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Old 5th February 2020, 05:19 PM   #41
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I see a pretty good solution--reforming our backwards labor laws.

The principle way that troglodytes on the internet will go after you for having the wrong opinion or telling a bad joke or being a woman in public is to threaten your job--this is easy because most employers are allergic to controversy. Generate enough heat and they'll start firing people to make it stop, irrespective of merit.

That might not help people like Sacco or the guy who ranted at a Chick-fil-A employee--PR flacks and executives have professional obligations surrounding their personal public statements that software engineers and janitors do not. But it would probably prevent things like this, where nobody should have been fired:

https://techcrunch.com/2013/03/21/a-...ut-of-control/

I doubt this stuff happens often enough to justify such reform on its own, but there are plenty of other reasons to do so, and we would then have a healthier online environment where people just try to convince you to kill yourself.
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Old 5th February 2020, 05:39 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
We have met the enemy and it is us
We are the element that has not changed. We are the agent communicating with other agents, mediating the share of ideas, manipulating and combining them, coming into conflict.

What has changed in this complex system?
The frequency of communication? Do we spend more time on social media than people in the past did talking?
Certainly an increased number of connections between each agent (no longer just talking to your neighbours and family in the village.)
The type of communication? Perhaps emboldened by anonymity it is more aggressive and political. Communication is simplified/distilled in the shape of memes?

The Hegelian dialectic is on speed.
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Old 5th February 2020, 05:53 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
1) I thought she was fired before the mob formed.
I just watched the Jon Ronson TED Talk, and that doesn't seem to be correct. He describes the whole thing from beginning to end, and the mob had already formed before her employer took to Twitter to announce that she had been fired.

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2) Even after reading the explanations, the "joke" showed a lack of maturity and understanding of the very job she was hired for. That seems reason enough to fire her.
I don't disagree with the first sentence, but immediate firing before she even had a chance to respond or explain herself seems disproportionate.

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To me, a non-social media user, the entire concept that you may be having a private conversation on a medium that is meant to facilitate wide distribution of content is absurd. If you wouldn't want to see it under your picture on the front of tomorrow's paper then don't put it online. Twitter mob or not.
Good advice, and I agree, but inevitably since people are people, some people will make mistakes.

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But the real point is that there is scant evidence of twitter mobs actually having the massive impact you claim. Your best example got her job back at the same company. Boo ******* hoo.
It may seem that way from a safe remove, when it's not your own life that's being impacted. To the people who actually go through it though, it can be devastating.

And it isn't even the most extreme example.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Ames

Quote:
August Ames (born Mercedes Grabowski; 23 August 1994 5 December 2017) was a Canadian pornographic actress and model. She appeared in almost 290 movies, including a non-pornographic film in 2016, and was nominated for several AVN Awards.[2][4] In 2017, at the age of 23, Ames died by suicide after a particular event of social media backlash following a Twitter post that she had made.
You may say that it's her own fault for committing suicide, but it does show the emotional impact that being shunned and ostracized can have on people. Maybe she could have weathered the storm and come out fine and wiser on the other side, but she didn't.
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Old 5th February 2020, 07:05 PM   #44
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Ummm, did you read that whole Wikipedia page? Or the articles it cites regarding her death? Because the authors of the book about it do not draw that conclusion.
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Old 5th February 2020, 08:40 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Ummm, did you read that whole Wikipedia page? Or the articles it cites regarding her death? Because the authors of the book about it do not draw that conclusion.
I read the Wikipedia page. I did not read any of the articles it cites.
Also, Natalie Wynn discusses this case in her video. The one in the OP.

Were there other reasons and contributing factors? I'm sure there were. But this seems to be the most proximate reason. The final straw.
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Old 6th February 2020, 06:48 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I just watched the Jon Ronson TED Talk, and that doesn't seem to be correct. He describes the whole thing from beginning to end, and the mob had already formed before her employer took to Twitter to announce that she had been fired.
Nah, he got his info second-hand from Sacco - who wasn't even online to see what was happening. I watched it directly, which is why I know the vast majority of the activity was on #HasJustineLandedYet, and it was people partying and laughing th entire time. Still a dogpiling, don't get me wrong, but most of black Twitter makes massive jokes about these things, instead of getting angry. There's always a couple of the "These jokes are why the white man rules us." types, and they get mocked too, because that's just stupid.
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:05 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
This is a remarkable level of callousness. She got a job back years later. In the mean time, she was still fired, she still went through a period of unemployment, she was still turned into a social pariah, she was still hounded by the press. And for what? Having bad taste in jokes? On any objective scale, what you've posted here is worse than what she posted.
What I have posted anonymously? Of course.

What I have posted in public forums attached to my actual name? Never.

Can you really not see the difference? Can you really not see why an employer would be concerned that you can't see the difference? Especially if your job is at all related to PR.
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Old 6th February 2020, 07:14 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
It may seem that way from a safe remove, when it's not your own life that's being impacted. To the people who actually go through it though, it can be devastating.
And yet people still enjoy poking the bear.

People get fired for ****** reasons every day in this country. Being fired for showing your ass online is not the worst, by far. If you want to talk about doing away with "at-will" employment maybe that is a different thread altogether.

But, if your main concern is that participating in social media can sometimes have a massive negative effect, then I suggest the problem lies in how important social media is to your life.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:01 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
What I have posted anonymously? Of course.

What I have posted in public forums attached to my actual name? Never.

Can you really not see the difference? Can you really not see why an employer would be concerned that you can't see the difference? Especially if your job is at all related to PR.
Yes, I can see the difference. And how does that justify twitter mobs? How does that make the effect of such mobs on their targets inconsequential, as you suggested?

Hell, by your own testimony you yourself have adjusted your behavior because of such mobs. Do you really think the world is better off because you have to do that?
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:08 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Yes, I can see the difference. And how does that justify twitter mobs? How does that make the effect of such mobs on their targets inconsequential, as you suggested?

Hell, by your own testimony you yourself have adjusted your behavior because of such mobs. Do you really think the world is better off because you have to do that?
Twitter mobs are justified because to the extent it is limited to expressing an opinion, it is individual acts of speech.

There is this hostility to the concept of free speech that rears its head when speech we don't like is actually efficacious. The effectiveness of twitter mobs is why they should exist.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:24 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post

You may say that it's her own fault for committing suicide, but it does show the emotional impact that being shunned and ostracized can have on people. Maybe she could have weathered the storm and come out fine and wiser on the other side, but she didn't.
What is the alternative? If I cannot ostracize people in my life I have to accommodate everyone that chooses to be involved in my life?
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:30 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Twitter mobs are justified because to the extent it is limited to expressing an opinion, it is individual acts of speech.

There is this hostility to the concept of free speech that rears its head when speech we don't like is actually efficacious. The effectiveness of twitter mobs is why they should exist.
You have confused two different issues here. No, free speech doesn't justify twitter mobs, just like free speech doesn't justify racist epithets. The relevance of free speech is what you can do about those things. Free speech means that you can't just prohibit them.

I've said before that I don't know if there's anything that can be done about twitter mobs, and protecting free speech is indeed one of the reasons that there's no easy solution. I wouldn't be willing to give up free speech in order to get rid of twitter mobs. But none of that means that they are actually justified.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:31 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What is the alternative? If I cannot ostracize people in my life I have to accommodate everyone that chooses to be involved in my life?
Ostracize whoever you want to from your life. Don't demand others ostracize people from theirs. Pretty easy distinction.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:35 AM   #54
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Free speech doesn't mean speech that is immune to other people's responses. I'm free to discuss sexual matters in public, but I'm not assured that everyone on earshot will refrain from criticism of my doing so. I can speak of rope in the house of the hanged but I can't demand to be invited back.

Twitter is a global publishing platform. The audience is, potentially, the entire human race. Reasonable people choose what they say based on the audience. When the audience is possibly everybody on Earth then the rational thing is to choose very carefully. Or don't, but then you can't be amazed when stuff happens.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:39 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Ostracize whoever you want to from your life. Don't demand others ostracize people from theirs. Pretty easy distinction.
That is simply articulating the conditions for your ostracization. Cut person X out of your life or I cut y
Person Y out of mine.

By saying I can't make that demand of person Y is saying I can't inform person Y of the conditions I will ostracize them.
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:54 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Yes, I can see the difference. And how does that justify twitter mobs? How does that make the effect of such mobs on their targets inconsequential, as you suggested?
I don't see why I have to justify human nature. Mobs, community pressure, social norms. These are all of the same kind and have existed as long as we have had communities. You cross a line that the community finds offensive then you will hear from the community. Your only defense is to pick the right community.

Quote:
Hell, by your own testimony you yourself have adjusted your behavior because of such mobs. Do you really think the world is better off because you have to do that?
Yes. It is not due to the mobs, though. It is due to my responsibilities to my family.

I have taken on the responsibility of paying bills, like my mortgage and other expenses. To do that I have to have clients. Those clients have a wide variety of opinions about everything from religion to politics. I am not their advisor on those topics, so I work very hard to not have opinions on those topics while in an area where they can see me. Most wouldn't mind that I differ with them on some subjects. Some have figured out my positions based on my silence. But if ANY of them would pull work from me because of something I said on twitter, that would be me deliberately stealing from my family just so I can feel woke or witty. That is the most selfish thing I can imagine.

This hasn't changed just because of twitter. This is not a new thing. It is the same old thing in new clothing. This was true before the internet even existed. If one wants to be out protesting for an issue one should be sure that they are comfortable with their (family/friend/employer/client)'s reactions to such protests.

Why are we now so outraged by this behavior that is as human as walking on two feet?
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Old 6th February 2020, 09:58 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Free speech doesn't mean speech that is immune to other people's responses. I'm free to discuss sexual matters in public, but I'm not assured that everyone on earshot will refrain from criticism of my doing so. I can speak of rope in the house of the hanged but I can't demand to be invited back.

Twitter is a global publishing platform. The audience is, potentially, the entire human race. Reasonable people choose what they say based on the audience. When the audience is possibly everybody on Earth then the rational thing is to choose very carefully. Or don't, but then you can't be amazed when stuff happens.
Screw you for saying things better than me. I'm not even nomming this, just out of spite. Damn Monkey ruins everything . . . .
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:00 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I don't see why I have to justify human nature.
Twitter mobs are not human nature. They are human behavior. Human nature contributes strongly to human behavior, but it does not suffice to justify that behavior. Jealousy, lust, and hatred are part of human nature, but they do not justify theft, rape, and murder.
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:02 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You have confused two different issues here. No, free speech doesn't justify twitter mobs, just like free speech doesn't justify racist epithets. The relevance of free speech is what you can do about those things. Free speech means that you can't just prohibit them.



I've said before that I don't know if there's anything that can be done about twitter mobs, and protecting free speech is indeed one of the reasons that there's no easy solution. I wouldn't be willing to give up free speech in order to get rid of twitter mobs. But none of that means that they are actually justified.
But free speech as the USA defines it isn't involved here at all as they are private companies providing a channel for communication without any government regulation so it is up to the company to decide on what policies they wish to have and whether to allow "twitter mobs".
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:03 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
That is simply articulating the conditions for your ostracization. Cut person X out of your life or I cut y
Person Y out of mine.

By saying I can't make that demand of person Y is saying I can't inform person Y of the conditions I will ostracize them.
You CAN do it, and there's nothing I can do to stop you, so there's no possible way I can say that you can't. I'm saying it's a bad thing for you to do it. Get the difference?
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:05 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Twitter mobs are not human nature. They are human behavior. Human nature contributes strongly to human behavior, but it does not suffice to justify that behavior. Jealousy, lust, and hatred are part of human nature, but they do not justify theft, rape, and murder.
I appreciate that you have corrected me on that point of terminology. Care to address the rest of my post? I think you can remove that sentence and the post still hangs together.
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Last edited by Dr. Keith; 6th February 2020 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:06 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But free speech as the USA defines it isn't involved here at all
No. The first amendment isn't involved here. "Free speech" is actually a broader concept. But none of this matters, and that was the point of my post which your response missed, because judging twitter mobs as bad things doesn't imply any specific steps should be taken to counter them.
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:13 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I appreciate that you have corrected me on that point of terminology. Care to address the rest of my post? I think you can remove that sentence and the post still hangs together.
I did. Your post doesn't excuse twitter mobs. They're awful.

And the details of why and how you choose to accommodate the existence of these mobs aren't relevant either. Nor is the fact that mob behavior predates twitter. None of these things make twitter mobs good, or even ok. They remain terrible. There's some validity to saying that we can't prevent twitter mobs so we should try to accommodate it, but (1) that doesn't mean it's not a problem, and (2) even though we can't prevent the problem, there are actually things we can do about it.
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:22 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
You CAN do it, and there's nothing I can do to stop you, so there's no possible way I can say that you can't. I'm saying it's a bad thing for you to do it. Get the difference?
So let's start at the beginning and see where this actually turns bad.

Is it a bad thing for me to cut people out of my life because I feel it is bad to have them in it?

Is it bad for me to cut out people who want to associate with that person because I think it is bad?

Is it bad for me to tell them my conditions?
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:29 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
This hasn't changed just because of twitter. This is not a new thing. It is the same old thing in new clothing. This was true before the internet even existed. If one wants to be out protesting for an issue one should be sure that they are comfortable with their (family/friend/employer/client)'s reactions to such protests.
But is it the reaction of ones family/friend/employer/client? Most of the cases I've seen have been more like ones family/friends/employer/clients being threatened and lied about until they denounce the victim of the mob, or pre-emptively denouncing them for fear of the mob.

A tiny fraction of the population with weird views are going round on twitter denouncing people and for some reason they get treated like the representative judgement of the "community".
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:34 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
So let's start at the beginning and see where this actually turns bad.

Is it a bad thing for me to cut people out of my life because I feel it is bad to have them in it?
Nope.

Quote:
Is it bad for me to cut out people who want to associate with that person because I think it is bad?
If their association doesn't directly impact you (and that's always the case with these twitter mobs), yes.
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:36 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
So let's start at the beginning and see where this actually turns bad.

Is it a bad thing for me to cut people out of my life because I feel it is bad to have them in it?

Is it bad for me to cut out people who want to associate with that person because I think it is bad?

Is it bad for me to tell them my conditions?
It sounds a little bit controlling to be insisting that nobody you associate with should associate with people you feel are bad to have in your life and to go about articulating conditions like that. Are we talking about people who fiddled with a child or something?
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:50 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Nope.



If their association doesn't directly impact you (and that's always the case with these twitter mobs), yes.
Can you articulate direct versus indirect. In both cases we are discussing emotional pain from feeling a certain way about the activities of another party. The emotional pain inflicted by person X or person Y appear to be the same pain that is equally direct/indirect. It seems to be caused by simply knowing that it is occurring.
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Old 6th February 2020, 10:57 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Can you articulate direct versus indirect. In both cases we are discussing emotional pain from feeling a certain way about the activities of another party. The emotional pain inflicted by person X or person Y appear to be the same pain that is equally direct/indirect. It seems to be caused by simply knowing that it is occurring.
Emotional pain doesn't suffice. People feel bad about things they have no business feeling bad about all the time. The relationship between the two parties has to actually interfere with your own activities. If their relationship has no effect on you outside your own head, it's actually none of your business.
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Old 6th February 2020, 11:05 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Emotional pain doesn't suffice. People feel bad about things they have no business feeling bad about all the time. The relationship between the two parties has to actually interfere with your own activities. If their relationship has no effect on you outside your own head, it's actually none of your business.
So you don't support ostracizing someone for emotional pain?
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Old 6th February 2020, 11:13 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
So you don't support ostracizing someone for emotional pain?
Your question now is materially different from your question before, and is too ambiguous to be answered meaningfully. Who is doing the osctracizing? Who suffered emotional pain? Who caused the emotional pain? There are too many possible combinations implicit within your question.
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Old 6th February 2020, 11:25 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Your question now is materially different from your question before, and is too ambiguous to be answered meaningfully. Who is doing the osctracizing? Who suffered emotional pain? Who caused the emotional pain? There are too many possible combinations implicit within your question.
Let's go back to something that you said was acceptable

Quote:
Is it a bad thing for me to cut people out of my life because I feel it is bad to have them in it?
We didn't say a reason. I read it ostensibly as being about emotional pain. So if we go to the sexual innuendo at a conference example, if that woman ostracized those programmers she is doing it because of emotional pain.
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Old 6th February 2020, 11:58 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Let's go back to something that you said was acceptable

Quote:
Is it a bad thing for me to cut people out of my life because I feel it is bad to have them in it?
We didn't say a reason. I read it ostensibly as being about emotional pain.
Emotional pain is a perfectly acceptable reason to cut someone out of your own life. Hell, "I just don't like them" is a perfectly acceptable reason.

Your followup question didn't specify that you were still talking about cutting someone out of your own life, which is why I didn't give the same answer.
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Old 6th February 2020, 12:12 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Emotional pain is a perfectly acceptable reason to cut someone out of your own life. Hell, "I just don't like them" is a perfectly acceptable reason.

Your followup question didn't specify that you were still talking about cutting someone out of your own life, which is why I didn't give the same answer.
But if the intermediary is causing you emotional pain by associating with that person, how is it not acceptable to cut them out for emotional pain?
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Old 6th February 2020, 12:46 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
I did. Your post doesn't excuse twitter mobs. They're awful.
Yeah, people are awful. But what is so special about Twitter mobs versus non-twitter? You act like this some unexpected hive of toxicity when it appears to conform with everything we would expect of humanity. Until you can address that, you really are just shouting at clouds.

Quote:
And the details of why and how you choose to accommodate the existence of these mobs aren't relevant either. Nor is the fact that mob behavior predates twitter. None of these things make twitter mobs good, or even ok. They remain terrible. There's some validity to saying that we can't prevent twitter mobs so we should try to accommodate it, but (1) that doesn't mean it's not a problem, and (2) even though we can't prevent the problem, there are actually things we can do about it.
It is only a problem for those who wish to engage on twitter. Play with fire and then complain of getting burned. Hmm. Maybe publicly publishing your every thought without any meaningful filter is a risky behavior if you have a career or anything at all that you could lose by doing so. Maybe not. How could we ever know.

Despite you saying my posts are irrelevant, I think my posts have pretty clearly addressed (2). There are lots of ways to be proactive about your online persona that will avoid or eliminate the risks of Twitter mobs.

But there is no way to avoid the consequences of what one says publicly. To do so is to remove from twitter that which makes it twitter.
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Old 6th February 2020, 12:54 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
But if the intermediary is causing you emotional pain by associating with that person, how is it not acceptable to cut them out for emotional pain?
If that alone causes you pain, there's probably something wrong with you which you should get fixed.
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Old 6th February 2020, 01:00 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Yeah, people are awful. But what is so special about Twitter mobs versus non-twitter?
This thread is about twitter mobs, not mobs in general. That's why I'm talking about twitter mobs.

Quote:
You act like this some unexpected hive of toxicity when it appears to conform with everything we would expect of humanity. Until you can address that, you really are just shouting at clouds.
That doesn't make any sense. The fact that a pathology may be expected isn't any reason to not call it out or not try to do anything about it. This is a terrible standard.

Quote:
It is only a problem for those who wish to engage on twitter.
No it isn't. It's a bigger problem if you're on twitter than off it, but someone can post about you on twitter even if you never go on that platform at all. The mob can still come for you even if you try to stay away.

Quote:
But there is no way to avoid the consequences of what one says publicly.
You say that as if those consequences are some mechanistic law of nature. But they aren't. They are the result of choices people make. And it is possible for people to learn to make better choices. There will always be some people making bad choices, but this isn't completely immutable.
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Old 6th February 2020, 01:43 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
This thread is about twitter mobs, not mobs in general. That's why I'm talking about twitter mobs.
And yet you can't tell me why they are different?

Why are twitter mobs such a big deal?
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Old 6th February 2020, 02:07 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
And yet you can't tell me why they are different?
I can, but some of the reasons are so obvious I shouldn't really have to. For example, because it takes so little effort to join one, and because they are not limited in scope by geography, they can grow very large very fast.

Quote:
Why are twitter mobs such a big deal?
I don't know what your standards are for "such a big deal". They are not an existential threat to the survival of our species, but they can ruin people's lives or even just cause a lot of misery. That makes them worth addressing, whether or not they fit your criteria for "such a big deal". Note also that I'm not trying to argue that they are worse, they don't have to be.
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Old 6th February 2020, 02:21 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
They are not an existential threat to the survival of our species, but they can ruin people's lives or even just cause a lot of misery.
Ah, so a bit like swimming pools. Got it.
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