And for people who’d say “well they didn’t actually tell their fans to harass you”? BULLSHIT. They made posts in which they called me things like “laughable”, “embarrassing”, and “smug”, then continued to encourage the anger in the thread that resulted. Nor did they make any attempts to dissuade potential harassers, or tell people who made threatening comments to back off. These are grown-ass-men who pointed their very large audiences at me and told them what a terrible person I was on the internet because they want me to shut the fuck up."
Anna Kreider, Regarding Entirely Predictable Backlash
Ever heard of the Wheaton Defense, creators? It’s linking something you disagree with with disparaging commentary (not actual discourse or thought out opinions) knowing your fanbase will pile on and attack this person while blindly supporting your opinion. Forcing the dissenter by sheer numbers and harassment of your much larger following to shut up without ever having to acknowledge they may have made some valid points or engage in actual discourse with the dissenter. Don’t do that. Please. You don’t have to agree with them. You really don’t. — But as the person in position of greater power, you have the responsibility to not be the asshat that sicks your legion on someone less famous than you. You can ignore them if you don’t wish to engage. You can say hey, I don’t agree with this interpretation because X and Y. You should not link your legion of followers to them only saying the less famous person is “arrogant” or “stupid” for having a dissenting opinion means they should have their right to opinion/talk revoked.
As osheamobile said in a twitter conversation earlier this month (because he has good opinions and I generally like them):
One of these days I’m going to write a primer on “How To Be A Celebrity On The Internet”. A chapter in the book “How To Be A Celebrity On The Internet”: Actions Have Consequences (OR, you have rabid fans, try to remember this). That chapter will be about 80% of the book and will consist of the sentence “PEOPLE THINK DEFENDING YOU IS COOL” over and over again. Also known as the Wheaton Defense. There will be a subchapter called “AND STOP ENCOURAGING THEM TO DO SO”, also known as the Penny Arcade Corollary. The closing bit of that chapter will be subtitled “Please try to tell your fans not to react like this”, as per the Cleolinda Jones Act. So titled because cleolinda will, every so often, sit her readers down and say “Look, we do not do this and this is why.”