Scott over at Simple Justice and I have been in a pissing match of late. He calls me a self-indulgent whiner; I snipe that he is an anti-social network marketing social network marketer. On and on it goes, where is stops, who the fuck knows. Or cares. I've wearied of his "I am not worthy" cynicism and have decided to move on to other blogs and writers.
Even so, I respect anyone who puts their name on an opinion piece and then hits the send key. Inviting critics to step into the virtual forum takes anatomy.
What I do not respect is Internet cyberfeces. That's a new word. It encompasses bullying, anonymous sniping and attempts to harm the reputation of another. Of course, no one can steal a person's sense of self respect. One either has that or not. But in a world in which reputation matters, and I say that any lawyer who hangs a shingle and works for a fee has a reputation that matters, those who seek to hurt a person's reputation engage in tortious behavior.
Unfortunately, Scott has such a person in his life. He writes the following in his blog this morning:
"A couple of weeks ago, an email came in about how the write had googled my name and found some insane, vile posts about me on the second page. My psycho stalker is still working hard through the night trying to get his inane nonsense on the first page of google. You haven't made it as a blawger until you have a psycho stalker. Psychos, by definition, don't go away. I assume that people who aren't totally nuts realize that these attacks are the work of a psycho. I could be wrong, but I have no plans on spending my time worrying about it.
"By putting my name in the title of this post, it's likely to appear on the first page of google. It will push the insane posts down the list by one. It would be really great if everyone did a nice post about me and used my name in the title, so that the insane posts could be pushed back to page 28. I don't expect anyone will think it worth their effort to do so, unfortunately. Simple Justice may matter enough to read, but there's little concern out there for the writer. I'm more the hired (yet unpaid) help, as far as others are concerned."
I've spoken to a few people about this stalker of Scott's. Folks are afraid to weigh in for fear that they, too, will become a target. Communities are not built of such stuff. If we are going to have an online community of folks dedicated to debate, free-speech and expression, then we need to come to one another's aid when someone seeks to harm another in a manner unacceptable to norms of decent behavior.