As an individual classified as an “intellectual bully” (and the one @HAWK mentioned; much obliged, chi’di), I can say one thing to put all these questions and comments into perspective.
These individuals have the capacity to have feelings too.
Not only the capacity. But they do feel. As everyone else. And you.
I have been victimized on a lot of communities because I am simply me. I am an intense, aggressive, direct, passionate and driven individual.
I am a variation of the one who makes the content your user base utilizes to give reason for visiting and populating your community in the first place.
Now, I am not excusing my behavior. I also am not excusing the behaviors --past, present and future-- of those who are also labeled bullies.
@HAWK knows well what I mean when I say that.
I may “be” one, but I do not associate nor revel in the label. I actually hate it. I am not an intellectual. The word “bully” means I do this consciously.
I am simply me. And for being me, I am vilified without my knowledge, behind proverbial closed doors, behind my back, and then thrust out by smaller groups who hold social capital in the community.
I went through existential depression episodes because of some of these incidents. I am not afraid to say that I called my therapist once because one community was so vile to me. That due to my high levels in writing, I was asked “English, motherfu*ker. Do you speak it?”
Rhetorical? Not really. How do I answer it when everyone is saying that I am a pretentious ass for writing as I do? That everyone said I write like this as a front to appear smart and that I think I am above them all? That my skills are so advanced as to go backwards, so now everyone assumes my writing is incorrect? And that in truth I follow the timeless adages from Elements of Style?
It baffled me. Like being gaslit on the internet. Which is a highly difficult feat for one person to do. It becomes flawless when an entire community does it in unison, in their own way.
I do not say all this to project everyone here as the real bullies.
If you get anything out of my message, again, just remember that 98% of the time, the bully is just a really passionate person and how they output it sometimes gets lost in translation, from their mind, to their fingers that type, and then the actual message they send. Their internal monologue may sound benevolent and to everyone else, it sounds malevolent. Their intention was to be giving but also tenacious and spirited like the others. At face value, it may look like hostility bottled and hurled through a textual medium.
I know, because I deal with this daily and I have to tell others “please, Say something and I will stop. Tell me, please.”
How does my writing sound right now? Am I attempting to be hostile? Or am I standing above the din and roaring for my urgent plea to have the attention I think it deserves? To only be heard so needless pain and conflict ends? That this message gets through to those who would benefit from it? So the internet is one iota less venomous?
My questions are only about 20-30% rhetorical. You may answer them as critical talking points if you wish.
You may also say that a user’s actions are a reaction due to a stimulus. The user could have practiced mindfulness so as to not erupt from these surges of negative feeling. Yet the problem is not the behavior, but what caused it.
Sometimes the cause blooms from hostility projected from the user base onto this individual. Manufactured. The hostility never existed to begin with.
But yet again, if the entire userbase agrees the person is “bad” then that means the current community’s standards defines this person as bad. Like the unspoken rules of a community’s Miller Test.
And sometimes? Sometimes true evil walks in and knows exactly, on some level, what they are doing and what they plan to do to keep it up. Those individuals make my existence here more difficult when my behavior gets lumped in with their hostile intent. I was only wanting to help and contribute without assuming some form of immediate, tangible payment.
Thank you all for listening.