Monday, 23 July 2012

Backgammon players are people too...

Now then,

I spent an interesting old time last night on the dailygammon discussion board.

Dailygammon actually has two discussion boards, labelled "General" and "Politics", although "Moderated" and "usually unmoderated exceot in exceptional circumstances" might be a better description.

The general board is for backgammon stuff, and fluff, and uncontroversial things. The politics board is for politics, but also for adult humour, character assassination, squabbles, flame wars, endless bad tempered bickering, etc. Effectively it's a shit trap. It provides an outlet for the antisocial that only they will read. The vast majority of people will peek in from time to time, see the usual suspects calling each other nazis and cock suckers, and leave them to it.

Dailygammon is an  established online community, and like any other community, it has it's share of angels and devils, mature contributers and trolls, republicans and democrats, etc. It contains racists, bigots, bullies, and the occasional saint like me :)

If I were to state that bullying is a bad thing, most people would tend to agree. But what if the person being bullied is a bigot? Does this justify the bullying? Is it bullying at all?

Curiously enough, this last question was asked by someone who creates threads from time to time with the specific intention of attacking someone who's far right, zionist, islamophobic views are way out on the extreme right of the political spectrum.

If you're a dailygammon member, you can read the entire thing here:

The poster in this case posted to announce an informal survey to ask if people thought that the zionist was being bullied. Ironically, the post itself was an attempt to belittle the target. A couple of people responded "yes" but I went further, and accused the poster of being one of the bullies.

Unsurprisingly, this led to a confrontation. I've taken an absolutist position - that if you bully someone, then regardless of the motivation, you're bullying them.

Just a thought here. If you told Hitler to Fuck Off, would you be using swear words?

Let's turn it into a survey shall we?

  1. Yes. Fuck Off is a sweary phrase, ragardless of who it's applied to
  2. No. When you say Fuck Off to someone who you think is evil, it sort of means the same as "Fluffy Bunnies"  It's somehow not sweary.

The other guy blamed the zionist. When challenged, he attacked me. Then he was doing it because he was supporting some of the women on the site who'd been victims of sexual slurs from the zionist allegedly. If I had any decency I'd be posting sweary stuff on the boards attacking the zionist too.

It was starting to become repetitive, so I went off at a tangent. I googled "What is bullying?"

Much of what I unearthed stems from the same source - A guy called Tim Field

Tim's website was instructive. Here are my thought tht stem from it:

  • I was initially arguing intuitively, but the poster ticked almost every box.
  • I could not hope to change the poster, only to alert others to his real personality
  • I have been a victim of bullying in the past
  • I have sometimes bullied other people.
  • As I've grown more mature and more secure within myself, I've become less of a bully.
Eventually, since the same pattern of postings was continuing, I announced my retirement from the thread, and hid it. Hence I don't know which posts, if any, were deleted. I will not be checking in to find out. I hope I've alerted people to the second bulletpoint above. I also hope I've alerted the person that initiated the thread to the second point above, but with less hope. Still, this is an intelligent, articulate person I'm arguing with here. If I can grow, so can anyone else.

driving lessons in Wallasey?

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