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[P]
Ridiculing Other Peoples' Work

By jxqvg in Op-Ed
Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:48:40 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Take a look at the 10/4 SomethingAwful link of the day. I thought it was kind of funny, Space Feline 1, looked like it wasn't all that great a game. Then I followed the link (blockquote below). After I read the message, I remembered the old "it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye".

Granted, I don't know anything about Goal Software or its game(apparently thanks to somethingAwful), and I don't even know if this is how it unfolded, but here's what I think happened, and why it pisses me off.


This site has shutdown becouse it sucks according to Somethingawful.com. We are sorry if you have not had the chance to bash us yet. We will put up a bashing forum soon so you can say all the bad things you want to say about us in there. Thank you for your hatred of our site...
Here's my reading of it:
  1. Some guy who likes to program writes a little game, possibly cute, maybe even tries to sell it.
  2. somethingAwful, having no humorous content in and of itself, decides to hold up Goal Software for public ridicule in the name of generating page hits and revenue.
  3. Being as the people who don't notice the site, or even kind of didn't like the game usually don't bother to write, the only feedback he gets from "the world" is a bunch of frustrated cynical nerds screaming "Your contribution is of no value! You are a bad person and a bad programmer because... well, because I'm insecure about myself!"
  4. Someone, somewhere, stops pursuing what makes him happy in life.

What the HELL is wrong with this picture when someone has to take down their site or stop producing a product because of mass criticism generated by some cynical garbage site like somethingAwful? It really makes me sad to think that someone may have made an earnest(albeit modest) contribution to the world at large only to be harshly silenced by a bunch of "eBullies". The same kids that got tripped in the halls of someWhere Middle School, with their pent-up rage and angst, lash out at whoever they can, leaving only a brief "I'm hurt" message and some questions in the aftermath.

As to those questions and their answers, I'll leave most of them all up to you, but this is something that I think could generate a lot of discussion over a wide range of topics, and I certainly thank K5 for letting me vent a little outrage even if it doesn't make it out of the queue.

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Display: Sort:
Ridiculing Other Peoples' Work | 104 comments (104 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
more info please (1.75 / 8) (#1)
by mihalis on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:03:15 PM EST

This is a good rant, so fine, I voted for it to go to that section. However I would like to know more about the game and Goal Software before agreeing with the ranters point of view.

It's possible that I would agree with somethingAwful if the and/or it's creator's attitude were sufficiently terrible. I don't know though because I don't have enough information.

I would hate being mean to someone's fledgling game efforts (you haven't seen mine!) but some things really are bad and we should say so.
-- Chris Morgan <see em at mihalis dot net>

Re: more info please (2.50 / 4) (#3)
by jxqvg on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:18:09 PM EST

That's could be the subject of a whole other rant! I don't have any clue how to get in touch with the author since the site has apparently been quasi-spammed out of existence. I thought about contacting whoever runs somethingAwful, but I figured
  1. I probably wouldn't be polite enough to get the information
  2. I might not be angry anymore by the time I could find out for myself, thereby depriving myself of vital "internet rage", and then it wouldn't be an angry rant, thus far less entertaining
      Look at me now. Now that I've ranted, even if it doesn't get posted at all, I already feel better. Unless the guy from somethingAwful gets his feelings hurt and closes down his site, then I might have to flame myself publicly.

      [sig]
      [ Parent ]
Re: more info please (2.25 / 4) (#6)
by jxqvg on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:28:26 PM EST

I also hate people(me) who forget to close their ordered lists!

[sig]
[ Parent ]
Re: more info please (3.00 / 6) (#16)
by Lowtax on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:18:45 PM EST

"Unless the guy from somethingAwful gets his feelings hurt and closes down his site, then I might have to flame myself publicly."

Don't worry, *some* of us know how to deal with criticism.

-Lowtax

[ Parent ]
Re: more info please (3.00 / 1) (#42)
by Gentle_Touch on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:21:23 PM EST

Just went by a site hit by visitors from somethingawfull - yep, that was sure some criticism, delivered in an orderly and constructive way...

Tell me...are you sick enough to actually LIKE what you and your site is doing to other people? And don't give me no crap about not being responsible for what other people do - you hold up the friggin' target for anyone to shoot at it.

GT

[ Parent ]

I love it! (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by Lowtax on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:44:50 PM EST

No, I am not sick enough to LIKE running Something Awful... I LOVE doing it! If I did it for the money or some other reason, I would have given up the site long ago.

-Lowtax

[ Parent ]
Re: I love it! (none / 0) (#50)
by Gentle_Touch on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:57:33 PM EST

'fraid it was so - in that case none of the posts in this entire discussion is going to change things anyway.

GT

[ Parent ]

jesus christ man, mockery is an important art form (1.00 / 1) (#71)
by sayke on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 07:09:23 AM EST

and lowtax is perpetuating some fine, hand-bottled, well-aged, 120 proof mockery (with a biscuity aftertaste, no less). who the hell are you are to tell someone that they should not be mocking someone else? baaaaah. if people can't stand up to perfect strangers and defend their work/play, then too fucking bad. please don't say "oo, but look at his (the targets) poor self-esteem!" thats like saying "oo, the poor dinosaurs, they're all so dead..." what happens, happens. deal with it. if you want to do something constructive for your cause (as i understand it), try to send a letter to the guy who made the shitty site, and offer your condolences and moral support, or whatever. but please don't bitch at lowtax for something he doesn't control (the actions of people who read his site), and please, please don't call satire and mockery wrong. useless, maybe. counterproductive, maybe. but wrong? baaaah. eat a bag of hell.
sayke, v2.3.1 /* i am the middle finger of the invisible hand */
[ Parent ]
Re: more info please (none / 0) (#98)
by Panduh on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 07:04:28 PM EST

And don't give me no crap about not being responsible for what other people do - you hold up the friggin' target for anyone to shoot at it.

Of course. Lowtax is responsible for everything. Global Warming? Lowtax. Ozone Layer Depletion? Lowtax. My premature ejaculation problem? Lowtax.

Lowtax does not incite people to flame the guestbooks, the assholes do it of their own volition. After all, people put guestbooks on their site for one reason, and that is to get feedback from the visiting public. Are you shocked that there are actually sick and perverted people out on the Net? If sick and perverted people read http://ChristianScienceMonitor.com and flamed a featured link there, is Jesus Christ to blame? (or whoever runs that site, I have no clue.)

Lowtax writes funny reviews of bad sites and games. That is his job, and he's damn good at doing it.

Don't tell him to stop doing his job.

[ Parent ]

Hard to say (3.36 / 11) (#2)
by Delirium on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:13:31 PM EST

Hmm, this is a difficult issue. On the one hand humor is generally a Good Thing(tm), and making fun of things often tends to be a part of it. However, when humor comes at the expense of genuinely hurting someone, it becomes a Bad Thing. The problem is that it's really hard to tell when this is going to happen.

For example, I don't see anything particularly wrong with making fun of Daikatana. It came out years late, sucked, and the whole saga/debacle is just generally humorous. However, I do see something wrong with this particular instance you recounted. Why? I'm not entirely sure, but part of it has to do with the fact that Ion Storm is a fairly large (which one usually equates with faceless, though this is not always accurate) company, and the other is made by an individual, possibly working in his spare time. The main thing seems to be that on the one hand you are making fun of what the Ion Storm programmers do for their job (and, mostly, what the management does), while on the other hand you're making fun of what an individual possibly spends a lot of time on because he wants to.

I feel the same way about music - there's really nothing to be gained by ridiculing the work of some obscure band (on mp3.com or something) which you think sucks. If you don't like it, fine, don't listen to it, but don't ridicule someone else's genuine efforts. Of course this is a completely different issue (in largely the same way as with software) than ridiculing the latest Bush single - partly because ridiculing the latest Bush single is humor that is not really at anyone's expense (they are unlikely to make less money due to your ridicule, or even know or care about what you're saying).

So there aren't that many easy generalizations, but I guess it comes down to just thinking before you say something, and confining your ridicule to where it is least likely to hurt someone.

Re: Hard to say (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by Bert Peers on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:53:08 PM EST

I don't know, I think it's a fairly clear cut issue, but maybe that's just because personally my skin is unoffendably thick (it seems). I think that if you're willing to go outside with your band, upload your game, or go public in another way, you have to be prepared for the worst. People that are really hurt by negative reactions of the genre "THIs SHIT ZM4De ME STERILE DIE BICTCH I 0WN J00Z)" were probably the people that were encouraged by their friends and family beyond proportion to "go public".

My point is, people should realize that if you go on the internet, there are *no* filters to warn you of potentially crappy content : no publishers, no marketing guys, no agents, no other gurus paid to let you know what's up with your goods. So if you still decide to go for it, possibly deluded by overfriendly comments from friends, I feel you should be able to stand anything coming to you. Especially a fairly juvenile mix of blasphemy and superficial "critics".

[ Parent ]

Wow. (4.09 / 21) (#4)
by Strider on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:24:18 PM EST

I thought you were over-exaggerating until I followed the link. The awful link today is different than when you wrote this I guess, it is now Welcome to My Lil Corner of the North Pole! (thanks Robert. Look at the guest-book. Starting today, it says things like:

  • Retarded people should not be allowed to have their own web-sites. Please die.
  • BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!YYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A GOAT IS IN MY PANTS HELP ME IT WILL EAT MY WEINER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Fondest Christmas Memory: getting analy raped at the institution
  • MOMMY I WANT FLESH FOR CHRISTMAS YOU FUCKING WHORE
  • HOE HOE HOE YOU STUPID BIZZZNATCH TAKE THIS SITE DOWN IT MADE ME STERILE!
  • kill yrself and yr dam dumb site, bitch

    This is wrong with a capital W (3 letters from T which rhymes with P and that stands for Pool). Seriously this is cruel. These guys are destroying peoples self-esteem.
    ---
    "it's like having gravity suddenly replaced by cheez-whiz" - rusty

  • -This- is exactly what is wrong with SA. (4.50 / 6) (#44)
    by Parity on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:38:40 PM EST

    I'm sorry, but the author of this page is obviously either mentally retarded or an actual child. It's a cute little happy-pink-fluffy page, probably visited by -lots- of children, and this person is going to log in tomorrow to see her guest book signed by 'Necrophilic Balls'?
    Making fun of daikatana or the americanskinheads or other -organizations- that put themselves out there with a message or a product is legitimate social criticism. Making fun of -individuals- who happen not to know enough about html to realize that their web browser handles midi plugins differently from other people's web browsers is both immature and cruel.
    Whether this author is a child or a retarded person (or both), it is utterly unconscionable to have put this site up for criticism on something awful, knowing full well exactly the sorts of things that would happen to the victim.
    If somethingawful wants to even pretend to have any kind of ethical standing they should limit their victims to sites that are actually genuinely awful, and that are run by fully mature, competent adults.
    The same criticism quite probably applies to the now defunct kitty-game page. What was it, some 12 year old putting together a kid's game for other 12 year olds? I can't tell now, of course, but given what little I could see, that seems a likely guess. Maybe it's the risk the kid took by calling himself by a corporate-sounding name, but it was a free angelfire page which ought to say something. Anyway, whatever was there, it's all speculation now.


    (As a side-note - I browsed through the 'awful link of the day' archives to see if attacking kids and the mentally retarded was the general trend; it wasn't, -however- the claim made elsewhere in here that somethingawful rates on presentation, not content, is blantly false. Witness the well-laid out wrestling-roleplay link, made fun of for what these people are doing; the 'another oil drinking cult leader' link, etc, etc. The captions, at least, are making fun of the -content-; they're making fun of people for being christians who race cars, gamers who roleplay being wrestlers, racists with bigotted jokes, etc. Should people make fun of some or all of these groups just for -being- who they are? Maybe, maybe not; personally, I only have a problem with the last group and do laugh at anti-racist jokes - though not at links to bad racist jokes. In short, I dispute the claim that content is not a factor in the choosing of the links, and in fact would hold that it is the -primary- factor.)


    --Parity Bit


    [ Parent ]
    To follow up to myself... (4.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Parity on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 06:40:59 PM EST

    I said above that the author of the site was either a child or mentally retarded, and after some further investigation of the site and noticing another poster's comment that the author is a 36 year old aunt, it occured to me that the third and most likely explanation for why the site is written in a childish manner is... that it's intended for children! Who will now proceed to read all manner of abuse in the guestbook... sigh. Way to go somethingawful.

    Parity Bit



    [ Parent ]
    Re: To follow up to myself... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Panduh on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 06:23:50 PM EST

    Yes, continue blaming Something Awful for the actions of a few idiots who left assinine messages on a public guestbook. Obviously Lowtax has some sort of magical mind control over these morons so that he can send them out to do his bidding like winged monkeys at will</sarcasm>

    Lowtax has expressed more than once his disapproval of guestbook spamming, its not his fault that a handful of users aren't mature enough to determine what deserves to be flamed. In any event, if this 36 year old aunt is going to put a site up to the public with a guestbook (which is obviously used for getting public feedback) then she better be ready to receive the scrutiny that comes along with it.

    Would you blame Yahoo if the morons all came from a featured link on their front page?

    [ Parent ]

    Re: To follow up to myself... (none / 0) (#100)
    by Parity on Mon Oct 09, 2000 at 11:44:55 AM EST

    Would you blame Yahoo if the morons all came from a featured link on their front page?
    Yes, I would, -if- they put it up as 'Yahoo's Pick for Worst Site!' or whatever. Anyway. Of course Lowtax doesn't have mind control over his readers; he does, however, know how those same readers act, time after time; he knows they will spam both mailbox and guestbooks with violent, profane flames. He is responsible, therefore, for knowingly causing these events.

    And yes, people need to be prepared for criticism when they put up a page; however, there's a difference between 'scrutiny' and 'criticism' and mindless taunting and insults.

    IMO, Lowtax has had a substantial enough readership that he should exercise some discretion in who he turns that readership loose on. Companies, political organizations, people that are out there with a 'message' and a 'professional' page, sure, whatever. Individuals with holiday pictures of their family? Please. That's like putting up a scathing editorial (with address and phone number) in the city paper about the color somebody painted their car or what bumpersticker they have. Or something. There aren't a lot of analogies that are close to what a personal webpage is, but professional publication is even further away, and Lowtax's readership is hardly a group of professional critics in any case.

    Parity None

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Wow. (4.00 / 2) (#70)
    by codemonkey_uk on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 04:56:19 AM EST

    To be honest I think one would have to be pretty insecure to be personally hurt by mentaly deficient comments like the ones you quotes.

    They just don't make enought sense to hurt or insult. I've had replies like that to comments I've made on (other) online forums. And you know what? I don't care. Really. I read that kind of thing and think - whatever.

    Whats funny is the are parody sites that get this type of email from people who don't get it, and deticate a page to mocking them, so really, it works both ways. :)

    Thad
    ---
    Thad
    "The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way." - Bertrand Russell
    [ Parent ]
    SA.com? The last time i laughed at that site was.. (3.44 / 9) (#5)
    by Defect on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:27:11 PM EST

    Damn near 5 months ago i think

    Sucks that the software maker got discouraged, but that's something you have to prepare for in every aspect of life.

    I personally don't know how offended i'd be if a swarm of geniuses came from a site called "Something Awful" and started bitching at what i made. There will always be people who'll shit on you, and more often than not, those people will have followers who'll shit the same way.

    If a respectable site was the cause of my problems, i'd be offended, but something awful is not exactly cream of the crop of intellectual wonder. I have yet to find an original piece on the site that is actually funny, let alone respectable in any other way. The ICQ pranks are among the ranks of "Piss Poor" and the other parts of the site (mislabeled as "Content") have yet to offer any humourous way to waste my time at work.

    I don't mean to turn this into a "you suck. no, you suck" battle but somethingawful.com is not exactly something that should ruin peoples lives.

    It's a shame that the victim took it upon him/herself to close the site down, but i'm sure it'll be someplace else sometime soon.
    defect - jso - joseth || a link
    old (2.33 / 9) (#7)
    by evro on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:30:37 PM EST

    Hasn't this been going on for a long time? Somebody makes something, somebody else thinks it's funny/dumb/etc and makes fun of it, the creator gets hurt and pulls it? This is older than the internet. Of course, those making fun are incapable of producing anything remotely as good as what they're making fun of.

    Just human nature at its ugliest, I think.
    ---
    "Asking me who to follow -- don't ask me, I don't know!"
    Re: old (3.33 / 3) (#29)
    by Bert Peers on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:43:27 PM EST

    Yeah, but there's a twist. Only thanks to the net can people who *really* suck still upload all their crap to various websites. True, there is this human tendency to hurt people you're basically jealous of, but that's not what Lowtax is doing. There's just too much "positive encouragement" (or whatever) these days, making people believe that "everybody can be a publisher/writer/blah", the result is tons of crap online and nobody having the balls to just state plain and simple that it *is* crap.
    On the odd chance that this site really was something decent, I'd tolerate the occasional misshot/backfiring.

    [ Parent ]
    Goal Software (3.83 / 18) (#8)
    by fluffy grue on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:35:26 PM EST

    The site was unnavigable. It gave me a headache just by trying to look at it. That's what Lowtax was making fun of. Lowtax makes fun of that sort of thing all the time.

    That said, Lowtax has actually stated in the past, quite often, that he doesn't appreciate his readers doing that sort of spam-to-death crap (and occasionally he actively sets up a fake site as the ALOD just so that he can try to preach at people for how stupid they're being - and unfortunately, 99% of them never get the message).

    His site exists because there's a lot of awful crap on the Internet, and he makes fun of it. It's his readers who take it into their own hands to genuinely hurt people. One good example was that a few months ago, he posted a link to some kid's website, where this kid was completely and utterly incomprehensible (and happened to be a furryfan). This kid got flamed royally by the users for being a furryfan, when Lowtax's reason for posting the page was that it was incomprehensibly stupid. In fact, Lowtax said, many times on the messageboards and other places, that he wasn't basing the ALOD on content but on the presentation - namely that it showed, quite clearly, that the kid had ADD and probably shouldn't have been putting his stuff online for the whole freaking world to see.

    Nearly everyone who Lowtax has pointed to gets flamed to death. Most of them don't take their site down. Some of them get retribution against somethingawful.com (like the semi-recent debacle with 'Smile and Act Nice' sending all their users to the SA messageboards - this really disturbed the hell out of SA's regulars, which is a Good Thing IMO). Some of them take the criticism and improve their site so it doesn't suck. And some of them take it WAY too personally.

    One thing people need to remember is that if they're putting stuff on the Internet for everyone to see, EVERYONE CAN SEE IT. Including the jerks. SA's viewers serve as a perfect reminder of this, and if you're an incoherent idiot who is just polluting the Internet at large, your site has a chance of showing up on SA.


    --
    "Is not a quine" is not a quine.
    I have a master's degree in science!

    [ Hug Your Trikuare ]

    Re: Goal Software (2.00 / 2) (#10)
    by jxqvg on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:50:21 PM EST

    It sounds like I may need to apologize to Lowtax at some later time, then. My rant may be better directed at his readers.

    [sig]
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Goal Software (4.00 / 7) (#11)
    by fluffy grue on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:09:52 PM EST

    When Lowtax himself rants at his users, they never notice. I don't see how a rant on a site most of them have never heard of will affect them either. Not that I think it should make any difference, since at the very least, this did end up culling away at least one uselessly awful site for the time being.

    Oh, and for a very recent example of his fake site test (which should still be on the front page, and will definitely be in the news archive if it isn't) is where he setup a fake (and very funny, and obviously joke) site of "some kid's" obscenely demented drawings of Donald Duck doing various sports. On the SA link, Lowtax basically blatantly said it was fake, on the bottom of the site it had a ludicrous copyright statement which was pretty obvious that whoever did it (even if not Lowtax) was joking, and yet the users went and flamed the hell out of the site owner anyway. The next day, Lowtax said, basically, "What the hell is wrong with you people? Shame on you," and as far as I saw through a cursory glance at the messageboards, either nobody got it, or nobody cared to admit it. Probably not the latter, though. :P

    Also, a lot of the stuff (such as Jeff K and the occasional fake site-remakes) are so fucking BLATANT in their being a joke, and yet Lowtax STILL gets a lot of grief from a lot of people who don't even try to get it. Like the recent time when JeffK "hacked" stileproject.com, or when JeffK first showed up to begin with (back when Lowtax worked for PlanetQuake); even now he's always getting things from users asking why he could let a "stupid skript kiddie" have his own site on SA - when it's obvious that JeffK is Lowtax (and yet people always think it's such a huge fucking revelation when Lowtax "slips" about JeffK being an alter-ego, and people are always going out of their way to prove the connection as though it's some big conspiracy).

    Lowtax is always trying to clue in his users to not be complete stupid fucking idiots, but it always fails - the only people who get the message are the ones who didn't need it to begin with.

    So, basically, I think that with enough context, the rant should be entitled, "Internet full of jerks - film at 11," in standard K5 style.
    --
    "Is not a quine" is not a quine.
    I have a master's degree in science!

    [ Hug Your Trikuare ]
    [ Parent ]

    Time to grow up (3.04 / 25) (#9)
    by Kaa on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 01:38:56 PM EST

    This site has shutdown becouse it sucks according to Somethingawful.com.

    People with such thin skins have no business putting up web sites (or even doing anything at all) until they grow themselves a thicker skin. Come on! What, nobody ever in his life told this guy that he sucks? Nobody ever criticized something he did? Somethingawful is in the business of ridiculing stuff. So they ridiculed his game and guy goes "Waaa... Waaaa... you are bad, me take my toys and go cry in the corner by myself!". Isn't it time for him to grow up?

    What the HELL is wrong with this picture when someone has to take down their site or stop producing a product because of mass criticism generated by some cynical garbage site like somethingAwful?

    I'll tell you what's wrong with this picture. What's wrong is that the guy took down his site because of criticism. Did he expect that the world has an obligation to be nice to him? Did he ever deal with the real world at all? It sounds like he didn't and the sooner his education starts, the better.

    It really makes me sad to think that someone may have made an earnest(albeit modest) contribution to the world at large only to be harshly silenced by a bunch of "eBullies".

    Silenced? In which way? Did they launch a DoS attack against his site? Did they complain to his ISP so that he gets shut down? Did they send a cancelbot after his posting?

    I can write my own rant about our society becoming so-oh-so afraid that someone somewhere might get offended. Kids don't win in competitions in schools any more because that means someone loses and being a loser hurts. So everybody wins! At work I cannot say to a woman that she looks nice today -- that's sexual harassment, isn't it? Mr. PotatoHead statue is hastily removed from a park in Rhode Island because he is brown (surprise!) and has reminded somebody of an old Negro figurine.

    I am really disgusted by all this soft beige-pink aren't-we-all-friends fake plasticy environment. Ugh!

    And returning to the guy in question, he just got his first lesson in dealing with the real world. That lesson was long overdue and he flunked it. Next!

    Kaa
    Kaa's Law: In any sufficiently large group of people most are idiots.


    Re: Time to grow up (4.50 / 8) (#12)
    by Thaniel on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 02:32:12 PM EST

    People with such thin skins have no business putting up web sites (or even doing anything at all) until they grow themselves a thicker skin. Come on! What, nobody ever in his life told this guy that he sucks? Nobody ever criticized something he did? Somethingawful is in the business of ridiculing stuff. So they ridiculed his game and guy goes "Waaa... Waaaa... you are bad, me take my toys and go cry in the corner by myself!". Isn't it time for him to grow up?

    This is exactly the attitude the poster dislikes, and one I find distasteful in the extreme. Do you think it's right for those people to rag on him and tell him how much he sucks? Do you think he deserved it?

    So his site was horribly put together and the game was a piece of crap.. does that mean he's a bad person? Maybe you should tell him how to make his website better, suggest some changes for his game, or just leave the site and go somewhere else. The idea that it's ok to belittle and insult someone is awful. It's not ok.

    It is also not ok to say that the fault was his own, that he should have "thicker skin". I'm sure the spam he got from the readers of SomethingAwful was insulting, mean spirited, and generally hateful. It's never easy to be hated, especially when there are many people doing the hating. I think you are exactly what is wrong with the culture these days, right up there with the people sending the hate mail. You accept it, and assume that if someone can't take it, it's their fault. That's bullshit.

    You're the kind of person who sits by while the high school bully beats up the nerd during recess. By not acting, you are condoning what happens. I heard a statistic once that 90% of kids in school are neither the bully nor the victim. It's the silent majority that allows such tragedies to happen. Perhaps you've never been in that situation, so you think you could handle it. Somehow, I don't think your thick skin would help you for long.

    -Thaniel

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Time to grow up (3.00 / 7) (#13)
    by Kaa on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:01:28 PM EST

    This is exactly the attitude the poster dislikes, and one I find distasteful in the extreme.

    I am devastated. Have you considered you might be hurting my feelings?

    Do you think it's right for those people to rag on him and tell him how much he sucks? Do you think he deserved it?

    No, and no. However, the real world is quite different from the one in which everyone only does what is right and gets only what he deserves. The guys who attacked him were assholes, but one must be prepared to deal with assholes -- after all, there are so many of them around.

    It is also not ok to say that the fault was his own, that he should have "thicker skin".

    Here is where we have a difference of opinion. If you don't know how to swim, it's unwise to jump into the ocean. If you can't take criticism, don't put up stuff on the web.

    I think you are exactly what is wrong with the culture these days, right up there with the people sending the hate mail. You accept it, and assume that if someone can't take it, it's their fault. That's bullshit.

    I can feel my horns and tail growing already...

    Evidently, we have different ideas of bullshit. Just to be clear, I'll repeat my position: if you cannot take the hard knocks of life, that a problem that you have. Yes, the world may be unjust, mean, and cruel, but it's a much better response to learn to deal with the world as it is, instead of whining about life being unfair.

    It's the silent majority that allows such tragedies to happen.

    Tragedies? A bully beating up a kid in school is a tragedy? You are trivializing the word.

    Perhaps you've never been in that situation, so you think you could handle it.

    If I couldn't and the situation repeats itself, I'd try to make sure that I can handle it next time. And, franky, I cannot think of any other rational response.



    Kaa
    Kaa's Law: In any sufficiently large group of people most are idiots.


    [ Parent ]
    Re: Time to grow up (3.00 / 7) (#14)
    by dchinyee on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:03:57 PM EST

    Perhaps Kaa's rant was a bit incendiary, but I do agree with his basic point. There are 2 perspectives here:
    • Perspective of game writer - I put my work on display and was thoroughly insulted by the public. If this is the reception I am going to receive, I just won't bother. The world just lost a great programmer.
    • Perspective of public - This guy was obviously on the receiving end of some overly harsh criticism. We didn't have to behave like this and we probably shouldn't have. Hopefully we'll think before we act next time. But some of us won't. Some of us think that the world is better off with one less talentless programmer. Some of us are just plain mean and we don't care who we hurt. What are you going to do about it?

    Personally, I would never direct such remarks toward someone without reason. But I have little control over the actions of others. Perhaps I could gain such control and influence their behaviour for the better, but I choose not to. Everyone has his/her role. Choose your role and be true to yourself. If you feel that this fellow should be consoled, email him and tell him you would like to see his work. Maybe that's your role.

    This fellow put up a site, couldn't handle the criticism, and took it down. He can cry his eyes out about the injustice of humanity until his ducts run dry. That doesn't change humanity. The cruel darwinianism of RL was too much for him this time. Maybe this experience will make him a stronger person. He has chosen his role.

    As far as looking for someone to blame, my policy is never to blame anyone, but to always acccept responsibility for events that are under your control. If you have low self-esteem, you may see that as blaming yourself. I don't. He chose how to handle this situation. This time, maybe he chose wrong. He may not like the way the world works, but he still has to live in it.

    Choose your role.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Time to grow up (none / 0) (#76)
    by Quark on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:39:11 AM EST

    Did he expect that the world has an obligation to be nice to him? Did he ever deal with the real world at all? It sounds like he didn't and the sooner his education starts, the better.

    Wouldn't that be nice, people being nice to each other? Wouldn't that be nice if this were the truth instead of Utopian fiction?

    On a more realistic point, if you don't like a site, leave it alone. If some house-wife with a little spare time builds a site that according to SA isn't "good" should she be bothered about it or should she be left alone? I'll leave it up to your own conscience to answer this question.

    How about if we tought these people how to build a site that is only accessible through a password, which will be sent to the possible visitor, by (Private)E-Mail, so none of these spamming retards can visit the site? Now that would be a useful suggestion to leave in a guest book...

    So much bandwidth, so little time...
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Time to grow up (none / 0) (#78)
    by Kaa on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 11:21:25 AM EST

    Wouldn't that be nice, people being nice to each other? Wouldn't that be nice if this were the truth instead of Utopian fiction?

    Sure. Just as wouldn't it be nice for everybody to be immortal and permanently young, always happy, considerate and loving, for there to be world peace, plenty of food, shelter and sex, as well as free hardware and unlimited bandwidth? So what relationship does this have to real world, again?

    Wait. I changed my mind. Wouldn't it be nice if people didn't think Bad Thoughts at all, and those who do would be send to re-education camps until all Bad Thoughts were gone from their head? Has been tried, you know.

    On a more realistic point, if you don't like a site, leave it alone. If some house-wife with a little spare time builds a site that according to SA isn't "good" should she be bothered about it or should she be left alone? I'll leave it up to your own conscience to answer this question.

    My conscience immediately and without any doubt tells me that that housewife should be told that her website sucks. This is called 'feedback'. Feedback is useful because it allows you to become better and make better stuff. Sufficiently expressive feedback also provides motivation :-)

    How about if we tought these people how to build a site that is only accessible through a password, which will be sent to the possible visitor, by (Private)E-Mail, so none of these spamming retards can visit the site?

    Trivial to do, but why? There are websites which are like private clubs, the point of most websites is to publish. If a site is going to ask me for my email address so that I can just look, guess what mine (and 99.9% of people's) reaction will be.

    And, by the way, the remaining 0.1% will use a throwaway email address, get in and spread dung all over the walls anyway.

    Kaa
    Kaa's Law: In any sufficiently large group of people most are idiots.


    [ Parent ]
    Re: Time to grow up (none / 0) (#79)
    by Quark on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 11:28:47 AM EST

    Ok, call me an idealist. The point I'm trying to make here is that most of the people visiting this site are more than sufficiently intelligent to know that a lot of things are "bad". There's no need ranting on about it because we are already aware of that, thank you very much.

    My conscience immediately and without any doubt tells me that that housewife should be told that her website sucks. This is called 'feedback'. Feedback is useful because it allows you to become better and make better stuff. Sufficiently expressive feedback also provides motivation :-)

    If our hypothetical housewife wanted your opinion, or mine, for that matter, I'm quite confident she would have asked for it.

    Trivial to do, but why? There are websites which are like private clubs, the point of most websites is to publish. If a site is going to ask me for my email address so that I can just look, guess what mine (and 99.9% of people's) reaction will be.

    Just looking at it is one thing, posting crap like mentioned in one of the earlier posts is another. By the way, don't you need to have a password mailed to you to post on this site?:-)

    So much bandwidth, so little time...
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Time to grow up (none / 0) (#103)
    by sfire||vi on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 10:16:20 PM EST

    By the way, don't you need to have a password mailed to you to post on this site?:-)

    Sorry could not resist. I think he was talking about having to have a password to view the website. Although now that I think about it, a good way to do it is, require a e-mail address to post to the guest book. And then a confirmation e-mail will be sent and if the person really wants it posted, they can reply. It all depends on how one wants to moderate their own guest book. Options that I can think of are ...

    • Have it all out in the open, anyone can post.
    • Confirm that there is a valid e-mail address.
    • The administrator of the guest book has moderation control.
    • Registration system, like /. or k5
    Or a friend has helped me with other suggestions
    • If some java scripting could be done, disallow posting from the linking site.
    • Only allow one posting per ip, since it is only a guest book.


    [ Parent ]
    Re: Time to grow up (none / 0) (#104)
    by Quark on Thu Oct 12, 2000 at 12:14:11 PM EST

    That was about what I had in mind, needing a password to actually modify or add something to the site by for instance, registering in a guest book. If I had my own website and somebody did not like that, cool, no problem. If that same person wanted to mention my site on every bloody bulletin board he can find, fine, so be it. But I don't want that same person writing down bullshit where my (hypothetical) kids can see it.

    View your website as a house. People can dislike it, they can even write to the papers about how friggin ugly that house of yours is. But there's no way that anybody is going to be allowed to piss in my front yard, if you get the idea.

    So much bandwidth, so little time...
    [ Parent ]
    There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (4.16 / 25) (#15)
    by Lowtax on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:14:29 PM EST

    "2. somethingAwful, having no humorous content in and of itself, decides to hold up Goal Software for public ridicule in the name of generating page hits and revenue."

    You think making fun of a software company that *nobody* has never heard of will generate page hits and revenue for SA? If so, somebody should probably teach you a lesson about the Internet and the economy.

    Here's the scoop: Something Awful was initially created because there was such much utter CRAP on the Internet. Back when I was on a 28.8 modem, it would take hours to download games from some FTP site. After getting them, I would shortly discover that most of them completely stunk. Some thing with Quake maps; people would upload utter trash to FTP servers, I would download them, and realized I had just wasted hours of my life waiting for them. As a result, I created a site that would warn people of all the crap and trash floating around the Internet.

    However, some people don't seem to like this. Some people claim that free speech is apparently a "bad thing" and criticizing people is a big no-no. Everybody should be happy and smiling and even if you make a cruddy product, everybody else should compliment you and admire you for doing it in the first place.

    Essentially this topic is about abolishing free speech and banning all negative thoughts and articles on the Internet. I don't need to remind anybody out there that the Internet is full of worthless crap. However, it seems I do need to remind people that the Internet is all about freedom and expressing opinions. It's a shame the author of this article wants to shut that down.

    PS: About the guestbook posters. I can't control them nor have any influence over them. How on Earth am I supposed to stop people from signing a guestbook? More importantly, why *should* I? Once again, somebody is suggesting another freedom be removed from the Internet. Perhaps you think we should have a panel of "Niceness Experts" who review every piece of content to make sure nobody's feelings will be hurt before it goes public?

    -Lowtax

    Apology (4.22 / 9) (#20)
    by jxqvg on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:41:07 PM EST

    I do apologize for directing my rant at the site itself. As I mentioned elsewhere, it's more about the people out there that act like total assholes on the internet(e.g. those guestbookers) just like they do from their cars on the streets. Even if the posts are fake or sarcastic, it's still a reflection of the situation's reality. Those people make this place an unpleasant environment. There are those who will take the route of "If you don't like it, leave", others will "make due", and every once in a while someone will "rant about it on K5". I for one usually "make due", but I'm in a bad mood today. Sorry to catch you in the flak, I do actually think some of the site's pretty funny.

    [sig]
    [ Parent ]
    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (3.75 / 4) (#21)
    by Eloquence on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:43:55 PM EST

    Oh yeah, call for freedom of speech. That always works. Like anyone here had called for prohibiting you to publish. That's not the point. As someone commented an article I posted, the point is, just because you can do something, you don't have to. Criticism is one thing, making fun of other people for your personal pleasure is another thing. You can do it with corporations and organizations, and to a degree, with public people, but doing it with the small guy next door is simply wrong. It's not illegal. I would never, ever want it to be. But it's still wrong. And I think you know that.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]
    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (3.20 / 5) (#24)
    by Lowtax on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:01:05 PM EST

    Inform me how it's "wrong"? Are you saying that crappy products from non-gigantic corporations should be accepted and embraced? In my view, if something sucks, it sucks. I don't care if IBM or DaveJohnsonSoft made it.

    As for calling freedom of speech, that's *exactly* what you're telling me to do. You're saying I should stop being a mean ol' bully and isntead compliment people for making crap. You're saying I should STOP writing what I write on SA because it's mean. If that isn't against freedom of speech, I don't know what is. Without the freedom of speech argument, your issue boils down to just "I'm a mean ol' man", and I'd hate to see that your argument is that weak.

    -Lowtax

    [ Parent ]
    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (4.75 / 4) (#26)
    by Eloquence on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:24:31 PM EST

    I have never said you should "compliment people for making crap". Large parts of the Net can safely be ignored, and you're certainly not going to tell me that the majority of your visitors wants to know which sites to avoid, just to add them to their personal URL killfiles, and the spammers and trolls are just the vocal minority..

    Nah, your site is obviously about ridiculing other people's work. Most of the time I have no problem with that and can in fact enjoy it if it's well-written (such as some of the video game reviews on Overclocked). But when it's just about picking on that ugly kid who now has his own website, frankly, you disgust me.

    You have the freedom to publish whatever you want. I am not interested in restricting that freedom (I would fight anyone trying to do so), and the only reason you point to it is that it's the only leg you can stand on. I am anti-copyright, anti-patent and anti-censorship, so I guess it's not a very strong leg either. It's a rationalization of the personal pleasure you derive from your site.

    If I say "I'd prefer it if you not published that", this is exercising my own freedom of speech. I'd prefer if less neo-nazis would spread their propaganda over the net (I'm not comparing you to them), and if less creationists and anti-abortionists posted their bullshit on mailing lists, and if there weren't so many fools who believe that the free market solves all problems and generates none. Yet, the only way to accomplish this is through education. Likewise, I hope that the article posted here may be educational to some people.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]

    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (none / 0) (#91)
    by Panduh on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 06:06:41 PM EST

    You have the freedom to publish whatever you want. I am not interested in restricting that freedom (I would fight anyone trying to do so), and the only reason you point to it is that it's the only leg you can stand on. I am anti-copyright, anti-patent and anti-censorship, so I guess it's not a very strong leg either. It's a rationalization of the personal pleasure you derive from your site.

    Or the personal pleasure I derive from his work. If Lowtax were to suddenly stop posting Awful links, you'd have a lot of disappointed fans mail bombing to find out why.

    I'm sorry that we all can't be saints, but I personally find Lowtax's ridiculing of bad sites to be hilarious. I happen to find his satire of the "eleet" gaming and "hax0ring" community to be right on the mark.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (4.33 / 3) (#33)
    by aphrael on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:52:13 PM EST

    This may be OT, but .... the defensive tone of your post, and the vigor with which you insist that criticism of you is invalid, reminds me *intensely* of the response I got in 1994-95 from people who insisted on spamming USENET and didn't understand my argument that doing so violated the accepted cultural rules of the net.

    Don't get me wrong: you have every right to say "X is crap". But it would be *more constructive* if you said "X is crap because [blah blah]." And again --- as someone else said, the fact that you have the right to do something doesn't mean that you should do it.

    Here's an example: a friend of mine drove 100 miles yesterday to a motorcycle shop. The shop had called him and told him that the bike he had ordered (a 2001 suzuki) was ready to be picked up; when he got there, he found out that it was *still in the crate* and had to be uncrated and assembled. He was pissed off; he would have been well within his rights to have chewed the asshole sales guy out. But he didn't ... because that wouldn't have been constructive.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (none / 0) (#56)
    by fluffy grue on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 08:20:02 PM EST

    If you actually read SA, you'd know that he does say "X is crap because [blah blah]."

    SA's a humor site, and IMO it's quite funny what sorts of utter shite he links to. I've been hooked on it ever since I read Cranky Steve's review of "Good Fun." Not to mention some of his hilarious ICQ pranks (though those tend to be quite hit-or-miss, and those are cruel - but DAMN funny).

    PAK CHOOIE!
    --
    "Is not a quine" is not a quine.
    I have a master's degree in science!

    [ Hug Your Trikuare ]
    [ Parent ]

    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (none / 0) (#90)
    by Panduh on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 05:57:02 PM EST

    This may be OT, but .... the defensive tone of your post, and the vigor with which you insist that criticism of you is invalid, reminds me *intensely* of the response I got in 1994-95 from people who insisted on spamming USENET and didn't understand my argument that doing so violated the accepted cultural rules of the net.

    Not only is it OT, it is also a shabby analogy. Lowtax does not spam the sites he reviews, he only posts a comment on his own site with a link. Spamming is the virtual equivalent of running around and shouting things into people's faces continuously. It can be considered a sort of public disturbance and can actually be damaging to the stability of the forum it is occurring on. He simply posts his somewhat witty, often scathing criticisms on his homepage. Is that spamming to you?

    Don't get me wrong: you have every right to say "X is crap". But it would be *more constructive* if you said "X is crap because [blah blah]." And again --- as someone else said, the fact that you have the right to do something doesn't mean that you should do it.

    Lowtax usually does give reasons for why he thinks certain things "suck". Other times it is so blatantly obvious (like sites with 5 midi songs embedded in the same page) that he doesn't need to. Again, who are you to say what Lowtax should or shouldn't do? The Manner Police?

    He was pissed off; he would have been well within his rights to have chewed the asshole sales guy out. But he didn't ... because that wouldn't have been constructive.

    Again, an inappropriate analogy. Lowtax does not "chew out" the things he reviews, he writes humorous commentary. What he does is no different to what thousands of critics ranging from Roger Ebert to Mr Blackwell do with their respective "artforms".

    [ Parent ]

    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (none / 0) (#96)
    by aphrael on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 06:56:33 PM EST

    it is also a shabby analogy.

    I've never seen the site in question; I was responding entirely to the tone of the post, which struck me as being the exact same "i can do whatever you want, so f**k off" tone that I got from spammers in 1995.

    Again, who are you to say what Lowtax should or shouldn't do? The Manner Police?

    Again --- he *can* do whatever he wants. But the fact that it is legal for him to do [x], or that he is capable of doing [x], doesn't mean that it is *good* that he do [x]. It's perfectly legitimate to criticize someone for doing something you think is bad; and "but I have the right to do that" completely misses the point of such criticism.



    [ Parent ]
    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (2.00 / 5) (#27)
    by techt on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:31:30 PM EST

    Have you ever considered a recursive link to your own site?


    --
    Proud member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation!
    Are You? http://www.eff.org/support/joineff.html
    [ Parent ]
    Re: There's a critical flaw in your assessment. (none / 0) (#89)
    by Panduh on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 05:45:21 PM EST

    Hahaha! You are a comedic genius! That is certainly super-hilarious, my comedy-o-mometer has registered a score of 252.34E10!

    [ Parent ]
    Typical (1.87 / 8) (#17)
    by Jongo on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:22:19 PM EST

    This just highlights the way in which the internet can stretch things out of proportion. I've always liked Something Awful (although it has slowed lately), but its capacity to be misinterpreted is huge. It's tragic the sort of people who infect the internet. How shall we get rid of them?

    The causes are in meatspace (4.57 / 14) (#18)
    by Eloquence on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:23:44 PM EST

    I have witnessed that on other places of the net as well. Since there are gathering places for geeks, gamers and needlepoint pattern-exchanging grandmothers, it doesn't surprise me that there are meeting points for morons as well. And they have their own "/. effect".

    I think most (though, even on K5, unfortunately not all) people agree that the behavior we're talking about is a bad thing. It's pretty simple: By destroying people's self-esteem, by making them feel worthless and stupid, by bullying and mobbing, you can turn basically nice guys into depressive victims or aggressive perpetrators. Not that this case is especially severe (and "eBullying" is certainly more tolerable than real-life bullying), but it's just one of thousands of cases, and when you add them together, they're certainly significant.

    And I won't even question whether the game was good or bad or completely useless. That is completely besides the point. Constructive critcism is one thing, having dozens of people tell you that you're shit and you should die is a different thing. Not that I would take it seriously--but someone at the age of 12, 14, 16? I've seen software projects which obviously would never succeed for lack of ability or commitment. That, however, would never (and I'm no saint, but this I can say with security) cause me to do my best to piss off the project members.

    Essentially, the roots of this behavior are the same as the roots of skript-kiddyism and trolling. And I will go so far to say that this occurs on a higher, more intellectual stage as well. Those who are simply too clever to just say "You're an asshole. I'll h4x0r u. Die die die" will find other, more "sophisticated" means to piss other people off. Trouble is, these people are often in responsible positions. Not only on the net. Mobbing on the workplace is certainly a very, very serious problem.

    What can be done about it? Not a lot, I'm afraid. It'd be surely interesting to know which childhoods these "eBullies" have had or still have, in terms of parents, teachers, mentors and peers. It wouldn't surprise me if there was another significant spanking correlation here.. The causes for this behavior are certainly to be searched in the "real world", not in cyberspace.

    Another reason to read The Origins of Peace and Violence.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!

    Re: The causes are in meatspace (3.14 / 7) (#19)
    by Lowtax on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:40:56 PM EST

    "Constructive critcism is one thing, having dozens of people tell you that you're shit and you should die is a different thing."

    Show me somewhere that I wrote ANYTHING along those lines. Every single one of my criticisms of a website or product has been based on concrete subjects. If I were simply to write, "this page is shit and I hope the guy dies," do you know how many people would visit SA? None, because writing something like that just isn't amusing to anybody.

    "It'd be surely interesting to know which childhoods these "eBullies" have had or still have, in terms of parents, teachers, mentors and peers. It wouldn't surprise me if there was another significant spanking correlation here.. The causes for this behavior are certainly to be searched in the "real world", not in cyberspace."

    Sorry Dr. Laura, but I had a great childhood. I was never picked on, I never picked on anybody, and the football team never spent their free time shoving parking cones up my rear. Try again : >

    It's not my fault people cannot deal with criticism. I get criticism every day on SA, yet I haven't shut it down. Why? Because I (you guys may want to pay attention to this part) DON'T CARE WHAT PEOPLE THINK. Feel free to copy and paste that for future reference. If you're on the Internet, and your work is public for EVERYBODY else to see, you'd better have enough confidence in yourself or not care about what the rest of the world thinks. If the creator of (whatever the page was) had enough confidence in his work and loved what he did, he wouldn't take his page down because some people didn't like his site. People who succumb to removing their sites because of a stupid incident like this obviously don't believe in themselves... and wouldn't get far in the first place.

    -Lowtax

    [ Parent ]
    Re: The causes are in meatspace (3.00 / 5) (#22)
    by Eloquence on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:50:01 PM EST

    Lowtax, I was not referring to you, I was referring to the people who wrote in the guy's guestbook (as quoted below). Your visitors. I'm not making you responsible for their behavior, but I do think you are responsible for the fact that the behavior is concentrated on a single target. And I also think you're not quite happy with that, but you must realize that this is the direct consquence of the way your site works. You're attracting this kind of people by bullying on a "higher level".
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]
    Guestbook flooders are idiots. (2.40 / 5) (#23)
    by Lowtax on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 03:54:00 PM EST

    That's because the people who sign / flood / spam guestbooks are idiots. I've written that countless times on my page. The people who write "GOD DAM U ARE A FUKIN MORON U STUPED FAG" are the people I make fun of almost every day. Unfortunately, there's no way for me to weed them out. Heck, I didn't even post a link to today's guestbook, and they still attacked it. Not much I can do about that.

    -Lowtax

    [ Parent ]
    Wait a second... (2.66 / 9) (#25)
    by kubalaaa on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:14:59 PM EST

    I always thought somethingawful.com was just a redirect to geocities...

    Seriously, two points:

    • There are a lot of crappy sites on the web. It's perfectly okay to make fun of them.
    • It's not perfectly okay to spam the makers of these sites with immature ridicule.

    The reason is that humor is a form of social release, and anybody can be a target; it makes us feel less threatened by each other. Stand-up comedians can joke about blacks/jews/fat people/etc. all they want, but if you take it outside of the setting of comedy, you're a bigot. It takes a certain level of maturity to draw the mental line between good-natured ribbing and being a jerk.

    Re: Wait a second... (2.00 / 1) (#32)
    by B'Trey on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:50:41 PM EST

    There are a lot of crappy sites on the web. It's perfectly okay to make fun of them.

    Why is it perfectly OK to make fun of a site, crappy or not? It's one thing if it's a political or other site which seeks to advance a cause or point of view. You better have a thick skin if you step into that arena. But otherwise, so what? Why is it OK to crap all over someone's efforts? Certainly, it's legal. Certainly, it's going to happen. That doesn't change the fact that it's rude and uncouth, nor does it make it "pefectly OK to make fun" of them.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Wait a second... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Bert Peers on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:10:12 PM EST

    Well, if it's ridicule beyond proportion ("you sux0rz DIe B1TCH"), and the site creator still cannot handle this kind of "criticism", then there is clearly a problem, that's not a thin skin, that's no skin at all.

    The site owners should only lose sleep over critic with some foundation.. and if that comes along, it may be very efficiently packaged as a sharp cynical bite -- not nice, but surely very efficient and clearcut.

    I think it's very curious that a fully grown up, mentally healthy adult gets a truckload of obvious morons all over his messageboard and decides to quit. This can only indicate growing up in a wayyyyy too politically correct environment, where nothing ever plain "sucks", but rather "is promising, but needs some work". And if the site was a kids work, then it may indeed hurt, but only because the age and experience is lacking to distinguish real critics from trolls. That's unfortunate, but unlikely here (giving the wording of the closing statement).

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Wait a second... (none / 0) (#72)
    by k-lame on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:02:56 AM EST

    (stuff I more or less agree with snipped...)

    "...And if the site was a kids work, then it may indeed hurt, but only because the age and experience is lacking to distinguish real critics from trolls. That's unfortunate, but unlikely here (giving the wording of the closing statement)."

    Given what I've read about the premise and write-up on the game, I'd be willing to bet that this IS some poor kid's site, but that's really neither here nor there.

    I think the larger issue here is why some people feel OBLIGATED to share their opinion that something "sucks rocks" (not your words, I know.)

    I'll admit that from the write-up that I've seen quoted, the premise of the game IS laughably bad, but what does beating this guy up over it accomplish? Does posting "You suck blue whale, the largest mammal to ever live... no wait, you suck that blue whale's dad!" in some poor suckers guestbook (which, by the way, you would never've found on your own) benefit him in any quantifiable way? Hell no.

    The only person who benefits from it is you. And how do you benefit? Because it makes you feel better about yourself. "At least I'm not THAT lame...", you say to yourself. And why does this make you feel good? Because you're inherently insecure, probably because other, older, insecure kids beat you down when you were coming up. Sounds an awful lot like bullying to me, and as such it's morally indefensible.

    Now the fact that this kid didn't have the stones to tell you all to piss off - bad on him. But to try to defend these actions and the site that implicitly encourages them as harmless fun or as honest criticism is disingenous at best. In fact, big steamy load of crap is what I'm inclined to go with here.

    (Bert -- I hope you know that by "you" I don't mean you specifically, I just kind of got off on a mini-rant here.)

    -------------------------------------------------

    "A man NEEDS his necessities"

    E-mail hint: Hrmmm, I wonder what major portal/free e-mail provider "woohoo!" could REALLY be?
    [ Parent ]

    Plenty of blame to go around (4.00 / 7) (#28)
    by FriedLinguini on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:41:49 PM EST

    Who _isn't_ doing something wrong here?

    jxqvg: Attacks the practice of singling out a non-corporate website for criticism by singling out a non-corporate website for criticism (Why are posters making the distinction between "big guys" and "little guys" anyway? How do you think the individual developers at Ion Storm feel about the reviews of Daikatana?)

    SomethingAwful readers: Not all of them ( like me ;-) ), just the ones who feel it necessary to lambast site authors via e-mail or guestbooks because they don't create professional-grade sites. Some of the comments imply that they wouldn't be able to do much better.

    LowTax: Encourages this behavior by posting the ALOTD, linking to guestbooks when possible, and, despite what someone else has posted, doesn't discourage his readers from flaming site authors (I've been reading SA for a few months now and I've never seen it discouraged, anyway)

    Goal Software: Creating a website for the world to see along with the means by which to contact the author, and then throwing a tantrum when the world doesn't like what it sees.

    Re: Plenty of blame to go around (3.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Lowtax on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:50:19 PM EST

    You obviously *haven't* been reading SA for that long. Check the news archives of SA.

    Taken straight from my news post on Sept. 29th (http://www.somethingawful.com/news-9-26-00-to-9-30-00.htm):

    "Seriously though, try to refrain from posting hate-filled and vulgar crap in this guestbook. Save your bottled up fury for wiggy wiggy white boys, skinheads, wacky Satanists, and spammers. I put up links to all guestbooks featured just so I don't get tons of people writing in and saying "LOTAX, U FORGOT TO PUT A LINK TO (Joe Bob's World of Tractor Farming and Wiccan Mystery)'s GUESTBOOK!!!!" Use your powers wisely, my friends."

    I didn't even put a LINK to today's guestbook, and I'm being criticized for it. If you read SA at all, you would know that I discourage people from flaming the authors.

    -Lowtax

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Plenty of blame to go around (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by FriedLinguini on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:37:40 PM EST

    Admittedly, I don't visit the site religiously, and it's entirely possible that I wasn't paying attention the times you do give a disclaimer like that. Still, I count one notice like this on a page with links to four guestbooks. You mention it in passing and only in reference to the particular site in question ("...in this guestbook..."), not as a matter of general policy.

    I never said that you put up a guestbook link to the particular site in question, only that it's something you do commonly. Honestly, if you're encouraging users to visit guestbooks, what do you expect them to put there after the build-up you give these sites? Constructive criticism? As long as we're searching the archives, it certainly looks like you're encouraging flaming in 9-4-2000 by posting mailto links to one person no less than eight times. Granted, the guy was an idiot and a jerk, but still, it reinforces the idea of you encouraging flaming.

    Maybe it's possible you only want your users to flame the true dumbasses of the world, but that's not how it always comes across.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Plenty of blame to go around (none / 0) (#53)
    by jnik on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 06:59:24 PM EST

    Why are posters making the distinction between "big guys" and "little guys" anyway? How do you think the individual developers at Ion Storm feel about the reviews of Daikatana?
    If Daikatana had simply been released, that would be one thing. However, to release a mediocre game after years of "Are you ready?" and "John Romero is going to make you his bitch!" and "Suck it down!" is to spit in the face of gamers everywhere.
    Yeah, I feel sorry for the quys who spent so much of their life on something that's turned into a running gag. I even feel a little sorry for John Romero (a little!). But they chose to stay with the company and put their name on the product (even if they didn't make all the design decisions), and Romero chose to get in everybody's faces. They made the game. It sucked. They have to take responsibility. Simple as that.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Plenty of blame to go around (none / 0) (#88)
    by Panduh on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 05:39:04 PM EST

    LowTax: Encourages this behavior by posting the ALOTD, linking to guestbooks when possible, and, despite what someone else has posted, doesn't discourage his readers from flaming site authors (I've been reading SA for a few months now and I've never seen it discouraged, anyway)

    Lowtax does discourage flaming of guest books for people he feels does not deserve it. (He does give the occasional "push" to lambast a skinhead site or "wigger-hax0r" site every now and then)

    The thing is, it simply is not funny to go and flame some poor sap's guestbook. SA is all about humor, so if Lowtax does not it funny, why do it?

    Now flaming a skinhead site, that's hilarious.

    [ Parent ]

    And if they are assholes... so? (1.80 / 5) (#30)
    by Sunir on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:47:08 PM EST

    Existance is not justification for existance. Just because there are assholes, it doesn't justify those assholes' existance. It is wrong to be an asshole, no matter what. Consider that just because people will always murder, that does not justify the murders themselves.

    The question is what somethingawful.com has to gain by slamming other sites? I mean, all you're doing is sending stupid people at stupid people. I suppose that's entertainment in a way, but it's not really morally justifiable. (I mean, why even try?)

    Now, I would laugh if the Awful Link of Today was somethingawful.com.

    "Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r

    Re: And if they are assholes... so? (4.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Bert Peers on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:01:46 PM EST

    This is not a question of morality. The general tendency in the discussion is to compare SA's "harrasment" with the kind of harrasment known as bullying IRL, but I think that's not correct. Highschool-style bullying is wrong, but the SA deal isn't, imho. Here's why; the IRL ridiculing of people is actually attacking those people, exploiting "defects" they can't help : haircolor, high/low IQ, physical features, etc. Websites, on the other hand, are a conscious creation, you choose to make them the way they are, it's a product like any other -- and hence it may be trashed like any other. You didn't ask to be born the way you are, so exploiting that for ridicule is morally wrong. But, you did consent to creating and releasing a product, so ridiculing it has nothing to do with morality, it's just an opinion.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: And if they are assholes... so? (none / 0) (#41)
    by trhurler on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:21:22 PM EST

    What's wrong with being an asshole? It isn't as though you violate anyone's rights by being an asshole. It isn't as though being an asshole hurts anyone except whiny losers who have no reason to feel good about themselves anyway. Screw whiny I-wanna-be-a-victim-too people. Screw political correctness, screw tact, and screw white lies. If something sucks rocks, there is nothing wrong with saying "hey, that sucks rocks." Now, as it happens, somethingawful sucks too; the layout is iffy, the color scheme is horrid, the content is mostly utter tripe, and the quarter-micron fonts are almost impossible to read. But, at least it isn't a video game about a superhero cat who can't spell.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Re: And if they are assholes... so? (none / 0) (#85)
    by Parity on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 05:21:31 PM EST

    I thought you said 'screw tact'? Even in your 'blunt' criticism of something awful, you were implicitly tactful in a way that neither Lowtax nor his hordes of readers are. That is, you said, 'the -site- is awful, the -page- has problems X, Y, and Z.' You did -not- say 'Lowtax is an idiot who oughta have his license to html revoked'. That is, you actually criticized the site. Lowtax's hordes do not criticize the sites, they insult the author. Lowtax himself does a bit of both. That separation of author and work is the inherent and fundamental point that makes all the difference between constructive criticism and mindless insults, and is an act so -inherent- to civilized behaviour that members of this website are nearly incapable of violating it even to make a point. ;) Okay, I'm being a bit silly with that last line, but it's a serious point. Intelligent, civilized adults do not disparage a person's intelligence, morality, ancestry, and bedroom behaviour in deeply graphic terms on the basis of their writing, art, or whatever. They may disparage the content, they may disparage the presentation, they may disparage the ideas, but not the -person-.
    (Not to say ICAs (new acronym! ICA = Intelligent Civilized Adult) do not disparage people - but it's on a basis of either -behaviour- in the real world, or on an ongoing commitment to propogating a disagreeable idea, not on a badly presented webpage/letter to the editor/short story/whatever.)

    Parity None


    [ Parent ]
    Re: And if they are assholes... so? (1.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Panduh on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 05:34:14 PM EST

    The question is what somethingawful.com has to gain by slamming other sites? I mean, all you're doing is sending stupid people at stupid people

    Thank you for sweeping your magical brush of generalization and calling all people who read Something Awful stupid, mr. smartey-man comedic genius.

    The whole point of Lowtax's site is that he finds humor in the mediocre and banal content he finds on the web and he shares his opinions on his front page. His humor is, of course, subjective. You are the hypocrite here, denouncing what Lowtax does in one breath and turning around and doing the same thing yourself.

    Do not blame Lowtax for the acts of a couple of immature monkeys on the internet. The Internet, after all, is public domain. If you created a shitty painting and hung it up in the middle of Time Square in New York, is it the pedestrian's fault for ridiculing it?

    [ Parent ]

    Yes, people have submitted SA as an Awful Link (2.14 / 7) (#35)
    by Lowtax on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 04:58:35 PM EST

    Believe it or not, there have been PLENTY of people as uncreative as the people here suggesting SA be an Awful Link of the Day in the past. I think it's amusing how many folks think they're absolute comical masterminds by doing this, even though it's been done countless times before.

    However, the main difference is that I don't throw a temper tantrum and remove my site at the slightest bit of negative feedback. Sure there are jerks in the world. I've grown to live with them and not let them affect me. I have enough confidence in myself and what I do than to bow down to an ignorant minority of people. If somebody buckles and collapses under the threat of even the tiniest bit of negativity or criticism, it's obvious their heart was never in it to begin with.

    -Lowtax

    Re: Yes, people have submitted SA as an Awful Link (2.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Sunir on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:02:52 PM EST

    Oh, check the tantrum. It was funny. ;)

    "Look! You're free! Go, and be free!" and everyone hated it for that. --r
    [ Parent ]

    Oh, give me a break (2.28 / 7) (#38)
    by trhurler on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:09:47 PM EST

    I -was- the picked on kid in school, and I'm here to tell you: if criticism caused this guy to take down his web site, then he's a pansy-ass. I'm thinking the whole thing is a hoax anyway, but if not, then this is just a whiny bitch who can't handle the fact that people think he's lame. People think I'm lame. People think you're lame. People think EVERYONE is lame. Despite her overwhelming popularity, I am here to tell you that Mariah Carey is REALLY lame. I doubt she'll give up and go home over it, though. Too bad. Learn to cope. Well, that and/or don't write games about cats rescuing other cats in space. That IS awful, when you get right down to it.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    Re: Oh, give me a break (3.00 / 1) (#48)
    by DeadBaby on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:47:36 PM EST

    Exactly.

    You need to look for the real value in what you're doing and be honest with yourself about it. It's funny because I know there is no way a person reading this will really understand. I wish they could. Personal satisfaction and personal fulfillment is vital to being a happy person.


    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Oh, give me a break (2.00 / 1) (#57)
    by sec on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 08:23:22 PM EST

    I -was- the picked on kid in school,

    Judging from the comments I've seen you make on K5, I can certainly see that this is a self-perpetuating cycle.

    Well, that and/or don't write games about cats rescuing other cats in space. That IS awful, when you get right down to it.

    Maybe the game does suck. I don't know. I never got to see it, so I can't rightfully say. If it did, though, it was likely the specific implementation that sucked. Who's to say that nobody could make a good game based on that premise?

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Oh, give me a break (4.00 / 1) (#58)
    by trhurler on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 08:59:53 PM EST

    Judging from the comments I've seen you make on K5, I can certainly see that this is a self-perpetuating cycle.
    Keep the day job. Assuming, of course, that you have one.
    If it did, though, it was likely the specific implementation that sucked. Who's to say that nobody could make a good game based on that premise?
    The game might theoretically not suck. Similarly, you might take a cheap shot at someone and actually be funny. Nevertheless, if I have to bet, my money goes the other way.

    This post I'm replying to typifies what I hate about modern society; people are so into being nice that they sacrifice honesty and their better judgement. There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling a turd a turd. The people here do it every day, sometimes without even considering the fact that this is what they're doing, and then in a show of truly pathetic hypocrisy, they turn around and attack people doing the same thing just because the target happens to be a game written by a thin-skinned wuss who probably lives in mommy's basement. Now, said thin-skinned wuss might be a nice guy. He might be a guy I'd like to know. That's not at issue. He could be the second coming of a deity I don't believe in, and it still wouldn't matter; what I said, what others said, and what is almost certainly true is that the premise of his game is absurd and that if he gives up that easily, he can only blame himself.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Oh, give me a break (none / 0) (#61)
    by sec on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 09:48:58 PM EST

    Keep the day job. Assuming, of course, that you have one.

    You're proving my point. Perhaps you were once bullied, but now _you're_ the one doing the bullying.

    Think about it.

    This post I'm replying to typifies what I hate about modern society; people are so into being nice that they sacrifice honesty and their better judgement.

    Honesty? If I've never seen a game, how can I honestly say that it sucks?

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling a turd a turd.

    True, but if I can't see, feel, or smell it, how do I know it's a turd?

    and what is almost certainly true is that the premise of his game is absurd

    Well, I thought that the premise of Doom was pretty lame, too. That didn't stop me from enjoying the game in its day, though.

    Sorry, fella, but if I haven't seen something, I'm going to reserve judgement on it. If you think that's dishonest or hypocritical, then too bad. I think it's perfectly honest myself.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Oh, give me a break (none / 0) (#69)
    by charter on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 04:37:38 AM EST

    But see, that's the beauty -- you don't need to see the game itself! All you really need is the creator's description of the game, which SA has kindly embalmed for posterity's sake:

    Space Feline I: The Rescue Is Made By The Creator Of Space Rukus. Its about a Kat.... Cat in Space. The adventure centers around our hero (Kat Mclone) Yeah he's the captain of the Katerprise. He loves Kat food........ Actually he's anything but an average household kittycat! He loves goofing off all the time though. He likes to get drunk occastionally! Oh yeah and he actually talks! Well all the cats in this game talk! He does have one spelling problem though..... He kinda likes to spell Cat with a K. But thats not such a big deal. The main plot around SF, is centered around a kidnapped cat. A female kitty-cat. Kat will go at anything to save her in Space Feline I: The Rescue!

    Now don't tell me that doesn't suck -- come on, our hero is "the captain of the Katerprise" fer crying out loud! "Oh yeah and he actually talks!"

    Guestbook Bullies are rampant, which one of many reasos why people shouldn't use guestbooks. Most people eventually learn this lesson on their own, but some people learn it in one fell swoop, when something like this happens.

    Making fun of something is not the same as bullying. Do you think Roger Ebert is a big bully? Of course not. Ebert simply points out a movie's flaws in a humorous manner. What about Vincent Flanders? Vincent isn't a bully -- he just criticizes web pages that suck. In doing so, the rest of us (if not the webmasters of the sites in question) learn valuable lessons about how to keep our OWN sites from sucking.

    Criticism has a very important (some might say critical) place in our society. Criticism spurs people to work harder to make their work better. In this case, maybe it'll spur this kid to have someone at least proofread his writing before he publishes it to the world.

    If someone's done something poorly, you're not doing them a favor by letting it slide -- despite what America's public education system would have us believe.

    -- Charter



    [ Parent ]
    Re: Oh, give me a break (none / 0) (#94)
    by sec on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 06:54:32 PM EST

    Now don't tell me that doesn't suck -- come on, our hero is "the captain of the Katerprise" fer crying out loud! "Oh yeah and he actually talks!"

    Completely beside the point. Making fun of something is not the same as bullying. Do you think Roger Ebert is a big bully? Of course not. Ebert simply points out a movie's flaws in a humorous manner.

    Well, chances are that Ebert has actually seen the movies that he criticizes, but beyond that, I'd say:

    A well-reasoned critique of something is not bullying, even if humourous jabs are included.

    Pointing out the flaws of a webpage or game on your own webpage is not bullying.

    Leaving vulgar comments in someone's guestbook _is_ bullying.

    Calling attention to a webpage when you _know_ that this will cause a howling mob of blockheads to flood the site's guestbook with vulgar comments is also bullying.



    [ Parent ]

    Re: Oh, give me a break (none / 0) (#83)
    by trhurler on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 01:06:19 PM EST

    You're proving my point. Perhaps you were once bullied, but now _you're_ the one doing the bullying.
    You take a cheap shot at me, which, I admit, I didn't really care about, and I'll also admit that you were responding to what you thought was a rude comment, but still, you then criticize me for taking a cheap shot in return. I'm thinking maybe you need a good smack upside the head with the old clue by four.
    True, but if I can't see, feel, or smell it, how do I know it's a turd?
    Granted, but the guy who runs SA -did- apparently see more than enough to make him write the site up as his link of the day or week or whatever it was, and he's taking a lot of undue flames for that. Now, notice that the reason for it is not that he said what he said; nobody ever has a problem with that. The reason is that his target, rather than just saying, "hey, that sucks, oh well, yadda yadda," chose to cry and whine like a five year old with an inferiority complex. In other words, he's being castigated because someone else has no spine. That's bullshit.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Oh, give me a break (none / 0) (#97)
    by sec on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 07:04:11 PM EST

    You take a cheap shot at me, which, I admit, I didn't really care about, and I'll also admit that you were responding to what you thought was a rude comment, but still, you then criticize me for taking a cheap shot in return. I'm thinking maybe you need a good smack upside the head with the old clue by four.

    My original comment was not intended to be a cheap shot. It was an observation, and it is something that I have observed in other people as well. See it as a cheap shot if you will, but I guarantee you that will prevent you from learning anything from the situation.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Oh, give me a break (none / 0) (#80)
    by Spendocrat on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 11:47:49 AM EST

    This post I'm replying to typifies what I hate about modern society; people are so into being nice that they sacrifice honesty and their better judgement. There is absolutely nothing wrong with calling a turd a turd.

    And yet no one is making you see or smell it. You can safely (and I hope happily) ho on about your day feeling happy that you don't have to expose yourself to it, or get all up on the creator about it.

    What goes through someone's mind when they see a site like that and feel they have to email the creator? "Man, that sucks! You know what, i bet that guy doesn't know that I think it sucks! It's my duty to inform him!"

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Oh, give me a break (none / 0) (#82)
    by trhurler on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 12:53:10 PM EST

    Perhaps you don't understand what I'm rooting for here. Guestbook stuffers are lamers. That, however, was not what this story was written about; it was written claiming that SA should not have even mentioned the game. Think about that. The complaint was merely that some guy expressed his opinion ON HIS OWN WEB PAGE. What is wrong with you people?! If you want politically correct news, go read cnn.com; SA is obviously the author's heavily biased opinion put into writing, and while I do think he's right a lot, his site sucks too, IMHO. Notice, though, that I don't go around saying he should shut up and quit making fun of people, and that he is unlikely to cry, take his toys, and go home just because I said something bad about his web site.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Sheesh (3.75 / 8) (#40)
    by el_guapo on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:16:37 PM EST

    Well, some jerkoffs seem to have completely belittled and generally ripped a new a..hole for a: 34 year proud aunt. Oh, and she seems really happy with her family life. Oh yeah, she *obviously* likes Christmas (and Christmas music, THAT got me some attention at work ;-0). Hmmmmm, yep, she has very obviously earned the scorn of internet elitests the world over. Personally, I'm sending this poor lady an email apologizing for the frequency of jerks in our general poulation
    mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
    Ugh. (4.33 / 9) (#45)
    by DeadBaby on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:39:59 PM EST

    I know this sounds bad but... What is wrong with a person who stops doing something they enjoy because others don't like it?

    Think back to your youth... Remember spending your summer playing basketball? Remember that one kid who never played well but you let him play because it was his ball? Remember when he got sick of getting beat and took his ball and went home? No one liked him. Not because he sucked at basketball but because he acted like an upset child.

    This isn't exactly the same but if someone thinks what you do sucks... E-mail them back with a simple, yet effective message:

    "I don't care what you think. I am sorry if you thought your views mattered to me. Obviously since I spend time on this project/site/song/etc I enjoy doing it. I hope you get as much joy out of ridiculing others work than I do out of creating it."

    If you let people treat you like a wimp a certain percent of the population is going to. Learning to deal with that early in life will allow you to enjoy things more.

    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    (3.80 / 5) (#46)
    by driph on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:41:18 PM EST

    Not sure if I've seen a more pharisaical discourse.

    Between mouthfuls of "Slashdot sucks!" you guys are condemning Lowtax for doing the exact same thing I see here(and anywhere else) every day.

    Conversation on the net has a foundation built on people telling each other how much they suck, and vice versa. That's what makes the net great. You tell me I suck, I get to yell back. What's the difference between Lowtax posting the webpage of Goal Software and the above author singling out Something Awful?

    It's not as if Lowtax is pointing to these site, yelling, "Look how bad that site is go flame my flying monkeys! Ha ha ha!!" and then running behind a bush to watch. He's right where he always is. He writes that something you do is awful, you've got every opportunity to reply and defend yourself. Send him email, it'll probably show up on the front page. Defend yourself in the forums. Put something up on your own page. Whatever. Or better yet, brush it off, laugh, and maybe sort out the riff raff statements for the pieces of truth that you can apply to actually make your site or product better.

    That's not possible you say? It's not fair, because Lowtax is sending legions against one poor site? Well, what just happened here? Readers of the article were directed to SA..and guess what, Lowtax, just as any other site author could, is here is defend himself!

    If he is a literate and capable writer(a hurdle in itself for many ridiculed sites), he'll be able to make his case. Some will agree with him, others will agree to disagree, and still others will vehemently oppose him. And ya know what? That's the great thing about the net. We're actually entitled to our own opinions.

    --
    Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
    To clarify. (none / 0) (#49)
    by driph on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 05:57:11 PM EST

    And just to clarify.

    Lowtax is not to blame. The fools to go to the site and post garbage in the guestbooks are to blame.

    Hey, say I pointed out a way to circumvent DVD encryption. Should I be responsible for how others use it?

    Novel idea. Let's have people be responsible for their own actions. "Lowtax MADE me posts those mean things!! If he hadn't linked to that site I would have never known!!"
    Give me a break.

    --
    Vegas isn't a liberal stronghold. It's the place where the rich and powerful gamble away their company's pension fund and strangle call girls in their hotel rooms. - Psycho Dave
    [ Parent ]
    Invalid comparison. (none / 0) (#54)
    by Parity on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 07:18:34 PM EST

    The appropriate comparison is, suppose your city newspaper or television station put up a shot of somebody in their front yard and a brief but nasty editorial about how stupid this person is for whatever - painting their house purple, weeding the poison ivy without wearing gloves, forgetting to put the replace the oil filter in their car before adding the oil, any of the stupid things that people do. Along with a phone-number, and an address.

    That is what somethingawful is doing. They are not sharing factual information (here's how to fix your tv/encrypt your data/decrypt your dvd/grow hemp in your closet/whatever); somethingawful is trafficing in -ridicule-, which I think is appropriate if somewhat in poor taste when directed against corporation/organizations/public figures, but downright cruel and unethical when directed against private citizens. (And don't tell me that putting up a homepage makes you a public figure - that's like suggesting that listing your number in the phonebook or going to any club meeting makes you a public figure; yes, I'm grasping for an analogy, there's nothing in the physical world quite like the homepage.)

    And yes, without knowing more, the original site attacked does look to have presented itself as an 'organization', though after closing seems to have been an organization of one person. I'm not going to get into where the exact lines are, ethical debates or full of shades of gray - but there -is- a line. To say 'the readers of a site are not the responsibility of the site' is simply unreasonable. If I printed ridicule as described in my first paragraph and a bunch of teenagers were incited to go egg the guys house, people would certainly say I had some responsibility - not -legally-, mind, but -ethically-. Every reporter knows there's an ethical line there when printing the personal details of an accused but not convicted criminal; some may walk blithely over the line, and some may carefully nudge it, and some may wait for someone -else- to cross the line first, but they know it's there, and if a controversial suspect is lynched everyone involved will admit they had partial responsibility. (Ultimate responsibility, of course, lies in the hands of the lynchers, that's obvious).
    Just because the case of somethingawful is less extreme than the case of a physical-world journalist dealing with crime-reporting does not make the ethical question non-existence, it only changes the weight of the question.

    --Parity Bit


    [ Parent ]
    Re: Invalid comparison. (none / 0) (#55)
    by fluffy grue on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 08:12:58 PM EST

    Lowtax putting on his site about how stupid some other site is is more like me saying how stupid such-and-such is for painting his house purple (just to use your own analogy - personally, I think purple's neat and that there isn't enough purple in the world).

    See, SA isn't news media - it's a private site (which just happens to have a lot of regular readers), just like the private sites which are being ridiculed. Lowtax making fun of candy-raver kiddie sites (which he does a lot) is akin to Rich Kyanka making fun of candy-raver kiddies in RL. Now, what people are doing in response to his ridicule is like a bunch of people who overhear him going and tar-and-feathering the candy-raver kiddies - but that's certainly not what he intends to happen.
    --
    "Is not a quine" is not a quine.
    I have a master's degree in science!

    [ Hug Your Trikuare ]
    [ Parent ]

    But... (none / 0) (#59)
    by ramses0 on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 09:10:38 PM EST

    But....

    If the comments which you make tend to cause others to do a lot of not-nice things, should you continue to make those comments?

    A reasonable person might stop making those kinds of comments (because there is a strong relationship between making those kinds of comments, and other people doing not-nice things.)

    It just appears that the something awful guy is not a reasonable person.

    --Robert
    [ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
    [ Parent ]

    Re: But... (none / 0) (#95)
    by Panduh on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 06:55:34 PM EST

    It causes a few people to do "not-nice-things". It causes me and the person who wrote it to laugh. I don't believe Lowtax should stop doing it because doing so would be equivalent to stifling Lowtax's expression of his opinion, and that is a "not-nice-thing" for him and myself.

    Again, he has no control over the army of winged monkeys that wreak havoc on the net.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Invalid comparison. (none / 0) (#60)
    by Parity on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 09:39:16 PM EST

    For a very long time, Eric S. Raymond was nothing but the self-proclaimed champion of open-source. Now, whatever else you think of him, he has always considered what impact his words as a public figure will have.
    Lowtax is the self-proclaimed champion of making fun of bad sites, and people listen to him, and react to him. The fact that he is or isnn't a professionally published newspaper isn't at issue. The fact that he is a public figure with an influence on the masses is.
    In Yugoslavia, the opposition leader, whose name I couldn't spell to save my life, stated that if the government didn't be have justly, the masses would take to the streets - and they have. His words were not -directly- responsible for that action, but they were a strong contributing factor.
    I could go on all day, but most of the examples that spring to mind are way more extreme than the actual effect of a site like somethingawful. My point is, if it is apparent that your words have an effect on people's behaviour, you have an ethical responsibility to consider that effect before speaking in public.
    That Lowtax has no -direct- control over his readers and is not a 'professional' does not absolve him of ethical responsibility, and it is a naive argument to claim that because he has the -right- to say whatever he wants that he has no -responsibility- when people act on what he says, especially when those some people have been shown, repeatedly, to act the same way again and again. Lowtax knows, you know, and I know, that whatever site comes up as the awful site of the day to-morrow is going to be deluged with obscene flames in the comments, guestbooks, and e-mail addresses. Thus, Lowtax is knowingly directing his readers to flame that site. The fact that he may wish they would behave otherwise has no bearing on what will happen, nor does it obliviate either his knowledge or his responsibility.
    Personally, I'm very glad that Lowtax's target of ridicule is badly designed websites; the targets of social or political ridicule from a similarly irresponsible author would suffer much more real harm than a mailbox full of flames.

    Parity Bit


    [ Parent ]
    Re: Invalid comparison. (none / 0) (#62)
    by crojo on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 10:39:06 PM EST

    You're making all of this sounds like a bad thing. What these targets need to realize is, posting something on the internet makes it available to more than family, friends and well-wishers, it makes it available to everyone. As such, it's basically publishing your work to the entire world for critical observation. And critical observation is what Lowtax gives them. The responses vary greatly, from ignoring it completely, to adding insults to the page, to taking the site down in shame, and even to (if you can believe it) entering the forums to defend themselves. At times, such a defense has even worked, to the point where the person gained our actual respect. There's ample opportunity for a webmaster to justify himself, if he wishes.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Invalid comparison. (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Parity on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 02:00:40 AM EST

    Yes, I think it's a bad thing for a person who puts up a personal site, largely aimed at children and parents, or someone who -is- a child, to be descended upon by hundreds of profanity spouting hate-mongers for no better reason than to alleviate the bordem of the same.
    I'm not a regular reader of somethingawful, but from my perusal, it certainly looks to me as if what is provided their is mockery for the purposes of making the readers feel good by putting someone else down. I'm not saying that's always a bad thing; I'm saying the good has to be weighed against the bad.
    If you really think tormenting to-days aunt with her christmas page, subjecting her nieces and nephews and brothers and sisters and all the kids poking about on the 'holiday webring' is justified by the fact that she learned that some web browsers will start all 5 embedded midis at the same time, well... we disagree, and that's all there is to it.
    My point, however, is that Lowtax should be weighing that decision before posting a site. The weight of 'is it worth it to subject this corporations marketing department to derision for their broken flash frontpage' might be different, or subjecting the americanskinheads to derision for their misspelled racist jokes. It's an ethical choice that Lowtax is making (or choosing to ignore, rather) every time he posts a target.
    My objection and argument is primarily that 'Lowtax didn't do the flaming so he's not responsible' is a cop-out; that to-days target was, in my opinion, inappropriate, is a secondary consideration.
    However, I don't think very highly of anyone who does believe that todays target somehow 'deserved' what happened to her.

    Parity Bit

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Invalid comparison. (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Marble on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 05:36:26 PM EST

    I totally agree.

    It's one thing to say to a friend of yours, "I think site X sucks, bwahahahhaha!" and point and laugh.

    It's another think to write the author of the site and say "You suck!". Then, you're talking in the second person, and have crossed a line into verbal abuse.

    In particular, I think the guestbooks have an incredibly unfortunate capacity to be used in a bullying way, as many assholes write comments *intending to impress each other* with what big assholes they can be. This type of thing is a big part of how bullying occurs in real life. It's not even so much about the bullies hurting the victim - it's about them showing off their prowess to the other bullies. (At least this is my take on it, whatever.)

    And so what, that you who have been on the internet a while, you know how public things are, that guestbooks can turn nasty, that one person's rude words are not the be-all-end-all judgment of the world visited upon you? Do you think everyone else knows this? What about little kids?

    Do you think that just because YOU think a page is lame, that no one else likes it? Gimme a break! There is such variety in the world, who gives a crap if you don't like something? You've got enough other pages to visit, get on with your life... If you must, laugh with your friends about how unsophisticated someone's site is, but if you have any decency at all, please don't heap abuse on the person who wrote the site.

    If you must abuse someone, go after some spammers!

    Would you walk up to someone in person and tell them, "Your hairdo is really awfully unflattering!! And Jesus, look how fat your thighs are!" ??? I'm betting most of these bullies wouldn't. But somehow, on the net, it's all anonymous and they can just spew vitriol at someone and not care about hurting them. The common manners that (usually) protect people in real life are nothing on the net.

    You know what? Sometimes people with thin skins have a lot to offer, dammit. Don't just condemn them because they're not as inured to abuse as you are. The net is not your personal stomping ground, to fuck with anyone whose artistic/coding/whatever talents don't measure up to your personal standards. Judge 'em privately, no big deal, they can't hear you, you may as well not exist to them. Rub it in their face, you're an asshole.

    I dunno what else to say... I guess some people are just incapable of empathy. Or even decency.

    -Beth

    [ Parent ]

    Re: The Site was HILARIOUSLY bad. (2.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Panduh on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 06:49:58 PM EST

    The lady's site stunk. It broke so many rules of usability, Jacob Nielsen himself would have wanted to shoot himself after visiting the site. The 5 Christmas songs playing at the same time has got to be one of the most hilariously bad things I have ever seen. Lowtax pointed this out. Why should I and all the mature readers of SA be withheld the pleasure of Lowtax's humorous criticism due to the actions of a few nitwits? I mean, come on, this is the Internet. It doesn't matter if a talking dog created that website. If it is bad, it is bad.

    Lowtax has expressed his desire that his readers not spam the guestbooks, and you know what? The mental midgets who were spamming the guestbooks either ignored him or increased their spamming. Look, you can't reason with these people, they're morons, and they're everywhere, and Lowtax has no control over them.

    Lowtax enjoy's writing funny commentary on bad sites, and his fans like to read the commentary, again why should we be punished for the actions of a few asses?

    [ Parent ]

    An 'organization' (1.00 / 1) (#67)
    by delmoi on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 02:58:37 AM EST

    Why does it matter how many people are in an organization? The person presented itself as one. Also, dikatana was basicaly the life's work (well, four or five years of a life) of a single person. does that make making fun of it wrong?

    I'm not sure how many people actualy went to the site, but it was pretty bad...
    --
    "'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
    [ Parent ]
    Oh calm down, it's probably a Lowtax hoax (1.50 / 4) (#51)
    by whuppy on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 06:05:04 PM EST

    "If nobody likes stuff that sucks, why does so much stuff suck?" -- Butthead
    Keep up the good work, Lowtax!

    doesn't anybody remember WoW? (3.00 / 1) (#63)
    by beertopia on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 10:56:09 PM EST

    Mirsky's Worst of the Web used to be the best thing _on_ the web, back in '96-97ish. That's all he did, was make fun of dorky websites, and it was freaking hilarious. He had similar situations constantly, though, in that he'd find a site, make fun of it, and it'd disappear- replaced by snippy commentsfrom the webmasters about the cruelty of it all. But on the other hand, some sites wd proudly bear a 'worst of the web' gif after being singled out. Maybe if SA offered 'something awful' gifs to the sites it ridicules, it would make them feel better. But, probably not.

    Re: doesn't anybody remember WoW? (none / 0) (#102)
    by Holloway on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 02:31:34 AM EST

    YES! it was lovely.


    == Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

    [ Parent ]
    Thanks for the discussion! (4.40 / 5) (#64)
    by Lowtax on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 11:15:29 PM EST

    I really appreciated the discussion that took place on this forum. It's good to find somewhere that has such intelligent debate over issues that I actually have a stake in defending. I can understand where people who disagree with me are coming from, and I can only hope they that can see where I'm coming from. I'm not here to convince any SA haters that they should like my site, but I came to explain my side of the fence. I thought this topic, while being extremely skewed against me in the original post, turned out to be a very good discussion, unlike *some* sites which turn into flame wars and mindless insults. This was the first time I ever visited this site, and I'll probably be coming back again, because the people here seem to be quite intelligent and rational (even if they are wrong) : P

    -Lowtax

    If you don't want to be offended... (1.33 / 3) (#65)
    by AgentGray on Thu Oct 05, 2000 at 11:36:53 PM EST

    ...don't read it.

    I take a lot of stuff that comes out of SA with a grain of salt. It used to be humorous, but now it's old. JeffK was funny, but now it's the same thing all over again, IMO. Oh well. I choose not to read it.

    The person of the other site should have done the same. Of course, instead of being constructive, SA had to go out and ruin a person's (eventual) career.

    Lessons to be learned from this incident: (2.33 / 3) (#68)
    by charter on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 04:01:57 AM EST

    There's a lot of awful crap on the internet. (I hear you gasping in horror, but it's true!)

    Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it... except try to sqeeze some small amount of humor out of yet another site with MIDI files, blink tag, X-Files fan art, and animated .gif divider bars that drip blood.

    You may think this is harsh, but consider the fact that the internet is a public forum. When something is released to the public, the public has the right to make fun of it. End of story.

    If the person or persons responsible for the website choose to be a crybaby about it and delete their site, then all the better. That's one less crappy website in the world.

    If anything, I wish people's skins could be thinner. I wish there was a worldwide criticism committee responsible for saying nasty (but funny) things about every single site devoted to someone's housepet. I wish people would learn to think twice about sharing their X-Files fan art with the world.

    Aw hell, as long as I'm wishing, I wish there was no such thing as X-Files fan art. If you're reading this and you have your own X-Files fan art posted somewhere on the internet, then let me take this opportunity to say that your X-Files fan art sucks, no one cares, and you're just embarrassing yourself.

    Hmm, I seem to have drifted off-topic. What was it I was going to point out that we've learned from this incident?

    Oh yeah. Don't put a guestbook on your web page, because it's stupid and lame and no one cares, and it's liable to get abused by idiots.

    -- Charter



    Re: Lessons to be learned from this incident: (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by Spendocrat on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:25:28 AM EST

    The right to be an assholes doesn't mean that should be your default mode of conduct.

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Lessons to be learned from this incident: (none / 0) (#75)
    by Spendocrat on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:28:41 AM EST

    singular asshole that is

    [ Parent ]
    Re: Lessons to be learned from this incident: (none / 0) (#81)
    by jxqvg on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 11:54:14 AM EST

    Maybe it's a superlative?

    [sig]
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Lessons to be learned from this incident: (1.00 / 1) (#84)
    by //violentmac on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 04:11:03 PM EST

    embarrased of Xfiles art?

    You make me embarrassed of the whole human race.

    Yeah, I love to make fun of people cause it makes me feel so good. When I don't make fun of people I feel bad. I feel bad because I am a worthless human being.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Lessons to be learned from this incident: (none / 0) (#99)
    by vsync on Sat Oct 07, 2000 at 01:58:49 AM EST

    Don't put a guestbook on your web page, because it's stupid and lame and no one cares, and it's liable to get abused by idiots.

    The irony is that you are posting on a site which is basically nothing but guestbook.

    --
    "The problem I had with the story, before I even finished reading, was the copious attribution of thoughts and ideas to vsync. What made it worse was the ones attributed to him were the only ones that made any sense whatsoever."
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Lessons to be learned from this incident: (none / 0) (#101)
    by Holloway on Wed Oct 11, 2000 at 02:28:52 AM EST

    I like how people talk about slashdot or BBS's as new media. Or open journalism or whatever Katz-like phrase gets given to it.

    Slashdot isn't new media, it's talkback radio.


    == Human's wear pants, if they don't wear pants they stand out in a crowd. But if a monkey didn't wear pants it would be anonymous

    [ Parent ]

    Behave. This is utmost in importance. (3.50 / 2) (#73)
    by WWWWolf on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:23:33 AM EST

    I have had a few people who have come to me and said "your page sucks" or something equally thoughtful.

    Now these days, I probably don't care. I often just ask back "oh, yeah, want to give me feedback? What makes you think it sucks?" =)

    But about n years ago, I think the situation would have been different. I know if someone would have said that, I would have went crying to corner. Some people are more sensitive than others. Some people take stupid critique harder than others.

    Conclusion: If I now want to give negative feedback to people, I keep that in mind. Just today, two people asked for web design feedback - both sites were kind of pointless, but I gave detailed analysis on why they were pointless and tried to give some hints for improvement.

    I remember a RPG web page thing. Some AD&D player wrote a detailed reply about how <a href=http://www.co.jyu.fi/~np/rpg/DnD/>Game of Love page sucks. Now, Game of Love is a parody site, not your average "fundies flaming roleplayers" site. The player noticed his mistake. Removed the page. Moved to Sahara (or something similiar in severity) and vowed, according to the homepage, that he'll never play AD&D again.

    This was cruel, and even more cruel was the way how this incindent was dismissed. "Bah, idiot." Now, if someone would have just told them that a) this original page was parody and b) yes, zillions of others have also thought that was true, maybe the damage to that ex-gamer would have been lesser...

    So:

    If you have to give negative feedback, be gentle. Offer ideas on how to improve, instead of just dismissing it as rubbish.

    It's always hard to give feedback if you don't know what's wrong, right?

    -- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...


    Re: Behave. This is utmost in importance. (2.00 / 1) (#77)
    by dr_eaerth on Fri Oct 06, 2000 at 10:42:48 AM EST

    I have had a few people who have come to me and said "your page sucks" or something equally thoughtful.

    My response is typically, "yeah, you're probably right." Then I move on.

    Get used to people disliking your stuff. Everything is crap to somebody.

    On the other side of things, I don't know if I've said "your page sucks" to anyone in as long as I can remember. I don't know, does this mean anything?

    [ Parent ]

    Ridiculing Other Peoples' Work | 104 comments (104 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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