Someone shared with me on twitter today a really hateful ask sent to them from someone identifying as a “nerd fighter” that included racial slurs and was generally tremendously hurtful. The ask in question was anonymous, so I have no idea who sent it, but just to be clear:
That’s not okay. That doesn’t represent nerdfighteria well, and while I’m very grateful to people who like my work and like sharing it, being mean to people–attacking them with racist or hateful comments–does nothing positive for me or my work or the nerdfighter community or anyone in the world. It makes us, as a species, a little bit smaller, and a little bit worse.
We all (including me!) struggle to imagine each other complexly and generously, and to have listening-focused conversations. But the great gift of the Internet is not just the chance to share; it’s also the chance to listen. I would encourage us to find better paths to better discourse. When I’m angry or outraged or defensive (which happens all the time when I’m online), I try really hard to take a step back and to try to be empathetic rather than merely angry. I think we should try to be kind to each other, and generous toward each other. Hateful anon asks and trolling and baiting people who disagree with you accomplishes nothing in the end, except making us all feel worse about ourselves and the overall quality of discourse online.