pseudomonas: (Default)
[personal profile] pseudomonas
Please, please. It's fine and good for you to promote your cause, and appeal for help. But please don't say1 things like If you're not taking [action] on [insert cause here] then you're [the problem|a terrible person|why we can't have nice things]. (sometimes seen as If you're [demographic group] and not taking action…).

Three reasons:
1) Salience bias. While you're very upset about X injustice, there are (sadly!) many many many problems in the world, and it's not OK to berate people for working on things that aren't the one that has your attention at the moment. It's definitely OK to hope that people are working/donating/campaigning to make the world a better place, but not to slag strangers off because they're focussing on (say) economic inequality rather than (say) antibiotic resistance2.

2) Not everyone is in a position to help. Some people have disabilities, physical and mental. Some people aren't economically placed to give up money or time. Making these people feel bad about it is what is technically known as "a dick move".

3) It's really not a nice look. Yes, this is "the tone argument", aka "concern trolling", well done, you have sussed me out. But it's pretty dispiriting to see people promoting causes I care about by making people feel awful for very little gain. And yes, it's quite likely that the cause is more important than not hurting people's feelings. But one can urge action without gleefully slagging off people who may have very good reasons that they can't get involved

Sadly I've not got a concrete example to hand - but this isn't in reference to a particular thing, but it's something I've seen from time to time and only recently learned not to take as personally as I have in the past.

1 Or, preferably, share/retweet/reblog/promulgate
2 Or vice versa, naturally. I think both of these are pressing concerns for the world.
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