Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by seebs, Oct 25, 2017.
An anonymous user asked mods to post:
I probably have wiggled things because I misread them. But people can say "what the fuck" at me, and I'll reread them and say "oh nevermind then" and put things back.
If you want, I can quote the post here (suitably spoilered, etc.) and explain my reading of it.
I appreciate the offer, but I'm fine with dropping this one. I think it's settled. You said the thing, I said my piece, and then the actual other party to this thing and I talked about it, which was what really needed to happen? In the future, though, and hopefully it won't ever be necessary--hang me by my own words, not yours?
I semi-appreciate your bringing it up now, because I'd been sure they were upset about this and another thing and it turns out that they were totally not upset. I wish I'd just said to them, "hey, my post to you got wiggled, are you upset, can we talk?" If anyone else who saw it was upset and would like an apology, I apologise here and now. It was inappropriate for the thread it was in and I shouldn't have posted it, no arguments!
I think the situation is probably somewhat worse than I think it is but also probably not as bad as you think it is, because there are multiple social circles on this site. (I hope that made sense.)
In fact, one of the most confusing things about this whole thing for me is that there are people who seem to be upset with me that I don't ever recall interacting with at all. I'm sure some of that is that they have read posts of mine that they found upsetting, but I also think a certain amount of it is that they've read other people's posts about my posts. And I'm afraid I have reason to think so! I wish I could say it's just my brainbugs being paranoid again, but not so much.
There were some batshit things being said in vent threads during the OOC thread thing. I do not, for instance, understand how answering a question someone else asked where a teenager could see it is in any way equivalent to lying in wait for a teenager to stop by to drag them away to have a "private talk" about alien biology, but somebody actually did make that analogy and they were getting Likes all over the place.
Fuck yeah, that would be hella creepy, but I also didn't do it!
I should have asked the person in their vent thread for receipts I guess but I really didn't feel like asking all the friends they had in there to dogpile.
The game discussion thread was supposed to be for the people who were actually playing the game to figure out how we could fix it, not for popcorn.giffing and white-knighting, so several people who were spreading misinformation and/or blatantly admitting they were there to back up their friend were asked to leave, and they were pissed off about it. Some people said things that were very incendiary. My questions "how am I supposed to know that someone is uncomfortable with certain topics of discussion if they are constantly bringing up those topics or very similar ones?" and "why does your character keep winding Norm the Genie up when they have done it multiple times and know that it usually leads to something dumb and inappropriate being said?" somehow got equated to a rapist saying "she wore a short skirt".
Unfortunately, we couldn't keep it in TCHGB because several of the people who were actually involved have had themselves banned from there, so we did actually have to tell people to go away because they were interfering with the process of working things out.
Look, I know it's harder to say "you hurt me," than it is to say "I think you're an awful person with terrible opinions" but my first reaction to one is "I'm sorry, how?" (you can't really argue with someone about whether or not they're hurt, that is the kinda thing only they get to have an opinion about) and my first reaction to the second one is "fuck you too, heard it before, I don't like you either."
I'm not very good at inferring hurt from some of the things people say instead of saying that they are hurting. I do have more ability to read people than some spergs do, but that doesn't help when the other person is on the other side of the computer and arguing with me about my morals instead of their feelings.
Real quick, I'm too fried to respond to things in full detail, but I just wanted to hit two quick points.
I know there weren't really many threads posted about this kind of thing, or as many mods chiming in back in the day, but I think this is something we really do encourage people to reach out to us over. I'm not sure where the line is for where we'd necessarily intervene directly in those threads (depends on vent threads vs general threads, facts vs emotional statements, probably other things I'm failing to think of because it's late), but we do want to stay on top of things when these blowups happen. If you feel like someone is spreading factual statements that aren't true, we want to know. Even if there aren't facts and you just feel like it's an unfair exaggeration or like someone is deliberately missing a point you're trying to make, that's still a completely valid reason to reach out. I know you've said things about going behind people's backs, etc., but we really are trying to use these systems to stay in contact with anyone who has a reason to speak to us, and stay on top of things happening in the forum that we might not have seen on our own. I try to stay on top of brainbent, but there are lots of threads, lots of people, and irl is hectic. So if you think I'm missing something important, or you're worried I haven't seen something important, that's enough reason to contact us.
And without speaking for the other mods, even in situations where we decide that direct intervention with the other person isn't the right answer for that case, it's honestly the easiest game in the world for anyone to sucker me into a discussion of why another person said a thing, how they're perceiving an event, why they might be feeling whatever emotion. It doesn't necessarily solve a problem, but sometimes at least talking through a situation can make the whole thing seem less overwhelming and upsetting.
Ahh, got a piece of the puzzle. I'm blanking on times on here in the past where a person expressed that hurt as plainly/clearly as 'you hurt me.' It might have happened, but I don't think it's the norm, especially if they get emotional or worked up over the issue (also depending on the flavor of upset, admitting that you're hurt might be difficult because it feels very vulnerable, while saying that you're upset is less so). And in most of the direct conversations I've seen on this site, I haven't seen many people express that second viewpoint either (it sometimes happens after emotions start running high, but it's not usually the way the conversation begins). But the interpretation of all that vague, wobbly middle ground between those two extremes is where I think the trouble is happening.
Even when someone says 'this hurt me,' it's easy to slip into feeling like it's an accusation directed at you (general you) instead of a plain statement, carrying all those upsetting implications of wrongdoing/malice/etc. And dependent on personal background, some people are going to be more prone to assuming the worst and taking an immediate defensive position. In some of the messy fights that have been happened, I'm guessing people were trying to express the first sentiment, but the phrasing was shaped in a way that made you feel like it was the second. I don't know what to do about that, from either end of the conversation, but I'm pretty sure there's a significant disconnect somewhere in this region.
You keep saying "the other actual party".
Other people were also hurt.
They are also parties. If you do a thing in public, and it hurts people, they are validly parties, even if they weren't the person you were directly talking to. And I appreciate that you've offered an apology to those people (later in that post), but after two or three different people have said "no, it wasn't just about how that one person felt about the thing", seeing you say "the actual other party" feels like a pretty solid rejection of those people's experience.
I have seen enough of the specific complaints to be sure that a whole lot of it is about the actual content of the posts, not just about what other people said about them. And in some cases, yes, they're definitely reacting not to what you actually said, but to things it reminds them of. And you can't be expected to 100% manage every way in which anyone could remind you of anything bad... But if a lot of people are saying "this particular piece of rhetoric is very upsetting to me because it reminds me of things that were said to me by someone who raped me when I was a kid", it may be worth considering whether perhaps you should avoid that line of reasoning in places they're often around, because otherwise they're gonna get hurt, and they're going to conclude that you don't care about them getting hurt. I will, quite often, drop lines of argument if they're upsetting people a lot, or at least be really careful about adding qualifications.
There's another aspect to this, though. There's an incredibly forgettable Street Fighter movie, in which M. Bison gets an inexplicably excellent line:
Chun-Li: My father saved his village at the cost of his own life. You had him shot as you ran away. A hero at a thousand paces.
M. Bison: I'm sorry. I don't remember any of it.
Chun-Li: You don't remember?!
Bison: For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.
This case is hardly that extreme, but... In some cases, you don't recall the interactions, because it was just how you talk about fandom, but for them, it was the horrifying time that a loud and aggressive person with strong opinions that they have seen be sorta vicious to people long after apparent conflicts seemed to other people to be over steamrolled them with an obvious implicit threat of "and if you don't back down, I will be talking shit about you for months". And you might not think that's a reasonable concern, but they do, and so far as I can tell, at least to the extent of "will there be hostile vagueposting and possible ongoing references to the thing some time later", they're apparently correct.
But, like. So far as I can tell, you compared Kathy to Voldemort over... something? I don't even fucking know what. And people look at Kathy, whose tireless efforts to ease pain and soothe troubled people have been extreme enough to be sorta unhealthy for her and a thing she's needed to learn to manage, and they look at the comparison to Voldemort, and they think "shit, if Kathy gets that, what the hell am I gonna get if I dare express a thing?"
And if you didn't mean that to be about Kathy, well. This is my chance to remind everyone that if you vaguepost on a site full of people with severe self-image and mental health problems, you will hurt lots of people you didn't mean to hurt, you absolutely can know in advance that this outcome will happen, and you should really think about whether you're okay with it.
I don't think your morals and their feelings are entirely disjoint questions, in some cases. Sometimes, if someone is saying "it's wrong for you to do that", the reason they think it's wrong is that it hurt them.
I’m thinking it might be a good idea if the boundaries thread did some further hammering out on the topics of dogpiling and bringing friends to an argument. I’ve been somewhat hesitant because I don’t think either of those is inherently a boundary violation even if done with malicious intent. But I don’t know of a better place to talk about recurring patterns that people keep citing as sources of distress and disruption.
cT, people don't need to interact with you personally to have opinions about you. You pretty clearly want to be an important and influential member of the community. This is the flip side - a bunch of people you don't know are watching your actions and forming opinions about them. You haven't hurt me. I just don't like you.
The fandom_wank debacle was exactly the same as what people are bothered by now. You keep talking about sex in inappropriate spaces, often in front of minors. You attack people who read works of fiction differently. You insist that you're the victim in all this. The fact that that was almost fifteen years ago and was exactly the same problem is really discomfiting, because it suggests you're just going to treat this as another case where mean trolls ganged up on you for no reason, rather than actually responding to criticism and changing your behavior.
i'd just like to say that it was pretty fucking traumatizing to have my opinions on what was happening in a closed thread i had not previously participated in save for liking posts
(opinions which i had posted in my vent thread with the clear caveat that i was trying to wordvomit something triggery until i could articulate it; i was trying to articulate the thing to a form where i could shape it into something polite and helpful and drop it in the thread, which was not a good idea but believe it or not at the time i felt bad for cT and wanted to try to help give her some perspective as to why people might be saying the things to her that they were)
dragged out in public and ripped on IN THAT THREAD WHERE I AM NOT ALLOWED TO RESPOND
being continuously invalidated in my ensuing anger and upset over this by almost everyone in the thread because 'ummmm sorry what are you doing here?????'
being torn into and insulted by cT for trying to post in the thread in response to her ripping into and continuing to reference the contents of my vent thread so she could throw a hysterical wounded-bird fit over everything i said without letting me defend myself
being told, after i told her to stop talking about the contents of my vent thread in a thread where i wasn't supposed to respond, that she would keep doing it until i shut up and stopped ~spreading rumors~ about her or whatever the fuck
having to see her wailing and hand-wringing about being ~victimized~ by the idea that anyone she is not talking directly to in public might have an opinion on anything that happens, and expressing that she's even more distressed over the idea that people are talking about this in spaces where she can't see (and therefore presumably bully into silence :))))) ), because 'if you think i've done something bad it's not your business you better shut the fuck up,' which is [DEAFENING KILL BILL SIRENS]
and then, finally, to have to watch her continuously make potshots at me, over a situation in which her behavior was fucking disgusting bullying to silence me from having an opinion about her anywhere, for more than a year anytime ANYONE criticizes her shitty behavior.
it's pretty!!! goddamn!!!! fucking!!!!! traumatizing!!!!!!!
so as someone who has in fact unambiguously been an ''~actual involved party~'' in the past: you're a creep, your behavior toward me was hideously abusive, i doubt i'm going to get anything like an apology from you because L M A O, but fuck it, i'm going to ask for one anyway because i fucking deserve one from you.
tl;dr i'll give you a hint as to why everyone is fucking scared of you: it's because there is precedent of you publicly humiliating and bullying someone into silence when they say in their private venting thread that they find your behavior creepy and reminiscent of their abusers, one of those methods of bullying being to explicitly and with intent violate their boundaries until they stay silent, and having everyone who was ~actually involved~ either back up the abusive behavior or stay silent.
just :) my :))) two :))))) cents :))))))))
Yeah it might be a good idea.
For the record, I don't consider "asked friends for backup when feeling overwhelmed" to be a boundary violation of any kind unless the friends in question do not want to do so and are pressured into it. If someone feels unsafe, knowing that they have an advocate in the same venue can do a lot to help them feel comfortable expressing their discomfort.
Also while it might be distressing to have people not directly involved in a situation come in to offer their thoughts and perspectives and people have the right to ask them to leave, if the thread is in a public space and isn't a private dm conversation then they have the right to enter the conversation. They have the right to refuse, particularly if they came to help advocate for a friend who may be being dogpiled themselves.
If someone is behaving maliciously, then I can only encourage use of the report button so that inflammatory and unhelpful posts can be removed if that's needed.
If someone is being talked about in a thread, they have the right to respond. This has been established for a long time. Telling them that they aren't allowed too is unreasonable. Like if you find someone spreading lies about you in your tag on tumblr - you have the right to respond to that regardless of whether the individual intended for you to see it or wants you to respond.
One thing I think is notable, I do think its fair to want someone to not respond in their vent thread. HOWEvER, I think it would be totally fair to quote the offending passages into a TCHGB thread.
That is fair yeah, but a lot of time people have demonstrated wildly differing preferences on this and not everyone has it stated. If someone refuses to use TCHGB and also insists that the person they're talking about not respond in their thread or talk to them, that is an unreasonable boundary that leaves no recourse for the person who has been hurt other than to either shut up and take it, report the post which not everyone is comfortable doing with interpersonal conflict, or respond to the things being said and then leave.
I'm going to preface all this by saying I was hesitant to post in this thread, because I don't think this was the original purpose of it and I don't think feeling dogpiled will facilitate understanding, but seeing as other approaches to try to communicate that something is wrong have failed, I feel that this is the best chance of some kind of resolution, so.
I've had issues with the way @cryptoThelematrix handles conflict since the very first thread hashing things out for roleplay in TCHGB. We interacted pretty much civilly in that thread, and I've continued to be civil to her in our interactions since - I like some of the things she has to say - but I've always been a little wary of her because of the way she behaved during that conflict and subsequent conflicts. I don't think she's accidentally coming across as more angry than she is, but she often comes across as very aggressive and authoritative and draws very firm lines that I don't often think are reasonable. And she does a lot of appeals to emotions in her arguments that ping me as specifically stuff very similar to things my (narcissistic) mother would often do. So she can be very domineering in conflict, and that and the fact that we don't often share the same spaces outside of roleplay - which specifically means that I'm interacting with a character and not her - means that I've never brought up conflict with her because I don't particularly want an apology and I don't think one on one conversation would be productive. That and I don't feel particularly comfortable engaging in private discussion with her. I'm only bringing this up now because I feel like the reinforcement that multiple people find this behavior a problem might result in her figuring out what's causing this so she can work on it.
That's pretty much the only thing I have to say on the topic - I'd appreciate not being pinged back to this thread if people remember. I don't expect to be addressed directly by CT or get an apology or anything, but I thought perhaps this needed to be said and if I continued to sit on it I'd feel bad about it.
Edit: I'm not processing on all cylinders right now, so if she's asked to not be pinged in the thread I missed it and will be happy to edit it out or have a mod edit it out. Just erring on the side of transparency.
Yes. That* would conflict very directly with my very strong conviction that being uncomfortable in any way is a good enough reason to ask for help. There's a point where it could become bullying or personal army, but I haven't really worked these thoughts out entirely in my head. When I do, I plan to post about them if I think they're reasonably useful thoughts.
*ETA: By which I mean "thinking it's invalid to ask friends for backup."
Thank you, your posts have been invaluable and have also helped me personally get a better sense of my own boundaries while making amendments to the op C:
Not quoting so you don't get pinged, sirsparklepants, but I know you aren't the only one who has had similar experiences. I don't have permission to disclose details, but I thought it might be useful to you to know that you're not alone.
I'm trying very hard not to dogpile into personal attacks on cT, but it also really rubs me the wrong way that she's 53 and puts herself into positions of authority, and the people she gets into conflicts with, feels victimized by, and brings up as 'examples of bad behavior' for years afterward tend to be vulnerable and traumatized teenagers. I feel like that might be useful to put words to because I think that context is part of what's pinging folks as 'a lot like my narcissistic parent'; there seems to be a nontrivial power imbalance in a lot of these conflicts.
So, my take on it is: You are not obligated to be willing to respond to people. It's pretty rude to continue talking shit about someone if you're unwilling to respond to anything they say, but you're allowed. Basically, if you're talking about people, they are totally within their rights to quote what you say and comment on it, in TCHGB if you don't want them posting in your thread or whatever. You are not required to respond, but that doesn't mean they can't make the comments. But usually, it's a lot more productive to either not talk about someone, or be willing to engage in discussion.
Basically, "hey leave me alone" is reasonable in general, but if you're talking about people, they can absolutely respond to that, and are not required to pretend it's not happening.
Yeah, that's pretty much my take on it. I know I am worried about people hounding me in my vent thread after I got in an argument with them and might be processing just my feelings about the argument, not them, there. At the same time, people are absolutely always allowed to respond to talk about them.
Spoiler: my own response to this thing with ct.
I also don't want to dogpile into personal attacks, and have been avoiding saying a thing, but I am deeply uncomfortable with the tendency to characterize anyone who is creeped out or has criticisms of ct's behavior as 'cray af', 'batshit' and other similar descriptors, usually while also having their intelligence insulted.
Since I was mentioned. I went back and read over the rp thread yesterday. I'm really distressed. Because in it, cT, you specifically asked for examples of things people found creepy in specific and didn't want to talk about the cat dick thing. So I came forward and said I had concerns about your behavior wrt boundaries and cited the WT rules post as a specific example of a thing that in context with that behavior creeped me out. Everything that happened from there became my intial point being ignored and misrepresented into wider and wider territory until it became full on darvo and suddenly I was being yelled at for having problems with your game and people were thinking I was trying to police the content of a game and make a thread to yell at someone for being a bad game master when no. i was pointing out that with the history of boundary violations and aggressive behavior, a post laying out incredibly specific rules about your boundaries while also stating that if a player weren't active they would be emailed and poked until they responded, was distressing. I had my intelligence belittled, was told I didn't understand the difference between problematic content and triggers, and compared to fucking fantasy hitler for...doing what was asked for. the thread i offered to make was because you said you didn't want to talk about the thing in that meta thread anymore, and at the time i was still operating on the good-faith assumption that you wanted to know why people were upset with you, so i offered to make a thread to help you debug.
And like, I didn't engage with the posts directed at me in your thread, ct, because they were so full of untrue things and crazymaking at me that I spent the next week and a half questioning my sanity and needing to get reassurance that no, I didn't say some of those things. It was probably the single most detrimental thing to my recovery since caa put me on his list of abusers. When you call anyone who thinks you do creepy things 'cray af', you're telling every person who has been made uncomfortable by your behavior that they're nuts, and wrong and dumb, because you also keep digging at the intelligence of people who have problems with things you do. It's less that you just say things that remind people of their abusers, you also behave like them. It's not just saying a trigger word, it's a consistent pattern of ignoring boundaries and trampling over people. All of the above is just two examples. I can present more if you're still confused. But please listen to us, and please don't tell us we're actually upset about something else or just not understanding you.
I know this is distressing to read. I know you don't respond well to multiple people telling you that you're wrong about something. But something needs to change for your own sake as well as the people you keep walking over and then making them apologize for being walked on.
The bit I snipped was hard for me to parse, but, yes that.
Can the cT discussion move somwhere else? it´s important to have but at this point has little to do with the thread topic.
Seconded, unsure of where it should go though.
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