Boards.ie is an Irish forum with threads about pretty much anything you can think of. I have no major issue with the website itself so libel claims can hold their horses. Everyone I know in UL seems to have an account – but, even with my social media addiction, I never want to join it myself.
What I have noticed any time I have been linked to something on boards.ie is that sooner or later, a fight is going to break out. And I understand that people are entitled to their opinion – I am one of the most opinionated people I know, writing about being opinionated on my blog – but I feel there is a difference between posting your views on your own site and getting caught up in an argument in what is essentially a chat room.
I am not advocating backing down if you think you are fighting for what is right. .The posts that sparked this off in the first place were to do with the visibility (or over-visibility as one person argued) of the LGBT rights movement in the media. Now, I don’t think I need to clarify that I am a very strong supporter of the gay rights movement and I have no qualms about getting into a heated debate in the direction of a homophobic comment – but I still will not get into a fight about it on the internet.
For one, nobody is going to win. Hidden behind the anonymity of a username, you have nothing to lose except face so even if you change your opinion, you are probably going to fight tooth and nail to get your original point across. Secondly, I found myself getting quite upset reading the posts and i am sure I wasn’t the only one. Coming from that emotional state, who knows what would come out of my mouth – even if my points were reasonable, it is so easy to be misconstrued on the net and there is very little area for clarification. And on top of that, there is no taking back what you say on the internet – even if you delete it, someone could have a cache copy and it could come back to bite you in the ass.
Fair play to the people who stood up for the community on that thread – it had to be done and things had to be said. What I don’t get is why people feel the need to start a fight in the first place – the only provocation is a Fr Ted like “Down with this sort of thing.” And I do think it is utterly stupid. But even though I will go queer feminazi to take anyone on, in an online context, I’m just not able. what