How should the Pit be changed, if at all?

You want to get flamed mercilessly here? Start an OP suggesting that it might just be possible that the Earth is flat - something that’s widely accepted as true in Flat Earther circles, but ‘debunked’ here.

The only way to avoid this is to work hard at trying to retain a balanced membership containing both flat earthers and globeheads.

Whether or not the official word “troll” was used, the pit threads are very derogatory towards Bricker. There are 20+ Pit threads with his name in the title. It’s no surprise he doesn’t post here any more. Who would want to put themselves through that?

I’ve said multiple times that I feel the personal attacks in the Pit are pretty much like cyberbullying. We wouldn’t tolerate similar behavior in schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, bars, etc. Even if the derogatory speech serves some purpose, so what? There are other ways to solve whatever problems it supposedly addresses that don’t involve ranting about other posters.

I’m just–well,

I just think it’s funny that you’ve been posting the same sort of conservative victimhood stuff for twelve years. Carry on!

Debate… debate never changes.

Well, I might be obnoxious & disliked like Sam Adams , but I am certainly left leaning.

I was pitted* as a poster thought that I said that having met Gygax, I did not see any indications of blatant racism. I did agree that old school D&D was problematic at times, since it was indeed- old school. But saying that having orcs in your game means the game and writers were racist was going too far.

So, that was because I did not join in the chorus- “you are right, absolutely right, and I totally agree”- and that is what the Pit Habitués demand in any post about racism, social issues, etc. You can not demur even in the slightest.

  • Some posters informed me, with constructive criticism, some reasonable things I could fix, and I have tried to do so. However, let us not get into any other issues raised in my Pit thread. The reason the Op opened my Pit thread is the issue.

Yes. I disagree with Bricker on many issues. But is a definite great source on legal issues. People got on his case as he would state exactly what the law said. However, they wanted to argue what the law should mean. That is not a issue he wanted to discuss, in general. So- hatred and pitting. Sure, he was not actually called a troll afaik, but mostly the rancor was undeserved. It was purely as he was conservative and refused to be led into a argument he didn’t want.

Pretty much they are, except maybe in a legal sense.

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.

That is an astonishingly inaccurate summary of why I Pitted you. If you’d like to discuss further, you know where to go.

If those are true, then every single pitting of a poster is trolling. They are designed to get a rise out of the person being pitted.

That seems par for the course in this thread.

You’re doing a good job of it, regardless. And not just conservatives, but anyone who doesn’t toe the party line. The quality of debate here has suffered greatly for it.

Thanks for doing this. I’m guessing different people have drawn different conclusions from this, but here are my thoughts:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

There are a lot more conservative posters left than trans posters, so I’d say “you” are doing a much “better” job.

Do most anti-Pit people feel like the well is better when it has been poisoned a lot, instead of only a little bit?

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.

Trolling’s not the only thing people get pitted for.

They left due to the biased moderation. One side could post any kind of misinformation, while the other would be warned and eventually banned if they posted.


That’s a good one.

Agreed. There used to be a higher number of moderate posters as well, but some of them seem to have stopped posting.

DamuriAjashi last posted in May, in the Pit thread, so I’d say that’s another poster they have successfully driven off the board.

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?