It’s not trolling; but if the reason it’s getting people riled up is that it can reasonably be seen as an attack on other posters because of their nature, it’s something.
And if the reason it’s getting people riled up is that the poster’s presenting in a civil manner and presumably in good faith, but then ignoring and/or being unreasonably dismissive of counterarguments and cites in order to keep presenting the same thing repeatedly, sometimes in different threads and over a period of time: that’s also something. I’m not saying that people have to change their minds; but just going on as if none of the discussion ever happened gets frustrating to those who put time and energy into it.
And that I think is actually an argument for keeping the pit; where it’s possible to discuss the problems with such things, which don’t fit neatly into either trolling or generic being-a-jerk, but are problems nonetheless.
Thanks for doing this. I’m guessing different people have drawn different conclusions from this, but here are my thoughts:
The Trolls R Us thread has successfully identified some trolls. 23/39 banned suggests that the mods agreed that these 23 people were rule-breakers in some way (whether trolling or having broken other board rules). What this does not demonstrate is whether these people would have been banned anyway in the absence of that thread - I don’t know if this can be proved unless a mod states that they would not have banned someone unless they were pitted. Nevertheless, I’d say one benefit of the Pit is that it probably accelerates the identification of trolls.
You say that for the 16/39 people who were not banned, “the pitting was warranted”. I’m not quite sure what you mean by that - when I look at the list of names that you listed, I don’t consider any of them trolls, and given that the mods haven’t banned them it seems like that agree. So I agree with @filmore that a lot of people use troll to mean “someone who I strongly disagree with or dislike”. If a pitting is warranted because you don’t like what someone posted - yes, obviously every pitting is justified, by that metric.
The kicker seems pretty key, to me. There is clearly no rehabilitative effect to being pitted, if as you say it is mostly repeat offenders. I know @BigT said that one benefit of the Pit is that people can use “real talk” to hash out their differences and come to a better shared understanding. That seems to happen on rare occasions, but most of the time it’s just a place for people to complain about other posters without having to hold back.
So to me, there seems to be some minor benefit of identifying trolls faster, and a major negative of making everyone angrier. From what I’ve seen, studies show that ranting/venting make people angrier in the long run, not less angry (1,2, I’m sure there are many more), so I don’t buy that having a place to vent somehow makes people more civil in the other forums. I think being able to express anger at other posters freely reinforces that anger, not reduces it, which I think leads to higher hostility and an overall more negative tone for the board. Do most pro-Pit people feel like the board is better when people hate other posters a lot, instead of hating each other a little bit?
I like this idea. Then we can see if the rest of the board really suffers if the Pit is restricted, like many here are suggesting would happen.
Totally agree. I absolutely think that if people are being offensive, they should be called out on it. Why that requires people to be called mentally disabled, a troll or a hateful racist fucktard is beyond me though. The piling on in that thread just seems totally disproportionate to the perceived offenses by the posters in question, in my opinion. I would like to hear from some of the posters in that thread (eg. @Left_Hand_of_Dorkness and @Babale) what, exactly, you see is the positive result from such pit threads? Is it solely about catharsis? Do you get some entertainment value from posting in that thread? Is the goal to make this forum so unpleasant for them that they no longer post? If you say that their posts are so nauseating that they make you not want to post here, why not just add them to your ignore list?
Ultimately, I accept that the majority of the people on this board like the Pit and want to keep it. To me, though, it is like the smoking section in a restaurant - it should come as no surprise if you were to poll people in a restaurant that has a smoking section that they are mostly indifferent or like having the smoking section. Smokers will also say all sorts of things to justify why they get benefit from smoking, that the smoke is totally confined to that section, just stay out of there if you don’t like it, etc. Obviously, if people had a really big problem with the Pit philosophically, they wouldn’t post here, much like people who can’t tolerate smoking wouldn’t go to a restaurant that had a smoking section.
I concur that trolls were IDed. But not that it probably accelerates the identification of trolls- except so far, as one mod has said- posters are not specifying what part of the post is trolling, and they simply report as “troll”. So, if posters got better at reporting (mea culpa) then there’d be no need for this.
There could be, sure, but if people would do better reports, there would not be.
About half of the posters who answered the poll. I do not think that is a representative sample, however.
Are you saying that trans posters need to Identify themselves here? I mean, we can usually tell a conservative poster, even if they do not self identify. I doubt if that could be done with trans posters. There could be dozens for all we know.
I know that, which is why I asked for clarification. But you’d think the “Trolls R Us” thread should be for pitting people for trolling, specifically - is it not?
I’ve provided cites showing why I think the type of vitriol posted in the Pit increases peoples’ anger. Regardless of whether you agree with that or not, though, what do you see is the main benefit of allowing posters to insult other posters, and do you think there are any negative consequences to allowing it?
Ive answered this question like 10 times now. The rules are far too restrictive when it comes to pointing out things like patterns of behavior, bad faith arguments, ignoring cites that they don’t like, etc. So long as we aren’t allowed to point those things out right in the thread where they happen, a Pit is needed.
Whoops, missed that part – thought we were discussing the Pit as a whole, and missed that you were referring to the statistics from that specific thread. Consider the comment withdrawn.
What I, and some others, have been arguing for isn’t the right to post random insults such as you’re describing, but the right to accuse of trolling, racism, other bigotry, sealioning, lying, etc.
It may be easier for the mods not to have to try to keep straight which terms are “insults” of that sort and which are just miscellaneous yelling that means nothing other than ‘I’m mad at you.’ That I think we’d need mods’ opinions on (and they might vary.)
I don’t see why pointing out things like patterns of behaviour, bad faith arguments, or ignoring of cites requires the ability to insult other posters. If you were allowed to post in ATMB about these things, would that satisfy your needs?