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In which it’s a catfight

Twitter

The other night as I was surfing through all my Twitter traffic I noticed that there was a big throw down, A BIG THROW DOWN, going on between @dooce (Heather Armstrong) and @abdpbt (Anna Viele).  Now, I came in on the middle of it and honestly, I don’t really read either of their blogs but what was being said intrigued me enough to go back through all the tweets.

 

From what I gather, @dooce went on a trip to Bangladesh to raise awareness for infant mortality.  Now, I’m against infant mortality although mortality in general I’m all for, hence the reason I want to be The Grim Reaper.  But I digress.  At any rate, @dooce went there and then she wrote a post about her trip; her reactions, what she thought, what she saw and what she and YOU could do to address the situation.

 

Apparently, for whatever reason, @abdpbt took exception with the post.  I think, and I’m not positive about this, that she took exception to the fact that she felt that it was a sponsored trip.  She also wondered whether @dooce’s motivations were entirely altruistic.  She pointed out that @dooce lived in the “perfect world” with “money” and the like and therefore, she was just pandering to the situation.  She said the following about @dooce:

Here’s what I have to say.  WHO CARES?  Does it truly matter what people’s motivations are to do “good”?  Isn’t the end goal more important?  If someone just wanted to help people to absolve themselves in some way, does it really matter?  Isn’t what matters the fact that that person can actually help people?

 

Let’s say @dooce did do the trip for her own reasons, and I’m not saying she did; I don’t know the woman and it’s unlikely I ever will.  But let’s say for the purpose of this post that she did.  The fact remains that her 1.5 million readers are now aware of the situation.  If only a small percentage of them do something about it, isn’t that what’s important here?  This was @dooce’s rebuttal:

The fact that the word was spread about Bangladesh is the factor that matters.  Isn’t that basically what the news is?  A way of spreading the word, for better or worse, so that people know what’s going on outside of their sphere of influence?

Now, according to @dooce, @abdpbt is a troll.  What’s a troll?  Here’s a link to the term. @abdpbt denies this saying that a troll leaves all the info on the other persons blog and she’s writing this on her own blog.  I’m not really quite sure of the specifics but even if it’s true, this is the land of free speech.  I could have an entire blog about how I wanted all pigs turned to bacon and sure the pig lovers would hate me but I COULD do it.  So, if @abdpbt’s blog is simply about dissing other blogs, that’s her prerogative.

 

I suppose the key here is what @abdpbt’s ulterior motives are here.  Is she, as she says, sort of a blogging police force?  Kinda like XMen but her job is to keep bloggers telling the truth.  Its kind of a silly mandate because blogging is really all opinions and one mans truth is another mans lies.  But really, if that’s what she’s about who cares?  What I wonder is why the throw down?

 

Looking at it from the outside, it looks like a smart bit of PR work on Anna’s part.  Because she managed to involve @dooce in a Twitter catfight, she got far more attention than she would have otherwise gotten with just the readers on her blog?  So, there’s that.  But back to my original point which is who cares what MOTIVATES you to do good.  The mere fact that you ARE doing “good” should stand on its own.  Each day, millions of teenagers volunteer for different projects simply to pad their college resumes.  STUPID?  I think so and yet, the end result is that there is much more volunteerism going on.

 

Will this translate to long-term involvement in societies problems?  WHO KNOWS?  If you can predict the future of teenagers, you’re much smarter than I am.  The point is that sometimes, being involved is what matters.  Not the motivations.  Not who paid for your trip.  The results are what matters.  And for the record, @dooce wrote another post today that you can read here.

 

Well, I just wanted to give my opinion.  I am, in fact, older than MANY of the bloggers out there and find so VERY many of the catfights in the blogging world so damn stupid and pointless I don’t even comment on them but sometimes, SOMETIMES, I can’t keep my mouth shut.  Or my fingers I suppose as I’m actually typing this.

 

This is my, and only my, opinion.

 

Lynn MacDonald aka All Fooked Up

 

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54 Comments

  1. krf0109
    July 1, 2011

    Doctors and nurses do good and get paid. Teachers get paid (not much, but it’s still pay). Many people who volunteer are doing it to look good or feel good. If you are helping people, I don’t see why it matters if you get something out of it too.

    Never heard of this blog troll business before yesterday. Amazing what youlearn on twitter!

    • Lynn
      July 1, 2011

      I agree. It’s about doing good. Not the rationale behind it!

  2. Alison@Mama Wants This
    July 1, 2011

    Good one Lynn! I think it’s all just attention seeking on @abdpbt’s part, but that’s just my opinion. I agree with you, doing good is doing good, who cares how it happened?

    Having said that, it was kinda fun to watch from the sidelines.

    • Lynn
      July 1, 2011

      It was amusing but I’m just over crap like that personally.

  3. Danielle
    July 1, 2011

    Well put. I thought Heather’s post today was articulate and showed the passion she felt for the project. I suppose since she has money, she is only supposed to write about shopping and laying around in her piles of money. But for someone with a voice like Heather can do great things for awareness. That’s using your power for good.

    • Lynn
      July 1, 2011

      I agree…it’s the end result that matters. All the other stuff is crap

  4. Eric is Fargo234
    July 1, 2011

    Nice observations, Lynn. I appreciate your candor. In my opinion it shouldn’t matter if @dooce was going there to cash in on a lottery ticket; her travels, notions, and impressions make her blog. However, in @abdpbt’s defense, her too. I read somewhere that if you want to garner a lot of traffic over a short period of time to your blog, post something inflammatory, controversial, or pornographic. Hmm. I think I may have an idea for a new blog!

    • Lynn
      July 1, 2011

      Yeah…I can’t imagine deliberately seeking that type of attention but then I’m not looking. Thanks for the comment. I don’t know either woman.

  5. Meghan @JaMonkeu
    July 1, 2011

    Catfights rock…lol and I agree, that “trolls” do it for the traffic. If it works for you what ever

    • Lynn
      July 1, 2011

      Just a ridiculous thing to speculate on other people’s motivations.

  6. MomMeTime
    July 1, 2011

    Very, very well said! I agree its the end result that matters…but equally as important and I am so glad that you mentioned it here…free speech. FREE SPEECH!!!! Free Fucking Speech!!! I read an article today that ruffled my tail feathers it was about something someone said and the person writing the article thought the solution was censure…oh okay whatever! Yeah, lets start policing peoples words! ah deep breath 12345678910…I feel better…

    Oh by the way, I really enjoy your blog! Thanks…Amy

    • Lynn
      July 1, 2011

      Thanks…people can say what they want. I mean, I do! A troll is a heckler. Comedians have been dealing with them forever.

      Thanks for reading!!!

  7. Jessica
    July 2, 2011

    I heard about this early Friday morning on Twitter but I don’t follow either of the ladies involved in the cat fight. It’s interesting to me because I don’t think I would get involved in a cat fight like this over Twitter where the world can see. Why not rise above it and be nice. Just my opinion.

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      I agree! I thought both sides were ridiculous

  8. Don E. Chute
    July 2, 2011

    Good versus Evil. it’s all there plain and simple.

    The problem is that Good doer’s will always TRUMP evil. But, Evil doer’s will always try to infiltrate good!

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      I don’t think this was that black and white but there’s always going to be people who disagree so why take them on?

  9. Wow, why is it that I never get to find anything like this on my twitter?

    On a more serious note, I believe in both, in free speech, but also in blogging/tweeting with integrity. Unless miss abdpbt is hired by some kind of government agency to uncover some fake volunteer programs… she should just leave dooce alone. Unless as some bloggers here mentioned, abdpbt did it for publicity… Maybe she’s trying on the theory of “No such thing as bad publicity?”

    Hmm… now I’m tempted… LOL

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      I just think she makes it a practice of calling bullshit. I have no idea if she’s right or not. The twitter thing was crazy and I’m surprised I ran across it.

  10. Lola
    July 2, 2011

    Nicely written! I had no idea people go so worked up and fought on Twitter! I would have made myself a big bowl of popcorn and followed! The only time I ALMOST got into a fight was when a commenter at Mamapedia called my article “trite” and “uninspired”. I didn’t respond publicly (because I’m all sorts of classy) but I sent her a note with a photo of a dildo and specific directions. Thought it might loosen her up.

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      This comment was so damn funny that I read it to my husband. People get worked up and it’s funny to follow isn’t it?

  11. Actually I did see that… for two seconds and I may have commented that I had never seen @dooce in livetime before. It must be comforting to her 1.5 mil followers that she does in fact come on and engage with them from time to time ;)
    But take the good where there is good, people raising awareness is making people take notice .. even if she did a damn fashion shoot there … she went there and she talked about what she saw there.
    Of course, now I’m curious about the ‘other woman’ but because I have no desire to feed the trolls, I’ll just hang out here with you … is it too early for us to have a mojito?

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      Anna Viele isn’t a troll. Just someone who disagrees with what she reads. That’s her prerogative. Dooce should have just ignored it but she didn’t.

  12. Simmer Down Now
    July 2, 2011

    I’m sorry – I totally disagree with your assessment here. Dooce is supposed to be representing No Woman No Cry in a professional and respectful way – I see none of that in her decision to engage and escalate with Viele. She chose her ego over her cause and the kind of awareness she’s raising at this point is totally tarnished by her unprofessional behavior. However badly both women behaved, Dooce comes off worse imho because she had a higher cause to promote – instead she chose an internet pissing match. And you neglected to include Viele’s first tweets or discuss Viele’s original post where she touched on the idea of “poverty tourism”, which adds more to the debate than has been mentioned here.

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      I think I admitted I didn’t follow the original post. I think Anna can and should write what she wants. If Dooce was representing an organization then she should have risen above the fray. I agree the Twitter thing was stupid but my point was that who cares what the motivations are anyways?

      Great comment by the way

      • Simmer Down Now
        July 2, 2011

        Well except that clearly Dooce cares if her motivations are called into question (which is really all Viele’s original tweet did) – if motivations aren’t important, then why make a big hullabaloo if essentially a non-entity (Viele has <3k followers – she's a pest at best, not a hard hitting bully) take issue with them?

        Cynically, Dooce may know that twitter tantrums drive readership (who doesn't like a good fight) and saw this as an opportunity to capitalize on it but I think, having read her for a while now, she is terribly sensitive about her wealth and privilege. Probably exponentially so at the moment, having just returned from such an impoverished area. Armchair psychologist reading here is that Viele touched a nerve and Dooce was spoiling for a fight on the topic after the Guardian article. It's a ridiculous and egotistical argument – no one should criticize me b/c I'm doing the important works! Whatevs.

        But as you say, the end result (maternal care for all women) is the important thing here – did Dooce promote that cause in a effective, responsible and respectful way by turning the subject into a "poor me, I'm so bullied"? In my opinion, she did not. She embarrassed her cause over a trifling.

        • Lynn
          July 2, 2011

          Oh I agree with you. My point in general was who cares about the motivations. In this situation, I would have taken the high road. I can’t imagine why Dooce even bothered with her.

          If she is sensitive or felt guilty, that’s a whole different can of worms. It shouldn’t have been aired on Twitter. Both women, in my opinion, came off as somewhat petty and shallow.

          Thanks for commenting.

  13. Katja Brown
    July 2, 2011

    Wow, I see that this “catfight” helped your blog too! Are you getting secretly paid by the two ladies ;)

    Just kidding – I agree with you that being involved is what matters NOT how you pay for it!

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      I don’t actually see where it’s done much for this blog…my numbers haven’t changed at all. I just occasionally comment on what i see and hear

      • Katja Brown
        July 2, 2011

        I just though that you’d be happy with all the feedback that you received for this article …

  14. Raisel
    July 2, 2011

    There’s a line of thought that no “good act” is *truly* altruistic in that the person doing the act gets something out of it in that they feel better by helping someone else and so that is, in fact, not a completely selfless act. But, as you stated in your post and many others have echoed, who cares?? We need more people doing more good things for each other.

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      that’s such a crazy line of thought though. THe fact is that NOTHING in life is done without some sort of purpose. Even if all you do is good in the world then that OBVIOUSLY makes you feel good so that’s why you’re doing it.

      People overanalyze EVERYTHING. I just don’t know why people care so much about all the bullshit. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

      • Raisel
        July 3, 2011

        I should mention that I’m a licensed therapist so I get paid to overanalyse everything. That’s just what we do.

        • Raisel
          July 3, 2011

          Ooooh, and I just spelled “overanalyse” like a Brit! What do you think THAT means? Let’s analyse/analyze it!

          • Lynn
            July 3, 2011

            i wasn’t aware they spelled it differently

        • Lynn
          July 3, 2011

          I’ve been in analysis for about 28 years and i’m still pretty screwed up….hmmm

    • Casey Freeland
      July 2, 2011

      I think it’s probably true. Even if all you get is a great feeling for doing something good, you still benefit from it. I had this argument in high school. My senior year honors English class was the setting and I was on this side of the argument against the entire class AND my teacher. It went on the entire period. I’ll never forget it.

      Cheers,

      Casey

  15. Casey Freeland
    July 2, 2011

    You’re right, of course. Motivation is not as important if good has been accomplished. If a giant corporation donates a million bucks to a worthy charity and gets a huge tax benefit out of it, great!

    But there will always be those who criticize. It is an absolute truth that the easiest, most simple thing in the world to do is to criticize someone else. It takes almost no mental capacity at all to say something negative about someone else. And because it’s easy and because other simple, negative thinkers are attracted to these comments, we find them everywhere.

    Best thing to do is ignore, I think. These folks aren’t looking for positive feedback. They are looking for a fight, an argument, a noteriety.

    And when we react, that’s what we give them.

    Great post, by the way. I don’t always comment on your posts, but I really enjoy your work.

    Cheers,

    Casey

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      Great comment…and thanks for the compliment. You were one of my cirstvreaders and I truly appreciate it!

  16. Katie Palton
    July 2, 2011

    Annoying how many times you have retweeted this. It’s yesterday’s news. Give it a rest.

    • Lynn
      July 2, 2011

      I usually tweet my posts every few hours the day I write them. Feel free to unfollow me if you don’t like it!

    • RCB
      July 3, 2011

      What’s your problem, Katie? Starting another catfight when it’s such a sunny day?

      • Lynn
        July 3, 2011

        Hahaha…I know. I went and counted how many times I RTed this. 7… Too many? Whatevs

  17. Melissa
    July 2, 2011

    I just wanted to say I’m a new follower. I have a great FB/Twitter hop on Tuesday, if you want to stop by and increase your following. Have a good day!

    • Lynn
      July 3, 2011

      I appreciate the invite. I’m pretty bad about remembering but I’ll try!!! Thanks for telling me about it

  18. RCB
    July 3, 2011

    Well-put, Lynn. You’re older and wiser, and cat fights are boring as hell. And I agree that it shouldn’t matter what someone’s motives for doing good are. Otherwise rich people (and morons alike) would never be able to do any good, right?

    –Randy

    • Lynn
      July 3, 2011

      Right…the why’s and wherefores don’t matter…in my opinion.

  19. Alexandra
    July 7, 2011

    Right.

    Doing something is always good.

    • Lynn
      July 7, 2011

      I agree…that was my point

  20. Bitchin' Amy
    July 7, 2011

    You know what I hate most about this whole catfight? That I was compelled, yet again, to click over to Anna’s site. Now I feel all filthy and dirty.

    Thanks a lot!

    ;-) Actually, I’m so glad you wrote about this because it saved me the effort of looking at either of their blogs. I’d much rather spend my time on yours.

    • Lynn
      July 7, 2011

      Hey, don’t blame me. I was just making a point that she does have the right to free speech. I’m all for poverty tourism anyways.

  21. […] up is a post that asks a lot of good questions,  questions about social media and blogging and whether it matters what your motivation is for […]

    • Lynn
      July 8, 2011

      thanks for the link

  22. ExistentialMother
    July 8, 2011

    If you don’t follow either blog, and your impressions of the fight are simply based on your speculations? Then your post is simply…speculation. You don’t know either of the players well enough to truly comment.

    • Lynn
      July 8, 2011

      My point was simply that doing good is the point. Not what the motivations are.

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