Friday, January 23, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

I have noticed it not only on my blog but on people's blogs too: there are cowards who persistently hover around blogs, commenting as 'anonymous'. You 'intermittent' spy, you! Those with more courage albeit an inch of it, put a random name, not linking back to their own pages for fear of retaliation.

I wonder if cowardliness is the only reason. I wonder if adding to that, a pinch of fear, is the way to cook it. The fear that the addressee may come running to their pages and treat their posts just as ruthlessly and anonymously (read, conveniently). This truly is sad; for it projects some people's lack of belief in proper argument. The fun of it. The richness of it. The culture of it.

It becomes imperative for these Mr. Hydes to humiliate the other person, should they find something not peculiarly appetizing. I say to them, "I love to tantalize you!"

They refuse to believe that they can be loved despite their shortcomings, and they abhor the thought that we can be loved in spite of ours. I, for one, still have faith in their good nature; the ability to be Jekylls albeit an inch of it! It has been decided that comments on my blog will be allowed upon a sign-in henceforth. I hate to moderate because it creates a feeling of mistrust and snubs the flow of discussions. Fellow bloggers (or blaagers, as Momekh calls it), what do you think?

Image credits: http://www.siliconcerebrate.com

27 comments:

Abdul Sami said...

sadly... or weirdly... i have never had the sort of arguments on my blog as yours often does ... then again i do not touch issues like you do ... also perhaps i m quite outspoken and pinchy myself... lol

anonymity and privacy is a right to all of us... but by abusing it these people ruin it for all of us...

i am thinkin of a bad joke here... but lets no go there :D !!

hfm said...

I think people like to hide behind the anonymity the internet offers because they're little wusses using harsh words they would never dare to utter in real life- thus making themselves believe they're BIG enough to say such things.
It's despicable, I just delete the comments.

Rant over.
Sorry for that!

Mumble Bee said...

@hfm..
I understand the context of her comments..but don't stereotype people preferring anonymity. People can even get killed or imprisoned for expressing their opinion like from Saudi Arabia etc
checkout http://muttawa.blogspot.com
Or in democratic countries, you could loose your job for gossiping about your office or could lead to mental harassment. like Zoe Margolis(a sex blogger)
http://girlwithonetrackmind.blogpot.com

Saadia said...

Sami, why "sadly"? *confused* Its not ALWAYS fun!

Hfm, I obviously share those woes. :(

Mumble Bee, I see your point. But the kinds of situations you're talking about, are hardly comparable to this relatively innocent and cultured blogging world. It actually thrives on cooperation and reciprocation.

exquisite said...

moderation is good
but i like to go easy on it because you will always be missing that 'other' part of the discussion, even if it's coming from a coward

Abdul Sami said...

well i kno they r not fun... but it does indicate that u touch topics that people r more interested in whereas i jus ramble !!!

Saadia said...

Exquisite, that is the reason why I am not moderating. Everybody's welcome to come up with the other side - but tastefully and with an ID! Fair game, eh?

Sami, rambling is a very important genre of blogging. Not many people can ramble in a way that would attract people. I surely can't. So it isn't any less precious.

Momekh said...

I tend to believe that the 'anonymous' folks are firstly, the ones who do not have a web address to give... secondly, when they give their name, they are under no obligation to give their real name, so why use anonymous... why not use any random name? Yet they use anonymous.

I think the root of this high-end psycho-analysis hehehe is that usually, the person does not have a web address to give out. Or they don't want to be bothered by 'follow ups'. malice is not always the intent - as I agree that everyone is good at heart unless proven otherwise.

Momekh said...

And why doesn't your blog still allow 'self-hosted' bloggers? I am not on any of the listed platforms on your nifty little 'comment as' section ... I used to be on Blogger in the Jurrasic era, then the dinosaurs died so I moved onto self-hosted Wordpress :P ...
I am tempted to write this as Anonymous ... :P

Abdul Sami said...

saadia... thanks!!! :)

@momekh... u r missin the poin inni !!! lol

Saadia said...

Momekh, the reason why I'll disagree with your understanding of the anonymous wrangler is that 99 out of a 100 times, people commenting anonymously have very harsh words to say to you. They mean to be rude and sarcastic. They simply cannot disagree in good taste.

Saadia said...

And Momekh, you CAN sign-in with your Wordpress ID too, to comment here. And those without either Wordpress or Blogger IDs, have the option to comment using their AIM or choosing from several other logins.

Kadri said...

I don't have that problem since my blog really doesn't bring up topics that can be discussed that heatedly. But, I've been a member of discussion forums where "Anon" and "Fake Name" users were more common than people that dared to stand by their (screen)name as well as their opinion. In the end I left those forums because I realized that it wasn't really discussion when you were talking to 5 different versions of one person.

I do think that fear for being disliked or "different" was the motivator for many of them. They could post their opinion anonymously and if no one agreed then they could pretend that they had never said it. It defies the whole point of discussion and I find it hard to understand how someone that's so afraid of confrontation and questioning ever get the idea to go to a discussions forum to begin with.

Standing up for your opinion and being willing to discuss it even if I don't agree will win you more respect from me than simply rolling over to agree (when you don't) or hiding behind unreachable anonymity.

Then there are those who simply want's to be mean of course. I see them as mentally ill, just as those who can't stop themselves from shouting out profanities and vulgarities when you walk past them outside the mental clinic. Those are also the scary kind since you'll never know how far they'll go when they throw you death threats and such.
What if ... ?

R. Ramesh said...

ya..absolutely right saadia, they r cowards who want to hide behind anonymity..when one has a clean heart why one should hide..u brought out a very pertinent and serious point..but well..cowards die several times, the valiant die but once. hey thanks 4 yr valuable and humourous comments..all thebest dear friend..

seher's shenanigans said...

i have one way to look at them, and that is SILENCE.
it is cold enough, even for the coldest heart!

Mumble Bee said...

About Sabra and Shatila massacre..
Checkout Waltz with Bashir..awesome..disturbing..raw..

http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4646737/Waltz_With_Bashir_%5B2008%5D_-Demonoid-.avi
[hebrew]..sop watch with eng_subtitles

Id it is said...

When I started blogging some five years ago under the pen name 'iditis', I faced stiff opposition to my incognito writings, especially from close friends who thought it was cowardice on my part. The discussions and arguments continue until today and at some point I even wrote a post in defense of 'writing incognito':
http://iditis.blogspot.com/2005/09/writing-incognito.html

Saadia said...

Even that is not an issue for me. Having a pen-name is a personal choice. The point is that when you comment on other people's blogs with that same pen-name, they can recognize you - the writer, the blogger - and can access your postings to see where you're coming from. That, I don't call cowardice.

I know of at least one writer who used a pen-name out of humbleness and humility, so that people around him wouldn't instantly start showering him with compliments and expecting the world out of him.

Having said that, while I admire that thought, I haven't found a reason to do the same, till now. What is your reason though? *just curious*

Abdul Sami said...

i have used the alias 'smacula' since around 10 years now easily...

i hav used it because it sounds a bit more 'evil' than my actual name does... hence givin me a little comfort zone to mess around... lol

R. Ramesh said...

saadia, thanks 4 your motivating words, u proving to be a gr8 friend..keep up the cheers..

Id it is said...

Blogging incognito may appear spineless and even reprehensible to some, but in fact it's quite the harmless act of venting yet not confronting. When the blogger's identity is unknown, his/her writing is appreciated (or abhorred) for what it is worth; for its subject matter and its style. A major portion of the reader bias is removed because now the reader has no clue whether the writer is a male, a Capriconian with dimples, a twenty year old, an Egyptian, a handsome hunk, a nobel laureate so on and so forth. Blogging, I believe, is literature, if all the accompanying baggage of identity is removed. It's a dynamic medium of written expression that is far reaching, yet immediate, and one which is for the most part non restrictive. Given access to such an awesome tool, why would a reasonably good writer need to post his picture or his resume.

The above is merely a defense of my status as an 'undefined' blogger. It's merely an opinion, and could therefore be verily disregarded, or else argued and commented upon.

Saadia said...

Thank you for sharing your post here.

I feel that it is fine if somebody wants to use a pen-name. They must have their reasons, as you do, and as the person I referred to, did. But then, they must also stick to the same pen-name when interacting with other writers (bloggers, in this case).

Posting harsh comments or at least, controversial ones, as 'Anonymous' and then, not having the spine to stand up to criticism, is what feels reprehensible. Most of these peeps have an air of superiority about them; not to mention, they are sadists.

Daanish said...

Thank you for bringing up this important topic.I have seen this problem.I usually follow the standard diplomatic tool:'IGNORE THEM'

I try not to fall in the trap of answer any irrelvant comment.By keeping SILENCE,at least we can remain on high grounds by respecting us,not them!

exquisite said...

gotya :)
You want the person;s online identity... for a quid pro quo :P

Chriz said...

i come across them too.. but because of them , i have learnt to control my anger...
i take those comments as an anger management therapy...

just ignore them!!!

MAK said...

Okay so this is against all those people who don't link it back to there blogs....what wabout those who don't have a blog????i am one example.

again i think moderating the comments would be a better option than restricting it like this.

Still its "your" space u can do what ever u want and i respect that

Saadia said...

Chriz, that is good advice. I'll keep the goal in mind for future purposes!

MAK, at the end of the day, I find this to be the best solution (thus far).

You have, yourself answered your concern. You aren't a blogger, but still, you've been able to post. Everybody these days has a google or AIM ID, so I don't think it should be an issue. I just don't feel like moderating. It stems flow in any on-going discussion. Don't you think?