One thing I’ve discovered this weekend, is there are some people who suck the life out of a discussion. They use their popularity, their rank, their legions of fans, to overwhelm and crush any opposition. No, crush is a melodramatic word. They nullify opposition.

Sometimes they’re sweet in their weblogs; sometimes they’re not. Typically they’re held up for admiration and respect, and given accolades and affection by many. Yet there’s a dark side to them, a seeming need to control everything around them.

When they become involved in a discussion, the focus changes from the topic to the person. I don’t know about others, but it almost invariably leaves me going, “Why do I continue doing this?” They take what joy I have in this space, this writing, and they taint it, corrupt it.

People complain about trolls, but anonymous people who come into a space and leave a bit of snark are nothing more than the buzz of a bug. Flap your hand, chase them away. No, these people are never treated like trolls. Ostensibly, they don’t act like trolls. But when they’re done, if the discussion is not dead, it’s certainly been redirected. And they’re satisfied; they have control. Even if all their control brought, was discord.

I’m not perfect, I know that. This is more observation than proclamation. People read Techmeme to see what discussions to get into. From now on, I’m going to read it to see which ones to avoid. It’s not a healthy place for me.

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