Flag bot!With the internet continually growing and adding content, many websites have turned to a self-policing policy to weed out content that is inappropriate and offensive.  Most people would say "ROCK ON!", the honor system is the way to go!  And yes, that was my first instinct.   I used to think that most people had the sense, moral compass and tolerance to make this whole internet self-monitoring thing work.   Alas, I was wrong.


No, I don't think that we need some big brother-bot stamping labels over our comments and deleting our input off of the net.  I am against censorship.  I do understand that things like spam and the occasional raving idiot necessitate some kind of monitoring.  I'm cool with that.


And if it were just cut and dry, and people did just delete inappropriate spam or miscatergorized listing out of sites like Craigslist and some Yahoo sites, then there would be no issues.  Then, this subject would be closed.  But it doesn't work like that.  No, there is some kind of weird force at work behind the scenes that is either malevolent or is continually offended by EVERYTHING.


I pondered who this being might be.  Could it be some spirit that wanders the internet?  Maybe an AI that finds the idea of someone selling a toaster on Craigslist offensive.  After considering this possibility, I realized that was unlikely.  An AI would probably be more concerned with important stuff, like taking over the world, than to  bother flagging someone's post about fill dirt or broken TVs.  No, this is the work of corporeal being.  This flagging andFlag Witch! reporting is done with intent. 


Who could possible hold such malice and contempt against internet content?  Who would be angered by somebody's Yahoo answers question about underarm deodorant or green tea?  What shadowy figure could be behind flagging a classified asking for pet sitter recommendations? Could it be some flagging witch, seated in her dark crypt, at her keyboard, devoting her time and dark powers to deleting your question about how to fix your car engine?  Does she obsessively scour the internet in search of things to delete?  Why is it that everything you say offends her?  Did you make Verizon banish her to dial-up?  Were you responsible for her getting banned from the Wacky Witch Wonderland Yahoo group?  Did you make her evil feline familiar eat her mouse?  You will never know what she thinks.  But know this, she hates you and everyone like you.  She will do her best to make sure that you never post anything ever again.


Flag Wizard!

Maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe it's not a witch at all, but an evil terrifying web wizard out to banish all free speech out of this physical plane.  Perhaps he's a rogue wizard-school drop-out intent on tearing down the internet and all its users.  Maybe each post he flags is part of a great protection spell, that unless removed, will render him powerless in his online universe and leave him vulnerable and pathetic in real life.   Perhaps it's not just a battle over control of this universe.  Possibly he fears that by letting people post their opposing views about the latest Harry Potter movie, his limitless internet power will be stripped away and he will lose his online wizardly skills to be left nothing but a sad lonely geek behind a dirty keyboard.


Flag Warior

Of course it could lie completely outside the realm of magic.  Instead our post might be getting flagged by a mighty warrior, wielding the flaming sword of content control.  He patrols the net, looking for violators of the slightest infraction.  If you list a blender for sale in general items instead of household items, you will taste his steel!  If you upset his paladin sensibilities by speaking your mind about your personal religious beliefs and you have the gall to differ from his doctrine, you will taste his flame of justice.  There is no escape from this iron clad defender of 'the way'.  And 'the way' is his way, every time, all of the time.  Do not make the mistake of disagreeing again or he will see to it that your account is suspended.


Flag flock!But what if I am completely off-base?  What if it isn't human at all.  For all I know, it could be an angry pink elephant goaded on by his best friend the green parrot of repetitiveness .   They stampede through the net stomping out any original thought or creativity.  Maybe someone abandoned them in the jungle when they first ventured out into the web.  Could be that they're upset because nobody takes them seriously.  How can we know for sure?  They keep removing your posts and replacing them with old memes like pictures of Arnold saying "STFU" or repeating some statistic about masturbation that they heard when they were in the eleventh grade.  Either way, their responses are completely unrelated to the topic and just annoying.  But you can't stop them.  They have friends of friends who own the internet, and even if you do get their account suspended, they just make a new one and target you all over again.


So be wary.  These beings could be stalking the internet.  Behind every dissenting comment, every report to the administrators, they could be waiting.   They can strike at any time, so be prepared to repost!

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