FROM ADMINISTRATION: A WORD ON DISSENT

cyber-bullying-poster“Free societies are societies in which the right of dissent is protected.” – Natan Sharansky

“Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent and debate.” – Hubert H. Humphrey

*

It has become apparent that many people feel disillusioned by what they describe as the intolerance of dissenting views on the blog. The impression is that any opinion unpopular with the majority is instantly scrunched up, condemned to the dustbin and the offending commenter vilified.

For the purpose of clarification, it bears repeating: Kito Diaries is an open forum for all of us to share our stories, ideas, fears, confusions and joys. Most of the stuff we talk about here are things we cannot – dare not – share with the outside world, if we love our lives. Hence, we cannot flee the oppression of our opinions as imposed on us by those out there only to come in here and replicate the vice.

Nobody has the right to silence another person just because they do not agree with their opinions. I say this with the realization that I am also guilty of the offense. In KD, there is one hundred percent freedom to disagree. Disagree as fiercely as you can and be ready to be disagreed with too.

That said: freedom of expression comes with responsibility. And this is where our comments must be guided by the ethics of honesty, sensitivity, taste, and all the other noble values cultured people take into consideration before they speak. We cannot condescend to people, be rude, piss on others’ beliefs, lifestyle, preferences and character, and expect to be cheered.

Secondly, we should learn to dissent with respect. (Chinua Achebe said something along these lines.) Debates are not world wars nor meant to be shouting matches. Nobody will listen to you if they think you’re out to prove their “foolishness” to them or impose your own ideas on them. We are humans, we have egos. If you want to “correct” a person, there’s a gentle way to do it. Face issues, leave personalities; be polite, and avoid name-calling.

Thirdly – and this has to be said – some comments, no matter how you shake them and turn them upside down, will be obnoxious. All shades of wrong. And the urge to slap the commenter for spouting such bullshit will be overwhelming. Hate speech is taboo. Denigrating the harmless personal choices of others is prohibited. Some things are right and others wrong. No in-betweens. We should take it upon our consciences to know what goes where.

I would like to point out the image below as an example of what I just talked about. A commenter apparently felt such a lack of humanity that the comment below was what he could come up with as an expression of his disapproval of the writer, James.comm8This is unacceptable! The reason I’m averse to the comments section of most mainstream blogs like Linda Ikeji’s blog is because of venom such as this. I will not take it here.

I do hope this blog has been, and continues to be, a place where we all come to release our pent-up freedoms, have healthy conversations and feel truly liberated.

Thank you.

51 thoughts on “FROM ADMINISTRATION: A WORD ON DISSENT

  1. If it isn’t the one and only gaydian oops** guardian angel…
    The gay defender
    Defender of the defensless …
    Everyone is guilty of some cyber bullying.. I’m glad u acknowledged the fact that ure guilty of it too..
    The thing is, where can we draw the line b/w freedom of speech and cyber bullying??

  2. Oh wait…I’m allowed to disagree? Really? *giving dennis and pinky et al d side-eye* (just kidding sweets; u know I luh u guys hehehe).
    Even though I find a bit of “conflict” online entertaining,I totally agree that u can argue ur points without resorting to insults and quarrels; everything can be presented with diplomacy and tact. That being said, I’ve learned not to be too riled up about anything said on a faceless online forum, by strangers who know nothing about me.like I always say, online arguements aint that serious, really. I know different ppl hav different levels of emotional…resistance or sensitivity,but d earlier we learn not to take cyber-ish so seriously,d better for our emotional well-being. I’ll admit, most cases of “cyber-bullying” seem exagerrated and silly to me (although there are some totally unacceptable examples, like the “#JadaPose” mess;that was soooo wrong…u can google it if u don’t know about it). I don’t think I would consider myself “cyber-bullied” if someone who has never seen my face calls me “ugly” or “unintelligent” and shit.
    After all said and done sha, d person that wrote that thing abt james and AIDS and death is just wroooooong!!! Too much…too much!

  3. OMG!!! Now that comment is pure evil.. Y would some1 even… I can’t deal… Pls have some compassion. Be kind and let Love in!!!

    • Exactly!!!!! Evil is the word….pipo should learn to be matured in mind and writing too!!! haba! Dear James please forgive him and move on jo…he must have learnt his lesson….i hope!!

  4. In my opinion there would always be a blurred lines between executing the rights to express freedom of speech, thoughts and opinion and trampling on the rights of someone with a divergent POV.
    Where exactly will this line be drawn? Is telling someone they will get AIDS any more offensive than telling someone that nothing substantial can come out of their writing or their choice of course of study? Why delete one comment and leave the other?
    I feel like since there is no distinct way to objectively state which comments should are sarcastic, damn cruel or condescending you can either delete all the comments that have elements, undertones of this which would ultimately result in less comments and a less interesting comment thread. But in this scenario, Mr. A will not feel slighted that while their comment was deleted Mr. B and Mr. C’s whose could also be deemed as bullying were posted. Or you can open up the gates and allow everything in. In this scenario you will have the good, bad and all the in between flooding in. But then there will be ‘equality’ and ‘freedom’ of expression. I believe that the dislike button and fellow community members who often challenge distasteful comments are adequate enough to nullify whatever cyber bullying occurs from time to time. I may be totally wrong of course.
    This is only my own two kobo opinion…

  5. Pinky thanks for this public service announcement.
    I will also suggest you delete all the irresponsible comments. When people fear that any wicked comments they post will be deleted, I don’t think they’ll bother posting it.

  6. great piece on restraint Pinky, I have also at time been guilty of pouring vitriol especially when the comments rile me up. I shall henceforth make a supreme effort to attack the comments rather than the person (however hard it is), when some idiotic (hehehee) comments pop up here.
    As for you Honeypot, you dont deserve a shred of civility, I shall here and now break Pinky’s new rules:
    1. You’re a crust of despicable scum for that comment.
    2. That comment speaks of the huge black gaping void that is your heart, full of bitterness and loathing.
    3. You have not a shred of decency in you, how can you even make such a comment which not only disparages the author but is also deeply insulting to persons living withn HIV AIDS, considering that they need our compassion?
    4. I spit on your ugly face 50x – such venom can only come from a twisted dark heart whose ugliness manifests in ur butt ugly face & out of frustration your ugly shriveled claw like fingers typed out such filth.
    5. I like to take pride in the fact that I dont hate. But seriously, if a speeding bus were racing down the street, I wouldn’t think twice about pushing you in all ur ugliness into its path and watching in orgiastic pleasure as you were swiftly mashed into a layer of meat paste being quickly dried out in the hot sun.
    6. you deserve 5x the pain and torment of the worst kito espisode that’s ever been shared in this blog. I shall make daily supplications to karma, trust me, she does her job thoroughly and efficiently. I only wish her bitter whip can be administered on yoyr ugly shriveled skin via my hands.
    7. Despite being gay, this is the one time I never thought would come, a time when I would happily join a crowd of homophovic bigots in hurling rocks and sticks at your bleeding torn form after you’ve suffered the beating of your miserable and recently kito-ed life.
    8. May Karma ensure that every open door, every helping hand, every loving heart and every place of compassion is shut firmly against you especially when you are most in need.

    ***pushes Honeypot into a thick padded cell where the words above are blaring out from loudspeakers 21hrs a day,bolts and locks the doors firmly and hurls key into the sea****

    • Ah, this one pass queen oh. This one na Queentch (=portmanteau of “queen” and “witch”.) Khaleesi, I hail oh. *exits shrine with back*

  7. Dis post is just in time…opinions vary from human to human, d most we can do about someone else’s opinion is to disagree wit reason while still being considerate(dey might kukuma b right afterall)…d opposition we get from d outside world is enough, we shouldn’t our own problem o(free world nah)…#UniteAndConquer!

  8. I’m with Blaq Jaqs 100%. Away from the diplomacy of this post, people should be allowed to say whatever they please and be prepared to defend it. We cannot scientifically measure taste and sensitivity and whatnot after all.

    A friend of mine says he’s afraid that with more publicity, the blog will attract more hate comments and I said ‘Let them come with their nonsense.’ Nothing strengthens a person like battling opposition. We could do with some of that here, if you ask me. I have a small experience from last year.

    If you don’t like what a person has said, just go aheaf and say your own.

    • Absalom I guess it’s okay to tell someone that they will never amount to anything in life or tell them that they will get AIDS and die?

      Oh well, what do I know

      *drinking the last glass of my merlot*

      • I get what you’re saying, Dennis. I preach respectful communication any day and try to practise it. I hate getting riled up over debates because when that happens, separating my frustration with the issue from my frustration with the person can be hard.

        I’m past that phase of life where I used to foam at the mouth at Internet debates. I’m too jaded now abeg.

        But my fear, like BJ *gulp* said is: How do we objectively judge comments?

        There won’t be consensus on this matter sha. We can only HOPE – like Pinky said – that people will KNOW these things in their hearts and make RESPECT their watchword.

        Again, we all come from different backgrounds and speak differently. This too has to be considered. I know people who use certain words/expressions I find slightly insulting but where they come from it’s a normal thing to say – and vice versa. It’s all about communication and understanding, really. It won’t be perfect, and as much and I have this small concern, this post is necessary and has my full support.

        *stroking Dennis’s ear*

      • Absalom, please find Sensei’s comment here and read it. His litmus test is what I’m abiding with. No matter how much we preach moderation and plead with the humanity of readers, there will always be the witches and bitches who won’t listen. To those I say boldly: POST WHAT I THINK HATEFUL AND I’LL DELETE IT!

        Now, sue me.

      • Dear Absalom

        My ears are a strong pulse point. I will not be responsible for what happens next if you keep stroking it.

        Regards
        Dennis Macauley

    • It is not about going ahead to say your own.

      Say whatever it you have in mind, Absalom. But make sure, just make sure, you don’t attack a person. Attack the person’s comments, not the person. There shouldn’t be any need for name-calling or evil wishes upon another person because you feel he (or she, for that matter) doesn’t measure up to your self-righteous standards.

      The comments are always interesting when they are kept on point whether in defending a point or vehemently countering same. But things always get nasty when a person is attacked with vile words instead of his/her comments.

      No one likes being insulted.

  9. Thank you Pinky for this. Someone argued that we should allow every comment (and not delete any) if we want to pratice true freedom of dissent. Let’s face some facts. It would be ideal to allow every comment. That would be the best. But to allow that much freedoom would mean to also allow some to insult and hurt others. When people get insulted, they fight back. That’s just human psychology. And then that would darken the atmosphere of this blog (as it has happened before) and then what once felt like home became an arena for catfights and unending strife. Humanity in its current level of social evolution is not ready for that kind of freedom. And that is precisely why every group, organization, community and even nations have a LAW; rules and regulations. Take that away, and those among us who can’t bridle their tongues and will ruin this experience for us. No, we simply cannot have that. And again, its an opportunity for some to learn to select their words, learn to weigh their opinions internally before airing them, learn a considerate tone. Believe me this is a skill that can be learnt. If you allow people to say whatever comes to their minds to anyone, you also have to allow the attacked person to strike back. And so you would have opened the door to anarchy. We have proven that we cannot behave ourselves like adults. So we must have rules. And there is a reason why people who host blogs add a “comment moderation” function.

  10. if this is an open forum where people are free to express their minds,then you should allow them do so regardless of how condescending, rude, politically incorrect or mean thier comment is. It’s the Internet after all, ,you cannot determine how people will behave or expect they all behave cordially. What differentiates an amateur from a professional is the ability to approach criticism with as much indifference as possible. I think calling out someone’s comment to the point of centering a whole post around it is crude and amateurish and to me is just as obscene as the comment that was made.

    What makes this blog exceptional is the eclectic mix of comments. ..some sensible. ..others downright rude but they all come together to make a cohesive and entertaining read. don’t fix what hasn’t been broken

    • I expected this kind of dissension from you. So I’ll go ahead and do what Dennis has taught me to do each time you irritate me. And that is to ignore you.
      PS: Shoot! Ignoring means I shouldn’t have said anything, doesn’t it? Oh well…

      • Pink Panther! Quick question;

        So being acerbic and vitriolic is now a career?

        You have professionals? And amateurs?

        I should have studied that in college!!!

        Grad school maybe? Yes?

      • I’d refer you to the professional we have right here, you know, the one who majored so much in vitriol he bagged a professorship in it. But I’m afraid he’s busy doing his job. Being a ‘professional’.

    • @Chizzie, I was actually getting around to liking your person. After days of reading your comments, and observing the tact in them, I began to say to myself, ‘He’s really not so bad.’ I spoke too soon.
      Can somebody wish you away from this blog already? Any genies in the house?

  11. i don’t just get what is so hard with the concept of civility. That is all this post is asking for. CIVILITY! If you disagree, be civil about it. If you argue, be civil about it. If you hate, BY GOD! BE CIVIL ABOUT IT! That is all. We are all grown-ups here and are capable of being civil. I just want to come here and read write-ups and comments, and not feel the overwhelming urge to reach forward and slap someone for being such an ass.

    And yet, even after this preaching, even after Pinky indicting himself in the process, fellas like Chizzie still feel the need to nitpick at the fabric of the peace. They still feel the need to say things to test others’ patience. How is it any person is incapable of just stifling his inherent urge to be (sorry, Pinky) a bitch?! How, dear God?

    As for that fugly human being wishing AIDS on his fellow human being, you try. There are actual people who are living with the scourge of HIV, and here you are, bandying the disease about like it’s some kind of irrelevant curse word, like ‘idiot’ or ‘fool’ or ‘moron’… you know, those curse words that describe exactly who you are.

  12. It is never right to say hurtful, insulting words to another person. Never right! Strangely, this is the very grouse we hold against society! INTOLERANCE! We cry and wonder why they can’t find it in their hearts to let us be. Why do they find homosexuality so intolerable? I have learnt one thing since I became active on KD: homosexuals are as intolerant as everyone else. This means we are humans. It also means we are hypocrites.

  13. For starters, I did not argue IFO allowing every one to comment as there are several risks attached to this just as there are risks attached to moderation. However, comment moderation is only appropriate and effective if there is a way it can be done objectively and bias-free. But when it comes to concepts like humane and crossing lines there will always be elements of subjectivity and sentiments attached to it. There are too many gray areas.
    I am in no support of what Ms. Pots has said, it was out of line and deleting it was appropriate. But someone else wrote a long post on this thread which I could objectively call venomous and the moderator’s comment things was a million likes for your comment and gbam the queen has spoken.
    If Ms. Honey Pot (a queen in her own rights) chooses to reply with her own four-page letter, with just as heated responses because her person has been attacked and someone wished her dead, Mr. Moderator will it be left here or deleted?
    If you choose to leave it here I don’t think much good will come from it except more banter. If you delete it then some could say that you as a moderator have failed because you have executed acts of favouritism by choosing sides. Again this is my two kobo opinion.
    Please do what you must in the best interest of the continuity and better good of KD.

    • ‘Thirdly – and this has to be said – some comments, no matter how you shake them and turn them upside down, will be obnoxious. All shades of wrong. And the urge to slap the commenter for spouting such bullshit will be overwhelming.’

      I think that makes the allowance for Khaleesi blasting away at the fugly Pot. He deserved Khaleesi’s diatribe, and if I were Pinky, I would not give him any voice for retaliation. You give up your right to justify your stance against opposition when you wish death on someone. #MyOpinion

    • i must concede! you do have a point! haha! Our resident pink magistrate may have his biases every now and then. But i’d rather have biased moderation than none! And is there any moderation anywhere that is not biased even if slightly?

  14. A million monikers and name changes wouldn’t excuse the fact that the comment reeks of one and the same person. I like James’ ramblings cos it identifies with the disorganisation my thot processes goes thru everytime but I don’t recall him encouraging promiscuity…or is there any post like that?
    I have concluded that this poor poor unfortunate soul has gotten the attention he desired, again. I wouldn’t call it cyber bullying. More the extension of the insecurities he faces in real life. PITY

  15. Buildings falling here and there, suicide being committed here and there, salaries owed here and there, boyfriends snatched here and there, people lovelorn here and there, kitos worn here and there and cakes eaten without TP given here and there, and u think people won’t hate here and there? The world is full of pained people and they all try to feel good by bringing others to their level of painment (seems to be the only thing that makes them happy) and it becomes a success to them when the person hated on doesn’t own a thick skin. My advice, if u r gonna put urself in the light, while u enjoy the gains prepare for the Pains, bcos I’m not sure u can stop pained people. Sometimes #shithappens

  16. Everyone talks a good game about maturity, but when it’s time to deliver, you’ll be surely disappointed. But truly, taking anything that someone says to you on this blog with all the pseudonyms and monickers that serious says a lot about you.

    People should just chill. At the end of the day, if I choose to fuck every man from Owerri to Kaduna and write about it here, don’t read….instead of spouting vile comments. Very worrisome!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s