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Vouching for people

Posted 09-27-2011 at 05:29 AM by Ariadne Korda

Is vouching for people silly / pointless, on a forum?

Yes, often, because the many people on some threads have absolutely no feel for the 'history' of the community they are posting in or watching so they have no reason to believe one person over another.

Also, some don't care anyway because they have their own agenda (fair enough), and some would be happy to discredit anyone if they don't agree with them, regardless of little things like 'facts' or the considered opinions of others.

And finally, because vouching for somebody just because you like them, without knowing more than they 'seem nice'... is not terribly useful either.

But no, not always pointless.

- First, that 'history' means that you get a feel for people over time, which is a better basis for (your own personal) judgement than what a new poster says. Isn't it?

It does take time to get the feel of any forum and its regulars. People who write well and argue soundly without getting hysterical tend to feel at home quicker.

But sure, not everybody does write well and that is a fact, not a criticism. Forums are the written media, like it or not, so those who do not get a point across well are at a disadvantage.

Which is not the same thing as being 'stupid'.

- Second, seeing somebody being attacked by liars, and particularly knowing from personal experience that the 'attacker' is a liar... makes you want to defend them, and those you respect. To vouch for them.

Note, I said RESPECT. Not like. Although I like some of the people I would (or did) vouch for too.

Yes, silence is golden and ignoring obvious trolls or idiots is a Good Thing. But once again, when you have been accused in public, it seems normal to respond with your side of the story. And knowing when to stop is hard, particularly when it keeps on coming.

Been there, done that. Please raise your hand if you would never ever do that (although I know some people can... and admire them for it).

So yep, I would 'vouch for people', and have done so, and had people do likewise for me.

It is - in most cases - a case of gut feeling when you feel somebody is trustworthy or knowledgeable, but also at times it includes encounters that go beyond SL, plus of course that 'history' I talked about.

A lot of people are going to shrug and say 'but your opinion is worth nothing'.

Possibly. And that is also their prerogative, so you need to live with that, too. After all, it's an anonymous place so unless you come out and reveal all it is all speculation anyway.

But if it feels right, then I say do it. Go for it. Vouch for people and stand up for what you feel, while noting that this is how you feel. You are not speaking for anyone else.

Despite all the lies and other crap inherent to any Internet community, you (generic you) need to stand up for what you believe in.

Well, I think so.

Just, perhaps, not in endless walls of text with spluttering and accusations thrown in.

There are also times when it's no longer worth the effort, but that again is up to personal judgement.

And that is what I had to say.
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