PZ also marvels at this idea that internet bullying doesn’t count. (PZ is at the AA Convention; I wonder if he’s dropped in on the art show yet.)
He starts with the suicide of Amanda Todd and the arrest of the guy who harassed and extorted her.
I pointed out back then that some members of the atheist community have a vile lack of empathy. I will mention it again. Miri rages against the online idiots who insist that internet activity can’t really do psychological harm — they diagnose freely over the internet, and claim that you can’t possibly develop stress disorders from the bullying tactics of the usual slymey suspects — Miri tears that argument up with basic scientific facts from the field of psychology (remember the days when skeptics at least paid lip service to science?)
I’m just going to point to Amanda Todd. Her death wasn’t virtual.
And then, he goes on – if they think internet bullying is so ineffectual, why do they spend so much time and energy doing it?
One commenter – Bronze Dog – expands on the point.
I’m once again disgusted by “the internet isn’t real”. The internet isn’t some griefer-friendly MMO we can just quit playing. For many of us, it’s a large part of our social lives. It’s a large part of many people’s professional lives, too. You might as well say that mail and telephones aren’t real. Hell, I’d say the internet is more invasive than the telephone was originally, since there was a time you could switch to an unlisted number. Now, any sufficiently determined troll can find your phone number, email, or blog.
Also – we really need to jump all over this idea that it’s the job of the people being harassed to stop participating in whatever technology or social media site that is conveying the harassment, instead of the job of the people doing the harassing TO STOP DOING THE FUCKING HARASSING. No no no no no no no no, it’s not my job to hide inside and throw away my computer. It’s the job of shitty people to keep their shittiness to themselves. They’re the ones doing bad things that they need to stop doing. They are. I’m not, Melody’s not, the targets are not; they are.