TFYC And 4chan’s Vivian James Lambasted By Media, TFYC Responds

Vivian James

It wasn’t enough that gamers are labeled as “misogynists” and “rape-apologists”, now these broadly defamatory terms are being associated with movements that legitimately want to help bridge the growing gap being created by toxic individuals slinging the worst kind of vitriol at each other. In this case, Vivian James, a fictional character from a pro-feminist group and the 4chan community, is now being used as an effigy for media at large to continue their crusade to demonize gamers the world around.

So the supposed fight for equality surrounds the idea that there should be better representation of females in games media; there should be more inclusionary efforts made to get female designers, artists and creators in the field; violence and tropes against women in games media should be reduced. Enter The Fine Young Capitalists and their campaign called “Women making games for charity”. They want to boost representation, inclusion and reach for female game designers and creative minds alike. So why are they being ridiculed, blackballed and made a public mockery of by the media at large?

I’ve already written at length surrounding the very difficult and hard road the group has endured trying to get their project up and off the ground, including gaining support and help from The Last Ship’s Adam Baldwin. I’m not going to retread through all of that all over again. You can click the link if you want a rundown of that situation or read about their efforts to bury the hatchet with the toxic group that pulled them into this mess in the first place.

Anyway, media website Vice (don’t worry, I used archive.today so you won’t be feeding them hits) decided to do a write-up on Vivian James and The Fine Young Capitalists. It’s the first major media publication to write about TFYC. Can you believe that? It’s a win, right? Wrong.

The article from author Allegra Ringo is used to attack and belittle the movement from The Fine Young Capitalists and 4chan – using strong language such as…

“Vivian James is a character masquerading as a feminist icon for the express purpose of spiting feminists—yes, that’s feminists, plural. It’s not just Zoe Quinn that /v/ wants to take down—it’s the entirety of what they derogatorily call “SJWs,” or “social justice warriors.”

Oh lovely.

And this gem right here…

“To add fuel (irrelevant fuel, but fuel nonetheless) to the fire, a Reddit user claimed that Quinn purposely sabotaged a female-centric “game jam,” sponsored by feminist group the Fine Young Capitalists, in order to promote her own female-centric game jam, Rebel Jam. Needless to say, this is not the kind of event that 4chan’s gaming community would get excited about. But they’d developed a taste for blood, and they saw an opportunity to make Quinn look bad in the eyes of the feminists she usually called allies.”

Let’s just stop for a second and examine this: If you try to support a cause to do something good and come from a place labeled as “misogynistic” it’s still bad because of where it came from? Would this not have been an opportunity to meet olive branches together and have a little kiss and then say “all can be well with the world”?

I mean look, I’ve never been one of 4chan’s biggest fans and they’re never been one of mine (and thanks to /pol/ it’s one of the reasons why this little outlet exists in the outer ridges of the internet), but even I can see that if someone is trying to do a good thing,  why stop them if the ends means a better place for everyone?

If the goal is inclusion and acceptance, why on Earth would you try to sabotage that?

The Fine Young Capitalists did take offense to the article that’s basically spreading negative reactions against their campaign and Vivian (the exact sort of character that the so-called justice warriors have been saying they need to see more of in games), writing in a blog post that…

“This article has been shared, retweeted, and liked over a thousand of times. And like urine in a swimming pool it’s message penetrates deep into the internet never to be removed. I have contacted the author and received no reply and so I must tell you now I will not be silent.”

The media are now taking the route of making scandalous remarks about the opposition; if you’re not with them then you must be tarnished and slandered in the public eye, because that’s obviously not what the trolls who are making threats and misogynistic remarks are doing.

Adam Baldwin was on the receiving end of such treatment when an article on MarySue (archived.today so they get no hits).

Image3

MarySue eventually updated their article (more than likely after Baldwin got his lawyers involved for slander, no doubt) and removed some of the strong language used against the actor.

The message is being twisted and deformed into a narrative that never should have existed in the first place. This isn’t about what a woman did, it’s what games media did and it’s how media responded. Nathan Grayson should be suspended effective immediately. Stephen Totilo should resign for participating in a blackout regarding impropriety from his outlet.

The Fine Young Capitalists concur that this has nothing whatsoever to do with misogyny (or the trolls who keep throwing fuel on the fire to give the other side a reason to keep diverting and derailing the narrative), writing…

“The controversy that surrounds the Online Journalism World was never about misogyny. It was the lack of accountability. It was the manipulation of stories to attract traffic and the backroom deals around coverage. The sacrifice of innocent people’s character to attract fleeting views to sell products. And now each and every Anon has felt its sting in the slander of their daughter. I am sick of this flagrant disregard of decency, that allows woman to be used as political tools for the benefit of author. This is not journalistic integrity. It is manipulation of facts for the simple goal of making the author rich. And I will not stand for it.

“The true goal of equality is a woman be judged on her action and not her appearance, her family, or her hobbies. What kind of feminism is it, that would sacrifice one of it’s own for the advantages of another.”

These sentiments were echoed recently by Stardock Entertainment’s CEO, Brad Wardell, who wrote in a blog post that games media has basically turned into a playground of toxicity. The worst of the trolls? Kotaku.

Vice even did a follow-up article (not even worth linking) basically trying to steer the narrative away from the corruption in media. Mike Pearl writes that…

“While there are these issues, corruption with journalism, and all that, there’s this huge mountain of misogyny,” … “So, when we non-gamers look at gaming culture, we have a tendency to point at the huge mountain.”

The mountain exists because you, Mike, formed it out of misinformation, lack of research and an unwillingness to take accountability.

Here at this site there’s no mention about a certain individual or their private life in the written body of the articles. Why? It’s not about that and it never has been. Of course, blind fascism has no room for for sound reason.

Media will likely continue to steer away from their own failings and lack of accountability to cover their hides. But don’t worry, you can help make your voice heard, no matter what your gender, race, creed, orientation or belief is. If you tire of being demonized by games media simply for enjoying a hobby, take a stand and join the efforts to get their advertising suspended.

Join the Corruption in Games Journalism movement to help become part of the change you want to see take place.

You can also support The Fine Young Capitalists and their pro-gamer, pro-feminist IndieGoGo campaign if you want help a real organization create positive change in the gaming industry.

(Main image courtesy of DLN-005 “Ice Man” Light)





About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

  • Lord Darque

    One problem here is that while what 4Chan is trying to do in this particular case is good they cannot escape their history. You would have to pay me to get me to go there. Anyplace where assholes are allowed, and celebrated, is not a place I wish to be. I don’t wish to destroy the place they can have it if it makes them happy. Just like I acknowledge the necessity of sewage treatment plants I just don’t wish to visit.

    You cannot scream vile hatred for so long and then just wash it away. People have long memories. Not saying it is fair in this case but that is just how it is.

    • Billy

      That’s a very valid criticism.

      One of the reasons 4chan did what they did with Vivian James is to — in a way — give media exactly what they asked for and even rise up to the occasion to support the sort of change that certain members of media and activist groups have been asking for. They did it using a company that was shamed and blackballed by the gaming press (for the obvious reasons).

      One of their goals was that if they did a good enough thing — even with their sordid history — it would force media to take notice of TFYC and actually do some research into their story, find out why they were blackballed and expose the deep rooted cronyism in games media. However, it’s kind of turning out the opposite, with media using the platform to condemn 4chan’s history (rightfully so) while labeling their latest efforts as an attack against feminism.

      I kind of have a huge issue with the last part because 4chan has done something none of these pundits and mouthpieces have done: support a pro-feminist cause that wants to do good in the gaming industry.

      I’ve noticed from the start of all this mess that none of the people decrying the industry for all its misogyny has done anything to support the struggling female indie devs and their projects to help get media spotlight on their games and studios. It’s all been centered on what Wardell labeled as the “professional victims”.

      It just exposes that this whole thing really has nothing whatsoever to do with equality, because it did then we wouldn’t have 4chan having donated the most money to an endeavor that’s trying to do what the social justice types have supposedly been fighting for.

      • Lord Darque

        I am perfectly willing to give 4Chan kudoes for supporting a worthy cause.

        But why didn’t they do it before this? Because before now it would not have been an attack. That is what this is. It is an attack on people they don’t like. I don’t much like those people either the difference is that I have supported equality and the rights of others my whole life. I do it because it is the right thing to do.

        If 4Chan had just done this out of the blue I would be more willing to heap praise on them for doing so. As it is I agree they are doing a good thing but it is not going to change them in the least. How long do you think it will be before we heard another vile story about 4Chan? Not long.

        It is just a terrible idea to remove what tiny little bit of accountability the internet has. The proper way to allow people to speak freely is to have Rules and to Enforce them.

        Make a rule against insulting others and boot anybody that breaks it. People will feel safe and will express themselves freely. Taking away names only empowers the assholes and they don’t need it.

        More and more this is my problem with Cinema Blend. They have rules against insults but I still watch huge long threads of people ripping into each other and nothing happens. But then I see someone be just a tiny bit harsh in their criticisms of an article and their post gets deleted without any explaination. I fucking hate that. No Mod action should EVER be taken without explanation.

        I have had 2 posts deleted on CB and for the life of me I don’t know why. How am I not supposed to repeat the damn mistake if I don’t know what they were?

      • Billy

        There’s a couple of poignant points you touched on that I think are really worth exploring.

        First: I used to feel the same way about 4chan as you did until I began to understand how their sub-community works. While anonymity empowers them to say whatever they want, it also empowers no one to discriminate against anyone else.

        Think about it: no woman can be harassed because she’s anonymous. No avatar. No name. No representation. No homosexual or transgender can be individually harassed because no one knows who they are. You can only go by whatever they’re willing to say and they can’t be individually judged for it since they’re anonymous.

        Yes, people purposefully use the most colorfully vile language on there but it’s aimed at no one in that community in particular. After realizing this I understood that it’s literally people speaking absolutely freely with no inhibitions at all. I would never join that community because I already say what I want (and I would gladly say the same thing in a face-to-face conversation the same as I’ve spoken my mind to people in phone conversations) but I can understand how that environment can empower some people to speak more confidently (whether what they’re saying is good or bad) without reproach.

        Now this falls to the individual as to whether or not they think such a thing is good or bad. As we’ve both mentioned, the history of the imageboard has some vile things attached to it.

        As for CB… they’ve always wanted to enforce not attacking the author or the article. When I was really engaged with the comments there I let everything go because I don’t care about attacks. If someone doesn’t like an article I actually want to know why. And if someone doesn’t like the way I wrote it, I’ll gladly embrace their criticisms. As I mentioned in many comments in the past, I don’t delete comments expressing any kind of opinion, on matter how terrible it might be.

        However, not everyone agrees about how censorship should work. I’m confident and comfortable enough to take any and all sorts, but not everyone else is; and I feel that CB’s rules is more-so to protect the authors who feel random internet criticisms (no matter how valid) could affect the way a writer performs.

      • Lord Darque

        Ok let me start by making it clear I don’t hate the place I just have no desire to be involved. My observations are just that.

        However….

        People are not good at heart they are self-centered in the extreme. There is a reason that every human society has Laws, Police, and Social Standards because without them the true nature of humanity is revealed. The strong oppress the weak. People simply take what they wish with no concern for others. Without laws humans are brutal vile creatures who destroy everything that is good or gentle.

        It is not that we are evil we are simply trapped inside our own heads and our instincts are to protect ourselves no matter what. What we want will always sit at the top of the list. We protect our young not because they are the future of the species but because they are literally a part of us. Strip every bit of evolution away and that is what you are left with.

        It is possible to be better than that. We have created Society with all of its good and bad to protect and foster the better ideals. But even to this day we still have to have warriors on the walls with weapons. Someone has to get their hands dirty to keep the rest safe.

        That is the way. At least it is the big major way. People should not have to hide who they are to be treated fairly and politely. What good comes from letting the vile and the cruel have free reign?

        Let me ask you something William, Joachim and anybody else who cares to comment:

        What has 4Chan produced? What have they done that is of such great worth that makes you defend this policy of Anonymity? Do you believe that something better really comes from what they do as compared to almost every other human grouping that relies on Rules and Enforcement to keep it friendly.

        I grant it allows assholes to be assholes. And I get that. If you are one then you are and you want a place to be yourself. No sarcasm here I honestly get that hence my lack of desire to destroy 4Chan.

        I ask because if it is not better than I see no other point to it. What I know for certain is that the way it works keeps a whole lot of really good people away from it. People I respect and like. 4Chan did not earn it’s rep by mistake it is direct reflection of the truth of what the place is.

        So I am curious.

      • Billy

        People should not have to hide who they are to be treated fairly and
        politely. What good comes from letting the vile and the cruel have free
        reign?

        I actually have no stance on this, because we see what happens on both ends of the spectrum: You see how Communism works under the current cultural landscape to various degrees, with places like North Korea showing one extreme and China showing a lesser degree of a similar structure. There are still problems in both regions because, as you mentioned, it’s inherit for people to be selfish.

        On the flip-side we see certain places in North Africa governed by chaos and violence; we see how the lack of structure still causes problems, even though the people have some measure of freedom to govern and survive on their own.

        Even now, given the current economic climate, I would prefer being able to grab an axe, go out into the woods and chop down trees for a living. But hey, you can’t do that because there are laws against illegal foresting, and destruction of property/ecosystems based on various regional restrictions.

        In this way, there are a lot of able-bodied people in America who can’t survive because the economy is in a rut and there are rules preventing them from making a living from natural resources. It’s pretty stupid really in a lot of regards, but that’s beside the point.

        You asked…

        What has 4Chan produced? What have they done that is of such great worth that makes you defend this policy of Anonymity? Do you believe that something better really comes from what they do as compared to almost every other human grouping that relies on Rules and Enforcement to keep it friendly.

        See, it’s not so much the anonymity but the freedom that comes with that anonymity. In the examples about cultural structure above, there are rules and restrictions in place to protect people (either from themselves or others). In the case of 4chan, it’s specifically setup as a counter-cultural alternative for anyone to express freedom without rules or restrictions.

        Again, my stance on this is completely nonchalant. I may not support what goes on at some of the 4chan boards, but in this very instance they created Vivian James — if the IndieGoGo for TFYC gets through they’ll have created a historical piece of gaming culture that will appear in a game that lives on through history. 4chan will have created a part of gaming history. That, in itself, is significant, despite what you or I may think about the individuals and what they do on some of those boards.

        It was the lack of rules, the lack of restrictions and the lack of governance that allowed them to collectively use the platform to create something positive.

        I’ve had many debates on similar topics of this ilk: is it a worthy cause to sacrifice something, lose something or gain something from a despicable or despised source in order to grow something historically significant?

        It’s an ontological question relating to what we, as human beings, feel is significant or worthwhile in how we view, engage, consume and react to the culture that surrounds us.

        What I know for certain is that the way it works keeps a whole lot of really good people away from it. People I respect and like. 4Chan did not earn it’s rep by mistake it is direct reflection of the truth of what the place is.

        This is very true. And I agree. But with rules and restrictions would it not simply be another community like any other? It was the lack of rules (so to speak) that enabled 4chan to take up the TFYC’s cause. It was not Reddit, it was not Tumblr, it was not Twitter… it was an anonymous group of people who — despite having nothing to gain from it personally due to the anonymity of their contributions — worked hard to help proliferate equality and progressive feminist principles.

        Sordid history and all (and even sort of forcing me to take some of my work here), I appreciate what they’re contributing to the overall culture of gaming in this instance enough to respect that cause. And, in a way, it’s more than what I’ve accomplished at other places, which kind of says a lot, in a way.

        So, I suppose, another way to look at it is this: did all the vile things that some members of 4chan did in the past outweigh their efforts and interest to save the core of gaming from corrupt media while also promoting the core values of feminism? And if so, why?

      • Lord Darque

        “It was the lack of rules, the lack of restrictions and the lack of governance that allowed them to collectively use the platform to create something positive.”

        See that is what I don’t get. How? What they have done could have been done by any other place IF the people in charge supported it. Most have not and so I am willing to give 4Chan credit for doing something positive. But I see nothing in the structure of 4Chan that made this easier to do. You simply have a couple of people (I assume I don’t know who actually owns the place) who were willing to promote and support this idea. They did it and others did not granted but they could have.

        I simply do not believe the main motivation behind their creation of VC was not anger. And not many other people will. They have done a good thing but only in self-defense.

        There are many, many places on the net that get involved in all sorts of worthwile causes or who do things to help others. Most simply do it because they feel it is the right thing to do.

        If 4Chan had created VC without GamerGate it would be different. Then I would have to say, “Ok this is very cool of them to do.” But as it is they did it as part of a fight. They, like all Gamers are under attack. I am glad they are fighting. But the thing is the most tame person on the planet will fight when their lives are in danger. It is a survival instinct we cannot ignore.

        So I guess what I am saying is that I am willing to give them oh 50% credit here. They have done a good thing but the reasons for doing so are not so great.

        “So, I suppose, another way to look at it is this: did all the vile things that some members of 4chan did in the past outweigh their efforts and interest to save the core of gaming from corrupt media while also promoting the core values of feminism? And if so, why?”

        Because they are part of why this is all such a problem. Women have been pointing at 4Chan for a long time and saying “See this is what we are fighting against.” They had a significant impact on the perception (fair or not) that Gamers are all a bunch of woman-hating pigs.

        Cleaning up a mess you made is a good thing but it would have been far better to not make the mess in the first place. If people have legitimate points to make they can be made without all the hostility and hatred. Anything. Anything at all can be discussed in a civil manner. People will change their minds if what you have to say reaches them but as soon as you drop into personal attacks then your cause it lost.

        For example here. I have talked about this with you and with Joachim. Both of you have been civil. But if he had even once told me what a faggot I am for thinking this way then I would not have bothered to write anything more than a nice nasty attack back.

        Civility has a purpose. It is the way humans should conduct themselves. There is no defense for vile, slandering, insulting speech except in direct self-defense. If I am attacked I try to give back worse than I get and I will never, ever, apologize for that. I do not take the first shot but I sure as fuck will take the last one. And I have been online for so long I hit dead center between the eyes.

      • Billy

        See that is what I don’t get. How? What they have done could have been done by any other place IF the people in charge supported it. […] But I see nothing in the structure of 4Chan that made this easier to do.

        That’s just it… it’s the lack of structure. Without heavy-handed gatekeepers and strict regulation over certain kinds of expression, this free-form community had the freedom of choice to do what they did. They didn’t have to ask permission, or get a mod’s approval or wait for a certain time of day to avoid an administrator’s reprimands. They just could because… they could.

        That’s the interesting thing about freedom.

        Whereas NeoGAF and certain parts of Reddit have strict policies on “witch hunts” and enacting grassroots movements through community efforts, 4chan does not. You’re right, any of those communities could have stepped up, but the corrupted vices gripped tight around those who are in charge and prevented that from happening.

        When freedom is a jailed commodity bartered through prescribed beliefs and stilted exhibition, this is not freedom but the act of purchasing expression through subjugation.

        If 4Chan had created VC without GamerGate it would be different. Then I would have to say, “Ok this is very cool of them to do.” But as it is they did it as part of a fight. They, like all Gamers are under attack. I am glad they are fighting. But the thing is the most tame person on the planet will fight when their lives are in danger. It is a survival instinct we cannot ignore.

        If 4chan created Vivian without GamerGate no one would care. lol

        I mean, seriously? She would be nothing but just something a community came up with; it’s something anyone does. At this very moment she’s now an iconic part of history in the making.

        Sometimes it’s not simply about acting but knowing when to act. Timing can change an action from being one of selfish intentions to one of historic significance.

        The timing of Vivian’s creation is what makes her significant, and by proxy, historic.

        Cleaning up a mess you made is a good thing but it would have been far better to not make the mess in the first place. If people have legitimate points to make they can be made without all the hostility and hatred. Anything. Anything at all can be discussed in a civil manner.

        Completely agreed.

        However, I would be willing to bet a large portion of /v/ didn’t know how to be as civil as they are being now until this atomic bomb dropped on the community.

        They had to make a choice: continue to be considered the cesspool of the internet or fight the good fight for the historic value of gaming.

        In the end, /v/ and all those of 4chan who appreciate, love and adore game culture as much as you and I, decided that to keep gaming from changing under the dictatorship of a radical movement they would rather become the change that was necessary to keep gaming from falling into the hands of predators.

        4chan, in this instance, evolved culturally, socially and in a way, humanly.

        Sordid past and all, the coordination of their efforts can’t go ignored, not by me anyway.
        I’m willing to forgive and forget when a “greater evil” looms in the distance.

      • Actually it’s been the only site I’ve seen any major support for Georgina Bensley at all, aside from Siliconera. The high school clique running post 2010 game journalism refuses outright to give female devs any notice if they’re not attractive or ‘cool,’ but /a/ loved Cuteknight and /sci/ and /v/ liked science girls. I’m not sure of the gender of the developer, but they supported Recettear pretty hard as well.

    • JoachimRussells

      You’re assuming that 4chan is just one massive creature with a singular sentiment running through its entirety. It’s not. Anonymous posters have such varying stances on everything that you could get them to argue about the right way to use toilet paper. You could find as many people who are vocal about their love for cat gifs, green tea, global warming, slapstick comedy, mathematics, or feminism there as any other site. The upside and downside is that their anonymity allows them to speak much more freely than any other website where your identity is tied to your posts.

      Not everyone who goes to that site is a malicious person who only wishes to spew “vile hatred” everywhere they go, but everyone who stays for more than a few threads is definitely more willful and thick-skinned than your average internet poster.

      • Lord Darque

        I am not assuming anything. The upside does not in any way balance the down. I have no wish to talk to people who are not willing to put their name on their words.

        One of the biggest problems with the Internet as a concept is the lack of accountability. 90% of the shit I have heard would NOT have been said if the scum involved had to look me in the eye. 4Chan is even worse than that.

        So no thanks the very idea is repulsive. I have no wish to burn the place down but I will never go there. Just looking at it was more than enough.

      • JoachimRussells

        “I’m not assuming anything”. But you do. You’ve labelled 4chan as an entity instead of a meeting-place. It’s no more or less deplorable than a cave is.

        A person’s identity does not affect the merit of their words. You,
        yourself, do not post by your real name. Yet here we are having a
        discussion about public identity. You’re one degree away from being able
        to shed your online persona and starting a new one compared to me.

        People
        with ordinary lives have way more to lose in being a dissonant voice in
        an ocean of agreements and the only protection from that is anonymity. Names only serve as a way to elevate or destroy people, not their message.

        Why would a face, an income,
        number of contacts, or an online history detract you from the contents of a person’s actions?
        If the message isn’t one you agree with, you can either ignore or argue
        with it.

        Oscar Wilde put it best: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

        To me, 4chan will always be the “wild west” of the internet. It’s possible to belong (the numbers grow every day), but it’s not for free. One would have to win every inch every time he/she joins a new thread or makes a new post.

        You don’t have to go there, but at least understand what kind of place it is. I’m glad we’re having a civil discussion about this, though. Thanks for reading.

      • Lord Darque

        First sorry for the delay in responding. Both of your replies deserved more attention than I have had available in the last few days.

        “But you do. You’ve labelled 4chan as an entity instead of a meeting-place. It’s no more or less deplorable than a cave is.”

        That is just a dodge. A cave is a cave. A online forum is defined by the rules it has, the people who show up and what gets discussed. That is like saying FaceBook and 4Chan are the same or that my buddies bible study group is the same as the bar he goes to after. They very much are not.

        “A person’s identity does not affect the merit of their words. You, yourself, do not post by your real name. Yet here we are having a discussion about public identity. You’re one degree away from being able to shed your online persona and starting a new one compared to me.”

        Actually I post under half my name. The first part is Christopher.

        There are legitimate reasons for keeping some personal details under your control. Do you walk around your home town with your bank account numbers and social security on a card pinned to your chest? No. Because you cannot control who would see them or what they would do with them. On the internet doing that would be even worse. You could perhaps walk around town with those things visible and absolutely nothing would happen. If you did that online how many how would it take before you found your account empty? Every scrap of real info you put online is another level of risk.

        I have been posting with this account for over a year. My posts are visible and I stand by them. I have an investment in this persona there are people who respect me because of my words and I have a ever growing following. Those things matter to me. Should I lose this account that would hurt and because of that I have to consider what I say and how I say it at times. It encourages me to be responsible.

        “People with ordinary lives have way more to lose in being a dissonant voice in an ocean of agreements and the only protection from that is anonymity. Names only serve as a way to elevate or destroy people, not their message.”

        If someone cannot stand by what they say then they should not say it. Unless you are talking about whistle-blowers protecting their jobs I really don’t see your point here.

        “Why would a face, an income,number of contacts, or an online history detract you from the contents of a person’s actions? If the message isn’t one you agree with, you can either ignore or argue with it.”

        Because not having those things simply frees people to be cruel and nasty. It does not encourge enlightened discussion. It plays to the worst of us. Allows the worst and does nothing at all to encourage the better.

        “Oscar Wilde put it best: “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.””

        Or he will lie even better. Sorry but that cuts both ways. Giving a mask in no possible way promises truth. It might but it has just as much chance to encourage lies. Why do you think people are so cautious about others online? Because they know how easy the mask of anonimity makes it to lie and decieve. I always try to tell people that lies and deception happen just as often in real life but it is just not as easy. I cannot pass myself off as a woman in real life despite my rather amazing hair. Online though it is easy as pie.

        “To me, 4chan will always be the “wild west” of the internet. It’s possible to belong (the numbers grow every day), but it’s not for free. One would have to win every inch every time he/she joins a new thread or makes a new post.”

        I don’t see what is wrong with having respect for someone or their words based on what they have said in the past. The only reason I see this is a plus is if people have said things they don’t wish to haunt them. I have no problem with living up to everything I have ever said. The only people who need a clean slate for every new conversation are those who have been vile or hostile in their previous ones.

        “You don’t have to go there, but at least understand what kind of place it is. I’m glad we’re having a civil discussion about this, though. Thanks for reading.”

        I understand perfectly what sort of place it is. I have been there. What I saw disgusted me. Not every part is bad as some but as a whole the place simply has nothing to offer someone who does not wish to be allowed to spew venom and hatred at other people.

        But here is the thing. You did not answer my actual questions. I asked why is this better? What has this policy of zero accountability lead to that makes it better than the way other places run things? Because I see plenty of downsides, plenty of vile and no reason to think their approach is better in any real way.

      • Anonymous Poster

        Person A says something you very strongly disagree with. Person A is posting under a name.
        Person A later says something you have no opinion on, but since you know that you strongly disagree with another post Person A made, you are now biased towards disagreeing with Person A. This is simply how the human mind works.

        Person B says something you very strongly disagree with. Person B is posting anonymously.
        Person B later says something you have no opinion on, and since you don’t know that this is the same person, you have no bias towards this new comment.

        There you go, a pretty strong strength.

      • Lord Darque

        I understand what you are saying. My question is simply why is the end result a good thing? So I end up saying nothing to person B as opposed to engaging in a debate. That is what Forums are for are they not? To engage in debates and discussions back and forth?

        But I will give you a minor point there. However when weighed against the negatives it still seems to me the outcome of the policy is a negative one. Unless you are the sort of person who tends to piss people off on a regular basis.

        What this also takes away from the discussion is a whole lot of context. Why people think what they think matters not just the end result. Words alone are very thin and lack a whole lot if you do not know where they are coming from.

        What you are saying is that it is better to keep a group as strangers rather than actually getting to know each other. Seems very superficial to me.

  • xvtc

    You aren’t better than anyone who uses 4chan. It’s just a website. Most of your friends probably use it and you have no idea.

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