When bullies are online

I have been going to the dailykos.com for a long time. I often find very reasoned, intelligent diaries there on matters of interest to me. I went there the other day, because they have a huge community, and a number of pilots and air traffic controllers who were weighing in on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight. After reading that, I came across a diary that had been called GBCW (Goodbye Cruel World) in which the diarist was leaving the site because of a rant by one of the prominently displayed front page writers.

Here is the original diary:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/10/1283481/-Why-are-you-here-A-rant

And here is his response

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/12/1284047/-GBCW-Why-I-m-no-longer-here

I was very surprised that a Front Page writer would write something so hateful, so divisive, basically claiming that believing that corporations are too powerful in the Democratic party is the same as being racist. I mean, come on. I labeled the diary absurd and a terrible piece of writing, and then came the bullying. Here is my response: they can censor me there, but they can’t censor me on my own blog.

This Crap Was Written by a Front Pager??

God, this site has gone downhill. I read the rant and was thinking what a crappy piece of writing it was.  I had no idea it was a front pager! I didn’t always agree with old front page writers, but at least they wrote thoughtful, intelligent pieces. This was just horrible! I thought it was just some angry person throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks!

 Hey, I would never leave this site when there are front pagers like that. This site needs intelligent people who can write and not rant like that. That diary served no useful purposes and until I found out it was a front page writer, I couldn’t figure out why it even had recommendations!

My comment was hidden by people giving it a down rating. Then I was called sexist (I don’t get that, I am a woman and have certainly never been sexist, but I disagreed with a woman writer, so there you go,) stupid, uneducated, and a few other things I can’t remember right now. And the thing is, I never would have guessed that the piece was written by a front page writer. They are usually very good writers. This writer’s name is Denise Oliver Velez, and while she may be a very good writer, I certainly will never read anything she writes, as this  was my first experience reading her writing and it wasn’t a good one. I put her in the category of Ann Coulter, who screeches, insults and lies, just to get attention. That’s what I thought this was: an attention getting piece of drivel, written to divide a community and chase people off.

But this is about bullying. Her sycophants piled onto anyone who had an issue with the diary. Which were many! And this goes on a lot on that site, as it does on many. Did you ever read the comments on almost any Yahoo story? The lack of nuanced thinking and the downright cruelty could make you weep. But since there are many conservatives on yahoo, that doesn’t surprise me as much as seeing it on a liberal website. Conservatives often mirror their gods, Limbaugh and Hannity, who have been calling Democrats the “enemy” and calling for war on the Democrats for years. But liberals!! They are supposed to be the kinder party, the sensitive bleeding hearts. Ha!! Not on dailykos.com!!

So how do you play and not get sucked into their hatred? Just walk away, is what I do. I don’t get involved with back and forths, as the other person is usually insulting and a lot younger than I am. It would be like fighting with one of my students. I just don’t go there.

I think bullying, sadly, is just part of the internet playground. Don’t take it personally and don’t engage. Don’t fed the trolls, as they say.  That is my best advice.

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