I’m continually frustrated by this not-uncommon refrain in the comments of any blog:
Commenter: This blog is a piece of shit.
Blogger: YOU’RE a piece of shit, you piece of shit.
Commenter: Whoa! Why so sensitive?
They’re like, “Hey, all I did was insult you and call your work shitty. What’s the problem?” But if I walked into an office and started heckling people about their Microsoft Excel skills, I would rightly be escorted from the building. I’m well aware that I’ve been guilty of this many times in the past, but people are REALLY nonchalant about being assholes on the Internet. (And yes, I realize that we at KSK are frequently cruel, but we do it to famous people or groups of stereotypes with the intent of making people laugh.)
Anyway, earlier this week, someone tweeted at Uproxx — my employers — that I should be fired from Warming Glow because I “only write 2-3 posts per day” and that I mail those in. The mailing-things-in statement is arguable, but I definitely write 7-8 posts per day. I’m fine with insults, but telling lies to my boss in an attempt to get me fired is, in my opinion, over the line.
So I took this person’s Twitter handle, Googled his name, found him on LinkedIN, and then I called him at work. I was not at my friendliest. At first he told me that stuff like what he wrote “comes with the territory” of working online, and then I told him that so does getting called by angry bloggers when you tweet from an easily tracked-down Twitter handle. After a little huffing and puffing — “I don’t call your boss and tell him you’re masturbating at work” — we ended up speaking like adults and reaching an agreement of what is and is not fair criticism. It was nice. It felt good to deflate some Internet bullshit with actual human interaction.