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T'internet is the scariest place to be, my darlings...

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I am in a happy mood. I am practically whistling in that annoying, overly chirpy way often associated with the overenthusiastic extras in a sad movie street scene. I AM JOYFUL JOYFUL.

To boom my enthusiasm in living, I turn to the ever faithful YouTube for a song. Upon jiving to said song, I scroll downwards to find a comment no swirling with the most violent and profane nastiness I have ever seen. I have never seen anyone behaving in such a mean and attacking way in real life, yet here are normal (presumably normal) people of the reasonable age of 23 calling a 14 year old some very obscene names because he commented that he liked the band and they deem him too young to say that (except they said this much more colourfully in words I didn't previously know existed.)

I leave YouTube to it.

I descend instead on Facebook, the hub of my friends and acquaintances. Why do I find in my messages? A boy- whom I had previously quite liked) asking me to be his 'branch manager' of the cannabis deals he has working in most of our local schools, politely asking me if I'd like to 'target anyone i think would be interested in a cut and approaching them inconspicuously'. I politely declined the offer to sell drugs to my underclass girls in the years below me and promptly reported him to my school.

I left Facebook.

Reaching out, finally, to the loving arms of my dear twitter, I discover that a previous classmate of mine, a girl of only 16, has assigned herself the role of spreading the joy of pro ana to the world and all the 11 year olds following her feed. This girl is not anorexic may I add. She is in fact totally comfortable with food and is, if anything, a little overweight, though attractively so. She frequently goes out with friends for fish and chips etc and eats at her dance schools canteen, eating chips and the like. She merely admires the lifestyle and wants to spread the word.

I shut down my computer.

I increasingly find myself scared to venture online. The well of hatred and nastiness gaping in each site, no matter how innocent, always seems to ruin my day. Knowing that there are people out there- both strangers and even my own friends- who can behave so disgustingly and violently towards anyone who pokes their head above the trench is alarming and sometimes isolating. Even on this site, i have seen lovely and intelligent people behave in a way totally inconsistent with their normal selves. Of course, I recognise the benefits that come from online relationships- yourselves being the lovely example- but this is rather saddening as a whole.

Have any of you ever encountered such things on the Internet or had personal experiences of split Internet personalities? Do you tend to interfere if you see someone being cyber attacked, and if so, how? Or have you been the victim/perp?

P.S. as i am not totally depressive, I'd love to hear some heartwarming anecdotes as well! X
11 Replies (last)

I can't say I have come across much of what you mention, with the exclusion of occasional nasty comments on youtube, but even then I tend not to scroll down and read comments, nor do I leave them.

I do hear though that if you put yourself out there on the InterWeb it can be quite ugly.


On CC, I have come to know some overly dramatic people, some caustic, some overly cynical, some judgmental, but for the most part, genuine, helpful, funny, smart, and interesting people.  People I would love to meet, actually.

Previous message board experiences were good, but a mixed bag as well.  At NYT, it was nice until it was taken over by an epic troll, and caused it to shut down completely.  I even made friends there, and was pleased to continue our exchanges at Atlantic Monthly.  

Then I had a decent experience on the forums at Atlantic Monthly until it got really nasty because of one particularly racist poster, and the troll from NYT followed everyone there after the exodus.  I decided it wasn't my cup of tea and left, but apparently it was shut down not too long afterwards.

I find Facebook and Twitter to be monumental wastes of time.

I get on FB and my sister just posted the cutest pictures of my niece and nephew. My church group just posted some very inspirational thoughts.

I get on CC and shared some information about bicycle and my thoughts on how to deal with anxiety.

Look for the good things, add to them if you can. Discard the junk without a thought. Don't even bother to argue to feed the trolls.

And if you see evil, report to the authority.

Santo: The idea of epic trolls that tank an entire discussion forum disturbs me, for obvious reasons. Was the trouble a lack of moderators, or posting guidelines?

Both, plus a poorly designed method of letting users block anyone.  We had a limit of 10 usernames we could block, but when a troll has approximately 30 personas, it's kind of worthless.

Holy heck. And this person followed you all to another forum??

Internet Detective: my new favorite technology based job sector...

This is the only "social networking" site I frequent.

The rest of my internet use mainly involves information seeking and cute baby animal picture seeking.

News & Recipe seeking.

I admit an addiction to random Wiki look-ups. It started with Lucretia Borgia...

Heh. I used to play a text-based MMORPG. One cheater kept on creating new accounts. Accounts got banned. Repeat cycle. With technology, you cannot keep people banned anymore. IP addresses, locations, they can all be changed.

This always cheers me up :)


Original Post by kathygator:

Holy heck. And this person followed you all to another forum??

Yeah, someone made the mistake of announcing where they were going (no, not me).  But, to be fair, the forums at the Atlantic would have shut down without the troll because of the virulent nature of some of the more prejudiced and judgemental posters.  The troll may have been a nuisance, but it wasn't a bigot.

11 Replies