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    • The internet is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's a great tool that has made the world a smaller place. I can have a conversation with someone across the globe instantaneously just by clicking a few buttons on my computer. On the other hand, that ease of accessibility has also made the internet a terrible place, filled with hate and toxic behaviour. No matter where you look, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, there are always people who thrive on spreading hate. Though their numbers are few compared to people who spread love, compassion, and support, these few are often the most vocal on the internet, and that's a problem.

      I've learned over my many years on the internet that when you meet people like this, it's best to ignore them, rather than getting sucked into a pointless internet argument. Usually, trying to argue with people like this doesn't achieve anything, and discussions will often devolve into pointless name calling or "your mama" jokes. But if good people ignore the bad people, the bad people win.

      I'm currently going through a few Variety videos on YouTube where they interview the cast of "Avengers: Endgame" (which I loved btw) and unsurprisingly, the video with Brie Larson has quite a number of dislikes, more than any of the other Variety videos with her co-stars. I enjoyed the video, but I wasn't planning on giving the video a thumbs up. However, when I saw the number of dislikes I just felt the urge to do it. Not that it would make a huge difference, but it just felt like something worth doing. Brie Larson has gotten a lot of hate since "Captain Marvel" premiered, possibly the most of any MCU cast member. Is it because of her personality? Because she's the MCU's first female superhero to get a solo movie? I don't know, but there's a vocal minority who hate her, seemingly for not very good reasons.

      How far would you go to combat hate on the internet? Would you actually get into an argument with someone? Report and block? Would you ignore hateful comments? Or would you leave your own comment to show your support?

    • Usually blocking them requires the least amount of my time: depriving trolls of an audience is doing good, imho. On political discussions, women are often the targets of ad hominem attacks. After the attacked has blocked the troll, I usually respond to her with positive words of support or at least a “like” of her response to the troll.

      Is that enough? I don’t know. But it’s what I do.

    • How far would you go to combat hate on the internet? Would you actually get into an argument with someone? Report and block? Would you ignore hateful comments? Or would you leave your own comment to show your support?

      First off, I don't let it get to me. Second, I actually appreciate that the Internet sheds a light on personalities, allowing them to show their true colors. And then I just curse them to their face or ridicule them best I can. I am not very civilized with assh@les and that has bitten me few occasions.

    • I don’t argue and I don’t wade into the fray. However, if the hater is spreading falsehoods, I will post a link to a reputable source that refutes his opinion/misunderstanding. I do not add commentary so everyone can see that I’m not making a personal attack. I don’t get involved in an argument, I just want people to have as much access to the truth as they do to the hater’s opinion.

      Then I move on.

    • There is hate and there is hate. In my experience the nastier ones are so disguised usually no once can tell them apart, but they gang up using behaviour like "likes" to communicate openly the hate, or other secret code working, most intelligent people understand yet can't object to. Just to be clear, am not talking individuals here, but group/gang behaviour.

    • When I got wind that ADVRider was making room for a private Women’s Forum awhile ago now, I revisited the site I had abandoned earlier because of the hate. Right away, I could see that some of the women were getting a bit militant (for my taste anyway), and were confronting misogynists head-on. It got pretty nasty. That’s when I did some research on internet abuse.

      Oh, my! I was astounded at the cruelty some people have had to endure. It’s absolutely appalling. That’s probably why I try to stay out of any arguments. It’s just not worth the risk.

      (Not too long after I re-joined ADVRider, I foolishly started a topic that was rather sensitive, thinking I could delete it if it got out of hand. Ha. I learned the hard way that no deleting is allowed. 🥴. Now I am much more guarded about what I post on ADVRider and on the Internet in general. That was a good lesson to learn.)

    • I learned the hard way that no deleting is allowed.

      OMG! You have no idea how many posts I’ve deleted on Cake over the past six months. There’s an OCD/ADHD component to writing for me where the words just start flowing and I have to get to publish as soon as humanly possible. Often enough, what I’ve created was worth sharing and so I continue to avoid having a self-imposed waiting period before publishing. The fact that I can delete is what allows me to take creative risks with my writing: if it turns out to be complete rubbish, and no one’s responded to it, I will just delete it and move on.

      I’m truly sorry that you found out the hard way about AdVRider’s “no delete” setup. Yikes!

    • This may sound overly idealistic and usually like way too big a project, but I like to know what is causing the hate & anger if possible. I usually suspect they feel the world has been unfair to them, and maybe it has.

      There's an experiment with animals that tells us a lot about ourselves. If you give monkeys a cucumber to eat, they're perfectly happy. Until you give one sweet grapes, then rage. See for yourself from a TED talk. It's a short clip:

    • Heh. Looking back on it, I think a few of the people who replied to my ADVRider post were a bit too gleeful knowing I couldn’t delete. (They had probably been caught in a similar situation themselves at one time!)

      I should have known better than to ask for advice about a personal situation on a site like that. I misunderstood the nature of internet relationships back then.

      I double-checked that I could delete here on Cake before I posted much! 😬

    • This American Life has addressed the issue of justice/injustice a few times with some great segments, too. I recently listened to this one—turned into a driveway moment for me. Ha.

      However, I think your hypothesis may be a bit oversimplified. It seems to me there are also people who are devoid of empathy. And people who have no emotional intelligence. And people who are consumed by other issues. Not to get political or anything, but do you think our president is hateful because he has been treated unjustly? Pfffft...

    • I think it's that you can't delete a thread you start, not that you can't delete a post, right? It's a hard question because we had the experience where someone started a thread, a lot of other people contributed, and deleting the thread deleted everyone else's posts too.

    • Yes, that’s right.

      I’m OK with it now, so, no worries. The thread is a part of history. There were some people who recognized the abuse and called it out, and then complimented me on my restraint under fire, so that’s part of the record, too. 😊 (I’m hoping no one here looks it up and posts something to it inadvertently resurrecting it though. 😉)

      I have been somewhat conditioned now to participate via replies rather than start a conversation for that very reason...I can edit and delete a reply much more easily. I operate that way on most platforms now.

    • It's a really hard question. We've all seen people who have no empathy at all towards animals and people. Were they devoid of it from birth? Probably. Haven't we all seen a few children like that?

      On the other hand, the rise of white supremacy is becoming a major problem and we know it's possible to radicalize some white men into the movement. I can't stop thinking about Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Deeyah Khan's documentary White Right. She shows that it's also possible to get over the hate, even when it's very deep, but not with hate-on-hate.

    • It's a topic that has fascinated me for ever. How and why people become who they are. I never believe just the surface symptoms - such as hate for example - make any sense unless actual causes or shall I call them preconditioning, are fully grasped. And that is allot to apply on an individual scale, because we are so unique.

      But apparently allot of it can be attributed to upbringing as well as early life experiences or affective trauma. I am by no means pretending I fully understand the topic, I have only personal observations. And then there are the classic sources of education regarding such topic.

    • It is indeed a fascinating topic.

      I watched my teenagers turn into completely different people as they transitioned to adulthood—that is a very rough time when so many physical, emotional, and cognitive changes take place! Whew!

      I’ve often wondered if some of the hate we see is a by-product of a loss of personal meaningfulness. It is an easy route to take into hatred when you feel powerless and insignificant—hate is very good at generating false energy and a (warped) sense of purpose.

      Our current society has “extremivized” (I just made that word up) personal significance. Celebrity is the height of significance (so wrong), and average is the worst thing one can be now. How do people maintain their personal sense of meaningfulness in a global context which is way too big and too overwhelming? Hate is a shortcut past being average and circumvents one’s own exploration of social value.

      Besides being harmful, hate is also very shallow.

    • I feel for people like Elon Musk who are incredibly honest with people online and then, when he says something no stupider than you or I do on a daily basis, he’s hypocritically teared to shreds.  The whole idea of being able to delete a thread versus deleting a post is inherently about building and destroying trust. If I delete the thread for most of the conversations I start, people will quickly decide to avoid contributing to my future conversations.  Unfortunately, people may also decide to avoid contributing to ADVRider or Cake.

      Regrettably, the internet (and before that the Apple mouse) has created a culture of don’t read a user manual or FAQ: just try stuff and nothing will break.  I dealt with this attitude with students in the classroom: why did they have to take the time to study when they just figured out video games by playing with them?

      In the real world, and I include the internet in the real world, there are consequences of just trying stuff and hoping nothing breaks.  The delusion, however, is that there is no prerequisite learning required before joining Twitter, Facebook, Cake or any other platforms where users can engage in civilized or troll-like behavior.  

      I think every platform should force you to go through an Emily Post webinar on what to do and what not to do online.  

      I still occasionally do online advocacy for the autism community and the challenge is that some people may need to be explicitly told not to do something but then they may do it anyway because they don’t get the seriousness of their actions.  

      This past summer, I had to block someone who was incredibly intelligent and insightful—he would’ve loved a brain candy land like Cake.  He started to share his views on feminism and was privately told by online friends, as well as in-person family members, that it was a really bad idea to continue to do so.  He was beloved by the community and therefore thought people would just accept his continued sharing of his controversial views. Within two or three weeks, something like over 500 people ended up blocking him.

    • I think there are conversations that *can’t* be effectively conducted online, unfortunately—which is sort of an odd thing to contemplate...

    • I may have mentioned this before, but in my former church calling, I used to have to refer couples to therapists/psychiatrists/psychologists. I thought one was really good, but he would pre-screen the couples with me with one all-important question: do they feel that they are on the same level? If one feels less popular, accomplished, less good-looking or whatever, more often than not they will try to cut the other down to their level, often in public. And that will kill the relationship. He said he can't help couples like that.

      I believe that dynamic plays out in organizations as well. It's the old "A players hire A players, B players hire C players" dynamic.

    • If one feels less popular, accomplished, less good-looking or whatever, more often than not they will try to cut the other down to their level, often in public.

      Good lesson in human psychology. I do wonder, coming from a social background back where and when old world family traditions were settled and unanimously accepted, how much this newfangled society's ways, requirements of adhering to valuable but also sometimes fake and toxic for the soul standards does interfere with some of the more susceptible (or even contribute making them so) people's feeble ego's. And I mean players from both sides, are some accepting the role of being cut down as a necessity in today's world? When there is "love", or in case of business relations - respect, no such things should ever occur, or when they do would have normally simply been brushed off and cease to be an issue (in the old times). I know someone will probably raise the topic of how much it may have been unjust for some and while that's so true, it can't be generalized from today, back in time.

    • From his point of view, maybe he has.
      From the rest of the logical world's.... Not so much!
      It's all about ones own world view I guess

    • I tend to just avoid places like that. My Facebook is just family and friends and some spoon carving groups, and then there cake and that's about it. All peace and happiness where I go.