I agree, it did go beyond good old fashioned venting, although it really, truly was angry, frustrated, hyper-venting and once it was out, it was over. And that's one of the things I feel terrible about. Something that exploded out of a bunch of frustrated people on a temporary, private board after a heated argument should've disappeared into private oblivion forever.
Although not a justification, I do think that what started out as regular venting went farther because people felt safe because it was a private place. Unfortunately, it mistakenly didn't remain that way. Don't get me wrong, it's not getting caught that I'm sorry for (although I do feel awful that anyone would have to read what was written), I feel personally mortified that I wrote a lot of what I wrote in the first place.
If I'd just been honest with one of the people up front, it still would've sucked but it would've been a hell of a lot better than what happened. The real thing about it is that I think the people I, and others wrote about are actually nice, good people. And they didn't deserve to have to read the comments they did.
I wish so much that we'd been able to find a way to destroy the stuff that was posted (and once it was discovered that it had turned public via cache and people were being hurt by it, we tried everything we could to kill it so more people wouldn't be hurt).
I wish I hadn't posted what I posted.
I wish no one had been curious enough to search.
I wish that it had never been found.
I wish that when it was found, it wasn't shared.
I wish it was possible to go back in time and I wish it could be erased.
I wish that it wouldn't hurt people.
I wish that the people who were hurt by my words would also know the good things I think about them (not that it matters now). Unfortunately, no one really vents about the good stuff.
I wish I'd been careful not to just open up and say whatever came through my mind in the moment instead of thinking before speaking.
I wish all of these things so that the fewest possible people would've been hurt.
Unfortunately, that's not what happened, and now some very good, nice people have been hurt. And some very good, nice people feel terrible about being the cause.