What I didn’t realise until recently was how far this call-out culture has become prevalent in other corners of the blogosphere and the general culture, especially in forums of people who perceive themselves as fighting for social justice. Nor did I know how much critique call-out culture was receiving around the internet. That’s something to be grateful for. Posts such as those by Dzodan and (most recently) Thompson are very valuable and deserve wide reading.
I’ve always figured that I was destined to settle comfortably into something like Taoist hermitry, but my movement in that direction has been significantly accelerated by repeated exposure to the highly–concentrated stupidity enabled by Web 2.0 social mores. Callout culture, like its equally retarded sibling, boycott culture, is the tailgate party of sociopolitical activism. Who’s playing? Who cares! Just show up, get hammered on self-righteousness and be seen around the scene!
Human nature hasn’t changed in recent years, obviously. But it seems a new generation has become attached to the fantasy that their cool toy phones and a vastly expanded public square in the form of the social web have enabled a new potential for mass activism, and as with all shiny objects, it just seems to be taken for granted that the shortcomings of the old models will somehow magically fail to make an appearance. People are just as stupid as they’ve always been; now, they just have tools to magnify and amplify their stupidity exponentially. Someone said or did something questionable on the Internet? Assume the absolute worst, and respond as quickly and aggressively as possible, multiplied by a million.