The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

Bruce Feldman has an interesting Q&A with Justine Gubar, a journalist at ESPN, who authored a book about fan behavior in the social media era.

We live in a world where it’s easier than ever to be an anonymous flaming asshole, so it’s no real surprise that collegiate sports isn’t an exception.  Still, some of what Gubar relates is unsettling.

Q: What’s the most appalling thing you learned about online fanaticism while working on your book?

Gubar: The graphic rape and death threats uniquely experienced by women. Fans go after women in really disturbing ways. The OSU fans were angry about the stories I was pursuing yet they uniformly singled out my appearance in their insults. I’m not sure what one had to do with another. Look at the hideous reaction directed at movie star and Kentucky hoops fan Ashley Judd for comments she made during this year’s NCAA Final Four tournament. Read what Judd had to say about her experience here.

Trolling and internet machismo.  The weird thing is the belief that these kind of people have that they’re able to change the story if they’re only persistent enough.

Q: Last year there was a lot of talk about #FSUTwitter and its role in trying to deter media from how it covered the Seminoles’ off-field issues. How closely did you follow FSU Twitter’s response to the Jameis Winston coverage? What was your reaction?

Gubar: I saw several of my ESPN colleagues as well as journalists from other entities endure heavy harassment for their reporting. I guess I was sort of amused because I don’t know many journalists who would back down from their reporting because of anonymous strangers lobbing childish insults at them. Yes, the trolling is disturbing and it can be a burden to put in the effort to avoid the stream of nastiness, but often the defensiveness of fans is a telltale sign for reporters that this is a story that needs to be followed up on.

Pathetic.  The cliché about some folks needing to get a life may be just that, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

53 Comments

Filed under College Football, Social Media Is The Devil's Playground

53 responses to “The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

  1. The WWL and journalism in the same sentence? From the network that brings us 3 hours of PAWWL and his legion of Bammer/Barn loonies? These people are the sports talk radio versions of the social media fanatics that she’s complaining about.

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  2. News flash–there are nuts on the inter tubes. Another news flash– some are nuts working for ESPN on the inter tubes.

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  3. Union Jack

    As a husband and a parent of a 16 year old daughter, some of this stuff is going way beyond just common trolling and basic machismo.

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    • Union Jack

      Not sure why I didn’t finish my thought there – but coffee … There is some pretty scary threats that if they were made on a common city street would be taken far more seriously by the authorities.

      Unfortunately, our law enforcement agencies, especially on the local level, are not as well versed in the tools of the digital age.

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        Exactly. If were to pick up a phone and call someone, or walk up to someone in a Publix and start impugning them with some of the stuff you’ll find online, I’m quite confident that I’ll be riding in the back of a police vehicle in short order. Yet somehow doing the same online absolves you from any consequences.

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        • Bulldog Joe

          Agree. The threat of riding in the back of a police car, an ambulance, or worse is an effective deterrent in most of those face-to-face or voice-to-voice cases.

          Like the phone industry, I believe some technology-savvy individuals will soon create an affordable service to identify and expose individuals who partake in this type of online harrassment.

          It will happen.

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          • Irishdawg

            This country was much more civil when there was a legit chance of getting your teeth knocked out if you acted like an asshole.

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            • Debby Balcer

              +1

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            • 3rdandGrantham

              I so badly want to agree, but crime stats say otherwise. A quick comparison of national crime rates to the, say, 1970’s, exemplifies this.

              Then again, you also have to factor in crime related things like leaded gas, longer incarceration rates, and perhaps even abortion, so maybe you’re right after all.

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              • PTC DAWG

                Nobody reported crap like that back in the day. You took your whipping and went home and STFU.

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                • 3rdandGrantham

                  I’m not looking at it from that prizm; I’m looking at it from a simple perspective that, the lower the overall crime rate (including violent crime), the more civil a society generally is (civil being the term Irishdawg used). U.S. crime rates are down more than 50% since the 70’s, including close to 80% when you look at murder rates.

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                • Irishdawg

                  I wasn’t being completely clear, 3rd. I meant that before this country turned into a bunch of litigious pussies, shooting your mouth off would often earn you an asskicking, and I think society was better for it. Most of the bigger jerkoffs I’ve met have never had a corrective punch in the mouth.

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                • DawgPhan

                  Violence only begets more violence.

                  You can think that everyone today is just a big pussy, but you are safer today than you were in the “good ole days”. People are much more civil to one another today than they were, much more tolerant.

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                • 3rdandGrantham

                  Exactly DP, well said. I will agree with Irish that some people could use an attitude adjustment that they never received previously, but we absolutely are more civil and tolerant as a society today than the so-called halcyon days of yesteryear. Again, crime stats alone prove this, and we can get into other areas like drunk driving rates/deaths, which also have drastically improved over the past few decades.

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                • Bahits Dawg

                  Maybe, we just had more honest reporting back in 1970 and earlier. Officials were not trying to make their cities look better than they really were. Now, it is a big deal to be at the top or bottom of a list based on crime. There is a lot of lying going on, and there is a whole lot of crime. Just look at the weekly killings in Chicago and Baltimore. More people have been killed in those cities over the last 10 years than soldiers we lost in Iraq and Ashcanistan.

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                • DawgPhan

                  Ahh my favorite internet response.

                  “I think your data and facts are lies, here are my facts that I made up or heard on a cable news station. “

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                • 3rdandGrantham

                  Reporting is more accurate today, as there are so many more watchdog groups out there than ever before. Back in the day, you had a few Walter Cronkite types and the local paper, and that’s it. Sure, you’ll run across various fudging of the numbers, but with technology, reporting resources, and all the rest, its far easier to bring to the forefront any corruption that might be taking place.

                  Government entities were far more corrupt back in the day than they are now; really not even close. Yes, Baltimore is bad (I was just there on Monday), but even their murder rates are doing significantly since the 80’s and 90’s. Atlanta is down considerably, and places like L.A. and NYC are 1000% safer than they were back in the late 60’s thru 90’s. Heck, Atlanta used to average between 180-250 murders yearly back in the 70’s thru 90’s; these days that number is around 80-90.

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                • AlphaDawg

                  Chicago alone has had 1000 more homicides since 2000 than deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are currently at 450 on pace to have close to 900 this year, which will be one of the deadliest ever for Chicago.

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                • DawgPhan

                  Chicago has not had 450 murders this year or more murders than Iraq and Afghanistan. That isnt a real thing. I know you heard it somewhere, but it isnt based on actual facts.

                  I know you want it to be more dangerous today than it was in your day, but it isnt. There isnt evidence to support that position.

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                • Dog in Fla

                  @AlphaDawg July 1, 2015 at 2:59 PM

                  Do the Chicago homicide numbers count those disappeared* at Homan Square?

                  The disappeared*: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’

                  “The secretive warehouse is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. While those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage – trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown.”

                  http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site

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                • 3rdandGrantham

                  What is your point Alphadog? First off, Chicago currently stands at 222 murders as of today, so I’m not sure where you got that 450 number. Second, back in the early 70’s thru mid 90’s, Chicago averaged between 700-941 murders yearly, with right at 400 murders in 2014, the lowest in 5 decades.

                  Look, all of this is really simple; just like DUI deaths and the like, both violent and non-violent crime in the US is down tremendously since the ‘good-ole days’ of your youth.

                  Now feel free to continue on comparing various cities murders to the Iraq war and such. Oh, have fun with our 4.5 murder rate compared to 10.5 in 1980, and NYC’s 2000 yearly murders in the 80’s and early 90’s compared to 328 last year. By the way, don’t forget that the U.S. also has added about 100 million more people since the mid 70’s as well.

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                • AlphaDawg

                  I misread my source, they are expecting 450 this year. I read it as 450 YTD. Which is where I got the on pace to 900.

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                • 3rdandGrantham

                  If you want to attempt to make yourself feel better about the glory days of your youth, even though myriad stats say otherwise, do a bit of research on the effects of leaded gasoline on the brain, and the strong correlation between lead and violent tendencies/crime. I personally found it fascinating.

                  Many now feel that leaded gasoline of previous decades is the #1 culprit of the U.S. crime wave that jump started this whole thing back in the 60’s.

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                • Dog in Fla

                  @3rdandGrantham July 1, 2015 at 3:47 PM

                  “research on the effects of leaded gasoline on the brain,”

                  So avgas explains why pilots of piston-engine planes get a $100 hamburger

                  “Yes, aviation fuel emerged as the largest source of lead emissions in the U.S. once lead was phased out of automotive gasoline beginning in the 1970s. While jets, which comprise the majority of commercial aircraft, don’t use leaded fuel, smaller, piston-engine planes use enough leaded aviation fuel (nicknamed “avgas”) to account for half of the lead pollution in American skies, making it a real air quality issue.”

                  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lead-in-aviation-fuel/

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/$100_hamburger

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                • 3rdandGrantham

                  I’m a pilot and own an avgas fueled airplane, so I’m familiar with this story. I’m also certainly familiar with $100 hamburgers, though the 8-9 gph burn rate of the DA40 (compared to 14-15 of similar aircraft) puts me at ease a bit. There’s an entirely different side of the story that the article missed, but regardless I’d love to see new technology for single engine pistons.

                  Though I certainly trust my Lycoming io-360 engine, its a relic of the past and is long past its prime in terms of the overall technology involved.

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            • Mayor

              I have a friend, another lawyer, who insists that we should allow dueling again. He says it would make civil litigation a whole lot more civil if, when one lawyer spuriously said over the top things in court filings or orally in court, there was the threat that the other lawyer could walk over, slap the bastard’s face and challenge him to a duel. I’m not so sure how that would work with women lawyers, though. Thankfully we have progressed past such things. Or have we? This thread is making me question whether human beings have progressed at all.

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              • Dog in Fla

                They’ve figured it out in Florida. Your turn Georgia

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                • Mayor

                  The judge mishandled this. He just should have said: “I find you in contempt” and started fining the lawyer. Every time the lawyer talked back-another fine, each time escalating the amount. After about five fines in a row if the lawyer still won’t shut up the judge then is supposed to turn to the deputy and say: “Take this man into custody and put him in a holding cell. I’m holding him in contempt. He can get out by paying the fines I just imposed. Contact the PD’s office and get them to send another Public Defender to this courtroom immediately. Court is in recess until the new Public Defender arrives.”

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            • 81Dog

              hear, hear

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          • sniffer

            Read “The Circle” by David Eggers. Fiction novel but the subject is net civility and how that is attained. All users are identified as who they are, not avatars, fake usernames and such. Online, you are who you are. That day may come and I don’t think it’s a bad idea.

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            • sniffer

              ….posts a guy calling himself “sniffer”!

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            • Debby Balcer

              When I started commenting I did not realize people used screen names. I have on other sites but I am just as civil with a screen name as I am using my own. I thunk posting using your real name would make people think twice about what they say. There are some people who let their real character show when they can post anonymously and others who are true trolls.

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              • Mayor

                “…I am just as civil with a screen name as I am using my own.” That is because you are a civilized person. Bless you for being so.

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      • The insults are horrible, but I am just as much offended at the robo posts and the spam shops like those hosted by Russia, China and in India.

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  4. 3rdandGrantham

    I’ve long held the position that, for the most part, those who get all upset and wrapped up in sports and their favorite team(s), the more likely they are to lead a fairly meaningless, if not borderline pathetic life. And on the other end of the spectrum, the successful, well-adjusted ones who lead a balanced and healthy life (with solid relationships, careers, hobbies, etc.) generally view sports or their favorite team as a casual entertainment vehicle only; nothing more or less.

    As for twitter, other than using it strictly for various business marketing efforts, there really is no need to waste your time with all the pointless garbage there. These days, seemingly 90% of it involves celebrities of some fashion expressing rather meaningless thoughts, coupled with losers responding in kind who are either offended or jump at the chance to throw around vulgar language as a response.

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  5. Russ

    Why can’t the trolls just leave the internet for the porn it was intended to provide?

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  6. DawgPhan

    The way that women are treated on the internet is horrible. There is no excuse for it.

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  7. #FSUTwitter was easily one of the worst things to come out of 2014. As stated above – it’s a travesty how women get treated on the internet and the John Oliver clip that Union Jack posted above perfectly summarizes it.

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    • As bad as #FSUTwitter was…#AskJameis was hilarious. I don’t think you can regulate the posts without losing what’s good about twitter too.

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      • DawgPhan

        twitter knows they have an issue with some of the types of tweets. Twitter doesnt really provide great tools for dealing with them.

        #gamergate was the same as #fsutwitter but for videogames.

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      • I agree that Twitter is very hilarious. Half the reason (hell – closer to 99% the reason) isn’t for the substantive discussion or news, but because I enjoy the wittiness of it. I’m not for regulating social media by censorship or anything, but if you cross the line that would get you charged with terroristic threats / stalking if it were face to face, it should be policed as such.

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  8. Mayor

    I admit to being woefully ignorant, by design frankly, of what is going on out there in the cyber world. I thought I was still living in the 20th Century and just a little behind the times . After reading this thread I now realize that I am stuck in the 19th Century. Damn. Thanks for illuminating this problem folks. I have a wife and adult daughters. This scares the hell out of me.

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  9. People who take the time to post vicious screeds on the internet are people who have enough time and enough viciousness to do so. I’m gonna guess that a large % of those folks are ones whose viciousness causes them to minimize dealing with real people, giving them more time to vomit their phlegm in a medium where no one can immediately, physically react.

    We don’t need to return to dueling or ass-kicking. We just need folks to do more useful, non-screen related stuff that gets their asses out of chairs and outdoors. They’ll feel better and write less crap.

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  10. Reservoir Dawg

    Jeezis H. Thornyheaded Kee-rist. I turn my back for a day and this place devolves into a troll-slammin’, confederate flag-hatin’, gay-marryin’, stinkin’ love fest. Good work, people. Is it a full moon or something? I’m gonna go see what’s happening at Stingtalk. Or try to find where Michael Adams posts so I can troll him some.

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