August 17, 2003

What the..?

As we see yet another victim of idiotic "Blog Rage"* I have been trying to comprehend how things get so out of hand. How does a simple disagreement become a full scale, long distance confrontation? Why would someone feel the need and the justification in threatening a persons job, family, children?

These types of blowouts usually occur when at least one of the parties is the type...

...whose arguments consist mainly of profanity and personal attacks. Rather than participate in an intelligent discourse, these folks leave comments with all the intellectual depth of a pre-teen with a public school education. When someone has the audacity to (gasp) disagree with them, they sink even lower. More profanity, more name calling, and, in true junior high fashion, they sic their friends on the offender. The original point (if there was one) is completely lost, and what is left is a lot of scratching and hair pulling.

My first inclination was to chalk up this behavior to the anonymity of the web, and in fact many of the secondary people who get involved (the minions) do in fact attack anonymously. However, from what I've seen, the principals do not - or, if they do, they also continue to post openly. You can easily, in most cases, find out what they are all about simply by going to their blog - when they are forthcoming enough to post a link. Once again, generally the principals do. Though they often don't have any trouble sinking to the level of filth of the more cowardly anonymous posters.

How does a disagreement over a word that is used by many people, for many reasons, devolve to an all out blog war over who gets to use it? How does a silly contest that should have been all in fun degenerate to the point that peoples children get involved (and threatened)? No matter what someone says to you, these hysterical reactions are so far out of line that they are unbelievable.

I am grateful that my traffic is so low that I am not subject to visitation from that element. It still makes me curious, though, what their offline life is like.

* if you don't know what I'm talking about, just as well - I'm not linking to it.

UPDATE: Just to be clear, the animosity in the latest BlogRage incident I mention didn't START because of the contest, that is simply the point at which it came to a head. No idea what started it, which kind of illustrates my earlier statement - the original point is lost (I think, in this case, the main characters seem to remember)

I wasn't going to link to anyone, but Matt was so forthcoming about the contest being a shameless popularity contest with the added benefit (hopefully) of increasing his traffic - I thought I'd do my part and send my handful of readers over there. I don't think the contest is to blame, but some immature reactions after it started.

Posted by Vox at August 17, 2003 09:01 PM | blogs