Guys, at MTAC’s opening ceremonies, Dan Green and Eric Stuart came on stage, and Eric challenged Dan to a duel in character as Kaiba.
So Dan, in character as Yugi, says “That’s weird, Kaiba. You usually don’t like to lose.”
I never thought I’d hear such a sick burn from Yugi.
So recently lots of the female producers at TGWTG have been getting threatened by a shitwit what thinks threats of rape and murder are the height of wit. I’m sure if Oscar Wilde were alive today, he’d chuck all that wordplay and nimble speech for a quick tweet about violating someone’s pets.
Lots of times the response to online abuse like this is about on par with getting called a stupidhead in grade school: ignore it and they’ll move on. That sidesteps the level of escalation this presents. There are insults that are within a certain threshold of “acceptable” in society. They’re not encouraged, and they’re not exactly lauded, but calling someone a motherfucker or an asshole is pretty much okay. When you jump up to threats, you’ve shot past that threshold.
Right now a criminal case is being put together. It’s a trip to big-boy town and I don’t think our would-be Shakespeare quite gets the gravity of the situation. This is a life-ruiner. This is potentially legal fees, a criminal record, a straight-up slashing and burning of anyone’s future. Jobs will be harder to come by. The debt is usually crushing. And that’s ignoring the possibility that actual incarceration might result.
There are jokes, and there are threats. Saying “it was a joke!” does not absolve one of making a threat. The intention of humor doesn’t make the awful, nasty venom in those kind of words go away. It’s not an undo button.
I think the internet has divorced lots of people from the reality of this kind of behavior, as has spotty prosecution on the part of law enforcement. But, y’know … some of us do have means. If criminal court doesn’t suffice, there’s certainly grounds for a civil case; listen to the most recent “This American Life” if you don’t believe me.
We tolerate a lot in our current weird mish-mash of the physical and digital, but this shouldn’t and isn’t being overlooked anymore. There’s a time to roll one’s eyes and ignore, usually when being told you suck or your work is shit or blah blah blah. But when you gleefully, repeatedly promise physical harm to another human being and leave a fairly lengthy digital paper trail in the process … we’re not going to ignore that.
We’re not going to reply to you. We’re not going to give you attention. We’re not going to go back-and-forth in the comments with you. We’re going to call the police and our lawyers and let the issue play out far from the audience you intended.
Stick to calling someone a poopiehead, kids. It’s better for everybody.