E-Balla wrote: Doctor MJ wrote:
Moving this from the 2020 season discussion.
I'm curious as to when you think the internet made the turn for 'toxic' or any big milestones there? I've never paid much attention outside of basketball stuff.
I do think you have the timeline reversed, the world already was a toxic place and the internet's caught up as it became more wide spread.
Well, I can't talk about it without talking about politics though, because the Trump movement is central to all of this.
If you're looking for a particular incident to focus on where smaller trolling culture becomes a systematic internet-based movement, I'd say Gamergate
Gamergate was really the depths of the internet coming into the light. The ending of Tumblr (migrating those users to Twitter) was also a problem.
Yup, it didn't come out of nowhere but if you're looking for an important moment, that's the touchstone people tend to point to.
I remember I used to go to Fark pretty regularly back in the 00s, and it was just amazing how mean some of the guys were toward women. Like you had this site that by and large was still silly, whimsical humor, but in the comment threads it was just brutal. At the time I didn't chalk up as a part of a rising current, it just made me leave the site, but now the overarching trend was clear.
I do think that the true brutality only came in with anonymous sites like 4chan. Once you had an anonymous community, people enjoying this trolling created an exceptionally potent feedback loop. Add in the sharing of hacking skill into a group of young men who have basically failed to thrive in more mainstream ways, and you're giving angry people means and pointing them toward opportunity for an audience.
And then the truly ugly part: The stuff goes mainstream with the recognition that while young people can be indoctrinated, old people are just incredibly easy marks who can be manipulated toward and beyond traditional grumpiness.
And then of course you can the counter-rage and now everyone is at each other's throats. Literally, you're average person is just far more likely on an intellectual place like Quora to find something to disagree about and then win the argument. I'm not saying I don't like a good debate because I do, but there's a difference between a meaningful rebuttal and the slap-dash dismissiveness that people now mistake for a riposte.
Something I've said a lot lately is that my favorite sites are worse for conversation than they used to be...but nothing better has emerged. The old places are still the best places, but it's a bit like going on to your favorite old jungle gym and getting cut by a rusty edge.
Hey: With what's going on in the world, my fuse is shorter than it used to be, and it's leading my lose my cool and then go on self-imposed breaks from things (such as RealGM). Please try to keep it civil, and I'll be looking to do the same.