So it seems that Richard Dawkins is scaling back the ability to comment on his website and forums. Now the natives are getting restless, to put it mildly, and are voicing their displeasure with the same zeal they sometimes employ to defend him.
Dawkins himself is less than sympathetic. In a personal message posted today entitled Outrage, he lets rip at the members of his website:
Imagine that you, as a greatly liked and respected person, found yourself overnight subjected to personal vilification on an unprecedented scale, from anonymous commenters on a website. Suppose […] that somebody on website expressed a “sudden urge to ram a fistful of nails” down your throat. Also to “trip you up and kick you in the guts.” And imagine seeing your face described, again by an anonymous poster, as “a slack jawed turd in the mouth mug if ever I saw one.
(You will also have to imagine the uncensored version of this extract)
He goes on to ponder what could possible be wrong with people who “over-react so spectacularly to something so trivial” and concludes that “there is something rotten in internet culture” and that he is determined to purge his website of this vicious element. And so the battle commences…
It’s not hard to sympathize with Dawkins on this one as the internet oftentimes is a very rotten place. On the other hand, these Dawkins devotees are some of the same people who have used similar tactics against more than a few of our editors here at Salvo. What goes around comes around, I suppose.