Is this grounds for thread closure?

I started a thread seeking forward thinking constructive and practical ideas for a way out of our current gun violence health crisis. It was quickly taken over by a usual suspect who was modded, in that thread and others, for bad faith and dishonest debate tactics.

When I mentioned that I, as an individual, would no longer reply to this other specific individual, What_Exit pointed to that as grounds to close the thread entirely.
I’m genuinely confused. Doesn’t this just mean that whoever hijacks a thread with dishonest tactics gets the last word? Am I as an OP obliged to respond to one particular individual’s every bad faith argument, on pain of thread closure? Others in the thread were having a lively debate. And there were many other participants who had not replied to the debater in question.

Is it the OP’s responsibility to engage with every single participant in a thread they originated?

No, but you can’t dictate the arguments of the other side either.

Of course. I was specifically avoiding doing so.

Allow me to disagree, you repeatedly said any ‘old’ argument, dictated and arbitrated by you was being stated in bad faith and should be ignored until it goes away.
And while I don’t agree with anything your ‘bad faith poster’ said, they were willing to agree to minimal steps in the direction you seemed to be wanting to go. There was no effort to coax them, or to provide additional options to find common ground on, which was theoretically the point of your post. It was a declaration that they and their POV was worthless and therefore not to be addressed in the thread.
Definitely heavy handed for Great Debates.

ETA - for that matter, you were noted early on in the thread for just this, left, and then came back to pretty much double down on the issue you were noted on (noted, not warned mind you). For anyone not involved, it would be this thread.

So everyone can make their own judgement.

That’s not accurate.

I suggested that, in order to keep the discussion moving forward, that maybe we could agree not to engage the hijacker who had been repeatedly modded for bad faith and hijacking. You seem to be suggesting that, as OP, I’m obliged to engage his hijacking. And that to choose not do so is grounds for thread closure. This is literally handing veto power over to any passing hijacker.

I’m flummoxed if choosing not to get bogged down relitigating the same old bad faith arguments is grounds for closure.

What you’re essentially saying is that, between my efforts to keep the subject on track, and another mod-acknowledged bad faith debater’s flipping of the table, I was in the wrong and he was in the right.

More than one mod had thumped him for dishonest debate tactics. I said out loud that I agreed with that assessment. So I remain bewildered.

I’m not defending @DrDeth’s argument, although since you didn’t name them, or even list the thread you were disputing in your post here in the ATMB implies that you aren’t as sure as your actions as you may believe. Instead, I’ll refer to this post of yours.

My useful suggestion is that, moving forward, we just ignore the same old disingenuous talking points rather than turning this thread over to re-litigating the same old bullshit like a thousand threads before. Maybe if we starve the bad-faith debaters of oxygen they’ll eventually return to their own laughing-gas-filled bubbles.

So you feel all his points were in bad faith, and that any ‘old’ arguments, as decided by you did not merit discussion. You didn’t refute him, which is kind of the point of Great Debates, you dismissed them. OTHER posters did a credible job of arguing fair points, and DrDeth, did himself a disservice, for which he was noted. When you were noted, you didn’t come here to dispute it, but utterly disregarded the mods instruction, which he noted when he closed the thread. Because, as a simple example, when I tried to bring up other possible points you went straight to the comment above.
The OP for the thread was a condemnation of the NRA and interpretation of the 2nd amendment. It was an essay on why/how it’s wrong. So arguably you should have put it in IMHO. But you chose Great debates. When another poster (not DD) brought up the issue of mental health, other posters disagreed, and gave examples and details why. Your response was

In keeping with my stated position that it’s time to move the conversation forward, without those who refuse to engage in good faith if necessary, I’m going to try not to respond to this kind of comment, which is nothing but the same old ultimatum and precondition intended to prevent productive debate.

So your debate was to not debate. Not argue merits, not bring up possible solutions to your own question. Note, I’m not saying that there isn’t nuance to all of these arguments, and that several are tired, or simplified. But you neither disputed by fact other posters arguments, nor provided suggestions of your own, to your own thread. Which is why I suspect the mods provided their instruction and why they closed the thread when it wasn’t followed.

Personally, I think there is tons of room for a nuanced debated and made every good-faith effort I could to address my feelings on both sides of the gun spectrum, but dismissing one side completely is closer to bad faith than the arguments you were railing against. Not going to reargue the points here, as that is not the purpose of ATMB, but both sides were largely talking past each other while decrying the other side by the time the thread was closed, and that action was probably for the best.

I think you had a interesting thread.

But you seemed like you didnt really want to debate.

Sure, any Gun debate does inevitably rehash old arguments. We did have a good one a while ago about banning semi-automatic rifles, where is was shown conclusively that doing so wouldnt have any significant effect on violent crime or even “gun deaths”.

After winning that point the debate did shear off into the usual tired arguments- and mea culpa I make those tired arguments too. I made some in your thread in fact, and so did others. sigh. However, many debates do the same thing. Reparations for example.

I am trying to figure out who you meant by I suggested that, in order to keep the discussion moving forward, that maybe we could agree not to engage the hijacker who had been repeatedly modded for bad faith and hijacking. Do you mean Oredigger77? I am not sure if that was a real hijack, more of he wanted the debate to go somewhere you didnt. Whether we like it or not, threads go other directions than intended, I have had that happen myself. Did you report him for that? You could just not respond to his posts. I find it difficult to do so myself however.

I even made a fairly novel suggestion of a forward thinking constructive and practical ideas for a way out of our current gun violence crisis. Pretty mild I will admit, but workable.

I am not a gun nut. I own exactly two firearms- a old .22 rifle my dad gave me when I won the BSA merit badge, and my service pistol. I am in favor of many mild gun control proposals- and gun nuts dont want any. I dont even care about a ban on the sale of 'assault weapons"- altho it will do nothing to reduce the violent crime rate or murder rate. Maybe it will make people feel safer, maybe some mass shooting will have a couple less victims. Not bad results, but hardly earthshaking.

We even had a constructive debate there for a while, with one poster giving a list of decent suggestions and my mild codicils to them.

But I have a problem seeing that you wanted a debate there. It was almost a rant.

So was the thread about gun violence or the health crisis?

Did you miss the first modnote somehow? You posted in reply to it, so odd that you forgot it.

As you chose to ignore said note, my choices were to close the thread or give you a warning and maybe still close the thread.

This got the thread closed:

Misrepresenting the sequence of events isn’t really a good thing to do.

Normally I am pretty supportive of the mod’s decisions, but even the best of us make mistakes sometimes, and I feel that this is one of those times.

The thread was about what gun control measures would be effective, and was meant to be a debate about that, not whether or not gun control should be implemented, or even what sort of gun control would be politically feasible. The only limitation was what would fit within the second amendment.

Immediately, posters started arguing that gun control shouldn’t be implemented, and started talking about what measures wouldn’t pass congress. This was specifically outside the scope of what the topic the OP proposed.

This is a bit like starting a thread about what could have been improved about Snyder’s Justice League cut, and having posters come in to say that they don’t think that we should make superhero movies. It’s threadshitting, pure and simple.

Rather than moderate the threadshits, the OP was moderated for refusing to respond to the threadshits.

As there was a fairly active conversation among several posters, the OP themself was not needed to have a debate, so what the OP chose to engage or not engage had virtually no bearing on the thread itself. All the OP did was to remind posters in the thread as to what the actual topic that they had proposed was. Even if the OP was out of line, which I disagree entirely, the actions of one poster in a thread, even the OP, should not result in thread closure, when there are several other posters actively engaging the thread.

This is a bad ruling, as it not only shuts down a productive debate, it also sets precedent that bad actors can come in, derail a thread, and get the thread shut down. It gives veto power over what may be discussed by those who don’t want such topics discussed. It demands that people respond to arguments outside the stated focus of the thread. It ensures that the trolls must be fed.

As @What_Exit indicated to me that they had not actually read the thread, they obviously was missing any context whatsoever in order to make this ruling.

I think that the thread should be reopened, and it should be those who seek to derail it, who seek to force it outside the scope of the OP’s topic be the ones who are moderated.

No one reported those threadshits. Maybe next time they will. The effort since put in, to starting this thread and sending me messages about the closure, could have been put into flagging the off-topic posts.

Flag the posts, use the Something Else option and explain why you think the poster is threadshitting or off-topic. Catch it early and the thread generally runs better anyway.

Ignoring the modnote from early in the thread was not a good way to proceed. This one was pretty simple. I got flags about other stuff, but none on threadshitting.

Oh, lissener was not modded for refusing to respond to the “threasdshits”, he was moderated for announcing he was refusing to respond to the “threasdshits”.

I dont see where the OP asked for what gun control measures would be effective, nor did he exclude what sort of gun control would be politically feasible. He did say " Gun control is the opposite of banning guns or repealing the 2A: control means management, not abolition. 2A will never be repealed in the lifetime of any person reading this. Not to mention that for now, and I believe well into the future, any politician with national ambitions understands that a platform of total gun abolition is political suicide, and no such proposal would stand a chance of making it through both houses and onto the Resolute desk." So that does sound like he wanted gun control that could stand a chance of making it through both houses and onto the Resolute desk. True one poster did seem to suggest a ban of all guns.

No one argued whether or not gun control should be implemented, altho one poster did say Mental health care would be more effective. That could be considered a hijack, but it aint no threadshit.

So threadshitting is now ok, esp. if nobody officially reports them. Mods hands are completely tied.

WTH? Did I say that anywhere?

I dont see that as threadshitting. It is a hijack.

To use your analogy, it is more like someone brought up Batman vs Superman and how it could have been better. Tangential, but not a dead stop. Improving Mental health is a way of decreasing gun violence.

How would the mods know if not reported? Tea leaves? Tarot Cards?

Its been fifteen years since I was a regular here. I have absolutely no memory of threadshitting being a reportable offense. And I certainly don’t remember calling out threadshitters within the thread being a thread-closing offense. I say this with all respect and bewilderment. I’m honestly, sincerely struggling to see my comment as anything different from calling out a hijacker, which I thought was well in bounds, or simply saying DNFTT. What I seem to be hearing is my offense was not in expressing those ideas; my offense was in trying to explain why I was saying those things. This has me completely at a loss.

Is it not relevant that the hijacker whose bad faith arguments I explained I would not waste my breath on had already been modded for bad faith arguments three times in just this thread alone? That sounds unprecedented to me! Yet closing the thread essentially says that my acknowledgement of that on-the-record bad behavior meant that I had forfeited my right to participate in the thread. This seems like a parallel (although on a much lower level of seriousness) to the way some adults handle bullying by telling the bullied kid* that the burden is on him to “be the better person,” and letting the bully off scottfree because oh well that’s just the way he is. 🤷

*To be clear this is just an analogy; I don’t see myself as any kind of bullying victim. But DD is unquestionably a bully.

Am I the only one who experiences a convulsion of cognitive dissonance from reading this?

Given your inability to remember after fifteen years that accusing people of trolling, “or simply saying DNFTT”, is not and has never been acceptable behavior in GD I’m not sure that cognitive dissonance is the problem here.

I’m not entirely certain which rule @What_Exit is invoking but announcing you were refusing to respond to the ‘threadshiters’ sure sounds like junior modding to me.
I’m betting announcing you were refusing to respond to ‘list of posters’ wouldn’t have gotten you in trouble.
This is like the games we used to play about blocking people in the Pit before that rule was changed.

But maybe I’ve got it all wrong…


I never thought that reporting all off topic posts made sense. But, since ignoring them will get the thread shut down, I suppose now I will.

Both Oredigger and Ultravires both were arguing against the very nature of the thread. By demanding to talk about mental health instead, that’s a threadshit of a hijacking nature. Ultravires straight up said that no form of gun control could have any impact on crime, since in 1925 you could buy a gun from a catalogue.

You did so when you modded a poster for refusing to respond to threadshits (or hijacks if you prefer), rather than the threadshits.

I really don’t like reporting posts, I’ve probably reported less than a dozen (not including obvious spam) in my nearly 7 years here.

If reporting posts that hijack is the only way to prevent mods from shutting down interesting and productive threads, then my reporting will be going up very substantially.

No, it was not tangential. It was intended to prevent discussion of the topic the OP laid out. You even admit that it was a hijack, even if you don’t think that hijacks can be threadshits.

Context, reading the thread. Getting an idea of what it is actually being discussed. Before closing a thread, I would expect a moderator to have some idea as to what the nature of the thread is.

I never really felt that hijacks should be moderated. But, with this new rule going forward that ignoring hijacks will be moderated, then I suppose that, if moderators will not read the threads that they moderate, they will need to be reported.