Of Fake Messages and Internet Nastiness

I have had a rough couple of days.  Many of my online friends understand why, however not all of them do.  Since a nasty incident in another forum a couple nights ago I have experienced two days of some of the nastiest tweets and name calling I have come across in sixteen years of accessing the Internet.

A few hours after the problems a couple evenings ago I found out that one of the troublemakers in the other forum was telling many other people I had sent someone a racist private message.  I didn’t take it all seriously at first, because I certainly knew I had done no such thing.  I assumed either the person who had supposedly received the message lied, or the person claiming they had been told about it had lied.  The next day I had numerous Tweets in my Twitter feed calling me all manner of names, about the nicest of which was ‘racist douchebag’.  I did what some people naturally want to do in this sort of situation, I considered answering every Tweet; however I changed my mind.  I did the intelligent thing, I screen shot captured every single Tweet, I saved the links, I blocked everyone involved, and then I reported them to Twitter. 

Late last night I did something that, at the time, may not have seemed like such a hot idea.  However, it worked out in a sense, because the person the racist message was supposedly sent to provided me with a screen shot copy of this message.  I was shocked by two things; 1) the content of the message, and 2) that someone would try to claim I actually sent it to someone.  Not only did I not send this message, but I have no clue who did. 

This is the message this person claims to have received from me:

Now, at first glance this message looks pretty bad for me.  However, take a second look at it.  There is obvious incorrect spelling; there are obvious grammatical mistakes, problems with capitalization, and it also looks patched together.  The differences in tone, grammar and language between several of the sentences also indicate it was written by more than one person; and the grayish background behind the letters is an indication it was either Photoshopped or cut and pasted by some other manner.

When I deal with Twitter, and sometimes with text messages I will use shorthand and abbreviations, and I don’t always capitalize every place I should.  However, anyone who knows me also knows I am a stickler for spelling, punctuation, grammar and correct capitalization.  I have been known to delete and repost posts and even Tweets because of spelling or grammatical mistakes.  I have been known to repost entire chapters of fiction stories I write because I later find one tiny grammatical mistake, or one incorrectly spelled word or the wrong form of a word I missed while doing spell check. 

In addition to the spelling and punctuation, I have no corresponding outgoing message from my personal mailbox.  Of course one could attempt to explain I simply deleted it, however I did not.  I could not, because I never sent it in the first place.  I do not know if this person faked this message themselves, or someone else faked it and allowed them to believe I had sent it.  However, I can guarantee it did NOT come from me.

On a personal level I abhor the sort of language and name calling you see in the above message.  I find it personally insulting and sickening that someone would:

1) send this message in the first place;

and

2) claim it came from someone else, in this case me.

In addition, the person who sent this obviously knows nothing about me personally.  Not only do I not agree with what is said, my family is part Mexican.  So, basically whomever sent this message, I mean faked this message; is accusing me of not only being a racist, but by extension of insulting my own family, not to mention all the friends and acquaintances I have who are also Mexican or of Hispanic or Latino descent.  Therefore the person who sent this faked message is not only insulting and attacking me, but by extension my family, and many of my friends and acquaintances.

No one, I repeat, no one, had the guts to say anything to my face about this phantom racist message; they simply went around telling people I had done it, and didn’t bother to even ask me about it, or to confront me about it in any way. That is completely and truly pathetic and trashy.

Earlier today I was out running errands and feeling just a little depressed about everything that has been going on lately online.  It seems like some people want to ruin things for everyone else for whatever reason.  It doesn’t seem as if simply blocking or not communicating with those you don’t agree with is enough for some people; they also have to attack them, try to get them banned, send fake messages about them, get people who don’t know them involved, and try to destroy any fun anyone is having with anything by stirring up trouble.

While out on my errands earlier I sent the following Tweets via my cell phone:

Guts Tweet




Stupidity Tweet




First Amendment Tweet




Smear Campaign Tweet




When I sent these Tweets I had not yet seen the copy of the racist message I supposedly sent.  Now that I have, the above Tweets seem somewhat prophetic.         

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