From little acorns

This is called The Exponential Outrage Theorem, and truth be told, it sounds just about dead-on accurate to me:

Let’s say, just for the example, the casting choices in a major science fiction franchise.

One hundred idiots get mad about this change and over-react. From the reaction of these one hundred idiots, a far Left or far Right blog whips up an article containing six tweets from people who are literal nobodies with an insignificant amount of followers. (I don’t use my Twitter, so let’s say 24. 24 sounds like a nice insignificant number.)

Last I looked, he had exactly 24 followers.

One thousand people read this article, and become outraged by the “huge backlash” of the one hundred over-reacting idiots. They, in turn, overreact. Ten more extreme-end blogs write articles, including the six tweets and six more attacking the original. Ten thousand people read these articles and are now annoyed. They start a hashtag movement which catches the attention of a few mainstream news sites, which write about the massive outrage over the initial decision, more than likely using words like “manbabies”, “piss babies”, or “garbage humans.” One hundred thousand people read this article and are now annoyed. The reaction is no longer the story — the outrage is — and it continues well into the millions.

I’m not going to tell you exactly what “casting choices” he was talking about, though you can probably guess, or you can easily look it up.

That said, this is the sort of thing that severely limits the usefulness of social media, because even with the most astute selections of mutes (Twitter only) and blockings (pretty much every service), you’ll never avoid the topic entirely unless you completely disconnect.

Even more exasperating are the fanatics who deploy an army of bots to serve as cybernetic sockpuppets. These people need to be buried in six feet of shaving cream.

1 comment

  1. McG »

    23 July 2017 · 10:45 pm

    Heh. I know what casting choice he’s talking about. I wasn’t outraged but I did comment about it on my blog.

    The secret is knowing how to say one’s piece and walk away, especially without dropping the mic to punctuate it. For me I think it’s an extension of how I learned to deal with the temper I inherited — I spend a minute venting, a couple more fuming, and then go chase a squirrel. If my dad and brother had ever learned that skill I’m sure they and a lot of other people would’ve been a lot happier.

    <refrains from dropping the mic>

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