|James Jacobs Creative Director|
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James Jacobs wrote:It's the person who gets offended that gets to decide if something is offensive, after all.
If I'm offended by that statement then you're in the wrong and owe me an apology?
I understand trying to avoid offending anyone but it seems like everything is offensive to somebody. Doesn't common sense come into play also?
[If I've offended anybody by this post I apologize in advance :-)]
If you're offended by that statement, then yes, I apologize to you. Common sense DOES come into play... but at both sides, because often, taking offense at something does not follow the rules of common sense. In those situations, it's best to offer an apology to the offended person—THAT's common sense AND common courtesy.
And yes, it is easy to offend on the internet. There's two reasons for this.
1) The lack of inflection and body language makes it really easy to misinterpret what's being typed, especially since it's human nature to jump to the worst conclusions about something.
2) Places like these boards are public. You might type messages in the privacy of your own home, but what you type is more public than if you go to a busy downtown and shout the message out loud so thousands of people can hear you. What you put on a board can reach across space AND time. It's possible to be offensive to someone in the distant future in this way because what you type today may not have the offensive connotations it has 100 years from now. That's obviously an extreme example, but it's legit. There's really no way to control what may or may not be offensive, so be mature about it when someone IS offended, offer an apology, and do your best to find out what it was you did to offend so you can remember that in the future and avoid it.