Author's Note: Whenever bullying is mentioned, it is in context to Whyville. Don't think I am comparing bullying on this site to bullying in real life.
Vancyon here! It has been quite a while since I've written for the Times, but something I have been seeing recently has made me want to speak up. I've come back to Whyville after two years, and I have been disgusted the things some members have said in the direction of innocent newer members, especially when they haven't done anything wrong. Even a few of the newer members seem to be a bit quicker to insult someone now. I know that Whyville has never been the most friendly and accepting community on the Internet, but it still seems to be happening more frequently. I was wondering if I was not the only one disturbed by this, so I started asking a few people about what they thought, which turned into an interview.
Vancyon: Have you noticed that Whyvillians are generally becoming harsher towards one another?
Paralaxed: Yes I have noticed this.
mackala1: Yes! Indeed.
XleilaX: Yes I do see that a lot. Newbies have become very prejudice to Oldbies because a few Oldbies were rude to Newbies who were all apparently rude and stuck up.
Monet1616: Yes, I've also heard that specific chatrooms are horrible in regards to harsh behavior.
Vancyon: When do you think this started becoming more of an issue?
Mariet97: I think it became more of an issue when people who are new to Whyville became more demanding for clams.
Paralaxed: This will become a problem when users the age of 9 and a few years younger take the things other people say seriously, such as someone telling them that they are ugly or they are a Noob. They may think the word Noob means something different other than New to a website, and they don't realize that they are talking about their avatar and it hurts their feelings.
Mackala1: Around 2010.
XleilaX: It started becoming an issue when the Oldbies started bragging and going to beaches and making fun of the Newbies. Then the Newbies started thinking that all of us are like that so now we all get blamed.
Monet1616: I think this has always been an issue and it's just been escalating over the years.
Vancyon: Where do you see these incidents happening?
Mariet97: South Beach.
Paralaxed: In my opinion I think South Beach has a lot of bullying.
Mackala1: Probably the South Beach.
XleilaX: The Oldbies that are stuck up and rude go and do it at South Beach, but other than that this happens mostly in the BBS forums.
Monet1616: It happens most in more popular areas of Whyville. Wherever there are a lot of people, there's bound to be conflict.
Vancyon: Do you think this is a problem?
Mariet97: I think it is disgraceful. People just want to earn clams fast so they can get parts from Akbar's.
Mackala1: I hate it when people bully one another.
Paralaxed: No comment.
XleilaX: I think bullying is stupid and unfair to the people being bullied.
Monet1616: I don't think the comments could be considered bullying until they escalate into vicious attacks on another user. I've witnessed users telling each other to commit suicide and picking on other users for problems they can't fix.
Vancyon: What do you think could be done to stop this?
Mariet97: I think that when you start on Whyville they should make the chat test get more clams from 50-200 clams.
Paralaxed: I think that some new clothes for people who have just joined would help. So that they don't have to be called "Noobs" as much or not at all.
mackala1: Well if we all stick together we can destroy it.
XleilaX: If you have a rude opinion keep it to yourself. Some things don't need to be said to make other people feel useless.
Monet1616: No comment.
Vancyon: Have you ever bullied someone on Whyville? Do you regret it?
Mariet97: I wouldn't ever bully someone knowing what it is like to get bullied.
Paralaxed: Well, I usually do it to people that say stuff about me but most of the time I don't bully anyone that doesn't bully me first.
mackala1: No I have never bullied anyone. Only encouraged them.
XleilaX: No comment.
Monet1616: I have said some harsh things to people, but I wouldn't call it bullying. I am extremely blunt with people and have been told on multiple occasions that comments I don't intend to be hurtful are a bit too sharp.
Vancyon: And lastly, have you been bullied yourself on Whyville?
Mariet97: I got bullied the first few weeks on here. I asked a person for a few clams to buy a hair, but she said a ton of mean terms then threw a projectile at me causing me to leave the room.
Paralaxed: No comment.
mackala1: I have been bullied on Whyville. I've been bullied a lot. Everyone thinks I'm a Noob just because this is a newer account. I have other accounts. People can be really harsh. I got bullied today actually at one of my beauty contests. She said it was a scam even though they didn't even know what the prize was. People can be harsh.
XleilaX: Yes, when I won the Halloween party in 2009* everybody said I didn't deserve it etc and it was really mean. I don't get why we all have to be made fun of because of certain people. Also, I see the newer members points when they are getting bullied at South Beach. That is also bullying. I remember when we used to be all nice to each other.
Monet1616: I have had other users make extremely harsh and unprovoked comments towards me but ultimately each of these events has been worked through and put in the past.
*See article id 10809
I've also lashed out at people on this site - so many times. Just a few weeks ago, I was insulting people left and right on a suggestion thread I made. I can't speak for everyone, but I am going to try to be more accepting and understanding on this site. Bring back the Whyville way!
Please keep in mind when posting on the BBS about what has been said throughout this entire article. Please respect the opinions of everyone who has been interviewed. Feel free to criticize the article as a whole, though.
Until next time, this is Vancyon, signing off.
Author's Note: If you want to read some amazing articles about the Whyville way, read: Article ID 5492, 5761, 5884 and 11900.