A Day Reading Popehat Is Like A Day At The Farm. Every Post Is A Banquet! Every Amazon Purchase A Fortune! Every Comment Thread A Parade! I Love Popehat!

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But we don't love a few of you.

This is to advise that I have conducted our first mass banning, for intolerable rudeness to other commenters, ninnyhammery, and general jackanapery. If you can read this, congratulations! You have survived to fight another day.

I shan't name names. The guilty know who they are, or will soon. As for the innocent, keep fighting the good fight! Politely.

You may review our comment policies here. You may discuss my decision below.

Politely.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White

130 Comments

130 Comments

  1. xbradtc  •  May 2, 2013 @1:38 pm

    Whew!

  2. Trevor  •  May 2, 2013 @1:40 pm

    I'm tempted to try and be hilariously dickish here, but then I remembered that "the failure mode of funny is asshole", and so instead I posted this.

  3. JR  •  May 2, 2013 @1:40 pm

    1 2 3 not it!

  4. James  •  May 2, 2013 @1:40 pm

    Looks like no one who objects to your decision is around to voice dissent.

    Congratulations!

  5. Olaf Trigorin  •  May 2, 2013 @1:41 pm

    I dunno, there's something to be said for naming and shaming – but that just feeds the trolls and invites more vicious douchebaggery.

    Suffice it to say, well done.

  6. David  •  May 2, 2013 @1:42 pm

  7. eh  •  May 2, 2013 @1:43 pm

    i felt the comment threads were getting too long anyway

  8. Ken White  •  May 2, 2013 @1:43 pm

    Good luck. I'm behind seven proxies.

  9. Lizard  •  May 2, 2013 @1:44 pm

    I must be reading the wrong comment threads, because I've seen no broad masses of douchebags in the threads. Where do I go for the good stuff?

  10. David  •  May 2, 2013 @1:45 pm

    I don't think you can get rid of Clark that way either.

  11. Shawn Young  •  May 2, 2013 @1:49 pm

    A complete and utter waste of time when the real problem is still out there. And will just make up new screen names to post here.
    You know who I mean.
    At first, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they're merely foals, colts and fillies who don't quite understand the manners required on the Internet.
    Then we'll think "perhaps they're just shorter than other horses".
    Then, it'll be TOO DAMN LATE.

  12. PhilG  •  May 2, 2013 @2:08 pm

    Good luck. I'm behind seven proxies.

    1st year associates are not proxies, and it's hurtful to treat them that way. They have feelings too, or so claims my 1st year associate wife.

  13. Hudson  •  May 2, 2013 @2:11 pm

    How do I get out of this chickensh*t outfit?

  14. Tali McPike  •  May 2, 2013 @2:16 pm

    And here I was commending the civility of Popehat commenters

    Perhaps I spoke a little too soon…I could understand a commenter or two but a mass banning…that is actually a little surprising to me.

  15. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @2:17 pm

    How do I get out of this chickensh*t outfit?

    Evidence shows that calling one of the bloggers here a "dick" is one way.

  16. Tali McPike  •  May 2, 2013 @2:19 pm

    Evidence shows that calling one of the bloggers here a "dick" is one way.

    aha! So my guess at one of the banned individuals seems to be correct.

  17. Brian Kemp  •  May 2, 2013 @2:20 pm

    1st year associates are not proxies, and it's hurtful to treat them that way. They have feelings too, or so claims my 1st year associate wife.

    You don't have to cast aspersions on your wife, PhilG. I'm sure she's very nice and doesn't appreciate being called a 1st year associate.

  18. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @2:22 pm

    Perhaps I spoke a little too soon…I could understand a commenter or two but a mass banning…that is actually a little surprising to me.

    I think "mass" might be exaggerating things by a little bit.

    Don't worry; Ken and Patrick may ban the occassional ill behaved house-guest, but they're not so insecure that they resort to massive blacklists or wholesale editing-unto-deletion of posts to enforce ideological orthodoxy.

  19. Shawn  •  May 2, 2013 @2:23 pm

    This whole thread is a honeypot. Anyone who comments here will be banned.

  20. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @2:24 pm

    So my guess at one of the banned individuals seems to be correct.

    For the record, I argued against banning. I'm a big enough boy that I can just ignore people. The official stance seems to be "we tolerate vehement disagreement but not [ repeated ] rudeness".

  21. Steven H.  •  May 2, 2013 @2:26 pm

    Lurker till now.

    I'm curious though. What constitutes "mass" in your "mass banning? 1-5? 5-10? 10-50? Even more than that?

    And now I sit back and wait to find out whether the "default avatar" is one of those quilt patterns I see a lot here, or something else entirely….

  22. Anonymous  •  May 2, 2013 @2:29 pm

    I did make that one post so I wonder whether I can post this?

  23. James  •  May 2, 2013 @2:30 pm

    Evidence shows that calling one of the bloggers here a "dick" is one way.

    So we have to call him Richard from now on?

  24. Ken White  •  May 2, 2013 @2:35 pm

    @PhilG:

    1st year associates are not proxies, and it's hurtful to treat them that way. They have feelings too, or so claims my 1st year associate wife.

    I read this to my partners over drinks at the City Club. We laughed. Please send your wife my regards.

  25. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @2:35 pm

    I'm curious though. What constitutes "mass" in your "mass banning? 1-5? 5-10? 10-50? Even more than that?

    The admin UI doesn't let me see what's been added when, but a hand-waving number is that perhaps 5-10 people get banned per year.

    …and I think that maybe half of those entries are already-banned people trying to access the blog via back channels.

    Thus, my hunch is more like 2-6 people per year.

    I really think that "mass" overstates it.

  26. Merissa  •  May 2, 2013 @2:35 pm

    @Hudson: Starcraft FTW!

  27. Matthew Cline  •  May 2, 2013 @2:37 pm

    ninnyhammery, and general jackanapery

    Heheheh.

  28. Pete Clemenza  •  May 2, 2013 @2:42 pm

    That's all right. These things gotta happen every five years or so, ten years. Helps to get rid of the bad blood.

    Been ten years since the last one.

  29. Grandy  •  May 2, 2013 @2:45 pm

    @tali McPike

    but a mass banning…that is actually a little surprising to me.

    We don't go into details because it's sordid. But remember we do love rhetorical flourish.

  30. Michael Donnelly  •  May 2, 2013 @2:47 pm

    Dear Mr. Non-White

    I am an unfrozen caveman non-attorney in Phoenix, and a reader of various First Amendment Lawyers Associations' blogs. I read about subjects including free speech, legal threats against bloggers, and the use of the legal system to chill speech.

    I have a question about your suppression of free speech on the blog at Popehat.com, reported here: http://www.popehat.com/2013/05/02/a-day-reading-popehat-is-like-a-day-at-the-farm-every-post-is-a-banquet-every-amazon-purchase-a-fortune-every-comment-thread-a-parade-i-love-popehat/

    I note that the behavior of various posters which you complain about appears to be related to the posters' propensity to spew forth random profanity and other forms of verbal diarrhea.

    Are you willing to comment? If so, can you identify what specific statements that you identified to contain too much ninnyhammery and jackanapery?

    Furthermore, before banning anonymous IP addresses, did you consider the natural and probable consequence of removing them, in terms of the level of scrutiny the Popehat.com post would draw? Are you familiar with the term "the Streisand Effect"?

    Any comment about the matter is appreciated. I am contemplating reading more about your bans.

  31. Nal  •  May 2, 2013 @2:50 pm

    Looks like my pony bribe worked.

  32. mmrtnt  •  May 2, 2013 @2:53 pm

    Hah! A clicque! I'm in a clicque!

    Now if I only had friends I could brag to about it.

  33. VPJ  •  May 2, 2013 @2:53 pm

    Good luck. I'm behind seven proxies ponies.

    Fixed.

  34. Patrick Non-White  •  May 2, 2013 @2:53 pm

    Dear Mister Donnelly, because I know you get the public-private distinction, I'll pay you the compliment of telling you that I chuckled audibly as I read your comment.

    My cat, however, was not amused.

  35. adam  •  May 2, 2013 @2:59 pm

    i had to lookup jackanapery: "The behaviour of a jackanapes." Thanks Wiktionary, that was……..helpful.

  36. Canonical  •  May 2, 2013 @2:59 pm

    Dang. I don't read the comments this morning and miss the unfolding drama. If you tell me I also missed ponies, well… I shan't be responsible for my actions.

    On a more serious note, I'm saddened that a number of the commenters were unable to address concerns with posts/other posters with their wonted sangfroid and instead resorted to douche-canoe-ism.

  37. sorrykb  •  May 2, 2013 @3:00 pm

    Well, shoot. I've always wanted to be a ninnyhammer, but it appears I've failed once again.
    I can only assume that I've been granted some special exemption due to having a color as a last name.

  38. Ken White  •  May 2, 2013 @3:00 pm

    The admin UI doesn't let me see what's been added when, but a hand-waving number is that perhaps 5-10 people get banned per year.

    …and I think that maybe half of those entries are already-banned people trying to access the blog via back channels.

    1-3/year: Federal agents investigating Clark
    1-2/year: Federal agents who have become addicted to Clark's prose
    1-2/year: Illinois Nazis or other state Nazis
    1-2/year: People who have posted fantasies of me being murdered
    3-4/year: Aggressive racists/etc. spewing Stormfront gibberish
    1-10/year Assorted smugly rude goobers

  39. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @3:13 pm

    @Canonical:

    douche-canoe-ism.

    My GF is unable to master the J stroke, leading
    to me getting utterly drenched in the stern (and by that, I mean the obvious literal nautical terminology, and in a more metaphorical sense).

    Anyway, I think "douche canoe" is a phrase I will use more often.

    (Although I note that getting sprayed with pond water leaves me not so fresh.)

  40. Ms. Cats Meow  •  May 2, 2013 @3:15 pm

    I always miss the brouhahas. I've no idea what happened but at least I'm still here to miss what happens next!

  41. princessartemis  •  May 2, 2013 @3:16 pm

    And not 1-3/year Bronies?

  42. Jack B.  •  May 2, 2013 @3:18 pm

    At the risk of getting banned, I'm going to seek clarification on something.

    I'm operating under the assumption that the blog responsible for the phrase, "Snort my taint" doesn't have too big of a problem with profanity.

    I have enough sense to not drop f bombs on posts about Christian theology, but sometimes saying "This is a bunch of bullshit!" is far more appropriate than saying "I find this situation to be highly disagreeable!"

    It's kind of sad that "Don't be a dick" is such a burdensome request for some people. Yeah, yeah, this is the internet, I know. But even though it's the internet, the dick behavior is entirely optional.

  43. Jon  •  May 2, 2013 @3:20 pm

    I tend to miss the brouhahas as well. Though I do see the occasional kerfuffle.

  44. Patrick Non-White  •  May 2, 2013 @3:23 pm

    Jack B., no dumb motherfucker has ever been banned from this site simply for profanity.

    Context is important.

  45. bw1  •  May 2, 2013 @3:24 pm

    From Patrick's post, I gather that, in this context, "banning" means blocking an IP address from VIEWING the blog, as opposed to the more common blog practice of blocking an offender from commenting.

    This seems extreme and counterproductive for multiple reasons. Presumably, those banned most likely disagree with the ideas expressed on the blog, and thus represent the ideal target audience for the advocacy of those ideas. Further, it seems reading the content and being unable to respond is far more effectively punitive. It also goes way beyond the rational goal of not having to view their jacknapery in the comments – neither the bloggers nor other guests even know, let alone are impacted, if those individuals are reading the blog. Finally, it needlessly increases their motivation to utilize any of several ridiculously easy workarounds to gain access, at which point they can easily start commenting again.

  46. Canonical  •  May 2, 2013 @3:25 pm

    @ Clark

    Alas! I can't take credit for "douche-canoe" (and it's such a good, all-purpose descriptor). I found it on Pharyngula and don't recall if P.Z. came up with it or one of the commenters. I'm a bit sad that I can't give credit where credit is due. In other news, have you pondered a stern cover? For either stern(s) or both, I mean.

  47. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @3:25 pm

    @Jack B:

    I have enough sense to not drop f bombs on posts about Christian theology

    Cool.

    I personally try to avoid profanity, but my take on the Popehat standard of decorum is:

    * "that federal policy / Prenda lawsuit / whatever is BS!" –> fine
    * "the argument that you are making is BS" –> rude, and borderline
    * "you are spouting BS" –> not acceptable
    * "you are, yourself, BS" –> only Ken speaks that way!

  48. Jack B.  •  May 2, 2013 @3:26 pm

    Jack B., no dumb motherfucker has ever been banned from this site simply for profanity.

    Context is important.

    Fuckin' A, man.

  49. Brandon  •  May 2, 2013 @4:20 pm

    Jackanapes gon' jackanape.

  50. Anton Sirius  •  May 2, 2013 @4:22 pm

    @sorrykb Don't be a luddy-duddy! Don't be a mooncalf! Don't be a jabbernowl! You're not those, are you?

    WC Fields is a nearly inexhaustible source of awesome gibberish.

  51. Kat  •  May 2, 2013 @4:24 pm

    I approve of items #3-4 on the comment policy. Blogs where this isn't followed have really unpleasant comment sections as a general rule.

  52. Chris R.  •  May 2, 2013 @4:25 pm

    At least popehat bans for actual reason. Twitter, not so much.

  53. Andy  •  May 2, 2013 @4:32 pm

    Not sure whether to be thankful that I'm not banned or whether to go the Groucho Marx route of not wanting to be a member of a club that would have me.

    But in all seriousness, many thanks Ken et al for a good read.

  54. Jack B.  •  May 2, 2013 @4:35 pm

    So we have to call him Richard from now on?

    My local paper — which broke the story on a certain Vice-President shooting a friend in the face while hunting, and once a year or so features an article about how The King of the Surf Guitar will be doing a show at The Executive Surf Club — features a profanity filter that warns you (in bold, red ALL CAPS, no less) that the word "Dick" is not allowed.

    When commenting on an article about Dick Dale, readers have to say how much they will enjoy seeing Richard Dale.

  55. KJ  •  May 2, 2013 @5:01 pm

    Any thought of adding to the comment policy the suggestion to govern one's self accordingly?

  56. Canonical  •  May 2, 2013 @5:09 pm

    @ Anton

    *dons hat with "PEDANT" on it in large, flashing letters. adjusts same to a jaunty angle.*

    I'm not familiar with "luddy-duddy" (fuddy-duddy, perhaps?) or with "jabbernowl", but "mooncalf" has a long and honored history, dating back to at least 1607 (per the OED) for it's meaning of a, "fickle, unstable person". Personally, I've always gone with, "tosspot", "jackanapes" (a perennial favorite) and "malt-horse" (with all due honor to W. Shakespeare) depending on the person and/or the circumstances.

    *doffs "PEDANT" hat with a somewhat regretful air and puts it back in its genuine Mooncalf ™ hide box, tucking the tissue tenderly around it as she does to preserve the brim curl just…so.*

  57. Kevin  •  May 2, 2013 @5:11 pm

    So…. is this mass banning an actual thing, that actually happened? Or is it just Patrick being Patrick and pulling a prank based on the caching plugin problem mentioned earlier on twitter?

  58. Michael Mock  •  May 2, 2013 @5:29 pm

    Canonical has just reminded of a particularly amusing incident wherein someone misspelled the word "dummy" in the process of trying to insult my intelligence. Composing a response was… fun.

  59. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @5:50 pm

    @Kevin:

    So…. is this mass banning an actual thing, that actually happened

    banning?

    Yes. It happened.

    mass ?

    No. Just a handful.

  60. Patrick H  •  May 2, 2013 @5:52 pm

    I survived the culling!

  61. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @5:52 pm

    @Jack B:

    The King of the Surf Guitar

    Dang – I love me some Dick Dale. Thanks for that link!

  62. Jack  •  May 2, 2013 @6:05 pm

    I missed the "fun" name-calling comments this morning. Darn. I have a suspicion as to who might have gone too far over the line, but I'll just wait to see if the annoying commenter I'm thinking of coincidentally doesn't comment here anymore…

    Question: If — hypothetically — a certain Popehat denizen were to proclaim himself to be an asshole, would it be considered untoward for we mere commenters to agree with that self-assessment?

  63. Delvan  •  May 2, 2013 @6:13 pm

    Looks like no one who objects to your decision is around to voice dissent.

    Congratulations!

    @James: Dear lord, for a moment I expected a Godwin's law invocation to follow.

  64. Jack B.  •  May 2, 2013 @6:15 pm

    Dang – I love me some Dick Dale. Thanks for that link!

    Thanks for fixing my blockquote fail, if that was indeed you.

    If you ever get chance to see him live, don't miss it. He's gotta be nearing 70 but he puts on a great show.

    If you — or anyone else, for that matter — dig surf instrumental music in general, my old band, The Sir Finks, has an album available ("(Tres Mexicanos) Del Sur De Texas") for download at Amazon. I was no longer in the band by the time they started putting out records, but the liner notes of the CD mentions my mysterious disappearance from the band.

  65. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @6:22 pm

    Thanks for fixing my blockquote fail, if that was indeed you.

    Yeah. I'm a bit OCD ; I clean up lots of people's blockquote fails in the comments.

  66. sorrykb  •  May 2, 2013 @6:28 pm

    @Anton Sirius and Canonical:
    I'm no luddy-duddy, nor a mooncalf, but I have been known to lollygag. In fact, I'm lollygagging right now.

  67. Noah Callaway  •  May 2, 2013 @6:30 pm

    @Clark

    Yeah. I'm a bit OCD ; I clean up lots of people's blockquote fails in the comments.

    You… are my hero.

  68. Noah Callaway  •  May 2, 2013 @6:31 pm

    I also can't express how terrified I was that I would blockquote fail in my previous comment…

  69. David  •  May 2, 2013 @6:45 pm

    You camel-mannered, tunic wetting mollycoddle!

  70. Aww man, did I miss some shenanigans?!? Typical- you step away for five minutes to pour another Bristol Cream and put some Herb Alpert on the hi-fi…

    DAMN YOU, TIJUANA BRASS!!!

  71. naught_for_naught  •  May 2, 2013 @6:52 pm

    Serpentine!

  72. David  •  May 2, 2013 @6:52 pm

    (The In-Laws!)

  73. Sami  •  May 2, 2013 @6:52 pm

    I have to get pedantic too, and point out that "snort my taint" isn't really profane.

    The most masterful, gloriously insulting things I've read – like, say, Ken's recent response to that British legal threat – avoid actual profanity. Profanity is too cheap, too easy, too obvious to have much actual offensive power.

  74. John David Galt  •  May 2, 2013 @6:54 pm

    I suspect this was more along the lines of the sergeant announcing, "Only three of you looked like cows on ice, and you know who you were." It makes everyone stand a little straighter, without any need to administer actual penalties.

    But if there's ever a real purge, please name and shame. It's more fun!

  75. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @7:02 pm

    @Sami:

    Profanity is too cheap, too easy, too obvious

    Yes. This.

    Profanity is:

    * something I believe my religion preaches against
    * clumsy, broad, sloppy, and inelegant
    * easy

    Why hit someone with a sledgehammer made out of dick jokes when you can stab them through the eye with a rapier tipped with a perfectly honed word straight from the OED?

  76. Delvan  •  May 2, 2013 @7:08 pm

    So…. is this mass banning an actual thing, that actually happened

    I'm about 185 lbs, and I'm still here, so the bar is clearly higher than that. I'm curious how a mass ban could exclude the troll phenotype but not the jolly phenotype.

    1-3/year: Federal agents investigating Clark
    1-2/year: Federal agents who have become addicted to Clark's prose
    1-2/year: Illinois Nazis or other state Nazis
    1-2/year: People who have posted fantasies of me being murdered
    3-4/year: Aggressive racists/etc. spewing Stormfront gibberish
    1-10/year Assorted smugly rude goobers

    I interpreted this list as categories that are not always mutually exclusive :)

    Illinois Nazis…. I hate Illinois Nazis.

  77. Dan Weber  •  May 2, 2013 @7:09 pm

    I like to eat paste.

  78. sorrykb  •  May 2, 2013 @7:16 pm

    Is it still permitted to call someone a mundane noodle?

  79. orvis barfley  •  May 2, 2013 @7:28 pm

    testing 1,

  80. Jack  •  May 2, 2013 @7:28 pm

    Why hit someone with a sledgehammer made out of dick jokes when you can stab them through the eye with a rapier tipped with a perfectly honed word straight from the OED?

    Clark, you are my hero.

    (And knowing you're here to help, if I should fall prey to the frequent Popehat affliction of borking blockquote tags, has finally helped me to overcome my fear of using them here! Here goes nothing…)

  81. Michael Mock  •  May 2, 2013 @7:35 pm

    On a vaguely related note, my first ADnD character had a ninnyhammer +3, +5 against anyone with Int less than 12; it did an additional 2D6 in flame damage if the person I was attacking had just done something the DM considered particularly boneheaded. In the years since, I have occasionally wished that such a thing existed in real life…

  82. Fritz  •  May 2, 2013 @7:35 pm

    Are there any comment threads anywhere that aren't wretched hives of scum and villainy?

  83. Santuro  •  May 2, 2013 @7:43 pm

    I survived, where do i BUY my T-SHIRT?

  84. Patrick Non-White  •  May 2, 2013 @7:54 pm

    Fritz, we generally enjoy our comment threads. Which is why we throw people out from time to time.

    Instapundit, whom we admire, allows no comments. Volokh, a group blog we admire, has barely any moderation because most of the authors don't read their comments. Reason's Hit and Run, and Above the Law, also sites we admire, make comments "opt-in," meaning they're hidden from readers who don't take extra measures to see them.

    We aren't as big as any of those sites, and likely won't ever be. But I hope we'd take the site down before things ever came to that pass here.

  85. Pip R. Lagenta  •  May 2, 2013 @7:55 pm

    "Assorted Smugly Rude Goobers" was the name for the punk band of my high school buddies. But that was back in the '70's. Since then, they changed their name.

  86. Jon  •  May 2, 2013 @7:56 pm

    So, being a new commentator on this blog, I'd appreciate a little clarification on the level of rudeness that will get me banned. I understand that calling someone a "dick" or "asshat" is inappropriately rude. What about calling them a Charles Carreon or a John Steele? Just wondering.

  87. Grifter  •  May 2, 2013 @8:10 pm

    I guess I missed the shenanigans, and can only say that I am ecstatic for once again not being banned!

    I'm quite grateful every time I'm not kicked out of our hosts' living room.

    On a side note I'm kind of surprised my VPN's IP isn't banned (though I'm not logged into it now, so maybe it is after this last cull); not that VPNs are inherently wretched hives of scum and villainy, but…

  88. Fritz  •  May 2, 2013 @8:17 pm

    Anymore, I just read the stories in my news feed, so I don't have to see the comments. When I did try and read comments, and maybe even post a few of my own, I found that more and more any disagreement or attempt to critically engage in the subject of the post was met by pro-blog trolling. That is, commenters would react in those most vile ways to any perceived variation from the party-line. This was not, unfortunately, limited to any ideology, subject, or style of blog. Everybody was either a fawning sycophant or a troll of one flavor or another. The only reason I even bothered here was because, you know, the subject of the post seemed to demand it.

  89. That Anonymous Coward  •  May 2, 2013 @8:28 pm

    Came for the Pretenda, stayed for the fun…

  90. Panda Fanatic  •  May 2, 2013 @8:43 pm

    The only problem that I have with your banning system is that the ban screen says "Rex non potest peccare!" when "Pape non potest peccare!" would be more fitting.

  91. Sigmadog  •  May 2, 2013 @8:44 pm

    "What are we supposed to use? Harsh language?"

  92. Tali McPike  •  May 2, 2013 @9:04 pm

    Is it still permitted to call someone a mundane noodle?

    I think I am going to incorporate that into my list of insults…I quite like it.

  93. AlphaCentauri  •  May 2, 2013 @9:20 pm

    I believe the comment that was out of line wasn't just calling Clark a "dick," it was calling him an "entitled dick," as if Clark moderating the flow of comments to his own post was inappropriate. It was part of an extremely trollish comment overall, regardless of the actual language used.

    Most profanity doesn't bother me anymore. My kids' generation tends to thing the whole concept of restricted words is stupid. They were raised in the era where music downloads have parental warnings, leading music customers who don't see parental warnings to hold off purchasing in case there's a non-Bowdlerized version available. They also grew up with the Harry Potter books, where people's fear of speaking the name "Voldemort" was part of the culture of submission to the dominance of evil. The books raised the question of whether words ought to have power over people or people ought to have power over words.

    Having the vocabulary to say things in a more sophisticated way is great, but it can alienate people who aren't as well educated. I try to be aware of whether what I say will make me sound like an obnoxious boor in a particular social situation, but I know I don't always succeed.

  94. Clark  •  May 2, 2013 @9:26 pm

    @AlphaCentauri:

    I believe the comment that was out of line wasn't just calling Clark a "dick," it was calling him an "entitled dick," as if Clark moderating the flow of comments to his own post was inappropriate. It was part of an extremely trollish comment overall, regardless of the actual language used.

    Just to clarify, re this:

    as if Clark moderating the flow of comments to his own post was inappropriate

    I am a free-speech maximalist. I am a wikipedia inclusionist. I do not delete comments. I do not ban people. I did not moderate any comments on my own post or others.

    I was being called an "entitled dick" for my theological beliefs, not for my actions.

  95. sorrykb  •  May 2, 2013 @10:39 pm

    Tali McPike wrote:

    I think I am going to incorporate that into my list of insults…I quite like it.

    For "mundane noodle", all credit is due to "A Christmas Story". :-)

  96. AlphaCentauri  •  May 2, 2013 @10:53 pm

    @Clark, sorry, I didn't mean to imply you were deleting or wielding the ban-hammer. I meant that you were following the comments closely and replying frequently and in detail, and that that input was guiding a lot of the subsequent discussion. (On a forum where I am a moderator, we almost never ban anyone except spammers, but we do provide a lot of guidance to keep discussions civil. That's my idea of effective moderation.)

  97. Lago  •  May 3, 2013 @12:05 am

    censorious pigs!! >:O

  98. Lucy  •  May 3, 2013 @3:38 am

    Parades are a strange display. I find people's enthusiasm for them more interesting than parades themselves. Replacing my idea of parades for a Popehat comment thread brought my understanding a little further. I get quite a lot of enjoyment out of watching a thread march on and sometimes get enthusiastic and inspired to participate.

  99. Clark  •  May 3, 2013 @4:20 am

    @Lucy:

    Parades are a strange display.

    Agreed.

    I find people's enthusiasm for them more interesting than parades themselves.

    Disagreed; I find both deeply boring. ;-)

  100. Luke G  •  May 3, 2013 @5:26 am

    The problem with preferring a wit-rapier to a dickhammer is that sometimes the wounds from the rapier are so fine and subtle that only the guy wielding it knows they happened- when you score a big hit with a hammer (of dicks or otherwise) it's obvious to EVERYONE :D

  101. Tsagoth  •  May 3, 2013 @6:19 am

    What's really depressing is I showed my co-workers the post title and their response was "I don't get it.".

    I didn't realize I was that old.

  102. LT  •  May 3, 2013 @7:00 am

    @Luke- Nah, it just means you get to keep poking until they bleed out from their general stupidity. Many small wounds eventually add up to one giant Thor-sized hammer to the ego, and it's a fun way to develop one's lexicon!

    Or something. I'm kinda working on a sugar-and-caffeine high right now.

  103. mcinsand  •  May 3, 2013 @7:07 am

    I fear that I misread one of the ban-triggers as nannyhammery, and I could see how that could get someone banned, especially if the nanny was underage.

  104. Canonical  •  May 3, 2013 @7:48 am

    *scowls at Sorrykb*

    Skip: You guys. You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry?
    Larry: Lollygaggers!
    Skip: Lollygaggers!

    In more blog-related news: I, too, await the next Prenda installment with bated breath. It's like watching a slow-motion car wreck, really.

  105. MattS  •  May 3, 2013 @8:33 am

    The splash screen that comes up for those who were banned contains the text "If you believe that you have been banned unjustly, drop us a line." yet no contact information is given.

    I wonder how you expect someone to be able to drop you a line since you are preventing them from even being able to view the site?

    I would guess that your intent is that none would be able to contact you.

    I have been commenting for a while from two different IP addresses, one got banned and the other didn't. I don't know what to make of that.

    JW1 commented that banning people from even being able to view the site is counterproductive. I agree but I would also add petty and childish.

  106. Patrick Non-White  •  May 3, 2013 @8:34 am

    I hate to name names MattS, but since you did it for me, rest assured I'll fix that problem.

    Right now.

  107. luis  •  May 3, 2013 @9:25 am

    I usually read the posts on my pone so I dont see the comments… but this post made me come on my c and read what people said… no one finds funny that people (even for good reasons) are being censored (or banned which is basically the same) in a blog against censorship?

  108. Patrick Non-White  •  May 3, 2013 @9:28 am

    luis:

    This post contains a hidden trap. You have sprung the trap.

    If you can explain to me what the trap is, I will free you from the trap.

    Otherwise, you will die within 24 hours.

  109. Jack B.  •  May 3, 2013 @9:38 am

    I usually read the posts on my pone so I dont see the comments… but this post made me come on my c and read what people said… no one finds funny that people (even for good reasons) are being censored (or banned which is basically the same) in a blog against censorship?

    Maybe I missed some earlier comments, but it's actually kind of impressive that it took 100+ comments before this showed up.

  110. mojo  •  May 3, 2013 @9:48 am

    How do you transfer out of this chicken-shit outfit?

  111. mcinsand  •  May 3, 2013 @10:02 am

    There are differences between censorship, as in what the first amendment is supposed to prevent, and allowing a free exchange of ideas on a blog. Banning people is not the same as censoring or stifling the exchange of dissenting ideas. Granted, banning can be a tool to suppress opposing views, and that sadly happens all too often. However, what can be just as sad is when vocal trolls or over the top jerks trash a comment community's health by trollish and jerkish behavior.

    There was one blog I was enjoying a lot, until it attracted a particularly nasty troll. The person holding the blog was adamant about never banning or taking down any messages. To disagree is one thing, but to be called a liar and accuse of slander just because you see something in a different way from another person is wrong and poisonous to any sort of a good discussion.

    I have no doubt that banning will be a necessity for the Popehat crew. Otherwise, I'm fairly certain that organizations like Prenda would be trashing the comments section regularly… at least until they finally implode.

    There was a disturbing discussion I had a few years ago, but I do think that it is very relevant. Someone else and I were scheduling regular time to talk, and I was frustrated. I expected to have discussions, to exchange ideas, and to try to sort things out together. The other person, when that person had the turn to talk, would list items that had happened since the previous meeting. I finally decided to bring up my issues, to say that I had hoped that we would not only share events but our perspectives on those events. The other's response was (and I'm not making this up) 'so we can see which perspective is right? So we can see which perspective wins?' I couldn't get through that what I was hoping for was that, together, we might come up with a better, more sound view on things. That really gets to what works so well in the Popehat comments section. It is a fairly raw flow of unfiltered, semifiltered, and humorfiltered ideas to give a nice, broad view around an issue. There do have to be limits, though, to keep particularly aggressive commenters from hijacking or trashing a discussion, just as much as there needs to be limits on those limits, lest they limit the potential of an exchange.

    Regards,
    mc

  112. luis  •  May 3, 2013 @10:11 am

    @Patrick; lol probably that there are some guidelines (which you linked to) and people had violated them, hence, it is not censorship just aplying the forum rules

    you did not ban those who disagree with you but those who broke the covenant to participate in the comment section

    am i free?

  113. Patrick Non-White  •  May 3, 2013 @10:21 am

    luis. Not quite, but you made a good faith effort, so I will set you free.

    You miss the distinction that when we use the term "censorship" and the like, we are almost invariably writing about action by the government, rather than private parties.

    The analogy, from our comment policy, is to a living room. If you wish to say anything, no matter how foolish, in a public space, such as the town square, we will almost always support your right to do so. If you wish to say anything in my living room, you had better be on your best behavior, or I will throw you out.

    This website is our private property, so we have certain expectations which we will enforce. In that, it is like a living room, rather than a public forum.

    You are free to go.

  114. Tali McPike  •  May 3, 2013 @10:33 am

    I find it interesting that both Hudson and Mojo had pretty much the exact same comment, asking how to get out of "this chicken shit outfit"
    perhaps its just coincidence, or a joke, but it seems a little odd to me, especially since the logical answer to that question is to stop reading Popehat and/or its comments, unless they are essentially asking to be banned…
    but I'm willing to admit that I might be missing something and am being critical/suspicious for no reason (other than that is how my mind works)

  115. luis  •  May 3, 2013 @11:03 am

    Free at last!!!!

    First came the thirst… then the hunger… and finally the hallucinations… that damn talking pony was getting on my nerves!

    Anyway, if people pooped in your living room and you kicked them out good riddance!

    Btw I´m a lawyer in Mexico, if ever the popehat-signal shines this way feel free to drop me a line!

  116. Dan Weber  •  May 3, 2013 @11:04 am

    On a serious note, having the skill to just walk away from a conversation that is going downhill is an important skill.

    releveant XKCD http://xkcd.com/386/ (which gets autocompleted very quickly when you search for "someone on")

  117. Ken White  •  May 3, 2013 @11:22 am

    Anyone who thinks Patrick bans people based on ideological disagreement hasn't paid attention. Patrick has, in fact, banned people who are fans, who promote us, whom Patrick likes, for not behaving the way we would like in the comments.

  118. Patrick Non-White  •  May 3, 2013 @11:25 am

    Tali McPike, the "Chickenshit outfit" joke is a reference to the film Aliens, from which the title of this post also derives.

    I am always pleased when readers share my taste in pop culture, amplifying my jokes with references of their own.

  119. Tali McPike  •  May 3, 2013 @11:31 am

    @Patrick Non-White
    Ah ok, that makes sense. I had a feeling it was something like that…but I admit that I have not see the film, and that Sci-Fi movies are a weak area in my nerd portfolio.

  120. Jack B.  •  May 3, 2013 @11:48 am

    @Patrick…

    I almost left a "Does this mean Ann-Margret's not coming?" comment in this thread. I'm now glad I didn't.

    If my older brothers knew I missed an Aliens reference, it would be a week's worth of wedgies for me.

  121. En Passant  •  May 3, 2013 @11:50 am

    Patrick Non-White wrote in OP:

    You may review our comment policies here. You may discuss my decision below.

    A noble, and we always hope ultimately not Cnutian, stand against Eternal September.

  122. Bruce H.  •  May 3, 2013 @11:57 am

    @Clark

    You may disagree with Scalzi's moderation policy, but his banhammer has the best name evar [sic].

  123. mojo  •  May 3, 2013 @2:59 pm

    "Look into my eye!"

  124. mojo  •  May 3, 2013 @3:07 pm

    PS: Somebody wake up Hicks.

  125. azteclady  •  May 4, 2013 @12:28 am

    a) I missed the shenaningans (damn the need for sleep!)

    b) Thank you for fixing coding bloopers in comments, Clark!

    c) Happy I'm still allowed in here

  126. Dustin  •  May 5, 2013 @12:48 am

    I regret I have but one proxy to burn for my party.

  127. Dustin  •  May 5, 2013 @12:50 am

  128. Laura K  •  May 5, 2013 @5:14 am

    So… 'ninnyhammer' makes me think of a tool you carry to the graveyard to whack at the really decrepit and spindly old-lady zombies when they rise from the dead, or possibly something one of Tolkien's dwarves might carry to tap on really small, fiddly and annoying fixtures…maybe it even makes a 'ninnnyninnyninnny' sound.

    Thank you for the inspiring imagery; I need the smile

  129. earthclanbootstrap  •  May 5, 2013 @5:51 pm

    The only way to be sure is to troll the thread from orbit.

  130. John Thinkishness  •  May 6, 2013 @10:21 am

    Is this thing on? Is it still working? 1…2…3…