Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On Sock-Puppeting and Entitlement

In the past couple weeks, at blogs that I write for, three different men have engaged in sock-puppeting to try to continue commenting after they had been banned for their hostility and unwillingness to engage in good faith.

All of these men, not surprisingly, had also expressed contempt for civility and the concept of "other people's right to set boundaries." That they would continue barging in, in even an online space, into a forum in which their presence was not wanted is therefore not surprising.

In the more than six years I've been blogging, I've banned maybe a dozen commenters from my blog. From these experiences, and by reading countless blogs in which disruptive, hostile commenters have been banned, I've come to expect that people who are contemptuous of civility and boundaries will also to try to get around bans in some way, either by privately emailing the blogger to "continue" a conversation or by sock-puppeting.

Many times, banned commenters continue lurking, reading this blog, perhaps for the purpose of letting their seething contempt and resentment toward me build up, as they apparently have nothing productive to offer to an online conversation other than to document all of my purported Internet "misdeeds," "sins," and "hypocrisies."

What's a blogger gonna do? Haters gonna hate. Some people create. Others live to nitpick, destroy, and tear people down.

I don't have some big huge point to make here other than to note that if people can't respect simple Internet boundaries like "please don't comment on this blog anymore," I mostly worry about how their entitlement to traverse other people's boundaries affects their interactions with people in the physical world.  How people act in some situations can be a good test, or indicator, as to how they act in other situations. Rarely, I think, does an Internet Asshole limit his behavior only to the Internet. A person either believes that other people have the right to set boundaries in their own space, or they don't.  Full stop.

So, like, how's that rape culture mentality workin' out for ya, pal?

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