Sunday, February 2, 2014

Online Douchebaggery vs. Online Harassment

Okay, not really.

No, it isn't a question of this or that. I just wanted to share this will all 8 or 9 of you, or whatever, see what you think. WARNING: THIS ONE IS WORDY.

So some nitwit commented on a post on my Facebook Author Page, basically calling me arrogant, and disrespectful to my father and to his fans, and saying he would never buy another book I wrote. I wrote back a reasonable reply, then a few others chimed in, and he wrote back once more, apparently not ever bothering to read my response. So I blocked him. There are enough ass-hats in the world, but coming onto my page and insulting me about how I insult my father (which, most of you know, is beyond bullshit) is not something anybody needs. Basically, this kid (I can only assume it’s a kid) was dealing with some real anger issues, saw my post, and decided to take it out on me. Never mind my constant and redundant posts asking politely for people to not try getting information from me in regards to my father’s work through that page. One of the biggest reasons for this, aside from I am an author and the page is about MY work, is that I DON’T HAVE ANY SAY AS TO WHAT GOES ON WITH MY FATHER’S WORK, NOR DO I, MY SON, MY BROTHER OR MY SISTER SEE MUCH IN THE WAY OF ANY COMPENSATION FOR HIS WORK.

If you bother to research my author page at all, you will see in the ABOUT section, which has been up for well over a year now:
IMPORTANT NOTE:
Please do not contact me regarding my father's work at this time. I have very little to no say, and neither I, nor my brother or sister, receive much in the way of financial compensation from the estate. Asking me about rights, or asking me to put you in touch with "the right people", is basically rubbing salt into painful wounds. If things change, this note will be taken down, but until then, please be courteous, and understand that asking me about such things will not only not get you anywhere, but it is also offensive and disrespectful. Thanks.

This has been up for a very long time. People claiming to research just what a douche I am clearly have very poor researching skills. It's right in the ABOUT thing, for crying out loud.

Then, when they start to build up again, filling my inbox: "I want rights for this", "I want rights for that", "No, I've never read one of your books", "No, I don't have any money but my idea is brilliant!" "Could you give me contacts of a person (or organization) that now hold the copyright?" Etc., etc., etc., ad nauseam.


That's when I make another post, always trying to remain polite, sometimes finding it very difficult.

I shall merely post the highlights from this recent one, which has now caused me to be stricter about such things.

MY ORIGINAL POST: As a general rule, I don't respond to requests regarding my father's work on this page. This page is NOT about my father's work. It is about MY work. If you've no interest in my work, find other means to obtain the information you want. Thanks.

I don’t personally find that rude. Do you? Especially after I’ve asked countless times to take your dreams of free rights somewhere else?

So the post goes along, comments, etc., and then…

SOME GUY:
I find your arrogance and disrespect to be astounding. So what if people contact you about your father. Are you so insecure about yourself as a writer, that you feel threatened by this, or reduced in some manner? How about a little pride and understanding? I've read some of your work, but I will never read another thing of yours after seeing your responses. He was a great author, and you could do a lot worse than be connected to such a man. I'm sorry if you think you came off different than I perceived, but the bottom line is it came off as VERY rude, self-absorbed, and disrespectful of both fans and of your father's memory.

So I simply reply with:

ME:
I won't bother to go into the millions of ways I go about spreading my father's name and praising him, as a writer, a father, and a human being. Nor will I go into the thousands of times I've stepped in to keep the estate from being utterly ripped off, or the essays I've written on him, or the tribute anthology I'm currently co-editing. Do I enjoy it when people write and tell me how much they love my father's work? OF COURSE! YES! ABSOLUTELY! IT FUCKING MAKES MY DAY! Do I like getting endless rude emails from strangers pushing and often demanding that I grant rights to things for free, when I've no clue who they are, and they don't even start with a friendly hello? FUCK NO, I DON'T ENJOY IT! And you wouldn't either.

A couple of people chime in. Some were less nice to the person than others, but it’s enough for him to then come back the next day with:

SAME GUY:
If you guys disagree, that's great, that's just terrific in fact. Was this single post the only thing I saw to give me the perception I had, though? Nope. And although you don't like what I said, I managed to do so with a certain amount of civility that you and your fans obviously don't possess. I would think an author would have thicker skin. Discount my opinion, that's fine, I knew I wasn't making friends here when I made that observation, and my disappointment in how you conduct yourself has not decreased. I'll not be back or will I have anything further to say, so take comfort in that. I'm not here to "troll" anyone, I'm only back here now because of the harassment by your fans, and the fact you support it.

Okay, okay, so I wrote him one last time…

ME:
I kept my response civil. Possibly moreso, as I didn't even call you any names. You commented for a reason, so I left it, rather than simply blocking you. Others chimed in, and I left those too. Typically, this is a friendly page. If you have seen other posts, some of which go more into specifics, then you would see this post as justified. Did you even bother to read my response? Not that it matters. Did you know my father? No, you didn't. I think you're very upset with something else, saw my post, and decided to take it out on me. That's fine. As I said in an earlier comment, I don't mind if you're not interested in my work.

You got my initial response, now please get off my page.

Finis

I left it up for maybe ten minutes or so, then I banned him, hopefully giving him enough time to read it.

As always, I don’t name specific people unless it is in a positive context. I just try my best to be a good human being, to help whenever I can, and I personally feel this jackass had absolutely no clue what he was talking about whatsoever--maybe his dad wouldn't let him take the car out that night, I dunno.

If you feel I’m wrong, either in how I dealt with this person, or if indeed you feel I handle the harassment I receive on a regular basis in a poor manner, please let me know. I know there is no way in the world you can please everybody, but any tips or suggestions are welcome. If you feel I was in the right, thank you. As always, of course, things could've been handled better than they were.

That is all.

12 comments:

  1. You handled that cretin with a great deal more tact and grace than I would have.

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  2. I came back and made my second reply, because people were coming to my wall and cursing me out, very rudely and quite graphically. Regardless of what you think about what I said to you, I didn't deserve that. That goes beyond perceived "douchebaggery" you think might have came from me, and straight over into harassment. Neither of us deserved that. You saw that people were bragging about doing it, and merely thumbs up'd it. So I addressed it there. I'm glad you have fans that back you up and perceive you differently, and I'm also glad that I got to you, not because I wanted to attack you or bring you down, but because I wanted you to re-evaluate how its possible for others to perceive you, beyond merely positive. And again, as an author you should have a thicker skin than to let one random person upset you so much.

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  3. My own opinions on things aside, I am willing to apologize if you think I was attacking you, or if you think I came from a wrong place. As you correctly assume, I don't know what you go through or the experiences you've had. So I am willing to admit that I may be wrong. That does not, however, invalidate my perception of things. Because, to me, you DID come off as disrespectful of your father's memory. If that's not the case, again, I apologize. However, it would do you well to remember that most people don't know back stories, and as such, can't be expected to perceive you any differently than whatever comments they are exposed to. I hold your father in very high esteem, as do many others, and so I reacted strongly to what I saw as an injustice of sorts. No worries, I'm not dragging your name around, or disparaging your character in anyway, this was just between us, so I appreciate you also not calling my name out so that more people could harass me. I wish you well on your travels.

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  5. I think the best advice we can both take right now is to just suck it up and move on.

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  6. I'm putting this back because it should be there, but the bit above it true. Let's just move on and get over it.

    What they chose to do is not my problem. You came to my page and insulted me--big time. You said what you said, I responded. Others jumped in. Some I thumbed up, some I did not. We aren't even friends on Facebook so, other than Rick, who said he wrote, how am I to know who's writing you? i.e. I didn't go to people and say, "Hey, go harass this guy." Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't have known who to go to. So that, I believe you brought on yourself. I personally think you have a very misguided image of me and know little to nothing about me, but that's completely up to you. I believe you're angry about something else and decided to take it out on me. I am more thick-skinned than you keep claiming but I also am a human being, as you are. I'd never once seen you on my page before until your comment, so my first thought was, "Okay, who the hell are you?" But I did my best to be polite in my response. But if you go into a bee hive and pick on the queen, the others bees are gonna attack you.

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  7. It just doesn't seem your place to try and "school" me, Mr. 078d75ba-8c83-11e3-a700-000bcdcb471e

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  8. It is and isn't my place, as much as it is or isn't anyone's place, in the modern age of social networking. For right or wrong, everyone is given a voice now. I made a peace offering, and offered my apologies, as little as that's obviously worth. You seem to have a hard time doing what you suggested, though, and just moving on and letting this go. And I have no idea why it shows my name as a series of letters and numbers, I selected my aim profile to comment under. Because of how upset you seem to have gotten, I thought replying to you, and trying to express how I felt in a well worded statement would be respectful to you, but I see now you only see me as a prick, and do not see my responses as dialogue at all. If you are innocent of the ways I perceived you, well that possibility bothers me, thus my continued attempts at interaction as I see that this is continuing to bother you. But I will quit. Again, I wish you well on your travels, and take comfort in the fact that everyone else agreed with you, and I was merely one voice that will soon be long forgotten.

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  9. Personally, I think That One Guy wanted to write some fan-fiction (which I usually dislike on many levels) in your father's Amber universe so that he could "ship" (god, I really HATE that expression now) characters that would never be in a relationship. He wanted your blessings and the rights to do it. When he said that he would never buy another book of yours, he was telling a great big lie—he was NEVER interested in your works, Trent.

    Also, I read what That One Guy said about you on his own wall, Trent, as well as what the people supporting you said. There was no "...cursing me out, very rudely and quite graphically." In fact, without naming you specifically, he called you a "dick." The people that replied, including me, simply threw that word back at him with "look in a mirror" and "you're the one being a prick." That dude had his wall set to open public, for reading and posting, yet no posts were made on his wall outside of the the thread that this dude started himself. After a while, when he came back online, he quickly deleted all the comments against his position and blocked those that made them.

    Sorry for the long response, but what he did made me angry. You have been nothing but honest and straightforward about this situation and how you want this handled on your page.

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  10. Ummm, I'm wondering which translation: "Therefore, one thinks what is proper, true, and good, and what is improper, false, and depraved. Thus the mind is touched by evil"
    Chhandogya Upanishad
    ...came from, since I can't find it on the net.

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