Monday, February 05, 2007
Moving swiftly in many directions all at once, something's bound to break or spasm.
It could be a worded wounding, a sensational sorrow, a rash rush, a rallying around reluctants.
Joining in a debate can turn into a tangled mess of mis-placements and mis-statements, a canceled spectre looms there, and at the end: a cold wind of unconcern.
If you want to defend an idea or person or best practice, you must be aware that feelings are in high strung vulnerability online. Emotions and notions are paired unexpectedly. People react extremely to what is written. Written and preserved on someone's blog. There for all to see. There to draw commentary upon it.
Some don't have thick enough skins to put up with the abuse and the misinterpretation, all the trolling, flaming, baiting, and harshing. Some lurk in the rafters, gazing in awe at the brutality of blogocombat.
Even friends exchange stern warnings and limits are hysterically specified.
But where do you draw the line in online debate? When would you intervene in a conversation? When does it move from communication to abuse?
What kinds of "negative" comments would you delete?
* Personal attacks ("you jerk")
* Professional attacks ("you amateur")
* Political attacks ("you stupid Demopublican")
* Posturing ("I'm an expert" or "according to Derrida...")
Many bloggers pollute the blogosphere with totalitarian tactics, proudly crowing that they're going to step in "dictatorially" and start throwing people out, like a vigorous debate is some kind of dangerous event. In the name of that which has no name, they delete your comments.
If you confront the censoring banshee, you'll be told that your contrarian views were "off topic", "in bad taste", "too divisive", "not the right tone", "rash assertions", "combative in nature", or "impolite".
What they mean, of course, is they didn't like what you said.
Why does a blogger think they need to control the ideologies expressed on their blog? They'll lie and say "it wasn't the content, it was the mean-spirited nature, the hostile intent, of the comment".
Mean-spirited? Mean to what? To your opinion? To those who agree with you?
You can spot a fake blogger easily: they accuse the opposing side of a debate of being "mean-spirited", while people on their side of the debate are saying mean-spirited things, and getting away with it.
Yes, many bloggers are Blog Dictators.
They simply will not tolerate any forceful expression of an idea they disagree with. They will feel compelled to rescue their precious pristine blog from the "mean kids" and the "different". Keep your eyes open and you'll see this everywhere.
Almost every blog that exists is totalitarian.
"It's MY blog", they whine anti-democratically, "and I can do anything I want. I can throw people out of the party that occurs in my home, the home of my blog."
When ideas are not free to do battle, when the free flow of debate is interupted and re-directed or dissected, the blog is no longer a true conduit of information.
Let the ideas struggle for survival and see what happens. Your idea may kick ass, or lie down and die a coward's death. But censorship in the way an idea is discussed is just another domination system obstructing the way to universal democracy and free expression.
Notice how most blogs contain only comments that agree, praise, and appreciate. Ever wonder why no one dissented? Do you now sense the presence of huge absences in the blogosphere?
Where contrary comments tried to appear.
Posted by steven edward streight at 2/05/2007 08:41:00 PM