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Thread: People's Behavior Online

  1. #1 People's Behavior Online 
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    Something that really bothers me is the antisocial behavior of some people online. Most people online are OK, and some are even helpful. But, as I suppose we all know, the internet has its share of cyber-bullies. Insults, name calling, and other kinds of harassment are way too common for my taste.

    Now, we all have the right to express opinions, or at least we should be free to let others know what we may think of the topics under discussion. If somebody has a point of view that others find offensive, then he or she should nevertheless feel free to express that view anyway.

    But, I guess that's where trouble often starts. Some people feel so intimate with an idea, that to disparage that idea or even to just disagree with it is seen by the "believer" as a personal attack on the part of the critic. The believer then feels the need to retaliate against the "offender"--the person who disagrees with or dares to criticize the beloved idea.

    Why is this kind of behavior so common online, though? Some people say it is the anonymity and distance of the internet that opens the door to antisocial behavior. If a person has little fear of retaliation, at least in the physical sense, then that person is more likely to lash out at dissenters.

    What I find hard to understand, though, is why do some people want to treat other people this way to begin with? The distance and anonymity of the Web only explains why people are more likely to act antisocially--not why they act antisocially to begin with.

    Any ideas?

    Jagella


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  3. #2  
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    Competition. We fight to win resources, and we fight more when risk of harm is minimized. Resources online are things like reputation and respect. The attainment of reputation and respect has for many thousands of years often led to increased reproductive success, and hence was selected for.

    I've offered an oversimplification above, and there are large dynamics of the group which tend to counter balance much of this, but when the group ostracizes an individual online (being shunned or banned for acting "wrongly") it doesn't have such a profound impact. It doesn't alter in the least our availability of resources or potential mates in an online environment, whereas in real life those resources are very negatively impacted by such behaviors.


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  4. #3  
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    It's just a natrual effect. It's psychological. Most people have different personalities, and when it comes to cyber bullying, that man/woman behind the computer is capable of holding a different personality behind him/her. And sometimes they just want to get their anger out towards someone else.

    Take for instance World of Warcraft or some other MMORPG (online game which people from all over the world can interact with each other). I know this is a blunt example, but it works.

    You have cyber bullies everywhere in these games. People "fight" for respect and for resources such as leadership and currency. They compete to become the "best" or just really respectable in the game. But then regardless if someone gets mad because one killed another, you have "hackers" which are the real cyber bullies.

    I play some online games every once in a while. I was actually addicted to WoW myself. I would get tossed around and get slaughtered by higher levels every now and then. I would get pretty pissed off. But the people who are getting bullied, like me, just have to remember that they are only affecting your emotional feelings, nothing else. If I were a higher level I would definitely do the same. I would kill lower levels, making them mad, just for fun. It's a cycle. A courrpted cycle of chaos lol.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Competition. We fight to win resources, and we fight more when risk of harm is minimized.
    I believe you mean that we are more likely to attack when risk of retaliation is minimized. For example, America, in its quest to attain resources and power, is much more likely to attack a relatively weak country like Iraq or Afghanistan than a powerful nation like China or Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Resources online are things like reputation and respect. The attainment of reputation and respect has for many thousands of years often led to increased reproductive success, and hence was selected for.
    I haven't failed to notice that many online “trolls” are obviously out to impress the other forum members with their supposed expertise. They are often successful in doing so, and the members showing allegiance to the troll will blindly follow and defend whatever the troll might say. It's a phony game much like politics, but it seems to work for some people.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    ...when the group ostracizes an individual online (being shunned or banned for acting "wrongly") it doesn't have such a profound impact. It doesn't alter in the least our availability of resources or potential mates in an online environment, whereas in real life those resources are very negatively impacted by such behaviors.
    That's an interesting point I haven't though about much. I've been banned from some forums for simply having unpopular opinions. Like you say, though, it never hurt me much because I just went to another forum. Even if I didn't find another forum, how much did it hurt me? I have more to do with my life than just argue online.

    Thanks for the response.

    Jagella
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NGCDEAE
    It's just a natrual effect. It's psychological. Most people have different personalities, and when it comes to cyber bullying, that man/woman behind the computer is capable of holding a different personality behind him/her. And sometimes they just want to get their anger out towards someone else.

    Take for instance World of Warcraft or some other MMORPG (online game which people from all over the world can interact with each other). I know this is a blunt example, but it works.

    You have cyber bullies everywhere in these games. People "fight" for respect and for resources such as leadership and currency. They compete to become the "best" or just really respectable in the game. But then regardless if someone gets mad because one killed another, you have "hackers" which are the real cyber bullies.

    I play some online games every once in a while. I was actually addicted to WoW myself. I would get tossed around and get slaughtered by higher levels every now and then. I would get pretty pissed off. But the people who are getting bullied, like me, just have to remember that they are only affecting your emotional feelings, nothing else. If I were a higher level I would definitely do the same. I would kill lower levels, making them mad, just for fun. It's a cycle. A courrpted cycle of chaos lol.
    That's an interesting example of online behavior, and I've seen my share of rule breakers while playing games online. The difference is, though, that games are supposed to be based in conflict. It should come as no surprise that you have your share of bullies playing online games.

    Jagella
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagella
    I haven't failed to notice that many online “trolls” are obviously out to impress the other forum members with their supposed expertise. They are often successful in doing so, and the members showing allegiance to the troll will blindly follow and defend whatever the troll might say.
    That is an interesting observation. Can you cite examples. I cannot think of any - certainly not on this forum.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Jagella
    I haven't failed to notice that many online “trolls” are obviously out to impress the other forum members with their supposed expertise. They are often successful in doing so, and the members showing allegiance to the troll will blindly follow and defend whatever the troll might say.
    That is an interesting observation. Can you cite examples. I cannot think of any - certainly not on this forum.
    Ah, I see the one of the members showing allegiance to the troll who will blindly follow and defend whatever the troll might say has found this thread. You know who I am referring to. I would have banned him a long time ago if it was up to me. There's no reason to allow his kind of behavior in person, so why let him get away with it online? That's what I'd like to know. Why?

    Jagella
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  9. #8  
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    Ah, I see the one of the members showing allegiance to the troll who will blindly follow and defend whatever the troll might say has found this thread. You know who I am referring to. I would have banned him a long time ago if it was up to me. There's no reason to allow his kind of behavior in person, so why let him get away with it online? That's what I'd like to know. Why?

    Jagella
    I would say that you're talking about galexander, but nobody defends him.
    Really, couldn't you be a little clearer?
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil
    Ah, I see the one of the members showing allegiance to the troll who will blindly follow and defend whatever the troll might say has found this thread. You know who I am referring to. I would have banned him a long time ago if it was up to me. There's no reason to allow his kind of behavior in person, so why let him get away with it online? That's what I'd like to know. Why?

    Jagella
    I would say that you're talking about galexander, but nobody defends him.
    Really, couldn't you be a little clearer?
    Sadly, "Dr Rocket" is the offender I'm referring to. He should shape up or ship out.

    Jagella
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  11. #10  
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    Oh don't be so ruddy stupid. There are umpteen posts where I have called Dr. Rocket and arrogant fool, or worse. I attack him when he is talking nonsense and support him when appropriate and I am qualified to do so. Clearly you have an observational bias that lets you only see what you want to see. Pretty dumb when a review of posts will show I am correct and you are myopic, biased and -perhaps - something of a troll yourself.
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  12. #11  
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    Dr Rocket's quite the polarizing online character. 8)
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    But he knows his shit and he teaches people a LOT... He also protects those who don't know enough about a topic to recognize what is nonsense and what to discard, and gives pointers to even experts when they are struggling with a topic or concept.
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  14. #13  
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    The useful tool's tend to be the sharp and potentially dangerous ones.
    And no, I do not intend "tool" to be construed as a negative metaphor in this context.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Oh don't be so ruddy stupid. There are umpteen posts where I have called Dr. Rocket and arrogant fool, or worse. I attack him when he is talking nonsense and support him when appropriate and I am qualified to do so. Clearly you have an observational bias that lets you only see what you want to see. Pretty dumb when a review of posts will show I am correct and you are myopic, biased and -perhaps - something of a troll yourself.
    See--this is exactly the kind of nonsense I've been talking about. People go online and get away with all kinds of abuse!

    For the life of me I'm not sure why I even bother with online forums. Maybe I have a naive faith in human nature hoping that with enough chastisement people will reform their ways and treat each other with courtesy.

    Anyway, may I ask you to act with personal integrity? Be honest and respectful toward others? Give it a try!

    Jagella
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagella
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Oh don't be so ruddy stupid. There are umpteen posts where I have called Dr. Rocket and arrogant fool, or worse. I attack him when he is talking nonsense and support him when appropriate and I am qualified to do so. Clearly you have an observational bias that lets you only see what you want to see. Pretty dumb when a review of posts will show I am correct and you are myopic, biased and -perhaps - something of a troll yourself.
    See--this is exactly the kind of nonsense I've been talking about. People go online and get away with all kinds of abuse!

    For the life of me I'm not sure why I even bother with online forums. Maybe I have a naive faith in human nature hoping that with enough chastisement people will reform their ways and treat each other with courtesy.

    Anyway, may I ask you to act with personal integrity? Be honest and respectful toward others? Give it a try!

    Jagella
    This is silly. Ophi is often direct in his criticism, but he isn't pointlessly rude to people. I, on the other hand, enjoy being rude to strangers, probably because I'm a WASP and it has been bred into me from childhood.
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  17. #16  
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    Anyway, may I ask you to act with personal integrity? Be honest and respectful toward others? Give it a try!

    Jagella
    Nah, doesn't sound like much fun. I like the assholes and elbows style around here.
    Maybe you should go join the "Teddybears Picnic Forum"?
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    This is silly. Ophi is often direct in his criticism, but he isn't pointlessly rude to people. I, on the other hand, enjoy being rude to strangers, probably because I'm a WASP and it has been bred into me from childhood.
    Are you rude to strangers offline as well as online? What enjoyment do you get out of being rude? Did you ever stop to think that being nice to people can be enjoyable?

    Jagella
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    Jagella

    1. You abusively attacked a member in good standing who has contributed a darn site more to this forum than you, even if he is an arrogant asshole!
    2. You then libelously accuse me of being one of his sycophants.

    And you have the temerity to complain about abuse. You sir are the abuser here.
    You say why can't we treat people with respect. What respect was there in your snide, nasty comments about me. If I valued your opinion I'd be offended.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagella

    Are you rude to strangers offline as well as online? What enjoyment do you get out of being rude? Did you ever stop to think that being nice to people can be enjoyable?

    Jagella
    You're speaking nonsense! Being nice to people is simply exhausting.
    "I almost went to bed
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    I put in the button-hole
    of your green sweater

    and how i kissed you then
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    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagella
    Did you ever stop to think that being nice to people can be enjoyable?
    Is it wrong of me to want to respond to comments like this with the phrase, "Blow me?"
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  22. #21  
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    Being a little rude and to the point is one of the benefits of being an old fart and registered curmudgeon.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by Jagella
    Did you ever stop to think that being nice to people can be enjoyable?
    Is it wrong of me to want to respond to comments like this with the phrase, "Blow me?"
    OK. I see this forum is illegitimate. I started a membership here hoping to discuss important scientific issues. Instead, I have found that it's full of spoiled kids who have nothing better to do than insult and harass other people.

    I do hope that some day laws will be passed against this kind of behavior and that offenders will be prosecuted.

    I will soon move on to another science forum hoping that it will be sensible and legitimate.

    Jagella
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jagella
    I do hope that some day laws will be passed against this kind of behavior and that offenders will be prosecuted.
    Another real fan of the first amendment, I see.
    Let the speech be free unless we disagree, is that it?


    One has to applaud Ophiolite's recognition that you are guilty of the same behavior which you protest... calling people spoiled kids, and long time well respected members trolls and sycophants. Hello, pot? I'd like to introduce you to kettle.
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