Monday, October 17, 2011

Why are people more rude and mean online?

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It seems that once people get on the internet, they shed off most of their compassion, or what some call the human milk of kindness, and suddenly become bulling monsters. I have read some scathing and hurtful comments on this blog and others that I just said to myself, this person would never say this to someone's face. The few times they were on my blog, I simply clicked delete. The culprits are usually anonymous. So, I'm sorry to those Wordpress bloggers who keep asking if I can allow anonymous or Name/URL commenting, please use OPEN_ID.

The thing I've noticed is that when people have to put a name to their comments, it suddenly makes them more circumspect. I know that opening up comments to such anonymous people can make a blog a very interesting place as disagreements turn to free-for-all controversy-fests. But honestly, I dislike confrontations and can do without such bullies in my space.

You see, I was very active on a message board for about 3years, and I got my fair share of bullies and trolls.  On that site, the online war of words was called rofo-rofo, and I shiver now remembering some of the slurs exchanged. Some people went as far as insulting parents and whole families, as well as outright defamation. I decided to chill out of that site and focus on this blog after it seemed that one such troll became obsessed with me.

Funny enough, I got to know one of the bullies personally, and first thing I noticed was the difference between his online persona and who he was in real life. I finally asked him how he could go so far in being horrible to people online. His answer? It was all a game. He said he couldn't see the others to know their reaction so he just types what comes to his fingers. Also, it helps him burn off his own daily aggravations. about transferred agression. Totally not acceptable in my book.

What do you think? Is it simply the anonymity? Would you trust a known bully/troll as a friend in real life? Have you ever been the victim of trolls or cyber bullies?

PS, Just read on TWP that some trolls were harassing Naeto C on Twitter recently and he fired back. Was he right or wrong? As a public person, maybe he should have brushed it off?

PSS, If you don't see much of me around, I'm visiting family in Alabama. This post was scheduled and I only added these PSes to update. See you all soon, and have a great week.


  1. This can be quite annoying. Some people actually never read the posts and just come and talk all sorts.
    As a professional blogger you shouldn't reply, but for Naeto C, I don't think there is anything wrong with replying every now and then if it gets too much

  2. I think it's disgusting when people are rude like that. I don't treat anyone online any differently than I would do face to face. I suppose some people have an online presence for different reasons.

    I actually haven't experienced this. I think I've been very lucky in that everyone I've interacted with online has been friendly and full of support. But I've certainly heard the horror stories.

    Good on you for deleting their comments!

  3. People definitely say things online that they wouldn't say face to face. Its the cloak of anonymity and sometimes the person might even have an ID and doesn't care. Sometimes though, its difficult to pass a point across without insulting the person in the process. Though i'll agree with you that its pretty bad with some people.

  4. I think there are those who are just naturally nasty , then there are those who are actually clueless and tend to speak (or type) before they think, then there are those, like ur friend , just do it to let out steam, to them its harmless but they fail to realise that people aree at different levels emotionally and what one person may brush off, might hurt another quite deeply.

    Whatever the case though, it all comes down to immaturity. Even if u have a different opinion, what stops you from being civil about it?

    As for Naeto...I dont know what went down, but I guess sometimes, there's a limit to what one can ignore

  5. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.. Anonymous or not, some people are sad and nasty..

    The personality you put forward online is what I will judge you by in person till I get to know you better. Still to an extent, thats part of you. So the bias remains. Like they say, no smoke without fire..

    As for Naeto C. I dunno oh..Its better to ignore random people like that because how many people can you reply to? even if its in general, I dont believe in acting nasty or responding to a nasty person to prove a point.Sometimes ignorance is bliss hopefully the nasty people realize their wrongz. You are bringing yourself down to their level which is uncalled for. Once it become a personal attack that pose a risk to your safety, I believe you should address it right away.

  6. Tis not about being 'right', 'wrong' or 'not right'.

    As someone once said;
    "If tis hurtful and untrue, don't say it.
    If tis helpful and untrue, don't say it.
    If tis hurtful and true, don't say it.
    If tis helpful and true, find the right time."

    ...and when one finally finds 'right' time, never say it anonymously. Invariably, twill put some finesse to the expression.

  7. IMO, everyone has an 'evil' twin (alternate personality). The difference between good people and bad people is that good people surpress their evil twin, consciously or unconsciosly while bad people let their evil twin have its way. Like someone said, 'bad guys do what good guys dream'. Now online and annonymously, people's evil twin are allowed to roam as it pleases(that is their way of doing what good guys dream). People say things,hurtful things the ordinarily wouldnt say cos they arent mean people but being annonymous-it just dosent matter. After all, noone will judge them for what they have said.

  8. i was thinking about the same thing not long ago esp when you read linda ikeji's blog, why are some people just rude like that? guess its because they are behind a screen they feel they can do whatever.

    i just try to avoid people like that. Got no time to waste on them

    Enjoy your time in Alabama

  9. Whomp!!! So true, I believe this is mostly enacted by people who are really frustrated in real life but they still have to keep smiling (like flight hostesses) and they take it out on random strangers like they do on Linda Ikeji's blog but God will help us sha

  10. Whether they accept it or not, that personality they display is an extension of whats really going on inside. You cant suddenly be devilish and judgemental if there's nothing bitting you!

  11. i haven't been a victim of cyber bullying but I've seen a lot of it on twitter recently...I've met some of these "trolls" and they almost always are mild people.

    It has nothing to do with anonymity. it's a complex issue as far as I'm concerned. Most of these "trolls" have self esteem issues and wont spare the opportunity to be "seen" even though they've commented under anon.

    It's so sad.

  12. Some people actually do not have lives so when they come online they tend to want to act what they're not.However,as a public figure,one shouldn't bother to react to abusive comments,it mostly comes back and sting.Don Jazzy of Mo Hits is one guy i respect a great deal,he doesn't bother exchanging words with abusive people,he simply thanks them and guess who defends him? His fans!

  13. That sucks! I hate when people bully with anonymous names. Just ignore them and keep being you, please have fun in Alabama and don't let them haters steal your JOY. Hugs!

  14. Seriously when I see some people with so much hatred, I'm always just convinced that they need help

  15. Diplomacy and tact is a learned art which the anonymity of the internet is eroding..

  16. as in! people just spew all sort of vile. hiding under the cloak of anonymity. i think its disgraceful. that's why i do not even allow anonymous comments.
    and most times, its people you know, people that call themselves friend that spill all these vile. cuz mehn, people that do not know you can't be so hateful.

    And as per Naeto C. Men he is human. there is only so much a human can take

  17. I agree! When people are online, or over the phone (I work in a call center) this other side comes out! Hang in there!

  18. I think it happens so often because these people have the luxury of hiding behind a computer. Not only do they not have to say it to teh person's face, they cannot be held accountable for their statements. It's basically the same concept as (and I know this is an extreme example) as people throwing bombs on cities from a plane high up in the sky as opposed to shooting someone at close-range. It somehow, very unfortunately, removes the person from the devastating consequences of his/her actions. As for Naeto C, it's easy to forget that these celebs are people just like us. He had probably been continually pinched and pinched till he reached his breaking point :(

  19. i have a feeling i know the online board you're talking about as i also recently just left one because of name calling, tribalistic comments and the likes. It's really unfortunate that people think they can do whatever behind the name 'anonymous' which they cant do in real life. and truth be told, if you can do that online, then that's an extension of who you are or what you believe deep in your heart.

  20. *singing* Sweet Home Alabama! Myne I also dislike such anonymous online battering with words. I unsubscribed from one of the most popular Nigerian blogs you know cuz of this. Just crappy and pointless.

  21. Being mean online=So not nice!

    I think its the fact that they can be anonymous like you said. I could not trust someone who has been rude online if i ever met such in person. Only because there is always an iota of honesty in every expressed aggravation online or in person; even more online because no one knows who is typing.

    Have fun in AL!

  22. Yes, there is the thing about the cloak of anonymity..but also, some people just do it because they can. I for one, MIGHT find it easier to say things to a person online rather than offline but trust me, they wouldn't be things that I would not be able to defend offline should the need arise. Anonymity is supposed to help people convey messages/criticisms that they may be too shy or timid to pass across as their real selves. What people need to understand is that there is a difference between giving criticisms and being rude outright.

  23. As per Naeto C, I also read the excerpt on TWP and my take is that..."oh so just because he is in the media light, he is supposed to continue receiving and receiving such bullcrap (especially when it is not constructive), abi?!"
    Personally, I like the guy and he has managed to keep his head under as far as controversies are concerned. People just dont know when to STOP!

  24. When there are a lot of fruits on a mango tree, the first thing to expect are stones even though some reason ones will carefully pluck and leave. I believe that’s what you are experiencing. Although I am new on the scene yet, I don’t really border myself if it happens. All I need to do is just to DELETE those horrible comments.

  25. I am going to say something i used to say when i just got born again.
    "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks"
    People are what they say and you can't help who/what you are.
    Block who you can, live with the rest.

  26. Naeto C is a public personality but he's also a human being. Maybe he just got fed up and decided to fire back.
    You'll be surprised to find out the level of satisfaction some ppl derive from dishing out insults online especially since they know they can get away with jst about anything.
    Sometimes i read comments on youtube videos & i cnt help but feel sad for some of the angry ppl hurling out insults. They must be living sad lives :( lol
    You shall be missed!, Tell us all about Alabama when u return pwease? :D

  27. To me, rude people online are:
    -sad, angry, envious, lonely people,
    - who are usually unattractive,
    - with little/no self esteem,
    - possessing poor communication skills (their language comprises of negative words only)
    - most likely unemployed or working in a dead-end job.............and who lash out because they want others to be sad like them

    We really should pity them.......I do

  28. have summed it all..its all about transferred aggression and envy.As for naeto c...hes only human and there is a limit to what insult one can take....simply delete the comment and dont ever reply..not replying will definitely make them feel stupid whoever they are.Just act as if they said nothing.

    I used to frequent nairaland and there i realised there are lots of aggrieved for no reason people on earth...the things some people said on that unimaginable.

  29. bLESSINGS.....
    sorry for the delay in visiting. I have been having a hard time getting onto your site for some reason, then when i get there all these pop ups come up and sends everything out of whack.

    About the post:
    I personally think it is part of their character. These personas don't just pop up because a person is online, it exists within those persons. The man you got to know personally I'd be cautious as he has shown a side of himself that is now uncloaked.

    Many allow them selves to let loose because the have the safety of the computer screen, distance and anonimity.

    About commenting
    I allow all to comment because i do have the opportunity to moderate comments and can choose to discard anything i feel is downright offensive for the sake of being offensive.

    have a blessed week.

  30. There is indeed a certain level of bravado that comes when one is shielded by anonymity. You are secure in the fact that you can be as nasty & impolite as you like because the people can’t see your face.

    I understand anonymity is crucial in areas where the freedom to speak opposing views can be a matter of life or death but for your general day-to-day interactions online for most of us, it’s just an excuse to be bitchy – pardon my French.

    I know other bloggers who have made the conscious decision not to allow anonymous commentary for this very reason. In my own experience, when I call into a radio program, post on twitter or on someone else’s blog, I know that my name is out there and I ensure that what I’m saying reflects my views and thoughts, and if called on I can defend them. I try by all means possible to be courteous to people because that’s how I like to be treated, and you never know who’s behind the name “Myne Whitman.” LOL

  31. I have suffered the heat and anonymous comments are no more allowed on my blog too. It's an interesting point that you highlight, two personalities and simply enjoying it as a game..


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