May 23, 2017

"Many of the commenters here show a bad trend in commenting. I wasn't awake and attempting to moderate..."

"... but I would like those who participated here to reflect on the dynamic among the commenters and let me know" — I wrote in the comments — "whether you see what I am talking about, whether you unwittingly contributed, whether you got off causing this to happen, or something in between. I would like to see comments that address the substance of the post, and this idea of calling out each other by name and doggedly insisting on always taking another shot and naming somebody who also needs to get the last shot, drives up the quantity of comments but makes them unreadable to anybody who's not among the named. If your name keeps coming up multiple times in comments threads, you are contributing to what I regard as a comments disease, and you need to help stop it or I will see you as doing it intentionally. It's shameful that you let this happen in a post about children being murdered.... If you keep finding yourself in what I call 'back and forth,' you need a new approach to commenting. There are a few people who regularly end up getting named in long back and forth and it's incredibly boring to read. I don't want that here. If you're one of these commenters and you don't understand why this is happening to you, then my advice is to think: substance.... Make your points alongside other people's points. You can respond to what other people say, but respond to the substance. Don't make it personal.... I'm only talking about the way people who are here in the comments name each other and go back and forth in a personal way. Instead of disagreeing with the substance, they frame their comment in the 'Jane, you ignorant slut' format...."

254 comments:

1 – 200 of 254   Newer›   Newest»
Bob Ellison said...

You create a problem. You want your commenters to behave the way you want them to behave. They don't. You complain. You even tell them to behave the way you want them to behave. They don't. Now you write a post about it.

Bob Ellison said...

I dunno, this seems like an old joke about a nagging wife.

Robert Cook said...

That clip reminds us how brilliant Dan Ackroyd was in his youth and early years on SNL. I'm guessing he either wrote the entire sketch or at least his own half of the "point/counterpoint."

Patrick said...

And really, what could they possibly argue about. Does anybody sane believe any other commenter supports the bombing? Large number of comments always tells me "nothing here, move along."

Michael K said...

You don't enforce your own rules about personal insults and it is tempting, when there are no consequences, to respond in kind.

I just leave and then look the next day to see how many nasty insults were directed at me after I left.

I'm getting better at ignoring the trolls but you could stop it if you wanted to.

CStanley said...

Reposting my comment from that other thread:
At least the "Jane, you ignorant slut" skit was funny, and IIRC SNL had the sense to run it sparingly enough that it didn't get tiresome.

The back and forth that generally involves two particular commenters here, especially at nighttime, is just inane and boring. I'm sometimes tempted to say so, but assume it would be taken either as a scold or as support for those two commenters, which really isn't my intent. I just want the other commenters to stop being predictable and dull. On this particular thread it was also grating because of the subject matter.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Thank you for this Professor. I understand that there are people who just want to ruin it. I don't understand why a decent number of people who seem to like it here, and often have valuable contributions to make, feel the need to engage in these name-calling wars.

Note that I have nothing against ad hominem attacks, as long as they are clever/interesting/unique. Its the same old boring insults, and/or repeatedly insulting the same person/people, that makes the threads unreadable.

CStanley said...

I have to agree with Michael K a bit though....the rules say no personal attacks but that happens routinely. I realize it would be too difficult to police that all of the time, but I think it creates a mob mentality when it's not enforced.

rhhardin said...

It's shameful that you let this happen in a post about children being murdered

Exactly when pointed digression is needed. Just not boring digression.

I recommend zingers.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Don't Make Althouse stop this blog and turn it around.

Oh yeah but s/he started it!

roesch/voltaire said...

Aman for that AH but when folks are politically ridged its difficult to get them to steer away from ad hominem into the waters of rational discourse.

rhhardin said...

Behind every successful man is a women, and behind her is his wife. Groucho Marx

SayAahh said...

The comment section has long been out of control.
Spoils the blog.
Classic circle jerk.

rhhardin said...

It's a contra hominem attack. Ad hominem flatters the opponent, but you all knew that.

Just speaking classicly.

Nonapod said...

When I see a post with over 200+ comments it's usually a good indicator that there's a fair amount of nonsense and regressive flame wars. I still will attempt to read most of them before putting in a comment myself, but when I see certain specific names appearing over and over I'll usually just skip those posts. Is there a browser plug-in or setting that will filter blogger comments by poster?

Charlie Eklund said...

Thanks Ann!

In the past, the comments were a great way to see people expanding the discussion in an often fascinating way. That has not been the case for many months as the comments section has degenerated into a venue for some to hurl perpetual insults toward you or toward each other and for others to use as the site of their own chip-on-a-shoulder mini blog within a blog. Perhaps that might now change.

Fingers crossed

Bruce Hayden said...

I am torn a bit. The problem is that when Ann bans people, they very often come back with a different name. And then everyone tries to guess who the new obnoxious poster is. And this is a problem because there is a short list of people whom I just ignore, skipping over their comments without reading them. On the flip side, the ad hominem attacks start consuming threads when Ann and Meade are not as zealous in policing them. But they hopefully have a life beyond posting this blog and policing the comments.

Jupiter said...

"When you gals are on your backs the meter is running". Oh, and people say SNL was never funny.


AReasonableMan said...

Patrick said...
Does anybody sane believe any other commenter supports the bombing?


A useful question, perhaps answered by the need to ask it.

Fernandinande said...

You can respond to what other people say, but respond to the substance. Don't make it personal.

"It’s an emotional art form. It’s not an intellectual art form at all."

Fernandinande said...

Bill, Republic of Texas said...
Don't Make Althouse stop this blog and turn it around.
Oh yeah but s/he started it!


Are we there yet?!?

Suicide Squeeze said...

How much higher quality would the comments contain if users limited themselves to just 5 contributions per thread (or better yet, one very well thought out entry a la Spatula). Maybe they would not waste so many letters on personal attacks and stick to the substance of their point.

DanTheMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
khesanh0802 said...

There are several commenters who regularly drag down the blog with snark and snottiness. It is a fairly recent phenomenon, but it is happening with regularity and there is no question that it is spoiling the comments section for some of us. Over the last few days I have tried very hard to back up my comments with quotes and links to what I thought were appropriate responses though they may have conflicted with a previous commenter's assertion. In most cases I have been ignored or ridiculed. Usually in the past a well researched comment would elicit a substantive reply. No more.

I once made the serious mistake of marrying a woman who reacted like a lot of the recent commenters. Regardless of the validity or substance of your argument her position remained unexamined and untouched. Drove me wild!

Ann, I don't know what the answer is, but I agree with Michael K that what is currently happening is driving me away, if not from the blog, from the comments section. It's a shame because in the past I have very often learned good stuff from the comments.

DanTheMan said...

>> I don't understand why a decent number of people who seem to like it here, and often have valuable contributions to make, feel the need to engage in these name-calling wars.

I wonder why some here engage *at all* with those who are clearly acting in bad faith; they are not attempting to engage with the idea of the post, or the comments. Rather, they seem to just use *every* post as an excuse to fling insults about the Worst Person in The World, or anyone who disagrees with them.

There are those with whom I will never engage, regardless of what they post. So, in my own minor way, I am trying to raise the signal to noise ratio here....

Todd said...

Nonapod said...

Is there a browser plug-in or setting that will filter blogger comments by poster?

5/23/17, 9:17 AM


There is for Google Chrome called KF or Kill File. Use it, love it. It allows you to hush a specific comment or hide all comments by a specific individual. I try to use it sparingly as I don't want to "wall" myself off but in some instances, it is the perfect solution. "they" get their free speech and I am not subject to it. Win / Win.

Yancey Ward said...

I am more or less of Bruce Hayden's stance- banning is ineffective and it disrupts my way of scanning the comments because of the name changes.

Ann, I don't think it is worth yours or Meade's time to police the comments unless you can effectively permanently ban someone, and maybe not even then.

I have probably written it a million times, "Don't feed the trolls."

Michael K said...

" Is there a browser plug-in or setting that will filter blogger comments by poster?"

I tried but could not get it to work.

I am working on ignoring some commenters. I worked yesterday and got home late. I looked at the blog, saw a huge comment queue and recognized the symptom.

Trump Derangement Syndrome has affected other blogs, too.

Too bad. We could discuss whether what he is doing will work but the anger boils up immediately.

Birches said...

Standing ovation! I tried to check in this morning and realized there was no where of substance to leave my thoughts.

rhhardin said...

Try a small dose of a beta blocker for anger issues.

It keeps your heart from speeding up, and oddly if your heart doesn't speed up it feels like you're not angry.

Concert violinists use it so they're not nervous, same effect. My heart isn't pounding so I must not be nervous.

Mike said...

There was no part of last night's thread that approached "discussion" and I had no interest in joining in. I have enjoyed some back and forth in the past, mostly because Chuck is an intelligent writer who brings an interesting perspective, but I usually felt the back and forth worked best with the focus on issues with the ad hominem asides included for spice. It's a tough balance to maintain and didn't always work. And when it goes off the rails things quickly get ugly and rarely self-correct.

Last night was a train wreck with so many direct attacks there was no thread to join or oppose. It was chaos. Some people here like chaos and strive to create it purposely. I like a little trail of order through the chaos and off-topic diversions (Laslo and others who specialize in that kind of thing) that allows for a coherent discussion, whether host-generated or arising naturally from the jumping off point the post provides. Some people come here just to sow ill will and it really does hijack the thread because a large cohort here can't help but respond. I skip over a lot of people because their posts are predictable and boring, but when everyone seems to start their comments with a direct response to those types, it create that chaos.

Maybe a reminder that addressing each other directly is not kosher will do the trick. Most of us here can refocus on what we want to say rather than what we want to refute in an earlier comment. I understand why our host wrote what she did. I hope the commentariot can come correct because I hate moderating, both for the burden it imposes on Althouse (sucking time away from her searching and writing) and for the disruption it creates in a natural, fun back and forth that is topic-centered.

mockturtle said...

Amen!

J. Farmer said...

I have certainly contributed to excessive comment quantities because of my incessant commenting, but I like to think that I keep to the subject at hand (even if it's not the subject of the original post). That said, I do make a concerted effort not to make political disagreements personal, if only for the same reason that the ad hominem is fallacious. Even if someone was a "lefty" or a "Democratic partisan" or a "Trumpist" or a "right-winger," it all has nothing to do with whether or not what anyone is saying is correct or incorrect, valid or invalid, logical or illogical.

Ann Althouse said...

@Bob Ellison I put up this post for the reason that Robert Cook immediately understood.

It's always been the case that some of my readers align with my point of view better than others. That's okay. I mean it's a little annoying when the first commenter makes a show of not being simpatico with me, but it's actually the most likely position for a commenter who doesn't get me.

Jupiter said...

Althouse, for no obvious reason, your blog attracts a conservative majority. This is a challenge to folks like Cookie, who often rises to the occasion, and sometimes wins an exchange, and Chuck, who takes lifelong Republican pleasure in pointing out to the President's supporters the many ways in which Donald Trump fails to resemble Jesus Christ channeling Albert Einstein. It attracts others as well, who may not be as well-informed or creative as Cookie and Chuckles, but have other ways of attempting to face down the horde. Repetition may not make for interesting reading, but it is a form of perseverance. Invective may not enlighten, but it can be heartfelt nonetheless. People struggling over matters that concern them deeply employ such weapons and tactics as they find ready at hand.


You might want to consider the possibility that you get the blog you deserve, or at least the blog you ask for. Politics ain't bean-bag. There is no order in the court of public debate. The people who call upon you to wield your gavel are usually sore losers.

rhhardin said...

I welcome personal insults myself.

Dr Weevil said...

I wonder if there is a blog software program that would ration comments. (If there's not, there should be.) Possible rules that would help a site like this one:
1. No second comment on a thread until at least an hour has passed, or (and?) there are at least six/eight/ten* intervening comments by others. (I was going to say 'at least ten intervening comments by at least five different people' but applying the X intervening comments to everyone would obviously make X people and X different people the same.)
2. No more than 500 words total from the same commenter on the same thread, no matter how long it gets, or more than 2,000 words total on all threads combined in a 24-hour period.
Other rules are possible. The point is to force commenters to be succinct, and to think about what they are going to say before they say it, and maybe even get a life. If they have more to say (or to quote from others) they can link to their own sites.

Of course, not to name any names, but some here would just alternate comments under two or three (or more!) identities, maybe even spend money on multiple machines and multiple web-connections if that's what it takes to get around the software limits (e.g. if the site used hashtags like Ace of Spades). No solution is perfect.

(Word count: 231, not counting this line.)

Ann Althouse said...

Here's a simple rule that could help: Don't name other commenters. If you want to respond to them, just quote them and respond to the substance of the quote. Leave out the name.

rhhardin said...

Althouse, for no obvious reason, your blog attracts a conservative majority.

They're correcting the woman-reasoned post of the host.

Althouse differs in allowing it.

mockturtle said...

There are some known trolls whose aim is to provoke a response--any kind of response--just to make themselves the center of attention. We all know who they are but many continue to engage these people. Don't feed the trolls!

Mike said...

Michael K, I also cannot get KillFile to work with Chrome. So we need self-discipline, I guess.

I will avoid direct attacks and not respond to people, only ideas. That's my pledge, Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...

Naming is okay if you're saying something like: @X LOL or That was great, X.

But don't say: Of course, X is back, to dump lefty/righty talking points...

Caroline Walker said...

Funny. I was just thinking the other day that using one's full actual name is kind of a natural brake on one's impulses.

rhhardin said...

(Word count: 231, not counting this line.)

You need self-referential sentence construction software.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Here's a simple rule that could help: Don't name other commenters. If you want to respond to them, just quote them and respond to the substance of the quote. Leave out the name.

5/23/17, 9:54 AM

I will do that.

Achilles said...

Patrick said...
And really, what could they possibly argue about. Does anybody sane believe any other commenter supports the bombing? Large number of comments always tells me "nothing here, move along."

Most of the arguments revolve round the causes and the strategies to stop it. The problems arise when one side is obviously arguing in bad faith.

rhhardin said...

Using a real name may prevent any post, if you're in a position to get fired.

Which retired or don't-care people are not, but there are others.

Ann Althouse said...

"Funny. I was just thinking the other day that using one's full actual name is kind of a natural brake on one's impulses."

Using your own name to speak might be natural brake, but having someone respond to you with that name can be especially disturbing and can trigger a self-defensive urge to respond vigorously.

And there are some people who use their real name and disgrace themselves. Some of these people are young and think it's cool, and some people have mental problems.

traditionalguy said...

Complementing other intelligent commenters work is one alternate approach. Never under estimate flattery. Nice garden Meade. Great dog RH.

Being frustrated all the time is a waste of a fine mind.

Many new commenters are just shy.

tcrosse said...

Well, comments do become more boisterous once the sun is over the yardarm. In the cool light of day it seems pointless to get into an online pissing match with a stranger, but less so as the evening wears on. There are a few commenters who come on as a loudmouth in a bar, and it's very tempting to launch a zinger before logging off.

rhhardin said...

Proposed angry response

@XXX neener-neener

Ann Althouse said...

"But don't say: Of course, X is back, to dump lefty/righty talking points..."

Just change that to quoting X (without including the name) and then saying: Those are lefty/righty talking points, etc.

You can be just as critical, just take out the triggering use of the name. To put in the name is to say: I want you to have to respond to me and then when you do, I'm going to attack you again and do it in a way that you'll have to respond to. Ad infinitum. That's what's so stupid. People don't want to read that!

tommyesq said...

I think we should distinguish between two types of trolls - the ad hominum trolls that delve quickly into name-calling and personal insults, and the political/propaganda trolls, who seemed to proliferate in the run-up to the election spouting a rehearsed party line as though they were being paid and instructed on just what to say. Addressing this second variety often requires addressing them by name, and pointing out the lack of originality or thought in their post, or questioning the motivations behind it, may be a substantive response rather than a simple ad hominum attack. "Don't feed the trolls" is not likely to be effective against the propaganda trolls, many of whom are likely being paid to post and will do so whether someone responds or not.

Ann Althouse said...

"Complementing other intelligent commenters work is one alternate approach. Never under estimate flattery. Nice garden Meade. Great dog RH. Being frustrated all the time is a waste of a fine mind. Many new commenters are just shy."

Nice comment, traditionalguy.

David said...

"It's shameful that you let this happen in a post about children being murdered.... If you keep finding yourself in what I call 'back and forth,' you need a new approach to commenting. There are a few people who regularly end up getting named in long back and forth and it's incredibly boring to read."

Amen.

People might also try saying something positive about other commenters. Agree with them. Show pleasure at something you find amusing or clever. Thank someone.

Disagree of course but by thought not insult. It's simple manners. Manners matter. Manners are not boring. Insults are. There are not many original insults out there, and as a group we are not coming up with any of them.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think we should distinguish between two types of trolls - the ad hominum trolls that delve quickly into name-calling and personal insults, and the political/propaganda trolls, who seemed to proliferate in the run-up to the election spouting a rehearsed party line as though they were being paid and instructed on just what to say. Addressing this second variety often requires addressing them by name...."

No, it doesn't. And I'm specifically asking people to stop doing that. I've explained how to solve the problem. Just quote the person and attack the substance of a quote. You can say: That sounds like what I think The Party is paying people to go around commenting on blogs, and it's wrong because, etc. etc.

Matthew Sablan said...

I just try to reset my expectations of posters each thread. It gets hard if you comment a lot though, because some people are completely reasonable, others reasonable but disagree with you, and others seem perfectly reasonable to me, then go off on each other like two exes meeting at a restaurant and trying to prove who won the break up.

I find it just means I post less when I feel it is getting too crazy and avoiding certain topics more than I used to. Especially now that day-to-day life is so political/angry, the Internet is not a safety valve for politics, but rather, primes the pump.

David said...

"And there are some people who use their real name and disgrace themselves. Some of these people are young and think it's cool, and some people have mental problems."

At least one of those categories does not apply to me, so I am halfway there.

Ann Althouse said...

"I am more or less of Bruce Hayden's stance- banning is ineffective and it disrupts my way of scanning the comments because of the name changes. Ann, I don't think it is worth yours or Meade's time to police the comments unless you can effectively permanently ban someone, and maybe not even then."

I don't even have the software here to ban someone. I have to delete comments either as they go up or put on moderation and slow everybody down.

We alternate techniques, and sometimes I do things like what I'm doing now, talk about how to overcome a particular type of commenting problem that involves both good and bad commenters in complicated ways. I'm offering a solution that good commenters will adopt. Anyone who doesn't is asking to be thought of as bad.

Fernandinande said...

Mike said...
Michael K, I also cannot get KillFile to work with Chrome.


Add-on of the same name w/firefox - IIRC you need to access the comments via the post title, not the "NN comments" link at the end of the post. It had some other glitches and I stopped using it.

rhhardin said...

I can offer my insult program (linux based, in C) written in the 80s

$ insult 10
You tyrannous vasculum of arthritic woodpecker turd
You shocking hipflask of miasmal peafowl tears
You plaguey cream pitcher of indecent badger survivals
You obscene whatnot of gangrened tayra sewerage
You onerous saucepan of malign bowfin drool
You hateful flower bowl of palsied redfin ructation
You unbeautiful skippet of polluted Yorkshire terrier gas
You baneful bureau of infectious Saluki ejectment
You base mazer of cankered eagle ca-ca
You deformed fifth of illicit panther holdovers

In an empty directory (so you don't overwrite anything)

wget http://rhhardin.home.mindspring.com/insult.a -O insult.a
ar xo insult.a
cc *.c
./a.out 10 (or however many insults you want)



Michael K said...

"Concert violinists use it so they're not nervous, same effect."

I know surgeons who use it to stop tremors.

Sometimes adrenaline gets going in surgery but there are surgeons who have tremors all the time operating.

Todd said...

Mike said...
Michael K, I also cannot get KillFile to work with Chrome. So we need self-discipline, I guess.

I will avoid direct attacks and not respond to people, only ideas. That's my pledge, Althouse.

5/23/17, 9:55 AM


Hummmm...

I am running Chrome ver. 57.0.2987.133 and am using the "Blog Comment Killfile 0.2.11" extension. Have used differing versions of this extension on differing versions of Chrome. I also run [mostly] under windows (different versions as well) with nary an issue...

AReasonableMan said...

tommyesq said...
"Don't feed the trolls" is not likely to be effective against the propaganda trolls, many of whom are likely being paid to post and will do so whether someone responds or not.


How many posters do you believe are 'paid' and what would their distribution between left and right viewpoints be, roughly?

Jupiter said...

traditionalguy said...

"Being frustrated all the time is a waste of a fine mind."

What an astonishing idea. What the Hell else would one do with a fine mind?

David said...

Robert Cook said...
That clip reminds us how brilliant Dan Ackroyd was in his youth and early years on SNL. I'm guessing he either wrote the entire sketch or at least his own half of the "point/counterpoint."


[Breaking rule]: "Robert, you ignorant slut."

Achilles said...

"I think we should distinguish between two types of trolls - the ad hominum trolls that delve quickly into name-calling and personal insults, and the political/propaganda trolls, who seemed to proliferate in the run-up to the election spouting a rehearsed party line as though they were being paid and instructed on just what to say. Addressing this second variety often requires addressing them by name...."

The first variety is fairly easy. If Ann just deletes posts with Ad hom's out of hand the posters would adjust quickly. It might make a mess of a post or tow but we react to stimulus.

You can't ban the second variety. I agree that there is a lot of boring regurgitation that happens but that is the nature of rhetoric. It narrows as an original idea is subjected to peer review and whittled down. Beyond that it is too subjective and as much time as she has spent grading papers it would take up more time than Ann has.

Todd said...

Caroline Walker said... [hush]​[hide comment]
Funny. I was just thinking the other day that using one's full actual name is kind of a natural brake on one's impulses.

5/23/17, 9:56 AM


Nice sentiments but reality says "see Prof. Fair from Ann's earlier post". The left will savage anyone that does not agree with them and your real name gives them ammunition they need to attach you, your job, your family, your friends, etc. A number of those on the left are not happy to leave a disagreement "open". They will look to end your existence. Remember, the left invented doxxing to end those they disagree with. The political is the personal. I will keep my anonymity if you don't mind (at least until I retire)...

Michael said...

How else to respond to a commenter that immediately brings Trump into a thread about the bombing of innocent children by a then supposed, and now confirmed, islamist?

The concept of shame was once used to create an orderly and prosperous society in which people, or families, were reigned in by fear of being the subject of shaming and shunning. But that no longer works in a world where the left has created a system of "thought" in which all opinions are of equal value unless they are wrong-think.

So why can we not all be shameless? Or do you wish for us to hold candle light vigils for the stupid and to create hash tags in sympathy of stupidity?

Matthew Sablan said...

I doubt anyone is being paid to post *here*.

But people are being paid to post on the Internet; Reddit does a good job of collecting copy/pasted comments from multiple users all pushing the same exact idea during the day. Then again, Reddit's user base is a lot higher than here.

The copy/pasted comments are usually left/left supporting, which is weird since Reddit is already a safe spot for the left. The rare right-leaning spam is usually traced to the source of The_Donald or 4-Chan, but the left-leaning source is a lot harder to find because it doesn't all routinely come from the same online sources.

Of course, that's only on a very small part of Reddit (/politics).

Matthew Sablan said...

I use my real name because it was linked to my Google identity/blogger identity years ago, and I figured, "screw it, I'm not changing it."

Michael said...

ARM

A reasonable question. But as a right winger who knows quite a few right wingers I have never been offered the chance to post for pay and know of no others who have received the offer. I believe that those paid trollers are likely to be young and in need of the money and with time on their hands so I would guess the vast majority are of the left. Right wing youth are looking for or working summer jobs.

David said...

"Sometimes adrenaline gets going in surgery but there are surgeons who have tremors all the time operating."

I have the extraordinary good luck at age 74 to have never undergone surgery, other than tonsils and stitches here and there, which do not count. Serious cancer, cardiac and renal issues but nothing surgical. Seriously personality quirks. Lucky for me lobotomy is now out of fashion.

David said...

"I doubt anyone is being paid to post *here*."

Overpaid, if it's happening.

Jupiter said...

"I've explained how to solve the problem. Just quote the person and attack the substance of a quote."


Children, behave! That's what they say, when we're together!

Fustigator said...

My suggestion to fix the problem is to limit the number of comments from any one individual on a particular topic/thread (not sure if that is possible with the commenting software you are using).

Maybe start with 3-4 maximum comments and work your way down if the problem continues. If they cant figure out how to say everything they need to say in the allowed number of comments, you don't want them around making the comment sections boring and unreadable.

Paddy O said...

Preach it, Althouse

Jupiter said...

"How many posters do you believe are 'paid' and what would their distribution between left and right viewpoints be, roughly?"

I think we would get a *lot* more posting if anyone was paying for it. Which reminds me, I need to get to work. Where they would fire me if they knew what I post here.

jaydub said...

A long overdue post. I think part of the problem has been inconsistent enforcement of the rules - some of us are whacked for getting off subject once, others never. Plus, the thread highjacking that occurs regularly with some commenters is extremely annoying and heretofore has seldom been called out. That said, I realize that herding so many squirrels would be a full time job and not worth the effort. My approach is to essentially quit commenting here altogether (hold your applause to the end, please,) and seldom read the comments of others. But, I do usually check in to read what Ann has posted. Anyway, works for me.

Michael K said...

I'm not sure that a lot of leftist trolls are paid but, like the "protestors" at GOP town halls, they are organized and given an incentive to act for the party or the organization, like moveon, which began as an attempt to forgive Bill Clinton and has become a leftist center of agitation.

I do think some BLM protestors are paid.

Roger Sweeny said...

Yes, it is BORING reading people trading insults.

Stop and think. Are you saying something "clever/interesting/unique"? (Ignorance is Bliss above) If not, don't hit that Publish Your Comment button.

Etienne said...

Whenever I see the comment number go above 50, I just ignore the blog post. There's nothing that interesting in the world.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Michael said...

How else to respond to a commenter that immediately brings Trump into a thread about the bombing of innocent children by a then supposed, and now confirmed, islamist?

You are assuming a false premise: that you should respond. When it comes to responses to such comments, better than nothing is a high standard!

Yancey Ward said...

ARM,

I doubt many get paid, but I am also dead certain it is organized at some level and thought of as an effective propaganda tool. I comment on very few comments sections, but I read quite a few more than that, and I see the same verbatim posts/links repeatedly across sites from those I am reasonably certain aren't the same people- they are picking up the posts from somewhere else rather than writing them themselves.

I am more amused by it than bothered because it is all wasted effort- the audience reached is so tiny as to be meaningless. I would guess that for politics, the total numbers of people reading comments sections are probably less than a million in the US.

As someone above wrote, you really shouldn't be writing more than 2 or 3 comments for any blog entry on average.

J2 said...

I don't think anyone here is paid, in spite of the fact that it seems like a career for some.

If I was paying someone to post from the left I'd definitely send commenters to sites other than this one. I don't think there's much value added here.

Fernandinande said...

[Redacted] said...
Here's a simple rule that could help: Don't name other commenters. If you want to respond to them, just quote them and respond to the substance of the quote. Leave out the name.


Please don't do that! I ignore a bunch of people and I also try to ignore any responses to those people whenever possible.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said..We alternate techniques, and sometimes I do things like what I'm doing now, talk about how to overcome a particular type of commenting problem that involves both good and bad commenters in complicated ways. I'm offering a solution that good commenters will adopt. Anyone who doesn't is asking to be thought of as bad.

More speech! I like it.

Isn't the Richard Spencer gym story (yesterday) a counterpoint, though? That example uses the framework of "more speech" but really the tone and type of speech used ("making a scene," an intentional disruption, etc) is a tool/proxy for securing a ban on the other party. It's kind of a no-platform weapon dressed up to look like a "more speech" tactic. How does one make a meaningful distinction between those two things (or do you consider them both "more speech" and thus valid)?

I'm trying to think deeply about the topic but it's very tempting to color my judgement with the specific political viewpoint under discussion.

Brando said...

There has been a lot of that lately, though I usually just skip the dumb insult posts. For that, I'd go onto the Washington Post comments sections.

But there are often good back and forths here, arguing on topic. Those are what makes the thread worthwhile.

Freder Frederson said...

I'm not sure that a lot of leftist trolls are paid but, like the "protestors" at GOP town halls, they are organized and given an incentive to act for the party or the organization.

Again, Michael K makes an unsupported assertion that he apparently learned from the monkeys flying out of his ass.

I could just as easily say that the Tea Party protesters who disrupted town hall meetings back during the ACA debate were all paid by the Koch brothers.

I am still trying to decide what to do with my Soros windfall. I have my eye on a new watch

Brando said...

"Whenever I see the comment number go above 50, I just ignore the blog post. There's nothing that interesting in the world."

Ha, I do the same but with "200" because it's not worth clicking through and by that point the commentary goes way off topic. So you'll see a post that was about Bob Dylan and the commenters near the bottom are going on about Pizzagate.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Mike said... [hush]​[hide comment]
Michael K, I also cannot get KillFile to work with Chrome. So we need self-discipline, I guess.

Are you using Chrome in Incognito mode by any chance? KillFile does not run in Incognito mode by default. There is a check box on the extensions screen that says 'Allow in incognito', once you check this and restart your browser KillFile will work in Incognito mode.

pacwest said...

Mea culpa for last night, but I do try to engage the other side in a civil manner most of the time. I've said it before, but your blog has become very heavily right leaning in the comments, and I'd like very much to see a more balanced discussion. There are some dammed smart people here. Almost all right leaning though. The left side seem to be mostly one notes or snarks. It frustrates me.

I'd also like to say I think Chuck is very poorly treated here, and if some of the points he makes weren't met with such derision the quality of his comments wouldn't have to suffer because he has to defend against personal attack. I can say the same for other commenters also.

Laslo Spatula said...

One of the reasons I've pulled back from commenting (at least in 'Laslo-esque' manner).

Feels like the tone has changed of late: all subjects relentlessly lead to Trump, and then it is WWI and trench warfare.

Less good will, more exhaustion. Doesn't charge my batteries.

Example: last night's post on the 'gym banning'. Normally I would jump to that with Treadmill Ponytail Girl, but couldn't bring the energy. Didn't seem to fit in. Maybe it never did, of course.

I am Laslo.

I Callahan said...

It was a very touchy subject matter. Teenage girls were being blown up because of an 8th century ideology. People get upset when this stuff happens, especially when a couple of the regular commenters decided to come into the thread and PURPOSELY stir up the hive.

And not to sound like an echo, but remember when the TTR, or Ritmo, or brookzene, or whatever his nom de plume is, was doing the same thing in a number of threads recently? Especially when I pointed it out on a number of occasions?

I can only say that it's your blog, but if you're asking an opinion, I'd say you need to be more consistent about enforcing your blog rules.

TestTube said...

An unflattering truth:

None of us is in a position to sneer at any other one of us, because we all occupy the same sad, pathetic group:

We are -- all of use -- the type of people who spend way too much time hanging around and posting in Internet comment threads.

I can think of few insults more cutting than "You are the type of person who hangs around posting in Internet comment threads"

Thus, when I have the urge to call someone nasty name, I dive into my bag of insults, there to find that the worst possible thing I can say is "Gee, you seem to be one of those people who hangs around posting on Internet comment threads".

Which, as you see, is somewhat paradoxical, as the very insult that I mean to sting and wound can only be delivered by hanging around and posting on an Internet comment thread.

Conversely, upon the occasion when someone has something unpleasant to say to me, that something is never as bad as my secret shame -- That I hang around posting on Internet comment threads. Plus, as the unpleasant insult, whatever it is, has been delivered by one of those poor pathetic worms who have nothing to but hang around posting on Internet comment threads, it really doesn't bother me -- why should I pay attention to the opinion of such a miserable creature?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Having been gone for several days with no internet access, I have missed (or actually haven't missed) the back and forth insults on the thread referenced. Not about to go and look, because I can pretty much guess who and what was said. It is tiresome, tedious and boring.

While I greatly enjoy back and forth debating; the constant snark, inane insults, diversions from the topic into someone's personal political drums that they want to beat is really distracting. Get your own blog if you have a personal agenda.

We can debate without being vile or insulting. Be amusing, be informative, be coherent! Pretty much, I know who to ignore and who are the repeat offenders who have multiple multiple aliases and who keep popping up like in a Whack a Mole game.

What the answer is, I don't know. Scroll past the inane, use self discipline to not respond......that's all I can think of.

vicari valdez said...

this is basically why it's impossible to debate on here. if people wanted to have a real exchange of ideas, i'm willing to discuss. u might discover that we have some things in common rather than the weird caricature you've constructed in your head. i can't be bothered with the people here who are constantly rude without provixation. i can't imagine they behave this way irl either.

TestTube said...

Also, for the same reason, the personal abuse flung around tends not to bother me. I just kind of bleep over those posts, looking for substantial content.

Of course, the most substantial content is that which agrees with me. In that case, I know I have found someone who, while still one of those contemptible dolts that hangs around posting in Internet comment threads, occupies a slightly higher level of dolt-hood -- one who has enough sense to hold an opinion with which I concur.

;-)

Angel-Dyne said...

The problem isn't "personal attacks" or "lack of substance".

It's lack of intelligence.

The problem isn't logorrheic posters or vituperative posters per se. The problem is logorrheic and vituperative posters who are also stupid and boring.

I've received excellent insults here. An insult and an ad hominem argument are not the same thing. Do you really think that witty invective interspersed with informed arguments ruins a discussion? I quite enjoy it, myself.

There are otherwise good posters who allow themselves to be led astray by the Stupid & Borings. (I confess to having succumbed myself once or twice, but mostly I control myself.) If the small minorities of S&Bs (and we all know who they are) were ignored, they'd dry up and go away, because they're here for the attention.

Then we could discuss and also enjoy invective and trolling on the side without its shitting up threads.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

How about Althouse putting up a breathalyzer app? I think that would cut down on a lot of the unfortunate comments.

My motto is: pick up the bottle, put down the phone.

Learned the hard way!

Todd said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

How does one make a meaningful distinction between those two things (or do you consider them both "more speech" and thus valid)?

I'm trying to think deeply about the topic but it's very tempting to color my judgement with the specific political viewpoint under discussion.

5/23/17, 10:48 AM


I don't consider them equivalent. Fair was not interested in any sort of "discussion". She was interested in a confrontation. She got what she wanted. She eliminated the possibility of "more speech" by getting his membership revoked. She felt she has more/better rights than him (if she even bothered to give it a thought). She confronted him and berated him. She did not "approach him for the purpose of a discussion". She wanted her say and to hell with everyone else. She is a fascist.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

Here's a simple rule that could help: Don't name other commenters. If you want to respond to them, just quote them and respond to the substance of the quote. Leave out the name.

But I nearly always name other commenters, just as I'm naming you here. It's common courtesy.

Should I not identify you as the source of the above quoted text?

JPS said...

I get what's bugging our host, and many of my fellow commenters, I do. I'm not saying there's no problem. But this is one of the last places left where I still enjoy arguing politics with anyone. I sure as hell don't in real life anymore.

Thanks, Prof. Althouse for trying to make it that kind of place; and thanks to those liberals here who force me to stop and think.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Michelle Dulak Thomson

I too generally try to reference who I am quoting so that
1. other people can go to their comment and see the full thing.
2. hope that that person will respond and clarify their comment or bring up another point that I can address.
3. put the comment and commentator in context
4. and my reference is not in any way derogatory in the SNL way....just informative.


Achilles said...

Laslo Spatula said...
One of the reasons I've pulled back from commenting (at least in 'Laslo-esque' manner).

Feels like the tone has changed of late: all subjects relentlessly lead to Trump, and then it is WWI and trench warfare.

Less good will, more exhaustion. Doesn't charge my batteries.

Example: last night's post on the 'gym banning'. Normally I would jump to that with Treadmill Ponytail Girl, but couldn't bring the energy. Didn't seem to fit in. Maybe it never did, of course.

I am Laslo.


Exactly. The leftists think this means they are winning because this is their goal. They make it no fun to discuss anything and they are abusively hypocritical.

Since the election the left has completely abandoned good faith.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"just as I'm naming you here"

BTW, she prefers to be referenced as "Althouse" not "Ann."

So you're really F-ing up.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Thank you, Prof. and Hostess.

When first I visited Alt+House, at the time of Occupy Scott Walker, it was an informative and enjoyable font of sometimes witty, sometimes erudite information. Something over 6 months ago it began to transform into an arena of flame wars.

Even trolls can be informative, but if folks refrain from taunting them should end most of the back-and-forth nonsense.

Michael K said...

Again, Michael K makes an unsupported assertion that he apparently learned from the monkeys flying out of his ass.

Thank you for an example of the topic here.

Rusty said...

Ah. But Angel the usual suspects have no wit with to respond.

To mistake a baseball wrapper for a maxipad is funny. To point it out is wit.

I apologize, Ann but I see the permanently aggrieved as fodder. I'll try and keep it under control in the future.

Fen said...

Michael upthread is spot on. Last night's train wreck was due to ONE poster acting in bad faith, hijacking a thread about dead children to rant about Trump leaving the Saudi's off the travel ban. And not just once, she flooded the thread with it. Your commenters are tired of that crap, and since you refuse to enforce your own rules, we jumped her.

And it was hardly boring. I found the National Geographic voice over to be very entertaining.

"When the responsible authorities fail to act, other forms of authority will assert themselves. They may not behave responsibly, but they will act" - Glen Reynolds.

In short, you have commenters here that you know are not acting in good faith, yet you subject us to them dailt. It's no use complaining when we push back, that's like a school teacher ignoring the bullies all semester until the victim finally punches back. Then all of a sudden it's a problem? No.

You need to ban the obvious trolls, and ban them again when they come back. We don't expect you to slay the dragon, but we do expect you to try. Restore our trust in you, give us reason to believe you are making a good faith effort to police the trols, and we'll return the respect by trusting you enough to not take matters into our own hands.






Birches said...

because some people are completely reasonable, others reasonable but disagree with you, and others seem perfectly reasonable to me, then go off on each other like two exes meeting at a restaurant and trying to prove who won the break up.

You completely nailed this, Matthew Sablan. Haha

Suicide Squeeze said...

I have to say, if commenting decorum has devolved enough to chase Laslo away then we have suffered a palpable loss.

With that said, there is no effective policing except self-policing. Moderated comments are unfair to the host. As was said several times before (My memory is not good enough to remember the source, and I am too lazy to look): "Do not feed the trolls." It is not necessary to point out another's poor blogging manners, it is not necessary to rebut talking points. Most people can already tell, and the object of critique does not care or simply uses it as fuel for their response. Show discipline and ignore the offenders. Notice that the name precedes the post, scroll on by.

Mike said...

I'm not sure that a lot of leftist trolls are paid but, like the "protestors" at GOP town halls, they are organized and given an incentive to act for the party or the organization.

Again, Michael K makes an unsupported assertion that he apparently learned from the monkeys flying out of his ass.

I could just as easily say that the Tea Party protesters who disrupted town hall meetings back during the ACA debate were all paid by the Koch brothers.


You have to studiously ignore the news to not know that Hillary's campaign had hired Robert Creamer (covicted felon and husband of Democrat congresscritter Jan Schakowsky), who bragged on videotape that he hired people to disrupt Trump events and cause fights. After many of the "spontanbeous" riots, there was brief coverage of the many groups funded by Soros who just happen to also be groups that dress in black and break windows during "protests" against speakers in Berkeley, like RefuseFascism, which got $50,000 from The Open Society and promptly went to war in Berkeley. You have to work pretty hard to remain so ignorant of the vast leftist funding of the Ferguson riots up through the latest thuggery on the evening news.

On the other hand there was not ever any evidence of the sort on the Tea Party protests. The fact there is no organization or acknowledged "leader" of the "movement" militates against the story you're trying to peddle. That's exactly why the Tea Party freaked out liberals and energized conservatives: it's been along time since a genuine grass roots movement happened from the ground up. It couldn't be controlled by either Party and they both tried to kill it and marginalize so-called Tea Partiers. Yet every well-attended event went off smoothly without violence and the grounds were always cleaner afterward than before. All of these are easily obtained facts and don't require close observation.

Leftists string pullers are numerous and easy to identify. Name one person who had control over the Tea Party.

rcocean said...

I'm glad to see this thread. This seems to be problem on the internet where a small group (usually its some left/right troll and 3-4 "enemies") turn every thread into their own personal version of "Crossfire" or psychodrama.

Last night, once I saw all the "Inga" references - I misstated there were 115 - not 15, I bailed. So that's one point in favor of using names, it allows others to quickly see that a group of comments isn't worth reading.

CStanley said...

What Michelle Dulak Thomson and DBQ said.

I don't comment with compliments enough and should try to do so more often, but I also don't do insults. I frequently find myself in disagreement and will be inclined to get into a discussion or debate. I'm one of the few people (apparently) who enjoy long threads, if they involve a substantive debate. My comments may not be everyone's cup of tea but several other commenters have seemingly enjoyed the long discussions, I especially feel some pride in having engaged some people on hot topics like abortion without things getting overheated, and in fact on this blog and others I've had people thank me for the exchange and comment how rare it is to be able to discuss our opposing viewpoints civilly.

To me that's the best part of a blog comment section- notwithstanding, of course, the humor provided by Laslo and a few others.

I don't think those discussions would get off the ground without addressing (by name) the individual that inspired my initial response, but I don't want to offend the host so would like clarification.

Fen said...

You should consider and reflect that I am your Frankenstein. I first came here during the Valenti dustup, and was just a naive gentle babe in the woods.

Everything about me now - my tone, my sarcadm, my counter-trolling, my use of ad hom - I learned from THIS blog. And I learned it from the trolls that were allowed to fester here, because the only thing that got them to back off was dealing their hand back in spades. It was the only way to put them on their heels long enough for the rest of us to have a decent conversation.

I don't regret it one bit. It toughened me up and gave me the tools I would need to handle liberal bullies on the net, those skills have proven quite usefull. But don't damn the creature that you made, Processor Frankenstein. :)

Basil said...

I would propose an Althouse poll of posters to be banned for excess trollery.

Problem solved in the very Althousian way of polling stuff.

Michael K said...

"Leftists string pullers are numerous and easy to identify. Name one person who had control over the Tea Party."

The Tea Party was spontaneous. I went to some early meetings.

There were a few Republican politicians, Dick Armey for one, who tried to take over but did not get far. In fact, I think their efforts were counter productive and drove away some people. Of course, Obama and Lois Lerner kneecapped the movement pretty effectively.

Freder needs to look at the organization sites but he won't They are easy to find.

CStanley said...

Michael upthread is spot on. Last night's train wreck was due to ONE poster acting in bad faith, hijacking a thread about dead children to rant about Trump leaving the Saudi's off the travel ban. And not just once, she flooded the thread with it. Your commenters are tired of that crap, and since you refuse to enforce your own rules, we jumped her.

That commenter acts in bad faith, repeatedly, because she knows you will jump her. Just stop. As for what Althouse's commenters are tired of, please take a hint that it is not just the troll but the group that enjoys batting her around that are tiresome to many of us.

In short, you have commenters here that you know are not acting in good faith, yet you subject us to them dailt.

This whole "but she was being a provocative bully so we need to appeal to authority" isn't flattering to you and anyone else making that argument. And dealing with the person you consider a troll by piling on her doesn't work because there's no actual negative consequence to her and in fact she likely enjoys it. Stop feeding trolls is Internet 101.

Seeing Red said...

Did Monty Python have a Ministry of Insults?

Mary said...

This is why I rarely comment here, I'm a just a person with different ideas and then I'm personally attacked rather than my ideas. It's the same on Facebook, I find myself quieter now on the internet because it's not worth the stress. Things are too stressful as it is.

Bob Boyd said...

Seeing Red said...
Did Monty Python have a Ministry of Insults?

Abuse

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f-fryoFWKQ

mockturtle said...

One of the reasons I've pulled back from commenting (at least in 'Laslo-esque' manner).

You've been missed, Laslo!

Fen said...

It's not an appeal to authority Stanley. It's a recognition that if the hostess won't enforce her own rules, others will take matters into their own hands. A fireman who abdicates his role has no right to complain about how I put out the fire.

pacwest said...

CStanley, (it is appropriate to use names in this regard I think)

I enjoy longer threads also.

It is a shame so many missed buwaya's informative comments regarding the resources required dealing with a a non-native Muslim population on the thread in question. A thread in which PB specifically stated his sole purpose on this blog was disruption. I am puzzled by AA's not taking corrective action in that instance since I'm sure she read it.


HoodlumDoodlum said...

Laslo Spatula said.. Didn't seem to fit in. Maybe it never did, of course.

That's...that's what she said?


Todd said...I don't consider them equivalent. Fair was not interested in any sort of "discussion". She was interested in a confrontation. She got what she wanted. She eliminated the possibility of "more speech" by getting his membership revoked. She felt she has more/better rights than him (if she even bothered to give it a thought). She confronted him and berated him. She did not "approach him for the purpose of a discussion". She wanted her say and to hell with everyone else. She is a fascist.

Ok, I hear you, BUT: take the more general case--what about a protest designed to force an action like disinviting a speaker or firing an employee? The protest itself seems to be unambiguously "more speech." If the point of the protest is to shut down someone else's speech opportunity (or just to restrict their ability to get their message out generally, by impoverishing them, say), though, should we put that into another category or still say "hey, just more speech here, that's what it's about"?
If I give a speech and exhort the listeners to start rioting or to go assault everyone they see wearing a MAGA hat then the law (I think) treats my speech as an illegal action and punishes me for it. We recognize that some types of speech are less valid (as "speech") than others, and it seems to me like we make that evaluation primarily on the basis of the AIMs of the speech itself. If the goal/aim is to incite violence we all (presumably!) recognize that the speech may be impermissible/should be punished and not treated as valid speech. I guess my question, about which I'm trying to think deeply is where should that line be drawn in cases where the goal of the speech is some kind of action that intentionally has the effect of reducing the opportunity for "speech" on the part of someone else. (Short of violence, of course--I'm still assuming we all think that's invalid.)

See what I mean?

Fen said...

And your advice is somewhat hypocritical - how can you ask others to ignore the trolls when you can't ignore a thread being spiked by troll wars?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Fen said...
You should consider and reflect that I am your Frankenstein. I first came here during the Valenti dustup, and was just a naive gentle babe in the woods.

Everything about me now - my tone, my sarcadm, my counter-trolling, my use of ad hom - I learned from THIS blog. And I learned it from the trolls that were allowed to fester here, because the only thing that got them to back off was dealing their hand back in spades.


I Learned It By Watching you!

Leslie Graves said...

I skipped over the 128 comments. Here's my two cents. I always kind of like the first few back-and-forths when commenters might mix it up with each other. But I do go from being kind of intrigued at the first bit of that to finding it incredibly annoying, boring and frustrating if it carries on. So boring. It's an on/off switch of interest. Fun for a few seconds and then if it carries on, total ugh.

whitney said...

I read another blog, David Warren's Essays in Idleness, that gave up on comments some time ago. He said it took to much time moderating. I still read all his post and when he asks, I contribute. Point being, I would here also. I don't come for the commenters.

Ann Althouse said...

"Should I not identify you as the source of the above quoted text?"

The way you are doing it is not bad, but it's not necessary to name the person, and you're probably doing it out of politeness and giving credit. It's certainly not something I'd delete, but you might want to stop just because it looks like the thing that is part of the proble. It would help reinforce the idea that it's not personal.

Fen said...

It's like dividing by zero:

1) You want us to ignore trolls.

2) But you can't ignore our flaming of trolls.

3) Because if you could, then it wouldn't bother you enough to warrant asking us to ignore trolls in the first place.

Rick said...

pacwest said...
I'd also like to say I think Chuck is very poorly treated here


He deserves poor treatment as does everyone who threadjacks every topic into their personal hobbyhorse.

Fen said...

Heh, Hoodlum, but I prefer Patton's "I read your book you bastard!"

Mike Sylwester said...

pacwest at 10:53 AM

Chuck is very poorly treated here

I agree. Chuck is a good commenter.

C Stanley said...

And your advice is somewhat hypocritical - how can you ask others to ignore the trolls when you can't ignore a thread being spiked by troll wars?

I did ignore last night and often do, as do many other commenters. Some of us are irritated by the frequent need to abandon whole threads in order to do so, and I took exception to your defining your cohort as typical of what Althouse commenters want.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Fen said...

A fireman who abdicates his role has no right to complain about how I put out the fire.

True, but everyone has a right to complain when you try, and fail, to put out the fire by pouring gasoline on it. What you do is not slowing down the trolls, it is only multiplying their effect.

Fen said...

Ironic because maybe we want the same thing? We think trolls ruin the thread. You think they are tolerable until we burn them.

Angel-Dyne said...

Fen: In short, you have commenters here that you know are not acting in good faith, yet you subject us to them dailt. It's no use complaining when we push back, that's like a school teacher ignoring the bullies all semester until the victim finally punches back. Then all of a sudden it's a problem? No.

Lol, this. I hesitate to use the schoolyard bully analogy because we are not children captive to an authority requiring us to stay in the schoolyard.

But it does work in the sense that Althouse does seem to give the "bullies" (the You Know Who thread-killers) a free pass, and only gets scoldy when the "non-bullies" get stroppy with 'em.

Todd said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ok, I hear you, BUT: take the more general case--what about a protest designed to force an action like disinviting a speaker or firing an employee? The protest itself seems to be unambiguously "more speech." If the point of the protest is to shut down someone else's speech opportunity (or just to restrict their ability to get their message out generally, by impoverishing them, say), though, should we put that into another category or still say "hey, just more speech here, that's what it's about"?


I clearly see calls to boycott as "more speech" and as protected speech.

If I give a speech and exhort the listeners to start rioting or to go assault everyone they see wearing a MAGA hat then the law (I think) treats my speech as an illegal action and punishes me for it. We recognize that some types of speech are less valid (as "speech") than others, and it seems to me like we make that evaluation primarily on the basis of the AIMs of the speech itself. If the goal/aim is to incite violence we all (presumably!) recognize that the speech may be impermissible/should be punished and not treated as valid speech.

I can agree with this as well. Calling on a room of people to go trash Pelosi's house is clearly not protected speech.

I guess my question, about which I'm trying to think deeply is where should that line be drawn in cases where the goal of the speech is some kind of action that intentionally has the effect of reducing the opportunity for "speech" on the part of someone else. (Short of violence, of course--I'm still assuming we all think that's invalid.)

See what I mean?

5/23/17, 12:04 PM


The difference (in my mind) is your speech should NEVER directly impact my rights. You are "free" to stand on a public corner and shout about how evil I am but I don't think you have the right to confront me in a place of business preventing me from making use of services I have paid for and have a legal right to.

She could have just as easily have had either a "quite" conversation with him or "met him outside" when they were leaving (even better) but NOooooo, she had to have it out right then and there in front of everyone because she was not interested in "everyone's" rights or what was proper and polite. She wanted a scene. She was interested in Fair and only Fair, screw everyone else.

I see this as the difference between preventing a Milo talk (in affect what Fair did) versus waiting for the Q&A and asking questions/having a discussion (which is NOT what Fair did). As others noted and this woman is supposed to be a Professor? That teaches diplomacy? Really? Just wow.

The left does not want to have a discussion or to work things out. They want to have their say and then have you just shut up.

Ray said...

Long term reader and I think only posted twice. I don't usually post due to the danger of blowback to my reputation and I have not set up another anonymous account yet just for commenting. Why - there are some people that take politics views way too serious with a view you are either with us, or against us. Problem of modern life with an Internet lynch mob just a few clicks away. I wish Ann would review SJW Always Lie in a post.

I find the commentary here politically a mixed bag. I don't see it as left or conservative for the most part. Often I learn something new from the comments that has value.

I miss Laslo's posts. They are so precious and make my day.

The back and forth gets tiring to read, and where name calling gets involved.

The commenting war with Chuck and others I have mixed feelings on. I would rate it a draw right now, and it gets tiring when it just gets into name calling.

Michael K often has insightful comments. I appreciate how he dissects talking points and points out political trolling. Michael - your contact us on your blog is out of date. I suggest look into Fiverr for getting the pdf's formatted into Word cheaply for your book.

Buwaya often has a non US viewpoint that I find a lot of value reading.

The TDS is tiring in comments, and I wish the TDS infected commenters would up their game. A bit more introspection in the comments would add a lot of credibility.

I wish Mead would post more.

I was surprised yesterday when I read the DNC is raising considerably less than the RNC. This hurt the credibility of the mainstream press a lot with me. I am glad Ann posted on that. Comments on the post were so so and pretty surface, unfortunately. At least no name calling that I remember. Scott Adams has continued with some very insightful posts on Trump post election.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Perhaps the problem is that the warning re Alt-rules that is currently above the comment box is not clear.

Sure, it's changed quite a bit over the years. Presumably, at this point, it's well honed. But, not yet perfect.

We need less rigmarole and more rippin' and rollin'. Let me help w/ a rewrite:

"Don't ruin this blog by shaming ignorant sluts by name. And, don't forget that extra line breaks are evil cause of readability and thread size management."





You're welcome.



Fen said...

It's fair that you took exception to that, I didn't mean to speak for you or everyone here.

We just have a difference of opinion on how to handle it. Some of us are content to hand over our lunch money to avoid all the fuss and drama. Others, not so much.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Michael said...

The concept of shame was once used to create an orderly and prosperous society in which people, or families, were reigned in by fear of being the subject of shaming and shunning.

Shaming has clearly not worked.

How about we try shunning for a while?

exiledonmainstreet said...

He (Chuck) deserves poor treatment as does everyone who threadjacks every topic into their personal hobbyhorse.

5/23/17, 12:29 PM

Last night, Chuck brought up the IRA and then later said he had done so purely to anger the "Trumpkins." Ann did not think that mentioning the IRA was remiss. But he clearly admitted he was not trying to raise a valid point, but only intended to piss people off. That's being a good faith commenter?

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I used to comment much more frequently, but these idiotic jab fests drove me away. I started feeling like I needed a shower after wallowing in the excreta. Now I only speak when I have something to say, and since nobody has an axe to grind with me everyone ignores me, and that's the way I like it. Only a few of you people are worth reading, Bruce Hayden, Young Hegelian, buwaya puti, and Robert Cook among others. Most of the rest of you are just jerking off.

In any long thread there is a distinct moment when the commentary goes to hell, usually signified by Inga's first post. Perhaps, Althouse, you could hire me to watch these threads like a hawk and to ruthlessly shut them down when the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan. I'd do a good job.

I would be for limiting any commenter to two comments per thread, a constructive and a rebuttal as it were. I would not be for censoring the content of comments in any way. Until that happens, I'll just continue to scan the first 30-50 comments of any thread, and avoid stepping in the rest.

Michael K said...

"Michael - your contact us on your blog is out of date. I suggest look into Fiverr for getting the pdf's formatted into Word cheaply for your book."

Thanks. I will

traditionalguy said...

Frustrated utterances waste fine minds, because the interesting things that people say in so many interesting ways can just disappear under a smoke screen of gotchas.

Honestly,most folks know, by our age, when a perfect con job is being shoveled by a perfect new commenter. So I just ignore the bait and talk to the others. The ability of most people to adjust in a new social environment will take care of it.

Brookzene said...

So what are we to do when someone continuously addresses us with personally insulting or ad hominem attacks? It's difficult to ignore when someone is deliberately provoking that way and you aren't even addressing them.

Achilles said...

Fen said...
Ironic because maybe we want the same thing? We think trolls ruin the thread. You think they are tolerable until we burn them.

Fen is right. You don't fix a problem by ignoring people shitting in your living room. If you don't want flame wars delete flame posts and temp ban offending flamers. But if someone shits on my porch I am going to dump their shit right on their head.

I understand Ann's dilemma a little because the left has become depraved since the election and it is nearly impossible to find an opposing viewpoint that comes from good faith. But there it is. We need the left to reform and become a legitimate political force and grow up. You don't do this by letting them act like assholes and shitting where you live.

Brookzene said...

"We just have a difference of opinion on how to handle it. Some of us are content to hand over our lunch money to avoid all the fuss and drama. Others, not so much."

You come in here constantly saying "eat a shotgun" and calling people "traitorous cunt." And you talk about a "difference of opinion"??

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Most of the rest of you are just jerking off.

Wait, you can see that? I need to remember to put a piece of tape over my webcam...

Michael K said...

""Michael - your contact us on your blog is out of date."

That was an old email address. It's changed.

Thanks for the tip on the pdf conversion.

Brookzene said...

"He (Chuck) deserves poor treatment as does everyone who threadjacks every topic into their personal hobbyhorse."

Chuck's a very smart guy. I don't often agree with him about his politics but he seldom answers in a personal or derogatory way. The level of disrespect that's shown to him is really bad.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...The way you are doing it is not bad, but it's not necessary to name the person, and you're probably doing it out of politeness and giving credit

Yeah, I kinda think it's a bit rude not to include the person's name when quoting--one can then either address that person and their point directly or say something like "XYZ's point is a good one, and reminds me of..." or whatever. If you've been following a thread/discussion and know what other people have said it's a pain to have to search back and see which person or which points some subsequent poster is responding to--the only way around that, I think, is for everyone to quote large/nearly full passages from the other person. [Probably that's a good reason to pressure some of us to make shorter posts, but I rarely have time to properly edit {as you can tell!} and you'll pry my excessive length from my cold, dead...something.]

I'd like to keep including the commenter's name in quotes and when responding to comments, if that's allowed. Certainly I intend no ill-will by so doing.

AReasonableMan said...

As a moderate I find that there are many more people of a right wing persuasion than of a left wing persuasion who could reasonably be called trolls. This is to be expected statistically, since there are so many more right wingers than left wingers on this blog.

Also to be expected is that many people believe otherwise, since people tend to be more tolerant of their trolls than the other side's trolls.

Michael K said...

"he seldom answers in a personal or derogatory way. The level of disrespect that's shown to him is really bad."

I'm not in agreement here. The worst personal insults come from chuck. I agree that he is often ridiculed for his Trump Hatred comments but his useful comments are few enough that I generally skip all of his.

Michael K said...

ARM has hardly been moderate recently.

Rick said...

Brookzene said...
Chuck's a very smart guy. I don't often agree with him about his politics but he seldom answers in a personal or derogatory way.


Neither of these comments addresses the issue. If you host a book club and one member responds to literally every comment by identifying a similar biblical discussion launching a discussion the biblical reference instead of the book does it matter that the offender is intelligent? Or is it rude even if his points are accurate?

Brookzene said...

"If you host a book club and one member responds to literally every comment by identifying a similar biblical discussion launching a discussion the biblical reference instead of the book does it matter that the offender is intelligent?"

I'm not sure what this means actually. I'm open to hearing more but I thought the idea was that Althouse thinks personal attacks are weighing down the blog, which I agree with. I don't mind people saying that what I'm saying is full of shit and here's why, but I do mind it when they say I'm full of shit and don't even counter my point.

Earnest Prole said...

Ad hominem arguments are deadly-dull boring. Unfortunately, the commenters who don't already know that probably never will.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Todd said...The difference (in my mind) is your speech should NEVER directly impact my rights. You are "free" to stand on a public corner and shout about how evil I am but I don't think you have the right to confront me in a place of business preventing me from making use of services I have paid for and have a legal right to.

Ok, but the devil's advocate on that would say (as I think the Left-type people involved here actually do say) that allowing the spread of certain types of ideas DOES "directly impact" one's rights--that Nazi or anti-whatever views must be denied oxygen because letting the live (much less flourish) is a direct threat to the rights of others (people potentially harmed by the widespread acceptance of a given belief).
Now you and I don't buy that, and in the context of modern American society it seems (to me) flatly absurd, but that's the argument (I think). We can't allow people with anti-woman beliefs to be accepted as normal members of society with speech rights, etc, since doing so risks allowing their speech to convince others, spread those ideas, and eventually that might lead to actual laws or social practices that "directly impact" the rights of others. That's the motive force behind labeling certain speech violence.

Now, again, you and I understand that even if this argument has an acorn of truth in it in practice it's entirely unworkable--it would do away with the concept of "free speech" entirely and put censorious power in the hands of whoever was given authority to determine what's valid and what's invalid speech (invariably a Leftist!).

Getting back to the original problem I'm trying to think deeply about, though: how do we draw the line between valid and invalid forms of speech designed to decrease the power of some other speaker or potential speaker? I mean, I want my political side to win and the other political sides to lose. If I engage in speech to convince other people and I win those people over, hooray--everyone agrees the system worked and all the speech was valid. If I engage in speech to convince other people to pass a law that restricts the speech rights of my political opponents, though, is my speech valid? Lots of countries say no--some countries explicitly outlaw certain political parties, etc. In the US we formally say yes (even extreme speech is legally permissible), but as the gym example seems to show it seems like our informal/social answer is, increasingly, "no." It's a problem.

Gahrie said...

But it does work in the sense that Althouse does seem to give the "bullies" (the You Know Who thread-killers) a free pass, and only gets scoldy when the "non-bullies" get stroppy with 'em.

She has encouraged some of them.

Fen said...

See Brooke, that's trolling. I'm talking about a difference of opinion re handling trolls. And I have only done the shotgun remark once, in response to a troll who's only purpose in life had become hijacking threads here. It was a sarcastic remark that his life has become pointless.

My first encounter with you was civil disagreement over something about gold diggers, you responded "rascist".

So please don't clutch your pearls. You're one of trolls that should be shown the door.

Rick said...

I'm open to hearing more but I thought the idea was that Althouse thinks personal attacks are weighing down the blog, which I agree with

Comments are limited to supporting or disputing what Althouse wrote? The original comment on this point was that Chuck is treated poorly. That he deserves this poor treatment is neither reinforced nor contradicted by Althouse's position.

Brookzene said...

"See Brooke, that's trolling."

That kind of trolling ("traiterous cunt"; "why don't you eat a shotgun") is always uncalled for and kills the blog thread.

Personally I support banning you for that kind of language. Certainly going forward after this thread. It's up to Althouse but that's my opinion.

Michael K said...

"Personally I support banning you for that kind of language."

I don't even know who this person is. You appeared here recently and now you want to ban someone else ?

Trollstorm coming.

Matthew Sablan said...

I honestly don't get the hatred and triggering caused by Chuck. I don't agree with him on a lot of things, but I've always treated him civilly and get treated civilly in kind. I think, maybe, some commenters should just treat other commenters with the thought in mind, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. If you *really* think he is just here to troll, don't rise to the bait.

Brookzene said...

"I don't even know who this person is. You appeared here recently and now you want to ban someone else ?"

My money's as good as yours and I made my case why he should be banned, making clear that that was my opinion. I think it was on topic.

Fen said...

Speaking of pearls, I see a bunch of dirty little boys all trying to straighten their clothes up for mama althouse. You aren't fooling anyone with the sweetness and light gambit.

I'm no angel either, but I remember the name Tyrone as a very nasty fellow, an instigator. Chuck gets smacked around because he dishonestly presents himself as a conservative, which understandably rankles other conservatives here. ARM catches flack because so often he is disengenuos, asserting he is "reasonable" and "moderate".

Again, I know I'm no angel, but some of you are insulting our intelligence with these little games you play. Grass stains on your knees, dirty scabs on your elbows, the smell of leather gloves and pine oil... and you expect us to believe that nobody knows anything about Mrs Wilson's window being shattered by a baseball?



AReasonableMan said...

Some people are not strictly trolls but so angry against the 'other' that they can no longer think straight.

Todd said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ok, but the devil's advocate on that would say (as I think the Left-type people involved here actually do say) that allowing the spread of certain types of ideas DOES "directly impact" one's rights--that Nazi or anti-whatever views must be denied oxygen because letting the live (much less flourish) is a direct threat to the rights of others (people potentially harmed by the widespread acceptance of a given belief).


I think right there is part of the root of it all. I believe that "more free speech" will enable my "side" to win because the other side's arguments can not stand against the arguments of history, reality, and my "side". That is partially why I want more speech, not less and I want less violence, not more.

Getting back to the original problem I'm trying to think deeply about, though: how do we draw the line between valid and invalid forms of speech designed to decrease the power of some other speaker or potential speaker? I mean, I want my political side to win and the other political sides to lose. If I engage in speech to convince other people and I win those people over, hooray--everyone agrees the system worked and all the speech was valid. If I engage in speech to convince other people to pass a law that restricts the speech rights of my political opponents, though, is my speech valid? Lots of countries say no--some countries explicitly outlaw certain political parties, etc. In the US we formally say yes (even extreme speech is legally permissible), but as the gym example seems to show it seems like our informal/social answer is, increasingly, "no." It's a problem.

5/23/17, 1:28 PM


Constitution. Constitution. Constitution. Oh, and judges that believe in the actual Constitution.

I am opposed to and against any and all such "hate speech" laws and even "hate crimes". I don't think valid speech becomes "invalid" because someone doesn't like what I have said. I also don't think any particular crime is any more vile because the accused did it for any particular reason. Root causes might be good to know to try and prevent future crimes but I think folks should be judged on their actions, not the thoughts or intent behind the actions (at least as far as "hate" speech and/or crimes). Are the arguments logical and factual? Are they relevant? What does it matter whether or not the speaker likes Asians?

I WANT Nazis to have free speech. I WANT the most loony of the lefties to have free speech. I want EVERYONE to have free speech on a level playing field that includes not shutting down speech someone doesn't like. The more you can hear "their" arguments, the better you can counter them and everyone should be able to hear it all. How can we show how hateful Nazis are or how hateful AntiFa is if we don't let them talk? As we let them talk, there should be strong punishments for not letting me talk. All those college kids that shut down conservative speakers should have been expelled and in a more enlightened and civilized age, they would have been. College is doing a harm to those that attend, these days.

At least my two cents.

Char Char Binks said...

It's mockturtle's fault!

Brookzene said...

"I WANT Nazis to have free speech. I WANT the most loony of the lefties to have free speech. I want EVERYONE to have free speech on a level playing field that includes not shutting down speech someone doesn't like. The more you can hear "their" arguments, the better you can counter them and everyone should be able to hear it all. How can we show how hateful Nazis are or how hateful AntiFa is if we don't let them talk? As we let them talk, there should be strong punishments for not letting me talk. All those college kids that shut down conservative speakers should have been expelled and in a more enlightened and civilized age, they would have been. College is doing a harm to those that attend, these days"

Give to the ACLU.

Yancey Ward said...

Seeing Red asked:

"Did Monty Python have a Ministry of Insults?

No, you vacuous toffee-nosed malodorous pervert!! It was abuse.

Paddy O said...

The "last word" issue is the key one. We don't want people to have the last word because it seems to suggest we can't counter whatever was said. As comments tend to come down to perspectives and weighing of evidence in different ways, as well as an indeterminate amount of insincere contributors, there's never a point at which it's solved, so the ad hominems repeat ad nauseum.

The reality is that people tend to be more astute in reading, so there's really no reason for a "last word" if the goal is to just make for good discussion. Someone who has a bad or insufficient argument is going to be obvious. Althouse, of course, relatively rarely engages back and forth in the comments, having made her point in the post, she lets the arguments stand.

In a lot of ways, the back and forth reminds me of the 'pad' picture of the other day. The mostly obvious didn't need highlighting.

The other problem is that some people have way more time to comment hereabouts, and arguments that consist of back and forth denunciations are always going to be won by those who are willing to spend a good portion of their time making posts. The Russian Army was going to win battles in WW2 because they could just throw more and more people into the fight. It's a terrible and unfortunate approach, but some people treat their time like Stalin treated his people.

Rockport Conservative said...

I wish you had a like button so I could just hit it and not open up the comments to post how much I like it. I like this.

There are many sites I have given up on trying to read comments because commenters are like high school kids arguing back and forth, with name calling and personal slurs that are completely beside the point. Washington Post comes to mind.
Thank you.

Paddy O said...

Which is to say, not insisting on having the 'last word' is a good discipline, and often lets the depth of one's own argument stand stronger. The Christian writer Dallas Willard, a philosopher (at USC) and spirituality expert talked about how learning this as a discipline was very helpful in his thinking and experience of life, even as some of his supporters wanted him to keep rebutting his detractors. I picked up on this practice before I read he did it, and have since been more committed to it, though sometimes the temptation to respond is too much. I'm still learning.

Fen said...

Todd has it right.

I want to set flag burners on fire, but I don't because the right to disgrace our nation's symbols, no matter how offensive, is a principle of free speech. If we shut down the flag burner we all lose a little slice of Librty.

Worse, if you shut down speech it simply goes underground to fester and grow. And when it resurfaces you'll be blindsided by it. Like the Democrats were this election - all those voters in Michigan that you could have reached and swayed back to your side. But you chose instead to shame them to such a degree that they submarined and never shared their true feelings with you until they were in the voting booth.

I want the Nazis to have free speech. I want them center stage shouting at the top of their lungs. Because their philosophy is crap, and I can't debunk their words if you drive them underground.

Earnest Prole said...

I honestly don't get the hatred and triggering caused by Chuck.

Of all the dopey boring ad hominem comments here, the ones directed at Chuck are the dumbest and tiredest.

Michael K said...

"so angry against the 'other' that they can no longer think straight."

I agree. Back a couple of years ago when I ran into a bunch of intolerant social "conservatives" over evolution at Ricochet, you were much more moderate than you have been since Trump won the election.

There are actually things besides Trump to talk about but I pretty much have to go elsewhere to do so. Every conversation ends up quickly at Trump.

Angel-Dyne said...

Fen: I'm no angel either, but I remember the name Tyrone as a very nasty fellow, an instigator. Chuck gets smacked around because he dishonestly presents himself as a conservative, which understandably rankles other conservatives here. ARM catches flack because so often he is disengenuos, asserting he is "reasonable" and "moderate".

Chuck is a piece of work, and I find it funny to see him defended as a put-upon little angel, but he really isn't one of the You Know Whos, and some people are actually interested in his sperg-asms. He's easy enough to skip.

ARM is a good troll. Of course he's not arguing in good faith, but you knew that, didn't you? It's not fair to class him with the genuinely moronic You Know Whos. (Though occasionally on his bad days he does slip up and slip down to their level.)

Again, I know I'm no angel, but some of you are insulting our intelligence with these little games you play. Grass stains on your knees, dirty scabs on your elbows, the smell of leather gloves and pine oil... and you expect us to believe that nobody knows anything about Mrs Wilson's window being shattered by a baseball?

They've noticed that Professor Althouse still hasn't wised-up to Eddie Haskell's bullshit, so they figure they can get away with it.

Fen said...

The easiest and most effective solution would be the ability to toggle a commenters name and select "ignore". Not only would it remove the temptation to respond to bait, it would make the trolls up their game - one slip and a dozen people slip you I to oblivion. Trolls are narcissistic, they hate oblivion.

Todd said...

Brookzene said...

Give to the ACLU.

5/23/17, 2:05 PM


LOL! That is darn funny! I am about as likely to give to the ACLU as I am to the SPLC!

I prefer my civil rights organizations to support and defend the entire Constitution, thank you very much...

ACLU Position

Given the reference to "a well regulated Militia" and "the security of a free State," the ACLU has long taken the position that the Second Amendment protects a collective right rather than an individual right.
...
In striking down Washington D.C.'s handgun ban by a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court's decision in D.C. v. Heller held for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms, whether or not associated with a state militia. The ACLU disagrees with the Supreme Court's conclusion about the nature of the right protected by the Second Amendment.


Oh, and their position is "typical" lefty garble. The second has always been understood to be an individual right until lefty lawyers and politicians got involved. There is more than sufficient historical and legal evidence in support of the individual right position that the left chooses to ignore.

AReasonableMan said...

Angel-Dyne said...
ARM is a good troll. Of course he's not arguing in good faith


As I said, there are more right wing trolls than left. I believe this very sincerely.

Yancey Ward said...

Chuck is a smart guy, but he is way too invested in the anti-Trump stuff. He is actually usually only on topic when the blog post is about Trump, all the other times he opens with the latest anti-Trump tidbit or opinion even when the topic is kittens trapped in a tree, or how to clean a shit-stain out of your underwear. Then when he does the latter, any response to him is a waste of time, effort, and decorum.

I keep a list of commenters in my head that I want to read here, and I use control F to find them in the threads. For Althouse, it starts with the blogstress herself, followed by Young Hegelian, Bruce Hayden, Michelle Dulak Thomson, Matthew Sablan, Robert Cook, tcrosse, etc. I will otherwise just page down the section looking for those names and a few others.

Michael K said...

"there are more right wing trolls than left."

You might be correct as the left wing trolls seem to use multiple identities and switch them around. Some are probably sock puppets.

Virtually Unknown said...

If I was paying someone to post from the left I'd definitely send commenters to sites other than this one. I don't think there's much value added here.

Exactly what they want us to think!

Fen said...

It was even better before the Meltdown. People like Hegalian and Hayden were the norm. The level of commentary was so good that I actually kept my mouth shut (mostly) to listen and learn.

I'm sorry you missed all that. If you like it now you would have loved it back then.

"He's haunted by the memory of a lost paradise..." - Pink Floyd

Jim Gust said...

I'd just like to thank Althouse for posting that fantastic SNL bit, which I had forgotten, if ever I'd seen it. That was some brilliant comedy writing, worth listening to several times. Just goes to prove how little talent is being deployed at SNL today.

Yes, this is my real name--but I'm almost retired.

I read this blog daily, but even so I'm not invested enough in it to care about the name calling in the comments.

Meade said...

David said...
"I doubt anyone is being paid to post *here*."

Overpaid, if it's happening.
---------------------------
Now that was funny.

I have to admit — I'm the only one around here who is overpaid. In my defense, however, it's springtime and I've been spending more time on my bike and in the yard and out walking Zeus and Mrs. Meade. Speaking of Mrs. Meade — she likes to go to bed early and since I like to go to bed with her, that also means I'm less and less available to moderate the comment section during evenings.

I especially appreciate everyone who self-moderates. So thanks, and I will try to get in here more often and muck out the comment stables so that all you hot-blooded thoroughbred commenters have clean bright straw on which to lay down your many zingers and pearls of wisdom. So to speak.

William Chadwick said...

You want to see a genuinely loony and/or stupid troll? Follow the comments of "DonGrabsIvanks" on Jim Treacher's blog. That guy sets the bar for dopey trolling. The only one I've seen here come close to his level or goofiness and dementia was that "garage mahal" who used to post here.

Drago said...

Etienne: "Whenever I see the comment number go above 50, I just ignore the blog post. There's nothing that interesting in the world"

You are clearly unaware of ABC's network strategy to bring back the '70's.

Todd said...

Meade said...

I've been spending more time on my bike

5/23/17, 2:47 PM


Harley style or Schwinn (say Harley, say Harley, even if it isn't true)?

Meade said...

Ray said...
"...I wish Mead would post more."

Thanks, Ray.

vicari valdez said...

i think i'm the only person who gets paid to post here.

Ken B said...

"Here's a simple rule that could help: Don't name other commenters. If you want to respond to them, just quote them and respond to the substance of the quote. Leave out the name."

The template you have chosen for this blog discourages that. There are templates with a quote function and subthreads. This one does not. That makes it cumbersome.

Rabel said...

Meade, Althouse's strongly worded letter isn't going to cut it. I recommend, if I may, a show of force. Shut down the comments for a day or a week. Althouse will have to do a little more work for a while to fill the vacuum with her own writing but we would all benefit from that.

It's worth a try. Pass it on.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Todd said...Constitution. Constitution. Constitution. Oh, and judges that believe in the actual Constitution.

Of course, and I agree with your two cents, but 1.) you and I aren't the problem (insofar as we're not pushing for legal and social changes to make certain types of speech be widely viewed as invalid) and 2.) relying JUST on the law/legal protection, especially Constitutional protection, seems terribly inadequate. You had to qualify it yourself, in that paragraph--there are tons of judges who don't believe in "the actual Constitution!" Just in the instant example it's probably true that by the letter of the law Spencer could make a harassment claim against the professor, but that legal fact is in practical terms worthless--it's unenforcable and if it were to be enforced the public backlash (against him and/or whatever jurisdiction prosecuted her) would probably get that law changed.
If it were as easy as "just" putting the right things into the law I wouldn't have to think deeply at all!

StephenFearby said...

AA's rules for posting are simple:

"...try to be responsive to the post, don't make personal attacks on other commenters, bring some substance or humor to the conversation, and don't do that thing of putting in a lot of extra line breaks."

Unfortunately for some, "[who] already know who they are", these rules are more honour'd in the breach than the observance.

If AA does not enforce the rules with sanctions, the bad conduct will continue.

Simple as that.

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