Let's Talk Turkey (With a Small Update)

A debate arose in the comments on JtC's latest diary on moderation. The issue is: does moderation censor free expression? And if so, are we OK with it?

Let's talk turkey.

The establishment's favorite tactic right now is to take down an opposing argument by accusing people of racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, anti-semitism, etc. It's a form of conversation-stopper, with a side of character assassination. This tactic decimated the progressive folks on DKos. It was what made that site so toxic people could, in the end, do nothing but leave--after having watched person after person get bullied, harassed, Swiftboated, and gaslighted. Everything propaganda or a psy-op could do to progressives and populists was done, and accusing people of bigotry was the #1 weapon in the establishment arsenal. I've had people--purportedly POC--tell me I was racist for opposing Social Security cuts because, in the 30s, Social Security did not include black people. Never mind that Social Security has included black people since before I was born, and that women of color depend more on Social Security than anyone else in this country--so when you cut Social Security, you're really punching somebody's black grandma in the face. What's real *now* doesn't matter--the only thing that mattered was to say I was a racist for pushing a left-wing idea.

This is the new McCarthyism. The plutocracy has co-opted the language of social justice, in particular the language of the New Left (60s New Left, not New Dems of 90s) and the Civil Rights movement. If you oppose the plutocracy on the Net for long enough, you are likely to be accused of some form of horrible prejudice.

The left has, up to now, not come up with a good countermeasure for this attack. It's a very clever attack, stealing and using our own terms to commit character assassinations on white progressives in a way that we can't even object to without proving the point--if a black person accuses a white person of racism, even if it's for an idiotic reason like the Social Security thing I mentioned above, how can a white person credibly say "That black person is wrong, I'm not racist?" Doesn't that automatically make us racist, according to our own rules? All the establishment needed was to get a few black people and other POC to work for them, and then create massive numbers of sockpuppets who could be piloted by POC, white people, or aliens from outer space, for all I know. So far the only somewhat effective countermeasure I've seen is when progressives of color call the tactic out.

Any such countermeasures would have to allow for checking actual instances of racism, sexism, and other kinds of bigotry, which means distinguishing actual bigotry from unfounded charges of bigotry.

Obviously, devising such countermeasures is going to be one hard fucking task. I'm not saying we shouldn't do it, but even if we decide to do it, it will take a while before we are able to come up with something likely to work.

My bottom line: 1)It's overly simplistic to frame this as a simple question of censorship vs freedom. 2)I don't want the establishment's favorite new psy-op practiced all over this website the way it way on Daily Kos.

Thoughts?

SMALL UPDATE:

This hadn't occurred to me till this morning.

Does it complicate the notion of censorship when the origin of the dispute was that some people were telling other people You can't say that, you must stop speaking about that?

Is it OK for individual actors, or small groups of people, to tell others they can't say certain things, as long as they're not acting out of an official position? But somehow very wrong if anyone in an official position tells people a discussion must stop?

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Haikukitty's picture

Obviously, moderation DOES in some sense censor free expression. And for that reason, I think it should be used lightly and wisely.

Community "moderation" in the sense of pushing back, is also good, and I've seen that done quite a bit here.

But ultimately, this site is not a 100% free space. It is owned by certain people, and started by a group of people, and there is a case to be made for stepping in and stopping abuse on one's own "property" so to speak. I wouldn't stand back and watch a kid get bullied in my yard, just because. You could accuse me of interfering with the bullies free speech rights, and you'd be right. But that bully can take it elsewhere.

Obviously, I would err on the side of not-moderating, as much as possible. But allowing abuse or name-calling to run unchecked is it's own kind of "moderation" in reverse. Essentially sending the message that those things are ok here (they are not). We've all seen how that kind of hands-off practice can work and how it empowers bad behavior.

I actually think the mods at C99 are doing a very thoughtful job of walking that fine line. And it is a little simplistic to frame it as censorship vs. freedom, in some ways. Because there is more going on here, as you've so clearly elucidated in your essay - there are the tools that are used to attack and stop discussion, and allowing those tactics to proliferate unchecked ALSO has the effect of censoring discussion.

It all comes down to balance, and C99 is doing it very well, so far.

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darkmatter's picture

I agree, hk, that the moderation is working fine.

Of course, if C99 continues to grow and becomes overwhelmed by DK types or CTC/David Brock types, then more decisions would have to be made, but only as a last resort. The deletion of obvious troll blog posts is fine by me; Nelson Muntz can go say "ha ha" to his heart's content elsewhere, such as DK.

Frankly, I think the community moderation at DK ended up as a horrorshow. The rec list and anonymous flagging and heavy handed authoritarianism made that place toxic.

A great editor is a wonderful thing. A great editor/moderator knows when to let things proceed freely even if some feelings are hurt, and knows when lasting damage is being done to the overall community. A great editor knows when debate is occurring and when site-disabling trolling is occurring. I would much rather have a wise editor than the anonymous cliques of downvoters.

Things I like about C99:

1. No downvotes.
2. No public upvoting (which prevents the formation of cliques).
3. No mysterious algorithm running a rec list, which can be gamed anyway
4. The main page is just a "best of," dependent on the editor's decision, and that's fine

Substantive freedom (to use the constitutional locution) requires structure. Total freedom usually ends up looking like something out of the Lord of the Flies, the war of all against all. I think the moderators/editors here have done well in creating a flexible but workable structure.

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riverlover's picture

Have you read it? It had devolved to back-and-forth. There were only options of engagers disengaging (I did earlier) or I dunno, someone inserting some breaking news to distract?

So for your #3, do we require an agreed-on safety word to back off or cute baby animal pictures?

I have read squabbles here that got tamped by a third party coming in to suggest time-out. There were more than two involved yesterday. I hope that does not mean that large group function is doomed from the start.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

in that thread was a good-faith actor. People are under a lot of stress right now, and tempers are running high. The problem is, we can't allow--IMO--the tactic I discussed to take hold here, especially because we will inevitably be attacked by trolls and other NOT good-faith actors using that tactic.

But that shouldn't mean "large group function is doomed from the start."

I suppose we could have a safe word, of sorts, but won't that just set off an argument about whether or not it's an appropriate use of said safe word?

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

riverlover's picture

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

lunachickie's picture

is dead-on:

2)I don't want the establishment's favorite new psy-op practiced all over this website the way it way on Daily Kos.

The thing is, the mods and admins can't win, no matter what. We can only hope at this point that everybody--and I mean everybody--got the messages yesterday, because there was more than one. There IS a line in that specific "argument", and that line is a lot easier to see than it's ever given credit for and I have a real problem with those who push that line ever further back on any criticism whatsoever.

Again, this is not a slap on JtC--if mods want to shut it down, I think that was the best course of action, and I do not expect them to always feel like they have to justify it (other than to confirm one's account didn't break, which many may have wondered about when they no longer saw a 'reply' link). Mods can't take sides, I am completely okay with that, and I probably would have gone the same route at some point yesterday myself. But at the same time--and I pointed out then, and I'll point it out again--the ultimate initial objective was accomplished on that particular discussion. And that is very, very unfortunate, IMO

Then again, it's like I noted, it also depends on who gets the Last Word before it's shut down Wink

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Some just don't like argument, but others like you & I, because we don't like character assassination. I think the temptation to believe you can make everyone happy, sets most blogs up for trolling. There are organizations that infiltrate blogs just to stifle discussion. Not everyone here is sincere about their reason for being here. I am personally going to avoid certain posters unless they specifically address me.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

It was such a swirling cesspit, hard to believe anybody could leave for another reason, but of course they could.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

far beyond what most web fora have even now.

one of the most straightforward features was that you could hide from your own view any user you wanted to.

which makes it a LOT easier to avoid getting sucked into the same pissing match over and over again.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

detroitmechworks's picture

Especially with certain pseudo-celebrities, whose entire IDENTITY as a celebrity is based off the fact that they were attacked a few times by "Hordes" of usually white males who of course are victims because we must believe the minority/woman/LGBTQ person.

It's gotten to the point where some claim PTSD from social media. Frankly it's insulting to those people who die and have died for being any of those groups to have their victimhood co-opted by attention whores.

Certain things I think we can all agree on is that genocide and murder are bad things. Criticism of a group of people, does not automatically mean we are setting up for that. It often means we are criticizing the behavior of a subset within the group that DOES engage in objectionable behavior. The immediate conflating of that with "All criticism is hate speech" is a tactic pulled right from Robert Murdoch, who would often find token African Americans to parrot his talking points against African Americans, for their "Immunity" to criticism.

One way we can really point it out, IMHO, is to take a look at the power imbalance among those who "Cry Victim". Often they are at least well in the middle class, if not fairly wealthy. Their economic status already places them in another strata of association, and as a result their accusations are often listened to by the media, which is a power unto itself. Essentially, all the media is Jerry Springer... it's just a matter of who has to wear the wife-beater or the slutty dress on tv to get their side heard.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

but here's the thing: nobody knows you're a dog on the Internet, right?

So it's not always clear who people are.

Nonetheless, when that data is out there, and *especially* when it's some middle-class or upper-middle-class white guy or gal, like Joan Walsh or that guy on DKos who essentially made an online career out of being the Anti-Racist White Guy (he's the one who said disliking mass warrantless surveillance was an expression of white privilege), we should, of course, call them on their shit.

I mean, how the hell did *Hillary Rodham Clinton* become the spokesperson for anti-racism and POC everywhere? This rich white woman who has in her life supported the 94 Crime Bill, welfare "reform," NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, private prisons, the de-industrialization of America, Wall St and their "ghetto mortgages"--so suddenly she's the 21st-century answer to Fanny Lou Hamer? I DON'T THINK SO!

http://www.buzzhunt.co.uk/wp-content/2011/04/i-do-not-think-so.png

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

and the propaganda and lies they tell. Many like to tell themselves they're "Fighting Back" by always "believing the victim" and that's exactly what the MSM propaganda depends on. It depends on your immediately not questioning their narrative because shoddy, crappy reporting is simple and has them home before dinner. Real investigation takes time.

Witness how they all jumped on "Berniebros" and "Uniformed Young Voters" despite not a shred of evidence. However, Democratic politicians and sycophants claimed they were the victim, and the media reinforced their story because it's a good "Poor defenseless person beat up by the mean people" story.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

lunachickie's picture

It often means we are criticizing the behavior of a subset within the group that DOES engage in objectionable behavior. The immediate conflating of that with "All criticism is hate speech" is a tactic pulled right from Murdoch,

It's the conflating part that seriously pisses me off, because there are times that general, objectionable behavior must be called out and it must be acknowledged and it has NOTHING to do with what was all;eged (in this case, the subject's ethnic and/or religious background). That is simply reading WAY more into it than was ever intended. Even once that's explained, when there is still refusal to acknowledge that "not all criticism is hate speech"--and making the accusation that it is, without being able to articulate a reason that makes actual logical sense--to me is the biggest part of the problem.

You shouldn't have to "justify your objection with logic"? Yes, sorry. Yes, you should, if your objection demands that a whole roomful of other people stop talking about something because YOU find it objectionable. To me, that had better make sense why that is, and it better actually be applicable to the speech you're asking that all others cease. If it doesn't, it's not really fair to keep demanding it.

Admins on ANY forum have to balance the needs of the Many against the immediate short-term gratification (via logic or lack thereof, or of upset, or of legitimate complaint) of the One. If it's that objectionable, rather than make the many flat-out shut up, wouldn't it make more sense for you to remove yourself from that discussion, particularly if no one else really understands the meat and potatoes of your objection?

My last two cents, and I'm done with the subject....moving right along...

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is the hordes of "right-thinking liberals", not the moron making the original comment.
There will always be some moron on the internet who cries victim. All that is necessary is to point out that the moron is a moron and why.

The problem is the liberal sheeple who will come to the defense of the moron because they are afraid of looking "insensitive" to minorities, even when their spokesperson is a dumb-ass.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Nasty tactics for nasty times.
Swarming with multiple identities run by one person. 3 people can run up to 60 identities, so I've heard.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Amanda Matthews's picture

am still a member but I lost my posting privileges there years ago. Before the Peace Prize had even been taken out of its wrapping I was upset with Obama over his fake healthcare insurance boondoggle and I said so. First freaking thing out of the gate people started telling me I was a racist. If old posts are there, then you would be able to see that I wasn't going for that crap. It wasn't because I could see it was crap legislation that was going to eventually crash and burn, oh hell no. (Obama thought he'd be out of town before that happened.)

Eventually, after watching all the perfidious behavior from Bauccus & Co's healthcare panel I snapped. When that insider trading crooked mofo with a D after his name had those doctors and nurses arrested I snapped and said if this is the Democratic representation that we have, then maybe we shouldn't be voting for Dems at all and voila Meteor Blades I believe swooped down and took my posting 'privileges' away. But for most of those whiny shits, my problem was that I was a RACIST!!!!!

P.S. I'm also proud to be amongst the many who pointed out early on how craptastic that that piece of shit legislation really was/is.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

I hate to hear you were shut-down like that. I finally got angry enough I called Armando
a bad liar and a traitor to the progressive cause. I got smacked down hard and received a message saying I would not be able to post again unless I agreed that I was wrong to say what I did, and to refrain from ever doing it again. That message from the PTB is still there waiting for my response, I guess. Haven't been back there in months.
I completely understand the necessity for moderation. I feel horrible when I want to be mean to someone over what they have said. I am guilty of having said those mean things sometimes.
We all know there is a fine line between what is fair and what isn't. I appreciate our gracious hosts listening to us and respecting our opinions, which I have experienced personally.
C99% is a lifesaver in my world. I can say what I think and I am treated better than fairly. It helps me to remember that no one should be expected to make perfect calls every time. And, because of the good people here, the mistakes are few and far between.
I'm with you on the health care debacle. Seems we are troublemakers.

Have a good one, Ms. Matthews

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'Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd "

Amanda Matthews's picture

for the privilege of being called a racist every time I criticized their 'Transformational President'. I didn't care that I couldn't post there. Those people really did talk about him like they were prepubescent teenage girls talking about their first crush. There was no critical thinking involved.

I've gone back occasionally to check the place out and all I see is that it's as messed up now as it was back then. But now their new savior and idol is the neo-liberal Clinton woman. After all the talking about how bad Bill Clinton's policies ended up being for our country, and after the horrible things Shills and her PUMA buddies said about Obama when he was running (and they often were vile and ugly) now the same people are doing the old idol worship thing again but this time they're fawning over the person they hated the last time around. They have openly accepted everything they were supposedly against eight years ago. And they are eating it up.

Go figure

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

lotlizard's picture

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/feb/23/need-t...

Perhaps the most disturbing revelation is this. The US Air Force has been tendering for companies to supply it with persona management software, which will perform the following tasks:

a. Create "10 personas per user, replete with background, history, supporting details, and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographically consistent … Personas must be able to appear to originate in nearly any part of the world and can interact through conventional online services and social media platforms."

b. Automatically provide its astroturfers with "randomly selected IP addresses through which they can access the internet" (an IP address is the number which identifies someone's computer), and these are to be changed every day, "hiding the existence of the operation". The software should also mix up the astroturfers' web traffic with "traffic from multitudes of users from outside the organisation. This traffic blending provides excellent cover and powerful deniability."

c. Create "static IP addresses" for each persona, enabling different astroturfers "to look like the same person over time". It should also allow "organisations that frequent same site/service often to easily switch IP addresses to look like ordinary users as opposed to one organisation."

Your government is using your tax dollars to dupe you.

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lunachickie's picture

I'm tellin' you, sockpuppetry is an ART FORM now, with its own software.

Yessiree, bub, you too can be an efficient troll-ass multiple ID Internet wizard, too.

"Find online conversations about your company, brand or products and engage with your audience. "

I actually used this for about five minutes, when I was doing web writing and blogging for an e-commerce site, so I could "better monitor social media and blogs when people post about" the product we were selling, which is how it's marketed, right? I decided, once I loaded it up, that it was like having a Cadillac when I only needed a Volkswagen--in other words, what I actually got, for what they advertise, versus what I really needed, was complete overkill. I can Google search, that's really all we were interested in. And I remember thinkin' about BB that it would make more sense to market it as a 'troll tool', cuz it seemed way better suited to that!

I'm guessing that's probably not a great selling point, though.... Scratch one-s head

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Looks like the HRC camp is using the Cadillac.

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'Well, I've wrestled with reality for thirty five years, Doctor, and I’m happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd "

It's up to the moderator to step in and draw limits when things get out of hand. This is very different than setting rules that favour one position over another. Here we can debate positions until the cows come home. Moderation should control the method, not the content.

I would not want an unmoderated site. It would be unproductive and the loudest voices would occupy 90% of the bandwidth. You can't have aggressive tactics suppressing reasoned dialogue. We also rely on honest participation, that is, we come here representing our thoughts, opinions and prejudices, not someone else's. I know that's hard to moderate, but sometimes it's obvious. Did you notice the sudden change in the majority of comments to the NYT. It was pro Bernie, then suddenly it became pro-Secretary. That defeats one of the great social contributions of the internet, exposure of honest opinion. I'm not surprised that the Secretary would nuke that. Probably very satisfied at that accomplishment. How do we protect from that? This is worth some discussion.

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

So I didn't notice that. Of course, people use the Net as a way to practice psy-ops, particularly by making people believe that "the majority"believes in whatever the establishment is trying to sell that day....and you're right, we need to talk more about that. I wish I had more ideas for how to counter this stuff. I'd love to talk to the sec state whistleblowers about what countermeasures they would suggest.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lunachickie's picture

Should be the moderators credo Smile

Moderation should control the method, not the content.

Please understand, too--in my comment above, just in case anyone thinks it (even though I said to the contrary) that is in no way meant to imply that I felt like we were all stifled. Our outstanding admin controlled the method and that was exactly the right thing to do. But we also cannot say to ourselves now, for example--well, let's just avoid that topic altogether--because obviously (and sadly), it's really not resolved overall, it's just resolved in the moment.

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and then just shut up and read the comments.

I did not disable the comments in that essay to stifle discussion, I did it to keep this blog from imploding upon it self. I have seen that happen before to other sites to the point where just about everyone left.

I left the discussion go as far as I thought I could allow. All the points that could be made, were made, including the point about the dog whistle aspect. Anything beyond that was going to be a redundant screaming match, which it was quickly devolving into anyway.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

and do not consider it stifling in any way. Seems to me most people agree.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

that bothers me:

Seems to me most people agree.

Because it seems that some don't.

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Haikukitty's picture

You still have to do what you think is right.

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insinuation that I was taking sides and that's why I closed the comments is upsetting to me because that is utter bullshit. And that insinuation was made in my essay yesterday.

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tourniquet's picture

blogs blow up in just the way that you describe. a single shouting match can cause a whole lot of lasting anger, and it's easy to maintain because most of us are (relatively) anonymous online. we see people as thought strings instead of the humans we are.

one of the huge failures of orangewater was its utter lack of good moderation. reliance on "the rules" and community moderation did nothing but build a culture of bending and circumventing the rules to as much effect as possible, to the extent that racism, antisemitism, and a great deal of clique-hate still simmers right below the surface in nearly every discussion. when it finally shuts down, the orangewater servers are going to have to be melted in acid before the toxicity will abate.

reasonable and rational moderation doesn't stifle discussion when the conversation is between good actors, because good actors should understand why the conversation is being brought to an end.

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GIANT ALL-CAPS SIG

lunachickie's picture

reasonable and rational moderation doesn't stifle discussion when the conversation is between good actors, because good actors should understand why the conversation is being brought to an end.

and reasonable moderators have a real good idea exactly when something like that should happen. And we shouldn't ever expect them to justify it, so I think it's great that the mods here bent over backward to ensure we all knew why it happened, regardless.

My only remaining concern is when it comes up again--because it probably will, given the subject--but we can't anticipate everything in advance. I imagine it will become one of those 'take it on a case-by-case basis' things...

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that post had come to a (lets agree to disagree )moment before it was shut down and it was going nowhere.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

rather than letting the idea that censorship is happening lie around. Better to deal with it openly, and at once.
Perhaps that was overly optimistic of me--but I don't think so.

IMO, the comments in this diary are actually proving to me that C99 has NOT transformed into TOP, nor has it turned sour. We could never have this discussion, this way, at the GOS. Even people who don't altogether agree with me, or with your actions, are not making character attacks and are not ready to march off in a huff.

I know this is a stressful time for everybody--some of that is reflecting in the site and how we treat each other. You don't have an easy job, particularly right now, but please notice that most people are behind you, and everybody who has responded to this essay trusts you.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

tapu dali's picture

All the points that could be made, were made, including the point about the dog whistle aspect. Anything beyond that was going to be a redundant screaming match ...

Quite.

Once the same point has been made 5 times (each) by both "sides", nobody is listening anymore, and it's time to end the discussion.

I would suggesting a nice kitty picture as your last comment, and then say, quietly,

I believe everyone has had their say. Comments are now closed. Thank you for participating.

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There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know.

mimi's picture

all points have been and can be discussed, everyone wants to be heard and wants to talk, nobody has argued they can't do it. .... but I quote something which expressed what I myself can't that well. These are not my words, but I am in agreement with them. I don't give the link, because I don't want to get into a discussion, if it was a "serious" source.

There is a movement in mental health to emphasize the extent to which mental health problems are "understandable" responses to the stress of the environment, an ethos is captured in the dictum that mental health professionals should ask "not what's wrong with you, but what's happened to you" ...

...it seems to me-a great deal of inherent value in placing more focus on giving people the space to talk about how they have made sense of their lives.

yet

Nonetheless, the "understand-ability" assumption, though well intentioned, is subject to problems. At the most basic level it has epistemological difficulties; how well can you ever "know" another person's experience, to what extent is one person "like" another? Even if we assume that our normal intuitions about being able to empathize with others are substantially accurate we still need to remain conservative in estimating what we know. Just as there is arrogance in assuming that a diagnosis tells you all you need to know about a person's experience, there is arrogance in assuming you can basically figure someone out on the basis of your interpretation of their story.

Redundant screaming matches may be a sign that people can't get themselves out of mode in which they express a sort of over identification with another person's or groups fate or experiences.

However, over-identification with the plight of another can cause havoc with our intuitions. Experiences can appear "understandable" even when they are not. As is so often the case with sloppy clinical thinking, Paul Meehl articulated this problem 40 years ago with his description of the "me too" fallacy:

There is a temptation in using over-identification with people of your ethnic ancestors experiences as a combative argument. It is reacted to mostly within the "understand-ability" assumption to be a valid argument. Yet, as long as you personally had not experienced something that victimized and harmed you, but you do identify strongly with those in your ancestry, family history or clan, people realize that the argument might be understandable but not necessarily "honest", especially if it glides into an almost hysterical over-identification mode screaming match.

This does in no way mean, that the arguments made have not a great importance politically. Therefore they should be made.

But when you get stuck into that mode of screaming match, it appears like an addictive attitude that you can't stop.

It's then when a cold turkey approach is needed to protect the discussions as a whole, and bud nipping is the softest cold turkey approach I could imagine.

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Trauma is not what happens to you, but what happens inside you as a result of what happens to you. - Dr. Gabor Mate

riverlover's picture

I agree, mimi. Mother hen effect. But I didn't go on and on, and do not remember whoever it was giving any historical reference for their opinion. Not that that should be necessary. I also do not hold grudges over minor quibbles, no names were stored away as untouchables. Not my thing.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

respect and self-discipline. If one lises respect for another because they disagree with what they are espousing, they lose self-discipline by becoming antagonistic and, perhaps, abusive. It happened in another essay here just this morning. Some jumped in and asked for the person to self-moderate. That's acceptable. If the person has lost all perspective and continues to hide behind their keyboard blasting others, the adult in the room must step in. We are all every age we've ever been and sometimes that takes us back to the playground.

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

darkmatter's picture

Yep, that is indeed what happened - the most cynical strategy one could imagine, using accusations of bigotry to squelch progressive economic critique. Cry wolf so often, and then when the real wolf appears, the accusation has been so diluted that it carries no real persuasive force anymore.

The height of it came from Hillary herself, with that astonishing non-sequitur, "You can break up the big banks, but that won't end racism." As though someone was saying that it would.

And of course, Hillary's ludicrous attempt to re-direct the conversation towards safely non-economic social issues ignores the fact that a precarious economic system is hardest on those who have been marginalized. So in a funny way, while it wouldn't "end" racism, breaking up the banks (meaning, a re-establishment of public regulation of finance) would have a disproportionately beneficial effect on those who are currently the most screwed over by the current economic system. But that's not how they played the game, at DK and in the media. Any refusal to accept the shearing off of social from economic issues was framed as a refusal of the social issues themselves.

In my experience, the best defense is offense in politics. For those who want to use identity politics as a wedge issue against progressive economics, you just have to call it out as such. The bitter irony is that the use of social issues as electoral wedges was perfected by the right wing, who would get conservatives to come out in droves to vote against gay marriage or reproductive rights, but then once in office would deliver tax cuts, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation, etc. Now we have the liberal establishment's own version of the same game: base your vote on matters of identity, but what you ultimately get is a reinforcement of the neoliberal status quo.

Ultimately, social justice and economic justice are impossible without each other. That was one of the messages of MLK himself. To have civil rights while living in poverty/debt is empty; to have the material comforts of life but no civil rights is a farce. Civil justice and economic justice are two sides of the same coin, and the coin is called justice. Those who think you can split them apart, or play one against the other, are ultimately working against justice, not for it.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

But while we can call it out as such, and should, if we encounter an actual troll, it's important to have moderation in the background. B/c, for a troll's purposes, it's just as good to swamp a site with discussions of whether or not calling out a poster is justified. Hell, you know the drill. We all saw it about a million times at TOP.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

darkmatter's picture

Yes, a troll's usual target is not persuadable minds but the forum of debate itself, and the community of good-faith participants in that forum. I am all for judicious moderation.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

It makes things really clear:

a troll's usual target is not persuadable minds but the forum of debate itself, and the community of good-faith participants in that forum.

How we could apply that to Hillary 2016 could be a dissertation.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

darkmatter's picture

You made my day.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Smile

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

can we theorize here that maybe the establishment gumshoes are telling an incorrect story? can facts for a false flag argument be presented?

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bygorry

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

I believe that the "conspiracy theory" talking point/buzzword is one of the most effective linguistic psy-ops the CIA ever concocted, so you'll get no pushback from me!

If someone's making an argument that really is on level of "Little green men landed in Roswell!" I trust our intellectual sieves to catch the gristle and keep it out of the soup.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

detroitmechworks's picture

that they want us to shut up about RIGHT NOW.

Recent "Conspiracy Theories" are that Hillary and the DNC rigged the election and banned exit polls to cover their tracks. Considering the amount of people needed to pull off this, it MUST be insane! It can't have happened! EVERY Democrat takes orders? Surely somebody would have spilled the beans. You can't really think that people would abandon the founding principles of our democracy! Clearly you're just paranoid...

...except, there's evidence for all of it. Conspiracy theory dismissal is just a variant of reductio ad absurdem. Only the absurd idea is that people with money and power will do anything to keep it. It's a standard accepted, if unpleasant, truth for centuries. Pretending the upper class will not act like the upper class, because we "Don't have classes in the US" is the truly naive thought.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

is being used to shut us up. Another blog I post on frequently (coloradopols.com) is so pro-HRC that some posters cannot abide any criticism of their darling.
So any criticism I put out there is ridiculed: I'm a "black helicopter tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist," etc. The most recent was my attempt to connect Comcasts donations to the HRC campaign to the monolithic network support of the HRC campaign. I wrote a diary on it here.

On the aforementioned blog, the abuse directed at me for merely speculating that there might be a connection between Comcasts $$ and the network's HRC support was immediate, ugly, and continuing.

There was no moderation, although some friendly Polsters stepped in to defend me, and I of course had to defend myself. Naturally, no one questioned the facts I presented, or even addressed the factual basis at all. The attacks were all based on me having the gall to speculate and guess, to think the unthinkable about the presumptive nominee.

So far that hasn't happened on this blog, although it probably will - I am a moderate in that I'm not charging off towards a 3rd party, will probably reluctantly vote for HRC, not particularly interested in socialist theory.

I guess I'm saying that from my experience there, I want moderators to step in whenever conflict of ideas degenerates into flame wars and personal name-calling.

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riverlover's picture

begin to boil (with blood or not) I have learned from experience elsewhere to just leave. Run. Exit.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Alphalop's picture

The only difference between a Conspiracy and a Conspiracy Theory is the first has been proven and the 2nd has yet to be.

But ALL recognized conspiracies where at one point little more than theory.

We should of course always approach any conspiracy theory with skepticism and demands of evidence, just like we would with any other theory, but outright dismissal should almost never be the case, yet it seems to be the default setting.

"The Devils greatest trick was convincing the world he didn't exist." could easily be applied to this situation...

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"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

Lookout's picture

Including watching our own comments. In this format there are no facial expressions nor tone of voice. It is sometimes difficult to know if it was a joke or a jab.

Let's all work on developing higher level of conscience when we snap off comments and make sure we are trying to be productive rather than snarky.

I think after last week we feel betrayed, and we all are unsure of what is coming around the bend. That raises a level of angst that may be expressing itself in snide hurtful comments. Let's rise above it!

For the 99% to neuter the 1%, we will have to work together. Let's support each other here.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

hester's picture

will be helpful. (full disclosure, I hate Netanyahooooo and the right wing Israeli's. The country I visited as a child is long gone, I agree w Birdie about Palestinian rights, and think the settlements should be torn down and the land returned to the Palestinians)...

I am Jewish, w a parent (now dead ) who barely got out of Nazi Austria and a grandma and auntie that were picked up by the Nazis. So I'm very easily spooked and sensitive about the topic that arose yesterday.. Even so, I was surprised at the 'comment termination'. Maybe something else went on behind closed doors, but despite my sensitivities, I thought the points of view expressed were all legitimate and coherent. Sure there were some attempts to stifle speech, and some testy remarks but so what?

I would've preferred for the discussion to continue. It's not my site, so obviously not my call. I learn so much more from people with whom I disagree but also whom I respect, than from those w whom I agree.

I made 3 comments in that diary, 2 of them substantive (I think) one of them more opinion / personal based. So that one personal comment thanked someone for drawing attention to the issue and expressing that I didn't want to feel like I had to leave this place. Let's assume it got so bad (for me) I felt like I had to leave...

So what? That's my choice. I don't need the wonderful Jtc to protect me. I'm a big girl and if enough people say things that offend me, I can take my leave. But if those people are ones I respect I might continue the conversation (or try) and try to see their point of view and hopefully help them see mine.

Sometimes, and this time (yesterday) I took quick offense and then monitored my internal self and went ahead and kept reading. I was glad I did. I can bristle internally at the way someone says something, but if the underlying point is valid (or might be valid), it's good for me to hear it / read it. So despite my early bristling, I was eager to continue and tried in fact to supply some historical context to why of so many Jews ending up in banking (and tailoring, lol) as the only 'professions' open to them.

So, if i had a do over, the only comment I would edit or delete would be the 'personal' one.

Thanks for reading this far if you did.

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Don't believe everything you think.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

some of us reacted as we did.

Frankly, the establishment has come up with a humdinger of a weapon this time, and we haven't figured out how to deal with it, especially since we don't want to stop fighting racism, anti-semitism, all the prejudices.

The important thing is that we not tear each other apart; also, that we keep a lid on trolling, which will, inevitably, happen.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

hester's picture

perhaps not here, that identity politics will be the death of us all if we are not careful. I am irreligious and feel i have tons in common w you, who ever you are b/c we are both human and humane.

And yeah, we have to figure out the appropriate responses b/c it's going to fuck us up if we don't. Yes, I was SMH at this

I've had people--purportedly POC--tell me I was racist for opposing Social Security cuts because, in the 30s, Social Security did not include black people. Never mind that Social Security has included black people since before I was born, and that women of color depend more on Social Security than anyone else in this country--so when you cut Social Security, you're really punching somebody's black grandma in the face. What's real *now* doesn't matter--the only thing that mattered was to say I was a racist for pushing a left-wing idea.

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Don't believe everything you think.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

But then, I was also told I was sexually obsessed with Vladimir Putin--

(my all-time-favorite troll comment EVER!)

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lunachickie's picture

something about his "pectorals". And there were pictures. Am I thinking of the right things?

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

but I think some pictures of a shirtless Putin riding some wild animal were being circulated around then.
You are probably remembering the right things.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

and not a guns and roses conflict?? Then I was feeling guilty for no good reason.

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There is no such thing as TMI. It can always be held in reserve for extortion.

TheOtherMaven's picture

The diary was supposed to be about How Awful Hillary Is, but the first three comments - by the diarist, who either didn't know when to leave it alone or was indulging in overkill - became about Hillary's Awful Friends The Rothschilds (and nobody but the Rothschilds, even though she has a lot more Awful Friends).

Well. With the Trumpmeister already juggling flaming torches over a pool of gasoline, the last thing any reasonable person should want to do is to pour out any more gasoline.

Let's keep that in mind, shall we?

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Didn,t agree with a lot so didn't spend much time there. Thanks for setting me straight.

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There is no such thing as TMI. It can always be held in reserve for extortion.

If you think there is content posted that shouldn't be, you should report it to moderation.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

lunachickie's picture

for a lot of reasons.

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enhydra lutris's picture

read through, and it seemed to me that a couple of the videos were over the top, more so than the essay per se.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Sure there were some attempts to stifle speech and some testy remarks but so what?

People don't get to tell others what they can and can't say. It is why we left top. Testy remarks lead to brawls. Being civil is a site rule. If we all wanted to roll around in the gutter, we would have stayed at top.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

"Sure there were some attempts to stifle speech...but so what?"

Doesn't this complicate the notion of censorship? When the origin of the dispute was that some people were telling other people You can't say that, you must stop speaking about that?

Is it OK for individual actors, or small groups of people, to tell others they can't say certain things, as long as they're not acting out of an official position? But somehow very wrong if anyone in an official position tells people a discussion must stop?

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Meteor Man's picture

That may be rude and unacceptable to some folks. I'm ok with that.

The first amendment has zero application to this website. The problems with moderation at The Pie Fight Place have nothing to do with caucus99%.

Case closed.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

lunachickie's picture

that we should trust the mods or leave, frankly. I also don't mind being rude about it or if you are, you need not apologize at all! I also understand this has nothing to do with "First amendment" issues.

The problems with moderation elsewhere is tangentially related to caucus99% because of the ugly experiences of much of its membership at a certain other place. It is perfectly fine to have such a discussion, IMO, provided it's done respectfully or at least there's an effort made to keep it respectful.

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ArthurPoet's picture

...then this website has zero application to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and this website has zero application to DEMOCRACY and zero application to the Democratic Party (or any political party) and zero application to UNITED STATES GOVERMENT and zero application to UNITED STATES OF AMERICA POLITICS and zero application the U.S. CONSTITUTION and hell, zero application to tie UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CULTURE or ANY FREEDOM LOVING HUMANITY.

The First Amendment = FREEDOM OF SPEECH = FREEDOM and this is what blogging (the modern incarnation of media) is all about.

I am honestly at a complete and utter loss to understand how a political blogger could ever make the statement you've made, much less even think it. If a political blogging site does not champion freedom of speech then it is nothing but a biased propaganda tool.

I HAVE NOT READ THE COMMENTS ON THE OFFENDING ESSAY, but I did read the essay, and without pointing fingers, because I did not read the comments, as I said, but my guess, is that THAT ESSAY, which got hijacked, which was about why people should not vote for Hillary, quite probably got hijacked in an orchestrated move by a BROCK PAID TROLL EFFORT TO DIVERT ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE NARRATIVE OF THAT ESSAY. And now JtC shut that discussion down and the precedent has been set. And if that same narrative from that essay gets posted again, then the same formula will be used and JtC will be "forced" (for the good of the site) to shut down discussion again and then he will be "forced" to pass a rule that censors any discussion related to that topic but that's okay because "Freedom of Speech" has zero application to a website for political discussion.

Did I offend anyone with my comment? Good.

I was offended when 3 moderators commented on my snark essay, my essay which was criticizing and mocking Obama and Hillary and a certain prominent political blogger.) All were public figures and all were more than deserving of mocking. And while those moderators did not tell me outright that I was to be censored or banned, they did go out of their way to make it clear that I was close to a line (using the same logic JtC used, namely, "for the good of the site) ... in other words, they did impose a censorship rule ... thinly masked ... but censorship all the same.

Corporate Psyops. Pure.

Do you think we don't notice?

I have seen this a dozen times on this site over the past 2 months. You are poisoning the well here and you are doing this before this site has barely taken off. Either this site will be known as a bastion of FREEDOM OF SPEECH or it will not. FREEDOM OF SPEECH is the only coinage of the realm that bloggers value, because if you don't give me that, then I will just link your essay/discussion-thread to a group in Facebook and then I will tell the truth there, trashing this website in the process. Right now, the epicenter of political debate is Facebook, you will never compete with that, if you are censoring FREEDOM OF SPEECH here from the get go. This site has become the landing site for DK refugees, but beyond that, I wonder? It is charming for me to see old familiar names and voices, but will non DK folks be drawn to here? Especially if you have a team of moderators censoring people?

DK had community moderation in its prime that worked, but once the DK administration let false allegations and abusive HR run rampant by a posse of abusive bullies with a political agenda to shut down criticism of Obama under the guise of "false accusations of racism", it digressed into an HR war. Hell, Markos shut down all theories about criminal political actions under the guise of "no conspiracy theory" bullshit, when all evidence suggests that 9/11 WTC Bldg 7 was a inside demolition job, or more recent, vaccines and autism, or what about the election rigging? If we do NOT share our collective knowledge as truth seekers then how will we use this new journalism tool called blogging to get to the truth and expose the truth and educate people on the truth.

The GULF DEEPWATER HORIZON 24/7 DAILYKOS VIGIL OF THE ROV EXPOSED THE CORPORATE LIE ABOUT HOW MUCH OIL WAS FLOWING.

WE DID THAT!!!!!

That is what blogging can do.

If this is just a refugees camp for DK veterans, but only those who don't offend the bias of the moderators, it will be known on Facebook as feckless and just another DailyKos.

I think you should reopen comments in that thread and cease and desist from using moderate to censor people's brutally honest candor... and as others have said and to which I agree .... this DBAD / DBAA rule is bullshit.

Be a dick. Be an ass.

Trolling is one thing. That's thread jacking and posting the same comment a dozen times ... but being a dick by challenging bullshit and calling bullshit with brutally honest words is fucking refreshing, and if someone's feelings are hurt, good. Maybe they might wake the fuck up. Yes, having a thick skin is part of it, but if someone says something that is totally bogus then I am not gonna sugar coat it, nor do I want others to, and if that is not the quality of the discussion here, then FREEDOM OF SPEECH loving people are gonna go to a site that supports that. Hell, the Bernie Sanders political revolution only exists because Bernie is a no bullshit guy and people are hungry for that, and btw, this is also why Trump won the republican primary, because the republican base is also hungry for brutal candor.... the entire nation is ... humanity is.

The web itself, IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH, that is its most defining quality, that is why people love it, that is why people go to it, so if this site does not mirror that same defining quality which humanity wants and needs, then it will not be successful.

Someone wrote "trust the moderator or leave" .... no, "trust the commenters or the commenters (i.e.: your paying customers) will leave."Commenters are paying you with their eyeballs and their contributions of content. "Commenters and Content" are asset. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not understand what a website is.

JtC ...
You have to 100% welcome the good with the flame wars or your site will not be the political power that it needs, it will just be another DailyKos. You set the tone and precident now, today... HERE.

I have a 8 year history on DailyKos of being brutally candid and honest, but I never said "FUCK YOU" to anyone but I did use "fuck" quite as an emphasis. Harsh but respectful. I am a tough New Yorker and know quite a lot about certain topics and I don't suffer fools lightly. So, if you want serious hard ball no bullshit opinionated informed substantive substantiated political debate where people don't pull their punches, then you will love me, but if you want to run just another comporate psyops site like Markos' brilliantly executed psyops propaganda site, yoou will hate me, and given the fact that DK veterans are now savvy to that game, we won't be fooled by it again.

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• Move Sooner, Not Faster •
(((../\..)))
detroitmechworks's picture

That little voice that tells you to quit while you're ahead?

Might be a good time to listen.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

ArthurPoet's picture

WTF??? Did you read my comment?

Read it again.

I am not "Ahead" ... I am, and we are, FUCKING BEHIND.

THAT was my point.

And while you may want to act like you are being polite and I am being impolite because I used the "F" word....

"Quit while you are ahead" is saying to me to STFU -- ie: SHUT THE FUCK UP OR YOU WILL GET BANNED BECAUSE YOU ARE FUCKING LUCKY YOU WEREN'T BANNED ALREADY.

Ie... because I am championing FREEDOM OF SPEECH you want me to STFU.

Nice. Good luck with that. Are you a moderator too, by any chance? Are you about to ban me?

You want me to be docile and follow direction?

Funny that. Know who you are talking to ...

I was banned for bullshit reasons from DailyKos 5+ years ago, then reinstated 2 years later, and then banned again 1 year ago, again for bullshit reasons. I will just express my views on Facebook if I cannot express them here. DailyKos has become known far and wide on Facebook as a corporate controlled censored site, is that what you want this site known as? If not, then I would suggest that YOU QUIT WHILE YOU ARE AHEAD.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH BLOGGERS OWN THE NET. WE OWN THIS TURF. YOU CANNOT SILENCE ME. I WILL JUST POST A LINK TO THOS THREAD AND EXPOSE YOU IN A FAR LARGER COMMUNITY THAN FREQUENTS C99.

So.... make your choice, because of you silence me, or anyone like me who gets in your face and challenges you, then you will win this battle and lose the war.

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• Move Sooner, Not Faster •
(((../\..)))
detroitmechworks's picture

And I choose not to speak to you.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

hecate's picture

tough ol' world.

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

riverlover's picture

Dog came a'running, head cocking back and forth. What an annoying sound! Out of such a huggy bear.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

What do you have to say in response to the issues I raise there?

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

then it follows you would be against trolling, which does everything it can to destroy freedom of speech for everyone but the troll. Especially you would be concerned about the known issue of government spooks using opinion management software to create swarms which drown out other voices mainly by doing the digital equivalent of sending dozens of people into a room to scream at the top of their lungs all at once.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

hecate's picture

Faceborg. Go to it.

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that you are a guest here? Because you just took a big dump on the living room floor.

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ArthurPoet's picture

about a serious issue that will directly affect the success and future of this site, which you, as this site's owner should consider as a sacred gift, and you characterize it as "SHIT" ... because I challenged you?

You might want to read my comment again and ponder the question of the future of your site and the future of this nation and whether or not FREEDOM OF SPEECH matters.

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• Move Sooner, Not Faster •
(((../\..)))

Have you forgotten that you have not only challenged, and cursed at, and seriously dissed, the owner of the site?
You are here at his choice.

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enhydra lutris's picture

out something that seems to have slipped by you. The statement that "The First Amendment ... here" is as old as the web, as old as the net, and older than both. It precedes arpanet even. It is common all over the internet as it was once all over fidonet. It is a simple statement of the fact that these sites are not government run and that nobody has an enforceable legal right to say anything and everything that they feel like.

Now, most people, all along from the early BBS world right up to C99P generally feel that the more free and more open the discussion the better, but most also have come to recognize that limits have to be set. There wee places on uunet and usenet where no communication could possibly occur because too much speech was too free and too much of it was loud shrieking drivel interrupting and dislocating every attempt at rational conversation. That kind of shit must be avoided, and where participants, for whatever reason, are failing to avoid it in a particular thread, then it must simply be shut down.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

tourniquet's picture

freedom of speech you describe inevitably ends in every third post going something like this:

"HITLER HITLER HITLER NI$$ER NI$$ER NI$$ER HITLER HITLER HITLER FUCK YOU."

i'm trying to figure out what websites you're talking about that have this absolute freedom of speech, because even 4chan has moderation.

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GIANT ALL-CAPS SIG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

over and over again. It involves manipulating the conversation so that only certain things get said, and others get silenced by, for instance, people making unfair accusations and character assassinations. We just watched it happen on DKos.

There's a middle ground between letting trolls run the place and being the Kremlin.

As for the first amendment, that gives us our rights. I'm assuming we take on some responsibilities along with those--which means not using my rights to deprive others of theirs--or to deprive the community of its ability to converse.

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"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones." - Fiver

Exit polls not involving George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton tend to be quite accurate.
--Doug Hatlem

TheOtherMaven's picture

The problem was that the diarist wasn't satisfied with the diary as posted, and felt it "necessary" to pound the point home harder and harder and HARDER with three immediate follow-up comments with embedded video, each screechier than the last. Somebody was bound to notice the Johnny-One-Note nature of the comments, and the way they shifted OFF the topic of "How Awful Hillary Is" and ONTO "Hillary has These Awful People For Friends And They're Bad To The Bone For Umpteen Generations".

Apparently I was the first to speak up and say this was not where we wanted to go (with humorous anecdote about a painful but funny - to others - figure-skating mishap).

The screeching got even more Johnny-One-Note, and worse, and WORSE. It was to the point of blatant offensiveness and about to degenerate into personal attack of the "You're An Idiot If You Think That I Meant..." type. That's when JtC stepped in, and IMHO rightly so.

Nothing good was going to come of that discussion, because it was botched from the get-go.

Some final comments:
1) Headlines in ALL CAPS are almost always intended to be inflammatory, and may indicate inflammatory text.
2) Make your point in the diary, don't keep pounding away with additional unnecessary comments.
3) Don't deflect/blunt your point by slamming anyone you don't intend to focus on.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Cachola's picture

this wad about as you were one of the persons involved. Seems kind of one sided explanation.

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Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

Alphalop's picture

willingness to chime on "Contentious" issues.

I really wanted to comment with something similar, but after getting "warned" for calling someone a troll that repeatedly referred to me and a large group of Americans as child molesters (which I didn't do until the 2nd or 3rd time such a statement was made after I had already expressed in a civil fashion why I found such a comment offensive) I was somewhat reluctant to do so in this event. (No it was not directly related to the topic or posters involved in the above discussion, however the way it made me feel about posting is similar.)

Since I don't know who has a long history here with the mods and whatnot I feel almost obligated to not call anyone out anymore which is in and of itself a bit stifling.

I mean, if you can't call someone a troll that literally calls anywhere from 35-55% of Americans kid touchers repeatedly then what the hell does qualify?

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"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

with the troll word is a hallmark of DailyKos and doesn't play well here, especially when it's applied to long standing members. If you disagree with posters opinion, address that and leave the troll descriptor for the real thing.

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Alphalop's picture

private if you like or just drop it entirely, but why is it not ok to use the troll word when the person is engaging in behavior that is exactly the definition of trolling? If you read the entire thread, from the first time the firearms fondler and kid touching crap came up, to which I thought I responded to in a respectful and non inflammatory manner, and several others also made comments about it being offensive to which the individual then replied by doubling and then tripling down?

I asked this previously but didn't receive an answer, but I would really like to know what is the proper word to use if troll is a verboten one here, because I would be happy to do so.

Again, I am not trying to be argumentative, but is it your position that we cannot call out someone who is indeed in engaging in troll like activity using that word or that what they were doing wasn't trolling? I just want to know so I can avoid any unnecessary conflict.

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"I used to vote Republican & Democrat, I also used to shit my pants. Eventually I got smart enough to stop doing both things." -Me

to call him? Why do you need a word to describe him, argue his point.

Listen, I'm a gun owner and I was taken aback by what he said also, and I told him so, but I found no reason to insult him back by calling him a troll. Why is that so hard to understand? We are obviously hung up on the definition of a word, that word is insulting unless applied to a real troll.

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