May 24, 2008

Serious Saturdays

A couple of little things to ponder on a long weekend Saturday.

I don't really know much about online communities. I guess many would feel like I'm part of one with the bloggysphere, but I'm talking about things like Myspace, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. I may come out sounding like the cranky old man railing against today's kids, but I just don't get 'em. I am continually saddened to find out how many real-life creeps are using these on-line community tools to expand the reach of their sicknesses. For all you Twitter fans, please read this article from Ariel Waldman about her experiences with Twitter and their refusal to adhere to their own Terms of Service. Read the follow-up that she links to as well. Sounds like Twitter needs to wake up when it comes to cyber-stalking.

In her follow-up, she mentions a great article that Violet Blue wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle. It's about the trolling, baiting and general hating that goes on every day in on-line communities against women. It's an important topic for anyone (with a brain) whose lives are enriched by on-line communities. Here is a brief snippet:

"In Margaret Cho's "Beautiful" tour, she talks about recently being on a radio show and having the host ask her point-blank, live, on the air, "What if you woke up one day, and you were beautiful?" When asked, he defined beautiful as blonde, thin, large-breasted, a porno stereotype. Cho says, "Just think of what life is like for this poor guy. There's beauty all around him in the world, and he can only see the most narrow definition of it." "

It's very sad how some people choose to live their lives. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, kids! - Earl


Avitable said...

I'm not sure I disagree with Twitter. Twitter is designed as a place for someone to post their thoughts and ideas. One user has the option of blocking other users very easily.

If a user is tweeting his opinion on someone and calling them names, etc., is it harassment? Maybe if he or she created a hundred accounts and kept using different ones to send her messages. But having one account that contains tweets where someone is called names (and we don't know how frequently that happened) doesn't seem like it constitutes harassment to me.

Verdant Earl said...

Avi - Maybe. From the gist of her post, Ariel made it seem as if were an unreasonable amount of name-calling and private information disclosed on public forums. Like I said, I don't no nuthin' from no Twitter so I posted it for y'all to ponder.

Slyde said...

margaret cho's new book must be pretty boring except for that one passage.. ive seen her on 2 talk shows now where that same sentence was the main thing she talked about...

TK Kerouac said...

I'd like to steal that woman hating/trolling article
It is so true
great find
Its one of the reasons I prefer to keep my blog private


Verdant Earl said...

Slyde - Well, her tour/book is actually called "Beautiful", I think.

TK - steal away.

elizabeth said...

I love that quote. Love love love.

Anonymous said...

I was on Facebook for about a week. I didn't get the point. Someone threw a sheep at me. Is that a good thing?

Bruce Johnson said...

I have a MySpace account but have not been to it in ages. I used to use it but the mentality of 90% of the people on there was mind numbing. If you give adolescents power, they are going to do great things with it. They will do childish, perverted and mean things with it....that is why they are adolescents. That is why we don't give children semi-automatic weapons and the ability to print money....they aren't responsible.

Verdant Earl said...

Liz - I dig Cho.

bobgirrl - Someone threw a sheep at you? Dear God woman!

Lotus - Every once in a while I stumble upon a Myspace page...fool around for a little while...then I shake my head because I don't understand the point.