Revisiting the BBQ Pit- Boon or Bane?

Most of that long post can be summed up in one sentence: “It’s tough to have an extremist minority position on a message board”. I can’t disagree with that, but what do you imagine can be done about it other than what I already suggested? You can’t just blame the Pit; one of your threads in P&E had already devolved into a complete train wreck by the time it was brought up in the Pit.

FWIW, despite my strong ideological differences with you, I think you’re otherwise usually a good poster and hope you stick around. And in the matter of politics, I for one have no problem with well reasoned arguments from the opposing side. Sometimes it’s a learning opportunity, at least about how the other side sees the world. But don’t be surprised to get lots of pushback, especially if the premise is highly implausible, as it was in the above-mentioned thread.

Cute, but a false equivalency. It’s not like I make a hobby of constantly pitting other posters. I challenge you to find even one pitting thread against another poster that I ever started. I’ve participated in some that were already going where I thought it was deserved, but there are many others that I never posted in. The fact is that I sincerely believe the Pit serves useful purposes for the reasons I already stated, not because pitting other posters is a personal hobby.

I thought one reason for the Pit was to keep the rest of the place civil? Taking away the Pit won’t end the hostility. You don’t need to be able to directly insult anyone to be a douchebag – people will find ways to do so and still stay with in the rules, just as we’ve had people troll over the years and still manage to avoid being banned. It happened when they changed the Pit rules. People were just as nasty – they were just a wee more creative.

And besides, the idea that someone can “turn you into a nasty troll” is absurd. We had a poster who was banned awhile ago who was known for having a horribly thin skin and a hair trigger temper. Dude would just explode at the slightest thing, even if there was no insult, or if someone didn’t even address him. He was constantly threatening people, too. And when called on it once, he told the mods that perhaps people should consider how thin-skinned he was, and take that into account.
The mods basically told him bullshit, and that was his problem. Eventually, he was banned.

My point? If your temper is such that you know you can’t deal with insults and such, it’s not the fault of the Pit. It’s very easy to avoid, and quite honestly, why should everyone else have to tiptoe around those who can’t deal with it? I think the Pit often provides a way to keep arguments out of the rest of the place. shrug

While not directly Pit-related, there’s this continuous “These posters have been naughty” list at the top of GD and P&E. It would make the board look just a bit better if the very top of those two forums wasn’t a permanently pinned “banned poster” list for things that have been expired for over a year.

What about those who both Pit others and have been Pitted multiple times? Are we the unbiased ones? Do our voices count more?

In which case, I say the Pit stays. :slight_smile:

I’ve been Pitted (once) and I’ve never started a Pit thread (only started one thread the entire time I’ve been here) so, clearly my opinion counts the mosterest.

Right, and the moderation has always been left leaning. I actually bake that in to how I behave here, specifically regulating literally every word I type. In this post here, @Miller who I normally consider a decent enough mod, calls me out for insulting a poster that had repeatedly lied about me denying genocide, and then directly called me a Nazi (one of the worst things in the world you can actually be called.)

Not surprisingly I faced sanction while the lefty poster faced none, in the pit, where insults are supposed to be allowed.

If I “directly called” you a Nazi, you’d have been able to quote said post where I did that when challenged to do so in the appropriate forum.

Maybe I’m naive, but I really don’t see this stuff as trolling. Just two different conspiracy theorists, one more excitable/convinced than the other. The ‘people who don’t agree are sheeple’ attitude is par for the course with conspiracy nuts.

And the fact that this is considered trolling, while a thread titled “Conservatives believe they have the right to kill everyone else” isn’t, is quite frankly insane.

“The way the towers fell on 9/11 didn’t look right to me.”
is not a conspiracy theory,
“The way the towers fell on 9/11 didn’t look right to me, it was (INSERT: The Jews, the Trilateralists, Space Aliens, etc HERE).”
is.

This old trope of “moderation is biased against conservatives” is getting old and tired. It’s pure bullshit that has never been substantiated because it’s never happened, at least that I’ve ever seen.

First of all the post in question doesn’t seem expressive of any particular political ideology; it’s just way over-the-top vile and outrageous. Are you now claiming that because you’ve expressed conservative viewpoints in the past, the moderation staff is treating you unfairly because they just don’t like you?

Secondly, you yourself recognized the vileness of your innuendo in your post #236 in which you preemptively tried to make excuses for what you clearly anticipated would be major blowback. And now you’re trying to claim that it was a mod overreaction just because you’re conservative?

For a Board which is dedicated to fighting ignorance, it may appear that it politically leans in one direction. But that’s a result of one of the major parties creating an alternate reality, one which in the past year killed 500,000 Americans because of their denial of the known truths of viruses and their lying re: the efficacy of protection measures, especially masking.

The GOP’s descent into madness has been long-developing. If the SDMB is particularly ‘partisan’ in remarking on this long-evident decline, then that’s a result of the mission, not the members or the moderators.

The problem for anyone who actually believes the above (of which, I doubt the population is as large a those who feel obligated to claim they believe the above) is that stances which were regarded as entirely uncontroversial or even liberal 20 years ago are now considered part of the vast right-wing conspiracy that “everyone understands” must be suppressed (even though the rules say nothing about doing so) because the core clique of the board has shifted along with the winds of what is fashionable in the Democratic Party. The range of acceptable opinions in the “debating” forums is so narrow and the amount of bullshit behavior from the regulars that is tolerated so large that they have become completely useless for any desirable purpose.

First off, things which actually are extreme far-right stances aren’t against the rules. You can come on this board and argue that women who get abortions should be executed, or gay relationships should be illegal, or immigrants should have no protections in the American legal system. You’ll get yelled at in the Pit but you won’t get sanctioned by the staff right away. They love the idea of letting in the worst examples of dissent from the consensus so everyone can assure themselves that the outside world is all like that. The board staff frequently likes to point out that there even is no rule against “racism” per se though this is more a case of “we won’t write the rule down to show how tolerant we are, but in reality the rule de facto exists” - you can and will get modded for openly advocating anti-black racism here.

Things which reasonable centrists and liberals can and do disagree on get the most mod attention because that is where the emotions are right now and that is where the self-appointed guardians of right-think feel they need to put their thumbs on the scale. I can’t even list the topics I’m referring to because there are people looking to nuke my account for bringing them up - they find the fact that they can’t muster any argument from liberal principles for their positions disconcerting and just manufacfture excuse after excuse to warn people and cut off discussions. Anyone who has seen my posts in the GD forum knows what I’m talking about.

I’ll repeat my call from above to simply get rid of the politics forums and impose a soft ban on political discussions here (no reason to target people for an occasional Trump joke, but just get rid of threads entirely devoted to arguing about candidates and issues). To reiterate: There is no legitimate interest from the board audience in “debating” anything or in the mods using their discretion to create an environment in which a non-personalized exchange of arguments takes place. The people who feel the board belongs to them interpret disagreement as trolling because they believe this is the kind of social space where arguing about politics is unfathomably gauche. Nothing is accomplished in threads where the only types of posts allowed are 20-year veterans tripping over their own self-satisfaction and compulsive masochists, and anyone who might be able to actually break through one side’s self-delusion is quickly modded out of talking about issues they have expertise in.

If you want to have the GQ and cultural discussion boards, and try to attract people to them, then getting rid of the politics forums that have been nothing but pointless and offputting for 10+ years seems like a great way to help achieve that goal by breaking up the insularity and getting rid of threads where people just yell for no purpose. There are plenty of other places on the Internet where they can do that.

Modnote: This is not the thread or forum for a political statement. Please do not do this again. Same as I said a few posts up.

This topic was automatically opened after 31 minutes.

I am not a regular participant in Pit threads; I read occasionally and post rarely. I have enjoyed some threads there and eschewed most of the threads with poster-on-poster drama. So if the Pit went away, I wouldn’t cry. I tend to agree with RickJay that the vitriol there spills over into the rest of the board and, on balance, does more harm than good.

That said, I also agree with thorny_locust and others that there is value in calling out repeated patterns of behavior, e.g. sea-lioning or JAQing off, that is obnoxious but not necessarily against the rules.

I wonder if there is a way to split the baby? For example, as many others have said, what if we keep the Pit the way it is but ban pitting of posters. But, change the rules to allow discussion of poster behavior in ATMB, under the same or similar rules to how moderation is discussed. (Obviously, there would need to be some rule calibration around this).

So, for example, “Poster X is constantly sea-lioning and it’s driving me crazy. Here are three examples” would be allowed, while “Poster X is a disingenuous fuckwad of the highest order” would not. Others could chime in with support or dissention, backed up with examples hopefully, and the mods could even chime in with official rulings if needed, i.e. “Yes, that does look like classic sea-lioning behavior, Poster X, you should cut that out, no warning issued.”

Is there any merit to this suggestion?

No, you won’t. You’ll get modded for actual hate speech, or for breaking the specific GD debate rules around certain racism topics in that forum. But you can openly declare yourself a racist here and not get modded for it.

The problem with this is while some Pittings originate from bad behavior in that forum the bulk of Pittings don’t.
It’s behavior in other forums that is Pitted the overwhelming majority of the time.

I’ve been on a board with no Pit equivalent and a strict ‘attack the post not the poster’ rule and the hostility that existed between certain posters was beyond obvious.
It also led to posters seeing how far they could go without breaking the rule and regular, inconstant, moderation and regular complaints about it.

If I’m allowed to openly call posters racist, misogynist etc here, rather than just posting behaviours like sealioning, then it would have merit. Otherwise, it’s no replacement for the Pit, which is currently the only place that behaviour can actually be named…

Insults are okay. Racist insults are not. You were getting too close to the latter with that remark.

You were also not the only person in that thread moderated for approaching that line.