Reminder: Not Everyone Online Is A Jerk

from the nice-to-know dept

Following the incredibly tragic story of Abraham Biggs' live broadcasting his suicide, plenty of "web 2.0" critics such as Andrew Keen jumped on the chance to blast the "anomie, cruelty and narcissism that characterises much of the web." Of course, if you think social networks are evil, you're going to interpret events that way, but, of course, as has been pointed out before, communication tools don't discriminate over who can use them -- so of course there are some awful people who use them, just as there are many good people. Communication tools don't change that. And, for every tragic Abraham Biggs story out there, it seems likely that there are many, many stories like Ayelet Waldman, who talks about how her online community of friends saved her from committing suicide. Of course, those stories don't get nearly as much attention, so folks like Keen can pretend they don't exist and that social networking communication tools are mainly used for shallow, meaningless conversations.


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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 8:48am

    "Andrew Keen jumped on the chance to blast the "anomie, cruelty and narcissism that characterises much of the web."

    It's not the web - it's the human race.

     

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  2.  
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    moore850, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 8:59am

    Jerks

    While the internet provides a way for people to more easily escape repercussions for their potentially harmful comments, it also provides a way for good-natured folks to reach out and help their fellow people in distress. Internet-related deaths are as rare and shocking as plane crashes, and as my friend is fond of saying, "the day I stop flying on planes is the day that plane crashes no longer make headlines."

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:10am

    It doesn't do squad but allow emos to publicly wear their emotions on the outside.
    Buh huh....

    Good bad, it's all the same. Bunch of humans. Nothing more, nothing less.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:11am

    Your a jerk face poopy head! And I camped your real life spawn point last night!

     

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  5.  
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    astontechno, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:14am

    that about sums it up

    The footage has since been taken down and his father is now calling for more regulation of chatrooms.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:14am

    Good bad, it's all the same. Bunch of humans. Nothing more, nothing less.

    That's not entirely true. While I agree that you get a cross-section of humanity through online experiences, you do draw heavily on the group who likes to be immature, brave ONLY when out of range, and harbors the belief that they can never be caught. Then there are the people who prefer "real contact" who are more often than not better sorts of individuals in their demeanor, morals and conduct.

    That said, there is a slant toward the perverse, the obtuse and the downright blisteringly irritating... but as the article suggests, not exclusively.

     

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  7.  
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    ehrichweiss, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:17am

    Re:

    FULLY agree. The tree of the human race needs a massive pruning. I'd say we could do better with only 1% of the population, and 1% of that population could pare down the remaining non-desirables[dumb as a box of rocks, etc].

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, some bleeding heart will say that we can't get by without ALL of us or what-have-you but the truth is, we can and they're just too blind to see that we are not currently IMPROVING our state of living, we're playing catch-up at best.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:18am

    Re:

    "That said, there is a slant toward the perverse, the obtuse and the downright blisteringly irritating... but as the article suggests, not exclusively."

    The world was the same way without the Internet. People are people.
    Only difference now is that people can post their depravity online so they all get to feel like unique snowflakes.

     

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  9.  
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    bigpicture, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:21am

    It's the same argument for lots of things, it's not the tool it's the person using it. A car in the hands of a responsible driver, versus in the hands of a drunk driver? Even though guns are designed to kill, it is not the gun that makes the decision to kill, but the person holding the gun. (I am not an advocate of guns, but just by way of responsibility example, I know persons who have owned guns all their lives, and never killed a living thing.)

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re:

    I agree as long as I get to choose the 1% that gets to stay.

     

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  11.  
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    Sean, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re:Killing people

    And how do you propose we determine, first off, who the lame ones are, and secondly, how do you propose we kill these people?

    What you are proposing is a very fucked up idea. Ironically, you're conveying the idea of mass killing over the Internet because someone killed themselve while broadcasting on the Internet.

    Basically your idea is jaw-droppingly stupid and ignorant and you should probably be one of the ones killed in your own plan.

     

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  12.  
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    mslade, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:43am

    It's a well-documented fact that...

    Being a douche makes you louder. It happens offline and on. If you're a douche, you're going to be loud about it. This is the fundamental problem with making communication easier and through anonymous channels. I'm not saying it's a design flaw of communication, just a design flaw of humanity: whose idea was it to put the douche gene so close to the loudmouth gene?

    What needs to happen is one douche needs to patent being a douche. Then all of the douches online (who by nature must be loud about it and give themselves away) can be sued for infringement. This would reduce online douchery while fostering a brand new market: the douche market.

     

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  13.  
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    Sean, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    The Internet is everywhere

    The Internet makes my monitor like a funnel of stupidity that drains into my eyes.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:45am

    Re: Jerks

    The Internet lets people connect more easily. That doesn't change the fact that, sometimes, there are people you're better off not connecting to.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re:Killing people

    A single death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic. He's just proposing we remove all tragedy from the world.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:49am

    Who is this Jesus you speak of?

    I would submit that many people, even up to this day, thought Jesus was a Jerk too.

    I suppose the common thread is that people don't like hearing things they don't agree with. But ironically, controversy is continually seeked out for the reason that it sells.

    Hey, MERRY CHRISTMAS everybody.

     

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  17.  
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    Alpha Computer, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:52am

    Tragic Story Amongst Many Great Stories

    This truly is a tragic story and we all need to look at how we interact with others. Yet, we as individuals are truly capable of great acts of kindness if we choose to do so. The Internet, I figure is neither good nor bad. It's kind of like money; it's what you do with it that matters.

    For me, helping others learn computer skills via my www.alphacomputer.ca site is important. Maybe it will inspire someone to realize that they can learn these skills and get a better job for example.

    Bottom line, we the people can really mess up a good thing or we can use it for noble purposes. Will we play nice with others or drag them down?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 10:01am

    Hitler thought the world would be a better place if we could just eliminate a few percentage points of population. Stalin, too.

    Nice job, guys... You now qualify for most-evil-on-the-planet status.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 10:14am

    Why this is a story!

    I read the linked article completely and I thought the article was balanced. The article's purpose was to show that social networking can be bad as well as good, depending on how it is used.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re:

    ehrichweiss,
    So I take it you believe you are in that 1%. That is interesting. What if you are one of the dumb as a box of rocks people?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    DS, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 10:43am

    you are all pricks

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), Dec 5th, 2008 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re:Killing people

    We don't need to actively kill people. We should just let them die. We need to stop actively supporting the population that can't support itself and lives off the willing and able as parasites. I am not talking about children, they may have potential usefulness in the future. Why do we support the lame-o's that are adults that never contribute a single thing to society except 'diversity' and a debit? Why do we make it more beneficial to take welfare instead of working?

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    winterfreez, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 11:10am

    Most Evil?

    most-evil-on-the-planet status? PSH! Most evil my butt! All I see is a malcontent who knows how to spell...

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Fidgetry, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 11:43am

    Wasn't it one or several of the chatroomies that called the cops to go check on this guy?

     

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  25.  
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    ahhh, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:00pm

    u guys are DICKS

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    known coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:14pm

    everyone on line not a jerk ? ?

    You people have not read craigslist rants and raves recently, have you?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Wally, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:26pm

    Blame to go around

    So what's the problem? I think it's that Abraham Biggs didn't have a two-way relationship with his parents, but instead found comfort in growing an online relationship with people he really didn't know. This progressed to his single act of selfishness where it seems he took his own life. But he did so in the presence of those that he assigned value to, based on the absence of a parental figure.

    Sure, Social Networking is great for work, business, and keeping in touch with old College buddies. But there's this weird phenomenon where Social networking and technology in general, has the ability to replace in-person communication. But, it shouldn't be that way. It will never fully take place of face. The sad thing is that Abraham substituted real relationship with some jerks online.

    Does this necessarily mean it needs to be legislated? I don't think so. But a starting point would be the idea that Parents should be equipped with what's needed to be a parent.

    I think it would start with valuing your kid over that 3rd Mercedes in the driveway used to tow the boat.

    Yes- this idea would involve spending time away from work with them and being involved.

    What a novel concept.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Urban, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:Killing people

    Damn right, and then we stop helping people who can't survive without medicine.
    Like kids with asthma.

    This will all work itself out fast!

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:54pm

    Re:

    Pussies

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    hyland, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:56pm

    Dislodge your head from your own rectal cavity!

    The ready availability of suicide, like sex and alcohol, is one of life's basic consolations.
    -Edward Abbey

    A body builder on "supplements" with a history of faked suicide attempts and mental disorder finally offs himself on a web cam... and everyone but him is to blame?

    Stuff happens - every day! There are people in this world dying against their will because of things they have no possible control over - people starving to death, people being tortured, raped, raved by awful and easily preventable disease, destroyed in a million ways more painful, degrading, and horrifying than this... and who speaks for them?

    Yeah... perspective, that is what I have... Do you?

    The guy chose to kill himself - the actions ALREADY set in motion by the time he turned on his web cam and "went to sleep..." Nothing anyone on the internet could have done would have changed that one bit.

    God granted humans free will... FREE WILL... So you have to chose to live with the consequences of that, or continue to live your life with your head firmly shoved up your own ass.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Dislodge your head from your own rectal cavity!

    snicker, you said god

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re:

    Dude. BASIC GENETICS! We need stupid people, they're our gene resoviours. Without them, we'd all go insane from inbreeding!

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:Killing people

    Because of basic genetics dumass. Removing a genetic trait from the human race is a very BAD idea because you don't know how it will effect other things. You had better bet that stupidity is partly a genetic trait, and you had better bet that there are environmental situations in which it's downright useful.

    So please don't doom us all to extinction, dumbass. I admit I'd probably go to, being about as nutty as a bag of angry squirrels

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Re: Dislodge your head from your own rectal cavity!

    Uh, you failed to make any point.

    So on a tangent, I share my thoughts of of those who have a love for money.

    People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that often plunge them into ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.


    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=081205171141.lpe7jc8e&show_article=1

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Joel, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 8:38pm

    Cult

    Don't you know that social networking sites are just cults without compounds? I thought everyone knew that.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 5th, 2008 @ 9:37pm

    Re:

    Yeah, but Hitler and Stalin's plans were at least more well defined then the plans of these fucktards. Stalin's plan was 'get rid of anyone who disagrees with me' and Hitlers was 'remove da non caucasion idiots fags and cripples'. These guys it seems to be 'randomly kill 99% of the population.'

    See you all in hell

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Duodave, Dec 6th, 2008 @ 7:26pm

    Interesting

    This happened to me too, but I was at the other end. I was online with a friend who told me she was suicidal. I knew where she lived so I contacted the sheriff's office in her town. She was pretty pissed at me when they showed up at her doorstep to make sure she was ok, but she told me later that anger snaps someone out of a depression pretty quick. So I guess I saved her life.

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    bshock, Dec 8th, 2008 @ 7:56am

    we know other through knowing ourselves

    I know I'm a total jerk. It seems likely to me that everyone else is also.

     

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