I’m afraid if you are the six or so trolls who’ve got my email, this is just gonna feed your fire, but, at the moment, I could care less. You’ve been reported, and that’s all I care about.
Now, the nitty-gritty.
I’d like to first say that I’m staunchly for freedom of speech, expression, and ideas. I’d like it if everyone could speak their minds, and no one would care.
This, however, doesn’t seem to happen well. And this is where my Rant Du Jour starts.
You’ve probably all heard of ricksantorum-2012. He’s a tumblr user who’s still at it today, but began, some 470 pages back on his blog, as just another supporter of Rick Santorum. And I didn’t know him. At all. In fact, I think my only thought to Rick Santorum was a rather stupid remark he made at the wrong place, at the wrong time. but I sloughed it off, it was news, nothing more, and left it at “oh, he’s another canidate”
Fast forward to… two months ago?
So I’ve been tumbl’in and tumbl’in, and then gotten an update from my pal James. Who is awesome, and you should totally follow him. There was a tumblr that got set up called “stop-ricksantorum-2012”, and had started a petition to shut down him tumblr. ricksantorum-2012, I mean. His. Keep in mind, I hadn’t looked into the guy, but I heard the name passed around tumblr a bit. I looked into his tumblr, and… I guess I wasn’t read for what I saw. From a human standpoint, I was ready to cry, and from a Psych standpoint, I was like “Someone get this person a hug, please.” The blog was just filled with random nasty comments, little nit-picky notes to tear apart at someone’s question, and insults, insults, insults. A LOT of insults. Pages and pages back, I finally found a point where I could see the fight forming, and then light, like a match. It wasn’t pretty. I decided to pen a question.
I can’t remember my exact phrasing (I should start saving all my letters I write to mean people… well, I have a lot of real life letters, but no real internet ones… more on my letters to the WBC later), but I wrote something like this:
“…why do you have to just spew your hate out? Can’t you just take someone’s idea, let it simmer, and then say ‘well, that’s what they think’, instead of lashing out, and attacking parts of them that don’t even matter? We’re all humans, so let us live the way we want, and don’t attack the ones you want to look up to you…”
The response from him never came. The response from his followers? I’d never felt such a fallout.
I’ve been talking with Olivia for the past hour or so, and she’s been the person I confided in about the emails. In fact, she’s the reason I’m writing this out now, because I think I made her a bit sad that all I could do to strike back was report the people who emailed me. But here’s how the thing happened. The story looks like this:
1: I sent a legitimate, thoughtful question to ricksantorum-2012. No answer appears.
2: Somewhere, in the caverns of glory in his basement, some random people who follow him, cohort with him, or something, I don’t know what, either hear of my question, my involvement in the blog against him, or just me reporting him for hate speech. I don’t know how they knew me, and I don’t think I will.
3: Via connection to my blog, the minions find (in sequence) either my twitter of Google+, then my About.me. On my About.me is an email gadget, where you can email me, but not know my email. Handy little tool
4: The attack begins. I start getting random emails, along the lines of “Who are you?” to “what the hell do you think you’re doing, trying to get this great guy in trouble?”
>4.5: I begin my feeble returns: “I don’t know him, I just want him to stop being mean to people he doesn’t even know. It makes me sad, and I don’t want him being mean to people I know”
5: The response is enormous: “wEll why the fuck are you talking to him? go away and leave him the fuck alone cocksucker…” “…fuck you why YOURE telling him whats right…” “…liberal fucktard…” “…retard”
>(Footnote: I’m a HUGE spread the word, end the word supporter. Anyone who knows me knows that using the R-word near me is a death sentence. I almost ended up with the label, I’m not going to see it used like an insult. Same goes for use of the word “gay”. If it’s stupid, call it stupid. Don’t say it’s got homosexual tendencies, or that it has low thinking skills.)
6: My angry side gets the little better of me: “I thought it’d be nice if the man thought once in a while about what he does to people. If he doesn’t want to answer me, fine, but he doesn’t need his “army of trolls” to go after the one person who won’t just sit there and cry”
7: The trolls regroup, and attack as one: twenty new messages from six sources, all of them connected to a tumblr account, and an IP: “…go fuckin die asshole…” “…you cant tell the man what to do” “curl up and fucking die” “well kill you” “gonna kill all your liberals” “…fucking kill you”
8: my advance begins: the messages are sent to both tumblr, and an ISP source. The users and IPs are logged, and I don’t know what happens.
9: today: I’ve gotten the occasional sporadic message from people, not even the same people, telling me to fuck myself (don’t see how this works) and die (I shan’t).
I’d like to just say: if you don’t agree with someone you don’t need to tell them how wrong they are until they hurt you. In this case, I’ve hurt not a soul, and all that’s been hurt is me. I’ve used this joke, to mostly giggles, and snorts of “screwed up”, but your viewpoint is like a penis: It’s great if you’ve got one, it’s great if you don’t, just don’t try and shove it down my throat, don’t whip it out, and wave it around in public, and if I don’t want it, don’t make other people go after me because I didn’t want it.
Cheers, you lot, and have a happy night. I’ll keep posting some nice stuff to cheer up both my feed, and my mood… oh look, here’s Olivia! My night got better.