I am so angry today! I am a firm believer that people should be allowed their own opinions even if I do not agree with them. If I do not agree, I just do not bother reading their tweets, blogs or FB page. I do not harrass them and dox them. How are you handling this?
I’m angry, too. The growing societal climate of bullies getting emboldened by and rewarded with power and attention has leached into online communities. Those displaying abhorrent, vile behavior that would have been met with distain and someone being driven out on their ass in the past is now perceived as having strength and anyone that stands up to it is seen as weak. The trend of getting even, pointing fingers, gaslighting, manipulation and a hive mentality to do harm and punish what should be innocuous behaviors (i.e. shipping) is growing.
Escalating to personal threats is dangerous and should be seen as morally reprehensible and unacceptable. Using the familiarity those within this community have built to glean personal information such as names, locations, employers, etc. and then use it for nefarious purposes is disgusting. The egos and lack of personal accountability anyone who would stoop to those levels are out of control. Sadly, they will never see it that way because their glee born from a false sense of righteousness and a warped savior complex blinds any ability to see the hypocrisy of what they are doing.
They have convinced themselves that there is an Us vs. Them that, in their minds, equals right vs. wrong. They have adopted an eat-or-be-eaten mentality and have clearly selected a few members of the pack they see as the most threatening and have decided to systematically pick them off one by one in a misguided attempt to preserve something they see as being tainted by shipping. There is a bizarre hierarchy they’ve created in their minds and their insistence on reiterating it heightens the more they worry they may be wrong.
It’s classic manipulation but the fact that it’s textbook doesn’t make it less intimidating to those they are targeting. It breaks my heart that lovely ladies who have gifted this fandom with their presence are fearful in their offline lives to the point where they are considering withdrawing from us, but I also understand it completely. “It’s not that serious” is a nice motto but someone is forcing their hands and making it “that serious.” And while I don’t want to see anyone leave, I support Lauren (@balfeheughlywed) and the other girls wholeheartedly for doing what they need to not have this affect every moment and every facet of their lives.