Why Pro – Boycotters Agressively Attack Countdown Employees and Their Supporters: The Psychology of Online Behaviour

Reading through some recent comments from pro-boycotters over the last couple of days I have been thinking quite a bit about the increasing trend of the “Online Disinhibition Effect.”

As I have mentioned previously people who support Countdown and its employees – and especially employees themselves – have been the repeated targets of attack from pro-boycotters.

You remember Jerrard from my previous post? Apparently he is now taking his ‘anti Kiwi’ theory to the next step – he claims he is collecting all of our “many anti Kiwi” statements and that he plans to publish them/send them to someone (Julian Assange perhaps, or the NZSIS? Maybe he plans to get all us traitors kicked over to Australia?).
While he works on that task, he continues to attack perceived errors in people’s use of the English language and contemptuously dismisses any argument as ‘ridiculous’. Perhaps it helps him focus and put his expose together? Who knows.
*UPDATE* He has since changed his name to The Scarlet Pimpernel. This is the name you’ll see when following any links referring to him. Unsure what motivated this change, but perhaps he wants to go incognito while he gathers his damning evidence?

Another particularly vicious contributor is a woman who going by her profile picture appears to be at least in her 50’s if not older. The disturbing thing about this woman’s personal attacks on people (and they are very personal, and very nasty) is that it is the type of behaviour you would expect from a teenage girl. Vindictive, cruel, deliberately looking for a fight. Rude, nasty and with no respect at all for anyone.
Certainly not the type of behaviour you would expect from a woman of her age. Or any adult in her age group, for that matter. Yet, there seem to be a few older folks on Boycott who display similar attitudes – although they can’t hold a candle to this particular woman. She’s right out of Mean Girls (The Reunion?).

Even the admin jumped on the “anti Kiwi” bandwagon.
Rabidly pro wp edit

If you’d like some examples of the above descriptions the thread makes interesting reading.

In regard to these personal attacks – even Foodstuffs employees aren’t safe.
One poster made the point that Foodstuffs has their own bad habits as does any large retail business. He was immediately set upon by a group of people and called disloyal, a traitor and told to leave. The admin accused him of ‘sending hate emails’.
Countdown workers who have posted in defense of themselves and their employer have continually suffered the same attacks.

So what about this Online Disinhibition Effect?

Linked is a study I found when looking for more information. It explains the reasoning behind the  attitudes and behaviours manifesting themselves regularly on the Boycott Countdown page.
Toxic Disinhibition, Disassociative Anonymity and Invisibility are particularly relevant to the situation we now find ourselves in.

It is fascinating, yet highly disturbing.
Sadly, this is what society is coming to as technological advances and the popularity of social media continue to expand.

No one and nothing is safe.
Who will the mob turn on once they’re finished tearing Countdown and its employees to shreds?



2 thoughts on “Why Pro – Boycotters Agressively Attack Countdown Employees and Their Supporters: The Psychology of Online Behaviour

  1. […] a post I wrote a few weeks ago about the psychology of online behaviour – specifically the Online Disinhibition Effect. The theory discussed the increasing prevalence of the ‘online’ personality – one […]


  2. […] buddies. Online Disinhibition Effect has a lot to answer for. You can read about this in a previous entry if you haven’t yet seen […]


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