Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Did Curt Schilling set a new standard for policing the internet?

If you're not up to date on this Curt Schilling story, here's the 37-second recap:

Schilling sent a tweet congratulating his daughter for getting into college and playing for the school's softball team.  Some people who aren't fans of his wrote horribly offensive replies insulting him and his daughter.  Schilling tracked them down, called them out, and now the offending parties are suffering the consequences with their schools and employers.  I highly recommend you take the time to read Schilling's blog detailing the sequence of events.

In my mind it's obvious that you should never say anything to someone on the internet that you wouldn't also say to that person in real life.  Clearly this is not a rule everyone lives by.  Maybe schoolkids should put their hand over their heart and repeat that each morning like the pledge of allegiance.

As far as I know, Schilling's response is one of the first widely publicized instances of repercussions for being a piece of $#*% on the internet.  To borrow from a colleague of mine, I "really hope we look back at Schilling's ongoing battle as the Boston Tea Party of the internet troll war."

Maybe Schilling's actions are the beginning of a revolution.  I'm going to use the sports world as my example, but this could happen in all walks of life.  I'd love to turn on ESPN tomorrow and see Scott Van Pelt say:

"Joe Schmo wrote: 'You are ____ing ___ who ___ his ____.'  He disagrees with my take on the Philadelphia Eagles' defense.  Joe is a manager at Applebee's in Anytownville, PA.  I can't imagine this is the type of person Applebee's wants representing their establishment."

Then see what happens.

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