Why I Will Block You on FriendFeed

Here’s a primer to how to get blocked by me on FriendFeed. I used to try to engage with people with trollish tendencies, now I’m just blocking out of hand. I’ve crossed the “life is too short” threshold in dealing with it.

I will block you out of hand, no warning or recourse or anything if:

  1. I’ve never heard of you or interacted with you before
  2. You aren’t subscribed to me and came in via some friend of a friend relationship
  3. Your first ever interaction with me is to pick a fight, tell me how stupid I am or pompous I am or how bad a person I am to hold whatever opinion I hold

It’s that simple. I’ve put in a feature request to FriendFeed to have the capacity to block myself from the whole “friend of a friend” post thing. The first hour I started using FriendFeed, I hid the FoF posts for myself but I really don’t want to appear in them for other people. That’s where the trouble starts, at least for me. I’d like to reduce or eliminate the number of drive-bys that drive by.

I use the site to interact with my friends, and I’m tired of the aggression of strangers. If the first thing you ever say to me is negative, you begin overdrawn at the karma bank so that the first check you write on it bounces. Sadly, this whole dynamic isn’t new to me. I’ve been through it on FriendFeed, on Twitter, on Sff.net, Google groups, IRC, Usenet, Compuserve, GEnie and local BBS in Augusta GA.

I might have to admit that despite my leanings toward and belief in infotopias, given a large enough pool of people to interact with, there will always be people that make it their personal project to ruin your day. No interactive medium is immune to griefers. My 25 years of dealing with people electronically have boiled down to a series of hacked up mitigation strategies. I’ve walked away with more friends than enemies (and blissfully have forgotten most of the latter) but it always feels like more work than it should be and like we all are wasting a lot of energy on pointlessness.

In a slightly related topic, I registered the domain “douchebagfeed.com” today.

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