Libby Anne lays down the law

Here at Freethoughtblogs, there is no uniform commenting policy — each of us sets our own. Libby Ann has set down her rules, and they’re rather more soft and conciliatory towards religious apologists than mine are (you know mine: a theist shows up here, it’s like ringing the dinner bell, and my only concern is that you don’t leave a mess on the carpets)—and that’s OK! Respect them while you visit.

If you’re slavering with fury over some bit of ditzy apologia at another blog, you’re instead welcome to take advantage of an open thread here and snarl away at them. It’s exactly the kind of thing I encourage.

Comments

  1. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Hi PZ! In addition to the weird caps in the title, you’ve misspelled her name – there’s an e at the end.

    And yeah. Yay for Libby, she’s a badass and I’ll just stay away from her comments section since I won’t fit in there. I’m just really irritated by a lot of her commenters and extremely fuckin’ pissed off at Daniel Fincke now.

  2. says

    I’m just really irritated by a lot of her commenters and extremely fuckin’ pissed off at Daniel Fincke now.

    For what? For saying that you and others should not have turned her expression of her desires for her blog to be the kind she wants into a whine that it was not the kind of blog you want?

  3. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    For what? For saying that you and others should not have turned her expression of her desires for her blog to be the kind she wants into a whine that it was not the kind of blog you want?

    For lying about what we said, as you do again above, and for the snipe at my emotional state which is something I now take extremely seriously.

  4. says

    Oh please, I wasn’t taking any snipe at your emotional state. For someone who doesn’t want to have to be sensitive to anyone else’s emotions, you seem to want to make everything about your emotions. Get over yourself.

  5. Aquaria says

    into a whine that it was not the kind of blog you want

    That’s a comment about someone’s emotional state, dear.

    Do keep up.

  6. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Yeah, for someone who is so opposed to attacking people personally and so very in favor of arguing in a detached intellectual state, you’re awfully insulting and personal to people who don’t share your fucking views. Douche.

  7. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Her playground, her rules.
    But if she gets, for example, a religious nut arguing against abortion and contraception while accusing women of being murderers, and then shuts down those who call him a religious nut… that would make me a bit angry. I think it would deserve a severe rant-fest at TET. And I’m afraid it might come to that, since I’ve noticed on that obnoxious post at Cammels with hammers that she wanted to put comments with the word goddist in automatic moderation.
    I guess I got too used to expressing myself with more concern about honesty that propriety here at Pharyngula.
    But we’ll see. I liked Libby Anne’s posts when they were linked to a couple of times before. For now, I’ll definitely keep reading them now that she is conveniently here at FTB.

  8. dragon says

    A creationist’s “some bit of ditzy apologia at another blog”

    you apparently live in a cave and havent developed a full human brain. evolutionists suggest slow gradual mutations. since this has been disproven BECAUSE of the fossil record, now they are postulating that there were sudden abrupt changes. neither can be explained scientifically. and you obviously dont understand the laws of T.D. evolution is completely explained away through T.D. and entropy. its not that atheists cant believe, they choose to deny what the evidence points to. you dont like the fact that there is a GOD. you choose to set yourself above god. the result for this blasephemy is the same as when lucifer did it. its o.k. kid, god loves you so much, he will honor your decision, and actualize it in eternity by seperating you from his grace whicj is what people like you do daily.

    So I asked him for a citation. And he responded:

    o.k…… thermodynamics in laymens terms….so all the nonintelligent atheists can understand….

    when you put your head on your pillow at night, the pillow is cool. its not until your body heat from your head is transfered to it, does it get warm. something had to transfer the heat….the pillow did not create the heat itself or by some randim chance…..

    there…. a free lesson on thermodymamics…. no need to thank me

    So there you have it, pillow heat transfer proves Jesus is God.

    I thought it was so funny, I had to share.

  9. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    There’s nothing to be upset about with Dr. Fincke. All he did was tell us 5 year old Pharynguloids that when we visited Auntie Libby’s blog to wipe our feet on the mat, don’t use nasty language, and for goodness sake don’t pick your nose!

  10. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Yeah, I was. But honestly I feel like the most substantial point, Daniel, is that we were not “whining” about her environment being what it is. We were complaining that you and some of Libby’s commenters were going too far in making universalizing claims about its benefits. And I’ve fucking clarified that over and over both there and at your blog. So have others. So to repeatedly mischaracterize our objections having read our repeated attempts to correct you constitutes lying.

  11. says

    There’s nothing to be upset about with Dr. Fincke. All he did was tell us 5 year old Pharynguloids that when we visited Auntie Libby’s blog to wipe our feet on the mat, don’t use nasty language, and for goodness sake don’t pick your nose!

    Look, you can’t make everything about you and your feelings and then when someone goes to the trouble of taking your emotional complaints seriously and teasing out distinctions for you that they are talking down to you like messy, emotional 5 year olds. You can’t have this both ways, Dr. ‘Tis. It’s becoming unbearably, er, childish.

  12. says

    Yeah, I was. But honestly I feel like the most substantial point, Daniel, is that we were not “whining” about her environment being what it is. We were complaining that you and some of Libby’s commenters were going too far in making universalizing claims about its benefits. And I’ve fucking clarified that over and over both there and at your blog. So have others. So to repeatedly mischaracterize our objections having read our repeated attempts to correct you constitutes lying.

    I didn’t lie. My point was that your adamancy that this point be the central issue when it is peripheral was you whining. It really should have been enough to say, “Okay, I get it this place is not the place to vent” and not get into all the other controversies about places to vent. And then when I DID make a post that acknowledged and validated your feelings that you need places to vent freely, I get haggled over one use of the word “everyone” which was not adequately qualified to account for all possible misconceptions.

    You’re spoiling for a fight. It’s tedious.

  13. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Look, you can’t make everything about you and your feelings

    Look, can you stop being a trivializing ass about this for five seconds? The entire policy question is about people and their feelings. You can’t go on and on about how we need to respect other people’s feelings and then accuse people of being self-centered when they talk about their own. I mean, you can, but it’s infuriating.

  14. says

    I am happy that it’s about feelings but then you can’t complain that I’m condescending or treating you like children because I address your emotions!

  15. raven says

    when we visited Auntie Libby’s blog to wipe our feet on the mat, don’t use nasty language, and for goodness sake don’t pick your nose!

    Can I bring my cats?

  16. says

    Get over yourself.

    Wow. Nice use of a cute catch phrase to dismiss and belittle an opinion for the crime of having, ugh, emotional content.

  17. says

    Wow. Nice use of a cute catch phrase to dismiss and belittle an opinion for the crime of having, ugh, emotional content.

    No, the “crime” was overestimating the importance of oneself and one’s own feelings over others’.

  18. Azkyroth says

    Weak.

    Blogs that insist on adopting “nicey-nice” policies for comments give a huge structural advantage to dishonest assholes who are comfortable with and practiced at dancing around the letter of rules while wiping their asses with the spirit, and wind up essentially taking that dishonest bugfuckery out on the honest, forthright people who are quite reasonably upset about it and state that upset plainly and unpretentiously. It’s disgusting to see yet another otherwise promising blog adopting such a policy.

    On the other hand, I guess I won’t have to worry about another blog to follow.

  19. Azkyroth says

    Her playground, her rules.

    Has anyone disputed this?

    These are “should” objections, you dumb fuck. “Can” has no bearing on “should.”

  20. says

    And I didn’t tell any lies. If you want to correct some misunderstanding on my part, correct it. But I don’t see it so far.

    Did you notice that she had altered the post in response to some of the comments? She mentioned it. She removed some sections and deleted the anecdote, which was the right thing to do. The earlier comments, including yours, were to the original version. You posted about it this morning with a link to the very different revised version implying that it was that post rather than the original one to which people had responded. If you did that intentionally, then it was dishonest; if it was an error, then you should correct it. You also should have quoted from the people whose posts you describe rather than mischaracterizing them. Libby Anne has been fair and honest in her responses, and has now posted a thoughtful clarification. I can’t say the same for you.

    You’re evidently still angry that people from here treated your guest’s woo-riddled Wicca posts and remarkably misinformed comments about an atheist religion with the mockery they deserved, and will use any opportunity to bash us with your alleged civility.

  21. Azkyroth says

    So to repeatedly mischaracterize our objections having read our repeated attempts to correct you constitutes lying.

    Thanks. I’ll quote you on that the next time it’s relevant.

  22. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Azkyroth,

    Have you read anything I have written after that sentence?

  23. says

    Have you been in many arguments in which people are arguing that you shouldn’t have basic rights to bodily autonomy, in a context in which those rights are constantly threatened and eroded? Do you honestly believe that the same atmosphere feels as emotionally safe and liberating of free debate for the person denying the rights of others as for the person defending her own? Have you thought this through, or do you just want to spout platitudes about civility?

  24. sc_b3365186781c0353315ac69179d89231 says

    Daniel Finke, #18:

    you can’t complain that I’m condescending or treating you like children

    9 minutes previously, in #15:

    It’s becoming unbearably, er, childish.

    Madness…

    Daniel Finke, I’ve never heard of you before 10 minutes ago, but you come across as either a troll or just totally blinkered. Either way, you don’t seem like the kind of person one can have an honest disagreement with.

  25. Azkyroth says

    Have you read anything I have written after that sentence?

    None of that is relevant to the superfluousness of the can-affirmation, but it’s been a bad morning and the dumb fuck part wasn’t called for. :/

  26. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    It really should have been enough to say, “Okay, I get it this place is not the place to vent” and not get into all the other controversies about places to vent. And then when I DID make a post that acknowledged and validated your feelings that you need places to vent freely, I get haggled over one use of the word “everyone” which was not adequately qualified to account for all possible misconceptions.

    Since we’re apparently in the business of telling each other how we should have responded to things, your response to my pointing out that you made the generalization I objected to ought to have been: “Oops, I see where I made that generalization, and I know it’s not true! I’m sorry.” With an optional: “Let me go edit or update the post to better reflect my meaning.” Like Libby did when the same thing happened on her blog. Not to continue mischaracterizing the people who objected and their motivations.

    Thanks. I’ll quote you on that the next time it’s relevant.

    Have fun with that.

  27. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Maybe I should have given more thought to my wording.
    “Her playground, her rules” was more or less meant to convey that if I decide to comment at her site, I’ll try to abide by the rules. It doesn’t mean I agree with them, or that I won’t complain about them either on TET or by yelling at my computer screen.

    And no, the rules should not be as strict as it seems they will be. I’m afraid a goddist threatening someone with damnation and hellfire won’t even get a slap on the wrist, but calling him a goddist will get someone at least into moderation.

  28. says

    Fincke, at his blog:

    My point is that in environments where the anger is neutralized and reasoning can take place in a safe way there can be a lot more productive exchanges.

    And your point is wrong. Many situations in which my rightful anger is “neutralized” are not safer for me.

  29. says

    SC,

    You’re evidently still angry that people from here treated your guest’s woo-riddled Wicca posts and remarkably misinformed comments about an atheist religion with the mockery they deserved, and will use any opportunity to bash us with your alleged civility.

    This is thought was referring to some incident on Daniel Fincke’s blog?

  30. says

    You know, I can respect Libby’s wanting to have a non-confrontationalist blog. It did irk me a bit when she brought up an email about misogynist trolls from FTB, because on top of that sounding very unlikely, it served no use other than to vilify the commenters here.

    But like I said, I’ll respect what she wants her comment policy to be. I’m certainly not interested in reading an accommodationist blog (then again, I could be proven wrong), but I’m willing to just ignore that and live and let live.

    The attitude of her commenters though? That’s pissing me off a bit. There seems to be a double standard about what’s considered to be respectful. It’s wrong to tell Christians that they’re being hateful or uneducated, but go right on ahead talking about how those confrontationalists at Pharyngula are just knuckle-dragging barbarians, and how Atheists are really just as bad as fundies.

    Again though, that’s likely only the fault of her commenters, not her. Of course, if it turns out that her rule to be respectful only applies to Atheists towards Christians and not both ways, I’m going to have a problem. That trope is far too common, and it’s annoying to be told to be poliiiite, you stupid angry atheists, while there’s a fundie spreading hateful bile being protected from critique so as to not hurt their feelings.

  31. says

    SC,

    so no links to that woo-riddled guest post (I don’t follow CWH usually)? If he indeed allows woo on his blog, then that would be the straw that broke the camel’s neck for me…

  32. James C. says

    To be fair, “Please attack arguments rather than people” is a really damn good rule that, IMO, completely offsets her other, more dubious rules. I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason that godmongers are often so fucking annoying is that they replace actual argumentation with character attacks. Ban that and you’ve contained the worst of it.

    But it seems that some members of The Horde have some experience with rulesets that try to usher in a civil image, so correct me if I’m wrong.

  33. says

    SC,

    so no links to that woo-riddled guest post (I don’t follow CWH usually)? If he indeed allows woo on his blog, then that would be the straw that broke the camel’s neck for me…

    It was a series. Here’s one, which laughably describes what it’s presenting as “woo-free.” If you click on the Wicca tab at the end you can see all of them. One was discussed here at Pharyngula. I think Fincke is right that there’s a philosophobic contingent around here, but the mockery of this series didn’t stem primarily from attitudes towards philosophy generally or metaphysics specifically, but from the fact that several of the claims are ridiculous.

  34. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Pelamun,

    CWH had a series of long posts (five, if I remember correctly) about Wicca. I only read the first two because the guest blogger, another philosophy professor named Eric something, was bending over backwards not be critical of Wicca. I could have lived with a neutral description of the woo, but Eric was coming very close to endorsing it.

  35. says

    Well, this certainly spells out what should be part of our complaint about the accommodationist assholes. Libby Anne seems to expect a certain level of polite discourse that is more-or-less foreign to this blog in particular and Gnu atheist blogging in general. What she doesn’t do is demand that anyone else uphold her standards on their blogs. I respect her desire for her style of comments, especially since she respects that the style of others is fine for them.

    Complaining about it too much is IMO similar to the complaints that people level against the Gnus for being strident and militant and shrill and not all sweetness and light and accommodating to theists. As long as Libby Anne doesn’t try to stifle comments outside of her space, I don’t see what the problem is.

  36. says

    But it seems that some members of The Horde have some experience with rulesets that try to usher in a civil image, so correct me if I’m wrong.

    a “civil image” generally results in people being allowed to propose and defend things that will bring serious harm to people, but those people aren’t then able to defend themselves, because pointing out the bigotry is considered uncivil, even if insults are entirely avoided.

    In a wider context, demands for civility are one of the means by which dominant groups suppress dissent and self-defense by the oppressed groups.

  37. says

    an example of that would be something I ended up listening to on North Dakota’s NPR: two evangelical conservatives who were absolutely against marriage equality, but were doing so while being nice and civil to the people they were harming. And they were hurt and pissy because gay rights advocates were “attacking” them by refusing to distinguish between the people who were denying them equal rights politely from those who were doing so rudely.

  38. says

    This seems like a lot of brouhaha over what seems to be a comment policy fairly close to that over at Greta Christina’s–more restrictive than the free-for-all here, but not enforcing a superficial politeness toward egregious haters. I’m pretty sure I’ll be content with that, even if I have to come by here and vent once in a while, as I do with, say The Friendly Atheist, where sexists are pretty common and there aren’t nearly enough feminists to drown them out.

    I *am* glad that Libby Anne has clarified and modified her original post which, as I commented on there, contained unsupported judgements about the efficacy of confrontational tactics (as well as an unsubstantiated accusation about FtB commenters).

  39. says

    I’ve been reading her over on wordpress for a few months now and think there’s been a tiny over-reaction to her comments policy. She has no problem with you arguing with people and telling them they’re wrong, she just wants it to be done with less swearing and name calling than we have over here. Considering that one of her main goals with the blog is to help pull people out of fundie Christianity, I can see where that would help. I’m glad she’s got the patience to try to do deconvert the hard-core Christians- I don’t.

    IIRC, she is actually a Pharyngula reader herself so I doubt she has too make problems with the use of chew toys over here. But, be honest, PZ has a different purpose, so different comments policy works.

    To sum up- lack of swearing and name calling does not equal accomodationist.

  40. says

    And they were hurt and pissy because gay rights advocates were “attacking” them by refusing to distinguish between the people who were denying them equal rights politely from those who were doing so rudely.

    If only the anger of the gay rights advocates could have been neutralized, everyone would have been all safe to have a productive discussion.

  41. says

    SC, Jayhawk, ‘Tis,

    Thanks. That was most enlightening. Especially that one post where he says Wicca would be a much better alternative to Christianity if it got rid of all that woo…

  42. Azkyroth says

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason that godmongers are often so fucking annoying is that they replace actual argumentation with character attacks. Ban that and you’ve contained the worst of it.

    In practice, trying to ban it usually means 1) you wind up, intentionally or otherwise, cracking down on the people who phrase their character attacks bluntly (even when such attacks are attached to conclusions rather than substituting for arguments) much more than on people who rely on innuendo and exploiting gray areas (even in the opposite case) and thus 2) hand the field to the latter group on a silver platter. I have never seen 1) not happen and 2) is a pretty reliable outcome of it.

  43. Azkyroth says

    …doubly so when one introduces the irrelevant red herring of a superstitious fear of “swearing.” Anyone who thinks “That motherfucker is the shit” is “rude” but “Come now, surely one can’t expect better from one of those people. You know how their kind is…” is acceptable is just wasting oxygen.

  44. Azkyroth says

    I should rephrase; I don’t at all mean that the cracking down in 1) is limited to people actually employing character attacks. “Harsh language” would be the better way of putting it.

  45. says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform (I had to include the whole title as I like it so much),

    “Misogynist trolls from FTB” could easily have been any of the shitbegonias clogging up, for example, Jen’s threads about Penn Jillette.

    I did not see the original post but I did see comments referencing this. That was my first thought as well. During the misogynists wars here plenty of people commented that were not regular readers, that often seemed to pop out of the woodwork. Saying they were from here, that somehow this place was some sort of misogynist hotbed, seemed to be very misleading.

  46. Azkyroth says

    Thanks. That was most enlightening. Especially that one post where he says Wicca would be a much better alternative to Christianity if it got rid of all that woo…

    If.

    Ironically I think Wicca is actually far less extricable from woo than Christianity.

  47. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Having read her further post on her rules, I’m now satisfied I should have little problem posting on Libby Anne’s blog. However I’m not sure I can put up with Dan Fincke’s patronizing comments any more.

  48. Utakata, pink pigtailed Gnome of death says

    @ ‘Tis Himself, OM

    …he does come off as a bit of a condescending tone troll, IMO. But I haven’t read enough of his comments to really within the FTB spehere of things to judge. Though his posts here certainly haven’t helped his reputation.

  49. says

    Sorry, I haven’t been around for awhile.
    What the fuckisa Libby Anne?

    Sounds like a Corning Ware announcement dish stuffed full of brine string bean midwestern casserole cease and desist anointments.

  50. janine says

    Instead of asking a fucking stupid question and trying to be funny, (You failed!) you could have clicked the links that PZ provided.

    If you are going to be insulting, at least put in a little effort and know what you are insulting and why.

    Whodafuckareyou?

  51. says

    Won’t be the first blog here that has its own rules about comments.

    I had a comment on another “FreeThought” blog go into a moderation black hole recently and all I did was disagree (politely) about a political issue.

    So… feeling mildly disaffected here.

  52. ewanmacdonald says

    Just about every second reply from Libby Anne on the comments on ‘How I Run My Blog’ seems to be about how she’s edited her original post. It’s great to see someone who’s willing to listen to feedback and change their mind but on the other hand the volume of editing suggests that her original post wasn’t well considered at all.

    Nonetheless… a pluraity of tactics, the space for different approaches – these are things (a lot of) Gnus have called for for a while, and as long as she’s happy with her approach coexisting with different ones there’s no harm in it.

  53. says

    I have no problem with Libby Anne, nor with Greta Christina who has a similar policy. So maybe Libby hadn’t thought it through very well, but she responded to criticism very well. The whole patronising “we know without question that it’s ever so important to be polite, so shut up you raucous smelly bunch of foul-mouthed peons” accommodationists and their supporters really get on my tits, though.

    And thanks to scootersthingy for illustrating so neatly how it is quite possible to be repulsively mean and nasty without using bad words, and also vice versa. Interesting that while it did use one naughty swear, that wasn’t actually the insulting part of its post.

  54. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Janine, you used to be interesting, what happened?

    Heh! And you used to be irrelevant. Some things never change.

  55. janine says

    Tell me scooter, what was so fucking interesting about your opening salvo. You came in acting like an ignorant troll demanding that people do work that you could easily do.

    Oh, yeah, I guess that is interesting.

    Meh.

  56. says

    Ironically I think Wicca is actually far less extricable from woo than Christianity.

    It so is. Christians, most of the time, can sort of get away with saying, “Oh, that’s a metaphor.” For example, regarding the communion/transubstantiation thing, many Protestants believe it’s just wine and a cracker, and the communion ritual is symbolic. But never, in all my years, have I ever heard a Wiccan claim the spell they just performed was symbolic or metaphorical.

    This is totally off-topic. Not meaning to derail. Please carry on.

  57. says

    Daniel Fincke #21:

    No, the “crime” was overestimating the importance of oneself and one’s own feelings over others’.

    Which is exactly what you do when you defend a “nice” commenting policy in the name of protecting the emotions of a certain group of people on one hand and then turn around and post this shit:

    For what? For saying that you and others should not have turned her expression of her desires for her blog to be the kind she wants into a whine that it was not the kind of blog you want?

    Oh please, I wasn’t taking any snipe at your emotional state. For someone who doesn’t want to have to be sensitive to anyone else’s emotions, you seem to want to make everything about your emotions. Get over yourself.

    This one really takes the cake — you wrongly deny that you were taking a snipe at Cipher’s emotional state in the first post despite how you characterized the reaction of that side as whining, and then follow that up by turning around and taking another snipe at Cipher’s emotional state. Classy, Daniel. Very classy.

    Look, you can’t make everything about you and your feelings and then when someone goes to the trouble of taking your emotional complaints seriously and teasing out distinctions for you that they are talking down to you like messy, emotional 5 year olds. You can’t have this both ways, Dr. ‘Tis. It’s becoming unbearably, er, childish.

    In light of the two comments above this one, this is pure projection.

    I am happy that it’s about feelings but then you can’t complain that I’m condescending or treating you like children because I address your emotions!

    I cannot speak to anything you have said on events outside of this thread, but this one is an outright lie, because it immediately follows a comment where you did exactly that. And then that brings us right back to the quote I’m responding to, which is your last.

    I hope your next is at the very least a retraction of and apology for comment #18.