On not buying into the LULZer playbook

Someone (handle: tigtog) left a good comment here and then made a blog post out of it for more visibility, so I’ll make a blog post out of it too for more visibility again.

On not buying into the LULZer playbook at FtB (or anywhere) #WeLoveFTB

(This will be teaching many of you to suck eggs, I know – this is mainly for lurkers and newbies, especially newbie lurkers. Apologies in advance for the tl;dr)

The idea that each pocket of cyberspace should be a clean slate for somebody with no reference to what they are known to do elsewhere is a page dusted off from the old USENet alt.syntax.tactical playbook, as is the uber-purist semantic-hacktivist stance that objecting to having one’s argument misrepresented by poo-flinging howler monkeys *really* means that one knows one’s position will not withstand a “rigorous logical challenge”. These faux-purists in fact know very well that it’s not only possible but appallingly easy to rhetorically sandbag *any* line of argument no matter how rigorously supported it may actually be.

This is achieved largely by exploiting the phenomenon summed up as “a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on” e.g. their new spin on the meaning of “slimepit”, the year-long lie that “RW cried Rape on EG” etc etc etc. They combine these lies with their other favourite tactic (from the old alt.tasteless playbook) that *nothing should be exempt from being “joked” about*, aiming to provoke an emotional response that buys into their lie instead of scorning it as it deserves. Once someone takes their bait they deploy a hyper-skeptical pose of Just Asking Questions and Just Wanting Evidence to a double-standard far beyond that which they apply to Bigfoot or UFOs.

Repeating the lies and slurs derails any progress in the discussion by diverting the targets’ resources and time to yet again countering the lie/challenging the slur instead of moving the conversation forward, and *that’s exactly what it’s designed to do* (allegedly just for the LULZ of watching yet another thread erupt into a flamewar, which is actually just re-framing getting one’s jollies from bullying and vandalism – disruption for the sake of disruption).

One of the reasons they hate Pharyngula so much is that there are a lot of ‘net veterans there amongst the regulars (largely because PZ is also an old ‘net vet), and the vets see very clearly what is happening when the lies start being told and spoil the LULZ-fun by flatly identifying a comment as a lie without getting sucked into a derailing defence. Denied their jollies there, the LULZers have decided to target the rest of FtB because many of the other blog-owners and their commentariats have not yet become sufficiently acquainted with the LULZ playbook to cut the thread-derails off at the knees i.e. the LULZers are *relying* on their behaviour elsewhere not being known on the target blog, and thus being given more leeway than they deserve.

Ophelia’s Rules spoil the LULZ-fun, thus they’ve added her to their special extra-shitpiling list. Accusing her of “intellectual dishonesty” for refusing to let them fling shit all over her cybersalon is just the cherry on the top of the LULZers’ cake of pointless bile.

Anyone who comes onto an FtB blog and starts repeating the LULZer lies and slurs as part of their oh-so-noble groupthink challenge has already identified themselves as intellectually dishonest. Checking to see whether they’ve misbehaved using the same nym elsewhere before banhammering is actually extending them a benefit of the doubt that is IMO excessively generous.


There’s more on the post, so check it out.