appropriate moderating in GD?

In the ill-starred Penile Lengthening Column, things have gotten a little heated. Jack-o is a tool, pure and simple, and has been extremely insulting as well as seeming to have no critical thinking skills whatsoever. But for the most part, he has not been using direct insults or name-calling, preferring a more oblique approach to his offensiveness.

When Arnold tossed the thread to GD, David fielded it with this comment:

After astraeus got fed up with Jack, he called him an asshole. Gaudere put on her Moderator hat and said:

Satan dropped a very apt personal insult, which slipped past the radar for a time. (And if I pissed you off with my comment, Satan, please let me know.)

By page 4, there had been at least one BBQ Pit thread devoted to this choad, fairly well publicized.

Cack in the GD thread, Kelly said:

To which David (with Mod hat on), replied:

Jodi, completely frustrated with the idiot, called him one. Specifically, she said something along the lines of “You are stupid.”

Gaudere then deleted the insult (and has since deleted the previous ones by Satan and a couple others), saying:

Jodi and Satan feel this was an inappropriate example of “micro-moderating,” and unfair to boot. As Satan put it:

Pitizens, what say you? Were David’s and Gaudere’s edits out of line?


It’s one thing to put a troll in his place. It’s another thing to violate board integrity in order to do it. Whether or not Mr. Penis Expert is acting like an asshole, it’s a better idea to not let him get off by seeing the results of his bullshit litter GD.

That being said, I don’t blame anyone for getting mad at him. The only reason I hadn’t joined in on that thread several pages ago is because I knew I’d end up flaming his ass, which would be undesirable anywhere except in the Pit. I know that Satan is well aware of the rules, so the fact that he pushed the limits like he did simply shows how much of an asshole JDT is.

So I don’t think David and Gaudere’s work is so much micro-moderation as it’s trying to stem further insults. The way that thread is going, things are likely to degenerate even more, and I can’t blame them for wanting to keep that from happening. Personally, I think the thread should’ve been closed a while back, and the fact that it’s still open (or has been opened for so long if it’s closed at the time of this writing) is testament to their patience and relative leniency.

I have to say it confuses me a little. JackAss said “You’re behaving as though you are a man-hater” to KellyM. Isn’t that a personal insult? Certainly no worse than calling JDT stupid. Or maybe calling him stupid is not ok according to GD guidelines, but saying “You’re behaving as if you’re a small dicked idiot” is? :wink:

All I know is that the thread amuses me no end.

Here’s the thing: I wasn’t mad at him; I’m NOT mad at him. I’m also not mad at Gaudere, who obviously has to moderate as she sees fit.

I just fail to see the rationale behind allowing comments to stand that are arguably deeply insulting (such as that someone must have “something wrong” with his penis; that someone else did not go through a painful episode they claimed to; that people disagreeing with the poster are “in denial” or “part of a coverup”), while assiduously deleting comments that are only superficially insulting at best (like “not only are you apparently stupid, you are offensively so,” which is what I said). It seems like the exhaltation of form over substance to me. And I think it’s a rationale that lends itself to judgments like this:

“Rape victims often over-state their injuries or the trauma they suffer, which is what I think you are doing.” Translation: you’re lying. This is okay.

“You’re a big doody-head.” This is a direct insult, and therefore is not okay. I leave it to you to decide which is more insulting.

My understanding is that the Pit is for flame wars and disagreements that have gotten entirely out of hand. Considering the mildness of the insult, the fact that the OP presumably did not complain about it, the fact that the parties were not even given a chance to work it out themselves (meaning, if he’d called me on it, I would have either defended or retracted my comment, and then we could have marched off to the Pit if necessary), I found Gaudere’s editing to be premature, unnecessary, and overzealous. I think having the power to edit other people’s thoughts and statements is a pretty big deal, and I guess on occasion I’d like to see it wielded with a little more restraint. Even though we have no specific right to free speech in this forum, the failure to exercise that restraint does occasionally smack unpleasantly of censorship (which, of course, is precisely what it is).

As I said, I respect Gaudere’s right to edit whatever posts she deems fit – including mine – but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with her. In this case, I don’t. I would also like to point out that I did not choose to bring this subject back up here in the Pit, and I am not trying to attack Gaudere here, but merely to explain more fully why I objected.


I don’t see doubting someone as a direct insult no matter how ill-advised. The rape was mentioned in the thread, which as I see it makes it fair game. While sensitivity is a virtue, it’s not required.

If she didn’t want her rape discussed and possibly doubted she shouldn’t have posted it.

A direct personal insult though is another thing.

I actually think DavidB and Gaudere showed more restraint than they needed to.

They would have been entirely justified in deleting entire posts that contained insults without warning and notification. I’m not convinced that they shouldn’t do this.

Insults add nothing, and actually hurt a serious debate.

Move the thread to The Pit. There is a precedence of threads starting off in GD and being moved to The Pit when things got to heated. Fuck, it happened with that dimwit Rook and his homophobia just last week!! That was a Great Debate moved when the trollishness of the OP made it so The Pit was the ONLY place it belonged. Has this thread not reached similar depths?

I must admit that I knew the rules and I knew I was breaking them, but I did so thinking, “Well, this thread is headed towards The Pit.”

What I don’t understand is why the Moderators there simply don’t just move the thread to The Pit?

The will of the people have spoken, and them keeping it there and having some dick-cheese like Jackoff insult people without using the word “felch” and get away with it under the guise of intellectual trolling while the frustrated but well-intentioned debators (of which I include myself) get frustrated and then called out for acting upon these frustrations seems like banging your head against the wall.

Yer pal,

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I would suggest that an assertion of the first type is allowable because rational people might well have to use that same debating technique in a legitimate debate. Example: “I believe that, as a Holy Roller, your perceptions of that religious miracle you witnessed are suspect by virtue of the fact that you were in the highly emotional setting of a church ritual. An impartial observer probably would have perceived the situation quite differently." (Translation: you’re lying.)

On the other hand, “You’re a big doodyhead” just isn’t a proper debating technique in any debate setting.


I am. I am entirely convinced that they should not delete posts without warning or notification. And fortunately, they don’t.

Well, in that case, move the thread, as Satan said. I certainly would prefer having the discussion moved to a forum that the mods deem more appropriate to having my posts edited to preserve some higher tone. Especially in a thread such as the one in question, where there wasn’t much “higher tone” to preserve in any event.

Again, to me it boils down to drawing distinctions between “you’re an idiot,” “you’re being an idiot,” and “you’re posting idiocy.” Those strike me as pretty fine distinctions. If the tone gets too hot, move the discussion. Wading in to edit the posts of others should be a last resort, not a first one. IMO.

porcupine said:

No. “Man-hater” is not considered an “insult” any more than, say, “Republican” is. “Stupid,” on the other hand, is an insult, pure and simple.

Scylla said:

Ooooh. Evidence for mind-reading. I just posted a message noting that this is what I will be doing from now on in that thread.

Satan said:

Can you please say “move it to the Pit” a few more times? I don’t think we got your point.

The fact of the matter is that there already is a thread on the topic in the Pit. If you wanted to insult him, you should have used that thread. Admitting that you knew you were breaking the rules when you did it does not exactly endear you to the moderators or administrators of this board, and I know I, for one, will keep it in mind in the future should I see rule violations from you.

You are not the moderator here. It is not up to you when or if a thread should be moved. If we move it to the Pit, then you can feel free to insult away. But until that point, you are expected to abide by the rules of the forum the thread is residing in.

(Just my own two cents: I’ve never so much as posted in GD.)

I think Gaudere and the other moderators have it right (see the moderator post in the GD thread of 10/30 at 04:01). JDT has a right to debate his case in the appropriate forum without getting flamed or dragged into the Pit just because his arguments are particularly inane. Fair’s fair. As Gaudere pointed out, other posters argue equally silly propositions elsewhere on the board without getting dragged into the pit. If JDT can maintain the facade of a scholarly debate, then he’s meeting all the same requirements as other serious posters.

The integrity of the SDMB isn’t violated by ignorant people posting ignorant opinions. After all, the purpose of all this is supposed to be about flushing out and confronting ignorance. However, the integrity of the SDMB is violated if the moderator’s can’t enforce the rules of the forum.

I was on another message board where the rules were uniform across the board: Argue anything you want, but never insult. You couldn’t even use the word “ignorant.” Any post with an insult was simply deleted outright. It made for a weird environment. Any jackass could post any preposterous, distorted, bigoted point of view ad nauseum so long as he didn’t insult, and the posts of his opponents were consistently deleted for inevitable insults and expressions of disgust. Nonetheless, Gaudere has a good point when she[?] says “I generally expect that GDers can thoroughly destroy the arguments of someone who can’t back up their statements without posting personal insults.” That’s how we did it on the other board. Debate the other person head on: Pull out some scientific factoids that refute some of JDT’s “facts,” and repeatedly insist that JDT address them. Or ignore the fellow outright.

I thought of posting to that thread and having some fun. I was going to agree with the fellow. Something to the effect:

“Yes, I too have heard that people with circumcisions have shorter attention spans and poorer memories. And they have higher rates of tuberculosis, piles, and scoliosis.

“In addition, native tribespeople have been known to stretch their foreskin as a survival technique. In the field, certain aboriginal tribes have the ability to pull their foreskins over their entire bodies to camouflage themselves from the enemy. And the great Native American chief Geronimo was said to have parachuted to safety off a cliff on one occasion using his foreskin.”

I don’t know if this kind of silly sarcasm is allowed in GD, but it can be quite effective as a debating tool. Make inane assertions of your own and defend them just as vehemently as JDT defends his.

In other words, lighten up a little bit. The guy’s a crackpot. Have some fun with him. Or ignore him if he troubles you so much.


Can you move it to The Pit? Or better yet, can you explain how this thread is any different than the one I mentioned started by Rook, please, and why that thread went to The Pit and this one is not? You didn’t answer thatone, but of course I only mentioned it once.


Ban me, Dave. I mean, you can count the number of “violations” I have had in 5,000+ posts on one hand.

I was warned once over this same offense in that thread - I don’t need to be warned twice about the same offence. Unless you want me to copy it and say, “Can you please warn me a few more times over the same incident? I don’t think I got your point,” there is no need to bring it up again.


Thanks for clearing that up.


Bullshit. It is for me to say anything I fucking want. I said it in this thread. I’ll say it yet again: Thet thread should be moved to The Pit given what happened with the “Gay Gene” thread.

Of course, me saying it doesn’t mean I can DO anything about it. But I can’t say it? I believe I just did.

Yer pal,

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No, IMO they were proper and not out of line.

Hey, you asked!

Yes, you can say it all you want. It will all be just more mental masturbation on your part, but, hey, have at it.

This whole thing is about a guy who thinks an extra 1/4 inch of wideness makes the difference between Don Juan and a castrati. That this difference is a big deal to him pretty clearly indicates that he doesn’t have a lot to work with down there in the first place.

Smart people here are losing their reason over this guy. He ain’t worth it.

I think you hit the nail on the head, Scylla. As has already been noted by (I believe) both Gaudere and I, if you can’t debate somebody like this without resorting to insults, it says more about you than it does about him.

(I’m speaking in the generic “you” here, not you personally, Scylla.)

Huh? Five people had posted at that point. And they were hardly all in agreement. So let’s not get all populist just yet.

There is also the issue of having debates in the Pit. I personally dislike having great debates in the Pit. Why? Because then you wind up having a thread mixing intelligent arguments with cheap insults. Invariably people still want to debate the topic at hand, but now you have cheap insults flying at the same time. This is hardly the best way to fight ignorance.

In my opinion, both debate and insults have their place, they just don’t belong together in the same thread.
As many people have pointed out, Jacko is the subject of a Pit thread. In fact if the Penile lengthening thread is moved to the Pit, I’d probably close it. I mean we already have a thread dedicated to ranting about JDT, why have another one open?

If you’d like to debate with him, do it in GD. If you want to attack him, do it in the Pit.

Sure there’s the issue of Rook’s thread, but again we don’t do everything assuming we are setting a universal standard. Maybe my memory is going, but having a great debate get so ugly it has to be moved to the Pit doesn’t happen terribly often. So you’ll pardon us if we mods are still trying to determine what the best thing to do is, seeing as how we are human beings and all.

Again, I personally am open to discussion of the best thing to do when a GD thread gets ugly, so please keep posting your opinions. But contrary to what you may think we don’t base board policy solely on what a single poster interprets to be “the will of the people”.

Y’know, I do not want to make this tempest in a teapot any bigger than it already is, but I frankly do not see the logic here. I’m not arguing, mind you; just pointing out that the line being drawn at this point is so fine that I for one just don’t see it.

No, the thread in the Pit was NOT on the same topic. It was a thread started simply to gratuitously insult the OP. That was never my intent (too easy). There has to be some middle ground between, “Excuse me, my good man, but I do believe the rhetoric you’re spouting is redolent of the same aroma and value as dog poo” and “fuck you for a goat-felching fuck-face!” The excessive moderating, however, indicates there isn’t.

But like I said, moderate how you want. I never asked that the matter be put to a public vote; I’m fully aware of the value of that exercise. But I’ll be damned if I’ll pretend I agree with what I see as over-zealous moderating when in fact I do not. Nor will I allow my objection to one moderating decision be construed as attacking the moderators in general or as devaluing the job the do; it is neither.

Alphagene said:

Precisely. In fact, we do our best to make sure debates don’t get that out of control – which is what we’ve been trying to do with the one in question. Unfortunately, a few people took it on themselves to decide that they could break the rules and try to get the thread moved to the Pit. Now at least one of them can’t stop whining about not getting his way.

Satan said:

A quote from some guy you know well:

“Profanity is the last refuge of a beaten person.” – Satan, April 13, 2000