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Author Topic: A Thread About Terrible Internet  (Read 6385 times)

KvP

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A Thread About Terrible Internet
« on: 04 Mar 2011, 01:06 »

So, you know we had that Board Theory thread awhile back, and I've got one that's been repeatedly validated on every forum I've ever been on. It's basically this - a forum is created for a specific purpose. To talk about a band, to talk about a game company, to talk about a webcomic. People join the forums to discuss those things, initially.

But some people's tastes change and they might go from the type of person who would join an online community over their enthusiasm for a single artist, to the type of person who either doesn't care enough about the single artist to justify time put into the forum or doesn't care at all. And one of two things happens - Either they leave, or they band together with like-minded people and self-segregate from the "purely" dedicated fans. And that's where forums like this one, which is tangentially related to QC but only sort of really, come from. But that element of pure, enthusiastic fandom never really goes away. In almost all cases the breakaway group tends to be put off by the sorts of people who don't just join the forum to make a few posts in a Q&A or express their appreciation, but stick around for years. Artists (especially musicians) will tend to attract stalker-level interest from fans, or people who will unselfconsciously post or say things that are outlandish or creepy.

A lot of times it doesn't feel exactly right to mock such people. I imagine for most of us our first few years of forum were marked by a stunning lack of knowledge about forum etiquette. A lot of us made total asses of ourselves before we grew up a little and found some acceptance. But there are cases that go beyond the pale. The Bioware Social forums are a good example of this. Once upon a time they were no different from your average gaming-focused forum - not particularly awful but given to circular, undying arguments and the occasional shipper (for those not down with the TV lingo, the "ship" in "shipper" stands for "relationship", as shippers are way too intensely caught up in the made up relations of made up characters). When EA bought out Bioware they condensed their site into what is now the Bioware Social site - a streamlined system that allows users to tie registrations of any Bioware game they own on any platform to their profile. For whatever reason, this change seemed to tip the balance of forum types decidedly in the shipper direction, and it's now famous for its extreme and volatile nature - there are roving bands of "factions" devoted to the obsessive fandom of a particular Bioware character (usually female) who is either romanceable already or whose availability for romance is demanded (the classic example is the "talimancer" group, who successfully lobbied Bioware to make the ultra-femenine, biosuit-clad alien fuckable in Mass Effect 2). The terrible fanfic and fanart is endless. There are (short-lived, due to mod interference) threads dedicated to petitioning Bioware to allow player characters to romance siblings. It goes on and on, and it's just as pervasive as I make it out to be. Threads reach dozens, hundreds, of pages.

It's actually really fascinating to me because I feel like it's part of some confirmation bias that a lot of people like myself seem to have about the average person on the internet - it's like how you can easily forget as an indie rock kid that most people have probably never had the opportunity to hear about Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene. Take a hard look at the internet as a whole and you'll find that people are usually casually bigoted, judgmental, proudly conservative. Class activity - check out the comments section of your local paper's website. More than likely, you will be revolted. You need to do stuff like this once in awhile, else you lose sight completely of the fact that a lot of people will vote Republican, and will hate you or your friends or your family for no real reason at all. It certainly keeps you from having a disposition that's too sunny.

So it's sort of a window into an apparently sizable portion of society we often think of as marginal. There are questions to be asked, of course. Foremost among them is whether the internet isn't just a big echo chamber. Maybe the same thing that makes you think normal people are reasonable is what makes repugnant idiocy seem so prominent. Maybe the majority of Bioware fans aren't creepy shut-ins, and it's just this minority of rabid weirdos who are running the forum show.

Maybe you can tell me about the dark corners of the internet you've encountered. Maybe you'd like to make this thread about Charlie Sheen or that anti-semitic Dior guy or what a massive douche Shia Lebouf is. I don't know, just make it entertaining.

I was ultimately spurred to make this thread because I didn't want to muck up the immaculate Dragon Age 2 thread. I lurk in the Bioboards on occasion, out of morbid curiosity for the sideshow-quality posters that seem to fit in quite well. Perhaps the oddest thing about the Bioboards is the love/hate relationship the developers have with the shipper hivemind, the only entity that seems interested in or capable of engaging in dialog with them. Exchanges are often snotty on the fan side and passive-aggressive on the dev side. A lot of times they will participate in the speculation and fanfic-building. I'm not sure how much you should expect a developer or artist to castigate their fanbase, but I don't think this is the way to do it. There's been a lot of argument about Bioware emphasizing romances more and more because of the forums, but I'm not sure there's truth to that.



Here is the DA2 thread post and the stuff dredged from the Bioboards to illustrate what a shithole it is.

Quote
God help me do I ever want to see that chart (of fan speculation over the taste of various Mass Effect characters' sweat). Wowza
I couldn't find it but here are some other things








(Just one of several thousand fanarts, many of which include mary sue characters the "artist" made in-game)





Some of the signature .gifs for the various Bioboard fan factions.











Sort of similar is the recent Gawker Media redesign, which is meant to better facilitate video advertising, but the change in format and the malfunction of the commenting system during the transition has caused a mass exodus of long-time readers and commenters, and early reports suggested it was seriously hurting Gawker's pageview count, but more recent metrics seem to suggest it wasn't that bad.

I'm sure there are other examples I'm not thinking of. I remember being part of a Nine Inch Nails board and hearing about people who would road trip out to New Orleans to just stand outside Trent Reznor's house for awhile. People do that sometimes.
« Last Edit: 04 Mar 2011, 01:09 by KvP »
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #1 on: 04 Mar 2011, 01:37 »

I really wish that the word "smexy" would catch afire and fall into a ditch filled with gasoline.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #2 on: 04 Mar 2011, 02:07 »

Occasionally I read http://www.mybiggestregretever.com/.
This end of the Internet is full of horrible things - 12 year olds regretting getting drunk and losing their virginity, for example.

Here are some examples.

Quote
My biggest regret ever is not sniffing Anne Hathaway.  She was standing only 10 feet away from me.  I should have run up to her and sniffed her.  It would have been pure bliss.  She is a beauty and I know she smells like heaven on Earth.  What I would do to sample her forbidden juices.

Male, 30

Quote
My biggest regret ever is letting my aunt give me head.  She was going through a divorce and was emotionally unstable and was telling me about how lonely she’s been.  My aunt is stacked but I never saw her that way.  I was at her house, my cousin was at basketball practice, so we were just hanging in the living room.  She grabbed my cock and asked me if she could see it.  Before I knew it it was in her mouth and I didn’t stop it.  I regret it because I think my cousin knows and now he hates me.

Male, 22

Quote
My biggest regret ever is not having sex with my friend.  At the time I was bi-curious, so was he.  I regret never asking him if I could suck his dick.  He’s “out of the closet” now.  I regret not doing anything.

Male, 13

Quote
My biggest regret ever is jacking off with a banana peel.  My guy friends said that it felt so good to jack off with a banana peel, but I just ended up getting an infection in my penis.  It took weeks to go away.  I will never forget that pain.

Male, 17


Quote
My biggest regret ever is sending someone a video me masturbating a a few years ago.  I wasn’t just masturbating, I was masturbating with the handle of a Swiffer Sweeper.  It got sent to everyone in the area, in and out of my high school.

Female, 18
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #3 on: 04 Mar 2011, 02:47 »

BIOWARE: O.K., I'll admit that I wanted a homosexual romance plot with Alistair in DA:O (it makes sense, narratively) but I'm constantly amazed by what gets posted on the bioboards.

GAWKER: Admiral Awesome, Deadly Force Instructor and the other sorta kinda trolls are amazing in their willful stupidity and it's a shame they stuck around even after the re-design. There are still some posts that really make me laugh or think but they're few and far between now because of the re-design and the destructive effect it's had on the commenting community. I have big hopes for crasstalk.

SMEXY: "schmexy" is a much greater horror.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #4 on: 04 Mar 2011, 03:16 »

the horror...
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #5 on: 04 Mar 2011, 05:51 »

Schemechsae
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #6 on: 04 Mar 2011, 09:06 »

re: the gawker redesign: don't you people use google reader
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #7 on: 04 Mar 2011, 10:50 »

google what?

Why do they keep making new things, It confuses and frightens me!
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #8 on: 04 Mar 2011, 10:52 »

Class activity - check out the comments section of your local paper's website. More than likely, you will be revolted. You need to do stuff like this once in awhile, else you lose sight completely of the fact that a lot of people will vote Republican, and will hate you or your friends or your family for no real reason at all. It certainly keeps you from having a disposition that's too sunny.

Back in '03 my li'l hometown newspaper still had a forum. That's because frankly, they had no idea what they were really doing yet as far as the internet goes and it devolved quickly into a largely unmoderated cesspool of paleoconservative anti-Mexican ranting. Meanwhile, the senior editor often wrote regular attacks on atheism, young people in general and especially secular Europe-- although at least he had the decency to separate his opinion from that of the paper's. If I had to single one out as more annoying, I suspect I'd go with the latter, even though in a vacuum his attacks were generally less repulsive. That's because, unfortunately, I worked there as a pressman at the time. So roughly twice a month I'd be on my break and would thumb through the paper to find out that I had just printed off another few thousand copies of a prosaic, inaccurate and borderline offensive attack on people that I strongly identify with.

So, yeah, that job wasn't fun, but as KvP pointed out, it's probably for the best that people inoculate themselves from the idea that society naturally will improve by virtue of sheer inertia. Life will likely never be that easy.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #9 on: 04 Mar 2011, 19:10 »

Occasionally I make the mistake of reading the comments on a new site like smh or news.com.au and instantly remember why I use AdBlock element hider to get rid of them asap.  When I was messing about with Safari I found a great plugin called "SHUT UP" that hides the comments on a bunch of sites, Aus news sites included.  It was bliss.  I really should look for something similar for Firefox.

Sometimes it seems like there are people who think that they are becoming some sort of internet celebrity by making inflammatory remarks on news site comments.  I see the same names over and over and some people who will tell the person off or make a comment that makes me think that they are all regulars on the site.  Who the hell is sad enough to be a regular commenter on a mainstream news site?

Also, one last thing.  I really think that at some stage forums like this are going to become obsolete.  Twitter is the first step, but at some point surely there's going to be something like it that is more of a protocol than a centralised service.  Imagine if the comments sections of all websites, webcomics, blogs, etc were basically just like twitter feeds, or say, News.com.au's comments was one feed and each story had it's own sub-category feed.  Hashtag searchable, can subscribe to certain ones.  I'm not explaining it overly well, but I'm envisioning a kind of distributed comments/forum threads/conversation system where you subscribe to individual topics, and some are public, others private.  Websites won't need to have their own forum as such, they'd just have their own info feed that the author(s) update & people can respond to that.  Each comic would have a hashtag that people could comment on, that sort of thing.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #10 on: 04 Mar 2011, 19:29 »

What a terrifying world that would be


Also I find it funny that the My Biggest Regret site seems to be mostly young people.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #11 on: 04 Mar 2011, 21:36 »

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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #12 on: 04 Mar 2011, 22:06 »

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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #13 on: 04 Mar 2011, 22:07 »

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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #14 on: 04 Mar 2011, 22:12 »

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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #15 on: 04 Mar 2011, 23:09 »







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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #16 on: 04 Mar 2011, 23:24 »

What a terrifying world that would be


Also I find it funny that the My Biggest Regret site seems to be mostly young people.
You can just imagine them having a new Biggest Regret pretty much each day.

"THIS was my biggest regret. No, wait, now THIS is my biggest regret. Hold on, THIS is..."
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #17 on: 05 Mar 2011, 03:39 »

News site comments have one potentially useful purpose. Trace the IP#s so that come the revolution, we know exactly who to put up against the wall first.

To me, another interesting phenomenon was my experience with LiveJournal a few years ago. I mostly lurked and posted on friends' blogs rather than keeping my own, which led to viewing a larger circle of mostly aspiring writers. At first it was all a pretty good mix of different posts, both good and bad in peoples' lives, and also progress reports on writing projects, story/novel submissions to various publications/publishers/agents.

Over time what happened, though, was that bad news generally got more responses of sympathy than good news got responses of shared happiness. This response pattern acted as a very powerful incentive that essentially trained everybody to bitch and moan in order to garner supportive replies. When you combine this with the fact that most writers and most works are going to get repeatedly rejected before any successes, and we really had a formula for disaster.

Somebody would post that their story had been rejected yet again, and the chorus of sympathy would start. "Oh drat, better luck next time!" "I really liked that story, I'm surprised the editor didn't like it." "The editor is blind, I don't know how they could reject it!" "He probably didn't have room because he was buying stuff from his friends..." Each person had to outdo the last in "understanding" the situation, and as time went on, the explanations and conspiracy theories of how everything is stacked against "pre-published" authors and it's all cronyism, blah blah blah. Everybody stopped looking inward to try to improve because it was now all somebody else's fault they weren't successful.

This bled over into personal matters as well. The ones who got the most attention were the ones who were always describing the smallest setback as "living in hell" and gathering a coterie of followers who would offer a shoulder to cry on. I have to admit, that while I wasn't a frequent poster, I also offered my sympathy some of the time and I was generally blind to these trends and didn't notice how bad it had become. Until one particular incident.

Me and a couple of friends sold stories to a fairly high-profile anthology. Out of 950 submissions, 19 made it. We posted about our news, and each received a small smattering of congratulations. But then somebody who had been rejected by this editor posted that seeing all the congrats on her feed was depressing her.

There was an absolute FLOOD of responses. One of the people who had replied to me apologized to her for being so insensitive. Lot's of posts about how wrong it was to rub salt in her wounds like that. Meanwhile, on the blogs of the 3 of us who sold, crickets chirping.

I realized then that everybody in that community were mutually supporting each other to oblivion. It was no longer about writing, or learning the craft and getting better at it. It was about being seen as a writer to other people who wanted to be seen as writers. Far more effort and energy was going into thousands of words of blog posting than ever reached the pages of their manuscript. I quietly abandoned my blog then deleted it.

I may not have had much success since that sale, but I know that it's mostly my own fault and my responsibility. And since then, I've tried hard to surround myself with friends who have a positive attitude and at least try to strive for more rather than those who let life pass them by while blaming outside forces for their unhappiness. It's not that life doesn't have times that suck when we need a sympathetic ear. It's what we do once we've processed those setbacks and work out our next step.


tl;dr blog communities usually devolve into morasses of whining and negativity. Stay away.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #18 on: 05 Mar 2011, 03:45 »

Oh I hear that. I was only able to recently break free of a gaming community I was a part of - I had convinced myself over time that there were "good" gaming boards and "bad" gaming boards, but the fact of the matter was that if you had people registering to talk about games, you were going to get a pretty nightmarish board. After the 9,000th thread going back and forth over the immorality of DRM / the virtue of piracy, I had suffered enough. Now the trick is to keep up with news without interacting with the forums - oftentimes news will break about my favorite developers weeks or months prior to it going public.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #19 on: 05 Mar 2011, 07:48 »

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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #20 on: 05 Mar 2011, 08:07 »

After messing around on internet forums for nearly 10 years I kind of cooled off on them. I used to be a lot more active on several boards, including this one, but I've realised that the freefall of clashing opinion and stuck in the mud, reactionary opinion really just annoys me too much to be bothered with. Since then I've been happy just to dip into forums now and again. Some boards I'm a member at - for tv shows or books or games or whatever - I only use to check out any breaking news on stuff I like.

I think that because it's the internet people are generally not themselves. People build internet characters and unfortunately these characters tend to be know-it-all, holier-than-thou, more-hip-than-thou, head in the clouds stuck up idiots who find it far too easy to get riled into an argument so they can speak as if they are an expert on all things. Hence internet forums CAN, quite often, turn cock-waving competitions between the imaginary selves of a lot of shy inexperienced, deluded men-children.

But that's just my opinion, I'm not expert on all things.

Amazingly this board has managed (bar a few short periods of near disaster when everyone got a bit too pleased with themselves) to stay fairly cool and self-possesed. I don't know if that's luck or what, but I tend to think that posters here tend to keep everyone else fairly sensible. If anyone gets a bit too power-hungry or up-themselves there is always someone on hand to say "Hey - get a grip, it's the fucking internet. Wise up!" Which I like! Hence I still dip in here and get involved every now and then when nearly every other forum I'm in I occasionally read but NEVER post in.

It's the same with nearly every place on the internet where you can place an opinion, because it's anonymous people just refuse to acceot other opinions. I think it's a problem on the whole internet, not just forums, or news sites or anything. The distance between the person writng and the people reading is quite often so great that the person writing can just be as much of a dick as they like and not care.

I hope this post made sense.
« Last Edit: 05 Mar 2011, 08:11 by Hairy Joe Bob »
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #21 on: 05 Mar 2011, 08:34 »

To my mind, people generally behave a little less rationally, a little less sensibly and with too much self-belief on the internet.

Not that I mind much, if people want to behave like that, let them. We have real life and other areas to be boring, normal and diplomatic in. And if you want to have a decent civil conversation its easy enough to do so with friends or with some areas of the internet. All this moralising about people being a little odd (and yes I do regard the whole justin Bieber and weird elf stuff only as a "little odd") just seems conterintuitive and more than a little daft. Mainly because the inevitable "stop oppressing me" idea comes out in force, and because its not actually hurting anyone.

I dunno, I just stopped caring so much about what other people are doing on the internet unless you have made a specific effort to become their friend. It just seems a bit voyeuristic to sit and crow at how "weird" other people are.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #22 on: 05 Mar 2011, 11:58 »

This thread has been really excellent for my self esteem kvp, thanks.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #23 on: 05 Mar 2011, 13:38 »

I aim to please.

Amazingly this board has managed (bar a few short periods of near disaster when everyone got a bit too pleased with themselves) to stay fairly cool and self-possesed. I don't know if that's luck or what, but I tend to think that posters here tend to keep everyone else fairly sensible. If anyone gets a bit too power-hungry or up-themselves there is always someone on hand to say "Hey - get a grip, it's the fucking internet. Wise up!" Which I like! Hence I still dip in here and get involved every now and then when nearly every other forum I'm in I occasionally read but NEVER post in.
I attribute a lot of it to the fact that many of us have gotten to know each other in what they used to call "meat life". Like, I've spent enough time around Tommy to know what he is actually like in person, and when he's taking the piss. It also helps you self-check - people know who you are, so when you're a jackass on the 'net it's not like you've got the veil of anonymity going for you. You will be judged.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #24 on: 05 Mar 2011, 14:53 »

The problem with that is that, to new people, you guys all have the same shared jokes, call backs and those other things that mark people out as "obvious pals IRL". Its why these area's tend to be very communal, but not exactly welcoming. Not a criticism, more just an observation.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #25 on: 06 Mar 2011, 05:37 »

When I was a kid, I used to have written correspondence with this curmudgeonly but warm-hearted recording engineer who you've probably heard of. I bought basically every record with his name on and still do. Eventually he opened a studio in Evanston, IL with some other Chicago based punk rockers and they've become one of the last bastions of analogue recording. Eventually the studio got a website and then a forum, which allowed people to ask the staff about recording music and also indulge in forum games. Eventually this forum became quite popular but attracted largely interesting, decent and entertaining people. Eventually everybody started to meet one another and it became an active and exciting international community of musicians, engineers and independent music fans. Through osmosis, probably about twenty or so of the people who post on this forum also have accounts on this other place and some are as active over there as they are here, which is great.

However, as with every forum there was a minor caveat in the shape of a difficult, seemingly manic conspiracy theorist who terrorised everybody for several years. He could turn everything into an argument about 9/11, the lurking shadow of Zionism, pseudo-economics and other quasi-Libertarian nonsense. This would have been okay in moderation but eventually he took to basically stalking other people on and offline. It was impossible to reason or debate with him anyhow because he was unable to consider the notion that he was anything less than omnipotent and omniscient. He would selectively quote other people and then drag insane conclusions from idle out of context comments. Occasionally you'd forget that he was out of his mind and try to discuss something but within moments you'd realise that he wasn't even reading his posts so much as building thousands of strawmen out of his own terrifying, paranoid worldview. Everybody tried to reach out to him on occasion, thinking that eventually he'd mellow, but it never happened. Finally he was banned as an act of mercy because the forum seemed to cause him considerable mental unrest.

Rather than let a mere ban break his stride, he initially created new satellite accounts to publish his insane screeds. When these were repeatedly banned also, he set up a separate blog from which he could continue to berate the denizens of the forum. Despite the fact that people have largely forgotten about his hysterical antics, he continues to read the forum from afar and posts lengthy responses there to this day. In a moment of weakness, me and another friend once had a competition to see who could appear on his blog more times. Eventually I won but also slightly irritated other people around the forum with my obvious baiting. He's still out there publishing his insane manifesto on a near daily basis and it wouldn't surprise me if he found this post and berated me about it somewhere, though I've tried to minimise that by not mentioning any names. You can read his blog here, though I wouldn't advise thinking too hard about his proclamations unless you have a tin-hat at the ready.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #26 on: 06 Mar 2011, 08:44 »

Oh God he's into the water fluoridation thing too. Not surprising in the least I guess, but it's always interesting to see just how comprehensively dude goes in for literally any conspiracy. It's getting to the point of parody.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #27 on: 06 Mar 2011, 08:59 »

I actually think he went past the point of parody into being kind of a sad figure due to how nuts he is and then back into parody, also known as The Full Sheen.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #28 on: 06 Mar 2011, 10:47 »

it was really sad reading i think zom-zom's comments on how he used to be legitimately cool
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #29 on: 06 Mar 2011, 11:26 »

I don't think I saw that. I know Faiz and Chris McGarvey met him and said he was fine in person. Everybody tried to bring him out his insane shell but it just never happened.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #30 on: 06 Mar 2011, 11:28 »

Maybe it's performance art.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #31 on: 06 Mar 2011, 12:09 »

Lady Gaga is performance art, this is batshit.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #32 on: 06 Mar 2011, 12:24 »

No, but saying Lady Gaga is performance art, is performance art

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« Last Edit: 06 Mar 2011, 12:51 by David_Dovey »
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #33 on: 06 Mar 2011, 12:47 »

I'd say so, either that or Bowie has somehow managed to split alvin stardust off from himself and it has possessed someone else.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #34 on: 06 Mar 2011, 12:58 »

It's sad, seeing unstable people go mad on the internet. A few weeks ago Khar was talking Meebo about a certain krautrock-era musician who has gone completely paranoid and whose inability to understand how the internet fundamentally works has clearly caused him no small amount of internal torment.

But yeah, conspiracy kids. When 7 or 8 years ago I took up residence on a Nine Inch Nails board, and when Year Zero, a concept album about a hodgepodge of Orwellian NWO / religious conspiracy theories (being turned into an HBO series soon, I hear), dropped we got flooded with those people. Nine Inch Nails fans are generally pretty unstable but it was even worse when you had conspiracy nutters who believed Trent Reznor was being earnest and prescient and speaking directly to them, and they invaded the news-and-discussion areas of the forum to talk about flouride and MJ12.

I'm also reminded of this dude who used to hang out on Gawker. The way the Gawker system works is that there are three tiers of commenter profiles - The starred, who are selected by the editors and writers of the site as being notable, the approved, who have been cleared by a starred commenter and whose comments, if good, can be "promoted" to featured status by said starred commenters, and the unapproved, who don't show up to third-party observers on the site until a starred commenter okays one of their comments. This usually keeps out the explicit trolls and crazies. But there was a guy who had a couple of accounts that he worked pretty hard on so that they got starred, and then he started making dozens (perhaps hundreds) of other accounts that he would use his starred accounts to approve, and he would have conversations with himself. Long conversations, in character as different people, whether praising or arguing or flaming (though his writing style never changed much, which is what tipped us off). We only figured it out when we got a writer to check the IPs. Before Gawker kind of imploded community-wise we made sport of sniffing out his many, many aliases. He must have spent dozens of hours a week building these elaborate simulacra.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #35 on: 06 Mar 2011, 13:03 »

If MJ12 is the year of Our Lord Michael Jackson's resurrection, then I don't want to be sane.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #36 on: 06 Mar 2011, 13:05 »

No no, the Majestic 12 are the twelve administrators of Area 51 who went rogue with alien technology and are now some sort of all-powerful shadow government.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #37 on: 06 Mar 2011, 13:11 »

They are also the "new" faction in the illumanti in Deus Ex.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #38 on: 06 Mar 2011, 13:55 »

I encourage all of you to check out the thread on the Bioboards dedicated to Dragon Age 2's elven virgin love interest.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #39 on: 06 Mar 2011, 13:57 »

They are also the "new" faction in the illumanti in Deus Ex.
Deus Ex was fun in how many disparate conspiracy theories it welded together. Turned out surprisingly well.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #40 on: 06 Mar 2011, 14:04 »

There was the: China takes over the world, the NWO, the illuminati, majestic 12, genetically engineered greys.

I think that was all of them.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #41 on: 06 Mar 2011, 14:33 »

There's a lot more. For example, the idea of the UN as a shadowy invasion force. Then there's the implication that the NSF were formed after the second amendment was repealed (they're a futuristic right wing militia basically), and the whole plot about the virus and the antidote whiffs enormously of conspiracy theories about AIDS, crack and flouridation.

Conspiracy theories make good fiction, which is probably why they are so compelling to some people.

As with regards to the german musician, I would love to talk about that, but I'm gonna request someone make a word filter for his name first because the dude has a google alert set up on his name and he will be down on this forum like a ton of twitching bricks if anyone says it. I don't particularly want to contribute to his victimisation complex any more.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #42 on: 06 Mar 2011, 14:34 »

Don't forget the stuff about the Knights Templar's secret gold and the use of AIs for global digital surveillance
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #43 on: 06 Mar 2011, 14:37 »

There's a lot more. For example, the idea of the UN as a shadowy invasion force. Then there's the implication that the NSF were formed after the second amendment was repealed (they're a futuristic right wing militia basically), and the whole plot about the virus and the antidote whiffs enormously of conspiracy theories about AIDS, crack and flouridation.

Conspiracy theories make good fiction, which is probably why they are so compelling to some people.

As with regards to the german musician, I would love to talk about that, but I'm gonna request someone make a word filter for his name first because the dude has a google alert set up on his name and he will be down on this forum like a ton of twitching bricks if anyone says it. I don't particularly want to contribute to his victimisation complex any more.

This is the guy you've made a few posts on yr blog about, yes? I love that guy.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #44 on: 06 Mar 2011, 14:39 »

An interesting approach to dealing with Internet trolls:  Dealing With Trolls.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #45 on: 06 Mar 2011, 15:04 »

Every time Deus Ex comes up it is extremely relevant to post these links:
1
2
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #46 on: 06 Mar 2011, 15:12 »

An interesting approach to dealing with Internet trolls:  Dealing With Trolls.

That seems to be teaching people how to counter-troll by being So Very Reasonable. I'm not sure if it's really worth the effort involved, but it's a good idea. I have a very bad track record when it comes to trolling. On a site I tended to frequent at one stage I was fairly infamous as a troll. It's amazing how easy it is to get people seriously pissed off with little effort. The cognitive therapy approach is good, but I think unless the majority of people use it, trolls will still receive the reinforcement that people are getting pissed off.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #47 on: 06 Mar 2011, 16:00 »

Oh I keep forgetting those. Sometimes I wish they'd make a better graphics remake of Deus Ex so that I could get it to actually work on my damn PC.

Anyway, one thing I do dislike is when moderators are so keen to proove their own intergrity about NOT banning people they disagree with turn it on its head and begin being ludicrously zealous in supporting their right to their opinions. Like banning people for criticising the person who says that 18th Century Europe was the highpoint of the Western World, or refusing to shut up the infantile fetishist when they bring it up in every discussion, relevent or not.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #48 on: 07 Mar 2011, 11:31 »

Trolls, all seek just the slightest bit of anger and then they think they have won, which they have. Some just leave it at that, some push it. A common argument on a forum is when a troll finds that one person with a lot of free time and a dictionary handy. The troll goes with a "lol noob fag lol" while the other responds by saying the person in real life must be desperate and pathetic and start spouting words that they probably have no idea what means. The Troll will continue with gay comments and some about one's mother while the other tries using more complex words to confuse the troll and get a rouse. It usually ends with quitting from either side or a slamming the keyboard match that usually gets the thread locked.
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Re: A Thread About Terrible Internet
« Reply #49 on: 07 Mar 2011, 11:40 »

I don't think I saw that. I know Faiz and Chris McGarvey met him and said he was fine in person. Everybody tried to bring him out his insane shell but it just never happened.

maybe it was mcgarvey, then? dunno. i just remember it being someone who was comparatively old guard
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