I’m going to keep this quick so I actually finish and post it. Last night I was made aware of a plurk account called SLFashionFails. This little gem of an account was set up, as far as I can tell, with the simple purpose to anonymously bash random fashion designers. As much as many have called this account harmless, it included very loaded statements that crossed the line IMOHO involving suicide, racism and gay bashing. Me and my “Lynch Mob” as anyone like minded has been labeled, didn’t find this account funny at all, so some of us reported the account to Plurk for violation of TOS and I am happy to say the account has been removed.
End of story right? Well apparently no. Aside from the “Lynch Mob” baloney, many seem confused why I care about this at all. This account was what I refer to as “Anonymous Hate” one of the nastier little afterbirths of the Internet. SLFashionFails was not a mixed bag of praise and criticism, constructive criticism, or light hearted look at SL fashion. SLFashionFails was only set up to post mean and nasty often line crossing comments anonymously. Beyond this little gem, Anonymous Hate is one of the more dangerous things around on the net. Why? Inside of all of us, you, me, your mom, ALL OF US is this nasty little monster that will say, do and think the worst of the worst. What hopefully keep us in check are empathy, morals, and simple consequences for our actions. Anonymous Hate ends all of that, say whatever, no consequences at all.
Ok Rob that’s a cute opinion you have there but doesn’t this mean you are against freedom of speech and all forms of Anonymity on the Internet. Nope, I am a huge fan of Anonymity where it is needed. Live in Iran and want to talk about the sham of an election they just had and not see members of your family dragged away with bags on their heads? You Need anonymity. Are you in an abusive relationship and need to connect with others in your situation for support without getting kicked in the teeth again? You Need anonymity. Have an avatar in SL and don’t like something you see on one of the fashion feeds and want to say something about it? You know what? YOU DON’T FUCKING NEED ANONYMITY! You just don’t. Worried about what people will think about you after you say something? That’s a clue you shouldn’t be saying it.
As far as freedom of speech, give me a break. Online social networks and blog systems while free tend to have standards and Terms of Service. They pretty much all tend to be against hate speech in general gay bashing and racial references made things very easy to report this account. But doesn’t freedom of speech mean anything anywhere? NO it doesn’t. Screaming “fire” in a crowded movie theatre is the classic case, but freedom of speech does not mean you are not accountable for what you say.
-Sigh- and as I am writing this I have been called a Nazi for my efforts. If Aeon only had the slightest clue to what that term really meant. Ah the ignorance of youth, I truly miss you.