Revisiting the BBQ Pit- Boon or Bane?

There are some good arguments to be made as to whether the Pit is good or bad for this board from a business stand point.

But to say that one can be “bullied” or “abused” is just absurd in my opinion. This is a recreational board. One does not need it, nor will it affect their lives any any meaningful way should they stop using it.

Online bullying can only occur when the victim cannot reasonably avoid their aggressors. Like school children who have to go to school and face their aggressors posting hateful stuff. And like coworkers for the same reasons.

I’ve been here long enough to have participated in the Giraffe era pit and y’all have rose colored glasses on if you think it wasn’t orders of magnitude more vicious back then.

And re: pitting other posters, back then you could set your watch by whether it was Der or Starving at the top of the forum.

One other thing, if, say, Starving Artist had made it pet hobby horse to heartily suggest getting rid of the Pit at every opportunity we’d have seen right through the actual reason he wanted that.

This is why we need Like buttons!

And this too. If I hadn’t had that outlet I would have left the board in a second.


Often none of the posts is actually reportable. It’s the overall pattern that’s the problem. There should be some place where members can point this out.

Time-limiting pit threads would work against that function, as often it’s a pattern through multiple threads and over significant periods of time.

– having said that: Pit threads often seem to include a great deal of people just calling each other names with no evidence. I’m not sure how to prevent that while still allowing the legitimate criticism that’s off limits in the other categories.

And this is a point:

Sometimes people are making entirely reasonable posts, often on some other subject, and that Discourse function can’t tell the difference.

Back when the snopes boards still not only existed but had active moderation, basically what snopes or Barbara said went. That system had its own disadvantages.

There are other people reading, including others who are posting, members who are reading but not posting, and total lurkers who haven’t joined. If people just refuse to engage with anyone who’s persistently posting falsehoods and/or seriously misleading information, then that’s what this board will fill up with.

Again, very often there is no specific reportable post. Each of them, taken separately, is fine; or at least could have been made out of reasonable ignorance, and deserve an explanation instead of a report or a pitting. The problem is in the overall pattern; sometimes a pattern in multiple threads over months or even years.

And as @MrDibble points out in post #44: mods who are used to a particular frame of mind often don’t see problems with a pattern which posters with different backgrounds may find obvious.

Maybe newbies couldn’t either post in the Pit or be pitted. It takes a while to build up a pattern of nastiness or sealioning, after all; and the mods can handle obvious trolling and/or individual obviously out of line posts.

I don’t know whether there’s any practical way to say ‘in the pit you can call another poster a troll or a sealion or a racist or a misogynist or whatever, but you can’t just call them names and irrelevant insults, you have to be complaining about specific behavior that you can point to.’

(I’ve never really understood the insistence by some on these boards that they must be able to swear, let alone the insistence that they must be able to use specific swearwords. I don’t mind the words, or at least the nonsexist ones; but it’s a lot more important to me that there’s someplace we can call somebody a sealion or a racist than that we be able to call them an expletive-expletive-expletiving sealion or racist.)

That looks like a genuinely useful way to get around that problem.

How are we supposed to point out what the person’s being Pitted for if we can’t quote examples? And the link direct to the thread the examples are from is very useful for context.

The other way around works: don’t allow linking to the Pit from other threads.

Which is the way folks have historically told a Pittee that they were being Pitted.

Getting rid of the Pit would kill this board faster than it is dying already.

True; and it’s true that the pittee should be told about it. It would be possible to just announce there’s a Pit thread without linking; or that one announcement could be allowed with a link, but otherwise linking a Pit thread (say, as a way of making a point in a discussion) could be forbidden.

If Discourse is going to keep doing it, though, that doesn’t seem very useful. So maybe I’ll just withdraw that suggestion.

Boy Howdy! It used to be The Wild West, and was a hoot. Now, it’s like an episode of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and quite dull.

I’m pretty sure I’ve only pitted one poster, and that was over some disagreements that I was explicitly told to take out of the ATMB forum.

We had a reasonable conversation and came to a mutual understanding.

But it was not a conversation that could have been had in any other forum. If we had not had that conversation, we would probably still be at odds with eachother.

Would you say the same for any other hobby? Just give up doing the thing you enjoy to avoid the abuse?

Yeah, I have a very clear recollection of a post the beloved Scylla made just before cuntflap happened where he tore Poster Not Named’s entire life apart . . . but since he didn’t call her a cunt of tell her to go fuck herself it, at least on its face, was perfectly fine under Ed’s ‘Snuggly Puppy’ Pit.

I believe it is exceedingly easy to avoid the Pit, or a single thread in the Pit while still enjoying the rest of the board.

I don’t see a point in banning swear words; the content of what you say is far more significant and has far more potential to offend than how many expletives you can pack into the sentence.

Break links, remove attributions from the quote by deleting everything but the name, or just copy and past what you want to quote.

Since Discord inserts the link-backs, there is functionally no difference between linking from the pit and linking to the pit.

I don’t think the Pit as a place per se is necessary. I don’t think there is much to be gained by being superficially polite elsewhere but still insulting people in the Pit. Threads are already being derailed by obliquely calling people liars anyway, so the strength of the language is not what makes the level of discourse here low.

Now, I don’t know exactly how polite we need to be here overall, but I don’t think designating the Pit as a freer zone for epithets than other places is what needs to be preserved.

I’d be in favor of new rules, or even a ban, of attacking other posters in the Pit, but it’s a useful place for unloading on public figures and people in the news. I don’t want to lose that.

You can do your “unloading” in every other forum.

Of all omnibus threads in the pit only the “Trolls…” would be against the rules in other fora. Most of the others would fit in Great Debates just fine.

Which makes it difficult for anyone to find the context.

Whereas I think we could unload on such people in other forums, just without swearing at them; but the Pit’s the only place we can discuss patterns of behavior by other posters. I’ve already explained why I think that’s important.

I’m not actually suggesting banning swearing in the Pit; it seems to be more important to those who want to do it than it is to me. I just don’t understand the importance; and it does seem to me that it contributes somewhat to the existence of posts that are just noise, not criticism of anything specific. But I suppose we’d have those anyway, and while it would be nice if they were at least more inventive, some of the most repetitive noise isn’t actual swearwords anyway.

I disagree. It’s not just the ban on obscenities, it’s the tone of the posts. It’s hyperbole vs fact.

A couple of months back, I was ranting (in the Pit) about broke-assed redneck conservatives trying to boycott products when they have 0% of the consumer buying power in the US. At that point, a couple of people jumped on me……0%? Where did you get that statistic?
Which would’ve been an appropriate response if I had posted in P&E or Great Debates. But this is was the Pit - it was me yelling “You don’t have a dime to you name! It was a freaking insult, not a statistic, I know you probably have a couple of quarters behind the sofa cushion.

I mention this one for a reason, because when I first wrote it I thought the thread was in P&E. The original said something like “liberals have the lion’s share of purchasing power when it comes to consumer goods”and included some cites. Then I realized it was a Pit Thread, and I edited that out and put it the rant about broke-ass conservatives with no money.

I would venture to say that my best posts have been in the Pit, and these posts wouldn’t have been appropriate as written for Great Debates or P&E. I’ll just say that sometimes I enjoy writing in a style that I don’t think is suitable outside the Pit.

Yes, and this alone is a good enough reason to keep the pit around. I much prefer the looser, more natural tone we get in the pit versus other forums.