I don’t like the word, “asshole.” I tell my kids when they’re tempted to use it to visualize it. A good deterrent. But like no other word in the marginally unacceptable words for polite conversation does “asshole” communicate so effectively. If you’re labeled an asshole, you probably are, in other words.
Now, I’ve always wanted to read, “The No-Asshole Rule,” but never got around to it. But from the title and the description, I get it and wholeheartedly endorse its premise. I think it’s time to establish a No-Asshole Rule for the Social Web (#no-assholes). Destructive jerks are disruptive and destroy the healthy fabric of the social web which is grounded on mutual sharing and civil conversation. Disagreement is encouraged, but public abuse (especially personal abuse) should be outlawed by the community.
I have a personal history of being in an abusive, violent relationship. It was many years ago, and I still bear the scars of that era in my life. There were many occasions where I was being verbally and even physically abused and groups of people did nothing. They watched in silence and then pretended it didn’t happen. I never understood that until I took Sociology 101 in college and found out it’s very common for groups and individuals to not get involved when someone is being victimized. An oddity. But drawing from the courage it took to get out of that relationship, I’m writing this post. It’s never acceptable to be abusive in any social or private circumstance. Period.
Let’s crowd-source some civilized rules of engagement, shall we? Let’s call out bullies when they’re bullying and direct our efforts toward cultivating a positive, helpful, social web learning experience.