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  1. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Attacking women online - Too important not to try again

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by GingerCoffee, Mar 3, 2015.

    If this new incident had not happened I would have let the other thread go. I have no intention of continuing the fight that was going on when the other thread closed. Can we PLEASE stay on topic? Any discussion of Gamergate or the people involved is hereby banned from this thread. If you bring it up I will report the post and ask the mods to remove it and ask them to moderate the thread rather than close it.

    Now, can we please stay on topic and discuss the phenomena and this new event that just occurred? Thanks.

    The world we live in…Man has it changed. ADDENDUM!
    Curt Shilling, retired baseball great, congratulated his daughter on Twitter for being accepted to college and would be playing on the softball team. He was as proud as any papa could be.

    There were a few rude responses, like "can't wait to party with her", too which Dad replied, "I have friends in the special forces," thinking he was joking back.
    He cites many of the Tweets. Referred to this report: Internet Sex Crimes Against Minors: The Response of Law Enforcement and put out a plea for Internet sleuths to help identify the worst of the slime balls. And people did. Some of them were caught. Ooops!

    Schilling Throws Perfect Game With Response to Misogynist Trolls

    It's insane. It's like groping, I don't get what the jolly is, at all.

    These aren't 12 yr olds making prank phone calls. They are adult men acting in a very bizarre way that apparently is a behavior brought on by the phenomena of social media. I don't know how many are women so I'll just say it wouldn't surprise me if some were, or if the phenomena was expressed differently by women (more death threats, less rape threats).

    This comment in the Boston op-ed was worth discussion:


    Name and shame, sounds like the best answer to me.
     
  2. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    That's really awful. I can imagine the Schillings and even the boyfriend had sleepless nights after this mess, even if they were "just" words.

    His post really resonated with me, to be honest. Obviously I'm not a dad, but I connected with this Dad and the contempt he feels towards these losers. A couple of things stood out:
    and
    I don't know what happens between the ears of an internet troll. Is it a form of self-sabotage? Do they get a rush from potentially getting away with an insult or a lewd, disrespectful remark? Are they so disconnected with the real world they think they can always get away with it? Or are they so bored with the real world they need to release their pent-up, bourgeoisie frustration on the immaterial personae (I hesitate to say 'real people' cos I'm not sure if they see them as real) out there in the ether? Is it some first world way to rebel? (cos in a way Schilling egged them on with his special forces remark) I've no fucking clue, but I have nothing but contempt towards bullies, be they on the internet or irl. Although, as shown in this case, the internet became the real world when some of the perps were tracked down.

    Maybe this isn't exactly the angle you wanted to discuss, 'cause you mentioned 'women' in the topic, but either way, those were my initial thoughts.

    And name and shame, indeed.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    No, that is the angle I want to discuss. What on Earth makes so many people do this? And when they get exposed, some of them appear to be otherwise normal.

    Social and environmental change can occur quickly while evolutionary change for humans is typically slow. It can result in some benefits, but also some costs.

    I'm wondering what adaptation or evolutionary quirk resulted in this bizarre adaptation when the environment threw social media at our species. To understand what I mean, take the example of obesity. Some suggest we evolved as a species that had to work harder for less food, and/or we evolved on a food source that wasn't sugar saturated. Now our food sources are mismatched to our bodies and obesity is a problem.

    What human characteristic that was a beneficial or even a neutral adaptation to something in the past results in this bizarre behavior now? So what socio-cultural or brain evolutionary step resulted in this bizarre mismatch with the new environment of social media?

    Just something I've been wondering.
     
  4. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, we crave sugar and fat due to scarcity during our evolution, and suddenly sugar and fat is everywhere.

    I do not understand internet trolls. I do not understand why you would post this about someone's daughter, it is beyond me. And I would also like to see these trolls named and their lives appropriately damaged by their behavior; be that a criminal record or (if this is not possible) simple notoriety and expulsion/ redundancy as a result. This would at least act as a deterrent.

    I don't know what the figures are, but here is an interview on the BBC (admittedly some crap children's part of the BBC) with a woman who was convicted of trolling with rape threats: -

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/30075370

    Some people seem to consider that their actions not to have consequences on the internet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  5. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    An interesting thought. I'm going to have to digest that for a bit.

    Using the social media for things like attention-seeking and petty revenge seems fairly common. It also seems to have become a pillow to scream into, a "safe" place to lash out on others in a way you cannot but wish you could irl. Thinking "oh but they are only words" gives a lesser guilt trip but still the same amount of gratification. "Yeah, I showed that dad in a way I could never show face to face. Puts him in his place!"

    So you want to lash out on activists or careless tweeters (like the woman who joked about white people not getting AIDS), but can't meet them in person. But you do want to teach them a lesson. Put them on their knees, make them humble, drag them down from their ivory tower. Oh hey, there's social media! There's a channel for me to get my voice out! It's easy, just a few clicks away, 140 characters, keep it short and sweet. Oh this is gonna make me look so badass. Look, I have an opinion, I'm part of a mob! *presses Post*

    But all that, to me, kind of would imply what you suggested. We haven't quite adjusted to social media yet. It gives us a lot, but it's easy to forget the consequences of having an online presence.

    These questions are way above my paygrade. I'd imagine there's already some research on the issue(s), though.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    I get the lashing out when no one knows who you are. But why all the rape nonsense and why attack someone's daughter who didn't make the comment that set you off in the first place? Why is this a gender trending phenomena? Again, I'm sure men aren't the only ones doing this, and it appears to be a small percentage of men.

    But you can't get away from the fact that in this kind of Net behavior, it is men bitching at women and quite often with the sexual assault theme. Are these guys annoyed they can't find a girlfriend? Are they secretly angry with their spouse? Do they have mommy issues?
     
  7. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ok, this thread seems to be your own personal soapbox. I'm out.
     
  8. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I barely remember an old Spider-Man game my friend had on his Apple II. All of the commands were typed in C prompt, etc. In one room there was a female bad guy (guyess?) and we would have a hoot in our early puberty age and ask her for sex, or for her to take her clothes off, or other lewd things. She would only respond with saying she didn't understand or something of the like. If that game were still played today, I'm pretty sure there would be some not so secret way to make her comply. Skip ahead a couple of years to college when chat rooms were getting popular. It was a fun game to play to see who could get kicked out the fastest by being the rudest. This was done by telling misogynistic jokes in the feminist chat room, etc. Now, there are video games where killing and raping women are actual choices.

    No, I am not blaming video games. I am searching for a correlation between "the home environment" and the influence of multimedia. I'll let you know when I'm done solving the world's problems after work.
     
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  9. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    You may very well be right, at least in some circumstances , but you have to admit what you said here is a little ironic, considering thats more or less exactly what a lot of people think describes most hardcore feminists(if you switch the gender pronouns and nouns in your sentences of course)
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    :confused:

    Perhaps if that is what you see, leaving would be best.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    Feel free to discuss the way this same behavior is manifested by women. I don't picture many women bombarding other women's blogs with comments about how "you should be raped". It wouldn't surprise me that there are women who post "you should be castrated" on men's blogs, but it doesn't appear to be as common of a behavior.

    This thread is not about men. It is about a very small subset of men that have issues with trolling women online. I can't help it that this behavior is commonly found or that it is a male on female behavior. It is well documented.

    And it's not about men attacking feminists. The woman in this case was a baseball player's daughter getting into college and on the softball team.

    Kace Hickox, the Maine nurse who defied the unnecessary ebola quarantine was barraged with rape threats, ironic considering the ignorant thought she could spread ebola. It had nothing to do with feminism position. Though the attacks were mostly from right wingers as the left wing tended to support her actions.

    So I don't think this has to do with some backlash against feminists. It would be interesting however, to know what the personality profile was for the men who do this. I would imagine they do have some social and maybe political tendencies in common.
     
  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    ^ This is an interesting observation.

    I found this discussion that is related:
    What is trolling, and why do we behave so differently online?

    They mention online disinhibition and how fantasy gaming might contribute to it. They also mention group behavior.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  13. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The internet as we know it is very young. I remember the net fifteen years ago when people were still trying to score cool email addresses like "Neo" or "Fox Mulder." Nowadays most of us just use our real names. And we have pictures. The days of the net being primarily for teenagers and pedophiles are over. The net has become a real community. I've had to adjust to this somewhat myself, namely, learning to respect the feelings of the people whose faces I can't actually see. And I think a lot of people are still learning this, too.

    If this harassment is as big of a problem as you say it is, and frankly, I believe you, then the fair answer is to treat the problem just like every other problem. Get authorities to take care of it. Find the perpetrators and give them adequate punishments. Fire some of the real cops -they suck anyway- and use that money to hire computer scientists to track these harassers down!
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    Do you have no curiosity about the behavior? Don't you think it's odd that otherwise normal people would use rape threats and other potty mouth language to harass complete strangers? (The phenom of cyberstalking includes kids attacking kids they know, that's a bit of a different tea flavor.)
     
  15. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you think it's like road rage? Supposedly some people are much more aggressive behind the wheel.
     
  16. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I heard a guy ask Siri for a blowjob.
     
  17. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Yooooou don't know the half of it :p

    I know of the sweetest of the people but they down right have anger issues behind the wheel.
     
  18. outsider
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    The sad truth is, the world is full of sick, depraved people. A minority sure, a small percentage, but when you scale it up proportionately and add the perceived anonymity of the web then it's not hard to see how the ugly side of humanity can rear its head.
    Name and shame these nasty shit heads and set a precedent that such actions will not be tolerated. That's one suggestion to combat it but realistically, we're still miles away from functionally policing the internet in any meaningful sense. Furthermore, if we do aspire to, we run the risk of actualising Orwellian themes.
     
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  19. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Hypothetical:

    What would happen if there was no anonymity on the intertubes?
     
  20. GingerCoffee
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    But are they sick? I heard this woman's story recently:

    What happened when I confronted my cruellest troll
    It's a long article describing the problem of a single harasser that posted stuff to her every day for years, and all the people who told her to just ignore it.

    Instead she wrote a blog about him after he pretended to be her father (who was dead) when he attacked again. And all of a sudden the guy came clean. He wasn't sure why he's done it:
    The confession goes on. He was sorry. Later when addressing another situation [not to be discussed here ;)] she ended up on a talk show and called the guy. They talked for more than two hours.
    And while he couldn't say exactly how harassing her was related, he could say why he stopped:
    It's a fascinating look into one online troll and victim.
     
  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It would be an alternate universe.
     
  22. Wyr
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    I think that death and rape threats are so prevalent online because those are arguably the worst things that one human can do to another. Trolls tend not to be the most subtle of people, so right off the bat they reach for the biggest word-stick they can think of to hit other people with. And what I, personally, have seen of it isn’t really limited to men vs. women. They just want someone to hate and hurt and will level a rape threat at a man as soon as a woman if they think it will provoke the kind of response they want.

    I enjoy video games and play several online and see these types of threats tossed around way to often and way too casually- directed at both female and male players. Just a few days ago when I was online two trolls (both male) were clubbing each other over the head in the one of the public chat channels when one of them threatened to dox the other and give out his info to registered sex offenders in his area so that he would be “raped until he cried for mercy.” It’s disgusting and low and the troll’s whole point was to say the worst possible thing he could think of to the other person, regardless of their respective genders. What I don’t understand is how someone can have so much hate toward another person they’ve never even met. Where does that need to hurt others come from?

    Even after several years of gaming and general internet usage I’ve never had that kind of vicious bile directed at me, I’m not sure why except that I make liberal use of ingame features that allow you to block and/or report people like this (in just about every game I’ve played this sort of thing is against the ToS and can result in a temp- or perma-ban.) The closest I’ve ever come to any sort of sexism directed at me ingame is the occasional person who buys into the tired old gaming stereotype that girls play healers and not tanks. I’ve always loved tanking and play that style in just about every game that allows it, but I’ve never experienced anything more than mild surprise and the very rare snide comment.
     
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  23. Gabcy
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    While many of us long to see a change in todays abusive culture, I fear that it is something that is deeply rooted in humanity's core. Something that I can't see changing anytime soon.

    We are a violent race -- We gain our greatest enjoyment from the suffering of others, whether that be verbally abusing someone or something more simple, like keeping someone added on Facebook so we can track how terrible their lives are.
     
  24. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I could understand a guy telling another guy, "hey, I hope you get fisted by somebody with Marfan syndrome."

    Further down the line, "yeah, well I fisted your mom."

    Never ever ever, "I hope your daughter gets fisted."


    Even the worst of us know there are lines not to be crossed.
     
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  25. Ben414
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    I definitely disagree with that, both on a philosophical level and on an evolutionary biology/psychology level (I'm not an expert in this area, but humans' evolution to maximize chances of survival likely doesn't include a predisposition towards violence, since being near violence--even if its not directed at you in the moment--increases your chance of being harmed yourself). I think it's something that society and many other circumstances can cause, but that doesn't mean we are a violent race inherently.

    With the disclaimer that I'm not an expert, I would think that "normal" people who use such tactics dissociate themselves from the effects of their actions. As Ginger said, they often seem surprised that there are real-world consequences. These people may have never been targets of online harassment themselves, so they have the privilege or ignorance to not understand that online threats that they can't see can still affect people in a very real, and very significant, way.
     
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