Revisiting the BBQ Pit- Boon or Bane?

And to add, I think that the pit allows posters to be a part of that discussion, which I think they should be.

I’m not meaning to be hostile here, I’m just saying that if your impression of the pit is solely shrieking and profanity and waving arms and bulging eyeballs, you have already prejudiced yourself against seeing the value that the 95% that is not shrieking, profanity, waving arms and bulging eyeballs brings to the board.

That’s not all one will find there, no. It is, however, the problem with it; there’s no reason not to have a Pit for other sorts of rants, and discussions about moderation can go into ATMB. IMHO, we’d be vastly better off without flame/insult threads.

I see just as much hostility in GD and other threads, just that stays within the “Bless your heart” level of civility that acts as a thin veneer. People can be just as toxic and insulting.

Your example of someone “being the better man” and walking away is often used in this fashion. Saying, "Alright, well, good day, sir” is calling the other poster a jerk, while also giving them no way to respond to the insult. That behavior does not impress me.

At least the pit is honest, rather than passive aggressive.

Should posters participating in a discussion on who is trolling be in ATMB? Or should posters simply not be part of that discussion?

I posted in the Box for 9 years, 8 of which I was Boxed. It doesn’t work how people like to think it does. It becomes just another forum. But ironically, the stigma people try to attach to it makes the main forum have to compete with it.

As far as board growth, I know of a popular and prolific poster who left after asking another poster why I (and my topic) needed to be treated in a negative way. I think that does happen when people wonder why people in the Box need to be treated like animals in a zoo, as some people here have described it.

THE most prolific poster at that forum left after he requested that the Box be abolished, and it wasn’t granted. He felt that the Box was taking topics away from the main forum. If there was a current topic, and someone in the Box posted about it, people would head to the Box to post in it. Moving it out of the Box wouldn’t solve that. The thread would likely die.

His efforts, made by someone who wanted to grow the main forum, were met with more frustration than without the competition with the content in the Box. I can foresee that same frustration by multiple people on this forum were that to happen.

Remember that banned posters are very likely prolific posters. People who don’t post don’t get banned often since there’s nothing to judge. Putting a bunch of prolific posters in one place adds to more activity that competes with the main forum.

I had been asked multiple times why I was Boxed. That’s hard to answer in a diplomatic way from my point of view while still making the main forum look like a great place to post. I would link them to my Boxing thread, but that didn’t satisfy most people. I can’t remember any of those people sticking around.

There are multiple ways that a Box forum stifles forum growth.

Out of the top 15 posters in the last year, I only recall one of them getting a warning.

Edit: Maybe 2, don’t remember if they got a note or a warning.

It doesn’t work the other way. I’m not saying that all prolific posters get banned. I’m saying that posters who got banned (after more than a short time) were more likely more prolific than your average poster.

But the Pit is not necessary to have that conversation with the mods, is it? I think the difference is that reporting to the mods is saying “Look at the troll!”, while posting the same thing in the Pit is saying “Look at me outing a troll!”.

prolific <> valuable

I think that post might have come off as more critical of the mods than I had intended, so let me just say that in general the mods do an excellent job. However, they tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to trolling and thread derailing, and they often will not moderate problematic behaviour that isn’t immediately over the line, but becomes problematic over weeks or months. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since it can lead to a more open conversation and a wider set of views, but it also leads to situations where threads or entire topics are dominated by one poster, and abandoned by the majority of others.

As for the rest of your post - how much do you actually read the pit? The vast, vast majority of the pit is simply not the way you describe it. As I said in my post, what is often accomplished is that the derailed thread continues in the pit and is actually better than the original thread, because the troll/disingenuous poster/thread derailer won’t show up. Even the parts that are just vitriol rarely cross the line. I have not heard of people here being doxed, getting death threats, or being harassed outside of the pit. Would I behave in real life the way some behave in the pit? No, but in real life if someone lied to me or said something racist I would call them a liar or a racist, whereas here I’m prohibited from doing so. Also, this is the internet. Aggressive or insulting behaviour in real life carries an implied threat or risk of violence. Standards for internet behaviour, particularly with regards to insults, have not been the same as they are in real life ever. You can argue that that’s not how it should be, but you’re swimming against 25 years of internet culture and momentum.

Yes I am quite good at identifying trolls. For example, you’re not a troll.

It is necessary in order to have that discussion among posters. Where else can it be had?

Almost every thread. Again, I acknowledge there’s stuff there that isn’t problematic. One could retain the forum but not have flame wars - there’s nothing wrong with the “cops behaving badly” thread, or funny threads.

I am questioning whether that conversation itself is necessary if you can report trolls to the mods.

I’m aware that’s what some people are doing in the Pit. That’s not what I’m doing there. What I’m doing there is pointing out willful ignorance and patterns of behavior.

I don’t see how the mods are going to mod willful ignorance. But in the other forums, the person who points it out is going to be modded. I don’t know if there’s a good way around this problem; but it seems to me that we need some way around it.

This. All of these are at least sometimes results of the Pit; and all of them are good results of it.

Does the bad outweigh the good? That’s a reasonable question to discuss. I’ve made a suggestion (post #180) which I think might weight the scales better. But claiming that the only thing that happens in the Pit is people swearing at each other isn’t accurate. [ETA: and I see from a later post that @RickJay isn’t actually making that claim.]

It’s necessary in order to have that conversation among multiple people. Discussions by an individual poster via PM with one mod, or even with several mods, aren’t the same thing.

I think it’s highly useful. Just as this conversation is.

No doubt it can be useful to have a place to discuss problematic posters, but there’s a big difference between this:

  • I think Soandso99 is being deliberately obtuse by just parroting back what people are saying. I’m pretty sure he’s a sock of Justsomeguy22

and this:

  • Soandso99 is a f$$king lying douchbag who sucks the c$$k of whatever right-wing a$$hole Faux News tells him to!

The first one can be useful to make the board better. The second one is less clear. In my opinion, it makes the board worse overall to have those kinds of discussions about other members. Perhaps it might be the most effective method at shutting down Soandso99, but there are also some significant downsides of that method.

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.