L.P. Hatecraft August 19, 2009 9:15 AM   Subscribe

L.P. Hatecraft wants to have a discussion. Let's have it here:

The Barney Frank thread has been having some serious trouble getting around the comments of Hatecraft. So here's the meta. Most of the worst stuff has been deleted, thankfully. But that hasn't stopped it from now turning into a "fuck you" style of conversation, so let's take it here.
posted by shmegegge to Etiquette/Policy at 9:15 AM (236 comments total)

He's not really capable of a linear discussion. He just jumps around and makes all sorts of obtuse comparisons. Not to mention that he has some pretty weird White Nationalist leaning views. Just put him in your MeFi Deluxe Killfile.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:17 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can we use this space to talk about the steaming cauldron of crazy that is his website?
posted by item at 9:18 AM on August 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


He is not an anti-fascist.
posted by creasy boy at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apologies for taking part in the derail. I didn't know precisely where it was headed until it became clear he was repeatedly hijacking the thread to discuss U.K. hate crime law. I don't know that he's an active racist or just somebody who has become such a free speech purist that he is accidentally presenting himself in a manner that most reasonable people would assume he is a racist, but he's definitely got an ax and is grinding it all over that thread.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2009


He just cares very deeply about the first amendment, that's all.
posted by creasy boy at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2009


In regards to the thread itself, I have stopped responding to him and am flagging appropriate comments as derails.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:20 AM on August 19, 2009


Can I request once again that we not bring up posters' reading habits as a means of personal attack? When all this Nazi rhetoric hits the ground, it remains the one action in the thread that is most Nazi-like.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:20 AM on August 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Astro Zombie: "Apologies for taking part in the derail."

Same here, honestly. I absolutely got suckered into the whole stupid thing. I wish I hadn't contributed to derailing that thread, because the Barney Frank post is fucking awesome.
posted by shmegegge at 9:20 AM on August 19, 2009


I don't think he's being an sincere participant in that thread. And I don't mean like the townhall crazies. I mean he's not even a sincere town hall crazy. His nick is "LP Hatecraft" for crying out loud.

Or maybe he's mentally ill. Either way, flag him and move on is my advice.
posted by DU at 9:20 AM on August 19, 2009


His reading habits reflect the beliefs he shared in the thread. And, I think he's proud of them and would not consider their mention an attack at all.
posted by Houstonian at 9:21 AM on August 19, 2009


Can I request once again that we not bring up posters' reading habits as a means of personal attack? When all this Nazi rhetoric hits the ground, it remains the one action in the thread that is most Nazi-like.

Pointing out that someone reads Nazi-like racial superiority websites is Nazi-like?
posted by billysumday at 9:22 AM on August 19, 2009 [7 favorites]


Does what it says on the label. Caveat emptor.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:22 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Certainly there needs to be less Fuck You going on in there, and less wild derailing. I don't know what Hatecraft's deal is, but even copping to trolling only ironically (the generous interpretation of one of his deleted comments) is enough to put a few nails in the coffin of good faith.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:23 AM on August 19, 2009


After he mentioned the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, it became clear we were either being trolled or being paid a visit by a fairly brazen, unapologetic bigot.

Once the Nazi linkola was referenced — NZ Blue? — he admitted in a strangely double-negative manner as "not being a non-racist". So that settled that question.

His latest comments appear to stray fairly far from any relevance to Barney Frank or health care policy specifics, so perhaps he has an axe to grind. Perhaps even with black and gay folks. Stepping into a post about Barney Frank and Pres. Obama certainly suggests that kind of intent.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:23 AM on August 19, 2009


The subject of his reading habits only came up because he was explicitly addressing the subject of right wing racists in Europe who have been prosecuted for their beliefs.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:24 AM on August 19, 2009


Talking about a person's reading habits: OK
Using a person's reading habits as (some) evidence of their beliefs: OK, in moderation
Taking your impression of a person's beliefs based on the evidence of their reading habits as a reason to send them to the gas chamber: Not OK

I haven't seen any of that last one happening in the thread, so I think we're safe. But keep a sharp lookout!
posted by DU at 9:31 AM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


Can I request once again that we not bring up posters' reading habits as a means of personal attack?

the big deal is basically trawling someone's personal website to bring information into a thread that is not about the person. Taking information that's not public/crawlable [i.e. on a profile page] and dragging it into MeFi isn't okay. I don't like the way that guy is acting in the thread, but

1. there's a bit of a wall between users' profile pages and the rest of the site and that should mostly stay there
2. turning a thread about a totally different topic into a referendum on one jerkish user isn't a great idea.

And I stand by my opinion which I stated in the thread that including a "you know who else..." barb in the title wasn't really that great of an idea. I know it's sort of inside-jokey with the site and whatever, and I know it's directly referencing the loon that Barney Frank was responding to, but I think it's a small part of the reason the thread started off a little weird. This isn't a rebuke of the OP but just a "hey here's a simple tip that might help in the future" sort of thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:31 AM on August 19, 2009


Whatever the grounds, it reminds me of that ill-fated thread where another user's involvement in adult films was raised as a way of poisoning his/her argument. There's a certain point at which the personal attacks simply become too personal, and I think any poster here would be justifiably upset were the tables turned. One's reading list, like one's work history, sexual preferences, and the contents of one's browser cache, are simply not the business of a virtually-anonymous online community.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:33 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I saw that first amendment comment while on the bus this morning, and said to myself, "I wonder if it's going to get crazy in here?" Come to find, yes. There was much crazy.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:33 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Funny, I just stumbled into the Barney Frank thread, came across two statements from Mr. Hatecraft and instantly thought, this has to have gone Meta by now, and now, here we are ...

Reasonablists + Rationalists united against ... a dining room table?

Brings to mind something an old British friend of my mom said recently. "Unlike the Americans, in Britain when we argue, we tend to separate the the argument from the person and focus on that." In other words, the concern should NOT be whether or not Mr. Hatecraft is a bigoted, racist, idiotic fucktard but that the ideas he's putting forward are racist, bigoted, idiotic etc.

I believe this is an important difference. Something to do with civility.
posted by philip-random at 9:34 AM on August 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yes. I regret posting them to the thread. At the moment, it seemed to cinch the fact that Hatecraft was derailing the thread to pursue an unrelated political agenda. In the future, I will bring such discussion to Meta, or simply email the mods.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:34 AM on August 19, 2009


Alright, that makes sense jess about the title.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:35 AM on August 19, 2009


By "them," I mean the links from his blog.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:35 AM on August 19, 2009


LP Hatecraft seems to have great sympathy for and thus possibly a fellow travellor with the UK Nazis Simon Sheppard & Stephen Whittle, who uses the pseudonym Luke O’Farrell.
posted by adamvasco at 9:37 AM on August 19, 2009


I don't know how all of you can argue about LP Hatecraft while true injustices are being committed in our name!

I of course am referring to the Water Quality Act of 1987 as enacted by the 100th United States Congress.
posted by turaho at 9:42 AM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hatecraft's comments were a fairly clear example of the mental gymnastics right-wingers go through.
posted by kldickson at 9:44 AM on August 19, 2009


jessamyn: "1. there's a bit of a wall between users' profile pages and the rest of the site and that should mostly stay there"

I just clicked on your name under that post, and learned things about you. Does clicking the most obvious link really qualify as a wall?

I have absolutely no idea what's going on in that thread, or what Hatecraft might have said.
posted by Plutor at 9:45 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, sorry to feed the troll and add to the derail.

I have a feeling that Hatecraft won't be showing up in this thread—quick, someone shit-talk the 1st Amendment!
posted by defenestration at 9:47 AM on August 19, 2009


Yeah, sorry for getting trolled too. I got particularly annoyed by his comment about Sheppard and Whittle. Hence my response being a little more angry than I wanted it to be.
posted by knapah at 9:47 AM on August 19, 2009


After he mentioned the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, it became clear we were either being trolled or being paid a visit by a fairly brazen, unapologetic bigot.

Just so we're clear, the guy is plainly either a troll or a loon or both, but there are defensible reasons to be against Hate Crimes legislation. They have to do with Fourteenth Amendment, not the First (last time I checked, killing people did not constitute protectable expressive conduct), and I don't know the Shepard act well enough to know if it avoids those pitfalls (I presume it does), but even The West Wing acknowledged that increasing punishments based on the thoughts people have at the time they commit a crime is a complex issue (Sam, I believe, was against the legislation which was the centerpiece of an episode). No axe to grind here -- just a stray comment.
posted by The Bellman at 9:51 AM on August 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


Plutor: "I have absolutely no idea what's going on in that thread, or what Hatecraft might have said."

well, I believe his first 10 comments are still there so you can see how he got started. It was basically when he said "Obama opposes free speech and must be stopped," that everybody got all head scratchy and boggled. Finally, he made it clear that Obama's opposition to free speech was thanks to the Matthew Shepard act, which opposes specific forms of hate crime, but does not limit speech. From there we got into how he lives in South Korea, but fears that he may have to move to China if the Matthew Shepard act passes (which is... I mean, fuck, I don't know) and about how fucked up he thinks it is that anti-semites get thrown in jail in Britain for publishing hate speech and pushing it through synagogue doors. there was something about how "racist cunts" (I'm using his and someone else's words, there) shouldn't have to go to jail for being racist (deleted), and then there was this whole "fuck you, America thinks it can impose its morals on the rest of the world" thing that got deleted and now we're here.
posted by shmegegge at 9:52 AM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


Certainly there needs to be less Fuck You going on in there, and less wild derailing. I don't know what Hatecraft's deal is, but even copping to trolling only ironically (the generous interpretation of one of his deleted comments) is enough to put a few nails in the coffin of good faith.

A few nails? It solders it shut and chucks it into the Hudson River.
posted by kldickson at 9:52 AM on August 19, 2009


I think it was definitely a troll, as the only intent was to derail the thread. Seriously, why else hasn't he shown up here, to defend himself?
posted by Houstonian at 9:55 AM on August 19, 2009


could be a family emergency?
posted by gman at 9:57 AM on August 19, 2009 [12 favorites]


is it just me, or have a lot of users sort of jumped into deep-end crazy territory in this past week?

or maybe its a sort of consistent trend that I am just picking up on the more I follow MeTa
posted by Think_Long at 10:00 AM on August 19, 2009


Houstonian: "Seriously, why else hasn't he shown up here, to defend himself?"

yeah, I think you could kind of guess he wouldn't show up. he wasn't trying to have a real discussion, he was trying to fuck up the lovefest about the gay representative.
posted by shmegegge at 10:00 AM on August 19, 2009


Does clicking the most obvious link really qualify as a wall?

There's a huge difference between
- you, as a site member, looking at someone's profile for context, and
- you mixing profile-sourced information into a thread that could come up on Google.

It's an etiquette wall. You don't take stuff off your neighbor's porch and put it in the street.
posted by zennie at 10:01 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it was definitely a troll, as the only intent was to derail the thread.

I think he actually started out thinking that he was really bringing up a valid point, and when that was met with a chorus of WTF and rebuttal, he got increasingly upset and his statements got nuttier. He probably isn't too happy about having his comments deleted either, which he reacted to by going further out on a limb. My read is that he was pretty sincere, but flustered and making less sense than he might've been able to muster in a calmer moment. But he was starting on paper thin ice to begin with, so anything beyond his opening salvo was just flailing about in the frigid waters. But again, it didn't really seem like troll, but just more really bad thinking.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:02 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


quick, someone shit-talk the 1st Amendment!

OK, I'll try it myself:

I don't think I should have the right to say that the 1st Amendment sucks and totally shouldn't exist!
posted by defenestration at 10:03 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't know the Shepard act well enough to know if it avoids those pitfalls (I presume it does)

It does, and folks quoted the relevant sections. But that did not stop L.P. "SINGAPORE RULEZ" Hatecraft from plowing right along with the irrelevant craziness.

jessamyn, I get your point. On the other hand, when someone says "Free speech is more important than health care" the context provided by their profile does help me know what they mean, whether it's "Holocaust deniers are unjustly imprisoned and the world cries out for vengeance" or "the Man doesn't want you to know the amazing! cures Kevin Trudeau has discoverd" or something actually reasonable.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:03 AM on August 19, 2009


From reading that thread and not remembering some of his earlier comments, I thought he was just taking the usual Libertarian position of hating on any political figures that don't greatly limit government oversight over everything. But after reading some of his other statements, he definitely seems to be taking an awful lot of hate group-ish positions, usually in a more subtle way than I'm used to seeing that sort of rhetoric.

For example, while he called eugenics unethical, he did argue that it is scientifically sound. And those kinds of comments call into question what kind of "diversity" he's advocating when he vaguely talks about preserving cultures. Overall his posting history just feels kind of icky to me, even in comments that seemed relatively innocuous in the context of the thread such as his comment that video games shouldn't include Holocaust references.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:04 AM on August 19, 2009


He provides an email linked to a website in his profile. That website makes fun of every side of the political spectrum in New Zealand - crassly and not enormously humourously for the effort that went into it, but at least non-partisan. He's probably just a bogan. The only real way to annoy them is to suggest that you lent their mother a better car than they drive - or point out that the lead singer of Slayer was once a catholic choirboy.
posted by Sparx at 10:06 AM on August 19, 2009


He's probably just a bogan.

So maybe those comments were actually poetry?
posted by DU at 10:14 AM on August 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


that was plain trolling and worth a time out
posted by pyramid termite at 10:16 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


it reminds me of that ill-fated thread where another user's involvement in adult films was raised as a way of poisoning his/her argument.

Don't judge me, I was young and needed the money for health care,
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:19 AM on August 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


You're thinking VOGON, DU.
posted by sciurus at 10:21 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


1. there's a bit of a wall between users' profile pages and the rest of the site and that should mostly stay there

That doesn't make sense to me. Clicking on someone's profile page isn't exactly internet detectiving, it's like reading someone's nametag at a convention. You're only getting information that they personally have volunteered with the implicit goal of helping you form an opinion about them -- why put a wall between someone's profile, and what they say?
posted by Damn That Television at 10:24 AM on August 19, 2009 [10 favorites]


Profile pages are explicitly not indexed by search engines, and portions of what's listed there is not visible to even those non-logged-in readers who end up on that page.

So making reference to the fact that there's something notable on someone's profile page is borderline; explicitly porting that content over into public is stepping over a line we've tried to hold pretty firmly to for a very long time.

If there is a problem with someone's behavior, there's a problem with it period. If they are arguing in bad faith and it needs attention, that's a let-the-mods-know issue, not a copy-stuff-from-their-profile-to-the-thread thing generally speaking. It may be a slightly confining rule at times, but it's there for good faith reasons and doesn't go away just because someone is being unlikeable or worse.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:28 AM on August 19, 2009


A name like Hatecraft?
(paraphrasing from memory) "I'm not anti-racist or anti-fascist"?

Y'all got trolled. hard.
posted by juv3nal at 10:30 AM on August 19, 2009


I don't care if people read people's profiles and comment on them, but copypasting stuff from their blog into a thread (which is what we saw happening) is pretty much pushing it. It's creating an explicit link between their MeFi username and their personal blog which is otherwise only available via a profile page that it itself marked nofollow.

The only firm "never do this" restriction we have is "outing" a user by including their real name or location or personal details that basically only a member could get and making it public in a thread that is Googleable. The rest is a grey area and this is, of course, a terrible edge case situation in which someone seems to be abusing the good will of the community but I'm just trying to explain where we think the edges lie not tell people they did a bad thing by saying that the guy's blog seems loony.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:31 AM on August 19, 2009


It's an etiquette wall. You don't take stuff off your neighbor's porch and put it in the street.

I don't buy this at all. If you are willing to use the same username at ieatbabysquirrelsalive.com and MeFi, then you have no reason to be upset when someone digs up your membership over there in a PETA thread where you started spouting off about how much they squeel.

Seems like more pandering and hand-holding of the internet incompetent/whackjob and IMO it needs to stop.
posted by Big_B at 10:34 AM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Were there more links before in his profile than just the domain on the email address?
posted by smackfu at 10:38 AM on August 19, 2009


No, it looked just as it does now.
posted by Houstonian at 10:40 AM on August 19, 2009


You don't have to look at the email address domain; you can just click the Website link.
posted by Houstonian at 10:41 AM on August 19, 2009


Seems like more pandering and hand-holding of the internet incompetent/whackjob and IMO it needs to stop.

You are deeply mistaken about our motives on this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:43 AM on August 19, 2009


A person who drops a comment like "Obama has shown himself to be hostile towards the principle of free speech, so he must fail. It is indeed unfortunate that many Americans cannot afford to see a doctor, but those who cannot and yet voted for a president who is hostile to free speech should not expect sympathy" might as well be jumping up and down on a table, swinging his shirt over his head and screaming, "Look at me, everybody! I'm a trooooooooooll! Wooo-oo woo wooooooo!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:43 AM on August 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Seems like more pandering and hand-holding of the internet incompetent/whackjob and IMO it needs to stop.

It could just be that dumping all that crap into a thread makes it look like shit is all.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:45 AM on August 19, 2009


you can just click the Website link

Heh, I just assumed the website link was in the Info part of the profile.
posted by smackfu at 10:46 AM on August 19, 2009


Seems like more pandering and hand-holding of the internet incompetent/whackjob and IMO it needs to stop.

People need to get their hate on elsewhere in regards to this sort of thing is all. Troll vs. lynch mob isn't a fun game and we approach it from both sides not just one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:49 AM on August 19, 2009


Seems like more pandering and hand-holding of the internet incompetent/whackjob and IMO it needs to stop.

You are deeply mistaken about our motives on this.


I was composing that while you and jess posted some very good clarification, so yeah, my bad.
posted by Big_B at 10:50 AM on August 19, 2009


Meh. Grade B or USDA Choice crazy. Not quite up to grade A standards.
posted by GuyZero at 10:51 AM on August 19, 2009


I didn't know the profile pages weren't indexed. My personal approach -- here and elsewhere -- has always been that if someone posts a link to their blog in a profile, it's just as public as anything else they say. I really don't even understand the point of a profile that can't be used as public information. Obviously, certain things only being available to members makes sense (email address safe from bots, etc), but honestly, who posts information in their profile with any sense, or even desire, of privacy?

If there is a problem with someone's behavior, there's a problem with it period.

But behavior is flavored with reasonable expectations of motivation, Cortex. The sentence "It's been decades, and we've turned a blind eye. It's time to rise up and confront the terrible problem of race" could easily be posted by both a civil rights activist and a white supremacist. Behavior and sentences are nuanced, and "problems" sometimes only come out in greater context.
posted by Damn That Television at 10:53 AM on August 19, 2009


could be a family emergency?

Yeah, maybe his stepfather was having emergency surgery for a small bowel instruction, probably the result of the surgery for his stage IIIa colon cancer!

LOL
posted by kathrineg at 10:56 AM on August 19, 2009


So help me understand this one:

I logged out.
I refreshed.
I clicked on the Barney Frank thread.
I clicked on Hatecraft.

I could click on his (website) link.

Is that supposed to be blocked by not being logged in?
posted by cavalier at 10:59 AM on August 19, 2009


I didn't know the profile pages weren't indexed. My personal approach -- here and elsewhere -- has always been that if someone posts a link to their blog in a profile, it's just as public as anything else they say. I really don't even understand the point of a profile that can't be used as public information. Obviously, certain things only being available to members makes sense (email address safe from bots, etc), but honestly, who posts information in their profile with any sense, or even desire, of privacy?

Let me see if I can make an analogy that will sum up what the counterargument is here.

The back yard of the house where I grew up was accessible from the street. There was no fence around the property, and the house had a big yard around it on all sides, so you could walk up my driveway, around the house, and into the back yard.

Further, now, say that you and I were in front of my house playing hopscotch or something, and I asked you to go get some chalk from the back porch. All you had to do was walk around my house to get it -- hell, I'd even invited you. However, that didn't mean it would be quite cricket to also go over to where my mother hung out the laundry next to the porch, and swipe a pair of my undies and bring it back out onto the street to wave it and shout, "omigaw, Empress has Snoopy underpants! Heee!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on August 19, 2009

(paraphrasing from memory) "I'm not anti-racist or anti-fascist"?

Y'all got trolled. hard.
In context, he was responding to someone who implied that he was a racist because he links to a bunch of racist sites. His response was that he also links to anti-racist sites, yet he is not an "anti-racist". I took this to mean "... so why would you assume I'm a racist just because I link to racist sites?"

Granted, the fact that he expressed this as "I'm not an anti-racist" leaves little doubt about whether he's a racist or not. But in an abstract sense, leaving out the specifics questions of racism, the generic form of his statement here is not absurd on its face: "I link to X sites, but you don't assume I'm a proponent of X; so why do you assume I'm a proponent of Y just from the fact that I link to Y sites?"

Put the specifics back in ("I'm not an anti-racist") and it's clearly ridiculous. But I could imagine someone with a totally whacked-out worldview thinking it's a bulletproof rebuttal.

So, in conclusion, my point: "I'm not an anti-racist" does not convince me that he is a troll.
posted by Flunkie at 11:04 AM on August 19, 2009


Yeah, but the reason the underwear is outside is to dry it out, not to make it public. Whereas the reason the profile links are there IS to make them public. What other conceivable use is there of the profile page?
posted by DU at 11:04 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a complete aside to the question of whether or not it's ethical, politic or allowed to post profile material to a thread, why do it at all? To me, it's just an indication that the discussion has become more about an individual poster than the subject matter itself.
posted by Pragmatica at 11:05 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Let me see if I can make an analogy that will sum up what the counterargument is here.

The back yard of the house where I grew up was accessible from the street. There was no fence around the property, and the house had a big yard around it on all sides, so you could walk up my driveway, around the house, and into the back yard.

Further, now, say that you and I were in front of my house playing hopscotch or something, and I asked you to go get some chalk from the back porch. All you had to do was walk around my house to get it -- hell, I'd even invited you. However, that didn't mean it would be quite cricket to also go over to where my mother hung out the laundry next to the porch, and swipe a pair of my undies and bring it back out onto the street to wave it and shout, "omigaw, Empress has Snoopy underpants! Heee!"


But a backyard is for playing and relaxing and there's a social expectation of privacy.

A "profile" is for giving people information about yourself. That's literally the only reason it exists. Now, if User XYZ didn't link a blog/myspace/Zwinky/whatever in his/her profile, and I got it by intense Googleing, then yeah, that's much closer to the Snoopy underpants scenario.
posted by Damn That Television at 11:06 AM on August 19, 2009


I didn't know the profile pages weren't indexed. My personal approach -- here and elsewhere -- has always been that if someone posts a link to their blog in a profile, it's just as public as anything else they say.

I personally treat my profile page, and pretty much everything else I say anywhere online, the same way. I don't think we disagree in practice about our personal preferences, as far as that goes.

But that's not the standing rule of etiquette on Metafilter, and we expect folks to respect what is the guideline here on that front even if they don't personally agree with it. Someone being incautious about their postings elsewhere on the internet are a hazy grey area as far as this connection-making stuff goes, but in general we don't want Mefi to be a place where people feel like it's okay to aggressively go after a person in this kind of expose fashion, even when that person seems like a total dick.

This doesn't mean stuff on a profile page is magically off-limits or protected by a forcefield or anything, but it does mean that insofar as there are reasons for it to have some contextual role in actual threads folks need to approach that barrier, and what comes across it and how, with some care. And that might mean just talking about what's on that page instead of making the hard link, even if you detest the arguments of the person in question.

Taking it to metatalk, hitting up the contact form, Ignoring The Trolls, etc. are all workable approaches to the problem that don't involve flouting that particular guideline.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:08 AM on August 19, 2009


Here's another example (that's not true):

I work for Dow Chemical, in their external marketing and communications department. All day long, I write pro-Dow material for the Dow website. I also have a personal blog, in which I talk about my job sometimes. And I post here.

One day, we're talking about the Bhopal incident, and I say something like, "Yeah, those creeps at Dow!" And someone else looks up my my blog. Instead of responding, "But don't you work for Dow?" they respond with a quote from my blog.

Now, when my employer googles that phrase, he will see two links: One to the blog, one to Metafilter tied to my name. He could then go to my history and see everything else I've said, which may be even more stuff he doesn't agree with. In that case, I'm no longer just sharing with the Metafilter community, I'm being outed to my boss and anyone else with google.
posted by Houstonian at 11:11 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Could we get an actual FAQ and/or note to users regarding preferred ethical guidelines and policy w/r/t the profile pages?

I would never have thought to excessively mine someone's profile as a counterpoint to a thread discussion -- yet the statements by you and jessamyn in this thread seem to indicate there is a lot more thought put into this profile/blue wall then most of us knew existed.

I don't quite understand what no-follow is doing in this context except to prevent MeFi from helping people's personal pageranks and cutting down on server load from robots.
posted by cavalier at 11:11 AM on August 19, 2009


In that case, I'm no longer just sharing with the Metafilter community, I'm being outed to my boss and anyone else with google.

But that would have happened whether you were on Metafilter or on any other public forum, if you decided to share your personal information.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:13 AM on August 19, 2009


Yeah, maybe his stepfather was having emergency surgery for a small bowel instruction, probably the result of the surgery for his stage IIIa colon cancer!

gman, kathrineg, you both need to drop this. The metatalk thing was not well done at all, but it's over and done with.

Let me see if I can make an analogy that will sum up what the counterargument is here.

I'm not going to tell people not to make analogies if they feel like hashing the point out for conversation's sake, but those analogies are not why this guideline exists and it will not be flexing based on the strength or weakness of their logic.

Is that supposed to be blocked by not being logged in?

Nope, sorry, that was me being unclear. There are some profile fields that can be explicitly set to members-only in your Preferences; the website field is not one of them. That privacy issue is one aspect of the don't-go-broadcasting issue, but it is not the sole one.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:13 AM on August 19, 2009


Houstonian: Now, when my employer googles that phrase, he will see two links: One to the blog, one to Metafilter tied to my name. He could then go to my history and see everything else I've said, which may be even more stuff he doesn't agree with. In that case, I'm no longer just sharing with the Metafilter community, I'm being outed to my boss and anyone else with google.

Durr.. then here's one of my rules of the road -- Don't talk about stuff on the internet that you wouldn't want read by your mom, your boss, or your kids. Trying to enforce a divide between where your stuff is read is noble, but in the end if I make a post about squirrels and I make a thread in another forum about eating small flying rodents, if my name can be linked betwixt the two... well, guess what I'm having for lunch today?
posted by cavalier at 11:14 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


It seems to me that the "don't pull from someone's website and cross post it to make a point about them" is pretty much a standard against ad hominem attacks which is long-standing here on MetaFilter.

This is likely the same reason why I have seen the mods slap HARD on people who pull quotes from unrelated threads into a discussion in order to make a point about a person they are arguing with.

The basic rule, as far as I understand it, is to contain the discussion within the comment stream at hand, where context can be determined by scrolling up or down the page. Any time you pull something ABOUT ANOTHER COMMENTER into a discussion from another location, you are derailing from the FPP and making it about that person.

The fact that you are being tempted to do so is an indication that either you are being trolled, or you are too emotionally invested in the discussion and need to give yourself a timeout before posting again.
posted by hippybear at 11:14 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Troll vs. lynch mob isn't a fun game

And now with teh WoW h8?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:15 AM on August 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


In that case, I'm no longer just sharing with the Metafilter community, I'm being outed to my boss and anyone else with google.

If that's a problem, I'd suggest that it would be advisable to keep your two online identities separated. If you don't want your posting history on Metafilter linked to your job at Dow, don't link your blog where you write about working at Dow in your Metafilter profile.

"omigaw, Empress has Snoopy underpants! Heee!"

In this particular case, it seems more like someone pointing out that you're wearing a Snoopy t-shirt, while discussing the history of the Peanuts strip. It's information that you've specifically advertised to the world that's germane to the subject at hand.
posted by EarBucket at 11:16 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, ok. I guess that was my take on why it's the rule. Another reason to follow the rule is: It's the rule.
posted by Houstonian at 11:18 AM on August 19, 2009


Could we get an actual FAQ and/or note to users regarding preferred ethical guidelines and policy w/r/t the profile pages?

That's probably a good idea. I thought we had something up there already, actually, but it looks like it exists like a lot of other things mostly just in the metatalk "oral" tradition at this point.

I don't quite understand what no-follow is doing in this context except to prevent MeFi from helping people's personal pageranks and cutting down on server load from robots.

It's also making it possible for people to be slightly more open about themselves in the context of their personal profile page without fear of that being automatically digested by the Google Panopticon, so to speak. That carries with it the risk that someone else may circumvent that, of course, but that's partly why this expectation about not going copypasta on such stuff exists.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:19 AM on August 19, 2009


It seems like info in the profile page is there in order to provide others a little more info about the user.

Using verbatim quotes from a user page, or from the blogs or whatever the user links to, is probably as poor etiquette as is copy-pasting lines from other threads (something that may be frowned upon by many but doesn't seem to be completely verboten here), but using the information on a user's page or the information a user's page points to as a basis for understanding where that user is coming from seems not merely fair game, but exactly what the profile page is there for in the first place. Are we supposed to ignore the information on user profile pages?

Or have I missed the point?
posted by breezeway at 11:20 AM on August 19, 2009


And while I was here sitting on my thumb all my questions were answered, never mind.
posted by breezeway at 11:22 AM on August 19, 2009


I'm not going to tell people not to make analogies if they feel like hashing the point out for conversation's sake, but those analogies are not why this guideline exists and it will not be flexing based on the strength or weakness of their logic.

Ah. Then I got it wrong. Still don't have a problem with the policy on general principle, for the record.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:23 AM on August 19, 2009


If you don't want your posting history on Metafilter linked to your job at Dow, don't link your blog where you write about working at Dow in your Metafilter profile.

This strikes me as fundamentally different than googling his username and finding what he posts elsewhere.

I don't know about the deleted shit, because I'm never around when the shitstorms actually happen, but posting "well, his blog links to Stormfront" (or the NZ equivalent) seems to be a fair statement against his arguments. My opinion on him pretty much instantly shifts from "what's he on about" to "ignore the nutcase!"

It's fairly easy NOT to link to your personal blog/facebook/flickr/etc on your profile. You aren't forced to, and I don't feel like any privacy was violated by his blog content being pointed out.
posted by graventy at 11:25 AM on August 19, 2009


Are we supposed to ignore the information on user profile pages?

No. You are supposed to not go after people by copypasting stuff from their blog into a thread on MeFi. Generally speaking if you're getting into it with someone to the point that you're trawling their blog for stuff to hurl at them, you're usually over the line for what's okay on MeFi. There are really two or maybe three issues here

1. the etiquette guidelines about stuff not visible to the public/Google that's on a profile page (loose)
2. the "not being an ass" guideline (less loose)
3. the no outing guideline (not really negotiable)

Unfortunately this stuff comes up the most when someone's being a total chucklehead and people get pissed off. This is extra great when that person is talking about themselves a lot in that trollish way and people refute that information with stuff from that person's web history elsewhere. That's okay to a point, but otherwise not something we'd like to see here for the most part. We can make it a bit clearer in the FAQ. Generally speaking it's not something that comes up very often and we've been very clear about it when it comes up in MeTa.

There's a lot of wiggle room for some of this stuff and as usual we're not likely to really go on record as saying "this shit is never okay" and I'm with cortex that I assume everything I post here even on my profile is public. That said, this is sort of how it shakes out from our modly persective.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:26 AM on August 19, 2009


Now, when my employer googles that phrase, he will see two links: One to the blog, one to Metafilter tied to my name. He could then go to my history and see everything else I've said, which may be even more stuff he doesn't agree with. In that case, I'm no longer just sharing with the Metafilter community, I'm being outed to my boss and anyone else with google.

Yeah, it sucks, and cortex's explanation of "using care" when bringing in profile information makes perfect sense and is probably the best general guideline possible, given the situation. But if you're in marketing and communications for Dow, in this hypothetical scenario, it's not merely a "you should know better" situation to not ever, ever, ever have a link between an anonymous internet nickname and your real world life-- it's almost certainly something that was explicitly made clear to you in your job contract, and that control of information is, very literally, what your job (in this hypothetical) entails. Hell, I don't care if you're the local dog catcher: every single person needs to be aware that he or she is the only person responsible for the information that he or she creates.

Like I said, yeah, it sucks, and I wish it were different, but at the end of the day, rules and mores for information control are meaningless: the internet is the more or less sum total of information, constantly and forever, and it works both ways. Every time you post anything on the internet that could possibly be traced to you, you have to treat it like a press conference. Here, Fark, emails to relatives -- everywhere. Ignore it at your own peril.
posted by Damn That Television at 11:28 AM on August 19, 2009


I'm stilll a bit confused on what makes a user profile private when inherently you've created a profile to share yourself and your thoughts with the tubes, but hey, I also recognize if memory serves right that one can put in their home address or favorite salon as a "private" profile feature, and I guess if some people want to use that while keep it "private" to the 100,000 or so people who surf here...

Looking forward to that statement and/or FAQ.
posted by cavalier at 11:32 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


(That, of course, is just my observation on how information works, based on countless stories of people getting canned because of their what-they-believed-was-private blog. Metafilter works, I think, in part because people respect privacy, and don't bring in the personal, and because the mods prevent personal information from being thrown into play. If the rest of the internet worked like that, things would be a lot simpler.)
posted by Damn That Television at 11:33 AM on August 19, 2009


Metafilter: less loose
posted by item at 11:37 AM on August 19, 2009


I'm pretty aware of what I can do to keep a division, but I know the Google-fu is strong in some people. I know that people could look at my posting history and get a pretty good idea of the area of work I'm in, where I live (duh), and stuff like that. But seriously, I would be horrified to be outed.

I live in city that's not all nuts, but is pretty conservative. Pro-legalization of pot, pro-gay marriage, pro-sex before marriage, Democrat, liberal: These are not technically fire-able offences, and yet sometimes it works out that people lose there jobs because their boss did not agree with their politics or religion or whatever. That happens.

So, at least for me, anything that helps me keep my identity to myself is a great thing. I have no problems sharing it with others, but as I choose, not as is chosen for me. So for my profile, there's no link to Flickr, no email address, no icons of other places I'm at. But if someone were to be able to sort it out and outed me, I wouldn't like it at all. If I thought that was sanctioned by the moderators, I would just read and never post.
posted by Houstonian at 11:42 AM on August 19, 2009


And tomorrow is HP Lovecraft's birthday.

It's like he stole Christmas... an eldritch, lurching Christmas that no man was meant to know.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:43 AM on August 19, 2009 [12 favorites]


is it just me, or have a lot of users sort of jumped into deep-end crazy territory in this past week?

Well I acted like a total dick in the other health care reform thread the other day, but I can at least point to my idiocy of mixing Varenicline with copious amounts of alcohol (after losing my health insurance) and basically losing my mind, albeit temporarily. Lucky I didn't quaff any LaRouche juice and swallow a handful of white-supremacy pills, amirite? Seriously: I apologize to anyone I was dickish to in that (other) thread. I was way out of line. Also I am not anti-anti-fascist.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:47 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe L.P.Hatecraft might learn an object lesson here. He was vilifying anti-hate speech laws as unconstitutional without considering there may be consequences of hate speech. In turn, information about him was posted then deleted, which some could interpret as restricting 1st Amendment rights or whatever. But, those comments were deleted in part as a blanket policy that ended up affording L.P.Hatecraft some degree of protection. Something like that; you can see where I'm going with it.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:47 AM on August 19, 2009


The funny thing is that anyone who actually did work for Dow wouldn't link to their corporate account. Like, most people who have biases and such aren't going to make them obvious, and won't be susceptible to internet detectory.
posted by smackfu at 11:48 AM on August 19, 2009


If you are willing to use the same username at ieatbabysquirrelsalive.com and MeFi, then you have no reason to be upset when someone digs up your membership over there in a PETA thread where you started spouting off about how much they squeel.

That's just bad form all around. It's rare that such a thing is a good idea. In the Givewell debacle, for example, going out and finding the other Holdens was arguably OK because the user names were the actual issue in question, because MeFi was one of several sites that were directly affected, and because the Holdens represented a public organization.

Using a tech-assisted ad hominem (as described above) to prove a personal case against another community member is simply bad for the community-- especially a community that depends on the good will of its membership to keep things civil, and to continue attracting the kind of members who value a certain level of civility. It doesn't matter who does or doesn't get upset, who's right, who's wrong, or how many Helens agree. The type of environment that results from such behavior has a way of creating an increasingly insular environment.
posted by zennie at 11:49 AM on August 19, 2009


Minor side issue: I do think Jess accusing the poster of bringing it on himself was deeply unfair. Making a jokey Hitler reference in the title was entirely appropriate when posting about a loony woman calling the President Hitler, and in no way justifies Hatecraft's whackmobile antics.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:50 AM on August 19, 2009 [8 favorites]


On a side note: I can't help but wonder how many Killfiles I got added to as a result of my shenanigans. I can't imagine there's any way to find this out, right?
posted by joe lisboa at 11:52 AM on August 19, 2009


...then you have no reason to be upset when...

Realistically while you can say "hey you have no reason to be upset" at people all you like, people still do get upset. They are ours to deal with whether or not you agree that their upsetness is rational, crazy, warranted or totally out there.

I know it's calming to some degree [for me anyhow] dealing with other people's bad attutides and bad days by doing a little bit of internal math to say "Hey by my reckoning you shouldn't even BE upset, therefore I don't have to be mindful of your concerns!" but the reality is that we do need to be mindful -- cortex and I and mathowie and pb and vacapinta anyways -- so it makes the whole thing run a little more smoothly if people can understand where we're coming from vis a vis the whole profile/personal info trawling thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:54 AM on August 19, 2009


It's interesting that in fishing, trolling and trawling are near-synonyms.

I know that because I went to a museum of freshwater fishing this past weekend. AND IT BLEW MY MIND.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:57 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Simon Sheppard's a classic comedy Nazi, public school nonce with a cannibalism fetish. How anyone could peruse his Internet outpourings for more than a minute or two and not reach the conclusion that the man's bananas stretches credibility. If you take that at all seriously L.P.Hatecraft, you don't have politics, you have a series of deep-seated personality problems, as does yer man himself. He even managed to get himself expelled from the BNP.
Shame the rest of them have smartened their act up and can get elected now; much easier to point and laugh when they were of Sheppard's ilk. Did have a bit of a chuckle at his great break for freedom to attempt an asylum claim in the US.
posted by Abiezer at 11:59 AM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Something like that; you can see where I'm going with it.

Yes, I can. Before this Meta thread opened, I was thinking, "I think intolerance is really horrible, and that's why I hate Hatecraft's post. But, do I hate intolerance enough to be tolerant of intolerant people?"

And then my brain kinda made a creaking sound.
posted by Houstonian at 11:59 AM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


That's just bad form all around. It's rare that such a thing is a good idea. In the Givewell debacle, for example, going out and finding the other Holdens was arguably OK because the user names were the actual issue in question, because MeFi was one of several sites that were directly affected, and because the Holdens represented a public organization.

And, to be clear, even that was kind of weird and uncomfortable territory. Cutting that bullshit off onsite was a no-brainer; calling him on his shit was worth doing, and I'm of the opinion that it becoming a public issue to that organization and the folks he was slagging pseudonymously is very much a good outcome. But a lot of how that went down was less than stellar behavior, and some of that is wrapped up in precisely the sort of ethically bumpy beast that is this kind of hardcore digging-and-outing.

I don't really hold up Givewell as an example of a good situation so much as an example of a really notable, unusual one. It's part of the shared culture of the site, certainly, but it was not an unambiguously good piece of metafilter history.

I do think Jess accusing the poster of bringing it on himself was deeply unfair.

I get that reading, but Jess did expand and clarify a bit on that already.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:01 PM on August 19, 2009


Trolling is a real fishing term? I knew about trawling, but trolling is new to me.
posted by Mister_A at 12:01 PM on August 19, 2009


Trolling is a real fishing term?

The fishing term is the inspiration FOR the Internet term. We actually call it "trolling" BECAUSE of the fishing term -- because that's what the early Internet trolls did, is just drag their bait through different threads to see who would bite, just like fishermen did out on their boats.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:04 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was thinking, "I think intolerance is really horrible, and that's why I hate Hatecraft's post. But, do I hate intolerance enough to be tolerant of intolerant people?"

There is indeed a difference between knowing the path and walking the path (this from someone who spends more time falling off the path than actually walking on it, mind you). Intolerance is intolerance, though, and justified intolerance is more dangerous (to me, at least) than the kook variety.
posted by Pragmatica at 12:05 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hm. Yeah. I didn't mean to imply that the Givewell shenanigans were a good idea, just tolerable enough not to do permanent damage.
posted by zennie at 12:08 PM on August 19, 2009


I always thought that "trolling" was based on "trawling," but with troll inserted for lulz!
posted by Mister_A at 12:10 PM on August 19, 2009


joe lisboa: "On a side note: I can't help but wonder how many Killfiles I got added to as a result of my shenanigans. I can't imagine there's any way to find this out, right?"

I thought I heard something. Did anyone else hear it, too? Must have been my imagination.

Just kidding, joe.
posted by double block and bleed at 12:12 PM on August 19, 2009


Mister_A, I have some fine products for you.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:13 PM on August 19, 2009


I always thought that "trolling" was based on "trawling," but with troll inserted for lulz!

No, they're different techniques.

Trolling for fish involves trailing bait through the water.

Trawling for fish involves trailing a big net behind your boat.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:13 PM on August 19, 2009


Well shiver me timbers, mateys! They be two distinct yet somewhat similar fishin' techniques!
posted by Mister_A at 12:16 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just kidding, joe.

Haha, well-played.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:17 PM on August 19, 2009


So what do you call hunting for trolls?













Racist.
posted by Mister_A at 12:17 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, just because I sometimes like to re-state things in simple terms even a FishBike can understand, to see if I get it:
  • Clicking on a MeFi profile and following links in it to help you decide if you want to respond to, flag, or ignore a comment: generally OK.
  • Clicking on a MeFi profile and following links in it, then referring to that stuff in your response to discredit or "out" the person you are responding to: generally NOT OK.
Is that about right?
posted by FishBike at 12:17 PM on August 19, 2009


FWIW, "trolling" is also what teh gayz call it when a older man walks through a bar full of youngsters hoping that one of them will be amenable to going home with him.
posted by hippybear at 12:18 PM on August 19, 2009


I always thought that "trolling" was based on "trawling," but with troll inserted for lulz!
Me too; is it more of a US usage? Swear I never heard it prior to the Internets, and I've sucked my share of Fisherman's Friends (arf).
posted by Abiezer at 12:18 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've sucked my share of Fisherman's Friends

I don't know what this means.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:19 PM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


They (FF) are lozenges designed to make men weep.
posted by Mister_A at 12:20 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I sure had a mental picture.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:20 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everything is a lozenge if you suck hard enough.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:21 PM on August 19, 2009 [7 favorites]


LP Hatecraft is a lozenge! He sucks extremely hard!
posted by Mister_A at 12:22 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


When your only tool is "suck", all the world is a lozenge.
posted by hippybear at 12:22 PM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's an old joke told better by many before me, sadly. Fisherman's Friend.
posted by Abiezer at 12:22 PM on August 19, 2009


Is that about right?

Obviously it's kind of reductive by necessity when rendered like that, but as a conservative err-on-the-side-of-caution approach, yeah, that will never cause you a problem.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:24 PM on August 19, 2009


FWIW, "trolling" is also what teh gayz call it when a older man walks through a bar full of youngsters hoping that one of them will be amenable to going home with him.

That's a long-standing usage for "looking for sexual partners" in general, but it's died out in most circles. Again, it's based on the fishing method of trailing bait in front of the prey you hope to catch.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:27 PM on August 19, 2009


Since LP Hatecraft hasn't shown but billysumday has, perhaps he can talk us through this charming sentence, from the same thread:

You're an idiot if you think that Obama suppresses free speech, and you're downright disabled if you think he's somehow worse than Bush.

An interesting term to choose where concepts of Nazism and superiority are being bandied about.
posted by biffa at 12:29 PM on August 19, 2009


I've sucked my share of Fisherman's Friends

No one likes a show-off.
posted by ob at 12:31 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


No one likes a show-off.

Most everyone loves a blow-off.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:31 PM on August 19, 2009


Are we still talking about the Metatalk oral tradition?
posted by cranberrymonger at 12:32 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love the first amendment, I really do. It's probably my favorite one (although the fourth, fifteenth, nineteenth and twenty-first) are all pretty rad, too). Thinking about its implications and its uniqueness at the time it was instituted make me feel about as patriotic as I ever get.

Our dear first amendment, however, is also the troll's first line of defense. So much so that I've incorporated a check for appeals to the first as part of my personal troll-scan. 9.998 eight times out of ten, when a forum user is shrieking about the Scared First, they're not doing so as a point of constitutional scholarship - it's usually some false objection to "censorship" of their rotten comments, as if the forum they're shitting in is a federal entity, as if the first amendment is some magic shield against being SILENCED ALL THEIR LIVES.

Now, Hatecraft (charming) seems to have invoked it in defense of real-life trolls such as Holocaust deniers and to have done so as an objection to actual United States law, so bully for him. But he's done so in an effort to derail a thread and to rile for the sake of riling, so I think what we have here is yet another case of a troll hiding behind the first amendment.

And just as in the past, when I've encountered this tiresome technique, just for a second I have the awful thought that we oughtta repeal the first so this shit stops happening or, at the very least, rush through an amendment to this amendment so that it reads:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, but seriously, don't be such a dick about it."
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:32 PM on August 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


White people only for the next five minutes please...

(boo, boo)

Trolls are dicks, masochistic weirdo racists are dicks, six of one...
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:33 PM on August 19, 2009


but seriously, don't be such a dick about it

Now we have to establish the legal limits of dickishness. We might even need another appeals court circuit just for for dicks.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:35 PM on August 19, 2009


"looking for sexual partners"... based on the fishing method of trailing bait in front of the prey you hope to catch.

AKA Chumming. For tuna. Or swordfish. Or...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:35 PM on August 19, 2009


All this LOZENGE talk reminds me I should be playing Scrabble.
posted by klangklangston at 12:36 PM on August 19, 2009


Is playing Scrabble like eating grilled cheese sandwiches?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:38 PM on August 19, 2009


We might even need another appeals court circuit just for for dicks.

I'm not touching that with a 10" -- ah, fuck it.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:39 PM on August 19, 2009


And I thought trolling referred to the monsters that live under bridges -- trolls. Guess I was the only one.
posted by Houstonian at 12:39 PM on August 19, 2009


Trolling is actually the only way I've caught a fish besides deep sea fishing, where everyone catches something. I have bad luck with fishing though.
posted by dead cousin ted at 12:40 PM on August 19, 2009


klangklangston can't hear you. He's playing Scrabble with a lozenge. FER CHRISSAKES, GIVE THE MAN SOME PRIVACY!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:40 PM on August 19, 2009


Datapoint: my knowledge of "trolling" as a fishing term comes from fishing with my grandpa in Massachusetts in the 70's and 80's. "Trolling" was what we called it when we baited hooks and let out line, and then drove around in Buzzards' Bay trying to lure out bluefish into biting. We only used a net at the very end when we were pulling in the bluefish we caught and it was thrashing around too much and grandpa got this butterfly-net thing to scoop it out of the water.

If that tells you anything about the fishing parlance of the term "trolling", there it is.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:41 PM on August 19, 2009


One's reading list, like one's work history, sexual preferences, and the contents of one's browser cache, are simply not the business of a virtually-anonymous online community.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:33 AM on August 19


date stamping what should become the convention, going forward, imho
posted by infini at 12:42 PM on August 19, 2009


Is playing Scrabble like eating grilled cheese sandwiches?

Well, LOZENGE played with any one of the one-point letters on a double is worth 69 points.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:43 PM on August 19, 2009


Now we have to establish the legal limits of dickishness.

"Mr. Hatecraft, the ninth circuit will now determine whether your comments fall in to or out of the Federal Bucket of Cocks. Please be seated."
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:44 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


God I want a lozenge.
posted by Mister_A at 12:47 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cortex's profile claim that the comic Bunt Cake is "new" is obviously an indication of, well, something. SHENANIGANS.
posted by waraw at 12:50 PM on August 19, 2009


1) Shouldn't H.P. Hatecraft be screamingly antiracist?
2) On the day before his birthday, as well!
posted by Artw at 12:50 PM on August 19, 2009


So what do you call hunting for trolls?
...
Racist.


Way to buzzkill my Favored Enemy ability.
posted by juv3nal at 12:52 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, shit. LOZENGE is obviously a bingo. Damn. Disregard.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:57 PM on August 19, 2009


Damn, I got a lot of work done today. Phone calls, doing some research, drafting a proposal for changing the way we do thing.

I've hardly been able to spend anytime today on Metafilter at all.

What's been going on? How's everybody doing?
posted by marxchivist at 12:59 PM on August 19, 2009


tomorrow is HP Lovecraft's birthday.

NO PROFILE INFO IN THE THREADS!!!
posted by mrgrimm at 1:01 PM on August 19, 2009


LOZENGE is obviously a bingo.

Only the first time.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:02 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm doing just great, Marxchivist. But you would know all about that, being a back tagging superstar, now, wouldn't you?
posted by Damn That Television at 1:02 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


NO PROFILE INFO IN THE THREADS!!!

WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:06 PM on August 19, 2009


This lozenge is slightly rugose!!! Iä lozenge! Lozenge f'taghn!
posted by Mister_A at 1:07 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Is playing Scrabble like eating grilled cheese sandwiches?"

No, it means masturbating. Jeez.

(I am, in fact, having grilled cheese for lunch, on some great Italian bread with the leftover raw tomato sauce I made last night and some mozzerella.)
posted by klangklangston at 1:07 PM on August 19, 2009


You're having a grilled cheese sandwich with leftover sauce that you made last night? Oh, crap! I just sprained my anterior entendre.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:12 PM on August 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Klang, f'taghn is totally legal for Scrabble. It's what you yell out when you come.
posted by Mister_A at 1:14 PM on August 19, 2009


You know this how?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:15 PM on August 19, 2009


NO PROFILE INFO IN THE THREADS!!!

WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP


It was just for decoration! We did it for decoration.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:17 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


By "you" I mean "I".
posted by Mister_A at 1:18 PM on August 19, 2009


You know, gang, when you're a superhero, you never know where the day will take you. You may find yourself halfway around the world, in the shark infested waters of true-to-life living... or you may find yourself going down to the store for a lozenge. You can't know, can you? No! You've got to ride that wave! You've got to suck that lozenge! 'Cause if you don't, who will?
-The Tick
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:25 PM on August 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


By "you" I mean "I".

Whew!

*puts down gun, stops reenacting The Conversation*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:26 PM on August 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ooh I must put The Conversation on Netflix! I love paranoid Hackman!
posted by Mister_A at 1:34 PM on August 19, 2009


The Uncomfortable Plot Summary for that one was my favorite:

THE CONVERSATION: Paranoid schizophrenic follows worst possible career path.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:40 PM on August 19, 2009


Damn, explication of fishing techniques, internet asshattery, more jokes about lozenges than you could suck a stick at, discomfiting Scrabble-based erotica, TWO cool old movies I've never seen, and a link to a great post I somehow missed?

This is the best thread ever.
posted by Mister_A at 1:44 PM on August 19, 2009


I love The Conversation and I love the turn this thread has taken. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!
posted by languagehat at 1:44 PM on August 19, 2009


For the record, I think "L.P. Hatecraft" is actually a pretty darn good username, especially for a guy who describes himself as "not anti-racist".
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:57 PM on August 19, 2009


I love The Conversation too, but I've always been bothered by the need in the film to fudge the nature of Hackman's audio for the sake of the narrative. I realize it's a probably impossible gap to cross, but, without spoiling anything specific here, it's jarring to have to ignore as the viewer (or, er, listener) the fact that what changed in Hackman's perception was different from what changed in our perception. Hackman's character hears A and then A'; we hear A and then B to make the point clear to us. But B != A', and if we were to interpret the audio literally instead of stepping over this jarring bit of narrative fudging, it'd mean Hackman's character was a tremendously shitty surveillance guy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:09 PM on August 19, 2009


we hear A and then B to make the point clear to us

I think that's the point to take issue with, if issue must be taken. Just let it be for us as it is for him. The point doesn't require clarification, and the question is actually better left unanswered.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:15 PM on August 19, 2009


Wait, I love that movie and I've seen it a million times and I'm confused. I thought it WAS told from his perspective. Didn't we only hear that conversation's audio as it truly was when he finally cleaned it all up? memail me if i'm just totally off, here.
posted by shmegegge at 2:18 PM on August 19, 2009


cortex will have to speak to his issues. I have an infamously shitty memory.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:21 PM on August 19, 2009


I'm glad I saw this before I added to the derail.

What is the best thing to do in a case like this, when one uses their google-fu and can immediately bring up a trollish-sounding user's profile and quickly determine he's active in at least 5 cached Stormfront threads within which he discusses his personal website and his politics while proudly displaying a swastika as his profile icon? Should one resist the urge to inform the mefites who are taking his self-description at face-value and making an effort to engage in a logical discussion that it's probably a losing battle based on this additional information?

I am thinking the answer must be yes, since arguments or discussions in threads are supposed to be based on the logical strength of a given position, and, as the mods have pointed out, not employ ad hominem attacks.

I suppose if we could all exercise extreme self control (I struggle with this and don't always win) and simply ignore inflammatory statements as a whole, without trying to determine whether the arguments are made in good faith or as part of an elaborate troll, the end result would be the same either way. My only issue with this is that if someone regularly posts controversial comments while stating that they are simply raising concerns as dispassionate, apolitical observers, yet they are verifiably aligned with a white power movement, isn't it important for one to know this before one decides whether or not to engage with them?
posted by stagewhisper at 2:27 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't forget the taters!
posted by ericb at 2:28 PM on August 19, 2009


Personal to cortex: You should be occupying your time more constructively, by praying that you will be eaten first.
posted by languagehat at 2:35 PM on August 19, 2009


My point is that we hear the audio along with Hackman several times. He is cleaning it up throughout. And finally, we hear the audio when it has finally been cleaned up, and there is an A Ha! moment. All along, we're participating in the listening, fellow travelers with him. It's part of what makes the film so engaging.

The problem is that there is no way that the difference between what we, the viewing audience, actually hear before and after is the difference that Hackman's character would have heard—the key shift in verbal emphasis from the "dirty" version to the "clean" version is a fabrication of the director for the sake of the viewing audience that could not possibly have existed in the world of the film itself—what Hackman's character had to have been hearing earlier in the film was something that was just impossible to make out sufficiently enough to detect the correct verbal emphasis at all, not a relatively listenable version with the wrong emphasis.

It's a total nitpick. But audio doesn't work that way. I can accept at the end of the day that A Wizard Did It, but it's tiny, jarring logistical moment in what is unquestionably a fantastic film.

posted by cortex (staff) at 2:39 PM on August 19, 2009


What is the best thing to do in a case like this, when one uses their google-fu and can immediately bring up...

In my opinion the best thing to do is mention that fact, leave stuff unlinked, let people draw their own conclusions and let us know there's some fuckery going on. I didn't go checking that guy out personally but I've seen similar cases where people have commented "You know a quick googling of your username/name/website pretty much indicates that you don't actually hold the positions you're pretending to defend so maybe you could explain why you suddenly developed an interest in this topic?"

That said, pretty much ignoring them works well too, but it's the sort of tactic that's really only effective if everyone does it, and that's a pretty tall order.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:39 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is the best thing to do in a case like this, when one uses their google-fu and can immediately bring up a trollish-sounding user's profile and quickly determine he's active in at least 5 cached Stormfront threads within which he discusses his personal website and his politics while proudly displaying a swastika as his profile icon? Should one resist the urge to inform the mefites who are taking his self-description at face-value and making an effort to engage in a logical discussion that it's probably a losing battle based on this additional information?

Mentioning vs. posting a dossier seems like the key distinction, assuming things don't in some other way weirdly accelerate in the mean time. Send the mods some details if you want to make sure that something that may require action on our part is fully explained. That's my general take.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:40 PM on August 19, 2009


OH, you mean they rerecorded the audio for the "correct" version to make it more clear how that shift in emphasis changes what he thought he heard. right, right, I get you. it's a good point. it half insults the viewer while also breaking in a tiny way the suspension of disbelief. also, you're a nerd.
posted by shmegegge at 2:42 PM on August 19, 2009


>And I thought trolling referred to the monsters that live under bridges -- trolls. Guess I was the only one.

No, I actually had that problem too.

And I even knew that trolling was a fishing term
posted by scrutiny at 2:46 PM on August 19, 2009


Yeah, it's a common bit of folk etymology.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:48 PM on August 19, 2009


So we've got celebrities, activists, at least two wacky anti-choicers, one of whom is a credulous creobot, and now we've got our very own Nazi.

What a diverse website we have.
posted by kldickson at 3:06 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't forget about spiteful undergrads.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:08 PM on August 19, 2009 [5 favorites]


Note: the activists are generally okay and the MeFi celebrities seem to be mostly on their rocker.
posted by kldickson at 3:08 PM on August 19, 2009


Burhanistan, that's getting just a little tired. Really.
posted by kldickson at 3:09 PM on August 19, 2009


So is singling out another user in a passive-aggressive way like that, kldickson.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:12 PM on August 19, 2009


now now, kids.
posted by shmegegge at 3:15 PM on August 19, 2009


Is this the thread where we talk about Cocktopus?
posted by at the crossroads at 3:18 PM on August 19, 2009


DON'T MAKE ME TURN AROUND THIS THREAD
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:18 PM on August 19, 2009 [7 favorites]


I don't care if people read people's profiles and comment on them, but copypasting stuff from their blog into a thread (which is what we saw happening) is pretty much pushing it.

But wouldn't L.P. Hatecraft himself *resent* this encroachment on our free speech? My sense was, L.P. was arguing that we should absolutely have the right to post his personal shit to the blue?

From what I read of that thread, it seems to me that L.P. believes it's almost our constitutional duty to be posting his personal information up here. And you're a bunch of nasty freedom-hating fascists for not allowing us to do so.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:19 PM on August 19, 2009


So you, too, see where Burhanistan was going! The very thing Hatecraft hates the most is the thing that protects him! There's a beauty in that.
posted by Houstonian at 3:25 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe L.P.Hatecraft might learn an object lesson here. He was vilifying anti-hate speech laws as unconstitutional without considering there may be consequences of hate speech. In turn, information about him was posted then deleted, which some could interpret as restricting 1st Amendment rights or whatever. But, those comments were deleted in part as a blanket policy that ended up affording L.P.Hatecraft some degree of protection. Something like that; you can see where I'm going with it.

Well, no I don't, really. You can be liberal and hate Nazis and racism and etc. and still value the 1st amendment enough to think the entire concept of "hate speech" is scary and unhelpful at best. Of course there can be negative consequences of speech. There can also be negative consequences of our criminal justice system: guilty people can get off more easily then they could in a society where defendants have less rights, and then commit more crimes. We accept these risks as the price of living in a free society.

LP is being protected by policies on a website which, as we have been over a few times, often differ from those of the United States at large.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:14 PM on August 19, 2009


Holy crap, swastika fractals. Christ, what an asshole.
posted by paisley henosis at 5:13 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Weird. I've had the music from The Conversation stuck in my head since yesterday. *theremins*
posted by brundlefly at 5:19 PM on August 19, 2009


(not implying that the score to The Conversation actually uses theremins)
posted by brundlefly at 5:19 PM on August 19, 2009


I got really excited when I woke up this morning and saw my Barney Miller Frank post had over 300 comments. And then I noticed there was MeTa about it - and I was really excited, because that never happened to me before!

Now I'm less excited, but at least I've ticked another couple of boxes on The List of Trials for Becoming a True MeFite.
posted by crossoverman at 5:50 PM on August 19, 2009


it'd mean Hackman's character was a tremendously shitty surveillance guy.

Oh man, I wish I remembered where I heard it but I think it was Roger Ebert or maybe even Coppola himself who argued that was essentially the whole point of the character. All the praise he gets for being the best in the business is just bullshit and he buys into it. I mean, letting that hooker steal his tapes is just plain dumb, but he can't see why things go so wrong for him, 'the greatest surveillance expert alive.'
posted by aldurtregi at 6:06 PM on August 19, 2009


All the praise he gets for being the best in the business is just bullshit and he buys into it.

I can dig that interpretation (and the fact that it is a plausible alternate reading is I think part of what makes the film so good), but while I can buy that the guy is believing his own hype, I can't buy that he is functionally deaf or suffering from some sort of receptive aphasia disorder, which is what he'd have to be suffering under to commit the kind of parsing error that a literal reading of the big audio reveal in the film implies.

It's easy to be not as hot-shit as you think you are, especially in a biz where you self-promote on the grey market and have to insist to clients that you are, in fact hot shit. It's not so easy to be functionally disabled and still stay in business.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:14 PM on August 19, 2009


Cortex is so ableist I can't even stand it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:21 PM on August 19, 2009


Cortex = [Auditory Cortex-ist]
posted by aldurtregi at 6:27 PM on August 19, 2009


Bringing this over here from the other thread...

Jessamyn: Helpful tip: next time, not titling a thread "You know who else had "death panels"?" if you'd like it to go well is a great idea

Well, I'm pretty sure the title of my post DIDN'T lead to the massive derail.

But it seemed appropriate since the woman Barney Frank was putting in her place is the one who invoked Godwin's law. Plus the whole "death panel" description is so ludicrous but was clearly used to invoke a particular image... one this woman has run with.
posted by crossoverman at 6:30 PM on August 19, 2009


Somehow the concept of "great surveillance expert" takes on a really ironic twist in light of the last nine years.
posted by effluvia at 6:35 PM on August 19, 2009


I'm pretty sure the title of my post DIDN'T lead to the massive derail.

I agree and I understand the purpose of the title. I also know that I saw the title in my RSS reader and said "oh shit" before I even looked at the thread. Coincidence? Probably. I didn't mean to make such a big deal about it, my apologies.

Realy the Godwin's Law thing -- if you want to get technical about it -- resets every time you move to a new website/URL, in my opinion. The wingnut lady brought it up first at the Town Meeting (and can I just say that the whole town hall meeting idea put to this use drives me crazy -- we are actually deputzied to make and change policy at our actuall town meetings (and town halls) not just hector our elected officials) but your post title brought it to MeFi.

I guess this is an open question -- if you link to a video of a person talking about Nazis but don't mention Nazis yourself....?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:39 PM on August 19, 2009


I guess this is an open question -- if you link to a video of a person talking about Nazis but don't mention Nazis yourself....?

Then the terrorists have won?
posted by inigo2 at 6:43 PM on August 19, 2009


I guess this is an open question -- if you link to a video of a person talking about Nazis but don't mention Nazis yourself....

... the audio will sound like a tree falling in the woods?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:09 PM on August 19, 2009


I agree and I understand the purpose of the title. I also know that I saw the title in my RSS reader and said "oh shit" before I even looked at the thread.

I guess if that's the first thing you saw... whereas I tend to think people don't see that until after they go into the thread.

You're right, though, I did bring it to MetaFilter. I was being "too clever" in tying everything together - since "death panels" always sounded to me like evoking the Holocaust and the woman called it a Nazi policy.

I'll try not to be so inflammatory right out of the gate next time, although I'm not sure if people take thread titles too seriously.
posted by crossoverman at 7:11 PM on August 19, 2009


I guess this is an open question -- if you link to a video of a person talking about Nazis but don't mention Nazis yourself....?

This is also known as the Inverse Godwin. Rarely used, but just as devastating.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:13 PM on August 19, 2009


>And I thought trolling referred to the monsters that live under bridges -- trolls. Guess I was the only one.

Nope. I knew nothing about fishing and not much about non-TV US slang (despite having gone to a US elementary school for a couple of years, albeit in Scotland), and I made the same assumption.
posted by rodgerd at 7:15 PM on August 19, 2009


This is also known as the Inverse Godwin. Rarely used, but just as devastating.

So this really is the thread to talk about the Cocktopus?

[NOT COMSICISM-IST]
posted by at the crossroads at 7:31 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


(gah. That joke was bad on eight different levels. I forgo my rights afforded me by 1st Amendment. I shut up now.)
posted by at the crossroads at 7:38 PM on August 19, 2009


LP is being protected by policies on a website which, as we have been over a few times, often differ from those of the United States at large.

Well, duh. But there was a valid point in there about a possible object lesson on the part of Mr. Hatecraft if you simply break it down into sets of constraints which was what I was tangentially going off on.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:28 PM on August 19, 2009


And people ask me why I socialize with other foreign residents of Korea very rarely. This place is chock full of... well, full of foreign folks with showstopping quirks, let's say, to be diplomatic.

I worry sometimes that I am one of them.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:12 PM on August 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lozenges make me freaking laugh. And then choke.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:37 PM on August 19, 2009


Thanks to this thread, I dropped The Conversation into my Netflix queue! I was only barely aware of this movie, and now it sounds really interesting!
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:01 AM on August 20, 2009


Thanks to this thread I also remembered "Blow-Up"
posted by at the crossroads at 1:39 AM on August 20, 2009


Ex-pat in Korea: check. Constitutionally trollish: check. Just to the right of Genghis Khan: check. Is Mr. Hatecraft this season's Hama7? Can we look forward to the cryptically constructed posts on art?

Every time you post anything on the internet that could possibly be traced to you, you have to treat it like a press conference.

I'm rarely in the mood to argue with idiots, but this gets it right, I think. By their links ye shall know them. It's certainly fair to judge someone's words by what they link to or write on their profile and it isn't obvious to me why I should refrain from judging someone's words based on what they write somewhere else if they bring it my attention here.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:40 AM on August 20, 2009


CORTEX YOUR PLAUSIBLE ALTERNATE BEANS ARE BOILING OVER
posted by languagehat at 6:55 AM on August 20, 2009


so hey, hatecraft is still going in that other thread. his last post was 2 1/2 hours ago, and hopefully he's done, but I just wanted to point out for the record that he has, as of now, ignored the meta and proceeded to continue his derail.
posted by shmegegge at 7:40 AM on August 20, 2009


Thanks to this thread, I dropped The Conversation into my Netflix queue! I was only barely aware of this movie, and now it sounds really interesting!

You and me both, buddy.
posted by owtytrof at 9:13 AM on August 20, 2009


....I just wanted to point out for the record that he has, as of now, ignored the meta and proceeded to continue his derail.

You may want to add for the record that his last comment was an acknowledgment that he was wrong about something. Which actually is pretty rare for a troll, methinks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:20 AM on August 20, 2009


Hey, even his acknowledgment of error contained an error, and an obvious doozy at that. It is a thing of beauty.
posted by Mister_A at 9:38 AM on August 20, 2009


his last comment was an acknowledgment that he was wrong about something.

I actually used my real shocked face, but yeah. I think we can let it go, now.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:42 AM on August 20, 2009


Ok, so what would be the term for an entire conversation being conducted about a troll that the troll is perhaps unaware is underway?

In other words, paranoia is when you think everyone hates you but they don't, so what would be the term for someone who is hated by everyone but they don't realize it?

"When the red, red robin goes bob, bob, bobbin' along......."
posted by effluvia at 9:57 AM on August 20, 2009


well, there was a link to this thread in the original thread, as soon as this was posted.

and yes, his last comment was to admit he was wrong, and good on him for that.
posted by shmegegge at 10:15 AM on August 20, 2009


Jessamyn, I don't mind my freelance attempt at keeping the main thread on track being deleted, but while you're at it could you take out the actual derail I was referring to, by HPH & Blazecock Pileon with the big huge blinky tag?
posted by scalefree at 10:32 AM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Apologies for my trolling on that thread. I was completely drunk and making no sense, but that's no excuse of course.
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 5:53 PM on August 20, 2009


Well I acted like a total dick in the other health care reform thread the other day, but I can at least point to my idiocy of mixing Varenicline with copious amounts of alcohol ...

Apologies for my trolling on that thread. I was completely drunk and making no sense ...


1AC: Metafilter log-ins should come equipped with a breathilizer.

Discuss.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:10 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was completely drunk and making no sense
So what the fuck were you smoking when you read Simon Sheppard's loon-spuddery and concluded he was a martyr for free speech?
posted by Abiezer at 6:20 PM on August 20, 2009


Hey, come on. The guy apologized in what seems to be good faith; it might be good to hang up the pitchforks.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:29 PM on August 20, 2009


You're right; the offence under discussion here has been dealt with. Having some passing familiarity with Sheppard and his works though, hard to avoid a crack. Half the actual Nazis in England think he's a crank, let alone sensible human beings.
posted by Abiezer at 6:46 PM on August 20, 2009


I'll clarify this comment I made in the thread:

I also have links to anti-racist and anti-fascist websites. However, I am not "anti-racist" or "anti-fascist".

I don't agree with racism or fascism. Of course, saying you are not a racist is a bit like saying you are not a jealous or an envious person. It's a bit of a presumptuous thing to say about yourself and others may disagree. But, I don't identify with White Supremacy or White Nationalism (or any other rebrandings) as political ideologies.

I put "anti-racist" and "anti-fascist" in quotation marks because I don't agree with the tactics and politics of most groups that label themselves as such but in fact go far beyond mere opposition to racism and fascism.

So what the fuck were you smoking when you read Simon Sheppard's loon-spuddery and concluded he was a martyr for free speech?

I've read his site and found it more or less equal parts offensive, entertaining, insightful and batshit-insane. His theories about male and female psychology were very interesting. I think he is a martyr for free speech, as he has been jailed for no reason other than what he posted on line. What actions did he commit to warrant incarceration?
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 6:54 PM on August 20, 2009


But, I don't identify with White Supremacy or White Nationalism (or any other rebrandings) as political ideologies.

I think maybe you should just let this topic die.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:59 PM on August 20, 2009


What actions did he commit to warrant incarceration?

A Leeds Crown Court jury yesterday found Sheppard guilty on five of the charges, with the allegations in the two trials all concerning publishing racially inflammatory material, distributing racially inflammatory material or possessing racially inflammatory material with a view to distribution under the Public Order Act 1986.

...

“People are entitled to hold racist and extreme opinions which others may find unpleasant and obnoxious,” said reviewing lawyer Mari Reid, of the CPS’ Counter Terrorism Division, which deals with race hate crimes.

“What they are not entitled to do is to publish or distribute these opinions to the public in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner, either intending to stir up racial hatred or in circumstances where it is likely racial hatred will be stirred up.

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:11 PM on August 20, 2009


What actions did he commit to warrant incarceration?
None; I'm not a supporter of hate speech laws myself, but in Sheppard's case my feeling is, fuck him. He tried long and hard over a number of years to offend people enough to get himself nicked and now he has. Silly sod; years of banging on about the 'ZOG state' or whatever his particular formula and not the sense to act circumspectly in the realities he found himself in. Some race revolutionary - hoping for justice from the bourgeois courts. I've not seen his comments since, has he at least had the sense not to whine?
So my logic doesn't stand up - but that's less of a weakness than your 'interests' as far as I'm concerned. I look forward to your tedious lawyering on the matter.
posted by Abiezer at 7:16 PM on August 20, 2009


Hey, come on. The guy apologized in what seems to be good faith; it might be good to hang up the pitchforks.

No, it took me ages to sharpen this pitchfork. There will be blood.
posted by philip-random at 11:41 PM on August 20, 2009


What is the best thing to do in a case like this, when one uses their google-fu and can immediately bring up a trollish-sounding user's profile and quickly determine he's active in at least 5 cached Stormfront threads within which he discusses his personal website and his politics while proudly displaying a swastika as his profile icon? Should one resist the urge to inform the mefites who are taking his self-description at face-value and making an effort to engage in a logical discussion that it's probably a losing battle based on this additional information?

I'm acting against my better judgment in responding to his but.. seriously? I had to do a Google myself to find out what you were on about precisely, but yes, I signed up to Stormfront and got banned after 5 posts (not 5 threads) for trolling, 3+ years ago. So what?
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 7:18 AM on August 21, 2009


L.P., just to be clear on where we are on this from an admin perspective independent of any of the ideological angles, do not go trolling again on mefi. We don't want it, we don't need it, and if it happens again that's it for you here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:25 AM on August 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


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