Somebody called me a "cunt" once on social media. Actually to be fair more than a few people have called me this or something similar at intervals over the years; sometimes variations on this theme with greater or fewer adjectives, perhaps according to their whims, creative abilities or the occasion. This seemed dependent on their perception of how much I had offended their delicate sensibilities by simply disagreeing with whatever idea or belief they held.
Often they launched into an illiterate diatribe immediately - based on some information already presented; at other times perhaps, in response to their annoyance with my temerity in refuting their stated positions using facts and complete sentences. In fact, the implication in the previous sentence would incite many to bestow upon me the prestigious "cunt" label - this presuming they were smart enough to catch the implied insult in the first place.
I never sought these people out. They arrived in my little corner of the social media world or popped into a group I hosted/participated in, presumably to right whatever misconception I, or others, might reasonably have about the world. The idea of course, was that by employing personal insults, however meaningless, you could maintain your ridiculous ideologies and silence dissension.
About a year ago I was called a "racist" on a social media site for no legitimate reason. Nonetheless, I was mortified, so much so that I questioned some of the people I know regarding whether this label could reasonably be applied to me. One of them laughed out loud, assuring me this was the new, pardon the pun, "black" in conversational insults. Because I identify as, and in fact am, a woman, I can sidestep a number of the deprecatory comments applied to men, although I have received a few additional comments alleging the most recent constructs in real or perceived "phobias". The fact these can't be substantiated, apparently makes them no less valid - or so it would seem.
I was reminded of this earlier because someone important to me has had his social media account (elsewhere) revoked. The action was taken in response to a complaint regarding a meme he posted. He was not the creator, and the information presented was neither rude, incendiary, or factually incorrect. It did, however, apparently "offend" someone at the cellular level.
As a result, years' worth of information, group contributions, context-sensitive comments have been removed permanently. A backup, if one exists, is in many ways functionally useless without the supporting data; and as usual I acknowledge complaining about ill treatment when you volunteer content on someone else's "property" is not your right. That said, when did accusations become irrefutable proof of impropriety, and punishable by suspension, expulsion, or punitive action? This isn't Salem, and it sure-as-shit isn't 1692!
When people attach these labels and consequences to you in virtual environments, censorship or the loss of important data is generally the largest consequence. When the growing number of emotionally-challenged employ these tactics in "real" life as a means of retribution or censorship, there are increasingly dire consequences. In many cases, accusations are now just as good as evidence. People who do these things are, IMHO, shit people who need counseling or at least a hobby. They should be chastised or ignored, but unbelievably, the remaining "normal" people seem ok with this.
In retrospect, I see how we got here, but I never thought things would get this bad. I'm sure in a few years I'll again be lamenting how great it was even at this stage.
Still though...I miss the time when the worst that could happen to you on or off a social media site, was being called a dumb prick or a stupid cunt.