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Aug 14 2013

A Past President of a State-Level Humanist Group in the U.S.

It’s time, once again, to return to Tim Farley’s list of people on The Block Bot with credentials. [Update: See the comments. Farley has retracted the list.] In case you need a refresher on that list (now with links to past posts):

  • A Research Fellow for a U.S. think-tank who is also deputy editor of a national magazine, and author of numerous books
  • A Consultant for Educational Programs for a U.S. national non-profit
  • A long-time volunteer for the same national non-profit
  • An organizer for a state-level skeptic group in the US
  • A past president of a state-level humanist group in the US
  • A former director of a state-level atheist group in the US
  • An Emmy and Golden Globe award winning comedian
  • A TED Fellow
  • Co-founder of a well known magazine of philosophy and author of several books
  • A philosopher, writer and critic who has authored several books

Tom Foss has a follow-up to Farley’s follow-up that was supposed to clarify why he created such a list. I’m not sure it makes the situation any more clear, but it does still suggest that light should be shone on why people might just want to not see anything from these people on Twitter.

EllenBeth Wachs has a complicated history with the secular movement that is, almost certainly, not entirely her fault. Her problems with the Atheists of Florida is well-known, if not always easy to follow. She is a recent past president of the Florida Humanists Association. Following an nasty argument on Pharyngula earlier this year, she left the Secular Woman private Facebook members’ group and made allegations about the group that didn’t hold up in the light of day.

Wachs’ confrontational style on social media is nothing new, but following that argument at Pharyngula, it’s been getting uglier. What happened after PZ posted the rape allegation against Michael Shermer is a good example of how bad it can get. Al Stefanelli posted his piece condemning PZ’s actions on his Facebook wall. A long discussion ensued [screen capture of the whole discussion as it currently stands]. The beginning of the discussion is mostly notable for people agreeing that rape victims should be able to go public with their stories and disagreement over whether PZ should have helped this rape victim go public with her story.

Americans United’s recent hire Sarah Jones was part of this long discussion. I’m going to quote a few things from her in the early bits because I’m impressed at how well she held her own against a crowd.

I’m glad PZ spoke up, frankly. Sexism has been rampant in the skeptic community for years and there are many, many reasons why victims of rape, assault and harassment don’t report these incidents to the police.

And for the record: no one has a ‘responsibility’ to reduce their risk for being a victim. That’s victim blaming, it’s rape culture, and I’m disappointed to see it in your post.

Drama blogger? He’s amplifying the voices of women who have been consistently attacked by prominent men in the skeptic community. He’s an ally to women.

And Travis, I don’t really buy Al’s ‘but I’m not victim-blaming!’ caveat after that ridiculously stupid statement. Contrary to what Ryan seems to think, no woman (or man) has any sort of responsibility to reduce risk for attack. No one chooses to be a victim. The onus is on the rapist.

Finally, Ryan, I think I’m a hell of a lot better qualified than you are to speak for women’s safety.

This is not about the police. This is about women. But hey, let’s all shame rape survivors some more. Let’s lecture them about how they ought to respond to their own trauma!

This is why I’m glad to see PZ taking a stand and it’s why I haven’t involved myself more with the skeptic movement. I’m a survivor of assault. I got slut shamed and victim blamed by the fundamentalists I grew up with–I expected better from ‘rationalists.’

As this was going on, one of the commenters left comments claiming to be part of Interpol, saying he’d had a hand in solving several high-profile problems of sexual assault, and making outlandish arguments about the nature of laws about sexual assault and rape (which, for the record, vary hugely across jurisdictions). Then this happened. The threats have since been deleted by Stefanelli.

Screen capture of Facebook conversation. Text provided in the post.

Sarah Jones: Mr. ‘I’m An Interpol Agent Listen to Me!’ is surprisingly ignorant about actual rape laws. Kris is correct. Legally, someone under the influence can’t consent to sex.

EllenBeth Wachs: Sarah, yes, someone under the influence can consent to sex. Please see my prior response.

Sarah Jones: Just checking to make sure everyone saw that an anti-feminist, allegedly rational dickhead waste of a human decided to issue a death threat.

Sarah Jones: Lack of response from atheist men regarding Cameron’s threats of violence is deafening.

Sarah Jones: Keep going. I’m reporting every threat of violence you make.

Sarah Jones: Anyone feel like condemning this? Bueller? Nope? Guess it’s not more important than attacking rape victims. Good showing, rational thinkers!

EllenBeth Wachs: Jesus Christ, Sarah, are you really that easy a trolling target?

Sarah Jones: Yes. Threatening to kill a woman is just fucking hilarious.

Cameron Davis: As far as they’re concerned I’m threatening pixels.

Sarah Jones: Al Stefanelli, is this what you want?

Screen capture of Facebook conversation. Text provided in the post.

Sarah Jones: You’re legitimately insane, aren’t you?

EllenBeth Wachs: Omg, you are that easy

Sarah Jones: Yes. Clearly I’m the one who should be attacked in this scenario, Ellen, not the insane human who thinks it’s hilarious to threaten to kill people.

EllenBeth Wachs: Yes, Sarah, you are the one that deserves it. You are being trolled. And very easily, I might add, FFS.

Sarah Jones:I…deserve to be threatened with death because…why, exactly? My god, you’re a sick person.

EllenBeth Wachs:

Sarah Jones: You are not a genetically engineered soldier. You are a lonely man-child living in a basement who attacks women by threatening to kill them on Facebook.

EllenBeth Wachs: Sarah, how long have you been on the internet for crying out loud?

Sarah Jones: Ellen, I’m in digital media. Unlike most of the idiots on this thread, I actually work for secularism for a living. And it simply isn’t acceptable human behavior to threaten someone with death, even as a joke.

EllenBeth Wachs: Now, I’m bored. Have your fun with her, Cameron. Jesus

Sarah Jones: Good to know you’re tired of mocking someone who’s getting death threats, Ellen, you’re a real peach of a person.

Sometime after this, Stefanelli came back and cleaned up the threats. His comment on this at the slime pit does not indicate trolling.

Seriously and legitimately mentally ill. Anyone who would have bothered to read the comments on that thread (my Facebook account is public) would have immediately understood this. But just in case there is any doubt, the young man who issued the threats is a paranoid schizophrenic that suffers from delusions and hallucinations when he is not on his medication. I’ve known this kid for a while, and when he goes off his meds he gets very unpredictable, and thus I have had to block him a time or two over the years.

Stefanelli, however, considers this a reason to immediately dismiss the threats. [Side note: While most people with mental illness never harm anyone but themselves, professionals in the field still take direct threats to real people quite seriously.]

They would have immediately dismissed the threats for what they were, and moved on.

But Sarah Jones did not include these facts in her twitter meltdown. She decided to milk the living fuck out of it for reasons which are glaringly obvious and quite predictable.

Sarah Jones was then, last night, subject to Twitter conversations of ridiculous length with the Twitter atheist misogynist brigade that should be posted somewhere as advertisements for The Block Bot for talking about what had happened on Facebook. Here’s a tiny sample of just her side of this to give you a taste of its grinding nature.

Screen capture of Tweets. Text provided in the post.

@onesarahjones: @Shadow_ofaDoubt your feed really tells me all I need to know. Esp. your correspondence with a woman who told I deserved death threats.

@onesarahjones: @Shadow_ofaDoubt EllenBeth Wachs backed him up. Told me I deserved it for being ‘easy to troll.’

@onesarahjones: @Shadow_ofaDoubt it was on Al Stefanelli’s Facebook, after he posted his victim blaming manifesto.

@onesarahjones: @Shadow_ofaDoubt on Facebook? His name was Cameron Davis. EllenBeth Wachs backed him up.

Screen capture of Tweets. Text provided in the post.

@onesarahjones: @Shadow_ofaDoubt You do know EllenBeth Wachs. Are you going to block her for supporting the man who threatened to kill me?

@onesarahjones: @Shadow_ofaDoubt and Al Stefanelli deleted the threats. You can contact him for verification.

@onesarahjones: @Shadow_ofaDoubt It’s on Al Stefanelli’s Facebook. Ask him or EllenBeth or herself. Go ahead. I’m waiting.

@onesarahjones: @EllenBethWachs, @Shadow_ofaDoubt would like confirmation you told me I deserved death threats on Stefanelli’s Facebook. Go ahead. Fess up.

@onesarahjones: @Shadow_ofaDoubt you could ask her yourself. Why aren’t you? Why aren’t you asking Al? He deleted the threats so there is. no. link.

Wachs responded, still referring to threats from a delusional person as “trolling”.

Screen capture of Tweets. Text provided in the post.

@EllenBethWachs: @Shadow_ofaDoubt lol- Too funny, she was being trolled so badly.

@EllenBethWachs: @Shadow_ofaDoubt I tried telling @onesarahjones she was being trolled multiple times. She kept egging him on.

Jones objected to the characterization.

 

Screen capture of Tweets. Text provided in the post.

@onesarahjones: @EllenBethWachs @CompleteCulture @Shadow_ofaDoubt @SubManUSN death threats aren’t trolling. You’re an absolute sociopath if you think that.

Her Twitter correspondent asked a man to settle the question.

Screen capture of Tweets. Text provided in the post.

@Shadow_ofaDoubt: @onesarahjones@Stefanelli Al if you have a moment, Sarah claims someone threatened her life on your facebook, Is this true?

@Stefanelli: @Shadow_ofaDoubt@onesarahjones Already addressed this, at length. If you want more info, send me a DM or email.

@onesarahjones: @Stefanelli@Shadow_ofaDoubt I’ve been hearing all night that somehow I brought it on myself. Courtesy of EllenBeth Wachs, sociopath.

Then Wachs brought the legal threats.

Screen capture of Tweets. Text provided in the post.

@EllenBethWachs: @onesarahjones@Stefanelli@Shadow_ofaDoubt So Sarah, hasn’t learned a thing from the PZ/Shermer debacle & thinks its ok to defame me

@onesarahjones: @EllenBethWachs@Stefanelli@Shadow_ofaDoubt No one has defamed you. You made callous, bizarre comments in public.These are the consequences

@onesarahjones: @EllenBethWachs@Stefanelli@Shadow_ofaDoubt when you think it’s funny that someone threatened to kill somebody else, expect backlash.

@EllenBethWachs: @onesarahjones@Stefanelli@Shadow_ofaDoubt yes, you have. Cease and desist immediately from calling me a sociopath and apologize

Then the threats to Jones’ employment.

Screen capture of Tweets. Text provided in the post.

@onesarahjones: @EllenBethWachs@Stefanelli@Shadow_ofaDoubt I’m not going to apologize to anyone who thinks it’s funny I got a death threat.

@EllenBethWachs: @onesarahjones@Stefanelli@Shadow_ofaDoubt Nobody seriously threatened to kill you. It was a troll.

@onesarahjones: @EllenBethWachs@Stefanelli@Shadow_ofaDoubt Threatening to kill someone isn’t trolling. He repeated that threat several times. Not funny.

@EllenBethWachs: @onesarahjones@Stefanelli@Shadow_ofaDoubt I’ll be contacting Barry then

Then came this morning.

Screen capture of Tweets. Text provided in the post.

@EllenBethWachs: I actually saw professional victimhood in progress last night. It was not a pretty sight.

And now Wachs is claiming that what we can all see above didn’t happen.

Screen capture of Tweets. Text provided in the post.

@EllenBethWachs: Liar>> RT @onesarahjones: So .@EllenBethWachs just threatened to try to get me fired. After she told me it’s funny I got a death threat.

@EllenBethWachs: Sigh, now I guess I wil lhave to write a blog about this

You’ll all be happy to know that Sarah Jones says Barry Lynn tells her her job is safe.

Welcome to the movement, Sarah. Holler if you need anything. By the way, can I introduce you to The Block Bot?

34 comments

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  1. 1
    Anthony K

    “Just trolling” was not how the skeptic and atheist communities viewed D*nn*s M*rk*z*’s similar harassment.

  2. 2
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    (Note: the following conspiracy theory is meant sarcastically.)

    Is… is somebody, like, offering large amounts of money to major skeptics for them to act like complete jerks online? I WANT TO BELIEVE.

  3. 3
    Tim Farley

    What both Tom Foss and you fail to point out is that I retracted the section of my blog that listed qualifications. I did it over a week ago. If you wish to continue rebutting an already retracted argument as some sort of exercise, please enjoy yourself.

  4. 4
    Anthony K

    Is… is somebody, like, offering large amounts of money to major skeptics for them to act like complete jerks online? I WANT TO BELIEVE.

    Clearly, the answer to that is yes, with their conference dollars.

  5. 5
    Anthony K

    What both Tom Foss and you fail to point out is that I retracted the section of my blog that listed qualifications. I did it over a week ago. If you wish to continue rebutting an already retracted argument as some sort of exercise, please enjoy yourself.

    It is good practice to refute such silly arguments, lest somebody else forget that ‘skeptic’ is a behaviour not a title and make similar ones.

  6. 6
    Stephanie Zvan

    Huh. Tim, I had no idea. Did you tell any of the people who had objected to the use of that list that you’d done so? Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad that you did. I just didn’t consider checking because I hadn’t heard that anything had changed. Thanks.

    As Anthony says, however, the idea behind the list appeals to a lot of people, unfortunately. Also unfortunately, it’s a very good indication of the degree of rot in our movements.

  7. 7
    Rey Fox

    Cease and desist immediately from calling me a sociopath and apologize

    They can dish it out…

  8. 8
    jenBPhillips

    Tim’s edit preceding the struck-through list of Very Important Skeptics says

    It has come to my attention that the struck out section below was taken to mean a great deal more than I intended by some readers. I regret that misunderstanding. I’m very busy at my day job this week, and don’t have time for a follow up blog yet – look for that next week. But I addressed the complaints on Virtual Skeptics Episode 51 on Wed Aug. 7.

    I don’t listen to podcasts, so I have no idea how he feels about the sustainable argument from authority inherent in that list and surrounding comments, but the quoted material above doesn’t seem promising.

  9. 9
    oolon

    I’ll add my support and thanks to Stephanie continuing as Tims list may have been retracted by Tim but the line of argumentation used there is very common in the anti-Block Bot brigade. I’ve also not seen any of them do anything but agree with Tims post and not acknowledge that bit was retracted. In fact they barely focus on the technical issues he raised and use the fact that “leading” lights were added to the list as proof of its awfulness. (Tim, dunno if you are around but I will release a roadmap for the bot as Dr Atlantis suggested, I think, including your improvements, specifically a lot more transparency in who added who and why)

    Stephanie, for once I beat you to the upgrade from Level3 to Level2, in before the post! Although still saw that dogpile from the Slymers too late. Amazing how common that is, when they find a target the word gets around fast, presumably from the pit. Not so amazing is the hypocrisy when “Pharyngula dogpiles” are supposedly the stuff of pittter nightmares, but they happily engage in them on Twitter. Often see Renee or Katie also there being “nice” while gaslighting and minimising the harassment… @tkmlac/Katie this time:

    “Were you able to get a response from authorities when you reported that guy?” … Yeah if no report then no harassment! No screenshot taken before it was deleted and of course Katie needs to explain how you screenshot stuff and how she always screenshots… Why didn’t you…?
    “People need to report these things if they feel threatened. Many don’t report, but complain how prevalent it is online.” … Yeah no report then you be lying … Some people say…
    “Some ppl don’t see threats online as legitimate or urgent due to distance btwn computers.” … Not Katie of course, oh noes… All the faux concern over was it reported and did she get screenshots was exactly that, faux concern dressed up nicely to contrast with her friends being assholes more directly.

    Guessing but “professional victim” will not be far from Katie’s lips over at the pit with her victim-blaming friends. Given EBW was branded a professional victim by the pitters for complaining about her stalker and issues with the Polk County Sheriff and “sex noises” trumped up charges… I’d like to finish that sentence saying I’m surprised by her response, but I’m not anymore. I hate to think what mental gymnastics will be required to explain her making legal threats and saying she’ll talk to her boss is in no way “trying to get her fired”.

  10. 10
    oolon

    @jenBPhilips, Tom covers the podcast here -> http://dubitoergosum.net/2013/08/11/following-the-block-bot/

    Tim Farley ->

    I knew it was an argument from authority. My choice was, this authority [points at himself], or some other authority, it was the only way I could think of to make that argument. And it was a wrong choice, I admit it now. And I have marked it with strikeout.

    In his defence he was trying to say more transparency is needed as he didn’t know why they were added when looking at it. In my defence it’s hard to update people on the history of “deep rifts” in 140 chars… Would get me suspended if I tweeted the 1000′s of words of text its taken Stephanie to describe why only three are on there :-D

  11. 11
    Tom Foss

    Tim Farley:

    What both Tom Foss and you fail to point out is that I retracted the section of my blog that listed qualifications.

    Tim, I’m getting kind of tired of your habit of ignoring reality to make your opponents look bad (see also: your claim that your recent comments on my blog were held for moderation, which they never were; your conflicting claims about the point of the list; your inaccurate summary of Ool0n’s incident with Anonymous; and your parroting of the ‘Atheism+ can’t stand disagreement’ myth). I quoted you thusly in the follow-up post:

    I knew it was an argument from authority. My choice was, this authority [points at himself], or some other authority, it was the only way I could think of to make that argument. And it was a wrong choice, I admit it now. And I have marked it with strikeout.

    I also said “it’s nice to see that he’s recognized, at least to some degree, how problematic it was.” Should I have marked it with blink tags to make it stand out more?

    I’ll note, however, that you didn’t retract the stuff that follows that list, still talking about the people on it, and how they’re only blocked (from your perspective) because they’ve had “very public disagreements” with Atheism+ supporters. You also didn’t retract this bit “Starting from the publicly available block list you can click the names to go directly to their Twitter feeds, I see little evidence that these people are attacking, threatening or spamming anyone.” Who does “these people” refer to now that you’ve retracted the list o’ credentials? Everyone on Levels 2 & 3?

    Or am I being too “gotcha” again?

  12. 12
    Anthony K

    Or am I being too “gotcha” again?

    If the “Principle of Charity” spot in the betting pool isn’t already taken, put me down for $10.

  13. 13
    changerofbits

    Cease and desist immediately from calling me a sociopath and apologize

    Good grief, nothing like imitating the “victim” tactics of Shermer and Famous Skeptic.

    Woot, Sarah!

    On a side note, I never knew Joe Zamecki was such a mansplaining victim blamer. The comment about there being female police that would listen, therefore it’s extraordinary that she went to PZ with the story, was priceless.

  14. 14
    Stephanie Zvan

    Well, hell. I did mess that up then. Tim, I’m sorry. I’d read all of Tom’s post, but somehow that bit about the strikethrough didn’t stick with me.

  15. 15
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Wait… calling someone a “sociopath” is the worst thing ever, threatening to harm other people is “funny”?

    Yeah, I can’t diagnose Wachs with mental illness. There is obviously something profoundly broken inside of her somewhere.

  16. 16
    doubtthat

    Echoing the caveat that appeared in the source material regarding the fact that people with mental illnesses aren’t inherently violent, I don’t understand how pointing out that someone is a paranoid schizophrenic somehow makes the threat “trolling” or similarly unworthy of serious consideration.

    Would that logic work with Jared Lee Loughner, Nidal Hasan, or James Holmes?

  17. 17
    Sarah Jones

    *waves*

    Hi everyone! I want to say thank you, first of all, for the support. It’s made things bearable and I’m actually grateful that I’ve met so many incredible people in the course of dealing with this. As you’ll all understand it’s been an overwhelming 24 hours. I had no idea what I was wading into when I made my original comment on Stefanelli’s wall and if I’d had any idea that he had a reputation for this bullshit, I would have never appeared on his show.

    Like Stephanie said, my job is safe. And BlockBot will be downloaded very shortly.

    I’ve just written a post at my own blog about all of this. I hope it’s ok to link it. If so, please feel free to share; as far as I’m concerned, it’s my official statement on the whole mess.

    http://anthonybsusan.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/opting-out/

  18. 18
    John-Henry Beck

    I don’t buy the idea that ‘just trolling’ is a valid thing anyway. Long before you get to threats, it’s about annoying people for your own fun. Sure, I can find it funny and not get around to objecting when people are trolling bigots. But mostly it just looks like bullying and harassment to me, in making others’ experience online unpleasant for one’s own enjoyment. So I rather despise ‘it’s just trolling’ as an excuse to ignore some ass.

    And when it gets to threats? I see no reason not to just treat threats as threats. Seems to me that both Wachs’ and Stefanelli’s responses were rather awful. That the one making the threats has a mental illness doesn’t make it better, it just adds reason to try to get them help.

    Related to the threats thing, I’ve always hated the ‘it’s just the Internet’ thing too. Which seems closely related to ‘it’s just trolling’. I think it’s a vacuous, naive, Luddite kind of argument that should have been soundly quashed in the ’90s. The Internet is just a new tool for communication; it still has pretty much all the other effects on our lives.

  19. 19
    Stephanie Zvan

    Sarah, promoting the post is definitely okay. I just saw it, and I intend to promote it myself.

    I’m really glad people have been able to help. Enjoy The Block Bot!

  20. 20
    carlie

    The entire idea of “it’s just trolling” is what needs to be fought against. It’s like “oh, he’s just like that”. Well, no, there is nothing that causes that kind of behavior to be an unchangeable part of the landscape. “It’s just trolling” only survives because of people saying “it’s just trolling”. If the majority of society would take it seriously and tell people to cut that shit out, that behavior would stop. And wouldn’t that make the world a nicer place?

  21. 21
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    “It’s just trolling” is the Internet version of “boys will be boys,” just a facile cliche people spout so they don’t have to actually bother doing anything.

  22. 22
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Yes, the whole “it’s just trolling” used as an excuse and minimization is patently ridiculous. That’s like saying “it’s just a fight”. What fucking kind of fight/trolling is it? There is being annoying, being annoying and pushing it too far, and there is threats and violence, just to pick three points on a spectrum (or multidimensional plot, or whatever).

    But by the “it’s just trolling” standard, Wachs failed miserably and was the most easily “trolled” person in that thread by her own definitions. Way to go Ellen-Beth. Whatever happened to you?

  23. 23
    kaboobie

    This Salon post, which Ophelia blogged about, lays out a very disturbing scenario. So-called “trolling” is just stage one in the playbook, and it escalates to physical threats and doxxing if the targets don’t shut up and leave the public sphere.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/13/womens_free_speech_is_under_attack/

  24. 24
    shari

    o.m.g. ‘just trolling’

    wow.

    taking trolls seriously seems to be an effective way for them to get them to notice how sick it is to throw death threats around. Provided there is a way to report them to the correct authority.

    Sarah, good mix of humor and strength. Clearly, you are going to need it though :-(

    ….welcome aboard….?

  25. 25
    ajb47

    re “Trolling”

    I know it’s been said before, but when I first encountered “Trolling” it was Usenet related. Someone would post a topic that was inflammatory to a newsgroup for the sole reason of provoking a response. (As a fisherman, I totally got the trolling metaphor). It seems to have since morphed into some horrible monster that some people want to maintain is still the “dragging a lure behind a boat to provoke a strike from a fish” but is in reality “say anything shitty that shows I am a lousy human being”.

    It isn’t “trolling” any longer. It’s fucking bullying.

  26. 26
    hjhornbeck

    Oh Farley, get over yourself.

    A good skeptic must have epistemic humility; you must not only concede you could be wrong, you should expect to be wrong from time to time. Most of your article was pretty good, but one part… not so much. Rather than admit you got that bit wrong, you’ve been deflecting, critiquing your critics, and pulling the tone card. It’s bad form for a skeptic.

    Just come clean: you made a silly argument. Period. Why is this so hard for you?

  27. 27
    Al Dente

    ajb47 @25

    It isn’t “trolling” any longer. It’s fucking bullying.

    It’s bullying by a group of people who are determined to get their way regardless of the cost to anyone else. They don’t see their opponents as human beings. So no tactic is too morally questionable for them to use.

  28. 28
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Al Dente #27:

    It’s bullying by a group of people who are determined to get their way regardless of the cost to anyone else. They don’t see their opponents as human beings. So no tactic is too morally questionable for them to use.

    This goes conveniently well with the decided slant towards radical right-wing libertarianism.

  29. 29
    PZ Myers

    “Just trolling” now legitimizes bad behavior? Trolling was once considered bad behavior, not the ground state of a discussion.

    “I HATE YOU I’M GONNA TORTURE AND KILL YOU!”

    “What an awful thing to say, you should be ashamed.”

    “NAH, I’M JUST TROLLING, SO IT’S OK.”

    “Oh, well, then, good for you! That was a helpful and insightful comment then.”

    “I’M ALSO GONNA RAPE YOU FIRST!”

  30. 30
    Brony

    OK,

    I am a person with Tourette Syndrome.
    I am a person with Tourette Syndrome of the subtype characterized by “Intense Emotional Issues”
    I am a person With Tourette Syndrome with a military/fundy heritage (both sides of the family) that defines our era’s flavor of asshole and whatever “transgenerational epigenetic emotional inheritance” looks like.

    I am the closest that you will possibly come to when it comes natural talent when it comes to being a natural raging asshole. A behavioral problem that parents apologize for and make excuses for and refuse to see the reality of. I also really really enjoy reading about the neurobiology psychology of what I am so I soak in all sorts of interesting implications about how the plumbing of the thing that makes the anger happen. Like Hermione-level happy.

    I never, NEVER tell people they should die, or I’m going to kill you, or a huge list of other things that can be perceived to be hostile. An always-increasing list that can be ignored in specific, rationally chosen situations (some fun, some not). I always, ALWAYS go with the social environment that contains the least aggression. As the social diversity increases and my knowledge of the people around me decreases I am watchful of my words. Like a fucking adult with a decent family teaches.

    I have no problems condemning this sort of behavior. In fact it’s a fucking ethical-priority because if the other person is missing a moral filter I AM ALL THEY HAVE TO LEARN THE MORAL RULES AS ADULTS!

    Al Stefanelli you are a moral coward. Especially for removing the visible scar of the injury of another. The thing they need to remember so that future behavior can change.

  31. 31
    Brony

    Fucking typos. There’s always at least one left…

  32. 32
    SallyStrange

    If a person is saying bigoted things, then claiming “just trolling” is saying, “I don’t actually DESPISE the group that I was expressing bigotry against, I just have so very little regard for their feelings and welfare that I couldn’t be bothered to not use their very identity as a verbal cudgel.”

    If a person is issuing threats, then claiming “just trolling” means, “I don’t actually intend to carry out the violent things I spoke of doing, but I care so very little about your mental health that I don’t mind you thinking that I would.”

    Basically, it’s not active hate, it’s hyperactive apathy.

    And personally, I can’t tell those things apart.

  33. 33
    Tom Foss

    Reminds me of a song: “Your Racist Friend” by They Might Be Giants.

    In particular: “Can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding.”

  34. 34
    changerofbits

    I suppose the well known sociopath Wachs would find this story fits right into her perfect world of “trolling for lols”.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hannah-smith-funeral-hundreds-turn-out-in-bright-clothing-to-mourn-askfm-cyberbully-victim-8770498.html

    The funeral of 14-year-old Hannah Smith, who committed suicide two weeks ago after suffering abuse from cyberbullies on the website Ask.fm, was attended by hundreds of mourners wearing bright clothes and onesies today in Leicestershire.

    I might be more amenable to the concept of hell, if I knew the trolling shitheads would be going there…

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