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-   -   The slippery slope has now become a cliff (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=5864)

Ocean 08-24-2010 08:37 PM

The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
So I've been trying to figure out where the line is being drawn to censor comments from the main forum sections and send a thread to the purgatory dungeon.

I have understood the policy when an interaction between commenters degrades into silly name calling or unnecessary vacuous insults. But today another line has been crossed. This time it seems that a negative opinion based on a diavlogger's statements is censurable. The thread was thrown into the dungeon under a "moralizing" title of "what happens when you start a conversation by calling someone dishonest?"

It looks like when a diavlogger is thought to be dishonest and the arguments are clearly made and the facts presented, it is still off limits for BhTV censors. This policy is now clearly impinging on one's right to express an opinion. This is not about name calling.

What happens when censorship in a comment section starts to become absurd? Well, some commenters may decide to stop commenting in the main section, or stop commenting altogether, or leave the site and look for another more reasonable place where to comment.

And this is exactly what I will be considering to do in the next few days. Enough is enough.

Wonderment 08-24-2010 09:05 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
"THEY CAME FIRST for BJKeefe,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't BJKeefe.

THEN THEY CAME for Graz,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't Graz.

THEN THEY CAME for Ocean
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't Ocean.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up. (except Whatfur and Lyle). "

graz 08-24-2010 09:06 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 176646)
So I've been trying to figure out where the line is being drawn to censor comments from the main forum sections and send a thread to the purgatory dungeon.

I have understood the policy when an interaction between commenters degrades into silly name calling or unnecessary vacuous insults. But today another line has been crossed. This time it seems that a negative opinion based on a diavlogger's statements is censurable. The thread was thrown into the dungeon under a "moralizing" title of "what happens when you start a conversation by calling someone dishonest?"

It looks like when a diavlogger is thought to be dishonest and the arguments are clearly made and the facts presented, it is still off limits for BhTV censors. This policy is now clearly impinging on one's right to express an opinion. This is not about name calling.

What happens when censorship in a comment section starts to become absurd? Well, some commenters may decide to stop commenting in the main section, or stop commenting altogether, or leave the site and look for another more reasonable place where to comment.

And this is exactly what I will be considering to do in the next few days. Enough is enough.

Hear, hear.

And when someone of your character exits, the forum suffers.

But the global juggernaut a.k.a. bhtv stumbles forward.

Bob failed in all his efforts to inspire the sort of forum decorum that an uptight Texas-Southern Baptist wouldn't be embarrassed by, or worry that the moneylenders wouldn't balk at ... not that he lives up to the standard.

And now, the result of his awkward solution is selective censorship. Fail!

graz 08-24-2010 09:12 PM

Re: Hyenas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Whatfur (Post 176648)
What was absurd here was exactly what I was pointing out throughout. Calling someone dishonest goes far beyond a difference of opinion.

What do you call a dishonest hack or a partisan half-wit?
Exactly that.

Brenda 08-24-2010 09:13 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 176646)
This is not about name calling.

I simply disagree. Calling someone dishonest is name-calling. You can make the same point in a way that doesn't directly attack their integrity.

Edited to add: This is a case where I had mixed feelings about moving the chunk of comments to the SPFW thread, because a lot (maybe even most) of the comments in there make good, important arguments.

Ocean 08-24-2010 09:16 PM

Re: Hyenas
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Whatfur (Post 176648)
What was absurd here was exactly what I was pointing out throughout. Calling someone dishonest goes far beyond a difference of opinion. This was clearly a difference of opinion and you and yours started beating up on a "head" leveling these insults, misrepresenting what was said, and overall egregious behavior all over a rather miniscule, inconsequential point.

If you are looking for answers to your questions, you should look inward first.

IMHO this thread was far more of an example of something that belongs in the dungeon than many that preceded it.

You were WRONG here Ocean. Suck it up.

No, whatfur, you are wrong. You have been one of the worst offenders on this site in terms of the degree of your incivility. You have no moral standing to tell me what an opinion is or how to express it. It just so happens that I never called Conn dishonest, but I did think that his words were expressed with dishonesty. I realize that not everybody understands the difference between those two kinds of statements, but as it turns out, there is a difference.

I don't like when people, like you have done so many times, degrade into juvenile insults. I appreciate civility greatly and have always tried to maintain it. However, I also value my right to express my opinion. And that includes saying that someone said something that sounds dishonest. My opinion may be right or wrong. But that's not the issue.

Most of the time I choose not to answer your posts due to the irrelevant and disrespectful way that you address those who disagree with you. I would imagine that this thread will not be the exception. Don't expect me to fall in the trap of an endless chain of irrelevance.

cragger 08-24-2010 09:19 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Apparantly the moderators weren't watching the diavlog when Bob pressed Mickey on whether Ann Coulter was "that dishonest or that stupid".

Most likely the reason I'm not included in the thread rather questionably exiled to the flame area is that I long ago stopped listening to someone who seems so dedicated to spin and partisan hackery.

AemJeff 08-24-2010 09:23 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brenda (Post 176658)
I simply disagree. Calling someone dishonest is name-calling. You can make the same point in a way that doesn't directly attack their integrity.

It's important to distinguish between saying that somebody is dishonest and saying that what they've said is dishonest. It seems to me that the latter is well within the commonly understood bounds of civil discourse. And if you can't call somebody out for that, I think there's a real problem in the underlying rules.

graz 08-24-2010 09:26 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brenda (Post 176658)
I simply disagree. Calling someone dishonest is name-calling.

And? Someone's fee-fees might get hurt? Conn was happy to mix it up. He's used to being called on his hackery. Nothing new there.

Quote:

You can make the same point in a way that doesn't directly attack their integrity.
I can sympathize with your need to protect integrity, as bhtv continues to book a too-high percentage of partisan meme-pushers.
Don't rock that boat. Bhtv: where truth goes to hide itself.

Ocean 08-24-2010 09:28 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brenda (Post 176658)
I simply disagree. Calling someone dishonest is name-calling. You can make the same point in a way that doesn't directly attack their integrity.

Edited to add: This is a case where I had mixed feelings about moving the chunk of comments to the SPFW thread, because a lot (maybe even most) of the comments in there make good, important arguments.

I'm glad you had mixed feelings because in this case you made a mistake.

This was my comment:

Quote:

I agree it did sound like partisan-driven dishonesty.
I didn't say that Conn was dishonest. There is a difference. Of course, you can argue that you moved that thread because of the way brucds worded his comment. However, if I can't say that someone sounds dishonest when I think they do, what am I supposed to do? Only comment when I have something nice to say? Choose my words so that it appears like I'm saying something different?

Well, I think I've been quite civil in this forum, but if my opinion as expressed is not civil enough, it just may be that I don't belong here. I lived under authoritarian censorship for long enough that I don't want to be under arbitrary rules. Sorry, but that's my opinion.

look 08-24-2010 09:31 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 176655)
"THEY CAME FIRST for BJKeefe,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't BJKeefe.

THEN THEY CAME for Graz,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't Graz.

THEN THEY CAME for Ocean
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't Ocean.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up. (except Whatfur and Lyle). "

Oh, the humanity!

Brenda 08-24-2010 09:34 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Ocean, moving a chunk of comments to the SPFW subforum is admittedly a crude tool. It's not meant to indict every comment in the chunk. I'm sorry if you thought you were the reason for the move — you weren't.

Ocean 08-24-2010 09:38 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brenda (Post 176669)
Ocean, moving a chunk of comments to the SPFW subforum is admittedly a crude tool. It's not meant to indict every comment in the chunk. I'm sorry if you thought you were the reason for the move — you weren't.


I know that. I've had my comments moved there quite a few times, just by being somewhere in the middle of the thread.

Read my PM. Perhaps you'll understand the point there.

Brenda 08-24-2010 09:56 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 176663)
It's important to distinguish between saying that somebody is dishonest and saying that what they've said is dishonest. It seems to me that the latter is well within the commonly understood bounds of civil discourse.

Agreed.

Starwatcher162536 08-24-2010 10:15 PM

Solution?
 
If the reasoning for the recent surge in post suppression is the BHTV staff doesn't want the Bjkeefe/Aemjeff vs. Whatfur/Lyle posts to drive off newcomers who haven't been here long enough to know better then to read said posts, perhaps it would be best to not let one side see the others sides posts.

Brenda 08-24-2010 11:07 PM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Whatfur (Post 176692)
Or maybe they should suppress posts from people like you so as newcomers are not bored out of their minds.

*bangs*
*head*
*on*
*desk*

Starwatcher162536 08-24-2010 11:11 PM

Re: Solution?
 
So that's why no one responds to my posts!

/sad panda

Lyle 08-24-2010 11:29 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Heil Hitler to that!!! :)

edit: (I have no idea what this is about... but offhandedly love the sentiment)

Brenda 08-24-2010 11:51 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cragger (Post 176661)
Apparantly the moderators weren't watching the diavlog when Bob pressed Mickey on whether Ann Coulter was "that dishonest or that stupid".

If Ann Coulter joined the forum, or were a diavlogger, the same rules would apply to her. Now THAT would be a real test.

Lyle 08-25-2010 12:04 AM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
It shouldn't be though Brenda... it shouldn't be. ;)

TwinSwords 08-25-2010 01:20 AM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 (Post 176696)
So that's why no one responds to my posts!

/sad panda

Don't worry -- your posts are quite interesting and very thought provoking. A lot of great posts never get responses. This doesn't mean they weren't considered thoughtful by many people who read them. People tend to be drawn to the drama.

look 08-25-2010 01:29 AM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brenda (Post 176694)
*bangs*
*head*
*on*
*desk*

lol

look 08-25-2010 01:31 AM

Re: Solution?
 
Ban Fur, Brendan, graz, and handle for one month.

graz 08-25-2010 01:54 AM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 176716)
Ban Fur, Brendan, graz, and handle for one month.

And force us to wear nicotine patches while eating Big-Macs.

Because I'm solutions oriented!

look 08-25-2010 02:11 AM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 176718)
And force us to wear nicotine patches while eating Big-Macs.

Because I'm solutions oriented!

That's not the vibe I'm getting.

graz 08-25-2010 02:36 AM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 176720)
That's not the vibe I'm getting.

Well you might recalibrate your mood-ring then. It should have sensed the sarcasm. You seem to suffer from the misconception that the forum is a democracy, where opinions expressed to the bhtv overlords are valued or actionable. Maybe you have room for that fantasy right next to the one you were spinning previously about being open to examining Obama -- pardon me ... Bam ... to you -- objectively. Best laid plans and all ...

look 08-25-2010 02:43 AM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 176721)
Well you might recalibrate your mood-ring then. It should have sensed the sarcasm. You seem to suffer from the misconception that the forum is a democracy, where opinions expressed to the bhtv overlords are valued or actionable. Maybe you have room for that fantasy right next to the one you were spinning previously about being open to examining Obama -- pardon me ... Bam ... to you -- objectively. Best laid plans and all ...

Yes, graz, I got the sarcasm. Now did you get my serious thought?

Have you paused to consider that you guys maybe aren't coming across as witty as you seem to think? You four, currently, are a drag on the board. On second thought, you four should be restricted to the dungeon.

look 08-25-2010 02:46 AM

PS
 
http://pattisoriginals.files.wordpre.../09/bambam.gif

graz 08-25-2010 02:49 AM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 176722)
Yes, graz, I got the sarcasm. Now did you get my serious thought?

Have you paused to consider that you guys maybe aren't coming across as witty as you seem to think? You four, currently, are a drag on the board. On second thought, you four should be restricted to the dungeon.

How about you consider allowing others the freedom to participate in whatever fashion they choose -- a dictum I have always promoted in the "civility threads". It's called free speech. Your taste and sensitivity is of no greater concern than the right of any commenter to participate as they see fit. Should the result be banning -- so be it. But allowing you to be the arbiter of what drags or elevates the board -- no thanks.

look 08-25-2010 02:55 AM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 176725)
How about you consider allowing others the freedom to participate in whatever fashion they choose -- a dictum I have always promoted in the "civility threads". It's called free speech. Your taste and sensitivity is of no greater concern than the right of any commenter to participate as they see fit. Should the result be banning -- so be it. But allowing you to be the arbiter of what drags or elevates the board -- no thanks.

What other choice do I have? Carry on.

stephanie 08-25-2010 12:49 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brenda (Post 176658)
I simply disagree. Calling someone dishonest is name-calling. You can make the same point in a way that doesn't directly attack their integrity.

It certainly can be used as merely an insult -- "that liar so and so" is a similar statement to "that stupid so and so." But that doesn't mean that every time dishonest is used to describe something it's an insult. It's also a factual claim. For example, I believe that when Sarah Palin started going on about "death panels," she was lying.* And I believe that Bob Wright said something similar, a lot more fervently than I would, even. Similarly, I think that when Newt Gingrich claims to believe that Saudi Arabia's freedom of religion is relevant to what happens in the US or when various other people claim to believe that we are under threat of sharia law becoming the law of the land they are not just confused or mistaken or have a reasonable difference of opinion. They are lying -- they are saying things they do not believe in order to drive public discussion in a particular way. It is not an insult -- similar to me calling Newt ugly, say -- to call them on that. It's an important part of the discussion of what's going on.

If you look at the substance and tone of the posts, Ocean and others were not being insulting. They were explaining their objections to a particular statement and given good reasons for their opinion that it was not simply a difference of opinion, but dishonest.

And I don't think that Conn is a diavlog participant should matter. Jonah Goldberg is a frequent participant. Are we supposed to therefore pretend that we believe that he really thinks that liberals are fascists, and it's just a difference of opinion, or not comment on what he has specifically been on bloggingheads at times to talk about? Does it matter than Goldberg himself basically admitted in a diavlog that he made the claim to get back at liberals claiming that Bush supporters are fascists -- in other words, that it was dishonest?

I understand the desire to have respectful or at least not flame-war filled comments section, but I think this particular objection is contrary to the tone of the actual discussion and a rather arbitrary objection to a word that has a substantive and useful meaning.

*Edit: I see that I should have read the whole thing first, because this point was already made re Ann Coulter. I do think there's a difference between just calling someone a liar and discussing a particular statement, and I don't think Bob or we should be required to respect Palin's "death panel" nonsense merely because she came on bloggingheads in some hypothetical future event.

look 08-25-2010 12:52 PM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Whatfur (Post 176753)
And you are a drag. <insert raised middle finger>

I'm just not that into you.

uncle ebeneezer 08-25-2010 12:58 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
The problem with this whole approach is that in addition to the guilt-by-association aspect that Ocean mentions, it makes the forum confusing (harder to find a moving thread), and causes collateral damage by taking good quality threads and hiding them from larger exposure based on a dirty word or a little teasing thrown in often by a peripheral party. Most importantly though, it creates an atmosphere that it is no longer a free and open forum. I understand all the reasoning behind the approach, but at the end of the day it takes away from the "fun". And I know many of the best contributors who have made this place such a dynamic and interesting forum are beginning to think that it has almost past the point of marginal return for the kindof interaction that initially drew them here.

I can't imagine that since adopting this new administrative approach, the main-page comments are now that much better than they were with the more hands-off approach, or that new views are sky-rocketing. And I always felt that Bob was justified to take pride in that bhtv didn't delete or move comments and more or less let the group and the threads evolve naturally.

But god forbid someone call Conn Carroll a liar on the interwebs. Oh noes, think of the sponsors!!1!

Brenda 08-25-2010 01:38 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Well, I can't make the point more succinctly than AemJeff* did above, so I'll quote him again:

Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 176663)
It's important to distinguish between saying that somebody is dishonest and saying that what they've said is dishonest. It seems to me that the latter is well within the commonly understood bounds of civil discourse.

Look, in practice it's hard to draw a bright line. In this instance:

Quote:

Originally Posted by brucds (Post 176523)
Conn is either totally dishonest - or stunningly ignorant - in his assertion that this bogus mosque "controversy" was turned into a national issue by President Obama's reaction to the hysteria. This was a cynically calculated "national issue", being fired up by Murdoch's media minions on FOX, before the President weighed in with a bit of sanity - and the reason that he spoke. Peter King railed against the mosque at a Heritage Foundation event in late July, and Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh - prominently featured on the Heritage Foundation website shilling for donations - have been ginning this thing up for months.

Conn isn't stupid - so my take is that he's dishonest. Smarmy stuff...

I thought brucds was out of line. I think if he had left out that second paragraph, I would have let the first stand. Though the first paragraph walks right up to the line, he saves it with "in his assertion that...."

*Sorry Jeff—don't mean to give you a rep as a suck-up.

Brenda 08-25-2010 01:41 PM

Re: Solution?
 
Whatfur, we're trying to have a conversation here, and you're not helping. Don't post in this thread anymore.

Brenda 08-25-2010 02:08 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
All good points. The "dungeon" has been an interesting experiment, but I agree it has some pretty significant drawbacks. We may decide it's run its course as a useful tool, sooner or later.

handle 08-25-2010 09:10 PM

Re: Solution?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 176716)
Ban Fur, Brendan, graz, and handle for one month.

Make it six months, throw in "ha ha" muzlims=bad lyle, and I'll pack up my keyboard.

Lyle 08-25-2010 11:08 PM

Re: Solution?
 
I'm as civil and genuine as they come friendo. :) Not my problem you don't like my words.

rcocean 08-25-2010 11:43 PM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Brenda (Post 176779)
All good points. The "dungeon" has been an interesting experiment, but I agree it has some pretty significant drawbacks. We may decide it's run its course as a useful tool, sooner or later.

Well, sometimes crude tools are the only ones that work. And nothing that depends on human judgment will ever be perfect or 100 percent fair all the time.

Frankly, I don't know what these people (Whatfur,Zeke, Graz, Ocean, et al ) are whining about. We can still read their "insightful" comments - they can even add to them - they're just now in a different place. But they seem extremely upset that anyone, anytime should restrict their ability to defame, troll, and use Ad hominems. I guess that's why BJ Keefe has disappeared.

So, Brenda keep it up. Already I've noticed a change in tone. Maybe some people will leave, but others will start using arguments instead of insults.

Don Zeko 08-26-2010 01:11 AM

Re: The slippery slope has now become a cliff
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rcocean (Post 176848)
Frankly, I don't know what these people (Whatfur,Zeke, Graz, Ocean, et al ) are whining about.

I, for one, had no complaints until today.


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