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Old 12-10-2019, 11:14 PM
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What's with the flurry of bannings of late?


We've had some fairly high-profile posters - HurricaneDitka, Barack Obama, Budget Player Cadet, SamuelA - bite the dust of late. Are the mods just clamping down harder these days, or did these posters all hit their critical mass/banning-point at the same time?
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:18 PM
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The latter. They all had previous suspensions, and coincidentally all got the warnings that tipped them over the edge within the past couple of weeks.

[Or maybe we wanted them to be able to spend more time with their families (and we could spend more time with ours rather than issuing warnings) over the holiday season.]

Last edited by Colibri; 12-10-2019 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:23 PM
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WillFarnaby as well. That’s a good question. I think at least with a couple of these bannings bone set into motion before he quit. He admitted to a bias in that quit post but I’ve learned that even explicitly allowed behavior is warnable for no real reason at all so it’s damn near impossible to make a case for fairness or not of various mod actions. They are what they are.

The timing is interesting and all the stickies asking for feedback are interesting as well. I’m wondering if any boardwide changes are going to be announced.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:25 PM
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Yeah, it's just one of those things. They were all walking a fine line and disregarded it.

Best Practice? If a poster has a suspension on his or her record - or even two in a few cases - it's not a good idea to go forward business-as-usual. We've sent the most straightforward message we really can that what one is doing is unacceptable.

Some people will simply not get the message or are, for whatever reason, fundamentally unable to change.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:27 PM
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WillFarnaby as well. Thatís a good question. I think at least with a couple of these bannings bone set into motion before he quit.
I can honestly say that nothing Bone did was out of the ordinary. He had as much input into bans and sanctions while he was a mod as any of us do. That and no more. Any actions taken since his departure - and I wish him well - he had no input nor influence over in any way.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:32 PM
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Yeah, it's just one of those things. They were all walking a fine line and disregarded it.

Best Practice? If a poster has a suspension on his or her record - or even two in a few cases - it's not a good idea to go forward business-as-usual. We've sent the most straightforward message we really can that what one is doing is unacceptable.

Some people will simply not get the message or are, for whatever reason, fundamentally unable to change.
Itís strange though. If someone else were to post a Clinton or Buttigieg thread would they get warned for trolling? It seems sort of circular logic once you do get sanctioned for trolling that what you are posting may be trolling since you are a confirmed troll.

In the partisan forums, I donít see how itís easy to continue to participate once youíve been sanctioned. Thatís just my opinion/observation and why I feel that some of this was predestined merely from the way certain warnings were worded.
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:43 PM
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Itís strange though. If someone else were to post a Clinton or Buttigieg thread would they get warned for trolling? It seems sort of circular logic once you do get sanctioned for trolling that what you are posting may be trolling since you are a confirmed troll.

In the partisan forums, I donít see how itís easy to continue to participate once youíve been sanctioned. Thatís just my opinion/observation and why I feel that some of this was predestined merely from the way certain warnings were worded.
Iíd say that if you are warned for trolling and continue the behavior that led to the warning then yes, youíre probably going to be banned.

If you instead change your behavior then that probably wonít happen.

That just seems like common sense though.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:00 AM
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Iíd say that if you are warned for trolling and continue the behavior that led to the warning then yes, youíre probably going to be banned.

If you instead change your behavior then that probably wonít happen.

That just seems like common sense though.
I agree and that's why I mentioned the Hillary thread. If I or anyone else posted the same thread it probably wouldn't have warranted a note. But since it was HD and he's been warned before that's proof that the current behavior is in violation of that. That's why I said it reminded me of circular logic.

And yes I understand that patterns and history matter. Especially with actual rules violations. Believe me, I understand that the mods have a difficult and thankless job. I just think that applying those standards in the partisan forums is bound to inevitably trip folks up.

I'm specifically mentioning this in the context of the partisan forums because it is in those forums in particular that emotions run so high. We are currently in the most heated political climate I can remember and practically every political post or post that debates an ideological point of contention can be claimed by those in opposition to be a post specifically posted to incite anger.

I've posted less and less in the partisan forums. I haven't received a warning which has chilled me from doing so. The fact that others have received warnings for things that appear, at least superficially, very innocuous is chilling enough. The Pit has become the safe space lol!!!
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:50 AM
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Itís strange though. If someone else were to post a Clinton or Buttigieg thread would they get warned for trolling? It seems sort of circular logic once you do get sanctioned for trolling that what you are posting may be trolling since you are a confirmed troll.
Isn't that exactly what Barack Obama did? He never struck me as being partisan to one side or another, other than whatever would stir up the most shit.

And you can't seriously believe that Budget Player Cadet was targeted for being conservative, of all things?
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:52 AM
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I think it's akin to probation: If you're an ex-felon, you have restrictions on you that normal people don't.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:59 AM
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Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Seems fairly straightforward to me.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:07 AM
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Isn't that exactly what Barack Obama did? He never struck me as being partisan to one side or another, other than whatever would stir up the most shit.

And you can't seriously believe that Budget Player Cadet was targeted for being conservative, of all things?
No. I don't think he or Barack Obama were too conservative at all. I was mainly referring to Hurricane and Will.

It's just things that seemingly wouldn't be bothered with before are coming under a bit more scrutiny now. And the consequences are hitting those with more marks on their official records so to speak. It's like the mods are cleaning house. That said, with current requests for input on various forums and discussions such as the disputation thread if there has been a change in policy it would be useful for everyone to be clued into it instead of having to infer.

There's a 2020 election coming up. Stuff is bound to get interesting in Elections and GD at the very least.


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I think it's akin to probation: If you're an ex-felon, you have restrictions on you that normal people don't.
Lol. Good point.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:22 AM
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Kinda sad to see them get banned.

But I cant disagree with why.
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:04 AM
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On a related note, I am curious how a banned poster finds out they got banned. Do they just try to log in as usual and then find out "username and/or password does not work?"
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Old 12-11-2019, 02:14 AM
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Isn't that exactly what Barack Obama did? He never struck me as being partisan to one side or another, other than whatever would stir up the most shit.
That was not my impression at all. I felt the poster Barack Obama was pretty far to the left. (Which makes it amusing that he chose a relative moderate as his namesake.) He may have attacked people like Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton - but he was attacking them for being too conservative.
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:44 AM
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I've thought it pretty obvious for a while that certain high profile posters were being more closely highlighted and scrutinised, with the inevitable result always going to be a ban. After all, look hard enough for something and you are probably going to find it.

The problem of course isn't the mods acting on rules violations, it's that question of how those posters became high profile in the first place...
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:50 AM
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The problem of course isn't the mods acting on rules violations, it's that question of how those posters became high profile in the first place...
There's no "problem", all the posters in question had lists of warnings, and, I think in all cases, previous suspensions. Basically, they were all congenitally incapable of not being troublesome. I don't see how that's a "problem"
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:20 AM
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On a related note, I am curious how a banned poster finds out they got banned. Do they just try to log in as usual and then find out "username and/or password does not work?"
I've gotten a warning or two in my time here. The news comes in an e-mail to one's private e-mail address. I imagine getting bammed would be conveyed likewise?
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:30 AM
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I just think that applying those standards in the partisan forums is bound to inevitably trip folks up.
I think that's really confirmation bias showing itself, here.

The simple fact is that the vast VAST majority of posters never get a warning, even in Great Debates or Elections. Even of the posters who do get warnings it's limited to one or two incidents.

To get suspended or banned requires a repeated effort on the part of a poster to consistently break rules. One really needs to work at it to get to that point.

Even with that level of misbehavior, however, it can still be a chore to get sanctioned. To tear back a bit of the veil, here, if a mod issues a warning and realizes the warned poster has many warnings in a shortish amount of time he or she can then bring it to the mod loop. At that point there's a discussion that happens and one of us can move a vote about banning or suspending.

Even then it takes a majority of mods to enact such a sanction. And tradition says that if any one of us strongly objects it goes back to discussion instead of moving forward.
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Old 12-11-2019, 06:49 AM
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Yep.

I'm a pretty combative poster, I know this, I don't suffer fools or bigots gladly and I have major disagreements about some moderation choices that I'm very vocal about.

But I've racked up just 2 warnings and zero suspensions in 16 years here. And I somehow doubt it's because the mods all love me.

You really have to work at getting banned.

Last edited by MrDibble; 12-11-2019 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 12-11-2019, 07:23 AM
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In other words, bans (other than obvious cases like spammers, which aren't the topic here) are never unilateral. Even if it be the case that one particular mod is unfairly biased against one particular person for some reason, that still won't lead to that person being banned.
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:45 AM
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16 years here
Shit, it's actually 18 years. My account is old enough to drink!
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Old 12-11-2019, 08:54 AM
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Yep.

I'm a pretty combative poster, I know this, I don't suffer fools or bigots gladly and I have major disagreements about some moderation choices that I'm very vocal about.

But I've racked up just 2 warnings and zero suspensions in 16 years here. And I somehow doubt it's because the mods all love me.

You really have to work at getting banned.
This last sentence needs to be a sticky
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Old 12-11-2019, 09:44 AM
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This last sentence needs to be a sticky
Yep, I agree. I'm more or less in the same boat- been here a little bit longer I think, and I've got 3 warnings over that time- one of which was questionable at best (I quoted a rather un-PC line from "Idiocracy" as a joke, and got warned for it), one of which was totally warranted due to a personal insult from me, and the third was legitimate, but would have been better handled through a in-thread admonishment (it was a political jab about "coal rollers" in GQ).

And I've gotten into quite a few arguments over the years. You DO have to work at getting banned- it doesn't just happen apropos of nothing.
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:30 AM
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I can't be the only one who is expecting a new member named TropicalstormMcMahon, can I?
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Old 12-11-2019, 10:52 AM
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Well, my first reaction was "Whew, maybe now we can get back to actual discussions."

I think the last couple of bannings were long overdue. Posters whose opinions and outbursts didn't come from reasoned reflection, but their own emotional states.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:04 PM
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If someone else were to post a Clinton or Buttigieg thread would they get warned for trolling?
In this case, HurricaneDitka had previously posted a very similar thread about Clinton entering the 2020 race. He also added the comment that he "hadn't given up hope yet" that she would enter the race. Since he was obviously not a fan of Clinton he was evidently glad because she would lose. This kind of comment was clearly intended to needle Democrats rather than to initiate a serious discussion. It was quite obvious trolling. If someone had posted a similar thread but indicated a serious interest in discussing it they wouldn't have been warned for trolling.

Quote:
It seems sort of circular logic once you do get sanctioned for trolling that what you are posting may be trolling since you are a confirmed troll.
HurricaneDitka had never previously been warned for trolling. His warnings were for insults, being a jerk, and failure to follow a moderators instructions. But it's interesting that you assume that he was previously warned for trolling.

Last edited by Colibri; 12-11-2019 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:41 PM
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Its hard to see how mods could fail to ban Barack Obama after he posted this
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I didn't expect this, because you dislike the content of this thread you'll move it?

Okay ill repost it since you said that, we'll see if you move it again.
The first rule of survival on the Dope is if a mod slaps you down, stay down.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:55 PM
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Indeed. ‘Failure to follow a moderators instruction’ is an infraction we take seriously.

Best practice one disagrees is to send a PM or take it to ATMB. Nothing good comes from defiantly declaring that you plan to disregard guidance.
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:56 PM
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In this case, HurricaneDitka had previously posted a very similar thread about Clinton entering the 2020 race. He also added the comment that he "hadn't given up hope yet" that she would enter the race. Since he was obviously not a fan of Clinton he was evidently glad because she would lose. This kind of comment was clearly intended to needle Democrats rather than to initiate a serious discussion. It was quite obvious trolling.
Expressing the hope that the opposition party nominates a weak candidate is pretty common on this board (and IRL, to the point where it's commonly discussed as a factor in "open primaries"). I would bet there have been thousands of such posts on this MB, with zero moderator action.

The real story is that while the moderators don't get together and say "let's sanction this poster because he's unpopular", the unpopularity heavily influences what are very subjective interpretations of ambiguous rules (i.e. trolling, jerk).
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Old 12-11-2019, 12:57 PM
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Shit, it's actually 18 years. My account is old enough to drink!
Crap, mine is old enough to catalog aches and pains every morning while...

Dang, thatís just me, isnít it? It is.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:05 PM
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On a related note, I am curious how a banned poster finds out they got banned. Do they just try to log in as usual and then find out "username and/or password does not work?"
when you log in, you get a message saying you've been banned from the board and cannot view any of the forums.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:09 PM
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Expressing the hope that the opposition party nominates a weak candidate is pretty common on this board (and IRL, to the point where it's commonly discussed as a factor in "open primaries"). I would bet there have been thousands of such posts on this MB, with zero moderator action.
As I pointed out, there was essentially no content to the post (which was in Elections rather than IMHO or the Pit) except to needle Democrats.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:09 PM
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I can honestly say that nothing Bone did was out of the ordinary. He had as much input into bans and sanctions while he was a mod as any of us do. That and no more. Any actions taken since his departure - and I wish him well - he had no input nor influence over in any way.
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When Ed asked me to become a moderator, I was glad. I had hoped to help leave this community better than it was when I got here. I was the one pushing for some of the more detrimental forces to be removed, like Clothahump and Starving Artist. As is plain to see in warnings and moderator action, I am responsible for the departure of other negative forces like WillFarnaby, and have put even more on notice. I have argued against more severe action towards some of our more liberal members who got over exuberant in their transgressions.
This seems like there was a bit of bias. Maybe it is purely confirmation bias on my part. I have learned that even explicitly written words don't always mean what they obviously mean around here. It's Humpty Dumpty-esque at times.

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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
In this case, HurricaneDitka had previously posted a very similar thread about Clinton entering the 2020 race. He also added the comment that he "hadn't given up hope yet" that she would enter the race. Since he was obviously not a fan of Clinton he was evidently glad because she would lose. This kind of comment was clearly intended to needle Democrats rather than to initiate a serious discussion. It was quite obvious trolling. If someone had posted a similar thread but indicated a serious interest in discussing it they wouldn't have been warned for trolling.
There are quite a few posts where posters wish death or harm upon the president, his supporters, or conservatives/Republicans that escape notes much less warnings or more severe sanction. I have my doubts that such posts are intended to indicate a serious interest in discussing an issue and I have no doubt that they are intended to be inflammatory towards the minority of posters here who are right of center. Since there is no critical mass of vocal folks willing to complain and post spreadsheets of their financial value to the board I suppose it's not necessary to treat those posters equally. Plus, let's be honest, you don't want to ban 3/4th of your board.



Quote:
HurricaneDitka had never previously been warned for trolling. His warnings were for insults, being a jerk, and failure to follow a moderators instructions. But it's interesting that you assume that he was previously warned for trolling.
Why is it interesting? People make mistakes all the time.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:19 PM
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As I pointed out, there was essentially no content to the post (which was in Elections rather than IMHO or the Pit) except to needle Democrats.
I don't see where you pointed that out, but regardless, it's not correct. The content of the post was to open speculation as to whether or not Clinton would enter the race, based on both her strong standing in the polls (which would encourage her) and her refusal to rule out doing so.

This is completely par for the course in Elections.
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Why is it interesting? People make mistakes all the time.
I believe he was suggesting that you personally saw HD's activities as trolling, which would cause you to make that particular mistake.

Although one other thing which might cause that same mistake was the thousands of posts from other posters calling HD a troll and demanding that he be banned on that basis.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:26 PM
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The content of the post was to open speculation as to whether or not Clinton would enter the race, based on both her strong standing in the polls (which would encourage her) and her refusal to rule out doing so.
Except she already had, back in March, and the filing deadline had already passed in nine states. None of which had been acknowledged.

Last edited by Skywatcher; 12-11-2019 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:35 PM
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I don't see where you pointed that out, but regardless, it's not correct. The content of the post was to open speculation as to whether or not Clinton would enter the race, based on both her strong standing in the polls (which would encourage her) and her refusal to rule out doing so.
Sorry, HurricaneDitka made no attempt to open a real discussion:

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Except she already had, back in March, and the filing deadline had already passed in nine states. None of which had been acknowledged.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:40 PM
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I don't see where you pointed that out, but regardless, it's not correct. The content of the post was to open speculation as to whether or not Clinton would enter the race, based on both her strong standing in the polls (which would encourage her) and her refusal to rule out doing so.

This is completely par for the course in Elections.I believe he was suggesting that you personally saw HD's activities as trolling, which would cause you to make that particular mistake.

Although one other thing which might cause that same mistake was the thousands of posts from other posters calling HD a troll and demanding that he be banned on that basis.
I didn't see them as trolling. I don't think posting in elections or GD something that makes those holding the adversarial point of view upset is problematic. That just happens to be the natural result of a forum where debate on partisan issues takes place between emotional people. It can't be avoided.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:43 PM
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Sorry, HurricaneDitka made no attempt to open a real discussion:
Not to mention this (bolding mine): "It's not just the writer that's stoking the sad delusions of a washed-up politician. The Harris Poll decided to include her in their poll."

Obviously arguing in bad faith.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:45 PM
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Except she already had, back in March, and the filing deadline had already passed in nine states. None of which had been acknowledged.
It's not uncommon for politicians to rule out running for things and then change when they see an opportunity or whatever. (Kristin Gillibrand declared her candidacy a mere few months after a campaign promise to not run.) Subsequent to March, HRC said she can't rule it out, and noted that many many people were pressuring her to run. And Mike Bloomberg just jumped in last week or so.

That said, you're entitled to make these arguments, and you properly made them in HD's thread. But believing that your arguments are not conclusive doesn't imply that HD was trolling.

FWIW, the likelihood that HRC will run is currently trading for 19 cents on PredictIt. If you really think that the likelihood is virtually zero, you can make some easy money buying the opposite side of that trade.

But based on that price, and based on ongoing discussion in the mainstream media of that possibility (e.g. articles like this one), or polls by Harris - as HD noted in that thread - the world at large takes the possibility seriously. The fact that this is considered "no content" trolling on this MB when posted by HD is very telling.
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Not to mention this (bolding mine): "It's not just the writer that's stoking the sad delusions of a washed-up politician. The Harris Poll decided to include her in their poll."

Obviously arguing in bad faith.
It's not clear to me whether the "sad delusions ..." line was HD's belief or what he presumed you were arguing. But either way, I don't see why this would be arguing in bad faith. Perhaps you can clarify.

Last edited by Fotheringay-Phipps; 12-11-2019 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:47 PM
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Every time a conservative is banned, no matter how long they've been a member of the board, the narrative trotted out in ATMB is "See? This proves that the moderation is biased against conservatives!" whereas when a liberal is banned, no matter how long they've been a member of the board, it's "See? Look how long liberals can get away with stuff before they get banned!".

Confirmation bias is a harsh mistress.
  #42  
Old 12-11-2019, 01:48 PM
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Well, my first reaction was "Whew, maybe now we can get back to actual discussions."

I think the last couple of bannings were long overdue. Posters whose opinions and outbursts didn't come from reasoned reflection, but their own emotional states.
Definitely this. "Posters whose opinions and outbursts didn't come from reasoned reflection, but their own emotional states," AND whose only purpose is to bait people into getting on the Hamster Wheel of Infinitude with them.

One of the things that makes this board a great place to hang out is the rigorous moderation. I've been on boards (and I know some of you have, too) that are out of control. There either aren't guidelines or people don't follow what guidelines there are, and there's no one to enforce them.
  #43  
Old 12-11-2019, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Fotheringay-Phipps View Post
I don't see why this would be arguing in bad faith. Perhaps you can clarify.
The notion that she's washed up coupled with the fact that all presidential hopefuls are running out of time to file are incompatible with sincerely holding out hope that she'll be the party's nominee next year.
  #44  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:00 PM
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I don't understand what you're saying. But not a big deal, in any event.
  #45  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gyrate View Post
Every time a conservative is banned, no matter how long they've been a member of the board, the narrative trotted out in ATMB is "See? This proves that the moderation is biased against conservatives!" whereas when a liberal is banned, no matter how long they've been a member of the board, it's "See? Look how long liberals can get away with stuff before they get banned!".

Confirmation bias is a harsh mistress.
When you have a former mod stating basically that is it really confirmation bias?
  #46  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:07 PM
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When you have a former mod stating basically that is it really confirmation bias?
I'm assuming this is a reference to Bone. Go on then - show me the relevant quote. Is it this one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone
Most conservative voices on the Dope are gone. There are a few voices left who I think always present strong arguments, but their voices are few and far between. Whatís left are many of the dregs, and it brings down the quality of discourse. Nearly any prolific conservative poster has a running pit thread. Every comment is interpreted in the most negative way possible, and after a while it gets pretty tedious. Granted, much of what is said is well deserved. But some of it isnít. But rather than quality argument, intelligent voices gets drowned out by low quality bickering.
  #47  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:34 PM
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What I quoted in post 34. The thread is only one page long.
  #48  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:42 PM
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You mean where Bone regarded them as negative and detrimental forces, the dregs who bring down the quality of discourse?

And you miss them, because why? They agree with you politically?
  #49  
Old 12-11-2019, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by octopus View Post
What I quoted in post 34. The thread is only one page long.
From that thread, this is what Bone said:

Quote:
I have argued against more severe action towards some of our more liberal members who got over exuberant in their transgressions.
The politics, real or perceived, of the posters shouldn't factor in to moderation decisions, IMHO.
  #50  
Old 12-11-2019, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Chisquirrel View Post
You mean where Bone regarded them as negative and detrimental forces, the dregs who bring down the quality of discourse?

And you miss them, because why? They agree with you politically?
When stuff is written explicitly and not read or is read and the exact opposite meaning is reached Iím not sure what to say.
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