In your view, what is the positive impact of any of this? I see you cheering for the destruction of a film, and relishing in the possible personal legal/financial devastation of an artist. I am genuinely confused as to why.
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Yeah on a year-long scale, the tail of comment voting is too short to make much of a difference. Maybe it's a little longer than a few days for a very popular post, but even then it's not a long tail. Also, comments buried deep within ongoing threads on a post tend to be at a disadvantage too, versus higher-level comments and especially the first few comments (though truly brilliant later comments do frequently enough buck this trend).
I have never seen an explanation of the "ethics in games journalism" issue that convinced me it's really what people care about. In fact, every explanation I've heard has been deeply unconvincing, practically the opposite of convincing.
I suggest you find a different cause to care about.
*This means that a spouse threatening to kill the other while still married gets a pass.
This means that a spouse threatening to kill the other during a divorce, separation, or restraining order gets the asshole in jail!*
lolwut? Are you serious? Do you realize how stupid that sounds?
*This means that a kid saying he will shoot up a school because he is frustrated or joking is not illegal.
This means that a kid just expelled from school and claims he will shoot it up DOES get his ass in jail.*
And do you realize how much **stupider** that sounds? How do you define "animosity"?
How the hell does a divorce or an expulsion make any goddamn difference there? I mean damn dude, pay attention to the world -- people kill their spouses all the time; and I don't think *any* of the school shooters were on an expulsion or suspension when they shot up their schools. What the hell are you even talking about? Those circumstances don't offer much to help you determine whether a threat is credible...
And aren't your guidelines way MORE likely to put an innocent in jail? Isn't a spouse in the middle of a divorce, or a student freshly expelled, way MORE likely to make a flippant threat in an isolated moment of anger?
And you honestly believe that intent is not important? I don't understand that at all. Let's use your own examples:
- Husband tells his wife that he's going to kill her. He has every intention of doing so, and she is genuinely terrified. But because they aren't currently going through a divorce, that threat is legal.
- Recently-divorced husband gets in a screaming match with his ex-wife over child support, and at one point blurts out "i'll fucking kill you". Even she doesn't for a second believe he means it, and he doesn't. But that threat is illegal.
Don't waste time trying to discern whether or not what they say is what they really believe. Instead try to find out what their real positions are (they are often easy to discern) and force them to defend the ideas they actually hold close.
They have a well-practiced response to that, though: if you suss out and criticize their values, they accuse you of "ad hominem" and demand that you respond only to their initial argument and nothing else.
But also - isn't this kind of demonstrating the difficulty of your initial point? There aren't so many clear lines. Sometimes harassment rises to the level that it's illegal; sometimes what appear to be threats of violence are protected speech because they don't rise to the level of credible threats. These aren't just "two different things* - they also exist on a spectrum, by some measures, and so it's a messy situation.
I could for example say "I'm gonna fucking kill you" to someone in a way that doesn't make them fear for their safety at all; conversely, it's possible for someone to stalk and harass a person online to the degree that they deeply fear for their safety, without ever making an explicit threat.