I’ve been here a while. Some of you may vaguely know me. I’ve made it a point to never change my icon or screen name, to never hide from anything I’ve said here. I’ve earned a few stars, then stars were wiped, I earned them again, then stars went away. Somewhere along the line, people started posting vulgar images(though I never saw any), which resulted in our current state of relegating unknown and sketchy people to the “pending” section of the already poorly-organized comments. This may have made sense at one time, but now I find myself, increasingly, among the unproven and the vile.
A few months ago, in an article by Germain Luisser, someone commented that they remembered when io9 was a site capable of better writing, or something to that effect, to which. I responded:
That’s all, the entirety of my comment. Within a few hours, I found myself in the greys, suppressed across all of Gizmodo, including io9 and Sploid. I was a little surprised. While I have maintained a strong policy of civility for the many years I’ve been on these websites, I know I have said more controversial things than this. io9 is, in fact, no longer a site, it is a subsite, and gizmodo sucks. It has always sucked, and nailing what’s left of io9 to it was a sad day. We’ve all said so.
The only reason I ever started commenting on the internet at all was because io9 was so well moderated, and I never saw a “FIRST!!11!” post. I was sad to be squelched, but the site is barely a shadow of its former self anyway.
On thursday, in a Lifehacker article by Kristin Wong, I made the following comment about something called “the Genius Deck:”
The “genius deck” is laughably bad, and I laughed at it, while actually being pretty reserved in my scorn- Click through it and tell me these aren’t meaningless slogans from a candy wrapper without the benefit of candy. I was instantly dismissed and unfollowed, greyed forevermore on a second site.
It was community and respect that brought me here. I don’t use any other kind of social media, but the conversations we used to have were worthwhile. I think the earliest post of mine I can find dates back to 2010, so after over 6 years of contributing in a mostly respectful manner, I am essentially deleted from the conversation on a whim. I used to make a point of promoting grey comments, but being grey now, I see that is not too common. Any comment I make is so much spit in the wind. Conversations here were greatly diminished, but now they are gone.
The only reason I bring it up, is MeowMeow Beenz. When that episode of Community ran(Season 5, Episode 8 “App Development and Condiments”), we laughed at the absurdity of it. When Gizmodo reported that some loathsome individual made a real app to rate people like yelp reviews(I can’t remember what it was called), everyone here, staff and readers alike, lambasted it. Black Mirror even made an episode devoted to the concept, which I’m sure ended horribly, but I wasn’t interested enough to finish it.
But here we are, my MeowMeow Beenz draining away because I wasn’t careful enough around people who may lash out when they don’t like what I have to say. My exposure to the community irrevocably diminished; Fellow readers who used to see my comments and respond now don’t even know I’m there, unless they click “show Pending” then expand the comments, then “load more” a few times, then click again if I posted a picture, which is a lot more steps than most people are going to take.
I have to wonder if the intention is to let every staff writer decide who the site follows or unfollows; If their disdain for rating people extends to their own behavior. I understand the need for forum moderation, it’s the only reason I’m here at all, but I’m hardly the kind of person it should target.
I still have posting privileges here on the O-Deck and a few other sub-sites. I’m still followed at Jez and Kotaku for the time being. If all of that evaporates, then so be it.