Hanna's Thoughts

The chaotic thoughts of a freelance software engineer.

Internet Insensitivity


I think it's time to talk about the internet and insensitivity. This is something that I've personally noticed moderating or taking part in Discord servers, and other online internet communities and platforms. In specific I'm talking about people valuing or idolizing their own beliefs or opinions on something over the comfort or feelings of the community.

There's a time and place for everything, even if what you're saying is "joking", if it is negative there is a chance it will offend someone, and don't get me wrong, everyone has a right to say what they think, and have their own opinions, however this doesn't mean you have to state it every time it pops in your brain. One thing I've learned over my years of moderating online communities is rule enforcement and staff/team management and teamwork aren't the only important factors, empathy is also extremely important in the field of moderation.

For privacy I won't state any names but someone in a Discord community I am in brought up something they enjoyed or made them happy, specifically a twitter post about a specific vtuber being shown on digital billboards on time square. Which is a pretty cool thing, and I'll say here and now not everyone likes vtubers, that's perfectly fine. Then, another user says this:

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This, by itself is perfectly fine, but when a user confronted this statement, they seemed to have started to generalize and dehumanize the concept and while not every vtuber or virtual avatar is technically a "person", for example, hatsune miku which is purely AI generated voice wise, there are a lot of virtual avatars that are, such as the one that was showed in the twitter post. Later on they continued to say something which I found to be fairly.. honestly quite fucked up on a dehumanization front:

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The part I'm referring to being dehumanizing here is:

It’s similar to twitch streamers are partnerships.

This is honestly yikes, granted it's a comparison of what they were saying before, but to practically say that streamers are in essence just "partnerships" is dehumanizing at best, and cruel at worst. Personally I don't like being around people like this. Saying an avatar itself is a product is reasonable saying the entire thing, including the person behind the avatar is not, but this is not what upsets me the most. When multiple people confront you for being insensitive, it's about time you apoligize, if not for what you said, at least for hurting the person's feelings.

The insensitive continued afterwords, practically saying they aren't going to apologize, further sementing the fact they are being insensitive:

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Don't be like this. When you say something in a community be aware of what you are saying and how it affects others. In fact, be aware of what anything you do and how it affects others. You're on the internet, we have rights of speech and those rights don't mean I or anyone else have to listen to your opinions. For two, you shouldn't be a dick, normally I'd say the "golden rule" of "eye for an eye" is unrealistic, but when it comes to being in a community and you're going out of your way to make people uncomfortable or upset when it's obviously against their best wishes? For all I care I'd rather not have you in that community, because it's people like this that make the internet a toxic place.

Tags:  JournalLeadershipPsychology