Online wars
19 July, 2012
Online wars

In the world of online commenting the loudest and the most obnoxious nincompoop wins. There’s really no science behind it, just lots of foul language and extremely incorrect statements masquerading as facts. The angrier the posts are the more likely they are to get a response from more level headed commentator trying to change the angry commentator’s mind. The second biggest mistake of any relatively sane computer user is to engage in online bickering with an obvious cyber bully. The first mistake is commenting on the open forum in the first place. Once you enter into the foray, there is no easy way out. One nasty commentator looking for a fight can ruin your day, your week, and your whole outlook on life. Perhaps not the whole outlook on life, that is a bit overdramatic, yet a well placed snarl or insult can definitely make the whole experience of commenting on line unpleasant to say the least.

 

So how to win in these commentating wars? Well, strategy one and most preferable one at that, would be not to engage in the verbal accosting of invisible people at all. Another, less advisable strategy is to attack with insane amount vitriol and out bully the bully. Of course the last strategy can backfire, and the bully might start looking like the sane one, but in all the research on line, that has rarely ever happened. The immediate satisfaction of putting a rude person in their place is not worth the time spent on him or her.  Half the time the rude and mean commentators are planted by the competitors, those are easy to spot; they are somewhat rudimentary in their attacks as they get personal right away.

The ones that are most dangerous are the ones that get people drawn into the conversation pretending to quote facts, pretending to be there for a real discussion, only to get people paying attention to them and then turn into vicious, spiteful attack dogs. Their main goal in life is to get attention all day long, and since it seems they are unable to do so in their real life, they try their hand at cyber attention. And they almost always get it.

The latest commentator to get an abnormal attention was a live journal blogger from Russia who was commenting with such hatred on another Russian blogger’s slightly positive post about the new Architecture in Georgia that the rest of the blogging community seemed to take offence, and tried to respond first by treating this blogger as a normal human being who perhaps was misguided, then as some bloggers fell off the chain due to the incomprehensible stance of the attacker, others asked with real curiosity why was the blogger so angry and hateful, and he sent them all to hell while quoting misused information, until only one was left to take on this bully. Last I checked this last blogger’s comments have deteriorated to the level of the attacker and so it was hard to tell who was who if you hadn’t checked their screen names. She, for the screen name was that of a female, did get the last word, but it wasn’t safe to print it in any publication. So what was the point of this victory, if no one really changed their minds, or even got to see each other’s faces? It was a safe and physically non-violent, even thought personally disgusting encounter with an enemy, and everyone got their shots in without ever leaving their computers. Don’t you wish all wars were fought like that?