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Bullying in the #ActuallyAutistic Community

It is really disheartening. The amount of bullying…and…lashing out… and nastiness…that I am seeing and that I have seen the last few weeks and months within the online autism community. It really makes me sad that people are putting so much time and energy and effort into tearing each other down instead of lifting each other up.

 

I am greatly disappointed that so many autistic people waste energy fighting and tearing each other down, instead of elevating each other. A little kindness and compassion can go a long way. United we are stronger. Divided we fall.

 

Bullying in the #ActuallyAutistic Community— Neurodivergent Rebel

Published publicly on June 15, 2018

Transcript/Subtitles by: @SeekingSara174 (An Autistic’s Journey Toward Self-Discovery), https://seekingsara174.wordpress.com/

(sighs) (clicks tongue)

This is a serious video…and I don’t… know… how to really… start. Ooh, maybe by not shaking the camera! Sorry, guys. (sighs)

It is really disheartening. The amount of bullying…and…lashing out… and nastiness…that I am seeing and that I have seen the last few weeks and months within the online autism community. It really makes me sad that people are putting so much time and energy and effort into tearing each other down instead of lifting each other up. (chuckles without humor)

Guys, what are we doing? I don’t know what to do with that. Ya know? It’s—I understand that people have differing opinions and that’s not a problem. People can have different opinions than you, you know? But the—but the problem is, you know, when… someone shares their opinion or something that happened to them or their personal perspective or something that they found inspiring and someone disagrees… And instead of letting that person have their opinion or their beautiful moment or whatever, this person feels the need to jump on that other person and say, “I don’t think it’s that way!” and not—not even in a nice way? I just…I don’t even know how to replicate it. But just a bullying way; like bullying that person to retract their opinion… (sighs)

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Even if, you know, someone has an opinion that is full of things that are just inaccurate and wrong, you know… People don’t bother to check their facts. It’s unfortunate, but everyone’s entitled to having their own opinion. Whether we disagree with people’s opinions or not, it doesn’t mean that, you know… Um…I don’t know. We don’t need to going around trying so hard to change people’s opinions if people aren’t open to having them changed.

And… (sigh) There’s—it’s just… People are trying to, you know, come out and share their experiences online and things they’ve been through or their perspectives and…they’re walking on eggshells and they’re afraid because if they, you know, say something that is not technically correct or they accidentally say something the wrong way or they’re new and they don’t understand, you know, some of the just history…um…people jump on them and lash out at them and it chases them out and they don’t wanna come back and they don’t wanna share anymore and they shut out and they don’t wanna be part of the online community anymore… And um, you know, it’s sad because, you know, we’re missing out on those voices that we’ve chased away and those people are missing out on discovery and like the networking and the communication and all of the sharing and learning and all of the great stuff that’s happening because we’ve chased them away! Because people are just so nasty! And they don’t need to be nasty. Personally, when someone’s nasty to me on the internet, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m pretty good at just saying, “You know what? This is nasty. This is not civil. I’m just gonna let you go.” and I block them.

That’s it! But, um… some people are new to social media and they’re just learning how to use social media. They may not even know how the block button works and how (dramatic voice) *amazing* it is. Like on Twitter. Facebook…well I guess you can block people on Facebook, too. But Facebook’s a little different. But I mean, I hide things from my newsfeed…um, because, you know, your mental health is worth it! But, you know, people should be nicer to each other in general. And then those of—you know, if you’re a little bit sensitive to that type of thing then you should definitely block and hide and—not hide like “go hide”—but block people and hide people’s posts and unfollow freely…you know, if that kind of stuff is bothering you and not making a positive contribution to your life.

So, that’s my tip on that too, but I just really dislike bullies and bullying and I just wish everyone would be a little bit nicer to each other. Um, so… Those are just my thoughts; I’m just a little bit disappointed and I would love to see a little more kindness…

All right, guys. I will talk to you next week. (chuckles without humor) See ya.

(sound of camera turning off)

 

 

5 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I haven’t seen much of the bullying in the #ActuallyAutistic community because I’ve been offline for most of the past year. I think it’s sometimes hard for people to recognize what’s an invitation to debate and what is simple sharing of personal experience, especially on Twitter when they may miss the original tweet and get lost in the details of a thread. However, even if someone disagrees, as is their right as their own opinion, this doesn’t mean they need to argue over it, especially in the nasty fashion that’s so common currently. People may question, may offer their own opinion but there’s just no excuse for bullying.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nicely said, Rebel. I certainly have to learn to restrain my anger, not with my fellow grievers or sufferers of whatever we suffer from, but with a “Goliath” who saw fit to bully people during bereavement. I still have a hard time finding the civilized words and a way you are doing. Appreciate your way, and I am certainly cutting of a slice from your attitude.

    Love this one here: “”we’re missing out on the voices we’ve chased away” and “”your mental health is worth it”

    I’ve chased a lot of people away in my anger out of trauma and am still waiting if I ever get “proper” help as friends pointed out that I behave like someone with PTSD, bipolar and whatever else people “diagnose” me. But it can never be an excuse where I have chased people away as I was in so much pain lashing out with words and emails at people.

    But in general, absolutely right, in my former work that is very very harsh and the bullying mentality is rampant. I was a team leader and when my team started to “eat each other up” for stupid things, I would pause them and explain to them that they are doing really really great in this intensely fast pace and stressful work environment and that the top leadership of the company is putting all this pressure on them/us, and we should have a good go at them up at the top NOT at each other.

    So, with the autistic community, would be worth researching and finding out WHY they are having a go at each other. Who’s stirring it up, is it maybe just a handful of people starting a fuss and the majority just jumps on the bandwagon?

    Thanks for your thoughts, very important and helpful as usual.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A big part of this problem with lashing out and attacking each other is that we’re all so sick of not being listened to, of being told to STFU and “stay in our lane”, that we get bent out of shape when there’s a stark difference of opinions. We have to remember that we’re all on the same side here, and if we’re going to disagree, we at least have to maintain some degree of alliance.

    What I hate the most about intra-community bullying is when some autistic activists are so goddamned mean and soulless that instead of being open and honest with the other, newer faces you’ve mentioned, they damn near subtweet them to death. That’s happened to me before, and I still can’t bring myself to mention the name of that subtweeter because I know I’ll be ganged up on and bullied/blocked/subtweeted to death for real this time.

    We fight hard enough against homeopathy, ableism, anti-vaxxers, ABA, the Judge Rotten-berg Center, the list goes on… why does the list have to include each other???

    Liked by 1 person

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