The Facebook Hateicator
Facebook, more than any other media illustrates the level of animosity and hate directed towards an individual or a cause.
I call it the Hateicator and it is a valuable tool for gauging the impact of thoughts and actions.
I have always felt that social media feedback ranging from insults to death threats gives a good measure how much the opposition is being offended.
As Captain James Tiberius Kirk once said,
“The best defense is a good offense and I'm ready to offend”
Over the last year the number of hate comments that I have received has literally numbered in the thousands. The most vicious comments have come from the Faroe Islands from pro-whalers and that is understandable considering the impact of Grindstop 2014. The next largest barrage of hate messages came when I criticized the idiotic TV series the Duck Dynasty suggesting that the guys who fake sexual come-ons to ducks should not be equating homosexuality with bestiality. Lots of very un-Christian comments from fake Christians erupted as a result of that. The Duck Dynasty fans were the most amusing and also the dumbest bunch of crazies I’ve ever seen in my history of cataloguing hate comments.
The third largest feedback of hate messages and threats came from Denmark in response to my article about the killing of the baby giraffe by the Copenhagen Zoo. This was surprising. I was amazed at the number of Danes who jumped to the defense of the slaughter of this innocent animal.
Between the Faroes and the Copenhagen Zoo I think I aroused an agitated spurt of Danish nationalism, as in my country right or wrong.
I still get a steady stream of hate comments from Newfoundland supporters of baby-seal bashing. I do not get many comments from Japan over Taiji about the slaughter of dolphins but that can be attributed to both the language barrier and the culture of apathy in Japan. Or they could just be much more polite than their equally vicious dolphin killing bretheran in the Faroe Islands.
The most flattering reaction has been the number of anti-Sea Shepherd and anti Paul Watson facebook pages. When people take the time and the energy to actually set up websites and facebook sites to attack you, you know you’ve got their attention.
On my facebook sites, I make a practice of banning people who make insulting or threatening comments. I do so because such people are my indicators of success. I send them to my Facebook dungeon of banned and undesirable persons. This way I can keep track of the numbers. I think I have close to 5,000 on the banned list but considering that I have close to 500,000 on my fan page, that is only about 1% so that’s a very healthy ratio. 99% supporters (or people who post nothing) and 1% haters.
For anyone contemplating being a social activist you need to accept that haters are going to hate and there is no need to be upset about it. In fact if you don’t get any hate messages or threats, you’re probably not doing anything that is making much of an impact. You need this negative feedback to gauge how effective you are.
Also don’t take any of the feedback personally. You don’t know these people. They are simply rising to the defense of that which you are opposing.
To be hated by some because you champion life, conservation and environmentalism is a compliment to your activism.
In other words, you can say to your detractors, “you hate, therefore I am effective.” Although I advise everyone to not bother to respond directly to your critics. They are useful as indicators but it’s a waste of time to engage them, unless you do so out of curiosity, challenge or amusement.
And remember, anyone who has done anything or achieved anything has had their legions of haters. In fact last year when I wrote a tribute to Nelson Mandela, there was a hate reaction by people who hated Mandela.
And it does not matter how good you are, how successful you are or how noble your cause. There are people who hate the Dalai Lama, Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Tom Hanks, Paul McCartney, Ophrah Winfrey and well everyone really. In fact every single one of us has people who hate us even if we don’t always realize that they do.
That is however almost always compensated by the fact that we have far more people who respect or love us.
Remember hate works in the same way that any action brings forth a reaction. No matter what your stance, position or standing is on any subject, there will be people who agree with you, people who disagree with you and people who will hatefully disagree with you.
As a student of media, having been a communications major in my university days, I have seen the evolution of social media and the accompanying evolution of behavior molded by each new media. Facebook has given rise to the commenting coward. These are people who unleash their vitriolic vileness at every provocation from behind their craven cover of anonymity. They bark but they don’t bite and although barking may be annoying it can easily be rectified by blocking the barkers. And I do love to block the barkers.
Another interesting phenomena is the parasitical facebook hater. This is an individual who becomes obsessed with someone and makes it their personal crusade to attack, insult, annoy and irritate you. Anyone who is anybody on social networks has one or more of these strange characters attempting to hound them. Some even resort to posting You Tube rants and it is truly amazing the investment of time and resources they put into obsessing over people they do not know and have never met. In the real world these crazies are called stalkers and more to be pitied than feared. Again an easy solution – block them.
Ban, delete and block are the three mechanisms that Facebook provides to deal with vile people and vile comments.
I do however value and appreciate my haters. They keep me uplifted with the knowledge that if I am provoking such emotions from them I must be making progress in championing a cause they oppose.
And I keep them all safely tucked away in my little cyber dungeon where once I’ve counted their heads for the benefit of my hateicator, I need not hear from them ever again.
I’ll leave you all with some quotes about haters:
“Haters are the people who will broadcast your failures and whisper your success.”
“Behind every successful person lies a vicious pack of haters.”
“You are not successful when people tell you are awesome. It’s when they start to hate that you know you have their attention.”
“I love haters because they give you all their attention.”
“They will hate you if you’re pretty. They will hate you if you’re not. They will hate you for what you lack and they will hate you for what you got.”
“Haters are like crickets. They make a lot of noise. You can hear them but never see them, then you walk right by them and they are quiet.”