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Forum Dogs :: Internet Bullies

Discussion in 'Non-Diving Related Stuff' started by Chatterton, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Chatterton

    Chatterton Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Dominican Republic & Fort Lauderdale, FL
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    Little Black Dog - Providing Surface Support in the Dominican Republic​
    [TD]Many years ago, around the dawn of Technical Diving, divers started to use internet forums to exchange information. The potential was huge, especially for the new discipline of Tech diving. You had small groups of divers all around the world, each trying new things, exploring new ideas, and sharing what worked and what didn’t work. What a small group of divers in the UK were doing, was immediately linked to interested divers in Australia, or New Jersey, or Italy. It was a very fun time to be in diving, and diving changed forever. But it was not long before a small minority of divers who understood the power of the internet, thought they could control the narrative to their advantage. They set about hijacking the forums, for themselves.

    They developed several techniques to hijack and control what was being said, and to bring the narrative back to themselves for their own prestige and profit. They used Dog Pack techniques to attack their targets, with an Alpha Dog and one or more Yes Dogs. The ammunition was words, lots, and lots, and lots of words, often on multiple threads. The pack would verbally attack any offending message, and intentionally misstate or alter the intent of the original missive. Now, the author of any message they deemed contrary to their dogma, is no longer in a discussion about the content, but forced to defend numerous false messages now attributed to them. Finally, the Pack would make it personal with multiple personal attacks to discredit the messenger, and discourage them from further posting. They win, and it worked.
    [TABLE="width: 100%"]
    [TD]Instead of talking about ideas, the forums became battlefields where dedicated gangs of internet bullies relentlessly patrol their turf. It became impossible for any one individual to discuss new ideas, problems, or solutions in a civil manner. It retarded the growth of diving, and the growth of the dive industry itself. It is very hard to have a productive forum of free ideas, with groups looking to exploit the very weaknesses of that freedom. So, I have never posted very much in forums, just for that reason. Things have changed somewhat, and many Forum managers try to fight the good fight, but the Forum Bullies are still out there preaching intolerance.

    I did not spend much time planning to be a blogger. Really, it was only like a few days. I wanted my first blog to be something honest, something that would be good for diving, and something I really believed in. I wanted to be responsible in writing it, and I did not want to embarrass anyone. I thought that a blog topic on Responsibility and Self Reliance in deeper diving was something very… me, reflective of my values and the kind of questions I am often asked. I thought responsibility in deeper diving was a concept worthy of discussion, regardless of a diver’s depth or skill level. I did not think it was at all controversial?

    [TD="width: 35%"]
    Chili, Nelson, and Codi​

    To read the rest of the story, you have to visit my blog Click Here
    Sieg@VU and soonerwink like this.
  2. MSDT476614

    MSDT476614 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Very Far East
    I like the dog pictures! :D

    And I can relate to your online run ins with some of these guys. Even offline they are ......
  3. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year
    I think it's important to sign everything that you write with your real name.

    Now, as far as giving autographs, I am not sure if your entire name could fit written on to a sock, but I digress :wink:

    John, you have definitively and plainly stated what is visible to many- the "nets" can be extremely useful or wind-up being perverted by cults of personality.
  4. dumpsterDiver

    dumpsterDiver Banned

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Very few people had a problem with your concept of personal responsibility. The primary issue was associated with your comments about fighting people underwater and winning as well as reference to using "the wrong gas" at depth. You were asked several times to clarify or modify these comments about fighting underwater and high partial pressure oxygen mixtures, however you never retracted or modified this position, as best I could tell. In fact you reinforced them. Since you are being presented as a dive instructor, rather than an independent diver, these comments were clearly going to garner attention.

    You were attacked by Dan Volker. He is the one who engaged in a personal attack, calling you a coward and much worse. I finally got weary of it and rejected the ugly tone of his comments, but for some reason my post about that was removed by selective moderation.

    Just as he can not paint you as a coward, (who can not control his buoyancy), I feel it is unfair to designate him as the alpha dog and the leader. He may be a leader in his own mind, but I see very few followers. We all knew this would occur, he has done the same thing for years. I still remember when he wanted to fight Tom Mount (in the ring) over some (less controversial) postions he took about technical diving. His over the top analogies, comparisons and name calling was not shared by the rest of the people.

    You can not so easily dismiss the concerns of many people, simply because you were subjected to personal attacks by one individual.
  5. HowardE

    HowardE Diver Staff Member

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Boca Raton, Florida

    No offence, but I addressed your questions, you didn't understand the answers. If you need more assistance with them, feel free to contact either one of us, or take a technical diving course.
    Scott L likes this.
  6. MSDT476614

    MSDT476614 Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Very Far East
    *pass the popcorn*
  7. JamesK

    JamesK Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: SW Florida
    Good looking dogs.

    You are correct, the forums have settled down some, but are still places one can attack another from the safety of their keyboard. I personally enjoy reading about others exploits and opinions, even if I disagree with them. I also understand that people get heated and passionate over some topics, but that is human nature.

    While I disagree and agree with your blog, that is my choice. I hope you continue to write more.

    Well, I am going to Netflix more episodes of Deep Sea Detectives so I can come back on here and belittle you! :)

    If you think this is bad, you should see what Call Of Duty online is like. Holy crap. 8 years olds telling you they are currently having sex with your mother. Crazy.

    ---------- Post added February 17th, 2013 at 10:45 AM ----------

    Agreed! Well, except my last name is WAY to long to add toy username. Lol
    drrich2 likes this.
  8. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    Dumpster, was Scubaboard your first foray into the internet world of dive "discussions"? You may not know what it was like there for awhile. You can be forgiven for that but not if you''ve just got selective memory.
  9. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    I think perhaps John's painting with too broad a brush. Things on the internet today are a far cry from what they were back in the days of rec.scuba ... or even a few years ago on The Deco Stop ... a place I stopped visiting because I didn't want to deal with the egos. Here on ScubaBoard you can pretty much predict who will respond in what way as soon as you read the opening post in pretty much any topic. Pretty much all the regulars are well-known in their positions, and it's rare that anyone actually changes their mind on a given topic. When I read John's article I knew right away who would object and what they'd object to. I didn't see a lot of dog-piling ... just a couple of people taking predictable positions that they've taken many times before on other threads.

    John, don't let it bother you ... it's the nature of the internet, and why should you care what someone you'll never dive with thinks? Most of us enjoy reading your stuff, even if we don't agree with all of it ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
    Jax likes this.
  10. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many. Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    Howard, you addressed his questions, but basically what you said is that John didn't mean what he wrote, and John never said that.

    I don't think anybody has a problem with promoting self-reliance and being a prepared, competent technical diver. A lot of us had problems with the idea that someone would dive with a buddy and refuse to help them, or view breathing a deco gas at depth as preferable to sharing gas.

    Even Dan's increasingly impassioned posts were very polite, compared with the early days of internet discussions on technical diving. And he wasn't alone -- there were quite a few people (myself included) who simply found what Mr. Chatterton wrote to be distasteful and disturbing. Not all of those people subscribe to the same diving philosophy, either, and any topic that makes Dumpster Diver and me end up on the same side has GOT to be pretty polarizing!
    Jax and BCSGratefulDiver like this.

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