How to handle a bully

Sun, 31 Mar 1996 10:03:29 -0600 (CST)

Sy Balsen wrote, in response to messages on how to handle harassing messages
on this mailbase:
"I,for one, simply hit the delete key and leave his mail unread."

Then Suzanne Huffman wrote:
"Until recently, this has been my choice -- and I mean this in terms of GAK's
corollary -- and I intend to resume this method. So Bill, flame on if it helps
you elaborate your system, but I'm not reading another single word you write.
As soon as I see your address in the header, that post is history."

Then Devi Jankowicz added:
"Yes, the most sensible thing to do with Bill Chambers is to ignore each
item he posts."

"Then nothing he writes will be read: even the occasional sensible mailing
which slips through his self-destructiveness."

"I shall be returning each one directly to him unread, in the faint hope
that he reads what he's written, and reflects on it."

I still have serious concerns re: etiquette on the mailbase, and even went
back to the message that gets sent to all new mailbase members when they join.
It states
"In addition, without the normal channels for social restraint, some members
are tempted to 'flame' those with whom they disagree - making criticisms
and personal remarks that would be unlikely to be voiced in a face-to-face
discussion. Careful and frequent attention to on-line etiquette is
required to minimise these deficits."

I cite this because recently I have been wondering whether or not telephone
harassment (i.e. making recurrent intimidating and abusive calls) is free
speech the same way that mailbase harassment (i.e. sending recurrent
intimidating and abusive e-mail posts) has been dubbed free speech. Certainly
there is a good deal of subjectivity in where free speech ends and harassment
begins. I just want to raise the issue, since I think the young internet is
currently struggling to define such things more fromally, and ultimately will.

Perhaps all this is unnecessary, because I, too, like Suzanne, Devi, and others
before them, will no longer even read any of Bill Chambers' messages. I guess
you really can't argue with a bully; his kind are indestructable, and always
have been.

Adios, Bill. Your posts are history on my computer. Flame on, angry man, but
I'm no longer listening.

(fondly known to friends as "Big Daddy")