Verbal abuse is anything the receiver personally considers it to be. Negative comments about the content of my posts are fair game, in my opinion. I don't ask that anybody agrees with what I say... in fact, I welcome challenges to my posts provided they are based on the content of the message.
But there are those who seem to think that calling me offensive names is somehow debunking my argument. How ridiculous..!!
I freely admit that I have, at times, acted inappropriately. But I have recognised this fault in myself and am overcoming it. I think we all get upset at times, and say or do things we shouldn't. But these are usually isolated incidents, quickly resolved.
When I see negative comments I look to see who they are coming from. Mostly, negative remarks are one-offs and as such can be shrugged off. Somebody not quite getting the message.... having a bad day... taking personal offence themselves, even. It happens, and mostly I roll with it.
But when it becomes part of a systematic campaign of bullying....attempted intimidation.... an attempt to silence my voice... then that is simply not right.
There are individuals on here who completely lose all reason and objectivity over any issue. Theirs is the abuse of vitriol... anger... loss of self control. They no longer see a message, they simply see every post by the person against whom they hold their grudge as an opportunity to vent their own rage.
I think perhaps they have feelings of inadequacy to cope with criticism. They would like to stop somebody from speaking, but they can't. They would like to be able to remove somebody from the site, but they can't. For all practical purposes, they are totally impotent and therefore they lash out with the only weapon they have. Personal abuse.
Yes, it does irritate me, I admit that. It irritates me, not because they have physically or mentally hurt me in any way, but because they are deflecting discussion away from the subject at hand.
I come here to discuss issues.... that's what the site is for, for goodness sake..!! I don't ask that anyone agrees with me, but I do expect my right to express my opinions.... whatever they may be.... to be respected.
The abusers' kind of thread disruption is something that goes beyond mere abuse of an individual, it is an abuse of the privilege of free speech. On every occasion that such a person does this, he subtly denies everybody their right to discuss the issue at hand, turning it instead into a case of "Everybody look at ME".... "It's all about ME ME ME".... "Me and my anger".... "Me and my inability to cope with the discussion".
I do feel that the moderators and owners of this site don't do enough to eliminate this kind of rage. Personal abuse is against TOS and yet, those responsible for monitoring the behaviour of offenders don't do enough to stop it.
I agree there has to be a level of tolerance.... We are all human and can all get annoyed occasionally. We all react inappropriately at times, but there are some who go too far and yet, seem to get away with it.
In my opinion, the failure of the owners and moderators to respond to excessive anger, intensely targeted at a specific individual over a prolonged period of time is a dereliction of duty to those who only wish to discuss issues..... regardless of what those issues may be, or in respect of whomsoever's country the issues are raised.
As I said earlier.... we all get kranky sometimes and we all say things in the heat of the moment. But overwhelmingly, these are isolated incidents and are usually quickly resolved through reason and common sense between the individuals concerned.
But when it goes too far, then the owners and moderators have a duty to act.
I call upon them to do so.