I'm a fairly new ham, licensed as a Technician in June of this year and received my General CSCE eleven days go. Since then I've been enjoying my privileges on the HF bands as W4LKR/AG. Overall it's been a positive and fun experience. But I'm also disturbed by some nasty things I've encountered on the airwaves. At first I assumed it to be a rare annoyance but day after day I find the same nonsense around the middle of the General privileges of the 20m band. Undoubtedly others have encountered it too, so my goal here is to become better informed of what is going on and humbly ask others to collectively deal with this is the best way possible.
Between about 14.280 and 14.320 I keep hearing arguments involving name-calling, profanity, and what I will term as creative and metaphorical language describing every filthy thing you can imagine. My first encounter was a guy spewing hatred for the USA and several specific individuals who I gather are also hams given the context of his tirade. I never caught his call sign or location but I gather it was outside the US. During his monologue he claimed to be receiving hate-mail from listeners and began reading the emails on the air. I seriously doubt this was actually happening. His topics were erratic but all fell under the heading of hating everyone and everything. It was shocking really. Psychotic is no exaggeration. It's hard to imagine what could motivate a person to sit behind a mic night after night and spew this nonsense over the airwaves.
My second encounter began during a QSO with what I thought to be a nice guy in Phoenix. We were chatting about the recent flurry of contest activity and I mentioned to him the ugliness I'd recently heard in this same part of the 20m band. He knew exactly who I was talking about and referred me to the VE7KFM.com website. I did visit the site but my impression of it is far from positive. Since then I've found other sites that seem to be answers to it. These people are building entire websites to fight with each other apparently and none of them are worth reading in my humble opinion. But I digress, so during this QSO the same voice I heard two nights prior started spewing again right into our conversation. I was going to suggest we change frequency when, to my dismay, my contact started yelling back with equally profane and ugly language. He proceeded to pour gas on the fire and give this guy exactly what he wanted - a reaction. I left the band and called it a night.
My third encounter happened last night. I was sweeping 20m and found a fight in progress on 14.314. I recognized the voice of my previous QSO in Phoenix. The other voice I could hear was unfamiliar. Both were name-calling and slandering a third ham which I could barely hear but not read. Based on the context I believe the third ham was either VE7KFM or someone associated with the trouble surrounding that website named Donnie. Either way, both voices I could hear were alternating, giving monologues about how inappropriate it is to jam a frequency and citing rules and traditions of ham radio. I was floored by the hypocritical nature of the whole thing. How can you admonish a malicious ham by being malicious to them? What good does it do to give these offenders the very attention they are after? Why on earth would you stoop to the same level?!
Maybe you're reading this and you just realized it's you I'm talking about. Oh, so you insulted someone over the radio? Wow, that must have taken guts.
While I'm surprised and disappointed to see this behavior on the airwaves, I'm inclined to believe it's being perpetuated by a very thin sliver of licensed hams in the world. I don't have much experience to back that up so call it optimism at this point. I sincerely hope that I don't keep meeting hams who use poor judgement and stoop to the level of name-calling and profanity directed at those who started it. The best thing we can do, in the spirit of self-regulation and common decency, is to ignore this nonsense and NOT REACT in-kind. They want attention. Please don't give it.