How should the Pit be changed, if at all?

Another option is getting rid of the Pit and allowing limited Pit-like behavior in other forums. Discourse even has cute little icons you can use to designate what forums allow what behavior.

Maybe some forums restrict political debate. Maybe some restrict profanity or “aggressive” posting. Y’all can pick and choose.

In any event, there’s gotta be a place for the mini-rants and for venting about that asshole in line in front of you at the checkout.

I’d like to see it become a cage where trolls are confined but still allowed to post, and suspended Dopers can post.

If that can’t happen, then I vote abolition.

I agree. I also felt that “broad groups of people” needed a much better and more precise definition.

I voted for no changes. IIRC I’ve been Pitted twice. The second time was a mix of boomerang Pitting and recipe exchange.

Mods shouldn’t be allowed to call posters trolls or accuse them of trolling. They have the power, if they think the poster is a troll, ban them. If there’s not enough “evidence” of trolling, shut up!

I like the Pit pretty much the way it is, and I would go further and instead of banning posters, we should restrict posters that would otherwise be banned to a new forum, called the Cube or the Container, or something.

There are posters that have been banned that I think still had things to offer, and maybe could even be rehabilitated. Plus, it might cut down on the number of sock accounts. People who don’t want to deal with banned posters could just stay out of the new forum.

So, I would keep the Pit about how it is, and add another forum with rules similar to the Pit.

I’ve always called it Coventry.

ETA: Ah, now I get it. Slightly different thing than Coventry.

Technically, you might be able to use a Box-like feature on Discourse by giving banned or suspended users a Trust Level of 0 or 1, then setting up a forum specifically restricted to those with that Trust Level. But that might snare some newbies, too.

I probably should have had two different selections - but I did intend to put “insults to people based on political orientation should not be allowed” as one of the selections. If you think “insults to people based on ethnicity or nationality should not be allowed, but insults based on political orientation should be allowed” then feel free to specify this in a post, as unfortunately it’s too late for me to edit the poll.

I suppose if you want a specific definition, then “only insults of individual people or corporations should be allowed - no broad-brush insults” is what I was going for.

Oh the nit picking about pit rules is extremely tedious and will just provide for more tediously boring rules lawyering amongst those who spend much of their time responding to pit threads.

For fucking real how many bridges get burnt in pit threads over and over again by the same offenders and their sycophantic offenderattis. It’s there in the pit 5,10,15 years, of the same bullshit going back and forth.

RN is a pit thread now people are predicting a banning and continue to press and bait the pittee. The hits keep coming in and it’s the trolling that’s being encouraged.

Get another moderator in there too.

  1. But it’s a mechanism that we’ve had in the past and was much less effective. If we can’t actually discuss whether people are trolling, then they often make it through. The mods just dismiss the accusations as people not liking another poster.

  2. The only new posters who get pounced on are those who are acting in bad ways. I’ve not seen a single new poster mentioned in those threads that is someone we’d want to hang around.

  3. If that were true, these serial socks wouldn’t have started in the years before that thread existed. What keeps trolls and socks around is not getting in trouble. So I refer back to #1 about how trolls get nabbed earlier in their posting careers.

A basic part of dealing with trolls online is being able to inform people that they are being trolled. We can’t do that in the main threads, so we have to do it in the Pit. Unfortunately, there are a lot of posters here that seem to not have strong “trolldars,” which is a basic need to handle interacting with the online world.

I also note that the Pit as a whole seems less acrimonious than it was before troll thread. Keeping that particular accusation in one thread seems to allow the rest of the Pit some breathing room. (Though I also think the omnibus pit threads helped a lot, too. And just that the board has grown up from using gratuitous insults just for amusement.)

I used to report people as trolling in the past, and nothing would ever happen to them. But, when I report them now and bring them up in the troll thread and other people agree, then a lot more wind up banned.

Why are people always trying to fuck with the Pit? It doesn’t need fucking with. Stop fucking with it. If you want to change something, maybe grant Miller tenure and a nice salary.

I said the same thing in a recent ATMB about the Pit thread.

That was then. This is an old board with diehard members. There are ancient grudges.

I made a spreadsheet a year or two ago that was chock full of new posters pitted as being trolls in the omnibus thread. Some actually were trolls. A few of them weren’t and stuck around (some are still around). Most never came back.

Again, that was then. Times have changed, the board has changed.

Odd, then, that most boards won’t let you call someone a troll at all because it’s an insult. They get along just fine. Some random schmuck shouldn’t get to poison the well for new members just because he’s been here forever.

I’d say that’s more a problem with the board’s moderation or the moderation process than a benefit of the omnibus thread.

If you wish to argue that other aspects are what have led to trolling being dealt with differently, then you’re going to have to argue that. I’ve directly seen how people mentioned in the troll thread get taken out faster than those who don’t. I’ve directly used it to figure out if my feelings that someone was trolling were shared by others.

Most boards do let you call someone a troll. I do it all the time. I tell someone “I think they’re just trolling you” or “this comes off as if you’re just trolling.” I’ve never gotten in trouble for doing so.

People often come in and make a single post (or a handful of posts in a short period) and then leave. I find it dubious to claim they took the time to seek out the Troll thread and see themselves mentioned in it, and that’s why they never came back. The only newbies who check out threads on trolling are generally themselves trolls looking to check if people are talking about them.

I like the troll thread. I see none of the negative traits you are assigning to it. I see a better board since it was implemented. The traditional wisdom that you dare not ever talk about trolls is just something that lets them flourish, just like any other topic you don’t actually talk about. I’ve even learned some troll-tactics I didn’t know about before.

In my opinion, you need a very strong case to argue to argue that something needs to be censored. I need evidence that the thread is bringing in more trolls or scaring away more newbies. My own perception is that it is actually helpful.

Sure, there’s the common wisdom that talking about trolls is bad. But, as I’ve said, that has never been my experience. Engaging with trolls beyond a single refutation is bad. But talking about them generally isn’t. Most trolls aren’t really in it just to see their name mentioned, but to start fights.

Some found it. Some were directed to it. In all cases, the well had been poisoned and bled through into other interactions.


My feeling is that the returning trocks here and now are mostly doing it to start fights with certain particular people, largely to get a rise out of the troll-hunters.

I appreciate the changes that have occurred and would like them to occur faster. As I’ve stated elsewhere, the behavior in the Pit that doesn’t bother me is:

The behavior that does is:

Call all the names you want, that’s cool. But don’t go using personal trauma as an attack.

Also, obviously, the shitty nationalistic/racist/misogynist/etc. bullshit. Miller’s pretty well on that, though.

And here is the problem. I dont want a board where everyone thinks/acts the same. Diversity of thought makes the board more interesting. The baiters are the real trolls and damage the future of the SDMB>

Bad ways according to whom? The Mods? Have they racked up a bunch of Warnings? Or do you just disagree with them?

You do not need nit picking. Just have the Pit have the same general rules as the rest of the forums.


It is to Laugh. Now, I kinda like the idea of a thread inATMB, “Is this post Trolling”? Where fringe cases could be discussed.

How about people calling your dead veteran father a criminal?

No, it’s not cool. It is childish behavior, conduct unbecoming and, frankly, is somewhat Trump-like.

Fully agree.

The problem is, people don’t disagree civilly but instead they frequently include calling others motherfuckingassholes, and such. That is not an enlightened and articulate place where disagreements can be hashed out in a civil and positive way. Or at least a non-negative and non-personal way.

Attack the idea or argument or stance or position, sure, but let’s not attack the person or persons.

Rants can be articulated without being mean-spirited attacks on people.

I think the Pit in its current form allows and enables almost Pit-like behavior to occur in MPSIMS and IMHO and some of the other subforums. It’s like a disease that infects and spreads.

Do we want the SDMB to grow and not to wane? Get rid of the Pit.

So I assume before the existence of the pit, there were never any acrimonious flare-ups on the board? No “pit-like” behaviour ever reared up?

It takes a lot to make me want to actually say something “negative” about another poster, but when I REALLY need to, I’m glad the Pit is there. It needs no change. If pressed, I could possibly be convinced that time-limiting certain individual-omnibus threads might be beneficial; but that’s the only possible change I see.