On internet nastiness

January 28th, 2009

Long quote here froma good article about what gets rewarded online and what that results in:

You simply can’t have a system which rewards nastiness over niceness and which offers no consequences for those who commit cowardly anonymous attacks and then act surprised when people don’t know where to draw the line. And if it carries on, someone is going to get seriously hurt, unless we all say – as Arrington has on Techcrunch today – enough is enough.

So let’s all say it right now. Let’s all of us who consider ourselves human beings and who want the internet to continue as a forum for free and frank debate get together and decide on a few rules of engagement. It strikes me that there are a few we can all agree on…

There’s a brilliant episode of The West Wing where Sam Seaborn discovers that two of his staff have anonymously attacked a Republican aide working at the White House. Furious, Seaborn confronts the culprits, saying: “You know what, fellas, when I say something, I sign my name.” Sure enough, he grabs a pen and paper and scribbles the message “you’re fired – Sam Seaborn”. Surely that’s rule number one – the Seaborn Rule of internet commenting: If you’ve got something to say online, say it in your own name or fuck off.

Paul Carr wrote that for the Guardian, and apparently Paul Carr also wrote a book called “Bringing Nothing To The Party: True Confessions of a New Media Whore,” which is a beautifully snarky title.


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  3. Where I’ve been…
  4. Pulling the trigger
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