The Death of Civility

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sat May 23 06:31:03 EDT 1998

From: rockc at (Morgana)
Date: 21 May 1998 09:37:57 -0600
Lines: 95

On 20 May 1998 09:39:05 -0600, jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5) wrote:

What a day...first root canal..and now this....

>>Here's a novel idea.  Once you've identified the people you consider
>>trolls, why not just killfile them and save yourself the aggravation?
>>The same principle applies here as it does out there you know.  If you
>>don't like what some people have to say, ignore them. 
>> I'm not willing to infringe on the rights of
>>others to freely express themselves just to protect him from the
>>verbal barbs and personal slights that we all endure on a daily basis.
>>Just remember,  there's always that killfile option. 
>Okay, Morgana, let's try an experiment.
>Let's say that somebody logging on under a pseudonym posts a message,
>identifying you by your true and complete name, and says that you have a
>criminal record for child molestation.  Since you have killfiled that person,
>that information zips on out there, unchallenged, until it gains common
>currency...and begins to come back at you from other sources.
>So by your lights, that's okay?  It wouldn't bother you in the least?  That's a
>good thing?
>It's one thing to killfile somebody because you don't care about their
>comments, their opinions...but what these people tend to have their opinions
> me: personally, creatively, even legally.  
>And the scenario I posted a second ago, incidentally, is a valid one.  I have
>had people impersonating me on pedophile areas, another charged me with murder
>on another national system; yet another briefly suggested that I should be
>It's real easy when it's just a subject being discussed; but when it's you, by
>name, it ain't so easy, Morgana.  
>So I suspect that if the above scenario took place, you would not be quite so
>sanguine about it.

In response to your first three questions, the answer is no.  How
could it not be?  The differences between you and I are legion.  I am
not a famous person nor will I ever be.  But, I do understand one
thing Joe.  Choice.  You made the choice to be here.  In doing so you
exposed yourself to your audience on the internet.  This also meant
exposing yourself to your detractors, some of whom, from reading the
above, are certifiably insane.  I cannot speak to your experiences
here, but I do know that because you are now a celebrity in your own
right; and because you have accomplished something few will ever have
an opportunity to do; you have opened yourself up to these problems.
And yes, it's always a crappy situation when you're trying to do some
good.  But.  You made the choice to be here.  Among us.  And them. 

So the question is, why haven't you simply given up and gone away?
One quick answer is possibly because you have an opportunity to teach
and give your audience some knowledgable insights into the process of
creating and producing a TeeVee show.  You can also get instantaneous
feedback from the audience about the show.  But that is the double
edged sword.  

I don't know what the solution is for the problems that have plagued
your presence here on the internet, but I do not take such issues
lightly.  My response was not meant to be flippant.  I will always opt
for simplicity over such draconian measures like censorship. 

Btw, I replied to your entire post.  My previous response when taken
out of context seems damning doesn't it?  Just to clarify.  Troy
Heagy, who started this thread suggested ..."we should attack those
who seek to destroy it [ civility ] with their petty-minded vendettas
and acerbic personalities.  Let those who corrupt the peace of the net
be forced offline, so that we adult-minded folks can continue to
converse in civility."  

Imho Heagy's solution smacks of censorship.  It implies that we should
become exactly like the people whose behavior we so despise. That is
just as bad as trolling if not worse.  Where would it end?  As much as
I respect your work, I will not support shutting other people down
simply to make one person more comfortable.  Hence my suggestion about
killfiles.  Of course, who in their right mind would think of doing
the things that have been done to you? 

I'm sorry that in your attempt to bring something new to this medium,
things have apparently  turned sour and much has been done that has
caused you pain. However, I am not the enemy.  I wouldn't wish what
has been done to you on anyone else.  But again, none of us are in
your position.  Unfortunately, it is your lot as the writer/creator to
weather the storm as best you can and not let it destroy you in the
process.  I wish you continued success in all your endeavors. 




From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 22 May 1998 09:51:04 -0600
Lines: 10

>So the question is, why haven't you simply given up and gone away?

Well, of course, that's what's going to happen after November's final 5 B5 eps.
 Not entirely, but substantively.


(jmsatb5 at
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