I can’t tell you how many drafts I’ve done of this post. That’s how bent I am about the topic.
The blogosphere is where I play. If someone wants to wave their dick around, have a good time. I’ll go enjoy the company of the other people I’ve gotten to know.
Not my problem.
But someone whose company I enjoy posted a reblog of someone I’d never heard of. I wandered over, because I enjoy this bloggers online persona, and they were very keen to have the post read.
What I read both appalled and enraged me.
Every blogger I follow is here to tell their stories and enjoy the community. In some cases, that means finding someone to laugh at their jokes, to encourage their adventures, or to share and lessen their pain.
So I read the post about a woman who had been sexually abused when she was younger. She was offered a platform by a popular influential blogger to tell her story on a site where guests discussed major issues. She accepted.
This is the part where things go horribly wrong.
The host of the site and the blogger became friendlier. They traded emails. They were flirtatious.
At a certain point, she got uncomfortable with the flirtation and asked him to stop. Not only didn’t it stop, but he escalated it instead.
At the same time, the host and his followers lambasted another blogger under the guise of self-righteousness in a very loud and public shaming.
After asking around from people on both sides of this mess, there were consistent stories that came out. The host has a history of using his blogs popularity and influence, along with his own personal charm, to manipulate and coerce others into feeding his ego.
“But Dave” you say, “they’re adults. They don’t have to do anything. How could an online voice make them do anything?”
Because many people have very unpleasant histories. And many are vulnerable to triggers from people who for whatever reason need to control others to validate themselves.
She said stop. He pushed it.
Others who had been in his circle thought for themselves or hung out with people who had left the circle.
Some of them were shamed. Some of them were shunned. Some of them were the victims of backstage gossip campaigns.
This is where I play. I love the communities that I found here – the one I built here, and the ones that welcomed me in when I got here.
And when the community has members that are here to build themselves up at the expense of others, to demean talented worthwhile people for their own needs, then deny that they’ve done anything wrong, other than to say “maybe I went too far”, ignoring that they’ve done it again and again, then it’s worth it to stand up for what’s right.
Taking advantage of someone who has opened themselves because you can is fucking wrong.
Ganging up on people you don’t like for some perceived slight is fucking wrong.
Ain’t none of us here curing cancer. Get. Fucking. Over it.
You don’t like the person posting? Fuck you. Unfollow them.
You want to use your vaunted position and influence with wp to build a mob? Fuck you twice. The community is stronger than you.
You’re going to follow in that mob and tear someone down for no reason? Try thinking for yourself.
But if you’re a narcissist who takes advantage of people, and when called out on it, is only remorseful because of the blowback on issues with your family, Fuck you doesn’t even come close to the disdain and fucking loathing I have for you.
I may lose a lot of followers for this post. I might be called an awful lot of bad names for this post.
Fuck you too.
Because what happened here that set me off, and from what I’ve heard of the pattern of this happening again and again, Fuck You is the only appropriate response.
Some people said to me, in private conversations, that they didn’t want to say anything because the host was too big and had too many followers and they were worried about repercussions.
I am so fucking angry that this happened that I don’t care. Abuse is wrong. Physical, sexual, mental, take your pick.
For the perpetrator, mixed with the anger I have towards him, there’s also pity. Because he sincerely doesn’t think he’s in the wrong.
The blogosphere is where I play. I’m here to support my friends with likes and comments. And to say to anyone who wants to prey on others here when they’ve shared their vulnerabilities and sought to build their own communities of support and strength, get help.
You have a problem. You have a history of action. Do something, before it spills into your real life and rips away everything you hold dear.
For his blind followers, dear god, think for yourselves. Look at the people you’re trying to tear down. Ask yourself honestly, is there any reason for it besides the rampage of the mob? Have they done anything so horrible that it calls for screaming.
Is it on the scale of taking advantage of someone mentally?
Because that’s what Le Clown did. And the post that set me off was this one from Calamity Rae.
Update: I wrote this Friday night. Since then, other bloggers have spoken out. Le Clown has shut down his site.
He may be back. There may be another.
If that happens, stand up. Say something. Don’t let good people be cowed or scared or intimidated into following or being silent.
A whole lot of bloggers are now telling their stories. Listen to them. Try and understand how this happened so it doesn’t happen again.