In response to a question by poster Sinyster1

From this thread in IMHO:
Teen Girl Lured on Internet, Killed

Sinyster1 - we do not have unrestricted freedom of speech at the SDMB. The limitations of acceptable speech are determined by the SDMB staff. If you have a disagreement on a decision made by a member of the SDMB staff please post in the BBQ Pit forum. Thank you.

To be honest I didn’t find his statement all that bad, not very tactful, but not bad enough to ban the guy. In fact I had basically the same thought. My thoughts when seeing the picture at the linked site were either a)that’s a really bad picture or b) she was a rather homely girl. Another poster admitted to having the same thought. That doesn’t detract from the horror of the story. In fact, in my eyes it makes it worse. It makes it seem, in my eyes, that she was a young girl trying to build self-esteem by dating old guys.

Everytime some sad story like this comes out the person who was killed is always “…beautiful, smart and sweet”. Sinyster1 pointed out that she, in his opnion, wasn’t that pretty. He could have put in a more tactful way. At the same time a poster basically called the girl a slut and did not get threatened with banishment. That doesn’t make sense to me.


I agree sleestak. I could have worded it better. It’s not like i said she deserved what she got. It is sad, I was merely pointing out a fact and some people found offense to it. Shit, people say offensive stuff on here all the time. Yet because one of the people happened to be a moderator I get threatened? Coldfire overreacted just as much as I did. Case closed.

I think it was in bad taste, but hardly bannable.

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have even gone back to the thread, except all those towns are exremely close to me, and I was at that mall over the weekend.


I am glad that you realize that you could have stated your opinion better. Take that to heart next time you post. You and I had the same thought but I chose to be discrete about it. I am not saying that you should, in any way, limit your opinions but phrasing can make things easier for others to handle.

At the same time I would like to hear Coldfire defend the whole “pull this again and you’ll be gone” comment.

Coldfire, your comment reeks of knee jerk reaction to a post you didn’t like. If you have any contact with the people we are talking about I can understand your reaction. Otherwise you went way overboard. If you aren’t involved in the story you may have done a better job by contacting Sinyster1 and voicing your problems with his post. And, Coldfire, why didn’t you use the threat of banishment with the poster who basically called the 13 year old girl a slut?

Awaiting your reply,


[list=A][li]Coldfire may not be aware of this thread, and might have not read the other thread after he gave the warning to Sinyster1.[/li][li]I probably shouldn’t have started this BBQ Pit thread but I didn’t want to argue back and forth with Sinyster1 in IMHO.[/li][li]My personal opinion is that Sinyster1’s comment was more obnoxious than the comments about the girl’s behaviour. I personally will criticize someone for being obnoxious or rude, but not for being ugly. You can’t control the looks with which you were born. Coldfire may or may not think the same way. Many of these decisions are personal judgment calls.[/li][li]Obviously this first offense was not a bannable offense since Sinyster1 is still posting here.[/li][li]Since Sinyster1 is a fairly recent poster here, we (the staff) do not have as much past history on which to judge Sinyster1’s regular behaviour. That in combination with C. might have prompted the warning to Sinyster1. But I can’t speak for Coldfire.[/li][/list=A]

F. The mods/admins don’t have to defend their comments.

Speaking as a regular poster, not an administrator:
Sinyster1, I thought your comment was boorish. When a young girl is murdered by someone, I don’t think a proper reaction is to say “Why do people say she was pretty? I think she was ugly.” And when you get called on it, instead of justifying it with the thought that other people insulted her too, you might want to think about what a more appropriate response would be.

First I did not justify it by playing the he started it game, sleesak did that. Second your proper reaction would be to say that is so sad, when you did not know that girl from Eve. Third I have already stated that my response may have been a tad to uncouth, yet I stated an opinion in IMHO (In My Humble Opinion). Finally, sleesak and I were stating the fact that I could get slammed so hard for an opinion on looks, when others were basically saying she deserved what she got for hoeing around. I am not putting blame on anyone, there is nothing to blame here.

A lot of this I feel is blatant hypocrisy on the board. People can say this person needs to die, why didn’t this person die, everyone who does this needs to die. Yet I cannot make a comment on a deceased girls appearance? So once someone is dead their can no longer be any reference to that person? I just need to know exactly what threads that I need to avoid.

That’s true. I didn’t phrase it correctly. You did say however

which is in the same spirit - defending your actions by pointing out that other people are just as obnoxious in your opinion.

A proper reaction doesn’t have to “how sad”. You could say nothing. That would be better than denigrating someone that was murdered.

Thank you for sharing your opinion. I am refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

If you’re not sure you can tell what is offensive enough to deserve censure and what isn’t, then my advice is to err on the side of caution.

I agree that the comment was badly put. However, 1) it wasn’t criticizing the girl for being ugly; it was criticizing the news report. 2) It raised a valid point., These stories are often twisted to conform to what the public expects/wants.

This point was much better expressed in that thread by Zoogie


I’d also point out that the original link was to Fox news (using a story from the NY Post) which, according to information from other sources, spun this story so hard that it escaped from reality and sailed off into the realm of fiction. For example, the Fox story says,

USA Today says


These quotes tell a very different story The Fox headline was “Teen Girl Lured on Internet, Killed” Unfortunately, a more accurate headline would probably have been “Thirteen-Year-Old Screwed-Up Slut Killed.” The Internet is a nice hook for outrage but it isn’t really all that relevant to what really happened. I don’t think there is anything wrong with pointing out media distortion, even if that distortion caters to what you’d like to hear.

All this is to say that “Don’t be a jerk” doesn’t mean “Always be nice and tactful and sensitive.” For what it’s worth (which isn’t much) my opinion is that his original post was fair comment. It made a point, didn’t insult another poster and can’t even remotely be considered trolling. Coldfire may have been just a bit quick on the draw in this particular case.

It’s all a matter of timing, m’boy, and the sentiments attached. It’s all well and good to say that someone - who is quite alive - should die (although, usually, this is often called out in all but the most extreme cases). Go look up the brouhaha that erupted when a poster made a joking comment about Rush Limbaugh not dying.

In short, your “They do it too, why can’t I?” defense falls flat. Got another one? I hear they have a 2-for-1 sale over at Lame Excuses R Us.

Hey AW, why is every young girl that meets someone online, has sex with men twice her age automatically “…sweet, beautiful and innocent”?

The girl we are talking about had sexual relations with other men. Should the men she had sex with be punished? Yep. But the girl was not an innocent party. Did the girl deserve to die? No.

At the same time you still haven’t answered my question. Why should Sinyster1 be banned for calling an ugly girl ugly while another poster called the same girl basically a slut?


First I did not justify it by playing the he started it game, sleesak did that.**

I have no idea what that is about.

I did answer it above. Sinyster1 is not banned, or perhaps you still haven’t noticed? I also said “My personal opinion is that Sinyster1’s comment was more obnoxious than the comments about the girl’s behaviour.”

Truth Seeker - your opinion is duly noted.

Sinyster1, it’s all about saying the right thing at the right time.

Or, in your case, the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Had you posted something to the effect of “What a terrible story! I feel for this girl’s family. However, the responsible journalist should be sacked for writing this piece of sugar-coated dreck.”, I would not only have refrained from singling you out, I would have actually agreed with you (though probably not openly in that thread, as I would consider it in poor taste).

But you didn’t do that. You posted a one-liner, commenting on the girl’s appearance alone, completely disregarding the sad circumstances of her death. The fact that the news report is written by someone whose verbal talents are probably best reserved to the back of a cereal box does not make the underlying facts any less serious.

Reading your response yesterday, and combining it with your recent arrival and low post count, I came to the conclusion that you needed a good slap upside the head should your posting experience on the Straight Dope Message Board blossom into a mutually constructive one. Hence my reply.

And no, I wouldn’t feel bad about asking an administrator to ban a new user whose track record is largely indicative of boorish and offensive behaviour.

Arbitrary? Hell yes.

Are we a bunch of hypocrites? You be the judge.

Welcome to the Straight Dope.

As the mother of teen and pre-teen daughters, I found both the “not pretty” comment and the “slut” comment offensive.

The first because my gut reaction was that only “pretty” girls get news coverage when they get murdered (I am not suggesting for a moment that the poster intended that, it just came across to me - as a parent - that way).

The second because while we have Pit threads happening right now on this very messageboard about the sexualisation of teens and pre-teens; while we’ve had threads in the past about whether or not it’s OK to dress up the Jon-Benet’s of this world like little Lotlita’s; while we have had so many threads here about the “blame the victim” mentally in respect of rape - let ALONE murder - people still seem to want to make this heinous act in some way this little girl/young woman’s fault.

An adult KILLED her. That is - quite simply - not OK.

If I get murdered tomorrow is someone going to try to justify that killing on the basis that I’m a “slut” because I’ve had sex quite often and with many people?

An inexcusable crime has been committed here, and we’re arguing about whose standards of beauty or morality this THIRTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL met?

Lets talk about he standards of morality and beauty the asshole who killed her meets…

I agree with reprise. Murder is no less reprehensible when the victim is a slut; sluts are nice innocent people more often than not, certain “innocent” with regards to having done anything that inspires murder, until & unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Finally, this girl was 13. I have no ethical or moral problems with young females being as sexually active–and as indiscriminately sexually active–as they want to be, but based on what I know about patterns of abuse and molestation and female sexuality (which admittedly isn’t everything), I’d say there’s a better-than-strong probability that the girl’s sexual precociousness had something to do with involuntary experiences she’d been subjected to in some prior context. (Translation: many 13 year olds who seek out sex often and casually with older men are survivors of child sexual abuse, or so says the materials that I’ve encountered)

Not that it’s particularly relevant. If she were a slut due to no particular precipitating factor and just liked to get laid often and casually, etc., that doesn’t make her a bad person and it certainly doesn’t make it any less horrible that she got killed by some asshole.

So, just to see if I am getting the gist of post correct, Coldfire, what happened was that a new poster said something you didn’t like (not that broke any rules of the board), and you threatened to have him banned?

How many times a day do you polish the hobnails on those boots?

Regarding the second bit quoted above: As an infrequent, if not totally new poster, the fact that time served (and/or postcount) can insulate a poster from the whims of the Moderators does not say good things about a board that I have come to enjoy very much in the months that I have been here.

I do hope this is ( as I see it ) an exception to the impartiality of the Moderators, and not a sign of things to come.

I was just starting to get comfortable here.