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"It's the internet so......"

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Risky, 7 Nov 2014.

  1. Risky

    Risky Modder

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    THis is about the attidude I've noticed to abuse and hate speach online recently. I'm sure it has been around for ages but since most of my online activity was confinded to some well-moderated forums such as this one, I've had a bit of a shock when I started playing an online game (World of Tanks) a couple of years ago.

    Now this could be a post about in-game flaming, but from the responses I have had there I wonder if it is part of a broader issue. Given the talk in the media about the abuse some people (mostly women) are getting and the "Gamergate" carry-on. Specifically the common response when anyone objects:

    "It's the internet, what do you expect? Better grow a thick skin or leave!"

    Typical comments would include "Grow a pair", "Man up, princess", "Stop being a whiney girl" etc. Now this isn't about me and my feelings. I haven't been personally upset by any of the moronic drivel occasionally direted at me. But I'm playing online to relax and sweary nutters and racists aren't very relaxing for me regarless of who they are ranting at.

    I'm just not happy with the broad idea that societal norms of civilised respectable behavior are thrown away as soon as you are online. I am actually less likely to swear in game chate or in a forum post that I am IRL as spoken words are fleeting and typed messages sit there making you look stupid. However when I'm in a private forum with people I know I might well throw in a blue word or two for effect.

    So what do you think being online makes all this stuff sorta-kinda-ok on the grounds of free speach or just because? Is it ok on the internet to call someone a "Retard", Mongoloid", tell someone you hope their family die of cancer, threaten voilence and rape (obviously without the ability to do it) and make jokes about the holocaust? Because if you much of that in a public place you'd be risking arrest and if you tried it in your local, you'd probably be out on your ear.


    N.B. In the game I play the nazi stuff is a bit more creepy as it is in WW2 era tanks. Examples from a blog on the game:
    http://ftr.wot-news.com/2013/09/02/hall-of-shame-garbad-edition/
    http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/06/18/hall-of-shame-returns/
    And the results of a poll I ran on the subject earlier this year:
    http://forum.worldoftanks.eu/index.php?/topic/392438-attitudes-to-in-game-abuse/
     
  2. loftie

    loftie Modder

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    I remember with League of Rage(Legends) the game got so bad at one point I'd mute everyone in chat the moment the game started. I really could be bothered to deal with all the crap.

    With F2P games, there's no incentive to not do it. The worst they can do is permaban you, but you can just make another account and not care. Or you can run multiple accounts at the same time and still not care if one got banned. I remember watching a livestream ages back with a prominent LoL player, think it was Hotshotgg, anyway the streamer was raging and being generally abusive and I just remember thinking why Riot doesn't actually ban them. That'd send a fairly clear message. And since they're well known, if they try streaming they can ban them again, if they tried entering a competition they'd be thrown out. But they don't. So long as the company is making money they don't care. I suppose things could have changed, I've not followed it in a while, but I can't see it.

    Basically it's not right, no-one seems to care too much about trying to stop it. Best response? Probably "Don't feed the trolls".
     
  3. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Staff

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    This right here.

    People spouting crap online has always been a thing as for the most part people could keep their identities anonymous. As such they use it as a place to exercise all the things they can't do in real life for fear of all sorts of repercussions.

    In my opinion, in spaces such as these where anonymity is encouraged for whatever reason (be is safety, humor etc.) you should simply deal with it. Things don't tend to escalate very far as in honesty, they often can't. Some abrasive 14 year old in America isn't going to be able to do jack to my life over here. And if they do decide to start some sort of vendetta, then is the time to take it to a higher priority level.

    However.

    Unlike in the past, we now have a huge number of sites and general internet uses where anonymity is discouraged. Places like facebook, twitter, tumblr etc. Now it's these places where real damage can be done as the person't identity is up for grabs. If you're determined enough, you can often get enough info to make an individual's life truly miserable via threats, incessant spam and paranoia and what have you.

    People desperately need to recognise this division because without doing so, we'll never be able to sort the problem.

    People like to vent, and often the internet is where they do it. If we remove that ability, then you have to wonder where it will go instead?
     
  4. hyperion

    hyperion Minimodder

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    It's been this way as long as I can remember. As it has been said many times before, either you take your freedom along with everyone else's and deal with it or you forfeit some freedom for a nicer environment. I hate the unrestrained viciousness of people online, but I'm more worried that if we sacrifice that freedom it'll set a precedent with much worse consequences.
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    [OLD MAN]In my days... *cough, cough* gamers were just a much more friendly crowd. Possibly something to do with the fact that we were nor anonymous; there was no internet hence only LAN parties where we met face-to-face. Things haven't been the same since the late 90's...[/OLD MAN]
     
  6. loftie

    loftie Modder

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    You could argue that the freedom to allow people to say what they want to who they want contradicts the freedom to not be harassed or verbally abused.
     
  7. Risky

    Risky Modder

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    But does anyone see any connection between the way people behave in-game and the issues with social media. Lower thresholds of what is acceptable etc.


    As for this particlar game, if I was the owners I'd want to be getting pretty tough about it as it's just perfect for a Tabloid scare stories about a 12-rated game where Nazi groups drive Panzer tanks and shout "Kill the Jews" which wouldn't be quite what they want give the vast scale of the game now (Wargaming income 2013 was ~USD 475m).
     
  8. loftie

    loftie Modder

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    I think it's more of a connection to the fact that people feel like they can do what they want online and get away with it, and both the social media and games are affected by this.

    Remember this guy? And he actually killed people. I don't think it made a dent in CoD sales or tarnished it's name.
     
  9. Anfield

    Anfield Multimodder

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    Industry wide blacklists for multiplayer games are prob the only way to curb all the abuse.
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Indeed. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences.
     
  11. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Absolute shocker, person declares something was better when they were younger. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Yeah, but in my days they were better at doing so. :p
     
  13. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Nostalgia just isn't what it used to be.
     
  14. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Even more so now than it used to. Not be. What it used to be. Er... What were we talking about? :worried:
     
  15. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001 [DELETE] means [DELETE]

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    Nurse!....
     
  16. KayinBlack

    KayinBlack Currently Rebuilding

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  17. lilgoth89

    lilgoth89 Captin Calliope

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    Im of the opinion that online behaviour should have the same consequence as if you were face to face
    threats of violence is never a joke, and should carry the same penalty if your online.

    if i was to walk down the street calling people n*ggers R*tards and the like i would very quickly be arrested, but if i do it to the same bunch of people in an online game, then it becomes the norm and its just trashtalking...

    People today have little to no respect for other people it really is astonishing, and depressing at the same time.
     
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