Epinions.com Informative - Epinions.com Deserves a Ticket for Gross Stupidity
BRISBANE, CALIFORNIA -- Everything you write can and will be held against you at epi-onions...er...epinions.com!
A couple of weeks ago another epinions member and I had a misunderstanding. We managed to kiss and make up. The day after we did that, she published a poem which I found very offensive. The poem described a man in the most unflattering way you can imagine.
I asked her if she wrote the poem about me. She informed me that it was about her husband she is currently divorcing. I had read another essay she wrote about her husband, and my impression was that he seemed like a decent man.
Though I respect her feelings, I felt then as I do now that her poem is inconsiderate of his feelings, cruel and self-serving. I expressed those thoughts in her comment section which triggered a ticket for harassment.
I know all men are supposed to be pigs, but even pigs have feelings and taste good when they are cooked.
If my comment came across as insensitive or harsh, it is because I was
harassed by another member on that same thread. That member started a flame war, but so far has not received a ticket for her offense.
Even if my opinion about the poet and her husband is wrong, it is my opinion. Am I not allowed to have it? I was told by several epinion members that if you publish something on the internet, you should take responsibility for the feedback you get. You should roll with the punches. I guess the poet was not aware that if you publish an offensive and/or provocative piece on the internet, someone like me might find it offensive. If she is the sensitive type, why publish a poem like that? Just show it to your girlfriends.
Here is my horrible, insensitive comment that fanned the fiery controversy:
"My so-called inflammatory comments do not hold a candle to yours or the horrible poem D***y wrote about her poor sweet husband--who is really a decent man. Why on earth would D***y marry a man who is as evil as the one she writes about? Additionally, it is obvious to anyone who has "eyes and a brain" that D***y's poem is completely self-centered and self-serving. She has no concept that her husband is a human being with feelings. Is it any wonder she's getting a divorce? She will continue to suffer as long as she remains a child."
Here's what one the girlfriends at the epinions.com beauty shop had to say about it:
"I cannot, in any decent world, imagine how someone could write such malicious and cruel words. The above paragraph is one of the most truly heinous things I've witnessed in over five years on this site. I'm aghast that someone could use the pain of another as a weapon not only apparently without remorse, but with glee in inflicting more pain."
Man, I must be a real MONSTER! The truth is I was kinda pissed and wrote my controversial comment in response to:
"It's because it is WilliamPinn's standard trolling procedure to leave snide and fight-provoking comments to induce a defensive response out of his victims before going back to erase his own inflammatory posts.... clearly to make the victims seem like the aggressors to onlookers."
Firstly, I don't like being referred to as a troll. I would rather be Merlin the Wizard. Secondly, the last sentence of this comment is very instructive: How could an evil troll like me possibly make the sweet angel poet look like an aggressor, unless she showed her fangs and brushed back her hair to reveal her pointy ears?
"Though those who have had to deal with such a spineless troll before know what to expect, many of us haven't encountered that before. So if you see such posts by a troll of that nature on a comment session. Take a screen shot of it... How else can other innocent bystanders who didn't get there until later realize what smear campaign is being used against our good and upstanding members?"
Oh, so now I'm a spineless troll! Green slime was oozing out my ear when I read this comment. This particular epinions member likes to stalk me around the epinions.com web site and take screen shots of everything I post, hoping to catch me with my pants down. I don't know about you, but I think this person has issues. He/she kind of reminds me of that guy who shot Reagan years ago. You know, the one who stalked Jody Foster.
Oh well, I guess we celebrities must put up with paparazzi. I tried filing a harassment complaint against this epinions member, but it fell on deaf ears. Apparently stalking people, and calling them trolls is OK at epinions. But don't you dare tell some writer there you find his/her piece offensive! You will get a ticket for "harassment."
Since epinions' customer care seemed to be acting unjustly and playing favorites in this situation, I went over their heads and sent an email to the CEO. A boilerplate response soon appeared in my inbox:
"Hi there - Thank you for your email and I'm sorry your experience of late has not been wholly positive. I trust the abuse and the community care team to make the right decisions when it comes to tickets and monitoring member activity and I do not question their judgment in these matters. I do want to clarify one thing - your reviews and comments have not been deleted. You will be able to see them again once the ticket has been removed. Thanks"
The ticket will be removed? Oh? When? They don't say. Let me try holding my breath. Here is my follow-up reply:
"Thank you for your response. But why do you think it is OK for members to call me names and attack me, and why do you think it is not OK for me to defend my honor without calling them names? I'm sorry but I don't get it. If I did something wrong, it is not clear to me what my wrong was.
My crime was that I gave my honest opinion of what I thought was an offensive poem. I used no four-letter words, no name calling, and I was very civil. In most circles my opinion would not get me into any trouble. Right or wrong, it is my opinion and I should be able to express it at your site--or your "opinion site" loses all credibility.
You might also consider that blocking me from writing my honest opinions at your site only encourages me and others to write them at other sites. I think if you are going to shut down free-speech, you ought to have stronger reasons like nudity, or obscenity, rascism, and things of that nature.
I have been told by some established members that the best and brightest writers have left the site. I can now understand why. People value their first amendment rights. I know it is your business and you have the right to run it the way you see fit, but I have the right at several other sites to describe my experience with epinions.com. It is up to you whether that experience is good, bad, or ugly. It is up to me and other critics whether your site is rated one star or more."
What is really lame is epinions.com gives you no opportunity to defend yourself or tell your side of the story. Someone points a finger, makes up a sob story, and you get a ticket. What is even lamer is epinions.com loses the revenues my reviews create by blocking you from seeing them (the consequence of the ticket). I have my reviews posted at their competitors' sites so they are just helping their competitors kick their ass. Their competitors make all the money from my reviews now.
Maybe someone who has kicked his dope habit will point out the absurdities I have described at their next board meeting.
Please don't cry for me, even though you really really want to. It is only an epi-onions ticket. It just means I can't pass go or collect $200. Oh well, I think I'll write for this web site.
I am sorry epinions.com. You have violated my first amendent rights. You have treated me unfairly and showed blatant favoritism. For these reasons I am going to have to issue you a ticket. But don't worry, it is not as serious as a traffic ticket. It is more like going to jail during a monopoly game (don't pass go and don't collect $200).
It is frivolous...much like the ticket you gave me. I'll go sit in the corner and be good now.