How should the Pit be changed, if at all?

I see no problem with controversial issues as long as they’re presented in a civil manner without drifting into sea lion territory.

Or what @Gyrate just said.

Going back to your original post that started this tangent, you observed that SDMB’s definition of trolling is broader than “stirring the pot for fun.” Do you agree that even the broader net doesn’t catch monstro and YWTF, or do you believe they were trolling?

If you mean me, I cannot answer that because I have no memory of them or their posts.

Ok, that’s fine. Doesn’t sound like we’re disagreeing on much then.

They both stopped posting after the moderation staff put some restrictions on YWTF posting anti-trans stuff all over the place. I can’t say for sure the extent to which their treatment in the Pit led to them leaving the board, but the moderation seemed to be the immediate proximal cause of their departure.

Using the search engine a bit, both were highly active in the Pit, and would at least occasionally participate in the Pitting of other posters.

I agree with you:

There is an ongoing argument as to whether sincerity is a mitigant against accusations of trolling, and I can see both sides of that. One can troll in different ways - by presenting an argument (sincerely held or not) in a way designed to get people’s dander up, or to present, in a perfectly civil manner, an argument one does not hold but one knows will also get people riled up, but presenting in a civil manner and in good faith a topic that gets people riled up is not trolling.

The problem obviously lies with trying to ascertain whether the poster in question is sincere or not, which is always a challenge and will inevitably result in some non-trolls being accused of trolling and some trolls getting away with being jerks, but we as members (and mods) can only make the best judgement calls we can, and if we get it wrong it doesn’t mean we’re just picking on people we don’t like for no good reason.

And of course, just because someone starts a Pit thread on another poster it doesn’t mean the provocation was deliberate. Not all that are Pitters are trolled.


Were monstro or YWTF banned or warned for trolling? Is anyone accusing them of trolling?

Banned/warned - I’m pretty sure the answer is no. Accused - I’m not sure, but this little diversion started with @filmore defended them from that accusation (“She wasn’t stirring the pot just for fun”), so maybe he’s the person to ask?

No, i don’t believe so. And i don’t recall anyone even accusing them of trolling.

YWTF did become problematic when she posted an enormous number of trans-hostile posts. So many that it overwhelmed a few threads. And as Miller reports, the mods stepped in and told her to stop posting on trans issues for some period of time.

And immediately after that they both quit.

I have assumed that was due to moderation, and not to anything that might have happened in the pit. I admit i didn’t follow whatever might have been posted about them in the pit. But i thought they even said they were leaving due to moderation. My memory is fallible, but that’s my recollection.

It was a rhetorical question, because the answer is “no”. Neither of them was accused of trolling in any widespread way (and neither appears in the Trolls R Us thread - nor are they called trolls in any of the dedicated pit threads I could find - but I’m not gonna say they never were, just in case someone pulls up a post where someone accused them of trolling).

Exactly. If someone decides that not being allowed to spew transphobia in a bunch of unrelated threads is a deal breaker for posting here, I won’t shed any tears for them.

Maybe it would be better if the board simply labeled itself a liberal/progressive board, and warned conservative posters that, although they are welcome to post here on non-controversial topics, they should be careful to avoid topics that the left believes are ‘debunked’ or triggering, lest they be considered trolls or non-desirables and either banned or harassed until they leave.

Because that’s really the way it seems to be, and it would keep conservatives from wasting their time here. It should make the progressives happier too.

For curiosity sake, how many people have been banned for trolling progressive stuff vs conservative stuff? Say for instance a poster who hijacks every thread with a diatribe about global warming?

Nobody’s goal is to drive away conservative posters.

Has that ever even come close to happening? Maybe it’s worth examining why people who believe certain ideas are more likely to behave in this way? I don’t think anyone has ever gone around ranting about global warming in unrelated threads.

But yes, many liberal posters have been banned for trolling, like Huey_Freeman

It may seem that way to conservatives, or it may be another example of conservative victimology.

From that opinion piece in the Washington Post:

…the right realized that claiming the status of victim, whether earned or not, can be extremely powerful. In the age of Trump, the politics of conservative victimhood has reached new heights.

The truth is that victimhood does afford one a certain moral status that can be politically powerful. If we accept that an actual wrong has been done and you are the victim of that wrong, that means you have a legitimate claim not only to redress but also to hold the perpetrator accountable.

Which is why it’s such a common retort to say “ You’re not the real victim, I’m the real victim.” The problem isn’t racism, it’s white people being unfairly accused of racism. The problem isn’t sexual harassment and assault, it’s the fear felt by men unsure what will happen to them if they’re too flirty with their employees. The problem isn’t hate speech, it’s “political correctness” that keeps me from saying whatever I want.

A left-leaning poster would have to be really obnoxious in order to start getting pitted since most people here don’t see those viewpoints as controversial. The right-leaning viewpoints are already starting out from a more contentious position since the board has a left-leaning perspective.

For example, one poster I didn’t really understand the hate for was Bricker. He has a number of pit threads. But if it wasn’t for the Pit threads, I wouldn’t really think of him as a troll. I would see his posts in other places in the board and didn’t really think he was trolling. He had right-leaning positions. Oh well, not everyone can be perfect. But since it was a viewpoint which was not compatible with most people on the board, he had a lot of hate directed towards him.

Nobody called Bricker a troll!

Just because you got a Pit thread doesn’t mean everyone who posted there hates you and wants you to leave!

dropzone tried, which quickly turned into a reverse-pitting.

I can list a number of things he did that were worthy of legitimate criticism, but this isn’t the place for it.

But color me unsurprised at yet another example of reframing the narrative to claim conservative persecution and deflect accountability.

I stand corrected. One person called Bricker a troll with a couple of lukewarm “it kinda looks like concern trolling” posts and a bunch of “I don’t particularly like the guy but he isn’t a troll” posts.

But the vast majority of linked Pit threads complain about specific behaviors Bricker had, or specific things he did or said, with no trolling accusations.

Of course, and this is the unavoidable nature of bias, whether left or right. It’s not unique here. If you are in the ‘middle’ of the left, even extreme left views may not be as far away from your beliefs as are even moderate right-wing views, which are seen as extreme, or far-right views, which are seen as completely unacceptable.

You want to get flamed mercilessly here? Start an OP suggesting that it might just be possible that Hunter Biden’s laptop is a real issue - something that’s widely accepted as true on the right, but ‘debunked’ here.

The only way to avoid this is to work hard at trying to retain a balanced membership. Which is a thankless and perhaps impossible task in this age.