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 Post subject: Expose Yourself
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:10 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:21 am
Posts: 5213
Location: Santa Monica
There's an article in the Week in Review section of the Times today about the internet which brings up this point:

As a Web 2.0 site or a blog becomes more popular, a growing percentage of its reader contributions devolve into vitriol, backstabbing and name-calling (not to mention Neanderthal spelling and grammar). Participants address each other as “idiot” and “moron” (and worse) the way correspondents of old might have used “sir” or “madam.”

The New Nastiness may be no different from the incivility people can show each other in everyday life. It may be inspired by the political insultfests on TV and radio. Or it may be that anonymity online removes whatever self-control they might have exhibited when confronting their subjects in person.


Although this problem is kept in check by the excellent and diligent work of the mods, I found the following to be interesting given the recent posts by Ed highlighting the site's popularity:

Internet veterans scoff at the notion that there’s any increase in hostility online. They point to similar “flame wars” dating back to the earliest days of the Internet, even before there was a Web.

Instead, these observers note that rudeness increases disproportionately with a site’s popularity. That is, the decline of comment quality on YouTube doesn’t reflect a decline on the Internet in general, only of YouTube’s wider appeal.


This is a phenomenum any of us who have been here long enough has witnessed. Every thing runs smoothly, then a new wave of posters appear and the mods need to crack down until the new wave learns what this site is all about and what makes it different from others. But the Times offers an interesting solution, which it immediately dismisses:

Requiring commenters to use their real names might work to add some civility, but such a radical change might drive away a big chunk of the audience. It’s more likely that the citizens of the Internet will simply learn to accept the poison on the comment boards as an unfortunate side effect of free speech online, much the way they grumblingly tolerate spam in their e-mail in-box.

I don't like the idea of grumbingly accepting anything, and it is the policy here that we don't have to do that. But it makes me wonder if my policy of appearing here under my true name isn't the best policy. When you fully accept that the mods are actually your friends who you talk to each day, it's easier to pay attention to the rules because why give Chinabox a hard time. Now actually, for most of us, the way we think about that is actually why give Zach a hard time, and when you make that jump to Zach, not China, it's even cemented firmer. Or perhaps in our mind it is the same, and once you make the committment that Mangey is a real person, it's more difficult to misbehave in a way.

We also do this weird thing of referring to the real person as his first screen name, even if he's changed it. For instance, when someone wants to get personal with Anonimo these days, they will often write "Now look, Ralf..." In a certain way, I think we seek honest and direct communication with other posters, especially since this site asks us to talk to each other in a way that is more natural than the blowhard, hardass way which anonymity invites us to speak on some sites. So since we already strive to be civil, why not go all the way?

Take off your masks, grab those NYFS bags off your heads, and show me who you really are. Don't worry, my middle name is Alvin, it doesn't come any worse than that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:07 am 
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All Star

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:46 am
Posts: 2170
My name's Tom. So now when someone wants to get serious with me they can post "Now Tom, why did you say...." That'll make it more personal.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:32 am 
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Legend of NYFS

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:53 am
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metfan13 wrote:
My name's Tom. So now when someone wants to get serious with me they can post "Now Tom, why did you say...." That'll make it more personal.


Is there room for two Tom's on this forum?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:38 am 
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NYFS Staff

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:12 pm
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Location: Boston
georgenyc wrote:
metfan13 wrote:
My name's Tom. So now when someone wants to get serious with me they can post "Now Tom, why did you say...." That'll make it more personal.


Is there room for two Tom's on this forum?


The other one is MIA, so...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 10:41 am 
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NYFS Staff

Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:55 pm
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Location: and Changing Speeds
I believe that the lack of being able to make stereotypical presumptions about people because you don't know who they are how old they are what color they are what gender they are how tall they are how fat they are etc., etc., is one of the best things about the Internet.

I think people act like pinheads because they're allowed to and there's no sense of community to provide a standard of acceptable behavior.

I think despite annectdotal evidence to the contrary people are basically good, smart, decent, and noble, or at least deserve the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise.

I'd rather accidently assume pinheads were good decent and noble repeatedly, than one time accidently treat a good, decent, and noble person like a pinhead.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:26 am 
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Manager

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:15 am
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Location: Miami University
I don't think anyone really acts like an idiot around here, sure people have minor quarrels but it's not like on other websites. Some people are just confrontational by nature wether it be on the computer or in the real world.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:31 am
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First Name: NC

Middle Name: Met

Last Name: Fan

So now you know, pinheads!

8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:56 am 
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Prospect

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:16 pm
Posts: 187
I think Doug makes an excellent point.

However, being that it is the Internet, people will act like tools regardless of whether they use their real name or not. I've learned to walk away from message board bullies, and try not to be one anymore, either.

Except when I'm right, of course. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:18 pm
Posts: 3160
Location: Hutchinson Island FL
My real name is........


Jarrell

I've never been scared. 8)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:21 pm 
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Legend of NYFS

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:53 am
Posts: 12818
My real name is George. And if you believe that I have another one to tell ya...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:03 pm
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