There seems to be lacking disparity between the terms Griefer and Pirate within the Star citizen community. The two get lumped together. It's really alarming.
Pirate, as a noun and in context relevant to Star Citizen means:
In this case we change at sea to in space.
Griefer, is not in the dictionary, but we can derive the word's meaning from the word grief.
In order to form the word Griefer we can easily append someone who to the beginning of either of those definitions and adjust their tenses appropriately to arrive upon:
someone who is a cause of deep sadness
someone who is trouble or an annoyance
I'm sure most readers would agree. If not, here is the Wikipedia page for Griefer, which covers my aim.
As can be clearly seen, the definitions for Pirate and Griefer do not match.
The fact is that not all pirates are griefers. Not all griefers are pirates. A player who corners a market in the game and produces a monopoly and engages in price gouging could easily be considered a griefer. A transport pilot who flies off with someone's personal goods could be considered a griefer. A player with a ship full of orphans that flies it into the nearby star could easily be considered a griefer.
See where I'm going with this? Are any of those very valid examples those of pirates?
Didn't think so.
To further help visualize this. I have created a simple to read venn diagram. The green circle represents the pirate community, red the griefer community and pink is the non-pirate community. As you can see, there is some overlap from both communities into the griefer realm. I made the not pirate circle bigger because it encompasses more players than that pirate circle according to this census poll. And this one.
But why defend pirates?
They are the scum of the galaxy.
They sure are and that is the way they like to play. Players that are pirates will generate a LOT of content. They will give bounty hunters something to hunt down. They will give naval forces something to engage and respond to. They will give mercenary escorts a reason to be hired by transport, business and mining players. Without pirates, the galaxy will be lame and boring with everyone doing what they want without a challenge.
On the side of immersion, you can't have a space sim without pirates. Wouldn't it be immersive to have a chance encounter with pirates?
Not all pirates are bad guys. Sure they may shoot holes in your ship and steal your cargo (maybe a crew member). But are they not playing a game role just like you are? I have found pirate players in other games to be much better role players than those that choose the roles of the “good guys”.
If you can't handle that, then go play Progress Quest. It's a game that plays for you, has no actual challenges and cannot be lost.
So our real target are griefers, not pirates
Any productive and positive community is damaged by griefers. Griefers prey on the weak, uninformed and vulnerable for fun. But their fun costs the community. Often times griefers attack new players which quit the game and never come back. An anti-griefer not anti-pirate attitude must be formed in the minds of every star citizen community member.
If you want to be a white knight, attack griefers and defend the new players. Pirates can even join the fight against griefers!