Why Is This a Personal Attack?

In this thread, I posted the following in GD -

In response, tomndebb did the Mod Note thing, or its equivalent.

What is interesting about this is that following were all posted to the same thread -

And tomndebb didn’t seem to object to them.

How then is what I posted a personal attack, when the same thing from other posters is not?


Any particular reason you didn’t include the previous exchange?

Because it is a separate issue.

tomndebb’s rather arbitrary decision to rule out use of the word “stupid” in attacking the post and not the poster is rather silly but not particularly germane. He was searching the thread for something that he could use to warn me, couldn’t find any violations of the rule, and therefore decided to impose an arbitrary one to give him a reason. Does it make sense? Of course not, but who cares? I was careful to abide by the ruling - I didn’t call any post “stupid” nor any derivative thereof.

However, when I posted in just the same way that others posted to the same thread, more than once, then he decides this is a personal attack.

Which leads to my question - why is it a personal attack when I do it, but not a personal attack when others do it? If it is a personal attack when others do it, why did I get the mod note and not them?

If it’s the usual “the thread was heading in the wrong direction and I just headed it off” garbage, why were multiple instances ignored from others but one single instance on my part enough to trigger rapid mod action, and aimed only at me?

ISTM that if these are personal attacks, then it would be better and more effective if a mod reaponded to the first or second instance, rather than waiting for the subject of the attack to respond and then concentrating only on the attackee.


It is not a separate issue. You engaged in a lengthy exchange in which you and your opponents were calling each other names while being careful to couch them in terms of “attacking the argument” (which none of you were actually doing).

I told you all to stop it.

You then posted a claim that Czarcasm’s “beliefs” were based on “lies,” despite the fact that he had posted only two times to the thread and had expressed no beliefs in either case.
You were clearly continuing the personal bickering–including a false accusation–after I had told you to stop. That is the issue.
Had you sat silent and I had seen Czarcasm’s later post before the ETA apology, then he would have gotten the admonition that you jumped out to claim.

If you want to try to pull a barracks lawyer routine in which you claim that I only said to stop the comments about intelligence, so your false accusation about his (unexpressed) “beliefs” were not covered, I will note that I recognize the disingenuous nature of your argument and I am not going to be drawn into a lengthy discussion.

Shodan, tomndebb’s comment about the word “stupid” was aimed at everyone, not just you. He didn’t make that warning earlier probably because he didn’t see it earlier.

tomndebb, your note is sufficiently vague that a reasonable poster might not understand your intent. It doesn’t take a “barracks lawyer” to be confused by parsing what was and was not allowable in that thread. If your Note had been to stop the personal remarks, or had included words about “lies” as well as “stupid”, your warning to Shodan would seem a little less arbitrary.

Note that your intent was not what you said.

Your characterization of my posts in that thread is false and misleading. However, I am used to that, and when you decided to issue a Mod Note giving the specific action that irritated you, I complied at once.

And again, in the first instance, it is interesting to note that the “name-calling” to which you objected was only the term that I was using. The other name-calling that you said was going on, from other posters, you did not see fit to address.

Then the same question remains - why is the case that you reacted immediately to what you believe to be a personal attack, while ignoring the multiple personal attacks by other posters?

Lobohan is the one making the personal attacks. Why did he never receive any of your attention?

Again, why is it a nasty false accusation requiring your action for me to say “your beliefs are based on lies” but not a nasty false accusation for Lobohan to say the same thing, several times, much earlier in the thread?


Certainly. He claims to believe it was a personal attack.

I will ask again - why is one personal attack the only one to which he specifically objects? He said above that other posters were making personal attacks. But he did not addressed those other personal attacks, even once. The only time he objected to the personal attacks were when they came from me, and specifically only when the term “stupid” was used.

That is the only “personal attack” that he specifically forbade. The others, which he now admits that he saw, passed unremarked.

Again, only when the “your beliefs are lies” came from me did tomndebb find it worthy of his attention. Why is that?


Lobohan, here. I will of course comply with Tomndebb’s moderation in the thread. But I should mention, I didn’t just lead with the comment that someone’s personal beliefs were based on lies. It was after several statements of factually untrue things that another poster had made.

If someone is telling you the sun is a flaming ball of kerosene over and over, they have probably internalized some misinformation.

Likewise if they think that Obama shrunk the deficit, it is probably not just because they are bad at arithmetic.

That won’t be very difficult for you - tomndebb doesn’t object to personal attacks coming from you.

It’s almost like he has different standards for different posters.


I was telling someone who was repeating misinformation that they were wrong when I used that language. You were just attacking Czarcasm who hadn’t made any incorrect factual claims. Don’t you think that’s different?

No, this is false. tomndebb said that you were, in fact, making personal attacks. He just didn’t object to it.

See this?

This means you. Yet your personal attacks are ignored.


And I stopped when Tomndebb did the moderation. You needed to get one last petty dig in. I think it’s obvious what happened.

Yes, it is. Your petty digs are ignored; mine are not.

Like I said, the standards vary.

It’s an invisible and moving line you crossed, Shodan.

You got me, I’m the mutherfuckin’ Batman and Tomndebb is the god-damn Police Commissioner Gordon. He’s covering up for my unorthodox methods because of the undeniable results. And we’ll be both hot on your heels until you’re cooling them in Arkham! [/I_am_the_night]

Or alternately, you did a pointless dig after we were warned off.

Shodan said:

I can’t address why tomndebb chose to say “Enough with throwing around the word “stupid” and its derivatives.” rather than, say, “Enough with the personal attacks, such as throwing around the word stupid and referring to people’s beliefs as lies.”

But with regards to the timing, can you demonstrate the time stamps when he read comments in that thread and didn’t moderate them? Or you just assuming he was reading the thread real time and only decided to do something about it after you posted? Seems to me he was reading that part of the thread after many comments had been made, and was intending that remark as a blanket statement to everyone to cut back the rhetoric.

But I acknowledge I am just assuming, too, because tomndebb’s remark was entirely too specific and doesn’t actually say that. So who is better at reading tom’s mind - you or me?

Sometimes it can slide right under you while you’re not looking.

Because he didn’t object to personal attacks, unless they came from me. That’s why he objected to use of the term “stupid” and not to the other stuff. Because “stupid” was what I was saying. The other personal attacks, he didn’t care to address. In much the same way, saying “your beliefs are based on lies” was also something to which he did not object - until it came from me.

The pattern is pretty clear - there were personal attacks (in his opinion) but he did not object to any of them unless he could use them to warn me.

Because I reported some of the posts a day or so earlier, and no response was forthcoming. This include an earlier post in which one participant in the thread addressed another poster - not a post, a poster - “silly”.

But this was ignored. tomndebb chose to respond as I described - only to do his mod note thing on me, and not on anyone else in the thread.

I believe tomndebb reserves to himself the right to tell other people what they are thinking.

I tend to use patterns of behavior to gain insight into people’s thinking. If tomndebb alleges that his motivations are X but doesn’t consistently act in such a way as to suggest that X is what he thinks, then I conclude that X is not really underlying his thinking.

If tomndebb has a tendency to ignore personal attacks made against posters he dislikes until the subject of the attack responds, and then immediately acts against only the disliked poster and ignores the preceding personal attacks, then it is probably not personal attacks that he is trying shut down.



Actually, I was scrolling through the thread and kept seeing the word “stupid” appear in the text and issued a general comment.

It has only been since Shodan made a big deal of opening this thread that I realized that Shodan was the only one who was trying to skirt the rules while employing that word. My bad. Next time, I suppose I could just Warn him instead of presuming that it was a general donnybrook.

When you said earlier that

you were not being truthful?

And again - you characterized this

as a “personal attack” meriting a mod note. Why was it not a personal attack meriting a mod note when employed (more than once) by posters you dislike less than me?

It seems that my earlier description is correct - you received the report, saw who it was from, opened the thread and skimmed it, paying attention mostly to my posts because you were looking for a reason to warn me. You didn’t find any reason, so you made up a rule about calling posts “stupid” and posted it. As mentioned, that was aimed only at me. It is based on your usual un-falsifiable assertion about what I really meant.

I understand that you find it frustrating that I don’t break the rules, and that you would like it if I did so you could use your mod powers to silence or ban me. The fact remains, however, that I do not, as a rule, and even when you manufacture these arbitrary rules and aim them at me, you still cannot do so and be consistent.

The situation is as I describe - calling posts stupid is a personal attack if and only if it comes from me. Saying ‘your beliefs are based on lies’ is a personal attack if and only if it comes from me.

Pretty piss-poor, as I imagine is clear to everyone but you.