Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Who's laughing?

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  • Juha Saarinen,

    No, it really isn't funny.

    Sometimes it seems the Internet is a catalyst for suppressed misogyny and sexism. It's very hard to mention Helen Clark without a sneering choir going on about lesbianism and her looks appearing, for instance.

    As perhaps a mild example of the abovementioned condition, I was curious to read that a blogger of some repute recently only noted the footwear and age of the female part of the audience at a media-studded event, ignoring the equivalent attributes of the men in the congregation. :)

    Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I wonder if what we see has something to do with the homogenous world certain people inhabit.

    If you mostly hang out in a mileu where nasty people say nasty things, you may start to believe that it is actually normal. And then you are somewhere else, unconscious of how exposed you are, and respond as you normally would, and it emerges that shitcock is not in fact a recognised part of conventional discourse.

    I say "people" but it does seem to be mostly men :( Which reminds me that there is a ton of research out there about what happens when internet identities are constructed as female, and it is very gloomy indeed.

    Another thing is that although humour is marvellous tool for deserved deflation of the powerful, it is also an excellent way to stomp on members of an outgroup and enforce tribal affiliation, and a brilliant excuse for saying any horrible thing. I am sure that the person behind this will claim that they were just having fun, making a joke, whatever. Gosh, you didn't think I was _serious_, did you? Just like Ann Coulter saying liberals should be hung for treason - ha ha, can't you take a joke? You can't counter such people by saying "that's not funny", because they will say "it is to me!"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    ooh!! ohhh!! was it farrar! bet it was farrar.

    i hear he loves watching pump-action.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Pump-action? I suppose I should know what that is... nothing to do with shotguns then?

    Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Juha, you are bang on, our place had a little Bebo incident in the weekend...I was marvelling at how 11 year old boys can channel the hate, then I went on kiwiblog and saw the old pro's in action.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    i was lead to believe it was ladies kicking their heels up and having a good time.

    was it farrar?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    <disclaimer>that last comment is intentionally sexist and a pun on shoes</disclaimer>

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Lookout Che, Mr. Ferrar is now on TV.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    A friend came up with a term that fits with this - "the half life of forums" - meaning the time between a post on any topic on a forum and the first nasty/pointless response. Some forums or sites have crazy low half lifes. Happily PA System rates pretty well on this this scale.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 861 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Oh oh... pumps.

    Why are they called that? Never figured it out.

    Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    farrar is on tv? goddamnit... i should have just plain made more shit up on club politique... then maybe i'd have a tv slot too.

    and ben. your mate might be interested in this. ideas in blog

    near the bottom he talks about just that idea.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Che, the truth, like vampires, doesn't show up on TV.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    That's very good, Merc... maybe a bit too cynical to be true, but a nice soundbite.

    Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    <quotethen maybe i'd have a tv slot too</quote>

    Ask nicely & maybe he'll offer you a guest spot :)

    But personally, I'd hang on till you could appear with Rebecca Singh.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Pfft... typos....

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Oh oh... pumps.

    Why are they called that? Never figured it out.

    Oxford sez: "C16: of unknown origin"

    --

    Also, if someone makes an unpleasant comment and then claims that it was "just" a joke (implying that jokes are inherently innocuous), their claim usually falls over when no one is actually laughing (or lolzing, as the case may be).

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1822 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    No ROFFELS, no PIMPing...

    Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    No emoticons, the cheesey tooth one drives me more nuts. As for dry, hows,
    Society exists on the abrogation of truth.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    leaving my weak attempt to slander mr farrar aside, and to return to the subject at hand, this issue of nutters able to make unfettered and extreme statements on the web is a pearler.

    it also means i can talk about work!

    there's a lot of curiousity in the public service about finding means to make online forums work. you know, increasing participation, direct democracy, blah blah blah.

    but the one thing i keep coming back to is the prevalence of dickheads of the kiwiblog/just left/sir h variety dominating conversations with hysteria.

    other than a new army of moderators, what can be done to limit these dicks?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    You can't do anything, the point at which the dickhead reaches maximum has not been documented as yet. I am currently conducting my own survey of kiwiblog and a certain surfers bulletin board. It seems that the dickhead can replicate and morph. depending on the conditions at any given time. The ability to reappear with another alias seems to also guarantee the survival of the species.
    I have been tracking up to six replicants at one time, the work is exhausting and I have defined a scale for easy identification. Use of the word "but" mid sentence is also a big give-away, e.g.
    "I'm not going to say that I'm barking mad, but..."
    Moderators don't help either, they have the affect of the Prisoners and Guards syndrome, i.e. the tyrannised become tyrant.
    I am flagging though, the things I have seen, well, they have affected me, certain terms and names have become embedded in my psyche, to the point that...see!
    I'm monologuing right there, but...

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    what can be done to limit these dicks?

    The same thing that is done in normal polite society to limit these dicks. If some gormless bigots butts into a conversation with rabid idiocies, they are either shunned, or informed that their opinion/interjection is not on/unwanted/just plain wrongheaded.
    Of course, in normal not-so-polite society they might get a mouthful of fist.
    Also of course, most people have a relatively well-developed sense of what is appropriate in normal converstion, and wouldn't dream of switching into frothing nutter mode during a water-cooler goss session. Such a sense having been trained into them over the years by parental and peer feedback. Circling back to my inital point - polite peer feedback, and shunning.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    other than a new army of moderators, what can be done to limit these dicks?

    You don't need an army of moderators, just a couple. My fave hangout, Metafilter, has thousands of active users but only three people with mod privilege. But what you do need, based on my observation of successful long-lived forums I have participated in, is some or all of:
    -- an explicit policy from the outset. Then people who break it can be referred to the policy for a first offence.
    -- an "offtopic" forum and a "meta" forum for rubbish, and discussions about the community respectively. Then when people want somewhere to talk about cats, or to argue about whether another member is out of line, you can point them at those forums. And then you have a way of preventing troll-feeding and thread-derailment.
    -- membership. PA has gone one step further by asking people to use their real names, but I think you can go a long way by making people sign up. Once people establish an identity , they have an investment in preserving its reputation.
    -- seed the group early on with people who set the tone you want to have; then cultural norms develop and posters become self-policing.
    -- make your moderation lighthanded (ie infrequent and forgiving) but visible (ie leave a note saying "this comment was deleted")
    -- make your moderators visible benevolent dictators.
    -- have a "flag this comment" facility to make abuse easy to report, so that inflammatory material is deleted quickly before people get upset and pile on.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    hmmmm... what about a flag on their IP or alias that puts a "rubber stamp" on any post they make.

    the stamp says "troll", with a hyperlink to an explanation of what that means?

    i get that "talk-back"-style commenters are a part of the blogsphere, but kathy's case clearly illustrates that left alone for too long and ignored, these guys just get crazier, and crazier.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Oh, another thing Metafilter did was make people pay $5 for membership. It's a token payment, but repeated trolling becomes expensive.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2906 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    and then stephen posts a good reply.

    thanks. will steal those ideas and use them as my own.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

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