Most common reason to be Pitted Appears to be Dishonesty?

So, I’ve been reading our ongoing thread about improving the SDMB and attracting and retaining new members. The Pit comes up as one of the most common complaints, specifically about Pit-entries targeting other members of the board. Which is fair, it can be hostile, and we discussed in in great detail in the now-closed thread about the Pit being a Benefit or Bane.

For the record, my opinion in said thread was that it probably provided a needed outlet, but that we should get rid of omnibus threads for other -posters- and that each thread should be automatically closed after a fixed period of time. If there is a new problem, create a new thread.

But the ongoing concern in the current threads got me thinking about -why- the Pit seems to be needed in regards to other posters, so I read through a number of Pit threads, and IMHO, the biggest single reason that someone pits another poster is a forum in which they can flat out call another poster a liar. Whether it be making up anecdotes, making up facts or cites, or citing from poor sources, it all seems to be falling under the general heading of dishonesty.

Especially in the case of what appears to be serial dishonesty, in that the Pitted Poster is believed to repeat the same dishonesty across several threads, and then refuses to respond to counter-proofs. This sort of poster is commonly considered to be a troll, but their activities often don’t meet the board definitions, or skirt it, or takes a great deal of time to work through the mod process. So they end up in the Pit, where various posters pile on (sometimes legitimately, possibly not other) which arguably makes the Pitee more set in their ways, and more offensive.

Please be clear, this is by -no means- the only reason to end up in the Pit, but it’s the most common reason I see after reviewing several individual threads and most of the omnibus threads.

So having said all of this, let’s say that the PTB one day ban Pitting other posters, should we reconsider whether accusations of lying should be modded? Yes, it’s arguably a personal attack, and we are often asked to attack the post, not the poster, BUT that’s the moderation I see as being lightly enforced. Not because Mods can’t/won’t but because it’s often incredibly subjective. And when it is enforced, it’s almost always a note, rather than a warning, unless the poster has a loooong history of such posts and is probably already on the way towards suspension and the like.

I reviewed a previous thread about ‘factual’ claims of lying against other posters which points out the pros and cons, but felt it could use a new discussion in light of the commonly expressed sentiment.

PLEASE NOTE - feel free to debate if you think I’m correct about dishonesty being a prime mover of such threads, or pro/against reconsidering moderation for lies, but let’s NOT link to specific posters or Pit threads. Almost every thread I see touching on these topics gets closed because people get personal, so let’s avoid it.

I was a jerk to other people and got pitted once. Totally deserved that - and apologized too. Was going through a tough time in life, but that’s no excuse.

Just my 2c, but I think the pitting process is quite fair (at least where non - political disagreements are concerned)

If the Pit were abolished, I would support a rule change that it is okay to call other Dopers liars, but only if you present a cite or proof - and that calling someone a liar without providing a cite, would be a warnable offense.

Sometimes a person gets a Pit thread because someone else has an unjustified gripe about another poster, and those typically backfire (where the OP ends up getting slammed). So I guess what I’m saying is that even when a Pit thread isn’t deserved, it still ends up being ultimately fair.

Yeah, the only way to avoid the need for a pit is if we can call out liars and hypocrites anywhere.

Not sure that’s gonna really work,
“You’re a liar, here’s my cite that proves it, Link to Alex Jones.”

How is that different to the totally acceptable “You are sadly mistaken, here’s my cite that proves it link to Alex Jones” in any practical way?

By “cite” I would mean more like, the poster’s own words.

Doper: “I have never used the N-word before on this message board.”
Other Doper: “Well…” (links cite to a post in a thread where he used the N-word)

Would this not already be allowed? As long as you say “well…” and not “you are a liar!”?

True. Maybe one could call a liar directly then. “You’re lying…” (links with cite)

It may not be but for reasons that escape me you can’t currently call a liar a liar in GD . . . as you know.

At least in GD, that isn’t what the ‘Can’t call anyone a liar’ problem is.

Maybe a mod can clarify but I think there’s a distinction between these two things…

Scenario 1:

“Joe Biden isn’t even eligible to be president, he was born in Russia and moved to China where he lived until he was 42 years old!”

“That isn’t true, see this link to his biography, and he first became a US Senator when he was 31, read about it here. This is the 10th post in this thread where you’ve posted factual misinformation about the president, can’t you just Google things before you post?”

Scenario 2:

“Joe Biden isn’t even eligible to be president, he was born in Russia and moved to China where he lived until he was 42 years old!”

“Who cares what you say, you are a pathological liar and if you said water was wet I’d have to check my kitchen sink to make sure it was true.”

In Scenario 1, by correcting the person you are making it clear that they are providing misinformation, and doing so habitually. However, you are not impugning their motives, or making an attack on their character. You are only stating the facts. In Scenario 2, you are directly attacking their character and accusing them of deliberate falsehoods.

I expect that the interaction in Scenario 1 would not draw a note from a moderator, but the interaction in Scenario 2 likely would unless it happened in the Pit.

I’m not saying that the Pit is therefore unnecessary. If it becomes clear that the person is a troll and is just stirring things up, that’s worth discussing. We can only do that in the Pit. But you don’t have to bite your lip every time someone is lying; you can at least point out their falsehoods and correct them as they happen. (And if it becomes clear that they’re making it a habit I expect that reporting them is a great idea as well.)

IANAM (I am not a mod) but my understanding is the second line of the above -could- be seen as an attack on the poster. Not so much for the part about ‘factual misinformation’, but because of the crack about being unable to google things before you post. Although for that matter I have seen posters (Not mods) find even the part about bringing up old posts and calling it ‘misinformation’ accusations of lying.

But it definitely goes back to my point about the irritation on serial dishonesty. When the same pattern occurs repeatedly in the same thread, or repeatedly over multiple threads is where the Pitting seems most likely to occur.

For that matter, if I’m completely candid, in both cases (and many similar examples in this and the other ‘lying’ thread I linked), I see the differentiation being a matter of being civil on the surface, but everyone is reading between the lines the actual accusation. I don’t think I can say that there is no point in being civil, but again, using Atamasama’s version, after repeating the same or similar pieces of disinformation 10 times, is being civil being dishonest? And that’s when it ends up in the pit.

I’d flip it around: I’d make repeated dishonest posting a warnable offense, and as frosting I’d make whinging about how this is more liberal bias a banning offense.

I think this is kind of where we already are. We flag/report bad faith arguing or the mods see it, and slowly but steadily that poster gets a reputation for trolling, gets called on it (in the Pit and in ATMB after they start getting warnings) and over a period of months or years gets banned for being a troll. Or they learn to stay juuuuust this side of it, and linger until the end of time. Or at least until there’s an arguable pretext as a last straw.

Which is why some posters hate the pit, and some posters love the pit. Some people want to poke the Troll and encourage it to flame out, and some people hate being seen to be a troll for having unpopular or unsupported opinions. Admittedly, there is a non-zero overlap between posters who are trolling, and those who have said opinions, but it’s not 100% by any means.

If lying is the #1 reason that a board member gets Pitted, #2 is probably a tendency to harp on and on about something in a way that others experience as tiresome. When I’ve been pitted, it’s been for some variation on that. I’d concede that I had it coming.

Good points.

I would be Ok with someone quoting someone in a thread and saying “This is a lie”. I do not know why you have to say someone is a “liar” is it not enough to say "Joe Biden isn’t even eligible to be president, he was born in Russia and moved to China where he lived until he was 42 years old!”= “This is a lie!” Now "That isn’t true, see this link to his biography, and he first became a US Senator when he was 31, read about it here. This is the 10th post in this thread where you’ve posted factual misinformation about the president, can’t you just Google things before you post?” would be better, but I would be Ok with simply stating a quoted portion is a lie.

Most of the times I see someone pitted it is because that PitER really disagrees with the PitEE, and instead of explaining why he thinks the PitER is wrong, wrong wrong, he’d rather call him a “goat-felching fucking asshole”, because of course that works. :roll_eyes:

Other times it is because the PitER has said something that could be interpreted as racist, so the PitER thinks he has to take him to task for it.

Mea Culpa here. :crazy_face:

What are you saying?
A) People are pitted because they are dishonest, or
B) People are pitted because responders are free to claim dishonesty as their first line of dissent, free of any obligation to defend their claim…

I am saying (responding to jtur88) that a quick review of the individual and some omnibus pit threads (about other SDMB posters) has as the most common single factor a claim that the person being pitted is dishonest (intellectually, making stuff up, arguing in bad faith, or just plain lying). I very explicitly said in my OP that it was by no means all, just the most common issue in the initial posts I reviewed over a few hours. Hope that helps.

I understand that you are only citing a statistic. But I think the board is interpreting it as a troubling statistic, which may need to be redressed. My question seeks to identify the troublesome cause.