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In small towns, gossip moves to the Web, and turns vicious

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 01:29 PM
Original message
In small towns, gossip moves to the Web, and turns vicious
MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. In the small towns nestled throughout the Ozarks, people like to say that everybody knows everybodys business and if they do not, they feel free to offer an educated guess.

One of the established places here for trading the gossip of the day is Dees Place, a country diner where a dozen longtime residents gather each morning around a table permanently reserved with a members-only sign for the "Old Farts Club," as they call themselves, to talk about weather, politics and, of course, their neighbors.

But of late, more people in this hardscrabble town of 5,000 have shifted from sharing the latest news and rumors over eggs and coffee to the Mountain Grove Forum on a social media Web site called Topix, where they write and read startlingly negative posts, all cloaked in anonymity, about one another.

And in Dees Place, people are not happy. A waitress, Pheobe Best, said that the site had provoked fights and caused divorces. The diners owner, Jim Deverell, called Topix a "cesspool of character assassination." And hearing the conversation, Shane James, the cook, wandered out of the kitchen tense with anger.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44592124/ns/technology_and_...
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sam11111 Donating Member (638 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 01:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. LOL but foodie Bourdain show said Oakies "dont pry into others business"
Guess he wrong!

Topix eh? Got to read it all............LOL

Bet same happens all over globe. Society fragmenting soon? Hmmmmmmmmmm big event!

Ur BFF
Sam
LOL :-)
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Modern_Matthew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. They use Topix to donthat here. nt
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. Gossip in small towns has always been vicious
Not it is just more public because of the web.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. We live in a town of 5700
People here don't need the Web to bash their neighbors and "friends". If something happens, it's all over town in minutes.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Try growing up in a town of 1000
The neighbors know when you flush.
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-11 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. That would suck
This is what happens in our town.

I had surgery about ten years ago. It was just months after we moved here. The procedure went fine, I had a speedy and complete recovery. It wasn't like we told a lot of people it was happening, either. I was walking down Main Street on my way to a business one morning. A woman I had never met before stopped me and said, "I heard you had surgery. How are you feeling?"

We see the same people every day at the store, the post office, the gas station... I can't even imagine how much more exposed one would be in a town of 1,000.

:woohoo:
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
4. I don't know what the answer is, but I can certainly appreciate the damage...
My parents were raised in a very small midwestern town--one where my cousins and extended family remained. I am often very grateful my parents moved away because of the pain of the gossip mills, years before internet and social media. This has to just be a "pain machine" for those not protected within the cloak of the local clique'. Damn...
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. And every damn small town has its own official clique and old boys club. I avoid small towns for
living like the plague just for those reasons.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Oh trust me, I know that
I grew up in a small town... no, not Mexico City... the Jewish Community... it behaved the same way...

Why the story resonated
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. If you put Mountain Grove, Mo in for your town on Topix, on the
current 2012 pres. poll, they are all voting in favor of Obama.
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LeftinOH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
8. Grace Metalious knew how to make this profitable decades ago-
any small town dirt is bestseller-worthy.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. I picked a town in Missouri where I was going to visit and found a thread about drug arrests
It did not take long until more names and places were added to that story. There were actually some tasteful people on the thread, but somebody got nasty.
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
10. I checked out my own small town on Topix
Edited on Tue Sep-20-11 02:43 PM by mainer
Very relieved that everyone here (population 5,000) is civil, and the topics range from "remember to vote!" to "please attend the film festival!" There were plenty of thank-yous for posting various articles, too.

I'd hate to live in Mountain Grove.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I just checked mine too, but large, over 60,000, but there was not one stupid or
hateful comment. I was surprised and relieved. People around here are pretty laid back about hatefulness it seems.
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FedUpWithIt All Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
11. There is a lot of that on topix for the general area i live in.
It is extremely petty, immature and really pathetic.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
12. even within a larger area, yous till have the same. the schools....
now with so many kids on facebook have the same ability. just a to do in my sons high school, with another high school, that brought in the parents. at least with written words, you can see what actually transpired.

my kids dont play on social networks. they can when they leave the house and they really dont have an interest. but my son was telling me more kids are getting off. and though tough at first, worth it in the long term.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. That's one thing I like about DU, the mods do a good job of keeping the haters off,
those that just hate to hate and post really inane stuff.
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
17. Happy to see that the small town I live near has very little on that site.
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Raine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-20-11 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
18. Makes me glad I've always lived in a big city
which is bad enough because there are still neighborhood gossips but people move around too often to cause much lasting damage.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-21-11 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
20. There is actually a lawsuit going on over what was said on Topix
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/AheadoftheCurve/story?...

Not only that, but the Paris, TX Topix is one of the foulest, racist, semen pits in the country.
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