So, here’s a thought: how about we make an effort to call out our own more often?
Today I saw a comment in a thread on an Android site about a known troll asshole. He’s someone who’s really, really obsessed with one specific brand of Android devices, and just trashes EVERYONE else there. None of us likes him.
But one person, someone on my “side” of the issue (the issue being that we find this guy to be a large bag of diseased genitals), joked that hopefully we hadn’t seen a comment from him recently because he’d committed suicide, because we don’t need him in this world.
Now it’s easy to look at a comment like that and go, “yeah, sure, I hate that guy, screw him!” But I stopped, and realized that no, that’s not okay. That’s the same crap we’re seeing from GamerGaters against women who they disagree with who’ve done nothing that awful. And it’s easy to end up in a position where you feed off of one another in order to see someone as much worse than they actually are. Really, this jerk in these forums is nothing but a disillusioned fanboy. He’s noxious and rude and annoying, but he’s not deserving of DEATH.
So I said something. I kept it polite, but I said something. Because it meant just slightly more coming from the inside. Because it was a touch less threatening. And because I needed to never end up in a situation where, perhaps, I believe there’s corruption in video game journalism and so I turn my head and ignore that half the people around me are calling for the rape and murder of a woman who may or may not have been involved in trumping up a review score.
Can more of us do that, please? Can more of us look at the people and groups and communities we’re involved with and call out the extremists instead of of starting #NotAllWhatevers hashtags? Maybe then some things might change.