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New Study Reveals Truth Behind Internet Rage Machine

Written by Jude Terror on Thursday, November 12 2015 and posted in News with Benefits

New Study Reveals Truth Behind Internet Rage Machine

...and takes a look at one of its most prominent victims: Dan Slott.

Source: Newsarama

For decades, scientists have pondered the question: why are people on the internet so mean? Well, a new study from the University of Newsarama called "Understanding the Internet Rage Machine" aims to answer that question with the input of comic book creators from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, as long as those backgrounds are all white and male. Most notably amongst this diverse sample group, Newsarama spoke to noted paragon of internet virtue Dan Slott, who is renowned worldwide for his mature and non-aggressive behavior on the internet.

For Slott, known for always minding his own business and never starting fights on Twitter, the trick to dealing with mean comments on the internet is not letting it bother you:

"You never want to let that guy know he got under your skin, and you never want to show people examples of bad behavior to emulate," he says.


It's true that fans can sometimes be abusive on the internet, as we've seen in numerous incidents of online harassment, particularly against female creators and critics (none of which were mentioned in the Newsarama study). But it's important to keep track of who the real victims are: guys like Dan Slott, who suffer from negative feedback about their work showing up in their twitter vanity searches that they just can't help responding to. And it's also important to recognize who the worst perpetrators are: all comic book fans.


Sure, people can get bent about Spider-Man, and upset if they feel their own past is being trampled on by a comic book story. And to be fair, comic books hardly has the only Rage Machine.


The study also does a great job of refuting imaginary complaints that the author made up himself:

We've seen it a million times: Marvel or DC will announce a new creative team, a new title, a cancelation, or heaven forbid a crossover, and the comments start: "This is proof positive that Axel Alonso wants Marvel to fail!" "Dan DiDio obviously hates DC Comics, and all us loyal readers!" If you think about it for half a second, everything Axel Alonso does is geared to help Marvel Comics succeed, to the best of his talents and abilities. As the Editor-In-Chief at Marvel Comics, he has no interest in seeing Marvel fail. Yet people come up with histrionic conclusions, devoid of reason.


You might worry that the study leaves out some details about "internet rage." No, we're not talking about making a distinction between online harassment and legitimate critical response, which indeed the study fails to do when it conflates creators receiving death threats with Dan Slott reading that someone thinks he ruined Spider-Man on Twitter. Of course, abusive and threatening behavior toward creators is never appropriate, but casting all criticism or even outright negativity about a work in the same light only confuses the issue. Harassment is always wrong. Expression of opinion about a comic is not. The study doesn't make a clear distinction. But that's a minor oversight, of course.

No, we mean that they didn't bother speaking to another guy known for his excellent online behavior being met with negativity by fans: Stephen Wacker. Seriously, the guy is the most bullied online creator of all time. In his heyday, Wacker couldn't make a single post telling off fans on the Bleeding Cool forums without someone responding negatively! He was Dan Slott before Dan Slott was Dan Slott!

Notable omissions like that aside, it really is a fine study, and we encourage you to read more about it at University of Newsarama's website. And fans, if you're on the internet today, and you happen to run into Dan Slott - perhaps because you mentioned the name of one of his books on Twitter in a less than positive fashion and he tracked you down and started yelling at you - remember, he's a victim here, and though it may seem like he's the one harassing you because you never mentioned his name and now hundreds of his Twitter followers are also attacking you, it's actually the other way around.


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About the Author - Jude Terror

Jude Terror is the Webmaster Supreme of The Outhouse and a sarcastic ace reporter dedicated to delivering irreverent comics and entertainment news to The Outhouse's dozens of loyal readers. Driven by a quest for vengeance, Jude Terror taught himself to program and joined The Outhouse. He instantly began working toward his goal of forcing the internet comics community to take itself less seriously and failing miserably. A certified trash eater ruining the pristine field of comics journalism with his sarcasm and goofiness, Jude Terror is secretly friendly and congenial, so if you've got a complaint, why not just bring it up to him instead of subtweeting like a jackass, jackass? You can find him on Twitter or try your luck with an email, but keep in mind that he is notoriously unreliable and may not get back to you right away. Unless you want to send him free stuff, in which case he'll get back to you immediately.

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