The No-Asshole Rule for the Social Web


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.

One thought on “The No-Asshole Rule for the Social Web

  1. I wholeheartedly agree. One of my long-standing feelings is that of disappointment so many men are such jerks. I understand the feelings of resentment and even anger toward women – based on the ongoing inability of the two to communicate well. I frequently opine that "Men are from Mars, and women are from an entirely different galaxy". However, there’s never an excuse for abuse and, especially, violence in a relationship, in my opinion.I was raised to believe the strong have a responsibility to protect the weak. Since men are generally physically (I didn’t say physiologically) stronger than women and children, it’s our responsibility to provide comfort and protection when others are threatened or violated. Sadly, a large proportion of men seem to be more interested in how they look to other men, not in how they behave and, therefore, look to society in general.Perhaps testosterone is one of the most powerful drugs known, but we’re supposed to be civilized, eh?As far as social media is concerned, I also agree and it goes beyond gender. Thankfully, I’ve not seen a great deal of assholiness in my forays into the social world. There are those I wold classify as jerks, but not too many true assholes.


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