New comments policy


My friends on the politics blog:

We’ve been getting a lot of complaints about the tone of some of the comments here. We are all for vigorous debate, and we have no desire to censor anyone’s ideas. As you all know, you are free (in fact, encouraged) to disgree with what you see here, in the strongest terms. But of late, the nastiness quotient is driving some of our loyal readers away and discouraging others from joining the discussion.

We aren’t going to try to block anyone or force registration or do anything else that would discourage any of you from easily posting. But we are going to get a bit more aggressive about deleting comments that are nothing more than personal ad hominem attacks -- mean-spirited stuff that is off point, does nothing for the issue debates and seeks to abuse or intimidate individuals.

You know who you are, and you know what I’m talking about.

I can’t promise that we’ll catch everything (we have a small staff), but if there’s anything in particular that bothers you that we missed, just let me know. Thanks.

Our new comments policy is here



Meanwhile, I'll break it down for you,

Paranoid: "The only reason you want me to come up with them myself is so you can then attack my choices."

Delusional: "But of course, there is suddenly (and all too conveniently) a new and long sensible dialogue between Arthur and himself "

Whiny: "It isn't fair to everyone else and it is physically sickening to be continuously subjected to it. "

Really, these words just came to me. Perhaps you've seen them from others because you've actually made that impression on people,


Posted by Anti-vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 12:24 am

bye bye Bride of Arthur

I don't play with trolls.

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 12:40 am

Why should vigilante give you anything? Why should vigilante give you links? Anyone with half a brain can find more than enough examples of what vigilante is talking about when it comes to Arthur Evans. This place is full of that excrement. Just look around and read something, rather than troll for Arthur Evans.

If vigilante had given you links, you would find a problem with all of them; none of them would be sufficient. I've had contact with people like you for years. I've stopped doing so in recent years, but at one time I wasted my time and gave right-wing trolls links only to have them all dismissed and they proceeded to label me as "paranoid, delusional and whiny" among other pejoratives. You've got most of the signature words down pat for your agenda. It's quite clear what you're up to.

I'm glad vigilante made you find your own links, not that you were seriously interested in links anyway. You're just here to defend yourself (a.k.a. Arthur Evans).

Let's be rational. Let's be sensible. Let's be adult. Let's be reasonable. Let's be intelligent. Let's be intellectual. Let's be cogent. Let's be coherent. Let's be grown-up.

Posted by Artor Evons on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 1:43 am

The notion of "sock-puppetry", where an individual uses multiple names to create the allusion of allies or to escape responsibility for continuing posts along a common line is a clear bad thing, regardless of what is actually said.

Preventing this sort of this thing often requires technical access to the site, which I hope SFBG management is using in its new policy.

Arthur, although I stand by my supportive opinion of your recent posts (on "Green Buds"), please don't let me find out you've been socking today, I would be very disappointed to have defended you.

-AV, aka Disappointed Reader

Posted by Anti-vigilante on Aug. 21, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

"Guest" in his many manifestations wants to ban or censor those who disagree with his views. But the proper response to a post you don't like is to present a more convincing argument or else ignore the post.

"Guest" also claims that I use more than one handle here. Absolutely false.

I post here only under my own name. I believe the web master has the ability to verify this by looking at some sort of number or address associated with individual posters. A quick look will verify what I say.

My usual practice in responding to posts is to quote the exact works of the other person and then point out objections based on evidence and logic, if I disagree with the quote.

The usual practice of Guest and his many manifestations is to try and turn other participants in the dialogue into the topic of the dialogue.

Let's act like grown-ups.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 21, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

I really had no reason to think otherwise. Thank you for saying so, it is good to hear.

Posted by Anti-vigilante on Aug. 21, 2011 @ 10:07 pm

What? Coming from him? That gives the word gullible added meaning.

You fall for anything don't you?

Let's be reasonable. Let's be sensible. Let's use intelligence and intellect and not fall for the rank excrement from Arthur Evans.

Posted by Artor Evons on Aug. 21, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

How sexist of you to presume "Guest" is a male by your reference to "his views." Don't you try to pass as a feminist on this site?

You say:

"Let's act like grown-ups."

Yes, why don't you, and grown-ups don't try to distract the topic and say something is about one thing (such as disagreeing with views) when it's really about another (your not acting like a grown-up).

If you were to act adult, as you smugly lecture others on with your "let's be adult," phrase, there would be no need for this "discussion" whatsoever. So please heed your own advice.

Let's be reasonable. Let's be sensible. Let's be adult, civil, safe, secure, esteemed, intellectual, intelligent, sophisticated, aristocratic with a broad-based coalition of good will to the progressive sect.

Let's act like grown-ups.

Posted by Artor Evons on Aug. 21, 2011 @ 10:23 pm

You don't speak for me with your "We"....don't need your kind of vigilantism.
Please speak for yourself. And if you think Evans is okay, you're as sick as he is.

He is willful-ignorant about many things. That's one reason I stopped reading his shit.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 21, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

...but I am certain I speak for more than myself. Read into that what you like.

Posted by Anti-vigilante on Aug. 21, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

"Guest" (and his many manifestations) urges readers to check out info on the Internet concerning me.

Here's a starter:

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 21, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

The following video is more elucidating. It shows Arthur lying profusely about an insidious 'quality of life' law in order to demonize his fellow human beings a la Rudi Guiliani; a lot more revelatory of Arthur's despite for others.

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 21, 2011 @ 11:44 pm

"The following video is more elucidating. It shows Arthur lying profusely ..."

- Vigilante

What are the lies? Please, be serious.

With this post by Vigilante, you can see what's happening here. Vigilante wants to ban me because I supported the sit-law law and a number of other measures and candidates that he has opposed. And because I have argued capably on their behalf.

Should I be banned for this reason? In that case, you will have to ban the majority of San Franciscans. Most of the candidates and measures I have supported, contrary to Vigilante, succeeded at the polls.

The posts in this thread by Vigilante and "Guest" (and his many manifestations) are childish. Here, as in most threads where Vigilante contributes, his goal is to turn another poster in the thread into the topic of thread. This pattern occurs again and again.

A more mature approach to debate is to focus on the issues at hand and answer opponents' objections with appeals to facts and reasoning. And when doing the latter, it's good to quote opponent's exact words.

Let's act like grown-ups. Everybody benefits.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 8:37 am

Let's just pick one lie as an example Arthur.

In the video, you very clearly state that the 'Sit/Lie' law allows the police to move people who are -blocking- a sidewalk.

That is a lie. The police already had the power, on the books, to move people blocking sidewalks.

The 'Sit/Lie' law goes much further, empowering the police to move anyone who is sitting on a sidewalk, period, regardless of whether they are blocking it.

Hence, you were lying, and you knew full well you were lying because you were an ardent salesman for that ballot measure and had debated it with others, at length, up, down, and sideways.

As to listing the many other lies, sorry. That's the same game your alter-ego 'Anti-Vigilante' wants to play; to get the person who you are trolling to come up with a list of items that you can then simply copy/paste and attack with smart ass one liners. I'm not playing your little games.

I'll let everyone look up the subject on their own if they are so inclined, and verify your other lies.

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 9:23 am

Having a difference of opinion with people or being in a constant state of hysterics and righteousness?

It's also interesting that progressives claim to speak for the people, or in their vernacular "us", and yet they often lose these types of barometer votes.


Posted by meatlock on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 11:25 am

"The police already had the power, on the books, to move people blocking sidewalks."

- Vigilante


Ass't D.A. Paul Henderson testified this to the board of supes:

Both the General Orders of the Police Commission and the practice of SF courts required that the police could not legally order sidewalk blockers to move along unless police first could identify a civilian who made a complaint about the blockage.

SF was the only city in CA to impose this restriction on police. The sit-lie law corrected this anomaly. It allows police to order sidewalk blockers to move along if the police themselves witness a blockage, even though no civilian has complained. This is the standard practice throughout CA.

By the way, the above post by Vigilante shows that he wants posters banned here because of the content of their arguments. However, Tim Redmond has stated that the paper's policy is not to ban on the basis of content.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 9:57 am

Really Arthur. Let's take a look at the actual law, and when it was passed.

Readers can see the law about blocking sidewalks, which was passed in 1979, by reading sections 22, 23 and 24 at:$id=San%20Francisco%20Police%20Code%3Ar%3Ae$cid=california$t=document-frame.htm$an=JD_22$3.0#JD_22

Shortened url:

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 10:52 am

"Really Arthur. Let's take a look at the actual law, and when it was passed."

- Vigilante

In 1994, the SF Police Commission passed two General Orders that superseded previously passed laws on the matter.

These two General Orders, taken together, require the police to identify a civilian complainant before ordering sidewalk blockers to move along.

Here is the text of General Order 6.11, passed 7/27/94:

"... officers shall make reasonable efforts to identify, but at least, must describe peerson(s) who were obstructed by the party to be arrested or cited."

And here is the text of General Order 5.03, passed 8/17/94, specifying factors that do NOT justify an order to move on:

"... nor do general complaints from residents, merchants or others."

Ass't D.A. Paul Henderson was the person who used to prosecute such cases. He testified to the board of supes that the courts interpret the above two General Orders as requiring the police to have a civilian complainant before they can legally order sidewalk-blockers to move along.

No other California city has this requirement. The sit-lie law corrected this hole in the law.

In any case, posters to this website should not be banned because of the contents of their posts, as Vigilante would like.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 11:35 am

First Arthur, nothing in the text which you very selectively quoted keeps the police from acting without a public complaint. It simply says the person(s) being interfered with have to be identified.

More importantly, the long stream of verbiage that you are claiming the 'Sit/Lie' law contains relating to blocking the sidewalk, and to those general orders you are referring to, is simply nonexistent. The law's prohibition is exceedingly simple, consisting of only one sentence, as follows:

"In the City and County of San Francisco, during the hours between seven (7:00) a.m. and eleven (11:00) p.m. it is unlawful to sit or lie down on a public sidewalk, or any object placed upon a public sidewalk."

That's it Arthur.

Now, can you please show us in that sentence where blocking the sidewalk, or police acting without public complaint are addressed.

I'm lookin' right at it...

So is everyone else reading this...

Looks like, yup, you are indeed lying.

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 11:53 am

From a Bay Citizen article "What’s Wrong with the Sit/ Lie Campaign’s Story?:"

"Several police representatives have publicly stated that they are required to have a citizen complaint before they can take action and a new law is needed to enable them to act without a citizen complaint. But this argument also seems to be without merit. San Francisco law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP recently conducted a review of appropriate legal codes and concluded, “These laws can be enforced by police officers without requiring citizens to complain of violations prior to their enforcement.” SFPD’s argument is further weakened by an analysis of SFPD’s own computer aided dispatch system which shows that “In 2008 there were 15,529 calls for service on and around Haight Street, of which 4,462 were citizen-initiated and 11,067 were officer initiated.” The leading cause of officer-initiated calls was “suspicious people.” Not only are SFPD’s claims inconsistent with the letter of the law, but also their own internal data shows they already pursue law enforcement routinely without citizen complaints.

The legal analysis by O’Melveny & Myers LLP also refers to several other laws currently available to the San Francisco police including laws for obstruction of sidewalks, obstruction with belongings, loitering, aggressive pursuit, stalking and harassment, and for crowds to disperse on order of police officer. There are additional laws about drinking in public, camping in parks or cars, urinating in public, littering, theft of recyclables, maintaining a public nuisance, interfering with a business, and peddling without a permit. In total, the San Francisco Human Service Agency’s Quality of Life citation database shows nearly 12,000 citations were issued citywide in 2008 across six major categories of violations. I learned that just about anything a homeless person can do is already illegal! This punitive and legalistic approach towards homelessness earned San Francisco the dubious distinction of a spot on the list of Ten Meanest Cities in America compiled by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty (NLCHP) in their July 2009 report on the Criminalization of Homelessness."

Source: The Bay Citizen (

Also, sit-lie lost in the Haight where the "campaign" for it began.
The chief of police at that time had first said, "this is not about the homeless." Then he later said, "we will focus on the homeless." Hypocrisy and lies.

Those for sit-lie ran the most dishonest campaign they could possibly run. Full of lies and distortions. But fortunately, from what I can tell, sit-lie is not being enforced, or only selectively.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

It will ask for another one.

Please stop feeding the Trolls.
They have no live, outside of what the shit they constantly try to stir up here.

This is the only way to deal with them:
Let them rant and lie and spew their angry conservative bile without attention.
Let them suffer.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

Since trolls thrive on attempting to inflict shame, they can't stand feeling it themselves.

I find they tend to shut up for a while when they step right into an easy trap and make a fool of themselves.

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

How very convenient for you.

Or does that declaration tell us more about your prejudices than it does about whose contributions here lack value?

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

They do tend to be actually, because they thrive on one-upping people in extreme competitive conflict.

Competition is the god of most conservatives, hence, trolls are often conservatives with a strong sense of entitlement and manifest destiny which leads them to feel empowered by kicking other people's asses (at least verbally).

Very 'American'...

There are indeed progressive trolls, but not very many, and not too often.

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

are conservative? You just "feel" that that is true?

I particularly enjoyed your comment that conservatives have a "sense of entitlement" since it is usually and historically lefties who develop a sense of "entitlement" about the wealth that other and more successful souls have accrued and accumulated.

"Tax the rich" is the ultimate entitlement mantra.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

I should clarify. You are correct, progressives often have a strong sense of entitlement, but usually not an entitlement to dominate others as neo-conservatives so often do.

(I've also switched to neo-conservatives because it is more fair. True conservatives (of which today there are -very- few, often have a strong sense of fairness and ethics.)

Neo-conservatives seem to have it in their DNA that it is their right to dominate others. And that often translates into trolling, which is essentially setting people up in a debate to come in and crush them rhetorically in the middle of it (after luring them in with a reasonable introduction).

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

the primary determinant of a conservative, and therefore a troll, then how do you explain that it is usually the left that wish to introduce bigger government and pass more laws and rules?

Most conservatives would be very happy with a less "dominating" Federal government, and would prefer decisions to be made more locally and autonomously.

I really don't believe that either side of the political divide is more dominant. Politics is about getting your way, which necessarily means forcing others to do your biding. The left is at least as guilty of that crime as the right. Same tactics; different ideologies.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

The whole reason that neo-conservatives view government controls as 'domination' (when they are not - and in fact are merely restrictions used to coordinate a civilization) is precisely because they view everything from a mindframe which believes that domination is how the world works.

When I say domination, I am referring specifically to the subversion of others for one's own gain; a trait which most neo-conservatives view as perfectly right and ethical.

Hence, neo-conservatives are more apt to believe that hyper-dominating and essentially verbally crushing others on blogs is perfectly ethical, and are more likely to engage in trolling.

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

Vigilante, the new sit-lie law replaces and pre-empts the restrictions of the General Orders. The police no longer need to identify a civilian complainant in order to tell sidewalk blockers to move along. The police can act on their own, based on what they themselves see. This is the crucial change.

All the arguments you are now making were made during the public debate on Prop L. The voters approved it by nearly a 9% margin. Your arguments lost.

Your posts above are yet another example of how you sidetrack threads from their original topic by trying to make other participants in the dialogue into the topic.

Enough already.

Let's act like grown-ups.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

n'est-ce pas?

And now that you just got your ass handed to you, you are again trying to deflect the argument in another direction toward vilifying your opponent.

Typical of you Arthur.

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

You say:

"Enough already."

Who appointed you moderator? But of course "Enough already" doesn't apply to you, does it?

Let's act like grown-ups, and grown-ups take their own advice. Everybody benefits.

Let's be reasonable. Let's be sensible. Let's be adult for a broad-based coalition of good will. Everybody benefits.

Let's act like grown-ups.

Posted by Artor Evons on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

"As I recall, you began sidetrack by posting a video of yourself."

- Vigilante

Ahem, didn't you first urge folks to scour the Internet for links to me? Weren't you making me into the topic of this thread? Isn't that how you usually operate?

"And now that you just got your ass handed to you ..."

Oh please, be serious. The sit-lie law was needed to correct an anomaly in SF law due to General Orders of the Police Commission.

The Commission in 1996 refused to correct the Orders, when asked to do so. Later, the supes refused to pass an ordinance to do so. The proper procedure at that point was to take the matter to the voters.

Let's act like grown-ups.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

But of course the topic was your lying, which totally fits into the original thread of the new posting policies.

And, you were, clearly, lying.

Now that this has been proven, you are simply changing the subject to a different facet of the issue in an attempt to further draw out the discussion.

(As any good troll will do.)

But I'm not playing.

I just wanted to establish that you lie.


Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

I don't read what Evans writes any longer. My eye caught that "let's act like grown-ups" shit that I assume he's still using. It's very child-like. It reminds me of a teacher in the early grades of school saying to the children, "today we're going to act like or be like" (fill in the blank). "We're looking, we're not touching." Remember all that stuff from school? Evans lives in the distant past, back in the Wizard of Oz days of the 1900s. He likely lives in his childhood days, and many children taunt and bully as he does as a so-called adult.

The point is that without the skills to be whatever the teacher is urging the students to "be like" or "act like" it's all phony. The same goes for adults. If they don't have the necessary skills or understanding of what they are to "be like" or "act like" it ain't going to happen. One can't just tell someone to "be like" or "act like" something. That's just silly nonsense. In the case of Evans, what he urges people to "be like" and "act like" he himself can't be because he doesn't have the skills for "being" (or doing) as he urges others to do. It's just hot air smug BS. That's all. He's a wanna-be something or the other...the word doesn't come to me at the moment.

Posted by Jorge Orwell 1984 on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

Also constantly violates the "rules" of debate that he demands all others adhere to.
Calls others by insulting names.
Just like the other conservative trolls, looking for an audience to spew their bile onto.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

"And, you were, clearly, lying."

- Vigilante


I quoted the General Orders above that put restrictions on the police.

These General Orders were codicils, ancillary to previous laws on the subject.

The sit-lie law supersedes both the previous laws and their ancillary codicils.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

And the text of the 'sit/lie' measure clearly doesn't mention those general orders, nor blocking the sidewalk as you falsely claimed it did. It simply, flat out, says no sitting on sidewalks, as I accurately reported several posts ago. So in the video, you were obviously, lying your ass off.

Tell me Arthur, are you so addicted to winning at trolling that you will have to get in the last word in this thread, regardless of how obvious it is that you got your ass kicked?

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

Just like Lucretia and Matlock, Sambo and Harry/PaulT/Whatever alias he uses next.

Last word is pathologically important.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

Willful ignorance is their sickness.

Posted by Nusfrat Jones on Aug. 22, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

These are the words that Vigilante hurls at anyone who disagrees with his posts. And when people respond to the abuse, he accuses them of trying to get in the last word.

You see these tactics in this thread, in Vigilante's comments on the sit-lie law.

In fact, Prop L replaced previous ordinances and their ancillary General Orders with a new ordinance that places no restraints on police in regard to acting on their own in clearing sidewalk obstructions.

When posters point out that this fact, Vigilante responds with the usual name-calling tactics aimed at shutting down debate.

And all this in a thread devoted to standards for making posts.

Anybody see an irony here?

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 27, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

Hilarious Arthur.

In response to my all too prescient last-word-boy accusation, you waited a full five days to save face, and then came back with exactly the same bullshit arguments you used before, which I had already proved you were lying about. You really can't stop. Can you? ;'>

Ah well.

At least you're good for a laugh once in a while.

It's like throwing pies in your face. Easy, predictable, and fun.

V! for Vaudevillian!


ok, now get in the last word again...

I'm very curious. How long will you wait this time..?

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 27, 2011 @ 9:06 pm


President Obama's war in Libya was a success for proxy warfare, start to finish.

We mustered arms under authority of the War Powers Act. That law illegally delegates Congressional war powers to the president. President Obama then ignored the time-limit on that proxy altogether, arguing that our part in this has nothing to do with war.

NATO proved useless -- both man and material. No matter, the NATO cover allowed our proxy bomb-dropping in the cause of Pax Americana.

Will the left be checking-in on this, or are they too busy blaming Bush for the bad economy?

Posted by Guest Paul Burton on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 9:02 am

"the text of the 'sit/lie' measure clearly doesn't mention those general orders..."

- Vigilante

As pointed out earlier, General Orders are ancillary to specific ordinances. The General Orders that I quoted above specify that they are ancillary to 647cPC or 22MPC, which are older ordinances.

The sit-lie law is a whole new kettle of fish. It replaces and supersedes prior ordinances on the subject and their ancillary General Orders.

You are mistaken, once again.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 9:54 am

Yes, Arthur.

The 'sit/lie' law indeed supersedes those general orders by creating an entirely new legal landscape in which sitting on the sidewalk is illegal, thereby radically changing the fundamental nature of street life in the city.

In a similar sense we could 'supersede' a mosquito by setting off a nuclear weapon above it.

And by the way, under grilling from attorney/supervisor David Campos, police officials finally admitted in public hearings that those general orders in fact do *not* do what you are falsely claiming they do, and that cops can move people who are blocking the sidewalk etc without a citizen complaint. And you know this full well Arthur because you watched those hearings. So you are lying about that too. (You tell a *lot* of lies, don't you Arthur? Seems like a way of life for you.)

So, to repeat, your contention in the video that the measure was written to simply keep people from blocking the sidewalk and doing other things that are already illegal is:

a lie.

The measure was written expressly, to make it illegal for people to sit on the sidewalk.

Here again is the full exact text of the prohibition:

"In the City and County of San Francisco, during the hours between seven (7:00) a.m. and eleven (11:00) p.m. it is unlawful to sit or lie down on a public sidewalk, or any object placed upon a public sidewalk."

Now by all means limply attempt to get in the last word.

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 23, 2011 @ 11:55 am

It should be clear by now that the comments policy is not working out that well. I am progressive (a socialist) and will probably catch hell for saying this, but the few of you who are sabotaging the policy, are progressive. I think you really should ask yourself how this looks to someone out in the community who is not sure about progressive policies. Does this reflect well on our values when you insist on behaving like Arthur/ Lucretia/ Matlock/ PaulT? It may be satisfying psychologically but how exactly does this help our cause? Seriously. Ask yourselves.

If you want to change some dynamic, it helps to begin with yourself. You may not believe it, but try it. And if you're not willing to try then I have to conclude that you have some investment in debating these trolls that has everything to do with your ego(s) and nothing to do with progressive values. That is, you don't really want to see these trolls banned. You need them as much as they need you. And if that's the case, progressivism is a lost cause.

I have spent the last few years debating the issues in various forums. And here are some guidelines I came up with through trial and error. I don't always get it right. Once in a while I will snap and say something nasty to a troll. But I try not to if I can because it doesn't help our cause. Anyway, you can take it or leave it. Here are some guidelines I've found it helpful for dealing with trolls.

Ask yourself, do I really need respond to this? There may be times when you need to combat disinformation. Go ahead and respond. But what if they say you're a lousy writer, an idiot or the worst whatever in the world. You know they're just baiting you...and they're masters at this. Do you really need to respond? Generally the one who gets upset and snipes back has already lost the argument. But if you leave your ego out of it, their taunts will fall flat. I know this can be difficult. Just remember that most people reading the trolls comments know exactly what they're up to. And we (progressives) have your back.

One thing I would like to suggest to the BG editors is, for your policy to work, it needs teeth. I know you don't like to ban people, and I commend you for that. But why not suspend some of the worst offenders, say for a week or at least a few days. It shouldn't matter whether the offending commenter is a moderate, a progressive or a troll. Whoever they are, they are bringing down the level of the comments if they flatly refuse to follow the guidelines. So, suspend them until they agree to debate the issues like grownups.

I know how hard it is to police these threads (I've tried it). You want to be fair and careful that you don't curtail anyone's right to free speech. But if people treat your comment policy like so much toilet paper, they aren't showing respect for the community of BG readers. So, a brief period of suspension might be good for them...and us. Just a thought.

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

I tend to agree with what you have just laid out, especially with the idea of banning some of the worst offenders.

However we are dealing with a particularly bad infestation here, and it needs a *very* creative response; particularly in light of the reality that the SF Guardian is in fact, not, banning anyone.

It's true that many are needlessly debating endless troll lures.

But it is also true, that the very moment that it became clear to the trolls that their posts would not be quickly deleted, they came back with an absolute vengeance.

It was only then, that I, quite admittedly, personally started to get *really* nasty with these people in an effort to call attention to the Guardian that the policy is not working (partly by breaking it myself) and to treat the trolls like such crap that they would grow tired of getting out-trolled as it were.

The reality is that, until (as you rightly say) some of these jokers start to get blocked, and I mean *via* their very computer addresses, we simply must come up with other very creative tactics to get them to shut up, or to get the SF Guardian to delete more of their posts.

I'm open to suggestions...

Posted by vigilante on Aug. 27, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

You basically DISagreed and restated your own policy - which is that you will do what you want regardless of the rules.

That's it in a nutshell.

Posted by Right on Sister Snapples on Aug. 27, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

"Next shit-fer-brains?"
Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Nov. 16, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

Posted by Guest on Aug. 27, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

1) At least you now admit your purpose here is to attack and deter others rather than post constructively and on topic. Unfortunately that makes you a troll - the very thing you claim you are deterring. Trolls attack the messenger, not the message.

2) Perhaps that's because your definition of troll is different, and therefore wrong. If someone here posts right-wing, or even moderate or centrist, posts then you see that as a red flag and, like any good bull, you roar and run. You dismiss and define those with different political persuasions as a troll (or bigot, or moron etc.) Again, troll-like behavior.

3) Unless SFBG goes to full registration, they can't ban anyone. You can post as "Guest" and the email address isn't verified. So that would be an empty threat right now.

Even IP bans aren't much use in a mobile wi-fi world or with the profusion of proxy servers. No, I'm afraid your desire to censor and ban (while defending the right to free speech on BART, ironically) is as ill-fated as it is flawed in principle. I'm afraid you're just going to have to persuade the old-fashioned way - through debate, rhetoric, logic and facts. And without the games, harassment, stalking, ad hominem attacks and dirty tricks.

Try it. You might even like it.

Posted by PaulT on Aug. 28, 2011 @ 10:57 am

Debates quickly degenerate when one party shouts "Troll!," "Shill!" and "Liar"! at other posters.

Debates also degenerate when one party tries to make another party into the topic of the debate.

And they degenerate when one party attacks another party for daring even to respond to ad hominem slurs.

A better way to debate is to stay focused on the thread's topic, quote the exact words of those you disagree with, and base arguments on good evidence and sound logic.

We don't have to act like kindergartners having a temper tantrum.

Let's act like grown-ups.

Posted by Arthur Evans on Aug. 27, 2011 @ 11:27 pm