This is as good a place as any to announce a new commenting rule on Ethics Alarms that I should have thought of earlier.
On a post from June, a new commenter entered the fray making the increasingly popular Rationalization #64 claim that the kiddie versions of Critical Race Theory that are being used as propaganda in schools (the “1619 Project” course materials qualify) aren’t really CRT, which is “only taught in law schools.” (I’m not sure it is taught in law schools at all, since it has nothing to do with law.) When I replied that I didn’t appreciate that kind of disinformation on Ethics Alarms, he devolved into outright insults and the clichéd “Good day, sir!” exit that I’m still sick of, though it hasn’t surfaced in a while. I banned him of course (I was being generous to allow his first comment on, in retrospect: I’m looking for articulate progressives, but this jerk was a poor candidate), and I warned him about defying the ban, as he had the whiff about him of someone who would. Sure enough, he tried to return with successively more insulting retorts, which were promptly deleted.
This inspired me to launch the new rule: If a commenter is banned, and comes back and comments anyway, all of that commenter’s previous comments and posts will be sent to Spam Hell.
This isn’t an ex post facto edict, so the mercifully few past commenters who did this won’t be penalized (and I would not want to lose the contributions from the best of them). It also won’t apply to the self-banned going forward.
So that’s that.
Now, please contribute your usual provocative and ethical observations in this week’s Open Forum.
52 thoughts on “Open Forum!”
“If a commenter is banned, and comes back and comments anyway, all of that commenter’s previous comments and posts will be sent to Spam Hell.”
I disagree with this policy as worded for this reason, just because a banned commenter chooses to be an asshole and comes back and comments after being banned shouldn’t negate the very presence of previous comments (maybe years and years of them) and that those comments had genuine value to the commentary community of Ethics Alarms. I think I worded that so my intent regarding the value of long-term commenters to the Ethics Alarms community comes across correctly.
Since I “think” you were specifically talking about the conduct of brand new commenters that are being assholes after they were banned, consider rewording the new rule to read, “If a new commenter is banned shortly after their initial participation, and comes back and comments anyway, all of that commenter’s previous comments and posts will be sent to Spam Hell.”
No, the idea is to have a real disincentive for doing what, to name a recent example, Chris did. He was banned, and he had—has—a large presence here still, including some Comments of the Day. If a Chris-level commenter got himself banned, he would know that trying to sneak back on the blog with some snarky rejoinder would have serious consequences.
Chris wasn’t the only A-List commenter who has tried this after being banned, and frankly, I’m sick of the routine. I have to track down these comments. Some banned commenters, including one who sued me, have used fake screen names and new email addresses to keep slugging away.
Nope, this is a third rail now, like gambling on baseball for Pete Rose. If a commenter is banned, he or she will risk all of their work here by defying me. I don’t care who they are or what they have contributed. As I said, I’m sick of it.
Thanks for the reply, I understand your point much better now.
I think this sort of thing falls WELL within the “It’s Jack’s pop stand (which he runs out of the goodness of his heart and for zero compensation and lots of aggravation, for God’s sake) and he can run it however the hell he likes” rule, which I consider inviolate.
Harsh, but necessary. Why am I not surprised Chris did that? Trying not to rant, I have to say that someone who insists on re-injecting himself into a conversation with someone who has made it clear he wants nothing to do with him is in need of some kind of help. In real life, insisting on pestering another adult who’d told you to get lost would be considered harassment. That said, some of us here have been guilty of similar behavior. As commenters, though, we do not have the ability to block someone annoying us like we would on social media, nor the power to cut off a thread that has deteriorated. I think if the moderator tells commenters to stop and is refused, there should be punishment for that also. That also said, it’s kinda dumb to take commentary on this site personally.
I would still disagree.
Deleting ALL of Chris’s comments, in this example, would render unintelligible many of the conversations others engaged in, making many of their comments, lacking context, a morass. That’s unfair to those commenters.
But Chris was not always completely off the rails. Which probably made him even more infuriating when he did go off the rails. I think Jack’s dealing with commenters who are assholes right out of the box. Besides, this rule is not ex post facto, so Chris’s comments are safe.
Yes, I know, but he was brought up as an example.
I do think it would be a very unlikely occurrence because it would be very very rare to have that type of commenter.
Agreed, but the last year or so he was here he got progressively wackier. I tried to warn him he was headed down a path he should not go down, but he wouldn’t listen. I admit, I didn’t help things by whacking him pretty hard after his justification of the abuse of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, but I had the wrong idea that I could knock sense into someone else. Knocking sense never works.
And it would be his choice to do it.Commenting here carries responsibilities to all participants. When someone demonstrates that they are so ethically inert as to refuse to honor a host’s rules and edicts, his or her ethical positions cease to interest me. As I said, Chris,and Meatshield, and the others whose past conduct would fall under this rule are safe, grandfathered in. But I have limited options to punish a banned commenter who keeps sneaking back. If you can come up with another option, I’m open to adopting it. But as I wrote to the jerk under question, the commenters who get banned tend to exhibit unethical tendencies later. I need a deterrent.
Killing the first born male child in every household?
Too Imperial Roman?
Michael West wrote, “Deleting ALL of Chris’s comments, in this example, would render unintelligible many of the conversations others engaged in, making many of their comments, lacking context, a morass.”
This is a point worth discussing.
Actually it doesn’t make the comments unintelligible it makes them simply go away. If a comment is deleted all the subsequent replies to the deleted comment become invisible because the address (digital pointer of sorts) of the comment that was deleted no longer exists and the program fails thus not displaying that which it cannot properly display. In PHP programs this displays a white screen for that area or if the programmer has thought about this error ahead of time it does nothing for that reference and moves on to the next task. From the point of view of the user, they are all effectively deleted, it’s as if the conversation never happened.
I just tested this on my blog and it is confirmed what I wrote as fact.
I made a comment, replied to that one, then replied to the reply, then replied to the reply to the reply. There were 4 levels of comment in one thread. I deleted comment at level 3 and the level three comment and the level 4 comment disappeared but the level 4 comment was still in the database just not visible.
Based on what I know about programming and databases and then confirming what I know with an actual test, this is not something I would choose to do; however, this is Jack’s blog and these kind of choices are his alone.
I repeated the test and went out to 5 levels of replies and all the replies after the one that is deleted disappear from the blog post thread but they are all still in the database, the only one deleted from the database is the one I intentionally deleted. There are unforeseen consequences to deleting comments, this is just the one consequence that I know of.
I don’t think there was a post on the Frontier flight crew that subdued a passenger by duct taping him to his seat. If you aren’t familiar with the story or videos, you can search for them which show the passenger’s unruly screaming and behavior and the subsequent restraint applied to him. However, I saw this video tweeted this morning, and it’s fantastic (in my opinion)
My question is: Don’t airlines stock proper restraints for this type of situation? Why is it always a makeshift restraint based on whatever’s handy?
Also, I may a victim of comedy. This appears to be a comedian overlaying his bit and putting himself in the role of flight attendant, not the actual flight crew member. It’s fake news, as they say, but still funny.
You’re the man, Alfredo. “Wrapped him up better than a Christmas present.”
We WESconsinites prefer wrapped up tighter than a vending machine sandwich.
Wrapped tighter than a mummy. BTW, what kid of music do mummies like? WRAP music, of course! 😀 Honk! Honk! Wocka! Wocka!
Kind of like being stuffed like a sausage.
It seems kind of medieval for a plane to carry restraints; expecting socially unacceptable behavior just seems to just invite it. While the marshal might have handcuffs and zip ties, but I don’t want to live in a world where private companies have the tools on hand to restrain their customers in a dignified manner.
I bet cruise liners have a brig.
Well, they do carry Australians from time to time.
Ick or unethical:
Summary: At some point while taking a class a student discovered their professor wasn’t actually alive. The class was taught by lectures and recordings created before his passing. Though now the class list another instructor of record he and two other students were running normal class operations (grades, answering questions, etc) while giving off the pretense it was the deceased.
The article uses some rationalization that people works of art are sometimes released post mortem and if the former professor agreed to this I would see no problem with that. The larger problem stems from the fact students are being misled and cheated.
Unethical. The students are led to believe that their teacher was available and would be able to defend or answer questions about the content. Sure, in some situations, an assistant might field those questions, but at least there’s an appeal process to the professor. That doesn’t exist in the scenario presented above and the students need to be informed of that.
Also, course materials can become outdated. How long would they continue to use these lectures? It’s fine to incorporate the lectures into a curriculum, but with full disclosure of when they were recorded.
Great case, Tim! A school really did that?
Not too important but I’m the one who shared the story.
Wait, your friends don’t call you “Tim”? My mistake.
There are some who call me…. Tim…. But only when quoting old British movies.
Unethical, for the reasons stated above, but more than that… Teachers probably shouldn’t support this from a personal interest angle.
See, if we’re moving away from in class learning because teachers are afraid of their students…. Why have Zoom classes? Why keep school hours? Why not just send out the modules as taught by the best and brightest of educators out there and allow kids to learn at pace? One person could teach a million. Heck, why limit Zoom classes to normal class sizes? Why not have one teacher teach the entire division? Imagine the labor savings!
I’m not serious, obviously, but I’m too tired to channel my inner Swift. I do think teachers unions are shooting themselves directly in the foot by fighting school reopening.
Ann Althouse changed her comment system again:
Not sure this is an ethical thing, but it’s been posted before so more of an update on a continued discussion.
I don’t go there any more. She’s too often way too whacky. She’s just not reliable.
I don’t know why her readers put up with this. She’s just jerking them around, making them jump through hoops.I check her blog far less than I once did. Not because she doesn’t still find the occasional gold nugget, but because I don’t like her very much, and her attitude towards commenters is a major reason.
And any blogger who refers to the blog’s new “era” has too much hubris for me….
How on earth can the Obamas afford a twelve million dollar mansion on Martha’s Vineyard? I thought this was a rich guy’s crash pad they were borrowing to host his party for 500 of his closest friends. What did they do during their eight years in the White House that generated that sort of a net worth? There’s something really, really, fishy about this. And don’t say “writing books and producing video content.” And I’m not even sure Obama gives over-priced speeches. That’s beneath no drama Obama, isn’t it? This is just creepy. He’s living like a Robber Baron.
Oh, they can afford it, all right. Obama can command $400K+ for a one-hour speech. Michelle can command $200K+. (Hey, wait a minute! Why is she making so much less than he is? Because she’s a woman?)
They’ve got a sweetheart deal with Netflix, terms not disclosed. You can bet that an hour of his time consulting will cost you plenty… Bottom line is that they can afford the house. And the place in DC, for that matter. Like the Clintons, they may have left the White House with only five or ten million on hand… but there’s plenty to be made later.
What do people get for that kind of dough, AIM? Are these really some sort of deferred payments?
Deferred payments? Possibly, but most likely not. What one gets depends upon who one is: the bottom tier of the audience gets to brag that they heard Obama speak. But the upper level folks get access to Obama’s extensive network and, thus, connections to future deals.
The Canadian women’s soccer team has won the gold with a transgender teammate.
How long until the trans-woman arms race begins?
My only wish is for Dennis Rodman to come out of retirement, declare himself non-binary, and sign with a WNBA team.
You struck a nerve with me, Bobby. Dennis always struck me as running like girl, as did Bruce Jenner. Speaking of Caitlyn Jenner, I wonder why she doesn’t enter the next Olympics as a girl and win all sorts of events, even at her age.
Maybe Jenner is or isn’t taking the necessary hormones to qualify. Or if he is, maybe doing so would render him non-competitive.
Gonna repost this here. Tim LeVier found this and it’s solid.
Wow, that’s above and beyond ethics giving me credit for liking & retweeting something…all I did was stumble upon it same as anyone else. (Except, I can’t remember where I stumbled upon it, but I think from a website.) Of course, my motto is not to tweet a link to a site that wrote an article based on a tweet….. I just go to the tweet and interact directly.
Which brings me to another point…what is this version of journalism that creates nothing new, just writes an article about what someone said in a tweet and then provides the tweet as a source?
A really worthwhile interview with Viktor Orban:
Of course, it’s being slammed.
They capitalized on the opportunity to use “whitewashes” in their headline. They must have been dancing with glee.
Late to the game as is often the case, but some updated info on Ashli Babbitt lawsuit:
This needs to get out in the open, one way or another. We need more than a secret tribunal “clearing” the one who committed the lone homicide on Jan. sixth, and gold medals all around.