Time to get to work!

First, there are going to be some reading this saying I’m causing more problems than I might fix and to stop stirring up shit that is bad enough already. Well you know, I’ve tried to keep everything really neutral and just be a calm voice with what I’m seeing, but after the last few days…..not so much. I still want to be someone that helps fix problems rather than create them, but that doesn’t mean all is bright light and sunshine; sometimes you have to take a hard, unpopular stand to accomplish the necessary goals. Second this is going to be a long post – I challenge you to read through till the end with an open mind.

In the Outlander fandom, I have referred to incidents in my other blogs without naming names because I wasn’t trying to get anyone attacked. I still don’t want that, but I’m not so much for protecting people that are out of line anymore. Be responsible with how you respond to things – don’t attack, work to fix.

I am fed up with the minority of this ‘fandom’ making the whole look like foul, foaming at the mouth idiots to the rest of the world. And gang, by ‘minority’ I mean small number – this has absolutely NOTHING to do with race, religion, sexual orientation or anything in that realm. If YOU make it about that, look in the mirror you are part of the problem.

On the far left, we have the super shippers. No matter what anyone says – including the people in question – Sam & Cait ARE a couple, secretly married or about to be and the gods help anyone who disagrees with this viewpoint. (it’s all about the ‘love’ right? – but best not disagree) It goes from that ‘absolute’ viewpoint that will be promoted and protected no matter who gets hurt, easing down to “they look fabulous together and make a great team. Could be something there but it doesn’t matter”. After that you move towards the center and the MAJORITY of the fandom that could care less who they are dating as long as they keep doing an amazing job of bringing Jamie & Claire to life and are happy. As you move right, you have the same gradient moving to the ‘absolute’ of super-truthers or anti’s. Same problems – they are right and the gods help anyone who offers an opposing view.

When I say extreme in their views and tactics – I mean just that. I very recently started doing screen captures because I’m tired of what has been done and being told to just ignore it. The fandom has ignored this cancer and it has grown steadily worse. There is a lot I do NOT see because

  • I don’t have ‘active’ IG and Tumbler accounts. Have them but don’t ‘get’ how to use them. I am not that SM savvy to be honest, but I get by.
  • Most of the people I have found that have me blocked are shippers so I can’t SEE / document what they are doing. Guess that is why I’m blocked though trying to document anything is a very new tactic for me.
  • I was very careful from the beginning of my SM experience (especially with Twitter) in who I followed. Part of it is just mental self-preservation with sheer volume, but the other part is looking at people to see if I will enjoy their posts. I do try to respond to anything I’m tagged in, but I don’t follow thousands of people.

These hard liners – on both sides – employ tactics that I for one think should be prosecutable. The name calling and general harassment, most people can deal with that. When it moves to comments like “You are obviously mentally defective, just go kill yourself already” (this IS a direct quote and was from a shipper), absolutely VILE name calling/language, doxing (leading to attacking people around the target including friends, family & jobs), actively trying to get the target fired or in legal trouble and death threats.

I have to tell you, I am sick of the hard core shippers whining about how they are constantly attacked and vilified and how some in the fandom are just out to make them look bad. (ah…likely exactly what they are saying about me – especially with this post.) They are the victims. I say BULLSHIT. Some shippers simply cannot understand how they attract so much negative attention. Here is an example – and this is MILD, very, very MILD to some of the language I have seen and been told about.

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To moderate shippers – can you see why you have a bad rep and many people almost instantly have an issue when you claim to be a “shipper”? Some of these hardliners bait and goad otherwise sensible people into an angry outburst, spending a great deal of time ‘digging’ at them until they get the response they want. After deleting their own nastiness that prompted the anger, they hold this response up to show how mean and nasty this person is and that the poor shipper is just a picked upon victim. I’ve seen it happen.

To be fair – hard core “truthers” or “antis” often do the same thing. The one difference I have found is that shippers are far more likely to go WAY beyond the pale with less cause and are far more willing to pull in collateral to do damage to. I could be wrong about that, but I haven’t seen or heard of it so much.

To be even a little more fair – hard core book purists aren’t much better. If you want the show EXACTLY like the books, go back and read the books! The whole point of a different medium is that it is DIFFERENT. It’s a different audience, a different overall demographic and different viewpoint behind the story. You are absolutely entitled to your thoughts and opinions! But please, PLEASE….pretty please with sugar and sprinkles – express them like the mature adult you simply must be to appreciate DG’s books in the first place! Stop whining to STARZ  and trying to get people fired just because the show isn’t exactly what you want or expected. If you honestly feel the show is horrid and not what you want to see STOP WATCHING and let the rest of us enjoy it. Really is that simple. You want to debate and discuss in a civilized manner – most will engage you; but ‘most’ are tired of being attacked and vilified as ‘arse-kissers’ for defending something we are truly enjoying. If you can’t or won’t do that, please do take your time and money to support a show you can ‘fan’ and enjoy. You can keep being a fan of the books without being a fan of the show. It’s allowed, honest.

This stuff is going on…..every day. I’d been wondering why KD had stopped covering Outlander. She was so great on the panels and so much fun to watch when interacting with the cast and creative minds behind the show. Then she just stopped. When I thought about it, she ‘disappeared’ right after she did the interview where she asked Sam & Cait point blank “ARE you a couple?” They both said NO….. shippers didn’t like that. I’ve heard whispers she, like some other ‘journalists’ and bloggers, were viciously attacked on SM and threatened.

All the above was to let the bulk of the fandom (not that I have that many people who actually read my blogs) become aware of what is going on. Don’t believe me? You can find it if you look. Till recently I tried to mostly ignore the worse of it hoping people would get some common sense. I’ve had brand new people to the fandom tell me ‘oh I’ve had people tell me to not follow this person or that person as they are nasty’. Really? You don’t think people have the intelligence to make up their own minds for who they do or do not want to follow?

Honestly, this post is NOT for the fringe hard-liners on either side. They won’t listen anyway. I am addressing the bulk of the fandom that just wants to enjoy the show and our stars and all the people that bring us Outlander. Stand up – take our fandom back.

When you see this kind of crap going on, say “This is NOT ok”. Report them. Shut them down. Make it so they don’t have a platform to spew their hate from. Absolutely do NOT EVER stoop to their level of hatred, threats and name calling. That doesn’t help. Be prepared – there will be backlash – but the longer we keep silent the worse it will get. Anyone who has been around this TV fandom from the beginning will almost have to agree this is true.

Shippers are GOING to ship. The only people that MIGHT be able to stop that are Sam & Caitriona – honestly it’s their lives so they are the only ones with the ‘right’ to tell them to stop. At this point, I doubt even them saying in clear, absolute language that they want it to STOP, no secret messages, NOT a couple or anything else will get the shippers to give up on shipping them. I had a shipper tell me one time “It’s all about the love! We love “love” and that is all we are promoting”……and then you harass, attack, threaten and dox people that disagree with you. As a fandom we can’t dictate how you ‘fan’ – but we sure as hell CAN work at stopping the hate. Truthers…..this goes for you too. STOP the nastiness. No derogatory names, threats, coercion or generally being vile just because you don’t like shipping. I don’t either, but I’ve never disrespected the PEOPLE – merely spoken against the PRACTICE.

We as a group need to stand up to the bullying. Don’t land on someone for shipping – they can fan as they want; land on them for attacking another member of the fandom when all they have done is exercise THEIR right to fan by say they think S & C are NOT a couple. Let ANYONE in the fandom that employs the tactics I described above know that such behavior is NOT ok and won’t be tolerated. The sort of messages I showed above are hateful and wrong.

There are steps to take in this sort of endeavor and you have to be careful not to give them a wider platform. If you want to step in and tell someone to stop bullying, take out tags that shouldn’t be in the conversation – especially the actors. This is true even if the original attack was directed at one of the actors. Leaving those tags in just perpetuates the message and allows a wider audience to see it.

Don’t fall to their level. Let the wrong-doer know the behavior is unacceptable without resorting to name calling, abusive language or threats. Simply state this is not ok, please stop or you will be reported. If you can engage them in a civil discourse – but all means. But don’t let it devolve. As soon as you realize they are just using it at a platform to spread more hate, walk away and report. Get others to report. Get screen captures of the bullying so there is proof. We can’t just ‘let this go’ anymore. Be strong against bullying, without being mean or vindictive.

Important note: look back at the thread to make sure you know what you are jumping into before you jump. Sam and WS had a great back and forth several days ago about a change in Toblerone chocolate. Some people saw it in the middle, assumed it was about the election and started spewing. Then they got all offended when WS (in his usual acerbic manner) corrected them. It was a prime example of not understanding the argument or even if there IS one before jumping in. Don’t assume on 1 or 2 tweets out of a bunch that you understand the discussion/argument.

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 Shippers will be screaming that they have the right to ship however they want and we can’t push them into a corner. Well…if you don’t want to be treated like petulant children being put in the corner, stop acting the part. Go ahead and ship – but be respectful. Don’t attack and bully people that don’t happen to agree with your take on things. Be civil and stop pushing YOUR agenda down people’s throats that don’t feel the same. You have every right to ‘fan’ as you wish? So does everyone else. You want people to stop getting mad at you and instantly going on the defensive when they find out you are a shipper? Stop attacking anyone with a differing opinion.

Anti’s…….please….don’t go trolling shippers timelines or tumbler accounts to FIND issues. That doesn’t help. People need to stand up if they get attacked and if they need to, ask for help. If you do see bullying – address it, but again, don’t sink to bullying yourself. If shippers want to ship on their own Tumbler deal or a blog page or a private FB group that most of us don’t HAVE to see – that’s fine. They attack on a public forum, Twitter, IG, FB (not a closed group) where lots of people can see and respond, by all means tell them that sort of language or abuse is not ok. Report this stuff. Have proof. Oh and go back in a thread as sometimes an outburst from someone is after a long run of harassment.

We are (or should be) a fairly intelligent fandom. This story is so much more than most of the things that are out there to fan about. Love and life and an enduring relationship of characters that are so easy to relate to and learn from. We have a group of people working on this show that have been very willing to participate in social media and engage the fans; don’t lose that for stupidity. Fan as you wish but respect everyone else’s right to do the same. Discuss things, get new perspectives, talk to others with differing opinions and viewpoints to gain an insight you hadn’t seen before – but be KIND to each other doing it. Don’t go out looking for trouble, but don’t back away from standing up for someone getting attacked either. Stand up for what is right and good in this fandom. Put out messages of hope and caring and understanding – don’t ‘promote’ hate and fear.

As always

Courtesy Oh….by the way….everything I just said above?
All that holds pretty true for the country and politics as well. Just saying.

 

 

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“FAN” as you wish – let me do the same

I’ve done several posts about things I see both good and bad in the Outlander Clandom. I have to assume – since I have zero experience in other fandoms – that these are not isolated issues, but things that are constants because people are people. I’ve also made the comment before that fandoms seem to be a microcosm of the world in general and it has been a very interesting study.

My social media presence has been purposely limited for the last few weeks because I simply got tired of all the election issues. (Also, I tend to inhabit Twitter more than anything else for reference.) What makes me both sad and angry about the election isn’t the candidates (they both SUCK) but how everyday people are treating each other. We all have our histories, experiences and beliefs shaping each decision we make; meaning we will often disagree about topics that are of particular importance to us. Discussing ideas and philosophies to gain a better, broader understanding of any topic is a good thing – but it seems far too often people go at these situations with closed minds and personal attacks.

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The same thing is going on within the Outlander fandom. The conclusion I have come to is that the vast majority of the ‘Clandom’ are good people that just want to enjoy the show, discuss it, see what the cast & crew are up to and have a unifying topic to share and have fun with on social media. Unfortunately a few very vocal, nasty, invasive people that tend to attack rather than discuss fill the entire fandom with strife.

I had planned to do a post like this a while back, life got in the way. Here is where it started. I was seeing comments on Twitter and FB about how Season 2 was an ‘epic failure’ and ‘almost everyone’ really didn’t like it. While I had seen some comments about very specific things people were unhappy with, overall I thought the season had gone well and felt that was the overall opinion. So I did a little survey on Twitter. Here is the result:

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I was disappointed that so few responded, but I think it’s probably a pretty accurate representation. I would put out the supposition that NO ONE likes every single moment of Outlander-Season 2 (or any other TV show they watch), but overall felt it was great television. I fall into that category.

If there are things you don’t like about the show, this season specifically, a direction….whatever…that is perfectly ok. DISCUSS it. Explain why you don’t like it. LISTEN to why other people DID like to get a different perspective. Verbally attacking/abusing another person for their opinion/thoughts/ideas is just wrong. I get really angry with people that say nasty things about Ron Moore and his direction for the show. He sees it with different eyes from long time book readers – he is not out to ruin a favorite story. Ron is damn good at his job….he makes good TELEVISION. His vision comes from a very different place and it will not match yours, or mine or anyone else’s. If you truly hate what he is doing, stop watching – just like you would with any other show.

Now what got me busy on this post again today (and I admit several things have given me big pause as I’ve been writing making me re-think and further ponder) was this tweet:

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So….the fandom lost a supporter, someone that just wanted to enjoy the process without all the drama. That is a sad thing. I took this person’s ID off the tweet so they wouldn’t be hassled about it.

I’m sure there are some (if they even see this because they have me blocked…oh wait…blocking ME doesn’t keep them from seeing what I post, just keeps me from seeing what they post) that will be saying, “But we have the right to express ourselves and fan as we want to! You can’t drive us away!”…..Ok….but that works both ways. Take the shipping war as an example (since all know about it). If you want to ship, fine – but don’t attack people that don’t agree with you or insist that you are better/truer fans than anyone else. Same goes for the non-shippers. No attacking, name calling or running to WS or Sam trying to get people in trouble.  I happen to disagree with ‘shipping’ real people that have stated they are NOT a couple; I have laid out my reasoning in at least two previous posts: Why I Hate RL “shipping” and Serious Line: Fan to Fanatic. However, while I don’t like the practice, I don’t attack the people shipping. If someone feels I have actually attacked an individual, please show me and let me know so I can apologize as that is never, ever my intention.

Voting is another area of contention. Some people love to vote on these polls. Some don’t. Some really can’t for a wide variety of reasons. ALL these things are valid. Not voting does not make you less of a fan. Those that vote need to ask politely for votes – and let people decide for themselves. Give fans the information to be able to vote quickly and easily, find fun motivation in memes or comments and let people make up their own damn minds! Would it be easier to win some of these competitions with more fingers working? Sure! Some people don’t like the process or the time it eats up from other things or have computer access issues or many other things and so not voting is a perfectly valid choice and they are still a fan. Everyone has the right to ‘fan’ as they choose – but not cram what they feel is right down anyone else’s throat.

Am I doing that here? I suppose it could be viewed that way. The difference is I’m not brow-beating a specific individual or a few people with it. I’m not personally attacking anyone, calling anyone nasty names, belittling them, or trying to get them in trouble with anyone – I’m stating my position. Like it or not – that is on your head. Discuss your views with me – I’d love that!

My suggestion for people struggling with nastiness in the Outlander fandom is to limit who you follow, be willing to unfollow people that just don’t mesh with you and use the mute option if it really gets to a place you can’t deal with it. Don’t give up something you enjoy because other people need to mature a bit. Speak out if you feel up for that – but against the action/practice not people. Expect to take some hits if you do. Totally up to you how you handle all this.

The one thing I have asked for many, many times in my blogs that I will continue to ask for is this:

Courtesy

 

Being Thankful

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So once again, there is angst and drama in the Outlander Clandom. The culprit this time is a deleted scene from S2 revolving around the death of Faith. Once again, my biggest frustration is that SOME of the ‘fans’ rather than being thankful went into full bitch mode.

I am working to accept the fact that there is a small contingency of people out there that are going to be nasty. Nothing I or anyone else can say or do is going to get them to realize that there is indeed a difference between critiquing something and criticizing it. These people are going to be loud, rude and nasty no matter what just because they feel entitled to. I can’t imagine how some of the fans who follow thousands of people and see this nastiness on a regular basis deal with that much negativity in their life. I have cut my SM time to bare minimum with only a specific list I’m following on Twitter until after the elections because I was upset and angry all the time.

Beth Wesson did an absolutely fabulous blog about all this with links to two really interesting articles about fandoms and some of the issues that are coming out with social media playing such a role in the arena now. Please click here to read FANS & CREATORS…DRAWING A LINE OF DECENCY IN THE SAND.

 

Another recent blog that I really liked can be found here: A RESPECTFUL NOTE TO YOU, RON, ABOUT JAMIE. The author let her readers know her frustration without being at all disrespectful, whiny or nasty. It was a wonderful read.

Instead of duplicating the efforts of other writers better than myself, I thought with Thanksgiving coming up (Canada having already had theirs) I’d list off some stuff I’m thankful for rather than grousing (too much) about stuff that is frustrating me. So here goes.

I’m thankful that the last job I had allowed me to spend my days around books. Being in a second hand store that processed and resold donations, I was exposed to a huge variety of tomes I might not have looked at otherwise. I had to have a good enough feel for the book to know where to shelve it, and so I found many authors I fell in love with while ‘working’. This is how I found Diana Gabaldon and Outlander.

I am thankful that a ‘movie’ was never made of Outlander. Huge parts of the book had to be left out with 16 hours to work with – a 2-3 hour movie wouldn’t have come close to doing it justice.

I’m thankful that Ronald D. Moore saw something gripping in the pages of these books and was willing to put in the effort to get it made right and on a channel that would allow the grittiness, sex and violence that is part of the story be told properly without having to water it down for viewers.

I’m supremely thankful that Ron and his team work with Diana to keep (usually) the story on track. I’ve seen many stories where the original author is cut out of the process completely.

I am thankful for a solid group of extremely talented actors who get the essence of these extremely layered and complex characters. Actors who work very hard to bring that to the screen. People who give up a lot of privacy to make, promote and give this story to the fans. While they get paid for their time, it has to get old to so constantly be in the spotlight with no life to call your own. I appreciate their willingness to interact with the fans and hope they won’t feel compelled to cease that because of a small minority that insist on being nasty.

  • I am thankful to ALL the people behind the scenes that work so hard to make Outlander such a great show.
  • Ron, the producers, writers and casting crew that give the show its frame and characters.
  • Jon and the production team that give the production its base and background.
  • Terry and her whole team that dress it up.
  • The dedicated drivers who get everyone where they need to be when they need to be there.
  • The directors who put those elements together for a compelling hour of drama.
  • Specialists like Àdhamh and Claire who make sure the unusual/special things are ‘right’.
  • All the support people that work hard to make it all happen.
  • Basically for every warm body that makes this show happen as I’m sure I missed some above.

I am thankful for all those people above that take the time and energy to interact with the show’s fans on social media and (so far) haven’t shut them all down due to the inability of a few to express themselves in a grown-up, dignified manner.

I am thankful that this team shoots way more footage than they will use in the hour so they have options to make each episode the best it can be. This also means that we get to see extra footage when the DVD’s come out that make it that much richer. These are the extra bits that keep us going through Droughtlander and give us special moments.

Mostly, I am thankful that the responsibility for deciding what goes into each episode to be aired is not my responsibility. I may not love every minute of every episode – but it is a series that has done a damn fine job of portraying good drama. Not just a love story – though that is a huge part of it; not just a history – though that is its base. An excellent story brought out in a difficult medium with gobs of competition and doing well enough that it is getting to be ‘known’.

For the scene that many seem upset about – I’m thankful it was filmed at all and we got to see it. We as fans do NOT have a clue what all goes into these decisions. Yes it was a wonderful, well-acted scene that I enjoyed very much – but I didn’t miss it at the time the show aired. Expressing disappointment that it wasn’t included in the actual episode isn’t and never will be the problem I have with the fandom; the problem is a few, very vocal ‘entitled fans’ crucifying on social media the people that work so hard to bring us this show. There are days I honestly shake my head in wonder that Ron and the team don’t throw up their hands in disgust at being attacked yet again and say “fine – since we can’t make everyone happy we just won’t do the show at all.”

I’m very, very thankful that the cast, crew and all the wonderful folks who bring us Outlander are all sane, sensible people who are too professional to let immaturity from others dictate their actions.

 

SM – Love to Hate It

First of all – a note to all my followers on Twitter. Thank you. I’m humbled. I never expected to HAVE followers at all so this is pretty cool. I appreciate you – I truly do. What I want to do here is explain my ‘take’ on Social Media and how I deal with it. If I haven’t followed you back, this blog should explain why. I’m not trying to be snooty or anything – just keep my sanity! LOL

Second – in this blog I am talking about ME. How I feel about SM, my thoughts and ideas. You don’t have to agree with me and I’m not trying to point fingers at anyone. I am giving my opinion about what I see on social media. If you take it personally – that is your problem not mine.  Many of you probably won’t care about any of this – that’s ok. This is just my perspective on SM, take what you can use and leave the rest.

 

For any that have been around my blog, you know my mantra. Here it is again because it is what I try to live by. I screw up, get angry, post things I shouldn’t – but mostly, this is what I believe and work to consistently practice.

Courtesy

 

I mainly inhabit Twitter. I have found it the easiest for me to deal with. I like that you have to be short and concise. However, that does make it easy to misinterpret things – so I’m working at not doing snap responses.

When I first got on Facebook I had the horrible experience of it taking me 4 hours just to set up my basic account – and I’ve never quite recovered from that. I am on it and participate in several groups….but it isn’t my favorite.

Tumbler I actively avoid – 99% of what people have wanted me to look at has been some vile rant and I just don’t need that sort of thing. Instagram, I’ve never joined or really figured out – same with Reddit. Nothing wrong with the platforms, but I spend too much time on SM as it is and don’t need other platforms to add to that.

What I chose early on with Twitter was to be very selective with who I followed. I didn’t fall into the whole ‘you follow me I’ll follow you’ idea. That’s is fine if you want to do that – I just chose not to. Two reasons for this: It’s not really honest to just follow someone for the sake of following them – you should follow them because you really want to and feel it will add to your experience. The other is simply time. I can already – easily – sit with my coffee for a couple of hours in the morning catching up with Twitter/Facebook/Email. If I had MORE on my TL….yikes. I’m not as disciplined as I need to be to walk away from it and get back to writing! Working on that. Also, I already see a lot of the OL stuff multiple times due to who I follow, I don’t need even more. I have picked up though that – not everyone follows everyone so RT’s and such ARE important. Some of my follows may NOT see something unless I RT so – I do.

 

I follow accounts for a specific purpose. Some people I have followed I have later unfollowed. Their politics or style of Tweeting just wasn’t a good fit for me. Not to say anything bad about the other person or account – it just wasn’t a good fit for me. If someone interacts with me and I get interested I follow. I have some celebs I follow and *GASP* they are NOT all Outlander related.  I try to avoid too much political stuff on my feed. I have very strong beliefs and get passionate about defending it – but I don’t want to do that so much on Twitter. Politics can so easily ruin an otherwise very cordial relationship and that isn’t how I want my SM interaction to be.

 

I’m learning to block people. I’ve done that very little, but a few have just been so negative about something I simply didn’t want to see it or have to deal with them. I get on Twitter to have a bit of fun and pick up information. I had one person that I hugely respect and like a LOT that I muted. She just was all gung-ho promoting a show I don’t really care for/know about and it gotten so about every 3rd tweet on my TL was about that and I got tired of it. I can keep track of what she is up to over on FB so it’s all good. Nothing against her or the show – it’s popular and that’s fine – I just didn’t want that to be the majority of my TL.

My other challenge is that I live on a boat. This is awesome and cool for the most part – BUT – I don’t have access to Wi-Fi in this port. (If you want to learn more about the boat – here is our website for that www.gratefulaire.com ). That means my internet connection is through my phone using it as a wireless hotspot. It’s not very reliable as we have hills all around us so sometimes the signal is crap – and it can get VERY expensive if I don’t watch data usage. I can’t watch all the great video clips and live stream stuff (like the interview Sam & Cait just did)  I have to collect links and URL’s and wait till I can get into town (when the other half isn’t working and I have transport) to Wi-Fi.

I need to work on my own time management skills and be willing to shut SM down and ‘miss’ some information or interactions to focus on more important things. This is especially true when stuff is going happening on SM and particularly within the fandom I don’t care for. I’ve already written a blog about that so won’t get into it again (see Pages section). I picked up another gem the other day (Thanks Wildcat!!) – I’m finding it very helpful. Repeating this to myself has likely saved me a lot of grief in the last 24 hours because I have deleted comments I started.

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Everyone has an opinion – I’ve never denied that. I just really wish some people would learn to use their words better; not feel the need to demean themselves and others by cussing every other word through a comment and be purposely mean, snotty and vulgar to people just to – it seems – start a social media shit storm. I love discussion and getting other POV’s – everyone has different experiences and history so gets a different perspective on things. I learn by trying to understand another’s POV – but attacking and abusive attitude is not productive in any way.

 

So there it is. Probably boring but it’s just a little piece of me to share. Honestly – there are some days I disconnect on purpose and, while I miss the interaction with my internet ‘friends’ I get a lot more  done and don’t tend to be so stressed. Love to hate it.

 

 

The Trouble with Trolls

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Definitely struggling with kind at the moment. Really frustrated with an issue that is a reoccurrence in fandoms because some people simply refuse to use an ounce of common sense or try to, in even a tiny way, live by that above philosophy. (As a side note, if you haven’t read Divergent I highly recommend it – might be ‘teen fiction’ but some deep truths if you allow them to sink in. I’m way past being a teen and really liked the series!)

TROLLS! People on the internet that seem to go out of their way to cause issues, disrupt a forum or just spread nastiness. This is an issue that has been addressed many times in many places I’m sure, so I’ll add my voice to the chorus. Not because I think I can say it better or am any better than anyone else, but everyone thinks differently and I may give someone that ‘ah-ha!’ moment when others couldn’t.

Now in the spirit of full-disclosure, I stooped to being a troll once. For about 15 minutes. I probably shouldn’t have done it, but it effectively stopped nastiness against my fandom for about 48 hours on that particular poll. If anyone really wants that story I’ll tell it privately.

People that bring up a differing viewpoint and defend it in a discussion isn’t someone I have a problem with. That is what forums are for IMHO. To see and maybe understand another facet, a different viewpoint that is just as passionate as your own. MY issue comes from the people that are abusive. Bad language, name calling, denigration, rudeness, and shit stirring just to rile people rather than to make a valid point.

Most effective way to deal with these people is not to ‘feed’ them. Don’t give them attention as that is what they want. They want to get people riled up, they revel in chaos and bad feelings. Ignore them (as much as possible) and hopefully whatever forum you are in will have admins that can block them if enough people complain. Private forums and poll comments are one issue…..Twitter is another.

Twitter is so great and so bad for the same reason. Things can spread far and wide VERY quickly. For trying to get people to vote like we are doing right now for #AlphaMaleMadness – it’s a great thing! When it has something to do with a negative….well….it can make it much, much worse.

As I type this it is April 28, noonish. Early in my day on April 26, someone posted something that Sam Heughan responded to. To several of us this looked like an invasion of his privacy which made us see red and leap to his defense. The bigger problem is I’m still seeing retweets of some of the ‘conversation’ today.

A few thoughts about this particular instance and this problem in general. Sam is a braw and canny lad that can well defend himself if he needs it. However – if HE responds too much to anything it gets the issue to a much bigger audience. Rock – hard place. Most stars/celebrities may have very fine retorts but can’t or won’t use them on open forums. Good restraint (way better than I have). Often then, some well-meaning fans jump in and defend. I think this is fine, we just need to do it RIGHT!

The ‘person’ that started this mess back on 4/26 obviously MEANT to cause trouble. I say this because:
1) this person blocked one of Sam’s main supporters before ever starting the issue with him
2) deleted the initial tweets so they couldn’t be seen
3) had obviously ‘set up’ the account for this as there was no info, the ONE tweet that could be seen (and since Sam had responded to this person twice already there was more to the story) had 2 followers and zilch else and
4) I just checked and that account has disappeared. TROLL!

I saw some postings this morning about Sam and some lovely blonde lady on his own personal time trying to pry, again, into his personal life. Hence – you all get a blog so I can vent!

Here is the deal…..responding to and shutting these trolls down is all well and good….BUT….you have to remember that responses, tweets, retweets, etc. ALL have the troll’s tag in them – hence – attention. Often Sam (or whoever was the target) has their tag there also, so they get hit with all the mess too AND it spreads it to an even bigger audience.

Here are my thoughts on this issue. If they help, great. If not come up with your own common sense guidelines for dealing with these things to minimize negative impact not only for our favorite celebs, but for each of us in the fandom.

Personal life is that. PERSONAL. None of our damn business! Are we all curious about things that go on in our favorite celebs life? Of course. Will we eagerly enjoy any little tidbit they want to give us? Absolutely. Should we publicly speculate or question them about their private lives? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Now, I have another celeb that is my ‘first’ love in actors. He is ultra-talented, very sexy and more my age <g> My BFF and I discuss him a lot, his life, his loves, what he’s up to, etc…..in a PRIVATE instant message. Her and I and no one else. Period. We don’t even tell our guys most of what we discuss there, its girl talk <g> Twitter is a very public forum. I only have about 260 followers at this point and I’m amazed at where all some of the stuff I post ends up!

Don’t speculate on personal issues or spread rumors. This one is pretty common sense. If a public figure wants to give out some personal news – Awesome – share it! Just don’t spread stuff you don’t know to be true or could be potentially harmful. We don’t want someone like Sam to basically walk away from social media because of abuse. That would be sad for all concerned.

Pay attention to timeline! Look at what you are seeing. If it happened more than a few hours ago and its troll oriented….leave it alone. DM someone involved if you can if you feel you need more info, but to retweet things continues and spreads them when that may not be the best idea.

Don’t give the troll attention/shut them down. The best way I can think to do this (and if someone has better options PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share!) is to get the word out to as many people in the fandom as possible without giving the troll power or attention. Put a space in their tag when you identify them (i.e. @ JaneDoe rather than @JaneDoe) so people can see where the problem is without having it actually go back to the problem. I personally took Sam’s tags out very early on in this last situation so he wouldn’t have all that mess – but not all did and I’ve been educated that that little blue checkmark gives him more advanced screening options (thank god). BLOCK this person if you feel it appropriate – deny them the access and attention they want.

THINK! All this has potential for abuse. Just because someone disagrees doesn’t make them a troll. Use such steps wisely. Perhaps if enough people block someone for say 24 hours they will get the message – maybe not, but it will at least keep it off Twitter for that chunk of people for a little while.

RESPECT!!!!!  This is what it comes down to is: RESPECT. For the celebrity (in this case Sam) and for yourself as a human being and a ‘fan’ of something. In some ways I actually pity trolls….they must be very sad, pathetic people if they feel this is their best way of getting attention – by tearing down rather than building up.

Ok…..rant over. Hope this is helpful. Would love to get other thoughts and opinions! Discussion is GOOD!

Blog Response

I’m the first to admit I’m not all that great at this social media stuff. I got a link to a blog site on Twitter which I read. I wanted to respond to that blog and have been trying to do so for well over an hour. It kept putting me in this weird loop.

One of the steps I took trying to post there was to create this blog to have an identity. Still didn’t work. However…since I have this spiffy new space – I’ll just post my thoughts here! Voila!

So, the blog that I read was this:  An Open Letter to Diana Gabaldon

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. All good. I disagree with nastiness and name-calling, but legitimate opinions are all just that – someone’s opinion. Here is MY opinion in response to the above blog.

1st – This is your blog and your opinion perfectly valid.

2nd – By opening this blog up to comments, you accept that the comments made, other people’s opinions, are just as valid. You scorched DG and were scorched a few times in return. Fair is fair.

3rd – as a FAT woman – I get so tired of all the political correct CRAP.  FAT – come on everybody say it.  FAT! For those of us so encumbered of body, embrace who and what you are and KNOW you are still a person of worth.  I am 5’1”, weigh in at 235 and will be 48 on Monday – I think I qualify as a FAT woman! As such, I am actually more offended by the blog than any of DG’s books. FICTION…a made up story that has touched countless lives in very positive ways.  Yeah it sucks that us larger gals (or guys for that matter) seldom get starring roles or the great love interests in the stories.  However, I’ve seen in RL that the guys that LOOK like the great storybook heroes seldom ACT like heroes. Sam just may be an exception. As a fat woman I say – get over it. I read fiction, like most people I’m sure, to get AWAY from RL; to find myself in another time, place and person.

4th – writing is something you obviously embrace. You write clearly, distinctly and well. So, use that talent to, how did you put it? “giving fat people positive fictional role models”. Write your own sweeping, stirring, life changing and embracing novels with the characters you seem to think are so vitally important to give the world instead of sniping at someone who has done it.