Every now and then I checked in on the Michael Moore message board to see if any intelligent discussions were going on. Usually they weren’t - the calibre of threads there is pretty bad compared to here - but every now and then an interesting discussion would pop up.
Anyway, recently the MM board has been overrun by Nazis. These Nazis apparently come from a place called “Stormfront,” whatever that is. The board is now probably 20% Nazi, and they start the usual topic; Jews control the media, blacks rape white women, blah blah blah.
The MM administrators have chosen to take the French route to solving the problem of invading Nazis; they have surrendered and are happily cooperating with the new invaders. Their rationale is that the Nazis are, for the most part, not breaking board rules; they just start threads arguing a variety of bizarre and rather stupid racist theories. (My bias is showing, but let’s be honest; racism is kind of stupid.) The result of this is that the entire board is now dominated by Nazi threads. Every second thread is “Are Jews Using Blacks As Muscle Against You, Whitey?” and the like.
So let us suppose, in theory, that “Stormfront” were to have 100-200 members start posting here. Let us also assume that these people were to, for the most part, avoid violating the letter of the “Don’t Be a Jerk” rule; they didn’t insult anyone, posted threads in the right forums, and just kept up posting about “Are Jews Controlling the Media?” and such rot. What do you think a board like the SDMB should do?
Hope it goes away?
Hope they can be argued away?
Expand the “Don’t Be A Jerk” rule to include the unfair domination of topic being discussed, and give them the boot?
pre-emptively shift all their threads to the pit, knowing that “that’s where they’ll end up anyway”. hence, the nazis will only dominate one forum, and they’ll prolly go away once they notice they’re in the company of ‘fuck you, colleague at work who doesn’t use deodorant’ and ‘stupid fat cats in washington’.
I imagine SDMB would do nothing. Nothing more than they already do.
if they posted to the right forums (Pit, GD), I don’t see how this would be any different than the witnessing and religious debates we already see here
if they were constantly hijacking threads away from their OPs, then I imagine that would qualify them as “jerks” and they’d be banned. simple enough.
If they want to debate the alleged threat black men pose to white women and can provide the same level of cites, etc., that are used for other topics–and people are willing to debate them–then who cares?
Well they would get what is nicely called “THE ROYAL TROUNCING” Basically the SDMB is here to fight ignorance, and seeing how Nazi’s life blood is ignorant, they would get trounced. Hopfully somewhere in the aftermath they would realize the error in their backward ways and convert to more reasonable healthy thinking. Because we all know that optimists and level headed thinkers live longer than ignorant pessimists who thrive on persecuting others…
Mm, I am of the opinion that sometimes fighting ignorance requires more than sound, reasoned debate.
To me, this board is kinda like a garden. You don’t take care of weeds by trying to add more fertilizer to the flowers and hoping the weeds don’t get any. You gotta pull 'em out by the roots.
In this instance, and this instance only, I would unconditionally support immediate banning. It might make the mods’ jobs a little harder for a while in hunting the offenders down, but even complete idiots like Nazis eventually get the idea they’re not wanted once it’s pounded into their tiny little heads enough.
Nazism, as a political philosophy, is intellectually bankrupt - the ideas that drive it have been comprehensively exploded. If they need to be exploded again, many of us here have the intellectual detonators and evidentiary Semtex needed to do it. I’d better stop that metaphor before it gets any more strained…
Anyway. If we got a mass influx of Nazis, they’d divide into three groups:-
Hopeless dyed-in-the-wool obnoxious cretins, who’d inevitably fall under the “don’t be a jerk” rule.
Dim oblivious-to-argument types, who would hang around indefinitely, and would, I grant you, be annoying… but we could just ignore them.
And a few who are genuinely ignorant and don’t know any better - and we could educate them out of it, which would fall in with our overall Glorious Mission of eradicating ignorance, and generally be a Good Thing.
Just my £0.01398. (Two cents, at current exchange rate.)
Use of the SDMB by hate group members en masse as a vehicle for promoting that group’s goals could legitimately be seen as a reason for cracking down on such nonsense.
In a less obvious situation I can foresee difficulties, especially as there are already active posters here who have bought into various idiotic forms of bias, but are subtle enough or willing to vary their areas of debate so that they stay under the radar. Where do you draw the line?
I see no need to ban them or otherwise treat them any differently than any of the other illiterati. Demand the facts and citations, and then blast 'em like they’re a fleet of rowboats trying to board the New Jersey.
It might take a little extra work on our part–a listing of the other threads in which the same ignorance was repeated previously, a stock list of citations which they cannot deny or debate, etc. We need only make them look foolish by using their own ignorance against them, and they’ll go away in search of less capable people to torment.
Believing deeply in free speech, I must disagree in the strongest possible terms.
These people should be allowed to state their case, such as it is. The world would be a slightly better place if the usual Nazi silliness were publicly dissected here on the SDMB. Nor do I think this would become a problem. Posting repetitive threads on essentially the same topic falls squarely within the “don’t be a jerk” rule.
We at the SDMB may not agree with what you say, but we will defend to the death your right to say it . . . once.
Y’know, a few of the authors of the above quotes were here during the Left Behind Message Board brouhaha–and Captain Ed visited us in about the same time frame.
The SDMB would only “kick their butts” in the opinion of the SDMB (and, perhaps, in the view of any newbies who stumbled into the mess). In their minds, they would be kicking our butts, and would delight in returning to show us how they had.
Steve Wright gave the best analysis: a tiny number of misguided people might learn something. Some number of intellect-challenged will not understand the discussion and will think that we are both misguided and mean. Some number of the hate-filled true-believers will be willing to hang around and make our lives miserable with persistent assaults. (Think of the various incarnations of Mark Serlin supported by a number of other web sites that continually publish more lies and distortions to support their opinions.)
It would be a never-ending battle (until they stepped over the line and were banned).
I really do not want to see the SDMB infested by Stormfront or melvig true-believers. It would simply not be fun.
They have an implacable ignorance that cannot be breached and that will not admit defeat.
Seconded, tomndebb. Nazis are not your garden-variety illiterati, like any other number of trolls and whathaveyou that populate any message board. I really feel their particular brand of hateful filth has no place whatsoever on a board whose explicitly stated mission is the eradication of ignorance.
I often think the best approach is to undermine people like that with parody and the like, a general indirect mocking. I don’t think those people like to not be taken seriously (more so as a disruptive threat than their actual ‘arguments’) and they’re used to making an ‘impression’. In fact, that might be a large part of why they do a lot of things.
So, rather than face them head on in argument (which is what they want), I’d tend to approach them from an angle to which they can’t easily respond, hoping they’ll get bored with us laughing at them and wander away.