ad hominem posting

This isn’t a rules violation, far as I can tell, in itself but maybe it should be. Poster A posts on a subject and Poster B busts in to say in effect, “I don’t like you from something else you posted a year and a half ago, so I’m going to give you grief here and now” and proceeds to do so.

Here for example Argent Towers, who I don’t know from Adam, gets his chestnuts roasted for an over-the-top series of posts he made a year or so ago—I see this sort of thing all the time, sometimes far more lengthily than in that thread, and it’s really tedious and lazy. If you have nothing to say that’s on-topic, then shut up. And wait for the poster you dislike to say something stupid IN THAT THREAD, and then attack him for that. But bringing up a poster’s ancient history is a hijack and an ad hominem attack that is typically condoned (if not encouraged) as excellent posting practice.

This is just to say, I’m pretty sick of it. I suppose an extreme example would be DtC, who can hardly breathe around here without having his posting history turned into the subject of most threads he participates in, especially if he gets remotely argumentative as is his wont. The ad hominem responses to such posts reek of frustration on the part of those whom **DtC **has gotten the better of in some previous threads. Some free advice: if someone typically frustrates you in argument, don’t argue with him. But if you must, argue on topic.

I understand perfectly, btw, that I’ve risked my own reputation as a good citizen around here, first by defending **Badchad **several years ago, and increasingly (as a direct result of the biased Modding I saw during the whole Badchad/Liberal/Polycarp thing) I’m one of the more outspoken critics of the Moderation around here (among those who are still posting here, that is), and I totally accept that. Some people don’t appreciate my posts or my confrontational style, or my manners, or me—that’s cool. But IMO it diminishes YOU to dredge up shit that’s unrelated to the current topic with me or ANYONE you dislike to divert a thread into an ad hominem attack (not that I haven’t done that myself from time to time). When I see it, I often think (and sometimes post) “How about taking this to the Pit and allowing the thread to resume?” and I wonder why people with the power to enforce such a suggestion (the mods) don’t do that more routinely and more reflexively themselves.

Yep, it’s like every other instance of threadshitting. It does nothing but derail the discussion and annoy people who think they’re going to read a thread about subject X and get either a cat fight or a frothing-mouthed debate about some offhand statement made by one of the participants. When it happens I tend to leave the thread and not go back to it.

I don’t think it should be a warnable offense (unless of course it violates the death threats/ forbidden language/ personal insults rules) but it would carry a lot more weight if a mod popped in to say “take it to the pit” or “argue about this somewhere else” than when a regular poster says it.

I’m not generally a fan of making up new rules all willy-nilly, but this one should be considered.

It would help put some of the old fights behind us (or in the Pit, at least) and keep threads more on-topic. I think this would make the place more inviting for newcomers as well, who don’t know or really care about old, long-running feuds.

My proposed rule-of-thumb: Is the post entirely (or mostly) bringing up old stuff instead of addressing the topic as framed in the OP and subsequent posts in the thread?

The more I think about it, the more I like this.

Agreed. Bringing up something from someone’s posting past that’s not related to the topic, kills a good discussion.

I don’t think that it is that black and white. Previous posts can go to credibility. Previous patterns can go to identifying whether or not the poster is trolling, shitting, etc.

I don’t understand why there needs to be a rule. If someone is disrupting a thread by bringing up stuff that’s old and unrelated, just report it to a mod and let them handle it on a case by case basis.

Not sure it does. My point is that I think Mods tend to adopt a “Oh, fight it out among yourselves” attitude. They’re certainly not all over everyone who threadshits a DtC post.

I agree with part of your post. Credibility, prior inconsistent statements etc., are certainly relevant. Trolling and TS’ing sends a good thread sideways and should be edited out ASAP, not discussed. I know, more work for the mods…but heck, they get large coffee cups for their efforts don’t they?

And I’m specifically NOT saying “Don’t point it out.” I AM saying “Take it to the Pit.”

We don’t necessarily see it.

As Lord Ashtar suggests, report the post so someone will take a look at it. There are existing rules, like “Don’t be a jerk,” that cover this.

Hey, if prr wants to get Modded every time he drops into a thread to make nasty comments about me because he has a hissy fit over something he pretty well created in his own imagination, then maybe we ought to listen to him.


I actually find it useful when I have forgotten that a certain user is perhaps less than sane and someone reminds me before I start responding to new craziness.

I think the current strategy of, ‘if it gets out of hand, report it,’ is just fine.