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Brenda
09-03-2009, 09:58 AM
Here's a draft of a comments policy we're considering. We look forward to your feedback.

COMMENTS POLICY FOR THE BLOGGINGHEADS COMMUNITY

We welcome all political viewpoints in the Bloggingheads forum, and encourage lively debate, but we do ask that you treat other commenters with common decency. We don’t like to censor* posts or ban people from the forum, but we do so when necessary to keep the environment from getting too ugly.

We particularly aim to keep the "Diavlog comments" subforum civil and on-topic, so we enforce a higher standard there than in the other two subforums.**

Here are our baseline rules for the "Diavlog comments" subforum:

#1 No name-calling aimed at fellow commenters or diavloggers.

#2 No gratuitously rude comments aimed at diavloggers.

#3 Use four-letter words sparingly, if at all.

#4 Use the vBulletin quote function only for real quotations.

Notes on the rules:

re: #1 Like most superficially simple rules, this one is easier to state than to enforce fairly—one man’s verbal abuse is another man’s fair and accurate characterization. Here are some examples of what we’d label name-calling: moron, idiot, asshat, wingnut, moonbat, troll—and, absent very good evidence: racist. (To be clear: We don't proscribe the use of such words, only their use as epithets against other commenters, either directly or by implication.)

re: #2 In particular, avoid derogatory or demeaning remarks about physical appearance and speaking style. Don’t forget that many diavloggers read the comments section.

re: #3 Fair warning: A post containing profanity that appears early in the comments (“above the fold” on the videopage) may be hidden from the videopage,* even if the post is loaded with insightful substance.

re: #4 We realize that sometimes commenters like to fabricate quotes for humorous or rhetorical purposes, but we think this compromises the integrity of the quote format. Readers should be able to trust that if something looks like a quote, it really is a quote.

* * * * *

*Note that we have two levels of post-removal: (a) “hiding” a post, which removes it only from the videopage (it can still be viewed in the forum), and (b) “deleting” a post, which removes it from both the videopage and the forum thread.

**The "Diavlog comments" subforum is the one that feeds comments from the vBulletin forum onto the videopage (directly below the diavlog). This subforum has exactly one thread per diavlog, and no other threads. The other two, less structured subforums are "General comments about Bloggingheads.tv" and "Life, the Universe and Everything."

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 10:07 AM
Probably worth making clear who will be, and who will not be, enforcing the comment policy.

Other than that, looks fine to me.

Lyle
09-03-2009, 10:35 AM
Not that it matters, but I support this. Preferably moderators won't come from the commenting community either, if at all possible.

Brenda
09-03-2009, 10:58 AM
Preferably moderators won't come from the commenting community either, if at all possible.

Only BhTV staff will moderate comments. And maybe this is a good time to re-state for the record that the few non-staff forum members who've been deputized to delete spam are NOT authorized to moderate other posts and have NEVER done so. (When I first gave them the spam-deleting capacity, I unthinkingly accepted the default vBulletin "moderator" label for users with that level of access. Big mistake. I apologize for the confusion this caused.)

I think all the regulars know the deal, so how about knocking off the needling of the spambusters for their supposed "moderator" role? It's probably confusing the newbies.

And while we're on the subject: Much appreciation to our spam-deleting volunteers for their mostly unsung efforts at keeping the forum tidy. I don't thank you enough.

Lyle
09-03-2009, 11:09 AM
Only BhTV staff will moderate comments. And maybe this is a good time to re-state for the record that the few non-staff forum members who've been deputized to delete spam are NOT authorized to moderate other posts and have NEVER done so. (When I first gave them the spam-deleting capacity, I unthinkingly accepted the default vBulletin "moderator" label for users with that level of access. Big mistake. I apologize for the confusion this caused.)

I think all the regulars know the deal, so how about knocking off the needling of the spambusters for their supposed "moderator" role? It's probably confusing the newbies.

And while we're on the subject: Much appreciation to our spam-deleting volunteers for their mostly unsung efforts at keeping the forum tidy. I don't thank you enough.

My comment was not meant to needle anyone. Perhaps you aren't addressing me specifically though for there are those who give bjkeefe and whoever else a hard time about their perceived role at bh.tv.

Personally I like that none of bh.tv's moderators are commenters. I'd like it to remain this way if possible.

Brenda
09-03-2009, 11:33 AM
My comment was not meant to needle anyone. Perhaps you aren't addressing me specifically though for there are those who give bjkeefe and whoever else a hard time about their perceived role at bh.tv

Sorry, Lyle, I most definitely was NOT directing that at you, but at any regulars who've propagated the notion that some non-staff forum members are in the business of moderating comments other than spam. (I should have made that clearer.)

graz
09-03-2009, 12:48 PM
The evolution of bhtv.
Thanks for your efforts Brenda.

Comments policy, editorial clarity, spam-busting and hopefully more details about booking.

Rather than let the site mutate randomly, some intelligent design is being proposed. The timing seems (W)right.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 01:00 PM
Brenda,
Thank you and the Bh.TV staff for putting this together, and for asking for feedback.

Couple of questions.

(1) Why the difference in language between rule #1 and rule #2? The first says "no name calling," while the second says "no rude comments." The "no rude comments" forumulation sounds much broader than "no name calling." Why not limit the 2nd rule to "no name calling" as well? (Or maybe "no name calling or rude comments about personal appearance.) Broadly defined, almost any legitimate criticism could be considered "rude."

Example: If it is my opinion that a particular diavlogger is consistently dishonest, and I believe that this diavlogger should be called on this dishonesty, can I say he or she is dishonest or lying? Presumably to do so would be rude in some sense, but quite possibly true.

(2) What about attacking groups of people? If I say the Republican Party is the Party of Race Hate, can every person on the forum who self-identifies as a Republican take it as a personal attack under rule #1? If I refer to tea-partiers as "tea-baggers," can everyone who went to a tea party claim that I have insulted them directly?

I am certain these questions will will arise once the policy goes into effect, so it may be worthwhile to clarify as much as possible at the start.

rcocean
09-03-2009, 01:12 PM
I disagree about not criticizing "Speaking Style". Many Diavlogers are terrible speakers but could get better if constructively criticized. Matt Y, for example, has gotten better over time by speaking lower and softer. At first his loud, high-pitched voice was almost intolerable.

Also, I agree its a good idea to backpage/delete those comments with insults like "Nazi" "Fascist" "Racist" "Wingnut" etc. These add nothing to the discussion.

thouartgob
09-03-2009, 01:15 PM
on rule #1 will there be a difference between calling out someone for what they say vs. what they "are" as in saying "that is a racist statement" or "that comes off as a racist statement" and calling someone racist ?

ps. there are such things as "trolls" as a phenomenon of life on a comment section and although it is used way too much as a simple bludgeon there is an argument for delineating what can arguably be called trolling or flaming or any number of soon be be created categories.

#2 Absolutely good idea. Should have been in place from day 1.

#3 Is there a list of proscribed words ( Carlin's 7 words or some analog ?) since "ass" "goddamn" and others that find themselves on prime time tv might be used without any foul intent. ?

#4 I take it the vbulletin means blah blah and if so good idea.

rcocean
09-03-2009, 01:19 PM
Most of the lefties here can't do anything else except call or imply that others are "racist". So I can see why they'd look for loopholes.

My suggestion: Just ban the word "racism" and "Racist" from the comments. Problem solved.

Brenda
09-03-2009, 01:26 PM
Why the difference in language between rule #1 and rule #2? The first says "no name calling," while the second says "no rude comments." The "no rude comments" forumulation sounds much broader than "no name calling."

Rule #2 is intentionally broader than #1. We'd like to maintain a somewhat higher standard when it comes to the diavloggers.

Broadly defined, almost any legitimate criticism could be considered "rude."

I actually meant to change that to "gratuitously rude." I've done so now. It's not meant to discourage legitimate criticism. But under this rule, comments such as "Ann Althouse is a stupid, stupid woman" would be considered off-base. (Sorry, AA-haters.)

Example: If it is my opinion that a particular diavlogger is consistently dishonest, and I believe that this diavlogger should be called on this dishonesty, can I say he or she is dishonest or lying? Presumably to do so would be rude in some sense, but quite possibly true.

This is one of the very hardest questions. I have a personal opinion about this, but I'd like to hear what others think.

What about attacking groups of people? If I say the Republican Party is the Party of Race Hate, can every person on the forum who self-identifies as a Republican take it as a personal attack under rule #1? If I refer to tea-partiers as "tea-baggers," can everyone who went to a tea party claim that I have insulted them directly?

Again, I'd like others to weigh in on this.

thouartgob
09-03-2009, 01:27 PM
Most of the lefties here can't do anything else except call or imply that others are "racist". So I can see why they'd look for loopholes.

My suggestion: Just ban the word "racism" and "Racist" from the comments. Problem solved.

Howsabout "that was a moronic statement" vs. "you are a moron" ;-)

also the excessive use of smiley faces can something be done about that ;-D

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 01:29 PM
Here's a draft of a comments policy we're considering. We look forward to your feedback.

COMMENTS POLICY FOR THE BLOGGINGHEADS COMMUNITY

We welcome all political viewpoints in the Bloggingheads forum, and encourage lively debate, but we do ask that you treat other commenters with common decency. We don’t like to censor* posts or ban people from the forum, but we do so when necessary to keep the environment from getting too ugly.

We particularly aim to keep the "Diavlog comments" subforum civil and on-topic, so we enforce a higher standard there than in the other two subforums.**

Here are our baseline rules for the "Diavlog comments" subforum:

#1 No name-calling aimed at fellow commenters or diavloggers.

#2 No gratuitously rude comments aimed at diavloggers.

#3 Use four-letter words sparingly, if at all.

#4 Use the vBulletin quote function only for real quotations.

Notes on the rules:

re: #1 Like most superficially simple rules, this one is easier to state than to enforce fairly—one man’s verbal abuse is another man’s fair and accurate characterization. Here are some examples of what we’d label name-calling: moron, idiot, asshat, wingnut, moonbat, troll—and, absent very good evidence: racist. (To be clear: We don't proscribe the use of such words, only their use as epithets against other commenters, either directly or by implication.)

re: #2 In particular, avoid derogatory or demeaning remarks about physical appearance and speaking style. Don’t forget that many diavloggers read the comments section.

re: #3 Fair warning: A post containing profanity that appears early in the comments (“above the fold” on the videopage) may be hidden from the videopage,* even if the post is loaded with insightful substance.

re: #4 We realize that sometimes commenters like to fabricate quotes for humorous or rhetorical purposes, but we think this compromises the integrity of the quote format. Readers should be able to trust that if something looks like a quote, it really is a quote.

* * * * *

*Note that we have two levels of post-removal: (a) “hiding” a post, which removes it only from the videopage (it can still be viewed in the forum), and (b) “deleting” a post, which removes it from both the videopage and the forum thread.

**The "Diavlog comments" subforum is the one that feeds comments from the vBulletin forum onto the videopage (directly below the diavlog). This subforum has exactly one thread per diavlog, and no other threads. The other two, less structured subforums are "General comments about Bloggingheads.tv" and "Life, the Universe and Everything."

I hope we don't end up engaged in an endlesss to and fro over the details. I think these are pretty good guidelines that highlight the problems without being overspecific. I'd hate to see this turn into some endless list of proscriptive examples.

nikkibong
09-03-2009, 01:33 PM
I disagree about not criticizing "Speaking Style". Many Diavlogers are terrible speakers but could get better if constructively criticized. Matt Y, for example, has gotten better over time by speaking lower and softer. At first his loud, high-pitched voice was almost intolerable.


Agreed. Appearances on BHTV are performances, and they should be judged as such.

We don't expect concert goers not to comment on singing voice!

thouartgob
09-03-2009, 01:35 PM
I hope we don't end up engaged in an endlesss to and fro over the details. I think these are pretty good guidelines that highlight the problems without being overspecific. I'd hate to see this turn into some endless list of proscriptive examples.

I think that a list of proscriptive examples would be funny, for a while at least. Actually creating a comment section called "stuff I would like to have said" would be cool, although the general comments or life, universe yada yada could be re-purposed with threads on a particular subject

thouartgob
09-03-2009, 01:36 PM
Agreed. Appearances on BHTV are performances, and they should be judged as such.

We don't expect concert goers not to comment on singing voice!

general comments section for that I say. You can create links to specific posts in other sections if I am not mistaken.

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 01:37 PM
Most of the lefties here can't do anything else except call or imply that others are "racist". So I can see why they'd look for loopholes.

My suggestion: Just ban the word "racism" and "Racist" from the comments. Problem solved.

Nobody has said "racist" in response to what you've posted more than me, I daresay. I hope it's also obvious that my posts aren't limited to that one mode. It seems to me that if a label is arguably accurate, and particularly if it's in reference to a non-participant, then it would be in conformance with the guidelines as they've been stated.

I'd really hate to see a Carlin style list of verboten words.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 01:42 PM
I hope we don't end up engaged in an endlesss to and fro over the details. I think these are pretty good guidelines that highlight the problems without being overspecific. I'd hate to see this turn into some endless list of proscriptive examples.

The rules have to actually be enforced, and will be enforced either strictly or loosely, so someone is going to have to think in very concrete, specific terms sooner or later. The more public a fashion in which these decisons are made, the less able BhTV's critics will be to accuse them of bias.

No matter what happens, BhTV will be accused of unfair and ideologically biased enforcement, so again, it's probably worthwhile to understand precisely what is meant by these rules. No question yet raised in this thread will not come up again once the policy is in effect and being enforced. If BhTV clarifies the rules before putting them into effect, it will be harder for people to accuse them of making it up as they go along and applying enforcement in an arbitrary or biased fashion.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 01:46 PM
Just ban the word "racism" and "Racist" from the comments. Problem solved.
Since racism is a very real feature of American life, and a deeply important feature of American politics, these words must be protected as a legitimate part of any dialogue.


.

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 01:51 PM
The rules have to actually be enforced, and will be enforced either strictly or loosely, so someone is going to have to think in very concrete, specific terms sooner or later. The more public a fashion in which these decisons are made, the less able BhTV's critics will be to accuse them of bias.

No matter what happens, BhTV will be accused of unfair and ideologically biased enforcement, so again, it's probably worthwhile to understand precisely what is meant by these rules. No question yet raised in this thread will not come up again once the policy is in effect and being enforced. If BhTV clarifies the rules before putting them into effect, it will be harder for people to accuse them of making it up as they go along and applying enforcement in an arbitrary or biased fashion.

I'm not saying there's no justice in your POV. My personal belief is that if you concentrate on the details, then the urge to "lawyer" every dispute is magnified, and the policy has the effect of enforcing a particular form, rather than deflecting conflict. If the rules are nebulous, and you trust the judgment of the enforcers, then (IMHO) the policy has a far better chance of achieving its aim.

nikkibong
09-03-2009, 02:07 PM
Will posters be informed if their comments are deleted? Is there a way to start an automatic notification function? This might be a good feature.

Also: we can make nice comments about DVers physical appearances, right? (I'm lookin' at you Michelle G.)

Lyle
09-03-2009, 02:22 PM
Thanks Brenda. I understand.

graz
09-03-2009, 02:34 PM
Will posters be informed if their comments are deleted? Is there a way to start an automatic notification function? This might be a good feature.

Also: we can make nice comments about DVers physical appearances, right? (I'm lookin' at you Michelle G.)

Consider the auto-function engaged regarding your post.
No referencing the physical appearance or inspirational charm of DVer's!
No flattery, no jokes. no nothin'. Got that?

But when you make your "bhtv at the Appollo" debut, will you be disappointed not to be critiqued (on more than your ideas)?

rcocean
09-03-2009, 02:42 PM
Banning words like "Racism" "Racist" "bigot" "KKK" et al will force those who wish to discuss race related topics to focus on specifics and and provide meaningful statements rather than simply using insults and tired cliches.

The constant use of the words "racism" and "racist" has rendered them meaningless on this board - except as an insult.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 02:54 PM
Banning words like "Racism" "Racist" "bigot" "KKK" et al will force those who wish to discuss race related topics to focus on specifics and and provide meaningful statements rather than simply using insults and tired cliches.

The constant use of the words "racism" and "racist" has rendered them meaningless on this board - except as an insult.

I am very sympathetic to the observation that there are some people (a small group, and not on this forum) who are too quick to condemn their political opponents as racist. And I am even more sympathetic to how aggravating it must be for conservatives to be constantly put on the defensive on the question of racism. I know a lot of conservatives and Republicans who don't have a racist bone in their body, so it's important to not paint with too broad a brush.

Nevertheless, you can't talk about politics in America without being allowed to talk about racism. This is a country which exterminated an entire population of non-whites, and then held another entire population in chains from the early 1600s to the Civil War, a period of centuries that was then followed by 100 years of Jim Crow. The civil rights struggle was aggressively resisted by conservative white Southerners, to the point that the US Army had to be deployed to enforce basic human rights for black people. This conflict led directly to the reformulation of the Democratic and Republican Parties along lines defined by their positions on issues of race. This long legacy persists to this day. To not talk about racism would be like not talking about government, or taxes.

Having said that: It's probably a mistake for us to take over this thread with a semi-off topic side conversation, so I'll let you have the last word, or if it merits extended discussion we can start another thread. In any event, I am glad you are presenting your thoughts on the matter so we can constructively work towards a forum that everyone enjoys and benefits from.

Wonderment
09-03-2009, 03:50 PM
#1 No name-calling aimed at fellow commenters or diavloggers.

Good!


#2 No gratuitously rude comments aimed at diavloggers.

Good! I committed this sin once and regretted it for months. (I'm serious)

#3 Use four-letter words sparingly, if at all.


Puritanical Bob squeamishness about dirty words, but whatever. At least you won't get an FCC fine for saying "fuck"

#4 Use the vBulletin quote function only for real quotations.

Good!

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 03:59 PM
Will posters be informed if their comments are deleted? Is there a way to start an automatic notification function? This might be a good feature.

Also: we can make nice comments about DVers physical appearances, right? (I'm lookin' at you Michelle G.)

I've said it before: If you happen to go to a strip club, you're not there to evaluate the dancers' foreign policy positions.

When people agree to show up here, they haven't necessarily signed up for judgment on their effect on viewers hormones, pro or con. I doubt that it really ought to be considered appropriate.

graz
09-03-2009, 05:11 PM
Isn't it obvious that any such rules can be circumvented with rhetorical flourish.
I might say, eg: You're obviously being disingenuous or willfully obtuse? Which is simply calling someone a liar by a different route.

Isn't a dagger applied with a smile as deadly?

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 05:26 PM
Also: we can make nice comments about DVers physical appearances, right? (I'm lookin' at you Michelle G.)

If you must know, I find that even more irritating than derogatory remarks about physical appearances, especially when it's repeated over and over, directed at the same person, by the same person. I suspect I'm not alone in this.

nikkibong
09-03-2009, 05:29 PM
I've said it before: If you happen to go to a strip club, you're not there to evaluate the dancers' foreign policy positions.

When people agree to show up here, they haven't necessarily signed up for judgment on their effect on viewers hormones, pro or con. I doubt that it really ought to be considered appropriate.

If you must know, I find that even more irritating than derogatory remarks about physical appearances, especially when it's repeated over and over, directed at the same person, by the same person. I suspect I'm not alone in this.


Fine.

Jesus 'effing christ, you ugly bastards. (Joke)

But seriously, this is not the equivalent of cat calls out of a car window; they are simply a compliments meant with the best of intentions.

Further, you will find that when praising Michelle, I always temper the (admittedly superficial) with more substantive comments.

That being said, I apologize if I've offended anyone.

rcocean
09-03-2009, 05:29 PM
I'd really hate to see a Carlin style list of verboten words.

We already have a list of words that are "Verboten".** The question is simply which ones to add. A good start -Ban inflammatory insults like "racist" and "traitor" & like words that impede meaningful discussion.


**We all know what they are- so don't play dumb and ask me to list them.

Me&theboys
09-03-2009, 05:33 PM
Isn't it obvious that any such rules can be circumvented with rhetorical flourish.
I might say, eg: You're obviously being disingenuous or willfully obtuse? Which is simply calling someone a liar by a different route.
Isn't a dagger applied with a smile as deadly?

Well, at least that may serve to raise the caliber of the writing, which could be a good thing and perhaps quite entertaining. I'd much prefer to read:
"We're getting off track by you being wrong" (Steven Colbert to Robert Wright) rather than "You're an idiot" (not to imply that that is what Colbert meant in that particular exchange).
Or
"He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire" (Winston Churchill) instead of "He's a self-righteous, sanctimonious jerk."
We may never reach a Churchillian level of rhetoric in these forums, but some of the commenters here are quite the wordsmiths, and I like the idea of encouraging them.

nikkibong
09-03-2009, 05:41 PM
I've said it before: If you happen to go to a strip club, you're not there to evaluate the dancers' foreign policy positions.


Hey Jeff, look what else you've said before: http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=103498&postcount=3

And on the more deragatory side....is it just me, or were you defending this comment just a week or so ago?

http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=126272&postcount=4

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 05:49 PM
#1) What is, or is not, being said by "implication" is rather subjective. As is already alluded to here, people projecting themselves into a group maligned in a previous post, are doing so by choice, are they not? I also assume based on our previous discussions and although not specifically mentioned here, that "Perez" is still right in there with "moron". (See what I mean?)

#2) So, NO making fun of how the HEADS look or talk...check. How about painting pictures of them fucking while wearing masks of political figures? That Ok?

#3) Hmmmm???? "sparingly"...Kind of like when I was wading in a river once full of spawning salmon and came to a sign that said $75 fine for bothering the Salmon...I thought "define bothering" while holding one by its tail and asking it to stop wiggling if I was bothering it..

#4) This last one I feel rather bad about as I kind of blame myself for the loss of an effective tool. When you admonished me for the invented BIH quotes, and I pointed out their purpose, demonstrated that they were entirely avoidable, and suggested that there were numerous examples by numerous people utilizing this technique for various desired effect; I really was not looking for any real negative action by you. Now I DO find it confusing to seemingly discover that there was no real rule before... while you alluded to me that there was, but...

In any case, their usefullness aside, anyone who comes across....

You really haven't. And, btw, your continued self-congratulations only serve to further diminish what little respect anyone here has for you.

and sees it responded to with:

congratulations

Thanks!

and doesn't snicker but instead confuses it with a real quote and thus compromising the integrity of some inanimate comment-tool is a <stops in fear of breaking rule #1> or is named GitmoRon or both.

I know your heart is probably in the right place and probably not a bad idea to get something down, but this is an excercise in futility spawned by a couple people whose glass houses were ill-gotten. Canada just came to the realization that their methods in determining, defining, and penalizing "hate speech" was counter-productive to "free speech". Why would BHtv want to start down the same dead-end path?

Bottom line, I go back to my original suggestion to you that when someone comes crying just respond with "looks like you get what you give" and 999/1000 they will go away thinking you looked into it deeper than they thought you would.

graz
09-03-2009, 06:05 PM
Well, at least that may serve to raise the caliber of the writing, which could be a good thing and perhaps quite entertaining. I'd much prefer to read:
"We're getting off track by you being wrong" (Steven Colbert to Robert Wright) rather than "You're an idiot" (not to imply that that is what Colbert meant in that particular exchange).
Or
"He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire" (Winston Churchill) instead of "He's a self-righteous, sanctimonious jerk."
We may never reach a Churchillian level of rhetoric in these forums, but some of the commenters here are quite the wordsmiths, and I like the idea of encouraging them.

Here's to hoping. I'm all for striving, but wary of free speech restrictions. Have you ever taken notice of the lengths people go to in other forums to disguise banned words? It simply mocks the rules. The ignore function is still a functional last resort.

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 06:14 PM
We already have a list of words that are "Verboten".** The question is simply which ones to add. A good start -Ban inflammatory insults like "racist" and "traitor" & like words that impede meaningful discussion.


**We all know what they are- so don't play dumb and ask me to list them.

I'm not sure why you thought that last was needed.

Does it occur to you that it might look like you're trying to work the refs?

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 06:16 PM
Having read the discussion since I posted my original response, I now want to withdraw my "seems fine to me." I agree with the points others have made against the blanket prohibition on "name-calling" -- there gets to be a point where someone's bad behavior is characteristic and has been demonstrated as such, and in these cases, it is entirely appropriate to label such people trolls or liars or racists or whatever it is that they're doing.

On a related note, I would note for the record that to my mind, comments made about "the left," "all liberals," "most of the lefty commenters here," and other variations are often at least as bad in terms of being empty labels intended as smears as are words like troll, liar, and racist. (I find harkin, rcocean, and JoeK particularly egregious in this respect, if you would like examples.)

On a related related note, I use the word wingnut particularly so I am not saying something about "all conservatives." I have a specific dim and narrow attitude in mind when I use that word. I have tried to encourage use of the word moonbat to the same end, without much success -- it appears wingnuts would rather say things about "the [entire] Left" instead.

It seems to me that once you get into the business of listing specific words, you both stifle legitimate uses of these words and you encourage petty circumlocutions that do nothing to change the overall tone (cf. reindeer in Breakfast of Champions.) I also expect, as others have suggested, endless lawyering by a few Ly ... uh, commenters here as a way to clutter up the discussion/get out of acknowledging the loss of face for being called out on boneheadedness. Therefore, I would prefer to see a "Guidelines to Comments" rather than a "Comments Policy," with a note added to the Guidelines that the site admins are the ultimate arbiters, their decisions are sometimes going to be pure judgment calls, and if one doesn't like the apparently arbitrariness, tough, go find some other place to comment.

I think you're making a mistake by trying to be too specific, and even to attempt to codify what it meant by bad behavior. I think the consequent rigidity is going to cause more problems than we have now while also unnecessarily stifling speech, and that the intentional troublemakers, like Whatfur and kidneystones -- both of whom have admitted this intentionality in now-deleted comments -- are going to have an easier time of it than the overwhelming majority, rather than being steered back onto the straight and narrow.

In other words, the more I think about this "Comments Policy," the less I like it. You'd do better to deal with the few persistent problem children on an individual basis, and just silently blocking comments from the video page and/or deleting them outright would quickly make clear to the rest that there are lines on this site that can't be crossed.

I'm going to close with a line by Johann Hari (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/02/freedom-of-speech-means-especially.html) that I've passed along before. Please understand it as a guideline, not an absolute prescription:

The solution to the problems of free speech – that sometimes people will say terrible things – is always and irreducibly more free speech.

nikkibong
09-03-2009, 06:21 PM
I'm going to close with a line by Johann Hari (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/02/freedom-of-speech-means-especially.html) that I've passed along before:

http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=625

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 06:23 PM
http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=625

Now that's funny.

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 06:23 PM
Hey Jeff, look what else you've said before: http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=103498&postcount=3

And on the more deragatory side....is it just me, or were you defending this comment just a week or so ago?

http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=126272&postcount=4

I'm sure I've crossed the line worse than that, at some point or other! I don't think that example is inconsistent with what I said.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 06:25 PM
MV,
A thoughtful post; you make a number of good points.


An accusation of lying or dishonesty is a pretty serious charge against a person's character.
Indeed, and it should not be made recklessly. It should only be made when it is sincerely believed to be true.


Assuming one has uttered a falsehood which one (in some sense) knows to be false: Was it done consciously and intentionally, i.e., in full awareness of what one was doing, or not? Was it done for self-gain, or for some non-selfish reason like keeping a promise to protect someone's privacy, etc. (something more like a "white lie")? [...] Another issue is the severity of the dishonesty, which can range from an intentional lie for self gain, even to hurt someone, to rhetorical flourishes
These are key points. In most situations, it would be unwarranted to call someone a liar or dishonest for all of the reasons you carefully enumerated.

But there are occasionally "worst case scenarios" under the terms you have outlined, i.e., cases where the diavlogger makes statements

— they know to be false
— they do so consciously and intentionally
— in full awareness of what they are doing
— for reasons of "self-gain," (or to promote their political agenda),
— with the intention to hurt someone, or protect someone from legitimate criticism.

Especially if there is a pattern of behavior and not a single isolated incident, the diavlogger really needs to be called out and challenged. Indeed, if a diavlogger is behaving in this way, calling them dishonest is not an insult or an attack, but a responsable and accurate characterization which they should expect. Calling a dishonest diavlogger a liar is a proper way to attempt to get them to correct their behavior and act in a responsible manner, and is not nearly as harmful to them as the lies they are telling about their targets.

For the record, I don't know of any commenters who fit this description or who deserve to be called dishonest, despite the fact that some have played a bit loose with the facts from time to time. Whatever any commenters I have read have done, it doesn't rise to the level that would warrant calling them, flat out, a liar.



In my opinion, it's best to avoid labeling other commenters or diavloggers 'liars', 'dishonest', etc.
Again, you have made a number of key points that are critical to deciding when it's fair (or not) to call someone a liar. That said, I don't think we should issue a blanket edict prohibiting the term. Instead, each situation should be judged on its own merits.

graz
09-03-2009, 06:27 PM
Having read the discussion since I posted my original response, I now want to withdraw my "seems fine to me." I agree with the points others have made against the blanket prohibition on "name-calling" -- there gets to be a point where someone's bad behavior is characteristic and has been demonstrated as such, and in these cases, it is entirely appropriate to label such people trolls or liars or racists or whatever it is that they're doing.

On a related note, I would note for the record that to my mind, comments made about "the left," "all liberals," "most of the lefty commenters here," and other variations are often at least as bad in terms of being empty labels intended as smears as are words like troll, liar, and racist. (I find harkin, rcocean, and JoeK particularly egregious in this respect, if you would like examples.)

On a related related note, I use the word wingnut particularly so I am not saying something about "all conservatives." I have a specific dim and narrow attitude in mind when I use that word. I have tried to encourage use of the word moonbat to the same end, without much success -- it appears wingnuts would rather say things about "the [entire] Left" instead.

It seems to me that once you get into the business of listing specific words, you both stifle legitimate uses of these words and you encourage petty circumlocutions that do nothing to change the overall tone (cf. reindeer in Breakfast of Champions.) I also expect, as others have suggested, endless lawyering by a few Ly ... uh, commenters here as a way to clutter up the discussion/get out of acknowledging the loss of face for being called out on boneheadedness. Therefore, I would prefer to see a "Guidelines to Comments" rather than a "Comments Policy," with a note added to the Guidelines that the site admins are the ultimate arbiters, their decisions are sometimes going to be pure judgment calls, and if one doesn't like the apparently arbitrariness, tough, go find some other place to comment.

I think you're making a mistake by trying to be too specific, and even to attempt to codify what it meant by bad behavior. I think the consequent rigidity is going to cause more problems than we have now while also unnecessarily stifling speech, and that the intentional troublemakers, like Whatfur and kidneystones -- both of whom have admitted this intentionality in now-deleted comments -- are going to have an easier time of it than the overwhelming majority, rather than being steered back onto the straight and narrow.

In other words, the more I think about this "Comments Policy," the less I like it. You'd do better to deal with the few persistent problem children on an individual basis, and just silently blocking comments from the video page and/or deleting them outright would quickly make clear to the rest that there are lines on this site that can't be crossed.

I'm going to close with a line by Johann Hari (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/02/freedom-of-speech-means-especially.html) that I've passed along before:

but some of the commenters here are quite the wordsmiths, and I like the idea of encouraging them.
The post above is a good example, even if anyone quibbles on the particulars. Let freedom reign.

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 06:29 PM
The post above is a good example, even if anyone quibbles on the particulars. Let freedom reign.

...and the little bell on the handlebar of a bike being backpeddled, ring (http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/5677985-bicycle-bell-1-sound-effect-wav).

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 06:33 PM
Yeah, good point. I don't know what the answer is. Perhaps one distinction that could serve is that between calling a person a liar or dishonest person versus focusing on a particular case of dishonesty (being disingenuous, etc.), which one might be less strict about.
This is an excellent point, and is, in my opinion, the best way to respond to the occasional bit of dishonesty. But there are cases where a person is habitually dishonest and uses lies as a regular component of their rhetorical strategy. If someone is constantly using lies in their presentation across a long span of time, they need to be called out for it.

Let's also remember that diavloggers have a much larger platform than we in the comments. The damaging lies willfully told by some have great reach and the potential to do great damage. It would be a shame if BhTV's forum rules were used to insulate dishonest diavloggers from the tiny bit of accountability commenters can bring to bear. And that's the key: the point of calling someone a liar is not to attack them personally, but to hold them accountable, to expose a disrepuatable tactic intended to harm others and / or advance one's own agenda.

Wonderment
09-03-2009, 06:34 PM
You'd do better to deal with the few persistent problem children on an individual basis, and just silently blocking comments from the video page and/or deleting them outright would quickly make clear to the rest that there are lines on this site that can't be crossed.


I don't like deleting comments. People inevitably construe deletion as political, and the practice just breeds resentment.

Deletees usually have a point, in that Moderator Gods tend to be less than objective. At least that is my experience on other sites where tolerance for site-approved views was high while tolerance for unpopular views with the same nastiness quotient was low.

To be perfectly honest, if I were a moderator I would delete far fewer of your nasty posts than say Denville Steve's, even though I think you probably cross Bob's naughty-boy line more than DS does. But since I agree with you on most topics and disagree with DS, I'd be biased.

Who needs that shit (I mean "stuff")? Better to leave all comments unfettered unless they are ultra-egregious contentless slurs, threats, etc.

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 06:36 PM
This is an excellent point, and is, in my opinion, the best way to respond to the occasional bit of dishonesty. But there are cases where a person is habitually dishonest and uses lies as a regular component of their rhetorical strategy. If someone is constantly using lies in their presentation across a long span of time, they need to be called out for it.

Let's also remember that diavloggers have a much larger platform than we in the comments. The damaging lies willfully told by some have great reach and the potential to do great damage. It would be a shame if BhTV's forum rules were used to insulate dishonest diavloggers from the tiny bit of accountability commenters can bring to bear. And that's the key: the point of calling someone a liar is not to attack them personally, but to hold them accountable, to expose a disrepuatable tactic intended to harm others and / or advance one's own agenda.

If the strictest version of this policy is enforced, and somebody like Michael Goldfarb appears - I'm going to to find it difficult to stay out of trouble here.

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 06:37 PM
I don't like deleting comments. People inevitably construe deletion as political, and the practice just breeds resentment.

Deletees usually have a point, in that Moderator Gods tend to be less than objective. At least that is my experience on other sites where tolerance for site-approved views was high while tolerance for unpopular views with the same nastiness quotient was low.

To be perfectly honest, if I were a moderator I would delete far fewer of your nasty posts than say Denville Steve's, even though I think you probably cross Bob's naughty-boy line more than DS does. But since I agree with you on most topics and disagree with DS, I'd be biased.

Who needs that shit (I mean "stuff")? Better to leave all comments unfettered unless they are ultra-egregious contentless slurs, threats, etc.

What HE said.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 06:39 PM
Rule #2 is intentionally broader than #1. We'd like to maintain a somewhat higher standard when it comes to the diavloggers.
Thank you for the clarification. I would have done it the other way around: like libel law, I would think the diavloggers should expect to take a little more heat than the normal folk in the forum. For one thing, they have far greater reach and therefore the need for them to be held accountable is much greater. But I understand BhTV has its own imperitives, including recruting quality diavloggers, and if this is what's needed to encourage them to participate, I fully support it.


Again, I'd like others to weigh in on this.
My personal feeling is that attacks on classes of people, e.g., athiests, Republicans, liberals, should not be counted as personal attacks on individuals who consider themselves to be members of those groups.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 06:45 PM
I'm not saying there's no justice in your POV. My personal belief is that if you concentrate on the details, then the urge to "lawyer" every dispute is magnified, and the policy has the effect of enforcing a particular form, rather than deflecting conflict. If the rules are nebulous, and you trust the judgment of the enforcers, then (IMHO) the policy has a far better chance of achieving its aim.

You may be right. Perhaps it would be better to leave it nebulous and see what happens. As for "trusting the judgement of the enforcers," this will be possible for each individual up until the point they have one of their comments deleted; then the "lawyering" will begin, whether the rules were spelled out clearly or not. It's inevitable that enforcing codes of conduct is going to be a thankless job for whoever has it; we can be sure there will be complaints about unfair and biased enforcement (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=126553#post126553). You may be right, though, that spelling out the rules clearly in advance will only make matters worse.

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 06:46 PM
...
http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=126272&postcount=4

I missed the second link when I responded. My argument in the above case was that Althouse had explicitly chosen to put those issues on the table. What I said upthread is in regard to what hasn't been put on the table.

I'm not trying to pick on you nikkibong.

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 06:50 PM
You may be right. Perhaps it would be better to leave it nebulous and see what happens. As for "trusting the judgement of the enforcers," this will be possible for each individual up until the point they have one of their comments deleted; then the "lawyering" will begin, whether the rules were spelled out clearly or not. It's inevitable that enforcing codes of conduct is going to be a thankless job for whoever has it; we can be sure there will be complaints about unfair and biased enforcement (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=126553#post126553). You may be right, though, that spelling out the rules clearly in advance will only make matters worse.

I'll add that it's the overall trust of the community that matters. There will always be individuals who won't accept the view that a sanction isn't personal. My experience with mgmt here and my opinion of the high quality of this community are such that I think that level of trust is absolutely achievable here.

graz
09-03-2009, 06:53 PM
...and the little bell on the handlebar of a bike being backpeddled, ring (http://www.tradebit.com/filedetail.php/5677985-bicycle-bell-1-sound-effect-wav).

What about the "freedom" part? Which has me aligning with you also... and by the principle of six-degrees of separation... we are united as three. Ding-a-ling (which is my approximation of a bell, not the Chuck Berry reference).

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 07:00 PM
What about the "freedom" part? Which has me aligning with you also... and by the principle of six-degrees of separation... we are united as three. Ding-a-ling (which is my approximation of a bell, not the Chuck Berry reference).

With you there. Just thought BJ's little "Doh!" realization moment was classic.

"Oh my God!! Life without "wingnut" "

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 07:06 PM
[...]
A truly great post. I agree with everything you have said (and credit where it's due to Jeff, whose points you included), with one exception: I still think there should be a policy. But the one currently defined seems too broad, and designed to fix too much. Have we really had such a big problem that we need such a comprehensive solution? No.

As we talk through this, it's probably clear to everyone that the whole problem has been a single individual. There have been excesses here and there by others (by most of us, at one time or another), but the chronic problem that brought us to this point is due to one individual who has taken it upon himself to use the forum as a toilet, and to disrupt it as much as possible for everyone. The solutions for problems like this are temporary or permanent banning. Whatever was done in the last week or two has already led to substantial improvement.

As you say:

...deal with the few persistent problem children on an individual basis...


Finally, as for this ....
I'm going to close with a line by Johann Hari (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2009/02/freedom-of-speech-means-especially.html) that I've passed along before. Please understand it as a guideline, not an absolute prescription:

... it works fine for almost every situation, until you encounter that one incorrigible individual who is determined to make life miserable for others. Every forum, sooner or later, no matter how committed to "free speech," has to eventually pull the "ban" trigger and get rid of a user who is causing problems and refusing the shape up.

Brenda
09-03-2009, 07:11 PM
A couple misconceptions are gaining traction here, so let me try to head them off:

re rule #1: This is limited to insults directed at other commenters. We gave some examples—moron, wingnut, etc. These are not banned words; we're just proposing that you not call each other morons and wingnuts.

re: rule #3: Again, no banned words. And I can't think of any occasions in the past when this has really been a problem. Which might argue for omitting this rule, but I'd kind of like to leave it in for future reference, should it be needed.

nikkibong
09-03-2009, 07:16 PM
With you there. Just thought BJ's little "Doh!" realization moment was classic.

"Oh my God!! Life without "wingnut" "

I'm with you. This is just sad. The poster who is clearly one of the most responsible for the abusive language in the forum gets up on his high horse, lectures us, and is met with a chorus of approval.

I will say that he's oftentimes a great commenter, and I' (usually) in agreement with his POV, but I think it's pretty clear that he resorts to personal attacks all too often.

Even in this generally reasonable post, he calls out Kidney Stones, Lyle, and Whatfur by name. What's the point?

Sadly, it has come to my attention recently that we've lost valued commenters here because of our most prolifc commenter's violent rhetoric. And what a shame. He adds a lot - but he shouldn't be subtracting while he's at it.

Wonderment
09-03-2009, 07:18 PM
What a shucks storm:

1) New Guidelines after a supposed uproar from irate commentors.

2) The loss of two (at least) awesome contributors to Science Saturday.

3) Probably McWhorter is also offended and out of here as well.

4) The return of Mickey (always a personal low for me).

5) The bizarre (and bad) "masking" idea for peanut gallery guests.

I do admire Bob for hanging in there and sticking to his values and vision of the site, however. I understand his point of view on all these issues. The anti-science thing just spun out of control on him. He didn't really mean to piss off Sean and Carl with yet another anti-science weirdo, but it came across to them as if their protests were ignored the first time around.

That's really unfortunate because Sean and Carl are both such terrific assets and fantastically brilliant. If I were Bob I would grovel and beg them to come back (especially Carl because he is such a great generalist in the John/George vein).

I'm looking forward to conciliatory and avuncular George with John on SS this week.

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 07:18 PM
I'm with you. This is just sad. The poster who is clearly most responsible for the abusive language in the forum gets up on his high horse, lectures us, and is met with a chorus of approval.

I know for a fact that we've lost valued commenters here because of our most prolifc commenter's violent rhetoric.

<pinches self>

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 07:21 PM
With you there. Just thought BJ's little "Doh!" realization moment was classic.

"Oh my God!! Life without "wingnut" "

It wasn't a D'oh moment. My intentionality has been clear in my mind for years, and I've made this statement about my use of wingnut to distinguish a particularly stupid sliver of conservative attitudes several times in the past.

[Added] Here is an example, to illustrate: You can be opposed to health care reform for a variety of plausible reasons, up to and including a purely ideological dislike of the government interfering in what you view as something better left to the private sector. However, to be against HCR because of "death panels," "rationing," or because "ZOMG! ALL PART OF OBAMA'S PLAN TO TURN US SOCIALIST!!!1!" is wingnuttery.

AemJeff
09-03-2009, 07:21 PM
...
That's really unfortunate because Sean and Carl are both such terrific assets and fantastically brilliant. If I were Bob I would grovel and beg them to come back (especially Carl because he is such a great generalist in the John/George vein)...

My thought, exactly, though I wouldn't want to choose favorite between Sean and Carl.

Please grovel, Bob! PLEEASE!

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 07:24 PM
Sadly, it has come to my attention recently that we've lost valued commenters here because of our most prolifc commenter's violent rhetoric. And what a shame. He adds a lot - but he shouldn't be subtracting while he's at it.

It is also a fact that we've lost valued commenters here for other reasons, and one of the most often cited is the appearance of a few commenters like Whatfur who think they are fighting some sort of political battle by doing nothing but being as obnoxious as possible with practically every post. NB: The commenters I have in mind are by and large conservative-leaning, and do not like being associated with "conservatism" if the face of it is going to be people like Whatfur.

handle
09-03-2009, 07:25 PM
"Oh my God!! Life without "wingnut" "

No, just life without using the word....

Now that the Whatfurs (see? that substitutes just fine) got politically neutered in November, it strikes me, particularly in reading this thread, that the problem with this particular one, was never his reiteration of tired corporate policies, but that he's just not that funny, unless, I speculate, you are one of him.
I realize my attempts at humor may have been worse, but I was just trolling for a flame war.

It got toooo easy....

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 07:26 PM
3) Probably McWhorter is also offended and out of here as well.
I hope not. It would be a great loss to BhTV if he didn't return. Maybe we should all email him and ask him to come back. (Same with Sean and Carl.)


5) The bizarre (and bad) "masking" idea for peanut gallery guests.
Why is that so bizarre and such a bad idea? A lot of people who make videos on YouTube use this technique to hide their identity, because (1) they are shy, and it gives them a layer of security that helps them get over the fear of appearing on camera, and (2) a lot of people have actual lives and don't want to get in trouble for having actual opinions. I live in a small, ultraconservative town and work for a large, Fortune 50 company. I occasionally talk about things that happen at work, like meetings where executives talk about how to reduce benefits for workers or transfer jobs to 3rd world hell holes (oops, I mean "capitalist paradises"). If I thought my identity could be exposed, I would never feel free to speak openly. The fact is I would suffer real life consequences for expressing my views. The diavloggers are professional, full time blowhards, so the risks to them are fewer. For regular folks like you and me, there is a cost associated with participating in political dialogue. (Well, maybe not for you, given that you live in a much more progressive and tolerant community.)

JonIrenicus
09-03-2009, 07:28 PM
Since racism is a very real feature of American life, and a deeply important feature of American politics, these words must be protected as a legitimate part of any dialogue.


.

I.. A..gre....e with twinswords...

(GOD that was hard!)



It is a useful word to describe things and in some cases people, and just because most of the uses I have seen on forums are incredibly sloppy, the word itself is fine.

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 07:31 PM
Even in this generally reasonable post, he calls out Kidney Stones, Lyle, and Whatfur by name. What's the point?

The point is to be specific, lest people who aren't guilty of a behavior that I'm talking about wonder if I'm thinking of them. Naming names is better when making such criticisms that have to do with specific people, especially when they are by far the exception, and is to my mind far preferable to "some commenters here ... you know who I'm talking about ..." and other weaseling.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 07:34 PM
I have to say, with all this attention being paid to the rotten side of the forum, we should spend a minute thinking about how really incredibly GREAT this forum is. It has its blemishes, but there are some truly amazing people here, great writers, great minds, holding great conversations. I feel privileged to be able to just click through and absorb all the amazing insight people bring to this forum. The commenters are every bit as impressive as the diavloggers themselves.

Kudos to the commenters, and kudos to BhTV — especially Bob — for building a place where this kind of rarefied discourse is even possible. It is only because this forum is so great that we try to maintain and improve it.

Wonderment
09-03-2009, 07:34 PM
Why is that so bizarre and such a bad idea?

I understand your concerns about going public. Completely legitimate.

Still, as a general policy masking strikes me as silly as one of those voice-disguise devices for the police informant on TV or the silhouetted minor talking about sexual abuse.

If people, like you, have serious anonymity issues, you could go just audio, no?

I also thought it was a wee bit condescending: the famous blabbermouths, as fatuous as they may be, are seen in all their glory, while the commentators get masked for their own protection?

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 07:37 PM
I have to say, with all this attention being paid to the rotten side of the forum, we should spend a minute thinking about how really incredibly GREAT this forum is. It has its blemishes, but there are some truly amazing people here, great writers, great minds, holding great conversations. I feel privileged to be able to just click through and absorb all the amazing insight people bring to this forum. The commenters are every bit as impressive as the diavloggers themselves.

Kudos to the commenters, and kudos to BhTV — especially Bob — for building a place where this kind of rarefied discourse is even possible. It is only because this forum is so great that we try to maintain and improve it.

Well put, and a good reminder. I wish I had been more explicit in saying what you said in my longer comment above, but this was certainly on my mind when I raised concerns about a Comments Policy going too far.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 07:38 PM
I also thought it was a wee bit condescending: the famous blabbermouths, as fatuous as they may be, are seen in all their glory, while the commentators get masked for their own protection?

LOL! But seriously, that cannot possibly be why Bob came up with the masking idea. I kind of half-listened to that segment of the diavlog earlier while I was working, but I don't think he really did explain why he wanted to mask the Appollo diavloggers's faces -- or did he? (I guess I could go back and listen to it.)

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 07:40 PM
... the appearance of a few commenters like Whatfur who think they are fighting some sort of political battle by doing nothing but being as obnoxious as possible with practically every post.

I should add that this seems to have morphed into a personal vendetta against me, more than half the time. Not that I care what Whatfur says about me or calls me, but as far as his detracting from the discourse goes, I might as well be as precise as possible.

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 07:41 PM
A couple misconceptions are gaining traction here, so let me try to head them off:

re rule #1: This is limited to insults directed at other commenters. We gave some examples—moron, wingnut, etc. These are not banned words; we're just proposing that you not call each other morons and wingnuts.

re: rule #3: Again, no banned words. And I can't think of any occasions in the past when this has really been a problem. Which might argue for omitting this rule, but I'd kind of like to leave it in for future reference, should it be needed.

Thanks for the clarification.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 07:56 PM
I should add that this seems to have morphed into a personal vendetta against me, more than half the time.

This is because you are not only the most prolific poster, but also the most devastatingly effective. You've been the leading target of the conservatives for as long as you've been posting here. And I often think it must wear on you, to be in the trenches fighting them day in and day out.

That said, I think it took some courage for Nikkibong to say what he did, because I think there is some truth to it. You are so effective and your rebuttals so devastating that, quite frankly, I am reluctant to ever disagree with you about anything. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I don't want to be made to look like a fool. Well, anymore than I already do, that is.

That said, I'm not sure it's fair to handicap you to make things easier for your opponents. As others have suggested, the correct response is for your opponents to raise their game. And if they can't cut it, they can quit, or ignore you. What should not be tolerated, however, is for people to issue constant personal attacks towards you as a way to wear you down or disrupt the entire forum -- which is what has been happening in recent weeks, which has brought us to the point that this policy is being formulated.

Again, I think we're building a whole regime to deal with the bad behavior of one person. Maybe clicking on the "ban" button one time would be easier than constructing a whole policy and enforcement superstructure.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 07:59 PM
I'll add that it's the overall trust of the community that matters. There will always be individuals who won't accept the view that a sanction isn't personal. My experience with mgmt here and my opinion of the high quality of this community are such that I think that level of trust is absolutely achievable here.

Well, I agree, because there really aren't any problem posters here, except one. We've made it this far without any policy and without any (or very many) deleted comments because it's such a remarkable community.

pampl
09-03-2009, 08:27 PM
Personally I like that none of bh.tv's moderators are commenters. I'd like it to remain this way if possible.
Yeah, I agree.

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 08:30 PM
I should add that this seems to have morphed into a personal vendetta against me, more than half the time. Not that I care what Whatfur says about me or calls me, but as far as his detracting from the discourse goes, I might as well be as precise as possible.

In an effort to thwart your constant harrassment of me and to abide by the wishes of the administration here, I have not initiated ANY discussion with you in almost a month and the only responses you have received from me in that time have been of the BIH variety...which ONLY came when YOU responded to something I said to someone else. As bright as you think you are, I would have thought you would have figured out...No harrassment, no BIH. But instead you have continued to hound me in virtually every discussion I have been involved in. And funny, administration then gets cried to because of what? Yes, the BIH responses. Go figure.

But yeah...I like this...going gets hot for Brendan...start deflecting the criticism to whatfur. Pretty funny stuff...and so it goes.

Ocean
09-03-2009, 08:34 PM
How about "cap and trade" on bad language?

A monthly quota of bad words for each commenter?

But, please, no limits on smilies. :)

thouartgob
09-03-2009, 08:46 PM
How about "cap and trade" on bad language?

A monthly quota of bad words for each commenter?

But, please, no limits on smilies. :)

I like the idea of making a game of it fer shure. Reminds me of Demolition Man where citizens were fined for cursing. What could be a good fine for bad language ??? Rotate who cleans up the spam :-)

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 08:54 PM
In an effort to thwart your constant harrassment of me and to abide by the wishes of the administration here, I have not initiated ANY discussion with you in almost a month and the only responses you have received from me in that time have been of the BIH variety...which ONLY came when YOU responded to something I said to someone else. As bright as you think you are, I would have thought you would have figured out...No harrassment, no BIH. But instead you have continued to hound me in virtually every discussion I have been involved in. And funny, administration then gets cried to because of what? Yes, the BIH responses. Go figure.

But yeah...I like this...going gets hot for Brendan...start deflecting the criticism to whatfur. Pretty funny stuff...and so it goes.

In the first place, what you call "harrassment" (by which I presume you mean harassment) I call legitimate commentary on your comments. As I've said before, if you want to have a private conversation with someone, don't post in a public forum. I'd add that since a large number of the posts you put up tend to be of the baiting variety, you are lying (or unbelievably lacking in self-awareness) if you deny that you're happy to get a reaction.

As far as complaints to the administrators and their reactions go -- hey, what can I say? I didn't make any complaints, nor did I urge others to. Clearly, your behavior was irritating or offensive enough to provoke others to complain on their own.

As to your claim that you haven't "initiated any discussion" with me lately -- so what? Congratulations, if you actually want recognition for acting as though two digits are required to measure your age, and I might add, only after being spanked.

Once more for the record: Personally, I don't care a whit that you call me "Bitch In Heat" or "Perez" or "fag" or whatever. In fact, I take those moments as nothing other than your acknowledging that you can't respond in a substantive way, whether I've shown your claim to be factually erroneous, zinged you by being more clever than you, or whatever. But as we've seen, other people are bothered by your juvenile responses, and they will complain about them. Mature people would recognize such complaints and ensuing reactions from the site admins to mean that they're failing to measure up to community standards. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you belong in this group.

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 08:58 PM
[...] That said, I think it took some courage for Nikkibong to say what he did, because I think there is some truth to it. [...]

Noted.

I'll acknowledge that I'm obviously not without flaw and have almost certainly said some things that didn't need to be said. I'm not going apologize for every acerbic thing I've ever said, though. Sometimes an obnoxious or boneheaded comment -- or person -- should be called out for what it is.

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 09:01 PM
No, just life without using the word....

Now that the Whatfurs (see? that substitutes just fine) got politically neutered in November, it strikes me, particularly in reading this thread, that the problem with this particular one, was never his reiteration of tired corporate policies, but that he's just not that funny, unless, I speculate, you are one of him.
I realize my attempts at humor may have been worse, but I was just trolling for a flame war.

It got toooo easy....

Hey Bud,

Thanks for dropping in again...lets see thats like 3 comments in 5 months...all directed negatively at me. Don't stop though, I do find you humorous. I suggest you stay clear of Ray though as I have a feeling your run-on sentences might drive him to lose Ocean's profanity game.

[added] Brenda, welcome to my world. ;)

pampl
09-03-2009, 09:08 PM
http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=625

What a world, what a world.

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 09:23 PM
In the first place, what you call "harrassment" (by which I presume you mean harassment) I call legitimate commentary on your comments. As I've said before, if you want to have a private conversation with someone, don't post in a public forum. I'd add that since a large number of the posts you put up tend to be of the baiting variety, you are lying (or unbelievably lacking in self-awareness) if you deny that you're happy to get a reaction.

As far as complaints to the administrators and their reactions go -- hey, what can I say? I didn't make any complaints, nor did I urge others to. Clearly, your behavior was irritating or offensive enough to provoke others to complain on their own.

As to your claim that you haven't "initiated any discussion" with me lately -- so what? Congratulations, if you actually want recognition for acting as though two digits are required to measure your age, and I might add, only after being spanked.

... Mature people would recognize such complaints and ensuing reactions from the site admins to mean that they're failing to measure up to community standards. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you belong in this group.

You have used "Perez" more than I have in the last month and wow...even here you resort to insult.

I invite anyone and everyone to go examine your uninvited comments to me over the last month. Your "legitimate commentary" was almost always caustic in one way or another. Also, if it was just one discussion or another fine...you jumped in on EVERY discussion I was in. No matter how one spells it, that comes up harassment. That's fine and actually I have enjoyed my constant and consistant humiliation of you in the past, but I have promised the admins here that I would ignore you. I suggest you do the same...take the hint. You see, it doesn't look good when I best you with 1 and 2 word responses. I see you are TwinSwords hero...wouldn't want to tarnish that.

Umm and one more thing...I am not at liberty to share them, but believe me; the immaturity of YOUR actions has not gone unnoticed by site admins either and they continue to witness it here...so you can climb off your high horse anytime.

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 09:42 PM
Noted.

I'll acknowledge that I'm obviously not without flaw and have almost certainly said some things that didn't need to be said. I'm not going apologize for every acerbic thing I've ever said, though. Sometimes an obnoxious or boneheaded comment -- or person -- should be called out for what it is.
You don't have anything to apologize for.

nikkibong
09-03-2009, 09:50 PM
You don't have anything to apologize for.

Did you notice he didn't apologize for anything...?

TwinSwords
09-03-2009, 10:01 PM
Did you notice he didn't apologize for anything...?

Yes. I noticed that he said he was not going to apologize for any of his past transgressions, and I told him that I didn't think he needed to. He hasn't been perfect. He, like a lot of people, has said some inappropriate things. Nobody's asking them to all line up and apologize, either.

If you call someone a bitch in heat or a fag, or suggest their father is an alcoholic, you have crossed a line and your behavior should not be tolerated. But when you dismantle someone like this (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=128390#post128390), it hurts a lot worse than the schoolyard insults, but it's completely within the bounds of acceptable discourse. Most of what upsets people about Brendan is that he leaves them in smoldering ruins without ever crossing the line into inappropriate conduct. I understand completely how upsetting it can be to be given this treatment. It must be really difficult for those who are subjected to it day in and day out. But that doesn't give them permission to descend to the level that some have.


.

Whatfur
09-03-2009, 10:22 PM
Yes. I noticed that he said he was not going to apologize for any of his past transgressions, and I told him that I didn't think he needed to. He hasn't been perfect. He, like a lot of people, has said some inappropriate things. Nobody's asking them to all line up and apologize, either.

If you call someone a bitch in heat or a fag, or suggest their father is an alcoholic, you have crossed a line and your behavior should not be tolerated. But when you dismantle someone like this (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=128390#post128390), it hurts a lot worse than the schoolyard insults, but it's completely within the bounds of acceptable discourse. Most of what upsets people about Brendan is that he leaves them in smoldering ruins without ever crossing the line into inappropriate conduct. I understand completely how upsetting it can be to be given this treatment. It must be really difficult for those who are subjected to it day in and day out. But that doesn't give them permission to descend to the level that some have.
.

TwinSwords, Sorry friend... I have to point out your obvious biase. Just to bring up the alcohoic father without pointing to the previous comment where Brendan describes the killing of my in-laws is a bit misleading while totally discounting your entire opinion.

[added] Out of respect for Brenda...I am now done here also. Continue to insult and flail away in my absence. Bubbye.

Starwatcher162536
09-03-2009, 10:43 PM
Considering the amount of blow back that has been incurred over giving a couple of the commenters spam deleting powers, and how easy it is for people to get a persecution complex, I think the benefit/cost ratio for this will probably end up being rather poor....

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 11:15 PM
You have used "Perez" more than I have in the last month and wow...even here you resort to insult.

I invite anyone and everyone to go examine your uninvited comments to me over the last month. Your "legitimate commentary" was almost always caustic in one way or another. Also, if it was just one discussion or another fine...you jumped in on EVERY discussion I was in. No matter how one spells it, that comes up harassment. That's fine and actually I have enjoyed my constant and consistant humiliation of you in the past, but I have promised the admins here that I would ignore you. I suggest you do the same...take the hint. You see, it doesn't look good when I best you with 1 and 2 word responses. I see you are TwinSwords hero...wouldn't want to tarnish that.

Umm and one more thing...I am not at liberty to share them, but believe me; the immaturity of YOUR actions has not gone unnoticed by site admins either and they continue to witness it here...so you can climb off your high horse anytime.

That was such a pathetic response you almost make me want to leave you alone out of pity.

But in the end, the non-stop donning of the victim cloak, coupled with your ludicrous self-congratulations and your inability to resist lashing out at all perceived slights every time you set paw to keyboard, removes what little feeling I might have for you.

Keep complaining to Brenda, though. I'm sure she'll see how put upon you are after, oh, the thousandth time you whine to her.

==========

[Added] Even given everything we know about you, it still makes the mind reel that you actually would type this out and think it signifies anything:

You have used "Perez" more than I have in the last month ...

Look. (http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&source=hp&q=site%3Abloggingheads.tv+perez&btnG=Google+Search)

What, you were told to stop using a certain word a few weeks ago and you want to take credit for that?

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 11:17 PM
You don't have anything to apologize for.

No, I think I do. While I won't take all responsibility for it, I do feel bad that I am inhibiting you (and possibly others) from posting disagreements.

bjkeefe
09-03-2009, 11:22 PM
... where Brendan describes the killing of my in-laws ...

???

I don't remember that at all. Can you supply a link?

Unit
09-03-2009, 11:49 PM
Here's a draft of a comments policy we're considering. We look forward to your feedback.

COMMENTS POLICY FOR THE BLOGGINGHEADS COMMUNITY

We welcome all political viewpoints in the Bloggingheads forum, and encourage lively debate, but we do ask that you treat other commenters with common decency. We don’t like to censor* posts or ban people from the forum, but we do so when necessary to keep the environment from getting too ugly.

We particularly aim to keep the "Diavlog comments" subforum civil and on-topic, so we enforce a higher standard there than in the other two subforums.**

Here are our baseline rules for the "Diavlog comments" subforum:

#1 No name-calling aimed at fellow commenters or diavloggers.

#2 No gratuitously rude comments aimed at diavloggers.

#3 Use four-letter words sparingly, if at all.

#4 Use the vBulletin quote function only for real quotations.

Notes on the rules:

re: #1 Like most superficially simple rules, this one is easier to state than to enforce fairly—one man’s verbal abuse is another man’s fair and accurate characterization. Here are some examples of what we’d label name-calling: moron, idiot, asshat, wingnut, moonbat, troll—and, absent very good evidence: racist. (To be clear: We don't proscribe the use of such words, only their use as epithets against other commenters, either directly or by implication.)

re: #2 In particular, avoid derogatory or demeaning remarks about physical appearance and speaking style. Don’t forget that many diavloggers read the comments section.

re: #3 Fair warning: A post containing profanity that appears early in the comments (“above the fold” on the videopage) may be hidden from the videopage,* even if the post is loaded with insightful substance.

re: #4 We realize that sometimes commenters like to fabricate quotes for humorous or rhetorical purposes, but we think this compromises the integrity of the quote format. Readers should be able to trust that if something looks like a quote, it really is a quote.

* * * * *

*Note that we have two levels of post-removal: (a) “hiding” a post, which removes it only from the videopage (it can still be viewed in the forum), and (b) “deleting” a post, which removes it from both the videopage and the forum thread.

**The "Diavlog comments" subforum is the one that feeds comments from the vBulletin forum onto the videopage (directly below the diavlog). This subforum has exactly one thread per diavlog, and no other threads. The other two, less structured subforums are "General comments about Bloggingheads.tv" and "Life, the Universe and Everything."

The draft looks good to me and I don't think we need to enforce anything: as long as the bulk of the usual commenters here decides to stick to these principles and unilaterally disarm even against the most aggressive of newcomers a new order of civil and constructive dialog can emerge.

bjkeefe
09-04-2009, 06:12 AM
Regardless of whether one calls it guidelines or a policy, and of how detailed the text is with examples of what's wanted or not wanted, some such note or statement is crucial in my view.

And yet somehow the site managed to survive without one for, what, four years now? To virtually no one's concern?

I expect what's going on here is that a bad apple or two, and/or a squeaky wheel or two, have prompted this view that We Must Have A Comments Policy. I imagine part of that thinking was, "This should release the admins from having to play nursemaid. We'll just point people to the policy and that'll be that. Problem solved!"

However, my view of human nature being what it is, I predict you are just going to see the bickering in new forms. People cautioned against language will find circumlocutions. People who feel put upon will start lawyer-parsing the Policy page. Pardon the unintended melodrama, but remember how the United States used to have a no-torture policy?

Good you say "apparent" arbitrariness, by the way, ...

Thanks. And I hope you see my larger point -- that even with a Comments Policy, the person whom you would have had to speak to, pre-policy, is still going to be the person you are going to have to speak to, post-policy. Except this time, there will be lots more whining about "but I did follow the policy" and any decision to discipline that person is still highly likely to be viewed as unfair by that person.

The more I think about it, the more I think putting in a policy is just going to be an annoyance to the 99% or so of the people who would generally abide by the rules without having to have them spelled out anywhere, and ineffective in dealing with the 1% who are here, by their own admission in some cases, just to make trouble. If you make the policy long and detailed, loopholes will be pursued. If you make it brief and general, complaining about unequal application will ensue.

To be clear, I'm not saying "Don't have a Comments Policy." Once any organization gets it in their head that they need a Policy, there is no stopping its creation. And now that I think about it, as this site attempts to transition from a hobby site of sorts to one that can attract outside investment, I suppose I can look at this as a necessary evil, a box to be checked. I'm just saying it's not going to be a magic bullet, and a few tiresome individuals are still going to have to be dealt with, and they won't understand why -- or more likely will pretend not to understand why -- they are being singled out.

[Added] I should also say that making every effort to avoid banning problematic individuals is an attitude that I do admire, when all is said and done. I'm not sure I agree with it as an absolute, but I can respect that mindset.

osmium
09-04-2009, 10:27 AM
I have always thought that you have to take a cue from the diavloggers themselves on how polite you need to be about them. Like, they get to set the tone. If they are nice, you have to be nice.

However, if the diavlogger is making fun of urban liberals, and you happen to be an urban liberal, I think it is fine to make fun of the diavlogger at the equivalent level.

I'm not condoning ever bringing up the appearance, speaking manner, etc of anybody. But I don't think they should be insulated from their own level of discourse. An example: If Ann Althouse calls the commenters "nasty," I think it is okay for them to call her nasty, or some equivalent-level word, but nothing outrageous.

Let me point out, I am not calling Ann nasty; that's just a recent example I could think of. I actually thought that was pretty funny.

Michael Behe was pretty nice, right? Consequently, even though I disagree with almost everything he said, I should not ever be a jerk about it.

badhatharry
09-04-2009, 02:05 PM
Thanks for your efforts, Brenda. This can't be an easy issue to tackle.

As for insults like, "you're a liar". I would like to see something like. "Based on what you have said earlier, I think you are lying." or "In my opinion, you are lying." This gets away from the omniscient stance that the commenter can see into the heart of another person, which is quite offensive. It would also be important for that person to back up the statement with examples. If I'm not mistaken, these are rules of good debate, which I guess is what we're supposed to be having.

Having been called all of the nasty names your cite above, I am glad that people who use such tactics will be deleted.

thornybranch
09-04-2009, 02:41 PM
...you can't talk about politics in America without being allowed to talk about racism....

TwinSwords is absolutely right about this, and has written eloquently about it.

Lyle
09-04-2009, 03:02 PM
If people accuse others of lying they need to be able explain what the lie is. Saying "in my opinion, I think you're lying" isn't going to cut it.

Although I support the rules, if things weren't to change at bh.tv I wouldn't care. I can deal with being called a liar or wingnut. It just gives me easier access to the higher moral ground when making arguments. :)

badhatharry
09-04-2009, 03:21 PM
If people accuse others of lying they need to be able explain what the lie is. Saying "in my opinion, I think you're lying" isn't going to cut it.

Although I support the rules, if things weren't to change at bh.tv I wouldn't care. I can deal with being called a liar or wingnut. It just gives me easier access to the higher moral ground when making arguments. :)

You're a better man than I.

badhatharry
09-04-2009, 04:31 PM
And further, Lyle, I did say that the person should be able to back up the accusation.

I do think your stance on letting those who want to name-call go ahead is a good and generous one. Let those who want to play that game, usually to the amusement of their own posse, do it. I, for one, have chosen, after a few skirmishes, to ignore it and those who do it. I wish I had done that to begin with, but live and learn.

However, if no nasty name-calling is tolerated, people will have to do a little more thinking about what they say and it might raise the level of discussion.

Lyle
09-04-2009, 06:03 PM
I agree, I agree... you seem to take the name-calling stride as well though. When I first posted here I made some daft comments and name called a diavlogger or two. I wasn't fully invested in participating here though and was just trolling, and had some emotional respsones to the progressive coterie that was dominant here at the time.

I'd like the insults to stop flying around as well, but it tells us something about a persons character if they can shrug it off or if they choose to dish it out, and that is helpful when arguing with people in general, because the insulters come out of an argument less convincing and make their side of the argument suspect per se.

claymisher
09-04-2009, 08:03 PM
Remember how the teacher would go over the rules on the first day of school? When did that start being insulting, around fifth grade? Seventh grade? Past a certain age you're expected to conform to basic adult behavior or just leave. Since I doubt there are more than a few actual children on this board I can't imagine what a comment policy would accomplish.

The problem isn't an lack of a comment policy. The problem is trolls. As AemJeff, TwinSwords, and bjkeefe have already discussed, trolls thrive on legalism. Rules don't deter trolls.

I've moderated boards on and off since 1995. I've tried just about everything. I had a board get away from me completely (once it got to 100% trolls even the trolls stopped posting and it just died. That's what emergence gets you). I let a lot of people down because of that and I still feel bad about it. What I've found works best is to just delete posts from trolls. No policy, no explanation, and no debating. It makes people second-guess themselves. It's the chilling effect that refreshes. Pretty quickly the trolls pack up and find some other board to ruin.

But what about free speech? Bloggingheads ain't the whole universe. People can post on other boards. People can start a blog or a Google Group or post on FreeRepublic instead. None of us has a right to post here. Why does bhtv even comments? I imagine Bob thinks it's good for his venture, and I think it is too, but only because of the quality of the comments. What about throwing out the baby with the bathwater? There is no baby! Pick your least favorite troll, go back to before he got spanked a couple of weeks ago, and skim his last hundred posts. How many of those posts are worth saving? One? Two? Good riddance. Isn't moderation subjective? Absolutely it is, but it's either that or the troll death spiral.

The regulars have nothing to worry about. Aside from the full-on trolls nobody's going to get their posts deleted except me (I can be overly snide when rushed) and maybe keefe (because engaging with trolls can be mistaken for trolling). I'm fine with that. I've had a couple of posts deleted on Brad DeLong's site with no explanation. It's no big deal. I have to assume that Brad doesn't like it when you slag his old friends who happen to be incredibly powerful and work in the White House. :) (btw, he's never deleted my comments calling him a dummy). If that's what he feels he needs to do to keep comments useful it's worth it because he has good comments. Getting a short, snotty, hit-and-run post deleted once in a long while ain't the end of the world.

Then there's the troll cap (http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/introducing_the_troll_cap.php):

http://37signals.com/svn/images/37icon-troll-big.gif

badhatharry
09-04-2009, 08:23 PM
So what is a troll? I have thought in the past that you called me a troll. Perhaps I was wrong, but since I was probably the newest participant, I thought that it was aimed at me.
While my opinions don't often align with yours, I think I try to articulate them thoughtfully and in a somewhat interesting way.
Does the disagreement in itself constitute trolldom?
I would really like to understand this designation.

AemJeff
09-04-2009, 08:28 PM
So what is a troll? I have thought in the past that you called me a troll. Perhaps I was wrong, but since I was probably the newest participant, I thought that it was aimed at me.
While my opinions don't often align with yours, I think I try to articulate them thoughtfully and in a somewhat interesting way.
Does the disagreement in itself constitute trolldom?
I would really like to understand this designation.

Trolls care more about the fact that they are saying something than what it is they're saying. They seek affirmation in provoking a response, regardless of its nature; or, at worst, they thrive on creating conflict and noise.

claymisher
09-04-2009, 08:31 PM
So what is a troll? I have thought in the past that you called me a troll. Perhaps I was wrong, but since I was probably the newest participant, I thought that it was aimed at me.
While my opinions don't often align with yours, I think I try to articulate them thoughtfully and in a somewhat interesting way.
Does the disagreement in itself constitute trolldom?
I would really like to understand this designation.

Hey man, I don't even have you on my ignore list, and there are 16 names on it. :)

Bobby G
09-04-2009, 08:37 PM
Remember how the teacher would go over the rules on the first day of school? When did that start being insulting, around fifth grade? Seventh grade? Past a certain age you're expected to conform to basic adult behavior or just leave.

This part amuses me, simply because I and all my colleagues, as far as I know, go over the rules of civil discussion on the first day of each of our courses. And we teach at a university. It hadn't occurred to me that our students might be insulted. That could explain why they don't follow the policies. :)

badhatharry
09-04-2009, 09:29 PM
Trolls care more about the fact that they are saying something than what it is they're saying. They seek affirmation in provoking a response, regardless of its nature; or, at worst, they thrive on creating conflict and noise.

well I guess it's pretty subjective..this troll thing.

nikkibong
09-04-2009, 09:32 PM
well I guess it's pretty subjective..this troll thing.

yep. i think it's a silly bordering on meaningless term, used to discredit people with whom you disagree.

so, "what is troll"?
it's contingent: if you're asking claymisher, a troll is someone who doesn't agree with claymisher and is willing to say it!

claymisher
09-04-2009, 09:43 PM
This part amuses me, simply because I and all my colleagues, as far as I know, go over the rules of civil discussion on the first day of each of our courses. And we teach at a university. It hadn't occurred to me that our students might be insulted. That could explain why they don't follow the policies. :)

That made me laugh out loud!

In my defense it's been a long time since I've been in school. I forget how much standards have slipped. A grad school instructor I know has told me about student behavior that's shocking: talking in class, eating noisily, playing video games on laptops, talking on cell phones, you name it. The average age of these students is 25+ years old! I tell my informant that I'd just throw them out and fail them, but apparently that's just not done. I can't understand why not.

claymisher
09-04-2009, 09:48 PM
yep. i think it's a silly bordering on meaningless term, used to discredit people with whom you disagree.

so, "what is troll"?
it's contingent: if you're asking claymisher, a troll is someone who doesn't agree with claymisher and is willing to say it!

That's obviously not true. I disagree with people all the time that I don't consider trolls.

Let's refer to the collective wisdom of the internet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)):

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional or disciplinary response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

AemJeff
09-04-2009, 10:01 PM
yep. i think it's a silly bordering on meaningless term, used to discredit people with whom you disagree.

so, "what is troll"?
it's contingent: if you're asking claymisher, a troll is someone who doesn't agree with claymisher and is willing to say it!

That's not a fair characterization. In my case, I probably have a slight preference for interacting with people with whom I disagree - assuming they're willing to have a discussion. It's just more interesting, and ultimately, I believe, illuminating than just seeking to affirm that there exist people with whom I agree. I can be, and have been, pretty bloody belligerent but what tends to offend me is how, not what.

I can't speak for claymisher, but I don't think you have a basis for that assertion.

nikkibong
09-04-2009, 10:12 PM
I only used claymisher as an example because he brought up the issue of "troll" - it was nothing personal.

In any event, I was making a simple perspectival point: that one man's "troll" is another man's "valued commenter." I think very few people would consider their own posts to be trolling. I think it's hard to determine what constitutes "willfull trolling" and therefore . . .

I agree with brendan, graz, whatfur, et al.: the fewer regulations on commenting, the better.

For example: couldn't this thread (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=126042#poststop) appear to be needless antagonism towards members of a particular political party (and therefore trolling!), to some, but useful discussion to others? It's far too subjective.

AemJeff
09-04-2009, 10:26 PM
I only used claymisher as an example because he brought up the issue of "troll" - it was nothing personal.

In any event, I was making a simple perspectival point: that one man's "troll" is another man's "valued commenter." I think very few people would consider their own posts to be trolling. I think it's hard to determine what constitutes "willfull trolling" and therefore . . .

I agree with brendan, graz, whatfur, et al.: the fewer regulations on commenting, the better.

For example: couldn't this thread (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=126042#poststop) appear to be needless antagonism towards members of a particular political party (and therefore trolling!), to some, but useful discussion to others? It's far too subjective.

Fair enough. I still want to emphasize the point that there is an objective distinction between trolling and not doing so, even if that distinction can be blurred.

claymisher
09-05-2009, 12:16 AM
I only used claymisher as an example because he brought up the issue of "troll" - it was nothing personal.

In any event, I was making a simple perspectival point: that one man's "troll" is another man's "valued commenter." I think very few people would consider their own posts to be trolling. I think it's hard to determine what constitutes "willfull trolling" and therefore . . .

I agree with brendan, graz, whatfur, et al.: the fewer regulations on commenting, the better.

For example: couldn't this thread (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=126042#poststop) appear to be needless antagonism towards members of a particular political party (and therefore trolling!), to some, but useful discussion to others? It's far too subjective.

I'm not sure you read my post.

Anyway, the point is that people who run boards have a choice. No moderation means choosing a race to the bottom. Some moderation means roughly choosing (only roughly) what kind of board you're going to have. Yes, it is subjective, but that's just how it goes. If Bob and company want a board they have to choose what kind of board they're going to have. There's no escaping that. If rejecting subjectivity is your requirement then you're going to get a race to the bottom.

Bobby G
09-05-2009, 12:24 AM
That made me laugh out loud!

In my defense it's been a long time since I've been in school. I forget how much standards have slipped. A grad school instructor I know has told me about student behavior that's shocking: talking in class, eating noisily, playing video games on laptops, talking on cell phones, you name it. The average age of these students is 25+ years old! I tell my informant that I'd just throw them out and fail them, but apparently that's just not done. I can't understand why not.

I don't know for sure why it's done, but I fear that if I were to do that I would get terrible student evaluations, and student evaluations are a component of your tenure evaluation.

Now, just because I fear that, it doesn't mean it's true--it could be that a lot of students would appreciate it, and it could be that a lot of students would learn more if that kind of environment were enforced early on.

In students' defense, some students really want to take notes and are even good at note-taking (though that is, admittedly, quite rare), and can't take good notes without using their computer. The problem is, such students make up between 1% and 10% of the student population (I would guess) with the other 90% being those who could take just as bad notes with pen-and-paper as they do with computer, and who would find it much more difficult to play videogames and/or Facebook without their computers and iPhones.

Now I'm beginning to think I should enforce this policy! I'd have to get more confrontational, though. Maybe a bunch of knock-down, drag-out arguments with BJKeefe would stiffen my spine.

kidneystones
09-05-2009, 01:50 PM
Brenda and the other site administrators generally do a very good job. The three spam-busters provide an invaluable service and deserve our thanks for their efforts on behalf of us all. They did not create the 'moderator' problem; but we know who did.

The draft of the comments policy might work if the folks who comment most exhibited any desire to abide by 'rules'. As anyone can see from this thread, the biggest name-callers are understandably upset by the prospect of civil debate. Expect more assaults until that changes.

As one of the originals, those solicited to comment (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,6104,6131#msg-6131) on the organization of the board and bhtv way back in August 2006, I take great pleasure in knowing that my suggestions (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,501,505#msg-505) and complaints have played (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,21823,22000#msg-22000) such an enormous part in the evolution of the site (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/7636?in=48:45&out=49:30): from changing the revolting color scheme (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,21823,21993#msg-21993) to helping bhtv realize that wrapping the bhtv brand around three turds wasn't the best way to demonstrate ideological neutrality, good judgment, or even common sense.

Lacking forethought, (her own explanation); or perhaps blinded by ideological bias, Brenda made three of the most prolific and mean-spirited board members 'moderators'. Brenda and Bob evidently never considered the fact that investors might find the narrow ideological bias of these three and their intensely personal attacks on regular commenters off-putting or offensive.

That state of ignorant bliss ended when I drew attention to the appalling optics of the 'thug-moderators', which cast bhtv in the most unsavory light. The response, predictably,was: shoot the messenger (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17971?in=13:05&out=13:47). Brenda's half-assed solution was to remove the 'moderator' title from beneath the user-names. However, anyone looking at the list of site moderators still sees the same three aggressive individuals listed as the site's moderators.

There may, of course, be some 'special bhtv bug' that renders the vBulletin 'return moderator to regular usergroup' feature inoperative. This exchange in the vBulletin moderator forum (http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=276434&highlight=removing+moderators), however, suggests she can. A generic spambuster moderator could then be created. Brenda could provide the log-in details to the spambusters, who could, in turn, log-on and labor in true anonymity.

How easy would it be for spambusters to purge and spew at the same time while logged-in under two different ids in different browsers? I created bhtv username spambuster1, yesterday. I'm currently logged at bhtv as spambuster1 in Safari; and as kidneystones in Firefox. I can post on the forum as both. Will Brenda make the necessary changes? I'd be the first to cheer. Instead, all we'll likely see are shrieks of 'sock-puppet'. Kind of makes my point.

Bhtv has always been a bit slow to take up my suggestions (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,501,505#msg-505), but invariably gets with the program (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,12870,12912#msg-12912). I frankly don't expect Brenda to make any concrete effort to correct the 'moderator' problem for at least a year. Of course, the fact remains that had I not brought the original glaring error to Bob's attention every site visitor would still be treated to site 'moderators' hurling abuse at board members and guest diavloggers alike, all in the name of free speech.

As for the actual threat of censorship, the record confirms that real site moderators alter comment content (http://forums.bloggingheads.tv/phorum/read.php?1,84,84#msg-84). That's the rarest of exceptions, however, and I certainly don't fear that kind of censorship. Bob looked at peace. The tempest over two scientists pulling the pin is great publicity. The site occupies the intellectual center and welcomes fair-minded debate. It's all good.

AemJeff
09-05-2009, 02:13 PM
...
How easy would it be for spambusters to purge and spew at the same time logged-in under two different ids in different browsers? I created bhtv username spambuster1, yesterday. I'm currently logged at bhtv as spambuster1 in Safari; and as kidneystones in Firefox. I can post on the forum as both. Will Brenda make the necessary changes? I'd be the first to cheer. Instead, all we'll likely see are shrieks of 'sock-puppet'. Kind of makes my point.
...

Aargh, I give up! Guilty as charged! I created this identity (JeffsPuppet (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/member.php?u=6580)) months ago as part of an evil plan to deprive kidneystones of a platform from which to rave and spit!

I thought my clever naming ruse would prevent detection of my evil sock puppet identity, and allow me unfettered access to every posting on the site that my virulently pro-Obama fixation forces me to alter. But now kidney's superhuman perceptions and keen analysis have left my plans in ruins! Oh, despair!

Lyle
09-05-2009, 02:43 PM
This is a horrible definition of a troll, i.e., it's all in the eye of the beholder. I know one, when I see one... rubbish.

AemJeff
09-05-2009, 02:46 PM
This is an example of rewarding a troll.

nikkibong
09-05-2009, 02:50 PM
This is an example of rewarding a troll.

I think this points to the problem of defining "troll." Lyle may be irritating and obtuse at times . . .but from every definition of "troll" that I've seen, he doesn't fit it.

AemJeff
09-05-2009, 02:55 PM
I think this points to the problem of defining "troll." Lyle may be irritating and obtuse at times . . .but from every definition of "troll" that I've seen, he doesn't fit it.

My post was a joke, of course; but, I think the post it responded to was a pretty good example. It is possible to troll in one post but not in another. I think I'd score that poster at a ratio greater than one half, which, it sounds like, doesn't agree with your assessment.

bjkeefe
09-05-2009, 08:15 PM
[...]

Every time I think you cannot possibly top yourself when it comes to incoherency of thought, self-aggrandizement, paranoia, and a sense of perspective that the word insane does not even begin to cover, you surprise me yet again.

You are what we would have obtained had we buried Richard Nixon in King's Pet Sematary.

Brenda
09-06-2009, 01:27 AM
Kidneystones, what on earth are you talking about??

kidneystones
09-06-2009, 02:01 AM
You do good work here and for that I'm grateful.

Rather than simply criticize your lack of foresight and your insensitivity to the optics of linking the bhtv brand to three of the site's most ideologically-driven and abusive clones, I'm offering a workable solution to the problem.

My experiment as spambuster1/kidneystones confirms that the 'spambusters' could purge spam in the background while posting under their own ids. They'd have two ids: one as regular commenters; another anonymous id as spambusters. Doesn't vBulletin allow super-administrators to return forum 'moderators' to the pool of regular users? The exchange in the vBulletin forum I linked to certainly suggests you can.

No more bad optics; no more confusion.

I doubt you'll make any effort to implement my suggestion, but I'm always happy to help bhtv out whenever I can. I'm a light-a-candle kind of guy.

Hope this helps.

Whatfur
09-06-2009, 07:29 AM
Kidneystones, what on earth are you talking about??

Brenda,

Maybe this is an appropriate response from you in a PM or maybe something more on the lines of "Mr. Stones, I am not following <this>, could you please clarify?"

Instead...here in YOUR thread, whose purpose is to set down guidelines for behavior, you choose to step over a steaming pile of ad hominem insult to vent personal frustration at someone else (the opposition maybe?). I find this sadly illuminating.

bjkeefe
09-06-2009, 08:47 AM
This guy ...

[...]

... talking about appropriate behavior in an online forum.

kidneystones
09-06-2009, 09:30 AM
of his 'moderator' title. After all the protestations about principle, the moniker does evidently matter. A lot, (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=128925#post128925) it seems.

You may wish to check with Jeff and Twin to see whether they're willing to labor in anonymity. As I said, I'm grateful to all three for deleting spam for us.

Brendan wants to be seen as a 'Moderator' and that's that. You'll have to deal with him. Good luck.

SkepticDoc
09-06-2009, 09:33 AM
It's the "I'm the victim" approach...

bjkeefe
09-06-2009, 09:49 AM
of his 'moderator' title. After all the protestations about principle, the moniker does evidently matter. A lot, (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=128925#post128925) it seems.

A more meaningful link (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=128913#post128913) might be of use.

You may wish to check with Jeff and Twin to see whether they're willing to labor in anonymity.

Yes, I'll be interested in seeing if they acquiesce to your latest temper tantrum. I'm betting they're no more willing than I am to be bullied by your deranged howling.

Whatfur
09-06-2009, 09:56 AM
It's the "I'm the victim" approach...

Hmmm??? Interesting??? Victim??? How do you figure?? Now...Mr. Stones I guess was certainly a victim of being slurred by Mr. O'Keefe and possibly a victim of Brenda's biase, but he claimed no victimhood. Au contraire, he chose the high road and thoughtfully re-explained his point while complimenting the administrator.

Mr. O'Keefe can ironically point to irony, but I cannot without somehow looking to achieve victimhood status. ...and so it goes

Whatfur
09-06-2009, 10:00 AM
...
Yes, I'll be interested in seeing if they acquiesce to your latest temper tantrum. I'm betting they're no more willing than I am to be bullied by your deranged howling.

Ahhh yes ...the bully (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=128361#post128361).

More "Irony"?

bjkeefe
09-06-2009, 10:02 AM
Ahhh yes ...the bully (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=128361#post128361).

More "Irony"?

I'm a "bully" because I prefer to be specific and name names when I'm making a point about a very small number of commenters? Strange dictionary you got there, 'fur.

kidneystones
09-06-2009, 10:14 AM
Really. I'm a one-man wrecking machine bent on destroying the site. I'm not advocating Brendan shut-up. Simply that he and Twin, particularly, be prevented from dragging brand bhtv into their personal vendettas.

Point is: when individuals identified as site moderators by title create threads such as 'Dems are a Cult', or '50% of Dems are Truthers', Bob's got a problem convincing investors of the neutrality and balance of the site. Especially when the slurs all tilt one way.

My guess is a few of them actually believe that the Moderator title, branding bhtv to the bile, never actually registered with visitors until we pointed it out. Like nobody would notice. Hello?

Adjusting vBulletin the way I've suggested would seem to remove the problem completely. Let's give credit to all three for the work they do.

Crazy talk. I know.

Whatfur
09-06-2009, 10:21 AM
I'm a "bully" because I prefer to be specific and name names when I'm making a point about a very small number of commenters? Strange dictionary you got there, 'fur.

Why...Mr. O'Keefe....???

I think you need to borrow my "strange dictionary" and look up "deflection".

The link I provided is full of truths but not one of them relate to you "naming names". (but yeah!..shhhhhhhhh!...maybe that will keep some from re-reading it).

Pretty slick though, Mr. O'Keefe, trying to change that horse midstream ...and into something you think you can wear like a badge. Classic.

bjkeefe
09-06-2009, 10:35 AM
Why...Mr. O'Keefe....???

I think you need to borrow my "strange dictionary" and look up "deflection".

The link I provided is full of truths but not one of them relate to you "naming names". (but yeah!..shhhhhhhhh!...maybe that will keep some from re-reading it).

Pretty slick though, Mr. O'Keefe, trying to change that horse midstream ...and into something you think you can wear like a badge. Classic.

I quoted your link in my previous reply (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=128944#post128944) to you, so anyone who wants to see what you're talking about is welcome to read it and make his or her own judgment.

I'm have no idea what horse you think I'm trying to change, nor what you think I'm trying to deflect, nor do I understand what you hope to accomplish by calling me by a name that isn't mine. I guess about the only thing that's really going on here is you have become emboldened by kidneystones and you're back to hurling at me whatever pops into your sad little mind.

bjkeefe
09-06-2009, 10:44 AM
Really. I'm a one-man wrecking machine bent on destroying the site.

Two truthful statements in one day! Whoa!

Whatfur
09-06-2009, 10:54 AM
...
I'm have no idea what horse you think I'm trying to change
, nor what you think I'm trying to deflect

You think that's believable? u funny. You either have to take your buddies here to be fools or realize they let it slide because they have accepted your behavioral issues.

your sad little mind.
I guess I again leave you to insult and flail.

bjkeefe
09-06-2009, 11:13 AM
You think that's believable? u funny. You either have to take your buddies here to be fools or realize they let it slide because they have accepted your behavioral issues.

I note you are unable to spell out what it is you mean. I suppose you think keeping your aspersions as vague as possible is a better strategy, since you have no hope of carrying a point by being specific.

I guess I again leave you to insult and flail.

My reference (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=128952#post128952) to your sad little mind is not an insult. It's an observation, based on your behavior here since you started posting. Nor are three words "flailing." Anyone who wants can read what you write, particularly when you're addressing me, and come to his or her own conclusions. You'll conceivably be able to get a few pats on the back, mostly out of tribal loyalty, but I'm pretty sure I know how the strong majority will see it.

cragger
09-06-2009, 01:23 PM
So the thread about a new comment policy intended to improve discourse on the BH forums decends into another repeat of the same personal and partisan bickering fest.

And this particular sub-thread begins with a post in which one commenter refers to Jeff, BJ, and Twin as "three turds". Hows that new thing about name calling working out?

A general comment on the new comments policy:

If BHTV wants to keep the forums, and wants to maintain some standards on them you may need to face up to the fact that quite a few people act like spoiled children on the internet. BHTV has yelled "play nice" several times now, and the noise drops for a few minutes and starts right back up. It may be time for the adults to switch to a tough love approach. Decide you aren't going to get into endless arguments about why Billy's post was deleted and not Joey's, just whack-a-mole.

Whatfur
09-06-2009, 02:28 PM
Pick your sub-thread any sub-thead.

Nice to see you were able to understand Mr. Stones. Maybe you should explain that post to the others who seemed to have had trouble doing so. Complete with a naming of the turds for us! Thanks! Mr. Stones was nice enough to have left SOME ambiguity.

On the other hand, I think you sold your post a little short. Why focus on "turd"s when you could have chosen:

"a platform from which to rave and spit!"
"incoherency of thought"
"self-aggrandizement",
"paranoia",
"insane does not even begin to cover"
"temper tantrum"
"deranged howling"
"sad little mind"

and the ever popular and I'm sure an O'Keefe O'riginal:

"You are what we would have obtained had we buried Richard Nixon in King's Pet Sematary." <insert guffaw>

But yeah, ok, "turd".... run with that one ...to show how unbiased and adult you are. Did you read the link I provided? I highly suggest it.

Lyle
09-06-2009, 03:51 PM
I think kidneystones is simply pointing out that the 3 spambusters are all politically left and at least one of them can be quite abusive to other posters.

Brenda
09-06-2009, 06:13 PM
Lyle, thanks for trying to clarify Kidneystones's meaning. If that's what he meant (is it, Kidneystones?), I still don't see the problem. What difference does the spambusters' political leanings make? All they do is delete spam.

Brenda
09-06-2009, 06:18 PM
I'm sorry, I still don't understand what you perceive to be the problem. The spambusters delete spam. That's it. I don't see any kind of optics issue.

Brenda
09-06-2009, 06:21 PM
Whatfur, I apologize for my tone in that post.

kidneystones
09-06-2009, 09:39 PM
I've no problem acknowledging my impatience with what I've long seen as the half-assed approach Bob has taken with the site as my original post detailed.

However, the links in the post confirm that Bob has largely adopted all my suggestions: dump the color scheme, get the ads to the right of the screen, get the comments off the main page etc, etc, etc.

To summarize your position: You understand that the moderators only delete spam; therefore everyone (including first-time visitors) understands that moderators aren't really moderators, they're spam-busters. So the politics are immaterial.

Is that about right?

kidneystones
09-06-2009, 10:05 PM
Thanks for the reply and change in tone.

Let's be clear. And the three turds reference might be a good example. You're aware I'm sure that I've been called a 'racist', 'toxic', 'kidney-cancer', etc, etc.

What you don't recognize is that folks on the right find Jeff, Brendan, and Twin every bit as fetid as some find me. That's hard, perhaps, for you to accept. But it's true.

You yourself noted that calling folks 'racist' is not acceptable. Why not? Lots of reasons, the most important of which is that name-calling of this kind reflects very badly on the site. Doubly so, I contend, when the individual hurling the bucket o' crap is a bhtv site moderator.

I think you do understand the concept of creating a bad impression. And I'm appreciative of your patience and of your effort to understand my point. The solution I'm proposing allows Brendan et al to hurl all the abuse you deem acceptable by denuding them of their public links to the site.

They do good work and I understand completely their role. I've visited the site page where folks working for bhtv are listed. If they do deserve public recognition, why not place them their names there and stipulate clearly their job-titles and responsibilities?

There's nothing surprising about the fact that bhtv doesn't see any problem with the optics, as I tried to demonstrate in my initial post.

Imagine bhtv 'Moderator' beneath every single comment posted by whatfur, Lyle, Denville Steve, and I.

Would there be an optics problem then?

Hope this helps, really. Cheers.

Whatfur
09-06-2009, 10:06 PM
Whatfur, I apologize for my tone in that post.
I reciprocate.

Of course, Mr. Stones was the one in line for one, but I see you have that covered also.

I really appreciate your response here. Thanks.

Lyle
09-07-2009, 12:25 AM
True, and I don't disagree, but there is symbolism to it I guess. I can see how it looks bad to those on the abused end of a bjkeefe rant.

To some people its like having an all white-male Supreme Court. Maybe there's nothing really wrong with it, if they're all just doing their job, but it just looks bad (to some people). Obviously spambusting at bh.tv. is much less important and doesn't affect a single poster, but I think this is some people's issue with it.

But I'm with you though, it doesn't mean anything.

themightypuck
09-09-2009, 02:06 AM
I don't see how these rules will have a positive impact on discourse. 1 and 4 seem pretty good ideas but 2 and 3? I don't think words like fuck and cunt have ever derailed a discussion here. Bob, with his understanding of evolutionary processes, should know that moderation and culture are the only things that work in these situations.

popcorn_karate
09-09-2009, 02:51 PM
I think you may be the only one that notices these "optics", except to the extent that you try to point it out in almost every thread.

if you were to stop ranting about this non-issue, would the "optics" be different? If i walked into a room, i probably would not notice a fly on the wall - unless someone was making a huge effort to point it out to me.

wouldn't the simplest fix to what you identify as a problem - to simply stop trying to make it a problem?

Whatfur
09-09-2009, 06:02 PM
Game, set, MATCH.

Ummmm....not really. I was gone for a number of months and when I came back to see the "Moderator" tag associated with ...well...who I saw it associated with I thought it a telling disgrace. (and still do) I AGREE with Mr. Stones that perception trumps the fact that their moderator abilities are stunted and unless a new someone does ask; that someone may come in get beat up by the usual suspects...see moderator by their name...and never bother again to come back. I think this happened to Newt Gingrich who was here posting under the name "handle", but I could be mistaken.

I thought Mr. Stones also demonstrated a rather simple method of negating this as a problem. I find it hard to understand why that simple suggestion is not accommodated.

bjkeefe
09-09-2009, 06:31 PM
... perception trumps the fact ...

Spoken like a Real Conservative.

Whatfur
09-09-2009, 07:15 PM
Spoken like a Real Conservative.

Taken out of context like an ability stunted moderator.

Why is it again that you seem beholden to having the moderator by your name? Just seems like the utilization of "spambusterI,II,II" would resolve both the conflict and the perception problem quite simply.

bjkeefe
09-09-2009, 07:47 PM
Taken out of context like an ability stunted moderator.

Sense of humor like a Real Conservative (i.e., none).

I'm delighted that you're suddenly against quoting out of context, though I'm not taking any bets on how long that will last.

Why is it again that you seem beholden to having the moderator by your name?

First, it's not "by my name." And don't bother linking to the page I know you're pantingly eager to link to. That's not "by my name."

Second, I'm not beholden. I don't even "seem" that way. No one shares your perceptions. I am against letting this site be driven by a couple of troublemakers, simply because they spend all of their time wailing at the top of their lungs about things that matter not at all.

Third, no one here believes you or kidneystones are sincere in this OMG TEH MODERATORS!!!1! concern-trolling, especially when the two of you are far and away the most offensive commenters posting on this site. This is nothing more than the tantrum of spoiled children looking for a way to get at people who keep making you look foolish by calling attention to what you write.

Stand up for yourselves and stop spending all of your time trying to work the refs.

kidneystones
09-09-2009, 08:49 PM
nb writes...

ok. Let's test your theory. Would anyone notice the word Moderator beneath every one of my posts, and those of Whatfur, Lyle, Denville Steve, or rcocean?

Would that reflect badly on bhtv?

AemJeff
09-09-2009, 08:52 PM
nb writes...

ok. Let's test your theory. Would anyone notice the word Moderator beneath every one of my posts, and those of Whatfur, Lyle, Denville Steve, or rcocean?

Would that reflect badly on bhtv?

Looking for the word "moderator."

Hmm...

Whatfur
09-09-2009, 09:10 PM
Sense of humor like a Real Conservative (i.e., none).

I'm delighted that you're suddenly against quoting out of context, though I'm not taking any bets on how long that will last.



First, it's not "by my name." And don't bother linking to the page I know you're pantingly eager to link to. That's not "by my name."

Second, I'm not beholden. I don't even "seem" that way. No one shares your perceptions. I am against letting this site be driven by a couple of troublemakers, simply because they spend all of their time wailing at the top of their lungs about things that matter not at all.

Third, no one here believes you or kidneystones are sincere in this OMG TEH MODERATORS!!!1! concern-trolling, especially when the two of you are far and away the most offensive commenters posting on this site. This is nothing more than the tantrum of spoiled children looking for a way to get at people who keep making you look foolish by calling attention to what you write.

Stand up for yourselves and stop spending all of your time trying to work the refs.

Oops...sorry

u funny

kidneystones
09-09-2009, 09:41 PM
Jeff writes...[...]

Thank you, Jeff! Made my case: optics matter. Or, rather, according to you: optics no longer matter. That as much as flat-out confirms that site visitors would have no trouble at all noticing my name or whatfur's identified as site moderators. Were Whatfur or I identified as moderators, you'd be deeply discussing what a bad thing that would be for bhtv. Right?

Optics matter, Jeff. They matter to anyone who looks and discovers that three of the most ideologically-biased and aggressive members of this board are (inaccurately) identified as Site Moderators.

I'm curious why a lawyer like you would be petitioning against clarity. Maybe you can convince Brenda to let you and Brendan and Twin to keep your erroneous titles a bit longer. But you're not moderators, are you? So why not just call a spambuster a spambuster and be done with it.

Anyone else, (not) want to take the test? kidneystones as bhtv moderator!

Who's going to notice?

AemJeff
09-09-2009, 10:04 PM
Jeff writes...[...]

Thank you, Jeff! Made my case: optics matter. Or, rather, no longer matter.

You and the rest of the ideologically driven would have no trouble at all noticing my name or whatfur's identified as site moderators and you'd be deeply in discussions about what a bad thing it would be for bhtv.

Optics matter, Jeff.

They matter to anyone who looks and discovers that three of the most ideologically-biased and aggressive members of this board are (inaccurately) identified as Site Moderators.

But thanks for demolishing the argument that optics don't matter. Maybe you can convince Brenda to let you and Brendan to keep your erroneous titles a bit longer. But you're not moderators, are you?

Anyone else, want to take the test? kidneystones as bhtv moderator!

Who's going to notice?

I'd have reasons to notice those names, regardless. nikkibong had you dead to rights. It's just like politics out in the big, bad world. Some people make a lot of noise about things that don't matter at all, because they have a hope it will change things that do matter, to them. "Optics" are in the eye of the beholder.


And, you think I'm a good example of ideological bias? You pay very little attention to detail, I think. Even in my - palpable - dislike of you, I'm not particularly extreme; or unique, as a simple search for posts containing your username, or responding to any of the hundreds of your posts on this site (that you curiously feel compelled to delete on a regular basis) shows pretty clearly.

Brenda
09-09-2009, 10:17 PM
Okay, I think I finally figured out what you're objecting to, Kidneystones. Is it the View Forum Leaders page? I was only vaguely aware of this page's existence, and didn't realize the spambusters' names were listed there.

If that's all that was bothering you, you can sleep well tonight. I've gone ahead and suppressed the "Moderators" listing.

Whatfur
09-09-2009, 10:43 PM
Okay, I think I finally figured out what you're objecting to, Kidneystones. Is it the View Forum Leaders page? I was only vaguely aware of this page's existence, and didn't realize the spambusters' names were listed there.

If that's all that was bothering you, you can sleep well tonight. I've gone ahead and suppressed the "Moderators" listing.

Oh Oh...another win for Mr. Stones.

Brenda, I think you certainly are now on the correct side of "it doesn't matter". ;)

claymisher
09-09-2009, 10:45 PM
Okay, I think I finally figured out what you're objecting to, Kidneystones. Is it the View Forum Leaders page? I was only vaguely aware of this page's existence, and didn't realize the spambusters' names were listed there.

If that's all that was bothering you, you can sleep well tonight. I've gone ahead and suppressed the "Moderators" listing.

kidneystones, now that you've gotten results you should keep up your war against bloggingheads! You're winning!

Brenda
09-09-2009, 11:33 PM
Good grief, I just noticed that Moderators are listed at the bottom of each forum thread listing, too. And even though I'd like to get rid of that, there doesn't seem to be an easy fix, so it'll have to stay for now.

Brenda
09-10-2009, 01:11 AM
kidneystones, now that you've gotten results you should keep up your war against bloggingheads! You're winning!

Don't be silly, Claymisher. You know everyone here is too mature to be keeping score over who gets what obscure changes made to the forum.

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 01:27 AM
Thanks, Jeff.

For honestly conceding that you would notice if I or Whatfur were made moderators. That's the point. And I agree, compared to Brendan or Twin, your arguments are almost balanced.

A succession of conservative board members have attested to the ideological slant of the board; and the swarming tactics of you, Brendan, Twin, and a few others. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for pouring gasoline on John McWhorter so early in the Behe interview.

You've made the optics argument. You'd have a heart-attack if Whatfur, Denville Steve, and Lyle were appointed site Moderators.

As for your personal hostility towards me, I can't say it's mutual. I see you as a muddle-headed, older, unhealthy person who spends too much time at the computer. I just came back from a swim and a long walk by the river. You ought to get out more.

Take care of yourself, really.

AemJeff
09-10-2009, 01:40 AM
Thanks, Jeff.

For honestly conceding that you would notice if I or Whatfur were made moderators. That's the point. And I agree, compared to Brendan or Twin, your arguments are almost balanced.

A succession of conservative board members have attested to the ideological slant of the board; and the swarming tactics of you, Brendan, Twin, and a few others. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for pouring gasoline on John McWhorter so early in the Behe interview.

You've made the optics argument. You'd have a heart-attack if Whatfur, Denville Steve, and Lyle were appointed site Moderators.

As for your personal hostility towards me, I can't say it's mutual. I see you as a muddle-headed, older, unhealthy person who spends too much time at the computer. I just came back from a swim and a long walk by the river. You ought to get out more.

Take care of yourself, really.

Thanks ks. You make so many of my points for me, that my effort in responding is diminished almost to the point where even somebody as old and frail as me can almost complete a post.

Whatfur
09-10-2009, 09:42 AM
Don't be silly, Claymisher. You know everyone here is too mature to be keeping score over who gets what obscure changes made to the forum.

Hmmmm.... this all kind of started back up with Bong's "Game/Set/Match" so I guess your response here cuts nicely both ways... however...

I believe both Clay and myself WERE just being a bit silly...me, tongue in cheek.... him, tongue stuck out, thumbs in ears, fingers fluttering.

Regardless and in any case...

Nice backhand! I guess the 'score' is no longer love-love. I wanna suggest though that you might want to get yourself another user name when taking part in this manner. You see having "administrator" by your name can be intimidating to some ...also creating a new name with certain abilities is much easier and more all-encompassing than relying on code changes.

kidneystones
09-10-2009, 10:50 AM
Hi Brenda,

Thanks for making the effort. Jeff told me to 'fuck-off' on another thread. Wah. Like I said, there's no question, IMHO, of a double-standard. I do hope you make the effort to straighten-out the moderator confusion considering the lack of self-control on display.

I'll be busy for a bit and don't plan to add much more to this discussion, so I'll put my final thoughts on the comments policy here.

As you know, I'm quite capable of dishing out abuse in huge steaming dollops, but I've tried as much as possible to abide by your draft rules and certainly will in the future.

We learned that the attacks on Behe and John started very early into the diavlog. One way of cooling down tempers might be to institute a 'cooling-off' period of 12 hours after you post new diavlogs. Open the comments only after the diavlog has been available for viewing for half-a-day. Some folks would still be rude. But hopefully we'd see an improvement in civility.

Cheers.

kidneystones
09-11-2009, 12:18 AM
Hi Brenda (Greg),

First: the dingalink interface is much, much, much more user friendly. Greg and his team deserve our thanks for placing a counter mechanism in the interface. The feature certainly was 'new' to me. Much better.

I strongly recommend that you promote the new dingalink interface in the diavlogs and on the site. My guess is a request for feedback on the interface in comments or a diavlog will work, as well as a 'try our 'new' link feature' in BIG TYPE on the all pages.

I'd give individual users a much better page that allows users to place clips in essays in an interface much the same as the dv pages, with space for a blogroll, links and VALUABLE ADVERTISING. Clearly, there's a real community and a desire for members to promote their own ideas.

Finally, invite Behe, Numbers, and Myers to register and post monovlogs and essays on their own member pages here. That would absolutely generate hits and controversy. Let this site really become the go-to place for free debate. Behe's critics could post their own critiques here and provide Numbers and Behe equal time to respond.

Great work and cheers!

TwinSwords
09-11-2009, 01:31 AM
..the dingalink interface is much, much, much more user friendly. Greg and his team deserve our thanks for placing a counter mechanism in the interface. The feature certainly was 'new' to me. Much better.

I strongly recommend that you promote the new dingalink interface in the diavlogs and on the site. My guess is a request for feedback on the interface in comments or a diavlog will work, as well as a 'try our 'new' link feature' in BIG TYPE on the all pages.

[...]

Great work and cheers!

Could you be referring to the new dingalink interface (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2015) that was pushed to production last year? About 13 months ago?

kidneystones
09-11-2009, 09:39 AM
Twin writes...[...]

Yes! Reminding folks how good bhtv features are on a regular basis is probably a good idea. Lots of viewers don't hang around to watch every single dv. Many/most have never tried creating a dingalink even once.

Thanks for the link!

Whatfur
09-11-2009, 10:04 AM
Twin writes...[...]

Yes! Reminding folks how good bhtv features are on a regular basis is probably a good idea. Lots of viewers don't hang around to watch every single dv. Many/most have never tried creating a dingalink even once.

Thanks for the link!

Go to the Glen/Virginia vlog as I dingalinked Glen's undercover shout out to you. (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=129653#poststop)

graz
09-11-2009, 12:25 PM
Hi Brenda,

...I'll be busy for a bit and don't plan to add much more to this discussion, so I'll put my final thoughts on the comments policy here.

As you know, I'm quite capable of dishing out abuse in huge steaming dollops, but I've tried as much as possible to abide by your draft rules and certainly will in the future.

We learned that the attacks on Behe and John started very early into the diavlog. One way of cooling down tempers might be to institute a 'cooling-off' period of 12 hours after you post new diavlogs. Open the comments only after the diavlog has been available for viewing for half-a-day. Some folks would still be rude. But hopefully we'd see an improvement in civility.

Cheers...

Brenda,

It's so obvious, perhaps you're too busy to notice, kidneystones is the answer to your problems:

He attests to being eminently qualified to run the bhtv ops on various fronts.

Advertisement - layout, design and editorial - check.

Moderating - fair and balanced - check.

Name-calling and foul language monitor - quite familiar with post scrubbing for clarity and cleanliness - check.

Spam-busting - knows it when he sees it - check.

A veritable one-man band. That's got to be a relief.
Hey let's give him a hand for his tireless efforts (referencing your concerns about his ability to sleep soundly) on our behalf.

thouartgob
09-11-2009, 12:58 PM
Imagine bhtv 'Moderator' beneath every single comment posted by whatfur, Lyle, Denville Steve, and I.

Would there be an optics problem then?

Hope this helps, really. Cheers.

It does. I think if "Y" is added to variations on names it might reduce the stress of seeing them associated with moderator status.

whatfur -> furry
Lyle -> Lily
Denville Steve -> Denny
kidneystones -> kissy

Feeling warm and fuzzy already.

thouartgob -> gobby ?

Whatfur
09-11-2009, 01:37 PM
It does. I think if "Y" is added to variations on names it might reduce the stress of seeing them associated with moderator status.

whatfur -> furry
Lyle -> Lily
Denville Steve -> Denny
kidneystones -> kissy

Feeling warm and fuzzy already.

thouartgob -> gobby ?

u funny gobby

furry

kezboard
09-11-2009, 02:36 PM
I've never noticed. I swear this is nothing to do with my political leanings. In fact, I have no idea what the crap you're talking about.

Lyle
09-11-2009, 02:42 PM
Here's what they've been talking about:

Okay, I think I finally figured out what you're objecting to, Kidneystones. Is it the View Forum Leaders page? I was only vaguely aware of this page's existence, and didn't realize the spambusters' names were listed there.

If that's all that was bothering you, you can sleep well tonight. I've gone ahead and suppressed the "Moderators" listing.

Good grief, I just noticed that Moderators are listed at the bottom of each forum thread listing, too. And even though I'd like to get rid of that, there doesn't seem to be an easy fix, so it'll have to stay for now.

uncle ebeneezer
09-11-2009, 03:09 PM
Me neither, honestly. I would have never even known who the moderators were if it wasn't whined about obsessively on a regular basis.

graz
09-11-2009, 04:34 PM
... I would have never even known who the moderators were ...

Strike moderators... insert spam-busters... after all, optics matter.

stephanie
09-11-2009, 06:00 PM
Me neither, honestly. I would have never even known who the moderators were if it wasn't whined about obsessively on a regular basis.

Same here (or spambusters or whatever). And despite the whining I could never figure out where it was supposedly listed that was supposed to give me worries. The whole thing is rather tiresome and reflects badly on those whining, IMO.

So the result of all this is that I now have seen where it's listed. It still seems a huge nothing, and I rather hate that positive reinforcement seems to have been given to baseless accusations.

But I guess I'm not going to get upset with bhTV over it or anything, given that too many people are doing that lately.

graz
09-11-2009, 06:25 PM
So the result of all this is that I now have seen where it's listed. It still seems a huge nothing, and I rather hate that positive reinforcement seems to have been given to baseless accusations.



Bingo... the terrorists win... again.

Bhtv: We build our brand while undercutting our base.

It's all part of a grand (intelligent) design (scheme)... I mean evolutionary process. In one lifetime spans they call it "growing pains."

Me&theboys
09-11-2009, 09:15 PM
Bhtv: We build our brand while undercutting our base.


I share your sentiments and bemoan the trend.

kidneystones
09-11-2009, 09:39 PM
graz writes....[...]

Bingo is right!

... the terrorists win... again.

Win what? Brendan and Twin aren't moderators in any sense of the word.

Bhtv: We build our brand while undercutting our base...

That's what I'm talking about. Building brand to include all the folks Brendan and company see contaminating the site. I want Behe on bhtv on a regular basis and I want his supporters to come here and join the community.

You'll disagree, of course.

Starwatcher162536
09-11-2009, 10:26 PM
graz writes....[...]

[...]

That's what I'm talking about. Building brand to include all the folks Brendan and company see contaminating the site. I want Behe on bhtv on a regular basis and I want his supporters to come here and join the community.

You'll disagree, of course.

So, do you want the Behe crowd to become regulars here, as a simple business decision? That is you feel the addition of Behe's crowd will add more viewers to Bloggingheads then it will drive off.

Or do you have sympathies to Behe and that creationist guy views, or at the very least feel those kind of topics are not settled to the point where they should no longer be discussed?

I myself would rather not have Behe come back, as after looking over this some, I do not feel he is a good faith participant. I feel he is a knowing peddler of bullshit.

That being said, it isn't a huge deal to me, I just hope the addition of more of Behe and Nielson? type diavlogs are not at the cost of having less diavlogs on more substantial topics.

AemJeff
09-11-2009, 10:36 PM
So, do you want the Behe crowd to become regulars here, as a simple business decision? That is you feel the addition of Behe's crowd will add more viewers to Bloggingheads then it will drive off.

Or do you have sympathies to Behe and that creationist guy views, or at the very least feel those kind of topics are not settled to the point where they should no longer be discussed?

I myself would rather not have Behe come back, as after looking over this some, I do not feel he is a good faith participant. I feel he is a knowing peddler of bullshit.

That being said, it isn't a huge deal to me, I just hope the addition of more of Behe and Nielson? type diavlogs are not at the cost of having less diavlogs on more substantial topics.

You make the mistake of assuming that kidney's purpose bears any direct relationship to his assertions. He'll be happy regardless, as long as somebody is taking some notice that he's saying something.

graz
09-11-2009, 10:59 PM
That's what I'm talking about. Building brand to include all the folks Brendan and company see contaminating the site. I want Behe on bhtv on a regular basis and I want his supporters to come here and join the community.

For such a highly self-regarded academic, I'm surprised that your not acute enough to recognize the flaw in your programming hopes. Behe and followers have no mechanism for coexisting outside of their flock. You'd certainly be welcomed as a member there, but they have no desire to adjust to the real world or accommodate unbelievers in an open community. They are more steadfast and unforgiving than you credit Brendan and co. of being.

To my mind you're like Groucho Marx. In that you really don't want to be a part of any community that would have you as a member. Until bhtv achieves the kidneystones stamp of approval, you remain reproachful and apart, while sometimes acting as if you were a paid consultant who's one idea is to remind all that the secret formula is available, if only asked for?

Do tell what the kidneystones conversion of bhtv would entail? We've already covered optics and advertisement. How about booking and editorial policy. For example would your tendency for post-scrubbing carry over into deleting DV content if it failed your approval? Continuing the hypothetical, now that you are the referee, whom do you imagine will replace you as the oppressed, aggrieved minority of one?

Lastly, tell me that my suspicion that your true desires include disrupting and undermining the bhtv brand and forum especially, is unfounded?

kidneystones
09-12-2009, 07:41 AM
graz writes...

One of your more amusing posts. Behe and company might well bring out the pitchforks at the 1.5 second mark of the dv, or the 2.25 mark of a dv; and prove your point. They might not watch at all; and then spew forth on the content for days. In short, Behe and company at their worst might well behave as Brendan and Eb do at their best. I'd like to see Behe and Numbers here on a regular basis.

I'd have preferred to avoid mentioning the sad record of this board; a record that shows the overwhelming majority of guests see no reason at all to respond to what passes for discourse here. Why? Well, we've learned recently, again, that widely-praised comments on the bhtv board need not informed by fact.

I'd like to see you and the rest of the most prolific given your own special forum at bhtv called 'I don't need to watch the dvs to comment on them'. That way visitors would know the value of your contributions up front. You, Brendan, and Eb could moderate that forum. I'd have absolutely no objection at all.

TwinSwords
09-12-2009, 02:20 PM
Brendan and Twin aren't moderators in any sense of the word.
Except one.

"Moderator" is the name of a role in the vBulletin forum management system, a role that has been assigned to Brendan, Jeff, and me. Speaking strictly as a factual matter, we are moderators.

So what does a "moderator" do? Whatever they are told to do by the Site Admin. It varies from forum to forum. On this forum, the mandate has been clear from the start, and repeated many times; the role was granted for one purpose (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=92763#post92763): to delete spam. We have never used our moderator powers for anything else.

That said, we do want people to understand that we don't do anything more than delete spam. While there isn't any evidence that confusion about our role has been a problem, one can imagine, in the abstract, the possibility. So, out of an abundance of caution, we have always supported efforts to clarify our role and hide, to whatever extent possible, the appearance of the moderator label. I will add, however, that the only time clarification has been needed has been to address misinformation posted by you. Apart from your year-long effort to mislead people, I'm not aware that confusion about our role has ever been a problem for BhTV.

stephanie
09-12-2009, 03:21 PM
graz writes....[...]I want Behe on bhtv on a regular basis...

That doesn't seem to be what Bob Wright wants, however.

kidneystones
09-13-2009, 11:35 PM
star. writes....[...]

Zero-sum? That's what PZ and the other 'terrorists' want to make the argument. I support the peer-revue for Science Saturday topics. Behe and company feed off the rejection by claiming their 'arguments' expose weaknesses in Darwinian accounts of natural selection.

Rather than lecture Behe and company I listen to them. I certainly don't believe the Young Earth theory to be the least bit contagious. Part of the mission of bhtv should be engagement and education.

I don't see any point in simply preaching to the Darwinian choir as some here are currently advocating. My guess is that the current squabble has sent at least one of the biggest wind-bags off to the library to find out what it is he's actually defending.

In that sense I can understand why a few wish to keep Behe out; they'd be forced to rely on information rather than invective to make the Darwinian case.

Linking to other people's book reviews; or crafting little smiley face cartoons doesn't really cut it, IMHO. I think bhtv can do better. But that's just me.

Starwatcher162536
09-16-2009, 06:21 PM
star. writes....[...]

[...]

Linking to other people's book reviews; or crafting little smiley face cartoons doesn't really cut it, IMHO. I think bhtv can do better. But that's just me.

Linking to articles that do a fairly systematic job of refuting Behe does not cut it?

I would say linking to such articles is preferable to some random post by the likes of me or you. The authors of linked articles probably put alot more thought into their articles then the average internet commenter (Myself included)

kidneystones
09-17-2009, 08:56 PM
star writes...[...]

I agree. The link to real authority underscores the point.

look
09-30-2009, 05:05 PM
I'd give individual users a much better page that allows users to place clips in essays in an interface much the same as the dv pages, with space for a blogroll, links and VALUABLE ADVERTISING. Clearly, there's a real community and a desire for members to promote their own ideas.
Will you please expand on this, KS? With so many people here running their own blog sites, I've long thought that Bob adding journal/diary capabilities, a la TPM and Kos, might generate valuble traffic and commentary.

kidneystones
10-03-2009, 07:40 AM
look writes...[...]

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Each user has a customizable page on this site. There might be some problems with folks abusing the hospitality. The level of abuse tapered off while our most prolific took a week off.

The attacks on fellow-members are as bad as ever. The most prolific are ignoring Brenda's request for civility.

look
10-03-2009, 01:22 PM
look writes...[...]

You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. Each user has a customizable page on this site. Financially, would it be a big chunk for Bob to buy extra server space, or whatever?

bjkeefe
10-03-2009, 03:39 PM
Financially, would it be a big chunk for Bob to buy extra server space, or whatever?

No. Server space is so cheap now that the electricity is the dominant cost; i.e., pennies per hour.

What might be expensive (apart from the initial development) would be the person-hours required to do the extra policing that would have to be done,* unless Bh.tv felt comfortable with the rest of the world thinking that whatever their users posted on their personal pages, it had nothing to do with Bh.tv itself.

I'm guessing that a site that feels compelled to have a Comments Guidelines page is not going to be comfortable with a laissez-faire attitude toward a set of community-built pages. Thus, I would imagine that their attitude is more like, "Meh -- anyone who wants to run a blog or a Facebook page or whatever can already do so, for free, and we already support in several ways linking to one's site, so put this community pages idea on the 'It Would Be Nice, But ...' list until we get huge money and can afford to hire more staff."

==========
*(Since "the most prolific" would undoubtedly go wild with a new opportunity to be "abusive," causing much furious squeaking among "some.")

look
08-11-2010, 07:51 PM
Here's a draft of a comments policy we're considering. We look forward to your feedback.

COMMENTS POLICY FOR THE BLOGGINGHEADS COMMUNITY

We welcome all political viewpoints in the Bloggingheads forum, and encourage lively debate, but we do ask that you treat other commenters with common decency. We don’t like to censor* posts or ban people from the forum, but we do so when necessary to keep the environment from getting too ugly.

We particularly aim to keep the "Diavlog comments" subforum civil and on-topic, so we enforce a higher standard there than in the other two subforums.**

Here are our baseline rules for the "Diavlog comments" subforum:

#1 No name-calling aimed at fellow commenters or diavloggers.

#2 No gratuitously rude comments aimed at diavloggers.

#3 Use four-letter words sparingly, if at all.

#4 Use the vBulletin quote function only for real quotations.

Notes on the rules:

re: #1 Like most superficially simple rules, this one is easier to state than to enforce fairly—one man’s verbal abuse is another man’s fair and accurate characterization. Here are some examples of what we’d label name-calling: moron, idiot, asshat, wingnut, moonbat, troll—and, absent very good evidence: racist. (To be clear: We don't proscribe the use of such words, only their use as epithets against other commenters, either directly or by implication.)

re: #2 In particular, avoid derogatory or demeaning remarks about physical appearance and speaking style. Don’t forget that many diavloggers read the comments section.

re: #3 Fair warning: A post containing profanity that appears early in the comments (“above the fold” on the videopage) may be hidden from the videopage,* even if the post is loaded with insightful substance.

re: #4 We realize that sometimes commenters like to fabricate quotes for humorous or rhetorical purposes, but we think this compromises the integrity of the quote format. Readers should be able to trust that if something looks like a quote, it really is a quote.

* * * * *

*Note that we have two levels of post-removal: (a) “hiding” a post, which removes it only from the videopage (it can still be viewed in the forum), and (b) “deleting” a post, which removes it from both the videopage and the forum thread.

**The "Diavlog comments" subforum is the one that feeds comments from the vBulletin forum onto the videopage (directly below the diavlog). This subforum has exactly one thread per diavlog, and no other threads. The other two, less structured subforums are "General comments about Bloggingheads.tv" and "Life, the Universe and Everything."Brenda, has a final draft ever been completed? If so, will you please post it as a sticky? Thanks.

Brenda
08-11-2010, 09:39 PM
Brenda, has a final draft ever been completed? If so, will you please post it as a sticky? Thanks.

It's under FAQ (in the horizontal gray menu).

look
08-11-2010, 10:01 PM
It's under FAQ (in the horizontal gray menu).

#1 No name-calling aimed at fellow commenters or diavloggers.

#2 No gratuitously rude comments about diavloggers’ physical appearance or speaking style.

#3 No fabricated quotes—use the vBulletin quote function only for real quotations.
Thanks, Brenda.

look
09-16-2010, 06:29 PM
For what infraction was Whatfur banned, please?

Starwatcher162536
09-16-2010, 08:14 PM
Unless he/she posted some particularly damning posts that were later deleted that I did not see, I cannot agree with his banning.

Brenda
09-16-2010, 08:31 PM
He was banned for sending abusive private messages to forum members.

look
09-16-2010, 08:53 PM
He was banned for sending abusive private messages to forum members.Thanks for your reply.

In light of the incessant trolling that graz and handle were permitted to wage against him, were these PMs out of bounds?

Brenda
09-16-2010, 09:05 PM
These incidents didn't involve handle or graz.

graz
09-16-2010, 09:12 PM
Thanks for your reply.

In light of the incessant trolling that graz and handle were permitted to wage against him, were these PMs out of bounds?

Get over it scoldylocks.

look
09-16-2010, 09:22 PM
These incidents didn't involve handle or graz.

Have these PMs been authenticated? By which I mean, is it possible to tell if they were tampered with?

If they can be authenticated, I suggest you do so, no matter who the recipient was.

graz
09-16-2010, 09:29 PM
Have these PMs been authenticated? By which I mean, is it possible to tell if they were tampered with?

If they can be authenticated, I suggest you do so, no matter who the recipient was.

You no doubt fancy yourself a wellspring of fairness. But your self righteous maneuvering vis a vis commenting guidelines, administrative due diligence and protector of your conservative flock is hardly balanced ... more like pitiable.

nikkibong
09-16-2010, 10:02 PM
Have these PMs been authenticated? By which I mean, is it possible to tell if they were tampered with?

If they can be authenticated, I suggest you do so, no matter who the recipient was.

FYI, whatfur sent me a few Kaczynski-style PMs in the past.

i have no doubt that whatever PMs he got banned for were authentic.

nikkibong
09-16-2010, 10:03 PM
Unless he/she posted

wtf?

look
09-16-2010, 10:10 PM
FYI, whatfur sent me a few Kaczynski-style PMs in the past.

i have no doubt that whatever PMs he got banned for were authentic.To my sweet, gentle nikki? My fellow Sully-sneerer? Oh, heart. Oh, cruel dagger. If it be done, let it be done quickly!

By the by, what was he in a huff about?

handle
09-16-2010, 10:13 PM
So I refer to the wiki... shoot me: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_%28Internet%29)
"Application of the term troll is highly subjective. Some readers may characterize a post as trolling, while others may regard the same post as a legitimate contribution to the discussion, even if controversial. The term is often used as an ad hominem strategy to discredit an opposing position by attacking its proponent.

Often, calling someone a troll makes assumptions about a writer's motives. Regardless of the circumstances, controversial posts may attract a particularly strong response from those unfamiliar with the robust dialogue found in some online, rather than physical, communities. Experienced participants in online forums know that the most effective way to discourage a troll is usually to ignore him or her, because responding tends to encourage trolls to continue disruptive posts — hence the often-seen warning: "Please do not feed the trolls"."

I happen to think partisan link dumping is tantamount to spamming, especially when the link text includes misleading and inflamatory rhetoric. But I am not the type to go squealing like a stuck pig to the site administrators: "Whutsisname is a spammer!" "He keeps spamming me!" "Whut's with all the spamming?" because I know they have better shit to do.

If someone thinks they are holier than me, fine. But don't run around lobbying for a fair shake when it's obviously an advantage you are after, because this will inadvertently tip your hand for all to see, and nothing feeds irritation like embarrassment.

TwinSwords
09-16-2010, 10:15 PM
FYI, whatfur sent me a few Kaczynski-style PMs in the past.

i have no doubt that whatever PMs he got banned for were authentic.

And here's what he's left on my profile page without any consequences.

http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/6002/whatfur.png

(Side note: I wish BhTV would fix all those broken image links -- the red x's -- that appear all over the site.)

chiwhisoxx
09-16-2010, 10:18 PM
FYI, whatfur sent me a few Kaczynski-style PMs in the past.

i have no doubt that whatever PMs he got banned for were authentic.

He sent me a PM at one point excoriating me for...I don't even remember. It involved the title being something like "HEY LISTEN DUMBSHIT" and him saying that he stood up for me in the past, therefore...I don't know. Can't say I'm sorry to see him go.

look
09-16-2010, 11:34 PM
He sent me a PM at one point excoriating me for...I don't even remember. It involved the title being something like "HEY LISTEN DUMBSHIT" and him saying that he stood up for me in the past, therefore...I don't know. Can't say I'm sorry to see him go.INTJs have loyalty issues. Like me.

look
09-16-2010, 11:35 PM
Which is worse? Calling someone a faggot or a fascist?

AemJeff
09-16-2010, 11:57 PM
INTJs have loyalty issues. Like me.

And you're loyal to Whatfur... why? Why are you concern trolling here?

Because he stands up to the likes of Brendan and me? You have an affinity for wannabe bullies - clumsy, unsuccessful ones - so long as the folks they try to target are left of center? You simply have a thing for unmannered assholes who mistake unfocused aggression and deliberate offensiveness for thoughtfulness?

Your questions openly imply that you think that those of us who don't like 'fur (how many people do you imagine aren't in that club?) are possible liars and cheats. Since I'm certainly among those in the former group, I think I have a right to take offense.

You also seem to think that the mgmt here is peopled by idiots. How do you imagine someone fakes a PM on vBulletin, such that an administrator could be conned by the thing? Or do you think that magical spambuster powers empower the three of us to pull that off (it would have to have been one of us, am I right?)

TwinSwords
09-17-2010, 12:27 AM
And you're loyal to Whatfur... why? Why are you concern trolling here?

Because he stands up to the likes of Brendan and me? You have an affinity for wannabe bullies - clumsy, unsuccessful ones - so long as the folks they try to target are left of center? You simply have a thing for unmannered assholes who mistake unfocused aggression and deliberate offensiveness for thoughtfulness?
Gosh. That's really accurate. How do you pack so much truth into one paragraph?


Your questions openly imply that you think that those of us who don't like 'fur (how many people do you imagine aren't in that club?) are possible liars and cheats.
Yeah. But you have to love the act she's putting on, eh? As if she really can't believe that Whatfur sent offensive PMs to other forum members.

She knows him as well as everyone else, but believes she can credibly play stupid. Check my profile page (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/member.php?u=335), look, and then come back here and try again to tell everyone with a straight face how surprising you find it that whatfur has been sending abusive PMs to other forum members.

The really funny part is that you once asked to have fur banned (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=176716#post176716) -- as long as three liberals were banned along with him. So, even without the abusive PMs, you — yourself — have already stated that whatfur's conduct warrants banning him.

You might say your tolerance for abusive conduct is lower than Brenda's.

Isn't that a hoot?


.

Starwatcher162536
09-17-2010, 12:55 AM
Is it so strange I don't know Whatfur's gender? I don't recall any posts that were explicit on the subject.

look
09-17-2010, 12:57 AM
[QUOTE]And you're loyal to Whatfur... why? Why are you concern trolling here? I'm loyal to my friends. And don't label my actions.
Because he stands up to the likes of Brendan and me? You have an affinity for wannabe bullies - clumsy, unsuccessful ones - so long as the folks they try to target are left of center?I have an affinity for people who tell it like it is. You simply have a thing for unmannered assholes who mistake unfocused aggression and deliberate offensiveness for thoughtfulness? Newsflash: Brendan and Fur are two sides of the same coin. Both have anger management problems and love to shoot off their mouths. When Fur came on the scene, he dressed Brendan down, but good. You and yours think B is christ incarnate, but to many of us he's a royal pain in the ass who constantly runs his mouth with quite tedious snark. Compare the post counts between the two of them for a clue. And of course it's okay for B to run multiple threads with 'wingnut' and 'teabagger' in the titles. And it's okay for graz and handle to trail Fur around incessantly, although he was trying to up his game.
Your questions openly imply that you think that those of us who don't like 'fur (how many people do you imagine aren't in that club?) are possible liars and cheats. Since I'm certainly among that those in the former group, I think I have a right to take offense.If it's possible to fudge a PM, I would be accusing the receiver of the PM. Remember when someone here managed to find, and post, a pic of Fur's late father...how charming. And when another here went around the net and collected quotes from harkin from other sites and posted them here on the open board...what fun. Another genius found Fur's Youtube account, IIRC. Yeah, this place is the epitome of class.You also seem to think that the mgmt here is peopled by idiots. How do you imagine someone fakes a PM on vBulletin, such that an administrator could be conned by the thing? Or do you think that magical spambuster powers empower the three of us to pull that off (it would have to have been one of us, am I right?)I was just asking for Brenda to double-check there was no tampering...I don't know the particulars of forum management or tampering detection. As far as accusing the spambusters, no. As I said, I would have been questioning the PM receiver.

TwinSwords
09-17-2010, 12:57 AM
Is it so strange I don't know Whatfur's gender? I don't recall any posts that were explicit on the subject.

In my life I don't think I've ever encountered a woman who acts like that.

But then, outside of rural backwoods bars after 2:00 am, I've hardly ever met a man who acts like that.

look
09-17-2010, 12:58 AM
Which is worse? Calling someone a faggot or a fascist?Does anyone care to answer my question?

look
09-17-2010, 01:00 AM
Is it so strange I don't know Whatfur's gender? I don't recall any posts that were explicit on the subject.No, it is not strange.

TwinSwords
09-17-2010, 01:01 AM
Newsflash: Brendan and Fur are two sides of the same coin.
Please. Brendan didn't back down from Whatfur's constant insults and attacks, but Brendan has been substantively contributing to the forum since its inception. (And doing so more substantively than any other individual, by a long shot.) If the only thing Brendan did was engage fur at fur's level, you might be able to fool more people with your comparison. But while Brendan offered both substance and resistance to fur's abuse, fur has nothing to offer except childlike insults and abuse.

Both have anger management problems and love to shoot off their mouths.
You don't know Brendan very well. He's one of the least angry, most consistently cheerful people I know.

You and yours think B is christ incarnate, but to many of us he's a royal pain in the ass who constantly runs his mouth with quite tedious snark.
Yeah, well, they don't ban people for disagreeing with your ultraconservative extremism. The forum rules say nothing about not expressing disagreement with the tea party, much as you might wish they did. If listening to articulate, reasoned debate is so painful for you, rather than campaign to have brendan banned you should spend your time at the Fox News forum. I'll bet there are a lot of people over there like whatfur. Think how happy you would be.

Compare the post counts between the two of them for a clue.
Yeah. And compare the substance of those posts. Why don't you do that, look? Oh, you have, because you've been reading all along, and you know that at the level of substance, Brendan is light years ahead of the trivial insults offered daily by Whatfur.

And when another here went around the net and collected quotes from harkin from other sites and posted them here on the open board...what fun. Another genius found Fur's Youtube account, IIRC. Yeah, this place is the epitome of class.
It's not exactly like he was trying to hide those, look. His channel on youtube is called "whatfur." His blog ID is "whatfur." His name here is "whatfur." "Whatfur" is his online identity. There's nothing suspicious or underhanded in watching the videos whatfur has publicly posted on his youtube channel.

And it's okay for graz and TS to trail Fur around incessantly
This is a lie. I almost never address fur. If I address him once a month, I'm beating my average. How can you spend all your time here and get this simple fact wrong?

AemJeff
09-17-2010, 01:16 AM
[QUOTE=AemJeff;179444]I'm loyal to my friends. And don't label my actions.
I have an affinity for people who tell it like it is. Newsflash: Brendan and Fur are two sides of the same coin. Both have anger management problems and love to shoot off their mouths. When Fur came on the scene, he dressed Brendan down, but good. You and yours think B is christ incarnate, but to many of us he's a royal pain in the ass who constantly runs his mouth with quite tedious snark. Compare the post counts between the two of them for a clue. And of course it's okay for B to run multiple threads with 'wingnut' and 'teabagger' in the titles. And it's okay for graz and TS to trail Fur around incessantly, although he was trying to up his game.
If it's possible to fudge a PM, I would be accusing the receiver of the PM. Remember when someone here managed to find, and post, a pic of Fur's late father...how charming. And when another here went around the net and collected quotes from harkin from other sites and posted them here on the open board...what fun. Another genius found Fur's Youtube account, IIRC. Yeah, this place is the epitome of class.I was just asking for Brenda to double-check there was no tampering...I don't know the particulars of forum management or tampering detection. As far as accusing the spambusters, no. As I said, I would have been questioning the PM receiver.

Actually, when 'fur came on the scene he dressed down Bloggin' Noggin, whom I recall was sufficiently disturbed to start a thread about the diminishing quality of posters on the forum and indicating 'fur as a primary culprit. 'fur went on to start a campaign of wanton insult, idiot rickrolling, and plain bad manners. It's clear that Brendan gets under your skin. But there's no fair comparison between his meticulous, highly rational, but admittedly bad-tempered style and Whatfur's ugly, overly personal, boundaryless emoting.

I'm not sure how posting harkin's public offerings (I missed that, anybody have a link?) enters into your ideas of bad behavior. I almost always post under the same name (there are a few posts older than "AemJeff" has been my handle) and I don't post anywhere in a way that would embarrass me, even if it was attached to my real name. I didn't quite approve of my friends posting photos of 'fur's family - but, the internet isn't private and if you make something searchable it's going to be searched. I think you (and 'fur) protest too much. That's certainly not comparable to lying and forging private communications.

I don't want to make enemy of you, look. But we have strong disagreements on these matters, and I feel pretty strongly about the righteousness of my point of view.

nikkibong
09-17-2010, 01:17 AM
Is it so strange I don't know Whatfur's gender? I don't recall any posts that were explicit on the subject.

you'd have to be pretty obtuse* to not read maleness as implicit to every single one of fur's posts...


*read: dense, dull, thick

AemJeff
09-17-2010, 01:19 AM
Does anyone care to answer my question?

I think it's an irrelevant question, or, at least, one that doesn't get to the heart of things. "Asking a question" isn't what's at issue here. Patterns of behavior are.

Starwatcher162536
09-17-2010, 01:30 AM
Only men can be combative and loose with facts!

look
09-17-2010, 01:51 AM
Actually, when 'fur came on the scene he dressed down Bloggin' Noggin, whom I recall was sufficiently disturbed to start a thread about the diminishing quality of posters on the forum and indicating 'fur as a primary culprit. 'fur went on to start a campaign of wanton insult, idiot rickrolling, and plain bad manners.That's not my recollection, but it's too late to go quote hunting. I recall Whatfur lighting on Brendan, and much later Brendan being very hostile to BN. It's clear that Brendan gets under your skin. But there's no fair comparison between his meticulous, highly rational, but admittedly bad-tempered style and Whatfur's ugly, overly personal, boundaryless emoting. There's every comparison because he posts to the point of being a pest. And I don't consider countless exclamation points and link whoring to be impressive meticulousness. Get it through your head, Jeff, seventeen thousand posts. Seventeen thousand.

I'm not sure how posting harkin's public offerings (I missed that, anybody have a link?) enters into your ideas of bad behavior. I almost always post under the same name (there are a few posts older than "AemJeff" has been my handle) and I don't post anywhere in a way that would embarrass me, even if it was attached to my real name. I didn't quite approve of my friends posting photos of 'fur's family - but, the internet isn't private and if you make something searchable it's going to be searched. I think you (and 'fur) protest too much. That's certainly not comparable to lying and forging private communications.So internet stalking is ok with you. Got it. You didn't 'quite approve of [your] friends posting photos of 'furs family'? Oh, bully for you.

I don't want to make enemy of you, look. But we have strong disagreements on these matters, and I feel pretty strongly about the righteousness of my point of view.I don't want to make an enemy of you either, Jeff.

look
09-17-2010, 01:52 AM
you'd have to be pretty obtuse* to not read maleness as implicit to every single one of fur's posts...


*read: dense, dull, thickWell, aren't you all that and a bag of chips?

look
09-17-2010, 01:56 AM
I think it's an irrelevant question, or, at least, one that doesn't get to the heart of things. "Asking a question" isn't what's at issue here. Patterns of behavior are.I don't care that you think my question is irrelevant, and I damn well don't think it's your place to define the issue here.

Anyone? Anyone care to answer which is worse to call someone...a faggot or a fascist?

TwinSwords
09-17-2010, 01:59 AM
That's not my recollection, but it's too late to go quote hunting. I recall Whatfur lighting on Brendan, and much later Brendan being very hostile to BN. There's every comparison because he posts to the point of being a pest. And I don't consider countless exclamation points and link whoring to be impressive meticulousness. Get it through your head, Jeff, seventeen thousand posts. Seventeen thousand.

So internet stalking is ok with you. Got it. You didn't 'quite approve of [your] friends posting photos of 'furs family'? Oh, bully for you.
I don't want to make an enemy of you either, Jeff.

Just for the record:

It was one photo, not multiple photos, and it's a picture that Whatfur himself put on the internet, under his own name, at whatfur.blogtownhall.com.

It's not exactly a secret, and there is nothing wrong or offensive about posting it. If there was, why did Whatfur post it? If it's offensive to post on the internet, why is it still up on his blog (http://whatfur.blogtownhall.com/)?

You're just making up things to be offended about.

graz
09-17-2010, 02:01 AM
I don't care that you think my question is irrelevant, and I damn well don't think it's your place to define the issue here.

Anyone? Anyone care to answer which is worse to call someone...a faggot or a fascist?
Wingnut is the worstest of them all.

Googling is not stalking.

Ignorance and a failing memory is no excuse for your false accusations.

The issue here is that you started your victim ranting after receiving a direct reply to your query about (your) friend.

For what infraction was Whatfur banned, please?

He was banned for sending abusive private messages to forum members.

Apparently not good enough for you? Brenda not classy enough? Or are you not mature enough to accept the truth?

AemJeff
09-17-2010, 02:05 AM
That's not my recollection, but it's too late to go quote hunting. I recall Whatfur lighting on Brendan, and much later Brendan being very hostile to BN. There's every comparison because he posts to the point of being a pest. And I don't consider countless exclamation points and link whoring to be impressive meticulousness. Get it through your head, Jeff, seventeen thousand posts. Seventeen thousand.

So internet stalking is ok with you. Got it. You didn't 'quite approve of [your] friends posting photos of 'furs family'? Oh, bully for you.
I don't want to make an enemy of you either, Jeff.

I can't equate loquaciousness with bad manners. I have nearly six-thousand posts here, which makes the ratio between me and Brendan a lot smaller than the ratio between any number of other posters and me. I have no room to complain about the volume, and I enjoy the content.

Internet stalking? Meh. If you get someone's credit report, or their street address and phone number, I have a real problem. If you post those things on a blog, that's pretty awful. Searching Google for what's associated with a pseudonym is not the same thing. Reposting what somebody has already posted in connection with a known pseudonym is far from a serious abuse, in my opinion.

AemJeff
09-17-2010, 02:08 AM
I don't care that you think my question is irrelevant, and I damn well don't think it's your place to define the issue here.

Anyone? Anyone care to answer which is worse to call someone...a faggot or a fascist?

Remember that we're posting our opinions here. I have every right to state mine.

Chris T
09-17-2010, 02:22 AM
You and yours think B is christ incarnate ...

I've been called lots of things in my time, but jesus, being compared to bjkeefe? That just goes too far.

graz
09-17-2010, 02:28 AM
I've been called lots of things in my time, but jesus, being compared to bjkeefe? That just goes too far.

Location: Carnate, IN
So is jesus staying with you?

AemJeff
09-17-2010, 02:29 AM
I've been called lots of things in my time, but jesus, being compared to bjkeefe? That just goes too far.

It's ok, Whatfur, it was a throwaway line and I ignored it. Not many people would compare you to bjkeefe. Certainly not seriously.

look
09-17-2010, 02:30 AM
I can't equate loquaciousness with bad manners. I have nearly six-thousand posts here, which makes the ratio between me and Brendan a lot smaller than the ratio between any number of other posters and me. I have no room to complain about the volume, and I enjoy the content.

Internet stalking? Meh. If you get someone's credit report, or their street address and phone number, I have a real problem. If you post those things on a blog, that's pretty awful. Searching Google for what's associated with a pseudonym is not the same thing. Reposting what somebody has already posted in connection with a known pseudonym is far from a serious abuse, in my opinion.If you post someone's picture (they thought they were posting Fur's), that's very personal information. I'm done for tonight.

graz
09-17-2010, 02:35 AM
If you post someone's picture (they thought they were posting Fur's), that's very personal information.

Still clueless and impenetrable to boot.

Ocean
09-17-2010, 09:49 AM
I was just asking for Brenda to double-check there was no tampering...I don't know the particulars of forum management or tampering detection. As far as accusing the spambusters, no. As I said, I would have been questioning the PM receiver.

I have no idea what drives you to doubt "the PM receiver" even when a couple of other people have revealed that they received abusive PMs from Whatfur in the past. And that is in addition to the habitual hostility reflected on most of his posts. Have you not read his posts?

There has been quite an unnecessary show put up in this thread. Whatfur has consistently been abusive in his posts. I don't think that you'll find many commenters that will disagree with that. He often goes back and edits or deletes posts to cover up. That is after the damage is done (the "receiver" has already read it). This has been shown repeatedly. Did you notice the kind of stuff he was sending my way in recent weeks?

In case you didn't, you should spend some time checking that out before defending him. I tried to handle that on the forum, without getting into anything personal. But then, a couple of weeks ago, he sent me PMs recriminating my support for his "enemies" (!!!). The nature of those PMs wasn't openly abusive but it wasn't friendly either. I told him that PMs are more personal and are normally used to clarify something or for friendly reasons. I tried to appease him and take distance. And then, a couple of days ago, he apparently got angry because I liked the wording of a post that handle wrote. Whatfur sent me an abusive PM and I reported him. So, if you want to know who the "receiver" was, now you know. I don't tamper PMs. I don't have a habit of complaining to BhTV administrators. I've been posting here for over two years, and I think I reported a comment once before, only once, until I reported his PM.

So, look, now you know, let it go.

chiwhisoxx
09-17-2010, 11:21 AM
If you post someone's picture (they thought they were posting Fur's), that's very personal information. I'm done for tonight.

The picture isn't even embarrassing though, it just seems pretty generic to me...

TwinSwords
09-17-2010, 11:27 AM
The picture isn't even embarrassing though, it just seems pretty generic to me...

Yeah, actually it's a great photo and helps humanize him.

TwinSwords
09-17-2010, 11:37 AM
I don't care that you think my question is irrelevant, and I damn well don't think it's your place to define the issue here.

Anyone? Anyone care to answer which is worse to call someone...a faggot or a fascist?

Are you actually operating under the impression that 'fur was banned for repeatedly calling people faggot? Because the BhTV admins didn't ban him for that.

Fur has been going around the forum spreading his homophobic hate speech since he arrived here, much to your delight, and the admins have never done a thing to stop him, or to even discourage him. So it's not exactly clear what point you think you are making with your question.

look
09-17-2010, 01:22 PM
I have no idea what drives you to doubt "the PM receiver" even when a couple of other people have revealed that they received abusive PMs from Whatfur in the past.After Nikki of the Superior Intellect and Chi told me their stories, I understood that this was not an unusual action by Fur, and I backed off the PM fudging angle. Later in the thread, when Jeff said he was insulted that I might be accusing him and others, I explained my logic. And that is in addition to the habitual hostility reflected on most of his posts. Have you not read his posts?I have. I've also observed the relentless trolling of him by graz and handle, when at the time, Fur was attempting to up his game.
There has been quite an unnecessary show put up in this thread.Save the condescension for someone who buys it. Whatfur has consistently been abusive in his posts. I don't think that you'll find many commenters that will disagree with that. He often goes back and edits or deletes posts to cover up. That is after the damage is done (the "receiver" has already read it). This has been shown repeatedly. Did you notice the kind of stuff he was sending my way in recent weeks? No, except for him twice saying 'F O O,' I didn't notice. Can you give me a couple examples? How do you characterize graz and handle's recent uptick in trolling Fur, which coincided with the introduction of the dungeon? Does it not strike you at all curious that it was ignored by Admin?
In case you didn't, you should spend some time checking that out before defending him. I tried to handle that on the forum, without getting into anything personal. But then, a couple of weeks ago, he sent me PMs recriminating my support for his "enemies" (!!!). The nature of those PMs wasn't openly abusive but it wasn't friendly either. I told him that PMs are more personal and are normally used to clarify something or for friendly reasons. I tried to appease him and take distance. And then, a couple of days ago, he apparently got angry because I liked the wording of a post that handle wrote. Whatfur sent me an abusive PM and I reported him. So, if you want to know who the "receiver" was, now you know.Good to get it out there, eh? Would you mind expanding on the manner of abusiveness? I don't tamper PMs. I don't have a habit of complaining to BhTV administrators. I've been posting here for over two years, and I think I reported a comment once before, only once, until I reported his PM.Okay.

So, look, now you know, let it go.Please refrain from telling me what to do.

It's interesting that Fur and Brendan have similar personality profiles, but Brendan with six times the posts, is the darling of the core group here. But there are many more posters here besides the core group, and I think Brendan has used the 'if you don't like what I post, don't read it' trope far too many times. It's the equivalent of pissing in public and expecting the natural order of things to be that anyone who doesn't like it should turn away. I think he may be depressed, possibly at the loss of his mother some seven, or so years ago, and is venting on this board. I feel very badly about his loss. I think he's a very nice guy. But I don't think he should be permitted to overrun this board with his personal problems.

look
09-17-2010, 01:30 PM
The picture isn't even embarrassing though, it just seems pretty generic to me...It was a picture posted lovingly by Fur on Father's day, and posted here to be ridiculed. Do you think that is appropriate internet protocol?

TwinSwords
09-17-2010, 01:40 PM
It was a picture posted lovingly by Fur on Father's day, and posted here to be ridiculed. Do you think that is appropriate internet protocol?
Quit pretending you care about appropriate internet protocol. Everyone here knows who you are defending and how he behaves, and that destroys -- utterly -- any claim you make to be concerned about appropriate internet protocol.

graz
09-17-2010, 02:22 PM
I've also observed the relentless trolling of him by graz and handle, when at the time, Fur was attempting to up his game.

When I hacked into whatfur's email yesterday (kidding), I found it odd that you and him were communicating. It seems that your strategy is to attempt to rehabilitate him in the eyes of bhtv admins. While never letting pass the chance to take a shot at me, handle, B, etc...

The strategy is two-pronged: Keep stressing that the social degenerate (your friend fur) was trying - if in your mind only - to "up his game.

"Good to get it out there, eh? Would you mind expanding on the manner of abusiveness?Okay.
And the second part: Look look, that's why they call it a personal message. You're employing the same strategy that your "good friend" did after deleting or altering the offending posts dating back two years plus. Attempting to recreate history. Nice effort. Fail on both counts.

Please refrain from telling me what to do.
Which is exactly what you're always attempting to do in the forum.
You know, like here:
How do you characterize graz and handle's recent uptick in trolling Fur, which coincided with the introduction of the dungeon? Does it not strike you at all curious that it was ignored by Admin?
Sounds like victim speak straight from fur's mouth. Simpatico or spoon-fed?
Just asking?

It's interesting that Fur and Brendan have similar personality profiles, but Brendan with six times the posts, is the darling of the core group here. But there are many more posters here besides the core group, and I think Brendan has used the 'if you don't like what I post, don't read it' trope far too many times. It's the equivalent of pissing in public and expecting the natural order of things to be that anyone who doesn't like it should turn away. I think he may be depressed, possibly at the loss of his mother some seven, or so years ago, and is venting on this board. I feel very badly about his loss. I think he's a very nice guy. But I don't think he should be permitted to overrun this board with his personal problems.

This isn't just about your furry friend, it's more about you. It's not a psych profile of Brendan, it's more a profile of you. My take is that you're out of bounds. And you claim to be a math illiterate, vague on how the internets work and deny executing concern trolling. Yeah right? But you're qualified to pass judgment on B's mental fitness? Just because you're a self professed nanny regarding decorum, that doesn't make your opinion any more interesting or valid than the any other poster. Who isn't tired of your routine? Show of hands?

As for him being a nice guy. How do you know? And just because you would like us to believe you're a nice person, should all the evidence to the contrary be dismissed simply as look in distress because her furry friend has a boo-boo?

chiwhisoxx
09-17-2010, 03:05 PM
I do have to say, that despite being one of the last people who would defend Whatfur and the way he decided to handle himself around here, it's hard to view his actions in a vacuum. I don't want to engage in the debate about handle and graz as 'fur trolls, because I think it goes beyond that. Even well intentioned people like Jeff, and less well intentioned people like BJ would engage 'fur on a consistent basis, and to a large extent, egg him on. I realize this is the internet, and if people want to engage someone, they can. And I also realize that it can be incredibly frustrating to see something you disagree with, and show restraint in arguing with that person even when you know it won't be fruitful. I suffer from lack of restrain in situations like that frequently. But let's not pretend that 'fur wasn't egged on. Maybe he would still post the way he did, but he wouldn't have been such a big deal if people had just ignored him.

look
09-17-2010, 03:56 PM
I do have to say, that despite being one of the last people who would defend Whatfur and the way he decided to handle himself around here, it's hard to view his actions in a vacuum. I don't want to engage in the debate about handle and graz as 'fur trolls, because I think it goes beyond that. Even well intentioned people like Jeff, and less well intentioned people like BJ would engage 'fur on a consistent basis, and to a large extent, egg him on. I realize this is the internet, and if people want to engage someone, they can. And I also realize that it can be incredibly frustrating to see something you disagree with, and show restraint in arguing with that person even when you know it won't be fruitful. I suffer from lack of restrain in situations like that frequently. But let's not pretend that 'fur wasn't egged on. Maybe he would still post the way he did, but he wouldn't have been such a big deal if people had just ignored him.Thanks for your thoughts and for understanding my viewpoint.

handle
09-17-2010, 03:58 PM
I've been called lots of things in my time, but jesus, being compared to bjkeefe? That just goes too far.

I agree with look on this, the Buddhist reference to the yin and yang, two sides of the same coin. Here's how I see it: good and evil, truth and bullshit, the crusader and the manipulator.
While it is obvious that no one walks on water here, I see "Chris T" as a bullshitter in a china shop, but the metaphor only goes as deep as his paper thin skin. A formula for disaster IMO.

This is OK with me for the most part, the real problem develops when the unscrupulous manipulator, seeing himself as the crusader for truth, believes that those who expose his manipulative behavior are guilty of employing the same tactics.

Chis T is a much better handle I think. Have a nice banning, see you when you get back.

AemJeff
09-17-2010, 04:38 PM
I agree with look on this, the Buddhist reference to the yin and yang, two sides of the same coin. Here's how I see it: good and evil, truth and bullshit, the crusader and the manipulator.
While it is obvious that no one walks on water here, I see "Chris T" as a bullshitter in a china shop, but the metaphor only goes as deep as his paper thin skin. A formula for disaster IMO.

This is OK with me for the most part, the real problem develops when the unscrupulous manipulator, seeing himself as the crusader for truth, believes that those who expose his manipulative behavior are guilty of employing the same tactics.

Chis T is a much better handle I think. Have a nice banning, see you when you get back.

I've decided I was wrong about the identity of Chris T.