RVL meets real life: Who’s watching now?

“THINK BEFORE YOU POST…”

Written, Edited and Presented by

Tim

 

It’s the catch cry, and name, of a new FBI campaign against posting of hoax threats.

ABC News reporter Luke Barr [1] wrote yesterday, May 23rd, of the new initiative that is primarily aimed, so he reported, at curbing hoax threats made on social media. Particularly in the wake of the tragedies in Santa Fe,Texas or the shooting in Parkland, Florida.

“The Bureau and its law enforcement partners take each threat seriously. We investigate and fully analyze each threat to determine its credibility,” said FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich in a news release.”

We have, at RVL, presented editorials before concerning online bullying, its consequences and its tragic outcomes, articles such as “Another N Word”, “Crossroads – Plain Speaking” (Revised) and “Safety First” , have made our position clear and, we hope, have struck a chord with many others in the culture. It is a subject that we will never stop writing and presenting on and it is with great interest that we read the above mentioned report yesterday.

img. source: The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “Oh, yeah, of course they are with all these school shootings going on…” or even, “yeah, all kids get bullied it’s part of growing up…”

My answer, “Were you born on another planet?” What has ever, or can ever, be right with a person threatening another to instil fear? Do we just shrug it off and say it’s part of life? If we do WE are the biggest part of the problem. Do we think that, “hey, I was bullied and I got through it…!” WELL FUCKIN’ BULLY FOR YOU… (pun intended)

In a cultural group that is renowned for threats being made, threats of violence, threats of privacy breach, death threats I would suggest that we are prime, and fertile soil, for the attention of a local law enforcement/ FBI threat investigation especially where a person has a history of making threats, hoax or otherwise, or has a history with law enforcement in other states that lead to a “reasonable suspicion”. Where someone holds genuine fear for the safety of themselves and/or their family then this appears to be the beginning of the perfect asset to curb such activity and curb it with law enforcement backing.

img. source: SlideShare

The simple fact is that bullying, at any stage, at any level, at any time or in any place is completely unacceptable…completely and absolutely unacceptable. There will never be a time when it will be other.

According to Luke Barr’s report;
“The FBI offers tips such as alerting law enforcement the moment a threat is seen and not to repost or share the threat broadly unless law enforcement is alerted.”

So, it appears that slowly but surely the barriers against internet bullying and threats are being built.

The online bullying organisation https://cyberbullying.org/bullying-laws has a complete list of the states in the U.S. and the sanctions that each state has in place against the various types of bullying and harassment, we are VERY pleased to note that Illinois is one of the states that has a full range of penalties for all types of cyberbullying and harassment and now, with the launch of the FBI initiative in partnership, we may actually see some perpetrators getting shut down, in a big way.

So, well might we say, “THINK BEFORE YOU POST…” or the next series of clicks you may hear WON’T be no keyboard keys.

 

1)  https://abcnews.go.com/US/fbi-rolls-campaign-warn-public-posting-fake-threats/story?id=55394666

Copyright RVL 2018 (unless otherwise noted)

NB: Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

Another N word…

Written and presented by

Tim

RVL: Hello, how are you?

Guest: Hello, I’m fine… fabulous in fact.

RVL: Good, do you know what etiquette is?

Guest: Ummm, wait, hang on, don’t tell me… is it one of those little cakey things that you get at a French restaurant?

RVL: Ohhhhhh-kay…

Etiquette [Et-i-kit, -ket]

Noun

  1. conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
  2. a prescribed or accepted code of usage in matters of ceremony, as at a court or in official or other formal observances.
  3. the code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other: e.g. medical etiquette.

Ref: Dictionary.com

 

Okay, stay with us now… now think of the “Internet”, commonly abbreviated to… you got it, “net”.
Now, take the “N” from net and glue it to the front of etiquette, at least that’s what they did somewhere between 1980 and 1985… hey presto, bippidy boppiddy boo…!!! You have “Netiquette”
You, ahhh, still look puzzled?

Guest: *silence*

RVL: Okay, relax, we’ll try and give you the short version…

Good evening,

In the E-Zine The Spruce writer Debby Mayne notes;
“As use of the internet expands into every aspect of people’s lives, from emailing pals and doing social networking to scheduling job interviews and doctor appointments, many of us have become complacent, formed bad habits, and tossed proper etiquette aside. This is unfortunate and may create problems if we don’t learn a few basic rules. Internet etiquette, also known as “Netiquette,” is essential in a civilized work environment or personal relationship.

Be Nice

The first rule of internet etiquette is to be kind and courteous. Never flame or rant in a public forum. Show respect for the opinions of others, even if you don’t agree, and refrain from name-calling. Avoid gossiping or saying anything negative about others.”

She goes on to make a very valid point and one that we are sure everyone has heard about at some time or another, she writes;

“Being nice includes avoiding cyber bullying. Think about how you would feel if someone said whatever you just typed about you. If you find it the least bit disturbing, delete it. Cyber bullying may lead to disaster if a despondent person perceives he or she is being threatened.”

Jamey Rodemeyer
Img. source: fanpop.com

Many of you may recall Lady GaGa’s moving tribute to Jamey Rodemeyer of Buffalo, NY a few years back [1] Performing in Las Vegas, the singer said;
I just wanted to take a moment because we lost a little monster this week,” she went on to say, “Jamey, I know you’re looking down on us and you’re not a victim, you’re a lesson to all of us.”

14 year old Jamey was a huge fan of the singer and sent her a message on Twitter saying “Bye mother monster, thank you for all you have done, paws up forever”, before he killed himself following both school and online bullying.

Case in point, not to make anyone feel bad but to make everyone think.

People, most people that is, wish to be seen as rational, thinking, intelligent people yet when the monitor flickers and the keyboards warm up we can get to see some of the worst examples of humanity right in the comfort of our own home. What does it matter? Right? Who cares? Right? If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen… RIGHT?

WRONG.

It matters. It matters to a lot of good people who have every right to use and enjoy the internet, within or outside of their own social media circles as any other person has but, unfortunately, there is a large contingent of “people” who see it as some sort of personal ‘yuk-it-up-at-the-expense-of-others’ fest.

Img. source: realfirststeps.com

Question, if we may, what does every person have one of, just the same as every other person, which they don’t like to be called or seen as?

Yeah, that’s right, starts with “A”, ends in “E” and spills out c**p…

We’ve got a hot tip for you, you don’t have to be one of those… it’s NOT mandatory…!

Before we go much further I should own up, before any starts talking about pots and kettles, YES, I have been an A*****E in the past, I have been a “flamer”, I have been known to go for the throat without forethought, the thing is I, like many others, have come to realise that it solves nothing, it gets you ignored, it makes you ineffectual and pretty much shunned. I still have my moments when I lose my temper, like everybody else and just like everybody else I have a choice at those times, fire at will or walk away… I like to think I am walking a whole lot more these days – I’m really trying.

Her Royal Majesty
Queen Victoria ca. 1887
Img. source: wikipedia.com

So, where did “Etiquette” come from? Victorian England? Austrian Court? Nope, French/Middle French between 1740 and 1750, yep, that’s right, the folks who got Canada and built New Orleans. They obviously recognised, as did much of the civilised world then, that certain common sense social mores were needed for the whole thing to run smoothly… we, en masse, seem to have forgotten that bit of history don’t you think?

Now, before anyone cries, “I’m not calling people Lady or Lord or Sir…” that’s perfectly fine, you don’t have to, there’s no law says you do but what does dictate that you at least exercise a measure of politeness is your own self-image. Yeah, sure, you don’t give a rat’s a** what other people think of you, fine, good, more power to you – here’s a little project you can try, form your own group, let’s call it… ummmm… Axeholes Forever… you can be Grand High Poohbah, then gather up all the other Axeholes and get them together there, you can have monthly meetings, raffles, group outings, you can even call it Axehole Court and have a King/Queen Axehole, why not… just one thing, keep it to yourself would you because nobody else will be interested, just like when they’re NOT interested when you might actually have something important to say – why? Because you are an Axehole. That’s all.

Author Kim Tranter of ULearnSocialMedia.com[2] shares her knowledge and tips in her regular feature, “Tranter Banter” in The Observer-Dispatch online a couple of her top ten tips for using the internet are;
“Don’t gossip and keep personal information personal. Don’t tell stories that you don’t know for a fact to be true. And, often, just because it’s true doesn’t mean it needs to be repeated.”

And…

“When typing never write in all capital letters. That is shouting. People don’t like it when you shout at them in person. And they sure don’t like it when you shout at them on the net!”

Great advice from someone who is a professional in the field, so why do hundreds of thousands of people think they know better?

Now, let me ask you something, are you a wholly balanced, well adjusted, self-assured, fully competent, intelligent, 1000% rational and unflappable type of person?

Yeah, and I’m the King of Mars…!!!

Img. source: Jimmy Neutron ‘King of Mars’

Nobody likes it when they become the target of “rants”, “flames”, derogatory commentary, condescension or just plain ol’ nastiness… NOBODY, so think about it, you don’t like people getting in your face, what makes you think you have the right to get in other peoples? That’s taking a whole lot on yourself isn’t it? There are psychological precedents for that sort of thing. Yes, I know, we all lose our temper, do our rag, and spit the dummy, whatever you want to call it but… BUT… what sets good people apart from “not good” is their method of handling that situation and, here again, I’ll step back and point to the “It’s NOT mandatory to be an Axehole” sign. In fact, in general population opinion, the Axehole is the one who doesn’t walk away.

As we mentioned earlier this little reminder message, Jamey Rodemeyer didn’t need the “Axeholes”, neither did Brandy Vela in Texas in 2016.

Brandy Vela
Img. source: The Vela Family, TX & KHOU.com

If you, as a rational being, don’t think your “5 minutes of arguing” over some point of contention can make the difference, these guys had a “last straw” too. Think about that next time you prepare to unload on someone.

Webmasters and Group Owners, you have a responsibility to stand up and keep your forums bully free, it’s the right thing to do and you may just save a life…!

Img. source: Inkelaar Law

 

IN MEMORIAM

Jamey Rodemeyer (March 21, 1997 – September 18, 2011)

and

Brandy Vela (June 5, 1998  – November 29, 2016)

 

Copyright TB & RVL 2017 except where otherwise noted.

References:

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2041622/Jamey-Rodemeyer-Lady-Gaga-sings-moving-tribute-gay-teen-committed-suicide.html#ixzz4jveXl800
  2. http://www.uticaod.com/article/20120907/Blogs/309079938

NB: This article may be linked to but may not be copied or reproduced, nor redistributed in any manner, including electronic without the express permission of the copyright owners.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVL, their officers, assigns or agents. RVL and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented.

Where used, quoted portions of other works are reproduced by permission, or under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, wherein allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

For further information please see the RVL Website Disclaimer

 

Safety First

By

Tim

It is a well known fact that, in any society, social group or population there are dangerous elements. Predators, bullies and criminals who thrive on their perception of having, or exerting, power over others. The VC and OVC is no exception. Couple with this the fact that as vampyres we also risk exposing ourselves to a much higher risk factor – from normal people. Their lack of understanding, their preconceptions and pre-programmed responses to our kind often drive them to extremes of behaviour that, quite possibly, they would not exhibit under normal circumstances. It is also a sad fact that “extremists” within our own community can, and do, undo the good work of months, if not years, with one foolish, dangerous or criminal act that makes negative headlines about vampyres.

Some of you reading this may say, “Yeah, yeah… blah, blah, blah…”, some may feel that I am preaching to the converted but believe me, there is never a time when it is sensible to put your own health and safety at risk and it is important that we periodically remind ourselves of that fact. There is never a time when we can afford to be complacent, or negligent, of our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those close to us.

 

On the 9th of March this year a friend of mine posted the following message (excerpted)

Quote:

“I told a group of boys about sanguinarians, as they asked me, and now I’m taking harassment DAILY, and they’re threatening to tell everyone I’m a vampire. I have not told them EXPLICITLY that I’m a vampire, only that I have vampiric friends, and now I’m dealing with them threatening to go tell administration what I am, as well as telling everyone else to give me shit. How do I deal with this without snapping? I’ve tried ignoring them, but it’s only getting worse.”

And went on to say,

“I’m scared, and I don’t know what to do. This bullying is making me really depressed, and I could use some help.”

Seemingly an uncomplicated bullying situation, “kids being kids” you might even say but does that make it acceptable in any sense? No.

 

Personal safety and security is always important but there are even better reasons to be careful and discreet when you are a vampyre.

Take the case of Elementary school teacher LaTanya Wiggins who was stood down from her teaching job pending a psychological assessment because, as she put it, her co-workers misinterpreted the trouble she was having with a teenage daughter, who became involved with a group of youths who claim they are vampires. The youths reportedly tried to convince Wiggins’ daughter that she was a vampire, too.

This woman’s career was almost ruined because her daughter hung around with kids claiming to be vampyres. [1]

The case, in Australia, of a Melbourne mother who has blamed her 14-year-old daughter’s suicide on the internet and the tragic case has highlighted the problem of cyber bullying among young people.

Speaking on Melbourne radio, mother Karen Rae is in no doubt that cyber bullying was responsible for the death of her 14-year-old daughter.

“Friday night she was on the internet and told me about some message that had come through, and she wanted to die because of the message,” Ms Rae said.

“I laid in bed with her in my bed and we discussed it for about an hour and she left me fairly happy. I can guarantee you if she didn’t go on the internet Friday night she’d be alive today.”[2]

Other contemporary and tragic cases such as those of Carly Ryan [3] , Megan Meier [4], Kylie Kenney [5] and Roderick Justin (Rod) Ferrell [6] serve to remind us that terrible things can and do happen.

Unfortunately, the vampyre community, whether deserved or not, has not been able to escape unscathed. In July 1996 a reporter for the New York Village Voice named Susan Walsh disappeared and she was never seen again. There are reports that she was going down the street to use a pay phone. She left her personal belongings in her apartment including her pager and her billfold with her ID and money. At the time Susan was doing a piece on the vampire sub culture clubs in New York City. She told friends that she had met a man who claimed to be a real vampire, and told them that she was dating him. Many of Susan’s friends claim she was abducted by this unknown man.

Whether true or not mud, as we know, sticks and the common consensus is that Susan’s disappearance was connected to the vampyre community. Since then the comment has been posted;

“Susan Walsh would probably be alive and well raising her son if she had used more caution when trying to contact Vampires.”

Discretion is the better part of…

Do your research before disclosing personal information

Communicating with someone online is always a situation fraught with possibilities. On the one hand they could be a really nice, sensible and helpful person who happens to share things in common with you while, on the other hand, they could be a deviant predator bent on making your life a living hell; situations that are poles apart but each equally as likely.

Common safeguards are the same, whether you are in the communities or not. Be DISCREET. Do not reveal too much of yourself and, if and when the other person becomes a good, trusted and long time friend keep the discussions of private matters just that – Private.

Communicating in the online vampyre communities can bring a whole new group of psychological forces into play and can have quite a bearing on your life and peace of mind if you let it. If someone offers to “turn” you (into a vampyre) be suspicious of their motives and generally steer clear of them. If someone offers to join you in “everlasting love eternal”, be suspicious, it may be harmless fantasy or it may be something sinister and dangerous.

There are a wealth of sites, both government and non-government that offer hints and tips for online safety and most will give you the same basic advice about the “do’s” and “don’ts” of online interactions.

Again, unfortunately, the Online Vampyre Communities are fraught with those who would “bully” others. This appears to be especially prevalent against newcomers to the community and there ARE people in the online communities who seem to enjoy following other members, or targeting certain posts, and subjecting the author to ridicule, harassment, abuse and personal attacks. While this is unfortunate it is also, inevitably, a part of online interactions in any community or group. The best advice that I can give, the practice that I follow when this happens to me, is DON’T RESPOND. Ignore completely and utterly the person who is attempting to harass you, who is attempting to draw you into conflict. Do not dignify their messages with any sort of response and do not refer to their posted messages in any way in other messages you may leave. If they persist and even, perhaps, send you “Personal messages” via your browser system, IM system or community PM’s then report them to the ISP of the host server. Bullying is still bullying whether it is at the park down the street or online.

Another thought that may spring to mind is: “Can I be found by someone using a computer?”

The answer is YES and you might be surprised at how easily it can be done. The IP address of your computer can be traced with a remarkable degree of accuracy and there are many programs available to enable this, even if you use an IP masking program that is designed to continually re-route your path on the internet this too can be untangled and traced.

If you want to see just how much is available in this line simply Google the term IP tracer, or IP tracker.

“Coming Out of the Coffin”

 The commonly used term, that stands for declaring yourself as a modern day vampyre and being proud of it is at once an admirable thought and a possibly detrimental move.

When deciding whether to “declare” yourself a vampyre or not there are a great number of considerations to be taken into account. The effects on your immediate social circles as evidenced in the situation I outlined at the beginning of this editorial. The risk of being persecuted and bullied for your views and opinions, there can be negative effects on your immediate family and friends, your professional and/or community reputation may be harmed and, as always, you run the risk of being labeled a crank, a weirdo or worse. While there are significant efforts being made to educate those who are not of the communities I am of the opinion that the world, in general, is not ready to accept the reality of modern vampyres and will almost certainly, in the main, regard us suspiciously and negatively.

This decision is one that can have profound, far reaching and dramatic impact on your life and peace of mind. Don’t treat the matter lightly and don’t “come out” simply for the sake of being “in with the crowd” or seen as “cool”… it will backfire in a great many cases.

Educate yourself.

There are, online, a great many resources that will help the newcomer understand the pitfalls and realities of being a modern vampyre. Fine and long running places such as SphynxCat’s Vampire Support Page [7] and Lady CG and HellKat’s Smoke and Mirrors [8] offer sound support and a wealth of good advice and information for the newcomer. There are articles, editorials and forum discussions on almost every aspect of modern vampyrism and before you decide which way to proceed in the communities I strongly recommend that you take advantage of the advice offered by those who have done it. Experience, after all, is one of the best teachers.

Reading books, while useful as a guide, will naturally expose you to the views and conclusions of the author. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it is, I believe, a very important part of the learning and decision making process, that you get as many viewpoints as possible on which to base your own decisions. Everybody experiences things differently and the sharing of these experiences is important in gaining a balanced overall view and perception of the reality of a situation.

There are those who will say:

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

I would respond to that by saying,

“You should make the kitchen less hot and threatening.”

 

There are a great many in the communities who are striving to do just that but, like any community, there are dissidents and troublemakers. I recently became aware of one instance where an allegedly “senior” member of the OVC referred to a sixteen year old newcomer as an “unlikable little f**k” simply because the young person had voiced (written) an opinion. Unfortunately that does go with the territory to some extent and we are all exposed in one way or another, which still doesn’t make bullying and abuse right.

Senior members of the communities have a responsibility, I would argue, to help, nurture and educate newcomers, a responsibility to demonstrate a certain level of maturity and leadership in helping newcomers to learn. If an opinion is “off beam” for lack of relevant information or experience then point the newcomer in the right direction by suggestion ~ don’t degrade, insult and dismiss them that is NOT how a community thrives.

So, while we must be prepared to come up against these negative influences and decide how to deal with them, again, experience is the best teacher, communicate with those who have been around the communities for a good length of time and see what you can learn from them but don’t just accept things on blind faith. Keep your mind open and your wits about you and the communities can be a wonderful source of friendships, knowledge and help.

———————————————————————-

© RVN except where noted.

NB: Quoted portions of other works are reproduced under the “fair use for education” provisions of relevant legislations.

The views and opinions presented in this article are the opinions of the author and/or contributors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of The Owner/s of RVN, their officers, assigns or agents. RVN and its officers do not personally, individually, or jointly necessarily recommend or condone any of the activities or practices represented, and accept no liability, nor responsibility, for the use or misuse thereof. Anything that the reader takes from this article is taken at their own discretion. 

For further details please see our Website Disclaimer

[1] Wiggins

[2] Rae

[3] Ryan

[4] Meier

[5] Kenney

[6]  Ferrell

[7]  Sphynxcat’s Real Vampires Support Page

[8]  Smoke and Mirrors

 

Further References:

EHow: Safety Rules While Using The Internet

EHow: The F.B.I’s Internet safety Tips

Dep’t. of Justice, U.S., Or. State – Internet safety pdf.