The Internet lynch mob

I was thinking about writing something on the line of what I announced in the past entry, but what has happened recently surrounding the artist who does the work for The S.T.E.A.L. Saga, that is Too, made me change my mind.

People sometimes wonder why I dislike “social networking” and “community sites” on the Internet. The reason is that many people who go there are often in their teens and they can easily turn into a lynch mob. It has happened before with the Blue Gartr versus FFXIclopedia fiasco, and it has happened a few days ago with Too.

Basically, someone started posting an image which allegedly reported many similarities between his work and other ones. While the resemblance was in some case done purposely (as written by Too himself in the notes), in most it was sketchy if totally absent. That was enough to start some voices (a minority genuinely concerned, a majority because they had nothing better to do) to yell “Reference! Reference! Kill!”. Worse, people started asking refunds for his Genesis artbook because it contained “reference” material. Not to mention insults and general hatred. Recently posts have been claiming that he also lied about his career.

When I pointed those people to the gallery on to try and spot “references” in the illustrations he did for us, people either dodged the questions or just indulged in ad hominem attacks, up to the point of saying that they “felt sorry” for me and my brother to have hired him, that we were foolish to believe, etc.

However, there are a number of problems with that. First of all, “respect” on the Internet for certain types of communities can mean absolutely nothing, if the mob turns against you, you will be submerged in a sea of hate speech. Second, people babble a lot about proof, about “knowing the truth”, but no one has shown me proof when I asked for it. Folks, you should read up on SCO vs IBM. They sued IBM for a lot of money telling about unspecified “intellectual property” (goodness I hate that term) in Linux: they never showed any evidence and their case is now failing completely. Same here: put up, or shut up.

Third, I am baffled by the incredible amount of moralism of these messages. These people, as I have already said, have nothing better to do. “Whoever is without sin, throw the first rock”, the Gospel says. I think it is a fitting definition: those people act like they’re on a moral high ground, yet probably they’re probably even worse than who they’re trying to “moralize”. The worst was seen with so-called friends, who said they were “angry” for this.

Frankly, do you call yourselves “friends” if something this stupid is bothering you? Let me give you a friendly advice: stop pestering the man, and do not call yourselves friends. You’re just a bunch of hypocrites.

Let me also say something. I do not care_ _if Too had said lies. He acted professionally with me, and delivered high quality art. That is what it matters, not the nameless opinion of a hundred sheep on the Internet.

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