As I can’t comment at The Standard I’ll respond to R0b here.
Pete George causes a lot of discussion in comments. Moderators have been considering it, there’s no strong consensus on what to do.
There’s no doubt that Pete’s debating “tactics” (for want of a better word) are infuriating to many and generally disruptive.
I know people do genuinely get infuriated, but I don’t think it’s all due to my “tactics”.
Some people don’t like being challenged. Some don’t like alternate views being expressed. Some simply choose to dislike someone no matter what they say. That’s common across forums.
But why just mention my “tactics”? The tactics of some others are at least as complicit in the problems – I claim more so, because they are more repetitive, more persistent, more abusive.
If my comments were ignored, or debated in an adult mammer, then the ‘disruption’ would be substantially reduced.
There’s no doubt that he uses The Standard for link whoring (sorry – never liked that phrase).
I admit guilt – but no more than others who don’t get criticised. And links are often necessary to back up what is said (they are sometimes insisted on).
And they allow a summary comment with a link to more detail so as not to clutter up a thread with long posts – which is worse?
But in most cases he stays on the right side of the Policy, so a permanent ban seems unwarranted.
Some bans have been on tenuous or inconsistent grounds, but that’s your call of course.
At this point Pete we’ve decided on a week-long ban for your behaviour yesterday (the deliberate misrepresentation of another commenter was way out of line).
I’m not asking for a review, but that has proven to be incorrect. I didn’t deliberately misrepresent. Ironically, if anything I enhanced what ‘another commenter’ was experimenting with.
As usual, your blog, your rules, your call. But I presume you’re aware that once again you’re penalising the target of what amounts to mob rule.
If a handful of blog participants don’t like someone they can label them as disruptive and disrupt the blog, blame the target and then call for their ban. And you’re going along with that.
After each ban I return with a resolve to add value to The Standard, albeit not what everyone wants to hear. I resolve to remain as positive as possible, and to limit reactions to obvious and repeat provocation. I think I usually maintain a dignity amongst some crappy and persistent attention.
And eventually the blog mob wins.
If I return I’ll again resolve to keep my presence to a reasonable level, and my behaviour reasonable. But I’ll only tolerate so much crap and at times I’ll respond. In fact much of my response is in defiance of a few trying to dictate who should speak and what should be spoken. I’ll listen to moderators but I won’t bow to hit men and lynch mobs.
Apart from this, overall I think The Standard is a good blog and serves a useful purpose in the political blogosphere. But I think it has the potential to be much better, and not just through reducing my presence.
If you want The Standard to consist mainly of a narrow band of activists grinding teeth, grinding axes and trying to grind anyone they label as enemy into the dust that’s your choice.
If you want to welcome fresh people, fresh ideas and wideranging and honest debate then you’ll have to welcome fresh people, fresh ideas and wideranging and honest debate. If my absence helped achieve that then I’ll willingly go into exile.