Hanna; it's not - it's just me giving him support, for he did nothing wrong.  I also have no illusions that the trolls would love nothing more than to cause me even more grief than they already have and if I allowed commenting, they would.  Oh sure, there may be some jackasses who will find a way around my "no commenting", but they will just be proving my point - that they are indeed jackasses.  I have also decided to forego my signature 'wink', as it just doesn't fit the tone of this post.  So the trolls win again, I guess.}

* Seriously, try using vocabulary and being creative.  If you do it right, you can insult someone without them even realizing you've done it.  And not only that, it can be rather fun.  Next time, instead of telling someone to "Go [expletive deleted] yourself.", why not try, "You should venture forth and perform primal reproductive acts upon your own personage."

** Maybe even more than one.  It's possible, though I am only aware of the one.

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