A reader asked:
If you say hurtful things to someone on the Internet and hurt them enough that they block you, try and fail to gain their forgiveness because they barely know you and have problems with toxic people, and then adopt a new username, start following them again and interact with them again without hurting them, are you being dishonest and a bad person?
I think it’s better not to frame this as a way of deciding what kind of person you are. The point isn’t to figure out whether this makes you a bad/dishonest person. The point is to figure out whether it’s a bad thing to do.
In this case, I do think it’s bad to make a new persona to interact with someone who has blocked you. It’s not ok to trick someone into interacting with you against their will.
It’s also not ok to decide that someone you hurt isn’t forgiving you because “they barely know you and have problems with toxic people” and that this means that it’s somehow ok for you to ignore their decision not to forgive you. That’s not your decision to make.
Neither being sorry, nor meaning well, nor apologizing, nor being a good person mean that you are entitled to have someone forgive you and agree to continue a relationship.
People have the right say no to forms of interaction that you want with them, even if their reasons are bad or based on misconceptions about you.
You also don’t know if you’re hurting them in your new persona. The fact that they haven’t blocked you in the new persona doesn’t mean that everything is ok. It just means that they haven’t blocked you. The one thing you do know is that they’re not interacting with you willingly and that you’re tricking them into doing something they don’t want to do.
The internet is full of people willing to interact with you. Leave the people who aren’t willing alone.