Today’s thoughts are spurred in part by a strange phenomenon I’ve noticed on a social media platform (which doesn’t begin with a T or an I), particularly in the realm of music enthusiast groups. In short, this past year I have noticed a lot of odd — and I suspect possibly a sort of fake — posting and interaction happening.
I should be more specific here…. these are not so much “fake” posts but how about if we call them inauthentic responses. They are generally negative comments from someone (more on that in a moment) who tries to bait the original poster (often me!) into argumentative discussion.
Typically someone will post a somewhat inflammatory statement related — but almost always counter to — the vibe of the original post. If I post about how I like “orange” someone will post that they think “blue” is far superior. If I post something positive about the Beatles, someone inevitably comments how lame they are.
Along the way, I have started noticing that if you click on the negative commenter’s name and look at their profile, they are almost always inactive profiles, some actually quite old. The accounts are not showing regular posts for months and in some cases for years (thus making me wonder if the account was hacked). Also, seemingly, most times the offending persona always seems to have just recently joined the group in which they are commenting.
The extra weird thing is that some of theses posters (posers?) appear on the surface to be quite knowledgeable. I don’t think they are “bots” as whomever is controlling the account sometimes seem to know a bit of what they are talking about.
In the realm of audiophiles and vinyl collecting, they are usually only partially on target and thus my initial nature would be to try to engage them in conversation but it almost always turns down a dead end path of deep negativity.
For example one of them prodded me after posting a picture of a Bruce Springsteen album I was playing, saying that Bruce has never made any good audiophile quality albums and that none of his records sound any good. This is an old argument and I disagree with it, especially with regards to his first four or five albums. None are perfect (which albums are?) but they certainly have some great production aesthetics and can sound quite wonderful.
Again, it feels like like these accounts are trying to trigger discussion and engagement at any cost.
I’m not sure of the exact intent of this activity and who is behind them but I have at times had to block these offenders. I have noticed other people getting sucked into deep threads on seemingly random music topics, but time after time when I check the profiles of the negative aggressors, I see the same pattern of old and undeveloped, almost blank user profiles.
These days, when coming face to face with this sort of scenario, I pause, consider the situation and most times just bite my virtual lip and avoid engaging them.
Please note that I do not automatically block people who make a negative comment, especially if they seem to be a real individual. I’m all for healthy discussion and everyone has a right to an opinion. Genuine conversations from actual humans are welcome!
But if they are not willing to stand behind who they really are, well then I will not take the bait and will simply avoid the individual… and perhaps you should too. Keep it in mind…
I’ll continue more on this discussion next week as there is another related point I need to share with you, Dear Readers…
Until then, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.