Politics online

I’ve never understood how people online seem to think that disagreeing with someone about one issue means they need to react in a completely unrelated fashion. It’s always struck me as mind-numbingly childish, frankly.

So I was a little surprised today to see that someone who I got on with relatively well had blocked me and banned me from a group he administers on Flickr.

Earlier in the week, I joined the group Mondo Uno, an anti-war group on Flickr, where members are encouraged to change their buddy icons to a black ribbon. This campaign is for an end to killing on both sides of the current conflict in the Near East, a point made quite clearly, both on the group pages and on the page where I uploaded a copy of the black ribbon image.

One user, though, seems to have taken offence at this. He’s changed his comment on my image, he’s blocked me and, most perplexingly, he’s banned me from a group he administers. I can’t really say I’m all that bothered — he’s a good photographer who takes some great pictures of some stunningly attractive guys, but it’s hardly gonna end my world to be able to see those images no longer, is it?

But the reason why I’m posting here is I just find it so bloody odd that people react like that online. It’s like kids throwing their toys out of their prams. Why did he not try to discuss the issue with me first? Why did he think that banning me from his group would achieve anything (other than making me respect the guy rather less)? Why did he feel the need to block me over the matter?

The message he posted me read as follows:

NO ONE IS KILLING CIVILIANS EXCEPT FOR THE ARAB TERRORISTS WHO ARE HIDING WITHIN THEM. TO MAKE SUCH A STATMENT IS TO SUPPORT TERRORISTS. SURLY YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH TO SEE THAT ? GO ON VACATION IN IRAN, SEE WHAT THEY ARE PLANNING FOR YOU ( BEING GAY AND ALL ) THEY WILL BE KIKCKING YOUR DOOR NEXT. WILL YOU WEAR THAT RIBBON IN YOUR HAIR THAN ? IDIOTIC.

From that, I guess he’s offended that he thinks I’m taking an anti-Israel stance — which isn’t the point of the group in the slightest. He’s not made any effort to ask me about my opinions, merely made that assumption. But, what’s wierder about it (and suggests either that he didn’t read the text very carefully or that he is rather pro-Israel on the subject) is that I’ve not said anything about supporting terrorists. I want an end to the killing by both sides.

As it happens, I do think that a lot of the problem is Israel’s overreaction to the threat by Hezbollah, who weren’t shooting rockets into Northern Israel until after Israel had overreacted to the capture of one IDF soldier near the Gaza Strip. But that doesn’t mean I support Hezbollah — far from it, indeed. They’re killing and terrorising people too, albeit on a dramatically smaller scale than Israel is doing.

But, of course, he doesn’t know that. Because he didn’t ask.

Lunacy.

For the record, the reply I drafted out, before Flickr told me that I’m blocked, so can’t actually reply (so why not tell me that on the compose-message page?!) read as follows:

The IDF is killing civilians all over Southern Lebanon, ignoring that many people there are physically unable to leave the area — it’s not their fault that Hezbollah terrorists are in the same part of the country.

I’m not saying Hezbollah are right to send rockets into Israel. That kills innocent people as well. The whole purpose of the black ribbon thing (which is nowhere near my hair, in case you’d not noticed) is that BOTH sides are wrong. I can understand why EACH side is doing what it’s doing, but BOTH sides are wrong. I want an end to the killing from both sides.

And why would I want to go on holiday in Iran anyways? That’s a pretty dumb thing to suggest.

Frankly, I find it offensive that a disagreement on a totally unrelated political issue means that you think it’s appropriate to block me from a group you administer, but whatever.

If you want to discuss the issue, you know where to find me. If not, whatever. Not seeing someone’s photos (no matter how much I enjoy the images) is hardly gonna end my world now, is it?

Feel free to message me back, anyways. I’d much rather have a grown up discussion than emails all in capitals with logic that’s just plain wierd.

Hope you’re well,

 
Owen

Why do people react like that. I mean, Jesus, it’s only a fucking website! :o)

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