Revisiting the BBQ Pit- Boon or Bane?

I think it is.

If you report a troll to the mods, and they either don’t reply at all, or they reply with a non-committal, “we are looking into it”, and nothing happens, then there is no feedback.

I think that a discussion among posters is valuable. Not just a one way “report” . Either people can join in the discussion and bring up other examples of behavior, or they can even disagree, and give a poster a different perspective on what they thought was trolling behavior.

Not only that, but some of our best posts (in the sense of “most entertaining”) have been in the Pit.

But that’s always been one of the main purposes of the Pit. If you disallow threads intended to flame another poster, you’re fundamentally changing what the Pit is about and you’ll have nothing left but “omnibus” threads and miscellaneous rants. Furthermore, one of the other great virtues of the Pit is that since very little is off limits, there is generally very little moderator intervention. Your rule would not only fundamentally change the nature of the Pit, but would require a moderator to issue notes or warnings and close threads based on a judgment that a thread was primarily intended to flame another poster. The rule would also have to apply to individual posts or discussions flaming another poster, which is essentially no different than a dedicated thread. As long as we have the Pit – and I do believe it serves valuable purposes – your proposal makes no sense at all.

And sometimes it tells us far more about the OP of that pit thread than it does about Soandso99.

Allowing people to be assholes in the pit lets us know who likes to be assholes when it is allowed. I know that I’ve lost respect for some posters based on the way that they treat others in the pit.

Being angry at another poster for their behavior is one thing. Calling them out for a particular affront or disagreement can help to clear the air.

Then there are some posters who simply act passive aggressively outside the pit, but in the pit, you get to see them for who they really are. Being cruel and vile for simply the sake of being cruel and vile tells me that that poster is simply a shitty person, and that their opinions and positions can be dismissed as coming from a shitty person.

Not a single conversation occurring here is “necessary”.

If it came down to a vote, I’m pro-Pit.

In addition to that, one benefit of the Trolls-R-Us thread was that, as you put it, it lets Dopers do some of the homework and reduces the mods’ workload. It lets Dopers ferret out socks instead of leaving the job wholly up to tired and worn-out admins.

Since it doesn’t look like @Miller linked it here, I thought I’d share:

( if onebox isn’t working for you, Miller’s implemented the ‘no insults / epithets in poster based pit threads’ due to the discussion about how it bypasses the no insulting posters outside of the pit)

For what it’s worth, I think that this is a good rule.

I agree this is a good rule given the limitations of Discourse, but I wouldn’t be in favor of going much farther.

Good rule change.

Great post.

You’re right that the problem isn’t confined to the Pit, and I know it’s driving existing posters away, plus it’s pretty obvious that the hostility is putting off newcomers. We can all help do something about that.

The Pit is great for ranting about life, the universe, and politicians, so keep it for that and get rid of the attacks on other posters.

The point of the Box is not to promote growth, it’s to keep the rest of the board troll free. And it’s not really considered a different forum. It’s actually fairly active.

From what I can see, the Gweeb doesn’t really care about growth, and it is a pretty active forum.

OK, but the SDMB (from what I’ve been reading) does care about growth of the SDMB. That’s the question I was answering.

Yeah, it’s just about titles, it’s fine. Making a little work for Miller today, though.

And I must admit I am idly curious as to how people who think they’re clever are going to try and ruleslawyer the meaning of “insult”.

I daresay there will be some “If I can’t insult her/him that way, is it alright if I insult her/him this way?”.

I note that the rule is rarely enforced, but there is a rule in the Pit about “not trolling.”

I wonder why deliberately lying about another poster is not against the rules as per this rule? While lying can be subjective, sometimes it is not. For example claiming a poster said something, that poster then asking for a cite, and the poster continuing to make the claim with no evidence, would seem obvious to me an example of lying. Not all forms of lying can be adjudicated, but in a text based forum, asserting someone is saying things they have not said is fairly easily debunked. I would think lying would be considered trolling.

Consider this scenario–and I wouldn’t do this because I think it’d just shit up the boards, but what if I went into pit threads and found any poster I didn’t like and was responding to their post with statements like “This poster is a known pedophile, and has indicated a preference for young boys in other threads.” Under the current rules I don’t see that would be prohibited, but it absolutely should be.

A disagreement about a position is not a lie.

If someone feels that the arguments that someone has made indicate a certain frame of reference that they are coming from, that does not mean that they have admitted that that is where they are coming from.

We used to have scientific racists on this board, who would go on and on about “factual information” that they would use in an attempt to prove the inferiority of other ethnic groups. If you called them a racist, they would call you a liar, and demand to proof that they said racist things, all they are doing is pointing out facts.

So, yeah, if there was someone who was pointing out facts in a way that would indicate that they were trying to make some sort of point, there is the possibility that some posters may get the impression that that poster was trying to make some sort of point, and call them on the point that it seemed they were trying to make.

That the poster in question didn’t admit that they had any reason for interjecting these facts, and had no point at all that they were trying to make doesn’t mean that those who assumed that poster had a point was lying, it just means that the poster was making worthless contributions, for no reason at all.

You would have to understand the confusion of other posters thinking that the poster in question actually had a reason to be posting.

In that case, it would probably be worthwhile pointing out where they had made such preferences known. Would you be needing them to specifically admit that they had a sexual preference for young boys, or would the factual information they offer about how NAMBLA has some good points and intentions be enough?

True- but I have been called one- because sometimes I am a bit of a asshole. I was in a dark place earlier this year.

And of course too many posters call assholes and people they disagree with = “trolls”.

Posters can not do anything about trolls- except feed them and report them. Pitting them just gives them a banquet. It does the opposite of getting rid of trolls.

We could have- in ATMB- maybe a special thread where “I think xxx is trolling in this series of posts”. No name calling, no actual even calling them a troll- just pointing out that these posts look like trolling.

Personally I think that would be useless, but who knows? Some discussion about what is and is not trolling could be useful, with actual examples.

This could be another special thread in ATMB.

Yes, but for rants. Not pittings of posters.


Why do you think that is a good idea?

I doubt if it has ever been of use. Do you really think the mods scroll through “trolls r us” and go- “hey, yeah, that guy is a troll, let us ban him!” Repeatedly they have said they do not read most threads unless involved personally or a report has been made.

I know, and this is why the Pit is not useful. Posters get infuriated with some guys opinions. They then post in the Pit a horribly distorted and really flat out lying version of what that guy said. How can you even start to determine if a guy is really a jerk or a troll if posters can just say things like “he is a Holocaust denier” or “he supports pedophilia”? when neither is true at all?

That puts shut the idea that the Pit can be used to discuss Trollishness, since you are free to lie your ass off.

Right, the way I see it right now I have no reason (other than my baseline respect for rational discussion) that I shouldn’t just be nonstop lying in every single Pit thread, specifically about posters I dislike. As I understand the Pit rules right now, lying isn’t trolling.

Why is an asshole exempt from being a troll? And there are people who we disagree with on whether capital gains tax should be 15% or 30%, and then there are people who we disagree with on whether we live in the same reality. The former are very rarely called trolls, the latter often are trolls.

And by discussing them, we realize that they are trolling, and stop feeding them in other parts of the board.

If they get their feeding off of being pitted, then that’s less feeding they do on more productive conversations, and less derailing.

And also, there have been cases of someone being called out for being a troll by a poster in the trolls’r’us thread, and other posters disagreed, and gave a different perspective to the poster who called them out. So, rather than having a poster seething someone they think is a troll, they realize that they were not seeing the whole picture.