rant on online backstabbing

this is a rant. i don’t know how to properly phrase or describe this, or even if this is a wise thing to do since it’s probably NOMFB, but i thought to bring the topic out for discussion, and hope someone wiser will comment on this.

i do not use and am not entirely sure why livejournals seem to be so popular. i am relatively new here and do not know the people or the politics here. in RL, backstabbing happens. so perhaps it’s not as surprising that on the internet, backstabbing happens too. however, i feel the internet equivalent of those dark words whispered among cliques behind people’s back would be ICQ or some such; but, livejournal?! that is like a spurned lover stapling her juiced underwear on the neighbourhood cafe’s bulletin board, where he knows she is unlikely to visit!

if you feel like !@#% someone, please have the common decency to do it in the pit, which seemed to be made for just such a purpose. if you feel you'll be @#%^ for pitting the person on the board itself and will rather do so somewhere else then please do have the simple courtesy to link or inform the person involved. but no, because then it wouldn’t be #$%^& backstabbing would it? :mad:

if this is a non sequitor, whoosh, have been done or just plain lame, excuse me, but i needed the rant. i feel better now.

It seems to me that you’re basically empathizing with a person who is being back-stabbed in a particularly cowardly way, by people who are sort of hiding behind a bush while shouting insults in a disguised voice. My only advice is don’t be afraid of a coward. He’s like a late-evening shadow: appearing to be big and ominous, while in reality crouching low and covering his face.

I guess you need to decide whether this is one of those intellectual exercizes — something like a Pascal’s Wager — or whether you genuinely believe from your heart that the back-stabbing is wrong. If you’re not sure, what you do from here on out will let you know which is the case.

What Libertarian said.

In addition, tho, I don’t really think that LiveJournal is really like a notice board in the way you say. Sure anyone could read someones LJ but normally people read journals of friends and associates rather than random ones. So it’s more like airing the underwear (to continue your analogy) at a friendly lunch in a restaurant where other people might see.

But frankly, they’re not really going to care.

Sometimes people need to vent, get things off their chest, etc, etc, in these cases it’s perhaps better that they air these emotions somewhere the target (?) doesn’t find out in order to preserve a friendship.

Having said that I’ve no idea if there’s a specific case you’re thinking of so I’m just rambling.

The internet is just an extension of life (but with more sex) and as such people inclinded to backstabbing in real life will do so on the internet. This has the advantages of making the backstabbers charactor plain to everyone with 'net access and they can make their own choices.

I think I’ll stop while I’m still making some sense.


From my limited experience, most people using livejournal and other such site have NO idea how easy it is for someone to find them if they try. I’m not advocating cyberstalking, but unless you actively try to cover your tracks and anonymize EVERYTHING, it’s exceptionally easy to stumble across things, and even easier to find someone’s journal if you know it exists. I’ve found all sorts of disturbing things by following links and browsing friends of friends of friends.

Bottom line: If you don’t want someone to know something, son’t put it on the internet, duh.

Please out it, shijinn. Put the LJ link in your online profile and we’ll see if’n we can’t work up something nice ‘n’ Pitty.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to pit someone who can’t defend themself.

World Eater: I guess I misunderstood. I thought shijinn was saying some Dopers are circumventing the Pit and besmirching another Doper (sub rosa) on a LiveJournal.

even if they are, I’m not certain that it’s a good idea to bring a gripe (about other dopers) from elsewhere here.

IIRC this is frowned about around here. We have a few crossboard flame wars around here, it just ain’t worth it.

Of course I may have misunderstood it myself, Mr. B. :slight_smile:

wring and World Eater, you’re both right, of course. It’s gotten fractious enough around here as it is.

To quote Libertarian quoting scripture, character will out.

my OP wasn’t directed at anyone in particular.

maybe i should explain, since i wouldn’t be mentioning anything that hasn’t been pointed out anyway. the origin of my rant is rather accidental actually. i was about to post in the letter game when i saw UncleBeer’s notes. i was curious of course, so i followed his link, and found the explanation on livejournal. here i suppose the pertaining ‘sabotage posts’ was innocuous enough by itself, until i read the backstory that is. in any case, i followed the thread to the home page which seemed to be the public community page for sdmb users on livejournal and browsing through, found at least 3 entries right there on the front page bitching about other posters etc etc. i was surprised and i reacted as such, perhaps i over-reacted, perhaps not.

i don’t understand what you mean… ^^’ if my analogy is apt then i think it is backstabbing. no?

What I mean is, if you’re not sure now of your motivation — whether it is merely intellectual or fully epistemic — you will be sure soon.

If your motivation is intellectual, then this rant is the end of it. But if it is epistemic, then your convictions will compel you to defend the one whom you perceive as attacked.

That’s why I mentioned Pascal’s Wager. An intellectual belief is shallow, something that is synthetic and derived from something else. But an epistemic belief is a part of your person, something that you know a priori.

When a person believes merely with her brain, she offers her opinion. But when she believes with her heart, she offers her self.

shijinn: You are right that this sort of thing happens in real life, but I believe it happens to an even greater extent on the Internet. If you take any group of people, naturally prone (as we all are) to succumbing to a mob mentality when things get ugly, and add relative anonymity to the mix, it can only magnify whatever negative tendencies already exist. It’s been my experience that without accountability, a typical human will be far more inclined to act upon his less admirable impulses, and the result is often what you’ve seen in the Live Journal SDMB community. It is hurtful, but it’s also a fair depiction of typical human nature and behavior under those circumstances.

What you perceived as backstabbing was nothing more sinister than the interactions that occur daily within families once they are home from the world of rules, demands and often-unreasonable expectations. Perhaps it would have been wiser for them to express their discontent in a more private venue, but then maybe they wanted their outrage to be seen by those at whom their anger was directed. It doesn’t matter. They have free will and freedom of expression (as long as they stay within the rules of whatever forum they are in).

If you’re not yet completely disillusioned by what you’ve read on the Live Journal site, you might also want to click on the “friends” link of the main community page. I think you’ll see a more comprehensive and balanced representation of what people from the boards talk about in a more relaxed, less restricted, setting. For the most part, they are just people being people. They have good days and bad days, they bitch about trivial things, mourn devastating losses, tease and nag each other, support each other, tell silly jokes, engage in a lot of polls, memes and quizzes, and basically provide their online friends with a glimpse into their daily lives apart from their participation on these boards. It’s not always pretty, but that’s life.

You’ve already had excellent insight and input from those who have responded here, but could I add my own suggestion? If you found this recent experience truly damaging, perhaps it might help you to do what I try to do when I’m on the message boards: Trust no one, take nothing at face value, and don’t reveal more than you would to a stranger in the real world. And remember, there’s always the “Ignore” option. This won’t necessarily make your time online a happy experience, but at least you’ll be less vulnerable to disappointment, betrayal and hurt feelings.

thanks Second Guest, that was a very sane thing to say to a knee jerk rant. Libertarian is correct, i’m not personally involved in this at all so this rant is it. i’m still trying to understand why this irks me. i guess one of the reasons why i like this place is the anonymous accountability (however limited). we get to keep our private life to ourselves while we are accountable for what we post here. don’t think i would have bothered had it been on someone’s journal instead of community/sdmb. think i spend way too much time here…