Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blog swarming

I just submitted the following comment about this post:

What, is it hip now to make sneaky personal attacks on certain other tango bloggers just because they speak their mind and they actually know what they are talking about? One blogger becomes the target of antagonism and then suddenly everyone jumps on the bandwagon in this "blog swarming" to try to look like they are part of the "in" group. Ridiculous and so "High school". Anonymous: There's a word for someone who attacks others while hiding behind anonymity - it's "COWARD".

You are bullies. And this is "blog swarming" - THE tango cyber-trend of the future, which tech-savvy tangueros and tangueras will now engage in to increase their "tango-cred" instead of learning to dance better.


Tina said...

Attack? In this case, I'd say no, not really...

I'm not participating in that particular topic but I would like to at least stick up for Miss Tango and her blog, as she is the legal owner of her blog, who therefore has the right to post whatever she wants - including an entry about lunfardo, linking to another person's blog.

She also absolutely has the right to say whether she thinks something is BS or not.

Just like you have the right to post this blog entry, and you also have the right to post a disagreeing comment to her blog.

I think it should be noted and appreciated that she published your comment.
-There are a lot of bloggers who don't publish comments from people who disagree with their blogs.

That's just my opinion.

I also don't think I would call it blog swarming because I only see that three people commented. (Apart from you and Jantango, and Miss Tango's responses). A swarm would constitute more people than that, wouldn't it?

I will not comment on the actual subject matter of the post, but I will say that you'd do better not to assume that bloggers know (or don't know) what they are talking about.

Blogs are kind of funny that way in that we think we know the person judging from their writing, but do we really? I've met several bloggers and while most of them are more or less like their blogs, I've had a few disappointments and surprises.

Just saying - nothing directed at anyone in particular, just saying.

And on that note I thank you for being an honest blogger and having your blog be open to comments. :-)

MIM Tango said...

You have articulated perfectly one of the many reasons why we don't have open comments. Could you imagine the "Blog Swarming" that would occur (and has basically occurred on another blog which referred to ours)?!

We agree with you that the post was a very sneaky attack on Janis. At the very least, it was poking fun at her in a typically "high school" fashion.

toronto argentine tango associates inc said...

All opinions, whether negative or positive, can at times, add to the knowledge of tango. Everyone has a right to express their opinion. However, I wonder, why do people not wish to identify themselves? Is it that they wish to express negative/positive, popular/unpopular views about their's or other's communities and are afraid that there will be some sort of unintended consequences? If you believe in your opinions why won't you "come out of the closet" so to speak?
patricia from Toronto Argentine Tango

Irene and Man Yung said...


Although we appreciate your support of Janis, you misunderstand the intent of our post. It's one thing to point out when there's "Blog Swarming" at work - and quite another thing not to allow any commentary at all. Pointing out "Blog Swarming" when it occurs is part of fair commentary. People can agree, or disagree with us, just as they wish.
Not allowing commentary at all is censorship. We are opposed to censorship. We are not afraid for people to comment, positively or negatively, or even with the intent of "Blog Swarming", on our views. An opposing opinion may turn out to be quite right, or quite wrong - but total censorship is definitely WRONG.

Regarding the intent of our comment to Miss Tango, the first point we wanted to make is about people jumping on the bandwagon to personally attack a specific target - and not because they had been personally offended by the said target, or have some personal issues regarding the said target, but only because it appears trendy to do so to become part of the "in group" which is engaging in this. This kind of aggression really is totally unnecessary, and reveals a part of the "bullying" aspect of human nature. We've observed that it has been going on for a while now, and we felt compelled to point it out.

The other point we wanted to make is regarding anonymous attacks or attacks by pseudonym. This is something we find absolutely reprehensible. Hiding behind anonymity or a facade is the resort of cowards. We wouldn't say anything here on this blog that we wouldn't say to someone face-to-face.

In light of this, we would ask you to consider opening up your blog to comments, and to write your posts using your real identities. Most people in Toronto already know you but I think it is only fair that your worldwide readership has a chance to get know who (the real) you are as well.

These were the crucial points in our comment on Miss Tango's post.

Irene and Man Yung

Anonymous said...

Interesting ... this subject of sneakiness and blog swarming.
I've wondered if you would say the same things to people's faces that you write on your blog. I mean your criticism of various dancers/videos, of the Toronto tango community in general, would you say so to their faces? Isn't that a bit sneaky as well if you're mocking them on your blog instead of speaking or writing directly to them? Just saying...
Also, checked out the post you linked to...i hardly think 2 people equate "swarming". That's a bit of an exaggeration. To swarm means to move or gather in LARGE numbers. Miss Tango in her Eyes was simply amused by the title of Janis' blog - for she realized it meant Bullshit in lunfardo.
All this to say: you seem to have double standards. Reminds me of a coffee cup that had written on it "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Caroline,

You don't have to agree with us with our perception of what was going on in Miss Tango's post (and the forerunner blog swarming activities that preceded it), it's your prerogative. However, you are wrong about one thing. We definitely would say to people's faces what needs to be said. People in Toronto know us. We haven't adopted any pseudonyms. If they read our blog (and many do, it's a small community) they can always come up to us and challenge us. We are well known in our community and everyone here knows which milongas we frequent. We don't hide in some glass house as you would say. In fact someone has approached us about a blog post, and we did talk to her.

We don't get what is "sneaky" about making public remarks in a public forum that everyone has access to under real identities that everyone knows about.

From your comment about writing and speaking to people directly instead of writing on our blog, we are wondering if you are advocating some kind of suppression of public free speech - in short, censorship.

As you say, Peace. Thanks for your comment.

MIM Tango said...


It doesn't seem like we misunderstood your post at all, but we see you do not want it to relate to our situation.

Amusing that you believe it's "WRONG" to have closed comments. Killing can be seen as "wrong"... closed comments though? Wow. We are not censoring anyone's comments. They can write whatever they want. We just don't want it on our blog and we see absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. If we are to have open comments, we believe it is necessary to "converse" with those who comment. We are easily drawn into debates. However, we do not have the time or the interest to do so presently.

We explained why we do not have open comments on our blog and it seems like a waste of time to explain it again here. Perhaps one day we will have open comments (and it is something we are considering), until then, it is our choice.

As for our real identities. In Toronto, we do not hide the fact that we write this blog. We even post the link to the blog on our Facebook and we talk about our blog. However, we do not see why people should have to know exactly who we are. We are just "small potatoes" who go about writing OUR TRUTHS. Strangers around the world do not need to know who we are and what we look like simply because we write a blog.

Wonderful for the both of you that you have the "balls" to speak your mind to anyone and everyone. We do not all have that ability and it does not in itself make someone a coward (a negatively charged word for someone who is timid). Jorge is a product of his upbringing - being Finnish and having been brought up by a timid (single) mother who only knew how to "make nice" have contributed to his character. He is not a coward because it is virtually impossible for him to speak his mind in person (which is the very reason why he has not been able to say no to women who ask him to dance). Being able to say your thoughts, whether in full view or in hiding, is generally better than not saying them at all.

We respect your decision to maintain your blog the way you do. You obviously do not respect ours... and that's OK.


Irene and Man Yung said...

Just a thought re: Caroline:

Would it upset anyone if suddenly the government put out an edict as follows:

All further public comment against the government, politicians, figures in authority, public institutions, private institutions, associations, unions, corporations, members of the entertainment industry, members of the business community, members of the academic community, ordinary private citizens, senior citizens and children are hereby banned and henceforth deemed criminal in the eyes of the law. Any comment directed at any whether critical or not, will hereinafter be only permitted if addressed personally to the entity in question and mailed to their address for service. All comments regarding all public entities shall be directed to a special Department of Public Commentary henceforth inaugurated by the Canadian Government for the specialized processing for such matters. Failure to adhere to this edict shall be actionable under the law.

1984! Creepy.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Irene and Man Yung said...

Wow, so many comments for one post! We should really talk about the "Blog Swarm" more often!

Los Movimientos:

We understand not wanting to be drawn by "nameless/unknown bloggers" in cyberspace into debates but what if we (for example) or Roxana and Fabian (for example) want to comment on what you say? We have no easy way to do it except by posting our comment as a post on our blog. Anyone who reads your post straight from your blog will not be able to access our commentary unless they were following our blog at the same time. We cannot even say whether we agree or don't agree with your interpretation of some of ideas that you have quoted from us - in this we have found ourselves "appropriated" and then "censored" by you, for good or bad. Your "own truth" on your blog becomes a suppression of other legitimate truths, other legitimate voices, that may or may not dissent with your perspective. Surely a little inconvenience and the expenditure of a little bit of your precious time would be small sacrifices for the sake of free speech - "Don't throw away the baby with the bathwater", so to speak. We're sure you can more than hold your own on any debate however tedious, repetitive and drawn out it is.

For us, we believe that open commentary/open identity is to do with free speech and also really, truly standing by what you have to say - and defending it to the death if necessary. For us it is not a matter of convenience or time - it's a matter of principle.

But then it also goes without saying that it is also a matter of principle that we do not intent to dictate (although we believe we are entitled to our opinion) how someone lives their lives, or direct (although once again we believe we are entitled to make suggestions) how someone runs their blog. The final say regarding both is entirely up to you.

Irene and Man Yung said...


Do we know you? Are you the Caroline in Toronto?

We can't tell by your profile...

Irene and Man Yung

MIM Tango said...

Good points I&M and thank you for your opinions and suggestions :)

We definitely apologize if we have misrepresented you in anyway. We have never wanted to do so and that is why we have always made sure to directly link to your blog/posts any time we have referred to your comments.

We will repeat what we have said to you - you are always free to converse/debate with us about our opinions in person or through email.

Caroline did make a good point about publishing one's full identity. There are too many wackos out there. There are also very few people with my full name - as well as Jorge's. Putting pictures of ourselves up on the internet, especially when we are about to travel to South America, is just crazy. It should be noted that we also do not use are real names on our Travel Blog.

Happy Weekend!

Irene and Man Yung said...

We think this must have been the most successful commentary/debate EVER on the history of Irene and Man Yung's Blog - and we bet there's plenty more to come from the Blog Swarm. None of our past witty remarks, carefully crafted scenarios, perceptive comments, heart-felt eulogies over the past four months have done even 2% of what a few "controversial" sentences has achieved within 24 hours in terms of increasing blog readership. We should definitely rename our blog "Irene and Man Yung's Inflammatory and Controversial Tango Blog".

Irene and Man Yung said...


We’ve been reading your two comments again and again and again, because we have no life, but we don’t really get the exact point you’re making except: Miss Tango trash-talking Janis = THAT’S OK, Irene pointing out that a whole bunch of people have been slamming Janis for no reason except because it is hip to do so = BAD. The Anti-censorship remarks had nothing to do with Miss Tango – it was to do with all the yummy periphery issues that came out of the comments on our post. What exactly is the hypocrisy you are alluding to? WE don't get it.

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Los Movimientos,

Thanks for participating in the big heated anonymity debate, we think that any people following this will find that there were great points pro and con all round.

Will we see you at Paradiso or Mad? In any case, have a very enjoyable weekend and looking forward to the next bout,

Irene and Man Yung

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