Side effects of Internet popularity

Prior to the recent election I started to follow various people on Twitter and some blogs to see more info about the issues, both technical and political. To say the conversations that took place in internet land were heated is to put it mildly.

One person with a fair degree of experience and knowledge has started to receive an increasing amount of attention since I first started following them, and they have always been on the “aggressive” side. To some degree that may turn people off and shut him out of debates with people looking for a more reasoned debate, but the info he puts out is still relevant and useful. A case of don’t dismiss the message because you don’t like the messenger.

As the election came closer and then passed, he has not surprisingly become more animated. That’s fine, he’s getting the message out.

I’ve had numerous exchanges with him via twitter and his blog. Bouncing ideas around and clarifying details. All perfectly amicable (from going back through my twitter history). I pretty much accept all his points and agree with him on pretty much everything. I do think he could engage better by toning down the agro, but that’s who he is and how he does things.

So to the point of this post.

Last night I had a brief twitter exchange where I didn’t “disagree” with him, but did ask a question about the scale of a statement he made. I wasn’t saying he was wrong, but just that there could be an upside (although remote) to the situation. The responses that followed were quite unexpected.

After essentially agreeing with him on all points, I can only assume he has read some tweets in a different order to how they were sent because the tone suddenly turned to accusing me of “frequently” and “constantly” arguing with him, and then accuses me of “questioning the validity of [his] tweets”. Following this up with a “don’t question my tweets.” comment pretty much sealed it for me.

At this point I figured he just needed a snickers and a lie down. I mentioned I had never argued with him in the past and that perhaps he had me confused with someone else, but apparently he though otherwise and just doubled-down on his response.

So, I’m really starting to think that the “pressure” he has created for himself by becoming a voice on the NBN debate has seen him reaching the same level of “What I say are all the facts you need. Don’t question what I say” that another person he vocally attacks also adopts, Malcolm Turnbull. Considering this same person frequently makes claims about Malcolm use of “facts” and how he ignores everyone else, I find it quite ironic that he has adopted the same mentality.

I’ve decided to stop following him on twitter. He’s been getting to aggressive and unnecessarily abusive and I really don’t think I’m up for dealing with that kind of crap right now. I still follow people who will retweet “interesting” tweets he makes, and I still read his blog, but I think the real-time exchanges are finished. He’s starting to crack and seems to have developed a touch of a Napoleon complex.

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