Saturday 2 November 2013

A Bit Of Heckler Management - Get OFF My Lawn

The block for peace
On occasion, I have blocked people on Twitter and probably severed one friend connection on Facebook.
They got on my nerves, I entertained them long enough to test my patient resolve and exceed my tolerance levels; it became the only option I had left; sever the relationship, so we can separately get on with our lives.
I have seen this happen to other friends especially on Facebook, they post a status, we all engage and in the midst of it, someone is contrary, negative, abusive or disruptive.
They are adjured and warned to no avail and then the host goes for the nuclear option; unfriend the person and consign all their discourse to oblivion. Life goes on.
Context, context, context
Months ago, I wrote a blog that was essentially for a Nigerian audience but it quickly garnered more visits from the Indian subcontinent because it pertained to an event that took place in India in the 19th Century.
A cut-out quote was fabricated and misattributed to a personality, I disputed the provenance of the quote, its truthfulness, the setting, but never the spirit. Contextually, many understood the premise of that blog but a few for sentimental, nationalistic or other reasons took issue with the blog and decided to vent in the comment space of my blog.
For long, I entertained their views whilst trying to keep their focus on the facts; that the quote was wrong, that it was not made to the British Parliament, and that any other discussion should go to another forum.
However hard I tried, it descended into ad hominem attacks and worse, then I realised, this is my blog, this is my space, and I have total control over what is posted as blogs or as comments.
Heckler management
My comment advisory clearly suggests any comments should be in consonance and within the context of the blog commented on and that I will not countenance discourteous expression.
I will engage in robust discussion with anyone on my blog, in the comment space, on Facebook or on Twitter, but I know when to run away, rarely from an argument but definitely from a mad man.
My blog requires a dose of heckler management; I have written my blog, allowed the broadest engagement but to a point where if the engagement detracts and contributes nothing new to the core material but ad hominem attacks, I will have the heckler removed along with every opinion the heckler proffered regardless of what said before.
Get off my lawn
That is my prerogative, and I will exercise it sparingly yet with alacrity, with dispatch and with ruthlessness, if need be. It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to.
I have decided not to allow the irritation of one person to spoil the open forum for interaction on my blog. I will henceforth remove all trace of their views and blacklist them.
We are strangers here and the least that we can expect of each other regardless of our views, is respect, courtesy and dignified expression. You fall short; you fall out.
Life is too short for nonsense, and we can go on to have a nice life in our separate places on our different lawns. These rotten hecklers will sap you of the will to do anything productive if you let them, I am done with this.

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