The five kinds of internet bigots

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COMMENT

As anyone with a well used wifi connection can tell you, the first rule of internet is ‘never read the comments’. If the internet were to be pictorially represented in map form and then buried for future generations to gaze on in wonder from their underground, mud lined cells, the comments section would be the part labelled ‘Here Be Monsters’ while illustrated flames lick at the twisted faces of miserable souls.

In among the general strain of awful are several distinct personality types, or Internet Weirdos if you will. They are the equivalent of the old woman who mutters at you when you walk past her house every morning, or the racist distant cousin who bails you up at family events to tell you about ‘queue jumpers’ and how the moon landing never really happened. I detail five of them for you below so that you may be prepared when they inevitably appear one by one in the comments box to refute everything I’ve said.

1. The ‘whatever happened to freedom of speech?!?!’ intellectual blackhole

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You’ve probably had a run in with this type before. They usually appear whenever someone publishes a rebuttal or criticism of another person’s ideas. When I say ‘ideas’, I really mean comments about things ranging from why gay parenting harms children to how Julia Gillard managed to run the country into ground by using her sympathy seeking breasts as pneumatic drills.

Op-ed writers from both sides of the fence have come into contact with people who think ‘freedom of speech’ (which is largely symbolic in Australia anyway) isn’t actually about the right for people to express their religious, political or personal views without fear of penal retribution or government reprisals.

Instead, they think it means that Sam Newman can ponce about on The Footy Show mocking women and homosexuals and that no one’s allowed to challenge this. Write a considered response to this and some bonehead will rile up to screech at you in caps letters, “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH?!?!?” My dear, you are witnessing it in action.

 

2. The ‘some of my best friends are’ bigot

“Black people suck up too much welfare in this country and are given too many breaks. Us real Aussies are living on Struggle Street and they’re just bloody throwing houses at these people who do nothing to earn them and don’t even take care of them! And don’t you dare call me racist, because some of my best friends are black and they agree with me.”

This argument is about as water tight as a sponge if that sponge were actually made out of water.

 

3. The boy suck

This is a little similar to the ‘some of my best friends’. As a violently unattractive, hairy feminist witch who shoots flames out of her vagina at unsuspecting men oppressed my modern day matriarchy, I’m particularly familiar with this response. It takes the form of a woman bending over backwards to assure all the men spurting indignation from their faceholes that she’s on their side. She likes being treated like a lady. She thinks feminism has gone too far and is actuallyactively targeting men. Women won’t stop until they’ve taken over entirely! But no sirree, she’s not like that.

She respects men and WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN THEIR SUBJUGATION. She wants everyone to know that she respects the rules of engagement and is very happy having her little spot at the foot of the table. Oh, and sometimes this woman is actually a man using a woman’s name.

 

4. The ‘everyone knows’ truth teller

In this case, the ‘everyone’ refers to the person making the comment and all their similarly aligned friends and the truth they’re supposedly reporting on is an opinion that has, more often than not, been sourced and fact checked directly from their rectum. It’s usually applied to statements that have no basis in actual fact, but just feel right to the person making them - so much so that they assume they must be shared by everybody.

For example, ‘everyone knows that all women secretly want to get married’ or ‘everyone knows that Charlie Sheen is a maniacal sociopath with a fondness for abusing women and drugs in equal measure’. Okay, that last one was me BUT IT FEELS RIGHT TO ME AND SO IT MUST BE TRUE.

 

5. The stalker who hates you but can’t stay away

You know this person. They comment on every single thing you write, often multiple times (and frequently complain that they’re being censored because the moderators consider 50 comments on one post to be excessive and, frankly, a little grabby). They bombard your twitter account with links to all the blog posts they write about how pathetic you are (ironing - it’s not just something other people do to their shirts), or tag you in when other people are discussing whether or not the zoo knows they’re missing a gorilla on photographs of your face.

They start threads in Reddit about how misguided your politics are, enlisting all their similarly cerebrally challenged friends to indulge in a metaphorical masturbation session over your desecrated reputation. And they always, always, always read every single thing you write. They want you to know that they’re nothing special. They’re just a fruitcake standing in front of someone who doesn’t care and asking her to notice them.

 

42 comments

  • I'm fascinated by the photograph of the neck bearded man at the top of this article. How is his laptop supported? It appears to be a MacBook Air or similar, and is levitating. Could this be a secret Apple prototype of a MacBook Lighter-than-Air?
    Or, much more likely, is this evidence the secret power of the patriarchy, helping internet bigots to type without any visible means of supporting their equipment, thus freeing their hands to engage in their vile behaviours?

    We should be told.

    Commenter
    Nogbad
    Location
    In the bath with my MacBook Lighter-Than-Air
    Date and time
    January 24, 2014, 9:00AM
    • I'm number 5. I feel that your prose is elegantly put with occassional leaps of logic. The material is seductively truth-like, although something is a little off. I see it as sport to detect the fatal flaw.

      claiming something is 'culture' with a specific isolated example and rebelling against culture (like we all own the isolated incident).usually its a matter of I read this fringe web site / trash magazine and this represents all views in society (?). 'culture/media studies'???

      trying to deny that some women do like traditional roles and therefore will always skew work participation statistics. Then claim that the non <50% statistics proves the patriachy is alive, essentially trying to deny the choice some women make.

      Commenter
      Confused
      Date and time
      January 24, 2014, 9:01AM
      • Leap of logic. You're being too kind. Don't forget the 'I've already dealt with that' when it really hasn't been dealt with, or, the 'it's a joke/satire' when they are really serious.

        Commenter
        Skye
        Date and time
        January 24, 2014, 12:03PM
      • Show us where someone denied that some women enjoy traditional roles, and we can all point and laugh at them.

        Commenter
        Yes you are confused
        Date and time
        January 24, 2014, 12:06PM
    • This comment is a shout-out to the first person who goes down the passive-aggressive route of "apparently feminists when faced with anything but people toe-ing the line to their own agenda, feel the need to get narky about comments that fly in the face of the so-called 'modern feminism today'." And then the obligatory "oh, hear hear clever-witty-fellow-douche-oops-i-mean-commentor. I agree totally. Feminists don't know squat". How about: we know what you're doing 5-types-of-commentors. We know that you sit back, put finger to keyboard and say to yourselves "chortle chortle take *that* person who gets to work for a website and have her opinions published for others to read. Its not MY fault my penis is small/i believe in the friend zone/boys like it better when I agree with them always." I read this website COS I ENJOY IT. Many of the articles ARE INTERESTING. And I mostly AGREE WITH THE PREMISE OF THEM. And then I share the articles with OTHER PEOPLE WHO I THINK MIGHT BE INTERESTED. So just let your trigger happy need to vent brain cell a rest today yeah? He gets very tuckered out what with all the mindless bollocks you make him come up with daily. Or head over to a website that *you* enjoy and agree with. That works too.

      Commenter
      caroline
      Date and time
      January 24, 2014, 9:13AM
      • Bahahahaaha greatness in its pure form. To this list I would love to add:

        the "I found one article which supports my argument" so neeeeeerrrrr to you internet blogger.

        This person spends their entire life trawling the internet looking for obscure articles and data sources which agree with their point of view. Like, the 1 scientist who still believes Climate Change is a myth. Well as Homer Simpson will tell you "Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything Kent, forty per cent of all people know that."

        The nit picky grammar corrector

        This person, loves to feel intellectually superior by calling into question other people's literacy and grammatical skills. Whether a blatant spelling error or misuse of a semi-colon, this person who has yet to find a job since graduating university, literally trawls the internet all day looking for opportunities to make him or herself feel important by telling people they should go back to school. Unfortunately for them, people don't, never have, and never will like a know-it-all.

        Commenter
        Adrian
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        January 24, 2014, 9:25AM
        • 'the "I found one article which supports my argument" so neeeeeerrrrr to you internet blogger'
          I can understand why this would be annoying in a lot of cases, but in cases where that one article found was still more effort than the article writer themselves put in, it's hard to be sympathetic.

          And the 'grammar nazi', well they are definitely tools, but the fact that they are able to fill a whole day pointing out spelling and grammatical errors in articles from people who are paid to write for a living says a lot about the literacy standards in Australian journalism.

          Commenter
          Markus
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          January 24, 2014, 9:47AM
        • Yes, except the article is about bigots...these two types may be just arming themselves when arguing with trolls?

          Commenter
          Glove Puppet
          Location
          Left Field
          Date and time
          January 24, 2014, 10:07AM
        • On the internet one "nitpicks", Adrian, one doesn't "nit pick" unless one is actually picking louse egss from a scalp.

          Commenter
          Laki
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          January 24, 2014, 10:10AM
        • The one who reads an article on a declared feminist website but still has to state how much whatever topic is being discussed is so much harder or worse for men.

          The black and white religious zealot for whom there are no other alternatives that what was written in the bible.

          Commenter
          JJ
          Date and time
          January 24, 2014, 10:20AM

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