Saturday, May 20, 2006

A civil discourse

There have been insults, stabbings, attempts at murder, assaults, and most commonly, jackings, in this sphere that we inhabit. Yes people, I'm talking about e-crimes in the blogosphere. Many bloggers are victims of verbal e-stabbings, by unknown assailants, ie they go onto people's message boards and plunge the e-knife. Other bloggers have attempts made on their e-lives, with many having to shut down their blogs. But by far the most common, are the blog jackings, which is where unknown assailants (as they quite often are) hijack a post and deviate from the point in question. As most of these forums have no police, the law of the jungle applies. But what can we do?

The Guardian's august columnist, Polly Toynbee, wrote on the Guardian's blog about the lack of civility on the part of people posting comments blogs:

My friend and fellow columnist Jackie Ashley made a valiant plea for civility from Comment is Free correspondents yesterday. A forlorn hope. Every medium shapes the nature of its message: newspapers, books, magazines and broadcasting all invite their own way of writing and speaking. But there is something about the wild empty universe of the internet that encourages violence and naked aggression. Or as Jackie suggests, maybe it's just that a handful of obsessive and persistent bullies set the tone and silence others who may want more measured discussions... read more.

24 comments:

the flying monkeys said...

"...But what can we do?..."

The guardian seems to be talking amongst others, especially about the anonymoses who abuse under the cloak of anonymity. Anonymity is the problem. About those who cannot say who they are, but hide their names and email addresses.

From reading your blog there is no doubt you are technologically savvy and very intelligent, and if you really are, then this post is amazing! Amazing, because you would and should be aware of the security options available to you as a blogspot memeber.

[1] Why not configure your blog in a way that only registered users may be allowed to comment.

[2] And if this does not work, then reconfigure in a way that only members of your blog may comment. For example, if you check my blog, you will see a NEW team member.

This (option 1) is what I have enabled on my blog.

Hope this helps.

Regards

Obokun (Dapo Ogundipe)

ps: there are a number of people I am considering joining my blog, and you are one of them. I would be sending you an invitation in due course, if you wish.

Everchange said...

I don't think anonymous blogging is the problem. There are people who put their names but still descend into personal attacks on blogs I have read.

As an aside, there was this study done at the University of Maryland, in which researchers logged on to chat rooms using female names and male names. They discovered that those who posted under female names were 25 times more likely to receive threatening, hostile or sexually explicit messages from other people in the forum, than the male chatters.

Granted, it's about chat rooms, not blogs.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20060510/D8HH76FG0.html

the flying monkeys said...

This is my very last comment on the above topic, and its aimed at clarifying my earlier comment.

It concerns the comment by everchange: "...There are people who put their names but still descend into personal attacks on blogs I have read..."

Well I would think that if a blog owner is the type who cannot ignore annoying comments, or who is capable of misunderstanding a comment to be a personal attack then, a solution may be to

(1) hide your email

(2) or go private - see option 2 within my earlier comment. See this in action here!

Hope this helps guys.

Too Me to blog said...

'From reading your blog there is no doubt you are technologically savvy and very intelligent, and if you really are, then this post is amazing! Amazing, because you would and should be aware of the security options available to you as a blogspot memeber.'

That wasnt exactly an e-stab but it came close to a quick, patronizing poke with a blunt object. rather civil of you. no doubt you are a master of the comment page, "and if you really are", then both of ur comments were amazing!

ai'hammed delot said...

To be honest, i'm really not sure if theres anything that can be done.
if you configure your blog such that only registered users may be allowed to comment - then people can sign up just for the sake of commenting and still drop annoying comments. For example i can: create a blog account and not actually blog anything, and then call myself anonymous but then still post insults and spoiler comments on other peoples blogs.
But then again if you configure your space such that its a member only one; that may suit you fine, but then again there might be people who have valid points to add but arent on your member list.
its up to you dude, but i think the one problem with blogger.com is the ability to all too easily impersonate others. that can be really annoying.
isnt it possible to just delete unwanted comments?

Everchange said...

LMAO @ Too me to blog
Exactly what I was thinking.

This isn't rocket science. There is at least one identifiable person going around in the nigerian blogsosphere using people names to talk nonsense, and messing with people's blogs, and his name is J. In fact, he seems to be a friend of yours Mr. Obokun, judging from how he rushed to speak for you in the post about Elizabeth Alabi.

Instead of bloggers immediately having to change their format, the said person should be moderated, or at least discouraged from disturbing and making other people uncomfortable.

the flying monkeys said...

@Everchange

"There is at least one identifiable person going around in the nigerian blogsosphere using people names to talk nonsense, and messing with people's blogs, and his name is J. In fact, he seems to be a friend of yours Mr. Obokun, judging from how he rushed to speak for you in the post about Elizabeth Alabi."

I think there may be more than one: J is clearly unreal, first I saw of him was a monkey dressed in a suit. In fact, on naijablog, I got insulted by two people (st antonym and ai'hammed delot). BUF THE STRANGE THING WAS THIS: I was unable to find any comment from myself, to which they referred.

I believe they (st antonym, ai'hammed delot and J the monkey)may well be the same people.

I could never take them seriously.

ai'hammed delot said...

With reference to the blog in question, it wasn’t my intention to insult you, but to point out that your blatant disregard for the other commentator’s optimism on the state of Nigeria was truly analogous to the story of The dog in the manger; as suggested by St Antonym. I would also like to point out that your “…try and do some thinking of your own…” response could easily be interpreted as an insult, but I chose to take it as advice. However I can see how my words and the manner in which they were phrased could be regarded as being insulting – to this effect, I sincerely apologise.
With reference to me being some kind of unscrupulous trinity; I wish to wholly reassure you that I more than anyone else in this blogosystem, have been on the very wrong end of J’s comments. J has since proceeded to highjack my blog, pretending to be a 5ft 6inch German floozy called Joli/Jolan from St John’s wood who wants to “be my friend” and send me photos.
I know nothing about St Antonym except that he was also cloned by someone anonymous (“The one”) on a proceeding blog on Naijablog. “The one” also proclaimed that I don’t exist and neither does someone called Grace, under the pseudonym “The real grace”. I am neither: J, St Sntonym, Grace, The real Grace, anonymous or “the one”
I exist…I’ve never had to prove my existence to anyone before and it’s an obvious disadvantage of the internet that my reality is now a matter of serious doubt. But like I’ve said ceaselessly; I do exist, but more importantly, I’ve never cloned anyone’s identity to add a comment.
The other names you’ve mentioned don’t have blogs – just spaces, I’ve got one (this is me desperately trying to redeem myself by the way).
With reference to why you don’t take me seriously, I can only assume its cos I’ve been cloned by “The one” to utter meaningless rambles; unless of course you’re saying that my hard thought out intellectual additions are meaningless rambles. And with that – I’ll leave myself open to all sorts of insults by probably J and “The one”.
Seriously though, I do exist.

ai'hammed delot said...

sorry, that last disclaimer/message was @obokun

the flying monkeys said...

This is not funny whoever is playing silly games.

Nkem, going by the last two messages, I think its time to restrict access to your blog, as done on mine.

ai'hammed delot said...

@obokun: listen i dont get this, why should he restrict his blog going by the messages i just left above?
As far as i'm concerned u've accused me of being a fraudulent blogger and all i've done is disclaim this, what have i done wrong now?

the flying monkeys said...

its ok ai'hammed delot

ayoke said...

Ha, you guys!

Take a chill pill... Makes one wonder if you had it in for each other before coming into blogworld.

Nkem, civility isn't what you thrust on people. No. It is a calling we have to ordain for ourselves. If people choose to be nasty, you can only choose to allow or completely disallow their comments on your blogspot. Either way, it really doesn't change who they are. That change is their own peculiar prerogative to decide.

ayoke said...

Just to be on the safer side... If my last comment is in any way offensive, please accept my profound apologies :)

Everchange said...

ai'hammed delot isn't J, just as J isn't Grace. J is a fraudster.

In fact I am more inclined to believe Obokun is connected to J somehow, given their shared profound hostility towards ai'hammed delot. What did he do to either of you?

Anyway. blog moderation seems to be the key, and I don't mean restricting access, but checking on the dumb shit when it occurs.

the flying monkeys said...

@everchange

"...J is a fraudster...In fact I am more inclined to believe Obokun is connected to J somehow..."

Did you really mean that?

Everchange said...

yeah. I did. But it's more of a suspicion than actual fact. It may not be true. I just find it very fishy, for the reasons I mentioned before.

But I take that back, since it obviously offends you.

the flying monkeys said...

@Everchange
thats much better. I am inspired by positive thinkers

Everchange said...

You still are kind of condescending.

Olawunmi said...

oh well. tempers are flaring. i say the blog owner should be free to delete abusive and offensive comments directed at his/her person and other reasonable users. all of this of course should be with regard to freedom of speech, which like all freedoms must sometimes be monitored to prevent abuse.

maybe y'all need to calm down a little... please don't make me call names.

the flying monkeys said...

@Everchange, in the same spirit, I would like to withdraw my last comment, since it appeared negative.

I sincerely hope this is better.

Everchange said...

@ Obokun, Accepted!

Akin said...

Amazing how a blog can be the equivalent of taking your dog for a walk and once you reach the open fields, you sit on the park bench relaxing whilst every once in a while you throw a ball and shout to the dog - Fetch!

The way Nkem has stood aloof of this squabble for civility leaves me panting - I'll like to fetch a bone.

j said...

My goodness, holy Christ on a bike! What's going on here?

I step away for a tan, for just a day, and this is what happens. Civil discourse, discourse wetin?

23 comments and not a single one of you in my defence. I have been let down by you all, and think I must now return to the desert, where I belong, never to return.