Revisiting the BBQ Pit- Boon or Bane?

Thanks. I’m not quite ready to pull the plug on the whole thing, but I think people should have the option to do so. For now I’m just muting individual threads.

I think it is significant to note that one’s presence and participation in the Pit is totally voluntary. There are many other categories here in which to participate. I don’t give up on a good restaurant just because they have a certain meal that I really dislike. I go there and simply avoid ordering the meal that I really dislike.

Please note post #105.

So, if I read you right, you think a debate consists of you making the determination of what is and is not Genocide, and being able to call anyone who disagrees with you names?

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Not to mention you seem to magically know everyones ethnicity.

True. But with the current way discourse is set up, it’s the equivalent of having that meal you hate sitting on the table next to you while you try to enjoy your food.

Just below your post in my feed for ‘related’ topics was this:

I checked, and UltraVires has not participated in that thread. I’d say his presence in the pit is not at all voluntary. He has to stare at that thread title constantly and either respond and defend himself which will generate even more attacks, or let those attacks just continue undefended and have his reputation on the board damaged.

I make no claim regarding whether the pitting is warranted, but clearly if you are disliked on this board you are going to have to deal with your name being dragged through the pit whether or not you want it.

I also think we have some people here who make it their mission to drive away people who in their opinion have ‘problematic’ views, as a form of deplatforming. If they can get one of those posters to leave the Straight Dope, it’s high fives all around.

Correct.

And of course in the Pit, you can simply lie about a posters viewpoints. This could be modded in GD.

Exactly, and that is their plan.

I actually think the SDMB is enhanced by having the Pit. It’s a unique and colorful place and can be fun. And it can be easily muted if someone doesn’t like that kind of raunchy behavior. But the one aspect of it I think detracts from the board is the unrestrained disparaging of other members.

With the restaurant analogy, it would be like going to a restaurant where there’s a rowdy back patio where people are being as salty as they like ranting about random stuff, but you could easily sit in a part of the restaurant where you couldn’t hear them and ignore it. But I think most people would feel uncomfortable if that back patio was ranting and disparaging people in the restaurant. Even if someone sat someplace they couldn’t hear them, everyone else can still hear them talking about that person in the far corner with the weird hat who orders weird stuff and smells weird and they think is stupid. The other people in the restaurant all know who they are talking about and are forming opinions about the person in the corner based on what everyone on the back patio is saying. Even if they aren’t disparaging you personally, you may still feel uncomfortable being in an environment where that is tolerated.

Apt analogy.

It’s pretty rare for a mod to make any note about a poster’s lies.

So, are you claiming that you know what other’s viewpoints are here? That they “have a plan”?

Should that statement be modded if you are not able to back it up with fact, rather than just your opinion?

It is interesting where we have one thread wondering why we can’t get new or younger members to the board while having a different thread where people are arguing that we should keep an admittedly unique feature where people can get the shit flamed out of them for personal opinions in the most juvenile fashion.

I mean, we banned the misogyny threads because some women may be offended by something that affects them in a general way but keep a whole forum which is there for the sole purpose of offending everyone.

Yes, the Pit should go. It’s always been ridiculous.

I agree that the emotional abuse and scathing insults are far from necessary. I’ve never started a Pit thread but, if I ever do so, I’d like to think that it will contain stern and pointed criticism sans the abuse.

Show of hands, of those that want the Pit gone who isn’t currently being Pitted?

No, you do not.

No, people generally tell me.

We absolutely should get rid of the Pit, or change it to a place for ranting and complaining about other things, not posters.

Honestly, it’s the worst idea. There is simply no logic to saying that the rules are that you can’t be a jerk and insult people, and then say you can be a jerk and insult people. It’s preposterous.

Me. I have never thought it was a good idea.

The lack of civility on the Boards is breathtakingly bad. It’s never been as good as I’d have liked but it’s getting distinctly worse.

The arguments for the Pit, as near as I can tell, basically break down into three general positions:

1. We’re always had it and it’s popular. “It’s always been that way” is not a real argument.

2. “It’s popular.” The popularity of the Pit is not necessarily a good thing if it discourages people from participating in the Boards as a whole. We can still keep a no-insulting-other-posters Pit for fun stuff. If the SDMB was doing well in membership we wouldn’t be having these conversations, anyway, and the hostility is one of the reasons it’s not doing well.

3. People need a place to vent. Oh, please, what total nonsense. We’re supposed to be adults. Adults are not forced to engage in reprehensible behaviour. In real life, do you have no choice but to scream at people and abuse them so that you can be a decent human the rest of the time? Such behaviour is intolerable and no decent human would accept it for a second. I wouldn’t let a child do that. That isn’t how human beings work; you do not have some sort of minimum quota of disgusting insults that you are forced to throw at other human beings. If something here makes you mad, don’t engage with that poster. Ignore them. Go for a walk. Do the things mentally stable adults do.

I do not believe, not for one second, that allowing insults and attacks in the Pit makes the other forums more civil. Not for a moment. In fact, I strongly believe the nastiness and hostility bred there spills over into the other forums and my cite is the enormous amount of meanness. We have on the Boards a great many posters whose posting behaviour is suggestive of a belief that they have a right to be legitimately cruel to others, with no regards whatsoever for their feelings or dignity, and who think it’s just fine and dandy to go berzerk in the Pit AND press right up against the allowable boundaries, stepping right on the line, in other forums, and figure that as long as they’re not getting warned or banned it’s totally fine to act like the worst sort of bully to living, breathing people in a way that they’d never, ever do in real life. It’s truly appalling and the Pit makes it worse, all over the board.

By the way, I’ve pitted another poster or two, awhile ago. I feel genuinely terrible for having done so.

I don’t want the Pit gone but I support common sense modifications.

IIRC I’ve been pitted exactly once, in 2008, because someone thought I was trolling. And it sucked.

I’d historically say it should stay, but I think at this point it could go and we’d be better off. I think a lot of the lowest quality posters basically still exist on the board because the Pit gives them a place where they can act up and not get in trouble. If that were taken away from them, I suspect due to lack of control, many would be bounced out of the forum entirely, to its improvement.

As long as it becomes okay to accuse other posters of lying or of being trolls outside the pit, then some of your points are valid.

I see no reason to allow that. If someone lies, that can be countered with cites. Say “that’s not true; here are the facts.” If they’re a troll, report them and the mods will deal with it.

Yeah, like that works.

I can spend an hour putting together cites to prove a lie that takes seconds to spew, and in the meantime, they’ve spewed a dozen more. They will ignore the cites and just continue to lie.

And mods have always been slow to call out trolls, usually allowing them to derail not just threads but entire forums. the standard for actually being sanctioned for being a troll will always be much higher than that of being obvious to everyone.