General Discussion

Internet forums- Kingdoms of the Jerks?
harkovast at 8:15AM, June 27, 2009
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Have you ever noticed how incredibly hostile most internet forums are?
Not the ones on DD, but most of the other ones out there.

I went on a forum today and asked what it was about and by my second post, a mod had threatened to ban me, and by my third post I was accused of having been on the forum before under other idenities and had multiple people calling me an idiot/retard before one of them locked the thread.

Yikes!

This seems fairly typical to me, I've been on a few forums and most tend to be like this.

Most internet forums are run like personal little kingdoms, with moderators banning anyone that does not toe the line and agree with them. They all seem much like angry mob rule, with people screaming with rage at anyone failing to toe the line.

This almost makes me wonder if the natural state of the human race is a dictatorship, with the person with the power using it throw their weight around, while everyone else kisses up to them.

Also the whole concept of “noobs” and their inherant badness is interesting, as it suggests an inate hostility to outsiders. Anyone new who is not in the artificially created “in group” is judged to be a subhuman enemy and treated accordingly.

So I suppose my concern is that internet forums are spontaneously created communities, but those communities are (9 times out of 10) dictatorships that are incredibly hostile to outsiders. Doesn't this say some rather bad things about the human race?

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:43PM
Skullbie at 8:29AM, June 27, 2009
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What did you post? Link? I tend to lurk for 2-3 weeks on a forum before posting, i've never really had trouble unless i was purposely trying to insult someone.

Anonymous boards like 4chan attract the worst though. there's a few generally intelligent and funny posters on them but for every one of those there's 300 more that want to drag everyone down to their level and feel better about themselves. Plus you've got to wonder what effects it has on genuinely normal people, there really are real rapists, racists, autistics, freaky basement dwellers and pedophiles on that site peer pressuring other posters into thinking what they like is ‘normal’, and then attacking anyone that has a different opinion.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
harkovast at 8:36AM, June 27, 2009
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I asked what the forum was about. (Bad move on my part, it seems!)

I think the idea of having to lurk around is weird.
Why wouldn't people just join in and start talking?

To act as if a forum is so wonderful that people wanting to take part should do some research before joining in seems to be putting the forum onto a rather weird pedestal.

In also supports the idea I just stated that the internet encourages a weird sense of “outsiders are bad and have nothing worthwhile to contribute”, in that you have to have hung around a while in order to not be too “noob” like.

I've never refused to talk to anyone on a forum because their post count was low or they had only just arrived. To do so seems to be the very worst sort of arrogance.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:43PM
ozoneocean at 8:39AM, June 27, 2009
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DD is a dictatorship too. We just try not to be bastards most of the time. :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
skoolmunkee at 8:41AM, June 27, 2009
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I consider most forums to be like cliques were in school. You can't really just saunter up and try to fit in to an established group. As Skullbie says, some of them you just have to hang around a while and figure the place out before you stick your toe in. I think it's more or less natural for people in groups to start acting like one another (while in that group anyway) and dismissing those they don't think ‘fit.’

Asking ‘hey, what’s this place about?' is like an instant ticket to rejection though no matter where you're at. :] It kind of tells them that you don't care enough about the place to take the time. I have a mental image of a guy walking into an office building off the street and asking ‘so what-all do you folks do in here?’ (Or approaching a group on the street and asking ‘hey guys what’re ya talking about? Can I join?' ) If you don't know what the place is about already, then why the hell are you there trying to talk to them?

Even the DD forums has its unspoken rules that are off-putting to other people. We don't mind their not being here (because if we liked that kind of thing, we'd be doing it ourselves) and it's impossible to be accomodating to EVERY kind of poster. At least at DD most of us can just roll our eyes when we see so-n-so has made a new thread or something, and move on instead of heckling.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
Product Placement at 8:41AM, June 27, 2009
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I normally don't bother going through the comments, let alone make a comment, on youtube. There's some serious a-holes hanging around there.

Whatever you do, don't go through the comments on a video that has ANYTHING to do with space travel. The most ludicrous claims are thrown around why the moon landing is a hoax and every other conspiracy theory similar enough piggyback its way in with it.

I once watch a documentary about dinosaurs and after commenting on it, I was suddenly forced to defend my opinions against some idiot creationist.

Edit. Since I found this to be relevant to my comment, please enjoy this comic strip made by xkcd.com
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:51PM
harkovast at 9:05AM, June 27, 2009
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Skoolmunkee, I think forums being on the level of school cliches is kind of sad. Those were childish groupings invented to make people without any real power (children) feel important. That is an appalling role model to want to emulate in adulthood.

If someone came on DD and asked “Is this the place to discuss webcomics?” I dont think that would be unreasonable.

It seems more equivalent to asking people who are talking “are you talking about XYZ” which seems a reasonable way to enter a conversation.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:43PM
ozoneocean at 9:14AM, June 27, 2009
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Who cares? I'm off to look at the comments on space vids at youtube. That looks hilarious :)
—-

Hmm… I suspect that most of the “fake” crowd are just trolls :(
I suspect that most creationists are probably trolls.

Moon landings aren't fake but most of the controversy on the net is.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
Hyena H_ll at 9:25AM, June 27, 2009
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skoolmunkee
I consider most forums to be like cliques were in school. You can't really just saunter up and try to fit in to an established group. As Skullbie says, some of them you just have to hang around a while and figure the place out before you stick your toe in. I think it's more or less natural for people in groups to start acting like one another (while in that group anyway) and dismissing those they don't think ‘fit.’

Word. I definitely lurked on here for a few months. And I'm always really careful about gauging the feel of a place first so as not to “overstep my bounds”, so to speak.

I haven't been a member for a loooong time, but there was a pay site I used to belong to that was outlandishly cliquish. I was an “old skool” member, before the site got super popular, new idiots rushed in, and the boards got really mean and flamey. The mods mostly let it happen. Granted, sometimes it was hilarious. But still. And God forbid anyone start a topic that had been discussed within the past 5 years. Everyone seemed to remember, and would call you out on it, with a link to the old thread. Any new person trying to be friendly or clever got ruthlessly flamed. One of the reasons I quit- that and a lot of “in-fighting” and drama. I mean, I was “safe” because I'd been around so long, but it just wasn't fun anymore.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
kyupol at 9:55AM, June 27, 2009
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I've been posting on them less and less and less. (really. I know it sounds hard to believe given that I've got 2000+ posts)

Because the level of intelligence on them is really something I couldn't even imagine or make up. It makes me just shake my head and even feel more sorry for the human race.


1) ITS THE JEWS THE JEWS AND THE JEWS!!! OMG!!!
For instance, when I talk about the Bilderbergs and the Illuminati, I get all this stupid nonsense about it being all about JEWS even if I didn't even say the word “JEW” one time!!!

Both sides. Those accusing me of being an anti-semite. And those Hitler-worshipping Nazis who think Jews are behind everything. I tell you what. Look at the list of members of the Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, CFR, etc… and lets count how many Jews are there. This isn't about Jews, dummy. Its a mixture of evil people that represent every so-called cover-religion on this planet!!!

Same thing with those who blame everything evil on the Vatican. You are just as narrow-minded.


2) WHO IS THE SECRET-AGENT OF THE ILLUMINATI?!?
Is it Alex Jones? Is it David Icke? Is it Jordan Maxwell? Is it George Noori? Is it Michael Tsarion? Is it Alan Watt? Is it Ron Paul? Who? Who is the secret disinfo agent of the CIA/Mossad/MI-6/reptoids/etc.

It gets asinine. Instead of focusing on the CONTENT of what they're saying. Instead of focusing on what you disagree on, the point is, they're all saying that the world we are living in is headed towards the direction of HATE and ENSLAVEMENT. Your freedoms are under attack.

Wake up. And stop focusing on the person. And stop focusing on internal politics and being jealous of people because they're more successful than you.


3) MY RELIGION IS BETTER THAN YOURS!!!
You gotta love it when the atheists and religious fanatics cross paths.

“All who believe in God are ignorant idiots. Everything is explainable by science!!! Stop buying in into that superstitious God-crap!”

“All you atheists will burn in hell. Where do you think everything came from? GOD. You atheists are narrow-minded idiots!!!”

Listen both of you. Both of you are EQUALLY narrow-minded. You refuse to accept things that shatter the reality you've built around yourselves. You only accept things to be true if it conforms to your narrow-minded paradigm.

Same thing with those hardcore leftwing and rightwing fanatics.

Hypocrites. Where are all the anti-war liberals now that Barack Obama is in? You only bash George Bush and his policies because he's a “neocon” and not a “liberal”.




No wonder why I feel like I don't belong on this planet.

Also it frustrates me and it makes me sad at the same time.

This planet is in need of healing. I feel sorry for the human race.

NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
subcultured at 10:06AM, June 27, 2009
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too many trolls on the interweb…
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:04PM
7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 10:13AM, June 27, 2009
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harkovast
Have you ever noticed how incredibly hostile most internet forums are?

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT JESUS CHRIST NO ONE CARES GO AWAY.

:3
i will also like to know you the more
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
skoolmunkee at 12:34PM, June 27, 2009
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I wasn't saying that forums being like school cliques was desirable, that was just the closest comparison I could come up with. :] You didn't give many details about what happened with you so it's hard to generalize your case to a bigger scenario.

(I'd still argue that “is this the place to talk about XYZ” could still be answered by looking around on the forum though, because it does sound like one hasn't if they're asking it. Varies on the situation/forum though I guess.)

Still, no forum is totally unique and if the people on one are not interesting or are jerks, it's easy enough to move to a different one.

I'm certain that people feel much more freedom to be jerks on the internet though. There's not as much social pressure to be nice since it's super-easy to dissociate words on the internet from an actual person. If the internet can teach anyone anything, it's to have tough skin.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
subcultured at 1:58PM, June 27, 2009
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lol
TD
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:04PM
harkovast at 2:54PM, June 27, 2009
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Skoolmunkee I just cant see what is rude about just asking people?
If it disgusts them they don't have to give an answer, they can just move to another thread and not waste their time.
I think they should be pleased that someone has found what they are talking about interesting enough to ask a question.
Treating new people like you are doing them a favour by allowing them to post and they somehow owe it to you to do research before speaking and enjoying the glory of your company, just makes you seem like an elitest moron and stops new people joining.
And since new people joining is the life blood of a forum, it seems a self defeating strategy. Pretty soon you find yourself king of a kingdom with no subjects.

Look here to see what a provocative, fight starter I really am…

http://www.awkwardzombie.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2401

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:43PM
Lonnehart at 3:04PM, June 27, 2009
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I know I put out my share of weird and off the wall posts, but I'm glad this forum seems to tolerate it…

I was banned from one forum (10 years ago) because the mod thought it was fun. Never went back there. The very last forum I was on was great until a mod came on who apparently had enough of my posts. Since none of my posts violated the forum rules, he resorted to a kneejerk flame every time I posted. Soon enough other people began to do the same whenever he did. I eventually had enough of that and left. Looks like he won, right? Well…

If not for the actions of that mod I wouldn't have started posting here regularly. Now I no longer even lurk on the former forum I was on.

*sigh* the memories….

I wonder how long it'll be before I find myself harassed out of this forum as well…

Sorry I'm thinking that way, but it seems to be the trend with me anyway…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
harkovast at 3:17PM, June 27, 2009
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Loneheart, you are such a noob to post such crap!
(Kidding! Kidding!)

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:43PM
Skullbie at 3:50PM, June 27, 2009
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Hark you're right they were being total assholes, even worse that it's a mod that has a picture of pedobear in his sig and resorts to unfunny penis jokes. Seriously ‘i like dicks’? you might as well have said ‘i’m rubber you're glue' to the level of wit he possesses.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
subcultured at 4:01PM, June 27, 2009
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DD is different from other forums cause we actually have responsible people in charge…not 13 year old kids.

most of the admins and mods are over 25 and we hold down professional jobs.
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:04PM
skoolmunkee at 5:33PM, June 27, 2009
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harkovast
Skoolmunkee I just cant see what is rude about just asking people?
I didn't say *I* thought it was rude. Just that people who are regulars on a forum may feel like the answer to that kind of question is self-evident, or easily answered with a few minutes of poking around. If THEY feel like the answer is there for the having, yet someone tells them flat out that they don't feel like spending the time to find out for themselves, they might feel it's being lazy and rude or something. It's just their reaction to it that makes them jerks or not.

I think that people who come here and post a thread like “so this site is about webcomics? Can I make a thread about webcomics?” are being lazy and possibly stupid, but I don't become a jerk unless I make fun of them or something. :]

harkovast
http://www.awkwardzombie.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2401
Your problem there is that most webcomic-specific forums are shit and full of morons. It looked like it was just one guy being a twit. Another took the middle ground and the last guy was defending you. So I think maybe it was not too bad. We have people here on DD who are ocassionally jackasses, we just don't make them mods.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
Hyena H_ll at 6:15PM, June 27, 2009
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skoolmunkee
harkovast
Skoolmunkee I just cant see what is rude about just asking people?
I didn't say *I* thought it was rude. Just that people who are regulars on a forum may feel like the answer to that kind of question is self-evident, or easily answered with a few minutes of poking around.
Sum1 tell me how to maek custum sprits plz now!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:52PM
lba at 6:43PM, June 27, 2009
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I used to hang around Totse, which was pretty much the precursor to 4chan.

It's half-baked forum is one of the place where the original unholy trinity got started ( a) don't look it up. You won't like it if you haven't seen it already. And b) ignore what wikipedia and encyclopedia dramatica say, their users have extremely short memories. ). Way back in the day, totse was the forum for anyone to talk about anything. It had forums for stuff like baking and food, to illegal/subversive activities, to ecology and erotica. It was started about 25 years ago ( It's currently defunct and was decommissioned earlier this year so there's nothing to see there. ) and it gathered a huge following with the most recent census in 1995 showing it had about 150,000 users with 70,000 of them active more than once a week, which was massive for the time considering what the internet was then. But as time went on, the owner Jeff Hunter slowly began spending less and less time working on the site. Due to a combination of the site's old BBS code, limited mod and admin powers and Jeff's disappearing act and you can pretty much guess where the site went. The user's could do almost anything they pleased without reprisal and the poor behavior of half-baked ( imagine TD and 4chan being doubled. ) spread out to the rest of the site. And what occurred then was a sort of little mini-dysfunctional society. Certain members who had extra charisma, computer knowledge that let them take advantage of the BBS code and mods with power became figure heads of little tribes. For the most part, the different forums didn't intermingle much and and if you behaved in any way that didn't fit the forum, you were a play toy to be bullied. If you managed to gain the respect of a forum, it was usually a case of sucking up or being smart enough to outwit the major players enough that you became one yourself. It was only in totse's last days after 4chan arrived that many of the cruelest people left for newer, better running forums and the atmosphere of the place changed.

Basically, the point of this post is that it's a bit of human nature to gather around those with power and support their position. We have a mentality that allows us to behave like a herd when we need to such as in a group, and like an individual when left to our own devices. It's also part of our nature, when we have power to do near anything to maintain it and keep our position, until we find something even better. It comes from survival instincts towards anything being perceived as a threat to our territory, and it manifests itself in flame postings and calling people “newfags”. We also have an inherent inability to recognize too many people as actual full humans. We don't want to have to add more people to our list of people who are real. ( I'll see if I can pull up the article on this. ) It all boils down to the same thing: survival and the history of our species. We want money, power, territory and control simply because it equips us to survive better than the next guy, and when we don't have it ourselves, the best way to get it is to suck up to the guy with it.

Humans, by nature are fairly territorial and survivalist animals when you think about it. Next time you go down the street, into a store, or attend a social gathering, take a second look around and think about what you see.


I know that's kind of long-winded and maybe seems a little rambling, but I'm hoping that you can understand what I'm getting at in relation to your question.
I know I have too much free time to spend doing sociological studies of internet forums.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
Disgruntledrm at 10:48PM, June 27, 2009
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I've actually never joined a forum that flamed me for any of my posts, though I am familiar with the attitude. I do think a good deal of these communities get cliquish after about a 4-year run. I think part of the reason is because of limited moderator staff looking over the threads, and people who just don't want to socialize with newbies (not to be confused with n00bs.)

I used to be a member of a pretty popular forum that went down last year…maybe the year before (it seems like it's been much longer) and I guess I was a veteran there, I doubt any of you would know it…Avidgamers 1. The admin there sort of disappeared, the mods became inactive, and then there was a new Avidgamers…which created a sort of rift between the intelligent members who liked the coding on the new site and those who liked the old style…that was the beginning of some real flame wars and rude treatment, which also (unfortunately) meant some really vicious treatment of anyone new to either side. If you were polite, and just wanted to talk about the news…you'd get flamed for bringing up boring topics (though Avidgamers used to be nothing but political and social discussion.)

My point is, when a forum becomes truly vicious…it's the beginning of the end, and only a matter of time before it's shut down.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
ozoneocean at 11:52PM, June 27, 2009
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Hyena H_ll
Sum1 tell me how to maek custum sprits plz now!
Gah! When they post that in the GD or help forums it's so anoying T_T
But I'm nice about it when I move them.
lba
Basically, the point of this post is that it's a bit of human nature to gather around those with power and support their position.
The other side of it is suckups. People who obviously suck up to you are creepy. People who do it in a round about way are great though :)

Mods and Admins here prefer to be treated as normal posters, but no one is immune a little bit of extra attention :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
Hawk at 12:17AM, June 28, 2009
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I think anonymity has the power to ruin people. It's completely obvious in places like 4chan. People there aren't held responsible to their actions. But most message boards are no different, when you think about it. It's easy to create a new forum account and be a new person. Essentially you can say whatever want. People say and do the most awful things when they know they can't be held responsible. And I'll bet if people could turn invisible in real life, many of them would be pulling the same shenanigans offline.

I think DD is different because we're investing more into our personas. We create comics and we want to be respected because of them, so we know that saying something mean or stupid reflects poorly on us as comic authors. It's not as easy to create a new person when there's a 100+ page comic tied to your current online persona.

Having level-headed admins really helps though.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
skoolmunkee at 3:46AM, June 28, 2009
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Hawk
I think DD is different because we're investing more into our personas. We create comics and we want to be respected because of them, so we know that saying something mean or stupid reflects poorly on us as comic authors. It's not as easy to create a new person when there's a 100+ page comic tied to your current online persona.
Hey, that's an awesome point. I never even thought of that but I'm sure you're right.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:42PM
TheMidge28 at 5:56AM, June 28, 2009
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But honestly when it comes down to it, forums are no different than real life. There's assholes everywhere. Some places have a greater concentration of assholes than others. Call it an “asshole concentration camp”, if you'd like. Forums about a certain subject that appeals to assholes tend to lure the assholes together, kind of like a neon sign outside a bar, blinking, “Live Nude Girls” but it instead blinks, “Fresh Car Crash!” because assholes tend to enjoy watching car crashes… that and watching other guys get hit in the nuts. Assholes also enjoy long walks on the beach, sunsets and falling asleep to the sound of the rain hitting gently against their bedroom window.

But as birds of a feather flock together the birds here at the duck tend to be of a different breed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:25PM
Phillby at 8:27AM, June 28, 2009
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Having read the thread in question I would say that the reaection you got was well deserved.

Your question wasn't a simple ‘hey what is this forum for?’ it was ‘is this forum for making fun of webcomics?’.

1)this makes it look like you've been linked to the single thread for making fun of bad webcomics (which you also posted in about Powerup comics).
2)a cursory glance at the forum name and thread list would have been enough to show that wasn't the case.

you got two replies, one telling you to read the forum descriptions, the second being extremely helpful:
No. This is a forum for discussing Katie's webcomic, Awkward Zombie. It's titled “WHY DOES THIS COMIC SUCK” because she's very critical about her art. Also because it's funny, I guess.
We do, however, have a thread about bad webcomics.
Next time, just lurk a bit and look around before posting, so questions like these won't be necessary.

your response to this is to tell the first guy you didn't read the forum descriptions and ask the question again. When you do notice the reply tou argue that lurking is a waste of your time and it is much easier to waste their time by asking questions instead.

Another poster tells you to to shove it and the Mod you seem to dislike so much decides to close the thread before it turns into a flame war.

Then you start this thread.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, but maybe next time people react badly to you on the internet you should think about why they called you names instead of making a childish thread about them being mean to you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
ozoneocean at 8:43AM, June 28, 2009
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Phillby
Having read the thread in question I would say that the reaection you got was well deserved.
I'd have to disagree there.
The first response he got was a little rude, but not too bad. Then things got worse between him and Spoony (the first respondent), Hark contributed though. Then spoony went overboard and another user piped in and was extremely offensive in an unprovoked way.
Then someone defended Hark.

Finally a mod locked the thread and told Spoony off for being mean to new users.

So Hark was wrong saying that they were all mean and you are wrong in saying it was all deserved- seeing that even the mod didn't think so ;)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
bravo1102 at 9:38AM, June 28, 2009
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Hello my name is bravo and I have a tendency to be an ass because I can hide behind this screen persona. No, I'm just an ass. (not arse, that's a bum; I mean a donkey. Dumbass or smartass, take your choice, an ass is still an ass)

There are a lot of things that get lost in the translation between your mind to your keyboard and then onto the screen. A lot of what is typed may not be what the poster meant to say and if you were having the discussion in person the reaction would be different because there would be visual clues and tone of voice. A smartass comment online can often come off as cruel and thoughtless because the inflection that would indicate the joke is missing.

The best forums are those where you run into friendly people who all share a common interest and can periodically run into each other in person. Model building forums are great that way. It also helps that on most of them you can't hide behind a persona. You can only post under your real name with a direct link to your email. Keeps you honest. There I'm like I am in person; a kind soft spoken gentleman. But give me that “bravo1102” and I'm “dumbass tanker moron personified”

(This is a joke)The whole point is to establish a great rapport with the mods who will then let you flame everybody because they want to see someone stir things up by making the other asses look like a bigger ass than you are.

I was invited on one forum to specifically do that. I could say anything to annoy the posters the mods didn't like. So my internet persona is still an ass. An annoying braying, stubborn, opinionated, ignorant, thick headed, beast of burden.

So I identify with all of you and sometimes we all open mouth and insert foot. It's hard to talk while chewing on your foot, but really easy to type.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM

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