I Got Slapped by Medium
I recently received an email from the “Trust and Safety Team” of Medium telling me that one of my responses is in violation of site policies. Regrettably, they’re right; I called another user an “idiot”. The slap was deserved.
Here’s what I’ve learned. Trolls will troll and there isn’t any value in attempting to get to the bottom of it. In this case, this started when another user put a reply on one of my articles saying that he was so offended by the above picture that he wouldn’t read the article. His reaction seemed a bit more hostile than average, which I found to be intriguing. I explained my rationale for using the image and that led to a response that was akin to using a nuclear warhead to kill fleas.
I should have walked away. But I didn’t. I wanted to know more. This is merely an image. It’s not a happy image, mind you, but it fit the article. I could not help but wonder, what was so triggering about this image? Inquiring minds…
I should have reported the post and moved on. Trolls will troll. But I didn’t. Instead, I started a dialogue. In retrospect, this was a Super Bad Idea. When you’re dealing with a troll that is wound tight on the attitude of “I’m the expert and everyone else is an idiot” opening up a dialogue is just asking to be called an idiot.
Not only did I keep up the dialogue, but I walked right into this user’s bait so that he could report me for the violation. Bravo, my brother, you win.
See the mud. Don’t get pulled into the mud. Check. Check.
To this user, I sincerely apologize for calling you an idiot. I do worry about you carrying all this unhealthy anger and toxicity. But from all I can tell, you don’t want people caring about you; otherwise, why would you work so hard to push everyone away?
Seriously man, programming is a team sport. I just don’t want you or anyone like you near my team.
I’ll probably get banned from Medium for this article, but I did want to apologize and share the lessons learned. To the Medium Trust and Safety Team, thank you.