This poignant comment was posted to Chris Tolles, on the Topix main forum on a thread titled Dear Chris Tolles:
There is a problem in the Greeneville TN forum. We need a mod really bad. A man just committed suicide after months of cyberbullying and the bullying is still out of control. Please help. The un-modded posts are ruining our town and people's lives. Please help us.
He never answered it.
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I checked out the Greeneville TN Topix forum.
The forum was full of attack threads, attacking people by their real names and harshly.
People's addresses were being posted, the posts left up too long doing this. Lots and lots of bullying and slander going on.
Someone from the town had posted a thread: Stop The Harassment
I commented on the thread and a commentator came onto the thread, richard mulligan, who ripped into liberals. He felt any suppression of "free speech" was wrong:
richard mulligan wrote:
Spoken like a true liberal or hypocritical conservative.
As far as addresses and minors are concerned, I don't have a problem with deleting those posts, but once you start restricting speech theres no telling where it will end.
Olive: When Americans are being harmed, its time to re-conceptualize free speech and make sure it adheres to our responsibility as human beings, to keep each other safe. We fight wars for this, we protect Americans.
Also, its not a matter of only deleting the posts, and this needs to be done immediately. Its a matter of not allowing it to happen, it is dangerous to Americans.
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Then Spider Girl came on, in a Big way, who gave me an earful about Negative Liberties:
Spider Girl wrote:
Free speech can only be taken away if the government makes a law prohibiting your speech. If your boss, parents, or the owner of a business telsl you to shut up, there is nothing you can sue them over.
FREE SPEECH ISNT YOUR RIGHT TO SPEECH! IT'S A PROMISE OF THE GOVERNMENT STATING THEY CANT MAKE A LAW PROHIBITING SPEECH!!!!
Get it through your heads people.
When people say they have freedom of speech they dont even know what the he!! theyre taling about. Its pretty pathetic that you actually think freedom of speech is something that allows you to say whatever you want when and whereever you want. You couldnt be more wrong. Read a book sometime.
So who gets the rights?
To which I replied:
Olive: So, who gets the rights? The person who posts the address or the person being victimized???
I had to let her know, the Constitution guarantee's rights:
The Constitution guarantees rights
Spider Girl wrote:
What Im saying, Olive, is the constitution is a set of "negative" liberties meaning-- the government does not "give rights", all they do is make promises that they will not make laws that trample on certain inalienable (god given) rights.
When the constitution was written the founding fathers did not "grant rights", they believed that if somebody can grant rights then they can also take them away.
Hey, Im on your side here but you dont seem to realize it. Im not saying you do not have rights, Im saying the government does not grant those rights, they believe the rights we have are god given (or birthrights) and that no government shall make laws that take those rights away.
You have rights but not because the government gives them to you. Got it?
My argument is far from "Fail". You simply did not understand.
Olive: The Constitution is not "a set of "negative" liberties meaning-- the government does not "give rights""
The Constitution and the government Guarantee rights.
Top of the list, the right to safety for their lives.
The first and foremost inalienable right, is safety from harm.
Think about Life
Another poster named anonymous, posted this comment claiming anyone who kills themselves from online harassment is a weak link in the chain, a Darwinistic view of the world. I replied.
I've said it before on here, if someone kills theirself because of what people say about them on the internet then they have some serious problems and were gonna do it sooner or later anyway...
I like the not all baby turtles make it to the ocean line... I've always said life just isn't for everyone...
Olive: Think about that young girl, who was trolled by a sick mom troll and hung herself. Think about other teens doing the same.
Think about someone, anyone, bullied so hard and so badly, they take their own life.
Think about Life, for gosh sakes. Care.
Why is so hard to hear entire communities begging for help?
I feel like I always get the easy answers.
If an entire community is crying out that it is being harmed, begging for help, the posting of addresses is clearly dangerous to people's safety, why aren't they being listened to???
If human being's safety is in danger, as it is all over Topix, why are these voices so hard to hear?
Why are they not being heard?
They are not being heard by Topix, they are not being heard by America. Where are the watch dogs?
The Blame Game
They continued to argue with me on the thread, blaming parents, blaming posters for just not leaving, throwing blame all over the place:
I had to let them know:
Olive: The question is answered.
I find it funny you are blaming here, blaming me, blaming parents, blaming posters for just not leaving, blaming people for being weak..... Blame, blame, blame.
Yet Chris Tolles says Topix is a blank slate, and that he is not responsible for anything posted here.
He doesn't want any blame at all.
The issue of teen suicide due to cyber-bullying
Olive: Tell that to the girl who hung herself when that troll mom, pretended she was a boyfriend. Tell that to trolls, who Work to get inside of people's heads, to make them their servants and then, to make them suffer. All cannot be strong enough to resist, especially kids. To make kids kill themselves, is wrong. Surely you are not disagreeing with this?
Topix does not want to address the huge concern over teens committing suicide from online bullying, anyone committing suicide from abuse on his site as happens and all too often.
Olive: It is happening and has. The girl who hung herself, was directly a result, of cyber-bullying by the sick troll mom. kids are doing it way too often. A person is ripped apart, destroyed, to the point, they kill themselves.
I don't like to see people's lives be made a living hell, and they are, you can see examples of this, right here in Greeneville.
Yes, we have the right to free speech, but we also have human rights, which need to be protected.
Profit over People, is dead-wrong.