I had a similar experience with gun control. I still support Chicago's gun control measures (handgun ban, etc...) and despise the NRA, but I would never suggest that the things we do in Chicago should be done in other parts of the state or the country and vice versa.
I guess I learned that I have no business trying to apply my values to other people in other communities with other problems. I think that lesson has made my conversations with people like MrB so much more rich since we could talk about guns, not what each of us ought to believe about guns.
I think that the very same people who were shamed by being outed as sock puppets were pretty despicable in their "home" persona as well and the fact that the community knows that there is someone "on the beat" has diminished other kinds of nasty behavior as well. Remember, it wasn't just Sam's disguised comment that made him a loathsome persona. He also racked up a record of snide, sarcastic insults in the most neutral of conversations. A couple of the political posters shamed from the political forum never really supported any idea, but rather attacked strawmen and resorted to name-calling at a wink of disagreement. Johnny Cat was totally unhinged by the time he hitched out of here.
The fact of the matter is that although intervention is not a sexy thing, someone has to take care of a forum or it will inevitably descend into the kind of place where someone finds it acceptable to take pot shots at someone's family.
Loc: Lancaster PA USA
That whole thing with Sam/Skrue really blindsided me (even though I had only read copious discussion about it in retrospect, and never saw the actual exchange).
I was blindsided because I had worked with him for several months at a billboard printing company (along with Optimus George), and and I knew him as a really smart and funny guy, with a strong facility for language play. I'd been out drinking with him (which as we all know can bring a person's darker side into the light). I never got even the slightest inkling that he had the potential for being willfully vicious.
I still have the feeling that it was an off-the-cuff and wildly inappropriate joke that he went too far with in the spirit of playful sockpuppetry. And then, when he was outed, he couldn't find a way to offer an apology that would have felt substantial and sincere enough. He KNEW he stepped over a very delicate line, and felt like a complete shˇtehead for doing so.
I haven't had any contact with him in several years, but Optimus George (who just got married, by the way) might be able to offer a better analysis on the whole thing than I could.
_________________________ "We writhe with the best of them."
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