Take a Long Hard Look at Our Community… An Editorial by Onno VK6FLAB
This post is to lift up the recent editorial published on eHam.net by Onno VK6FLAB in Australia. His long running podcast, Foundations of Amateur Radio, is one of my favorites. I listen to it every time it drops in my podcast catcher. I’m slowly making my way through the previous 500 episodes. Not one has been disappointing. Onno has recently taken on the scourge of social bullying in our hobby. It affects everyone, not just the bullied.
Once the collective atmosphere of a group, however large or small, has become contaminated by the blind or even oblique tolerance of bullying behavior by even one member of the group, it is there for all to be potentially subjected. The tolerance of bullying will precede new members and succeed former ones. While “bad character” may be the original culprit, the social norms of the group become the active agents of that tolerance of it in the future.
To be clear, our community is a welcoming environment, filled with hope and joy, but there is a small rotten element in our midst that we need to rip out root and branch, much like we would if it was deliberate HF interference.Onno VK6FLAB on eHam.net
Onno’s essay at eHam.net is available through the link below. I encourage you to read it with an open mind as to your own behavior and those with whom you associate. Being bullied through social media tends to begat your own negative response. I wish I could state that I have never responded in that way. But I cannot. My commitment is to reduce any such behaviors in response to those engaged in bullying of me and to defend those being bullied.
As a professional sociologist who has studied social movements, almost always involving violence, I wish that I could offer a complete answer to the problem. But I do know that Onno is on the right track: tolerance of the problem will only exacerbate it. If you value the amateur radio hobby, it is worth your time and consideration to see what Onno has to say.
To read Onno’s editorial at eHam.net, click HERE.
This is a great article and the issue needs dealing with. In our area, I find CB operators openly admitting they use any frequency they can find to cause trouble. They can easily be named and some ham operators kn ow who they are and do nothing to correct the problem. Sad.
Sad, indeed. But as a member of the VM program, I can assure you that there are also bad actors on the ham bands. Many are observed and if they rise to the bar of submitting forensic RF data to the FCC, Riley Hollingsworth, VM Coordinator, does indeed do that. It does not go into a file drawer once at the Enforcement Bureau!
It’s sad this kind of thing happens, we have the same in the UK.
I agree with not ignoring it, but I disagree with taking things into your own hands, it makes you as bad as them when you do that and will probably wind them up even more to do it.
Why not just talk to them and ignore their vile banter, if they find they can’t wind you up they might get bored and go away, it works here…
I wish you success Onno in your quest.
Thanks for your comments. I dint speak for Onno. But bullying occurs in other parts of our hobby, such as clubs, where there is a clear leadership responsibility. If leaders of groups just turn a blind eye and hope to goes away, it won’t. Thise bullied will. I know your comments are directed toward broader social media. I just want to add that Onno’s comments are about those, too.
I’m glad that in your experience the bullies eventually stand down.
This is why I use exclusively FT8. But even there a few can get really worked up on whether to send 73. Amazing.
Great comment! I’ve talked with CW op friends whom I know well. They don’t report *too* many scuff-ups on CW…their only “fist fights” might be over sending speed, lol.