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On The Internet's Vigilante Shame Army

I would also bet that as a writer on the Internet with a vaguely Jewish-sounding surname, Nathan Heller is not unfamiliar with disturbing hate mail. But on that I'm really just guessing.

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm 0

On The Internet's Vigilante Shame Army

No, I'm not suggesting that — sexist/violent threats against women are worse than smart-assed comments about a writer. But the New York piece does not condone or ignore the continuing existence of horrible aggressive behavior online; the Violentacrez/Gawker story is mentioned early on as a case in point of the backlash against open awfulness, as is the Karen Klein saga. The New York piece is, quite obviously, about a change in manners that's taken hold in online attitudes among people who aren't seeking to hide their identities. You might say it's about the fact that a website run by Choire and Alex in 2012 is printing pieces by PhDs about how to most ethically and efficiently scrub online discourse of anonymity-enabled maliciousness, vis a vis what their website might have covered in, say, 2005. Does such a piece suggest that no one online threatens women in terrible ways? It EXPLICITLY states otherwise. It talks about efforts to shame people who do so. (Or their own alleged self-shaming, in Perez Hilton's case.) So why declare that it ignores the problem? I don't know — I actually don't know what the point of saying that is.

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 6:25 pm 0

On The Internet's Vigilante Shame Army

I was peripherally involved in the creation of the New York mag piece & would like to note the irony of starting out a piece about the problem of online rudeness by calling someone else stupid.

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm 0