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Dailykos is truly a wonder, an oasis of positivity and light in, what is largely, a dark, nasty, cold world of internet politics. It is a true oddity that so many of our commenters and diarists are so bright, so intelligent, so kind to one another. Trust me, outside of this website, especially on many of the social websites, the comments are much more vicious and nasty than the relatively safe place that many of us, in large or small part, worked so hard to build. For all of its faults and downfalls, pie fights, name calling and ridiculous drama that goes on from day to day, many, if not all kossacks (who are not here under dubious pretenses) have interesting perspectives, and are genuinely not here to call people names and get into fights.

Having said that, we must also realize that the problems that we have as a community are large. Some of the problems have been caused by, what is in my view, unclear rules, and lack of a solid tool by which moderation can be effective. To be clear, I like the core principles behind community moderation. The idea that we are all adult enough to moderate the community that we helped build is a good one. But, there are issues as well. The system itself is extremely vulnerable to gaming, which exacerbates this feeling of division and promotes factionalism within the site. What I mean by gaming is this -- twisting well-intentioned, but vague community norms into a vehicle to downrate a person from a dissenting faction, or using a rule to uprate someone who has broken the rules. Overall, this behavior undermines the carefully crafted community moderation system and renders it useless.

Another glaring problem, to me at least, is the lack of organization and clarity about community standards. For example: there has been quite a bit of confusion about which set of rules to follow. Sometimes Meteor Blades past comments are used as a rough guide, sometimes kos' edicts are used (DBAD, for example), sometimes the FAQ is cited, sometimes standards aren't even written, just observed. I think this lack of clarity is also at the core of most of the pie fights that spring up from time to time. The biggest problem, though, is that it is easy to forget that we are a community, and the danger of thinking kos is a warzone in which two factions beat each other into submission, often twisting the rules to exact vendettas against the other side of the divide.

To be clear, I am not blaming any one person for these issues. Its understandable that Community Moderation not be high on the priority list for kos and his staff. In a perfect world, we wouldn't even need a set of rules or a dedicated community moderator. We are all adults, we should be able to work this out in a mature fashion amongst ourselves with our judgement as a Trusted User. Unfortunately, reality is not perfect. Sometimes Trusted Users shirk their duty and decide to use the rules to their (or their factions) advantage, sometimes the rules are used to gang up on innocent users, sometimes people are banned unfair or unjust reasons. It happens. The system we have built does work on most occasions, but in the situation where the system breaks, it breaks badly and everyone feels the consequences, people TTFN or GBCW and the fabric of the community is harmed.

Our goal should be to do as little harm to the awesome community that all of us worked hard to build (myself included, in some small way). But when prominent, kind, empathetic, members of this community begin to leave or say they need to take a break, the situation must be addressed head on. Because their absences detracts from the vibrant, diverse atmosphere this community thrives on. If we are proactive about these problems, we can fix them. We don't all have to agree on everything, but if we all remember that there is a human being behind the User Handle, with emotions that can be hurt even though these are just words on a blog, we can finally start to heal the deep wounds that divide some members of our communities.

Maybe I am taking the internet too seriously, but this community matters a lot to me. The fighting and personal insults makes the atmosphere around here thick. It makes interacting in a meaningful way and effecting change at any level hard if not impossible. But when we put the factionalism and pie fighting behind us, we are a force to be reckoned with. In four years, I have seen that fact borne out too many times to count. When we fight, argue, bicker, namecall, and bully, we split our effectiveness, not only in politics, but in all our endeavors as a community.

Thats why the series like the Pootie diaries, or C&J, or Top Comments are so important. They encourage us to put aside our differences and force us to remember that we are not adversaries, we are not foes, we are not enemies, we are allies and friends. I have heard many times on this blog from some users that those types of diaries are not useful to a site whose goal is to elect more and better democrats, and I respectfully disagree with that analysis. If anything, those diaries, and the community diaries like GUS and IAN increase our effectiveness, thus increasing our ability to actually get out and ELECT more and better democrats, because they unite us. Sure, the policy diaries will always be "the show" at dailykos, but the silly diaries, the silly diaries, the community diaries, the commenters, the kindness, and the atmosphere here will always be the BACKBONE of our success. We ignore that fact at our own peril.

Originally posted to word. on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:40 PM PST.

Also republished by Courtesy Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't think so (40+ / 0-)
    Maybe I am taking the internet too seriously, but this community matters a lot to me.
    It means a lot to me too. It means a lot to a lot of people. I think we can pull this all together to be effective this January. We have a lot of work to do together.

    Thank you for the diary.

  •  Too many people leaving (37+ / 0-)

    and daily posts, like J Town, sadly gone.   I feel sad every time there's an exodus of excellent people from DK and it's happening all too frequently these days.  And far too many TTFN diaries again being posted (or not seeing comments or diaries by the folks whose work I look for).

    This community has survived divides before (like the 2008 Democratic primary), but we should not need survival skills, thicker hides, or numbed feelings in order to feel comfortable continuing to particpate here.  Nor should anyone fear to post something reasoned and rational in order to avoid a pie fight or pile on.

    I'm not sure how or why this current mass exit started since I had a broken computer for about a month, so anyone with insight into what happened please clue me in (KosMail if you'd rather not post something).  

    I'll be watching to see how others feel about what's going on.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:04:14 PM PST

    •  I think, most recently, it became the result of (19+ / 0-)

      diaries regarding the fiscal cliff; pro and con, which involved support/opposition to it AND the president.

      Some of these got very heated and there were (I read many after the fact given I didn't want to get involved:)) a host of people flinging some really nasty poo all over the place, some of it quite personal.

      Makes the gun diaries look like a walk in the park, actually.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:27:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like the vile stuff the (16+ / 0-)

        Hillary vs. Obama supporters were up to in 2008.  Yowza, that was fierce.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:48:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Post election-itis. (30+ / 0-)

        For months leading up to the election those who are disappointed in this administration and its policies kept quiet to a great degree about what was driving them nuts in the policy realm.

        Pull along on the same rope, we're all on the same team, etc.  Lead up to the election only the very extreme end of the critics around here continue screaming about the Administration.  Everyone else clams up and lets things slide as much as they possibly can in order to get along.

        After the election, those critics return to speaking their mind and advocating for the policies they think would be better than the policies the Administration seems to be embracing.

        So to many partisan supporters of the Administration, it seems as though "suddenly" there's all this negativity and the atmosphere has changed and the place just sucks, etc, etc.  And people start quitting and TTFN and such because, well, they don't like it.

        Which is pretty much how the critics feel in the months leading up to every election, but you know, they suck it up and soldier on generally.

        What people need to remember at all times is that the "shut up and soldier with us" mentality of the month or two preceding a general election is not the norm and it shouldn't be the norm.

        The norm is, and should be, loud, yelling, ugly, dirty, messy, argument about policies and positions and being critical of both policies and the politicians who further them.

        Because THAT is how democracy works best.  When it is loud and messy and, frankly, a pain in everyone's ass.

        The "shut up, that's not helping" mentality running up to an election is how the other side does their daily business.  NOT the way we do ours, nor should we.

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

        by Rick Aucoin on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:53:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you (27+ / 0-)

          that the discussion over policy, strategy, and ideology should be had, and that at times it will be messy. Comes with the territory, I would imagine.

          But when stuff gets so personal that people start to leave over it, it has gone to far imo. The nasty, petty personal comments have to stop before we once again get in too deep to change the behavior.

          Civility, courtesy, kindness. The CK mantra.

          by rexymeteorite on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 02:28:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is very difficult... (13+ / 0-)

            ...to limit emotion on emotioal topics, and topics that shouldn't be separated from emption.  It is hard not to take it personal when an issue means a lot to you personally.

            We should try though I guess.

            We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

            by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:13:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it's not hard (7+ / 0-)

              it's imperative and the mature thing to do.

              Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

              by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:17:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  there are some issues... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Rick Aucoin

                ..that you cannot divorce from emotion.  To try will make you a less effective advocate. Try talking with a right to lifer without emotion.

                We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:42:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  poppycock and piffle (6+ / 0-)

                  an argument from emotion is no "argument" at all.  it's inciting a visceral response.  

                  i am not saying we should emotionless robots, but emotions are only part of the process.  emotions are useful in guiding priorities, etc.  in policy discussions or trying to get anything done, not so much.  

                  and maybe emotional presentations do catch people's attention, but that's a double-edged sword.  like i said, sometimes it's useful for sparking motivation in people.  but as part of implementing actual policy and persuading others not aligned to your way of thinking?  nothing but counterproductive.  

                  Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                  by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:01:21 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Tell that to evangalists... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Radiowalla, Rick Aucoin, sidnora

                    ...they have gotten a lot done.  Not a lot of it good though.

                    I believe you can't argue a strong anti-war position unless you make the pain of the cost of war emotionally resonate in you audience.

                    Politics is sales and marketing not a debating society.

                    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                    by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:07:53 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  is, perhaps, but should not be (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Radiowalla, Puddytat, OldSoldier99

                      and that is the point.  

                      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                      by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:08:45 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  and my point ... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Radiowalla, Rick Aucoin

                        ...is emotionless policy is piss poor policy because there is no popular buyin.  A policy people won't cooperate with won't work.  That is what RKBA keeps saying and they are correct.  That is why you have to make guns unpopular.

                        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                        by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:12:27 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You and Cedwyn are both right (6+ / 0-)

                          and in my view policy and emotion go hand in hand.  Policy is debated and built on the basis of facts, values and goals. It is elaborated after long study and discussion.  But without the "hook"...the emotional connection to the deep desires of the people... policy can't be implemented because no one "gets" it.  

                          Both are important and not mutually exclusive.  

                          It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

                          by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:46:30 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  nonsense...all policy is emotionless (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SoCalSal, DeadHead

                          appealing to emotion to elicit support for something is okay to a point, because it's a fine line between an honest emotional appeal and demagoguery.  appeals to emotion are how we end up with stuff like municipalities banning dihydrogen monoxide.  appeal to fear and all kinds of crazy stuff can happen.

                          and trying to get someone to agree with you emotionally is pointless.  either they do or they don't; the point is what the goal is and if effective policy is the goal, emotion is not a guide beyond identifying the issue and the imperative to solve it. but it has no part in the actual solving or getting people who disagree on board.

                          and again, that our system is soundbyte- and marketing-oriented does not mean it should be or that it has to stay that way.  allowing for hyperbole and sensationalism under the guise of emotional appeals is a huge part of the problem.

                          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                          by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:49:40 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The Republican have proven you wrong... (4+ / 0-)

                            ...except about going into demagogery.  They have gotten where they are by emotion and the 'logic' of the democratic party has done little to move the national conversation to the left.

                            But I have to go so I guess I have to end it here.

                            And don't get me wrong I would love emotionless logic to guide policy as a computer programmer but I know it is the sales and marketing people who run the business.  Logic is engine but emotion is the fuel.

                            We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                            by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:57:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  and one final thing to add... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Rick Aucoin

                            ...no good engine design ignores considerations as to what fuel is going to be used and how much.

                            We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                            by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:12:23 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Respectful disagreement (3+ / 0-)

                            on a couple of points: first, people's emotions do shape their ideology, especially when those emotions are the result of personal experience. Carolyn McCarthy is in the House today because of her (emotional) response to the mass shooting that tore her family apart; Roe v. Wade was decided, at least in part, because of the nation's emotional reaction to the many deaths of young women as a result of illegal or self-induced abortions. And national support for it has waned as the problem it was meant to fix has receded in people's emotional memories.

                            We are all far more creatures of our emotions than most of us would like to admit; denying that leads to just as much crazy policy as letting it run away with you. Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were extremely cerebral policymakers; that didn't make their policies any more rational, in fact it probably made them even more divorced from reality. As in most things, balance is the key.

                            Second, I'd suggest that if you'd like to sway your interlocutor, there are better ways to start your comments than "nonsense", "poppycock and piffle".

                            "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                            by sidnora on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:01:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i'm not denying it; (0+ / 0-)

                            i'm lamenting it.  and only by begging people to think about it can the dynamic ever be changed.  

                            like i said, i recognize that emotion is a big part of prioritization, motivation, etc.  but policy cannot be written in emotional terms.  it has to have empirical, real-world specs.

                            appealing to emotion will get those who agree with you and respond to emotional appeals on board.  then what do you do? you've got to find a way to get through to both your allies who don't respond to emotional appeals and the opposition.  

                            so, given that it has to come down to brass tacks at some point, that needs to be the focus more than emotional angles. there is no dis/proving an appeal to emotion, but there is lots and lots of supporting one's position with facts and data.  

                            besides, emotions are often fleeting and not everyone responds to such.  it took mark kirk (?) having a stroke for him to realize that hey, maybe 10 therapy sessions isn't enough. emotional appeals are NEVER going to work on someone for whom it takes direct experience for them to see the light.

                            shorter comment:  people are often not persuaded in the same ways, but everyone can choose which criteria to prioritize, regardless of how they're wired.  that's what it is to be human.

                            ; P

                            peace

                            Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

                            by Cedwyn on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 07:38:38 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  There's a difference between (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rick Aucoin, CuriousBoston, WB Reeves

                  speaking with emotion, even with passion, and speaking without respect for your interlocutor.

                  If you have any hope of persuading someone who disagrees with you, how are you helping your argument by insulting them to their face? And if that holds true for someone we'd all disagree with profoundly, like a forced-birther, how much more does it hold true when you're arguing with someone you probably agree with most of the time?

                  "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

                  by sidnora on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:48:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Emotion=passion (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              delver rootnose

              The more I see this comment from delver rootnose the more I like it.  Of course people get up in arms around here, of course people lose their tempers, of course they cross the line from polite conversation to angry fighting.

              As well they should.

              And all of the 'we're all on the same team' stuff simply isn't true. I am not on the same team as anyone who makes excuses for policies under the current administration that we excoriated the previous administration for carrying out.  

              What is more your foe, the guy with a knife in front of you or the guy with the knife behind you?

              Conservatives and authoritarians are my enemies, be they Republicans or Democrats.

              Kos made that "more and better Democrats" slogan quite on purpose, it's genius marketing really.  Because he's convinced both the partisan Democrats and the activist liberals that they both belong here.  

              And, well, if your business is page views, flame wars are good for business. :-)

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

              by Rick Aucoin on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:20:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  i get what you're saying... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Puddytat, Rick Aucoin, sidnora, DeadHead
            But when stuff gets so personal that people start to leave over it, it has gone to far imo. The nasty, petty personal comments have to stop before we once again get in too deep to change the behavior.
            does that happen a lot though?

            i think that most people here are diplomatic and reasonable, even when they're upset about something. i'm always surprised when someone is nasty to me.

            "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

            by thankgodforairamerica on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:07:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  It would be great if there could be respectful... (7+ / 0-)

            disagreement, wouldn't it?  If only we could try to remember that we are individuals coming from different locations, generations, experiences, cultures, knowledge bases, and perspectives--we could try to understand that we may see the same things in different ways.  But, it's not always easy.  I know that there have been times that I've forgotten those things and made comments I later wished I could just take back.  

            This website has grown continually since 2004.  There are now over 600,000 (or more?) registered users.  The rapid addition of so many new people--and the exit of so many "oldtimers" combined have changed many of the dynamics here.  It's not always the same cozy, familiar place it once was.  But even then there were some monumental pie fights.  

            Rexymeteorite, I'm glad that there are still people like you, who care about keeping the element of "Community" here.  That caring community is one thing about GOS that keeps a lot of us coming back.  

        •  I personally think it is more fundamental.... (15+ / 0-)

          ...than that.  I think the Democratic Party, and political discourse in general, has been moving rightward for quite a while.

          Many here, at least I hope many, still like to stick to things they consider progressive, or gasp liberal, like in my case anti-war, and as I see it, come into conflict with people who either support the rightward shift, in the guise of centrism or pragmatism, or support the party over the ideal, (what you didn't get a pony, don't ruin the good looking for the perfect).

          You are correct that much of this was subsumed by the election and Kos's edict to STFU until after the election, even though I think that is the perfect time to push the discourse in the liberal direction, and now the steam is blowing off and the issue idealists, that is not a bad word, are coming back.

          It would be nice if the Democratic Party and places like this would embrace the far left at least as strongly as the right has embraced its far right.  Why is it in the attempt to create a big tent are only the moderates, i.e. the rightwing of 30 years ago, sought after to be included while even the discussion of left leaning groups or ideals ridiculed.

          When was the last time there was any real discussion or attempt to mobilize about things like bringing people from to Bush admin to charges for what they did?  Or outrage over continuing authorization of domestic spying.  Or lack of transparency, or prosecution of whistleblowers or political criminals like Don Siegelman, or Gitmo, etc. etc.
          People even denigrate Occupy and groups that are at least trying to do something.
          Sorry rant off.  But I hope you see what I mean.  I get most frustrated and angry and rude and unproductive when I feel old time, god that makes me sound old, democratic core issues are not supported because the democrats are now doing what this place screamed about repeatedly and loudly when republicans did them.

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 02:41:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd like to see more action calls (7+ / 0-)

            from what you consider the far-left, honestly.  And less name-calling.   Less personalizing of every single political failure in the US onto Obama would be nice, too -- the fights that result from that are just so goddamn useless -- but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

          •  it is what it is... (8+ / 0-)
            It would be nice if the Democratic Party and places like this would embrace the far left at least as strongly as the right has embraced its far right.  Why is it in the attempt to create a big tent are only the moderates, i.e. the rightwing of 30 years ago, sought after to be included while even the discussion of left leaning groups or ideals ridiculed.
            Define "far left"... Those of us who remain just as anti-war, anti-torture, anti-drones, anti MIC, in 2013 as much as we were in 2007? Those of us who say "Hands off our Dem Party signature New Deal safety net Big Three" programs? Those of us who hold fast to the ideals and values expressed in the 2008 Party Platform? Yeah, we're "fringe left" now around here? So it would seem. {shakes head}

            I tend to think there is an awful lot of "talking past each other" on GOS due to differing definitions people have of "left" and also of "activism".

            plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

            Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

            by Lady Libertine on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:45:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's not that honestly (10+ / 0-)

          (from someone who's been more sympthetic to what you call the "administration support" side during the recent fights).  It's the excessive amount of snark and spitballing and name-calling that goes on surrounding the fights.  That level of ugly is not productive IMO.  It just brings out the worst in the opposition that sticks around and makes the people who would be inclined to give the kind of arguments and debate that you want -- it makes them want to bury their heads and leave.  

        •  Exactly right. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rick Aucoin, AZ Sphinx Moth

          Many of us acceded to the reasonable request to hold off on voicing our differences with the administration till after the election. There was a tacit promise made in return though: that after Mr. Obama was safely reelected, criticism of the critics would also be tempered.

          That promise has mostly not been kept.

          When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

          by PhilJD on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:28:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And the outraged departures. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PhilJD, CuriousBoston

            After all, it's the critics fault, implicitly, that so many good and decent people the community loves so much are leaving, because of the nasty hateful atmosphere fostered by those damn critics.

            It's all hogwash, imho, but emotional manipulation is effective, so people will use it.

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

            by Rick Aucoin on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:25:26 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  that was certainly not the purpose of my diary (0+ / 0-)

              and, at this point, you are putting words in my mouth.

              Civility, courtesy, kindness. The CK mantra.

              by rexymeteorite on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:15:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This isn't a comment to your diary. (0+ / 0-)

                Comment concerning recent rashes of "TTFN" and such from people who are clearly on long standing record as being partisan supporters of the Administration, and who are departing due to, as I said above, the "sudden" negativity and "nastiness" around here.

                Unfortunately "nastiness" is often in the eye of the beholder.  And while I can control what I say I cannot control what someone else hears.

                Anyway, the whole thing doesn't surprise me one bit, we've seen it before after elections, we'll see it again.  

                "Shut up, that doesn't help" is bad democracy anyway.

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

                by Rick Aucoin on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:18:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent, thoughtful comment. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rick Aucoin, CuriousBoston, WB Reeves

          I do think there's a line somewhere between

          loud, yelling, ugly, dirty, messy, argument about policies and positions and being critical of both policies and the politicians who further them.
          and baselessad homs, name calling, and making shit up about other users. And I'm seeing that.

          Speaking as someone who is ideologically between the two extremes, I wince when I see one side accusing the other of all the bad behavior, while sincerely believing that they and their allies are blameless. I hate to sound like the MSM, but both sides do it. Really. They just tend to do it at different times.

          What this place shouldn't be is two clubs lining up behind their fences in order to lob spitballs at each other, and that's the way it's feeling right now. There's nothing being produced but the loss (temporary, I hope) of some people who help glue this place together. I value DK highly, but at times like this I'm glad I have an offline personal life, and an offline political life, too.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:44:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  J Town is still around (16+ / 0-)

      It's being published as Morning F Bomb, but still under the J Town group, and afaict, the same people generally involved.  I think Flora Rioja (sp?) is putting it together.  And fwiw, I don't recall there actually being any F Bombs....

      To make the argument that the media has a left- or right-wing, or a liberal or a conservative bias, is like asking if the problem with Al-Qaeda is do they use too much oil in their hummus. Al Franken

      by Youffraita on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:41:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  IMO, the guns issue brought out a lot of (17+ / 0-)

      hostility. It seemed as though every diary about guns and gun control brought out the hysterical worst in some people. There are actually a group of people here who claim to be Democrats and progressives, but who shriek in horror at the idea that assault weapons might be banned. Seriously, they sounded like crazed Republicans, repeating arguments and talking points that were alarmingly consistent with statements made by the NRA. Merely suggesting that we might perhaps someday consider discussing reasonable restrictions on what firearms are legal and who can legally own them elicited an immediate ALL CAPS-STYLE FREAKOUT that made reasonable discussion impossible.

      Again, this is just my opinion, but it's really turned quite ugly around here lately.

      I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

      by 1BQ on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:18:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sandy Hook (17+ / 0-)

        Everything about that tragedy was horrible.

        The only thing that could remotely be considered positive as a result of that catastrophe would be a substantive change in gun control policy.

        To shout down the discussion of this issue is to do a disservice to those who have died as a result of it "never being the right time to talk about it."

        Things definitely started going south here from that point. The fiscal cliff ignited, once again, a whole other pair of opposing views to an already volatile environment on DK.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:43:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  planks, eyes, yadda yadda (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hammerhand, Puddytat
        IMO, the guns issue brought out a lot of hostility. It seemed as though every diary about guns and gun control brought out the hysterical worst in some people. There are actually a group of people here who claim to be Democrats and progressives, but who shriek in horror at the idea that assault weapons might be banned. Seriously, they sounded like crazed Republicans, repeating arguments and talking points that were alarmingly consistent with statements made by the NRA. Merely suggesting that we might perhaps someday consider discussing reasonable restrictions on what firearms are legal and who can legally own them elicited an immediate ALL CAPS-STYLE FREAKOUT that made reasonable discussion impossible.

        Again, this is just my opinion, but it's really turned quite ugly around here lately.

        well, ya got that right.  guns have NOTHING to do with this diary, ergo, you went out of your way to take a personal swipe at a segment of this community.  in a diary about trying to heal the community.  bravo!

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:22:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The commenter wondered about what had (0+ / 0-)

          occurred during his/her absence. I offered my thoughts, as did others. Do you always object to someone helping a fellow Kossack get reoriented after an absence?

          Or are you just trying to shut me up?

          Your reply is quite representative of the hostility to which I referred. You changed the subject, not I.

          I'm a Democrat - I believe that government has a positive role to play in the lives of ordinary people.

          by 1BQ on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:16:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I wouldn't put that comment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CuriousBoston, 1BQ

        in the past tense - those folks are very much in evidence today.

        They are very, very defensive, and rightfully so. That's what accounts for the over-the-top, take-no-prisoners style of "discussion" many of them engage in.

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:23:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is most important (39+ / 0-)
    if we all remember that there is a human being behind the User Handle, with emotions that can be hurt
    If everyone would just remember this one fact, not only this site but the entire web would be a nicer place.

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:04:43 PM PST

  •  it might be nice (16+ / 0-)

    if whatever rules that were out there were applied a bit more evenly.  

    some have the privilege of dragging up old crap, and some don't.

    some have powerful forces* on their side, and most of the rest of us don't.  

    Ted Kennedy: “The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…”

    by jlms qkw on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:27:41 PM PST

    •  What I find really weird (28+ / 0-)

      is that I have been here since 2005 (off and on), have written 299 Diaries and left over 13000 comments, yet I largely still feel like I am just me.

      Sure I recognise that I am part of one particular Group, yet that influences little of my thinking as a Diarist and only a little more as a commenter.

      I am aware that a lot of people have clicked that little "heart" next to my name, but that doesn't influence what I say and do.

      I am aware of some of the major personalities and have good relationships with many Kossacks, but I don't follow groups of people, or even individuals and I am amazed at how much I miss.

      If I see a comment I agree with, I tip it. If I read a Diary I like, I rec it and it really is that simple. I know that not everyone takes such a simplistic approach to the place, and they might not believe that I do, yet that is the truth of it. Even when I write a well-received meta Diary, I do it from a fairly simplistic view.

      I like most people here. I agree with them about most things and when I don't it's not hard to say so without making enemies ... we have enough of those on the other side.

      Maybe I am doing it wrong because I probably should be more aware of the personalities, and how they relate. I'm not completely ignorant, but I always feel that I never do more than scratch the surface, and I don't care to.

      :: sigh :: It all gets very complicated :)

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:44:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's amazing to me (9+ / 0-)

        if someone had asked, i'd have said:  twigg? yeah, i know twigg. (i really don't, but know in the way i know the people i like best and follow.)

        twigg? yep. one of the most popular writers there.  he's in Diary Rescue, but after my time in DR.  and he writes really cool stories about his family that i love reading, so i follow him.   he's smart and emotionally intelligent and very intuitive . . . if he disagrees with you, he'll tell you why in a thoughtful way.  he's an interesting person whose perspectives i enjoy.

        •  One day I'll tell the story (7+ / 0-)

          of my early internet history.

          It's a mixture of the twigg you see today, combined with the worst troll you never wished to meet.

          I can do that. I can troll with the best of them and it's no fun. In the end a better troll comes along and you have to up your game.

          Being straightforward and open sometimes means you get hurt, but I long ago decided that I would prefer that to the kind of cynicism required to constantly fight with everyone.

          I miss Usenet sometimes, because amidst the angst there was a purity, and I still think I did more good than harm.

          I'm much calmer now, and I have Mrs Twigg to thank for that.

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          by twigg on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:25:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I miss Usenet, too (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg, liz dexic, Avila

            Whatever happened to Usenet?  Got invaded by trolls and pornographers, yes.  But it was a great way to find people with common interests in various topics.  (as an aside, I HATE that Google has all of the Usenet comments in its archive for anyone to see.)

            It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

            by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:55:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It was supplanted (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Avila

              by browser chatrooms and forums.

              They are easier to find, but much slower and more cumbersome to use.

              I used Forte Agent for years ... Fast and reliable, and it would be ideal for use on today's cell phones.

              Yep, they are all archived. I have over 10 000 comments in one particular forum, and if you can find it I'll be impressed :)

              I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
              but I fear we will remain Democrats.

              by twigg on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:30:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Usenet? (0+ / 0-)

            dude, i grew up on Usenet!  it should have been my major in high school. ;)  it's very hard to imagine you in this way (a troll?) but as you know, that term has a somewhat different meaning on blogs than it had on Usenet.

            small world . . . . i wonder if we were in any of the same newsgroups?  i miss it, too, and miss the purity you describe.  

            this is a story i'd really love to read.  there are a few people here who have talked a little about their Usenet days, and i've often wondered if i might have known them in that crazy, lawless, untamed territory.  i was no angel then any more than now, but the days of multi-crossposting, cascades, and invasion seem like the good old days now.  never thought i'd actually miss alt.romath, but sometimes i do.  ;)

            Mrs. Twigg sounds like the best of good people.  the ability to remain calm online takes a lot of discipline, but you seem to have it.  i'm looking forward to reading about your Usenet days.

      •  Gosh, Twigg... (22+ / 0-)
        If I see a comment I agree with, I tip it. If I read a Diary I like, I rec it and it really is that simple. I know that not everyone takes such a simplistic approach to the place, and they might not believe that I do, yet that is the truth of it.
        me too. When this DK4 thing started I saw a bunch of people I admired and marked them as "followed". But, I never use that thing. I use the site exactly as I did the old one....exactly as you described above.
      •  twigg, we're on the same page. (15+ / 0-)

        i have no idea who follows or is following - i follow ideas, not people.

        i see many posters here that touch me with their words and compassion - i am thrilled to meet in real life to put a face to the names.  

        this place has so much to offer IF we just take hold of what is there.  

      •  Well at least people like you... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandy on Signal, twigg

        ... I have pissed in everyone's punchbowl at one time or another.  I guess I'm too cranky for my own good.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 02:45:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent comment (7+ / 0-)

        and perspective. I have no idea who's zooming who - and I like it that way. I suppose it's rather superficial of me but I don't have the time or inclination to invest in the relationships - I come here to learn & get action information, and sure, some personal connections are made and that is a good thing. I try to be nice and respectful even when I disagree and I let asshole comments directed at me go unanswered. Maybe I am missing out on something by being rather disconnected - on the other hand, I don't equate DKos with stress or frustration so I must be doing something right.

        I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

        by hulibow on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:13:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  something has changed (18+ / 0-)

    something is different.  am i the only one who feels it?  

    •  I know what you mean (13+ / 0-)

      but I don't think much has changed really.

      The people have changed a bit, and maybe you feel that if folk you like, or related well to, are the ones currently unhappy.

      The place is big, much bigger as an entity that most users realize.

      There should be room for everyone, and if there isn't, then we should make room.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:48:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. It's definitely changed. (23+ / 0-)

      You're hardly the only person to notice.  A number of old-timers are leaving.

      I think it's the election.  Well, at least that's it for me.  Before the election, I felt a real urgency to defend the administration.  I was really frightened of the clock rolling back 100 years.

      Now though, I don't really care about all the screaming and the nonsense.  We won.  If a faction of people are trying to remain relevant by screaming at a term-limited President, let them.  I don't give a fuck, and neither does the rest of the world.  They're not going to do a goddamned thing about their grievances anyhow.  If they were, they wouldn't be here.

      Obama is going to leave office as one of the most popular Democrats ever, and with good reason.  The hyperbolic voices of dissent here have been largely irrelevant for quite sometime.

      I enjoy many of the people in this community, so I'll probably pop in and out.  But I feel as if this community has been declining since the health care fight, and I'm tired of the stupidity.  

      Who knows?  Maybe kos will find his way back to having the kind of access he used to.  I have my doubts, but one never knows.  One thing's for certain though, I'm no longer interested in grade school arguments and armchair quarterbacking that reeks of insecurity.  Life's to short for that bullshit.

      •  what i have noticed (17+ / 0-)

        fou, is exactly what you said.

        One thing's for certain though, I'm no longer interested in grade school arguments and armchair quarterbacking that reeks of insecurity.  Life's to short for that bullshit.
        i'm not here every day, or even every week, so i may not notice all sorts of things.  but this is so glaringly obvious, and so tiresome, i don't blame anyone for leaving or taking a break.  one would have to be entirely bored to want a daily dose of this nastiness in their lives.

        i've been here almost 9 years.  i was a lot more active prior to 2008, but i don't recall ever seeing this infantile, despicable kind of vitriol toward President Bush and he deserved it.  nope, it's every hater and amateur would be king who knows so much better than President Obama.  guess that makes me a fangirl, brainwashed, etc etc etc.  i don't lose any sleep over it. ;)

      •  Everything you just said (22+ / 0-)

        Goes twice for me.

        I've been battling the flu for the last week or so, so I've been reading here more than usual. And frankly, I'm more disheartened than I was before.

        When Kitsap River TTFN'd I felt she left the door propped open and I'd be slipping out behind her. Kelley isn't around much. Now bjm.

        Funny thing, I don't have any real close friends here like a lot of people do. There are some people that I like to joke and hang out with, and some I admire a lot. I'm feeling a lot of people from both groups slipping out that propped open door.

        As you say, it's tiresome.  There is insecurity and immaturity but there is also cruelty.  

        I don't put up with cruel people in real life. Why would I do it  here?

        Eight years is a good long time. As they say, go out when you're on top. We just swept all the elections in my states and districts. Maybe the time is right for me...

        © grover


        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:46:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's interesting that in a diary (6+ / 0-)

        about rebuilding a community and moving away from insults, a comment that says this:

        Now though, I don't really care about all the screaming and the nonsense.  We won.  If a faction of people are trying to remain relevant by screaming at a term-limited President, let them.  I don't give a fuck, and neither does the rest of the world.  They're not going to do a goddamned thing about their grievances anyhow.  If they were, they wouldn't be here.

        Obama is going to leave office as one of the most popular Democrats ever, and with good reason.  The hyperbolic voices of dissent here have been largely irrelevant for quite sometime.

        gets so many recs.  Ten at the moment I'm typing this.
        •  well said (0+ / 0-)

          Dissent is important. Here is one example.

          I am glad that Ed Schultz spoke up on Friday about getting the President to change course.

          It is a platitude but we are talking about making changes which will affect people's lives.

          I ask the people who disagree, how many lives are you prepared to ruin in order to achieve "order" on one web site?

          Blake: I am an enemy of the Federation but it is corrupt and oppressive. I will destroy it if I can

          by GideonAB on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:22:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Why? (6+ / 0-)
        Before the election, I felt a real urgency to defend the administration.  I was really frightened of the clock rolling back 100 years.
        Nothing said on DK really affected the election, nor was it ever going to.  So why should you feel the need to 'urgently defend the administration', rather than simply point out when they did things that were either good or bad.

        I'm not looking for an argument here, just pointing out that people feeling they 'urgently needed' to either do either 'defend' or 'attack' are why we have pie wars.  If everyone could simply 'attack or defend' policies on the basis of how they hurt or help actual Americans, we'd have far fewer pie wars.

        Whatever is said, if it is 'screaming and nonsense' now, it was 'screaming and nonsense' then, and simply didn't deserve to be fought over.

        •  I felt and still feel that this (4+ / 0-)

          administration represents much more than its policies.  "Forward" was not just a campaign slogan for me.  "Forward" meant that for the first time, a diverse coalition that is truly representative of the country would defeat the Southern Strategy that has divided us for so long.  For the first time, ever, we defeated unlimited, anonymous campaign donations that were designed to empower the wealthy to buy our elections.  We also overcame racist, sexist and homophobic voter suppression and sent a very strong and unmistakable message that we now have a seat at the table, and that we will have it for the foreseeable future.

          That's what this entire election was about.  It wasn't just about "grading" the President's policies, or screaming and yelling that the President didn't deliver what he promised 100% of the time.

          No, I don't agree with every policy choice this President makes, but I feel that a) that goes without saying and b) that it's disingenuous to suggest, as you have, that defending this administration is necessarily inconsistent with a fair discussion of policy.  Frankly, a fair discussion of policy can't really happen in such a polemical environment, and think this is precisely because of the dichotomy you've established.  For any serious discussion of policy to be possible, we have to be able to imagine that we can both defend this administration and weigh the merits of its policies.  So long as people like you, the site's administrators and others continue to assume those two aims are inconsistent, this site can never be a serious place for discussion.

          •  I thank and tip you for a (mostly) civil response (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CuriousBoston

            although I deny any disingenuousness to my comment.  It was not intended as such.  There are certainly times the administration itself needs 'defended'.  My point, and I still stand by it, was that merely writing angry blog messages back and forth does nothing to actually 'defend' it.  If I see comments that are direct insults to the President, I HR them.  If I see ad hominem attacks aimed at him or his administration, I either HR or point them out if I notice them.

            What I do not do is then start throwing insults and ad hominems at the person uttering them, which is one of the most common ways the administration has been 'defended' on site.

            If a comment isn't worth an HR, and it requires some 'defense' or response, then the proper 'defense' is to point out the ways in which it is factually incorrect.  Not to counter it with additional opinion or invective.

            •  So you think that even-handedly (0+ / 0-)

              scolding partisans engaged in infantile attacks is somehow serious?  You think that being above an absurd fray is valuable?  Why?  I can appreciate what you're trying to do, but what have your efforts done to elevate the level of discussion here?  Not much.

              Frankly, I don't have time to police children.  That's kos' job.  And one thing is for certain, these kinds of wars would not be happening if he didn't want them to.

              I think I'm going to be spending more time at fivethirtyeight.com.  Though it's not updated as frequently as this site, the level of discussion and analysis is far superior.  Plus, I'm having a great time reading Nate's book.  He's a gem.

              •  No. (3+ / 0-)

                I think it's self-evident that nothing anyone among the commenters has done has seriously elevated the level of discussion.

                I think that very specifically requires powers reserved to management.  One suggestion I might have is to actually make HR'ed comments disappear, or at least not to be able to be replied to or further rated, up or down.  A comment that gets 'hidden' should not be able to be a starting point for any further action at all.  No dog piles, no further pie warring, no responses at all.

                I also think that the admins have allowed far too much 'living by the letter of the law, rather than the spirit'.  Anyone who's been onsite a while knows exactly how to abuse the rules, and abuse their fellows onsite without actually 'breaking the rules'.  There are a lot of people who are deliberately dickish most of the time, but skate because they know just how to word things so as not to constantly rack up HRs or bans.

                •  i could be wrong- (0+ / 0-)

                  i believe the reason hr'd comments don't completely disappear is because if trusted users think the comments have been wrongly hidden, they can unhide them.

                  "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

                  by thankgodforairamerica on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:46:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I think your concerns are valid, and I would agree (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

                  that your efforts are reasonable if I had faith that the so-called "rules" were anything more than a gimmick.

                  One suggestion I might have is to actually make HR'ed comments disappear, or at least not to be able to be replied to or further rated, up or down.  A comment that gets 'hidden' should not be able to be a starting point for any further action at all.  No dog piles, no further pie warring, no responses at all.
                  Good luck with that suggestion.  kos has said he's considering making hidden comments visible to everyone, not just trusted users.  In other words, pie-fights generate a lot of cash. The official calls for civility lost all credibility for me after I read that.

                  I think that community moderation is effective at keeping out obvious trolls; but other than that, I think it's a completely fruitless exercise that simply naturalizes the factionalism it seeks to mitigate.

                  kos has a strong incentive to keep these factions off-balance, but he has very little incentive to get rid of them.  That's why his claim to be bored by the fighting between the 'roxers' and 'suxers' isn't very meaningful to me.  Having said that though, I think that people over-determine the importance of his political beliefs or policy positions.  I don't think this place is changing because his beliefs are changing.  They may or may not be.  I think it's changed, ironically, because it's stayed the same.  

                  When Bush was President, he united the left in opposition.  That kind of opposition is far more awkward in the Obama era, however.  Obama's centrism defies partisan ideology in ways that incite passions that are very productive for our democracy, and that set a much higher bar for criticism.  That's a good thing.  One has to be much more informed to offer credible criticisms of this administration, than for example, the Bush administration.  My problem with the site of late is that I've noticed that it really hasn't adapted to this new era. I feel as if this site thinks that it was uniquely responsible for dispatching Bush and ushering in this new era, and that it's far more invested in some mythical, polemical influence than it is in engaged criticism.  That's the reason I'll be spending less time here.

                  •  I obviously missed where kos talked about (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DeadHead, sidnora, CuriousBoston

                    making HR'd comments visible to all.  I can't understand any rationale for that at all.  The whole site would simply and quickly end up looking just like every other site, with 90% of the comments being pie war attacks from people who just wanted their crap seen, and didn't care if their temporary accounts got banned.

                    I'll have to consider the rest of what you said longer, but if anyone on this site actually believes they had anything to do with 'dispatching Bush', they're simply delusional.  Bush was term limited out, and didn't even face any serious investigation of what I feel were criminal actions on the part of many in his administration.  If anything, that's my greatest criticism of the current President - appointing people who had no interest in prosecuting prior criminal activities for the misguided goal of keeping some sort of 'unity' or 'balance'.

                    The reality is that Republicans have been doing everything possible to end run around actual democracy in the name of partisan power for quite a while now, and simply 'giving them a pass' on bad behaviour is not going to change that.  I also think that many of our current problems in actual government have roots in the pardoning of Nixon.  Our leaders should not be pardoning each other for criminal activities - they should be held to even higher standards of accountability than those who do not hold the power to hurt millions by their thoughtlessness or venality.

                    At any rate, getting back to the site, I think we've got 'News' down pretty well, we're middling on 'Community', but 'Action' needs a lot of work.  The potential is here, but there's not a lot of organization yet - each call to action is separate and unique, there's little in the way of a structure that facilitates doing what works, the same way, over and over on a wide array of topics.

    •  it is different because it is so much bigger - BUT (8+ / 0-)

      we can still find that which is treasured here - we just have to look a bit harder to find it through the noise.

    •  See my comment above, post-election-itis. (3+ / 0-)

      My post above explains the situation as I see it, and as I've seen it happen over several election cycles.

      What amazes me is how so many people get surprised by this every time it happens.

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

      by Rick Aucoin on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:56:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not surprised any more. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rick Aucoin

        Loved your comment upthread, too.

        The only thing that surprises me is how annoying I find this situation, and yet here I sit, commenting away in a meta diary!

        "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

        by sidnora on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:38:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  perhaps the reasons are rooted in group (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TiaRachel

      psychology.  I don't know, but there may be different forces at play that affect individual behavior within the context of a group whenever that group grows in numbers to a certain point.  The smaller and more intimate the group setting, the more respectful and friendly the interaction.  The larger the group becomes...less so.

      The community moderation tools, I suspect, are used quite differently in a smaller vs larger group context.  The larger the group, the more cavalierly the donuts might be dropped, yet the effect of that group censure remains the same.  

      When community moderation feels like it is evolving from upholding standards of civility and interaction, towards something more akin to thought police and the enforcement of groupthink...the place starts to feel differently.

      I also feel that the more this site has grown over the years, the less cohesive it feels, and the more like a loose collective of single issue activists it feels.

      Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

      by Keith930 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:19:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's the community diaries... (14+ / 0-)

    that I ran to in order to escape the outside nastiness.

    The best part of that?

    I've stayed in them, and have no intention of leaving, time schedule permitting. They uplift my otherwise lonely spirit.

    Woe to the troll I run across shitting in any of these diaries for some perceived lack of relevance.




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:03:41 AM PST

  •  We've tried offering all sorts of moderation (10+ / 0-)

    proposals - including use of vetted, partially leashed volunteers.

    I believe that kos doesn't like the idea of letting loose a more powerful moderation system that he feels isn't directly under his control or trust, which would mean using employees . . . most of whom are paid for their analysis, writing, reporting and technical skills+time.

    I propose a pilot of DKos volunteer moderators with no additional privileges except having a more direct line to the actual mods/admins at this site when it comes to recommending direct intervention and/or actions when potential bad actors are identified and cannot be talked down.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:09:42 AM PST

    •  community mitigators (7+ / 0-)

      That is a wonderful idea wader. Anyone remember when kos was talking about something called CMDAS or something like that? I thought that was a good idea for a moderation system as well.

      Civility, courtesy, kindness. The CK mantra.

      by rexymeteorite on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 12:13:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Flame wars are good business. (3+ / 0-)

      Kos's business is page views, flame wars make for lots of refreshing of pages, lots of posting, lots of refreshing.

      That's good for business.

      Don't expect anyone to do something that is directly negative to their business.  It's not rational.

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

      by Rick Aucoin on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:58:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If there's no one left worth reading due to the (5+ / 0-)

        flame wars, his business would likely also take a hit, I would think.




        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 03:02:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That simply isn't a real problem. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thankgodforairamerica

          Traffic is up, unique visitors are up, in spite of there being waves of "TTFN" and "GBCW" on a regular cycle since, well, since I joined here for sure.

          It's self important delusion for any of us to think that as we grow more disappointed with the community and the moderation here that everyone else is too.

          It's just not so.  

          And, well, facts are facts, traffic is up, unique visitors are up, they're always up, Kos does good business.

          And there's ALWAYS another flame warrior waiting in the wings to take the place of one that falls by the wayside.  This is the internet after all.

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

          by Rick Aucoin on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:25:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i still love it here- (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rick Aucoin, sidnora

            sometimes i participate a lot, sometimes i don't.

            dk is such a huge place. i think there is room for everybody. also in real life i don't like everybody, and i know everybody doesn't like me. why should it be any different here at dk?

            i've been treated way worse by people in real life than i ever have by people here at dk. in real life i have to keep going to work and deal w/ nasty coworkers, or come home and deal w/ a mean husband (we're separated now.)

            at dk if i don't like how i'm being treated i can just stop the conversation. we aren't allowed to follow each other from to diary to diary and mess w/ each other, right?

            i'm thrilled w/ how dk has grown. i lurked for years here and at mothertalkers before i got brave enough to jump in and write anything. i love how yearly kos became netroots nation.

            sometimes my real life needs more from me and i spend less time here- maybe that's what happens when people leave dk for awhile. maybe the people we miss will come back soon.

            "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

            by thankgodforairamerica on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 11:02:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent idea, wader. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader

      "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

      by Yasuragi on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:56:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been here since 2004 (25+ / 0-)

    I even remember the original "pie fight." Things actually got much, much nastier back in those years than they do now, so I think the HR system, despite its drawbacks and limitations, has been doing a fairly good job. I started visiting DKos less and less partly because of the infighting, and totally stopped coming after the 2008 elections were behind us because there was nothing here to hold my interest.

    So after four years away, I returned in the months before the 2012 elections and found that it's a different world, mostly in a good sense. The sense of community is so much stronger now; the rudeness and unpleasantness, although still present, are nowhere near as bad as they were back then; and the wide variety of diaries on so many subject areas, written by excellent writers with all kinds of expertise, hold my interest and draw me back every day. I don't see myself drifting away again this time.

    Besides the value of the "call to action" diaries, all the information shared here is invaluable, as what I learned here helped me to convince some friends to vote for Obama and even switch their party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. I've even made some inroads in my wingnut father's thinking because of all the knowledge I gain from reading the diaries here. All in all, I think Kos is doing a good job and has improved the site from the way it was several years ago. It's an imperfect world and we are all imperfect people, but the tone here is so much more civil and informative than on any other blog or forum or comment board I've found online.

    •  chantedor (6+ / 0-)

      i remember you well.  great to see you again.

    •  Wow, I must agree... (9+ / 0-)

      Thanks for your comment, and also, for your included link. I'm reading one of the pie fight diary comment sections, and boy, people didn't hold back, back then. I wasn't here for that...sure gives me some perspective.

      MSOC really tearing into someone...stuff that, by today's standards would be HR'd into oblivion.

      Seriously. If people think it's nasty here now...go back and re-read some of those diaries.




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:26:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, you're lucky you missed 2009/2010/2011, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizenx, Radiowalla, sidnora

      when Kos was often absent and things got badly out of hand here.

      It was far worse than anything before, imo., and this site is still suffering from the effects.

      It has gotten better since Markos returned, but it's hard to get site quality up to previous levels again after it has taken a big hit.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:59:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i must disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edrie

      i was here for the original pie fight, too and it was the worst thing i can recall about this place.  but i had heard tell of the legendary '04 primary wars, so i stayed right the hell away from here for the '08 primaries, because i didn't want to be upset with anyone.

      i was stunned to see the vitriol continue into obama's first term.  very uncharacteristic for dkos.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:29:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well done, rexy. (23+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this.  

    Good to read the thoughts that others have on the current ambiance on the site.  Post election blues, the Newtown tragedy with the resultant gun arguments and the pre and post holiday blues have all played a large part in the current atmosphere imo.

    I love that you brought up the moderation issue and yes, kos did discuss, prior to unveiling DK4, a community moderation system.  Here is a diary: Markos Chats on DK4 Groups Rules by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse from February 2011 that includes specific quotes regarding community moderation.  In fact, kos cited IGTNT (for which I write) as an example.  The diary by PDNC also has some links to prior posts regarding community norms by Markos.

    I'd like to see more community discussion on this topic.  During the holidays we had, what many users agreed, to be the worst troll ever in an IGTNT diary.  This creature was so bad and had corrupted the diary so much along with threats to send the diary to the fallen troop's loved ones that the diarist was forced to delete the diary and republish it once we got rid of the troll.  Many of the community was helping banish the troll, but in the end it was Meteor Blades who checked in and noticed a kosmail and came to the rescue.  There had been numerous notices sent to admin that went unnoticed and I'm not sure if it was due to there being less of a presence on site because of the holidays or not.

    We do need more clearly defined community norms and a much better system for dealing with community moderation issues.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 02:04:19 AM PST

  •  Well at least... (0+ / 0-)

    ...no one has been Rickrolled here latley and I don't hink anyone was ever Goatse'ed here ever.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:19:10 AM PST

  •  I am sad to see Blue Jersey Mom go even temporary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ceriboo, mapamp, OldSoldier99

    A few at Daily Kos has been too hostile in my opinion to our fellow Daily Kos members who like her are pro-RKBA.

  •  its seems to becoming... (4+ / 0-)

    I came for the community, got driven away by the politics.

    :(

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:58:16 AM PST

  •  Pack Mentality and the Insidious Auto-Ban (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indubitably

    There are a couple packs of vicious wild dogs on site that use pack-style HR attacks to get people they don't agree with auto-banned. The  Auto-ban algorithm is ill conceived and abusive. And creates an atmosphere of fear and loathing. C'mon Kos, this ideological vigilante justice has got to stop.

    Many good minds are leaving the site due to the Pack Attacks.

    "It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth." - Morpheus

    by CitizenOfEarth on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:01:49 AM PST

    •  There is an implied (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena

      equivalence here that is false.

    •  Who has been banned by way of... (0+ / 0-)

      pack attack induced autoban?

      The IGTNT troll wasn't even banned that way, and he had TONS of HRs.

      Meteor Blades confirmed in a comment to me later that night, or the night after, that he actually pulled the plug, despite all of the HRs that surely should have triggered some sort of autoban.

      I partially agree with your assessment of the autoban algorithm, but if anything, it's for the opposite reason...I don't see it working when it legitimately needs to.

      If you've seen instances of pack-induced banning, I'd be interested in seeing some examples.  Also, abusive HR's, the means by which the pack attack would most likely be carried out, are subject to disciplinary action.




      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:49:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is it the topics or the people? (4+ / 0-)

    Today, is it guns and the fiscal cliff? Some topics set off a predictable response.
    Or is it the same people commenting? I read some diaries where I won't post, because of who's posted in them. You get to know by who comments where a stream is going before it gets there. There are camps. It's the same names.  
    Maybe I have strong beliefs, maybe not. But who wants to run the gamut? It can get pretty ugly here. Sometimes it's better to observe than participate. Better to ride it out. Read. Learn. I try to remember there's a bigger fight, an entire opposing league who would throw us all under the bus, if they could.

  •  People aren't always posting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wordsinthewind, donnamarie, citizenx

    With honorable intentions.

    I've posted some variant of this a few times already, but I think it bears repeating because too many people assume everyone, especially rec listers and longterm members, are posting with good intentions.

    Not so.

    Having some time on my hands this past week, I nosed around and found public statements that  people like me are not Democrats, but instead "blind adherents," etc.,  that fireworks, etc., will go off when various things are posted, etc. etc.

    I went looking because I made a comment the other day that, as far as I know, the secret FB pages and groups targeting people and opponents no longer existed. So I became curious whether this was the case.

    What I found was that, in fact, people here are not posting in good faith, and told me in no uncertain terms that various popular writers here could give a crap about community moderation or even reality---they're just into promoting their own celebrity, and they've discovered flamewars and insults are good ways to do it.

    These posters are, imnsho, being enabled by TPTB at Daily Kos and supported by many who no longer even identify with the Dem party.

    So. I now understand that my own longstanding instincts that things are fishy here are, indeed, on target.

    I can't put a lot of energy into a place operating under such hypocritical and, frankly, predatory terms. I remember the great banning of last year, banning of posters fighting many of these same people, and I know deep in my heart this is not a place to take seriously or even trust anymore.

    •  nu? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably, sidnora

      I can't tell what this means:

      What I found was that, in fact, people here are not posting in good faith, and told me in no uncertain terms that various popular writers here could give a crap about community moderation or even reality---they're just into promoting their own celebrity, and they've discovered flamewars and insults are good ways to do it.
      Well, if you have juicy quotations of people writing, "Yeah, I know my diary was full of sh!t, but did you see how it shot up the Rec List?", maybe you could post them. Otherwise, there are some rec-listers here who strike me as having limited interest in reality, but I don't know what Turing test could tell me whether they are consciously cynical or just muddled. I've dealt with some remarkably muddled people.

      I don't see how vaguely posting about the existence of shadowy cabals helps anything. Is there a specific problem to be addressed? Or is this basically a social-media twist on familiar in-group/out-group dynamics -- which shouldn't be allowed to run amok, but can't really be extirpated either?

      Election protection: there's an app for that! -- and a toll-free hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE
      Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

      by HudsonValleyMark on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:14:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not interested in a flamewar. I don't have the time or even really the interest anymore to be involved in that. Besides, I've seen this before. Several years ago, some other posters here discovered the same things I did and posted the info. Of course, a gigantic flamewar erupted and nothing was accomplished.

        What I will say is that this information is posted on Facebook for all to see and under the name(s) these posters use here. And they're rec list diarists.

        Longtime posters here will remember this and understand why. Not that you're not a longtime poster, but having watched those flamewars, I don't remember your name being involved, so I would guess you missed it. Lucky you ...

      •  sorry to be niggly but as an unemployed.. (0+ / 0-)

        ...computer programmer I must give you this info from Wikipedia.

        The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior, equivalent to or indistinguishable from, that of an actual human. In the original illustrative example, a human judge engages in a natural language conversation with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being. All participants are separated from one another. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test. The test does not check the ability to give the correct answer; it checks how closely the answer resembles typical human answers. The conversation is limited to a text-only channel such as a computer keyboard and screen so that the result is not dependent on the machine's ability to render words into audio.[2]

        The test was introduced by Alan Turing in his 1950 paper "Computing Machinery and Intelligence," which opens with the words: "I propose to consider the question, 'Can machines think?'" Since "thinking" is difficult to define, Turing chooses to "replace the question by another, which is closely related to it and is expressed in relatively unambiguous words."[3] Turing's new question is: "Are there imaginable digital computers which would do well in the imitation game?"[4] This question, Turing believed, is one that can actually be answered. In the remainder of the paper, he argued against all the major objections to the proposition that "machines can think".[5]

        Sometimes I wonder if I could pass a Turing test.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:45:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think it's that complicated (20+ / 0-)

    This is a good diary, don't get me wrong, but I don't think it's really all that complicated.

    Let me tread lightly here because I'm not sure how to word this without sounding crabby or mean but.... Some people here do take this site too seriously and spend too much time here.

    My participation here ebbs and flows. Sometimes I'm here 24/7 for a few months, then the next few months I check it out on occasion but don't participate. I've found that, for me, my opinion of the moderation of this site is directly proportional to the amount of time I spend here. If I'm here 24/7, wracking up hundreds of comments a week, I see everything (or almost everything). Every thread that's stuck firmly to the right of the page for as long as the eye can see, every prolonged argument between two factions, on and on and on.

    When I'm just a casual user, I really don't see these things because I don't bother with them. When there's a controversial diary on the rec list with six hundred comments, I don't decide to check it out and see what people are fighting about, and how the argument has devolved.

    In other words, the moderation does work as it's intended. The problem is self-moderation. For example, a lot of flame wars and bad feelings would go away if people stopped piling on hidden comments. What is the point in giving a hide-rate and chastising someone when a comment is already hidden? And what is the point of a prolonged fight about said hidden comment? Answer: there is none, yet too many people here will fight about it, leading to more hidden comments and more hard feelings.

    If a comment is hidden, it's hidden, the moderation has worked. It breaks when people can't self-moderate and just ignore it. But it's like poking someone with a stick if you just can't leave it alone.

    As far as people leaving, that happens all the time and it's not a bad thing. If someone leaves the site, they need a break from it and they should be allowed to have it. There's no reason to cry about it later and say that others here drove GoodPerson from the site. It's a personal decision to take a break, and often a good one.

    So in other words, folks, self-moderate yourself. If this site is making you angry then own that feeling and don't blame it on others- just take a break to get some perspective. If you don't like someone, ignore them (you have no idea how many people are on my ignore list). It's really that easy.

    Participate with good intentions and most of this stuff doesn't matter. Walk away from fights and train wrecks and hang out with the people you like, because they do outnumber the people that you don't.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:59:55 AM PST

  •  Well said and thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mapamp

    At the top of this blog it touts

    News*Community*Action
    Those are the 3 things DailyKos touts and there are only paid staff tasked to tending to two fo those important parts?

    If this community is growing then it is growing very slowly, from strictly a business standpoint DailyKos can't afford to lose members.

    I am not sure of the staff's fear of causing more problems if they meddle or what but the inattention it pays to one of its most valuable assets is baffling.

  •  Double standards need to be addressed as well. (4+ / 0-)

    My getting the bar of shame for comments no where near as offensive as what has been hurled at me is not encouraging me to post here.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 06:57:24 AM PST

  •  Thank you. (8+ / 0-)

    So very much.

    Community is what makes KOS different than other places. It is the reason I can stay sane when I have so many Republican people in my world. I am saddened when people I have admired and have received support from feel the need to leave or rarely participate.

    I have mixed emotions about that--part of me says that we need people to stay to show the way to make the change we want.

    But, then, I think maybe the people who are in charge might take note of what is happening and make moderation into something that works.

    Each person needs to do what they feel works for them.

    But, please people, it just isn't that hard to be civil. Let's work on it.

    Peace, Hope, Faith, Love

    by mapamp on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:07:46 AM PST

  •  I think kos' DBAD rule (11+ / 0-)

    is probably the very best rule for HRing, and if anything, is underused.  I've severely curtailed my commenting over the last few days after I finally lost my cool and started responding in dickish fashion to someone I felt was trolling a given thread, and uprating trollish comments.  A lot of people seemed to agree with me, as most of my comments in that back and forth had a fair number of uprates, and almost none of his got any uprates, but...

    None of mine should have gotten uprates, because, even if I was right, my comments were indeed 'dickish'.  The reason I feel that DBAD is underused is that dickishness only draws HR's when it's truly egregious.  The very first of my comments should have drawn 2 'DBAD' HR's instead, along with a comment urging me to leave off the attitude.

    Far too often 'dickishness' is either ignored or even rewarded if it merely comes along in the form of passive-aggressive comments or backhanded insults.

    •  ufortunatly.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snowwoman

      ...that is the most subjective of the rules.

      We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

      by delver rootnose on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 07:29:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  first comment I've seen that has any chance (5+ / 0-)

      at leading to healing.

      I say that because it is a self-assessment.

      Too many comments seem to be saying, "if only everyone were like me."

      As for me, I don't think I can manage the hostile approach to people, well. So, I've been staying away. I'm far less active here than I used to be.

      I self-assessed that I am not politically aligned. Since it is not my site and I don't make the rules, I see what Kos says the site is for and determine whether I am a fit. I don't think I am.

      I say that, because I am not compelled to loyal to a party. I hold certain principles which I will not turn my back on for the sake of a political party. The agendas of political parties can shift. (weren't Republicans the liberals of the 1800s?) While my analysis of some things may evolve over time, my fundamental principles do not. So, if a party is moving off of those principles, I will not support them.

      Knowing this about myself means that I must know that I don't "belong" here. Therefore, when I criticize the administration's policies and someone basically says I only have that critique because I'm being racist, I tend to ignore it. That person is doing the party loyalty thing: anything to protect the party. So, that person is a better fit and I am an interloper.

      Even with that perspective, I catch myself being snarky. In a recent diary a commenter told me not to worry about something and suggested what I should worry about. I found that phrasing to be patronizing. I responded with snark. I then realized I needed to walk away. I simply don't seem to have the forbearance to find a better way to respond. So, why bother?

      •  i don't want every conversation to be sanitized (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mamamedusa
        Even with that perspective, I catch myself being snarky. In a recent diary a commenter told me not to worry about something and suggested what I should worry about. I found that phrasing to be patronizing. I responded with snark. I then realized I needed to walk away. I simply don't seem to have the forbearance to find a better way to respond. So, why bother?
        i like snark! i like lively, spirited discussions- please don't walk away ALL the time. sometimes there's really no better way to respond. especially if someone is being patronizing or obnoxious.

        "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

        by thankgodforairamerica on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:03:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  here's the thing: (5+ / 0-)

          it was my perspective that something was patronizing. I reacted. I didn't inquire and clarify.

          while snark can seem fun, it is edgy. that edge can cut. Often, people don't know the safety zone and they cut too hard.

          fun is only really fun if everybody involved feels safe. when I'm at a gathering and men make snarky comments about women, some people will tell me not to get upset because "it's all in fun." But, women walk in this world without a sense of safety. They are gang raped with witnesses and no one reports anything, much less actually help. So, those snarky comments are fun for the women, they are anxiety producing.

          if people here don't feel safe, what's fun/entertaining for some is actually hurtful to others. then things devolve. how is that useful? how is that community?

          i think we would all benefit from being more careful with one another. caring for and taking care of, rather than trying to one up and win an argument.

          but, then, I'm not a fit for this site. so, my perspective is likely not one which matters. someone who has the same agenda as the site probably has a more apt view of what the ethos here ought to be.

          •  you're so right- (3+ / 0-)
            it was my perspective that something was patronizing. I reacted. I didn't inquire and clarify.

            w/out facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, etc, sometimes it's hard to get exactly what someone's saying.

            also this is just me, but sometimes my reading comprehension is sorely lacking- i misinterpret things, and it's not because the writer was unclear. it's me 100%. then i reply w/ a yes or no and i make no sense or i'm saying something i don't mean.

            and this too:

            fun is only really fun if everybody involved feels safe. when I'm at a gathering and men make snarky comments about women, some people will tell me not to get upset because "it's all in fun." But, women walk in this world without a sense of safety. They are gang raped with witnesses and no one reports anything, much less actually help. So, those snarky comments are fun for the women, they are anxiety producing.
            i was at a table this summer at netroots nation and a guy joked that he was feeling rapey. really? i was sitting right in front of him. i tried to be nice about it, but come on.

            i get what you're saying- i really do.

            do you ever go in the animal nuz diaries? everyone there is really nice.

            "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

            by thankgodforairamerica on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:30:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I was initially ticked off at the person (5+ / 0-)

        I felt was acting with bad motivations, but then I was more angry with myself, because I'd let that annoyance make me respond in a fashion I felt was unworthy of myself.  I like to think I've grown up some since the days when 'drbloodaxe' was a snarky ass who was a master of the backhanded insult and passive-aggressive comment designed to make someone else reveal themselves as being even more ludicrous.  It was shameful to think that I could backslide so easily.

        Even if your assessment of someone else is that there is no way you'll ever change their mind on a topic, that's no excuse to vent frustrations with what you consider an ill-thought-out attitude towards an issue, no matter how serious.  It doesn't help in any way.  It's no better than 'drinking away your problems'.

        And, btw, I share your thoughts on party.  I'm not a 'partisan Democrat'.  I'm a socialist in the philosophical sense, and generally endorse the Democratic Party platform as most closely representing many of my ideals.  Sadly, far too often the elected Dems fail to live up to their own platform, even if they're far better than the 'other side'.

    •  That's a tough one (3+ / 0-)

      as I see it the DBAD rule is over AND underused.  It's too subjective.

      But I like your self assessment, and think that could be useful for all of us.

      I got into it with an RKBAer who was frequently dickish (and since banned).  I HRd him several times in what I now understand is an unauthorized way, and I got an NR for it.  I understand why it happened and wait out my ratings sentence in hopefully good humor and patience.

      What bothers me is the behavior of the others in my little kerfuffle was as egregious, if not worse, but it technically followed all the rules.  It was unethical, but didn't break any rules.  So all of them (and there were a bunch of them) went on their merry way to bend the rules freely, and I walked away with an NR, which I deserved.

      It's that kind of abuse of the rules, the skating on the edge of what's ok, especially by a group, that is hard to take.

      I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

      by coquiero on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:27:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  there are a couple distinct types of kossacks (5+ / 0-)

    There are the hardcore types who talk noting but politics. The nitty gritty of the machinations going on in Government.

    There are many who just follow stories about social justice and more human interest stories.

    Some have trolled diaries just to pick on spelling and grammar. I have seen first time diarists disappear forever because of a misspelled word or a missing apostrophe.  
    The red pen vigilantes. Back when I first started on here, that was a huge problem.

    I have had wranglings with a few here myself, as they hold some distinctly conservative sink or swim -pull up your own bootstrap ideas, but cannot see how they actually sound. I have no idea why they go into certain diaries?

    I have written diaries myself that have been trolled by someone who is just having a bad day.
    The same people who may even lecture others on politeness. Always cracks me up when I see these people talking about how everyone else needs to behave....I Shake my head and move on now. It is really not worth it.

    In the past I have also watched certain groups acting like a pack of dogs, thinking they are in charge of policing the site. Co-coordinating their attacks on other sites.... Good people have been hurt badly by this.

    I have been here since 2006, I have seen a lot. If I go away for a while, I don't announce it.  The core group that I used to read and converse with here are mostly gone now. Some were driven out by the acrimony, and often it's just a change in life. A couple have passed on from this world.

    Part of change is just change.

    Fuddle Duddle--- Pierre Trudeau.... Canadian politics at......A Creative Revolution

    by pale cold on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:13:17 AM PST

  •  This will be controversial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995, Lady Libertine

    But I am going to disagree that the community series diaries that you list and others not listed are actually detrimental. That's right. Pooties are bad for Daily Kos!! Haha, sorry, couldn't resist.

    Seriously though, many of these groups or series encourage camaraderie at first, but soon become completely cliquish, first ostracizing outsiders, then feeding on each other within. I have seen this first hand and participated in this behavior several times and observed it in many groups where i wasn't involved as well. I believe this is partly this is due to offsite chat or other social media, where cliquishness festers.

    Partly it is human nature. In other words, i think the problems you are discussing will never be resolved here to your satisfaction.  The way I've learned to manage being here after all this time is to not get to involved with the personal. At one time I thought of people here, in my former cliques, as family. Now I think of them as acquaintances and allies. Friends and family are in meat space, not online.

    I used to say I came for the politics and stayed for the giggles and fun in Cheers and Jeers. Now I say I'm here for the politics and some damn smart commenters from whom I learn something almost every day.

    This is what has worked for me.

    “Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity.”  ― Naomi Klein

    by cosmic debris on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 09:26:41 AM PST

    •  I agree that the development of groups has had (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosmic debris

      just as much negative as positive effect here.

      It sets up a channel for organized group reactions, that can be seen as bullying.

      I have seen several one-on-one arguments get overrun by fellow group members who gang up on the individual. I have seen others turn into outright pie fights between two groups.

      Pie fights have always existed, but the organized group "attacks" have led to more intense and combative arguments. One always takes a more aggressive stance when they know they are supported by their clan.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:09:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  oh great, Coz (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosmic debris, Agathena

      now ya tell me! j/k

      I too have seen far too many "community" groups d/evolve from community to faction to gang / posse and then eventually, sometimes, the TTFN route over manufactured or imagined slights or injustices or some other cryptic personal reason.  Its just our nature sometimes, us humans.

      Nowadays, as ever, I look to political blogs for information, education, occasional enlightenment, and also action alerts or discussions of activism on issues that I consider important. Humor's good, brilliance even better.

      The Climate Crisis especially is just too important to allow oneself to be lost or buried under an avalanche of intercine nonsense.

      #Solidarity

      Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

      by Lady Libertine on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:50:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who invented TTFN? i just stop posting and or (0+ / 0-)

        reading. This is the internet no one has to explain their time to anyone.

        Nowadays, as ever, I look to political blogs for information, education, occasional enlightenment, and also action alerts or discussions of activism on issues that I consider important. Humor's good, brilliance even better.
        Right, I like news stories examined or analyzed, and seeing responses which develop the story even further with links and or personal experience.

        Climate Chaos is a top priority.

        ❧To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 04:07:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's not the moderation's fault that we are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic

    passionate about our positions, and I don't think things have changed all that much. There are always two sides to every one of these arguments and people get real emotional about it. There is plenty of condescension and vitriol spewed about by all sides. Snark and contempt for other's viewpoints permeates this site from top to bottom.

    I mean it isn't hard to notice the comments in this very diary and how individuals blame the changed atmosphere on their adversaries. Whether it be gun/anti-gun, sux/rox, or whatever.

    One thing that has ALWAYS bothered me about this site is that everyone thinks they are an innocent victim, even when they spew out some of the meanest and harshest criticisms. If people could perhaps be a little more introspective and read what they themselves have written in the heat of arguments, things would probably be better here. That is not the case though, most people consider themselves to be smarter and more adult than anyone who disagrees with them and therefore deserving of the most harsh criticism.

    That's all fine and well when Bush is called Chimpy, or a right wing troll is run out of here, because everyone disagrees with them. If we let those types of characterizations persist though, then eventually it is used between dueling factions on other issues. What I am saying is that no one has respect for one another, and that applies to everyone, even Markos, who constantly makes snarky holier than though comments/diaries.

    That has always been the atmosphere here. Lots of clever snarky put downs, very little introspective sophisticated discussion. It's not going to change either, because that's how things are outside of the internet too. Very little sincerity, lots of ironic sarcasm.

     

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 10:03:37 AM PST

  •  Thanks, rexy. (0+ / 0-)

    I was thinking about writing something, but you've said a lot of what I'd have said, and probably said it better.

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

    by sidnora on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:57:25 PM PST

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