Sorry You Got Hacked, But You Did Ask For It


A lot of people are aware that we got hacked.on Saturday and there are a lot of ideas flip flopping about on who is responsible for this and why.

My blog is one of the smaller blogs here, so being hit by an outage actually affects me in different ways. I don’t actually get paid for my work, the blog is my only source of income. It’s however used for

1. Plane Tickets home

2. Luxuries

3. Stuff like clothes

Now to most people this boils down to “Luxuries” but to me it’s important to have these things. I don’t have luxuries in my life. You are already home, you live in places comfortable to you and have social lives.

I have not. I have not seen my girlfriend in nearly a year and I am looking forward to valentine’s day like “crazy”. I am going to HAVE a Valentine’s day. Valentine’s day never used to be depressing for me because to me there was no point crying over not being able to go home. I don’t get Birthdays or Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Hell, the biggest party my country threw in the Royal Wedding, The Jubilee Celebration and the Olympics? I didn’t see ANY OF IT. I have given up a lot.

So the 3 to 4 weeks of banality you consider normal life is bliss to me. Plane tickets to go somewhere new may seem like a luxury to you but the are tickets “HOME” for me.

Let’s look at luxuries. This year’s luxury for me is a new camera. Why do I need a new Camera? Well I took my Camera to the Indian Rape Riots last year and it “died when rain water got into it”. It took me a year to save up enough money from writing to replace it. I also got a new laptop last year since my ancient one died. I also like “playing games” and they do give me something to do in my downtime. It’s mainly F2P stuff (see me on League of Legends if you like!) but I do own a copy of Starcraft and a few old games on Steam and Dominions 4 that help me keep busy when I have nothing else to do.

You say “boo hoo”, but I point out you HAVE these luxuries as the norm for you. You can go out to a nice restaurant, you can go out to a bar, you can go clubbing, you can go spend time with your friends. I haven’t had a drink since May and I am looking foward to my stop over in Abu Dhabi where I get to eat a Big Mac and get a glass of scotch. I actually have an envelope with money set aside in May JUST for this.

I do need clothes, nude medicine sadly is not very hygenic. But I do need clothes, in light of my travel to Nepal it means a small expansion of my wardrobe to include some cold weather gear and new hiking boots and a day sack. In addition I am donating £300 to my OWN ASTI fundraiser.

The majority of this has been paid for by my writing with the exception being the laptop.

So it amazes me people would begrudge me these things simply because of where I write. In many of the cases the implication is that anti-FTB would stop targetting my blog since it’s “one of the few nice blogs here” and that if I have something to say that they wish to read that I should not charge them (or accept money for it). Which is news to me since I once never charged anything for what I write and no one read my blog then. The only difference is now I am known through association and it’s easy to simply to deride what I write on association. To me it says “I was never going to read your blog, but if you weren’t here i would have no reason to stop others reading too”.

Yes, I have seen it on Reddit where I know people downvote blogs hosted at FTB on r/Atheism solely because they are on r/Atheism. People gloat over lower viewing figures and it suprises me since my views have generally been stable at around the 1500 to 2000 mark.

This DDOS was not directed at me, I probably was not the target of it. Even if I was the person who did so would garner no sympathy. Being the equivalent of the man who fights injustice by kicking toddlers. And while the outage doesn’t hurt me monetarily in the same way that it hurts PZ Myers or Ed Brayton or the other large traffic blogs, it does hurt me more. £2 is a small amount but I don’t have any supplementary earnings.

And people suggested to me repeatedly that we got hacked because we were asking for it by limiting free speech, criticising others and generally saying things that make others unhappy.

The aftermath of the attack in my case is the blog with the most liberal comment policy on FTB was silenced. Let’s ignore the rest of the myriad blogs here and discuss MY blog. The others are ugly and mean enough to defend their own blogs and don’t need my help.

There are restrictions on free speech on my blog. If your post effectively boils down to a gigantic bigotted rant you will be banned. If you cannot respect posts with SPECIFIC warnings to tell people to stay on target and that these posts are indeed safe spaces then you are going to get your posts deleted and eventually banned if you cannot respect that simple rule. If you broke into an AA meeting with a bottle of Jack while drunk in order to taunt the people attending you would be kicked out too. Free speech has it’s limitations especially on private blogs. I run a policy according to my own beliefs rather than those of others.

The people I have criticised? Well no one had any qualms when my criticism was aimed at quacks even when discussing the Natural/Home Birth Movement. People liked it when I was arguing with animal lib and criticising their attacks on University of Florida biologists. No, I fear that people’s biggest complains was my stances against the MRA who weighed into the Delhi Bus Rape or the Steubenville Rape victim’s slut shaming or the hamfisted approach of the MRA to Afghanistan. Hell? I know people were rubbing their hands with glee when I wrote about why I didn’t agree with A+ over third world photography and I don’t think they hacked us.

I have spoken out about atheists too. Pat Condell and his pro UKIP stance repeatedly have gotten an airing especially in light of the UKIP’s open homophobia, racism and sexism. Thunderfoot got an outing too on here after his frankly hamfisted approach to Anita Sarkeesian (who also got DDOSed) and her Tropes vs. Women video. I don’t agree with some of her examples and I know a lot of the ideas are less due to focussed hatred of women but the unconscious bigotry that permeates any single gender system. I in fact disagreed with many of her fans and their stance on the new reboot of Tomb Raider. I can agree with Anita’s project and it’s goals without agreeing on the nuance. Just because we disagree doesn’t mean I hate her and want to see her attacked by piranha.

There are thirty five blogs here at Freethought blogs. It is a huge number and we do have different things we are interested in. In many cases my interests in videogames does not run in the same vein as what many of my readers like and I know when I write about games I am guaranteed to see very small numbers. I do so because “I like doing that”.

The only real commonality here is we are all atheists and secularists. That is really it. The perception that FTBullies are all feminists is because some of the big bloggers here call themselves that (I am no feminist, I just play one on the Internet) and it doesn’t matter what the others think to our critics.

What it boils down to is the three targets do have a feminist vibe to them. FTB deals with female issues, Skepchick is a female skeptic site and Feminist Frequency has feminism in the name. To those who perpetrated the attack, this would seem like “revenge”.

It’s not. I have allowed people to speak here. Yes, I saw the hilarious posts by people suggesting this is a conspiracy theory or it’s just coincidence that 3 different sites on different servers went down simultaneously or that people are banned from FTB outright.

I know for a fact that Sara Mayhew (who I vehemently disagree with and find to be a terribly irritating person after her anti-Avicenna Fundraiser Rants. Particularly since some of my fundraisers have been for… Christina at WWJTD’s Prosthetic Leg and Ed Brayton’s Nephew getting medical equipment to help with rehabilitation after major burns and for Indian floods and the Cyclone in the Philippines. Apparently it’s e-begging when the art is medicine but not if it’s manga?) was rather amused at our irritation that our blogs were DDOSed.

I know for a fact that if her livelihood and major business was targetted she would be complaining about it too. And no one would say “Relax, it’s just japanese comic books, it’s not like it’s a real job. Like medicine”.

The DDOS did affect me negatively in that I lost a rather large post written up about warfare in Central Africa and the religious sectarianism there and how we are heading towards a similar situation that caused the Rwandan genocide. I don’t have the time to rewrite it so it is a statement that will never get talked about.

The money lost is miniscule, the time lost is a lot and in effect I was yet again collateral damage in an argument that didn’t involve me. That free speech was “defended” by damaging it as much as possible is just shockingly bad.

If you dislike what we say then go find your own blog. If you don’t like what I do then beat me at my own game. You come and pick up my job and show me how much better you are at it. Because all I see is “Oh look, another instance where I am collateral damage for stupid drama. Lucky I had exams and wasn’t running the blog at it’s normal activity so my losses aren’t as big as they would normally be”.

You may accuse me of Drama Blogging, but I didn’t start this. I was writing about Africa. The people who hacked me started this fight and I don’t wish to walk away without calling these people out for being unbelievable wankers. Despite the detractors my readers have seen that I have encouraged them to give to OTHER causes more than mine. Even though I am running a fundraiser for my own charity, I have asked readers to donate to other more immediate causes since I have a year to hit my targets.

What’s more is that I know that people are reading what I write because of the fundraisers and the videos others have made for my fundraiser and I know that many of these people would not have been active in atheism or are not atheists and are looking at ourr DDOS and thinking “What The Fuck”.

If you tear down my blog just because you don’t like what I write then complain about free speech then you are not a champion of free speech. If you denigrate my miniscule earnings then realise this is stuff I write OUTSIDE of my day job and is indeed a SECOND job. And if you suggest that I deserved to be silenced because of my association with feminism then you clearly live in a fantasy world if you think women don’t need help with the sort of things I support. And if you call me slacktivist then I must ask the question.

“What good have you done that lets you denigrate my pointless achievements?”

The DDOS was a message to me, that I am acceptable collateral damage and that I should indeed leave FTB because as long as I stay here no one will listen to me.

To which I say this.

If you don’t read what I write because it’s here then you never really wanted to read what I write in the first place. You were never going to agree with me. None of the ideals I have are shared by you. At no point are you going to say “I completely agree with your stances on Female Genital Mutilation but will not support you because you use Windows 8 and Microsoft are anti-competition, buy a Mac”. At no point are you going to say that somehow you were ever going to read what I write and agree with it if it was on my old blog (Since no one read that there!) or if I had my own website. In fact people were reading it in the levels that Skepchick, the big hitters of FTB and FemFrequency, then there is a good chance my website would have been DDOSed too.

So all the “I am sure the hackers never meant to hit you” and “maybe you should leave FTB if you want to be taken seriously” and “If you left FTB you would be safer” statements really aren’t helping since my actual readership and the bulk of it is down to moving to FTB and I think the bigger issue is the fact that people are trying to curtail others from reading by simply spreading falshoods about what FTB is really like. I know for a fact that I probably will never have a large readership because I mainly deal with topics outside the monkeysphere of western politics particularly American Politics and I don’t have a real life presence at the various atheist conventions. And I don’t mind, however it is rather silly to be told that if I left here the people who disagree with my stances would somehow come around.

It’s clear the hackers stand for everything opposite to what I stand for. Free Speech, Women’s Rights, The rights of the poor, Anti-Racism, Anti-Sexism, Anti-homophobia, Skepticism, Atheism? None of these were defended by the DDOS.

So no, I think I will be staying on here for a fair while. I quite like the company and I have met new friends courtesy of all of this whose opinions I value and who indeed have taught me a lot/kept me company when I have been losing my mind.

And what I asked for is an opportunity to be heard. Freethought Blogs was willing to give me that opportunity, no one else was.

Comments

  1. Holms says

    My point was that those who engage in particularly draconian moderation policies…

    This is the first time I have heard ‘draconian’ applied to a moderation policy that amounts to ‘don’t be a lying, abusive arsehole’. The fact that you guys fall afoul of it so often demonstrates only that you are frequently lying and/or abusive.

  2. Argle Bargle says

    Schlumbumbi @50

    If you REALLY think this (and not just pretend to for the sake of FTB tribal tropes), you’ve got a problem.

    If the slymepit didn’t spend so much time and effort showing their rabid hatred of FTB in particular and feminism in general then you guys might get the benefit of the doubt. But your mindless malice towards women and anyone who supports feminism robs you of any hope for that. Maybe you guys didn’t do the DDOS, but the chances are good that one of you pitters did.

    You guys made your reputation, don’t whine if it bites you on the ass.

  3. johngreg says

    Argle Bargle: laughable nonsense. I doubt even that pretend IT clown, LousyCanuck, would support your paranoid conjecture.

  4. johngreg says

    Argle Bargle drinks deep of the kool-aid:

    If the slymepit didn’t spend so much time and effort showing their rabid hatred of FTB in particular and feminism in general then you guys might get the benefit of the doubt.

    Neither the Pit, as whole, nor most of the individuals therein, hate FTB. Many of us do tend to find some, maybe most, of FTB to be a swamp of shallow and myopic thought, hypocrisy, questionable ethics, and a pronounced lack of critical thinking, and for the most part quite funny and a perfect target of ridicule — not hatred, but ridicule; lolz and lulz. No, we don’t hate you; we laugh at you.

    Also, most folks at the Pit don’t hate feminism in general, but many of them do hold a fairly special, singular, and specific contempt for the type of ersatz feminism parrotted by the likes of most of the blogs hosts and commentors at FTB, Skepchick, and A+. But, again, for the most part, we just tend to find such forms of fundamentalist and fanatical feminist ideology to be frothing foolishness and excellent food for fun.

    But your mindless malice towards women and anyone who supports feminism robs you of any hope for that.

    Pit people do not, and you certainly cannot show otherwise, hold mindless malice toward women in general — many of our favourite people, and some of our wisest, brightest, and most intelligent and educated commenters are women. However, there is a small group of hysterical, mendacious, and generally frothing mad ersatz feminist women (and not a few men) that many of the Pit people do feel a considered and rationalized contempt for — if they even consider them at all: not everyone at the Pit is even vaguely concerned with anything that goes on at FTB.

    Maybe you guys didn’t do the DDOS, but the chances are good that one of you pitters did.

    HAHAHA. I like that. Might as well say: Well maybe you didn’t do it but the chances are good that you did do it even if you didn’t and even if you didn’t do it you might as well be guilty because you’re guilty anyway because I don’t like you.

    You’re a clown Argle Bargle, a clown.

  5. abear says

    oolon wrote:

    @abear, cool so on the record as saying the person who said they screencapped and reported the child porn (one of the members of your forum posted) to the police is in the wrong. The person who posted the image was welcomed back with open arms! Definitely a forum of high minded ethical atheists and skeptics who would never think of something as low as a DDoS’ing their opponents, how could anyone suggest such a thing …. Nothing wrong with posting it, just don’t you dare report it to the authorities.

    I wonder if it had really been child porn and not just a silly photoshopped meme if your fellow pitters would have reported it? They certainly seem to really believe it was CP, so I can only assume they are all willing to cover up a member of the forum being a paedophile in order to protect the Slymepit… So very Catholic of you all!

    You just can’t keep your story straight can you? The offensive picture was deleted as soon as the admin saw it and the pitters unanimously condemned it. The troll that posted it never had the nerve to return, s/he would have torn a new asshole if they had.
    You seem to think the picture wasn’t CP now, but you did then when you downloaded it and threatened to report it in order to get the pit shut down. Sounds like someone that would stoop to DDOSing.
    When you downloaded the picture you weren’t interested in going after a pedophile, you were just being petty and threatening to shut someone up you disagreed with.
    Stop telling stories.

  6. Al Dente says

    The pitters are trying to pretend they don’t hate FTB and feminism. As Argle Bargle said they’ve made their reputation and now they’ve got to live with it. Too bad reality doesn’t match their obvious delusions (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and call their lies “delusions”).

  7. johngreg says

    Al Dente, what lies? Please be specific. Can you prove that they were lies?

    And, at the risk of being redundant, I repeat:

    Neither the Pit, as whole, nor most of the individuals therein, hate FTB. Many of us do tend to find some, maybe most, of FTB to be a swamp of shallow and myopic thought, hypocrisy, questionable ethics, and a pronounced lack of critical thinking, and for the most part quite funny and a perfect target of ridicule — not hatred, but ridicule; lolz and lulz. No, we don’t hate you; we laugh at you.

    Also, most folks at the Pit don’t hate feminism in general, but many of them do hold a fairly special, singular, and specific contempt for the type of ersatz feminism parrotted by the likes of most of the blogs hosts and commentors at FTB, Skepchick, and A+. But, again, for the most part, we just tend to find such forms of fundamentalist and fanatical feminist ideology to be frothing foolishness and excellent food for fun.

    What would it take for you to believe those claims?

  8. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    What would it take for you to believe those claims?

    Not to speak for Al Dente, but for me it would take a world-wide catastrophe leading to wholescale, major amnesia erasing the past 3 years from the memory of the world.

  9. johngreg says

    Gen, shame on you. Don’t you know that slurs against amnesia victims and catastrophists is triggering and ableist?

    Shucks; it’s just plain stupid.

    Tsk, tsk.

  10. Steersman says

    Holms (#51):

    This is the first time I have heard ‘draconian’ applied to a moderation policy that amounts to ‘don’t be a lying, abusive arsehole’ ….

    Apart from the fact that I’m triggered by such language – and am deeply, deeply offended by such slurs which even “Crip Dyke” has conceded are misanthropic, and would cheerfully argue that you should be sent back to the Pharyngulag or Skeptwits for re-education – just because you’ve never heard of that hardly means that it is inapplicable. Although I’ll concede there are probably a few of us Pitters – myself included – who might be overly or gratuitiously insulting at times.

    However and more importantly, one might argue that you have never heard of “draconian” being applied because those same policies have prevented you and others from seeing just how bad many FftBlogs really are – that is, after all, the purpose of censorship, or maybe you haven’t been following what is happening in China vis-à-vis the Internet. But, as a case in point, you might want to consider this recent comment of mine (1) on Dana Hunter’s blog which as been deleted and not permitted to see the light-of-day largely, I expect, because it didn’t comport with the bias if not narrow-mindedness of the blog-owner:

    And one might suggest that you, and no few others, are mistaking the letter of the law – its outward manifestations – for its spirit and its consequences – an argument that you don’t seem particularly willing to consider.

    But, more specifically, it seems quite reasonable to be discussing various cases – one of no particular relevance being the 20 year-old case of Woody Allen – but when such discussions cross over into the realm of extra-judicial penalties, and ones predicated on a serious deficiency of actual evidence – you know, the stuff that supposedly differentiates “us” from Christians and anti-vaxers – then one might reasonably argue that many are attempting to usurp or abrogate the rights and principles of the legal system; you know there is actually a reason why we have one of those, don’t you? But the consequences of such actions tend to be extremely problematic at best, one of the best examples I’ve found being a passage from Dawkins’ The God Delusion:

    In July 2000 the News of the World, widely acclaimed in the face of stiff competition as Britain’s most disgusting newspaper, organized a ‘name and shame’ campaign, barely stopping short of inciting vigilantes to take direct violent action against pedophiles. The house of a hospital pediatrian was attacked by zealots unacquainted with the difference between a pediatrician and a pedophile. [pgs 354-355]

    One might suggest that there are no few newspapers and blogs on this side of the pond which are also leading contenders in that “stiff competition”.

    Pray tell, how have I been a “lying, abusive, arsehole” in that post? Allen may well be a serious creep when it comes to parenting, and might well be guilty of having molested Dylan. But while if had any young daughters I probably wouldn’t ask him to babysit them – although others might be more forgiving or tolerant in that regard – absent some actual trial charging and convicting him of that crime, I’m not about to act as if that is already a fait accompli. But presenting that argument of mine hardly justifies those charges, and should rightly raise a few questions about the moderation policy in effect.

    And in that rather unseemly if not highly problematic “rush to judgement” which typifies many of the FTBlogs, and in their refusal – with a few notable and commendable exceptions – to consider or permit the discussion of other perspectives is what more than justifies, I think, the charges of “disgusting” and draconian censorship.

    —–
    1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/entequilaesverdad/2014/02/15/some-helpful-illustrations-for-the-willfully-obtuse/#comment-56629”;

  11. Holms says

    Gen, shame on you. Don’t you know that slurs against amnesia victims and catastrophists is triggering and ableist?

    You’re trying to be cute, but all you’re demonstrating is that you don’t understand the concepts of triggers and ableism. This charade is made all the more hypocritical by the fact that you voluntarily identify yourself as a ‘pitter, a forum well known for its ableism, mysogynism and many more -isms, including misandrism.

    Apart from the fact that I’m triggered by such language – and am deeply, deeply offended by such slurs which even “Crip Dyke” has conceded are misanthropic, and would cheerfully argue that you should be sent back to the Pharyngulag or Skeptwits for re-education – just because you’ve never heard of that hardly means that it is inapplicable. Although I’ll concede there are probably a few of us Pitters – myself included – who might be overly or gratuitiously insulting at times.

    More of the same, made even more laughable by the fact that you admit to your own hypocrisy.

    However and more importantly, one might argue that you have never heard of “draconian” being applied because those same policies have prevented you and others from seeing just how bad many FftBlogs really are – that is, after all, the purpose of censorship, or maybe you haven’t been following what is happening in China vis-à-vis the Internet.

    So draconian, that you’ve been able to make that charge – twice now – in this very thread without moderation. On a blog that you visit voluntarily, and comment on voluntarily.

    Wow, that’s so similar to China’s government owned media cencorship and national internet firewall!

    …No. Your comparison is ludicrously dishonest, and this dishonesty is precisely why you lot are frequently subject to moderation here.

    As for that comment and the points you argue relating to it, in no particular order:
    – This may shock you, so brace yourself: I don’t read every FTBlog. I can’t comment on the moderation policy over there as I am not familiar with it.

    – If I was inclined to employ the Slymepit grade selective hyperscepticism, I might point out that I only have your word that you attempted to submit that comment at all. Can you establish that that comment ever even happened? You may have typed it out just then* as an attempt to frame FTB for your point regarding moderation. Do you have incontrovertible proof in the form of e.g. server logs to establish the legitimacy of that comment?

    – Being a more reasonable person than you however, I will take you at your word that you did in fact submit that comment, only to have it rejected. I would suggest that it was rejected because your post clearly demonstrates a major misunderstanding of the point being made in the post you replied to. That post was all about pointing out the differences between trials and conversations, with an emphasis on the difference between criminal punishments and freedomg of association. A person may evaluate the known details of the Woody Allen situation (which are actually quite damning), and reach their own conclusions that are not backed by the weight of law and do not carry any penalties against Mr. Allen.

    The misunderstanding is so blatant that I can only imagine it to be intentional. And there, we return to the point I made earlier: the reason you lot are so frequently subject to moderation and deleted / deneid posts is that you are continually arguing in bad faith.

  12. jagwired says

    johngreg:

    No, we don’t hate you; we laugh at you.

    And why, exactly, do you think the people you are laughing at would be interested in anything you have to say? Why do you come here?

  13. johngreg says

    jagwired said:

    And why, exactly, do you think the people you are laughing at would be interested in anything you have to say?

    Good question. Perhaps you should ask them, after all, they keep engaging me, and it’s them who keep on ranting and raving about how evil Pit people, and me, are, and whenever I join an FTB conversation, regardless of what I may say, bunches of FTB people come running, raving, and ranting about how awful I am, rather than engaging my comments rationally. It’s sort of like they troll me, and I keep, naively, getting caught in their net.

    Why do you come here?

    Because, despite my somewhat negative opinion about some of the people here, I do often find the conversation and topics of some interest.

  14. Holms says

    Perhaps you should ask them, after all, they keep engaging me, and it’s them who keep on ranting and raving about how evil Pit people, and me, are, and whenever I join an FTB conversation, regardless of what I may say, bunches of FTB people come running, raving, and ranting about how awful I am, rather than engaging my comments rationally.

    That’s because you ‘pitters visiting here, not the other way around. You keep dropping your disengenuous arguments, harassment apologetics, angry tirades and other flame bait… and you wonder why you get flamed each and every time.

  15. Steersman says

    Holms (#61):

    So draconian, that you’ve been able to make that charge – twice now – in this very thread without moderation. On a blog that you visit voluntarily, and comment on voluntarily.

    I did say “many FftBlogs”, and I had earlier indicated that this one of Avicenna’s qualified as one of the better ones, that it wasn’t guilty of that arbitrary and selective moderation. Others that qualify include, as mentioned, Ashley Miller’s, Ally Fogg’s, and Ed Brayton’s. And they all allow a rather broad range of comments and discussion. But I guess if the objectives of the others are to create a commentariat consisting mostly of trained seals then I guess they can’t very well allow very much latitude in responses.

    Wow, that’s so similar to China’s government owned media cencorship and national internet firewall!

    Christ in a sidecar. It was an analogy, like between a 3-4-5 triangle and a 30-40-50 triangle: the relationships and the angles are the same, but the magnitudes of the sides are different. Likewise with China and many FftBlogs: same odious principle, but different magnitudes. You may wish to check out the Wikipedia article on analogies for corroboration.

    If I was inclined to employ the Slymepit grade selective hyperscepticism, I might point out that I only have your word that you attempted to submit that comment at all.

    And I might point out that the link I provided earlier was one that goes to a non-existent comment. I suppose you could argue that I had provided a fake comment number, but to insist on that seems well beyond “Slymepit grade selective hyperscepticism”.

    I would suggest that it was rejected because your post clearly demonstrates a major misunderstanding of the point being made in the post you replied to.

    Suggest away. But even if that “major misunderstanding” is the case – which I somehow doubt – the fact that it was deleted without discussion or attempt to refute it there only tends to prove my point about censorship.

  16. Holms says

    But I guess if the objectives of the others are to create a commentariat consisting mostly of trained seals then I guess they can’t very well allow very much latitude in responses.

    If.

    It was an analogy, like between a 3-4-5 triangle and a 30-40-50 triangle: the relationships and the angles are the same, but the magnitudes of the sides are different. Likewise with China and many FftBlogs: same odious principle, but different magnitudes.

    I’m sure you intended it to be an analogy, but it fails as one. This is not merely a difference of scale, but a complete misunderstanding of the concept of free speech; apparently you have forgotten that this is a blog and as such is the personal outlet of expression for the author. You may visit but you are not guaranteed the use of someone else’s outlet, in much the same way that a TV network is not obliged to give airtime to a noted bigot just because he is rich.

    See that? An actual analogy, where the differences are of scale but not of type.

    And I might point out that the link I provided earlier was one that goes to a non-existent comment. I suppose you could argue that I had provided a fake comment number, but to insist on that seems well beyond “Slymepit grade selective hyperscepticism”.

    No, it goes well beyond scepticism, which is why I called the slymepit version hyperscepticism to distinguish it from the rational stuff.

    But even if that “major misunderstanding” is the case – which I somehow doubt – the fact that it was deleted without discussion or attempt to refute it there only tends to prove my point about censorship.

    As I explained, You did misunderstand it, and the misunderstanding was so obvious that I consider it likely to have been intentional. Hence, the rejection on the basis of apparent dishonesty.

  17. brucegorton says

    The anti-feminist movement is pro free speech much the same way the American Religious Right is pro free religion.

    It isn’t really free if other people get to say things they don’t like, and the only liberties they are in favour of protecting are their own.

    And things like the DOS attack or harassment, or trolling, or any number of other events demonstrates that quite ably.

    With any publication there is no guaranteed right to free speech – the person who runs the venue gets to pick what does and doesn’t get to go up.

    You have the right to free speech – you do not have the right to nick somebody else’s podium.

    You don’t like the moderating policies on FTB? Well then go somewhere else. If the limitations on the podium are not to your liking treat it like bad porn, or a TV show you don’t like and go somewhere else.

    That is the market place of ideas – the fact that you don’t have to frequent a stall whose rules you don’t agree with.

    But when you start trying to shut down the stalls, then it is no longer a free market place is it?

    Now whose stalls were recently hit by an attempt to shut them down?

  18. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    You don’t like the moderating policies on FTB? Well then go somewhere else.

    You see, that right there is the problem. They fucking refuse to leave and insist on shitting on any blog they can get away with, eventually getting banned for their dishonesty and their asshattery which just further feeds their “FTBSTASSI!” narrative and make them want to comment on FTB even more

    These people have serious issues with people telling them NO.

  19. Pitchguest says

    Is it really that difficult to just address his points, Holms? Is it really necessary with all the goading? When you are actively, deliberately, trying to stifle his want for discussion means YOU are the asshole.

  20. johngreg says

    Now I’m all oppressed and stupid.

    Ya’ll are triggering my banhammernoia and rusting my spoons!

    And talk about ableist, calling people asshats! What about IBS folks who have to wear hats over their bums for environmental protection?

    And what about the narrative impaired? Wait, wait one … I should change that….

    What about the otherwise dialoguely gifted? Huh? What about them?

    It’s an outrage trifecta, and I’m just shaking with rage tears right now so FLOOSH out the window I go.

    No!

    Just No!

  21. Steersman says

    Holms (#66):

    If.

    I’m glad – and impressed – that you noticed that it was a hypothesis. But, considering that there’s probably not much more than half-a-dozen blogs out of the 30-odd in the FTB network with a half-decent moderation policy, I would say the evidence tends to support it.

    I’m sure you intended it to be an analogy, but it fails as one. This is not merely a difference of scale, but a complete misunderstanding of the concept of free speech; ….

    Where did I bring in or rely on the concept of free speech? China has the “right” – at least from the view that might is right – to censor what its citizens see; that hardly makes it ethically right or defensible. Nor precludes the quite justifiable criticism of them for doing so – and that in spite of the generally and widely accepted principle, with which I concur, that Western governments and various public and semi-private media outlets have the right if not the responsibility to censor or limit such things as pornography and hate speech.

    However, even in the case of those outlets and various blogs, the right to publish articles and comments doesn’t likewise preclude the right of others to criticize that content – as with Man Boobz’s criticisms of various MRA groups. And as with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups which some have insisted should include A Voice for Men and some radical feminist groups. I’ll readily concede that it is a stretch to insist that all of FTB should be included on that list, but when PZ Myers insists on characterizing virtually all those who criticize feminism as carrying the name “Marc Lepine”, one might suggest it’s getting into that territory.

    … apparently you have forgotten that this is a blog and as such is the personal outlet of expression for the author

    Pray tell, where have I given any indication that I’ve forgotten that this blog is that? More grabbing at straws? Your straw man looking a little anemic otherwise?

    As I explained, You did misunderstand it, and the misunderstanding was so obvious that I consider it likely to have been intentional. Hence, the rejection on the basis of apparent dishonesty.

    In your fucking opinion. Which you advanced with diddly-squat in the way of evidence to support it. And no willingness to discuss the point. Which justifies the characterization of pig-headed dogmatism which is only a short step away from being a hate group.

  22. Jrod says

    Golly, I don’t understand why slymepitters keep getting banned. Just look how worthwhile and interesting this thread was thanks to their presence. I never would have learned that forum moderation is just like Chinese censorship without them!

    But seriously, you bozos make it obvious why you’ve been banned from so many of the blogs here. What I don’t understand is why you care. Why would anyone spend hours a day obsessing about not being allowed to comment on blogs they don’t even like? Why the pretense that moderation (which the slymepit has, but I guess it’s ok when you do it) is some kind of crime against humanity? Come on, you’re all smart enough to form complete sentences, so you must be smart enough to understand that this is nonsense.

    Of course, if you truly believe in free speech as you claim, then please give me your addresses. I would like to paint feminist slogans on the walls of your home, and if you prevent that in any way it’s pure commienaziism. That’s what free speech is all about, right? The not-god given right to the use of other people’s private property whether they like it or not?

    So here’s a little more troll feed; you all can stop wearing out your F5 buttons for a moment.

  23. Holms says

    Is it really that difficult to just address his points, Holms? Is it really necessary with all the goading? When you are actively, deliberately, trying to stifle his want for discussion means YOU are the asshole.

    I like the way you accuse me of not addressing any of ‘his’ points – whoever this particular he may be – despite the fact that I have plainly been replying at length to several people, quoting and arguing against specific passages of their posts. Perhaps you don’t think my arguments were any good, but that is quite distinct from not addressing anything at all. So I guess this accusation of yours is just a lie.

    Bonus hypocrisy points for accusing me of failing to address any point, while not addressing anything I said.

    But, considering that there’s probably not much more than half-a-dozen blogs out of the 30-odd in the FTB network with a half-decent moderation policy, I would say the evidence tends to support it.

    What evidence? You claim that the FTBlogs tend to have moderation policies that are too onerous, and in support of this you present… your personal evaluation that most of them are too onerous. All I see here is a circular argument worthy of a bible literalist.

    Where did I bring in or rely on the concept of free speech?

    The majority of this comment thread has been about both free speech and censorship, but you’re now denying that?

    However, even in the case of those outlets and various blogs, the right to publish articles and comments doesn’t likewise preclude the right of others to criticize that content

    No one in this thread has suggested that you are not permitted to criticise FTB, so I fail to see why you bring this up. You can say whatever you want from your own platform, but not necessarily from somoene else’s. It’s that simple.

    And as with the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate groups which some have insisted should include A Voice for Men and some radical feminist groups. I’ll readily concede that it is a stretch to insist that all of FTB should be included on that list, but when PZ Myers insists on characterizing virtually all those who criticize feminism as carrying the name “Marc Lepine”, one might suggest it’s getting into that territory.

    You can suggest it all you like, but it will always be an incredibly stupid and ill-informed suggestion. Pharyngula as a hate group plus a Marc Lepine reference in a single sentence? You are beyond satire.

    Pray tell, where have I given any indication that I’ve forgotten that this blog is that? More grabbing at straws? Your straw man looking a little anemic otherwise?

    You may agree in word that these are personal blogs, but you keep insisting that they should not be moderated as such. You continually and conveniently fail to see that a blog can be moderated by the blog author, whining against the moderation as if they owe you a platform to spout your idiocy.

    In your fucking opinion. Which you advanced with diddly-squat in the way of evidence to support it. And no willingness to discuss the point.

    In my opinion, and that of the blog author.

    By the way, the expectation that I owe you a detailed rebuttal on a post you claim was rejected from a blog I don’t frequent pretty much makes my point that you guys aren’t actually treating these venues as a blog.

    Mission accomplished on stinking up another thread though, cool internet warriors!

  24. Steersman says

    Holms (#73):

    Steersman: Where did I bring in or rely on the concept of free speech?

    Holms: The majority of this comment thread has been about both free speech and censorship, but you’re now denying that?

    I’m certainly not denying that the OP and much of comment thread has been about those topics. What I’m asking for is evidence that I have personally relied on that concept – you actually have any of that?

    Pharyngula as a hate group plus a Marc Lepine reference in a single sentence?

    You always jump to conclusions and read between the lines like that? I very carefully said only that Pharyngula was “getting into that territory”, i.e., into that range but not yet there. As for that reference, you may wish peruse Myer’s post on the topic (1) and decide for yourself whether it qualifies as bigotry – a close cousin of hate – and egregious stereotyping, or as the sober and rational assessment of a respected scientist.

    Steersman: But, considering that there’s probably not much more than half-a-dozen blogs out of the 30-odd in the FTB network with a half-decent moderation policy, I would say the evidence tends to support it.
    —-
    Holms: What evidence? You claim that the FTBlogs tend to have moderation policies that are too onerous, and in support of this you present… your personal evaluation that most of them are too onerous.

    I provided one example of what I would consider a fairly even-keeled comment on a FTB-site that was deleted that you’re apparently unwilling or unable to provide any credible reasons for – except maybe “because”. And I have no few others along the same line. But you might want – though I somehow doubt it – to take a look at this article (2) on the Edge forum by Larry Sanger, a co-founder of Wikipedia, on the topic of Internet Silos which covers “talk radio” and “Internet communities”. A salient quote which seems to fit much of FTB-land to a T:

    That’s one of the problems. Silos make us overconfident and uncritical. Silos worry me because critical knowledge—the only kind there is, about anything difficult—requires a robust marketplace of ideas. Silos give too much credence to objectively unsupportable views that stroke the egos of their members; in a broader marketplace, such ideas would be subjected to much-needed scrutiny. Silos are epistemically suspect. They make us stupider. They might be full of (biased) information, but they make us less critical-thinking and hence lower the quality of our belief systems.

    You might also note that Brive1987 who has, I think, commented on other posts of Avicenna’s, and is a regular in the Pit, made a reference to that same Edge article on Pharyngula and for which he was, I think, summarily banned. Rather more evidence of onerous and draconian moderation policies on blogs that are decidedly “epistemically suspect” and are frequently engaged more in peddling “objectively unsupportable views” – to say the least.

    ——-
    1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/12/06/never-forget/comment-page-3/#comments”;
    2) “_http://www.edge.org/response-detail/23777”;

  25. Pitchguest says

    I like the way you accuse me of not addressing any of ‘his’ points – whoever this particular he may be – despite the fact that I have plainly been replying at length to several people, quoting and arguing against specific passages of their posts. Perhaps you don’t think my arguments were any good, but that is quite distinct from not addressing anything at all. So I guess this accusation of yours is just a lie.

    Bonus hypocrisy points for accusing me of failing to address any point, while not addressing anything I said.

    You’ve been replying at length, with nothing but snark demonstrating that YOU are the asshole.

    Steersman was talking about the myth-making that exist on FtB (particularly about denizens of the Slymepit) and how the moderation policies that select which responses will be approved and which won’t are draconian in nature. Did you address that? Nope. Here’s what you said:

    This is the first time I have heard ‘draconian’ applied to a moderation policy that amounts to ‘don’t be a lying, abusive arsehole’. The fact that you guys fall afoul of it so often demonstrates only that you are frequently lying and/or abusive.

    You completely ignored his point and you couldn’t resist making a dig while you were at it.

    johngreg was talking about the unsceptical analysis that occured about the Slymepit in the comments, people accusing its denizens of being responsible for the DDOS attack without evidence (which were helmed by oolon [that illustrious luminary], and joined by such names as Illuminata, Al Dente and Argle Bargle), and wondering what proof they had for such an accusation. Did you address that? Nope. Instead you chose to tediously cherrypick a comment where he replied sardonically to a question he asked which lead, “what would it take for you to believe those claims?” and the answer was “world-wide catastrophe leading to wholescale, major amnesia erasing the past 3 years from the memory of the world.”

    You’re trying to be cute, but all you’re demonstrating is that you don’t understand the concepts of triggers and ableism. This charade is made all the more hypocritical by the fact that you voluntarily identify yourself as a ‘pitter, a forum well known for its ableism, mysogynism and many more -isms, including misandrism.

    Once again, completely ignored the points being made and couldn’t resist making a dig. Nice going, asshole.

    Apparently attracted by the low-hanging fruit, you disregarded the others because it was too much effort.

    Then you proceeded to continue the goading further down the line, constantly evoking the myth-making of the evils of the Slymepit, addressing none of the original points and with the original thread being derailed beyond reproach (john and Steers being forced to defend themselves instead of having an actual conversation), you arise and declare yourself the victor. With all the superiority and holier-than-thou attitude that you can muster. So I ask again: is really that difficult to just address the damn points?

  26. Holms says

    I’m certainly not denying that the OP and much of comment thread has been about those topics. What I’m asking for is evidence that I have personally relied on that concept – you actually have any of that?

    I don’t even know why you’re picking this point to argue about, it is a complete irrelevance. Your only objection is that I used the term ‘free speech’ in a reply to you, when the entire conversation has been about that concept from the start; I really don’t give a shit about whether you couched your points in that specific term or not.

    Although, arguing about irrelevances pretty much sums up the usual slymepit contribution to these threads in general.

    You always jump to conclusions and read between the lines like that? I very carefully said only that Pharyngula was “getting into that territory”, i.e., into that range but not yet there.

    This is one of the more devious argumentative tactics, in which an idea is introduced into the discussion in terms that make it seem as if the speaker is not introducing the idea. In this case, bringing up the suggestion of Pharyngula as a hate group by saying that you aren’t making that suggestion does not change the fact that you are directly responsible for introducing that to the conversation.

    It’s a dishonest way of introducing a completely ridiculous idea, and yes, you definitely did introduce that accusation by way of insinuation.

    As for that reference, you may wish peruse Myer’s post on the topic (1) and decide for yourself whether it qualifies as bigotry…

    I was already aware of the source of that reference and the answer is ‘no, don’t be fucking ridiculous’.

    I provided one example of what I would consider a fairly even-keeled comment on a FTB-site that was deleted that you’re apparently unwilling or unable to provide any credible reasons for – except maybe “because”.

    You gave me a single post which may or may not have been the text of a post which you claim was rejected from a blog I don’t read, and you expect this to be taken as proof of your otherwise unsubstantiated allegation?

    Also, I did give you a possible reason for the rejection for that comment. You may not consider it convincing (and I’ll agree that it was quite briefly stated), but that is quite different to not giving a reason at all. So, the same dishonesty as Pitchguest a little earlier.

    You might also note that Brive1987 who has…

    Oh, you think he was ‘summarily banned’ for a reason that supports your allegation… and you consider that to be supporting evidence for your allegation? Fucking wow.

  27. johngreg says

    Jrod said:

    Why would anyone spend hours a day obsessing about not being allowed to comment on blogs they don’t even like?

    You seem to me to be missing the point. No one, so far as I am aware, is obsessing at all (let alone for hours a day) about not being able to post on certain blogs. Rather, the argument is about the contradictions and hypocrisies presented by the blog hosts when it comes to who can or cannot post, and why they can or cannot post.

    Many Pit people, myself included, have said it before, but I’ll say it yet again: It is fine and prefectly right that the blog hosts make their own rules about what is or is not appropriate posting etiquette and content. But it would be nice if those blog hosts not only actually posted those rules, rather than just freewheeling with them and changing them arbitrarily depending on the target, but also actually stuck to those rules.

    There is a practice on several FTB blogs wherein the blog host will not allow rational disagreement from known opposing sides such as the Pit, but will allow extremist and deeply hateful stuff (from anyone, anywhere, including otherwise banned Pit people) so as to help foment the belief that all disagreement is extremist irrational hate-filled nonsense. That is part of much of the work towards false consensus that is SOP at most FTB blogs.

    Why the pretense that moderation (which the slymepit has, but I guess it’s ok when you do it) is some kind of crime against humanity?

    The Pit does not have moderation in the fashion you are trying to imply. The Pit only moderates spam, Mabus, and potentially illegal stuff. The Pit is also abundantly clear, and consistent, about what is or is not acceptable — the Pit moderators and host don’t make daily changes so as to create a false consensus. The same cannot in any way be said about most FTB blogs.

    And anyway, again you are missing the point. The argument is not against moderation, per se, it is against the double standards, the hypocrisy, and the blatant dishonesty of the means and methods of the so-called moderation as practiced on most FTB blogs.

    Of course, if you truly believe in free speech as you claim, then please give me your addresses. I would like to paint feminist slogans on the walls of your home, and if you prevent that in any way it’s pure commienaziism. That’s what free speech is all about, right? The not-god given right to the use of other people’s private property whether they like it or not?

    That’s just juvenile idiocy. What you’re describing is not free speech, it is real-world physical vandalism and physical defacing of private property — an actual crime.

    But to present an accurate and honest analogy, if you want to come to the Pit, then you’re welcome; come on over and paint as many feminist slogans as you want — you can even drop pics of Surlies if you want. And you can present nasty ‘Shoops of Pit people if you want; it’s all grist for the information mill. I know you won’t, ’cause you’re almost certainly too chickenshit, but the invitation stands.

    And anyway, a blog that is publically accessible is not private property. And yet again, as has been stated time and time again, if any given blog host wants to make rules as to what is or is not allowed in comments, fine, go for it, dance to your music; call your own tune, that’s their decision. But they could at least have the moral integrity and honesty to not only post those rules but to also stick to those rules and avoid the common FTB process of in-group-good; out-group-bad juvenile double standard.

  28. Jrod says

    JohnGreg, did you post explicit rules at your front door against spraypainting on your walls? No? Well then you’re a hypocrite if you don’t allow it, by your own standards.

    Blog owners only need any or no reason to ban any commenter. That is what private property means. And by the way, saying that you’re not obsessing over the banning, but the nature of the banning, is incoherent. You’re still wasting your short lifespan obsessing about the moderation practices of blogs you don’t even like.

    I’ve been to the slymepit. I’m not going to post there because it’s full of horrible people that I don’t like making asses of themselves and spewing lies. You see, I’m not obsessed with crapping all over forums I don’t like. I just don’t go. This saves me lots of time for doing things that I actually do enjoy. You’re still not explaining why the massive sacrifice of time that worrying about FTB costs you is worth it to you.

    Also, why the obsession with these horrible feminists anyway? Are there really no other people on the vast internet worthy of your attention? I don’t see your lot constantly harassing racist blogs or religious blogs, or cheering on DDoS attacks on the same.

    You know, if the pitter line on the DDoS attacks was “This was wrong, despite my hatred for those blogs,” I could respect that. But it’s not; the line is “Those feminazis had it coming and justice is served, but we didn’t do it and you can’t prove we did it, neener neener neener. Also, you deserve to be attacked for simply associating with people we don’t like. In the name of free speech!” This is just more evidence that none of you care a whit for free speech, but for invoking it as a cudgel to use against people you don’t like because they dared to exercise their own right of free association and editorial control of forums that they paid for with their own money. Oh, and because they’re feminists, the greatest monsters of our time apparently.

  29. Jrod says

    I’d like to add that the constant referral of moderation policies as “draconian” is completely ridiculous.

    Draco, the man who gave draconian it’s name, was known for putting people to death for the mildest of offenses. That anyone would consider being banned from a blog to be in the same category is just pathetic.

    For a bunch of atheists, you all sure like nailing yourselves to the cross.

  30. johngreg says

    Jrod, again, spray painting publically or privately owned walls, without permission, is a crime. It’s called vandalism; damaging public and/or private property. The analogy to blogs just does not work. A publically accessible blog on a publically accessible network, does not meet the same requirements for private property as does vandalism against physical property.

    You keep going on about (obsessing) my supposedly obsessing and making a massive sacrifice in time. What obsession? What massive sacrifice in time? A few minutes every so often to post a comment on a blog? Obsession? Massive time? Huh?

    Jrod said:

    You know, if the pitter line on the DDoS attacks was “This was wrong, despite my hatred for those blogs,” I could respect that.

    Actually, several Pit people said precisely that.

    As for Pit lies, what lies? When? Where? About what?

    But it’s not; the line is “Those feminazis had it coming and justice is served, but we didn’t do it and you can’t prove we did it, neener neener neener. Also, you deserve to be attacked for simply associating with people we don’t like. In the name of free speech!”

    To be more accurate, many of us just found it funny, and to a lesser degree, something of a You had it coming thing in the sense that, after all, we’ve been saying for months now, maybe years, that eventually the ridiculous word policing these fanatics promote and practice would turn around and bite them in the butt. And now it has. Funny that, eh?

    I’d like to add that the constant referral of moderation policies as “draconian” is completely ridiculous.

    Get a dictionary, pal, to wit:

    dra·co·ni·an (drā-kō′nē-ən, drə-) adj. Exceedingly harsh; very severe: a draconian legal code; draconian budget cuts.

    draconian (dreɪˈkəʊnɪən) or draconic adj (sometimes capital) 1. of or relating to Draco, 7th-century Athenian statesman and lawmaker, or his code of laws, which prescribed death for almost every offence 2. harsh: draconian legislation. (often l.c.) (esp. of punishment) unusually severe or cruel; harsh.

    Cripes, next you’ll be proselytizing Cromm’s explanation that there are no such things as witch hunts because fire wasn’t involved and there are no real witches.

  31. Jrod says

    Uh, yeah. There were no witch hunts. Real witch hunts are still happening today, and I’m certain the victims would have much rather been banned from a blog, or criticized in writing, than set on fire and run over by a truck. It’s not even anything like the McCarthy witch hunts, which involved meting out great harm to its victims rather than writing a blog post that, at worst, wounds a person’s pride.

    It’s impossible for a moderation policy to be draconian. The harshest one imaginable doesn’t hurt anyone. Calling some action with absolutely no harm draconian is ridiculous.

    By the way. let me put lie to your contention that your only concern is that moderation policies be explicit. PZ’s moderation policy is that slymers are not allowed. It’s very clear and explicit. Is this ok with you? Obviously not.

    And do you also believe that stores aren’t private property because the general public is allowed inside? Guess what, if you say things the owner or manager doesn’t like while in a store you can be banned, perfectly legally. Would a shop also be “draconian” if they kicked you out for hollering anti-feminist slogans at all the customers? They must be, since I’ve never encountered any posted rule against doing so at any store I’ve entered.

    I’m not getting into the weeds about the slymers. I don’t care, do you not understand? Your little hate-forum, formed solely because National Geographic didn’t want to play host to endless threads of misogynist slurs, holds no interest for me. Every time I’ve looked at it the only topic is the unparallelled terribleness and evil of FTB, Skepchick, and feminism in general, leavened by a some generalized misogyny. Trying to pin obsessiveness on me because I’ve argued about this, like maybe twice in my life is pretty bold of you. It’s a real laugh coming from someone I’ve seen posting on damn near every remotely feminist blog post and video you could for two solid years.

    All the pit ever has to do to never be mentioned by anyone on FTB again is to leave FTB alone. The only reason you matter at all is because you constantly harass those bloggers on Twitter, make sock-puppets to harass those bloggers at home, and swarm on every FTB blog that hasn’t banned you yet to whine about those bans.

    You still avoid the question I asked: Why do you care? And why the focus on these supposed fascists and not any other? There are forums of self-declared fascists out there you could be focusing on, but nope. Hell, why does Abbie Smith gets a pass for blogging on her censorious network but Avicenna does not? Seems obvious to me that it’s because you don’t actually care about free speech and moderation policies at all, except as a useful cudgel to use against people you hate.

    Go wallow in your hatred at the pit. Even pretend that it’s not really hatred. Nobody will care. The problem is that you refuse to accept that you can’t force anyone to host your insipid slanders. When you pretend that this is a free speech issue, you cause more damage to the concept of free speech than a million blog bannings ever could. Why the hell should anyone want free speech anymore? All it seems to mean today is the right to harass people and the right to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns. A long fall since the days it simply meant that the government couldn’t censor you.

  32. johngreg says

    Like the blog hosts, I too get pretty tired of FTB commentors continually derailing FTB comment threads to blather on about and rage at Pit people. So this will be my last defence-based comment to you about the Pit and my presence here.

    Jrod said:

    PZ’s moderation policy is that slymers are not allowed. It’s very clear and explicit. Is this ok with you? Obviously not.

    Sure. If that’s how he wants to roll, that’s his affair — he can dance his little dance, rant his little rant, I don’t much care. My arguments are based on two separate, but related things:

    1. If PZ is going to make a practice of denigrating Pit people, which he does from time to time and which is totally his right, he should have the intellectual honesty and the ethical courage to allow Pit people to defend themselves against his often hysterical, paranoid claims.

    2. For PZ to fill up his now-hidden dungeon with the countless numbers of people he doesn’t like, while all the while crowing about how free thinking Freethoughtblogs is, is, in my opinion, not just goofy, but delusional and deranged, and blatantly dishonest. It’s sort of like his Thunderdome thread, which he calls unmoderated but which he nonetheless moderates like a diving hawk — or is that diving duck?

    It’s a real laugh coming from someone I’ve seen posting on damn near every remotely feminist blog post and video you could for two solid years.

    I’ve never posted on a video in my life. And I have only ever posted on a small handful of so-called feminist blogs. What on Earth are you talking about?

    You still avoid the question I asked: Why do you care?

    I’m, not sure. Entertainment value, I suppose. But these days when I post on a blog, it is almost always to comment, with relevance, on some claim or stated point of fact, for the purpose of disagreeing, or clarifying, with what the blog host’s original post is about. Further comments, from me, especially those that relate to the Pit are inevitabley because FTB commenters fly into bizarre rages whenever a Pit person appears, regardless of what that Pit person may or may not have to say, and do their damnedest to derail the comment thread in an attempt to make the Pit people look bad.

    And why the focus on these supposed fascists and not any other? There are forums of self-declared fascists out there you could be focusing on, but nope.

    Because that’s where it all started, with the rather bizarre hypocrisies, ludicrous and fanatical claims, and ongoing mendacity of people from Skepchick, and FTB who have a noted tendency to tell the world how wrong it is, and how right Skepchick and FTB are.

    Hell, why does Abbie Smith gets a pass for blogging on her censorious network but Avicenna does not?

    Huh? I don’t understand that question at all. What “censorious network”? What has Avi got to do with that? I iz confused.

    Say, I’ve an idea: why don’t we get back to the topic of the original post? Whaddya say?

  33. Jrod says

    Supposedly, Avicenna deserves what he gets for the crime of blogging on FTB, which is evil because it censors comment threads. Scienceblogs, where Abbie blogs, has censored the slymers in a far more, what’s the word? oh yes, draconian, way. Yet I don’t know of any pitters going to random blogs on that network to moan about it. Nobody seems to fault Abbie for remaining there. Of course, it this did happen I surely missed it. Got a link?

    You’re correct that I mixed you up with the other pitters in this thread. I apologize. Just forums for you, then.

    If you really want to go back to “where it started,” that would be when Rebecca Watson made the purely evil observation that creeping on women at atheist conventions makes women less inclined to go to atheist conventions, in direct response to a question about how to get more women to come to atheist conventions. Apparently, this minute and a half of a ten minute video was so heinous, so soul-shatteringly awful, that the slymers had no choice but to devote their lives to opposing her and all who dare to think that what she said was perfectly reasonable. Ever since, the brave heroes have been waging a battle to protect the right to spew misogynist slurs anywhere and everywhere they like while also taking up the banner of opposing harassment policies at conventions, which I’m told are more or less what Hitler did. Brave, brave heroes, daring to face the unimaginable danger of being banned from a blog, or even *gasp* being exposed to the idea that their behavior is not actually brave at all, but spiteful assholishness. Truly the great heroes of our time.

    Say, how exactly is PZ Myers preventing anyone from the pit from “defending themselves”? Did he get you all blacklisted by blogspot.com? Cut out your tongues and fingers, preventing you from talking and typing? Did he use black magic to stop you from doing this at the pit? Burn all of the world’s soapboxes? No, once again we come back to the idea that you have some untrammeled right to the use of someone else’s forum. You don’t; get over it.

    And this is all on topic for this post, but of course if you choose not to respond that is fine. If the owner here tells me I’m off topic, I’ll gladly stop posting, but that is not your call. Once this thread dies, I will happily return to my slyme-free life; too bad those you’ve named as enemies (or in Avicenna’s case, collaborators) don’t have that option.

  34. Pitchguest says

    Jrod:

    I’ve been to the slymepit. I’m not going to post there because it’s full of horrible people that I don’t like making asses of themselves and spewing lies.

    Of course you have, muffincakes. And I’m sure you say the same thing to Myers and Thibeault whenever they claim the ‘pit is full of misogynists, MRA’s and libertarians. (No you don’t.)

    You’re still not explaining why the massive sacrifice of time that worrying about FTB costs you is worth it to you.

    First of all, this sentence makes no sense grammatically (hilarious for someone who’s lecturing someone about the meaning of words) and secondly, what business is it of yours what he does with his own time?

    You know, if the pitter line on the DDoS attacks was “This was wrong, despite my hatred for those blogs,” I could respect that. But it’s not; the line is “Those feminazis had it coming and justice is served, but we didn’t do it and you can’t prove we did it, neener neener neener. Also, you deserve to be attacked for simply associating with people we don’t like. In the name of free speech!”

    Did we now? I thought the “pitter line” was asking questions of who performed the DDOS and if in fact it was a concentrated effort against the three networks (FtB, Skepchick and FemFreq) specifically or not. Which seems to be the majority of the hits searching for it, but maybe you know something I don’t? And if some did, well we’re not a bloody monolith, are we? We don’t have to agree on everything.

    This is just more evidence that none of you care a whit for free speech, but for invoking it as a cudgel to use against people you don’t like because they dared to exercise their own right of free association and editorial control of forums that they paid for with their own money. Oh, and because they’re feminists, the greatest monsters of our time apparently.

    Hahaha. How about you use that nogging of yours and think for yourself for once? Might break you out of the mythmaking that you’ve apparently bought wholesale about the Slymepit. Because… wow. Wow.

    I’d like to add that the constant referral of moderation policies as “draconian” is completely ridiculous.

    Draco, the man who gave draconian it’s name, was known for putting people to death for the mildest of offenses. That anyone would consider being banned from a blog to be in the same category is just pathetic.

    For a bunch of atheists, you all sure like nailing yourselves to the cross.

    “Nailing yourself to the cross” is a figure of speech, and so is draconian. No one is actually being literally nailed to the cross and no one is actually being literally put to death for the most trivial of offenses. Just like how a lynching doesn’t have to involve a hanging, a witch hunt a literal witch and an actual literal fire and kangaroo courts bloody kangaroos. Get it? Or is it your purpose in life to be an insufferable pedant?

    Hell, why does Abbie Smith gets a pass for blogging on her censorious network but Avicenna does not?

    What in blazes are you talking about?

    The only reason you matter at all is because you constantly harass those bloggers on Twitter, make sock-puppets to harass those bloggers at home, and swarm on every FTB blog that hasn’t banned you yet to whine about those bans.

    Go wallow in your hatred at the pit. Even pretend that it’s not really hatred. Nobody will care. The problem is that you refuse to accept that you can’t force anyone to host your insipid slanders.

    Dig, dig, dig. Seems you can’t do anything other than make digs. It’s also nice to see FtB have so many useful idiots at their disposal, with no critical thinking whatsoever, lack of independent thought and seemingly believing anything bad about the Slymepit without question. Situated on a network called ‘Freethought Blogs’. The irony.

  35. Jrod says

    Yes, of course, I’ve never been to the pit and observed it for myself, certainly not directly before making these comments just to see if anything had changed. Which it hasn’t.

    Since your message starts off with you lying about me, I’ll just ignore the rest. This is why the slymers are banned everywhere they go. Well that and their penchant for filling up threads with slurs.

    One other thing, actually: my sentence was perfectly grammatical. Another dirty lie of yours.

    Now I leave you to continue making up a straw-Jrod, just as you’ve constructed strawmen of all your other eternal enemies.

  36. Steersman says

    Holms (#76):

    I really don’t give a shit about whether you couched your points in that specific term or not ….

    So, you’re going to condemn me for something I didn’t say? Classy; I sure hope you haven’t claimed to be a skeptic.

    … bringing up the suggestion of Pharyngula as a hate group by saying that you aren’t making that suggestion does not change the fact that you are directly responsible for introducing that to the conversation.

    So? And where did I say I didn’t make that suggestion? But that is, after all, the nature of conversations, of discussions – at least outside of Internet Silos and echochambers: people do bring up or advance hypotheses or conjectures or wild speculations – things like, for example, “rape culture”, and “the patriarchy”, and whether differences in church attendance by sex is a case of different phenotypes – and then they provide putative evidence and discuss whether or not it supports the claim. In this case that Myers is a bit of an ignorant bigot and demagogue, and that his own blog is looking more and more like a hate site.

    You gave me a single post which may or may not have been the text of a post which you claim was rejected from a blog I don’t read ….

    And you charge “us” with being hyperskeptical.

  37. johngreg says

    Ah, fuck it. I’ve got to clarify the bullshit. So I flounce the flounce, or whatever it’s called. Big woof.

    Jrod said:

    Scienceblogs, where Abbie blogs, has censored the slymers in a far more, what’s the word? oh yes, draconian, way.

    Wrong. SciBlogs did not censor Doc Abbie or the Pit thread at all. During the time that Greg Laden and Zvan were contacting SciBlogs (and Abbie’s university), and trying everything they could to get those organizations to silence Abbie’s freedom of expression and free speech, Abbie felt concern for what might happen to the Pit thread. Yes, SciBlogs had made some rumbles about imposing some forms of content restrictions of various blogs, but that did not happen. At Abbie’s choice and discretion, and everyone else’s agreement, the SciBlog version of the Pit was shut down, and the new Pit was born.

    If you really want to go back to “where it started,” that would be when Rebecca Watson made the purely evil observation that creeping on women at atheist conventions makes women less inclined to go to atheist conventions, in direct response to a question about how to get more women to come to atheist conventions.

    Wrong again. The Pit was born as a reaction to Watson’s insulting blather directed towards Stef McGraw. If you have any interest at all in honesty and facts, see here for the very first Pit post from Abbie (add your own http stuff): … scienceblogs.com/erv/2011/07/01/bad-form-rebecca-watson/

    Say, how exactly is PZ Myers preventing anyone from the pit from “defending themselves”?

    The point is, cupcake, that if Myers wants to denigrate the Pit, which is his right, if he had intellectual integrity and even a tiny bit of courage and honesty, he would allow Pit people to defend themselves at the site where they have been slandered. But he cannot and will not do that because his deceit and paranoid delusions would be exposed. Yes, of course we can blather about it on the Pit, but an effective defense, and a meaningful rebuttal to accusation, especially false accusations, should occur where the accusations originated.

    Like I say, if you have integrity at all, and are not actually just a raging cowardly keyboard warrior in your safe space, c’mon over to the Pit and post your feminist posters, your marching songs, your celebrations of the feminist proletariat. You won’t be censored, but you will be engaged. If you’ve got the courage, integrity, and the intellectual fortitude for some honest debate, mosey on over.

    Yes, of course, I’ve never been to the pit and observed it for myself….

    Of course you haven’t. And yet you feel so confident in your accusations based on, what, hearsay? How regal of you; such careful crtical thinking.

  38. Steersman says

    Jrod (#79):

    I’d like to add that the constant referral of moderation policies as “draconian” is completely ridiculous.

    Draco, the man who gave draconian it’s name, was known for putting people to death for the mildest of offenses. That anyone would consider being banned from a blog to be in the same category is just pathetic.

    For a bunch of atheists, you all sure like nailing yourselves to the cross.

    You don’t find it a little ironic, a cause for some “cognitive dissonance”, to be throwing stones at me for “draconian moderation policies” while you describe atheists “nailing themselves to the cross”? Maybe you could point us all – photos or it didn’t happen – to some broken and bleeding bodies on some crosses?

    If you can use the latter phrase in a metaphorical sense then you should be able to appreciate that other phrases – such as “witch hunts” and “kangaroo courts” – can be used similarly. Or is it only ok when you do it?

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  40. ildi says

    The point is, cupcake, that if Myers wants to denigrate the Pit, which is his right, if he had intellectual integrity and even a tiny bit of courage and honesty, he would allow Pit people to defend themselves at the site where they have been slandered. But he cannot and will not do that because his deceit and paranoid delusions would be exposed. Yes, of course we can blather about it on the Pit, but an effective defense, and a meaningful rebuttal to accusation, especially false accusations, should occur where the accusations originated.

    Pathetic wankers. When will you let up with this sad obsession? The horror! The hypocrisy! Free speech!1!!!eleventy!!!!

    Like I say, if you have integrity at all, and are not actually just a raging cowardly keyboard warrior in your safe space, c’mon over to the Pit and post your feminist posters, your marching songs, your celebrations of the feminist proletariat. You won’t be censored, but you will be engaged. If you’ve got the courage, integrity, and the intellectual fortitude for some honest debate, mosey on over.

    Aw, nobody wants to play in the pit. How will you survive? What will you do? I mean, it’s not like there’s a world wide web or something…

  41. ildi says

    Oh, waa, you’re SO misunderstood! If people would just ENGAGE you on your OWN TURF so they could feel the freedom of free speech as opposed to the pain of the injustice and oppression heaped upon your hapless heads, you wouldn’t feel the urge to engage in the same-o same-o sad-sack narcissistic threadjacking on other blogs, which aren’t private property because you can see them! and even comment on them! sometimes! except when not, hypocrisy!

    (same fap time, same fap station)

  42. Holms says

    #82
    So this will be my last defence-based comment to you about the Pit and my presence here.

    Suuuuure. The last such post… until the next one.

    #86
    So, you’re going to condemn me for something I didn’t say? Classy; I sure hope you haven’t claimed to be a skeptic.

    Oh, arguing against your take on blog moderation is now portrayed as ‘condemning’ you, is it? You guys just cannot resist any chance to make yourselves martyrs.

    Kudos on ignoring the point I made though (that the conversation has been about freedom of speech all along regardless of whether you used that specific term); you are extremely good at turning any conversation around to be all about you.

    #87
    The point is, cupcake, that if Myers wants to denigrate the Pit, which is his right, if he had intellectual integrity and even a tiny bit of courage and honesty, he would allow Pit people to defend themselves at the site where they have been slandered. But he cannot and will not do that because his deceit and paranoid delusions would be exposed.

    “Waaaaaaaaaaah people keep accusing me of fucking their threads up, and then refuse to let me derail every thread over there into an angry argument over whether said derailment constitutes a reason to accuse me of fucking their threads up! Draconian tyranny! Opression!”

    It’s also pretty obvious that you don’t know what slander is. Oh and calling people’cupcake’ is just the cherry on top. He uses diminutive language when referring to his opposition – we got a badass over here! Classic Internet Tuff Guy routine.

    Like I say, if you have integrity at all, and are not actually just a raging cowardly keyboard warrior in your safe space, c’mon over to the Pit and post your feminist posters, your marching songs, your celebrations of the feminist proletariat.

    Oh right, because refusing to associate with people whose company we find tedious has anything to do with the concepts of integrity or bravery.

  43. Holms says

    Oops, missed this bit:

    #86
    So? And where did I say I didn’t make that suggestion? But that is, after all, the nature of conversations, of discussions – at least outside of Internet Silos and echochambers: people do bring up or advance hypotheses or conjectures or wild speculations – things like, for example, “rape culture”, and “the patriarchy”, and whether differences in church attendance by sex is a case of different phenotypes – and then they provide putative evidence and discuss whether or not it supports the claim.

    Yes, conversations can range over many topics, which of course requires that the topic be introduced by someone. However, if you introduce the topic only to claim that you did not introduce it, you will be called disingenuous.

    The topic in this case being, pharyungula as a hate site. Something along the lines of ‘I’m not making this accusation, but…’ tends to be pretty much the same as making the accusation, but in a disingenuous manner.

    Also, since you brought the topic up, NO IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR EVEN REMOTELY APPROACH CONSTITUTING A HATE SITE. You idiot.

  44. johngreg says

    Suuuuure. The last such post… until the next one.

    Yes, shame on me. I keep getting dragged back by the FTB trollcrew to defend myself. My oh my; what a nasty guy am I.

    Holms, you’re a funny one, you are. Excellent misrepresentations.

    Also, as you apparently are unaware, “cupcake” is a pharyngula phrase.

  45. Steersman says

    Holms (#94):

    Oh, arguing against your take on blog moderation is now portrayed as ‘condemning’ you, is it?

    Way to move the goal posts, way to be intellectually dishonest. The point was your assertion (in #76) that:

    Your only objection is that I used the term ‘free speech’ in a reply to you, when the entire conversation has been about that concept from the start; I really don’t give a shit about whether you couched your points in that specific term or not.

    My point was and is that I am not denying that blog owners are entitled to moderate them as they see fit, nor am I insisting that some “free speech” principle must of necessity override that right of moderation. But you seem unable – probably unwilling – to acknowledge that that has been my position from square one, while you continue to accuse me, in spite of that evidence, that I have been trying to utilize that “free speech” principle.

    So when you continue with that accusation, and refuse to back it up or retract it one might reasonably conclude that that reasonably qualifies as condemning me, i.e., “To lend credence to or provide evidence for an adverse judgment against”. (1)

    You guys just cannot resist any chance to make yourselves martyrs.

    Hardly a case of making ourselves martyrs, at least in my case, for me to object to an entirely bogus and fraudulent charge that you can’t provide diddly squat in the way of evidence to support.

    Also, since you brought the topic up, NO IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR EVEN REMOTELY APPROACH CONSTITUTING A HATE SITE. You idiot.

    You have some number that specifies precisely how many cases would justify a closer approach than “remotely”? In any case, you may wish to note this definition of hate speech in Wikipedia (2) which is what characterizes hate sites:

    Hate speech is, outside the law, speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of e.g. race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

    While, to repeat again for those who are apparently willfully obtuse, I am not asserting that Pharyngula is a hate site simply on the basis of that one case of what still seems to qualify as hate speech, I would say it constitutes a rather problematic and damning step in that direction, down that slippery slope.

    Although it is curious and somewhat amusing that y’all get your panties in a wad over “lynch mobs”, and “witch hunts”, and “kangaroo courts”, but you’re all jake with PZ’s characterization of large swathes of “anti-feminists” as each carrying the name of Marc Lepine. Talk about straining at the gnat and swallowing the camel whole. You dickhead.

    —–
    1) “_http://www.thefreedictionary.com/condemn”;
    2) “_http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech”;

  46. ildi says

    Yes, shame on me. I keep getting dragged back by the FTB trollcrew to defend myself. My oh my; what a nasty guy am I.

    Sticking the flounce, ur doing it wrong. (ooh, does nasty boy want a spanking?)

    So when you continue with that accusation, and refuse to back it up or retract it one might reasonably conclude that that reasonably qualifies as condemning me

    I know, baby, it’s all about you. Here, have a cookie.

    “baby” – something that is one’s special responsibility, achievement, or interest*

    “cookie” – a food that is fun to eat, but also used as a sarcastic reward*

    *fucking words, how do they work?

  47. Holms says

    #96
    Yes, shame on me. I keep getting dragged back by the FTB trollcrew to defend myself. My oh my; what a nasty guy am I.

    Hello again, back for another ‘last’ comment? ‘Dragged back’ is particularly hilarious, given that there is no way to force you to post or even read anything here at all. Just another attempt to portay yourself as being at the mercy of the heartless FTBers; the martyr party continues.

    Holms, you’re a funny one, you are. Excellent misrepresentations.

    How did I misrepresent you?

    Also, as you apparently are unaware, “cupcake” is a pharyngula phrase.

    No, it’s a ‘whoever uses it’ phrase; no one owns it. Or are you going with the ‘they did it first’ primary school defense?

    #97
    But you seem unable – probably unwilling – to acknowledge that that has been my position from square one, while you continue to accuse me, in spite of that evidence, that I have been trying to utilize that “free speech” principle.

    So when you continue with that accusation, and refuse to back it up or retract it one might reasonably conclude that that reasonably qualifies as condemning me, i.e., “To lend credence to or provide evidence for an adverse judgment against”. (1)

    Given that your first post in this thread involved commentary on the moderation of the ‘FftB/skepchick sphere’, I’m going to insist that yes, actually, your participation in this blog moderation conversation has also touched on the topic of blog moderation. I still don’t know why you object to the term ‘free speech’, when moderation is a subset of that topic.

    And this is the crazy thing: you keep using words like ‘accuse’ and ‘condemn’, when the only thing I’m ‘accusing’ you of is the entirely benign observation that you have been conversing about blog moderation. Accuse and condemn are words that carry the negative connotations, as if the accusation being made about you is perhaps an allegation of criminal behaviour. To me, this just continues to reek of that ‘we’re so oppressed’ martydom you guys seem to love.

    Oh and that argument by dictionary definition gave me a hearty laugh; the last time I saw one of those used without irony was in a talentless high school debate.

    In any case, you may wish to note this definition of hate speech in Wikipedia (2) which is what characterizes hate sites:

    Hate speech is, outside the law, speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of e.g. race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

    BOOM two definition arguments in the one post! This takes me back. To high school level debates.

    Anyway, no one here is attacking the slymepit population on the basis of e.g. race, sexuality, gender or religion. We are attacking you on the basis of your words and conduct; i.e. things that you actively choose to do.

    This is why FTB does not even ‘remotely approach’ hate speech – our attacks against you aren’t even in the right category.

    …Marc Lepine.

    TWO IN ONE THREAD! …Dammit, it’s a shame you can’t use the same item twice on the slymepit cliche bingo card.

  48. johngreg says

    /sigh

    Look, ildi and Holms, clearly I am wasting my breath (figuratively speaking) trying to share facts and real-world experience with you, and you are vigourously oppressing me by utterly denying my lived-experience, refusing to listen to the victims, and using ableist and prejudicial language to diminish, deny, dismiss, and even make fun of my oppression and my lack of FTB privilege.

    I know it is not your fault that you do not have the rather minimal intellectual depth or sophistication to comprehend the simple and basic content of what I and Steers are saying. Sadly, you also appear to be somewhat underburdened with the basic integrity to respond honestly, to argue to the point, or to approach the issues using critical thinking or even some small level of objectivity and/or skepticism — oh, wait, PZ divorced himself from all forms of skepticism, so I guess you’ve had to follow suit, right? Right.

    Perhaps, like apparently the majority of FTB commenters according to some ‘net tracking system somewhere or other, you are just children with a minimal educational experience — perhaps not.

    Anyway, you have my sympathy, if not my empathy.

    So, well, cheery-bye, oppressors.

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