Rejecting The Bullies

I know there’s an usually unwritten rule about commenting on commenting in the digital realm. I am sure it borders on some amorphous definition of meta, a word that I think is actually supposed to be a suffix and that I am definitely sure lacks a cohesive definition, but I’ve never been much for rules or ceremony. So, I’ll be blunt. The vast majority of comments on the internet are useless at best and destructive at worst.

I think this is similar to what internet pariah of the month, Denis Dyack, meant when he said internet forums need to be changed. Like many of you, I reacted initially to his comments with the knee-jerk “Ohhhh, Denis,” but as I’ve let the concept soak in the brine of my dissatisfaction with the vocal population of gamers on the web, I find myself increasingly inclined to agree.

To bemoan the horror of net discourse is certainly nothing particularly new. I have spent any number of hours reading vile and venom aimed at my own words, most often when I have said something unapologetically that runs counter to popularly held views such as: Piracy is bad for PC games; Vanguard isn’t a very good game; I’m looking forward to Fallout 3 and sometimes EA isn’t all bad.

I imagine should this missive break beyond the bonds of our oddly functional community, I will suffer similarly.

The democratization of the web – a term that means very little but sounds patriotic enough to demand respect – has installed an illusion of a digital first amendment that protects speech no matter how poorly spelled or stupid. Never mind that providing a comment section on a private website entitles nobody to a big helping spoonful of nothing, we are operating in a digital society that doesn’t just believe that everyone is entitled to an opinion – a tenet I grudgingly concede – but that they are entitled to express that opinion wherever they see fit.

The result of that is the web as we see it today, where the value of smartly considered discussion is weighted equally with loud and angry voices that offer nothing save new and creative ways to suggest a person self-impregnate. The alpha personalities of the web, cloaked in anonymity and set loose in this unrestrained medium, are a driving force in the lowered level of discourse on the web and, I think, a factor in the sad state of online journalism, dialogue and even product.

I am with Dyack in thinking the reign of the terminally loud and annoying has crossed the threshold from being irritating to being destructive. Whether they represent a minority or majority I can’t say, but they have become the dictators of warped common sense. They drive the discussions within and without the gaming sphere. Across what seems a dangerously wide segment of our culture, it is the hysterical and furious who dictate the tone of our shared discussions.

Odd as this may sound; I think part of the problem is the purity of the mode of online discussion. Understand that when I call the discussion pure, I’m speaking about the undistilled nature of comments. With anonymity, lack of repercussion and most importantly unfettered access to the web, people are free to shed the bounds of common decency, a sick beast itself, and respond in their most basic natures.

This is not a good thing.

I’ve said before that the bounds of our social contracts are the barriers between a functioning society and bashing each others’ heads in with rocks. Having to take responsibility for your words and actions are good things, and destroying those barriers can seem democratic from a broad view, but in practice just unlocks the checks blocking the most aggressive and opens an express lane to chaos.

What I’d really like to see, in many ways, is a system where people are not invisible. But that’s not practical. An alternative would be for more organizations create a more comprehensive and social approach to moderation, but that demands man-hours and resources. If anything, rampant internet malfeasance is a direct result of convenience, and again this seems equally unlikely.

So, the solution seems to be to reduce the accessibility of feedback. Interactivity does not necessarily need to be the holy grail of online reporting. Oftentimes, feedback seems out of place, and can swiftly become a distraction or even a detriment to the hosting organization. Do we really need to open the floor to every clown with an agenda to inject his or her venom? Does every place on the web necessarily need to follow up content with open mic night at the Tourettes Palace?

Why do we allow the sense of entitlement to persist that it is perfectly ok for any malcontent with an opinion and functioning fingers to walk into our online house and start hurling dirt on the walls? It seems counter intuitive to me, even self-destructive to be the vehicle for your own criticism, particularly criticisms that is misinformed, angry, motivated by alternative agendas and barely literate.

I don’t really need to know what Skizzbucket221 thinks about the issues of the day. It doesn’t make the web any less democratic. Shutting down Skizzy’s vitriol in our house doesn’t curtail his freedom to fire up his own blog. But, it does take away his visibility in a place like Joystiq, Slashdot or CNN, and forces him to build up a following on his own, which is where the real democracy is at.

Comments

Mahni wrote:

The thought that anyone would not see my comment as satire (or sarcasm, close enough) saddens me.

You did take a while to get to the punchline. It took me till well into the last paragraph to see where you were going with that.

The result of that is the web as we see it today, where the value of smartly considered discussion is weighted equally with loud and angry voices that offer nothing save new and creative ways to suggest a person self-impregnate. The alpha personalities of the web, cloaked in anonymity and set loose in this unrestrained medium, are a driving force in the lowered level of discourse on the web

I remember when Usenet was the domain of smart grad students. Then colleges started wiring more of their dorm rooms with internet access, undergrads started posting, and everything went to hell.

Good god - let me tell you what the biggest problem I have is: I can't possibly read all the cool threads with smart discourse because I have a full-time job.

I know that this is because you folks (the big guys and us little guys) have been tending to this bonsai tree with diligence. Reading this thread has taken a long time - testimony to the fact that I oft-times prefer to read messages on this site more than I actually play games. What the hell does that tell you?

Anything worthwhile to say about this has already been said - thanks all.

polq37 wrote:
I remember when Usenet was the domain of smart grad students. Then colleges started wiring more of their dorm rooms with internet access, undergrads started posting, and everything went to hell.

Yeah, the smart grad student porn was way better than the undergrad porn.

Certis wrote:
The primary job of any good moderator is to remind people they're communicating with other human beings. If you start there, the rest falls into place fairly evenly.

But what about the Geth?!

In my mind every single person in this discussion is wearing some kind of evening jacket while sitting on overstuffed chairs in a large room. Most have monocles or bifocals and subtle English lisps can be heard when someone speaks, though not so much to easily identify where that person may be from. Some have large glasses filled with a dark, unknown liquid while others, still involved in the conversation, are politely enjoying a hookah to the side. The room's furniture is arrayed around a large hearth in one wall, its warmth bathing all the participants in an amber glow. Stone walls dully reflect the light while the night air, allowed entry through small, high windows with bars across them, is crisp and clean; it tells of the end of fall and promises a deep, cold winter.

Muffled screams can be heard, as if from a great distance away. Screams of terror, torment and raw anger. Despite the luxurious atmosphere of the room many of the participants notice the din is slowly growing louder, so slowly the difference is almost immeasurable. Minute after minute, however, the far-removed roar gains strength.

An older gentleman quietly gets up from his place of honor before the hearth and the whole room quites slightly, watching his movement. He politely apologizes to the others before briefly checking the thick wooden door at the far end of the room. Finding it lacking he gives a grimace and heaves a stout beam of redwood, ornately carved by some unknown master artisan, onto steel brackets on either side of the door. Meanwhile the younger members of the audience, sensing the change in their more experienced fellows, begin to stretch and limber themselves, preparing for whatever may come. Some talk excitedly while others test their blades, ensuring a razor edge. The gentleman who secured the door sadly shakes his head at the eager men. "No need," he says, going back to his seat in front of the fire. "The walls will hold. They always have."

The communications in question over the internet are really no more than a reflection of current society. In the real world people act like this all the time and are generally shunned and removed from society or removed from groups. The anti-social and the belligerent people are not see as prevalently because we as people do not tolerate such people and hence they are pushed into groups that would accept these individuals. Thankfully these group do not intersect with many of ours. If we want to look at this from an action standpoint we can see good and bad actions demonstrated by people on a daily basis. The worst of which end up in jail. Though the greatest distinction between good and bad in real life compared to that of the internet is physical well being. If you mouth off to a group of people anywhere the possible ramifications of such actions may result in either ejections from the area, being ostracized or in extreme examples having the crap beat out of you.

In comparison to the internet the only true punishment is being socially ostracized in the form of a forum ban or being blocked in various forms. This then urges those that actually "care" about their internet social groups to behave better. To those that care nothing about the social groups they interact with they will simply move onward to some other group in which to spread their message of hate and cancer. There is no true negative ramifications for their actions. Perhaps the highest possible ramification for their action might bring them to the threshold of investigation by the authorities, be it local law enforcement, their IP or in extreme cases even the FBI. But these procurers of hate don't often cross the line to warrant this level of trouble.

This reminds me of that story of the employee of Verizon or AT&T or some IP that was so strongly irritated by a kid on Xbox Live threatening some kind of DoS attack on him that he used his tools and knowledge as an employee to find out the kid's real address and phone number through the IP address. He then called the kid's Dad and explained this kid's actions to him. The result was the kid was beat by his father and his Xbox360 was destroyed by his father. This story, perhaps urban legend, is certainly not the norm as we don't all have access to information in order to discover the true identifies of these idiots online. However if such a tool did exist, if true identity was mandatory to be disclosed, I'm fairly certain that the negative and vile behavior we experience on the internet would be decreased by drastic margins. The power of anonymity and the abuse of this virtual shield is what brings out the true nature of many in society. Without regulations, laws, rules and most importantly the fear of repercussions, society will almost certainly fall apart. The internet is the Wild Wild West in many ways except we don't all carry guns.

Certis wrote:
...because the people in charge of maintaining order couldn't keep it in their pants.

Pants can be a tricky thing. So to speak.

bnpederson wrote:
"The walls will hold. They always have."
This was stellar, captain, absolutely stellar.

Have any of you been to madison Wi, speciificaly state street, on a Halloween? To me this is the closest that real life gets to the internet. Inebriated and ananomyous some hundred thousand people sort of writhe up and down the street, screaming, groping each other, and commiting other acts inspired by the basest of human urges. Some of it is good natured, and some of it is not. By the end of the night the "not" far outways the good nature; fires are set, horses are punched, windows are smashed. And thats when the streets filled with pepper spray, and the police march toward the masses in a line, punching and kicking, and spraying everyone in front of them, whether they've been involved in hooliganry or not.

Halloween stopped being my favorite holiday after two years of that.

tatterdemaliot wrote:
bnpederson wrote:
"The walls will hold. They always have."
This was stellar, captain, absolutely stellar.

Agreed. Is that from your brain? I mean, not stolen from somewhere? We have some really creative hombres and mujers on this board. I still am impressed by the occasional nuggets of writing goodness served up by the goodjer group.

Cramps wrote:
Have any of you been to madison Wi, speciificaly state street, on a Halloween? To me this is the closest that real life gets to the internet. Inebriated and ananomyous some hundred thousand people sort of writhe up and down the street, screaming, groping each other, and commiting other acts inspired by the basest of human urges. Some of it is good natured, and some of it is not. By the end of the night the "not" far outways the good nature; fires are set, horses are punched, windows are smashed. And thats when the streets filled with pepper spray, and the police march toward the masses in a line, punching and kicking, and spraying everyone in front of them, whether they've been involved in hooliganry or not.

Halloween stopped being my favorite holiday after two years of that.

You're experiencing a psychological phenomena where people in a group loose individuality, and thus, individual sense of responsibility. This is how mobs turn into riots and soccer games into lynchings.

Interesting timing, there's an article in the upcoming New York Times magazine on this topic.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Perhaps I've been more isolated from this kind of behavior than I realized; I had no idea it could get so bad. Particularly the Mitchell Henderson story.

Shoal07 wrote:

You're experiencing a psychological phenomena where people in a group loose individuality, and thus, individual sense of responsibility. This is how mobs turn into riots and soccer games into lynchings.

I think it's one step beyond the Soccer/footbal riots. The masks people put on, the "becoming" what you want to be (suparman, sexy-"insertsomething") creates a similar but some how different levle of dissassociation of our own sense of individuality. Certainly thats a factor in the mob creation. I guess its a just a slightly different flavor of riot.

The horse that was punched....it had a cop on top of it. He was jailed for assualting an officer of the law.

I feel a bit silly typing this, but what really broke it for me was the last year I dressed up for halloween in Madison. I dressed as Clack Kent. In a sea of supermen, and others I was disgusted and sober.

Luckily, I don't live in madison any more! Woo Boston!

That NY Times article is stunning.

While I loved bnpederson's post, it's flawed.

Those walls will never hold if pushed.

Great article on the NYTimes web site about the dark side of the net and people who proudly proclaim their trollness (without revealing their legal names of course).

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/ma...

Edit: NEVER MIND. (Look up) - Mods, feel free to delete.

The information in the NY Times article is interesting and scary but it seems fragmented in places. When talking about the case of Sherrod DeGrippo, it said that she contacted Weev, but what if anything did Weev do for her? What was the conclusion of her problem or at least the current status of it?

It is also quite troublesome that some people take such a crass and jaded view of humanity and even more worrying is that they act on those views in these ways. I also wonder how this subculture can police itself if it is initially built around pushing boundaries and buttons. When people do try to enforce some rules or sense of 'right' then the group can easily turn on them and then continue on their original trajectory. It is a self-reinforcing group and I don't necessarily see it just burning itself out before many, many horrible things happen (I'm thinking of harrasment and beyond).

bnpederson wrote:
In my mind every single person in this discussion is wearing some kind of evening jacket while sitting on overstuffed chairs in a large room. Most have monocles or bifocals and subtle English lisps can be heard when someone speaks, though not so much to easily identify where that person may be from.

I wear akimbo monocles. You can tell how surprised I am by whether both pop off or just one.

bnpederson wrote:
Muffled screams can be heard, as if from a great distance away. Screams of terror, torment and raw anger. Despite the luxurious atmosphere of the room many of the participants notice the din is slowly growing louder, so slowly the difference is almost immeasurable. Minute after minute, however, the far-removed roar gains strength.

Your majesty, the peasants are revolting!

Mollify them with cake! And Sofia Copella movies!

How is 'democracy' relevant to allowing unmoderated comment? A system is democratic to the extent that the people effected by collective decisions have an equal influence on those decisions. It is complete fantasy to equate an equality of power amongst individuals with equality of speaking opportunities.

Moderating the manner in which people express themselves is not a blow against freedom. If moderation makes comment more palatable, then moderate by all means. Regardless I think its rather like the line from Dennis Leary's song 'they can have all the democracy they want, they can have a big democracy cake, walk right through the middle of Tienemen Square and it won't make a lick of difference'.

As Bertrand Russell related, the aim of liberalism is to find the golden mean between despotism and anarchy. Why I find the behavior of trolls anywhere from distasteful to criminal, I'd be lying if I didn't also find some, albeit small, sort of empathy. In our highly-structured society, there is also a line to cross wherein society becomes too ordered and authoritarian.

Personally, I'm very interested in the generational affects that lie within culture. I wonder how much of what we see - online bullying, anarchist tendencies, and the like - are manifestations of this time in the technology's lifeline. American culture, in particular, moves through predictable rhythms of over- and under- protection of its members, and through tolerance and intolerance of deviant behaviors.

I'm not saying I agree one way or the other. A lot of you seem to be much like me - irritated but tolerant, we sort of accept that this is what comes with the technology. I'm not so sure that the next generation will take that attitude. Perhaps what we consider more private, they will consider more private. Most of us spill into the upper and lower end of Generation X. While many among us might hate the moniker, the we have a distinctive feel in how we go about things.

I don't know exactly where the discussion is going, but I detect a very different, nuanced tone when you folks discuss this versus when I hear my elders discuss it. I know people that get gripped with fear. My parents are ultra-paranoid about online activity - seeing fearful predators around every digital corner. Up until recently, I wrote it off as paranoia. But what if, because I grew up with this technology, I have a different perspective and expectation.

It will be interesting to see where we are a decade hence...

Like most here I grew up with this technology as well, but what worries me is that some of us may have gotten stuck somewhere and haven't moved on, mentally.
There's a bit in that NYTimes article that makes this all too clear:

Jason Fortuny wrote:
“Anyone who knows who and where you are is a security hole,” he told me. “I own a gun. I have an escape route. If someone comes, I’m ready.”

This guy experienced a social backlash that he himself created.. He hurts other people by being someone online that would not be accepted anywhere else, has to face the same response he and his ilk are giving others, but now effectively he's still not accepting that he caused this and instead blames everyone else for it.
So that's freedom, is it?

Point is, I think this guy is sick. And I really mean that - there's something really not right in his mind that he and others think that this is normal behavior for an adult.
You see, I can see this coming from kids. Kids are kids, and even if you raise them well enough, these things may happen. Them gathering on some forums and acting like asshats.. whatever, it should be temporary. I know it was with me, and I only really got talking online when I was 17.
But then education and upbringing should step in and they should be confronted with reality where this kind of thing isn't tolerated because that behavior undermines our society, and in the end only works self-destructive.
You think that behavior will get you a job? Obviously Fortuny knows it doesn't as well, but instead of recognising the malignent behavior as the destructive force, I get the feeling he's just playing pretends in real life so he can make a living.

And that seems a problem to me - some don't seem to have been faced with that, or if they have, they haven't recognised they themselves are to blame for the negative things that have happened to them.

What I think worries me and like docbadwrench wrote, I can see worries many (often older) people who aren't that into the 'online community' thing, to a much more extreme point is that there may be an increasing number of these people who are just out there (in both ways)..

I have an idea that this is in a part because parents and society both let things slide, and assumed that because their kids were behind the computer 'playing games' they weren't up to no good. But who am I to say that without evidence though?

(although I recently did see a striking example on the news about that about parents that didn't know their 10 y/o was playing CoD4.......)

I think you are onto something with considering people like this sick. Mental illness occupies a fuzzy category in the minds of most; I myself often resist the idea that you can have such an illness, much like drug addiction is waved off as a bad choice. It's that old problem: we blame the mentally ill, but we would never blame someone for having a tragic accident that severs a limb. The obvious physicality creates a strong distinction.

It's even worse because I think that people of my generation are ultra-individualists. How many times have I heard myself mourn that the bad decision was my bad decision alone. A society can't just be a bunch of ultra-individualists clamoring for eternal choices and with little responsibilities.

A very big concern that I have in this arena is this: those of us who live our lives online don't want the government or other large institutions encroaching on what we see as our basic freedom. I can sure get behind that - my problem is that we simultaneously demand that the government do nothing while at the same time offering no concrete solutions. This could really bite us in the ass, and I'm not prepared to lay the blame at the feet of our government when there's plenty of blame lying around my feet...

I don't have any answers - the questions scare me, though.

docbadwrench wrote:

I don't know exactly where the discussion is going, but I detect a very different, nuanced tone when you folks discuss this versus when I hear my elders discuss it. I know people that get gripped with fear. My parents are ultra-paranoid about online activity - seeing fearful predators around every digital corner. Up until recently, I wrote it off as paranoia. But what if, because I grew up with this technology, I have a different perspective and expectation.

It will be interesting to see where we are a decade hence...


It's interesting you bring this up, because my mother, who's into her mid-50s now, absolutely refuses to use any online vendor for purchases.

I always mention something like "Oh, buy it on BestBuy.com then just pick it up when you get out of work" and her immediate concern is "what if someone steals my CC number while it's being sent to Best Buy?". Even after explaining secure https connections, encryption, and the fact that any bank/lender worth their salt has anti-fraud measures built in to prevent stealing your cash, she's still leery of it.

Hell, she isn't too comfortable using ATMs or checking her online banking statement.

Me? I chucked my checkbook the moment I learned about online banking. I use ATMs whenever I need to drop into the bank. When I went home for Thanksgiving, I waited until midnight, checked a few websites, and had most of my holiday shopping done in about half an hour. Still, my mom refuses to trust e-commerce.

Makes me wonder how stubborn I'll be when RFPay gets popular. "No sir, I don't like that weird implant. I'll use my check card JUST FINE, thank you!"

As for the article, the e-terrists come off as entirely too fake. I think it's clear they were having a bit of fun with the reporter, mentioning Malthusian apocalypse, talking about guns and escape routes. It's all theatricality. They're empowering themselves by creating this grandiose online persona. That we're so eager to believe it is, well, kinda scary.

Not because we're foolish or too trusting, but because we know that some people take the online sphere entirely WAY too seriously. Sure, there are sick people out there posting on Stormfront. But how many regular /b/ tards actually believe the crap they spout. There's the question.

docbadwrench wrote:
I think you are onto something with considering people like this sick.

I won't argue with you there, I agree wholeheartedly. But there are plenty of just as sick people who act out their aggression in the real world. I think you just have to write these people off as part of the human condition--they're simply not worth the effort and stress of worrying about.

The difference, perhaps, is that very few murderers have fan bases. I'd guess that it's the supporting ecosystem of followers which makes trolling the phenomenon that it is. People who normally wouldn't instigate, but perhaps due to the cloak of anonymity see it as 'okay' to support behaviors they wouldn't condone in the real world. Or perhaps they tag along out of a sense of community, of being 'in on the joke'. I don't pretend to fully understand the mindset. Without them, though, people like Weev and Fortuny would simply dry up.

edit:
@johnny531: Oh I agree, but those people get caught, tried and sentenced. These guys get away with their behavior. Should they? :\
/edit - sorry

Well, yeah, I don't think most of our governments are really that much to blame, really. I'm very much an advocate for people taking their own responsibility. Up to a point anyway.

The thing is that 'mental illness' is a problematic thing to diagnose or define, in part because it's a deviation from what's 'normal' that has so many variations and gradations. But what IS normality? What can you say is normal, and what is not?

I like spending a lot of time behind a computer, while nomadic tribal people in Africa or south-america might say I'm completely bonkers for hiding behind a glowy thing most of my time.
But as far as I can judge, I'm not hurting anyone with this, save perhaps myself in some people's opinions, but I'm doing fairly well and have a decent job, so I'm inclined to dismiss that.

If you look at Fortuny's case though, he's had some really problematic things in his childhood and later he sais:
"The willingness of trolling “victims” to be hurt by words, he argued, makes them complicit, and trolling will end as soon as we all get over it."

His views are extreme in the sense that he views it as a 'survival of the fittest' society, but I think one of the main reasons we as humans formed that cmplex thing - 'society' is because we tried to help the not-so-fortunate to survive and we thrived because of it.
His ability to do all this online is, I think, a direct result of that, because if we'd have focused on just survival of the fittest for the past million years, we'd have no more brains than a chimpanzee, but he's dismissing it with what seems like complete lack of empathy alltogether.
And that lack of empathy is worrying. It's worrying bcause it doesn't degrade his intelligence - he's smart, I don't doubt that, but most of our iconic tyrants and despotic leaders had the same issue - their ideas were single-minded and the lack of caring for a particular group, if not anyone, resulted in some of the worst things we've done to people.
He defined his lack of caring for people as the standard we should all measure up to. It is not.

But they're almost uncatchable now, because they're smart enough to get through the gaping holes we left in protection of the more vulnerable because we hadn't anticipated something like this could hurt them.

I'm not sure we can actually 'fix' this short term. I think at best we can start and manage the damage that's been done and try and control it from this point forward. Or whenever anyone is willing to stand up and prove this really is hurting people. Finding the middle road between moderating for protection and outright censorship is troublesome too though. The question is also what, onine, is more valuable: the complete and utter freedom of speech, or the protection of the more vulnerable because the former is hurting them? Where does one draw that line?

Of course what they say is true in some part too I think. A lot of people are treating this in a too naive way - posting their identity and everything they are and hope to be, online, thinking they're only sharing it with their friends and not the other gazillion people online who have as much access to it as they have, if not more in the case of hackers.
Something needs to be taught as well, but I don't agree it should be done in that blunt a fashion. Not when it kills people.

As the NYT article quoted Postel: "Be conservative in what you do; be liberal in what you accept from others.”

FeddEx wrote:

If you look at Fortuny's case though, he's had some really problematic things in his childhood

That's a troll if I ever heard it.

And it's sad that my first instinct is to dismiss it as such.

Spaz wrote:
FeddEx wrote:

If you look at Fortuny's case though, he's had some really problematic things in his childhood

That's a troll if I ever heard it.

And it's sad that my first instinct is to dismiss it as such.

Er, I don't follow..?

I want everyone in this thread to know that I'm keeping track of every grammar error and stylistic faux pas. Thanks for helping other posters realize their errors in my absence.

Wyatt Earp wrote:
From now on I see a red sash, I kill the man wearing it. So run, you cur, and tell the other curs the law is coming. You tell 'em I'm coming! And Hell's coming with me, you hear! Hell's coming with me!

John Milton wrote:
Confusion heard his voice, and wild uproar Stood ruled, stood vast infinitude confined; Till at his second bidding darkness fled, Light shone, and order from disorder sprung.

Certis: [looking at a gold chain Elysium is holding] What is that?
Elysium: Ah, I'm among the heathen. That is my call box key, and that... is my St. Jude medallion.
Certis: Saint who?
Rabbit: Santo Jude. The patron saint of lost causes.
Elysium: And policemen.

HaciendaSquish wrote:
stupidfilter.org FAQ wrote:
Isn't filtering stupidity elitist?
Yes. Yes, it is. That's sort of the whole point.

I like it!

Cramps wrote:
I will point out that you'd be surprised what some "older" people post on the internet. They might not be as prone towards vitriolic BS as teens, but that doesn't stop some people.

Elysium wrote:
I think you'd be painfully surprised at the disparity between age and maturity. It's commonplace to assume that the problems are the young, but there a sizable amount of evidence that we're not talking about 16 year olds but 30 year olds.

I'll admit to this bias. I was certain that Pharacon was 13 until I saw pictures.