With so many blogs, Twitter feeds, etc., it seems like some people have decided to start using controversy to build readership. The internet age is wonderful in that it allows us to disseminate information and alerts, but it also makes it far too easy to spread misinformation. It allows for cyberbullying. A hot button issue and much talked about (with good cause) in regard to teens and tweens, but something seldom applied to the rest of the blogosphere.
Generally I post about the writing/querying/negotiation process, but today I want to talk about cyberbullying, because I’ve seen too many good people caught up in bad flame wars. All it takes is one person to take exception to a comment or to take something out of context and post it somewhere and for others to take an opinion as fact and run with it even in absence of first-hand knowledge. It only takes one person to call another bigoted or sleazy or a one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater for many more to take up the cry. Before you know it, there’s a flash mob outside someone’s virtual door.
Now, no one can possibly know everything, and it would be impossible to do first-hand research on all the alarmist information out there. Not for the first time, I wish we had a Snopes for publishing. However, we’ve all seen what’s happened in the past when people have jumped on burn-the-bastards bandwagons. None of it pretty. So I suppose that today’s blog is a plea to everyone out there not to tear others down to build yourselves up (pretty much the definition of bullying) and not to take any intentionally inflammatory writing as the unvarnished truth. If you see a cause you want to get behind, do a little poking around for the truth before throwing in your lot.
Trust me, the world and you will be better for it.