Article: Editorial: An Open Letter to the Mac Community

by on January 6, 2005

Dear Mac Webmasters, Macintosh Enthusiasts, and Other Concerned Parties,

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that PC Magazine and Ziff-Davis don’t want you to know.

John Dvorak is a highly paid professional troll.

In much the same way that Jon Stewart lambasted Crossfire’s Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala in his 15 October guest appearance, it is high time someone took the Internet media — particularly the webmasters of the so-called “Mac Web” — to task for their disservice to the Macintosh community.

Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting the community. See, the thing is, we need your help. Right now, you’re helping the trolls and platform-baiters. And we’re left out there to deal with the mess you’re making. You’re not being too rough on them. You’re part of their strategies.

John Dvorak is paid at least in part by the money generated from page views on the PC Magazine Web site. Paul Thurrott and Rob “No One’s ALWAYS Wrong, But That Doesn’t Stop Me From Trying” Enderle (tip o’ the hat to Jack Miller) are paid in a similar fashion. Whenever one of these “pundits” writes an intentionally inflammatory piece — which is often — Mac webmasters immediately pick up on it and publish refutations. These are good refutations, because these trolls rarely even attempt to make defensible points. But they don’t want a logical argument. They simply want to bask in the attention — and page views, and therefore money — you’re giving them!

I’m talking to you, Mac Daily News. I’m talking to you, Charles W. Moore. I’m talking to you, Ric Ford. I’m talking to you, Dennis Sellers. I’m talking to you, Bryan Chaffin.

Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting the community.

The Mac has still not achieved “mainstream” status, and these InstaRefutations™ of everything these trolls write simply make us Mac users look like a bunch of raving lunatics.

Nothing you can possibly say will ever change the mind of such a self-proclaimed “pundit.”

The solution is simple. Like the schoolyard tease, these trolls must be ignored. Do not link to their articles, do not post editorial responses to them, do not post “Reader Mailbag” columns full of others’ editorial responses to them. If the Macintosh community does not acknowledge that they exist, their raison d’être ceases to be, and they will stop writing such pointlessly inflammatory pieces.

Until we on the Mac Web can reach such a “gentlemen’s agreement,” the trolling and platform-baiting by so-called “pundits” will continue.

Christopher F. Lawson,
Freelance Macintosh writer and concerned citizen of the Mac Web

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