I’m only trying to help

Yeah, we’ve heard that before: I joined a neighborhood help website that disallows anonymity, after one of my posts I was personally attacked, should I stop posting?


I dislike websites that require your real name because there is no protection against personal attacks and posters can research where you live. I gave some helpful advice regarding a possible solution to a neighborhood issue and I was personally attacked, told to get a life, etc. I haven’t posted since. I should have known better than to sign up to a site that prohibits anonymity, they don’t work.

Hmmm. I’ve never, and I mean never, had this particular issue come up in three and a half decades of hanging out online. And since my advice is not necessarily any better than anyone else’s, the major difference here seems to be that I am not a thin-skinned chickenshit. What’ll you bet this guy’s “helpful” advice was given in bad faith?

Peripherally: Spellchecker coughed on “blockquote,” “else’s” and “what’ll.” Didn’t even flinch at “chickenshit.”


  1. fillyjonk »

    7 April 2019 · 12:01 pm

    I’m thinking the “don’t be a douchebag” rule (that another online group I hang out in practices) probably applies here. Advice can be given with humor and grace, or it can be given like a flaming bag of dog poop on the front porch, and I am guessing this dude did it the second way.

    However: I am a thin-skinned….uh….whatever, the difference being that when someone says something that hurts my feelings my tendency is to back away and nope out of the place, rather than to double-down on things.

  2. Roger O Green »

    7 April 2019 · 12:56 pm

    To be fair, I have been attacked personally on the Times Union site. even threatened, although I did NOT approve the comments. 2$$4013s are everywhere. .

  3. McGehee »

    7 April 2019 · 2:58 pm

    Being insulted or even threatened online, compared to some things I saw or experienced during my last few years living in Sacramento, could be laughable or contempt-inducing, depending on the day I’ve been having.

    I’ve never been much concerned about not having anonymity online, especially on a forum where no one else has it either. And from what I’ve seen on Facebook-powered online comment threads, lack of anonymity doesn’t keep the donkey apertures silent anyway.

  4. CGHill »

    7 April 2019 · 4:41 pm

    Life was more polite when we had dueling.

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