Using the Internet to impose order, support the dominant paradigm, and enforce patriarchy and racism


When I started blogging and reading blogs about a decade ago, I found the writing of Kathy Sierra, just before she was  “doxxed” and went offline after numerous threats and having her home address published. It was one of the first incidents against a woman online, and it saddened me greatly. She offers this recent posts explaining the dynamics of what happened to her, and how this plays out en general. It will look very familiar to anyone who has been following #gamergate. Longtime readers of my blog know my opinion on her use of the term “drinking koolaid”, but it’s a really good piece and is worth the read in spite of that. Here are some highlights…

I now believe the most dangerous time for a woman with online visibility is the point at which others are seen to be listening, “following”, “liking”, “favoriting”, retweeting. In other words, the point at which her readers have (in the troll’s mind) “drunk the Koolaid”. Apparently, that just can’t be allowed.

If you’ve already hit the Koolaid Point, you usually have just three choices: 1. leave (They Win)  2. ignore them (they escalate, make your life more miserable, DDoS, ruin your career, etc. i.e. They Win)  3. fight back (If you’ve already hit the Koolaid Point, see option #2. They Win). That’s right, in the world we’ve created, once you’ve become a Koolaid-point target they always win. Your life will never be the same, and the harassers will drain your scarce cognitive resources. You and your family will never be the same.  – from Trouble at the Koolaid Point — Serious Pony

via Tom Hoffman at TuttleSVC comes another piece which nicely sums up the situation. It’s about the social media campaign of a football team, but it works in general too.

“Because the Internet tends toward entropy, this of course ended up with the team tweeting out a jersey with the N-bomb written on it.” That’s Jordan Weissmann on the New England Patriots’ social media mistake of allowing fans unfiltered access to their Twitter feed. We should note that this Internet “entropy” isn’t random. The downward spiral always leads to the same place: racist, misogynist and homophobic slurs. That’s not really entropy — it’s a concerted attempt to impose order. – from The memory will multiply

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