The Single White Female, Quora style, is alive and well. Boy, is she alive and well. All too well. All too alive.
I deactivated my account on Quora for a short time to keep myself from metaphorically, if not literally, jumping knee down on a few chests and slapping some faces until they’re red enough to provide heat on a cold day.
When people you don’t even know on a stupid social media website make you feel that savage, it’s time for a break. Most of the agida, the heartburn, the flung monkey poop, is still coming from the Triplets on Quora I’ve mentioned before in other posts. After today, I may be reactivating those old posts with the story behind all this.
Perhaps instead I’ll turn it all into a book illustrating the absurdity of social media, which is nothing more than a microcosm of real life and all of its sundry characters. People I wouldn’t spend five minutes with under any circumstances have marched into my life, by invitation, just like Dracula is opined to gain entrance into a home, and now I’m dealing with the fall out of associating with them.
Instead of a book, here are a few characters for the play I might write. I haven’t tried my hand at a play, yet:
A senior woman, retired, sick of Facebook and ready for a website with lots of opportunity to write and a chance to meet people online who might be kindred spirits. Boy, is she gonna be sorry, although she has met a lot of nice people. She’s on the fence whether knowing them is worth knowing the ‘others’.
The Antagonists, aka, The Toxic Trio:
The Drama Queen: She screeches hysterically over nothing and everything and keeps everyone in crisis mode. Commiserations swirl around her head from friend and concerned stranger alike, which provide her comfort and joy beyond measure, perhaps feeding her martyr complex. The Drama Queen loves being the center of attention, and plays coy and tough by turns. The search for the right actor is on! I wish Sarah Bernhard was still around.
The Stalker: Crazed with unnamed hatreds directed towards anyone he perceives as being superior, or who he thinks they think are superior…are you still with me? When the little women call on him for help, he finally feels fulfilled. He loves lapping up the condolences he receives from his girlfriends about ‘how he’s suffered’ at the hands of the ‘wicked women’ he’s stalked. Who should play him? Jerry Lewis is no longer with us.
The Hopping Bird: Their little echo chamber, chiming in on all occasions. She’s a sort of Single White Female.
The Banned and the Damned: Someone calling himself the Renegade Intellectual. He can play the jackass from Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The Single White Female: She totes a chainsaw and is everyone’s ‘friend’. Once she gets hold of you, it’s pretty hard to shake her. Of course. Otherwise, she’d just be a single white female.
Dozens of Others: I’ll get into them when I actually write the play.
How do you like the cast so far? There’s room for all kinds of characters. I’ll have them sitting around a dark room, a spot on each one. They’ll stare into phones and laptops. They’ll speak aloud, one at a time, have disjointed conversations, and the tensions will grow. In the ending scene they’ll jump each other and roll around in a big dog pile, beating the tar out of each other.
Occasionally, one will get up to leave, give a backward glance, and never return. Others will leave and come back, wearing Halloween masks. Others will just declaim and stand around with their hands in their vests, and then get banished to Elba.
I’ve seen and heard enough evidence and patterns of behavior to know exactly who has been collapsing answers, stalking edits, reporting every scrap that can possibly be reported on someone in an effort to get the ‘competition’ banned.
Why would Single White Female do all this you ask? Why not just relax and enjoy the social part of social media and live and let live? Isn’t the internet big enough for everyone? Why did Jennifer Jason Leigh try to take over Bridget Fonda’s identity and then kill her?
In other words, I don’t freaking know.
A friend figured out who had reported her for a ‘real name’ issue’ causing an 18 day edit block. SWF was the only person who knew about her nickname. We then deduced who was reporting almost every answer I wrote. After reporting them, she’d come back and upvote them to look innocent, which is perverse, but rather ingenious until you get caught.
You cause others to be banned, but still look like a good guy, sobbing over their fate. She brought a feeling of oppression, and like the other cast members, sucked the joy out of the site. Another female friend got banned, for what seemed a minor offense, and I have to wonder whether it was SWF, who told the first friend she’s the ‘FBI of edits’.
I just found out another friend has been banned two days after the Single White Female found out her name wasn’t real. Isn’t she getting a little obvious? Quora moderation wouldn’t TELL her that was the reason she was banned, because this person can PROVE her identity. Come on. One violation and she gets banned?
Here’s something else that’s interesting: At least four people have reported Charlie Mason for being the banned Alec Fane. Yet, there he still is on Quora, fat and happy as ever. I know that’s who it is because he commented on the Leo and Mike post as Alec Fane and the email of chazmason.
Yet, two days after the SWF talks to a mutual friend, who lets it slip that my other friend is really someone else, that friend gets banned. Is there a Brit Bias here? What might be going on? The Covert and the Curious would like to know.
I knew who was dogging me and my content from a process of elimination one night right after I’d written and posted an answer.
Single White Female knew within minutes I was talking about her when I made a comment to a friend about ‘knowing’ who was doing it, and she could only have known that if she’d been indeed, stalking me through edits, looking to find something to report and feeling very self-conscious about what she was doing and had done to who knows how many others.
My friend and I tried to distance ourselves from the SWF. My friend had already blocked her after this woman obsessively stalked her edits and upvoted every comment she made no matter what it was.
The last straw for me today was when she and the Trio began to harass her over nothing but the fact that she’d unfollowed the Single White Female. My cup boiled over.
This past month I’ve received violations for things that made no sense, but in the Quora universe (Quoraverse), you’re expected to know why you received a violation.
If moderation had intervened in a much stronger fashion over a year ago, or six months ago, things never would have gotten this bad. Quora administration has been informed and appealed to over and over again; I’ve written emails to the Top Writers group and to Tatiana Estevez, but all they’ve done is send me a list of my own violations (TWICE!), some of them created by these very people.
How do you like that? Reminding people of the sins the very people who created the problems for you accuse you of? I know that’s convoluted, but I’m thinking of the Salem witch trials and the irrationality of the rules applied in those.
If moderation paid attention in ANY way to who is being targeted, and BY whom, the system put in place to protect people couldn’t be used as a weapon to drum users off the site. The system is opaque and broken, and all users on the site hear are comments such as the one from Garrick Saito, a Top Writer and Customer Service Representative, (snort):
“Moderation has the power. They are judge, jury, and executioner. So shut the fuck up.”
We got two words for you, Saito, and they aren’t Happy Birthday.
I shortened it, but that’s pretty much what he thinks of Quora’s users. I added the link to Nick Nicholas’ statement of farewell with Saito’s comment in the post, ‘Quora, Quora, Quora.’
One of my young friends got banned for simply being goofy and for two violations, while someone else can trash whomever they please in post after post and comment threads and never even get an edit block.
Why don’t I just leave? I have 1500 answers and a lot of content there. I have friends on the site with whom I like to spend time. I have feedback for my writing, projects I’m working on for the Bottom Writers.
In particular, I don’t like Quora accusing me of plagiarism. I’ve never plagiarized anything in my life, and I consider that an actionable statement in any event. What if I become a famous children’s author?
My friend could see the comments the four of them were making about her, though I couldn’t, and she then blocked all three. I saw the wisdom then of hiding all traces of people who are blocked.
Someone remarked she thought the Single White Female is sad and pathetic, a wounded spirit.
I don’t care. Have all the mental and emotional problems you want, be a sociopath, a psychopath, even a naturopath, just keep away from me and mine, because I will be merciless in exposing you and getting you to stop harassing me. If you can hold a job, drive a car, raise children, pay a mortgage, obey major laws, you can leave me the hell alone. I will not make excuses for you.
Here’s the rest of the scoop on the Single White Female. Tell me the world is boring and you can’t find anything to write about:
Single White Female knows the date she was unfollowed by someone. I kid you not. I barely remember today’s date, but she had a series of dates, where she was and what she was doing when someone unfollowed her, the whole Single White Female bit. She put them in PMs begging friends of mine to intervene so that we would be ‘her friends’ again.
Detailing the minutia of your life in order to convince someone of the truth, is a sure sign not only of guilt, but an impending break down. Try this on a detective, who immediately becomes suspicious when someone really does know what they were doing on the night of August 25.
Here is Act 2, Scene 3, of the Single White Female, Quora Style….
Single White Female yanks the starter of the chainsaw so hard it almost comes off in her hand. Revving it with a red-eyed glare, she begins to dismember the family sofa. With a snarl, the chainsaw tears through fabric and wood, splinters flying.
“All I wanted was to be everyone’s friend!” The chainsaw snarls and rattles in rhythm with her screams. “I never break BNBR! I’m just nice to people, that’s all! Why can’t they understand that?”
Crack! Off breaks the sofa arm and falls to the ground. “And what do I get? People blocking me! Accusing me of reporting them and collapsing their answers!”
Her screams are high and shrill and can be heard over the sputtering growl of the chainsaw and the cracking of wood. Flames shoot into the sky when the sofa begins to explode. A flock of birds lifts into the air with squawks and a rush of wings. Neighbors begin to gather to watch the Single White Female destroy furniture.
“I won’t have it! I won’t!” she screams louder. The chainsaw sputters, then roars into life once more. It’s clearly scared spitless and trying to leave town.
“They’ll be my friends if I have to report everything they say and write, beg every friend they’ve got to intervene for me, and upvote every comment they make!” (Don’t try to make sense of this; this is the Single White Female we’re talking about.)
The neighbors have backed up across the road, huddled together, frightened, staring at her in horror. Sirens can be heard in the distance coming closer.
Quora is so large, as large as the universe is limitless, that one user need never see another. Now they’ve implemented a new system wherein a person you’ve blocked, or who has blocked you, doesn’t even show up in comments.
We are fragile flowers, who cannot bear to be reminded of this person.
This will lead to conversations like the following:
“I love that picture, Morty. Your cat is the bomb.”
“Yes, that’s my hubby and his new car.”
“No, no. I said your cat. Your cat. What’s he doing?”
“He was going to work that day, after he got the car fixed.”
“What is wrong with you? Did you take your meds?”
“Once he gets to work, he’s all set with those, and takes good care of his customers.”
In between are comments you can’t see and the invisible people are saying things like, “Can you believe this dweeb? She doesn’t even know we’ve changed the subject! Haha!”
I discovered this feature by accident when a friend told me to go to an answer she’d written and read the comments by someone. But I couldn’t see what she saw, because I’d blocked the man.
A person could be blocked by the entire Quora community, go around making all kinds of rude comments thinking no one will be the wiser, and then suddenly, like a light switch being snapped on, the comments become visible, and User is stuck there, like a naked tourist locked out of their hotel room.
That’s the latest on Quora, and my what a load it was, huh?
A tale of people I’d never willingly spend time with, and whom I might never have had to see or interact. But that isn’t enough for The Hole in the Head Gang.
No, the world just isn’t big enough for some people.
Update on the final part of this post: That was a temporary bug that prevented other commenters from seeing the comments of blocked users. It was kind of fun and might be worth keeping.