The internet is a terrible, very bad place. That’s pretty much an undisputed fact at this point.
But sometimes, a tiny shred of goodness peaks through all the filth and allows your almost nonexistent faith in humanity to keep on keepin’ on.
It all started when Susan Fowler — a former Uber engineer who’s been lobbying the U.S. Supreme Court to hear her sexual-harassment case against the ride-sharing company — retweeted a Bloomberg Businessweek story that highlighted her efforts.
Her tweet was pretty average by all accounts — a simple share of an article that featured her cause. Nothing controversial or inflammatory.
But then came @contratastic.
Obviously not realizing who he was replying to, user @contratastic tweeted insults at Fowler, saying, “She destroyed millions of dollars worth of shareholder value already, but hell hath no fury like a feminist scorned and she is going again.”
Fowler took the high road in response, writing, “Lol she is me, mah friend.”
But here’s where things take a shocking turn (at least, as far as replies on Twitter go). Instead of standing his ground and growing ever defensive of his position, @contratastic responded positively to Fowler, promising her that he would read her memo. (Which, he totally should have done long before critiquing her, but you know, such is life online …)
By internet standards, this was already a victory in the name of civility and legitimate discourse, but then, it somehow got even better.
After about two minutes — which I guess is how long it took him to make time to read the work he had had such strong feelings for before — @contratastic reappeared and responded to his own reply, and what followed was a surprisingly wholesome exchange.
Who would have guessed that reading something would actually help you understand it? It sounds almost as likely as having a civil conversation with someone on Twitter …
And just in case your jaded, cynical heart still hasn’t melted from the purity of this measured, rational exchange of ideas, I present to you a conclusion so conflict-free, it could probably be sold by De Beers:
If you close your eyes and wish really hard, you can almost pretend it’s 2015 again.