I had an issue with a jerk commenting on one of my articles earlier today, and it’s been bothering me more than it should. I thought this would be a good time to share some thoughts on people who decide to be jerks on the Internet.

This is going to be kind of a stream of conscious kind of post, so bear with me through any ramblings and potential use of foul language. I’m sorry I have a vulgar vocabulary. :)

So, a few weeks ago now, I wrote an article about my current top 10 music albums, which you can read here if you like. As usual, a few folks from TAY commented on it and that was that. As things are a bit backed up with all the posts from the SixTAY Days of Writing challenge we have going on at the moment (by the way, good on all you people participating for the flow of articles we’ve been having lately), it only recently make it into one of the daily round-ups of TAY articles that get shared over to Kotaku, the site that we are still technically the reader-run blog for. For the most part, I was pleasantly surprised by how many awesome positive comments there were.

There were people who were glad to be exposed to some music they hadn’t heard.

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There were people who enthusiastically agreed with my picks.

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And, of course, as to be expected when it comes to music, especially metal, there were these kinds of people.

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This is the sort of elitism that rubs me the wrong way about parts of the metal community. Sure, not everyone liked Periphery’s double Juggernaut album and the direction the band took on it as much as their first two discs, but to call it a trainwreck is extreme. It’s not like everything was out of key and the production was all muddy and the band was out of sync with each other. I have no patience for these sorts of people, so naturally I responded with some sass as I am known to do.

But that wasn’t even the commentor that bothered me. That honor belongs to this guy here.

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Now, I like basically every metal sub-genre there is, save for a few, even though that’s not readily apparent from the list in the article. With that in mind, I thought I’d say something like “I like all metal, so I guess that means you think all metal is awful,” but decided to go with a similar response as the one to the other negative commentor instead.

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Anyway, I can’t stand people who are just like “The music you like sucks and the music I like is the only good music.” Music is one of the most subjective things out there. Different music is pleasing to different people’s ears. It’s something that should be simple, but isn’t for some reason. Even beyond just music, people seem to have this notion that them not liking something makes it bad. Sure, you can dislike something because it’s bad, say racism for example. I think we can all agree that treating other people poorly based on something so arbitrary as the color of their skin is a shitty thing to do (and if you don’t agree, what the actual fuck is wrong with you?). So there, that’s a thing that’s objectively bad and we dislike it as such.

As we have just established, e can dislike things because they are bad. However, disliking something doesn’t make it bad, especially when it comes to subjective things like art and music. You not liking the sound of something doesn’t make it objectively bad. Music can be objectively bad, such as if something is out of key for example, but people tend to just say “this music sucks,” just because they don’t personally like it. And that irritates me. When it comes to music, my philosophy is listen to what you like and have the decency to let others listen to and enjoy what they like and respect their opinions.

Anyway, I digress. A few days went by, bringing us to today when this guy replied.

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A dumb comment to say the least. You call me a fan of a band I like as if I’m supposed to feel insulted? Okay.

I responded by pointing out how dumb his comment was, and let him know that on TAY we don’t really like nasty commentors like him.

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Maybe a bit harsh, but I had just woken up and wasn’t in the mood.

He replied soon after.

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Yeah, some opinion. You told me I had awful taste just because I dare to like different music than you. I don’t have a problem with people not liking the same music as me, but I do have a problem with people being jerks because they don’t like the same music as me.

At this point I’m at most mildly annoyed, and kind of just laughing at this guy as I respond. I really started laughing once he replied with this.

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Douche metal? Judgey much? And of course he listens to bands I’ve never heard of with difficult to pronounce names. I’m not making a statement on either band’s music as I haven’t heard it and can’t form an opinion.

Anyway, I reply with the same sentiments I’ve been sharing in this post.

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And he goes and misses my point, probably intentionally.

By this point, I’ve eaten breakfast and I’m at my computer now instead of on my phone, so I take the time to type out a lengthier response.

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Of course I was responding to his “douche metal” comment where he literally told me to stop listening to music I like so people won’t be assholes and not his music suggestions. I shouldn’t have to stop doing something to accommodate assholes. Assholes should just not be assholes. It’s that simple.

The exchange continued for a little while after that, but it sort of just degraded into stupidity. I’ve rambled on enough about what happened, but you can read the full thread on the article if you like; it was linked at the top of this one. That said, you can get the gist of it just from the screencaps in this post.

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Now most people say to just ignore people like this, and there’s that ever repeated mantra of “don’t feed the trolls,” but fuck the trolls. We shouldn’t have to tolerate them. Sure, we can ignore them and pretend they aren’t there, but we still have to see them. If we tell them we don’t want that kind of bullshit in our communities and punish them with kicks and bans, then they’ll get the message. TAY didn’t become a bastion of friendly, positive commentors by the admins taking a passive approach.

Sure, some trolling is harmless, but a lot of the time people excuse their frankly quite rude behavior as trolling, and even if we ignore them, words can still hurt. Oftentimes, people won’t speak up because they know the community at large will just brush them off, telling them they shouldn’t have fed the trolls. That’s just victim blaming. We should strive to be better to our fellow citizens of the Internet.

That’s all I have to say.