xexes

 Real Life Life ruined by one joke told to a friend quietly: shaming & the public eye

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xexes    261

I read The Scarlet Letter in high school and but found it inapplicable, until today, when I read something about "fastest ways people fucked up their lives". Most of them were with drugs, drunk driving, high school pregnancy, bad dating choices. But one surprised me. It was about a lady who made an off-hand joke on twitter. Here is the article, written by the author of many fascinating and well-written thoughtful books (look them up too if you're into this sort of stuff!)

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/15/magazine/how-one-stupid-tweet-ruined-justine-saccos-life.html?_r=0

 

The article focuses on Justine Sacco and goes on to talk about other cases like her, but the one that struck me the most was about a man who made a joke quietly in the lunchroom to his coworker friend. It was a bad joke, but this event had massive fallout. The company suffered, the man lost his job, and the person who escallated it had the same fate. I am sure the psychological fallout continues still, like how years later Justine seemed to be kicked out of the restraunt she was eating at. She couldn't date in this era of googling potential boyfriends/girlfriends. Even the good and normal things that she did were put in an intensely critical light and the dogpiling continued on.

 

Anyone who knows me online knows that they don't know much about me at all. And this is why. I am afraid, very afraid. I am afraid of all of the good I do and have done amounting to a bad name from a single event. I am afraid that that one site full of really cruel and bitchy people will slander my name and that's the end. I'm afraid that all my work creating free skins and awesome hosting will be overwritten. What if I get doxxed and it bleeds over to real life? All of my hard work getting an education and student loan debt are meaningless, my job is shot, and I'm stuck in life between fear of being discovered and intensive counseling sessions. An event last year happened to my spouse for a message he posted, and because it was vauge, someone mis-interpretined it as criminal behavior. We are still dealing with this fall-out and it has caused a lot of trouble for us.

 

I don't want to talk about me.

 

But I do want to talk about this, about Justine Sacco, about internet shaming, about social justice. Maybe even about the role we play in it all, too.

 

Your turn! Discuss!

 

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xexes    261

I feel you 100%.

 

I feel you with hosting, too. It is always a little weird to see client's names and infos and for them to see mine but I try to remain professional and do my best. So far my best defense in this has been to politely decline my services anyone who might stir up drama or be a little less in the maturity area - but it sure doesn't prevent others from attacking my clients, whom they contact me to shut down because drama reasons.

 

Same with playing games with coworkers. My steam, my skype, my gaming emails... I just feel overwhelmed and over-burdened with how to divide my game life and my work life and even then sometimes they intersect and there's just nothing you can do.

 

You reminded me of a story: Once upon a time, a player, let's call him "religi-saurus", came to our game server and instigated all sorts of fights and divides while maintaining that he was the victim. One of our members was so pissed that he doxxed him, putting religi-saurus' real name, phone, address, everything online. We tried to apologize for this member and get it taken down from the website but the website said no. So now, whenever religi-saurus goes to apply for a job and the company google searches him, this will come up: "religi-saurus, RealName, is a douchebag with a poor work ethic who blames everyone else for his personal failings ... etc ... and lives at RealPlace, RealPhone...".

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Uaithne    342

You're right.  You're 100% absolutely right.  I wish I could convey my thoughts on this more clearly, but I can't.  I've written and rewritten this post several times, but deleted it over and over because I wasn't getting my thoughts across.  Maybe I'll try again later.

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Icewolf    204
13 hours ago, VirusZero said:

This is  why I don't like "social justice". It's not justice, it's a lynch mob. No apology will ever suffice to people chasing you. As stated in another topic, even Jihadists will spare you if you convert. But no apology will work for social justice, they simply want to see you destroyed. And they really have no qualms about turning on each other either. The aforementioned Dongle joke incident is just one example. And the very same people who employ "point and shriek" are usually far worse than the people they're pointing at. Look at cases like:

- Sam "bring back bullying" Biddle of Kotaku. 

- Zoe Quinn (the instigator of Gamergate)

- Randi Harper.

- Anita Sarkeesian.

- Cora "Trigglypuff" Segal.

- Shanley Kane.

Emma "mattress girl" Sulkowicz. (She accused a guy of raping her and tried to get him expelled then used it as a activism to get a grade on, flagrantly violating Title IX in the process.)

- Connie St. Louis (how about not lying on your resume and publishing hit pieces on scientists ok?)

 

 

The sad thing is, I have come across people exactly like this while rping on twitter and it's got to the extent now where I avoid using the platform so I don't have to deal with them anymore. (There are people like this in the rp community, but I suspect because they don't have anything to do with tech, they've not got the attention that these people have,) Twenty years ago, if someone had asked me if I was a feminist, I would have said yes! Absolutely! But not after coming across people like these. The 'oppression' people like this claim to come across is something I've never personally experienced professionally and I've got a degree in Zoology, so if it was ingrained, I would have seen it. (The difficulties I have come across is more down to financial, than anything else.) They don't just make men feel guilty about their gender and race, but they also make women feel guilty about their gender, their achievements, their sexuality, their interests, their looks, etc. An example would be, you're a woman and like 'feminine' things then you're just following the norm - if you're a woman and you don't like 'feminine' things, then they question your gender and/or sexuality. If you're a part of a 'minority', then, in their view, you can behave as badly as you want, but if you're not, then everything you do, whether good or bad, is bad.

 

As for jokes that go wrong, yes, people shouldn't tweet them but the mob behaviour and harassment that people get for it is far worse than the joke.

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Sage    163

All this behavior is is bullying. This issue is currently a hot topic in school curriculums, and all my young cousins/nieces/nephews/etc. are learning online etiquette and the ins and outs of cyber bullying. It's a real problem that can follow you your whole life, and it's good to know that this is being taught from a young age. Because for all the older generations, this is still new. People still don't realize that what they put online is out there forever, without context, and can be construed any way possible. Which totally and absolutely sucks. But knowing that going into it helps.

 

I'm not saying you need to analyze every thought or comment you put out there. Hardly. Or that you should be afraid of doing or saying what you want. But you should recognize that bullies are going to be bullies. Behind a screen and a keyboard, they feel invincible. Like nothing will ever turn around and come back to hurt them in turn. They're not actively engaging in the bullying irl (or if they are like in the case of Justine Sacco, where they weren't directly interacting with her, but were with other people bullying her), so they don't feel that intimate person-to-person interaction that would usually stop them from bullying. The thing about the internet is that it brings out the worst in people. It rarely brings out the best. It gives us a safety blanket that we can just disappear behind an anonymous username or hide behind a facebook or twitter profile. 

 

18 hours ago, VirusZero said:

They, by and large, see offense and victimhood everywhere. It's integral to their person to be a victim, they have nothing without it. They use it for their own personal gain.

 

 

The people that do this are looking for an excuse to attack someone. They're rarely doing it because someone actually, truly said something offensive and meant it. They do it because they want to feel powerful and take the moral high ground. This behavior gets them off, which is truly disgusting. And I hate that it's a part of our culture.

 

This is a problem that will only have the chance to get better with time. As we teach new users to approach the culture with caution and goodwill and let the bullies phase themselves out. It probably won't work completely and will probably take a long time to get there and a lot of other people will suffer in the meantime. But I think it's a goal the online community should strive for. Nobody's perfect. We all make mistakes. We're only human. And we all make sick and inappropriate jokes that we probably shouldn't.

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VirusZero    835

How many have heard of Gregory Alan Elliot?

 

For those who haven't... Elliot was a graphic designer in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was contacted by Ms. Guthrie to do some promotional work for her activism. They met in person and discussed details. Though later (on twitter) Elliot disagreed with Ms. Guthrie's idea to set lose a hate mob after a man who made the "beat up Sarkeesian" flash game. As a result Ms. Guthrie led a campaign to destroy him. She had a friend pose as a child to try to get him indicted as a pedophile, constantly insulted and berated him on twitter.  And he's the one that got arrested, dragged into court and fought a 3 year battle (losing over $80,000 in the process) only to be eventually have the judge rule in his favour. 

 

Source

Alternate Source

 

On the other side, while the next generation is hit over the head with all this anti-bully stuff it's largely rendered useless through propagandized victim culture perpetuated through universities. They learn in university that they're constant victims, that they're under oppression and that because they're the victim that it's ok for them to act poorly. They don't see what they're doing as bullying. There's a level of cognitive dissonance going on. 

 

It's why some (like Ottawa University's Prof Janice Fiamengo) advocate for the dismantling of the gender studies degrees... 

 

Though until real repercussions start happening for those instigating this crap, nothing will change. I mean Bahar Mustafa found out the hard way but she's the exception. (And in her case, I think what she said was stupid... but she shouldn't have been charged. Dismissed from her position? Sure. Criminal charges? No.) The aforementioned Ms. Guthrie walked away scot free after instigating a campaign to destroy someone based on ideological differences. That is unacceptable. 

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CovertSphinx    411

I've gotten used to taking abuse from people over various stupid things. To me it's just become "Meh, say what you want, my integrity will speak for itself. And anybody who's willing to ride the bandwagon isn't somebody I want to associate with anyway". Granted, I've also never been in a position where it's been an actual danger to my livelihood/career.

 

The Internet is like Highschool; When somebody wants to talk shit, they're going to find a way to do it, and almost nobody is going to have the balls enough to come up to you and seek the full story. These people usually end up going "too far" and eventually ruin their own credibility.

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Indy    18

@VirusZero I'm always a little bit baffled when people point fingers at uni's as the breeding ground for the social justice oh-poor-me people, but it also a real thing that I've seen stories about. I never did gender studies in my MA, but we had critical studies courses that touched on the literature found in gender studies, queer studies, and a lot of marxist writing because why not. The focus here was always critical application of both your mind and the literature. So the people rabidly crucifying anyone who disagrees with them specifically coming out of uni is, to me, counter to the whole bloody point of uni. Sadly, I know of profs that perpetuate the whole thing. My department was "one of the good ones" so to speak. I can't say if this is a North American specific thing (I haven't noticed it in NZ unis or Norwegian unis), but I've never actually seen a case that wasn't specifically in America or Canada.

 

Do you remember the case of the prof. who went all "Wait, we shouldn't do this?" against some protestors? This was in California a few months back, maybe. They basically applied napalm to his life for just saying "we should think about this". It's really rather tragic, but people get all swept up in the mob mentality when someone decries someone and just can't stop to think. Because that would be the common sense response to the whole thing.

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VirusZero    835

Offhand I've seen a few cases of professors trying to be reasonable but people pushing a pro-"social justice" narrative not having any of it and just devolving to bullying and hate. (If memory serves there were a few regarding halloween costumes then another for pronoun usage. Though I've heard Prof. Janice Fiamengo, of Ottawa Ontario Canada, who had lectures stormed by angry protesters to the point they had to be cancelled. Though if memory serves after that Prof Fiamengo started pretty heavily pushing against gender studies programs... calling for them to be shut down as a waste of resources.) So unfortunately it's not a new issue.

 

So, to me at least, it doesn't seem impossible that's where a lot of these issues stem from. Especially once we examine the language that pro-"social justice" types use. It's heavy on identity politics (which are almost only ever covered in gender studies classes). 

 

 

Now do I think all people who take gender studies are SJWs? No. That would be absurd. However there are enough people that do blindly listen and believe to everything they hear in those classes that do become issues. It's how we get the Bahar Mustafas, Anita Sarkeesians, Cora Segals, Chanty Binxes, etc...  Plus an entourage of people who follow them.

 

I still really like Steven Crowder's response to them though.

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