Monday, October 20, 2014

Twitter: DON'T READ THE COMMENTS

Lately, there have been a lot of people getting in a lot of trouble because of exposure through social media.

First, there was Gamer Gate. A feminist commentator does a YouTube video on how some video games use women "characters" in sexist and demeaning ways in order to further the storyline for the male protagonist, and suddenly treasure troves of gamers get so pissed off that she's publicly said this, she's now getting death threats.

Death threats, people…

Over her opinion about a few video games.

Then there was John Grisham.
Genius that he is, apparently he had one too many bourbons (or something) and tweeted how a buddy from law school was convicted and sent to prison for looking at kiddie porn, but it was completely overblown because he wasn't looking at videos of 10 year old boys, but of 16 year old girls, and that's not nearly as bad.

First, off, reporters and tweeters alike have already proven that his law school buddy WAS caught looking at videos, one of which included a 12 year old girl - so, Mr. Grisham's argument is already completely invalid.

But, the underlying problem is, of course, why is GIRL kiddie porn OK (in his mind) but boy kiddie porn not?

Sexist, much?
Disgusting, much?

Ugh.

The latest travesty to hit social media pertains to an author, Kathleen Hale, who writes Young Adult, and how she got so obsessed with a reviewer for using a fake name, she investigated, tracked down, stalked and eventually SHOWED UP AT THE WOMAN'S FRONT DOOR, called her work and then wrote this "article" about being "catfished" - and the whole time I'm thinking - Why do you think the reviewer was using a fake name? Uh, maybe to avoid upset/out of line/stalkerish authors?
DUH.

Now, what do these stories of human stupidity have in common?

Social media.
Twitter has played a major part in exposing, hashing, continuing, and otherwise, beating these stories to death over and over again - with trolls, haters, apologists, everybody alike, offering their opinion on each story, as if the world needs one more opinion in the ether.

I'm guilty of it.
You're probably guilty of it too.
Sometimes, I can't HELP but sub-tweet about it. It's like I need to get my opinion out to somebody that might care/listen/understand/agree.

However, by continuing to discuss these "stories" the people involved, ie. John Grisham, Kathleen Hale, the trolls of Gamer Gate, they are getting the chance to be in the spotlight (be it good or bad), and I am reminded of the commonly repeated adage -

DON'T READ THE COMMENTS…

After any news article, YouTube Video, explosive blog post, etc. there are always haters, trolls, idiots, apologists, extremists and just plain crazy people who do their best to continue the conversation.

And it occurred to me today that my Twitter feed has become one long COMMENTS section.

We're all commenting on what's happening, and I agree it's good to stay informed.
But, for me, personally, I'm going to (try!) to stop making comments about explosive stories, because really, I don't want to further these idiots any farther than their own idiocy can do.

I'm part of the problem.
Perhaps, so are you.

Let's stop furthering craziness and get back to connecting with each other on a civil level, because right now, Twitter is just a cesspool of hate, anger, and finger-pointing, and I can't stand it any more.

DON'T READ THE COMMENTS...