Most common reason to be Pitted Appears to be Dishonesty?

Okay, but to come full circle, it is not only white supremacists that get Pitted. And this whole discussion is about why the Pit is unnecessary and hostile to new members, your entertainment preferences notwithstanding.

Of course not. You can always respond to a racist post with facts and cites, and you can even mention “that post sounds racist to me”. It is now, and has always been totally discussable. Attack the post, not the poster. It is simple.

You just can not call the poster a racist, except in the Pit. Where- it does no good.

No one has said that.

You seem to have taken it for granted that Pitting is bad and the Pit is bad. Do you have any evidence to support those positions?

Yes, my opinion. When anyone says something is “bad” is can only be their opinion. I do not understand the point of this question.

I’m making a leap here and assuming your opinion is based on reality. If it is, you should be able to cite supporting evidence. If not, well I don’t know what to do then.

You consider the Pit= good, Defend your opinion.

Cites and footnotes.


I consider the ability to Pit white supremacists and other racists, the transphobes who drove away Eve and Una Persson, posters advocating for child molestation to be legal, and a certain guy who had a dream- believed it was a near death experience and was impervious to cites, facts and logic itself to be an EXTREMELY good thing.

I have Pitted a few posters. I’m not sure how many. IIRC I’ve been Pitted once.

I find your claim that the Pit scares off newbies to be falacious. Only the most odious of newbies (and trolls trying to be Pitted) get pitted.

See how that works? You try it now.

It’s complete and total fantasy.

Oh, you called those miscreants names did you? Bully.

After doing so, did Eve and Una Persson come back, knowing that the transphobes had been called names in the Pit?

Did those miscreants reply with apologies, and promises to “sin no more”? Or did they inwardly thank you for the heaping bowl of Purina Troll chow you had served up?

Do you have any idea of how many good posters have been pitted? In some cases, the Pit has jumped all over the OP, saying what a shit pitting that is, but according to you, everyone who has ever been mentioned in the Pit is "most odious of newbies (and trolls trying to be Pitted) ".

I find your claim that the Pit does any good at all (here I am talking about Piting posters, not general rants, which can be very good) to be dubious and wrong.

All it does if feed the trolls and make a certain (low) class of person who enjoys insulting others happy.

As for a cite:The BBQ Pit - Straight Dope Message Board

You just called me a bully- an insult outside of the Pit.

No they stayed away knowing transphobia still ran rampant here.

Moving the goal posts. I wasn’t talking about all posters (neither were you) just the newbies you claim are scared away.

You just called me and several other posters in this thread a ‘low class of person’ a second insult outside the Pit.

I think putting “bleating” in there amounts to attacking the poster; though in this case you haven’t named a specific poster.

How is one to discuss a pattern of multiple posts, in multiple threads, by the same poster, if there’s no place where it’s permissible to talk about the poster?

Because very often it seems to me that what lands somebody in the Pit isn’t that they said x in thread y. That gets them answered with facts and cites; to which they could reply by saying ‘whoops sorry I didn’t know that’ and not saying x again; or they could try to counter with other facts and cites; or they could go away to research the subject and/or think about it, with or without saying so in thread. But I don’t think that’s what usually gets people Pitted.

What seems to me to get somebody pitted is that they said x in thread y, got answered with information and cites by various other people, either didn’t address the information or addressed it poorly; and then went right on saying x, often in different threads not necessarily all active at the same time: not as a matter of coherently arguing why they should be able to say x despite all the information they’ve been handed against it, but rather as if they’d never been handed the information at all.

As far as newbies: different people are put off by different things. I lurked for some time before joining. One of the things I was at first concerned about was the Pit; so I read a batch of things in the Pit, trying to sort out what people were being Pitted for and what happened when they were. I eventually concluded that I wasn’t likely to be pitted* and if I was I could deal with it and if the pitting were really unreasonable I’d probaby have defenders. I also found it useful, to see what sort of behavior was being objected to and what was being defended; because people were able to be explicit, I had to do a lot less guessing about what was considered here to be jerkish.

(I also concluded that it seems to be really important to a lot of people here that they should be able to swear on the boards. I don’t fully understand that; but I don’t know that I need to.)

I was rather more put off by a batch of posts scattered through the boards, mostly outside the Pit, that seemed to me to denigrate people who don’t live in cities.

And as I’ve said elsewhere: if there’s nowhere else to discuss patterns of behavior, then I think we need the Pit.

*haven’t been, yet. Though I suppose pointing out that I haven’t been, in this context, might cause somebody to pit me.

Swearing isn’t banned outside the Pit, despite what some people think.

It’s not, but the escalation and/or attack combined with swearing might be.


“I feel like shit today.”


“You’re full of shit.”

(Of course it’s not the swearing so much; saying “you’re full of lies” would be just as bad if not worse.)

Really? Strange title for it then.

I mean, I get that some people are one-trick ponies when it comes to the Pit, and they’re acting under the delusion that no one can see that their real reason for opposing the Pit is simply because they can’t stand that they are actually being called out for their opinions.

I believe one of the bad things about the pit (among many) is that when you pit someone, you simply harden their position.

Or do you really think that calling someone a racist motherfucker or a stupid imbecile is going to get them to think, “You know, that vile asshole calling me names has a point. What have I been thinking?”

This attitude then carries on outside the pit, where people you have pitted will dig in their heels and refuse to concede even a trivial point to you. Debate becomes impossible.

In addition, it leads to people automatically assuming the worst of others, so even mild statements of disagreement wind up being blown out of proportion because you just know what the poster is really thinking because there are 300 messages in the pit describing just how vile or stupid that person is.

And I’m really tired of the constant accusations of racism, sexism, etc. It is thrown around on this board with wild abandon, even though I rarely see anything that rises to that level. I think real racism is horrible, and the constant use of it to describe people with slightly different views cheapens the word and lets real racists off the hook.

But some users here think that just about everyone who disagrees with them is some category of vile human being, rather than someone with different life experiences who sees things a little differently, or someone who honestly wants to treat people of all kinds well, but is just a little slower to move in certain directions than you were because they come from a different background and it’s harder to make certain leaps.

But you know what will really help them to a better place? Calling them names. That always works.

If you listened and tried for a bit of empathy instead of virtually spitting on them, maybe you could learn a little bit about diversity of thought and understand the ‘other side’ a little better. Then you’d have a better chance of convincing them of your point of view.

That is, if that’s what you really want to do, rather than just signal your allegiance to your tribe by attacking the ‘other’.

This is why the moralizing arguments in favor of the Pit fall flat for me. Maybe it serves some pragmatic purpose for the board, but this isn’t some kind of ethical endeavor, it’s about people wanting to vent their anger about social issues near and dear to them. Which, fine. But it doesn’t make the world a better place to scream at bigots on the internet and we need to stop deluding ourselves that it does.

Look, if you really want honest open communication with someone, you have to allow for the inclusion of “Look ^#@#$@!&, get your head out yer ass, you piss me off so much with this bullshit you goat felching trodlodyte”. You have to be open to hearing that you’ve really annoyed the everlovin’ shit out of someone, and yes that is communication, it is information to take in.

And when you know the people you are talking with will totally let you have it if they feel that way, that also means that when they are being far more polite and considerate, you don’t have to worry that they actually detest you and the horse you rode in on.

I haven’t always enjoyed being ridiculed and subjected to contempt, but I’m a willful and opinionated person with a tongue (or more accurately a fine keyboard) on me and perhaps I need that occasionally. It’s feedback. I don’t have to agree with the abusive sentiment (I may choose to interpret it as defensiveness or whatever) but it’s important to know that I’m making people feel that way.

You don’t generally start a thread on someone in the Pit to reform them. I doubt many people, if anyone, is hoping that their heart is growing to grow three times its size and realize the magic of Christmas because you’ve quoted the stupid things they’ve said and illustrate how toxic they are. Rather it is to put people on notice and commiserate with others who’ve also suffered in reading their posts, or watching a thread derailed by yet another instance of their tired schtick. It’s also to have it out with them in a place where you won’t get modded for it.

If you think that’s what the Pit is for, no wonder you don’t like it. You don’t get what it is. It’s like pouring table salt all over your cornflakes and griping about how terrible the sugar is.

I think you’ve lost all credibility at this point.

Well, people aren’t allowed to tell me that my fellow Africans have the IQ of literal morons anymore, so it’s gotten less bitter from my point of view. And I’m still not allowed to call racists racist outside of the Pit, so there should have been no change for the racists.