Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Sidebar: Internet Bullies

This seems like a valid appellation for the kind of behaviour described here.:

New forms of Internet intimidation gains steam

Using the internet to give out personal information about those who you disagree with as a form of intimidation is becoming more popular. I finally got around to reading the opinion section in Sunday's newspaper and found the article by Leonard Pitts quite interesting.

Even the government is trying to get in on the act.

And if you don't like what the New York Times prints, just post the addresses of all the editors on a website.And let's not forget the religious zealots who are doing God's work.

Nutsos across all spectrums see using this form of internet terrorism as justifiable against their "enemies", in most cases simply because they disagree with them.It's becoming a sad world when people stoop to things that low.

When I was a participant on the now defunct Charlie Rose Message Boards, it was an intimidation tool used by a couple of posters who wanted to frighten others with whom they were fighting by publishing some personal information they were privy too, information got by fair means (private correspondence with adversary) or foul (unauthorized transfer of information from one poster to another).

Since the boards were moderated (for a while by myself and one other), I would usually delete whatever could be construed as private information. One such example involved a certain artist whose pictures were exhibited in a certain gallery, known to a poster with whom she had been friends before the relationship went sour. That other person published the website of that gallery, which contained an address. So it was pretty understandable that the artist was pretty hysterical until that information was removed.

Other incidents followed, usually involving the same people in different configurations. It's a contaminating disease, this kind of bullying. Such a good idea, to frighten someone without actually saying anything, except publish some information about them!

I've been reminded of these ugly incidents today because my own initials have popped up where they should not be, by someone who should not have them.

I hope nothing bad will come out of this malicious incontinence. I'm writing about it as a word of caution to all responsible Internet readers and users, to be extra careful about guarding their privacy.

As one poster says, here:

"I've heard it called internet bullying and that's an accurate description I think. It's what people do when they just don't have an argument anymore. They start getting personal. It does give a hint of what they would do if pushed far enough.

Like people that kill dogs and cats for fun."

Indeed.

_________

Update:

"It is not without reason, men say, that be who hath not a good and readie memorie should never meddle with telling of lies, and feare to become a liar. I am not ignorant how the Grammarians make a difference betweene speaking untrue and lying; and say that to speake untruly is to speake that which is false, but was reputed true; and that.. to lie, implieth and meaneth to goe against ones conscience: and by consequence it concerneth onely those, who speake contrary to that which they know, of whom I speake. Now, these, either invent, seale, stampe and all, or else they disguise and change a true ground. When they disguise or change, if they be often put to the repetition of one thing, it is hard for them to keepe still in one path,..."

"He who is not sure of his memory, should not undertake the trade of lying... And whatever a liar says, we would take it to mean the contrary of what he says" (Montaigne)

Tout se tient ...

(Everything that has been said and written is recorded and saved on my computer.)

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