velle non discitur
- Nov 17, 2019
I'm sorry but this went over my head. What I meant was that we shouldn't be hostile or openly suspicious towards new members, who might be in a very vulnerable psychological state, that's all. In actuality it doesn't really matter whether they are fake accounts or not; because if something we do or say here should in any way make us a target for criminal charges, it is all well documented in other threads anyway. I wouldn't behave any different towards an undercover journalist who pretends to be a new member than to a genuine new member. And why should I?Please note I am addressing your statement, not you as a person. And you are not the only one who has made such a statement. This is just one quote.
It is not the new members who are being put under scrutiny, but their statements.
It is indeed sensible to do so.
Say there was a playground. Lots of children around. One group of kids stayed together at the swings, and these swings were too small for adults. All the kids had skinned knees, and they all were crying because their knees hurt, and because they'd heard on the news that there were adults who wanted to destroy the swing set. There were no other swing sets, this was the only one that allowed kids with skinned knees.
A little person who was an adult dressed in child's clothing, raised the pitch of their voice to sound like a child, put some fake dried blood on their knee, and cried fake tears. They went up to the swings and said, "I want to swing, too! I'm really safe, I have a hurt knee, I'm crying, and I am for sure not a stranger danger, I've heard about them!"
Some of the kids invited that person to join. It's a pretty welcoming group of kids.
But one of the kids noticed there was something off. They spoke up. They said, "Hold on a minute. Your voice sounds funny. I have fake blood at home that looks just like what's on your knee. No offense, but some people can fake crying. And why did you bring up not being a stranger danger when you're a kid? Stranger dangers are adults! And there are other adults who want to destroy our swings. I think we need to know more before we're sure you're safe to play with us."
The fake kid cried harder. They said in their fake voice, "Why are you being so mean to me? There's something wrong with you! You are overly suspicious! You hurt my feelings! It makes my knee hurt even more! I thought these swings were for me, too! I'm so lonely, I don't know anyone else with a hurt knee, or with nice swings, and you won't let me play. You're not very nice. You should be ashamed. I don't know why you are saying these things!"
Some of the kids hopped off the swings and hugged the adult to try to comfort them, and asked them to come play on the swings together and talk about their hurt knee and why they don't have any swings of their own and about the mean adults who want to take away their swing set.
Some of the kids agreed with the kid who spoke up, and said so, while others went somewhere safe.
Some of the kids ran to the playground monitor and said the new kid was maybe not a kid.
Some of the kids ran to the playground monitor and said the kid who spoke up was bullying.
Some of the kids who saw all this said, "We shouldn't put every new kid under scrutiny. It's not very sensible." Some said, "We should be nicer and more welcoming." Some of the kids who originally doubted the fake kid felt very, very bad about themselves. They said they were sorry, and asked how they could help.
The adult pretending to be a kid can do several things now:
The adult can say everyone is a bunch of mean bullies and go home. Then the next time a pretend kid shows up everyone will be ashamed, and doubt themselves, and invite the fake kid to join and cry and play.
The adult can accept the comfort and keep crying about how mean the others are and how bad their knee hurts and how no one lets them play. When enough kids are on their side, they will stay and play, and start telling those kids how to play, and push some of them off the swings.
Then other fake kids scattered around the playground will see that it's safe for them to come join in on the swings and the crying. They'll start pushing off the legit kids and break the swing set so no one can use it anymore.
I notice no playground monitors have stepped in to call anyone a bully or a fake adult.
But I'm concerned when someone tells me I'm not being sensible when I am, or that I'm not being nice when I'm noticing out loud and not attacking. I won't stop being sensible or noticing, but the other kids who heard it might.