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people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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meta recs by wistfuljane and impertinence
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
Meta recs:

On bandflesh and anonymity in fandom by wistfuljane. It makes an interesting argument about the reasons for anonymity and the pitfalls.

If you as a community of bandfleshers are willing to allow things to be said without facing retributions then you must, I think, be able to accept things said against your community without punishing those who said them.

On the other side:

re:bandflesh by impertinence. This one is pro-anonymous and I like her explanation of the attraction and why it works for her:

Have you ever posted something, went to bed, woken up and thought OH SHIT WHY DID I DO THAT D: but known it was too late to stop people remembering you as "that chick who posted that opinion I REALLY HATE"? Yeah, me too. But on bandflesh, no matter how dumb you are, there's always the chance for forgiveness, because you're anon. People's grudges might last into forever, but they're not grudges against you and don't color further interaction.

I think wistfujane comes closest to my feelings; it can't be a one-way street. The problem isn't wanting somewhere to post that's anonymous; stripping away individual identity is freeing as hell and allows people to say what they don't feel they can say otherwise, or that they feel they will be reviled for, or heck, as impertinence states above. That's why anonymous memes are so popular.

But, at least for me, giving up individuality to a group does, in fact, mean you take responsibility for asshattery that happens in the group. That's part of the trade you make for that freedom.

ETA: The Place With the Thing by quettaser. I liked this one too. Also in defense of anonymous comm, etc.


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I've actually managed to read most of these (YAY MEDS!) and here's my thought.

Have you ever posted something, went to bed, woken up and thought OH SHIT WHY DID I DO THAT D:

This is where it starts to break down for me. Because it seems to abrogate responsibility for THINKING AHEAD. Maybe learning some self control in various social settings. I used to say that email was great because you had time to reread what you said, but it seems on LJ the nature of the response is so fast and if you don't reply in OMG15seconds you're-- I dunno? Defective? I just-- I can't get behind a mentality that says "well now I can blow off steam however I like" over "well maybe this isn't appropriate in any public setting and I might regret it later." Release vs restraint, etc.

Yes, but--I can see this. Posting in the heat of the moment often == disaster. I can't say I disagree with the point.

Point though. *g* Though granted, I post without thinking even under my lj name, so I can sympathize with the twitch when it happens.

(new comment b/c you replied while I was editing the old. Damn you!)

But, at least for me, giving up individuality to a group does, in fact, mean you take responsibility for asshattery that happens in the group. That's part of the trade you make for that freedom.

Yeah, that's kind of how I feel, you cannot pick and choose your consequences, and you cannot deny that unchecked (though yes there's a debate as to how unchecked it is) anon commenting can often go to The Bad Places. And because there are no NAMES the community is now the Name. You cannot choose to say that no one should get hurt feelings, that's completely ignoring fundamental facts of human nature, people's feelings get hurt and they often do not get hurt by the same things that hurt you. And there is no right criteria as to what can hurt you.

It all comes back to the idea that anon anythings happen because people are more than well aware that their behavior is hurtful, so they try and circumvent the consequences instead of the initial action because the latter is far more effort.

HEH I WAS FASTER! DEFECTIVE! DEFECTIVE!

Okay, done with that part.


It all comes back to the idea that anon anythings happen because people are more than well aware that their behavior is hurtful, so they try and circumvent the consequences instead of the initial action because the latter is far more effort.


I don't think that's the reason though; it's a side-effect. An inevitable side-effect, but I don't think anonymous forums form for that reason. They just unfortunately inevitably have that, no matter what.

People's grudges might last into forever, but they're not grudges against you and don't color further interaction.

Umm, except for the part where they are. If the only reason someone doesn't hate you is because you haven't owned up to the shitty thing you said about them? That doesn't mean you didn't say it. That doesn't mean you're "not the kind of person who does that." It just means you're a coward on top of being an asshole.

Yeah, this is a very, very huge hot button for me. I'm sick of people trying to make their poor impulse control my problem.

Yeah, this is a very, very huge hot button for me. I'm sick of people trying to make their poor impulse control my problem.

Yeah that's basically what I said above, it's harder to learn to school your behavior (and less fun!) so people decide to try and abrogate responsibility. This doesn't make you a better person, it just makes you-- I dunno. Less like someone I really want to get to know.

Here are my thoughts on yaoi, haha!

I've never gone anon bar a couple of times over at Journal fen as I don't have an account, because I'm more the type that will run people down in the street and go 'here are my thoughts, let me show you them' whether they're going to be popular or not. HOWEVER, I realise that I'm lucky that I feel that I have that freedom where other people may not because of the political climate that exists in their neck of the net, and also because different people have different ways of being able to (or not) express themselves.

Basically anon can take away any 'punishment' that might be metted out by a peer group or any social anxiety - this can be bad if it's the only thing stopping a person going on a rampage of anti-social asshatery, but it can be good because it can allow people to express themselves without that self-censorship due to 1001 reasons.

I don't think anon is good or bad in and off itself, it's just another tool of the net and just depends on how people use it.

I like thoughts on yaoi!

Basically anon can take away any 'punishment' that might be metted out by a peer group or any social anxiety - this can be bad if it's the only thing stopping a person going on a rampage of anti-social asshatery, but it can be good because it can allow people to express themselves without that self-censorship due to 1001 reasons.

Yes. Exactly. And honestly, people who have a predisposition to go on rampages tend to signal it pretty well when not anonymous.

I don't think anon is good or bad in and off itself, it's just another tool of the net and just depends on how people use it.

Pretty much. *blows out breath* Took me *two days* to think about it rationally and not knee-jerk.


I just...can't stop laughing my ass off at all of the bandfleshers who are so hurt and offended at the idea that there are people on the internet that don't like them.

It's the CRY MOAR Principle, right here, in front of my very eyes!

HI! REMEMBER WHEN I BOUGHT YOU AND MR GN MARGARITAS? I WANT TO AGAIN.

Also, ugggghhhhh on eighteen million levels. /o\

Hey, I just wanted to say thanks! For not going with your gut instinct, and for making an effort to understand where we're coming from. It's not a consideration I necessarily expected, because I know the appeal of anonymity (beyond senseless bashing) can be confusing, and it's a lot easier to just condemn it all outright. So thank you.

*bites lip* I hated hate-memes too much to trust myself on this one without spending time actually reading it and getting the feel of the community. With the hate concept removed, it's a *lot* easier to see what it is, which is basically any group of fans, just with a serious level of ADHD going on and some great macros and no names and about the same level of griping about individual fans that I find on my flist or f-w. Not so scary or weird.

Fandom adapts. *g* For me, it's just hard to get past the early introductions to anonymous memes, so the knee-jerk has to be, you know, un-jerked. Jesus, it's late, I am not eloquent. All anon go with God while I marvel at the snippets of bands I do not recognize yet suddenly feel a pressing worry about their relationships.

I'm actually finding the whole bandflesh thing very fascinating from an armchair-anthropologist perspective, because while I vaguely knew about love/hate memes, I had never even heard of anon comms before. It's completely fascinating to me -- the phenomenon, the description of how the anon comms work -- and also very alien; I don't think it's something I'd ever do, not because I have a philosophical problem with it, but because it just doesn't interest me to interact with people that way. Which is not meant as a bash against those who *do* enjoy that kind of interaction -- I find that the descriptions of how it works, and the benefits of interacting in a community that values anonymity as a virtue, make perfect sense to me. It just isn't something I'd do. Just like I'm more comfortable with a few friends than a crowd, I'm more comfortable interacting online with a group of people that I know, and getting to know them better, as individuals. That's what I get out of it. The idea of interacting with people and never knowing who I'm talking to at any given moment is disconcerting and not very appealing. I think this is why I've never participated in anonymous memes, either, even the positive ones. Having someone that I know tell me that they like me and my work -- that's awesome. Having a stranger do it ... it's nice, but I guess (and I never realized this before) that I see it as a stepping stone to getting to know them. I like to check out the journals of people who comment on my fic, for example. Just having a random stranger tell me they think I'm cool with no name attached to it -- it doesn't really mean much more to me, on an emotional level, than running a random compliment generator.

*nods* I can see the appeal of being able to say things you can't or won't, especially if fandom's going the opposite direction. For me, though, it's also knowing myself well enough to know that one of the few defenses I have against posting rants of rage is that my names is attached to them and the knowledge I will *regret that crap* in less than 24 hours. Plus--and I learned this the hard way--I can escalate myself with very little encouragement. I mean, say John Sheppard and characterization in the same sentence...I can kinda get stroppy.

Unedited and without a name, I have a bad feeling I'd enter my own universe of crazy wankiness and really hate myself when I came down from it and realized I'd hurt someone I liked. *sighs*

New thought!

I have a feeling that what's anonymous doesn't necessarily stay anonymous, insofar in terms of groups of people and injokes. While they may not know who is saying what, odds are some of a group of anon know that the others at least read, if not participate. I posit (and omg I need to stop with the big words) that there are consequences of large group anons that often translate into "I'm not feeling so close to that group of people anymore" which yeah is vague and not always so, but I think belonging to a community like that will create other social bonds, some of which might seem -- I'm not really sure what to call it really, to people not on the inside of said group.

Which I guess is, you know, life, so I'm not really saying it's bad when that happens, I just think it's another way to say "it helps the group as a whole" or "this way you move on and no one gets hurt" or something like that, isn't necessarily true.

But on bandflesh, no matter how dumb you are, there's always the chance for forgiveness, because you're anon. People's grudges might last into forever, but they're not grudges against you and don't color further interaction.

This really gets to the heart of why these types of memes are so popular -- I can be as big of asshole as I like, and no one will judge me for it, which makes me blameless! It's the Nelson defense... it's a victimless crime! Like punching people in the dark!

The anon meme defense seems to boil down to "But I don't want people to think badly of me for saying and doing vicious things, so it's easier to say and do vicious things when no one knows I'm the one saying them!" This is hardly a surprising stance, but it's more than a little bizarre to see so many people trying so hard to claim it's the virtuous one.

It's not that I don't understand why people enjoy anonymity beyond just hating, and obviously both bandflesh and lol_meme have a whole lot more than just anonymous hate. But in the end, there's still a lot of anonymous hate, it's still cheap and cowardly, and it still gets presented as a positive aspect of the comms, as a reason why they're such a great place for people who want to attack others but don't anyone to hold them accountable for it. And I have difficulty feeling a lot of warm fuzzies towards any comm that considers that a selling point.

Edited at 2008-06-11 10:53 pm (UTC)

I do not know why anyone would think that no one can tell who has made an anonymous comment. Of *course* people can tell. We're all at least going to try and guess, and decide in our own heads who we think the anonymouse is, and base future opinions of that person on what we believe that person was willing to say when they didn't think anyone knew who they were.

Come on.

Plus, my experience of anonymous communities/memes is similar to my experience of vent/rant/wank poking communities, which is basically that if there is potential for it to go horribly, horribly wrong, it will. Often and loudly, and attract every shrieking hyena and bully in whatever subculture it belongs to.

I have not been wrong yet.

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