Showing posts with label Social Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Media. Show all posts

October 10, 2015

Looking for Love? Not much in Social Media




                                                                             

Do You like my tattoos? I woke up with them one day I got drunk on Social Media..lol
   

You’re all done up and out at the bar, chatting up a fine eligible match. Red wine, tapas and laughter; things are going swell. And then he mentions, between small plates, that he doesn’t actually have an account on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or any of that social media jazz. He is disconnected, which you find curious, even alarming. What is he hiding that he’s keeping off Facebook? Is he actually married with five kids? Is that not his real name? Is he on the sexual predator list? What’s wrong with him?

And then you realize: Wait a minute, that’s kinda super-hot.

In a world where selfies have gone from a teen-girl indulgence to something the machoest dudes stock their Tinders with, and keeping up with the Joneses has taken on a compulsive edge that drives tiny computers into our hands before we brush our teeth each morning, finding someone who simply sits out of the whole digital courtship game can be refreshing and extraordinarily appealing. So we’ve got a wild, against-the-grain tip for future courtships: Disconnect to get a date.

Sure, social media is great for meeting up with someone you haven’t seen in a long time, or maybe one-night stands … but what about love? What about the next level beyond networking? Studies now show that in spite of our 1,000-plus “friends,” social media in fact makes us feel lonelier, and turns our behavior less sociable. What’s sorrier is that when surveyed, 22 percent of people said they would give up sex before they’d give up their cellphone (?!?!?!). And for those already in relationships, social media is a fast-growing threat. Therapists at the charity Relationships Ireland found that the vast majority of couples seeking professional marriage counseling cite Facebook as a major factor in cracking up the marriage, and we’ve already told you about another study that found 32 percent of heavy Facebook users consider leaving their spouse.

Not that we need a statistically significant study to tell us that Facebook can cause a boatload of drama: Anecdotes of this type are a modern staple of cocktail conversation. “I stay off Facebook these days,” one man mentioned on Date 2. Summarizing with an utterly modern euphemism for “I got caught,” he continued: “It caused me a lot of problems in my last relationship.” Oops. “We are living in an age of anxiety,” notes Breanna McEwan, a communications professor at Western Illinois University. Although most people use social media, “we are still very concerned about the effects these new technologies might have upon us” — enough for us to consider social media prenups. With anxiety and worry two of the least sexy tendencies on earth, maybe the key is simply not playing the game.

Of course, our friends at Facebook might disagree. McEwan notes that someone who doesn’t use social media is “our generation’s ’80s family that doesn’t have a television.” She warns, “They may seem superior, but many of us don’t make that choice for ourselves.” Gwendolyn Seidman, chair of the psychology department at Albright College, notes that it might seem too strange these days, suggesting people might think a disconnected mate was “socially abnormal in a negative way.”

Still, find us a study that proves that. (Seidman, McEwan and a host of other experts haven’t seen one yet.) Until then, we’ll keep flipping our hair around these modern unicorns. Too bad, of course, we won’t be able to share this article with them.

Disconnected: Is it hot or not? Let us know in the comments.

OZY                                                           

                                                                                 


The Facebook Sergeant looking for someone to….??
 This is one of the pictures Richard (the Sergeant) sent. He wanted John
to be the Executor of his will and thus needed
financial information from John. When John refused
Richard(name given) lost his magazine of bullets in names he called John t.hen block john from his Facebook account. John was just relief
John Lovey has tried the two major social sites (Facebook, Google) since the last time he became single about 7 years ago. He ended up having terrible experiences particularly in Facebook. Lovey is a private person so he has discreetly let people know in the past that he is single and have added a few facts about him and always included a recent picture ( no older than a year in average). 

Some have figured out and contacted him in other cases, He’s contacted the guy with a profile that that said single and seemed to be looking. He’s been attentive and immediately answered  in times which he was contacted and He’s let them down very gently when they are not for him. He felt thankful that they decided to try him out. Whether he contacted someone in Facebook or was contacted by someone, He figured the experiences had been around 95% negative. Some have lead him on and established a friendship to meet and travel. Others have agreed to meet him when they live in his city( again being careful since this the main way gay haters get guys to beat up and is as common as white bread).  Most of those particularly the ones that talked about traveling to meet up turned out the worse. 

There is an experience of one establishing a relationship but then would come up with an emergency or a need from a relative to ask for money to help them out. Once a soldier who was a sergeant about to retire or so he said, sent him documents  where he was and how much he made (He checked the rank and the salary was correct so he was sure the guy was at least a soldier or had been one). 
This soldier told him he was being sent to Afghanistan and he said he would call him from there.

He called him as promised supposedly from there but now needed Lovey’s bank account number and particulars because he wanted to send his money to Lovey’s account and also wanted to named him as executor of his estate in case he was killed. No need to say that Lovey turn him down. He called him all types of derogatory names and said Lovey had no heart that he would not help a soldier in the field. He laid it out strong like he was a victim he also black him out on Facebook so he could not inquire anymore about him. Someone with a weak heart and strong sentiment would probably fallen for the part of helping the soldier out and allow him to put money in, he was not taking out according to the soldier, he was so nice and trusting he wanted to put money in.  I’m sure this has worked with others otherwise it wouldn’t be happening. I mean everything seemed on the level, he would sent pictures that were supposed to be live and other information without Lovey asking for it. All along he had a feeling something was not right so when he made his move Lovey was ready. This is someone who asked him to friend him on Facebook.

 On Google + are the guys from poor countries particularly Philippines and Jacarta. They go all the way to try to get someone to bring them to the States. Other are too far to even consider or with wrong pictures which don’t match their age when they slip and give it to you. 

As the tittle says John Lovey gave up a long time ago. He still in the social media as a business, but nothing more. He no longer disclose being single and never say He’s looking to date. He had positive experiences way back in the age of chat rooms divided by city and state. He says he got many dates that didn’t turn into relationships but got to meet friends and once in a while got his rocks off as a release. Now is very different. You never know for sure where that guy might be. Phone numbers with area codes mean nothing and this is the age of throw away cell phones.

John Lovey is not the real name who’s real story Im posting above. Everything is true as said by John Lovey except the name. If there is a John Lovey out there he is not the guy in the story. The name change is to protect the innocent. If this picture is recognized by someone it will be nice to know and find out if Richard pulled this stunt with others or he was just psychotic wanting to pull a fast one because maybe he thought John was beneath him? Not smart enough?
On a positive way social media is great for news (if you know how to weed out rumors) and to make contact with people in other nations that only want to chat and learn about gay people here in the US.
So if you are looking for love may be any sight but a social site might be better. Make sure you are honest if you expect honesty. A picture and  state and even the city is very helpful and is a sign you have nothing baad to hide. When you are on social media you are in Central Park on a weekend at 8pm. You could bump into anybody, your job is to stay safe by taking everything with a grain of salt and until proven. He says is Undetectable or Negative? When the time comes for intimacy don’t be shy in asking for the piece of paper that certifies what he says he is. Asking many questions is always good and it makes people with bad intentions to get nervous and want to walk away from you, which is the purpose after all. Having your picture in undies on social media and saying you want something serious is an oxymoron. If you wan tot show off, fine but when looking for someone those pictures say many thousand words. Even if you pay a studio is money well spent; Just don’t over do it.
Good luck and may you find all the love you deserve!

Adam Gonzalez

April 28, 2015

Anonymity, Offensive behavior without dangers of the black eye: The Internet Troll




 
The internet and social media has become power for those too scared or uninterested to make their views known in public. Also to those who do not have an opinion on most things because that would require knowledge and knowledge requires reading and searching. That is work! They are too lazy for that but given an internet connection, a chair and suddenly they are “Superman” like some of their shirts say. They can put words together and can be for Hitler and Mother Theresa simultaneously. 
It doesn’t matters they are only words and nobody is going to hold them accountable. True, some have even come to the point of loosing their lives by being recognized by a neighbor, coworker, student who is been deeply offended and quietly has planned to put a knife or bullet in a stranger in which neither victim nor perp know each well enough to shake a hand or say hello. 

Suddenly these trolls have power and they find a way to get more through the same ladder of words which eventually gives them the power not only to express theirs or some else’s outrageous views but the power to delete and disapproved of other people’s views. 

Welcome to the world of free candy. The social services are responsible for the birth of the “Internet troll.” A good example of this is FaceBook. At one time promising accountability and rights and duties of members it has for a while now taken down it’s shorts to show what’s underneath and what one finds is emptiness. There is no profit in having people be identified on a social network because all they need is for anyone to watch the commercials which make them money. Real names and pics does not come to the equation.
This report goes further than just Facebook or to point out what we already know but to show you the real”troll” Who is he (she)?
There are many types of people in the age of social media, there are *computer users who take refuge in anonymity to post extreme or offensive views. 
*Jamie Bartlett (on BBC Magazine ) wanted to talk to the people behind the masks. 
My heart was pounding as I waited for Paul to arrive at the train station where we'd agreed to meet. I'd been communicating with him for some time, all via the internet. Paul was a vitriolic, aggressive neo-Nazi who spent his life online producing and sharing White Pride propaganda. 
He was one of several people that I spent much of the last year meeting while researching my book. I'd gone in search of shocking and hidden internet subcultures, immersing myself in digital worlds of self-harming, of drugs markets, of internet trolls, of convicted online sex offenders, of digital neo-Nazis. 
We often hear in the news about these dangers of life online. But the protagonists in these strange underworlds are always missing from the story. I wanted to find, meet and understand the people behind the screen. That's why I'd come to see Paul. 
Fifteen minutes late, a handsome, friendly and earnest young man rocked up - excited to meet Jamie "who I've seen off the telly". He had tattoos, true, but of the trendy variety that climb up necks towards faces, rather than scowl menacingly from thick forearms. 
Was this really the digital iconoclast who earlier that day had been attacking and terrifying minorities from behind his sinister looking avatar? Because this Paul was good company - polite, attentive and quick to laugh. We got on very well. 
Jamie Bartlett
Jamie Bartlett is director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media - this article was originally broadcast for BBC Radio 4 as part of the Four Thought series.
Paul and I spent the day walking around his mid-sized, depressed, Northern town and he told me about his life. In 2011, Paul didn't care about politics. He preferred clubbing. 
Then he heard about the anti-Islamist protest group the English Defence League after one of his mates had "liked" them on Facebook. He "liked" them too and started contributing by writing comments on their Facebook page. 
Paul has a sharp wit, and is good with words. Within a few weeks he'd been invited to become the administrator of an EDL Facebook group, which gave him the power to delete other people's posts, resolve disputes, and manage the group. (This job, by the way, usually shortened to "admin", is an increasingly important one in modern politics). 
Being an admin was possibly the most meaningful position Paul had ever held. People listened to him. He had some respect, power, affirmation. He loved it and spent most of the day there. He devoured articles that others in his group had posted, or that he found himself, about the danger Islam posed to the UK. 
He started attacking Muslims on other Facebook pages, and they attacked him back. Each side polarising and radicalising the other. Paul was living in an exciting Manichean world of friends and enemies, right and wrong - in which he was the chief protagonist. Within a couple of years, he was calling Anders Breivik, the far right terrorist who murdered 77 people in Oslo in 2011, a "hero". 
One evening he walked past a group of EDL supporters - an unusual scene in his small town. But he didn't speak to them. Online he was a respected member of the nationalist scene, with friends and supporters from all over the world. The real Paul was an unemployed, nervous thirtysomething living alone. Little wonder he kept his head down, walked past, and logged back on to his computer. 
EDL demonstrators
The EDL relies on social media to recruit followers
There were two Pauls, and that allowed him to behave online in ways he wouldn't have offline. This phenomenon was first spotted in 2001 by the psychologist John Suler. He called it the "online disinhibition effect". 
From behind a screen we don't look at or even think about the people we communicate with, and so feel strangely free from the social mores, norms and rules that ordinarily govern our behaviour. 
Perhaps the most disinhibited of all is the internet troll - those people who take pleasure in offending or insulting strangers via the net. "Trolling" has become shorthand for any nasty or threatening behaviour online. But there is much more to trolling than abuse. 
Zack is in his early 30s, and speaks with a soft Thames Estuary accent. I met him in a pub, where he immediately struck me as one of those sharp, thoughtful, well-read autodidacts - tinged with natural shyness. 
He's been trolling strangers for a decade. 
"Trolling is not about bullying people," he explained. "It's about unlocking situations, creating new scenarios, pushing boundaries, trying ideas out, calculating the best way to provoke a reaction."
Zack has spent years refining his tactics. His favourite technique is to join an online forum of a group he doesn't like, intentionally make basic grammatical or spelling mistakes, wait for someone to insult his writing, and then try to lock them into a brutal argument about politics. 
He showed me one recent example. He'd posted an innocuous, poorly written comment on a popular right-wing website, complaining that right-wingers wouldn't be right-wing if they read more. An incensed user responded, and posted a nude picture that Zack had uploaded to an obscure forum using the same pseudonym some time before. Zack then posted a series of explicit videos of himself interspersed with insults about right-wingers and quotes from Shakespeare and Cervantes. 
Zack told me this was a win. "He was so incapable of a coherent response that he resorted to digging into my posting history for things he thought would shame me, but I'm not easily shamed, haha."
"But I thought you were trying to expose far right groups?" I asked.
"By posting the naked photos the discussion drew attention from across the site," he replied. "That is what trolling is all about - creating a scene in order to get more people to think about the issue being raised."
"And do you think you succeeded?" I asked. 
"I dunno, but it was fun." 
line

Dealing with trolls

Shifty-looking man in front of computer screen
"As the months wore on, he became utterly obsessed. He started posting links full of abuse to my wife, mother and work colleagues. My newborn son even garnered a few mentions."
line
There are many species of troll. Some like to bully strangers to make themselves feel good. Others get caught in the mob mentality, relentlessly targeting someone to fit in with the digital pack. 
But for the thoughtful ones like Zack, it's a mixture of sport, philosophy and - admittedly peculiar - political activism. Zack, you see, thinks people need to be tough and independent, to take responsibility for their actions. 
He fears a silent and obedient society, where everyone takes themselves too seriously, and is too easily offended. This leads to self-censorship, and the death of free expression. Trolls like Zack see it as their role to prod and probe the boundaries of offensiveness to keep society alert. 
Sometimes online disinhibition takes people places they didn't plan. Like Michael, an approachable but serious man in his 50s, who's happily married with one daughter. "A successful business man, and a completely normal heterosexual bloke" is how he described himself. 
Just before I met him, Michael had been convicted of possessing 3,000 illegal images of children on his computer hard drive - mostly girls aged between six and 16.
Like many people convicted of possessing illegal child abuse images, Michael had stumbled into this wickedness. He says he started by viewing legal pornography - women in their early 20s - but kept being offered automatic pop-up windows of girls aged 15-18. This incidentally is more common that most of us would like to admit - "teen" and "young" are the most popular search terms in legal pornography. 
At some point Michael clicked, and kept clicking. Over the course of a few years he slowly descended - to 14, then 13, then 12. And kept going. "It happened in tiny increments," he told me, with tears in his eyes. "I really don't remember when I moved from teens to children."
line

More from the Magazine

Man and computer - illustration by Nick Lowndes
It was the UK's biggest ever computer crime investigation. Thousands of people were accused of downloading images of child abuse - some were found to be innocent. The legacy is controversial. Thirteen years after the raids began, has Operation Ore really changed the UK? 
line
Michael considered himself a deeply moral man, and repeated several times that he'd never harm or hurt anyone, especially not a child. "It didn't seem real," he said. "They always looked like they were not being harmed. I made excuses in my head as to why it was OK. [For a while I told myself what I was doing wasn't even illegal]." He'd become so inured to the images he was viewing, perhaps so addicted, that he'd lost his moral compass, while lying to himself that he still held it firm. 
"Why was it so easy for me to find?" he asked me, just before I left the cafe. "If it hadn't been for the internet, I never would have even thought about this stuff." I think he was genuine. With incremental steps, it's easier than you think to end up somewhere you had no intention of going. 
"Technology is neither good nor bad," Kranzberg's First Law of Technology tells us, "but nor is it neutral." The internet lowers barriers, making it easier to sate every curiosity, to make it less difficult to say and do things we wouldn't in real life. Sometimes that allows us to explore deeply held desires, sometimes it stimulates behaviour that otherwise would have remained dormant. Often it's somewhere in-between. 
I'm not making excuses for these people. I'm aware of the misery they have caused, and that whatever the internet has allowed, in the end they are responsible for their actions and behaviour. Whether they know it or not, these people have caused devastation for others. And certainly there are far worse characters hiding online than these three, using the anonymity the net provides to destroy people's lives. 
But they aren't always the evil demons you might imagine. It's important to understand how people end up where they do, without condoning what they do. That may help us limit the damage they cause. 
But it's not just them - it's us too. In his essay Looking Back on the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell wrote of being confronted with an enemy who was fleeing while trying to hold up his falling trousers. "I had come here to shoot at 'Fascists'," he wrote, "but a man who is holding up his trousers isn't a 'Fascist', he is visibly a fellow-creature, similar to yourself." 
Most of the chief protagonists in my book I met online first, and offline second. I always liked them more in the real world. By removing the face-to-face aspect of human interaction, the internet dehumanises people, and our imagination often turns them into inflated monsters, more terrifying because they are in the shadows. 
For me, at least, meeting them in person re-humanised complex, awkward, and usually annoyingly likeable people. Next time you come across a digital monster, remember there is a person behind the avatar, and he or she is unlikely to be how you imagine. 
As Paul and I said goodbye that grey and grim November afternoon, I stood a while and watched him wander sadly towards his equally grey and grim block of flats. As the train rushed me back to my self-satisfied life of friends and fulfilment and promise I received a text. "Great to meet you Jamie, I really enjoyed it." 
"Me too," I replied. And I meant it.
This article is based on an edited transcript of Jamie Bartlett’s Four Thought. 

August 23, 2014

Early Gay Culture anticipated the Social Media and the Net as their little corner





He (David) grew up in a time and place—the Los Angeles suburbs of the 1980s—where LGBTQ culture was pretty much invisible in everyday life. The first out people I met were online. In fact, LGBTQ culture played a significant, though underreported, part in shaping the overall online culture. Since the early 1980s, there have been many LGBTQ spaces on the Net: newsgroups, bulletin board systems, or BBSs, mailing lists, social networks, chat rooms, and websites. But the very first LGBTQ Internet space, as far as I’ve been able to find, was the soc.motss newsgroup. And it hosted conversations that had never been seen before online—and that arguably remain in too short supply even today. (I’ll be frequently using “LGBTQ” as the best available catchall term, with the awareness that categories and nomenclature have gone through many evolutions since the early 1980s.)

 David Auerbach
DAVID AUERBACH
David Auerbach is a writer and software engineer based in New York. His website is http://davidauerba.ch. 

In 1983 programmer Steve Dyer started a discussion forum called net.motss (later soc.motss) on the Usenet newsgroup system. Built in 1980 atop pre-Internet networks such as ARPANET and BITNET, Usenet allowed for creation of hierarchical categories of interest groups (comp.lang.java.help, rec.arts.books, etc.) and public threaded discussions within each group, in much the same way forums and comments work today. The abbreviation “motss” stood for “members of the same sex,” an unflashy acronym that would make it less of a potential target for censorship. University of Colorado–Boulder professor Amy Goodloe, who went on to start many lesbian Usenet groups as well as found and run lesbian.org in 1995, calls soc.motss the first explicitly LGBTQ newsgroup—and possibly the first explicitly LGBTQ international space of any kind.

And it was a prominent space: By the early 1990s, motss member and software engineer Brian Reid estimated that about 3 percent of all Usenet readers were reading soc.motss, which was an audience of about 83,000 people. (For comparison, 8 percent were reading the perennially popular alt.sex.)

Dyer, who died in 2010, was a Unix hacker who worked at BBN before becoming a private consultant. In the very first motss post on Oct. 7, 1983, Dyer set out the newsgroup’s aims: “to foster discussion on a wide variety of topics, such as health problems, parenting, relationships, clearances, job security and many others.” Dyer stressed that the forum would provide “a supportive environment” for gay USENET members: “Net.motss is emphatically NOT a newsgroup for the discussion of whether homosexuality is good or bad, natural or unnatural. Nor is it a place where conduct unsuitable for the net will be allowed or condoned.”

140820_BIT_Dyer
Steve Dyer, founder of soc.motss.
Ken Rudolph, kenru.net/motss

According to engineer Nelson Minar, who was active on soc.motss in the early 1990s, newsgroups of the 1980s and ’90s tended to have a slower pace of discussion. A day could pass before someone replied to a thread, and responses were frequently closer to mini-essays than short comments. That sort of belles-lettristic group dialogue allowed for a deeply nuanced and intellectual discussion of gay and lesbian issues.

Because of its international reach, soc.motss was less suitable for negotiating hookups than regional BBSs were. (One of soc.motss’ first posts was a man asking how to meet other gays without drugs or alcohol being involved.) The posters ranged in age from late teens to middle age, and a self-reported census in 1993 showed a quarter of them to be women.

Inevitably, much discussion centered on coming out, how to come out, and how to cope with the consequences. Political issues—from the Supreme Court’s 1986 sodomy decision in Bowers v. Hardwick to Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay writings to the legacy of Harvey Milk—evoked passionate debate. This was an a era when George Bush was calling for mandatory nationwide AIDS testing and when, according to Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Ronald Reagan’s advisers felt that gays and drug users who contracted AIDS were “only getting what they justly deserve.” Online discussion became a necessary counter to AIDS hysteria and ignorance, where people could share their own stories and alternative news sources.

The geeky urge to classify resulted in the Bear Code—officially, the Natural Bears Classification System.
The motss community prized free expression. (Dyer summed up the predominant attitude when he recommended the transgressive trans writer Pat Califia: “[S]he states her positions unbowed by the neo-puritanical ravings of some members of the gay orthodoxy.”) Everything on Usenet was public and, early on, non-anonymous, since Usenet accounts were usually linked to a real identity associated with a university or corporation. So even posting to the group at all took a certain boldness and iconoclasm, personality traits that Minar correlates with the “dual minority” of being both queer and a computer nerd. Yet because all posts were public (and because newsreaders in the 1980s didn’t thread discussions, forcing you to browse through every post), many more people read than posted, so much of the impact of soc.motss was on a silent audience that never identified itself.

There were in-jokes, wryness, and sarcasm, as with motss member Steven Levine’s description of growing too old and bitter to go to bars:

Each day I grow older, and this brings age and experience to the gay community. ... Where once I was whory, I now am hoary. I, the gay community, pass from new to used to collectible to vintage to antique. ... Each day I grow fatter. This increases the size of the gay community, and makes us more of a force to be reckoned with. Within the soft folds of my expanding flesh I contain the history of all gay men.
Network engineer and motss contributor Max Meredith Vasilatos slammed attacks on homosexuality as “unnatural” by describing the human body as “a hack, a gigantic complex construction with outdated features (e.g., appendixes) left over, and new bugs perpetually cropping up as the synergy of the system changes.” Somewhat more highbrow was member Michelle Elliott’s pastiche of Greek comedy writer Aristophanes, “The Clods.” And fulfilling the obligatory quotient of Internet nerdiness, Gene Ward Smith applied Ramsey combinatorics to gay love: “In any group of six gay men, there must exist three all of whom would like to sleep with each other, or a group of three none of whom would like to sleep with each other (or both).” Smith suggested a party game with six people, and that the group of three be declared either a “love triangle” if they want to sleep with each other or a “moral minority” if not.

Some of that nerdiness spread beyond motss. The geeky urge to classify resulted in the Bear Code (officially, the Natural Bears Classification System), invented by Bob Donahue and Jeff Stoner in 1989 as an “incredibly-scientific system to describe bears and bear-like men.” Santa Claus’ classification, for instance, was “B8 d++ f? w++ k--?,” describing him as a big round (w++) daddy bear (d++) with a very bushy beard (B8) whom people guess to be averagely furry (f?) and not kinky at all (k--?). This format inspired the later Geek Code, which was ubiquitous in Unix profiles and email sigs in the 1990s—except instead of codes for weight and beard, the Geek Code offered opinions of Linux (l+++++ if you were Linux author Linus Torvalds) and Star Trek (t--- if you hated Star Trek). The origins of the Geek Code in the Bear Code were quickly forgotten.

Dyer wanted to prevent the group from becoming “a space for the ignoramuses’ perennial harangue about the evils of homosexuality.”
Some of the motss conversation brought acute and varied social criticism into the mix, as with Dana Bergen’s nuanced 1991 plea for understanding of—not agreement with—anti-porn and anti-BDSM feminists: “I think it’s almost impossible for men to understand, on a gut level, the extent to which sexual violence and the fear of it affects women’s lives. ... I would like men to have a bit more respect for these feelings.” In 1992 Jeff Shaumeyer wrote about being “barraged by heterocentrism,” about the pain of being stigmatized and shoved aside: “Why is it that one man calling another a faggot is the worst insult he can make? I shouldn’t take this personally?”

And some of it is just incredibly raw and heart-wrenching, like linguist Arnold Zwicky’s advice to a young man on breakups: “you’re poking your tongue in the sore in your mouth and savoring the pain. think very carefully about why you're hanging on to the idea that x, who you can’t have, is the only thing that can fulfill you. you know that’s not so, but you twist your body around on the sword anyway. why? do you think you’re such a shit that this is what you deserve?” Zwicky was 45 when he discovered soc.motss, and he said that it changed his life: “i found a gay community and also found friends, and their friends, and so on, so that my social world has been transformed.” Many members met up once a year for an event called motss.con, which still goes on today.

Because Net access was limited in the 1980s, Steve Dyer also provided accounts on his own machine, spdcc, to those who wouldn’t otherwise have access. Dyer moderated the group in attempts to prevent it from becoming, in his words, “a space for the ignoramuses’ perennial harangue about the evils of homosexuality, or for that matter, responses to the contrary.” His geeky bonhomie is on display in his Chaucer pastiche “The Dyer’s Tale,” where he tells of the anti-gay trolls that had set upon soc.motss:

[W]e want some succor now that hell is done.
Perhaps a poem of epic length in rhyme
will undo prose of hurt and spite. It’s time
we took our newsgroup back; seize what we’ve won.
...
Now every word of bigotry and hate
shall be drowned out as rhymes accumulate.
Many of the members of soc.motss were not typical of the larger LGBTQ culture of the time. One of them, writing in 1992 about his own coming-out experience, wrote, “I am generally not a gregarious person, and [coming out] was the culmination of introspection with the emotional support of a few close friends. … I panic at the thought of meeting strangers, and am met with disbelief. I claim to feel bereft of social skills, and they scoff. Will any of these people ever see what I think is the *real* me? With whom do I share enough trust to reveal part of the *real* me?”

Before the Internet became part of everyone’s life, it often served as a social refuge for people who felt too shy, too unaccepted, too intellectual, or simply too different for everyday culture. Ironically, they would be the pioneers of spaces that allowed for freer, more open self-expression. Minar feels that soc.motss was something rare, both then and now: “an intelligent place for discussion of gay issues with some sort of filter for thoughtfulness of the members. We were there to discuss opera and culture and Madonna, not to get laid.”

Many newsgroups were purely informational, useful for technical discussions or sharing of news or jokes or porn. But soc.motss was genuinely a new kind of community, a diverse set of people who felt at home and most like themselves on the Net, and who had discussions there that they couldn’t have anywhere else. Before Facebook preferred status updates to long posts and Twitter reduced the size of a rebuttal to 140 characters, soc.motss proved that online discourse was indeed compatible with open-mindedness, subtlety, and civility.

In 1983 programmer Steve Dyer started a discussion forum called net.motss (later soc.motss) on the Usenet newsgroup system. Built in 1980 atop pre-Internet networks such as ARPANET and BITNET, Usenet allowed for creation of hierarchical categories of interest groups (comp.lang.java.help, rec.arts.books, etc.) and public threaded discussions within each group, in much the same way forums and comments work today. The abbreviation “motss” stood for “members of the same sex,” an unflashy acronym that would make it less of a potential target for censorship. University of Colorado–Boulder professor Amy Goodloe, who went on to start many lesbian Usenet groups as well as found and run lesbian.org in 1995, calls soc.motss the first explicitly LGBTQ newsgroup—and possibly the first explicitly LGBTQ international space of any kind.

And it was a prominent space: By the early 1990s, motss member and software engineer Brian Reid estimated that about 3 percent of all Usenet readers were reading soc.motss, which was an audience of about 83,000 people. (For comparison, 8 percent were reading the perennially popular alt.sex.)

Dyer, who died in 2010, was a Unix hacker who worked at BBN before becoming a private consultant. In the very first motss post on Oct. 7, 1983, Dyer set out the newsgroup’s aims: “to foster discussion on a wide variety of topics, such as health problems, parenting, relationships, clearances, job security and many others.” Dyer stressed that the forum would provide “a supportive environment” for gay USENET members: “Net.motss is emphatically NOT a newsgroup for the discussion of whether homosexuality is good or bad, natural or unnatural. Nor is it a place where conduct unsuitable for the net will be allowed or condoned.”
According to engineer Nelson Minar, who was active on soc.motss in the early 1990s, newsgroups of the 1980s and ’90s tended to have a slower pace of discussion. A day could pass before someone replied to a thread, and responses were frequently closer to mini-essays than short comments. That sort of belles-lettristic group dialogue allowed for a deeply nuanced and intellectual discussion of gay and lesbian issues.

Because of its international reach, soc.motss was less suitable for negotiating hookups than regional BBSs were. (One of soc.motss’ first posts was a man asking how to meet other gays without drugs or alcohol being involved.) The posters ranged in age from late teens to middle age, and a self-reported census in 1993 showed a quarter of them to be women.

Inevitably, much discussion centered on coming out, how to come out, and how to cope with the consequences. Political issues—from the Supreme Court’s 1986 sodomy decision in Bowers v. Hardwick to Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay writings to the legacy of Harvey Milk—evoked passionate debate. This was an a era when George Bush was calling for mandatory nationwide AIDS testing and when, according to Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Ronald Reagan’s advisers felt that gays and drug users who contracted AIDS were “only getting what they justly deserve.” Online discussion became a necessary counter to AIDS hysteria and ignorance, where people could share their own stories and alternative news sources.

The geeky urge to classify resulted in the Bear Code—officially, the Natural Bears Classification System.
The motss community prized free expression. (Dyer summed up the predominant attitude when he recommended the transgressive trans writer Pat Califia: “[S]he states her positions unbowed by the neo-puritanical ravings of some members of the gay orthodoxy.”) Everything on Usenet was public and, early on, non-anonymous, since Usenet accounts were usually linked to a real identity associated with a university or corporation. So even posting to the group at all took a certain boldness and iconoclasm, personality traits that Minar correlates with the “dual minority” of being both queer and a computer nerd. Yet because all posts were public (and because newsreaders in the 1980s didn’t thread discussions, forcing you to browse through every post), many more people read than posted, so much of the impact of soc.motss was on a silent audience that never identified itself.

There were in-jokes, wryness, and sarcasm, as with motss member Steven Levine’s description of growing too old and bitter to go to bars:

Each day I grow older, and this brings age and experience to the gay community. ... Where once I was whory, I now am hoary. I, the gay community, pass from new to used to collectible to vintage to antique. ... Each day I grow fatter. This increases the size of the gay community, and makes us more of a force to be reckoned with. Within the soft folds of my expanding flesh I contain the history of all gay men.
Network engineer and motss contributor Max Meredith Vasilatos slammed attacks on homosexuality as “unnatural” by describing the human body as “a hack, a gigantic complex construction with outdated features (e.g., appendixes) left over, and new bugs perpetually cropping up as the synergy of the system changes.” Somewhat more highbrow was member Michelle Elliott’s pastiche of Greek comedy writer Aristophanes, “The Clods.” And fulfilling the obligatory quotient of Internet nerdiness, Gene Ward Smith applied Ramsey combinatorics to gay love: “In any group of six gay men, there must exist three all of whom would like to sleep with each other, or a group of three none of whom would like to sleep with each other (or both).” Smith suggested a party game with six people, and that the group of three be declared either a “love triangle” if they want to sleep with each other or a “moral minority” if not.

Some of that nerdiness spread beyond motss. The geeky urge to classify resulted in the Bear Code (officially, the Natural Bears Classification System), invented by Bob Donahue and Jeff Stoner in 1989 as an “incredibly-scientific system to describe bears and bear-like men.” Santa Claus’ classification, for instance, was “B8 d++ f? w++ k--?,” describing him as a big round (w++) daddy bear (d++) with a very bushy beard (B8) whom people guess to be averagely furry (f?) and not kinky at all (k--?). This format inspired the later Geek Code, which was ubiquitous in Unix profiles and email sigs in the 1990s—except instead of codes for weight and beard, the Geek Code offered opinions of Linux (l+++++ if you were Linux author Linus Torvalds) and Star Trek (t--- if you hated Star Trek). The origins of the Geek Code in the Bear Code were quickly forgotten.

Dyer wanted to prevent the group from becoming “a space for the ignoramuses’ perennial harangue about the evils of homosexuality.”
Some of the motss conversation brought acute and varied social criticism into the mix, as with Dana Bergen’s nuanced 1991 plea for understanding of—not agreement with—anti-porn and anti-BDSM feminists: “I think it’s almost impossible for men to understand, on a gut level, the extent to which sexual violence and the fear of it affects women’s lives. ... I would like men to have a bit more respect for these feelings.” In 1992 Jeff Shaumeyer wrote about being “barraged by heterocentrism,” about the pain of being stigmatized and shoved aside: “Why is it that one man calling another a faggot is the worst insult he can make? I shouldn’t take this personally?”

And some of it is just incredibly raw and heart-wrenching, like linguist Arnold Zwicky’s advice to a young man on breakups: “you’re poking your tongue in the sore in your mouth and savoring the pain. think very carefully about why you're hanging on to the idea that x, who you can’t have, is the only thing that can fulfill you. you know that’s not so, but you twist your body around on the sword anyway. why? do you think you’re such a shit that this is what you deserve?” Zwicky was 45 when he discovered soc.motss, and he said that it changed his life: “i found a gay community and also found friends, and their friends, and so on, so that my social world has been transformed.” Many members met up once a year for an event called motss.con, which still goes on today.

Because Net access was limited in the 1980s, Steve Dyer also provided accounts on his own machine, spdcc, to those who wouldn’t otherwise have access. Dyer moderated the group in attempts to prevent it from becoming, in his words, “a space for the ignoramuses’ perennial harangue about the evils of homosexuality, or for that matter, responses to the contrary.” His geeky bonhomie is on display in his Chaucer pastiche “The Dyer’s Tale,” where he tells of the anti-gay trolls that had set upon soc.motss:

[W]e want some succor now that hell is done.
Perhaps a poem of epic length in rhyme
will undo prose of hurt and spite. It’s time
we took our newsgroup back; seize what we’ve won.
...
Now every word of bigotry and hate
shall be drowned out as rhymes accumulate.
Many of the members of soc.motss were not typical of the larger LGBTQ culture of the time. One of them, writing in 1992 about his own coming-out experience, wrote, “I am generally not a gregarious person, and [coming out] was the culmination of introspection with the emotional support of a few close friends. … I panic at the thought of meeting strangers, and am met with disbelief. I claim to feel bereft of social skills, and they scoff. Will any of these people ever see what I think is the *real* me? With whom do I share enough trust to reveal part of the *real* me?”

Before the Internet became part of everyone’s life, it often served as a social refuge for people who felt too shy, too unaccepted, too intellectual, or simply too different for everyday culture. Ironically, they would be the pioneers of spaces that allowed for freer, more open self-expression. Minar feels that soc.motss was something rare, both then and now: “an intelligent place for discussion of gay issues with some sort of filter for thoughtfulness of the members. We were there to discuss opera and culture and Madonna, not to get laid.”

Many newsgroups were purely informational, useful for technical discussions or sharing of news or jokes or porn. But soc.motss was genuinely a new kind of community, a diverse set of people who felt at home and most like themselves on the Net, and who had discussions there that they couldn’t have anywhere else. Before Facebook preferred status updates to long posts and Twitter reduced the size of a rebuttal to 140 characters, soc.motss proved that online discourse was indeed compatible with open-mindedness, subtlety, and civility.

August 15, 2014

Councillor’s Pic being Used by Trolls in Social Media to Make Money


Cllr Jake Morrison

A councillor has spoke of his anger at discovering his pictures were being used on a gay dating service to solicit sex for £40 a time.
Jake Morrison, 21, said it was “disturbing” that his photos had been stolen by an imster on Grindr, a social networking service for gay men.
The councillor for Wavertree, told the Liverpool Echo :“I am a politician and for somebody to use my pictures and pretend to be me in this way is damaging to my reputation and is very serious.”
Photos of Cllr Morrison are sent to strangers on Grindr, before the perpetrator offers to perform sex acts in exchange for £40.
Cllr Morrison, who is openly gay, said: “I have no idea why someone would do this and I hope they will stop.
“People will think it is me who is making these offers of sex, but it’s not.
“I find it bizarre and disturbing that someone would do this.”
A member of Grindr himself, he found found out about the imposter this week when alerted by another user.
Cllr Morrison has previously been targeted by vicious internet trolls who have mocked his sexuality, threatened his family members and even appeared to liken him to paedophile MP Cyril Smith.
He said: “There are clearly issues with the internet and we need to look at ways of dealing with this.
“I’m a public figure and things like this will happen, but what happens when everyday people suffer like this?
“I won’t stand by while people are suffering at the hands of trolls.
“That’s why I’m campaigning for tougher police responses and quicker action from the social networks themselves when incidents are reported.”
Cllr Morrison previously met with Twitter bosses to discuss trolling.


http://www.mirror.co.uk/ 

March 30, 2014

Mozilla in Trouble! Gay Employees Asking for Resignations


Mozilla staff urge their CEO to step down because he’s anti-gay marriage

Some employees at Mozilla, the non-profit organization behind the Firefox browser, are calling on new CEO Brendan Eich to resign.

Mozilla workers are upset with Eich because he supported Proposition 8 and donated to politicians who backed it.

Prop 8 was a Californian ballot-proposition banning same-sex marriage. It was officially rejected in February 2012.

But some employees at Mozilla, such as design researcher Emily Goligoski, feel that Eich's decision to back Prop 8 goes against Mozilla's core values as a company. Goligoski posted the following on Twitter.
It's a bit surprising that Mozilla employees are speaking up about Eich now. He co-founded Mozilla in 1998, and prior to being CEO, he served as the company's chief technology officer. He also widely respected for inventing the JavaScript Web scripting language in 1995.
                                                                             


Eich hasn't hid from the fact that he supported anti-gay marriage legislation. Following his appointment, Eich said the following regarding the LGBT community at Mozilla on his personal blog:

At the same time, I know there are concerns about my commitment to fostering equality and welcome for LGBT individuals at Mozilla. I hope to lay those concerns to rest, first by making a set of commitments to you. More important, I want to lay them to rest by actions and results ... I know some will be sceptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to "show, not tell"; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.

Mozilla has not responded to comment on the matter, but published a blog post on the importance of diversity within the company earlier this week.

We spoke with a Mozilla employee who seemed surprised by the uproar. This employee said there's been no internal craziness — "It's being made out worse than it really is" — and our source expects it to blow over.

"He's addressed it at all company meetings," our source says. "He's not changing his position. But I haven’t seen it get in the way of anyone advancing at Mozilla."

March 25, 2014

Man Dressed as Waiter Serves The Homeless



 

A group known as PublicPrank posts jokes and pranks to their YouTube page, but their most recent video is teaching us all a lesson about kindness.
The public "prank" that DJ Sennett posted Tuesday is more likely to warm your heart than make you laugh.
DJ Sennett dressed up like a waiter and went around town feeding the homeless.
The emotional video shows just how much it can mean to somebody down on their luck to be served a free, restaurant-worthy meal, The Huffington Post reports.
Check out their reaction to the random act of kindness in the video below. Mobile users watch here — http://bit.ly/1gBjCiw

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