Apr 162007
 

Blog bullies propel state of the internet into the spotlight – The Independent

Yes, Virginia, cyber-bullies are real. At the end of the day, they’ll always be there and not just in the ether either, now get back to that keyboard and let ’em have it!


Thankfully, in the Australian ‘sphere, this business of hassling one’s fellow blogger because of boredom or as a means of attracting warped like minds, seems to have slacked off over recent years. Bannerman knows of several bloggers, some no longer active, some still playing their stupid games, who have used their blogs as weapons instead of hobbies. To some, taunting someone for their ideals, viewpoints or just their lifestyle, is a source of amusement. Why this is so remains a mystery, but it still happens.
A few years back, around the time of the Iraq War fiasco getting off the ground, blogwars were relatively common between those who supported the conservative, pax-americana view and those who staunchly opposed it. There was little to it, other than tit-for-tat leavings in opposing blog comment boxes, but occassionally the more aggressive, less civilised comment box inhabitant would take things just a little too far. Denials of service, scatter-gun trolling, even abusive emails were relatively common among a small cadre. Bannerman has never seen the likes of the abuse levelled at the blogger mentioned in the above article. Not in the Oz-sphere at any rate. Australian bloggers of the idiot sect tended to draw a line under personal insults in their blogs aimed at an ideological opponent and encouragement of a dedicated pack of “attack-dog” commenters to drop by the opposing weblog to leave particularly smelly virtual calling cards. Fairly simple stuff from fairly simple-minded individuals and easily dealt with.
This adolescent name-calling still goes on in some blogs, but thankfully, many of the proponents of this mindless waste of money and internet bandwidth have dropped off the weblog radar. Persistence, time and a goodly measure of ignore coupled with an ever-increasing level of blog security from the developers of the big name content management systems has thankfully seen most of the reprobates off.
Bannerman is not in favour of the oft espoused proposal to institute a set of self-administered rules for blogging. What’s the point? The internet is, by it’s very nature, an uncontrolled and uncontrollable environment. It wouldn’t matter how many rules were proposed, or how many bloggers opted to adhere to them, the idiots and cowboys would still exist. In fact, creating rules would only tend to encourage said idiots to break them. It’s the nature of the environment and the creatures which inhabit it.
Blogging is a personal undertaking for the individual. The blogger writes for him or herself and those who believe that they’re doing the world a service by espousing their points of view quite frankly take themselves, and blogging, far too seriously. It’s a passtime. Nothing more and nothing less. Just a way to pass the time of day by exercising one’s own greymatter into putting one’s thoughts on any given subject into words such that, if another individual happens to read those words, the writer need not feel unnecessarily embarrassed by the reading. The words don’t always come out right and none of us are latter day Shakespeares any more than we’re the modern world’s version of Jonathon Swift. But at least we have a go.
And that, reader, is what makes the difference between the name callers, their attendant packs of comment crappers, and those of us who do what we do because we enjoy it. The world will always have the fuck-knuckles and turd-throwers. So long as we remember that in the grand scheme they don’t matter a dot, then blogging will go on as it has done these many years. Rules or no rules, photoshopped insults and slagging emails aside, Bannerman still enjoys writing what he writes. If anyone else reads his scribblings, then goodo for them. That much is a bonus.