Today, I’m going to share with you an RL story related to blogging that I have encountered quite a few times and it’s one of the most dishonest, drama-generating, exploitative practices I’ve ever seen ever since I hit the internet. As has been hinted (or even said outright), I live in Greece. Now, I’ll spare you all the stuff about the crisis caused and perpetuated by the kleptocracy of the banksters, public works contractors, shipping and media moguls, weapons dealers and politicians and I’ll stick to the point.
Sometime circa 2007 or 2008, Greek politicians and mainstream media “journalists” discovered the world of blogging and quickly set out to grace it with their filth. They have used numerous underhanded practices in their blogging practices, showing their true colours. One of them is the one I present today: a practice that was extensively used by a certain wannabe politician who fancies herself as “progressive”, while having supported and propagandised all the antisocial measures that have sunk millions of people in poverty and despair.
The tactic can be summed up as follows:
- She censors all comments from people who disagree with her without resorting to sexist, racist remarks.
- At the same time, she only allows “criticism” from sexists and racists to go through.
- Then, she presents herself as a person who is perpetually targeted by sexists and the far right (incidentally, her party has had no problem cooperating with a ruling party that’s run by sexist, racist, far-right elements) and systematically pushes the line that everyone criticising her is either a member of the far right or a “far-right extremist in disguise”, as she likes to portray those who are left of centre and, predictably, don’t agree with her eulogies to the endless, irrational austerity.
What does she try to do? Well, she tries to paint a picture where those who may have an opinion on what she says fall into one of these two categories:
- The “good people”: Those who agree with everything she says and basically kiss her ass.
- The “sexist, racist, far-right extremists”: Everyone who disagrees with her.
In other cases, she has even resorted to hiding all the comments that followed a post she made. Incidentally, the comments were perfectly civilised, articulate and well-mannered – but most of the comments were critical of the views she expressed. She hid the comments and then went on Facebook and Twitter, whining about how “the racists and the sexists attacked her” for her “perfectly sensible” (even though no economist worth their salt agrees with her, and even though human rights activists have been outspoken on the humanitarian crisis caused by the irrational austerity policies we have to deal with) views on the matter, and basically going on yet another campaign to garner unwarranted sympathy, claiming that “she was attacked by everyone” and that the “left wing is full of trolls that are just as poisonous as the far-right extremists” etc.
It all seemed to work well, until people started posting screen grabs of the discussion that was carried out on her blog and her Facebook “wall” that she hid (censored) from public view. She was immediately discredited and disgraced, because it became perfectly clear even to those that hadn’t participated in the discussions that she was lying off her teeth and that her word has no value at all.
She’s not the only one, mind you.
Bottom line? Hiding what has been said in a discussion and then presenting yourself as a victim of vile attacks, demanding that everyone else take your word for it, like that particular wannabe politician did (and I’m not sure she’s learned her lesson), is a vile practice:
- It is libelous towards good-natured, civilised commenters.
- It is lying – plain and simple.
- It is dishonest.
- It is stupid, because eventually someone will expose you, sooner or later, and you will lose face.
Don’t be that sort of person.