Tuesday, September 7, 2010


"As a species we are fundamentally insane."

I have been on many forums, many places online, I've traveled the net for far too long. But one "type" of person that still truly bothers me is the victim. They are easy to spot, they ask for advice or offer an opinion then whine about people being rude or "attacking" them, even when they are just interjecting their own views. This is typically compounded by them posting and "I'm leaving" message only to return a few days or weeks later to do it all over again. There is a good reason why these people still annoy me, because they lack respect for other people's views.

In real life it's hard to ignore things you don't like sometimes, people manage to find ways to corner you, though you still eventually learn to do just that. Online though, ignoring what you don't like is too easy, so easy that anyone who doesn't is looking for something to fight about (the troll), to regulate (the cop), or to whine about (the victim). Now the troll you just plain learn to ignore, and pretty quickly. The cop is a little more difficult to spot but when you do you learn to ignore as well. The victim however will vanish just long enough for you to forget then pops right back up letting you think they are new and lure you back into their trap just so they can whine more.

The victim is so hard to spot that sometimes even the moderators of a message board fail to see them for years, which usually results in a lot of reputations hurt by the posters who figure it out sooner. The reason for this is the victim is very good at hiding their true intent. Usually the advice they ask is very typical and convincing, their stories are often hard to see as having other purposes, but the end result is always the same. The hard thing is what to do with them. The typical response is to just say "bye" every time they pull the whining, but there is a better way, learn who they are and ignore them when they whine.

Ignoring them is also harder than ignoring other internet problems though, this is because of their story being so convincing you actually feel sorry for them each time. Many people will see no harm in the victims antics, but they do create a disruption in the web. Usually this disruption is between the other posters and moderators, or it may even generate flame wars between other posters as some who don't see the problem will fly to defend them. This is not the intent of the victim though it does happen.

To the "victim" posters who read this, keep this in mind, for your tiny amount of attention from others you are ruining it for others. Is this really worth being felt sorry for?

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