1. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    jumping the gun

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jazzabel, Sep 30, 2013.

    There's something that's been bugging me so I wanted to ask what's the general feeling about this.

    Occasionally I come across a question in the forum, usually by a new and unknown member, that asks for information that could help both a writer and a criminal. We only have their word to guarantee they are the former, not the latter.

    Likewise, I occasionally come across posts that contain way too much personal information, or details about a serious personal crisis, which could be either a genuine cry for help or it could be attention seeking behaviour. If it indeed is the former, then it could be theoretically exposing a vulnerable person to unwanted attention. If it's the latter, then perhaps it isn't very productive to answer anyway.

    I am as keen to help as the next person, and it's fun to exercise brain cells and think of possible scenarios, but sometimes I just wonder whether we need to be slightly more careful and not jump at a chance to answer every question unless we know the member reasonably well.

    I'd love to know what the rest of the community thinks :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  2. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I remember a guy here not too long ago who sounded like he was typing with one hand because he had a gun to his head with the other. Does anyone else remember that guy? Australian I think. Not sure he's ever been back either, I hope he didn't get a response he didn't like...
     
  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I try to steer clear of those types posts so I tend to forget them also, unless they keep coming back, well that guy obviously didn't. The thing is, obviously none of us are responsible for what people do in real life, but still, I cringe when I see it.

    What bothers me more is when the first post a person makes is asking specifics about incapacitating someone or some such, and then a dozen members discussing everything from controlled drugs to street drugs to forms of administration, to where one can obtain them...
     
  4. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    I remember one of those. Creepy, much? It wouldn't have bothered me, if, say, they posted often, but they never posted again. It's creepy as hell...
     
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  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^My thoughts exactly.
     
  6. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I suppose my view is: If they don't find the info here, they'll find it somewhere else. You rarely see a question that couldn't be answered by five minutes with Google and a little critical thinking. Maybe that's just me though? Sometimes I answer, sometimes I don't. Depends on my mood.
     
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  7. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I don't remember that, but I've been here for more than a few melt downs...
     
  8. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    If I was trying to commit some crime my first avenue of research would not be a writer's workshop forum.

    Apropos of nothing, does anyone know the best cleaner to get bloodstains out of a carpet? It's for a story I'm writing.
     
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  9. StoryWeaver
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    StoryWeaver Member

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    I believe hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) usually works good at removing blood as it oxidizes the hemoglobin red pigments; never tried it on carpet but I have used it on clothing. Bleach of course can do wonders but will bleach carpet color besides the blood.
     
  10. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Jack Asher: Good to know :)
     
  11. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Any criminal whose first port of call is a writing forum is the sort of criminal destined to wind up in a Cracked article. If we run across someone who genuinely seems to have issues, we can only give them a friendly in the right direction for the sort of advice they're looking. Again, most people genuinely in need of help wouldn't seek it on a writing site.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
  12. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think I'm a little desensitized to threads discussing violence because I hang out a lot on self-defense -related forums where people regularly talk about the most effective ways to put the hurt on another person, what legal repercussions does this and that action have in this and that country, how to talk to the police afterwards (or if you should just take the other guy's wallet and bugger off :D), what to carry in a non-permissive environment etc. etc. Fact is, all that information is readily available through google and it's not rocket science either; discussing that stuff on said boards is more about "battle testing" your theories than actually discovering some secret death move that doesn't even exist.


    Another good point already mentioned was that this really isn't the best place for criminals to get their info. There's a reason why the deep web is far more popular for such purposes. If someone's dumb enough to ask for specifics about committing crime X here in order to commit that crime, it usually shows in their writing since their IQ couldn't be that high.

    If someone asks, in the name of research "where can I get pot/morphine/illegal guns?" it doesn't really hurt to give the OP some particulars about how it works: say, your character knows a guy who knows a guy etc, i.e. harmless stuff that wouldn't help anyone commit a crime, but who here would actually give them the contact details of a guy who sells that stuff under the counter?


    Then again, if it's somebody I know well (practically always means irl), I can discuss anything with them (you should hear some of the conversations I've had with my band's bass player... or KaTrian for that matter).


    As far as too much information... hey, if someone wants to share their lifestory here, what do I care? And whatever personal matters I discuss on public boards is always something I wouldn't mind everyone knowing; my secrets are just that, secret, and they stay offline. And if someone posts a cry for help, what harm comes from directing them to the proper channels?


    I'm a mod at a self-defense forum, so the guys and gals know me well (in irl too), but the admin still laughed about one of my threads where I was doing research for a medieval fantasy (stuff like what to do if your buddy gets pierced with a spear etc), and it was me, a writer, discussing pretty explicit things with a cop and a doctor. Definitely had a surreal tinge to it.
     
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  13. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I were planning to commit a crime or needed to cover up a crime, I'd be very suspicious of advice I obtained on a writer's site. I'd assume most people were speculating, imagining, theorizing -- you know, being writers. That attempt in and of itself, though, could make for an interesting story.
     
  14. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    I've noticed the Research sub-form on WF has some iffy discussions about things that shouldn't be written. Anyone seen that "Sexual assault in fiction?" thread. No offense to the OP but sometimes I feel like I'm reading a criminal asking to commit a crime but disguising it as a writer who need information on his/her book.
     
  15. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    I'd have to disagree here. Just because something is offensive to some people's sense of propriety doesn't mean that it doesn't have a place in the literary world. There are plenty of things that I don't like, but it doesn't make them any less prevalent or real. I may not wish to read them, but then that's my choice.

    The particular thread you mention, I not only saw, but answered - as did you. I felt that it was an honest question. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but they didn't say "Can someone tell me how I would go about doing this?" they didn't even say, "Can you tell me how to make it more graphic and real?" they only wanted to know how a publisher would look at it. I don't judge what people write on a moral level, because not everyone feels the same as me. I judge on a literary level, and if I'm truly offended or sickened - I don't read it.
     
  16. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'll answer most any question that doesn't make me feel personally uncomfortable. I don't put things on the internet that make me easily identifiable, of course. But as others have stated, coming to a writer's forum for info on committing a crime would be pretty dumb, really.
     
  17. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    It actually might be kind of smart. There have been several cases recently where the defendants search history was used against them. Most notably Casey Anthony was caught googling "neck breaking" and "how to make chloroform".

    Going through a writers workshop might be enough to throw the coppers off your sent.
     
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  18. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Liz and Jack: lol, I was thinking about a story too :D
     
  19. Kramitdfrog
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    Kramitdfrog Member

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    I think our generation or everyone that can stay up late beyond 8:00 pm, will find that TV shows are going above and beyond in all forms of tragedy. I vaguely remember 6months ago attempting to watch a horror movie on normal prime time TV, the hills have eyes 2... I got up to the rape scene before I hit off. I then spent the rest of the night wondering to myself just how far commercial TV had plummeted. Yet Law and Order SVU has some of the most HORRENDOUS pieces of fiction I've ever encountered.

    I live in Australia myself and I have noticed that all of the shows starting from 8:30 to about 10 on nearly every channel nearly every day of the week are some American crime drama. I recently lived in America for two years and was visiting Newark, while in the hotel room I found a channel on their cable that showed nothing but those Judge shows, judge judy, judge joe brown and then fell off my chair when it proceeded to child court and more absurdity. My point is I've witnessed every dirty ill fucked up dead on commercial TV and I don't even think there is a line anymore. Everything EVERYTHING.. Oh and the most amusing point is this is Australian TV, I lived in the bible belt of America in NC... And the cable was censored I remember watching movies where I knew the catch phrase was something like "lets kill these fuckers"... It would be censored to "lets go kill those damn people".. I would be so shocked and think OMG they actually had dubbed over swearing in shows or just deleted entire scenes.

    So in contrast Australia prime time is ANYTHING goes, America bible belt is... *shrug* Censored...

    Who would consider anything jumping the gun when TV can teach you all the wonders of sociology and torture.
     
  20. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Kermitthe frog (sorry, but can I please call you that? At least this once? My favourite puppet ever, ok, and Ms Piggy :D)
    I am also Australian (through citizenship) and I lived in Oz a long time. One thing I do miss is Foxtel, as bad as it sounds, at least they had interesting shows compared to this Sky thing in the UK, what's up with that? Anyway, tv here is so bad that I almost never watch it except for a few shows here and there. I write mysteries but I just can't be bothered with vacuous violence-filled crap on tv. I loved 'Criminal Minds' in the first season, but by the third season it just became banal. I can say exactly the same thing for every other crime show I watched. There are no more movies like 'Silence of the Lambs' , almost everything is just stupid, for the lack of the better word. It's as if now, we are supposed to be entertained purely by blood and gore, instead of the motivations, cunning, characters, personal histories and the like. But I definitely don't approve of 'Bible belt' style of false morality where they censor words. that's just sad.
     
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  21. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Welcome to the future. Nowadays the lack of computer savvy can cause a lot of trouble, be you a criminal or an average joe/jane.
     
  22. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    It used to be that networks were supposed to save the more 'heavy-duty' programs for later in the evening, supposedly after young children had gone to be. I don't think that's the case any more. But, just like books, people have a choice - watch, change the channel, or flip the off switch. The more people change channels or turn off, the bigger the message sent. (Personally, I went to streaming media online so I could watch what I wanted when I wanted instead of trying to find something of interest at ten times the price :D)
     
  23. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've often wondered why people bother watching TV anymore. Just get a good, large monitor, set it up before your couch, and you're all set. It's also much more comfortable to write on the couch than by hunching over your desk (at least if you have a tendency for back problems).
     
  24. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Most of TV these days is just bad. It's either reality TV most of the time or poorly scripted soap operas. The only thing I watch now is 2 scripted dramas and educational television.
     
  25. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I heard someone describe this as a golden age of television and I have to agree with them. Maybe it's different outside the US, but here we have Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Dexter, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Community, and (just now) the shining light of Agents of Shield. And across the pond there's the wonderful things the Moffat is doing with Doctor Who.

    Most of these have been fantastically written and span the genre from action to comedy.
     

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