I noticed something interesting about how Deaf people used the internet between 2000s and 2010s.
In 2000s, we had blogs where plenty of Deaf individuals that wrote on various topics which often brought the heated discussions among each other. I remembered arguing with Elisa Abenchuchan, Joey Baer, Amy Cohen Efron, Shane Feldman, Alex Abenchuchan, Jesse Thomas, Allison Polk, Jason Lamberton, Chris Kaftan, Joseph Santini et al on many subjects. Then after that, in person, we are all fine with each other. We do respect each other. In fact, whenever I saw them in person, we would have a good conversation. It was civilized, really. Except for Mike McConnell, I just can't stand the sight of him. So never mind him at all.
However, Elisa, Alex, Jesse, Jason, Chris, Joseph and so on - they would not try to silence or attack others by reporting or trying to shut our blogs down. I appreciate this kind of people. Why? Because as much as I rarely admit this, I learn something new from their views from time to time.
Fast forward to 2010s, with the age of Facebook & YouTube, a new group of Deaf individuals comes on the internet. Many are trolls. They became disruptive. They abuse the system in their warped attempts to shut or silence others down. They created fake usernames (I know of one person who created 10 different usernames just to sow the conflicts) with their goal: Do anything possible to destroy the others whom they might feel threatened or disagreed with. They would not engage in heavy discussions or arguments, they would do anything possible to get you silenced and at the same time, trying to drag your name through the mud by telling untrue allegations. Today, you have Lindsay Dunn who kept on trashing people from time to time. Same thing goes for Carl Schroeder, Julia Silvestri, Damon Stump, Sheri Ann Farinha, Vikee Waltrip, Robert L Mason, Steven Baier, Richard Roehm ... they participated in pushing for each other to silence the ones they disliked the most rather than to click on "x" and ignore whoever was writing on their webpages. They would try to ostracize the ones that may disagree with them by kicking them out of FB groups, by silencing them by reporting them to FB, by encouraging their peers to find their personal & workplace information in their warped attempts to get them in trouble with this, that and there.
10 years ago, it was not like that. Today, it is common. What prompted the change? I noticed that many older Deaf bloggers/vloggers has reduced, stopped and/or abandoned their blogs/vlogs ... out of fear. Many said that they could not handle in dealing with the current group's malicious streak. I noticed this with myself as well. But I'm a fighter. I don't cower before these malicious people. I fight back. Why do you think I won the court where one family tried to bully me around with accusations regarding the posts on Facebook? I am not the kind of person who will tone down my voice just because others threatened me with this, that and there. In fact, it made me more determined to do something about it.
However, I cannot help but wonder what it will be like in 10 years. I shudder to think what 2020s might look like ...