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View Diary: Thoughts on TTFN, GBCW and bullying (330 comments)

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  •  I think you're mixing apples and oranges (14+ / 0-)

    A debate on an issue should be subject to any kind of argument, however heated, as long as it avoids personal insults.  Where kindness and empathy works in one situation, mockery and stronger words may work better in another.  Great debaters should feel free to use any means at their disposal.  And, if someone can't handle having their position picked apart, they don't belong in the debate in the first place.

    But that's a lot different from the kind of pie fights that devolve into hours of name-calling, HRs and the rest of the acronym soup.  The fact that one person resorts to a TTFN or GBCW as a way of putting the proberbial cherry on top of their fight ("look, you drove me out of here!") is nothing that should concern any of us.

    •  If "winning" the debate is the goal, sure (10+ / 0-)

      and I suppose gaining the approval of a larger fraction of fellow participants qualifies as winning.  If, on the other hand, the goal is to persuade one's interlocutor, even partially, I would question whether mockery is ever useful.

      Agree the "cherry on top" is a trivial side aspect.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:07:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It wouldn't be my first choice (9+ / 0-)

        But if someone spouts a ridiculous idea, I think it's fair to call it such without being called a bully - intellectual or otherwise.  We should all be mature enough to handle having an idea shot down, however gently or brutally.

        Of course, the problem comes where people can't discern from an attack on their idea from an attack on them personally, or when the attack is, in fact, on them personally.  Things usually go downhill from there, but as our parents taught it, "it takes two to tango" and it's usually best to simply bow out at that point.

        •  it is fair to call an IDEA "ridiculous" - but it (8+ / 0-)

          is more effective to explain WHY it is ridiculous!

          that is debating, is it not?

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:15:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And mix in a perceived personal attack on a (6+ / 0-)

          politician, which is really where a lot of the trouble occurs.

          Of course, the problem comes where people can't discern from an attack on their idea from an attack on them personally, or when the attack is, in fact, on them personally.
          •  You said a mouthful. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Darmok, Onomastic, kalmoth, zooecium, SoCalSal

            On the rox/sux spectrum I usually lean towards the former, though not, I like think, blindly or unconditionally.  Yet I find it very difficult not to let it chap my hide it when what I perceive as the mildest of tempered and conditional praise on my part elicits a response of vociferous condemnation from others.

            "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

            by lgmcp on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:51:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  "fuck you , idiot" ..''now let's discuss (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp, worldlotus

          how and maybe why you are an idiot and we can can begin by agreeing you are an idiot.''

          see, it depends on if you are trying to hurt the person, make them  swear and lose their temper first, or other wise cause them to soil themselves.

          I just don't think that dkos is the place to practice and condone those techniques, and even doubt whether they are effective in a wider forum, say yahoo or NYT comments.
            And definitely not recommended in a bar next to the shooting range.

          Maybe we need an 'Arguing Relentlessly and Impolitely Group'?

          The Abuse Group meets every tuesday 4am,  providing real world debating practice in a safe setting.

          I believe the longer term best bet is to coopt opponents with humanity in all it's better manifestations. But that's a lot of work innit?

          I think I am responding specifically to

          Great debaters should feel free to use any means at their disposal.  And, if someone can't handle having their position picked apart, they don't belong in the debate in the first place
          And, nothing personal about you Darmok, heh, but I feel I actually need to say here that I am not really saying 'fuck you' and 'you're an idiot' to you Darmok, because basically you are not AND you are  a long time dkos member and I don't really need to parse that any finer. (aka 'is this bugging you, I'm not touching you' :>)
              And I also had to add the disclaimer so the dang Courtesy Kos people don't start hitting me. They are everywhere.

          This machine kills Fascists.

          by KenBee on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:53:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Emotional appeals are much more persuasive (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, kalmoth, a2nite, worldlotus

        than logic. I think I've convinced maybe two people on the internet of something via logic in my entire life, emotional manipulation has gotten tons of people to at least stop arguing with me.

    •  the diary that spurred this debate was written (26+ / 0-)

      by a highly respected and valued member of this community.  someone who has been around almost from the start - and someone who is very beloved by this community.

      fyi, her health crisis and very survival has made many of us very protective of her. (actually, this applies to TWO members who have written TTFNs). you haven't been around long enough to make the statements you have - nor have you accurately described what spurred the diary and subsequent TTFN.

      the poster that wrote the diary has never uttered an unkind or untoward word to ANY person on this site - she is the example of what this community USED to be and SHOULD be... not some teenaged free-for-all poo-flinging contest over who has the best "pie" or meta.

      when valued members of this community - members who actually add to the site with thoughtful and considered reason are speaking out, it would do wise for many of the newer members to ask why and to pay attention to their own interactions here.

      what people are asking for is civility - debating of issues with adult behavior and not immature name-calling, insults, bullying and threats.

      great debaters mock position, not people.  the "debate" style here often deteriorates to gigantic p*ssing contests with the rest of the community getting sprayed by the disgusting behavior.

      it's simple.  if one cannot debate on substance, then that person needs to go back to the drawing board and start doing some serious research on the topic.  the minute it becomes personal, the argument is lost!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 01:14:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It doesn't matter to me who does the TTFN/GBCW (7+ / 0-)

        Nor do I put much stock in who has a lower user ID number.

        And I don't really have much sympathy for people who whine that "people are mean to me."  If you put yourself out there, so to speak, you're going to get the gamut of reactions.  

        All of that said, of course it would be great if everyone exercised the utmost civility and decorum in discussing any issue here.  But, the reality is that there are cranks, trolls and just plain unpleasant people out there and it's unrealistic to expect the Great Orange Satan to have the means or capability to exclude them all.

        •  Maybe it helps for each of us to remember (7+ / 0-)

          that this is a very big place.  Yes, we're a community working to elect more and better Democrats.  

          But Daily Kos is a lively boomtown with rowdy bars, art galleries, jazz clubs, rooms for the grieving, rehap centers, quilting bees, kitchens, green houses, historical societies, comedy clubs, book clubs, a hangout for home brewers -- you name it, we've probably got it and if we don't, we'll have it soon.

          And in truth, every single thread is another "subdivision" with its own population.

          If somebody wanders into some place within this giant conglomerate of places and finds that he or she is uncomfortable with the conversation, the trick is to leave that sub-division and find a place you enjoy.

          No need to give up on all of us when there are so many of us to choose from. Check out the conversation across town and down the street.

          Like Groucho says, "Don't leave in a huff. Take a cab."  

          :0)

          I was a peripheral visionary. I could see the future, but only way off to the side. ~ Steven Wright

          by Bugsby on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:37:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, I assumed what spurred this (11+ / 0-)

        was Bob Johnson's mockery of her departure, which I found in poor taste, but, as you say, he's a longtime 'highly respected and longtime member' and thus got all sorts of recs for that mockery, and even kos agreeing with it.

        •  Mockery of her departure? (6+ / 0-)

          This is a good example of how people see things differently.  I thought it was a great mockery of all cries for attention of the TTFN/GBCW variety.

          And, it was a good example of the use of mockery to make a valid point.  Obviously, others don't see it that way, but I don't expect us all to agree on all things.

        •  Of course Kos agreed with it. (4+ / 0-)

          When will everyone start accepting Markos' clear statements on how he views this site and how he intends to have this place BE going forward?

          *The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10*

          by Rick Aucoin on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:29:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  My mockery was of TTFNs and GBCWs, in general. (4+ / 0-)

          Particularly when such departures boil down to one person's beef with one other person. Diaries about someone's one-to-one beef with another poster here are inane. Yes, in the most recent example, what kestrel9000 (or whatever the fuck his number was) wrote was disgusting and vile and led to his banning, for good reason.

          At the same time, clicking on the links provided by the TTFN diarist revealed a nasty back-and-forth between the two of them. Both sides were dishing it out. Granted, kestrel100000000's kosmail was disgusting, crude and vile (the asshole should have been banned long ago for being off-kilter and nasty), but the TTFN diary was basically a call-out against one person.

          We see that here all the time. There are procedures in place to deal with abusive posters. That's why call-out diaries aren't allowed.

          A sweeping generalization about the site being "broken" was a bunch of horseshit. It was a beef between two posters, with maybe someone else tag-teaming along for the ride.

          Happens every day here.

          Thank god not everyone who gets in a squabble with another poster pens an opus GBCW or TTFN diary. Otherwise, that's all we'd have.

      •  Edrie, Kos simply disagrees with you. (5+ / 0-)

        He posted very very clearly that he considers it not only normal, not only acceptable, but explicitly GOOD that members of this so-called community leave on a regular basis, bringing in New blood.

        Your description of this place flies directly in the face of the man who is the unquestioned and unquestionable boss, or despot, of this place.

        Seriously, you need to recalibrate your view of what this place is to fit a bit more to what Kos has said it is instead of what you want it to be.

        *The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10*

        by Rick Aucoin on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 02:03:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think what many are missing here is the (13+ / 0-)

          backstory...unlike many of the recent TTFNs...which were based on disagreement with the political discourse on the site...the last one was a clear case of harassment...the diarist was never involved in the gun diaries until the offender included the diarist in an accusation of stalking and somebody sent her a PM...the offender even came to another site attacking me and others...the admins there quickly banned him...she reported him here but got no response for 3 weeks...then she received this PM...

          screw you for that hr, for your hypocrisy, for your application of rights you like but others you don't. Screw you for stalking me, and for your dishonorable, scumbag nr. Fuck you, XXXX. In your neck. Forever. I can't believe this.
          this is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to the abusive comments the offender posted to her and others.

          I think she felt...if the admins from here would not stop this abuse...she would rather leave...and I feel was right to bring attention to the problem.

          in the end...the offender was bojo'd...the diarist is still here.

          FTR...none of us were stalking him...and I bet most tried to avoid him...I know I did.


          We are not broke, we are being robbed.

          by Glen The Plumber on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 03:46:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe so, yes. (6+ / 0-)

            I'm not missing that.  I certainly noticed that K9000 was his usual completely unrepentant asshole self, harassing and stalking, like so many of his little gang do.

            But what everyone needs to keep in the forefront of their minds is that the mocking response diary by Bob Johnson was quite appreciated and approved of by Markos.

            Markos said in his own diary about making TTFN = GBCW (which I don't actually have a problem with, if GBCW diaries are a ban then TTFN's should be to) that he thinks it is a good thing when people here leave.  

            There ARE no "valued voices" in the "community" here, other than the ones on the payroll.  Markos isn't going to make the rules known around here (he has very specifically NOT made updating and keeping the FAQ for site rules any sort of priority), he's also going to ban hammer "both sides" if the lynch mobs and their victims get too loud for his liking, AND he has stated flat out that he thinks it's a GOOD THING for people to leave from here so that "new blood" can come in.

            That isn't a community.  And if it is, it's a bleak despotism.  And that's the way Markos wants it.

            Think he'll put in a "community committee" that's elected by the citizenry here to have any input on site policies?  On site policing for lynch mobs and bullies?

            Does anyone think that even the very slightest democratic (small d) concepts and principles will ever be represented at this "community"?

            Of course not, it would be silly to think such things because of how very clear Markos has been on how he sees this place and how he intends it to be, both now and going forward.

            And how he intends it to be is, essentially, a despotic state with no law enforcement other than the whim of the local overlord, with lynch mobs and gangs free to do as they will as long as the screams of their victims don't bother the nap time of the overlord.

            Hyperbole?  Actually, no, not at all.

            And if people would just accept these realities and use the place to read articles and occasionally discuss politics instead of attaching some emotional sentimental value to the place as though it were some sort of "community" they belong to, they'd be far better off.

            *The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. - Kos 8/31/10*

            by Rick Aucoin on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:23:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  At first I didn't get your point but sadly now (9+ / 0-)

              I see it and agree with it.  There is a difference between the site that Kos envisions and the one that many members who enjoy "community" envision.  Kos isn't going to discourage too much acrimony if it keeps the clicks coming.  This is a business.  He isn't required to "care about" us.  Where I can see it becoming more of a problem for Kos is if it does affect the traffic at the site.  The loss of one or a hundred good people isn't going to do that.

              I do think the problem is with a small group of relatively immature people who enjoy the "rough and tumble" world of internet politics and will tell you to get out of the kitchen if you can't take the heat.  People who probably wouldn't be all that brave and confrontational if they didn't get to hid behind their anonymous tough guy personas.  I find those people also tend to have relatively immature political beliefs.  Their belief that there is no need for civil discourse and that the weak should just go away shows how little they understand real life.  The fact is that good ideas and thought provoking concepts often come more from people who tend to think before they speak and who listen more than talk.  But bullies have always been this way and nothing is likely to change this very human problem at this place.  Kos' acceptance and even encouragement of the tough guy attitude does give us all guidance about what is going to be tolerated here and what isn't.  

              I've followed some of the people that have been mocked for leaving and don't think their announcements about leaving were intended to draw attention to themselves.  I truly think they hoped to draw attention to the problem so that Kos and the rest of the community would recognize it and try to fix it.  Unfortunately, instead of that result, just like in so many of the diaries at issue, some people chose to make it personal.  They accused those people of seeking personal drama and participated in frenzied group bullying.  Maybe the message was the wrong one or maybe the TTFN diarists were wrong about the problem.  But the personalization, the meaness of spirit and the group think that followed the TTFN diaries doesn't speak well of this site and certainly not of the people who engaged in it.  The ones most likely to enjoy posting here are going to be the ones who care about the site and it's participants the least and who are thus, most able to walk away.

              I apologize for the long post after your comment.  A lot of this is not directed at you but are things that came to my mind as a result of your post.

              "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

              by stellaluna on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:22:30 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  rick, you were not around during the kos police (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              peregrine kate, SoonerG, kurt, Onomastic

              troll-hunters.  that was when a small group of people (and there socks) tried to oust people they deemed "trolls".  the only problem was they attacked people who disagreed with their point of view and set out to drive those folks out.

              while the perpetrator of this fiasco held a respectable appointment in education, she had serious issues - to the extreme of creating sockpuppets to rate herself up and to "argue" her points of view in support of her own postings.  this created a HUGE division in this communty until, one day, she forgot with which user id she had logged into the site and she was BUSTED!  her ip addresses outed her catfishing and she was banned - but not before many good people walked away from the ugliness.  i left for over seven months - rarely even logged onto the site.

              the reason so many of us are upset by the current factionalization is that we remember that period and the problems it caused and how it weakened our OWN political common voice.

              as for how kos sets up moderation - in a bizarre way, i like it.  no more slouise17 and "crew" - instead, we are expected to act like adults and when the behavior becomes egregious (no matter which side of the debate you are on) - then, you're booted.  i've been saddened to see many good voices locked outside the door here - on both sides of many arguments.  the problem is that people don't know when to let go of a deteriorating situation.  walking away doesn't mean anyone "wins" - it means that the situation is diffused.

              NO one wants to have a "nanny" on the site - other than all of us here speaking out when things are out of control - THAT is community moderation - sparse use of the hr after an explanation of how the behavior is not acceptable in this environment.

              the idea that all of this is about "money" or "page hits" is inaccurate.  this blog is not a major source of money-making for anyone.  that we have grown enough to actually hire working staff writers and staff to keep the site up and running and renewed is an amazing feat - but it doesn't depend just on page hits.

              online advertising isn't what it used to be - for this site to survive, it will take a lot more - that is now the creative challenge for markos.  fundraising?  yep.  dk product store? yep. advertising? yep.  subscriptions? yep.

              for all of these to work, there have to be new voices, fresh voices - not the same old people saying the same old things with the same old fights.  to be relevant, we need to grow.

              i like the direction - the subsets with specific interests represented - i like very much the dynamics.  what i don't like - and i think i can speak for many others - is when posters assume it is all right to get personally nasty and ugly and attack individual members for holding divergent beliefs.

              this site was built on healthy debate - not on dysfunctional dynamics between "cliques".  

              and, as for "cliques" - i see very few of those - i see people who hold similar views on one side of an issue arguing those positions with others who hold divergent views.  i'd rather see the two groups working toward common solutions that could address the needs of BOTH groups.  hell, i'd like to see a little "bipartisanship" on this site between democrats, progressives, liberals, libertarians, anarchists, etc.

              if we want a place to debate and be heard by a very wide audience, then it is up to ALL of us to make this place people are attracted to - where they want to HEAR our opinions.  

              what we DON'T need is to make this site the maury povich version of political enmity... not if we really want "change" in our political system.

              are we political theatre or are we political activists.  it is up to each of us to decide.

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:16:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  My mockery was of TTFNs and GBCWs, in general. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wordsinthewind, Onomastic

              Particularly when such departures boil down to one person's beef with one other person (as yesterday's big TTFN did). Diaries about someone's one-to-one beef with another poster here are inane. Yes, in the most recent example, what kestrel9000 (or whatever the fuck his number was) wrote was disgusting and vile and led to his banning, for good reason.

              At the same time, clicking on the links provided by the TTFN diarist revealed a nasty back-and-forth between the two of them. Both sides were dishing it out. Granted, kestrel100000000's kosmail was disgusting, crude and vile (the asshole should have been banned long ago for being off-kilter and nasty), but the TTFN diary was basically a call-out against one person.

              We see that here all the time. There are procedures in place to deal with abusive posters. That's why call-out diaries aren't allowed.

              A sweeping generalization about the site being "broken" was a bunch of horseshit. It was a beef between two posters.

              Happens every day here.

              Thank god not everyone who gets in a squabble with another poster pens an opus GBCW or TTFN diary. Otherwise, that's all we'd have.

          •  No, she posted a comment to him (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wordsinthewind

            out of the blue calling him a name 3 hours before he sent that kosmail.

            So your timeline isn't correct:

            she reported him here but got no response for 3 weeks...then she received this PM...
            And Kos won't ban people here for behavior on another site.

            He finally did something that rightly got him banned here, so no need to make up fables.

            •  first...I would not expect kos to ban people (0+ / 0-)

              for actions on other sites...not his job...and would be a little creepy if he followed people to other sites.

              second...you are wrong...this started 3 weeks ago...what I wrote was true...do you really think kos would have banned him and not her if that was all there was to the story..??


              We are not broke, we are being robbed.

              by Glen The Plumber on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:36:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  have you met marcus? i have. and i don't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic

          believe for one minute that his "vision" is what you state.

          you should meet him.  i think your somewhat cynical view will change when you do.

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:56:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed: (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        miss SPED, edrie, worldlotus, Onomastic
        what people are asking for is civility - debating of issues with adult behavior and not immature name-calling, insults, bullying and threats.

        great debaters mock position, not people.  the "debate" style here often deteriorates to gigantic p*ssing contests with the rest of the community getting sprayed by the disgusting behavior.

        It is my impression this is the essence of what Avila expressed in her diary.

        Some heard the message; others did not; some never will; some do not care.

        •  Like this? (0+ / 0-)
          what's your defense, kalmoth? (1+ / 0-)
          i'm not going to ask you again what you think you're doing, when you've admitted you have NO idea.

          kestrel9000 has been a friend to me for years.  if i have a problem or question, i ask him directly.  sometimes he answers.  but if i had a friend working this hard, and this inefficiently, to exonerate me from nuthin, making me look all helpless and fragile?  you'd have been off my buddy list hours ago.  

          all your thread-meddling and oh yes, wait a minute, mister postman! oh puh-leeze, mister postman! whining has accomplished is making a fool of yourself.

          all this angst over a disagreement (pero Dios mio!) on.the.freakin.internet.

          ::sigh::  for this kind of reckless loco, i bill by the hour.  so you, my melodramatic friend, hasten to a fainting couch and think before you write. i'm out.  i may peek in someday, but i see no reason to do so under the current cloudy with a chance of tears atmosphere.

          by Avila on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:12:24 AM PST

      •  She has definitely uttered unkind words (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wordsinthewind

        don't be making her into a saint.  Check out her comments if you don't believe me.

    •  Mockery works? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      miss SPED

      Not sure it ever does.  Did you mean it works to convince people when you mock them?  Or it works to win arguments?  Or....?

      •  Mockery of a statement/argument (0+ / 0-)

        As in, "Yes, it is entirely reasonable to believe that maybe I was advocating mocking people when I was talking about debating issues and specifically castigated people who make personal insults."

    •  strongly disagree (5+ / 0-)
      The fact that one person resorts to a TTFN or GBCW as a way of putting the proberbial cherry on top of their fight ("look, you drove me out of here!") is nothing that should concern any of us.
      Every time a strong contributor leaves, it's the community's loss. Such a departure is often inevitable, but there are cases when it definitely isn't.
    •  Acronym soup FTW! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Darmok

      That is a very apt way of describing all these silly acronyms.

      I can't tell you how often I have been forced to do a google search in order to figure out wtf people are writing about.  Not saying I am opposed to their use, just that more often than not I have no idea what they mean without searching it out.

      Do not become intoxicated with the excessive exuberance of your own inexhaustible verbosities...

      by SoonerG on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:22:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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