May 13th, 2005

happy

I'm safe here behind my puter screen, I can say anything I want, no really.. [/sarcasm]

'm a member of two lj communities that cover similar subjects. They have different approaches but both have value in their own way. One purports to be 'nonfluffy' which is generally taken to mean 'free from fluff', ie sensible, educated, no silliness etc. And usually, it is. Most of the people there have opinions that are worth considering, even if you don't agree with them. The other community is more tolerant of 'fluff'. I enjoy both of these communities. Or I did.

Lately, there have been some things going on that are disturbing. In one of these communities, there was a chap who felt it to be his god-given duty to call people on their bullshit. That's fine, I guess, but his methods are pretty harsh, and occasionally stoop to personal attacks. He'd been asked to modify his behaviour, and he did, but not before making himself unpopular with the moderator. This community is now heavily moderated, thanks to this personal thing between these two people, and to cut a long story short this person said something that was apparently incendiary and got banned from the community. Now, in that community, there are more posts regarding this little drama than posts on the community's topic, including some pretty nasty stuff aimed at the moderator of the community.

Meanwhile the person immediately moved over to the other community, where his approach is less of a problem. The folks there jumped on the bandwagon and that page also became a drama-fest of slamming the other community and its moderator. Then ensued an altercation between the moderators of the communities, which stooped to threats of (who knows? What can moderators do to each other?) action, and nasty comments exchanged on both pages. People who in the past have shown themselves to be knowledgeable and mature are suddenly acting like children.

In another community I belong to, members are leaving because people defend their viewpoints too strongly, and discussions turn to arguments where emotions get involved. It's all bullshit. We join these communities because we have things in common, right? Then why do mature adults degenerate so badly when they get on internet forums? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a bit of drama occasionally, but it's become the norm in the first two communities, and it's boring after the first day.

So, why do people say things on the internet that they most likely wouldn't say f2f? I'm sure all these people aren't that immature in real life. Is it the relative safety of hiding behind a computer screen? In which case, why do people get so upset about things?

And, interestingly, it's the 'nonfluffy' lot that have jumped on the drama bandwagon the most wholeheartedly. I'm disappointed, and looking for another community where subjects get discussed and bullshit doesn't cut it. Any suggestions? Or am I pushing bullshit uphill here?