Recently, I quit a website called Metafilter.
I was on it since about 2007, on and off, mostly off, and when I left, I had a bit north of 1600 posts. If you do the math, you see 2.5 posts a day isn’t a place where I had much of a presence.
I was quoted once by the Telegraph way back in 2010 about computer games that looked as Excel and Word programs, but Metafilter never did a thing for me. They have Projects section where I placed my various web sites for one reason: to establish provenance.
It was never my favourite site, but it was average, and I had a few things to say on a variety of topics over the years, some things people agreed with, some things people ignored, and there were some people who were abusive toward me, and the moderators didn’t do anything about it.
I never reported any of it, either, people I believe in free speech and preserving a record. I had gotten personal emails from people who were irrationally abusive, and one who I did threaten to report because he or she took offence that I thought Plan 9 from Outer Space was a stupid movie, and they repeatedly hurled nasty emails my way.
I had a couple of nice emails, but in the span of a decade, the net effect is nil. I have been on Ello a lot less than that, and have better feedback there.
I had all but abandoned Metafilter, and I may have posted a couple of responses in the last couple of months, two of which had to do with journalism — which is obviously my expertise.
I had for a while posted about A Dangerous Woman Story Studio, as it related to publishing and fiction stories.
I can say with absolute confidence that I have never gotten any sort of “lift” on any of my books or websites from Metafilter in the decade I have been on it.
So I never see it as some sort of free advertising, but when I know something or have experienced something, I will talk about it.
But recently, Metafilter did something that angered me enough to deactivate my account for a second time (the first was years ago, and I wasn’t upset: I just wasn’t going there, and then deleted it due to my own apathy, and had a change of heart).
In the span of a week, I replied to two threads about journalism, and, as usual, explained my background with links…
The same way I do here. If I am talking about one of my articles, I post the link. If I talk about one of my books, I post the link.
Just as I post links to articles and books other people write. I don’t consider it free advertising for me or them.
If you are going to talk about something specific, you give your evidence. It is common curtesy.
Every once in a while, I may be on a forum, and decide it is too much trouble, but then immediately people would rather ask me directly than google it.
I should also mention that only my latest book has a publisher that is still in business. The Disinformation Company is no more. bluechrome is no more. Zer0 Books is still in the game.
A lot of magazines I have written for are also dead. Presstime is no more, for instance, and I was their Canadian correspondent.
As for A Dangerous Woman, I have my short stories up on this web site, on Ello, and, until I can find the proper venue, many of the eBooks on Kobo are downloadable for free.
And I mention my books and stories on Facebook, Twitter, and Ello, but those venues are not what sell my books.
It is word of mouth.
So for one post, I had mentioned over at Metafilter what I have mentioned here, other places, and my books: the journalism needs an overhaul, it is antiquated, and should be replaced by an alternative.
And then came the second one about George Lakeoff’s stupid ideas about Trump, and one poster made some uppity comment along the lines that reporters are already savvy on Trump, and then I said, what I always do.
That they don’t because he keeps playing them, and they keep getting played.
And, as I always have had to do because I am Writing While Female, give my qualifications on it.
That’s when the temper tantrums came out.
It was perfectly fine for me to mention my qualifications when people agreed with my sentiments, but when they didn’t; so tattled like cowardly little children who didn’t get a lollipop, and I got this vexing email:
Hey, I know media and in particular Fox propaganda is something you've done a lot of work on, but people are starting to flag your comments about it as spam and self-promotion. It would help a lot if you could engage with others' discussions; I think right now people feel like you're posting formulaic advertising for your books rather than engaging in a conversation with other posters, and it's picking up a lot of flags and bringing the conversation to a screeching halt. I'm sure that's not your intent, but that is how people are taking it right now.
So I get censored because a few snowflakes don’t like what I have to say, and are looking for excuses. If the accusations weren’t so misogynistic, they would be hilarious, especially considering how few media interviews I have done over the years, and the kind of year I have had to battle for my very survival, and what my priorities have been. Accusing me of self-promotion is akin to accusing a recluse of being a media whore.
But the message was interesting: we know you are not self-promoting, but complainers are twisting logic to say as much, and we’ll take their dishonest side, without ever giving you the opportunity of giving your honest side.
And Lakeoff honestly believes in truth sandwiches.
Peter Pan may want to muse from Neverland, but Tickerbell was all booked up today.
I gave my response:
They are picking on me because they do not like what I am saying, and are finding any excuse to censor me. If I don't post a link to what I am referencing, then I get abused. If I post a link to what is my expertise, I am accused of self-promotion.
And if I wanted to shill my work, I would be doing it in a larger forum than Metafilter. I would be doing interviews on larger platforms, which I turn down, and I would be writing fawning books to appease the press. I hardly post on Metafilter anymore, and there is a reason for it.
So I venture out twice and talk about a subject I know something about, and now I am getting a warning? When I don't, people get rudely patronizing and ask how would I know, and now that I do, they have rigged it so I am some sort of self-promoter? Nice try.
If they want to flag me and run away from life, I don't actually care. If you want to erase my comments, go ahead. If Mefi want to ban me or censor me in any way, go ahead.
I am an easy target because I am a female who is not marching to some sort of preset script, and I am fully aware of it.
I have been abused on Metafilter numerous times over the years, and took the hits in stride. I believe in democracy and free speech.
If I am getting in trouble because I am merely proving I have expertise in a subject area, and this is condoned by Mefi, then fuck it.
I had added an extra line that for all I knew, those who were complaining had a vested interest in censorship and controlling a narrative.
After all, I am not given any information of who is doing, their identities, or why.
So, I deactivated my account, and gave the reasons why.
The same reasons I gave here.
But I am not on social media much these days. Twitter and Tumblr have been reduced to posting links automatically from here. Ello has the same Story Studio fiction as this site and eBooks do. Facebook I use to mostly check-in to various Starbucks as I once posted whatever things I thought would amuse my mother who recently signed up, and now left because she finds Facebook boring and keeps to using my Pinterest account as she has discovered documentaries on YouTube — until that bores her; so even my Facebook is barely used.
So, in all honesty, this is pretty much the only place I post other than the private Harvard forum where I am taking an online course in teaching. Another three weeks, and that’s over.
I have been thinking a lot of about the Internet, which is a transitory medium. The digital is the present, but it is not the future.
And the reason is simple: it is far too much a “me-centred” medium that shelters people and gives them the impression that it is all about them, that they are never wrong, are perpetual victims, and they are owed something for free without effort.
It is the reason we suddenly have ideological stagnation and regression. We have educated youth who want pensions are talk about socialism as if it were the answer when it wasn’t the answer for millions of people who tried that experiment, and failed.
And when you are young and educated, you are not owed a pension because you have not significantly invested in society.
The fact that these unoriginal thinkers cannot come up with a brand new ideological or political system is all you have to know.
We have an old, reactionary, and Victorian group of script-followers who having fainting spells when someone has an original idea that does not involve applauding their sophistry.
That’s not going to be Chaser.
It will be about presenting new ideas, and challenging the uninspired Establishment, regardless of their age.
It will not censor reality or give in pressure. It will not care about your insults or how offended you are, or whether you think I am about self-promotion.
I never installed a flying fuck storage area; so I have none to give.
So maybe it is time I went all out with self-promotion. I have never actually gave it a whirl.
Because what people have been promoting lately is propaganda and garbage.
But I have never been either of those things.
And it is time for me — and the rest of the world — to experience a change in the right direction.
I don’t need Metafilter to do that because I have another medium in mind and at heart for it…