Online Boundaries

Sometimes I write about shitty men, but I today I want to write about a man I admire.

About two months ago, someone started leaving long (and I mean long) comments on every chapter of a current work-in-progress called Malice, which is my supremely self-indulgent Breath of the Wild Modern AU novel-length fanfic about magical monster-man Ganondorf showing up naked one morning in Zelda’s apartment. The comments were rambling essays on home invasion and gun control laws and so on, and they didn’t have much of anything to do with the story save for how it wasn’t how he would have written it… so he rewrote parts of it in the comments.

I deleted these comments as they appeared, but they came one after the other, and the guy edited each of them at least a dozen times. If I had to guess, I would say that this behavior may have been the product of a genuine manic episode. This is concerning, but it’s not something that I, a random stranger on the internet, am prepared for or equipped to handle.

I finally replied, saying that these comments were unwelcome and a bit creepy, and that he needed to stop. I also asked him not to reply or try to contact me, and that I would report his account for harassment if he did.

And that was it. No more comments. No nasty messages on Twitter or Tumblr. End of story.

I’m not saying I wanted to have to deal with the strangeness of this situation, but I do sincerely appreciate a dude who respects boundaries. Pushing back the keyboard and stepping away from the computer was actually very cool and cash money of him, and I’m going to remember this the next time I start to get a little too emotionally invested in what’s happening on the internet.