First off, I want to thank all the people who have written their kind words of support these past few days.
I wish I could say this is the first time we’ve had to deal with a frivolous lawsuit and I wish I could say it was the last. It happens. It’s business. The only difference here is that one party doesn’t normally leak this sort of thing out to get press coverage.
It is amazing how many people will look at a bunch of unsubstantiated allegations and assume they’re true or assume that they are seeing even a tiny fraction of the full story. I know I’m somewhat guilty of this since I have often taken the view “where there’s smoke, there’s fire”.
The emails I get often ask me how I “deal” with some of the vile and ignorant things that have been tweeted to me or said. The answer is, you can’t take that sort of thing personally. They’re reacting to drama they’re reading without really thinking any of it through.
I’ve been online for almost 30 years now – since Commodore 64 BBS days. It is extremely easy for someone to make things up and pass them off as fact. I once got forwarded a claim by someone who said that we made female units in War of Magic weaker than males (they’re identical other than graphics). But someone makes something up, it gets past on and it eventually becomes fact.
Heck, every time I go over to BluesNews.com, there’s some guy who insists I’m a Glenn Beck fan, a show I’ve never even watched. That’s why it is important to remember that the Internet isn’t real life. That is why I’ve told my younger friends to be wary of taking their various virtual communities too seriously. It isn’t a replacement for personal relationships with people in real life.
When you are interacting with hateful people, don’t think of them as the norm. And while you can try to fathom where all that hate comes from, it’s ultimately irrelevant. People like that are always hating something. The phrase “haters are going to hate” is a truism. There are people out there who are miserable and there always will be.
There will always be people who will read unsubstantiated allegations, even ones that have direct contrary evidence, and still believe it because they have an inherent need to hate something or someone. You can’t take those people personally. They’re facing an issue that you can never cure.
As someone who has had the opportunity to start their own business, literally from their dorm room, and build it up over many years, I’ve gotten to see this sort of thing ebb and flow. My advice to those who have been tempted to lash back at these people who are filled with hate is to just ignore them. You might as well go out and yell at the rain. You can’t change them. Only they can address whatever it is inside of them that makes them so ready to hate people they’ve never met (whether that be some Internet geek or a politician or celebrity).
The thing to remember is this: There is something fundamentally wrong with someone who is prepared to hate someone they've never even met. There's no point worrying about them.