Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Civility Code

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  • Russell Brown,

    Just let me saddle up my hobby hose... :)

    I'm sure you didn't mean to say that, but as neologisms go ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    It seems to be the Act-aligned kiddies who display the worst behaviour.

    Well it's their wilderness years (I'm sure they'd appreciate some biblical allusion). We can look forward to more of the same until they eventually peter out completely.

    Although I have this recurring nightmare that a month out from the next election, Rodney Hide wins Celebrity Treasure Island & his & his party's popularity soars when the sex tape featuring him, Rebecca Loos & Nicky Watson is leaked to a hungry media.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If you want a real example of how bad things get look at the Guardian's Comment Is Free section. Probably 60% of the comment on *any topic* will be endless relitigation of the merits or otherwise of neo-conservatism and the Iraq war.

    In the days of NNTP and Usenet, newsreaders like "xrn" had a kill function where you could blackhole those whose comments you personally found annoying, etc. Maybe this could be added to Blogger, etc.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • jon_knox,

    Here's a something for the keen globe trotting Mac enthusiast. A new Macpak..

    Belgium • Since Nov 2006 • 464 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Although I have this recurring nightmare that a month out from the next election, Rodney Hide wins Celebrity Treasure Island & his & his party's popularity soars when the sex tape featuring him, Rebecca Loos & Nicky Watson is leaked to a hungry media.

    Eeew.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm grateful we don't see the kind of mass trolling that Jordan gets.

    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.

    Perhaps I'm just getting old, but I don't rise to the bait quite as often as I used to. :) If nothing else, a permanent state of incandescent rage is really hard on the nerves, while a slow simmer of bemused irritation keeps everything ticking over.

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

  • BenWilson,

    "I've sensed that too, although it seems like tempting fate to claim any credit."

    It is. There's more trolling going on than ever, I think, but not here....yet. I can imagine it's hard to turn around once it gets a foothold.

    Question for the masses: What's the longest comment you've ever written and then thought better of and deleted? I got to 2 screens full once, and it felt sickening to kill all that work, but rereading it I could see it was just troll bait.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm sure you didn't mean to say that, but as neologisms go ...

    Oy and very... Mrs. Malaprop and Rev. Spooner have been visiting. I think this would be a good time to go and proof the script for tomorrow, and keep the hobby hose to myself.

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

  • andrew llewellyn,

    <QUOTE>and keep the hobby hose to myself</QUOTE>

    You should check your local council website - down these here parts we can only get our hobby hoses out every 2nd day.

    Well, that's if we're leaving them unattended for any length of time.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Bah! Capitals.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    What's the longest comment you've ever written and then thought better of and deleted?

    No more than a few paragraphs. I find the ones I write then delete don't get overly long, because I'm imagining what the response to them will be as I'm writing them, and fairly quickly I reach that point where I realise nothing good/useful will come of it.

    Or the other times when I realise that most of what I've written is irrelevant bollocks that no-one is really interested in. There's probably more of those.

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Mahoney,

    I think the suggested code of conduct is a bit precious.

    Only a bit? It has frickin' badges!

    Hasn't "Don't be a dick and don't feed the trolls" been around since the glory days of usenet? What more do you need?

    Since Apr 2007 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    See Ben if you start posting comments that long you might start getting this in response:

    "TL;DR"

    or if you are really lucky:

    "I didn't read your comments past the first line, here is an angry response based on what I assume you went on to say"

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Span .,

    Ben I agree that there is more trolling than ever, but I think that there is less acceptance of it by bloggers, perhaps? More questioning of whether free speech has to equal no moderation, at least.

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

  • Span .,

    Oh sorry, Ben W, to clarify

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

  • Josh Addison,

    Speaking of irrelevant bollocks -- as well as keeping things civil, there's something to be said for keeping things relevant. That's possibly even harder, because it keeps a nice mood if people are free to digress or have a bit of fun, but too much and the discussion's just as damaged as it would be by trolls.

    I used to hang out at a local goth forum (I'm not a goth, you understand, but some of my best friends...) An overseas author once posted, doing a bit of research on what the NZ scene was like. The thread was almost immediately side tracked by a couple of wits who started trading irrelevant meaningless banter that would have been better kept to personal messages. Perfectly nice, perfectly friendly, but the rest of the board was cringing as an outside observer asked for an indication of what we were all about and was presented with this display...

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    free speech has always necessarily required moderation, ie. defamation laws, perjury laws, prohibitions against hate speech and threatening communications, prohibitions against calling 111 for a laugh or shouting 'theatre' in a crowded theatre. without such moderation the utility of all speech is diminished. free speech has never been an unconditional right.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    i mean 'fire' in a crowded theatre. if you just shouted 'theatre' in a crowded theatre people would look at you funny.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    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. It can be a fine line between legimate critique and vendetta sadly.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    Don't think a code is needed here.

    Over at IBM there are some 27,000 bloggers (out of around 300,000 staff) so they have a corporate code that has been around in various forms since '97

    The IBM set of blogging guidelines which is worth reading.

    I have included one of them below as an example. Most of them would be OK in my view.

    Be who you are
    Some bloggers work anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names. IBM discourages that in blogs, wikis or other forms of online participation that relate to IBM, our business or issues with which the company is engaged. We believe in transparency and honesty. If you are blogging about your work for IBM, we encourage you to use your real name, be clear who you are, and identify that you work for IBM. Nothing gains you notice in the “blogosphere” more than honesty — or dishonesty. If you have a vested interest in something you are discussing, be the first to point it out. But also be smart about protecting yourself and your privacy. What you publish will be around for a long time, so consider the content carefully and also be judicious in disclosing personal details.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    One thing about a certain other local blog and its amazing displays of abuse and invective: there's a big incentive to do it because of the admiration you get from commenters.

    Some people appreciate especially offensively worded abuse, when they're not the target, and cherish the art of reducing a victim to gibbering frustration. This is the appeal of Anne Coulter. She's offensive and illogical and doesn't play fair and that's entirely what her charm is for her audience.

    It doesn't work so well here in the civil halls of PA System because there is little applause for it. I personally love a good verbal smack-down, but it should have some style, some class, and a logical foundation. And the more politely the comment is put, the more class it has.

    Another reason why people from "over there" behave better here might be because they are taken seriously and at face value with a certain basic respect.

    Re the Act kiddies: they tend to be both young and male. Youth and testosterone poisoning accounts for a lot of rudeness and bullying. If there were more young male comrades around, we'd see the same from them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Re the Act kiddies: they tend to be both young and male. Youth and testosterone poisoning accounts for a lot of rudeness and bullying

    they also tend to manage supermarkets or service stations, but aspire to being bill gates. hence the spite. stupidity is often the greatest hurdle to financial magnificence.

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

  • tim kong,

    I know it's been mentioned - but the Well had some very simple ideas about conduct, and I would suggest it had individuals who frequented it - who were much like those here at PA.

    Self-policing and self-respecting.

    I don't think you can ever really formalise that in a code of conduct. You can remind people of it - but if they don't get it - they're not going to follow a set of rules.

    In my experiences, in bbs land and on various boards and online forums the conduct of those who most frequent it determines the nature and way of the place. It's a tough balance being too "in" and still allowing others to contribute, while not being just all light and nothing.

    PA balances pretty it all out pretty well. And that, like any good online forum is based not just on the contributors but on those who set it up and watch over it.

    I for one never feel looked down or judged - at least I never get that from responses to my odd post. I like that sense of a place - where it's OK to be me.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 153 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Josh, my problem is I touch type, and I really do think in fully formed paragraphs. Too many years of uni debating and philosophy. Doesn't mean it's not irrelevant bollocks, though.

    Span, I guess you might be right if you mean blog-owners. Obviously the trolls are still into trolling.

    Ben Austin, I'm guessing you'll never see my response :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    i mean 'fire' in a crowded theatre. if you just shouted 'theatre' in a crowded theatre people would look at you funny.

    But you might get an arts grant ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

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