Slymepit members struggle with the ethics of removing photoshopped naked image

by Michael Nugent on March 7, 2013

Members of the Slymepit website have spent the last few hours struggling with the ethics of whether to remove a photograph, newly posted, of an identifiable person’s face photoshopped onto the body of a naked woman.

The Site Administrator’s decision: “I have deleted the tags which embed the image, but left the link. Note: this is a picture of a naked old lady’s body onto which the head of [named person] was photoshopped. Feel free to visit the link and see for yourself, but there is nothing useful to be gained by doing so.”

On the plus side, we finally seem to have found an example of nasty pushback against feminists on the Internet that most of the Slymepit members are prepared to openly condemn. Although they are each speaking as individuals, there seems to be something close to a consensus that this photo crosses a line.

To oversimplify, their discussion about whether or not to remove it ranged from the ethical (it is an inappropriate image to publish) to the tactical (people who disagree with us will use it against us) to the ideological (we should not censor anything) to the passive (leave it to the moderator to decide).

And on the minus side, the eventual decision was to keep the photo in the form of a link, with a description of what the link leads to.

To me this shows how desensitized some members of the Slymepit have become to the ethics of people who experience empathy and compassion at a level that would make it instantly obvious that this photograph should be removed.

Four questions for Slymepit members

This incident raises four questions that I would like to ask Slymepit members.

  1. Why is that you find this particular example of nasty pushback against some feminists to be unacceptable, in a way that other examples on your website are not?
  2. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate that it was ethically unacceptable to you?
  3. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate whether you believed it should be removed from the the Slymepit website?
  4. How would you apply those criteria to other examples of nasty pushback against some feminists published on the Slymepit website?

This time I’ll give just two examples, as the fifty examples I gave last time have proved to be too daunting to respond to without citing context.

Why is publishing an image of an identifiable woman’s face photoshopped onto the body of a naked woman any worse than publishing actual photographs of a named couple’s wedding along with mocking comments about their weight and their marriage including [in response to a tweet by the wife about how much she loves her husband]: ‘To me, that looks like she’s trying to tell herself she still loves a man who no longer does it for her’?

Why is publishing an image of an identifiable woman’s face photoshopped onto the body of a naked woman any worse than publishing an actual photograph of several named feminists with mocking commentary including ‘Holy shit that’s a table of fuglies! and i have beer goggles on’ and ‘looks like she’s in the before shot for a tooth whitening product’ and photographs of other images to mock one of the women’s breasts?

An appeal to Slymepit members

None of the above images or commentary have anything to do with your stated objections to certain types of feminism, or your stated concerns about feminist thinking having too much influence on the atheist/skeptic movement.

Do you seriously not have enough empathy and compassion to imagine how a person would feel knowing that these things are published about them on the Internet, including knowing that an Internet search of their name could result in friends or colleagues seeing these photographs and comments?

Do you seriously not see how anybody outside of your mindset would see these as nasty, vindictive and cruel examples of knowingly bullying and intimidating and hurting real people with real lives and real feelings?

Some people who I respect are concerned that I am giving credibility to this behavior by providing a platform for it to spread further. And I can understand why they feel this way.

But I believe that, to change behavior by other people, we have to both challenge the behavior and talk to the people with whom we disagree.

Using whatever definition you personally choose for the word ‘bad’, I know that you are not bad people. I spent years campaigning against IRA terrorism without believing that IRA members were bad people.

But the behavior of some of your members is needlessly hurting people, and you have the power to influence whether that continues or changes.

As an aside, it is also hurting your own reputations and the credibility of your arguments, but more importantly it is causing unnecessary harm and suffering to its victims.

You can make whatever arguments you want about feminism, and its influence on the atheist/skeptic movement, without enabling this to continue.

And, as has been shown by the photoshop incident, you have the power to influence what is published by others on your website, at least to the partial extent that happened here.

Please consider doing this more often, including with other examples.

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{ 274 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Improbable Joe March 7, 2013 at 4:28 am

I’m torn about how I feel about you giving the ‘pitters yet another forum for them to spew the same nonsense and lies that they’ve been saying for the last two years. On the other hand, you’ve been incredibly respectful to them, and their responses have been less than charitable towards you. I guess I come down on the side that if you feel happy letting them show their lack of empathy, respect, and basic human decency, who am I to judge?

2 CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 4:45 am

The latest theory is that somebody who goes by the name of Oolon posted that image. Oolon is a regular at various FTB sites, although ironically, he is banned at Pharyngula, aka Baboon Towers.

BTW, I don’t think the Pit Crew are in any way struggling. There is/was a discussion (I missed most of it), but that pales into insignificance compared to the ethics of censorsing legitimate criticism. The Slyme Pit does not do that, many of its opponents do.

Therefore, the Pit continues to hold the ethical high ground when it comes to what posts stay up and what posts are “memory-holed”.

PS – Improbable Joe, it is just too bad that outside of FfTB you can’t silence people and control the narrative. Get over it.

3 Michael Nugent March 7, 2013 at 4:49 am

CommanderTuvok,

What are your thoughts on the questions that I asked in this post?

4 Skep tickle March 7, 2013 at 4:50 am

Well, let’s see. A person could actually go over there & see for himself or herself what happened. Such a person might not see the struggle that Michael saw through his lens, and instead would see comments that immediately criticized the ‘shopped photo and the person who posted it, followed by commentary like this:

So, unless they are stupid, any random lurker who sees this part of the thread is going to realize that:

1. One single member of this 500+ member forum, who has already been suspected of trolling, posted a tasteless photoshop of Ophelia on a fat old lady’s body.
2. Pretty much everyone else active on the forum at the time called it stupid and pointless and condemned it, even though they are not represented by anyone but themselves and were under absolutely no moral or practical obligation to do so.

Therefore, anybody from FTB or anywhere else who might be lurking looking for disgusting misogyny or other bigotries would never try to use this one-time, universally condemned, quite possibly trolling occurrence, as any kind of evidence of the whole ‘Pit being a hive of scum and misogyny because of realizations 1 and 2, right? Because that would be obviously dishonest, right?

Right, random lurkers?

and

The damage has already been done, the posting of the pic has been roundly condemned, and the idiot poster has been told they’re an idiot.

If anyone wants to use this against us they’ll have to do so by taking it out of context. That’ll never happen, because our detractors are far to ethical to do anything so reprehensible. :roll:

The ethical thing to do would be to represent the response there more accurately here than was done.

5 Michael Nugent March 7, 2013 at 4:52 am

To remind you what the questions are:

1. Why is that you find this particular example of nasty pushback against some feminists to be unacceptable, in a way that other examples on your website are not?
2. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate that it was ethically unacceptable to you?
3. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate whether you believed it should be removed from the the Slymepit website?
4. How would you apply those criteria to other examples of nasty pushback against some feminists published on the Slymepit website?

6 STH March 7, 2013 at 4:53 am

I would like to think that these sorts of posts–and the responses to them–make plain what the ‘pitters are really about and encourage their more sensible readers to think about whether they really want to hang out with these sort of folks. Because this behavior doesn’t have anything to do with discussing ideas or some sort of heroic resistance movement, as they like to portray what they’re doing.

7 Jack March 7, 2013 at 4:53 am

I have no intention of taking any moral guidance from someone who left deeply offensive messages on their forum for years and did nothing until called on it a few days ago.

In your haste to condemn the Slympit you also you forgot to mention we knew it was a troll and probably a plant. Someone is pulling your chain and it is not us. We are used to these tactics but perhaps your allegiances mislead you.

8 Murgustrum March 7, 2013 at 4:58 am

Michael,

The image in question was a blatant attempt to troll the ‘pit. This entire conversation is simply troll food.

You’re smarter than that.

9 Michael Nugent March 7, 2013 at 4:58 am

#4 Skeptickle,

I think I reflected the discussion fairly. I said:

“On the plus side, we finally seem to have found an example of nasty pushback against feminists on the Internet that most of the Slymepit members are prepared to openly condemn.

The ethical struggle I referred to was over whether the photograph should be removed.

10 Improbable Joe March 7, 2013 at 5:00 am

You’re not going to get any answers Mick, because their answers confirm what people say about them. What you’ll get is Tuvok’s unsubstantiated claim that this was some sort of conspiracy… no skepticism there. You’ll get someone who equates a constant stream of nastiness with years-old isolated incidents, many of which have been repudiated on multiple occasions. You’ll get accusations that you’re a liar, cherry-picking and misrepresenting a group of people who are together for the purpose of saying and doing things they KNOW are hateful and hurtful, for the purpose of spreading hate and causing harm.

What you’ll never, ever see is a rational, direct answer to your rational, direct questions.

11 Skep tickle March 7, 2013 at 5:01 am

Why do you keep specifying “feminists”? Is that the aspect that makes it troublesome for you?

12 Submariner March 7, 2013 at 5:02 am

What a smarmy little shitty thing to do Mr Nugent.

I’ll answer you disingenuous questions:

1 Why is that you find this particular example of nasty pushback against some feminists to be unacceptable, in a way that other examples on your website are not?
2 What specific criteria did you use to evaluate that it was ethically unacceptable to you?
3 What specific criteria did you use to evaluate whether you believed it should be removed from the the Slymepit website?
4 How would you apply those criteria to other examples of nasty pushback against some feminists published on the Slymepit website?

1. This was not “nasty pushback against feminists” it was at best a troll and at worst a “plant” from the one of the toadier FfTB folks.

2 Clearly trolling or “gotcha”, no satirical value, no attempt to be relevant to anything.

3 I thought it should stay, (due to the way the planted photo would be used by disingenuous assholes whether it was left up or taken down) others didn’t. Ultimately, since I don’t pay the bills at the pit I don’t get to decide.

4 See #1

13 Sally March 7, 2013 at 5:02 am

As far as I can tell, the answer to 1 – 3 is “Somebody big was looking.” The answer to 4 seems to be “Why are you looking at us? Stop!”

14 Wowbagger March 7, 2013 at 5:10 am

I do love a good tapdance routine. This is going to be epic!

15 Martin March 7, 2013 at 5:11 am

This was not “nasty pushback against feminists” it was at best a troll and at worst a “plant” from the one of the toadier FfTB folks.

And when I see actual evidence of that, I’ll change my current opinion, which is that it’s business as usual at the Pit.

16 Skep tickle March 7, 2013 at 5:15 am

Turns out the ‘Pit has had conversations like this before, for example the time someone cruised by & posted what looked like kiddie porn. That image was taken down, but not before oolon screencapped it & saved it to his hard drive (or so he said).

I think the person who posted the kiddie pic might have been banned; if so, he or she was one of very few people (2? maybe 3?) who have met that fate, & it’s only been when there were potential legal concerns regarding the content they were adding. (And Mabus, I think.)

I don’t know why I bothered to type this out. Those whose minds are made up appear to be immune to suggestions that it might not be as black and white as they’ve been told.

17 Improbable Joe March 7, 2013 at 5:15 am

Remember, when women talk about sexual harassment and/or assault, a claim that decent, reality-based people understand is real and commonplace, the ‘pitters assume that they are liars or delusional. On the other hand, when their sexist website features more of the same at a level that even they can’t accept, we’re supposed to believe that it is a conspiracy against them with ZERO evidence. So much for their Vulcan-like logic and skepticism.

18 Submariner March 7, 2013 at 5:15 am
19 maximus March 7, 2013 at 5:19 am

The slymepit was created as a result of many people being censored for criticisms of radfem dogma on other blogs, and therefore most members are anti any form of censorship. The problem with free speech is that it counts even when it is something you don’t like. For example your blaspheme page.

If you start to police language, that policing of language can be used unethically to silence people. It’s a pandoras box. The people at FTB have proved too unethical to use language policeing, as they have used it to alter and dissapear post of dissenters from orthodoxy. It is well documented at the pit and phawrongula wiki.

Once again though you take things out of context. I find it very hard to believe your acting in good faith. Why did you fail to mention that the picture was planted by a suspected troll?

Was it to paint the pit in a bad light? We already know that most of your readers will never actually go and check the pit to see what it is actually like. Why should they, your trustworthy, why would you misrepresent anything??? I wont answer your questions because you seem dishonest to me. But I’ll wait and see.

The pit is not full of misogynysts, as is often claimed, in fact I have never come across anyone anti women. I am a secular humanist and fully support equality.

Go visit the pit and find out for yourself, you may be surprised, I was. One of the common things newcomers say is- wow, you guys aren’t evil misogynysts.

20 Southern March 7, 2013 at 5:31 am

It’s a simple kind of ethics, Michael you dumb white person. I can’t really believe that I need to point this to someone that is supposed to be a smart guy:

Over FTB, moderators have the nasty habit of memory holing and erasing comments for any reason they want – which is something very dishonest to do when the erased comment is part of a discussion.

The slimepyt proudly stands against this kind of bullshit, and so erasing a comment is a big thing over there – because hypocrisy is something PZ and his ilk usually bring to the table.

So, you have a content that is ridiculous and distasteful (but NOT illegal, mind you, as it was when one imbecile posted a picture that seemed to be child porn, and it was promptly removed and the user banned), and you have dozens of people calling the author over it. So, what to do: memory hole it? Delete the offending image but leaving an explanation of what it was about? Alter the image so the “face” is obscured? THAT’s the moral dillema. Of course, in PZpolis, things can be removed, edited and distorted as His Excrescence wills – the problem is, then you poison any discussions ocurring over there with the stench of censorship.

Not surprisingly, however, the picture seems to be product of the same guy who admitted screencapping and storing the child porn picture in the past: the Colon of the Internet. And, ironically, he is on the FTB side of the fence. So, they really deserve each other. May their union NOT produce any children.

21 Improbable Joe March 7, 2013 at 5:33 am

Notice all the bragging about how awesome the Pit is, and slagging people who dare to have ethics and rules to enforce those ethics. Notice no straight answers to your questions. Yep, Mick, you’re doing an awesome job allowing them to show their true (lack of) character.

22 Eu March 7, 2013 at 5:33 am

Well, I’m not a pitter considering I was banned, but really, making such a fuss over a photoshopped picture? I wouldn’t give too much a crap if I was on my own as an adult (important: otherwise I could get lectured by my uppers xD) and people were laughing at a photo they shopped of my head attached to a naked body. Big fucking whoop.

They’re probably so casual in deliberating whether or not to remove it because they don’t think its that big a deal in the first place. Only thing to worry about is exaggerated moaning from the other side.

Speaking of that, you know how dramatic they are, why would you tell them that the photo of them exists? That’s mean, bro. xD

23 CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 5:34 am

Why is that you find this particular example of nasty pushback against some feminists to be unacceptable, in a way that other examples on your website are not?

It is not that I would say it is unacceptable, rather I would call it cheap and vulgar. Each example is a separate case, and in most cases, the pushback is justified and NEEDED. Further, there is evidence that this particular image was posted simply to cause trouble. I would argue that this image should not even be classed as “pushback”, but instead, deliberate spam by a troll.

I would also point out that I don’t see a distinction between the pushback some feminists receive at the Pit, and any other recipients of pushback. Also, “pushback” in the manner Zvan trumpets, is seen as a good thing.

What specific criteria did you use to evaluate that it was ethically unacceptable to you?

Well, the main criteria is that the image seems to be sent by someone trying to stir things up, ie spam or trolling. Other than that, there is no “specific” criteria, in the same way that there is no “specific” criteria to the use of gendered epithets at FTB, Skepchick, etc. They still use them, even though they often state they abhor the use of them.

What “specific” criteria does anyone apply when looking at any image or cartoon? There are political cartoons that some find racist, while others don’t. There are some people who find criticism of Islam “Islamophobic”, while others don’t. So, what criteria is applied? More often than not, it comes down to judgment, and not a scientific measurement.

What specific criteria did you use to evaluate whether you believed it should be removed from the the Slymepit website?

My “criteria” began with whether it was sent by someone trying to troll, and evidence suggests that it the case.

How would you apply those criteria to other examples of nasty pushback against some feminists published on the Slymepit website?

I suppose the “criteria” or judgment, is applied everytime there is a post or an image posted. It is not a scientific process. The folks at FTB, A+, etc. think they have a solid “criteria” for eliminating “nasty pushback”, but we all know that “criteria” is flawed to bits.

I would contend that most of the “pushback” from the Pit is just that…pushback, and it is NOT directed solely at feminists (feminists post at the Pit as well, and most Pitters would identify themselves as supporters of feminism, albeit, with reservations about certain feminist dogma as espoused by Watson and Marcotte, such as branding all men as “potential rapists”). What we see from the Pits’ detractors is a generalisation of all the pushback as “nasty pushback”. It can be crass at times, it is often witty, but again and again, we see legitimate Pit criticism being dismissed as “nasty” by FfTB and company for no other reason that to avoid addressing it.

24 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 5:36 am

Speaking for myself, and only myself:

1. Why is that you find this particular example of nasty pushback against some feminists to be unacceptable, in a way that other examples on your website are not?

I did not see it as nasty pushback. I thought it was pretty pointless. Not funny. Not satirical. No parody. Thus of no value. In the why even bother category. Meh (of course that fact that in a few years my body might start to look like that had nothing to do with it at all. nope).

2. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate that it was ethically unacceptable to you?

Ethics? There was nothing wrong with the photo. It just had no redeming or relevant value of any sort. The product of a juvinile mentality.

3. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate whether you believed it should be removed from the the Slymepit website?

See above.

4. How would you apply those criteria to other examples of nasty pushback against some feminists published on the Slymepit website?

You keep insisting that this is nasty pushback “against some feminists”. It is in fact pushback against some deliberately nasty people. Being a feminist is not relevant.

A recent example is below. But do go read that thread to get the context and do come to your own conclusion.

_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/03/that-had-to-hurt/comment-page-1/#comment-573147

SallyStrange
4 March 2013 at 4:49 pm (UTC -6)

I had forgotten that, Janine. Holy shit, what a doucheweasel.

Yo Owlglass. As per Justin Vacula’s suggestion, could you please let us know which epithets you find most disagreeable so we can be sure to use those to make you feel as uncomfortable as possible around here? I don’t like sharing space with lying shitbrains.

25 Eu March 7, 2013 at 5:38 am

1. Why is that you find this particular example of nasty pushback against some feminists to be unacceptable, in a way that other examples on your website are not?
Huh? I don’t apply to this question then. Skipping.
2. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate that it was ethically unacceptable to you?
It’s ethically acceptable like its ethically acceptable to use an FTB-er on my dart board drawn with a mustache and other things that might make them look unattractive. Not even a serious ethical dilemma.
3. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate whether you believed it should be removed from the the Slymepit website?
I don’t care either way. if it were to be removed, it wouldn’t matter because FtB would still fuss over it just as hard as if it were left there.
4. How would you apply those criteria to other examples of nasty pushback against some feminists published on the Slymepit website?
I don’t really know about other examples… but I don’t understand why it would matter if its just on the slymepit site where people you don’t like are just talking amongst themselves. Unless you view it as if it a newspaper for you to secretly read. Then if its that bad, stop reading other people’s newspapers.

26 Improbable Joe March 7, 2013 at 5:43 am

Oh, look… I was wrong, they CAN answer questions. Their answers prove everything that their critics say about them, but it is a beginning of a sort.

27 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 5:47 am

Eu, 22 “Well, I’m not a pitter considering I was banned, but really, making such a fuss over a photoshopped picture?”

Have you provided Lusoma with proof that you are of legal age? That may help.

I am not saying it will, but that it might.

28 Eu March 7, 2013 at 5:51 am

AndrewV69, 27

I can’t provide Lsuoma with proof that I am of legal age because I am not. Nowhere else has joking about actually wanting to see you fuckers’ mangled penises contributed to sounding the “honeypot” alert and contributed to getting me banned – if anyone did comment it was more like a “whoa, we’re not going to do that, you’re a minor, move on.”

But it was clearly a joke.

I told Lsuoma I would never joke again, but I guess that doesn’t matter.

Never mind the fact that I cannot get anyone into trouble there unless THEY do something illegal.

Anyway,

29 CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 5:53 am

Their answers prove everything that their critics say about them

Which is what?

And yes, the Pit is awesome. It was the David to FTB’s Goliath. The Pit was the ONLY PLACE that resisted the onslaught from FfTB and Skepchick when it went attacking people with all kinds of accusations and slurs. The Pit has brought them down to size, and now the Pit has more support than ever. I suspect many big name atheists and skeptics are thankful of the Pit, ERV and Abbie, even if they have to stay in the closet, as it were.

You know what the ironic thing is though – it was YOU who created the Pit. It was YOU who helped it to grow. With every witch hunt, the Pit got stronger. You could say it is a symbiotic relationship.

30 Sally March 7, 2013 at 5:54 am

It’s unacceptable because someone who doesn’t usually post at the Slyme Pit posted it. Gotcha. So all the other shops and all the pics of fat people with FtBer’s names attached to them are all righteous because they come from from regular members?

31 Eu March 7, 2013 at 6:19 am

I’m not sure what’s up, but if I smell people agreeing with a moral judgment to avoid looking bad…

…could all of those people please fess up to not finding it unacceptable?

32 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 6:28 am

Sally, #30 “It’s unacceptable because someone who doesn’t usually post at the Slyme Pit posted it”

Have you stopped beating your husband?

33 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 6:33 am

Eu, #28 “I can’t provide Lsuoma with proof that I am of legal age because I am not”

And that is the reason why he will not let you in. You said you had law enforcement relatives? Talk to them and they will tell you what the issues are.

34 athyco March 7, 2013 at 6:36 am

CommanderTuvok, #23

Further, there is evidence that this particular image was posted simply to cause trouble. I would argue that this image should not even be classed as “pushback”, but instead, deliberate spam by a troll.

On New Year’s Eve, the infrequent Slymepit commenter Jerry Conlon put “Opehie” first on a “Top Five” list called for by Reap Paden [under “JTC” on the Periodic Table of Swearing, Post 40081]. On Jan. 18, he tweeted the vial of acid remark that Pitchguest brought up for equivalence. ” CommanderTuvok said of that tweet:

I reckon Jerry Conlon is a fake account set up by one of the Baboon supporters. I wouldn’t put it past them.

BTW, looking at Justin’s FB page with much mirth, reminded me just how exposed Ophelia and all the other FfTB morons are when outside Baboon HQ. When they can’t censor, moderate, memory hole and ban, they get slaughtered, and they flounce pretty quickly.

This is why I have said that if a forum outside of their control opens up, and it is possible to engage and respond with the Baboons – DO IT. Hit the boards and give them hell. Make them scarper back to the safety of their Baboon cages. Make them get a sense of reality – that the atheist and skeptic communities despise them.

–CommanderTuvok, The Periodic Table’s Younger, Sexier, Sibling Thread [post 5068]

35 Eu March 7, 2013 at 6:44 am

Andrew, they would tell me this – that nothing can become of them unless THEY break the law. And that only applies to situations where someone seriously requested minor pics (holy shit! minor pics! doesn’t happen all the time! xD) No one will be jailed because I made a god damn pun, Andrew. And even if they would, banning me afterwards would do nothing. I’m sorry, but I still don’t see permabanning me over a pun as justifiable.

36 Eu March 7, 2013 at 6:45 am

I’m pretty versed in this.

37 Steersman March 7, 2013 at 6:52 am

Michael asked:

You seem to have asked about three separate incidents – two of which you could have provided links for, and which I may address in a later comment – the first of which was the photoshop of Ophelia Benson, and on which you asked 4 separate quesions. But as several others have provided more detailed responses to them, I’ll only quote the only post I made there on the topic (1):

Just out of curiousity, and as a point of reference, and not to belabour the point overmuch, but how is that picture different from the “Zvan-Laden sex tapes” and the photoshop of Zvan as the Hindenberg?

Seems to me that if “rude and crude” is the criterion then it should be applied uniformly. Otherwise ….

Generally I don’t find gratuitous insults of much value – and have argued that point frequently including relative to the “sex-tapes” – but at the same time I don’t see much harm in them either; I see far more harm in applying standards inconsistently, in a policy of “don’t do as I do, but do as I say”.

However, I also think your framing of the issue is somewhat disingenuous in failing to quantify the supposed harm that supposedly follows from this supposedly “nasty pushback” against supposed feminists. Which harkens back to the questions and problems that Justicar (#76; “Examples” thread) raised the other day and which I note you have yet to address, notably that “the conversation will be the hostage of anyone who claims to find offense or perceive harm in a given statement”.

And as I indicated in my own response to those questions (2), the circumstances in this situation seems to lead many, myself included, to think that there are far too many “crocodile tears” in response to at least some of that supposed “nasty pushback” coming from “The Pit” – which can’t be held responsible for anything outside of it. And also to think that to give much credence to those complaints is really to allow the conversation to be held hostage by those who apparently or frequently seem to have no interest in addressing the questions that motivate at least some of that supposed “nasty pushback”. Seems to me that you’re trying to address the symptoms of a disease rather than the causes of it.

Far better, as I also argued, to put very much more weight on the childhood aphorism: “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. Not at all unreasonable, I think, particularly in light of the fact that a great many of the “new atheists” seem to have championed the “principle” that “you don’t have the right to not be offended”, particularly when dealing with the various supposed delusions and perceptions of those who subscribe to more orthodox faiths.
===
1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=71980#p71980”;
2) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/comment-page-3/#comment-196403”;

38 tina March 7, 2013 at 7:05 am

“Do you seriously not see how anybody outside of your mindset would see these as nasty, vindictive and cruel examples of knowingly bullying and intimidating and hurting real people with real lives and real feelings?”

Most certainly I do. That is exactly why the photo was deliberately planted on the pit: to achieve exactly the effect it has. To very deliberately hurt me and others. Do you not seriously see what a nasty, vindictive, cruel thing to do that was? Will you now condemn such an act and request Myers to instruct his supporters to cease from such acts as they will not assist you in achieving them? Or do you actually approve such an act Michael?

39 John Greg March 7, 2013 at 7:06 am

Eu (aka Eucliwood) said:

“I still don’t see permabanning me over a pun as justifiable.”

Eucli, that is being extremely dishonest. There was much, much more than just a pun involved in your being banned, and you know it. Among many other things, you also began hounding people via email and PMs. Stop the lying, and accept the simple fact that you are not emotionally or psychologically sound enough to hang out at the ‘Pit.

40 Eu March 7, 2013 at 7:19 am

John Greg, you can blab all you want, but I’m not being dishonest. Pay the fuck attention. If the subject Andrew brought up was “your agent comment did it,” then I would be saying that I don’t deserve to be banned over that. Point is, HE’S implying it alone justifies a permaban, whether he was right in bringing up just that or not

I’m not lying about anything, you just saw my name and decided to pounce, so you didn’t realize that I was only replying to what Andrew said – his claim that what HE brought up justifies a permaban. CONTEXT.

And I didn’t “hound people” via emails and PMs. You’re the one being dishonest. I was already permabanned by then, and Lsuoma memory holed my side of the story on the pit, so I sent it to people instead. Big fucking whoop.

Either way, making a god damn pun and intimidating decius with facts (facts that I would not use, btw) doesn’t mean I’m not “psychologically sound” to “hang out at the pit.”

41 John Greg March 7, 2013 at 7:23 am

Michael, you begin your post with a misrepresentative distortion of fact, which amounts to an act of poisoning the well. You said:

“Members of the Slymepit website have spent the last few hours struggling with the ethics of whether to remove a photograph, newly posted, of an identifiable person’s face photoshopped onto the body of a naked woman.”

We were not “struggling”, and the issue was not ethics. We were discussing the range of possible responses to the posting of an image that the majority of those present at the time felt was distasteful and pointless; an image that was clearly posted solely for the purpose of causing the Pit trouble. Such discussion is what such things as democracy, and most certainly a skeptical approach to reality, are based upon. It is inaccurate and well-poisoning to describe our discussion as “struggling”.

As has been repeatedly pointed out by many others here, it was not an instance of “nasty pushback against feminists”, it was in fact a successful attempt by someone trying to stir shit up and provide an opportunity to drag folks like you out to once again castigate the Pit with misrepresentation, distortions, and group-vilification.

As to your questions:

“Q1. Why is that you find this particular example of nasty pushback against some feminists to be unacceptable, in a way that other examples on your website are not?”

A1. Michael, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you, it was not an instance of “nasty pushback against feminists”, it was in fact a successful attempt by someone trying to stir shit up. However, as to its unacceptability, that points to the rationale for accepting (or not) most of the images in this vein posted at the Pit: satire. And this image had no satirical elements. It was simply a distasteful image intended soley to piss off everyone, in the Pit and outside.

“Q2. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate that it was ethically unacceptable to you?

A2. It was not ethically unacceptable to me; however, I felt it was pointless, tasteless, and juvenile, and served no purpose beyond trolling.

“Q3. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate whether you believed it should be removed from the the Slymepit website?

A3. The specific criteria I used was based around the founding principle of the Pit, which is that, except when it puts the Pit host in legal jeopardy, or when it is a case of utterly blatant trolling idiocy like Mabus, the Pit does not censor, moderate, edit, delete, ban, or otherwise play 1984 / Newspeak / memory hole games with people’s rights to freedom of thought and freedom of speech — and that includes anyone from FfTB or Skepchick or A+ who might want to come and palaver (but most of them are just too chickenshit to try and debate outside of territory where they control the content). Anyway, in that light, I stated that I felt that the image should not be removed, but that we should also be clear, as we were, in our almost universal condemnation of the troll who posted it soley for the purpose of causing the Pit trouble.

“Q4. How would you apply those criteria to other examples of nasty pushback against some feminists published on the Slymepit website?”

A4. Case by case Michael; case by case. Is that so difficult for you to understand?

Michael said:

“Do you seriously not have enough empathy and compassion to imagine how a person would feel knowing that these things are published about them on the Internet, including knowing that an Internet search of their name could result in friends or colleagues seeing these photographs and comments?”

Yes, I have such empathy and compassion, but that does not give me the right, nor for that matter, the desire, to police the Internet to meet my personal requirements, nor those of someone whose personal “ethical” demands and requirements seem to change on an hourly basis.

“Do you seriously not see how anybody outside of your mindset would see these as nasty, vindictive and cruel examples of knowingly bullying and intimidating and hurting real people with real lives and real feelings?”

Of course I see how others might perceive it; that does not make them right. After all, it wasn’t the Pit en masse that posted that image; it was an intentional shit-disturbing troll.

42 Eu March 7, 2013 at 7:23 am

“Oh my god, she made an obvious pun about a thread title, which was obviously a joke because she’s at odds with the people she’s talking to, and then she said she knows agents she can talk to if someone chooses to continue bothering her, which can also be concluded as not serious, let’s BAN HER in order to protect people, because if we want to pretend she’s fucking serious, BANNING HER would stop her from carrying out her oh so serious threats and would save forum members! If she were serious about sabotaging herself just to get some pipsqueak on the internet in trouble, PROVOKING HER is the way to save said pipsqueak!

And this is why you were banned, Eucliwood!”

That’s all I hear. If you take it so seriously that you think you can judge me /crazy/ for it, maybe you’re the one that needs a therapy appointment, John Greg.

Either way I didn’t deserve a perma-ban and wouldn’t have gotten one in a lot of places. And no, they don’t suffer for their decision NOT to permanently ban me.

43 tina March 7, 2013 at 7:27 am

It was also a pointless act Michael, as I am sure you know. Tthe point of conflict resolution strategy is to expose the actual underlying operational values of each side at play, not to get bogged down in circular arguments over particular incidents or events. Often then, progress can be achieved by negotiating symbolic acts of compromise, often very small ones at first, across that value divide. There is no other route. Unless of course the strategy is total victory and the black-ops part of a campaign of which you approve. I really hope that isn’ it, but your tone Michael, suggests otherwise.

44 Eu March 7, 2013 at 7:32 am

Oh, and another thing – the only thing that was dishonest is the claim on why I was banned. Here we are, debating about it, partly because he lied in the first place.

I was supposedly banned for almost certainly being a dangerous male doing illegal activities on the interwebs, with actions, a username, and an email the admin just refused to disclose (which is probably why he deleted my thread asking for the information to be let out – if I truly am that dangerous man he was blabbing on about, why protect me?)

45 tina March 7, 2013 at 7:47 am

A further point to be made is that people will abandon the atheist/skeptic ‘community’ in droves and just get on with their own lives if this carries on. Certainly for me it is not a matter of massive emotional investment which it seems to be for some.

Many that will be lost are valuable contributors to atheist/skeptical goals, so it will be a significant loss.

46 Steersman March 7, 2013 at 7:47 am

Tina said (#38):

To very deliberately hurt me and others. Do you not seriously see what a nasty, vindictive, cruel thing to do that was?

Indeed. Michael seems to have no compassion, no appreciation for the soul-searing anguish that the arrival of that photoshop caused all and sundry in The Pit. While I, of course, have no fMRI scans of the mental trauma that it caused, either to me or others there, I can attest – cross my heart and hope to die – and I’m sure all will fully accept – that years of therapy will be required to ameliorate its effects before I at least will feel able to once again to undertake my obligations ….

47 Eu March 7, 2013 at 7:54 am

Oh ffs John, you’re getting me snarky emails! Even if they’re a joke. I’m not complaining about getting banned, at all. I’m responding to the claims of others, that’s it. Merely clarifying that I’m not a pitter /anymore/ doesn’t count as complaining either. It’s you and the first one I was talking to that prolonged that topic, and it’s not a problem unless you take that fact and then act like I’m the one who did it.

48 tina March 7, 2013 at 7:58 am

Yes, I know. Why do you suppose Michael is using it to attack the pit rather than make unequivocal condemnation of the person who did it? That might be quite revealing.

49 tina March 7, 2013 at 8:02 am

The speed with which this has gone from perpetration to Nugent’s blog is also highly suggestive of an engineered attack. No morals at all I tells ee!

50 tina March 7, 2013 at 8:23 am

*sigh* It like that joke: you’re stood at the bar waiting for your man to get a nice Guinness for you. He let’s rip….(guys, don’t do that!)….man turns round..”Excuse ME, you just farted, in front of my wife”

“Oh, I’m sorry….I didn’t realise it was her turn”

Badum ker….ching

On with the show…….

Bear in mind….most of us will be dead in 50yrs…give or take.

51 oolon March 7, 2013 at 8:23 am

LOL I would check the pit but I’m sure I can rely on Tuvok to accurately state the situation… So Tuvok and the great sceptics at the pit think I stay up all night photohopping rude images to “discredit” them. First off all a great bit of projection there, I think your shrink will have some fun with that Tuvok. Secondly I need to do nothing to discredit you lot as I’ve already nicely demonstrated you’ll always manage that better than anyone else ever could. Hence you ignore the central issue which is not ameliorated one jot if your suggestion it was me or a “FtB troll” who posted the image was true! Way to miss the point as usual…

When I went on this “welcoming” forum to argue and take the piss a bit, my freedom of expression was hideously infringed by threats from the mod to his members not to talk to me. Violent threats from another member of the forum went unchallenged. dox’ing from an “anonymous” person which was never removed by the mod… So yeah a great place to “push scepticism” as Phil G puts it 😀
http://www.oolon.co.uk/?p=94

52 tina March 7, 2013 at 8:27 am

Oolon. Why did you post that picture at the he pit?

53 tina March 7, 2013 at 8:30 am

Has it had the effect you wanted it to have?

54 tina March 7, 2013 at 8:31 am

Did you discuss it with anyone before posting it?

55 Steersman March 7, 2013 at 8:31 am

tina said (#48):

Yes, I know. Why do you suppose Michael is using it to attack the pit rather than make unequivocal condemnation of the person who did it? That might be quite revealing.

He does seem to have a somewhat questionable bias, but I think that might be partially due to some unfamiliarity with the largely unmoderated nature of The Pit and its somewhat problematic principle of not deleting any content unless it’s explicitly illegal. Quite a bit of stuff gets through that is simply crude or wide of the mark or falls flat in the view of most, but it also, as a result, provides a platform for the discussion of unconventional views that are unacceptable or anathematized on other forums, frequently for not particularly credible reasons. But maybe I’m biased ….

The speed with which this has gone from perpetration to Nugent’s blog is also highly suggestive of an engineered attack. No morals at all I tells ee!

A little suspicious, and I wondered a little bit about it myself. But I don’t think the argument holds a lot of water. For one thing, there’s been quite a bit of activity on his other related threads and I can well see that he would have been lurking about in The Pit trying to get a handle on where we’re coming from. And in which case he would simply have been well-placed to observe the arrival of that photoshop, and the questions it raised would have been consistent with the other topics under discussion. So I’m quite prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and to consider him an honest broker – and one apparently willing to consider any biases he might have.

56 tina March 7, 2013 at 8:36 am

Well, I suppose we should expect more of this sort of thing from now on…

57 windy March 7, 2013 at 8:37 am

This time I’ll give just two examples, as the fifty examples I gave last time have proved to be too daunting to respond to without citing context.

Michael, perhaps you in your infinite compassion could lead by example and explain what specific criteria did you use to evaluate
a) when quote mining is ethically acceptable
b) that it’s appropriate to characterise opposition to quotemining as ‘proved to be too daunting to respond’
c) that it’s proper to use an example of blatant trolling, which was immediately called out as such, to try to paint a whole group as not experiencing empathy and compassion at your ‘level’?

58 oolon March 7, 2013 at 8:52 am

Laughing at Tuvok part over.. How about something useful to move the conversation forward? Pitters are usually full of Tu Quoque (and other things) and will trot out a whole litany of crimes the FfTB Baboons have committed against them that forced them to become pitters…

Yup *forced* them to push back. This is a common theme and whenever I’ve spoken to one I’ve always asked where is the thread? Not one reply comes my way, the thread is gone, broken, edited or some other unlikely event. (Steersmans thread where he was banned for calling Sally Strange an “ignorant cunt” then went down a rabbit hole where that could not be seen as misogyny exists) … Recently I commented on B&W because one pitter pointed to the horrible event that made it easy for him to justify joining the harassment campaign against Ophelia Benson. In fact he stated this event *forced* him to join the campaign. Ophelia *made* him into a pitter! I must include a trigger warning here as this is the sort of thing that gives pittizens nightmares!
http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2013/02/reputation-management-instructions/#comment-483659

1. Philip engages a bit above my first link and Ophelia starts off with a horrible broadside to destroy the ego of any Pittizen. She *doesn’t* remember him from RDF! Not only that but she suggests his “male-normal” language is typical of the place so she can believe he came from there.
2. Philip rails against his mis-understanding of “male-normal”, he thinks he was called sexist by Ophelia… Errr Wut? O_o Her commenters even do not appear to say “you are a sexist” they do say “you are using sexist language please stop” (Paraphrasing there as they are not as polite as Philip would like)
3. Ophelia deals her death blow and after she has already politely explained Philip is misunderstanding the term “Male-normal” she decides to ask him to please leave as he is derailing the conversation.

This was in JULY! Philip is still railing against the horrible injustice meted out to him in that thread. I’m sure he wakes up in a cold sweat and has had treatment for PTSD after this horrible experience… So this clearly justifies his and all the other Pittizens quest to exorcise their butthurt… Doesn’t it?

Maybe Thaumas can rise to my challenge to provide ANY evidence of the horrible treatment he had at the hands of Ophelia… Maybe not… I’m sure someone can top Philip “Pip Pirrup” of the Pits account? Someone? Anyone? Butthurt?

59 Steersman March 7, 2013 at 9:08 am

oolon said (#51):

… my freedom of expression was hideously infringed by threats from the mod to his members not to talk to me.

“It was a dark and stormy night ….” “hideously infringed” seems just a bit hyperbolic and bombastic there, would you not say, oolon? Particularly given that, if I’m not mistaken, several people – including “Phil G.” – indicated to the mod that it was their choice, not his, whether they wanted to talk to you or not. Kind of an empty “threat” in that case, isn’t it? You and others seem to be judging The Pit by the “standard” – if one can call it that as suggested by a perusal of Myers’ dungeon – of Pharyngula and FfTB ….

Violent threats from another member of the forum went unchallenged.

You mean a threat like this one from a commenter on Pharyngula? (1)

Tethys
7 February 2013 at 3:24 pm (UTC -6) Link to this comment

You are not Paul.

And this is THUNDERDOME!!

*Breaks two liquor bottles and brandishes the jagged necks.*

I WILL cut you abear, you stupid fucking troll.

A threat that, if I’m not mistaken, the Pharyngula moderator Chris Clarke called a joke? (2)

That the person who directed that “threat” at you might have been a dickhead for doing so, I’ll readily concede, but I hardly think it qualified as “credible”.

So yeah a great place to “push scepticism” as Phil G puts it

You mean, as opposed to Myers’ blog where he seems to have a dungeon well populated with those who had the temerity to question the “conventional wisdom” in that neck of the woods? A dungeon that includes all “Slymepitters” regardless of whether they have ever commented at The Pit or not? Seems rather dogmatic to me – hardly the mark of a skeptic ….
===
1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/02/04/thunderdome-18/comment-page-2/#comment-555626”;
2) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=61838#p61838”;

60 franc March 7, 2013 at 9:26 am

Michael,

You amaze me with your single-minded will to bog everything down in nitpicking about irrelevant trivia.

First you wring hands about quote mined instances of the dreaded “c” word. Now it’s photoshopped images. I have no idea which image you are referring to, nor any interest at going and digging it up.

This is what you consider to be earth shatteringly important? Obviously far more important than Greg Laden’s repeated efforts to cause personal harm in the real world, including contacting people’s employers to get them fired? And it bears repeating his targets are usually women.

There is something SERIOUSLY wrong with your priorities.

61 Jack March 7, 2013 at 10:08 am

‘tina: Well, I suppose we should expect more of this sort of thing from now on…’

Yep the Troll is now well fed, nice job Michael. Also well done for ensuring people milk it for everything they can get out of it. You triggered the Streisand Effect falling over yourself to show what a bunch of terrible people we are.

The Pyt is not a Dictatorship it works as a Democracy. People discuss and give opinions before action is taken, unless clearly illegal. Like adults do. You know that as you have been told time and again. There is a price to pay for freedom and trolls is one of them.

I know some of you can’t grasp that as you live in your cotton wall echo chamber where no dissent is allowed. But in my world free thought and open discussion matters. It really matters. It is not something I stick on a name badge and loudly proclaim to the world. It is not a virtual castle where the walls are sealed from dissent. A castle where I can spit on everyone from on high without recourse. For me free thought and open discussion is REAL and it MATTERS.

This is what happened (evidence still there) :

1. Troll posts comment about women and cooking recipes hoping to get us to think it was hilarious, to warm us up.

2. Troll got called on. He failed.

3. Troll posts the picture as his Coup de Grace. Again, hoping by then we will be in the mood to find humour in it. We didn’t, I was personally disgusted. I was also angry as I knew it would be used against us by the dishonest, no matter what we did. I did not need the Randi Million to work that out and that was commented on at the time.

4. Troll universally condemned. At this point nothing could be done anyway, no admins. As people are rationalists and the Pit is known for no censorship various solutions were commented on from keeping it there to full deletion. The troll will have screen-capped it by now anyway. No drama (where did you get that from?)

5. Admin arrives (we have one and he is not there 24/7) and he immediately drops the tags removing the picture view. The evidence was kept and no memory holes, we hate them. There is no reason anyone should use the link.

6. It was obvious it came from possibly one or two people and the timing too coincidental to not suspect it was aimed at derailing any discussions here. ISP checked and confirmed. No surprise there, especially as he clearly believed his plan would work to make us think his picture was funny. Only a few people I know are as deluded as that.

Michael point 6 was openly discussed on the forums, even your name was mentioned to help us find who it might be. You must have read it, why did you not mention it at all? Please explain that to me.

7. With amazing speed and, if in the UK like me, very early in the morning Nugent manages to produce a l0ng piece condemning the PIT for:

1. Having a troll

2. Dealing with it.

In what sort of lala land do people live in that can twist the narrative to such an extend that the VICTIM (us) gets blamed instead of the perpetrator. How does that fit with your SJW narrative? What sort of deluded dogmatism thinks that is acceptable?

What sort of gullible mind claiming to be open to discussion grabs the opportunity CLEARLY intended by the troll.

We were set up. We did not fall for it but some of you, in your desperate need to throw poo, gleefully accepted a disgusting act to further your aims. You should be ashamed of yourselves and I am deeply disappointed that some of you are blaming us and not taking the troll to task and fully supporting us in this.

I thought the picture was disgusting, how can you look at yourselves taking advantage of it being posted? What moral compass guides you in that? How can any ideology justify that?

You have lost any claim to any moral authority. I will not answer to the likes of any of you unless you act like adults and accept responsibility for yourselves before you jump to be the moral arbiters of others. How dare you question me and others before you put your own house in order and your attitudes well behind you.

62 Steersman March 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

oolon said (#58):

This is a common theme and whenever I’ve spoken to one I’ve always asked where is the thread? Not one reply comes my way, the thread is gone, broken, edited or some other unlikely event. (Steersman’s thread where he was banned for calling Sally Strange an “ignorant cunt” then went down a rabbit hole where that could not be seen as misogyny exists)

Not quite sure how to parse that that there, oolon, as I’ve never said that that thread is gone; have quoted from it (3) several times in the last while. But that “calling Sally Strange an ‘ignorant cunt’” should apparently be seen by you as “misogyny” highlights, I think, a very fundamental difference in perception – almost on par with the old battle between the Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Church over whether to make the sign of the cross with two or three fingers. That the word can be a rude insult is absolutely no justification whatsoever, at least that I can see, for concluding that it is a direct manifestation of the hate of all women.

Philip rails against his mis-understanding of “male-normal”, he thinks he was called sexist by Ophelia… Errr Wut? O_o

“clueless male-normal language of a lot of the men who commented there” (1) is not considered sexist, but “[atheism], it’s more of a guy thing” is? And justification for Ophelia Benson’s subsequent screed attacking Shermer (2) for saying that and, in effect, for calling him a sexist? Kind of seems like a double standard to me ….
===
1) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/07/in-your-face/#comment-224275”;
2) “_http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=benson_33_1”;
3) “_http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2012/02/21/not-as-much-fun-as-it-sounds/comment-page-1/#comment-272084”;

63 Michael Nugent March 7, 2013 at 11:13 am

To the Slymepit members who are commenting on this post.

Clearly there are mutual misinterpretations of what I have written, because we are coming from extremely different viewpoints.

You are interpreting what I wrote as an attack on Slymepit members, for the reasons you have given and because some of you mistrust me.

I am interpreting what I wrote as recognising a step forward, as this is the first time I have seen so many Slymepit members openly condemning a hurtful post of this sort.

Up to now the reaction that I have seen to hurtful posts has been – mostly – either people joining in with additional hurtful commentary, or people tolerating it on the basis of free speech no matter how needlessly hurtful it is.

That is why I have been trying to identify, in my dialogue with Justin, as a starting point for dialogue, where it is that he (and/or other members of the Slymepit) draws the line and decides that a post is unacceptable regardless of the arguments for free speech.

So have we now identified an example that line? I don’t know. We seem to have in terms of what is acceptable to individual members, but the post essentially remains on your site in an edited form.

I’ll read all of the comments in more detail later today.

But there is one other question that now strikes me.

As many of you are highlighting your belief that the photo was posted by a troll, can I ask: do you think that your reaction to the content, and its acceptability, would have been any different if it had been posted by a regular contributor?

As for the question as to whether I would make an unequivocal condemnation of the person who did it? Of course I would.

64 franc March 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

“As many of you are highlighting your belief that the photo was posted by a troll, can I ask: do you think that your reaction to the content, and its acceptability, would have been any different if it had been posted by a regular contributor?”

Judging from the descriptions, it’s not something regular posters would do. You are the one making the assumption they do – you’re selective quote mining and lack of understanding of your subject is quite appalling. In the case of the quotes for instance, you have made NIL effort to view original source material – yet you cast judgement.

There is a revolving door for losers that arrive at the slimepit and try to impress with inanities like “what do you tell a woman with two black eyes?” They receive no mercy – yet you somehow think they represent the rank and file.

Here’s a question for you – precisely why do you assume your ill-researched and just plain ignorant opinions here merit any kind of serious consideration? Your priorities, as I stated before, are seriously screwed up – there is an endless list of appalling behaviour, slander, character assassination and worse from those you kowtow to. Yet you choose to focus on trivia from the ‘pit. There is a name for this kind of willful blindness: it’s called “true believer syndrome” –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_believer_syndrome

65 Michael Nugent March 7, 2013 at 11:48 am

Here is another way of looking at the assumption that a troll posted the photograph in order to embarrass the Slymepit members:

If it is the case that the Slymepit is composed only of individual members who are responsible only for their own posts, and there is no collective responsibility, and everybody supports the right of freedom of expression regardless of whether they agree with the content of other members’ posts…

then why would (or how would) the posting of that photo embarrass you?

It must be, must it not, that there is something about the content of the photograph that you believe transcends the factors above?

66 Sally March 7, 2013 at 11:51 am

Have you stopped beating your husband?

Alright, you say you can’t answer the question without incriminating yourself. In order to show that this is my fault, rather than just an acknowledgement of being incriminated, you’d have to say where the question relies on faulty premises. Was this picture treated differently than the others for some reason other than that a non-regular posted it? What about the picture makes it different?

To put it more in Mick’s terms, where are you drawing that line if it isn’t “Someone big is looking” or “That person isn’t a regular”?

67 Edward Gemmer March 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I never even saw the picture, but I’m glad that the Pit talked about it before doing anything. There does seem to be a value to due process, diversity, and free speech there that is not valued in other places. Banning people, editing links, deleting posts: these kinds of things offend my delicate liberal sensitivities. So when we are talking about treating someone like garbage, and deleting their point of view (even if crude and insulting is exactly that), I think you have to have a conversation about it if you want to meet the minimum standards of being a decent human being.

68 franc March 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm

“then why would (or how would) the posting of that photo embarrass you?”

It doesn’t. I am accountable for my words and my words only. You are betraying what I identified a long, long time ago Michael. It is the fact that the movement is being undermined by a neo-puritanism, almost a neo-Calvinism. You harp on about “embarrassment” and “shame”, and underneath all that there is the constant theme of fear and loathing about human sexuality. It is so churchy I want to barf.

69 franc March 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm

scratch “movement” – awful word. Substitute “our communities”.

70 Edward Gemmer March 7, 2013 at 12:27 pm

One thought I’ve been percolating lately is Richard Dawkins’ thoughts on religion and why it persists. He talked about kids believing what their parents say without question, and they go on believing it into adulthood even when it is clear that it makes no sense.

A kid can be told that some man came and died on a cross just for you, and you had better be good and act right and worship him if you want a good life and especially if you want a good afterlife. There are people out there who are bad(!) because they don’t believe in Jesus and they don’t do what Jesus says like read the bible and go to church and behave. They are going to hell, and you should try to convert them if you can, because that is what being a good person is all about.

However, lots of younger people growing up these days didn’t grow up in excessively religious homes. They may have grown up in pretty liberal homes, and what they were told probably reflected the values being taught in those homes, values like don’t be racist! Don’t be sexist! If you are racist or sexist you are bad! You can only be good by not being racist or sexist. It’s your job to convert people to the non-sexist, non-racist way, but if they won’t convert, fuck ’em. They can go and play in the Slymepit, where all bad people exist.

71 rocko2466 March 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I was preparing an answer for the 4 questions (namely one pointing out that “nasty pushback against feminists” defines neither Oolon’s picture – which was just trolling – nor the normal material the pit.)

However, I am surprised that you would call the Slymepit out as the “villains” in this scenario given the conduct of the FtBers / Skepchicks etc. I have set this out in your previous threads and I reiterate – this arose out of a hostile and un-skeptical environment forming in the heavily moderated comment threads of the FtB / Skepchick blogs. These people accuse whoever they please of being misogynists or parroting misogynistic thought – just because they disagree with their rather unique brand of feminism.

We won’t be holding ourselves to an extraordinarily high level of decorum to respond to their patent nonsense – which they spew forth to a much wider audience than the Slymepit. I would also point out that as skeptics our job is to call out unskeptical thinking. We won’t sit politely by.

72 Jack March 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm

‘Michael :

Here is another way of looking at the assumption that a troll posted the photograph in order to embarrass the Slymepit members:

If it is the case that the Slymepit is composed only of individual members who are responsible only for their own posts, and there is no collective responsibility, and everybody supports the right of freedom of expression regardless of whether they agree with the content of other members’ posts…

then why would (or how would) the posting of that photo embarrass you?

It must be, must it not, that there is something about the content of the photograph that you believe transcends the factors above?’

Also your post asking if I (remember we are not all one) would think the same if it was posted by a regular member is a valid one and it did come up at the time.

So I will deal with both:

1. Yes I would have the same reaction if it was a regular poster. In fact one poster did far less a month or so back and he was so shamed by the rest of us he left, not to be seen again. The Pit works like a pub, misbehave and people tend to ignore you and you go away. So I would be amazed if a regular poster did post such an image.

2. While we are individuals why would that suggest we think that abrogates any responsibility we have for content? While I do not believe in guilt by association there is a point where that is not valid (such as posting on a Nazi site) While I have great tolerance for diverse views and offence, I have lines too, we all do. It is those lines you seem to ignore. They are subtle but they are there.

The picture posted yesterday was SO obviously a troll (from and FtB supporter) and so obviously dealt with effectively I was gobsmacked at your reaction.

This was the paragraph that got me:

‘To me this shows how desensitized some members of the Slymepit have become to the ethics of people who experience empathy and compassion at a level that would make it instantly obvious that this photograph should be removed.’

How did you manage do get to that conclusion? ‘Desensitized’? That was offensive and patronising. Morality is not absolute, you do not get to call it on others though a quick scan of a forum where you clearly missed some keys points and misunderstood the subtle nuance of a complex community.

This whole focus on morality is doomed to failure and why there was so much push back. We know where the differences lie. That is evident.

I also posted some comments about this at Slympit and I stand by them. In summary until I see people acting in good faith, stop supposing and poisoning the well and use a bit of old fashioned charity this is going nowhere in my opinion.

FfB already have had offers of discussions, Slympit put several people forward, they never provide one. Not one. They chose you as they know your loaded on their side. Yet we still talk. So who are the ones being honest and willing to discuss here? Who are the immovable ideologues who play petty politics and those who take skeptisism and free thought seriously?

As always I only speak for myself. If you see a common theme it is because what is going on here is all too readily apparent. I smell a stitch up but I still hold some hope I am wrong.

73 Sally March 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Franc isn’t a regular poster at the Slyme Pit, or you’re just fine with the pictures he posts?

74 franc March 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Sally: Franc isn’t a regular poster at the Slyme Pit, or you’re just fine with the pictures he posts?

Slur by insinuation. Would expect nothing less from you Sally. My satire hurts. But it’s meant to and always has a point – though the subtleties maybe beyond your grasp. How about instead of finger pointing like a violated nun, you provide examples and let folks judge for themselves. I expect the standard mute silence.

BTW – did you manage to steal an IUD from welfare services Sal?

75 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I don’t know about ‘unethical’, but based on the conversation in this thread, those coming to defend or align themselves with the pit come across as petty, mean, mundane, self-absorbed and willfully obtuse/disingenuous.

Who the eff cares what is happening over there? In my opinion, giving these people any further platform is pointless. Not one person has genuinely responded to Micheal’s post: the people you spend hours mocking and obsessing over have lives, with careers, and family. Your behavior is harmful and hurtful. No, that doesn’t mean you *can’t* engage in it. The question is, why do you want to? Even if those you are attacking are guilty of the same, or worse, why do you choose to lower yourselves to their level? Fess up and just admit you like laughing at people and calling the, old, and fat, and stupid. Anyone who visits the pit and looks through the threads can see this obvious fact. I unfortunately spent hours looking through the slyme threads yesterday, because I’m a stranger to this squabble and wanted to see what it is about.

How can anyone think that these people are interested on an intelligent discussion?

76 oolon March 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

I’ve been told that the image on the pit and the discussion there actually was aimed at me… Not a wind up by Tuvok as I assumed. There is a serious point there which I make in more detail here –>
http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/03/06/not-about-the-words/#comment-211145

Seriously guys, you know I like to wind people up a little, you obviously think I’m *just* like Hitler for creating the block bot ;-). But if any of you really posted and created that image to just “troll” me back cut it out. I dunno who it was you put on the image, but I can guess. That’s really beyond the pale just to troll me — surely you can think of something to actually attack me that doesn’t hurt others? On the other hand if it was just an opportunistic response to a random troll, then well played, better than your usual efforts!

77 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 1:40 pm

W/r/t my above post, look back and see how many commenters here defending the pit have said something along the lines of, ‘that picture was a p
Lant, why haven’t you mentioned all the unseemly stuff FtB/Skepchicks have done!?’

Two wrongs don’t make a right, peeps. You learn that in pre-school. How can you seriously explain your own position by deflecting to the conduct of others?

78 franc March 7, 2013 at 1:45 pm

oolon: Seriously guys, you know I like to wind people up a little, you obviously think I’m *just* like Hitler for creating the block bot

No, you’re like Chester yapyapyapping for attention.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=UVNHcob3oJg

79 tina March 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Michael Nugent March 7, 2013 at 11:48 am
Here is another way of looking at the assumption that a troll posted the photograph in order to embarrass the Slymepit members:

If it is the case that Society is composed only of individual members who are responsible only for their own actions, and there is no collective responsibility, and everybody supports the right of freedom of expression regardless of whether they agree with the expression of other members’ actions…

then why would why would (X) embarrass you??

Do you see Michael? I only changed a couple of words. I know I don’t need to spell it out.

Your entire rhetoric in this leads me to harbor significant distrust of your motives. If you are attempting to be a peace broker, you do need to start acting like one.

80 Sally March 7, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Franc, the question wasn’t for you. You have no shame. Got it.

Jack, you like Franc’s pictorial contribution here?

BTW – did you manage to steal an IUD from welfare services Sal?

What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Am I supposed to be scared off asking about your pictures because you want to dig around in my uterus and claim I’m poor?

81 Derek Walsh March 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

@Edward Gemmer (67):

I never even saw the picture, but I’m glad that the Pit talked about it before doing anything. There does seem to be a value to due process, diversity, and free speech there that is not valued in other places. Banning people, editing links, deleting posts: these kinds of things offend my delicate liberal sensitivities.

I tend to agree. I know the Orwellian concept of the “memory hole” has been used to describe the process of deletion without explanation, and I identify strongly with that. Trying to pretend that things that happened never really happened is a big issue, particularly for those who identify as skeptics. The evidence is gone. How can we make up our own minds about something if we can’t examine the evidence?
When the questionable posts on the Atheist Ireland forum were brought to our attention, I was opposed to deletion, largely on the grounds that removing whole threads sometimes meant removing useful discussions that had been going on simultaneously or had resulted from the offending posts; while removing individual posts from threads would leave gaps, meaning the remaining posts may not make any sense. We decided to move them to a moderator forum pending a review. I favour our existing (unwritten) policy of warning people who behave inappropriately and banning them if they continue, while leaving the offensive posts in place within reason, perhaps with the addition of adding warning notices and putting the offensive comments inside “spoiler” tags.
Our goal is not to provide a place where anyone can say anything they want, but to provide something that is of service to our members, potential members and others. Someone who has a burning need to say that a particular person they don’t like has bad breath can find somewhere else to do it. Their rights are not infringed by our not providing a platform for them to do that.
I understand that the Slymepit does have that or something like it as a goal. And I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I have, after all, stated that people who want to make puerile jokes at the expense of others can find somewhere else to do it. As most forums won’t provide that, where is someone with an unquenchable desire to make genitalia-based puns on people’s names to go, if not the Slymepit?

So when we are talking about treating someone like garbage, and deleting their point of view (even if crude and insulting is exactly that), I think you have to have a conversation about it if you want to meet the minimum standards of being a decent human being.

Again I tend to agree. My concern is that some of the other questionable content Michael referred to has not generated such a conversation. And I know people have claimed they didn’t see the posts in question or that there was some mitigating context, and that’s fine. But one of them (namely, the photo of a group of women and the crude comments that followed) is the most active thread in the whole forum at the moment with over 5,000 responses and 50,000 views. (I am aware that that those are thread views, not page views, and that in any case it doesn’t mean anywhere near that number of individual people saw the thread, but I have to assume a significant number of people saw it.) In the first ten pages or so following the post (all I’ve read by which stage the “endless thread” had moved on to other topics), nobody seemed to initiate the sort of conversation you advocate as a requirement “to meet the minimum standards of being a decent human being”. That of course doesn’t mean everyone who saw it approved of it, but isn’t it worrying that in a forum composed of so many outspoken individualists there is nobody who thought at least one of the comments was in poor taste, and was not afraid to say so?
Perhaps there was such a response and I missed it. I genuinely hope so. It would go a long way towards showing that we’re mostly on the same side, and that it is skepticism and free speech that are valued at the Slymepit and not just gratuitous insults.

82 tina March 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Further Michael, always but always, bear in mind that whenever you interact with pitizens here, they speak only for themselves, not on behalf of anyone else. In your dialogue with Justin, he speaks only on his own behalf, not on behalf of the pit. I trust this is clear?

May I ask: have you visited the pit yourself at any time?

83 theophontes March 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm

@ franc

It is the fact that the movement is being undermined by a neo-puritanism, almost a neo-Calvinism. You harp on about “embarrassment” and “shame”, and underneath all that there is the constant theme of fear and loathing about human sexuality.

Hey, we are pretty much all overtly sex-positive. No problem with masturbation. It is when one depletes oneself in angry frustration that concerns are voiced. The problem lies with the aggression, not the sexuality.

(You appear to have shortened your nym, amirite?)

84 franc March 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Sally,

Derek and Clive is high art. I make meagre contributions. Yes that amused quite a number of people. No sacred cows here, all are fair game.

The rest of your gibberish…

You were the twit that tweeted about defrauding your welfare system. I guess it’s what you do between building rockets and watching MythBusters –

http://i.imgur.com/gqDMJ.png

85 franc March 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm

@theophontes –

Yes shortened ‘nym. The constant theme echoing out of FTB/Skepchick/A+ is one of guilt, fear and shame. The hypocrisy is palpable, given the youtube vids and cheesecake calendars to purchase the obedience of folks like Phil Plait. But fear is everything. Hence the crescendoing blood libels such as PZ Myers smearing all dissidents as unrealised Marc Lepines. It’s religiosity is nauseating. Just one aspect is the imposition of infinite punishment for finite transgression. We have witnessed the birth of a new secular fundamentalism.

86 theophontes March 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

@ franc

defrauding your welfare system.

What a privileged git you are. (Talk about puritanism!)

87 franc March 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Here’s a graphic that summarises Skepchick and Rebecca Watson –

http://i.imgur.com/xCb6h.jpg

88 Sally March 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm

You were the twit that tweeted about defrauding your welfare system.

Ah, no. Not me. Nice to see your concern for accuracy as you try to intimidate with questions about uteruses, though.

And again, my question wasn’t for you. You’ve already said you have no shame. The question is whether anyone else does.

Hey, tina, how do you like Franc’s picture? Edward Gemmer? Anyone from the Slyme Pit who isn’t Franc?

89 JPaper March 7, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Blood libel?
Really Franc? Promoting social justice is the same thing as claiming that Jews kill Christian children and using it as an excuse to murder them? Really?

Way to crank that hyperbole up and rip off the knob.

90 Skepsheik March 7, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Michael, thank you for your continued close attention towards the material posted on The Slymepit.
And thank you for reminding us that genuinely offensive material online should be dealt with immediately.
I couldn’t agree more.
Which leads me to wonder whether you have a very different view of ‘offensive’ compared to others.
I guess our personal experiences are crucial here.
My own background is that of an Irish atheist with a mixed race family. The explicit racism I and my family members have experienced tends to make me sensitive to particular expressions and slurs, many of which have been thrown in our direction in the past.
Expressions like: “nigger,” “raghead”, ”coon” or “paki”. The sort of deeply offensive epithets that have long since been regarded as acceptable almost anywhere.
The exception, unfortunately, being your own organization’s website.
Despite numerous complaints about the offensive nature of this material – many of them from over three years ago – you have chosen to allow it to remain untouched.
I myself sent you a list of disgustingly offensive material that you were hosting at the blasphemy.ie site several days ago.
It is still there today.
Your reasoning is curious.
“we have left them published on our website to make the point that we do not want blasphemy criminalised, even if we ourselves would not personally agree with all of the blasphemous comments that other people make.”
Is there a difference between blasphemy and vile offensive racism?
I would like to suggest there is, and that you would do well to educate yourself about this matter.
I note your other comment:
“We’ll look again at that publishing decision in light of the current discussion. I think it is important that none of us allow ourselves to remain trapped in insisting that a decision is correct merely because we believed it was correct three years ago.”
Tell me Michael, doesn’t that sound rather like you, yourself, are ‘struggling with the ethics of removing’ this material`?
Well, perhaps you should stop reading The Slymepit and instead struggle a little quicker with the moral cesspit on your own doorstep.
While your organization has good intentions it is clearly suffering from race-blindness. I can assure you that the reluctance to address the sort of racist language is a continued barrier that hinders the engagement of those of us who aren’t, like almost the entirety of your current members, ‘pure Irish’ (yes, that’s an expression those from mixed race families often hear).
Michael, the creation of a welcoming online space is a worthy goal.
Let us work together to achieve this.
The Slymepit is not a perfect place for everyone, and there are perhaps too many jokes for my liking based purely on personal appearances. Your own organization’s online space, as I’ve highlighted below, is shockingly racist, xenophobic, homophobic and misogynistic, but I have hope that dialogue between you and those of us who are personally hurt by such explicit online bigotry will lead to a resolution.
To help you with your ethical struggle, I’ve listed some of the vile material you are currently hosting.
Offensive material from blasphemy.ie
1. I shit on the fucking gay holy spirit , Jesus Christ is a gay murdering rapist
2. Jesus beat off his wise men and won over all of mankind with the first money shot ever stained into the memories of all who were there to see this wonderful joyous occasion of ultimate release. Let their be BUKKAKE!
3. Is this law stupid? Does the Pope bugger alter boys?
4. Well it says a whole heapo about the Irish Parliament really. A bunch of backward sheep shagging ingrates who such too maby roman catholick cocks to make sense of reality as lived by the normal people ande sheeple of the world. Have them all hung drawn and quartered then lets start on the priests.
5. PLEASE DELETE REFERENCES TO “PAKIS” (COMMENT 80) AND “LEPRA COON” (COMMNENT 83). (comment on 3rd Jan 2010
6. The Catholic Church is a morally bankrupt organization of men in dresses who pass their time by killing Africans and protecting pedophiles.
7. Is the new blasphemy “law” passed by the Neanderthals in Leinster House designed to protect the Roman Catholic Church of Paedophilia from criticism, as well as giving precedence to the Homopithecines over Homo sapiens??
8. Bring it on, you’re all such girlie pussies
9. God is fiction, a creation of ancient man, and only fools (Christians, Jews, Muslims, et. al.) believe otherwise.
10. I shit on god, yahweh, mohammed, buddah and all the other imaginary fairies and especially those filthy fianna fail swine who could pass another law to help their friends in the rc church of pederasty.
11. Mexican tourist deciding his next vacation based in the dangers of the laws of the country: Ireland or Afghanistan? it is probably safer to be an atheist prostitute in Afghanistan…
12. As my first contribution, I submit these images of the mass-murdering, child molesting false prophet called Mohammed. http://zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/
13. “Damn, that bitch could suck a good dick!”Cause sucking dick brings peace on Earth and Joy!!
14. Allah is a homosexual. Comment by Jesus Christ
15. your church and leaders are and have allways been self serving cunts just like the Arabs Brits and Yanks.
16. “Fuck that Bee Gee-looking dick on the cross”
17. Mohammad sucked donkey dicks.
18. “Jesus fucked his mother in the Ass-hole”
19. You bucnh of absolute Leprauchaunich wankers…It’s cunts like you who are the fucking bane of this Earth..You should (but I don’t reckon you sick shitheads are_…be ashamed of yourself..into the toilet bowl with you and you’re god!
20. God is a whore. I fucked her yesterday. It was pretty expensive, €200/month, but totally worth it! I was considering taking the “rape Jesus” deal instead, but I opted for a special “Religion Crew Programme” campaign they were running right now. It goes like this: You fuck god up her ass, while Jesus, Moses and Muhammad watch you. They are behind a window, and watching me fuck god up the ass, while they masturbate. That really turned me on! I can recommend it to anyone who is interested!
21. Q: What do Mohammed and the Catholic Church have in common? A: They both like to fuck nine year olds!
22. If there was a god then Henry has his hand…The cheating robbing cuntfuck!!
23. Q’ What did the prophet Muhammed have in common with Horror Villain Freddy Kruger? A; They both preyed on young children the only real difference is Kruger was a child killer while the false prophet Muhammed was a child molester
24. Sign your mothers pussy, bitch
25. Q: What is the difference between Mohamed and the Catholic Church? A: Mohamed only fucked ONE nine year old.
26. Actually, we don’t need to blaspheme against religious ideas. All we need is to relentlessly call all believers idiots.
27. Fianna Fail spread her cheeks wide with eager anticipation as Jesus and the Holy Ghost drew straws for the honor of rewarding her with a rim job for returning Ireland to the Dark Ages.

Original list I posted several days ago and which is still present on your website:

1. Misogynistic language, slut shaming: “The “virgin” Mary was so-called because she preferred to take it up the ass when she partied with the shepherds of Judea. Joseph was well aware of this, in fact it was this reputation that attracted him to her. Hence his surprise when she got pregnant. Apparently it was easier to believe the child was the son of God than that some of Joseph’s jizz had dribbled into Mary’s blessed vagina after he pulled out of her ass.”
2. Sexist language, sex worker shaming: “Jesus was a lying bastard son of a whore!”
3. Treating child rape and sexual abuse as a topic for light hearted jokes: “Whats the difference between a priest and a pimple? -the pimple waits until your 13 to come on your face!”
4. Racism, homophobia, bigotry: “Muhammed (piss be upon him) blows gay camels!”
5. Racism, homophobia, bigotry: “Fuck me jeesus, Mohammed, Mary mother, christ dat takes it up the arse. What has the world come to? I did not know Ireland had Ragheads? The whole world is going to Shiate, We need to bring out a new brand of toilet paper. Athiest Double Ply, made from the Koran and the Bible and start wiping our arses with it.”
6. Gendered epithet:” to show the true backwardness and absurdity of religion, far more serious verbal bitch-slapping is required.”
7. Homophobia, sex shaming: “Jesus fucking Mohammed fucking Vishnu fucking Xenu. It’s the four-way-fuck of faith!”
8. Racism, bigotry: ““She’s a little old but Shiate, I’ll have a chop at her persian forrest!” He jumps on board and humps away screaming Allah Ackbad, Allah Ackbad Take my mighty Choad and three hairy balls you Amazonian Infidel.”
9. Racist epithet: “I hope the Pakis fail in their efforts to bring this in at the UN.”
10. Ableist language: “Anyone who believes in any sort of god is a complete and utter moron.”
11. Racist epithet: “‘Jesus is a trick on niggers”
12. Gendered epithet: “I respect all beliefs, what I dont respect is some TWAT or some stupid Political body telling us what we can or cannot say.”
13. Gendered epithet: “if God wants to strike me down… well then… BRING IT ON BITCH!!!”
14. Gendered epithet: ” I SAY YOUR GOD IS A WANKER ,AS ARE THE TWATS WHO FOLLOW THE DIRGE RIDDEN TOME AKA THE BIBLE”
15. Gendered epithet: “Get a life you self hypnotising pricks”
16. Racism, bigotry, albelist language: “If we’re making some moronic reactionary stupid fecking laws maybe we should make a “sensible” one like if you’re a muslim you’re not allowed on a fecking plane!”
17. Gendered epithet: “Never have I seen a God thats such a cunt as God”
18. Praising Hitler: “Fuck this sham of a fucking law, i believe in Hitlerism, don’t mock my saviour”
19. Homophobic, sex shaming: “Couldn’t someone just knock up a cartoon of Jesus fucking Mohammed in the arse”
20. Gendered epithet, homophobia: “God’s cunt is a faggot”
21. Ableist language, fat shaming: “Bjork is an lame brained moron. I am guessing she learned about Buddhism from comic books. Rather than banning blasphemy, (which doesn’t exist in Buddhism), please ban idiocy from porkers like Bjorker.”
22. Homophobia: “WHERE IS YOUR GOD NOW! Boning Buddha.”
23. Gendered epithet, sex worker shaming: “Mary was a prostitute who sold her cunt for cash.”
24. Gendered epithet: “Fuck the damn creationists, those bunch of dumb-ass bitches”
25. Sex worker shaming language: “I shit on God, the cross, the carpenter who made it, and the son of a whore who planted the pine.”
26. Pharyngula-style rape torture and murder wishes: “Fuck the “Holy” Mother Church, especially the Irish franchise, and may the pope and all hypocrites get severely thrashed in the bum with a burning iron until they bleed to death.”
27. Racism, homophobia, animal rape: “Muhammad loved it in the ass as well. That is to say, he liked the environment inside a donkey. This is why Islam is rapidly growing; only those of sub-average intelligence could be attracted to such shit.”
28. Homophobia: “The Pope is the leader of the most vile and sickening organisation of sado-masochistic paedophiles, cock suckers, ass fuckers, hypocrites and liars”
29. Making a joke about the serious issue of child abuse: ““Abstinence makes the church grow fondlers.””
30. Violent suicide encouragement: “THE IRISH GOVERNMENT CAN GO AND KILL ITSELF! ! !”
31. Homophobia, joking about child abuse: “about the comment ‘bugger god’, maybe that’s what the priests wanted to do but found their target rather elusive, so picked on children instead. Poor old Ireland!”
32. Sexist language, slut shaming: “just for the record… jesus was a bastard and mary an unmarried tart!”
33. Gendered Epithet: “God is a fucking cunt”
34. Ableist language: “Lets see how fast a moron takes offence to this.”
35. Gendered epithet and misogynistic language: “God fuck Dermot Ahern, the bitch that bred him and the dog she did it with”
36. Antisemitism: “the jews started all this baloney with their fairy tales”
37. Homophobia: “Blasphemy, blasphemy, Jesus takes it up the ass fer me!”
38. Gendered epithet: “Jesus is a cunt”
39. Antisemitism, homophobia: “Jesus and Hitler are gay for eachother”
40. Sexist language: “Why do women love Jesus? Because he’s hung like this (spreads arms)”

91 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I hope Micheal, and other skeptics reading this thread, are following these links to see what certain slyme pit defenders think is funny/worth sharing.

Framing this about fear of sex or sexual expression is incredibly lazy and off the mark. However, the fact that certain people think that is what is at issue here is an interesting insight into their own biases and psychology. I’m playing it a little fast and loose with the word ‘interesting,’ of course.

92 Renee Hendricks March 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm

As the questions have been answered multiple times, I’m going to just bypass those. I would like to point out that the assumption made by a few in the comments here that the ‘Pit suddenly started policing when they found out someone outside was watching is extremely incorrect. A few moments spent looking at the time this bit was posted in relation to the times many had posted their disapproval of the picture on the ‘Pit would show that assumption to be very incorrect.

93 Sally March 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Skepsheik, what is the problem you have with talking about child rape as a bad thing?

Renee, the picture was posted before Michael’s first post quoting things he’d found in the Slyme Pit?

94 Renee Hendricks March 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Sally – no. I’m talking about the comments here that state the outrage only happened after it was found out someone on the outside of the forum was reading. You even stated as much in your first comment on this thread.

Participants on the ‘Pit know that people from FTB and other areas read the forum. The idea that we’d suddenly change our behavior simply because Nugent is reading is ridiculous. Previous distasteful posts have been condemned in the past. Shockingly *before* Nugent decided to start his campaign of “positively changing” the ‘Pit.

95 Ophelia Benson March 7, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Fabulous. Thank you all so much.

96 Skepsheik March 7, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Sally, if you look at the original list you’ll notice that I have not complained about the vast majority of references to child abuse within the church. I quite agree that these must be highlighted and action must be taken, both to prevent this abuse and to bring the perpetrators and their protectors to justice. It is not correct, however to label ALL catholics, or even all priests, as child rapists as this devalues the very serious issue of child abuse, and that, I hope, you would not wish to do.

97 Sally March 7, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Renee, I don’t believe you. When Stephanie Zvan posted a bunch of name-calling and pictures from the Slyme Pit, suddenly there were arguments where there hadn’t been. One person decided he couldn’t be a part of it anymore.

It makes a big difference when you’re reminded that someone big is looking.

98 Renee Hendricks March 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Sally – what arguments suddenly appeared that weren’t there before? Not that I don’t believe you 😉

One person decided he couldn’t be a part of it any more and at least a dozen or more people have become members since then (and more than a few having been FTB fans).

By “someone big” I’m assuming you mean Nugent, not Zvan. Members of the ‘Pit are very aware that a lot of people are reading the forum anonymously. Some might be “big”. It has not changed the behavior.

99 A Hermit March 7, 2013 at 3:40 pm

CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 5:34 am

It is not that I would say it is unacceptable, rather I would call it cheap and vulgar. Each example is a separate case, and in most cases, the pushback is justified and NEEDED.

Really? Which of the images in this post were “NEEDED?”
http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2013/02/02/what-is-more-important-than-peace-nsfw/

Further, there is evidence that this particular image was posted simply to cause trouble. I would argue that this image should not even be classed as “pushback”, but instead, deliberate spam by a troll.

So when it’s done to YOU it’s trolling and troublemaking; when it’s done to people you dislike it’s NEEDED pushback…

Makes perfect sense…o_O

100 D4M10N March 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

1. Why is that you find this particular example of nasty pushback against some feminists to be unacceptable, in a way that other examples on your website are not?

First off, “your website” takes the moral responsibility for moderation responsibility off of Lsuoma and puts it on everyone, as if they all vote on what’s acceptable. That’s never how it worked.

As to my own personal views, I find almost all of the “nasty pushback” morally unacceptable, and wouldn’t engage in any of it myself.

2. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate that it was ethically unacceptable to you?

As to what I personally post or repost, I ask myself whether it tends to do more good than harm. A satirical piece that is mostly directed at bad ideas might well be forgiven the occasional personal jab.

3. What specific criteria did you use to evaluate whether you believed it should be removed from the Slymepit website?

I don’t think anything should be removed from the site, except by user request or on account of foreseeable criminal or civil liability. Just because I would never post “nasty pushback” myself doesn’t mean that I’m going to challenge Lsuoma’s (previously ERV’s) stated rules of
engagement which allow everyone to draw these moral lines for themselves. My ethics are my own, and I’m no more accountable for other posters than they are for me.

4. How would you apply those criteria to other examples of nasty pushback against some feminists published on the Slymepit website?

I would ask whether the post creates foreseeable criminal or civil liability for the website.

Respectfully, Michael, it seems to me that you are asking the wrong questions here. Rather than taking such a top-down authoritative approach, apparently focused on transforming someone else’s unmoderated space into a feminist safespace, consider trying to persuade individual posters that certain kinds of posts are doing more harm than good to their own interests and goals.

101 A Hermit March 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm

franc March 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

Judging from the descriptions, it’s not something regular posters would do.

Judging from the description it’s the kind of thing you would do Franc…

102 tina March 7, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Well ‘nasty push back against feminists’ is a revealing trope. Would ‘nasty push back against (insert pet ideology) be more to your liking?

103 CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 4:07 pm

A Hermit,

You even quoted me saying…

Each example is a separate case, and in most cases, the pushback is justified and NEEDED.

So, that would be in MOST cases, not ALL cases.

You then use false equivalence, comparing an image created and sent by a troll with pushback.

PS – Oolon, how is the Block Bot going? LOL.

104 Sally March 7, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Renee, the argument that started here and went on for pages and pages. Remember Notung leaving? Remember Damion suddenly getting scarce? People were looking, so there were suddenly arguments. The same thing happened when it started to look like NatGeo would take an interest in the old pit at ERV. People asked whether they needed to tone things down for Abbie’s sake.

The place tries to clean itself up when it has company.

105 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Sally,#66
To put it more in Mick’s terms, where are you drawing that line if it isn’t “Someone big is looking” or “That person isn’t a regular”?

Here is the thing Sally. when you have a standard, and you are not a hypocrite, you apply that standard consistently, and it does not matter if anyone is watching or not.

For example, there was a similar type image posted previous to the current one which apparently has so far apparently escaped attention.

Let me remedy that now:
http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=61068#p61068
“Fuck it. I’ll risk the banhammer. If young tits are okay so should old ones be. Avert your eyes!”

Here is just one response. Not mine.
http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=61078#p61078
“Not enough.

Not witty enough.
Not interesting enough.
Not topical enough.
Not funny enough.
Not satirical enough.”

I can not be arsed to check further but if you do visit that thread you will in time come across my response, and his if memory serves where he is miffed at my lack of appreciation and calls me a “Granny”.

All in all, this is just one of the issues. Not that “those people” are feminists, but that they fail to apply their standards to themselves. The same standards they insist must apply to others.

If you wish to allow “those people” to set themselves up as your moral arbiters feel free. Just do not expect me to do so.

106 D4M10N March 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Damn, Sally, you have been paying close attention. To be clear, my recent ‘scarcity’ should not be taken as a moral statement. I’ve made my views on the Pit’s ROE’s clear enough.

107 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I don’t think anything should be removed from the site, except by user request or on account of foreseeable criminal or civil liability. Just because I would never post “nasty pushback” myself doesn’t mean that I’m going to challenge Lsuoma’s (previously ERV’s) stated rules of engagement which allow everyone to draw these moral lines for themselves. My ethics are my own, and I’m no more accountable for other posters than they are for me.

Speaking for myself here (anonymous white dude who isn’t harassed or targeted by any of this stuff), I don’t have a problem with that viewpoint, IF you don’t have a problem being judged because of it.

If your position is, “I believe that an internet forum that allows everything except illegal activity is more important than promoting a skeptical/atheist community that’s appealing to women and minorities,” then fine. I won’t try to change your opinion.

But then don’t become upset when it’s pointed out that there is 1) no substantive point that cannot be made absent the harassment and stupid kid humor and 2) it’s sexist.

I would also note that this bastion of freedom contains very few (if any) examples of similar efforts based on racial hostility. Would the pit be so enthusiastic about someone ripping into a black skeptic using the obvious slurs and old racist descriptions?

I mean that sincerely. Your commitment to “free expression” trumps the sensibilities of a great many women, is it more important than the sensibilities of minorities, specifically African Americans? And if not, why do no such examples appear on the pit.

It’s my hypothesis that for all your frat-like back-patting and chants of “bravehero,” you’re really a bunch of cowards that would never dream of using racially sensitive terms because the backlash against you would not be clouded in the ambiguity you pretend exists with respect to women. Your little efforts would quickly be labelled hate, and your minimal support in the skeptical/atheist community would instantly vanish.

You act like the pit is some organic entity, a free speech experiment that generates what it does beyond the control of any individual, but the truth is that you have a very clear agenda because the subjects you deal with are tightly circumscribed by the group ethic you’ve adopted.

If I’m wrong, please direct me to the instances of treating minorities the way you all treat women. The same “affirmative action” style rants you aim at Watson could easily be aimed at minority speakers, but they aren’t. Why?

108 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Sally,#66
To put it more in Mick’s terms, where are you drawing that line if it isn’t “Someone big is looking” or “That person isn’t a regular”?

Here is the thing Sally. when you have a standard, and you are not a hypocrite, you apply that standard consistently, and it does not matter if anyone is watching or not.

For example, there was a similar type image posted previous to the current one which apparently has so far apparently escaped attention.

Let me remedy that now:
_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=61068#p61068
“Fuck it. I’ll risk the banhammer. If young tits are okay so should old ones be. Avert your eyes!”

Here is just one response. Not mine.
_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=61078#p61078
“Not enough.

Not witty enough.
Not interesting enough.
Not topical enough.
Not funny enough.
Not satirical enough.”

I can not be arsed to check further but if you do visit that thread you will in time come across my response, and his if memory serves where he is miffed at my lack of appreciation and calls me a “Granny”.

All in all, this is just one of the issues. Not that “those people” are feminists, but that they fail to apply their standards to themselves. The same standards they insist must apply to others.

If you wish to allow “those people” to set themselves up as your moral arbiters feel free. Just do not expect me to do so.

(links fixed and resub to avoid moderation)

109 tina March 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm

There’s fairly easy wood to be found in the trees. You can either be part of movements where not to tow the party line results in being classified a ‘non-person’, or you can be part of groups that value the free exchange of ideas. I am part of several in other arenas of philosophy, science, atheism, etc etc.

I absolutely know where that choice lies for me. To express a contrarian view at FtB and be villified and insulted for that in seconds flat….well, bye bye. It’s really that simple. The same would apply at the pit.

110 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm

What cracks me up is that folks like tina run over to FtB, act as rude as possible basically begging to be banned, then run back to the pit and claim they were kicked out for “disagreeing.”

Link to the example of that happening. What you will find in every instance is that substance (unless it was the “substantive” claim that they should be allowed to throw slurs around) had nothing to do with the ban.

Go over there and disagree. What substantive point cannot be made at FtB that requires the pit? I get that it’s a better location for making fun of old people, fat people, women, and whatever else becomes the target of the Beavis-crew, but substantively, there is no argument you cannot make.

There will be pushback, however, and it seems that most people are just shocked that their precious, creative, beautiful ideas turn out to be trite nonsense.

111 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm

D4M10N makes some extremely lucid and interesting points. Just wanted to say thanks for the thoughtful and measured perspective.

112 Sally March 7, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Damion, it’s not a moral statement. It’s a pragmatic statement. You want to be taken seriously and you know the Slyme Pit stops that. Go ahead. Worry about how many people are paying attention.

113 tina March 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Doubtthat: not doing your research again are you? You have read all the examples of choice FtB responses. I know you have. Well just take your pick and assume they were directed at me. Or are you saying all those examples to be morally justified?

114 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Tina, tina, tina, nice attempt at shifting the conversation.

I said nothing about the language or propriety of FtB responses, I made a very specific challenge: produce someone who was banned for “disagreeing,” with that meaning “nothing more than discussing a forbidden topic.”

Obviously you can’t do this, so you try to shift the conversation to this tired, frankly pathetic, OTHER PEOPLE SAY BAD WORDS! nonsense.

You babbled melodramatically about the “free exchange of ideas,” but I would be interested to hear what idea you cannot express at FtB that doesn’t involve abusing someone, you know, a substantive point.

115 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm

To express a contrarian view at FtB and be villified and insulted for that in seconds flat….well, bye bye. It’s really that simple. The same would apply at the pit.

So go to the pit and say, “Rebecca Watson was right about that elevator stuff.”

Under the terms of your own claim, would the response force you to leave?

116 Derek Walsh March 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm

@Skepsheik:

I assure you that we, the committee of Atheist Ireland, do not tolerate any sort of racism or bigotry, and it is not consistent with our principles to provide people with a platform for such behaviour. I would like to apologise for the upset that this has caused to you and to others. As it is clearly a source of ongoing concern for you I think it’s important that we make this material inaccessible as soon as possible, pending the full review of this content and our policies that we have already promised.

117 kntk March 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Atheist Ireland struggles with the ethics of removing racism and bigotry from its blog.

118 tina March 7, 2013 at 5:04 pm

doubtthat: I’ve given you a fair crack of the whip. You’ve demonstrated rational dialogue to be impossible with you. Bye bye.

NB: Will lurkers please note that this is the correct way for women to deal with harassment.

119 JPaper March 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Tina, feminism is not a pet ideology. It is the belief in the indisputable fact that women are fully human. If you want to be sexist, go right ahead. But don’t expect to piss on our legs and tell us it’s raining. When you behave in sexist or misogynist ways, like claiming that feminism is merely a “pet ideology” you will be rightly called out as such. The question was specifically about the harassment of feminists in the S/A community. If you don’t want to discuss that, don’t. But your attempts at derailing have become boring. Feminists are not harassing anti-feminists. There is no other group being targeted this way in these communities. So please, stick to the topic at hand.

120 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Well, that was transparent. Do people find that sort of thing clever?

It should be a pretty clear instance of the problem, you make a claim establishing a dichotomy:

You can either be part of movements where not to tow the party line results in being classified a ‘non-person’, or you can be part of groups that value the free exchange of ideas.

I ask you to substantiate this claim. You change the subject. I point out you changed the subject, you call being asked to substantiate you claim “harassment” and avoid ever answering.

This from folks who claim to be rational skeptics.

121 Derek Walsh March 7, 2013 at 5:09 pm

@tina:

NB: Will lurkers please note that this is the correct way for women to deal with harassment.

Are you saying that you consider doubtthat’s behaviour to be harassment?

122 tina March 7, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Yes. I feel him to be targetting my posts, responding with irrationality, and ad Homs. I get to decide who I respond to here. Is that a problem for you?

123 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Sally, #80
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Am I supposed to be scared off asking about your pictures because you want to dig around in my uterus and claim I’m poor?”

Actually, I believe it means he has confused you with Sally Strange.

@franc,
I could be wrong but I do not think that this is Sally Strange. Cut her some slack.

124 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

doubtthat, #117

“I would also note that this bastion of freedom contains very few (if any) examples of similar efforts based on racial hostility. Would the pit be so enthusiastic about someone ripping into a black skeptic using the obvious slurs and old racist descriptions?”

No. We tend not to do that.

However, seeing as the Slymepit has many members of all different races you could ask them. All you have to do is register and pose your question.

Here, let me help you:
“Which one of you niggers, spics, gooks wops and honkeys get upset about ripping into someone’s race instead of attacking their ideas?”

You could also ask this while you are at it:
“Do any of you faggots, trannys and dykes feel uncomfortable being around so many breeders?”

YMMV

125 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Look, anyone can read over the past couple of posts tina and I have participated in. She’s pretty clearly a troll. The words will speak for themselves.

And yes, I’m not forcing you to respond to anything, but you, in turn, can’t force me to stop responding to comments you make that I think contain incorrect, misleading, and malicious claims.

126 debaser71 March 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I thought the picture was offensive. I’m glad it’s gone. But, in fact, it’s not gone because people like Michael Nugent go around trawling for trolls.

Ophelia Benson. in post 95 said, “Fabulous. Thank you all so much”

I think Ophelia Benson is being sarcastic here. Deservedly so.

Michael Nugent, what would have been only seen by a few people and then discarded, instead is brought out into the light for everyone to talk about.

So Michael Nugent, your gotcha game has backfired on you. And at Ophelia Benson’s expense. I hope you feel good about yourself.

I am thorougly disgusted.

127 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 5:21 pm

@123

Well, that was interesting.

You evaded the argument I presented. You feel perfectly comfortable using gender to attack women, but none of you are bold enough to use race to attack minorities you disagree with. Why?

It’s a land of free-speech.

I find it fascinating that you complain about the evils of being called “sexist” or “misogynist,” then explain the lack of racial slurs on the pit by noting, “No. We tend not to do that.”

Why? Because you aren’t racists? Because you value the sensibilities of members of other racists? This leaves the obvious reverse implication about why you feel no qualms about treating women the way you do.

128 Renee Hendricks March 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm

debaser71 – I said something similar on my post http://beliefblower.com/michael-nugents-backfire

Shame on both “noblehawk2″ and on Michael Nugent.

129 JPaper March 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Tina, I missed where Doubtthat that made photoshopped pornographic pics of you, called you sexist slurs, hounded you’re every move on twitter, spread lies about you or sent you daily hatemail.
Also, Isn’t that the behavior you’ve been defending?

130 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm

The twisted logic is incredible. You’ve essentially adopted the government position contra Bradley Manning and other whistleblowers:

The problem doesn’t lie in doing something vile, the problem lies in letting people know something vile was done.

Awesome stuff. I’ll also note that Nugent, who seems very genuine in all of this, was complimenting you all on drawing a ling. It’s as though you’re embarrassed to show some minimal level of human decency.

Of course, it does set up a precedent, doesn’t it? Now you can’t claim that it’s just a total free-for-all.

131 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm

It’s pretty clear that the shame is *not* on Michael Nugent. He has been patient, respectful, and genuinely disinterested. This whole series of posts has been enlightening to me, a skeptic/atheist who has no particular allegiance to FtB, Skepchicks, Vacula, Thuderf00t, or any of the other relevant parties.

Thanks for hosting the discussion at your blog, Michael.

132 Renee Hendricks March 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm

EssBee – if you don’t look at Ophelia Benson’s Twitter timeline, sure. Even as someone who isn’t Ophelia’s biggest fan can see this discussion is not doing her any good. At all. Depression is a bitch (I’ve dealt with it many times) and having something as “helpful” as this pushed into your face makes things worse.

133 JPaper March 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Debaser, I don’t know how you could honestly misconstrue Michael’s attempts at civil discussion to be “trawling for trolls”. Nor do I understand how you would consider his attempts to be at Ophelia’s expense.

Renee, I don’t see why he should be ashamed or why you think is any backfire. You and the mildew crew showed up and showed out. Derailing, baseless finger pointing, logical inconsistencies and lying seem to be all you’ve got to offer. Yeah, that should make someone ashamed, but it isn’t Michael.

134 JPaper March 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Reneee, did it occur to you that discussing harassment wasn’t the problem but rather that the constant barrage of harassment is the problem?

And what, you suddenly grew some empathy? I don’t buy it.

135 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 5:37 pm

doubtthat #127
“You evaded the argument I presented. You feel perfectly comfortable using gender to attack women, but none of you are bold enough to use race to attack minorities you disagree with. Why?”

I can not answer the question the way you apparently want it answered.

Speaking for myself, and only myself I never attack other people over their orientation, gender, race or sex.

Which is why I sincerely invited you to the Slymepit to get other members opinions on the subject.

Did you thing my previous response was other than sincere?

136 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

@134

Yeah, the questions you proposed were not exactly dripping with sincerity.

You don’t find that notable or interesting? That no one over there would dream of attacking the FtB writers because of their race?

90% of their effort goes to ripping into Ophelia Benson and Stephanie Zvan with 9% of the remaining going to PZ Myers. Crommunist, for example, has nothing nice to say about the pit and writes in what I would describe as a much more aggressive style, yet there aren’t any racial attacks on him.

You don’t find this at all odd?

137 Renee Hendricks March 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm

JPaper – yeah, that *totally* explains Ophelia’s reply tweet to Nugent: “No it doesn’t. And you’re destroying me in the process.” (https://twitter.com/OpheliaBenson/status/309694096170176513)

138 EssBee March 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm

@ReneeHendricks 131

You’re right in a certain respect. Even if Michael’s intentions were good it seems that this entire discussion is making her uncomfortable (I just checked out OB’s twitter timeline). It’s terrible to have one’s image/identity be used as a prop, no matter what the purpose.

I don’t think Michael should be ashamed. But this whole conversation does not seem to be doing any good at all.

139 D4M10N March 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm

If your position is, “I believe that an internet forum
that allows everything except illegal activity is more important than
promoting a skeptical/atheist community that’s appealing to women and
minorities,” then fine.

If your position is that it’s okay to paraphrase someone else’s
position rather badly and then put it in quotation marks as if he
actually wrote it then you are doing skepticism and freethought wrong.
To argue against someone requires that you first take the trouble to
understand their position.

I would also note that this bastion of freedom contains
very few (if any) examples of similar efforts based on racial
hostility.

Try telling that to Julian Francisco.

Your commitment to “free expression” trumps the
sensibilities of a great many women…

Not to mention a great many men like yourself. You are all welcome to
your own sensibilities, of course, but I cannot hope to tell which
people have which sensibilities unless there are some cyberspaces
wherein individuals have to excercise their own discretion about what
to post or not post.

…you’re really a bunch of cowards that would never
dream of using racially sensitive terms because the backlash against
you would not be clouded in the ambiguity you pretend exists with
respect to women.

Total tittybollocks! Racial slurs are universally recognized as
*group* slurs while slang for naughty bits may be considered taboo
because private parts are themselves considered taboo.

You act like the pit is some organic entity, a free speech
experiment that generates what it does beyond the control of any
individual…

In fact, there is exactly one individual who exercises control, and he
is easy to spot.

…the truth is that you have a very clear agenda because
the subjects you deal with are tightly circumscribed by the group
ethic you’ve adopted.

From what I’ve seen, there are no limitations on subject matter
whatsoever. Everything is fair game: Vacula’s mustache, Vicky’s boobs,
Rystefn’s penis, Eucliwoo’s identity, Francisco’s ethnicity, etc. On
occasion, the propriety of individual posts even comes up.

If I’m wrong, please direct me to the instances of
treating minorities the way you all treat women.

You all? Seriously, you and Michael have got to past this profoundly
religious notion that guilt and absolution should be assigned to
communities instead of individuals.

140 Renee Hendricks March 7, 2013 at 5:50 pm

EssBee – You and I are in agreement. I’m dropping off this discussion as I don’t see it helping Ophelia at all at this point.

141 oolon March 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm

@Tuvok, thanks for the great example of “sceptical” analysis and how the Slymepit really helps people with their critical thinking skillz…

142 JPaper March 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm

First, I’m sorry that attempting to join in this dialog hurt Ophelia or anyone else who has been targeted by bigoted harassers. My intent was to help bring certain attitudes to light and ask people to examine what they are defending. I think it was Michael’s intent too. But, as it has been pointed out, intent isn’t magic.

Michael made the mistake of thinking that a constructive discussion could be had with people who promote bullying and victim blaming. I guess several people also dared to hope for something productive and took part. He tried to dispassionately discuss harassment that should provoke passionate outrage. He seems to have expected some honest answers to clear questions. Mistakes? Absolutely. Yes, these rifts are unbreechable. Yes, the people being harassed are continuing to be hurt by both the abuse they receive and by their allies that don’t seem to get the scope of the problem. I don’t think Michael intended to create another venue for people to be dishonest and cruel. I’m sorry that I had anything to do with this attempt. But, I think the shame belongs solidly on the shoulders of people doing the harassing and the people that support them.
You want to stop hurting people who are already hurting? Just stop. All you have to do is stop harassing, stop stalking, stop lying, stop victim blaming and stop having anything to do with those who do. That is how innocent people like Ophelia will stop being hurt. It has been explained over and over why this behavior is wrong, why misogynist speech is wrong. So just stop. It won’t be hard. It won’t hurt you one bit.

And yes, it would also help if those who know better than to behave that way stopped trying to make nice with people who don’t. It’s pointless. Let’s roast marshmallows over that burning bridge.

143 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 6:09 pm

doubtthat #136
” You don’t find this at all odd?”

I believe it has been brought up before. My current opinion is that you are conflating an attack on someone with with their “identity”.

In other words you see someone being attacked because that person happens to be a “woman” or a “feminist”, what you see as their “identity”.

We are not on the same page. Hence your confusion at the apparent discrepancy.

Now it is possible that someone has attacted someone else based soley on their “identity”, and just because I have not seen it, does not mean that it does not exist.

But I seriously doubt that it does exist. Which is why your argument does not work for me.

If I understand you correctly, you are trying to point out that “we” have a double standard ourselves and your point is that we avoid the race thing:

“Because you value the sensibilities of members of other racists? This leaves the obvious reverse implication about why you feel no qualms about treating women the way you do.”

(note I assume a typo and you mean races and not racists)

When the answer really is that “we” do not give a fuck about your identity. We do care about your ideas.

So the arguments if I understand you correctly, are never going to make any sense to you, as long as you believe that this is all about an attack on women because they are women.

Your basic premise is wrong. You are never going to make any objective sense of the situation till you fix that.

144 D4M10N March 7, 2013 at 6:16 pm

You want to be taken seriously and you know the Slyme Pit stops that. Go ahead. Worry about how many people are paying attention.

I imagine most people want to be taken seriously, but then I’d also imagine that posting on an Internet forum doesn’t mean much in and of itself. Once again, we need to get past this deep-rooted in-group / out-group thinking and the associated notion of collective guilt. This is the digital age, anyone can post anywhere.

So go to the pit and say, “Rebecca Watson was right about that elevator stuff.”

Been there, done that.

145 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm

@138

If your position is that it’s okay to paraphrase someone else’s position rather badly and then put it in quotation marks as if he
actually wrote it then you are doing skepticism and freethought wrong.

Please, it’s in quotation marks to separate the position from the rest of the sentence for clarity. It’s a fairly common practice, but to forestall confusion, no, that was not a quote of anything you wrote. One would imagine that by including the number of the post I was responding to, anyone could scroll up a paragraph or two to eliminate any confusion.

To argue against someone requires that you first take the trouble tounderstand their position.

What do you think the word “if” means? Why do you think I phrased that as a conditional? Did I say, “BECAUSE your position is the following…?”

This is petty nonsense. If (there’s that nasty little word with such powerful logical meaning) I didn’t interpret your views correctly, just say so. This would be a perfect example of how reading everything as though it’s an attack on your person will lead to perverse, needlessly hostile responses.

I notice you didn’t bother to clarify your position. What, if anything, did I get wrong? Is in incorrect to say that you prioritize some concept of free speech over accommodating many women’s opinions on this matter?

Try telling that to Julian Francisco.

Don’t get the reference. Google lead me to a bunch of facebook pages. I found reference to him as a poster at FtB, saw a slymepit thread, didn’t find a reference to his race or ethnicity.

Not to mention a great many men like yourself. You are all welcome to your own sensibilities, of course, but I cannot hope to tell which people have which sensibilities unless there are some cyberspaces
wherein individuals have to excercise their own discretion about what
to post or not post.

Interesting, what do you think my sensibilities have to do with this?

You’ve had these sensibilities expressed to you in great detail. If the last half-dozen posts on this blog were the only bit of work on this issue that existed, there could be no confusion. You are consciously choosing to ignore those sensibilities because you find another principle to be more important. Again, that’s fine, just expect criticism for the choice.

Total tittybollocks! Racial slurs are universally recognized as *group* slurs while slang for naughty bits may be considered taboo
because private parts are themselves considered taboo.

This really is a dumb argument on its own, we’ve been over that in prior threads, but here it becomes little more than a frivolous evasion. The reason I included ” obvious slurs and old racist descriptions.”

Do you think one can express racism without using the N-word?

Consider the endless dissection of certain women’s looks on that board. The reason that insult would have sting is because of a certain standard of appearance that women are supposed to maintain. You call PZ Myers ugly, and the response is, so?

This same standard has long been applied to African Americans, specifically women, to attack them. Discussions of this sort do not appear on the board. If the pit thinks it’s so incredibly funny to make fun of how old or how fat or how ugly white women are, why are those jokes never applied to the minority members of FtB?

Again, I argue that it’s a combination of both understanding how vile of an approach that is (which means they should be able to understand that it’s not better when applied to women or “feminists) and that they’re fucking afraid to appear racist. They aren’t brave heroes fighting for free speech, they’re petty assholes comfortable to attack women in very sex-loaded terms.

By the way, as I was looking up this Francisco fellow to see what you were talking about, I randomly came across this quote:

“I am, of course, talking about one (male blogger), a testosterone-poisoned female…”

The insult is that this man has female characteristics. Please find me the instance of attacking a white person for having “black” characteristics.

You motherfuckers would never do that, and you know it. Yet somehow your little fraternity is more than happy to make the same structural attacks denigrating women.

In fact, there is exactly one individual who exercises control, and he is easy to spot.

Oh please. The appeal of the pit, according to every member of the pit posting here, is free expression. Surely you’re not trying to put the responsibility for everything that appears there on this one person’s shoulders? That’s neither brave nor heroic.

By the way, do you think he’d censor racial slurs?

From what I’ve seen, there are no limitations on subject matter whatsoever. Everything is fair game: Vacula’s mustache, Vicky’s boobs, Rystefn’s penis, Eucliwoo’s identity, Francisco’s ethnicity, etc. On
occasion, the propriety of individual posts even comes up.

Except attacking people based on their race. You haven’t found the boundaries because you’ve collectively realized the dangers of going there. You aren’t bold free speech advocates, you’re nasty people who are willfully choosing to denigrate women in a way you would never do to minorities.

You all? Seriously, you and Michael have got to past this profoundly religious notion that guilt and absolution should be assigned to communities instead of individuals.

I love this stance you guys take: the pit is awesome, it lets us say whatever we want, HEY, don’t associate me with those people saying whatever they want.

Like I said, if your position is one of freedom of expression trumping the need to provide a welcoming place for women, then that’s fine, but you should understand what that view means and not run from it.

146 Peter Ferguson March 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm

@derek

You will be surprised at what qualifies as harassment to some people. For instance, not only is mentioning people on Twitter harassment, but so is replying to people on Twitter.

147 tina March 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm

118 JPaper March 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm
Tina, feminism is not a pet ideology.

I never said it was. I think feminism bears a lot of the hallmarks of a dogmatic ideology though. It’s just my viewpoint: I could be wrong. I see it in the internal divisions, rifts, dogged adherence to particular feminist theories. It’s a massive discussion waiting to be had but probably Michael would not wish this thread to be dominated by that. Maybe he will create one? I’ve paid my dues in the feminist movement…I just prefer to self identify as a skeptik now rather than a feminist. That’s all.

148 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 6:25 pm

@142 AndrewV69

When the answer really is that “we” do not give a fuck about your identity. We do care about your ideas.

Bullshit. Absolute, unadulterated bullshit.

Here is a quote I found from the pit as I was looking for something else. I quoted it above as well:

“I am, of course, talking about one (male blogger), a testosterone-poisoned female…”

The attack on that blogger is based entirely on the fact that it’s insulting to compare a man to a woman. That is ENTIRELY based on identity. It’s not a comparison of an individual man to an individual woman, it’s insulting a man by claiming he doesn’t live up to the ideals of manhood, and is in fact a women.

Attacks of this kind are constant. Either you have willfully blinded yourself to this reality, or you’re just knowingly trying to put lipstick on a pig. I don’t know which is the charitable interpretation.

149 Derek Walsh March 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm

@tina:

Yes. I feel him to be targetting my posts, responding with irrationality, and ad Homs. I get to decide who I respond to here. Is that a problem for you?

Yes. I would take a report of harassment seriously. This is not my site but I’m reasonably certain Michael feels similarly. Do you think he’s doing something wrong that Michael (or others) should investigate, or do you just find him annoying?

150 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 6:28 pm

@143

Been there, done that.

And I’m sure you were greeted with rose petals at your feet.

Look at the context of the discussion.

151 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

You’re being trolled, Derek.

152 oolon March 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm

A Tale of Two Communities…
Franc:

No, you’re like Chester yapyapyapping for attention.
BTW – did you manage to steal an IUD from welfare services Sal?
Here’s a graphic that summarises Skepchick and Rebecca Watson –
http://i.imgur.com/xCb6h.jpg

… and …
Michael Nugent:

…reasonable people who are watching what is happening will notice who is being reasonable and who is not.

Woof woof Franc!

153 kntk March 7, 2013 at 6:34 pm

It must be hard for doubtthat, presumably he expects rose-petals whenever he deigns to post an opinion online. If I remember rightly, some people agreed with Damion, and some didn’t. In fact, there’s not many people there who have a problem with “guys don’t do that”.

154 Karmakin March 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Just to add on to what Andrew said, there’s a lot of people who think that the focus on identity isn’t going to fix the problems of racism/sexism in our society, and only serves to reinforce and strengthen the idea that there are prescriptive differences between various groups that we need to account for.

If we see equality as being a “bottom” thing and group hierarchy as being a “top” thing (as most political charts/graphs measure it at), the pushback here is coming not only from the top, but there’s a huge amount of it coming from the bottom, or at least that’s the self-perception.

Again, my experience is that this is a much larger debate than just the skeptic community, and it’s a debate that’s going to get louder over the next few years. (I also don’t think it’s going to go well for the identitarians. At all.)

Re: D4AM10N, I argued on the pit as well that Watson was telling the truth about Elevatorgate. Now, where I differ is that I see the whole thing as kinda standard drunken behavior, and while I personally don’t like that behavior, it’s not my feeling that very many people agree with me. Most people want the drunken behavior and have little interest in changing it on a widespread basis.

155 debaser71 March 7, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Sorry Renee I wanted to credit you but I don’t know how “cool” it is linking and mentioning other people’s sites. I don’t want to drag people into a mess. I thought you made a great point, and those twitter screen caps are pretty clear.

I genuinely feel bad for Ophelia Benson.

156 tina March 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm

@148
Derek. Thanks. It’s not a biggy. You can tell him off if you want to. He is responsible for whatever he writes. I am responsible for how I respond. I’m a big girl now. Up to you.

157 Karmakin March 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Just to add on, no, I didn’t have rose petals laid at my feet, a few people disagreed…pretty respectfully actually, and some people agreed. Pretty much what I would have expected and wanted out of a healthy community.

@doubtthat ““I am, of course, talking about one (male blogger), a testosterone-poisoned female…”

The attack on that blogger is based entirely on the fact that it’s insulting to compare a man to a woman. That is ENTIRELY based on identity. It’s not a comparison of an individual man to an individual woman, it’s insulting a man by claiming he doesn’t live up to the ideals of manhood, and is in fact a women.”

You…really have no clue what you’re talking about. It’s actually based around that describing all men in a negative term “poisoned” as was done in this case is HOLY CRAP OFF THE CHARTS SEXIST. I mean that’s not even difficult. It’s not insulting to compare a man to a woman. In fact, there’s a lot of egalitarians who think that the fact that our society frowns so hard on those comparisons is a massive problem that needs to be fixed. Now, to be fair, where you probably blame the whole thing on misogyny, it completely ignores that even still in a lot of ways it’s seen as a bad thing if a woman acts like a man is expected to act. Although to be fair, I do think that the feminist movement as a whole has made a lot of positive movement on that front. (We just need more positive movement in the OTHER direction now as well)

So yeah. The attack on that blogger was because a sexist statement was made, and when it was pointed out how sexist it was, people dug in around it.

In short, it’s an example of bigotry in the SJW/Neofeminist movement/community…something that isn’t hard to find at all.

158 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 6:47 pm

@152

Good lord, read the context of the exchange. I expect the exact opposite when posting opposing views. The issue was whether the hostile response to opposing opinions was a trait that separated FtB and the pit.

I would imagine we can all agree that “no” is the answer.

159 kntk March 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm

@157

You’re assuming its an opposing view. I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with Watson feeling uncomfortable by being hit on in an enclosed space, and have said as much on the slymepit. To choruses of um, well, silence actually.

160 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm

doubtthat #148

“I am, of course, talking about one (male blogger), a testosterone-poisoned female…”

No link so I can not double check but I believe that is probably a satirical reference to Greg Laden, a known harasser of at least one woman, who ironically enough, appeared on a panel concerned about bullying and opined that men had testosterone damaged brains.

From my point of view you may as well be saying :

“My hair is a bird! Your argument is invalid!

161 Karmakin March 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Yup. That’s a reference to Laden.

My apologies Doubtthat, I assumed that you knew all that backstory, didn’t even occur to me that you might be entirely unaware of it. However, now that you are aware of the backstory, does that change the context/meaning of the quote you pulled?

162 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm

kntk #153
” In fact, there’s not many people there who have a problem with “guys don’t do that”.

As I have reared up on my hind legs and opined from time to time, I did not have a problem with it myself.

From my point of view it fits within the boundrys that you weird “normative” people set for yourselves so why not?

163 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm

@160

Yes, absolutely. I read the article, I get the joke. That is not an example of what I used it for.

164 Chas Stewart March 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm

DoubtThat @144 said: “I am, of course, talking about one (male blogger), a testosterone-poisoned female…’

The insult is that this man has female characteristics. Please find me the instance of attacking a white person for having “black” characteristics.”

I don’t think that’s the insult but an appeal to Greg Laden’s assertion that men are testosterone damaged women. http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2012/08/02/men-testosterone-damaged-women/

165 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 7:31 pm

doubtthat, #163
“Yes, absolutely. I read the article, I get the joke. That is not an example of what I used it for.”

I know. My view is that we do not have an effective basis for discussion. We are quite simply, not looking at things the same way.

All I can do at this point is suggest that you take your argument to the Slymepit.

With the caution that (and I am only semi joking) that any two pitters will have three arguments, all in violent opposition to each other.

YMMV

166 Chas Stewart March 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm

@doubtthat 157

No, opposing views are not treated the same in each sphere. I think there is a strong tendency to dog-pile on dissenters in each group but that happens many places where like-minded individuals congregate. Both sides are also prickly in their debating style but the the ‘Pit doesn’t ban you, edit your comments, paraphrase your comments uncharitably and taunt you after you’ve been banned. That is a strong divergence if you ask me.

167 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 7:40 pm

@165

Maybe, but I was talking about something specific in response to another post. My point was limited, and it appears we agree.

168 doubtthat March 7, 2013 at 7:41 pm

To be clear, this was the only point I was making:

“I think there is a strong tendency to dog-pile on dissenters in each group but that happens many places where like-minded individuals congregate.”

169 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Chas Stewart #166

“No, opposing views are not treated the same in each sphere. I think there is a strong tendency to dog-pile on dissenters in each group”

I try not to “dogpile” myself as it may be a tad disconcerting.

Also tempers might be running a little hot right now. For example, one of our females, who is also an Engineer, may object to some “dood” trying to come to her “rescue” and might tell him things he may not want to hear.

For example:
_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=72377#p72377
Postby codelette » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:57 am • [Post 5233]
And that, my pretties, is the reason that my half-nigger spic cunt persona doesn’t give a fuck about what an Irish privileged white man think about the shit that I write on this forum.

(Did I cash in all my oppression points?)

170 ChasCPeterson March 7, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Mr. Nugent cuts through the bullshit (the tribal posturing, the quibbling over anecdotes) with this concise summary of my beefs with the pit and its pitizens:

nasty, vindictive, and cruel

As I’ve said, reading Pharyngula makes me roll my eyes a lot but the vibe I get from reading the pit is more like repulsion. ‘Nasty’ is arguably just tone-trolling, and I similarly dislike the nastier regulars at Ph. But it’s the vindictive–the over-the-top disproportionality, the creepy single-mindedness–and the cruel that I can’t get past.
Maybe these too are simply matters of taste; if so, OK: I dislike the conversation at the pit because I have diferent tastes (in humor, among other things).

The slymepit was created as a result of many people being censored for criticisms of radfem dogma on other blogs…
The people at FTB have proved too unethical to use language policeing, as they have used it to alter and dissapear post of dissenters from orthodoxy.

These are examples, along with pretty much everything posted above by Tuvok–of tribal mythology. It gets silly (in a sort of anthropologically interesting way).

franc, keep on hogglin’ brother!

[OT to windy: I saw something you said about me at the pit where as you know I am not registered. So I hope it’s OK to respond here. You’re incorrect: I have never recanted or repented anything I ever said at Pharyngula, and as a matter of fact my reputation there as a victim-blaming rape apologist was renewed only just recently. (Somebody even called me a “rape enabler” in the Thunderdome.) What you interpret as hypocrisy is just calling different things as I see them, as they come to me. *shrug*]

171 kntk March 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm

The only thing that’s interesting, Chas, is why you put up with a group who consistently call you a rape-enabling victim blamer. Are you a masochist?

172 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 8:14 pm

ChasCPeterson March #170

“What you interpret as hypocrisy is just calling different things as I see them, as they come to me. *shrug*]”

I do not think I have ever said so before, so I am going to say it now. I gave you points a long time ago for patience and persistence and sticking to the facts as you see them.

(Not that I expect my endorsement to matter either way with you, and it should be immaterial as a matter of fact)

173 D4M10N March 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Greetings one and all, but mostly doubtthat.

Is it incorrect to say that you prioritize some concept of free speech over accommodating many women’s opinions on this matter?

Are you asking me about the spaces which I personally moderate? If so, here are my rules. I do not allow personal attacks, much less group slurs.

Don’t get the reference.

It was about calling Julian a spic.

You call PZ Myers ugly, and the response is, so?

I’m not apt to see any attack on someone’s looks as remotely useful or relevant, but *IF* you are saying here that women deserve extra protection because they are generally more emotionally delicate on this issue, then you are the one being sexist against women.

If the pit thinks it’s so incredibly funny to make fun of how old or how fat or how ugly white women are, why are those jokes never applied to the minority members of FtB?

You should direct this question to those who find the old/fat/ugly jokes incredibly funny. I could only begin to speculate. By the way, have you noticed that both Myers and Brayton also get hit with this particular sort of abuse?

…they’re fucking afraid to appear racist.

Most people are afraid of that, and for good reason. There is much less social stigma attached to ageism, fattism, and lookism.

The insult is that this man has female characteristics.

Pretty sure that was reference to a particular speech by Greg Laden, in which he referred to men as brain damaged women.

Please find me the instance of attacking a white person for having “black” characteristics.

I don’t know what that would even look like.

You motherfuckers would never do that, and you know it. Yet somehow your little fraternity is more than happy to make the same structural attacks denigrating women.

Individual women and men are quite often denigrated, and I don’t condone that, but I don’t think you’ll find many examples of denigrating women (or men) as a group.

Surely you’re not trying to put the responsibility for everything that appears there on this one person’s shoulders?

I would put the responsibility for each post on the individual who made that post. Ultimately, though, Lsuoma is going to be held accountable if the site starts breaking laws.

That’s neither brave nor heroic.

Maybe I’m not such a #bravehero after all. *sad panda*

By the way, do you think he’d censor racial slurs?

I’m 100% confident that he wouldn’t.

You haven’t found the boundaries because you’ve collectively realized the dangers of going there.

Again with the groupthink. There is no collective.

You aren’t bold free speech advocates, you’re nasty people who are willfully choosing to denigrate women in a way you would never do to minorities.

There are several Pitters in this very thread. Can you point out where any of them have been willfully choosing to denigrate women?

I love this stance you guys take: the pit is awesome, it lets us say whatever we want…

I have to admit, that sort of freedom is pretty fucking awesome.

Like I said, if your position is one of freedom of expression trumping the need to provide a welcoming place for women, then that’s fine, but you should understand what that view means and not run from it.

Again, you seem to be taking a one-size-fits-all approach to the internets here. I don’t expect every forum to be a total free-for-all *OR* a feminist safespace, and I’m more than content to let different site mods try out different approaches to see what works. Hell, I’ve been downright fascinated by the process.

174 tina March 7, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Derek Walsh March 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm
“I tend to agree. I know the Orwellian concept of the “memory hole” has been used to describe the process of deletion without explanation, and I identify strongly with that. Trying to pretend that things that happened never really happened is a big issue, particularly for those who identify as skeptics. The evidence is gone. How can we make up our own minds about something if we can’t examine the evidence?”

I agree with that Derek. I wonder if that’s reason enough NOT to start deleting stuff off any blog or forum to pretend it never happened. It’s just hiding the facts that illustrate exactly what the problem is, whereas there may be value in having it available to show just how deep the holes are in our skeptical or atheist thinking. Tricky.

175 Spence March 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Michael, I’m not really convinced you’re being honest in your investigation, but for what it is worth I’ll explain it to you.

What was done here is not unusual in image-board culture. Not all image boards are like 4chan (where anything legal goes). Many more moderate boards (e.g. b3ta) require registration, and it is standard practice to remove anything that could be considered pornographic (e.g. graphic depiction of genitals or sexual acts) to a link, with the link usually marked “NSFW” or similar. There was a post at the pit a while back where it was agreed that pornographic material would not be left up. So this isn’t new to most of us, even if it is new to you.

You say “we finally seem to have found an example”, but that is BS, there have been many posts condemned by pitters, the fact that you are too lazy to do the research yourself speaks volumes – you are just finding what you want to find, rather than applying any objectivity to your assessment.

John Brown clearly demonstrated this in the last post, where he posted the same words, once labelled as from the ‘pit, and once from pharyngula, and the words received quite different reactions. People are not objectively assessing the words, but making a decision based on where the words have come from to reinforce their prior bias. You are no different in this; the way you have framed the whole debate is just to underscore you own personal version of events.

Oh, ChasC, you don’t need to register to post at the pit. Now you know, you can address windy directly.

176 A Hermit March 7, 2013 at 9:24 pm

CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 4:07 pm

A Hermit,

You even quoted me saying…

Each example is a separate case, and in most cases, the pushback is justified and NEEDED.

So, that would be in MOST cases, not ALL cases.

And I asked you which examples of “pushback” you think are “NEEEEEEEEDED!!!11!!11!” so badly…

Do you honestly believe that crap serves any necessary (or even useful) purpose? Could anyone be that naive?

177 EllenBeth Wachs March 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Well, I see some progress has been made in that debaser and Renee acknowledge that Ophelia (and perhaps others) are being hurt by this constant barrage of abuse and genuinely seem to care.

Can you then make a commitment to stop “debasing” people (yes, chosen purposefully) as you now know there are real world consequences to your actions?

Despite your motto, Renee, no, not everybody is required to grow a thicker skin and some just are not capable.

178 A Hermit March 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Wow, just browsing through the comments at Oolon’s link above…http://www.oolon.co.uk/?p=94

Kind of puts the lie to the idea that the `pit is all about creating a place where even unpopular ideas can be posted without consequence; lurid verbal abuse, violent threats, doxxing…

Yeah, what a bunch of welcoming, open minded, free speech BraveHeros™ … until they get a little “pushback” themselves…

179 windy March 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm

These are examples, along with pretty much everything posted above by Tuvok–of tribal mythology.

? You may disagree on the reasons for the bans/deletions but are you denying they happened? Do you keep tabs on all FTBlogs? I agree that ‘Radfem dogma’ is an unfortunate moniker- have you criticized the opposing tribal myth of all opposition consisting of ‘libertarian MRA’ whatevers?

…I have never recanted or repented anything I ever said at Pharyngula, and as a matter of fact my reputation there as a victim-blaming rape apologist was renewed only just recently

Meant that figuratively… I suppose you’ve made your peace with that kind of behavior, but that’s something I can’t get past.

180 A Hermit March 7, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Spence March 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

There was a post at the pit a while back where it was agreed that pornographic material would not be left up.

So you dont consider this pornographic? NSFW

Just more of the NEEEDDED PUSHBACK!!!1!!!! I guess…

181 windy March 7, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Sorry ChasC, that was unclear, by “I suppose you’ve made your peace with that kind of behavior…” I meant the “calling out” of people on flimsy pretenses, not your behavior (assuming you aren’t in truth a victim blaming, rape enabling, etc etc)

182 windy March 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm

People are not objectively assessing the words, but making a decision based on where the words have come from to reinforce their prior bias.

And right in this thread there’s a perfect example of this happening with “testosterone poisoned female”.

183 EllenBeth Wachs March 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm

There is another harmful image that was done very clearly by a longtime slymepit forum member. No one can claim troll here or make another lame attempt to blame oolon.

It’s degrading and hurtful to Stephanie Zvan. There is no critique of ideas here. This is just cruel and appalling. Why is this image acceptable? Why is this still there? My guess? It is still there because it was done by a respected and longtime member.

Very much NSFW!
http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=43604#p43604

184 Spence March 7, 2013 at 10:27 pm

A hermit,

No the suggestion to cut things like porn post dated your link by about a month. The discussion started here:

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=243&start=3600#p59302

That’s about a month or so after your link. I think Dick Strawkins (amongst others) proposed not having even legal pr0n so people could view it at work, about a page on from my link.

Never mind. You’ll just have to search the pit for pr0n after that date. I know you want to anyway, now you have an excuse 😉

185 A Hermit March 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm

EllenBeth Wachs March 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm

Why is this image acceptable? Why is this still there?

Apparently not just acceptable, but NEEDED! Some of these people seem to think they actually have a kind of obligation to be as revolting as possible…

…and my already low opinion of John Welch just dropped a few levels deeper into the basement…

186 A Hermit March 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Spence March 7, 2013 at 10:27 pm

A hermit,

No the suggestion to cut things like porn post dated your link by about a month.

Why does it matter when it was posted? It’s still there…

187 Spence March 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm

A hermit

I think you’re struggling with the concept here.

The intent is not to delete the content. Because no one person (or people) CAN delete content from the internet. Do you even understand that? Do you understand what the Streisand effect is? The more you try to delete content from the internet, the more widespread it becomes.

The point is to make it easier for people to read the forum in public places etc., which is something that can be controlled.

But nobody is currently reading those pages. So nobody really cares. Except you, of course, because there is nothing you like invoking more than the Streisand effect. Which is ironic for a group who claim to be trying to minimise offence.

Incidentally, both the post you linked to and the post Ellenbeth linked to had pictures that used to be in spoiler tags – so hidden until a link was clicked – which used to remove the need for a separate link, but they were buggy and tended to break the board so were removed.

188 A Hermit March 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

Spence March 7, 2013 at 10:42 pm

A hermit

I think you’re struggling with the concept here.

The intent is not to delete the content. Because no one person (or people) CAN delete content from the internet. Do you even understand that? Do you understand what the Streisand effect is? The more you try to delete content from the internet, the more widespread it becomes.

Oh, I’m not the one struggling here; do you understand the effect of making excuses for and defending that kind of crap?

The point is to make it easier for people to read the forum in public places etc., which is something that can be controlled.

Except people can still come across that content in a public place or on their work computer…

Given the reputation the `pit has built for itself you have to expect more than few visitors looking for the stuff.

Incidentally, both the post you linked to and the post Ellenbeth linked to had pictures that used to be in spoiler tags – so hidden until a link was clicked – which used to remove the need for a separate link, but they were buggy and tended to break the board so were removed.”

Making them even more visible….

Tell me, do you think those images served any useful purpose at the time? Should `pit members be embarrassed by them?

189 EllenBeth Wachs March 7, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Incidentally, both the post you linked to and the post Ellenbeth linked to had pictures that used to be in spoiler tags – so hidden until a link was clicked –

So does this mean at one time you felt these needed to be hidden on the top shelf in the closet away from view? If so, why? And, if that was the case that makes my question even more poignant. Why is this still there?

190 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm

A Hermit #187
“Tell me, do you think those images served any useful purpose at the time? Should `pit members be embarrassed by them?”

Some might be. Others not. I did not care.

I will tell you when I do care though. If someone for whatever reason finds it awkward to have NSFW images (like say at work, or a cafe, kids are around) displayed then I would.

But that would be the only reason for me to care.

YMMV

191 Spence March 7, 2013 at 11:05 pm

You’d better stop using twitter as well, since they recently dropped pornographic content into many people’s favourite video lists. And they are supposed to be a family friendly site.

You really don’t understand the internet, do you “A hermit”? I’m afraid I can’t fix that for you.

192 oolon March 7, 2013 at 11:07 pm

@A. Hermit, if I had any point in my trolling the Slymepit post I guess this is it ->

If they had to deal with a real troll with no scruples who took every opportunity to degrade and demean them, what would they do?

I wasn’t even being nasty, only laughing at them a little and prodding a bit of the paranoia they seem to have of “FtB Trolls”…. Nicely illustrated by the recent image “I” posted there -> I’ve not even read the pit for months and I’m still their token sock puppet 😀

The point was the hypocrisy of criticising FtBs/Skepchick for not “ignoring the ‘trolls'” when they cannot even ignore the worst “troll” ever. When someone is attacking you, even if it is just your arguments and not your person, its hard to ignore them! Then when FtBs/Skepchick don’t ignore the “trolls” they are “professional victims” and idiots when its totally clear you should *just* ignore them… Forgive me if I’m a little sceptical of that approach, either practically or as even the best option.

193 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 11:10 pm

Hmmm. On second thoughts, here is another reason. A much more compelling one for me.

Let us suppose that I would benefit from reading the views of a person. But that person, for whatever reason is discouraged from posting at the Slymepit because of NSFW images.

Then I would care. I would care very much. I would want people to stop posting NSFW images.

194 windy March 7, 2013 at 11:14 pm

Should `pit members be embarrassed by them?

Sure, I’m embarrassed by them. Maybe the difference comes down to whether one is more embarrassed by pictures of naked fat people and goatse, or by people running around tagging others as racists, rapists, terrorists… at the drop of a hat?

195 CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm

@Tuvok, thanks for the great example of “sceptical” analysis and how the Slymepit really helps people with their critical thinking skillz…

Brilliant rebuttal there, Oolon.

In the meantime, I’m still laughing my Vulcan ears off at the thought of you and Aratina Rage wasting days of their worthless lives creating something that nobody uses.

196 CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Sure, I’m embarrassed by them. Maybe the difference comes down to whether one is more embarrassed by pictures of naked fat people and goatse, or by people running around tagging others as racists, rapists, terrorists… at the drop of a hat?

Pharyngulites even call themselves “racist”. Also, they class themselves as “potential” rapists. Nice people, though!!!

197 EllenBeth Wachs March 7, 2013 at 11:19 pm

The point seems to be overlooked that these are not generic pornographic pictures. These were placed there with the specific intent to demean and degrade certain named women.

198 CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

And I asked you which examples of “pushback” you think are “NEEEEEEEEDED!!!11!!11!” so badly…

Here:

1) http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10 (the picture of the Baboon Fortress – classic satire, the same as you would see in any political commentatory or newspaper.

2) http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10#p8909 (the Ingsoc parody of FreeThoughtBlogs)

3) http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=10#p11413 (the brilliant Renaissance painting complete with Baboon leaders, again classic style satire)

Do you honestly believe that crap serves any necessary (or even useful) purpose? Could anyone be that naive?

Yes it does serve a purpose. Satire and ridicule are crucial tactics in bringing down bad ideas and bad ideologies. This satire has helped to blunt the FTB and Skepchick war machine, and helped to expose their lies and hypocrisy. The Pit helped the wider community find a voice against the FTBullies. Satirical cartoons and pictures make up a small amount of Pit posts – most of it deals with calling out nonsense.

199 windy March 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm

These were placed there with the specific intent to demean and degrade certain named women.

Yes, just like accusations of being a rapist might be used to demean certain named men. I’d say both types of internet shit-flinging are bad. But only the former seems to lead to intervention from the head of Atheist Ireland, why is that? Benevolent sexism?

200 oolon March 7, 2013 at 11:37 pm

In the meantime, I’m still laughing my Vulcan ears off at the thought of you and Aratina Rage wasting days of their worthless lives creating something that nobody uses.

Tuvoks right, if you “just disagree” with him sign up to the A+ blockbot and show him up! http://www.theblockbot.com , freezing peach since, well a couple of weeks ago, but already a failure apparently :-)

Vulcans can code a kobayashi maru with one hand tied behind their backs? My poor little bots bound to look crap in comparison to your obvious brilliance.

For myself I don’t find it at all amusing that you spend your time posting porn and making the same comments about “FfTB’ers” and “sucking Peezus’s cock” all day. No wait, actually I do get a little chuckle from time to time, but I’ve got a dark sense of humour. Do something useful Tuvok, you only get one life!

201 Mr. Danksworth March 7, 2013 at 11:38 pm

Oh noes! Mocking, satirical pictures of naked people on a site that is not intended for children. The horror! For fuck sakes people, has life without god made you that puritanical and authoritarian? As it stands, some of you are giving frothing fundamentalists a run for the money. We have curtain twitching, sex sound making, EllenBeth running around finding dirty pictures. It’s like finding the local anti-homosexual pastor in bed with a rent boy. Welcome to McCarthyism 2.0…fundamentalist atheism.

If you find the the content at the Pit so morally reprehensable, don’t go there. There isn’t a thing that you can do about it, besides wring your hands and mine threads for offence without knowing the context. It makes you all look like fools, and it make for some wonderful Pit fodder.

202 Eu March 7, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Really, I haven’t seen this amount of pity for Sessaitsu, whose ACTUAL picture was put up on ED. Maybe it’s ’cause he’s a man. Having your ACTUAL picture put up on a site as a drunk-games joke, being accused of rape, or otherwise actually getting something done to you beats having your picture put on a naked body 10 fold.

And why do people keep emphasizing the sex of the person, why not say PEOPLE? Maybe I’m just too groggy to think straight?
This would be as big a deal if it was a guy’s head attached to a naked male torso, right?

203 AndrewV69 March 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm

@EllenBeth Wachs

Can I ask WTF you were thinking? You realize you Goatse’d here?

Would it be OK if I start RickRolling now?

204 tina March 7, 2013 at 11:50 pm

Pharyngula – Standards & Practices @7 March 2013

“This is a rude blog. We like to argue — heck, we like a loud angry brawl. Don’t waste time whining at anyone that they’re not nice, because this gang will take pride in that and rhetorically hand you a rotting porcupine and tell you to stuff it up your nether orifice. If you intrude here and violate any of the previous three mores, people won’t like you, and they won’t hold back—they’ll tell you so, probably in colorful terms.”

*cough* *splutter*

205 tina March 7, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Good that was ‘walked back’

Try walking forwards.

206 tina March 8, 2013 at 12:01 am

If Myers could learn the basics of being an adult we might get somewhere.

207 tina March 8, 2013 at 12:03 am

You really have to read it a few times to actually believe it’s from the mind of an adult.

208 EllenBeth Wachs March 8, 2013 at 12:04 am

No, Andrew, I merely pointed them to a post on the slymepit. Do you have a problem with people seeing what is on your site?

We have curtain twitching, sex sound making, EllenBeth running around finding dirty pictures. It’s like finding the local anti-homosexual pastor in bed with a rent boy.

Well, I don’t recall twitching curtains but sex-sound making? Okay. Yes, absolutely. Just not in the way YOU mean.

209 Skepsheik March 8, 2013 at 12:06 am

@ Derek Walsh,
Derek, I appreciate you taking my points seriously. I do, however, wonder why Michael decided to launch Atheist Ireland into the middle of what is, essentially, a bitter personal dispute about control of the invited speaker positions in the US atheist/skeptic conference circuit. You’ve probably noticed by now that complete compliance is required and you will be attacked for not giving unquestioned support.
I’m afraid I cannot see this ending well.

210 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 8, 2013 at 12:14 am

Today the U.S. atheist circuit, tomorrow the world!

211 Pitchguest March 8, 2013 at 12:27 am

#207 EllenBeth Wachs – You just can’t help yourself, can you?

You know how you said that your stalker joined the Slymepit? Wil Kuhlmann? That’s your stalker, right?

He never joined the Slymepit. He is not a member. He wrote something there. Once.

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=72532#p72532

As you can see, not exactly embraced with open arms, was he?

But it seems that no matter how much evidence we provide to the contrary, the Slymepit is still mischaracterized as a misogynist, sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, hive of scum and villainy. It also doesn’t seem to matter that the shopped picture of Ophelia was condemned the minute it was posted on the ‘Pit, and in spite of that it is used as a point of contention against us (by Michael Nugent, and then by sycophants like Aratina Cage and Josh the Spokesgay). Ophelia even said it is “destroying” her. How quaint.

I honestly can’t tell if you have a flare for the dramatic or if you seek drama out deliberately.

By the way, Derek Walsh has now gotten a sample of the kind of rhetoric we have to deal with. Even though we have done nothing wrong, we still get blasted for it.

212 rocko2466 March 8, 2013 at 12:34 am

Slymepitter (words to the effect of): Fuck. These gender feminists are ruining the atheist / skeptic community / movement. I can’t believe that dishonest bitch would deliberately misstate rape statistics and accuse all men of being potential rapists. I tried to politely raise the correct statistics and my interpretation with him/her on his/her blog and s/he blocked me and called me a misogynist and an asshole in the comment thread. I mentioned the interaction on Twitter and s/he called me a harasser and said it was part of a campaign of harassment from MRAs. I don’t know what s/he’s talking about. S/he’s fucking crazy.

Nugent: That’s terrible. That you would use that language. Settle down. We should talk about how plainly harmful that language of yours is. Do you know any swear word offends all women, except when we use it? You should really be more sensitive to these things?

Slymepitter: What the fuck? Did you read what I said? What the fuck is going on?

Nugent: Why do you consider it is morally justified to swear?

Slymepitter: What? Swearing’s not immoral. What are you talking about?

Nugent: Okay. But how is it morally justified to swear but you still don’t want to see a photoshopped image of a female blogger’s head on a nude woman’s body on your forum? They are obviously for all reasonable purposes equivalent.

Slymepitter: Wait. Why aren’t we talking about the hostile and non-skeptical behaviour of purported leaders in the community, including in creating an in-group of dogmatic ideologues?

Nugent: No. Together we need to move past the swearing. How do you justify it? Pick 25 posts from the Slymepit that you disagree with and why they are horrendous and why you consider it was appropriate for censorship to have occurred.

Slymepitter: Can I explain why we have an issue with the gender feminists? You might see then why we would swear in a social situation.

Nugent: No. Swearing is always inappropriate except with reference to religious people. Please do not talk about those issues and focus instead on your swearing and how you will repent.

Slymepitter: Oh. Fuck this then.

Nugent: Just as I feared. The Slymepitters are incapable of being reasoned with. I have determined change is unable to occur. Please give me an award when I have all my besties over in Ireland. As can be expected, we’re taking the slideshow from a nearby church’s sermon on sex and swearing and just deleting the words ‘God’. It will be fun times. All the alcohol Rebecca can drink too (assuming she doesn’t stay up to 4am). Also the elevators are broken (phew!).

213 Pitchguest March 8, 2013 at 12:39 am

#199 oolon

What’s that you say, you slimy turd?

No instances of any variant of “sucking Peezus’s cock” have ever been produced on the ‘pit. But do go on.

For all those uninitiated, oolon and Aratina Cage are known serial liars, who make shit up to wind people up. Trolls. He doesn’t back up his claims with evidence, only use the platitude, “Oh, you don’t think it happens?” followed by an accusation of gullible nature. He’s a slimy little weasel, but a surprisingly good servant. This cartoon (previously posted by franc) describes him perfectly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVNHcob3oJg

214 EllenBeth Wachs March 8, 2013 at 12:58 am

That’s interesting PG because your link actually points to two posts by him, but whatever. You tell me what the difference is between joining and becoming a member of a forum. Personally, I think it says more about him, than the pit, that he wasn’t welcomed. He has that effect most places.

One can have a flair for the dramatic but NOT seek out drama deliberately. They are different.

It is very sad that you would so cavalierly dismiss Ophelia’s distress. You know that is really one of the points of this post? To understand how such lack of empathy came about?

215 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 8, 2013 at 1:02 am
216 Damion Reinhardt (@D4M10N) March 8, 2013 at 1:04 am

A serious question for the anti-Pitters here. If you could flip a switch and make the Pit vanish completely, would you? Why or why not?

217 Pitchguest March 8, 2013 at 1:26 am

#213 EllenBeth Wachs

Lack of empathy? I’m saying we condemned the picture and this is an example of “lack of empathy”? *facepalm*

As for Wil Kuhlmann, you said (dishonestly) that he became a member of the Slymepit. He is not a member, he posted as a guest, he posted once, didn’t get the response he wanted and then several days later he went back and responded. He wasn’t embraced with open arms and we didn’t condone his stalking tendencies. So what did you mean by that? Be honest, EllenBeth.

#214 Damion

I stand corrected. But just so we’re clear:

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/search.php?keywords=%22sucking+PZ%22&submit=Search

218 CommanderTuvok March 8, 2013 at 1:29 am

Away from the trivial moaning about the use of bad werdz, we get another example of how the Baboons like to smear people with serious allegations. But of course, these incidents are never regarded as harassment by the Baboons.

On Stephanie Zvan’s Almost Diamonds, we get one poster called Giliel, promoting the lie about Russell Blackford (when PZ called him a liar but then claimed it was meant for someboby else!). This happens at FreeThoughtBlogs quite a lot. Like when Canuck posted an outright lie about Sara Mayhew on Ophelia’s blog, and when Mayhew addressed that lie, she was told SHE was “off-topic”. You couldn’t make it up.

Ophelia did not apologise for that lie and simply ignored it. You can bet that Stephanie will ignore that lie from Giliel as well. They are easily prepared to allow their commentators to post lies on their sites, especially if the target (in these cases Blackford and Mayhew) happens to a “witch of the week”. Suddenly, the Baboon yelps about harassment suddently seem very funny. I see no reason to sympathise with people who have consistently failed to apologise for wrongly smearing people.

PS – That goes for Rebecca Watson as well, who recently smeared someone as a rapist. That is a serious allegation, and there has been NO pushback from her fellow Skepchicks and FTBers about it. They are quite happy for their friends to lie about people.

219 Eu March 8, 2013 at 1:30 am

lol if that’s honestly the slightest imitation of what happened the Plussers would dislike Nugent as well – they frown upon tone policing like telling people “don’t swear”

220 Eu March 8, 2013 at 1:34 am

So, I sort of see what’s happened – Slymepit is getting crap for what some random user on the forum did, and when people claim to not condone it, Plussers who are giving them crap say they’re probably just saying it to look good, right?

But, either way, Slymepit wasn’t the one that put it up. Whether or not they would give a fuck or waste any amount of sympathy towards the “victim” of the photo is a question one can ask whether it actually happens or not.

It’s no different from randomly going “Hey, slymepitters, I bet if someone gave us a rape threat, you wouldn’t care!” If that’s the point why wait for something to happen?

That doesn’t make them responsible of a random user on there puts a rape threat up though.

221 Eu March 8, 2013 at 1:35 am

@Commander

If rebecca truly called someone a rapist, that is downright shitty. I wonder what would be worse, if I called her a cunt, or if she called someone a rapist? Which would they be focused on criticizing? (the former, of course, since they haven’t criticized the latter at all.)

222 CommanderTuvok March 8, 2013 at 1:36 am

It is very sad that you would so cavalierly dismiss Ophelia’s distress. You know that is really one of the points of this post? To understand how such lack of empathy came about?

I have heard zilch from you about Ophelia allowing Canuck to lie about her on her blog. I have heard zilch from you about Rebecca Watson calling Ed Clint a rapist. I have heard nothing nothing from you about the lie, just recently repeated, about Russell Blackford on Svan’s blog.

But hey, “witches of the week” have their distress dismissed by the Baboons quite easily, don’t they, EBW? You have some nerve to talk about empathy.

223 Eu March 8, 2013 at 1:40 am

@Ellenbeth 183

LOL did you seriously link that photo as something awful and soul destroying? It’s a shave off of her face in the goatse butt. And you’re seriously telling me she’s affected by that? Did she even notice, lol? Or did you actually,… just bring it to her attention? It’s sort of mean to give word to someone of pictures you expect them to break down in reaction to.

224 Pitchguest March 8, 2013 at 2:26 am

#221 Tuvok

Not to mention when she dismissed the concerns of Sara Mayhew like she was nothing, when Melody Hensley kept calling her a ‘chill girl’ and ‘sister punisher.’ Or how Rebecca Watson called her ‘the stupidest person on twitter.’

Lack of empathy indeed.

225 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 2:54 am

Derek Walsh said (#81):

But one of them (namely, the photo of a group of women and the crude comments that followed) is the most active thread in the whole forum at the moment with over 5,000 responses and 50,000 views. (I am aware that that those are thread views, not page views, and that in any case it doesn’t mean anywhere near that number of individual people saw the thread, but I have to assume a significant number of people saw it.)

Just a point of reference. You might be more familiar with a different style of blog which might be leading you to reach somewhat of a misinterpretation. The SlymePit – at least “The Undead Thread” (1) – seems to be largely one continuous thread that is only broken up periodically when the length gets unmanageable (time to load pages, etc) – there is, I think, no particular relevance to the fact that the current subsection – “Jim the Pleb Made Me Do It – starts off with that “photo of a group of women”. And, as you pointed out, within some ten pages the discussion had moved on to other topics.

In the first ten pages or so following the post (all I’ve read by which stage the “endless thread” had moved on to other topics), nobody seemed to initiate the sort of conversation you advocate as a requirement “to meet the minimum standards of being a decent human being”.

Not to quibble overmuch, but it seems to me that what Edward Gemmer had in mind (#67) with his “minimum standards” was more along the line of “deleting their point of view”, rather than, as you seem to be suggesting, “just gratuitous insults”. While, as mentioned earlier, I don’t find such insults of much value, I, and apparently a large percentage of the Pitters, find the former very much more egregious and odious than the latter.

In addition, I think your closing “just gratuitous insults” – as in “just gratuitous insults, and nothing but gratuitous insults” is a serious mischaracterization of the Pit. And while I think there are probably more of those than there should be, I also think that the discussion of and debate on various statements – of which there is, I think, plenty of evidence – is what will and does cause the evolution of “community standards” – and which is likely to change the frequency of those types of insults.

And I think that that democratic evolution is far preferrable to some “top-down” a priori criteria promulgated and enforced by some inaccessible and unaccountable individual or group – really the whole ball of wax associated with questions of democracy versus various dictatorships – secular and political and religious: “who watches the watchers”? except the community which has to, and will, stand or fall on the principles it agrees to and defends.

1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=31”;

226 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 3:26 am

EllenBeth Wachs said (#213):

You know that is really one of the points of this post? To understand how such lack of empathy came about?

Speaking of which, just out of curiousity, and in passing, are we likely to see an apology from you in the near future to SlymePitters in general, and “Apples” in particular, for your rather pointed suggestions (1), at least, that we were all racists?
—-

1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=67400#p67400”;

227 Sara Mayhew March 8, 2013 at 4:56 am

Hey! I have some questions!

1) What do you expect from a site called THE SLIME PIT?
2) How are people who dislike the Slime Pit’s content finding out about what’s there?
3) Why not ignore the Slime Pit and not visit it?

Seriously. The place is pretty transparent in its name about its attitude and content i.e.: pit of slime… So if you’re not looking to hang out it a “pit” that contains “slime”, why are you going?

It would be pretty mean to setup a MeanThingsAboutSaraMayhew.com but if I went there and read those mean things then complained they were harassing me there, would you really feel all that sorry for me? After all, I don’t have to go there.

Anyway…I’m off to join ChritianMingle.com so I can complain I’m being discriminated against for being atheist…

228 rocko2466 March 8, 2013 at 5:34 am

To be fair, I’m pretty sure the Slymepit name arose from being ACCUSED of being Slyme by the FtB types in the first place. It’s more ironic than not.

But it is unmoderated.

(Also, keep it up Mayhew! Love the work!)

229 Eu March 8, 2013 at 5:57 am

The empathy topic is still up? I would just call myself a psychopath and end it. Pretty tiring.

230 Sally Strange March 8, 2013 at 7:07 am

BTW – did you manage to steal an IUD from welfare services Sal?

Hey Pitters. When I post online these days, I always post as SallyStrange. Or, if not as SallyStrange, something entirely unrelated. Not as just plain Sally or Sally Super or whatever. Just SallyStrange. So try to keep your wits about you and not drag innocent people into your irrational hostility against me, okay?

Also, FYI: no IUD yet, I’m still happy with the Nuvaring. Haven’t menstruated in about three years now, and it feels great. Perhaps you can work that into a photoshop somewhere.

231 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 7:24 am

SallyStrange said (#230):

Also, FYI: no IUD yet, I’m still happy with the Nuvaring. Haven’t menstruated in about three years now, and it feels great. Perhaps you can work that into a photoshop somewhere.

I wouldn’t know. But no fun to the photoshopping if you don’t get your panties into a twist over it … 😉

But I hope you noticed that not everyone there flew off the handle over the name similarities; categorical thinking tends to be highly problematic ….

232 Sally Strange March 8, 2013 at 7:31 am

But no fun to the photoshopping if you don’t get your panties into a twist over it …

Please explain the nature of this “fun.” As a feminist, naturally the concept is alien to me.

233 Michael Nugent March 8, 2013 at 7:41 am
234 Steersman March 8, 2013 at 7:45 am

Don’t sell yourself short – I saw that you made a joke earlier (1). So there’s still hope for you; you’re not yet beyond the pale (not a racist joke 😉 )….

1) “_http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/03/examples-of-nasty-pushback-against-some-feminists-on-the-internet/comment-page-2/#comment-195579”;

235 rocko2466 March 8, 2013 at 8:10 am

Sally Strange, please don’t encourage gross photoshops. Your antics are offensive enough. Badum-tish.

236 Gurdur March 8, 2013 at 8:46 am

@ Michael Nugent –
your two links given are well and truly borked. Here thery are corrected:

Some reflections on the recent dialogue
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/08/some-reflections-on-the-recent-dialogue/

Why atheist and skeptic groups should be inclusive, caring and supportive, and 25 next steps to help this to happen
http://www.michaelnugent.com/2013/03/08/why-atheist-and-skeptic-groups-should-be-inclusive-caring-and-supportive-republished/

I also have, as said, some questions and comments for you, and I will blog those soon myself, rather than try an overly long comment here.

237 Cian March 8, 2013 at 9:31 am

Sara Mayhew #227

The thread is also called “The Periodic Table of Swearing” …. This to me is the equivalent of a “parental advisory” sticker. If you click on a thread by that name of your own accord I find it hard to see how you could justify complaining about “foul” language and adult humour. It is actually fairly honest, and at Freethought blogs there is freedom of speech and opinio ….. oh wait

238 Thaumas Themelios March 8, 2013 at 10:10 am

“To me this shows how desensitized some members of the Slymepit have become to the ethics of people who experience empathy and compassion at a level that would make it instantly obvious that this photograph should be removed.”

Disappointed with this post, Michael. Even if your assessment is true of the Slymepit, there has been enormous amounts of evidence that the same kind of assessment would have to be made about Pharyngula, for example. Why focus on one and only one site?

I think you need to be more self-skeptical here. All people have biases, including myself of course. But! Also including you. Nobody’s perfect. However, we *can* introspect to examine our biases and very often correct them. I do this constantly. I am continually asking myself, “How do I really know that? Is it possible I could be wrong?”

I hope you engage in this kind of self-skepticism also. If you don’t, I’d suggest it.

My suspicion (at this time; I haven’t read your later posts yet) is that you are letting previous biases colour your view of things. Again, I have biases too, which undoubtedly colour how I view things. The only way to break out of this is to look at the evidence.

You say you’ve ‘finally’ found an example of condemnation. If you’ve only ‘finally’ found such an example, *then you haven’t been looking very hard*. In other words, you are not examining the evidence fully.

If you don’t have all the facts, don’t jump to hasty conclusions.

239 EllenBeth Wachs March 8, 2013 at 12:02 pm

PitchGuest

Lack of empathy? I’m saying we condemned the picture and this is an example of “lack of empathy”? *facepalm*

No PG, I was saying you are showing a lack of empathy for her on this thread with,

Ophelia even said it is “destroying” her. How quaint.

And while the pit may have decided to remove that one image, it does not negate all of the other nasty personal attacks on her and others that are remain. I would save your *facepalm*

EU

LOL did you seriously link that photo as something awful and soul destroying? It’s a shave off of her face in the goatse butt. And you’re seriously telling me she’s affected by that? Did she even notice, lol? Or did you actually,… just bring it to her attention? It’s sort of mean to give word to someone of pictures you expect them to break down in reaction to.

You also seem to be really upset that I linked to Welch’s goatse. Would it surprise you to learn that before I posted that comment, I asked Stephanie for her permission to do so? She was also the one that suggested I say it was a goatse. Not knowing what that was, I posted it without googling. Had I known, I would have taken her advice and mentioned it, but it still doesn’t change the point.

Steersman
You are well aware that this has already been done. You seem to want to keep stirring this pot.

Sara,
While you may think simply not visiting the slymepit is the answer, unfortunately the stuff in there spills over into facebook, blogs, youtube, twitter. It can’t be contained. Perhaps you may have noticed those Christian Mingle ads on TV and on facebook and in the paper? I have never been to their website but am inundated with “find God’s Match for you

240 Eu March 8, 2013 at 1:08 pm

EllenBeth Wachs,

that’s a valid point, but Sara’s point is still valid for all people who have binoculars pointed toward the Slymepit and then have the nerve to complain about it rather than people who got “pit” stuff posted on their Facebook or brought to their attention on Twitter. The former really need to listen to her point.

241 ChasCPeterson March 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm

complaining about “foul” language and adult humour

ffs. A bag of rocks would offer more constructive dialogue.
Yet afuckingain: Nobody is complaining about foul language and adult humor. The problem is the application of such language and putative humor to a project that is nasty, vindictive, and cruel.

242 Cian March 8, 2013 at 1:39 pm

ChasCPeterson #241

There were no complaints about the language? I had a conversation through the comments here ( or on one of the other articles here ) about the term “cunt” and “bitch”, and whether they genuinely are gender slurs or not, and the nature of offence caused by bad language, people were complaining about the use of bad language. (I had a particularly interesting ( for me ) exchange with someone who I disagreed with called theophontes, who made some very good points and opened my eyes up to some things . To claim nobody is complaining about bad language is hard for me to believe – as I spoke to some who were. I was told the word “cunt” should never be used, in any context including the real world ( irrespective of the humour etc ). That discussion was just about foul language.

The post above was just about the name of the forum indicating that those of a sensitive nature should probably not go somewhere named as such. I never said that was the only reason for complaint. I think you jumped to some conclusion there.

Not sure your own comment does much to offer constructive dialogue. Thanks for that, a bag of rocks I am :)

243 Eu March 8, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Nasty, vindictive… I wont go as far as to say cruel… But who does that sound like?

Its funny how everyone ignored windy pointing out that calling certain men rapists demeans them. If what was done here to “demean” women (sorry, being called rapists beats that) is cruel, then what the hell do you call that?

244 Gurdur March 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm

ChasCPeterson wrote:

…. The problem is the application of such language and putative humor to a project that is nasty, vindictive, and cruel.

Ah, yes, Pharyngula. Where once a transvestite was banned for continuing to object to PZ Myers’ usage of homophobic putting down on Catholic clergy as “effeminate” etc. (he used many more such words). Remind me again, wasn’t it Aratina who then celebrated the banning of the transvestite by posting “fatty tranny”? Do tell.

Oh yes! Aratina claimed to have apologised! Oddly enough, not repeat not to the actual person, the transvestite, but in general. Not much worth as an apology then. Of course, Myers would never apologise. So it is established Pharyngula and Pharyngulites will repeat will use homophobic and anti-transvestite hate-speech when it suits them. Nowadays of course, they claim to be the defenders of gays, transvestites and diversity. Seems a tiny bit opportunistic to me, but hey. Would you like links? Screenshots? Exact quotes?

On other atheist community boards, such homophobic, anti-transvestite and other hate-speech would simply not have been allowed. But hey, horses for courses, opportunism is so easy, huh?

The rampant hypocrisy disgusts me on every level. Yes, of course some personal attacks are simply too much over the top. They should not be tolerated. But we all know Pharyngula, FTB in general*, hey, they loved the dogpiling and personal abuse, no? including homophobic etc. hate-speech. How goes the pineapple? Wasn’t it Setar who when asked directly if Setar would use the porcupine/anal-rape line on someone who had actually been a victim of anal rape, replied it was only words? Would you like links and screen-capture fotr that too?

The SlymePit is the child of FTB. Own it.

245 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm

@244 — 10,000x THIS

246 EllenBeth Wachs March 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm

EU-

that’s a valid point, but Sara’s point is still valid for all people who have binoculars pointed toward the Slymepit and then have the nerve to complain about it rather than people who got “pit” stuff posted on their Facebook or brought to their attention on Twitter. The former really need to listen to her point.

No, it’s really more than just having it posted on their on facebook. Good example- tF00t’s video. He stated explicitly that this was done as a result of things he learned from the people in the pit. He then sent that video to the heads of major secular organizations in the hope of getting the people he talked about shunned.

A person could never go to the slymepit, not had anything posted on their facebook and still have had major repercussions because of it.

247 A Hermit March 8, 2013 at 3:29 pm

CommanderTuvok March 7, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Yes it does serve a purpose. Satire and ridicule are crucial tactics in bringing down bad ideas and bad ideologies.

The problem is that so many of these examples aren’t satirizing or ridiculing any ideology; they are ridiculing individuals and their personal appearance, gender etc. Calling someone fat or making fun of their genitals does nothing to address this supposed ideology….

This satire has helped to blunt the FTB and Skepchick war machine…

See, this silly narrative is the kind of paranoid nonsense that needs to be satirized and ridiculed…

One would do that by saying something like “OH NOES!!1!!!! THE FEMINISTS ARE COMING!!!1!!!! not by photoshoping your image onto a sea lion body and calling you fat…

See the difference?

The Pit helped the wider community find a voice against the FTBullies. Satirical cartoons and pictures make up a small amount of Pit posts – most of it deals with calling out nonsense.

Most of it deals with producing nonsense like this FTBullies crap. The cartoons and pictures themselves aren’t the most numerous posts, but the commentary on those items and related material certainly adds up. What you’ve created is an echo chamber for an overblown conspiracy theory. It’s starting to look really sad actually…

248 oolon March 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm

@244 — 10,000x THIS

Not sure what 10,000x a tu quoque fallacy looks like? A really, really big fat fallcy?

The key thing there is that aratina *apologised*, the aim is to improve. What’s the aim of the pit? I really dunno but it certainly is not to improve… If Gurdur or Damion really think that example is “morally unjustified” or just plain bad / wrong, whatever then what group are trying to live up to that ideal? What group are fighting against those behaviours and attitudes? Very easy to point to examples where one group trying to be better get it wrong and scream hypocrisy but at least they are trying… The others, not so much, I wonder why it is easy for them to sit in judgement when they don’t even bother.

The pitters in this case are back seat drivers criticising the quality of driving when they haven’t even got a licence.

How many orders of magnitude of this call to hypocrisy is required before anything substantive can be discussed? Seems 10,000X is not enough…

249 windy March 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Chas @241 – whatever objective standard of “nasty, vindictive, and cruel” you are using, please consider that there appear to be significant numbers of people who would also describe the FTB response to dissenters as “nasty, vindictive and cruel”. Not everyone is as ‘desensitized’ to that style as you or me…

250 Eu March 8, 2013 at 6:37 pm

EllenBeth Wachs,

Is that an example of a major consequence? Why would they want to associate with organizations that wouldn’t like them? That would want to shun them? /Especially/ that crowd, who repels people away from them. They definitely wouldn’t want to go TO their ‘enemies.’ They would probably just decide to tell each other not to associate with them anyway after finding that they don’t like their principles.

“You’re either with us, or against us.”

People who declare *themselves* against them would certainly not get “a chance” to associate with FtB and company.

251 Eu March 8, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Futhermore, if all Tf00t did was tell them honestly their actions, then I think it’s fully just. It’s never wrong to tell an organization truths about people (not including opinions *on* what they do/say). Why, just recently, I told Eminem about someone he was hanging out with – I told him the facts, my opinion on it (that’s not a fact, but I told him what happened verbatim so that he can make up his own mind), because I thought he might not want to hang out with such a person if he knew.

It’s a courtesy for organizations to know if they’d want to associate with FtB or not before they do…

Now if you’re saying thunderf00t told them lies, that’s another thing.

252 Eu March 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm

…And, if you didn’t predict this coming up, shame on you, but the funniest thing about what you pointed out is that its what some at FtB do – tell organizations about such and such, (and if she (watson, example) tells them what she says about the people in her speeches, then she misrepresents the story, too), to see if they’ll be taken off the list.

253 Chas Stewart March 8, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Everyone stop referring to ChasCPeterson as simply “Chas”! It’s very triggering to me because once someone commended me for my defense of EP on Pharyngula but it was ChasCPeterson and I had to let them down. I’m not even allowed to comment on there!

Anyways.

@Oolon – The point is not that people should should be righteously condemned for holding outdated and socially outlawed views but that the people who hold these views should be reasoned with and given an opportunity to learn from their mistakes or potentially teach the scorners that their righteous indignation is not justified. THEY COULD EVEN COMPROMISE AND COME TO MODIFIED OPINIONS. Why was Aratina given the opportunity to make amends while others are barred?

254 Eu March 8, 2013 at 6:57 pm

@Chas Stewart, if Aratina is a member of FtB & Company, there are probably loads of deeds their own members do/did that they would not tolerate from others. Not that they know of all these deeds, but just imagine.

When they do find out about them, it’s just a scolding… if it’s one of their own.

255 EllenBeth Wachs March 8, 2013 at 7:06 pm

@253 Chas Stewart

Why was Aratina given the opportunity to make amends while others are barred?

Huh? What? Who can bar someone from making amends?? Do you condition your amends upon time, place and acceptance?

256 Eu March 8, 2013 at 7:12 pm

EllenBeth, what Chas probably meant is that they shun their amends while accepting Aratina’s, etc.

257 Chas Stewart March 8, 2013 at 7:14 pm

@EllenBeth Wachs

Before I was banned from the Pharyngula community, maybe I made insensitive remarks that were harmful. How am I to redeem myself to that person and the community? There’s a difference in how we treat people we see as our own versus the outsiders and I think that we need to be aware of it and change that mode of thinking. The world would be a better place.

258 EllenBeth Wachs March 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm

@Chas Stewart please re-read my comment. You seem to think that you can only apologize in that one particular spot. Does it also need to be public? Who is this apology for? You or the person harmed?

259 Eu March 8, 2013 at 7:27 pm

So, Ellenbeth, I guess what you’re saying is that it shouldn’t matter if the person wants the apology or not? Very well. Although most people, if they want to apologize *to* the person, and not just make a statement that they are sorry about what they did, prefer their apologies to be accepted. This might be silly, but people *do* care about what people think of them, and if someone is sorry about something, but feel the person will still hold it against them in their heart, they might not like that.

Maybe you cannot empathize with this, but I assure you it’s a very real feeling and thought process.

Regardless, they shouldn’t accept apologies just because someone is in their circle, is what I’m concerned about. Are they judging people in their circle less intensely?

260 Chas Stewart March 8, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Of course people can apologize to anyone and in any way (privately, publicly or in the particular sphere where the offense was perpetrated) but when people are banned and ridiculed for thinking out loud then I think that reduces the likelihood that they will apologize or change their opinions (also, there’s the chance that the person could explain themselves more fully or even change the minds of their scorners) but will hunker down and find a sphere that will accommodate their now forcefully held beliefs. This is a shame for all involved who had an opportunity to grow and flush out the truth of the matter.

So, yes, fortified folks will not mind apologizing in any venue and in any way but most folks will evade this public show that might reveal their ignorance or malice.

An apology is for all involved because every time you apologize you build good character and it may help explain to the offended that no there was no malice intended.

261 smhll March 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Total tittybollocks! Racial slurs are universally recognized as
*group* slurs while slang for naughty bits may be considered taboo
because private parts are themselves considered taboo.

You’re reasoning here is bullshit. Body parts that are specific to the female gender ARE used as group slurs.

262 DT March 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Sara Mayhew #227

The name “slime pit” was a name forced upon a collection of indivuduals back when Abbie Smith’s threads were active at ERV. When the thread moved to a separate site, the name “slyme pit” was kept as a reclamation of the word, and to show that the stigmatization and slander levelled against its members was not having the intended silencing effect.

There is also a lesson to be had about judging a book by its cover. On some level, the slyme pit rewards those who actually take time to read primary sources, instead of taking the word of some preacher, or listening to 908,437th hand rumors about some flavor-of-the-month enemy. Primary research should be the default position of anyone wishing to employ critical thinking – not reliance upon rumor, dogma and authority figures.

MeanThingsAboutSaraMayhew.com could just as easily be filled with kitten pictures.

263 D4M10N March 8, 2013 at 9:16 pm

You’re reasoning here is bullshit. Body parts that are specific to the female gender ARE used as group slurs.

They can be, I imagine, but they are often enough used as general terms of derogation for people of all genders. You’ve never heard a man accused of acting like a twat or a boob? Never heard a woman told to stop acting being a dick or talking bollocks?

264 EllenBeth Wachs March 8, 2013 at 11:48 pm

but when people are banned and ridiculed for thinking out loud then I think that reduces the likelihood that they will apologize or change their opinions

But when people are ridiculed for thinking out loud it reduces the likelihood that they will change their opinions.

See how that looks with a few words taken out? That is precisely what happens to the so-called FTbullies by the slymepitters. We are constantly subjected to ridicule for thinking out loud. Do you know how many tweets, comments, posts end up there mocked dissected and ridiculed? But they seem to think this is the way to “expose” something or other.

265 Eu March 9, 2013 at 12:00 am

EllenBeth Wachs,

I believe the guy was referring to opponents commenting on FtB’s things and then lectured & dogged without hold back on what they said – which would make them defensive and reduce the chances of changing their minds after the argument/encounter.

People who read the slymepit don’t get to say they were put on the defensive. They went there FOR the defensive.

What’s put on the slymepit and not said to the subjects themselves are probably things pitters don’t think FtB-ers would change their minds about or be willing to discuss – especially since some of them are banned from commenting in the first place.

What I mean is, they probably aren’t really bothering to try to change anyone’s mind if it’s on the slymepit, from what I’ve seen. FtB has proven to be a very resistant group – no matter how you say smething, if you want to discuss politely an alternative opinion; if you act like a scared rodent in front of huge cat and make sure to be as kiss-ass as possible, you will still get chewed and spat out there if they don’t like what you said.

So I doubt most pitters are trying to change the minds of the people they write about on there. It honestly doesn’t seem worth it, depending on which FtBer is being talked about, and you can’t blame them for not thinking it is.

266 Eu March 9, 2013 at 12:03 am

So, instead, lots of times, depending on who it is with FtB & Company, “exposure” is what is chosen instead. (And with some people there… changing their minds? Get for real. That would require being forced to stay in some enclosed space debating until everyone agrees… which actually isn’t a bad idea… it has the potential to change the world, I think. Too bad it wouldn’t be implemented.)

267 Steersman March 9, 2013 at 9:26 am

EllenBeth Wachs said (#264):

but when people are banned and ridiculed for thinking out loud then I think that reduces the likelihood that they will apologize or change their opinions

But when people are ridiculed for thinking out loud it reduces the likelihood that they will change their opinions.

See how that looks with a few words taken out? That is precisely what happens to the so-called FTbullies by the slymepitters. We are constantly subjected to ridicule for thinking out loud. Do you know how many tweets, comments, posts end up there mocked dissected and ridiculed? But they seem to think this is the way to “expose” something or other.

So, how many? Apart from the fact that you couldn’t know that unless you and your cohort have been lurking about, I might suggest that y’all decloak and delurk and try defending your positions. And if you’re not able to then maybe they’re not particularly credible or tenable? Maybe that is what is being exposed and that is really what you’re bent out of shape over? Or maybe you’ll convince some of us to abandon the Dark Side.

However, as to the reasons for that state of affairs, maybe y’all are “mocked, dissected, and ridiculed” there, at least in part, because all of you, or a large percentage of you, have essentially banned a large percentage of us from commenting on your own sites. Reminds me of a joke:

During the time of the Roman Empire when they were persecuting Christians – for entertainment; on any given Sunday – the Romans decided to bury a bunch of Christians up to their chests in the middle of the Coliseum and then let a bunch of lions have at them. And, as it happens, one of the lions made a bee-line for one Christian, but, as it approached the victim, it got spooked for some reason so it jumped over him. At which point the Christian used his teeth to tear a chunk out of the lion’s “dangly bits” as it was passing over which completely incapacitated the poor beast. Which produced a roar of outrage from the crowd: “Fight fair! Fight fair!”

Can’t very well bitch and complain at shots from the cheap seats if you’re not willing to engage on a level playing field. And, somewhat apropos and as a case in point, you might want to take a look at this comment of mine which is still sitting in moderation on Zvan’s site, but which I’ve copied to the Pit (1). Do ask yourselves whether that post is beyond the pale or whether it raises questions that Zvan and company would prefer not to address. You might also consider the fact – documented in post after post after post in the Pit – that FTB, AtheismPlus, and Skepchicks makes that a rather egregious modus operandi.

1) “_http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=72712#p72712”;

268 Sally Strange March 13, 2013 at 6:35 am

I’ve never actually been banned from a website. Wonder why that is.

Must be some kind of miracle. Maybe there’s a god after all!

269 Steersman March 13, 2013 at 7:11 am

When you toe the Party line you tend not to be labeled as a heretic ….

One would have thought that you would have been aware of that since, if I’m not mistaken, you were a combatant in what Greta Christina called the “Porn Wars” which seems to have produced no small amount of “nasty pushback” of one sort or another, and which is still apparently not resolved ….

But if you’re looking to be banned then I might suggest trying to argue against the Patriarchy at Twisty Faster’s I Blame the Patriarch which is what I would call some “virulent feminism” – I would do so myself but they generally don’t allow “dudes” to even post there – nice bit of feminist egalitarianism, eh Wat? Although I suppose I should be careful of that term as Ophelia Benson has said that just linking those two words qualifies as “misogyny”; presumably, on that basis, using a gendered insult justifies burning at the stake in her book, words that even some female feminists might consider more suggestive of “juicy, funky, flexible, and creative” than anything else ….

270 Garlic March 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm

They can be, I imagine, but they are often enough used as general terms of derogation for people of all genders. You’ve never heard a man accused of acting like a twat or a boob? Never heard a woman told to stop acting being a dick or talking bollocks?

Supporting evidence:

Google “he’s a c*nt”: 2,050,000 hits.
Google “she’s a c*nt”: 496,000 hits.

You get similar or lower ratios with neutral insults, such as “idiot” or “dumb”. This suggests that the c-word is not a “gendered insult” in the same sense that e.g. “sl*t” or “b*tch” are.

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272 Gary S. January 7, 2015 at 1:09 am

Watch out for socks.
————–
Parody Accountant wrote:
I morph at Nugent’s and TFA etc and I always pretend like I just discovered that all the shit I heard about the slymepit isn’t true. I usually get top-rated comments on Discus etc as I encourage people to check it out for themselves. I also make it believable and have yet to be called out.

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=429&p=247995#p247995

273 Gary S. February 11, 2015 at 6:45 pm

The slymepit nailed by poster with Asperger’s syndrome.

Truer words were never spoken!

“Nearly everything here has been designed to impugn whatever I say.

Most of you – maybe all of you – go along with that.

It does strike me however that most of you don’t really have much of anything to say or add to any discussion.

So it seems that this is just a circle-jerk club and those that are accepted only do so within stringent parameters and of course with vetted pedigrees.

I don’t mind you fuckers having an incestuously amplified echo chamber, but although I might agree with the goals originally espoused by this site, I would suggest that those considered to be beyond reproach have already succumbed to the very temptations they claim to criticize.”

by Nec_V20 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:32 am • [Post 18829]

http://slymepit.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=257485#p257485

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