We won’t bring about peace in the world merely by praying for it. We can’t expect change if we don’t take action.Dalai Lama, Dalai Lama on Twitter, 25-Feb-2019
In my last article—Preparing for the social media maestrom—I discussed the dangers lurking in the world of social media and, no matter how hard one tries to cram a thought into 280 characters, the army of criticism waiting to tear you apart.
Brian TeemanWe tried to contact Brian for comment before publishing this article but he declined to respond to our request. is one of those critics. Brian’s knowledge about the Joomla! project—both technical and political—is legendary. We don’t always agree on everything but, generally, he’s someone who’s opinion should be respected. Occasionally, however, he gets a little “gamey” in his writing and can be brutal in his assessment of other people’s views.
Just because protesting something may be unsettling to some people, it doesn’t mean that agitating for change is not worthy of respect. If people feel as uncomfortable reading what I post on Twitter as I feel uncomfortable writing it then I do not regret anything I have written. We can all learn from one another and there’s hope that my critics may learn something just as my critics can teach me a thing or two, too.
In this article we highlight some of the past week’s activity on Twitter and some of the reaction to it.
A quick re-cap
It’s always easy to make suggestions. It’s much harder to actually do it.Brian Teeman, The Joomla! forum, 21-Aug-2019
When Brian wrote this comment on the Joomla! forum it was like turning a light on in my mind. He was right: I wasn’t making any headway writing on the Joomla! forum about the problems as I perceived them; it was like banging my head against a brick wall. Therefore, if anyone deserves credit for motivating me to create this website, the credit belong to Brian. His observations are what caused me to re-think my whole strategy. Thank you, Brian.
It wasn't smooth sailing from that point.
That’s why your “feedback” might get less of a response than that of others. Plus your repeated demanding that people do things to your timescale doesnt go down well.Brian Teeman, The Joomla! forum, 4-Sep-2019
I had to admit he was right. I was getting nowhere peppering the Joomla! forum with my views.
I’m not trying to resurrect this topic to seek commentary from others. After spending a few years reporting as much spam as I can find (as I know other like-minded members of the community also do) and posting my views about spam at [the Joomla!] forum on [the Joomla!] forum, I've given these things up as a lost cause. So, just for the record, I will not write anything more on [the Joomla!] forum about spam.
Because no-one from the forum management team has responded to this topic (or deliberately ignored it to hope that the matter disappears), I must conclude that the team doesn’t see this as a problem. That’s where I shall let things be. I’m not unhappy or disappointed; I’m just accepting the reality of the situation.
I have stopped reporting spam posts to the moderators.Michael Russell, The Joomla! forum, 4-Oct-2019
The week that was
I began the week with a few tweets—reporting instances of spam postings on the Joomla! forum. As I observed in my previous article, I’m clumsy when it comes to distilling a message into 280 characters or less. It didn’t take long before my tweets drew criticism from the twitterati. Things didn’t augur well for me after half-a-dozen tweets.
I didn’t set out to start a flame-war but, I suppose, some people don’t want their boat rocked. I suppose I deserved a rebuke but I was unprepared for what followedI have been blocked from viewing Brian Teeman’s twitter feed. I don’t know why that is the case.. I changed my “theme”: instead of writing a semi-sarcastic opening (“If it wasn’t for the #Joomla forum, I would never have known <insert reference to spam here>”) I changed them to something more direct. I changed my tweets to open with “There are probably better purposes for the #Joomla forum than to promote <insert reference to spam here>”. It was a subtle change—it effectively says the same thing—but it’s less abrasive to sensitive ears … I hope.
The fall-out continued: other established Joomla! twitterati appeared confused about my motivation. Again, in my defence, I had no intention of arguing my point on Twitter. If people didn’t understand the background, if people didn’t want to dig deeper into the issue, I had little prospect of convincing people in 280 characters.
It’s Twitter, people! It should be a place where different opinions—even those we strongly disagree with—should be able to be expressed. It shouldn’t be a place where different opinions are howled-down just because they don’t conform with established, prevailing views. The whole point of protesting is to draw attention to the need for re-evaluating whether the established norm is right. Fortunately for all of us, Twitter respects the right to free speech as long as that speech does not incite violence or hate-mongering. I do not believe that I have crossed that line.
I did get some support for a tweet that I posted, thank goodness. I felt it was important to draw the twitterati’s attention to the fact that people who use the Joomla! forum, on the whole, seek answers to questions. When those questions are answered with rubbish, it does not inspire newcomers to Joomla! to seek advice via the forum; it actually deters people from using the forum when they see other people’s question receive a flood of spam and they probably ask themselves, “Do I really need that?”
It is because of the way that I see other users at the Joomla! forum being mistreated that I have taken up Brian Teeman’s challenge. Instead of complaining about the problem on the Joomla! forum, I have taken to using other means. It may be a forlorn hope to achieve a stirring in the Joomla! community to pursue this fight against spam and abuse of the forum but, at least, I’m making a genuine attempt.
Who knows? Perhaps Brian Teeman may join the cause but, on present indications, I don’t think that’s a likely to happen in the near future. You never know. I wonder what delight awaits me on tomorrow morning’s desk calendar?