Nastiness is an earmark of many bloggers, podcasters, and members of
the herd; a few insane people; and those who feel that being an
out-and-out mean and profane presence on the Internet is cool or funny.
The level of nastiness that floats around the Net in various forms,
forums, and Web sites is incredible. When O'Reilly first proposed his
rules of the road for bloggers, I thought it was silly at worst and
wishful thinking at best. Nothing would come of it except a debate and
various columns like this one and the one from Tennant. The thinking is
that once all this is brought to light, maybe people will rethink the
way they act online.—next: It's Hopeless >
It's hopeless. Nothing will come of it. After the Kathy Sierra thing
blows over, the meanness will continue unabated, with all sorts of
dispossessed and borderline psychopaths blowing off steam online in one
way or another—usually by calling people names or being hypercritical.
This seems to be a reflection more of society as a whole than of the
psychological problems of a few individuals. There are too many people
who go online searching for validation of their life choices. Anytime
they run across anything that questions or counters their decisions,
they see it as a personal attack, and they'll often strike back,
attacking the perceived "enemy" in a personal manner. It all seems so
ridiculous, since these people likely don't know each other at all.......But no matter, the whole thing is hopeless. Let's just go back to work.