A question for David B, Gaudere, and MEBuckner

Why do you enforce different rules for different posters in Great Debates? On the one hand, posters to GD are (justifiably) admonished if they vilify another poster, and usually warned if they use profanity gratuitously. On the other hand, Collounsbury’s profanity-laced, ad hominem style continues to be tolerated.

A quick search of GD shows that Collounsbury has been the only person to use “fuck” in 36 GD threads over the last year. Although it is impossible to do a search looking for personal attacks, as recently as today Collounsbury made comments about and/or directed to other posters such as “his usual drooling idiocy”, “(I) discount your capacity for rational analysis on this point”, and "his normal levels of idiocy ".

Nothwithstanding his condescending attitude, invariably profanity-laced posts, and liberal use of ad hominem attacks, Collounsbury often does have something intelligent to say. Still, why do you allow him, and only him, to flout the rules and be such a jerk*?

[sub][sup]*“We have one basic rule: Don’t be a jerk.”[/sup][/sub]

Gratuitous profanity has to be pretty damn gratuitious before we say anything. I don’t much care if you say “fuck” as long as you’re not saying stuff like “X group licks the crusty smegma from dead cows and then strokes themselves to gooey climax”. Coll’s profanity is not anything I would consider unacceptable. As for his irascibility, we have warned him and warned him again, discussed it with him privately and among all the mods. At this point we do not consider his behavior to merit a banning. He steps reeeallly close to the lines but rarely crosses over. Should this change he will be banned.

As for his latest comment, that was just three hours ago. Sorry, the Mod-sign must’ve has a short circuit or MEBuck, David and I would have seen it, slid down the Mod-pole, hopped in the Mod-car, and driven out of the Mod-cave to fight for Truth, Justice, and No Pissy Remarks in Great Debates.

Ah, the SDMB’s own version of the Mod squad:D

Damnit! I just thought of that joke earlier today and you beat me to it. Bastard. :wink:

With Collounsbury lurking around, it’s difficult to have a civil discussion about race, the middle-east, etc.

Again and again, he insults his opponents in the Great Debates forum. Once in a while, he gets warned, but before long he’s back to his old tricks.

I would be interested to know how many times Collounsbury has been warned, counseled, admonished, or advised by moderators. I bet it’s happened at least 10 times (just guessing).

It just doesn’t seem right that he can accumulate as many points on his license as he wants.

(FWIW I have been the victim of Collounsbury’s insults, invective, and generally mean-spirited conduct on more than one occasion.)

Who hasn’t?

I call your bullshit on his being the ‘only’ one with such a count being a verified fact. I have personally used the profanity in question (with various suffixes and conjugations) in 18 GD threads. Maybe Col holds some record with 36, what do I know and what do I fucking care. You already have a mod’s opinion on it and I will add that I personally would damned well be pretty fucking annoyed if my language was curtailed to the point where I couldn’t write the way I speak. Look for content and leave the format and style some freedom for fuck’s sake!

On that note I shan’t get in between as pertains the rest of the OP regarding personal verbal attacks in GD on other posters. I’ll leave that up to you and the mod squad.


My point Sparc was that there were 36 GD threads where only Collounsbury used “fuck”.

And, Gaudere, thank you for your reply.

I would guess that Collounsbury has forgotten more about the Middle East than 70% of the teeming millions will ever know.

He seems to misbehave at times but I find his contributions to be informative, and credible;… with a dash of sarcasm.

That is an understatement on all counts.:smiley:

Is Collounsbury the “Bob Knight” of Great Debates?


I call your bullshit again. I just did the search. I participated in some of those threads and used fuck as well. How did you search and exclude all other users? Or did you read all 36 threads? Funny how my figure matches your figure, and still others cussed in the same threads.

Further if you search on “fuck*” so that all conjugated and suffixed version of the word are included he used it in 60 threads. In the same period that I used it in 18 threads (well 19 by a current count) the time since I registered, he used it in 31 threads.

Once again though; who fucking cares?


There is an Ignore feature on the SDMB. It magically removes hateful self-righteous enormous assholes who wouldn’t dare act IRL like they do online.

For what it’s worth, I care. I find Collounsbury’s incessant use of profanity to be offensive.

Here are some selections from ONE POST of his:

And note that he addresses me as “argument-clinic boy.”

Anyway, I don’t see how anyone can seriously deny that Collounsbury posts in abusive, ad hominem, mean-spirited manner to a much greater extent than any other poster here.

I’m sure that’ll fix the problem :rolleyes:

And by the way, Collounsbury was doing more than calling a POINT “drooling idiocy.”

Here’s what he said:

This is as much an attack on December as it is on the point he was making.

When I search GD for specific user = Collounsbury AND search team = “fuck”, I get 36 hits (threads) in the last year. Searching within those threads for “fuck” with the browser search function shows the term only appearing in Collounsbury’s posts.

That still doesn’t explain why any particular poster should enjoy Special Flaming Privileges.

Well, we don’t know what criteria the Staff use exactly for deciding what the “line” is, and if someone is over it.

And even if someone is over it, whether or not to take any action.

The Staff must make judgement calls all the time. In fact, subcounsciously, every single post which is read is subject to the judgement call of “Is this post good? Is it in the right place? Does it break the Rules? Does it not only break, but take a steaming dump on the Rules? What was this person thinking - they’re normally a good person…” etc.

I will say I’ve complained about many people to the SDMB Staff, via e-mail, and every single complaint was treated seriously and with great intelligence - and even if no action was taken, I felt like they at least listened to me, evaluated the situation, and came to a well-reasoned and balanced decision in the end.

I have occasional times where I read a post on my Board and say “What the holy…fuck…Jesus, why did they…oh, son of a…!” Now being the owner, I can ban anyone without asking anyone else’s advice, but rather what I do instead is ask for input from the other Admins and the Moderators, to see if I am just over-reacting. And in fact, in a couple of times lately, I have been over-ruled and let things stay.

Because a lot of the time, people see things very differently.

Everyone has different ideas about running a Forum, or a Board. But another thing to consider is that the reason that some decisions may appear inconsistent, irrational, or random is also often because there is a serious backstory, being handled via e-mail, which the Staff is not free to discuss. This happens all the time, and in fact I’ve had to deal with three such things this weekend. To the Members who don’t know what is going on, things may look inconsistent or questionable, and this is understandable.


I quite enjoy the use of the word fuck, particularly by a poster who is so fucking well informed, such as Collounsbury.

Agreed, istara.

Yes, Collounsbury is an asshole.
Yes, he can be abusive.
Yes, he needs to tone it down or he will get banned one of these days.

But when he does get banned (and I think he probably will) the Board will lose one of its top 5 most informative posters. Someone who I learn something from in practically every one of his posts. One of the few posters who has a firm and pretty unbiased view of what is going on in the Middle East. And that will be a terrible shame to lose that.

But I wonder if he realizes how many people he repulses with his attitude. (Actually, come to think of it, I have no idea how many if any he does. I can only speak for myself) I treat his posts as white noise to be skipped over. I don’t care how much information he allegedly has (which is, from what I remember quite a bit) it’s the fact that he’s needlessly hostile and reading his posts are like wallowing in a sewer.

I don’t give a damn how much info he has or doesn’t if he’s incapable of civil communication.

Hah: Imagine if you combined Collunsbury’s actual knowlege with December’s unflagging politeness.

(Ugh…or consider the converse! :eek: )


Knowledge is no excuse for rudeness. I have also noted Collunsbury’s flagrant breaking of the “Don’t Be A Jerk” rule, and I hope he takes the hint one of these days. A polite Collunsbury would be a great asset to the board, let’s hope we see one someday.

BTW, it’s not the profanity that makes him a jerk IMO, it’s his general rudeness.