I just had a weird exchange over on the Jezebel main page with someone who I think may be a new commenter. I usually recognize usernames even if I've never directly interacted with the person, but I've never seen this name before. Anyway, I fear this person is going to get themselves torn a new one if they're not careful. Here's the exchange:

LadySulkington (my original comment to Laura Beck)

You say the site perpetuates the stereotype of the preachy vegan, but your first speculation point sounds a little preachy. Pot, kettle?

New Commenter

I don't see it. There's no condemnation of meat-eaters in there. There's just the indisputable observation that the meat industry has something to gain by making representing vegetarians/vegans as crazy and increasing the stigma against those dietary choices. Today 2:04pm

Me

It's extremely narcissistic to think that the meat industry would go to this kind of trouble just for them. Vegans are not that important to the meat industry. The meat industry is not in danger of collapsing because of veganism or vegan activism. Laura is really giving the meat industry way too much credit here. Today 2:09pm

Them

Again, I don't it. (Insults like "narcissistic" are unnecessary. Let's be civil here.)

A 2012 Gallup poll found that 2% of Americans identify as vegan. http://www.gallup.com/poll/156215/co…

2% of 314 million people is 6.3 million. If you convinced the average American vegan to spend even ONE BUCK on meat, you'd receive $6.3 million. That would certainly be more than enough to pay for that humble little website. Today 2:24pm

Me

Saying that something is narcissistic isn't uncivil. It's not an insult. It's my opinion, to which I am entitled. If I has said vegans are fucking narcissistic twats, that would be uncivil and an insult. (I don't think that, btw.) 55 minutes ago

Them

Okay. Just to let you know, most people will hear the word "narcissistic" as an insult. So it might help you prevent misunderstandings if you avoid that kind of phrasing. 19 minutes ago

Me

I'm not trying to be rude, but since when do you speak for most people? 18 minutes ago

Them

I'm just trying to help! If you think I'm wrong, you're welcome to run a little experiment: try calling a sampling of people you interact with "narcissistic" and see how they respond.

(To be honest, I think you already know how they'll respond. So I'm thinking this discussion has become a bit unproductive, so I'll see myself out.) 13 minutes ago

Me

If I just run around calling random people narcissistic for no reason, yeah, they probably won't like it. But I didn't call anyone narcissistic. I said it is narcissistic to think that the meat industry cares that much about them. That's not the same as calling a person narcissistic. You're presenting a false equivalency here. That's why the conversation is unproductive. You've added nothing to it.

Look, the whole "I'm just trying to help!" thing isn't going to help you around here. If you go around commenting that people are wrong and you're just trying to help them, it's called concern trolling and you're going to get eaten alive.

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Was I out of line with this person? I got a little snarky there at the end, and it was all I could do not to end it with "I'm just trying to help," but 1) it really bothers me when someone tries to speak for most people, 2) it really bothers me when someone uses speaking for most people as a means to show that they must know better, and 3) if this person goes around saying they're just trying to help people through their ability to speak for all people, some others around here will verbally tear him or her a new butthole. I've seen it happen.

Again, was I out of line? This exchange is gnawing at me. (If anyone wants a link to the article and thread, I'll provide it. I chose not to, though, because I don't want to specifically out this person in an unfair way.)

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ETA: Some of you have pointed out that perhaps the commenter thought I was directing my narcissistic comment at him or her personally. I wasn't. And it never occurred to me that he or she might be taking it that way. Once again, GT provides some perspective!