Full Disclosure: I have been involved in my fair share of flame wars since I was rapping through a 300 baud acoustical coupler “back in the day.” Have personally been the victim of some pretty scurrilous, underhanded, unethical, and somewhat disturbing personal smear campaigns. [eg crossposting threads after removing the home thread; allowing the protagonist to edit the victims comments and republish in other forums without the victims knowledge, etc.] I am here to tell ya though- today’s level of intolerance seems somewhat intense, relative to our freewheeling chats of yore.
Maybe it’s because- in part at least- we have morphed from the Newsgroups being a “Public Forum for Discussion” into Blogs becoming “My Private [unlicensed] Broadcasting Company.”
With ownership comes, well, ownership.
Case in point: So there’s this blog on the internet, topic not important to the point at hand, and a dialogue gets going, point-counterpoint style. Apparently the arguments on one side of the issue start falling apart, and more posters started coming around to the alternative point of view. It got re-e-e-e-eal quiet from that side. [I guess they were hunting wabbits] [wait for it]
Surprise! Someone took their ball and went home! The Blog “owner” shut down comments for the specific thread- of course, after posting a snarky “it’s my medium” blast of pique.
It isn’t about “dialogue” anymore; it’s about “broadcasting one point of view!”
Care to guess which side of the political spectrum was engaged in (polite, reasoned) dialogue . . . and which side decided that tolerance with respect to another’s ideas had gone just about as far as it was going to go, mister!?
Well, o.k., silly question . . . we all know which side of the (artificially defined by the two-headed single political party in the US today) political spectrum is tolerant/intolerant of opposing viewpoints . . .
But putting that aside
Internet: Two way communication; or just another transmission medium for digitized vomit?
Scorch aka the other steve