Thursday, October 7, 2010

Incivility online (and that is putting it mildly)

I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw something about a baby who had died as the result of circumcision.  Being an "intactivist," I began reading which eventually led me to the blog Fierce & Fiesty.  

And it was there that my heart broke.  

Fierce and Fiesty is a mom who's son was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and who died shortly after his circumcision from cardiac arrest.  

And from what I understand, this grieving mother received all sorts of nasty comments on her blog from intactivists who gave her down the road for her decision to circumcise her son.  

And while I am not surprised that people did this, I am appalled.  

Because of the anonymity and distance that the Internet affords, some people think they can and should say whatever the heck they want, in whatever way they want, to whomever they want.  

And they are terribly fucking WRONG.  

If you wouldn't DARE say it to someone's face, then cease typing and think your thoughts to yourself
If you have never met the person to whom you are writing, then make certain your comments are neutral or positive.  Particularly if you don't have the BALLS to put your name to your statements.  There are plenty of people who want to remain anonymous because they can't "man up" or "woman up" to their statements.  They are ever eager to dish it out, but heaven forbid they actually put their name/face with their opinion.  

Some people say, "Well you keep a blog that is public so you are putting it out there for the world to comment on."  This is misguided thinking.  

Having a public blog is like putting a wreath on one's front door.  It is available to view by the public.  Any random person can drive by and see my wreath from the street.  But I don't invite every person who drives by onto my porch.  I don't take a picture of my wreath and send it to people's homes.  I don't run into the street and ask people to come give their 2 cents on my wreath.  

Respectful disagreement?  Fine.
Civil discourse?  Fine.
But lambasting a mother who's 7-week-old infant was born with a tremendous birth defect and just died?
I hope there is a ring of hell just for them.  


Giselle said...

Yes. Just...yes.

This is why I worry about my kids becoming teenagers in this era. Teenagers are mean enough to each other face to face. I can't even imagine what they say/do when they can remain annonymous.

Keri said...

Wow. I truly cannot imagine someone(s) thinking that it's their right to berate someone for such a decision, ESPECIALLY when that decision led to such a tragedy. Talk about kicking someone when they're down...

The blog I follow of the little girl who had a bowel and liver transplant years ago....well, the mom started hiding comments a couple of years ago because people were saying really hateful things about their family, and she didn't want all of her blog followers to read them. And then just this summer, she wrote several pleas for people (who remained anonymous, naturally) to stop their hateful comments about the medical decisions they were making for their daughter.

You're right, the anonymity makes it easy for cowards to step up and pretend to be bold, and to wound others in the process.