Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks.

There’s nothing quite like posting a couple of tasteful nudes of your wife to bring out the worst in people. Especially if you go to a popular site like FARK.com and ask people to go make nice comments about them. JimK aka Stark23x has learned this lesson the hard way.

It all started with a photo contest by wKen in which he asked folks to send in pictures that would finish the statement “I love ___.” JimK sent in the aforementioned nudes of his wife and then proceeded to submit a link to his entry on Fark.com in hopes that lots of people would make nice comments and he might win the contest. Needless to say, things didn’t work out quite as he expected.

wKen has since had to disable commenting on his blog due to the fact that a lot of people were responding, but not in a particularly polite or appreciative manner. Reports have it that some commenters went beyond just making nasty comments to posting their own hardcore porn pictures and or whatever other disgusting pics they had on hand.

The response from fellow bloggers has pretty much been what you would expect. Not to say that the Farkers haven’t had their own opinions about the whole mess in their own comments.

Personally, while I’m saddened that the response to JimK’s pics turned out the way it did, I’m not at all surprised. Many Farkers are quite right to say that JimK was awfully naive to submit such a link and expect good things of it. Especially if he’s spent any amount of time reading the comments that a lot of folks leave on the Boobies links on Fark.com. I make a point of not reading most of the comments for that very reason.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Most people are friggin’ idiots who think the TV show Jackass is a high-point of culture and believe that a failed ballroom dance instructor can talk to their dead Aunt Edna. I love reading Fark.com, but let’s be honest about it and admit that Fark.com is the sort of website that friggin’ morons are drawn to like flies to horse shit. You don’t go and invite a bunch of winos to your dinner party and expect to get nice comments on the vintage chardonnay wine. All you can really expect from such a visit is to get filthy.

At the same time I don’t think that Fark.com is, as some bloggers have categorized it, the ‘cesspool of the Internet’. If anything, it’s simply a victim of its own success. When you have 1.4 million readers a day it only takes a very small percentage of them being friggin’ morons to make a bad impression. One percent of 1.4 million is, what, 14,000 friggin’ morons? Not to say that it’s only 1% that are the troublemakers, I’m just trying to put it into perspective.

Mind you, I’m not ripping on JimK for being proud of his wife or for submitting the pictures to wKen’s contest. Nor am I saying that the actions of the Farkers that posted rude comments and nasty pictures was in any way justifiable. I am saying that no one should be surprised at what happened and that’s why you should sometimes think twice about that next mouse click.

One of the greatest things about the Internet is that pretty much anyone can say whatever they want and have it broadcast all over the world in a matter of seconds. Of course, that’s also one of the worst things about it. Take this as a lesson learned the hard way and move on.

10 thoughts on “Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks.

  1. I retract that statement. Everyone knows that stileproject.com is the cesspool of the internet. Fark just happens to attract a lot of morons.

  2. I agree with your comments. I think you made some valid and balanced observations. It has definitely been a learning experience for me, and not all of it was bad.

    That isn’t to say that internet vandalism should be ignored with a “heh, it’s just the way things are” attitude. Along with making changes to my site to prevent this from happening again, I feel like the person considering putting bars on my windows and a big fence around the yard. That is, why should I have to live in a prison while the criminals have free run of the neighborhood?

    I think there are some things that responsible people can do to make the internet less of a lawless empire, without destroying the freedom to do your own thing on your own property.

    I believe there is much more good than bad on the net, but that doesn’t mean I have to roll over when I’m getting mugged.

  3. I’m not suggesting you should. Anything you can do to improve your site and keep the comments headed in a direction you feel is appropriate you have every right to implement and I’d encourage you to do so.

    In my viewpoint having a blog is much like standing on a soap box on a street corner. It’s a very public form of expression and you have to at least acknowledge the fact that you run the risk of being spit on, or worse, if you’re going to stand there and express your ideas. You don’t have to be happy about it nor do you necessarily have to just sit there and take it, but that’s a real risk involved in that sort of public speaking.

    Of course there are trade-offs. The more control you exert over who can post and when, the less participation you’re likely to get from those who can’t be bothered. An invitation only discussion in your living room is certainly going to be more friendly than the soap box, but the audience will be much more limited as well.

  4. I never had a problem with the Farker getting hell for trying to use Fark to win a contest that wasn’t about winning. What made me mad was childish jerkoffs destroying another person’s site to do it. They could just as easily have trashed him in the Fark comments or on their very own blogs.

  5. People need to direct their venom in appropriate places…like UseNet! Whenever I feel like getting into a fight I go out there and look for along bitter thread and attack the person I feel most deserves it. Tonight I attacked a Yenc poster that said “It’s OUR sandbox. YOU don’t have to play.”. By this he was asserting that those of us who do not care for Yenc should just leave UseNet. This kind of arrogant asswipe deserves the bile I spewed. JimK did not deserve the attack he received but I am somewhat amazed that he could not see it coming. In what lovely corner of the earth could he possibly live that he has not been exposed to random human cruelty? Let me know…my lease is up in August!

  6. I’m still not sure whether having a blog is like standing on a soapbox on a street corner (which is public property), or sitting on my porch (which is my property) and allowing people to look at anything I do.

    I own my website. I own the domain, and I pay for the server space. So, though I allow the public access, it isn’t an absolute pass to do anything.

    People can see what I have to say and the graphics I post. They can say all they want about me (assuming it is only opinion) on other’s property. But if they want to do something on my property, they have to play by my rules and do so with my permission.

    I’m happy to talk to people on my porch, as long as they are respectful, but when they start attacking my other guests or blocking people from entering my yard, I have been injured. They have violated their limited license to access my property.

    The internet is really a giant area of public property. It is a large collection of private properties that are connected by public roads. Don’t park in my driveway unless you are going to behave, and don’t block my driveway unless you want to get towed.

    Anyway, all this is still working itself out on the internet, and I think thoughtful opinion like your post is a good thing.

  7. I meant “isn’t” in the first sentence of the next-to-last paragraph. I always forget to proofread before I hit submit. Sorry.

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