Ariel Stallings’ “Liberal Bullying”

Nothing sums up the problems with the Atheism Plus forum like the article Liberal bullying: Privilege-checking and semantics-scolding as internet sport by Ariel Meadow Stallings on Offbeat Empire.

A few choice quotes:

Over the past couple years, I’ve watched the rise of this new form of online performance art, where internet commenters make public sport of flagging potentially problematic language as insensitive, and gleefully flag authors as needing to check their privilege.

Common trends in this online behavior:

  • Focus on very public complaints. I can think of exactly one time when someone emailed their concern about problematic language. These complaints seem to be always intended for an audience.
  • Lack of interest in a dialogue. These complaints aren’t questions or invitations to discuss the issue. They’re harshly-worded accusations and scoldings (which I’ve written about before).
  • Lack of consideration for the context or intent. The focus is on this isolated incident (this one post, this one word, this one time), with de-emphasis on the author’s background, experience, or the context of the website on which the post appears.
  • And on a more stylistic note, these complaints are often prefaced with phrases like “Um,” and other condescending affectations.

This is where it starts to feel like the “GOD HATES FAGS!” sign-wavers. While the political sentiments are exactly opposite, the motivations are remarkably similar: I WOULD LIKE TO DERAIL THIS CONVERSATION AND HAVE AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE WITNESS HOW RIGHT I AM.

This reporter urges you, the reader, to go read the entire article right now.

One Response to Ariel Stallings’ “Liberal Bullying”

  1. Axel says:

    This explains why I find very repellent the shaming tactics used by a couple of groups of “freethinkers” on the Internets. Yet, I agree with them on some of the most important objectives. It seems that anything can *trigger* a “storm in a teapot” reaction.

%d bloggers like this: