1911: Defensive Profile

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Defensive Profile
NO DRAMA ZONE -> If I've made you sad, you'd better not tell me, because I am TERRIFIED of that situation and have NO IDEA how to handle it.
Title text: NO DRAMA ZONE -> If I've made you sad, you'd better not tell me, because I am TERRIFIED of that situation and have NO IDEA how to handle it.

Explanation[edit]

This comic demonstrates a theoretical feature which provides more honest interpretations of social media profiles. We see a profile for a person who says they have "no filters" and has no qualms about offending or upsetting anybody with their seemingly radical views. But the "translation" of the description reveals that it is a vastly insecure person who seems to have the problem of saying the wrong thing every time and so their profile description is a way for them to justify their comments.

The title text continues, with the aggressive "NO DRAMA ZONE" turning out to mean that the user is merely trying to keep any offended or genuinely upset comments away from their page because they simply have no idea how to emotionally handle hurting someone's feelings.

Randall previously demonstrated another theoretical feature to address passive-aggressive behavior in 1085: ContextBot. And show Cueball having the same feeling in 1984: Misinterpretation.

The comic's feature may be based on the context menu option of the Google Chrome web browser to have a foreign language webpage translated to the user's selected native language. However, in Google Chrome, the user may only translate the entire page, while in this comic the user may also select some text and have only the selected part translated. Also, Google Chrome uses Google Translate for translation by default, which cannot read minds like in the comic.[citation needed] However, if one uses the official Google Translate extension for Google Chrome, one may actually translate only the selected text. It is possible then that it is instead the extension which inspired the comic's feature.

This comic not only illustrates such a feature, but implies that the "translated" thoughts are what's actually going on behind posts of these types on social media, as if Randall can actually read those people's minds somehow. If this implication is the intent of the comic, then Randall thinks that people who have "no filter" are actually insecure and that people who want "NO DRAMA" are actually afraid of upset comments. Alternatively, Randall hates people who post such things in their profiles, and therefore wants to belittle them in this comic as actually being insecure, rather than being as confident as their aggressive behavior implies. This explanation is corroborated by notable news near the comic's publishing time (see below).

The style of the profile showcased in the comic resembles the profiles of the popular social media website Twitter, which while the user is logged in, shows the user's own profile on the left side of the page in a similar style to the comic, with their picture on the left side of their name, their Twitter handle under their name (which explains the extra line of text under what is presumably the name) and their "bio" right below those. The Twitter "bio" is a space usually used for the user to explain who they are. Common details about a person which are included in their "bio" are their profession, their personal interests and the products they have for sale. Some people also write about their personality, such as the one in the comic, which is quite outspoken and frank about her opinions.

One notable news item regarding Twitter, near the comic's publishing time, is that a rogue employee of the Twitter company, on the last day of his job, banned the personal Twitter profile of U.S. President Donald Trump (it was undone 11 minutes later). While Donald Trump never wrote something similar to what the comic portrays on his Twitter profile, he is known to post "politically incorrect" statements there. Donald Trump does not seem to care about who those statements offend, just like the person in the comic. Randall is known to have supported the opposing candidate before he was elected, having made a comic just to promote her, and particularly sad comics following his election. These events may have inspired the comic.

The title of this comic is "Defensive Profile". "Defensive" is the opposite of "offensive", which is a word that might be used to describe the contents of profiles which display such a warning as in the comic. However, the feature reveals the warnings to actually be defenses against behaviors that deeply bother the profile owner. The profile is thus proved to actually be "defensive" instead of "offensive", at least regarding the warning text.

Transcript[edit]

[A profile on an unknown social media site is displayed. The profile picture is a close-up image of Megan. The profile reads:]
I speak my mind and don't care who I offend. No filter.
[In the next panel, the text is highlighted, and a context menu has appeared. There is a mouse pointer on the option "View translation".]
Copy
Select all
View translation [selected]
Print
[In the last panel, the profile text is updated:]
I don't understand why people keep getting mad at me and I'm using this pep talk to convince myself that's okay.


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Discussion

This reminds me of his "free speech" comic. In both, he implies that if people get mad at you for what you say, you must be the one in the wrong. He also implies that people who make that kind of statement "don't understand" why people take offense. That makes very little sense. If they say something like that, they must understand why some people dislike them. Quite possibly they even enjoy having that effect. Gmcgath (talk) 21:09, 3 November 2017 (UTC)

That brings new meaning to "objective truth". In the modern world it certainly seems sometimes that relativism reigns supreme. Let's see... If we all get angry at Randall, is Randall wrong? 198.41.238.40 07:05, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
Huh. What a bizarre comment. The underlying idea that (some) people know exactly why what they are saying makes people angry and actually enjoy it. (These people are commonly called "assholes.") But I see no correlation in this and your interpretation of his freedom of speech comic. And your interpretation is very far off from what said comic said. It said that "if the best argument you have is that your comment is freedom of speech, it must be a bad argument." Freedom of speech lets you say what you want, but you still have to actually defend your argument. You don't get to just say "freedom of speech" and win the Internet. Nothing about anger making it wrong. Trlkly (talk) 08:54, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
I don't have an account yet, but I just wanted to respond to Trlkly, actually the 1st Amendment/Freedom of Speech is the Right to NOT have the Government regulate your speech; this still actually leaves open a wide variety of ways in which your speech/conduct can be regulated by private persons and organizations. This is what is meant by 'Freedom of speech is not freedom from consequence', and *doesn't* in particular refer to needing to *backup* your arguments/speech with a valid reasoning; that's a separate point of concern. 162.158.74.117 20:41, 6 November 2017 (UTC)Raenir Salazar.

Chrome with the official Google Translate extension allows just this kind of view translation of a selection only. 172.68.253.221 03:14, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

The first one works, somewhat. But the second one? What does "drama free zone" and "make people sad" have to do with one another? Drama (in this sense) is about anger, not sadness. And I don't think it's necessarily a horrible thing that you aren't good at dealing with people who get angry at you. Why assume everyone is a bad person? Trlkly (talk) 08:54, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

I think that part refers to the "Geek Social Fallacies", one of which is that "addressing conflict" is the same as "cause drama" - failing to realize that addressing conflict is the way to SOLVE it, reducing drama in the long run. If a person thinks like that, telling them that you disagree/are offended by their comment would likely make them confused, angry and defensive, with no idea how to handle and overcome the conflict. 162.158.88.68 21:16, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with the statement "Drama (in this sense) is about anger, not sadness." The term "drama" is invoked on social media for any emotional response the invoker feels is too large to be warranted by the situation. So being excessively (in the eyes of the person invoking) sad is equally "drama" as being excessively angry. The comic and explanation don't necessarily imply that it makes you a horrible person either, just that many people's attempts to avoid drama (which seems like a noble goal on the surface) are actually their inability to deal with problems they might have caused and are far less noble on close inspection. 108.162.237.64 20:43, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

The last paragraph (relating to Donald Trump and Twitter) seems out of place. It doesn't serve to describe the comic, and fails to establish context. Thoughts on deleting it completely? 162.158.69.211 18:32, 4 November 2017 (UTC)

I agree. While I get that Randall doesn't support Trump - just look at 1756: I'm With Her. That doesn't mean that he has to be shoehorned into the description for any comic that deals with anything even vaguely political Figvh (talk) 23:52, 4 November 2017 (UTC)
I think it does not "fail to establish context"; the opposite actually. And therefore should be maintained. 172.68.27.12 20:05, 5 November 2017 (UTC)
I agree, this particular comic makes no reference to political views or current affairs. It is much more likely that this comment is based on personal experiences. The only links to Donald Trump are that this a comment about social media when there has been a recent news article relating to Trump and social media and that the topic is about defensiveness, which Trump is often accused of. Both are likely to be purely coincidental, given Trump has always been highly active on social media and the accusation of defensiveness could be applied to millions of people.
Guy above, don't forget to sign your comments. Anyway, I think the fact that the comic looks like Twitter, as described in the article, makes this news item notable, especially as it provides an alternative explanation as to why Randall might want to portray "offensive" people on Twitter as insecure, as said in the article. 198.41.230.172 13:10, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

One should also note that the comic number is 1911, the famous handgun made by Colt adding another meaning to the term defensive profile.