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ATTENTION

 

I have been getting too many emails and IMs from readers that tell me that they'd like to weigh in on my blog posts but can't because the thread had degenerated into a shit-flinging contest. So let me remind you of sfbg.com’s policy on comments.

 

Comments that have nothing to do with the topic, that are nothing but ad hominem attacks, or that include offensive language or hate speech, are subject to being deleted. We want this to be an open forum, but we also want to keep it (relatively) civil (and relevant).

 

Unless the topic of my blog post is "does Johnny Angel Wendell (or Tim Redmond/Bruce Brugmann/The SFBG/Another poster) suck or do they rule?" your irrelevant comments are going to go.

 

We wouldn't converse with each other in person this way. That is the rule of thumb.

 

Tear the premise of the blog post to pits, praise it to the skies, be indifferent, fine. I'm personally fair game as well (good or bad), as long as the topic is the subject. This isn't that hard. I don't wanna be an Internet cop. But because a few allegedly adult readers are driving off an awful lot of would-be participants, I’m going to have to use the “delete” key. 

Comments

I'm glad you said that, Johnny Angel. Everyone should be civil in the blog-forum.

People do need a reminder of this now and then.

Posted by Artie on May. 29, 2013 @ 10:13 am

here, I suspect some or most of those pious IM complaints likely as not originate from the same places as rubbish ad hominem attacks.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 29, 2013 @ 10:33 am

rubbish add ominem. That's a good way to put it. Johnny Angel does not suffer fools gladly. Which is why the trolls take such a beating from him.

Posted by Ron on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:00 am

Who, of course, we all know is JAW.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

You, of course, have incontrovertible evidence to back up your claim. Who is "we all"?

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

AW can sign off as Bert, Hal or anyone else and nobody is the wiser.

Unless, of course, he creates a pattern that can be deconstructed, as here.

Posted by Anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

Words cannot describe what a despicable experience it has been for so many years to attempt to engage in political conversation on the SFBG blog pages.

I don't even bother to read the comments anymore, and have become so disenchanted with the endless caustic crass trolling here, that I now only skim the SFBG paper itself - when I was once a very involved reader and participant.

The SFBG's woefully misplaced ethic that it is somehow protecting free speech to allow abusive assholes to constantly attack, trivialize, and essentially continuously verbally rape other commenters, and the journalists, is incredibly misguided and results in a deep disrespect dealt to the reader and would-be political participant.

Kudos to you Johnny for stepping up to use the delete button, but doing this on your own will not be nearly enough to solve the problem. It takes a huge amount of time and effort to read through every comment and weed out the endless streams of bullying and abuse from trollers.

The only way to really solve this problem is to require posters to register with legitimate verified email addresses or FaceBook/Google/Twitter/etc accounts, with which they must log in to post comments. And then when those accounts prove to being used to assault and abuse people, cut them the hell off from commenting. This, combined with interactive filters allowing readers to make individual commenters disappear from their reading experience (in FaceBook known as 'blocking') would solve most of the problem.

This second, filtering option, is very important because it will allow readers to weed out commenters who follow morays of politeness, and yet still post purposely inane provocative (usually neo-conservative) comments for no other reason than to continuously offhandedly harass left viewpoints with no intention whatsoever of engaging in a real debate with legitimate arguments. This doesn't serve democratic discourse either, and readers should have the power to ignore it.

Please SFBG, take strong hand with this stuff, so that the blog can once again become a robust and enlivened platform for badly needed discourse on civic issues; a discourse which does not exist on other more mainstream forums.

If you do - I will start avidly reading your paper again.

Posted by anonymous on May. 29, 2013 @ 10:37 am

yes, kudos to Johnny Angel for exposing the graphty poseurs. Registration would be much needed first step.

Posted by Bill on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:05 am

yes, kudos to Johnny Angel for exposing the graphty poseurs. Registration would be much needed first step.

Posted by Bill on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:06 am

Please require posters to register with this site. It would cut down on most of the abuse and make the comments section readable. And thank you, anonymous!

(Note: this is addressed to commenter above who signed on as "anonymous", not the troll "anon".)

Posted by Ana on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:44 am

Why not? Because there is no limit to the number of signon's a person can have.

SFBG can limit handles and email addresses. But they have no real way to identify people.

Posted by anonymous on May. 29, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

This is simply not true. If a valid email address, or better yet social media account, is required to register and only one registration on that account is allowed, it will cut way down on trolls, once those registrants are blocked for trolling.

It is true that one can create new email accounts incessantly, but many trolls will grow sick of having to do that and go harass easier targets.

And even this infinite email accounts problem would be solved by simply requiring the registrant to use a social media account like FaceBook, Twitter, of Google+.

Almost all other news sites that take comments use these strategies.

SFBG is behind the times.

Posted by anonymous on May. 30, 2013 @ 9:37 am

the problem with websites that try and restrict access is that they can only restrict things like email addy and IP.

Since you can have unlimited numbers of email addresses and your IP changes with every Wi-Fi zone, you can never be effectively banned.

Better to just allow free speech, even though that sounds terribly American.

Posted by anonymous on May. 29, 2013 @ 12:18 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 2:27 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on May. 29, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

As "Anon", I am neither of those pretenders.

Posted by Anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

It was the dude from the Occupy movement who first adopted that moniker. The rest of you are all pretenders.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:05 pm
Posted by anonymous on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

You've fallen for your own inflated image of yourself. Too bad nobody else is impressed by it.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

The second anonymous is incorrect. Social media accounts are not infinite. If you get caught creating more than one you get cut off.

So all SFBG has to do is require registration through FaceBook, Twitter, Google+, etc. and it will have a mechanism to block trolls specifically by their accounts.

Posted by anonymous on May. 30, 2013 @ 9:40 am

I trademarked "anonymous".

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 2:47 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

Try and keep up here.

Posted by Anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:06 pm

There are so many people claiming to be you that no one can tell you apart. So your identity has been effectively usurped. Love it!

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

That's exactly what I intended you to think, and it worked.

Posted by Anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

Your logic has descended into the Theatre of the Absurd. Off your meds, pumpkin?

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:43 pm
Posted by guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:51 pm

Oh Anon, posing as guest. How precious. And all your talk about confusing posters with each other. You're hilarious.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

I'd recognize you anywhere.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 29, 2013 @ 4:30 pm
Posted by guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

This, from a guy who refers to his political opponents as "assholes".

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on May. 29, 2013 @ 10:49 am

Do you understand the distinction?

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 29, 2013 @ 10:53 am

Mandated civility for me, but not for thee.

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly, Persistent on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:32 am

Is there someone on this forum named "Republicans" that I am referring to?

No.

Therefore, not a personal attack, even if some Republicans may not like it much.

It's like this--you are absolutely free to post "Johnny, you are really an asshole for calling Republicans "assholes" and this is why" and not "you're an asshole".

Do you understand that, yes or no? 

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:39 am

Johnny-Come-Lately's latter day conversion to prudity does rather stick in one's craw, ya know?

Posted by anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:43 am

And yet, you can't tear yourself away from the place.

Why is that?

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:48 am

making my living, I enjoy the light relief that comes from easily winning debates by debunking flawed thinkers.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 1:04 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

Then again, there's really not much competition.

Posted by anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 2:48 pm

just ad hominems galore!

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

That's for those who are losing debates.

Posted by Anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

never. wow, that's rich.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

He appears to not need to.

Posted by Anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

You're confused and all your identities are getting mixed up. So which is it? The three faces of "anon" or early alzheimers?

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

The other poster consistently denied it.

Posted by Anonymous on May. 29, 2013 @ 4:30 pm

You lost this debate a long time ago.

Posted by Guest on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:45 pm
Posted by Anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

Perhaps JAW will have a better response, buy my rather effortless understanding of the distinction is that it is it is okay to say someone has acted like an asshole and explain why in the context of a story, but it is not okay to simply cast epithets about.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:44 am

When a post is simply a vehicle for venting anger at someone, it's useless.

 

Posted by JohnnyW on May. 29, 2013 @ 11:55 am

mindless kneejerk attacks on people simply because they are successful?

I'd certainly welcome that.

Posted by anon on May. 29, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

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