November 10, 2014

Another Bad Idea

In the GamerGate/RequiresHate/Trolling muddle, I’ve finally learned how to block people in Twitter. This is a good thing to know, as it helps one’s inner light. I’m taking a Twitter Vacation anyway, but blocking helps.

In drafting Bad Faith, I needed at one point to paraphrase a Twitter message from a distinguished colleague whom I had blocked – someone who has accomplished a lot (I don’t recall that we’ve met) and with whom I’d like to have amicably professional relations despite this disagreement. So I googled her twitter handle and mine, figuring that I’d find the tweet in question, check it, and no problem.

Except I got a small hunk of the timeline, and a little ways upstream, after I’d blocked, there was a tweet about race that I’d very much rather not have seen. It was very mild, as things go; Requires Hate would laugh at it as a useless and pitiful thing. And as soon as I saw it, I started telling myself stories: “it might not concern you at all”, “yeah, it’s probably another argument entirely,” “angry people say stuff they don’t mean,” “maybe it’s not quite beyond the pale,” “maybe there’s some prior history.”

Memo for files: never, ever, peer under stones from which you’ve undertaken to avert your gaze.