Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Civility Code

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  • Russell Brown,

    OTOH, and with the standard disclaimer (I know Jordan, think he's an awfully nice chap and despite our obvious political differences you can't say he's hiding his partisan light under a bushel), I don't really have an excess of sympathy for bloggers or commentators who are either bear-baiting (which I must admit can be a most guilty pleasure) or remarkably tone deaf, and get a response.

    Granted: Jordan does sometimes bring it on himself. But in the thread someone linked to earlier, his provocative wording was of the order of "I'm off to the South Island for a holiday, see you."

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    There was a storm over at Sir Humphreys when AL banned Redbaiter (now there's a troll) for what seemed to me to be eminently justifiable reasons involving defamatory abuse. Lucyna got the pip and went off to start her own blog, but I've always found her very strange anyway.

    Candidly I find it rather gratifying that 'RedBaiters' great contribution to the New Zealand blogosphere has been to tear apart it's most conspicuously conservative far-right community.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Span .,

    Yeah those are the threads they find the most offensive, the ones where Jordan indicates he has a life that doesn't revolve around dealing with the trolls. I've ended up in some real schmozzles in those threads. For example.

    Sometimes I just can't stop the constant reverberation of the key phrase around my skull:
    "What is wrong with these people?"

    It's as if they forget the Other Side is actually a human being. Aren't there statistics somewhere about the increasing level of dehumanisation of the enemy found in soldiers, from Boer, to WWI, to WWII, to Korea, to Vietnam? And how it correlates with increasing accuracy with your firearm? Maybe I'm making all this up, but dehumanisation is a key part of politics too (you just have to look at a history of political cartooning to see that), and now that we have forums like blogs where you can instantly attack your target we are seeing the dehumanisation trend played out in imaginary online wars with words instead of bullets.

    Oh dear, hark at me getting all melodramatic of a Wednesday.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 112 posts Report Reply

  • dad4justice,

    As a newby blogger who is guilty of some ungracious comments on kiwiblog , mens daily ,menz, f4j ,f4e , blah, blah , the list is endless , I am a soldier of truth and this country is in a social quagmire . I don't get perturbed by negative character comments as it's all part of being a fathers' rights crusader. If the Minister of Education can say fuck it then I say lets try stop the double standard dinosaur of inept government .

    Since Jan 2007 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Granted: Jordan does sometimes bring it on himself. But in the thread someone linked to earlier, his provocative wording was of the order of "I'm off to the South Island for a holiday, see you."

    Um, yes... FFS, I'll extract the urine from the guy when he's being a bit of a tit and he's entirely capable of repaying the discourtesy. (And I think that's one of the positive things about the blogisphere - there's always someone smarter or just saner that you out there who will write you a reality check when you need it, if you've got the wit to pay attention.) But the one thing you can't say about Jordan is that he's a dishonest partisan, as far as politics goes.

    It's as if they forget the Other Side is actually a human being. Aren't there statistics somewhere about the increasing level of dehumanisation of the enemy found in soldiers, from Boer, to WWI, to WWII, to Korea, to Vietnam?

    Span, at first sight I thought the analogy was a tad melodramatic but the more I think about it, the less sure I am that you're not onto something. During the 2004 American elections, I had a serious WTF? moment when I read a story in (I think) the Washington Post about partisanship that had gotten so toxic people had broken relationships, engagements, stopped talking to family members and even spouses. While I take my politics seriously, I can't get my head around the kind of mindset that has to put every human interaction through an ideological filter like that. I don't want to, to be honest.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    My pet hate is when similar sites (say political blogs or channels) start up rivalries, and then they, or their members escalate it into a war of some kind.

    What, like setting up bowling leagues?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Well I for one asked Russell when he would allow coments, mostly so there could be some two way response
    He responded on why that wasn't posible at that time and I am very pleased on how PA has changed since commnets have been possible
    And oh yes I would consider myself right wing compared with most of you

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    THEATRE!

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Thanks for the reminder, merc. I was about to respond to a post with a 'WTF?!!' masquerading as a 'please explain'.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    someone get that man Arts funding. Immediately!

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Jordan Carter,

    Do you know what? I wonder the same thing, more often than not in fact.

    As a general point when I started blogging, the discussion was quite intelligent and rational. That was in 2004.

    Around the time of the 2005 election and immediately after, it was more vigorous and rude, but bearable.

    Through 2006 and into this year, it has become absurd. The only reason I allow comments on the blog these days is because they provide a sort of archived commentary of the state of mind of some parts of the right. That state of mind is truly scary.

    Yes, sometimes I write more provocatively than I should, but I do not do so in a cynical fashion. It is genuinely meant. I suppose the great advantage is that I don't take the responses seriously, as if I did I think I'd be in treatment now and for some time.

    It does sadden me that vigorous partisan positions, instead of earning vigorous rebuttal, instead simply lead to bitter and twisted abuse. Maybe I can (and should) change my tone. But I don't abuse people on my blog. That's a one way street. There is no moral equivalence involved.

    Jordan

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Well Im inclined to not having any regulation even self regulation just yet.

    I guess eventually it may be the only way. The internet is still young and growing. There are those who will never learn from reading what they or anyone else will write. And eventually they will go away, or die a metaphorical death. But this, well, explosion of writing by people who often cant spell is cathartic is so many ways it would be a shame to think about censoring it now, at this is (I cant stress it enough)** crucial++ time in human history.

    I hope there are very few more Kathy Sierra incidents, and I hope she can put it behind her. It all sounded as if it got out of hand I havent fallowed the whole incident closely,who said what about whose book.
    Chris Locke is a clever man though and I like his mysticbourgeoisie site.

    So I say not yet ride with it a bit longer if we can....

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Well Im inclined to not having any regulation even self regulation just yet.

    I guess eventually it may be the only way. Remember the internet is still young and growing. There are those who will never learn from reading what they or anyone else will write. And eventually they will go away, or die a metaphorical death. But this, well, explosion of writing by people who often can"t spell, or mouthing off by, mmm dickheads, is cathartic is so many ways it would be a shame to think about censoring it now, at this is (I cant stress it enough)** crucial** time in human history.

    I hope there are very few more Kathy Sierra incidents, and I hope she can put it behind her. It all sounded as if it got out of hand I havent followed the whole incident closely, who said what about so & so, or whose book.
    Chris Locke is a clever man though and I like his mysticbourgeoisie site.

    So I say not yet ride with it a bit longer if we can....

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • merrica,

    'it's my site....'

    totally agree. I kind of think of blogs as visiting someone you don't know that well in their home. Civility really isn't all that hard, nor is it too much to ask for.

    NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    If the Minister of Education can say fuck it

    If the same Minister can immediately apologise, D4J, will you be following suit? Everyone loses their rag or says stupid stuff sometimes, the true test is whether you can step back and say sorry when you have gone over the line of acceptability.

    Do you really think your internet posts, which have a near constant theme of personal abuse and hatred, are the equivalent of someone getting momentarily annoyed in a parliamentary debate? Where is you perspective? Its not like he threw his opponent down the stairs or anything.

    Seems to me that you have a voice that needs to be heard but no-one in their right mind is going to give credence to your message when it is toned in the way it is.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Everyone loses their rag or says stupid stuff sometimes, the true test is whether you can step back and say sorry when you have gone over the line of acceptability.

    Fair point, as far as it goes, but I don't really think Parliament is the gold standard on that score - personally, I value a considered and sincere apology over one that's delivered to avoid a (metaphorical) slap around the ears. It's not as if vacuous insincerity is in short supply and as my late Gran used to say, "an apology is all very nice, but it's better not to need to in the first place". :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    The only reason I allow comments on the blog these days is because they provide a sort of archived commentary of the state of mind of some parts of the right. That state of mind is truly scary.

    If they weren't abusing you in your threads they'd be outside someplace bothering the pigeons, so I think it's better for everyone to stick with the status quo.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    And recent comments on kiwiblog are a salient reminder that it's not just those on the right who are batshit crazy

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    And recent comments on kiwiblog are a salient reminder that it's not just those on the right who are batshit crazy

    damn straight. that "jason" guy needs therapy.

    but to shift subject a little. granted, people can (not-) moderate their own sites as they see fit without a CoC sheriff.

    my question is tho; if you have a commercial interest in your site, wouldn't it be useful to have a means for casual or noob browsers to that site know what they're in for? so they stay an click away a little longer?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I'm ok with bowling leagues Joanna, just so long as they are angry yet stylish.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    I'm ok with bowling leagues Joanna, just so long as they are angry yet stylish.

    There will be uniforms!

    And badges.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    And badges

    Makes me sad I'm leaving Wellington now.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Makes me sad I'm leaving Wellington now.

    The prospect of badges can do that.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Agreed.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Sonic,

    Speaking of Mr Farrar, he is hardly the innocent he claims to be, only stepping in to chastise his army of flying monkeys when they go to far.

    Check out this thread today for a good example of him giving the signal to attack

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2007/04/hilarious.html#comments

    It's got it all, even the usual attempt at intimidation (we know your name!) of course since I met half of them at the blog night on Auckland it is hardly surprising they know my name, but they seem jolly proud of themselves.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 102 posts Report Reply

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