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Monday, July 28, 2008

The Blogging Justice League

Some days I want to punch people in the face. I can get myself worked up really well over little internet nothings, and some days I can spend a lot of time just going around hunting trolls because I can't let things stand unanswered.


Trolls: Those little asshats who populate message boards, spouting horror and hiding behind masked IP addresses.


Not all trolls are anonymous. Some are bloggers themselves who write stupid posts about people I know and read.


Maybe it's my philosophical training: I'm not supposed to let stupid reasoning and bad argumentation go unnoticed and un-addressed. I have an almost professional obligation to make the world a better place by leaving traces of reasoning wherever I can, even if I'm not nice about about (and honestly, a lot times I don't want to be nice about it).


I have a new badge, because although Loralee is quite right that we need to remember that we aren't the blog police, to stand up and fight every little insignificant battle that faces us, we are, and ought to be Blog Vigilantes.


A vigilante has some spare time, and takes the opportunity to leave a little trace of order where there was chaos, reason where there is abuse, and mockery where it is earned (because seriously, sometimes the troll just needs to be mocked for sheer stupidity).


This isn't a call to arms, because the blog world would probably be a worse place if everyone started feeding the trolls all the time. But it is a call to vigilance: if a troll attacks someone you care about and responding would make your friend feel better, then do it. Don't worry about provoking the troll: your concern ought to be for your friend. If a troll is sliming through your community and you have an opportunity, you can get your digital billy club out and do a verbal number on his head, because part of what makes a community is the defense of the community. You don't need to do it all the time; you can be opportunistic in your vigilantism.


Some days I'm more vigilant than others. And on those days I always remember the best XKCD ever drawn:



This is my Blog Vigilante badge. It reminds me both that there are stupid people on the internet and that it can be an unjustifiable timesuck to try to stave off the flood of ass-hattery that can come washing down on you. So, don't take your vigilance too seriously, but don't let trolls, whether they are anonymous or noted bloggers themselves, control your community or your friends.


Join me, and Loralee, in The Blogging Justice League!!! You will get your tights when we get your initiation fee.

92 comments:

Charming Driver said...

Can we have a secret handshake? Because I think that would lend The Operation a truck-ton of e-cred.

Loralee Choate said...

I'm laughing my ass off right now. See what random Tweeting and pissed offness can lead to?? (Yes. STILL fuming over the obtuse lady.)

I'm totally in, but you know that already.

I do think it is damn unfair that you look better in tights than I do.

Heh.

sam said...

Bwahahaha! I LOVE that image!

Trolls are rampant, kinda like rodents. No matter how many we get rid of they multiple like fuckin' rabbits.

I will join your justice league. Send my tights.

Summer said...

Love it!

Mr Lady said...

*ahem*

Me, too? Me, too.

Chag said...

Capes? Please tell me there will be capes! I've always wanted to wear a cape.

I think there should be some kind of IQ/human decency test you should have to take before getting your free Blogger account.

Marilyn said...

Woo hoo! Hey, can my initiation fee be a 1/2 bag of Cheetos? Cuz that's all I have right now.

Yes, BPD and Loralee, I am still in a twist over obtuse lady too. I want to go smack her and then teach her how to spell "clique" cuz that's DRIVING ME CRAZY. (almost as much as her dumb posts even, which says something)

(I sure hope we're talking about the same thing because if we're not, I just made myself look like a total tool.)

Overflowing Brain said...

I love it.

I loathe trolls. And I once said that I wouldn't dignify them with responses, and that, well, failed pretty hard. In fact, I think one of my better blogging days was the day after someone accused me of bringing our honeymoon robbery on ourselves, the day I wrote about the robbery. Hi, perhaps not the best time? It wasn't pretty, but ohmygod it felt so damn good.

I'm not a big name blogger, but I'm all about justice. And tights. Especially the tights.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I want a cape and a utility belt.

Sarcastic Mom said...

Hey, you really did make me feel better the other day. There is defnitely something to be said for people having your back.

And again, like I said then, you rock all the balls from here to the moon, brotha.

I do think your point about making your friend feel better is a good one that needs to be the center of this. A campaign to rain fire down on "trolls" isn't the answer either, right? Because then we all become trolls. Trolls are just misguided, sad people who are probably hurting for some reason.

Oh, and asshats.

Mary Beth said...

You guys are way cool! I will keep my eyes open for internet injustice so I can earn my tights!

Glennia said...

Having just endured a weekend of troll-ignoring, I pledge my undying devotion to your cause. Will figure out how to post badge thingie eventually.

I will give you one pink "Powerful Blogger Lady" trucker hat as my initiation fee.

Issas Crazy World said...

Backpacking Dad, I think I have a little crush on you right now.

I'm so far out of the loop that I'm completely unaware of trolls right now. But I quit blogging about 18 months ago, after almost two years of it, because of trolls....so I'd like to sign up. I love that you'll call it like it is. But you can keep your tights, they wouldn't fit me right now.

Jennifer said...

Tights, sweeeeeet!

I have to say, when you stuck up for me on my blog, I swooned a little. Such a hero!

reneedesigns said...

Signing up to fight ass-hattery across the web. Do we get to choose our own super powers too? Because that would be awesome.

Assertagirl said...

One question: where is the Blogging Justice League sidebar button?!

Aunt Becky said...

Color me in!

kittenpie said...

Never mind tights, DO I GET A CAPE?

The turth is, though, that most often, I don't even read the other comments, so I miss the drama.

Oh, The Joys said...

I'm with Amy. I'd take a sidebar button over tights. Tights don't let your yippee yahoo region breathe.

babybloomr said...

I'm in!
I have a completely unrealistic view of justice AND I'm a wussy-- perfect combo, don't you think? So I'll probably be imagining troll-ism where it doesn't exist and then cower in the bushes behind a bigger blogger while they wage holy jihad on the asshats.
Did I just talk myself out of a membership?
Oh, and the tights? Control-top, please.

Anissa@Hope4Peyton said...

I agree..capes over tights!

You want ass-hattery?

I got a jackass who commented that I was using my daughter's cancer as a money making machine...for real. If I could hunt that guy down and get medieval on his ass, I would! Thats my first duty as Blogging Justice League initiate.

Are you using paypal or just our word of honor to cash your palm?

catnip said...

I want bullet dodging bracelets! Ones that send the bullets right back at the trolls.

flutter said...

word to the people

Kile said...

I totally have an image from "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" in my head now. I'll join but only if there's a cool car and at least one invisible plane.

THopgood said...

You can keep your tights...they make me itch...but I'm all about the cape!

Is it just me or has this whole problem/topic on trolls increased exponentially (don't know if that's spelled correctly...and really don't care) since BlogHer?

Headless Mom said...

I'm in.

Sunshine said...

OMG, that cartoon graphic made me belly laugh.

SO CORRECT!

Whit said...

[evil monologue]You guys are just an obtuse clique of righteous something or others. You'll never win because of your code and your honor. The tights, however, are sweet.[/evil monologue]

I figured I'd start a Legion of Trolls. What do trolls eat? Am I going to have to wear Uggs? Will this effect my social standing?

Stefania/CityMama said...

Love it.

I am usually of the "ignore the ass hats" and they will go away mindset. Except sometimes they don't but that' okay. At least I have a good sense of humor.

That graphic rulz.

And, I already have the wonder woman cuffs but can I please have an invisible jet?

FearandParentinginLasVegas said...

I am so in. I want a jacket though. A cape gets the way of my flame thrower.

I had a troll on my blog last week and I spent days agonizing over seriously offending this person. I was confused and I felt bullied at the same time. I considered contacting this person and having a real discussion about the elephant in the room. I drafted a post on the issue and (thanks to my Homer) slept on it.

It all went away when I got an "atta girl" post in the thread from a new reader. Someone read me and got it. It was the affirmation I needed.

for a different kind of girl said...

Forget the tights. Skip the cape. I want a leather outfit and mask, and the ability to modify my voice just enough to make you think "Is that...? No. No. It can't be, because it's a chick in a leather superhero outfit, right? But damn if it don't sorta look...Nah..."

Swirl Girl said...

only if spanxx is making superhero costumes these days....

Undomestic Diva said...

Do I have to wear the tights though? 'Cause honestly, I can't deal with them rolling up and down when I bend and sit or getting a run in them when I'm typing furiously. It would be distracting. Otherwise? I'm in.

Charli said...

After staying up past 2 a.m. and spending a good portion of the next day on the whole Mia thing, I think I am over blogging justice- unless it happens to me, of course! Hee. Though I may consider joining part time if I get to wear a super cool cape...

Suzy said...

You obviously weren't part of the online Newsgroup phenom of 10 years ago. I belonged to two of them and I can tell you from experience, feeding the trolls (ie making them wrong) makes the problem worse. SO MUCH WORSE.

Let it go, ignore them. They feed on others giving them negative attention. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Let it go. You have no idea what you're up against.

heather, the spohrs are multiplying... said...

Been fightin' 'em for years.

Kelley said...

Dude. OK, either my troll is running around the internetz terrifying the children or YOU are my troll drumming up bid-ness.

I seem to have slain my troll, but I am gunna dig up her rotting corpse and humiliate her again some time when she least expects it. She messed with the wrong b*tch. You want me to slay others? Awesome. But I wanna be Buffy, you can be the dude. Even though I KNOW how much you wanna be Buffy.

TLC said...

I hate tights. Want to see you in them, though...;oD

Funny, and timely, since I am up tonight finishing a post because I am just pissed off at the snarky crap about BlogHer. And I had to say so. I have that cartoon on my desk, btw. My husband gave it to me because I get upset at injustice.

Here is the post, and I sorta mentioned you, I guess. Along with some others, for linky love.

Blogher: Get Over It

T.

theobvious said...

Wow, this is so Diablo-3! Choose your character: KNIGHT? TROLL? WUSSY?
I'm very much in. Especially after reading the stories in the comment section.

Carolyn...Online said...

Must say, not being on twitter is keeping me out of the loop. Good? Bad? I don't know. But I'll back you up Backpacking Dad. I've got a knack for utility belt gadgets.

Badass Geek said...

I've always wanted an excuse to call my car the Blogmobile.

Ali said...

well...i would look hot in a superhero costume...
:)

Mandy said...

I read your response to a writer on Kelly's blog, and I have to say, I admire you for standing up for her. I agree that too often we just let negativity and hurtful comments slide. I'm not into necessarily picking a fight, but we should definitely show our support for the blogger who's been affected.

I'm probably echoing comments already written, but dude, who wants to go through 42 comments before posting. ;)

Kidding. Sorta.

Amy @ Taste Like Crazy said...

First there was "asshat" and then XKCD.

You now have a friend for life.

Christy said...

While I don't exactly know what a troll is (I'm still kinda green in this bloggy world) who needs an excuse to kick some ass once in a while?!

Kimmylyn said...

Finally making my way over here after watching the hilarity on Twitter with Mr. Lady..

I am in.. but I want to trade my tights in for a whip..I would be bad a*s with a whip.

Danielle said...

Screw the tights! I want a cape and a bustier!

What's the motto?

I suggest "Karate chopping your face one blog slap at a time."

Or something.

Redneck Mommy said...

Do I get to wear thigh high leather boots and carry a side arm in a low slung holster as I surf the net?

Cuz if so, I'm all OVER that.

jennifer, playgroups are no place for children said...

Tights and me are a bad combination, but I'll expect my cape in the mail ASAP.

The Old Broad said...

Please, please, please... can your suit look like this:
http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=42733311&albumID=618608&imageID=36598899
I want to see you dressed in this! HOTT!

The Old Broad said...

Uggghhh... Sorry... wrong link! Please go easy on the old 'puter illiterate broad!

http://a621.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/20/l_96436193424eb1c602b48d42afb3bd34.jpg

natalie said...

Well, I have no philosophical training other than my overthinking father, but MAN it is hard to keep my mouth shut or retort with something that isn't equally as lame as what the troll said.

My instinct is to say "YOU ARE A BIG, FAT STUPIDHEAD!" and when I can't word it better, I simply click the little red x. Or I scream at the screen and have some chocolate.

I don't see it as much on blogs as I see it on message boards. Online news story offshoots are the worst, especially in this very political year. Gah!

So umm, I'm new here, but count me in.

Kristen said...

You are EVERYWHERE on the internet right now. You are cracking me up to no end. And this is after coming off my latest troll incident. Not me being the troll, of course.

Thanks for the laugh.

Leanne said...

I hope you don't mind but I've nominated you for an award over at http://slackermomof3.blogspot.com/2008/07/introducing-newest-little-fish.html although you just barely qualify (Alexa rating of 1,000,000 or higher).

Carmen said...

Not only do I want the tights, I want the cape, the rhinestone belt, and, most importantly, the TIARA.

You rock, Backpacking Dad. You've come to my rescue a time or three.

Carmen, Mom to the Screaming Masses

Miss Britt said...

It would be embarrassing if I admitted how much this post makes me want to cry right now. What I relief I feel in reading someone finally say "no, bullshit, you defend your damn friend!"

Not feeding the trolls is one thing. Playing "Switzerland" while you watch someone get skewered is completely another.

You have a new subscriber.

(And I'd like some damn tights, too. Please.)

Avitable said...

Bravo! Your BJL can unite with my Trollbusters.

http://www.avitable.com/2008/07/12/trollbuster/

Neil said...

But how do we know who is friend and who is troll?

AmyD said...

Miss Britt referred me over here. I'm with her on that 100% + another 50% or so.

She'd look cute in tights, I would not. But, I'm so willing to go around in a trench coat and mask.

New York City's Watchdog said...

Sounds great.

That is until you're the one with the "stupid reasoning" because you felt "mockery" was earned.

Reminds me of a movie I just saw.

You either die the hero... or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

Can I still get a pair of tights though?

Robin said...

I'm in. Hot pink spanx tights with matching boots, cape, wrist bracelets and an invisible plane plese.

Karl said...

Hey dude, couldn't agree with you more. Glad to have met you at BlogHer (the BlogHims session). Got you in my feedreader now.

Robin said...

I couldn't agree more!

lildb said...

i just want the tights.

is that so wrong?

The Old Broad said...

Damn friggin' internet is going to give the Old Broad heart failure! Aarrgghh! I'm sorry I'm an idiot!

sweetney said...

first: and i'm sure i'm not the first to say it: you are fucking AWESOME.

second: tights make me yeasty.

third: when it comes to giving some blowhard assholes a smackdown, count me in. i am a mouthy broad, and i want to use my powers for good :)

She Likes Purple said...

Can we still join but never, ever be subjected to the tights? The pregnant, rather hipp-y woman over here would appreciate being a vigilante in very loose-fitting yoga pants.

(This is a great post, by the way.)

califmom said...

"I don't wear tights. I wear the required uniform."

"Tights."

Sorry, just felt a Breakfast Club quote would be appropriate at the juncture.

BTW, I'm in as long as I can pick my super power.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

Can we have tights made for extra tall people???

bejewell said...

What a CRAZY coincidence - I just happen to be wearing my WOnder Woman Underoos RIGHT NOW.

CaraBee said...

I'm in, can I have a wonder twins style ring? Because who hasn't always wanted to be a bucket of water.

Amanda said...

Sing it!

Hilly said...

I'm in!

Oh hi, my name is snackiepoo, but you can call me Hilly :).

Mrs. Schmitty said...

Umm....no tights for me, but I must have a cape. And a mask? Can I have a mask...ohhh and a cool name? Like "Super Schmitty". Nah, X the name.

Don Mills Diva said...

Best badge e-var.

You are my knight in shining armour and it is in your name that I will tackle the next troll/ asshat that I come across.

Corina said...

I am in too, although my blog is so small it doesn't even draw trolls. They still piss me off. I will be wielding the lasso of justice. And wristbands. Got to have the wristbands to deflect all the bs thrown around out there.

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Is the fee under $3?

Elisa said...

Well, I am already incrediblty protective of my friends, so I might as well. Dude, I'm in. But no spandex, please.

andi said...

Brilliant! I am so in. No tights for me, though I will take a shiny sidebar button if you have one.

Tracy said...

POWER TO THE BLOGGERS!!

Lol. Nice post - I must admit that I tend to destroy trolls in a less vigilante way, i.e. I post their trolly comments and make fun of them. I especially like when they trash people using insults that really make zero sense. Good times.

Sleeping Mommy said...

Ah, I love that comic. It's one of my absolute favorites ever. I always send it to my husband when he starts feeling the urge to get sucked into a flame war on one of his message boards.

gorillabuns said...

Screw the tights, I'm pregnant. Can I wear a muumuu?

just beth said...

I want to join! I'm a joiner. I have yet to interact with a troll, but shit, they better WATCH OUT!

boo-ya!

xo

b.

Lisa Milton said...

You had me at free tights.

Lara said...

you don't know me, but YAY YOU. for today, you are my hero.

(tomorrow? well, tomorrow is up for grabs, so feel free to fight to maintain your claim if you're interested. no promises, though.)

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Backpacking Dad said...

I can't believe the response this post got. Let me just say a couple of things:

1)Jennifer at Jayesel has kindly offered to help design a blog badge for those interested in joining the Blogging Justice League. Mad Propz Yo to her for volunteering her services.

2) NO CAPES!!!! Didn't anyone see The Incredibles?? Tights only. Maybe utility belts, Wonder Twin rings, eye masks, and other non-getting-sucked-into-turbines accessories.

Rachel said...

Amen! Delurking to say, love this.
That cartoon is one of my favorites and I adore Loralee, so there ya have it.
I wasn't able to attend BlogHer and I don't pay much attention to snitter, so....

Do your laptops get a super cool theme song when you log on now?

Robin said...

Down with the Wonder Twin rings, yo.

Michelle Lamar said...

BPD and Loralee-Have an already purchased, royalty free image that is PERFECT for this, will email you and your superhero artist blogger can see if you guys dig it. We just need to link back to the artist----love the justice league but can I be cat woman? She's good right? No spandex. I degree all of these superheros should WEAR SPANX ('cept for you and other dudes). Look for email.

Blogversary said...

I love the name and cause. Let us spread goodness. Goodness can win!

Bri said...

I'm still making the rounds of all the BlogHer people I met, or didn't meet and heard about. I've been reading and I had to comment on this one, because I saw what you tried to do in the comments section of that ass who made nasty remarks about Her Bad Mother. The post itself made me sad, but the comments of "right on!" and "you rock!" after that drivel made me physically ill. I applaud your fight the troll efforts and wish I was so articulate when angry.