Monday, 24 June 2013

Standing In The Light

One of the risks in doing this blog is that I am opening up my feelings, myself, to the blogosphere. By it's very nature, this is an open community, one where people can comment and share their ideas without restriction or barrier. Unfortunately this also means that people who are hateful, spiteful, angry and vicious can use the cloak of anonymity to spew their hatred and bile.

Someone, under the guise of anonymity, has been spewing their hatred for me on this blog. This person has been using this space to attack me, to say things to me under the cloak of darkness, lacking the courage to say what they mean in full view of all. This person has posted some fairly hurtful and hateful comments, delighting in the ability to hurl abuse without having to accept the responsibility of being named. This person also posts in later postings knowing that his or her diatribes will be seen primarily by me and not those who read this blog on a regular basis.

I am of two minds in terms of dealing with this. So far I have simply deleted the most hateful and egregious commentary. Last night, however, when I did this, "Anonymous", with clear glee and delight, simply reposted the same commentary with an additional "nyah, nyah, nyah" attached. This cretin clearly takes joy in the pain he or she causes. My other response is to use a more systematic approach.

I have a limited set of system tools for this. One of the tools is to limit comments to only those people who identify themselves. I am unhappy about this, as it limits the ability of people to share their thoughts and ideas about my journey towards the end of my life. It is a barrier, a boundary that has unfortunately been thrust upon this blog by the inconsiderate and hateful postings of someone who lacks the courage to be seen, to be identified, to be known.

It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to remove anonymous posting. If you want to post here, you must identify yourself. You must, as I am, be willing to be known for what you say, to be seen for who you are, to be held in the light of day and to have what you say held under that same light.

Has "Anonymous" won? Is "Anonymous" the victor? In some ways this cruel, spiteful person may feel some vindication, like he or she has won some sort of victory. He, or she, has forced me to put boundaries on who can comment. On the other hand, perhaps this is important. Perhaps this person will now be forced to step out from the darkness and to be as brave as the spiteful commentary. Perhaps Anonymous will now become real, and perhaps responsible too.

But I doubt it. Cowardice cannot stand in the light. It hides in the darkness, unwilling to be known and seen. Cowards live in fear; fear of being known, fear of being seen, fear of being caught. I am no coward. You can see me, you know who I am, it's easy to identify me. I stand in the light.


  1. Man, That sucks. We have enough to deal with as it is.

  2. Cowards can hide and be any ugly thing they want to be. Courage stands in the light as you say afraid of no one. You are courageous Rick in every way. Love Mom

  3. I'm Denise, one of your mom's friends.

    As Billy Connlly said, "Heckling is an act of cowardice. If you want to speak, get up in front of the microphone and speak, don't sit in the dark hiding. It's easy to hide and shout and waste people's time."

  4. Or you could leave them up. If this coward is known to you, he/she is probably known to some of us, and we can take the appropriate action. If not, then we can trace their IP (which I believe is provided by the blog platform) and then, again, we can take the appropriate action. Maybe we'll even send it to Anonymous, the vigilante group. :)
    I know that's not your style but it's fun to contemplate, and it may give this b*stard food for thought.

  5. Anonymous is an internet troll. It takes a coward to hide behind an unknown or anonymous name to attack others. I'm sorry you had to experience this type of internet abuse. Especially when you're being so open about your struggle with ALS. I struggle with a lower back injury and diabetes. We all struggle with something at one point in our lives, it's how we choose to live is important.

    Your life didn't come to a screeching stop when the specialist and Dr said ALS. You are continuing to live.

    Your possibly one of the bravest people I know. But I really don't know you. Your a stronger person then most would be.