If there’s one thing I know from personal experience, it’s that Internet drama never really ends until lack of web access stops it. You sometimes just need to ride it out as the terrors fade into nothingness.
There has been an influx in bizarre shouting matches online over copyright and criticism. They stumble over into real life, involving threats, lawsuits, and major media coverage on what can be described as trolling gone terribly wrong. It seems a lot of people don’t realize that, no, everything on Google isn’t free to use and, yes, you are responsible for what you write online and will be held accountable.
Let’s start with the happily ever after of these updates. Remember the awful, terrible, not very funny at all The Oatmeal v. FunnyJunk v. Charles Carreon v. The World incident? TL:DR: FunnyJunk hired Charles Carreon to threaten a SLAPP lawsuit against the creator of The Oatmeal for writing a blog post a year ago about how FunnyJunk refused to remove copyrighted comics. This turned into Charles Carreon, on his own accord, suing The Oatmeal, the National Wildlife Foundation, the American Cancer Society, IndieGoGo, the Attorney General of California, and 100 unnamed Internet targets for hurting his feelin…systematically trying to harass him out of work while raising money for charity as an attack against him.
Guess what? Last week, Charles Carreon kind of dropped the lawsuit. Technically, it doesn’t exist anymore. However, the way he dissolved it means that he can pick the pieces right back up and sue again.The crazy turn is that Carreon calls dropping the lawsuit a victory. Why? Because Matt Inman, the creator of The Oatmeal, has decided to withdraw his own money from the bank to photograph as a taunt against FunnyJunk/Carreon rather than the money he raised for charity. Something about transparency in fundraising being the ultimate goal of the initial threat that couldn’t have mentioned charity since Inman used the charity drive as a response to the threat of the SLAPP suit. Hooray?
The second update is not happy news. It’s actually quite unsettling and should have been seen coming from a mile away.
Remember how Anita Sarkeesian started an awesome Kickstarter project to produce educational, classroom-ready, video critiques of female character types in video games? And how a bunch of sexist trolls decided they were going to ruin her reputation because…video games aren’t for girls? Men are the real victims? Any critique of video games must be negative, flame on? I don’t know. I’m still trying to decode their brave volunteer who boldly copied and pasted the same irrelevant arguments over and over again at my site and many others while dodging any questions or actual discussion.Anyway, Sketchy Details favorite site Newgrounds unintentionally hosted the next big attack on Sarkeesian. See, Sarkeesian’s success at funding her project meant that the trolls had failed. Obviously, one sought out revenge. In the short-lived video game called Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian, you bludgeoned the feminist critic to a bloody pulp because feminists hate men, that’s why.
Don’t forget the rape drawings, death threats, and refusal to apologize for appalling behavior. That’s par for the course. These trolls are doubling down on their attacks and providing more and more evidence that sexism is alive and well in the modern world.
Never mind that her research has not been conducted, none of her findings released, and her Kickstarter pitch specifically said she would look at negative and positive imagery.
Here’s what I gather the argument against her is: she hates men because she’s a feminist; therefore, she deserves to be beaten in effigy. The people leading the charge do not know what feminist criticism is. They clearly don’t understand that it’s a wide-ranging field with many philosophies and approaches to subject matter. There are so many schisms in feminism that you can lose yourself for weeks trying to connect all the dots to the early feminist scholars.
Of course, they’ll never admit that they might have crossed the line of good taste because that would somehow give credibility to Sarkeesian’s project. Don’t expect an amicable resolution of this story. It’s not going to happen.
So there you have it. Two stories of real life Internet drama and absurdity that you could laugh at if they aggressors weren’t so ignorant and hateful in their attacks. Instead, you kind of just want to cry. I couldn’t even go into an update on the Ravelympics because I’m still trying to figure out how that ended where it ended. The mind boggles.
Thoughts? Love to hear them. And please, if you’re going to copy and paste arguments about why Sarkeesian is the worst person ever because feminists hate men, save the energy. I’m not putting them through unless you actually explain yourself like a rational human being.