How to put an end to whisper game attacks?

  • So here's a thing.

    I've been supportive of someone turning over a new leaf, only to find out they're engaging in the same toxic behaviors they always have, and are still making up ugly shit about me to spread around. (Spoiler alert: If they think I'm doing the same? Nope, not me, haven't said a word about anyone in forever now that isn't on public view.)

    They are now apparently making a sport of trying to find ways to label me a bigot to get other people piling on. (Spoiler alert 2: Nope.)

    When I am going through a brutally tough time in RL and mention this (Spoiler alert 3: was not talking about anyone on the board at the time or anything related to the board), this person takes an inappropriate jab and recruits...

    ...a person I thought of as a friend who has apparently completely lost their shit and/or any touch with reality to join in. I hear all manner of accusations from them that they insist are true and they use some threatening language in doing so. (Again, no, the things they're claiming I'm doing are not happening.)

    Since I've been subject to a campaign of whisper-game character assassination by one of these people before, and the other has clearly become unhinged, I'm start to actually worry about my actual safety, because the accepted level of toxic behavior from these people is very high.

    I have spoken to one of the mods about the situation. I am not sure what else to do here. While I'm pretty sure posting this will open me up to more attacks from these people and their buddies, I am asking for suggestions from the forum about what to do in this situation and have refrained from naming these individuals intentionally.

    Further, I will ask this:

    • If I have privately shit-talked anyone's personal life to you in the past year, please disclose this here. There will be no anger or snarl factor from me if you do so. I'm actually deadly serious: please do it.

    • If I have disclosed any private details about anyone's personal life to you over the past year (other than 'X cannot be at the event, they are traveling for work and asked me to pass this information along') please disclose this here. Same conditions.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Since I know I'm not doing the above, I'm waiting for the evidence that 'proves their case' that they believe justifies their behavior. If the toxic crap being slung at me is based on this justification, and I cannot for the life of me recall doing any of the above, I am hopeful the behavior will stop.

    Anyone who has any further constructive advice, it would be welcome. This is in the constructive section for a reason and I am hoping the mods will mod to keep it here by squelching the predictable 'kill yourself' and 'get out of the hobby'.

  • @surreality My constructive advice would be to no longer engage with these people. Block them from your view and life. I doubt the whisper campaigns will end, but you cannot do anything really about that, except trust that either people will be smart enough to approach you to find out you side of the story or that they aren't worth your time, either.

    For what it is worth, I have not heard you shit-talk or disclose anything about anyone. I have also not heard any whisper campaigns about you, but I also am not friends with the type of people that would start whisper campaigns.

  • You can't do anything about people who lie about you. All you can do is just keep living your best life. Block them, put them on ignore, grind your teeth a little when you're forced to deal with the fallout from the nonsense they've said about you, and just keep on keeping on.

    Anyone who believes toxic bullshit about you coming from people who spread toxic bullshit is someone who wasn't actually your friend.

    It sucks, but I don't think there's another solution to people being horrible this way than just...

    There's an Aral Vorkosigan quote that may apply to this situation:

    "Guard your honor, let your reputation fall where it will, and outlive the bastards."

  • @Meg Thank you, Meg. That is a relief to hear on some fronts. It's what I've been trying.

    In one case I've been trying limit all communications to positive and cool to one of the folks involved, which is why this is beyond baffling to me on some level, 'cause... benefit of the doubt and I am a human being last I checked.

    I don't have the time, energy, or attention span to maintain two faces. I'm not interested in taking oblique, paranoia-inspiring jabs at people and have been working hard to say what I mean directly rather than via insinuation. (That only seems to escalate conflict, and while that may be rubbernecker popcorn fodder, it's not healthy IMO.)

  • Also just adding this:

    I am a pretty straightforward person.

    • If I give you a compliment, I'm not punking you.

    • If I criticize something, it's because I think there's an issue and I care enough to say something rather than let you fumble.

    • If I sling an insult at your behavior or whatever, yep, I probably meant it. If this upsets you and you think I'm a jerk because of it, I own that. Hate me forever if you want.

    • If I say something that offends you (that is not using some ridiculously over the top obvious insult), please tell me so because I probably did not intend to offend you and I will do what I can to make it right. I don't enjoy actually hurting people, especially when I have zero intention of hurting them in the first place.

    • I don't think bullying behavior is a fun sport, or funny, and there's no 'cute, harmless' way to engage in it.

    • I have a very hard time lying about anything, ever, due to severe and persistent childhood trauma bullshit that I'm not going to go into here. It is more comfortable for me to accept consequences for a shitty thing I did than tell a lie to avoid them. (Also, this means: please don't ever ask me to lie for you.)

    • I have memory as imperfect as everyone else's. That's why I am asking people to disclose anything that falls under the above, because I recognize this flaw in myself and if there is something and I have forgotten it, I want to know about it so I can do whatever I can to make it right. It's rare this happens when I'm making a conscious effort to never do a thing, but saying 'I don't recall it ever happening when I'm making a conscious effort to not do a thing' is still subject to memory being what it is, and while I believe it to be true as I write it now, there may be something I don't recall -- and I want to know what it is if it is out there.

    I think the above -- or most of it, at least -- applies to most users on the forum. This may be naive of me, but it is what I believe to be true. It's the exceptions that are one hell of a thing.

  • I haven't heard anything about you but I suspect I would not given the suspected sources. I do think you are very much more of a frontal assault style operator. I think you genuinely felt remorse over the last whisper campaign you engaged in against someone else.

    Having engaged in it, I think you can probably also use that to dictate your response now. What worked then, for the aggrieved parties? What didn't?

    I do believe that when you have seen someone do this multiple times, when they have involved you in doing this against others before, and when they are finally now targeting you (it's such a classic pattern, isn't it?)... that is a good time to sever. Hard. Possibly with a machete. Toxic patterns of behaviour exhibited by those who clearly have no interest in altering those patterns are going to continue to cause damage, full stop.

  • @Caryatid Oh, they definitely went after me before with a lot of completely fabricated nonsense.

    Presently, the only contact I have with them that isn't public for all to see was to tell them they were right about something I wish I had listened about (which I had discounted along with the rest for obvious reasons), and to send links to things I know they like that I'd spotted here or there without spamming up the forum with them, since things had seemingly become 'can at least engage publicly as decent humans'.

    I really do like to think people can change. I had really hoped that was true.

    I tended to react publicly based on whisper info, that's very true. You are completely correct about that. I am stupidly easy to sucker into a 'for great justice on the evildoer, charge!' (I don't half-ass it in private, I whole-ass it in public. At least people always know what they're getting, I guess.)

    I think a lot of people here have that issue at times, which is profoundly sad to me, as it's someone's better nature to be protective of someone who has been wronged or out someone who is seeking to do harm to others that the whisperer is taking advantage of with this kind of rumor/lie/etc.

    It took a while to recognize that and fully process it, because everyone who does this -- me included -- sincerely believe they are on the side of the angels. I have been trying to take a much more cautious stance now. Do I always succeed? No, but the effort is there.

    These days, I don't listen to the rumor mill from anyone and take a 'talk to the hand' approach if someone starts. I can't say anyone has started up passing info to me once told 'nope, don't', which is something I appreciate. This is the best way I can think of to do right by others since then: see no evil, hear no evil, repeat no evil.

    I haven't listened to, repeated, or reacted to anything of the kind since those days. I was absolutely a target then, and with all the talk of personal reform on the other party's part, had hoped I would no longer be a target of the same behavior now. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. I certainly have not trusted the individual with personal anything since.

    I really don't have anyone in my life to pass such things along to behind the scenes, which was the case then as well. (I know about five people tops, and none of them have time or patience for that crap; I'd be hilariously bad at it even if I wanted to do such a thing. It'd get as far as: "Hey, did you hear-" Listener: "OMG Shut up!" and end there, which makes me laugh a little to think about it.) In a lot of ways, I'm grateful for this, because it could have been much worse otherwise.

    There's not really anyone I can mea culpa to here so far as I know (hence asking if anyone recalls anything I don't, so I can do this).

    All I can think of is to say, 'if you hear something, feel free to ask me about it, I'll tell you the truth to the best of my ability, even if the truth is that I was an asshole'.

  • @surreality said in How to put an end to whisper game attacks?:

    as it's someone's better nature to be protective of someone who has been wronged or out someone who is seeking to do harm to others

    I think it's less this, and far more tribal - for lack of a better term. Someone is in my tribe, so clearly they are always right when compared with someone outside of the tribe. The louder the outsider's voice becomes when protesting, the more secure one becomes that their tribe was right and the more vicious the attacks.

  • Tinuviel, you and Ghost are blocked for good reason. I can see that you put forward a reply, but I can't read it and have no desire to do so.

    This is not the pit, and so I will ask that no one try to stir drama by quoting it so it gets thrown in my face. People have considered these antics a way of trying to stir the pot before, and it is not appreciated.

  • Tutorialist

    @surreality People don't change. After years of dealing with Spider, this is something that I've learned. If you (general, not specific) are at your core a rotten person. No matter how many times you're confronted, no matter how many times you swear you're gonna change, no matter how many chances you get-- you'll still be a rotten person. There's only so much maturing that a person will go through in their life.

    But here's the catch, not everyone who does something bad is rotten. I got caught up with Spider, and I'm certain I was manipulated into doing shitty things. Or hell, I did shitty things because being in Spider's favor felt good, so if it made her happy that made me happy. But I don't think that at my core I'm a shitty person. So I've made and effort to look at who my friends are and how I interact with them. Are my friend constantly talking about how shitty another person is? Or how someone is stealing their spotlight, or doing this, or doing that? Maybe I shouldn't be friends with that person.

    Now, I'm not saying that my friends and I don't gossip. Because we do. I think that everyone in this hobby does. But my friends and I also don't focus on gossip. We don't talk about people's personal lives. We don't tell other people about someone's break up. We don't disclose personal information regarding people's health, physical or mental. We don't discuss if someone is having financial troubles. We don't talk about who is TSing who (unless I mean it's like DownWithOPP or whatever). But I have done those or similar things in the past. Like I said, I got hooked into Spider's web. These days, however, I surround myself by people who I know at their core are good eggs. Do they mess up sometimes? Yes. But so do I.

    There are going to people who judge me based on how I acted when I was thick as thieves with Spider. There are going to be people who don't. At the end of the day all I can do is surround myself with good eggs and let their good-egginess help keep me on the straight and narrow.

    And at your core, Surr, I think you're a good egg.

    Find friends who you know at their core are good people. Who you can have light hearted conversations with, mild gossip with, but who at the end of the day aren't going to start nasty whisper campaigns. Anyone who continues to judge you because a shit-head fooled you well... that's their lose. Move on with your life, go have fun with your eggs.

    Me to me: Did we take the egg metaphor too far?
    Also me to me: MOAR EGG.

  • Pitcrew

    People sometimes change, but it's rare for really malicious or toxic behavior, I think. But if people really are going to change? Or are going to say they are? I say: let them do it from a distance. If they really do change, it'll eventually become clear. You don't need to be the one to support for people who have been really shitty to you. It's normal to occasionally have some scuffles or disagreements with friends, but then there's a whole other level.

    There are people on this board that I just don't like, and there are people who I think are honestly toxic or malicious. When that's the case, I might respond to them if they're involved in a thread I want to engage in, but I don't -- get cozy? Surr, you probably remember me kind of saying once that it looked like you were getting really cozy with someone I knew you'd had a falling out with before. You weren't happy with me and felt I was kind of saying it to just -- I'd have to go back and find the exact stuff, but I think you thought I was doing it just to stir up drama or toxicity. The truth is that part of me was like, "Oh no. That is not going to end well." I didn't have faith that the person was changing, and it seemed likely that bad stuff and hurt was going to be the final result of someone getting comfortable with them again. I wasn't saying it to be mean. I probably could have expressed it better at the time, but then it also didn't feel like my place to extrapolate further than I did. I recall you saying that you felt it was the adult thing to interact with someone in that situation in a civil manner, which certainly isn't an overall sentiment I disagree with! I guess I just approach it differently. But I'll also be honest: I haven't been in the position where the person I don't trust in that particular way used to be my friend. It's a lot easier for me to say this. And I also think it's perfectly mature and adult to not engage in a friendly, cozy way. You don't need to prove how chill you can be with someone who's been shitty with you. Distance is just as mature.

    People sometimes change big stuff, but not often. It can feel noble and generous to give people second and third chances, but you can acknowledge the rare potential for someone to change without being the one they test out the change on.

    As to your question? No, even when you were in the position to tell me that you had believed a rumor about me from a certain person and hadn't challenged it, you spoke of your own behavior and not anything regarding that person's personal life.

    Let's be real: it's clear we drive each other a bit crazy on this board not irregularly. We argue regularly. Sometimes I throw up my hands. I don't want to be buddies. BUT! I also don't think you're a person who would share private information about someone else. Or tell purposeful, malicious lies about other people. It's just not my impression of you, even when we have yelled and tableflipped at each other.

    The people who have already said there's nothing you can really do about people talking shit about you other than block, ignore, and keep living your best life. I think Sao already put it best.

    I will say that I think utilizing the Block feature on the board (instead of Ignore) will help to remove even the INDICATION that someone has spoken. Which may be of help!

  • @Tinuviel I don't think that's necessarily always the case. I have definitely thought someone in my tribe has been wrong, and an outsider has been right. And even if I do tend to believe people I am friends with more than people I am not, there's a certain line that I won't cross in defending my friends. I won't start whisper campaigns about people behind their backs. I won't attack people's personal lives over MU* games. The worst I will do is what anyone might see me do about SaintChief (that is, calling things out on this board for people to either believe or not, in full view of whoever to defend themselves or their friends), and that's because I am not always the best person. If I were a better person, I'd move on and live a healthy life.

    But even then, there's only so far anyone should take things. If I had a friend who was so hurt by someone else that all they could do was whisper personal things and bad things about them to me all the time? I'd tell them to block them and move on with their lives.

  • Sadly, block doesn't hide the little icon in the 'replies' at the bottom of the post. :/ It does remove the post's placement entirely, unlike ignore, though.

    I do remember what you're talking about, too, Roz -- and it's good to know where it was coming from, even if it's much later. That was kind of you.

    Broadly, I have concerns about this person's behavior kicking off again (or never having stopped) since they were quite successful in their smear campaign the last time around. That concern is increased due to their constant posting, along with that of the two people who pile in to enable and encourage them to do so.

    I can't fault people who don't know me from a hole in the wall from believing whatever -- I did the same thing. This trio seems increasingly emboldened to attempt to define me to others not just in whispers, but increasingly all over the board. 'You always... ' '...find an example, because no?' <no example is found> has happened numerous times now, for instance. The 'let's see if we can find a way to label her a bigot!' game being played is especially horrid, since it plays into that 'use people's best intentions against someone' manipulation that I know I fell for myself.

    Sorry, you three. I define me. My actions define me, for better or worse. Your nasty speculations that you whisper up amongst yourselves that you bring here and present as objective fact on a regular basis are not OK, and that shit should stop.

    ETA: And in case it's been long enough that this specific has become unclear, I made disclosure/amends to people after I had been smeared up one side and down the other and realized they had been doing the same to others for ages to me, inspiring me to go after them in ways I should not have done. I had done nothing whatsoever to the person who is 'so hurt' when they were running around making claims that 'the only reason they and another long time friend deigned to speak to me was because I wasn't finished their wiki' (huh?), that I was harassing people (who went 'huh?' themselves when presented with this information), and encouraging another cluster of folks to circle-jerk about what a horrible monster I was on a regular basis for a long time.

    There's the initial hurt and harm.

    I don't ask for sympathy or pity for it, but this person shouldn't forget that's how they behaved when I was going out of my way to be a good friend to them at the time.

  • FWIW, Surr, there is no whisper campaign going on against you.

    For reasons that are no one else's business (I say this to protect all parties involved including surr) I made a decision to cease side-communication with surr on Discord. I recently agreed with someone on the forum about bad behavior that I had also experienced, and independently chose to sever the relationship.

    There is no intention of sharing or spreading accusations, no whisper campaign, nor were there any threats or targeted, unhinged fury. In truth, had this not become a largely public preemptive accusation, it would have likely never reached anyone's knowledge. I'm not one to reveal sources, nor do I have any interest in sharing with others what was shared about them; that would be exhausting to unpack. Character assassination is wrong, even if it's preemptive character assassination, yea?

    So, FWIW, you you can rest easy surr knowing that there is no whisper campaign or shadow movement to destroy you, or whatever (at least not from me). I politely request that you leave me alone, cease accusations without evidence, stop retaliating in this manner, and on a human level I hope you understand that there is no threat happening that you need to proactively defend yourself against.

    My opinions of you (or what I perceive your behaviors are)are none of these people's business.

    I will not argue this for public entertainment or whatever "arena showdown" thing this is, but ask that you do not PM me anymore, even to resolve this. Please keep me on ignore if you feel the need to do so.

    This is a preemptive series of accusations and a highly one-sided (and exaggerated) opening statement in what is intended to be a targeted and public trial by mob justice in retaliation to something (in this case, a whisper campaign that doesn't exist), as direct result of a private conversation about my dislike of her retaliatory behavior. Not the first of it's kind from this person, but that's as close as I'll venture to squabble on this one.

    Like me or not, let's stick to screenshots and accusations that people can defend themselves against, and if I privately contact you to whisper campaign feel free to post the screenshots here to hold me responsible for a thing I've actually done.

    This was no one else's business, and wasn't, until this thread was created.

  • Pitcrew

    Damn, but y'all missed your calling as attorneys.

  • I'll add my two cents in, even though you won't read it Surr, because this circus needs more monkeys.

    I am also not part of any whisper campaign against you. If I have a problem with something you said or did, I say it publicly. Here. Where all can see. I do this regularly, even when I'm wrong. I also don't think you're a bigot, and have no idea where that bullshit came from. I do, however, think you're prone to histrionics about even the most minor of subjects. I don't need to whisper to make fun of you, I do it in public all of the time.

  • @Rinel said in How to put an end to whisper game attacks?:

    Damn, but y'all missed your calling as attorneys.

    Don't attorneys have to wear pants, though? And do any sort of due diligence, and follow ethics, and do paperwork?

  • Pitcrew

    Imagine thinking you're so important to internet strangers that they would launch a coordinated whisper campaign against you.

  • @tek I mean, it has been done before and it will be done again. @Roz has had someone go around whispering things about her behind her back. @Kanye-Qwest has had the same person do that.

    Like, people be like that, sometimes.

  • Pitcrew

    @Tinuviel said in How to put an end to whisper game attacks?:

    @Rinel said in How to put an end to whisper game attacks?:

    Damn, but y'all missed your calling as attorneys.

    Don't attorneys have to wear pants, though? And do any sort of due diligence, and follow ethics, and do paperwork?

    Depends who they work for, I believe...

Log in to reply