Internet Trolls, Keyboard Terrorists, and Snowflakes – This one is for you!

Angry Wet ChickenI grew up in a tough school.  I have lost my share of fist fights, I have served honorably in two different branches of the US Military (Army and Navy), which include two passes through Basic Training.  I have been unfairly accused of things I did not do and suffered the consequences.  I have been homeless, living on the streets of the Seattle Metro area in October and November.  Let me be clear, I have been around several blocks, been kicked, pummeled, and am still here.  If you want to blather; find someone who cares!

Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last time, a troll has raised their ugly head and provided me advice that presumes the moral high ground.  I laugh at you!  In the politest way I know how to communicate, go pound sand!  Better still, put on your man-jammas, grab a cup of warm stupidity, and crawl under your blankie, you cannot “Skeer” me!  I have thick skin, big shoulders, and the experience to back up what I say.  I carefully reference what I write.  If you want to go “toe-to-toe” with me, bring your lunch, say your farewells to your loved ones, and put your big-boy pants and boots on.

Bird of PreyIf you think for one particle of one nanosecond you can put the “Skeer” into me, you have no idea!  My wife asked me what I would do if LinkedIn kicked me off their site, again.  I laughed.  I would write the same article I wrote the last time demanding an end to censorship and keep right on doing what I know is right.  For there is right and wrong in this world, and a good moral compass has been possessed since I was a young child!

A friend asked me if I get bothered by the negativity that swirls in the world.  The honest answer, nope!  See, I will tell you a truth, when you know right from wrong, possess a good moral compass, and have experienced life; the negativity becomes little chihuahuas nipping at your feet.  Well, I love the taste of dog!  Bring it on!Dont Tread On Me

In the US Army, South Korea (1995-1996), I was on Tank Table 12, the Colonel walked into “Ma’s Tent” and ordered a dish I had never heard of before.  As the Chaplains Assistant, I did not have much to do that day, and got the same dish 20% off because “Ma” needed to finish off the meat she had prepared for the Colonel.  Turned out that delicious meat was dog.  I loved it then, and have no problems eating more now.  Try me!

In the abusive home I endured as a child, I was raised to be the biggest and baddest bastard.  Then I was taught how to be the last bastard standing.  I hate being that person; but I know where he sleeps and can wake him if needed.  You do not rule me; you do not even measure in my world.  You cannot “Skeer” me, and if you need a history lesson on the origin and meaning of the term “Skeer,” come meet me face-to-face.Plato 2

I might be a mobility disabled person with neurologic issues, a bad spine, and other health problems.  But I still know how to put small and insignificant imbeciles into their place, and keep them there, forever!  If you choose to take offense, that is YOUR choice, and may you enjoy all the consequences of YOUR choice; but do not dare presume to tell me what I can and cannot do!  Do you dare stick your little head up; I like the game of Whack-A-Mole as well and play it really well.

America, we need more standing and less groveling!  We desperately need to be able to have the courage to discuss the issues openly and freely to gather the solutions and present a united front to those who deem themselves our masters.  I repeat only for emphasis, “Those currently elected to rule, you do not have my consent to be governed!”  I will support any and all who stand with me to become stronger, more confident, more capable, and more able in declaring we will not allow this the American Republic to fall into that dark abyss of failed experiments on our watch!

Angry Grizzly BearKeyboard terrorists, you do not “Skeer” me!  Internet Trolls, go find a bridge to haunt!  Snowflakes: well, I grew up shoveling you out of the way and still know how to melt you into insignificance!  May I invite you to cease drinking the “Haterade,” end the dietary supplements from Jim Jones, put your big-boy and girl pants on, and either declare yourselves part of the solution, or fade into nothingness as part of the problem.  You will not dissuade me, you will not win against those like me, the adults in the room.  You might make noise, but so do pulling babes when they get hungry.  Except, I wont feed you like mommy does, I will cut off your government teat, I would see your government benefits end, and I would see your world turned on its ear where you can choose to survive through changing yourself or die an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle!

What do I plan to do with this article; present it to every single internet troll, keyboard terrorist, and snowflake who crosses my path.  It is time we start passing along messages with power to those who desire the fall of this the American Republic, a free constitutional republic, only if we can keep it.  I do not pull punches, I will not be silent, I have never been meek, and I have never been able to get out of the way.  So, I stand, like a rock in a river, forcing the river to go around me.  I might appear insignificant, but put a few more people beside me, and a dam is built, the flow of water changed, and then we can judge who is insignificant or not.

Do Not Go Gently into That Good Night
Dylan Thomas

Do not go gently into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, Rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning, they
Do not go gently into that good night.

Good me, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sand the sun in flight
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gently into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gently into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Knowledge Check!America is not going to die while I draw a breath.  When freemen stand and should-to-shoulder act, we cannot lose!  Believe this, you who would destroy the heritage of freedom in the world, and fear.  Not from violence, but from logic and a lack of emotion when all free people stand.  I will declare one more truth, when America wakes up, like the Ent’s in Lord of the Rings, they will find they are strong, and the world will tremble for the betrayal felt by honest people hoodwinked by government, betrayed by the businesses they have helped create, and the world will change!

A Nation’s Strength
William Ralph Emerson

What makes a nation’s pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it might to defy
The foes that round it throng?

It is not gold.  Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.

Is it the sword?  Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.

And is it pride?  Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at His feet.

Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor’s sake
Stand fast and suffer long.

Brave men who work while other’s sleep,
Who dare while others fly…
They build a nation’s pillars deep
And lift them to the sky.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

LinkedIn Jail – Shifting the Paradigms on Social Media Power

20 August 2019 marks the fifth day I have been in LinkedIn jail, where my account is being reviewed for having broken some mysterious rule. I verified my identity immediately upon recognizing my account was suspended, I have done nothing wrong, and yet here I sit waiting for some magical decision by someone in LinkedIn’s mass bureaucracy to allow me back into my account and professional network. In the sparse emails received from LinkedIn, I learned that I had been placed in LinkedIn jail because of hate speech; this is where the paradigms of social media need correction.

LinkedIn Jail

On 18 August 2019, I sent the following message:

“What specifically about this message is “Hate speech?” Nothing in the ambiguous policies declares what “Hate speech” is, no definition, no clear line of demarcation; yet, I am being singled out from all the other responses for “Hate speech.” Interesting peek into social media, LinkedIn specifically, snowflake melting syndrome. I am aghast to see this behavior leveled against me.  Clearly define “Hate speech!”

I have asked for an explanation regarding how the above violates the user agreement, the posting policies, and the rules of LinkedIn, all to no avail. This comment was posted to a report regarding Representative Rashida Harbi Tlaib (D), and her continued flaunting of American Tax Law added to her hubris, individual ambition, and avarice, shown at every event. Except that some snowflake on LinkedIn has the power to place me in LinkedIn jail over a comment they disagree with politically.

The arbitrary actions by LinkedIn is a problem; people’s livelihoods are wrapped up in their LinkedIn profiles. I write articles and post them to LinkedIn on a myriad of topics to engage conversation and drive business to my consulting firm. I am not a 30,000-person networker on LinkedIn. My professional network includes many of those I have worked with professionally across the last two decades and 26-moves in the United States. I do accept invitations from veterans, unemployed people, and associates I meet who need a hand up.  I employ my professional network to help others.

All of my articles, but especially the articles discussing politics, religion, the VA, and elected officials are carefully written, sourced, packaged to present ideas, solutions, and explain beyond a single post why something is the way it is. I have never had any problem in the almost two decades I have been a member of LinkedIn. I don’t Facebook as that entire platform is heavily biased against new ideas and changes in thinking. I do not Tweet on the Twitter platform as that platform remains useless, and the ties that bind and gag on Facebook are the same ties that bind and gag on Twitter. I have accounts on both but rarely use them. Hence, my social media is limited to LinkedIn, and now I am left to wonder if maybe I should be changing this as well.

Where is the appeals board for the decision to close access to my business and my personal LinkedIn accounts? Who has the authority to close access? Why does this person have this access? Why can a single snowflake melting be the reason any social media account is placed into access limbo? All these questions and more the elected officials should have been asking in the committee meetings on social media, yet the items were never addressed; why? Where are the warnings and the opportunity to discuss differences in opinion between LinkedIn and the user?

I have heard discussed on LinkedIn multiple times regarding how too many LinkedIn accounts are fraudulent, or the owners are there to cause trouble; was the person reporting my comments as “hostile, hate speech” also investigated for veracity? If not, why? In more carefully reading the new LinkedIn User Agreement and the policies and rules documents, I have been amazed at the fake account language, and I would presume that both parties should be investigated when a claim of “hate speech” is reported. I would presume that LinkedIn is more interested in getting to the truth and ferreting out that trolls, the hacks, the criminals, and the dregs of society, rather than giving honest people a hard time. LinkedIn, what is the answer moving forward?

Here are five potential solutions:

  1. Before shutting down access, send an alert to both users in disagreement, investigate both users for content and appropriate user agreement adherence, look at the content posted, the threads, and evaluate both on professional merit. Then communicate with both parties the decision.  Your platform is neutral ground for expressions of personal opinion, and Freedom of Speech means the “yammer heads and trolls” get their say within reason. For example, the legal bounds of Free Speech as set forth by the Supreme Court.
  2. Filter out the miscreants and fake accounts. I do not know how many times I have been attacked on various threads by an account that is there one day and gone the next.  I was forced to submit my government-issued ID to prove I am a real person.  When investigating accusations are both users required to verify through government-issued ID their reality?  If not, why is this not standard practice to aid in eliminating erroneous accounts causing trouble?
  3. Put into the user agreements clear, concise, and easily followed language regarding where the limits are in speech. I know, this should be obvious to professional adults.  But, the necessity is evident due to the miscreants and malefactors currently residing on LinkedIn, who are abusing LinkedIn rules, regulations, and agreements for personal satisfaction.
  4. No single person should have the power to harm another for personal gain. From the time something is reported to LinkedIn, to the time action on a user’s account is taken by LinkedIn there should be communication between both parties and a neutral party at LinkedIn discussing the accusation, proving the account is real and detailing what is happening.  Specifying the penalties, how long any penalties will last, and how to appeal the decision.  Barring this type of process, the abuse of LinkedIn will continue and harm LinkedIn, not the users.
  5. Start holding false account owners responsible for the damage they do to LinkedIn’s brand. I have several accounts in my professional network that have proven to be false but only after engaging in business with the user. False accounts are very frustrating, wasting my time and resources, and doing damage to LinkedIn’s reputation.  Why doesn’t the user creation process have a veracity checker using government-issued ID, biometrics, or some other technologically powered method to weed out the charlatans?  What is LinkedIn doing to protect themselves from the hacks and trolls after an account is discovered to be false, or mass owned by a troll?

20 August 2019 – Before completing this article, an email was received, part of that message is copied below:

“We’ve reviewed your appeal. Based on the information you provided and if you agree to abide by LinkedIn’s Terms of Service: https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement, we’ll grant this appeal. You can agree to abide by our Terms of Service by replying to this email with your explicit consent.

Please note, that LinkedIn expects all members to behave in a professional manner when engaging on the platform. Should this account violate our terms in the future, we may restrict the account again. Any future violations of our Terms could result in a permanent restriction.

To learn more about what is and is not acceptable on LinkedIn, please review LinkedIn’s Professional Community Policies: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/34593.”

I have responded.  Since I have done nothing wrong, have never abused LinkedIn’s rules, regulations, and user agreement, and I do not plan to in the future, I remain appalled at my treatment by LinkedIn and will continue to search for a LinkedIn alternative.  The lack of clarification, the lack of action, and the disgusting lack of reply to my questions are beyond the pale, and if LinkedIn does not change, I will.  The power of social media to block, harm, and restrict without cause and justification must cease, and I do not care how much money George Soros pumps into social media to demand the social media platforms obeisance to his personal agenda.

To have the final word, the following was received announcing I have been released from LinkedIn Jail:

“However, please be advised that this is your final warning regarding abuses on the LinkedIn site. If your account is reported again after today’s date, your LinkedIn account will be subject to termination.”

LinkedIn has concluded that I did nothing wrong, but if another snowflake reports me, I will lose my LinkedIn professional network.  They threaten me, but cannot answer simple questions, propose solutions that can protect me, or even engage in polite conversation.

America, social media’s pernicious, and self-inflated power over us must cease.  LinkedIn, I will either find a new platform for professionals or will cease all contact on your platform.

Threatening me without cause and justification is the last straw!

 

© 2019 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved

The images used herein were obtained in the public domain, this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.