September 3, 2009

Getting pseudonymous commenters to diavlog — with a "masking effect" — and a draft of a Bloggingheads comments policy.

Here's Bob Wright demonstrating the effect Bloggingheads is proposing to conceal identities — and make people look more interesting? — when pseudonymous commenters are turned into video personalities:



In the second part of that clip, Bob introduces the subject of a comments policy for his site, where, as he says, there've been "flame wars" lately. The main thing I've noticed is how much hate is thrown at me anytime I appear — often by people who load up the beginning of the thread with assertions that they will not watch the video because of me. Anyway, here's the draft of the comments policy they are proposing. I note Rule #2: "No rude comments aimed at diavloggers."
Like most superficially simple rules, this one is easier to state than to enforce fairly—one man’s verbal abuse is another man’s fair and accurate characterization. Here are some examples of what we’d label name-calling: moron, idiot, asshat, wingnut, moonbat, troll—and, absent very good evidence: racist. (To be clear: We don't proscribe the use of such words, only their use as epithets against other commenters, either directly or by implication.)

... In particular, avoid derogatory or demeaning remarks about physical appearance and speaking style. Don’t forget that many diavloggers read the comments section.
Don’t forget that many diavloggers read the comments section. LOL. Wasn't that the point of the rudeness?

25 comments:

John Althouse Cohen said...

I haven't gotten a chance to watch the clip yet, but ... did Robert Wright do a diavlog with Chico Marx?

Henry said...

Masking effect? The point of video is to see the expressions that go along with the voice. The nonverbals. Once you mask, what's the point? Just point the camera into a fish tank or up at the clouds. The video could be anything.

If I every become a pseudonymous commenter and do a diavlog, I don't want a masking effect. I want a mime.

Is Bob aware of podcasts?

EDH said...

Looks like one of those Schwab "rotoscoped" ads.

William said...

This is the only comments section that I follow with any regularity. It seems to me not so much a public forum as the collective unconscious. All the thoughts about race, sex, and appearance that pass, however ephemerally, through people's minds are made visible. Or maybe it's like high school. If a public figure looks fat or pompous or whatever, it will be discussed in detail......I don't know if there's any great blessing to seeing ourselves as others see us, but it is fun to watch others judging others and observing the criteria by which they reach such harsh conclusions......It is amazing how such a peripheral issue like public health insurance can engender such intense feelings of loathing or admiration.....At any rate, here the commenters take the trouble to spell the insults correctly and frame them in grammatical sentences. It is not the nature of humans to be charitable or wise but with sufficient effort it is possible to be grammatical.

Jana said...

Megan McCardle gets the same vitriol that Althouse gets. It's really quite childish and is in stark contrast to the usually very intelligent and substantive conversation going on between diavloggers.

Penny said...

"The term "diavlog" (sometimes written "dia-vlog" by some bloggers[35]) means a type of video blog (or "vlog") generally in which two people participate, as contrasted with a (mono)vlog in which one contributor is featured. The word "diavlog" is a portmanteau of the phrase "dialog video weblog" (or, alternately, "video weblog dialog").

I am so behind on the new words. The above is from wikipedia and meant to inform others like me who first thought that diavlog was divalog misspelled until it appeared too many times in this post to be that.

Balfegor said...

Huh. I was expecting something like this. Does the filter really work to conceal peoples' identities? Just makes them look like cartoon versions of themselves.

elHombre said...

Moonbat isn't rude. It's descriptive. Wingnut is rude.

Althouse and McArdle draw fire because they are successful, educated women who operate outside the secular progressive narrative. The same thing happens to people like Tom Sowell and Condi Rice.

Widmerpool said...

Agre with previous commenter that this is the only site I read comments for. Rare that they don't turn into wankfests, which has long been the case with bloggingheads, and which I doubt any policy will correct.

Henry said...

I was expecting something different myself. Are there pseudonymous commenters who want to be sort-of-pseudonymous?

"Really, mom, that's not me! I don't have orange cheeks."

Greg Marquez said...

Well speaking of comments at Blogging Heads… Apparently Mike Behe, biochemist and anti-darwinist was invited on blogginheads TV by John McWhorter of the Manhattan Institute. After the episode was posted and received the typical comment carpet bombing from the members of the Church of Charles Darwin, Bloggingheads took it down. Hmmm not exactly a Profiles in Courage moment.

Anyway here's Mike Behe's blog entry about the event.

http://behe.uncommondescent.com/2009/08/bloggingheads-tv-and-me/

Greg Marquez

Rose said...

A. I LOVE those effects - very cool - masks may be a good thing if they look like that.

B. For some reason women get the degrading treatment, and extreme vitriol, men get sorta snarked at. Why is that?

John Lynch said...

How about ditching anonymity, period? I'm me, that's my name, and I'm not afraid.

I very much doubt most people need to be anonymous, because almost no one is going to read or watch their comments.

Being anonymous is kind of a sop to the ego, that you're more important than you actually are. It's like being Subcommentante Marcos or something. Give me a break.

traditionalguy said...

Rose...Women are generically hated by the Progressives. I suspect that it has to do with their Conquest mentality in the Progressives war upon Americans. When a conquerer comes to town, he will first take power over the society's protected women as a symbol of his power over that society. The women already being used by the conquering force are not under attack, only the women still allied to the traditions of the American culture are attacked.

Freeman Hunt said...

Women who stand for anything are treated more harshly by both men and other women.

I say women should just respond, "Nuts to you then!" And ignore it.

Or make $100 million. That works too.

rhhardin said...

Let hurt feelings rule.

Triangle Man said...

Until Penny's comment above straightened me out, I had always read diavlog as "diva-log".

John Lynch said...

I did, too.

mg said...

This reminds me of an unintentionally very funny diavlog, dual-podcast, whatever, from maybe 2-3 years ago, in which the camera of one of the participants started cycling through all sorts of odd video effects -- distorting his face -- without his knowing. I think it was between Jonah Goldberg and Peter Beinart, and that Beinart was the unwitting victim. I've looked all over for the clip or a reference but I cannot find it. I even thought our host linked to it at the time, but I can find no reference to it now.

halojones-fan said...

I think it was Larry Niven who said that anarchy is the least-stable of all political structures.

The truth of which we're seeing more and more every day, in regards to communications on the internet. Nightjack, Skankblogger, the rollback of many anonymous-unregistered-nonscreened comments sites...

And, to be frank, I'm not going to miss it, because when you know that they don't know who you are, the inner Beavis and Butthead immediately take over.

John Lynch said...

"Don't forget many diavloggers read the comments section."

Uh, yeah, that's why they leave the nasty comments.

Theo Boehm said...

I think of these comments sections as the scene with the winged monkeys, only they're a little pudgy and uncoordinated and can't fly too well, all directed by several Wicked Witches on acid, with the Itchy & Scratchy Show going on in the background.
Meanwhile, Dorothy's looking at her feet, wondering why she doesn't have a nice pair of Mary Janes.

wv = pirounsh. A pirouette done by overweight flying monkeys crashing into each other.

Elliott A said...

Why be anonymous? If I get lucky and say something intelligent or clever, even if by accident, I want people to know it was me.

Bob said...

Mickey Kaus looks a lot like the young Yogi Berra in this Bloggingheads.

Theo Boehm said...

I think my last comment was just a little too hostile for me, at least. Which is pretty milquetoast, actually.

If it's hostility you're wanting, they're probably biting each others' pinkies off right now over at the bitten pinky thread.

No, I didn't mean anything hostile toward our hostess by the Mary Janes remark, although she does favor that sort of footwear. It's just that she does seem on a winding road with everyone else in whacky costumes, only to discover in the end that the guy behind the screen is a charlatan, despite what the Munchkins say.

Now, even if you want to be proud of being clever, how could you search for your brain, etc.,without some getup to show everyone who you are? No matter how you present yourself, you DO have a costume on.

It's just that some have a little more aluminum paint or straw than others, dreading when we have to be our shades-of-grey selves again.

So, yes Bob, sign me up for the long mane and big paws, and I'll come on anytime.