Monday, August 4, 2014

Well, that escalated quickly! (Or: the day I accidentally became a troll.)

The Internet is a very, very special place with lots of very, very special people. As if that were not already clear to me, I inadvertently stepped in e-doo-doo on Saturday, when I commented on a picture posted by George Takei on Facebook.

Here's the picture.

There has been a miracle in the alcohol isle [sic]
I made this comment.

Things got just a little out of hand: 1,499 likes and 89 comments in five hours.
Frankly, the picture just didn't seem that funny to me. I made my comment to caution people about making judgments without knowing the full story and to raise awareness. I wasn't trying to be an Internet troll [definition here]. I really hate conflict and would never have put myself out there like that.

Within minutes there were 50 comments and almost 1,000 likes. And it just kept going and going and going . . .

Meanwhile, many people with disabilities were commenting favorably, either in response to my comment or directly on the picture, while others opined that I had no sense of humour (and should therefore never go on the Internet) or just needed to get a life and stop being "butthurt" [sic].

I started to feel bad, so I added another comment.

Even HRIH (His Royal Internet Highness) George posted a comment.

To his credit, he didn't delete the post or the discussion under it. I commented on that post that "Discussion is good." As long as people are civil and don't use profanity or slander, I see nothing wrong with people commenting. For my part, except for clarifying my position ("not offended"), I did not get involved any further.

The replies are still trickling in. I'm ignoring them. In conclusion:

And, just to prove that I do see the humour, in the whole thing, I'm sharing a video a friend posted concerning this whole thing. 

Now THAT is funny.

But I hope two things:
  1. People with disabilities are reassured that some of us "able-bodied" people do understand.
  2. Others will realize that they've been making uninformed assumptions about people who use wheelchairs.
UPDATE: As of 10:52 on Monday, August 4, 2014, my comment had received 3,059 likes and 161 replies. I feel like telling everyone after, oh, the first 50 commenters that it's time to MOVE ON! THERE IS NOTHING NEW TO SAY ABOUT THIS!

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