North Texas Daily

A Facebook argument and the suggestion of suicide

A Facebook argument and the suggestion of suicide

September 19
00:10 2015

Rhiannon Saegert | Senior Staff Writer

@Missmusetta

Editor’s Note: This article, which also ran in print on Thursday, Sept. 17, has been edited.

A recent Facebook spat between a local band and the owner of Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio led to the owner of Rubber Gloves suggesting a Facebook user to commit suicide.

Two weeks ago, Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio posted a series of mocking comments in response to bad reviews it received on its Facebook page, leaving some amused and others concerned.

Now the venue has developed a reputation for leaving mocking or angry comments on one or two star reviews it receives on Facebook. Though some users have found it amusing — even voicing disappointment when the burns they receive from the Rubber Gloves Facebook account were not as sick as they hoped for — others found the behavior off-putting.

[blockquote author=””]“Anyone who writes a bad review, they blast those people,” said Luke Peterson, a member of local band Tron Collective. “They log on and look for old or embarrassing pictures, then post them publicly. But if they want to hurt our feelings, they need to try a little harder.”[/blockquote]

Peterson and fellow Tron Collective member Stephen Wilson said their conflict with the venue began when they organized a showcase at Rubber Gloves on August 29. Two of the bands performing that night played cover songs, which the venue does not allow.

Rubber Gloves owner Josh Baish said the band broke several other rules, leading to arguments with the staff the night of the showcase.

“You can’t have people walking across stage, you can’t have people in the loading area,” Baish said. “They had no respect for the club, no respect for the rules.”

Baish, who runs the account, said he never meant to attack anyone and just wanted to defend the venue. He believes the bad reviews wRubberGlovesScreenShots3PRINTBLURREDFIXere just a response to the earlier conflict and not genuine criticism.

RubberGlovesScreenShots2PRINT

Screen shot | Stephen Wilson

“This was people who felt entitled,” Baish said. “You can hide behind your computer screen, you don’t need to be responsible. I wasn’t trying to personally attack someone. I just kind of said, ‘I’m going to review you.’”

Wilson said that after leaving their negative review, Tron Collective members received about 25 comments from Baish using the Rubber Gloves account.

Peterson was mocked about playing the tuba in high school, and Wilson was mocked for working at Pizza Hut.

The review, which was posted by band member Garen Powers, who goes by SoSo Sorrow on Facebook, was written at 2:33 p.m. Sept. 1. The comments on the post appear to have begun at 3:33 p.m. ending the next day at 12:45 p.m.

Another exchange occurred on a private Messenger thread between Powers and Baish.

The conversation was only made public when Powers posted a portion of it to the Rubber Gloves Facebook wall.

The thread appeared to have been initiated by Powers, who sent the Rubber Gloves Facebook account, then run by Baish, a link to national suicide hotlines.

In a lengthy Messenger conversation that followed, Baish and Powers argued, each making jabs at the other. It ended when Baish made what Powers said was an inappropriate comment.

 

“Speaking of suicide, it’d be the only option I’d consider if I were seen wearing that clown costume in public,” Baish wrote to Powers. “Seriously, how do you not consider putting a gun in your mouth every time you see yourself in this [explicit deleted] ensemble?”

Powers took a screen shot of the “gun in your mouth” comment and posted it on the Rubber Gloves Facebook Wall. Baish contends the private message should not have been posted out of context on Facebook and that it deliberately blows the exchange out of proportion. 

Baish said he didn’t mean for the comment to be taken seriously and would never advocate anyone committing suicide. Wilson said said no one in the group took the exchange seriously until the suicide comment occurred.

“We all laughed until they started mesaging him, telling him to kill himself,” Wilson said. “Then [SoSo] got pretty serious. He was just angry, like ‘Where do they get off, telling someone to kill themselves?’”

Baish said he took down that comment, along with several others he felt were getting out of hand, and that he didn’t mean for the comment to be taken seriously.

Baish has even had people send him their pictures, asking to be roasted. Typically, the mocking does not go beyond making fun of the person’s appearance, name-calling, or telling them to “stick to Fry Street,” he said.

“If I’m telling someone to put a gun in their mouth, and they try to say I mean to encourage teen suicide, that’s just ridiculous,” Baish said. “I don’t get offended by much, but that’s offensive to me. It’s offensive that I’d be accused of promoting teen suicide when I’m vehemently against it.”

There are no specific laws against telling someone to kill themself, online or in person, in the state of Texas.

According to Texas Penal Code 42.07, cyberbullying is categorized as harassment and can be treated as such if the harasser is intentionally communicating an obscene proposal, threatening the receiver, or sending a message designed to harass, annoy, alarm, embarrass, or torment someone. The offense can be categorized as either a Class A or B misdemeanor depending on circumstances.

Wilson said Rubber Gloves left roughly 20 comments on SoSo’s review over the course of the next two or three days, and the activity began attracting attention from other commenters.

“I think people just wanted other people to see how [Rubber Gloves] was acting,” Wilson said. “Of course, there were also a few people who were just there to heckle.”

Featured Image: Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio is located at 411 E Sycamore St. Courtesy | Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio

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