Petty punctuation ban

While Whale Oil seem to have pulled back a bit from their draconian banning regime to try and get back a few commenters and hits to keep their advertisers happy The Standard seems to be getting even more petty, which is off considering they are currently looking at how to build the blog.

A new author at The Standard, stargazer, posted in their preferred style, using no capitalisation in it’s not censorship, it’s market forces

A number of people commented on the lack of capitals, some supporting it and some pointing out non-standard punctuation affected readability for many people.

So it seemed like a reasonable and civil discussion. But one comment attracted special attention – music4menz said:

It is great to have a new poster on TS but I wonder whether an effort might be made to ensure that the clarity of the writing is a little better than the above offering. I guess that the choice not to capitalise is a ‘personal’ idiosyncratic style thing, but it is actually difficult to fully comprehend some of STARGAZER’S train of thought when there are multiple grammatical errors as well.

What is it, in any case, with the non use of capital letters?

That also seemed reasonable and civil. But the heavy hand of ‘moderation’ hit:

[lprent: Personal preference. We don’t have style guidelines. Just tools. Stargazer has always used lower case and who am I to deny an author (who wants to write).

In any case read the policy about how we regard attacking authors or trying to define the rules here. Take a banned week to read it.

Be advised that I start doubling rapidly for whining about authors. ]

That’s over the top, even by Prentice’s standard.

Even stargazer joined the discussion without seeming to have any problem with the criticisms.

sorry, it is mostly speed, especially when i’m at work & don’t have much time. mostly people seem to manage ok, but if it becomes a big issue for many people , i’ll consider changing.

Capitalising would hardly affect speed. It would appear to be just a habit, or more likely a deliberate signature style. It’s their choice to reduce readability so they appear distinctive.

But  even after stargazer was obviously untroubled by criticisms Prentice was unrepentant.

Do what you want to do. But hey, I get get to ban if people whine….

Don’t let the opinions of others deny me these small pleasures :twisted:

His blog, his choice.

They are currently exploring ways of improving The Standard. Prentice posted recently:

Cost saving and developing social structure inside the site is a lot easier and a damn sight more interesting to me than being bothered running around raising money to go pro. If someone else wants to do it, then I’d probably help bootstrap it just as we did for many left blogs – including The Daily Blog.

But either way, I suspect that we’ll keep pushing our audience upwards. I’d also expect that Bomber will keep carping from his strange world.

It’s a strange world at The Standard where “Developing social structure inside the site” seems to conflict with”these small pleasures” and “But hey, I get get to ban if people whine”.

A lot of whining at The Standard goes unbanned – Prentice often leads by example. If you’re inside the preferred “social structure” you can whine with impunity, but if not you’re likely to get turfed out. Hard to see how this will “keep pushing audience upward”.

The success of The Standard owes a lot to Prentice. The limits to it’s success also owes a lot to Prentice,

One petty punctuation ban for music4menz, one giant limitation for a better Standard.

Prentice versus Campbell and The Nation continued

After posting a very grumpy Scott Campbell: Liar on The Nation at The Standard Lyn Prentice continued his attack on Scott Campbell on Twitter.

@lprent (first reacting to me):

The lying Scott is reticent. Still no attacks at site either. All Fiction?

You still are “factchecker”. Why don’t you look for attacks? Or too lazy?

I suggested working collaboratively with The Standard (and other blogs) on fact checking and in response they bitterly attacked me, and continue to attack me on it, so I might not be that inclined to fact check for them.

No evidence? Responsibility is on the side of the assertor. They attacked.

Sound like Slater. Gives others private address. Hysterical on own privacy.

Who’s hysterical? He should be careful accusing others of sounding like Slater.

But you frequently play the weeping victim yourself with no real cause

Who’s weeping?

@SCampbellMedia then joined in:

Been working. Said no names. I respect the 3 people. Also said Beehive posted..

If I’m wrong, who was Batman? FYI I’ve got no links to a party.

So the brave @lprent turned his attack to him.

What post were you attacked in. Or are you just a gutkess lying spinner?

@SCampbellMedia

Loads of references to gallery of which I was a member. Whos lying? Who was Batman

@TheNation

Bruce Wayne, wasn’t it?

@PatrickGowerNZ

Mike Williams was Batman

@lprent returns as grumpy as ever.

So point to some attacks. Basically you are full of bloody useless lies.

@ShakingStick

You claimed there were posts about you, and that’s how you knew.

@lprent

There are none. Not about Scott, tv3, or radio live. Lies.

I get the impression that the gallery were being suckers

That I am unsure of. The authors were pissed about HFee

So no evidence? You go for diversion. You really are a complete arsehole.

One might think that last comment is a bit ironic.

Is The Standard following Whale Oil’s example?

Over the last few months Whale Oil has transformed from a relatively open forum to a tightly controlled and orchestrated self advertisement.

The Standard is proposing seems to be also considering a major makeover – see Guest post: What now for the Standard? and The Standard on Facebook:

A number of authors met during the weekend to discuss The Standard and what can be done to improve it. Changes and improvements should be rolled out within the next few weeks.

One of the simpler ones is a dedicated Facebook page to be used to broadcast new posts. The page is here. Feel free to like it.

And thanks to Ad for his guest post on the future of the Standard which generated a lot of very helpful discussion and feedback.

Part of that makeover is a shift to deleting unwelcome comments, despite this claim on Sunday when lprent posted:

Unlike Cameron Slater, who removes posts and even comments for politically or legally expedient reasons, we don’t remove comments or posts which have gone up on the site and passed initial moderation.

Which is kinda ironic considering this on the same thread:

[deleted as being diversonary]

[lprent: The claim was made by Scott Campbell that posts attacking journalists were written. They were not. You are trying diversion. Do not comment on my post again or I will ban you from the site. ]

And today on Key calls Slater’s bluff:

[deleted]

[lprent: I can’t see any evidence one way or another. That topic is off-limits unless I see a credible link. ]

And

[deleted]

[lprent: I can’t see any evidence one way or another. That topic is off-limits unless I see a credible link. ]

And on Supping with the Devil (more irony in the title):

[deleted]

[lprent: Why would we be interested in awards? We never apply for them. Anyway, permanent ban for being a dickhead troll. ]

Looks a lot like following Whale Oil’s example (apart from not being keen on awards, Slater is hoping to win another tonight).

It seems an odd approach to try and grow a blog by draconian pruning of it’s branches.

The Standard versus Scott Campbell and The Nation

Scott Campbell ws on the panel on The Nation on Saturday and a comment he made about The Standard has provoked a reaction from some, including lprent who has posted Scott Campbell: Liar on The Nation.

On The Nation this weekend, Scott Campbell, in a discussion about the fallout from Dirty Politics, said:-

I won’t drop anyone name in it. But the beehive under Helen Clark were writing posts on The Standard. This used to happen. They used to write posts against journalists, I know because I was one of them that they used to write posts against. It has happened in and around the beehive for a long time.

I think that the difference here is that it was SIS details….

I think that this claim is just complete bullshit. Both because I know where the posts were coming from during that time and who they were referencing.

Evidence of this claim should show up in the text of the site, and it doesn’t.

Now personally, I can’t remember Scott Campbell coming up on this site. In fact I can’t remember him at all. But I really don’t bother remembering journalists much unless they write or present something of value.

Prentice did some name searching and “long scan of the comments” and didn’t find any evidence came to:

Conclusion – Scott Campbell is deliberately lying.

There is absolutely no evidence at all that there were any attacks on Scott Campbell, TV3 News, or even Radio Live at The Standard during the Clark government.

That’s not correct. Prentice hasn’t found or produced any evidence. It doesn’t mean there isn’t any.

Scott Campbell just displayed that he was more than just a simple liar on the Nation. As a PR dick, he’d have to know what he was doing.

If Campbell was wrong to could be for a number of reasons, including incorrect or mixed up recollection. Prentice has no evidence that Campbell was lying, nor if any incorrect claim was deliberate – it sounds like it was an off the cuff comment in response to another point made in the panel discussion.

Campbell was questioned about his claims on Twitter:

ScottCampbell-StandardBut this completely misses the main point that Campbell was making on The Nation – “the beehive under Helen Clark were writing posts on The Standard. This used to happen.”

And Campbell adds on Twitter:

Three people who blogged there I know well.

With a Standard policy of not disclosing the identities of authors writing under pseudonyms that’s something that will be difficult to refute.

And it’s worth looking at the lead in comments on The Panel, which show that Campbell was comparing current collusion with bloggers to something that’s been going on for yonks.

This came from an Interview with Bill English.

Lisa Owen: Okay, well, I want to just finish with a couple of very quick questions – two quick questions – for you. Nicky Hager – now, John Key and various National ministers says he was a left-wing conspiracy theorist and accused him of making stuff up. Well, it seems that he was right, so does your party owe him an apology?

Bill English: No, not at all. If Nicky Hager is horrified that journalists and bloggers talk to politicians and political staff about politics, then he lives on a different planet than everyone who’s done politics for a hundred years.

The panel discussion began:

Lisa Own: Nicky if I can come to you first, Bill English there saying the Gwyn report just shows us what…the normal business of politics.

Later:

Scott Campbell: I think where Bill’s trying to play this from a PR perspective, he said well that the information wasn’t leaked, ah or it was only parts of it and this has happened forever. Ah it has happened for a long time in and around Parliament. SIS details might be not have been passed on to journalists but details are given to journalists all the time.

Lisa Owen: He’s right isn’t he Nicky? Information, you know, information is passed on to journalists all the time, that’s how we get stories.

Nicky Hager: That’s right, but lets just look at what the Gwyn report said because it actually went beyond what my book said.

What it said was that the PM’s office, because they were in charge of SIS matters ’cause he was the minister of the SIS, new about information that could be used to embarrass Phil Goff.

It says specifically in the report. Then the, this staff member, this senior staff member asked Jason Ede to get hold of Cameron Slater, to talk to him about how to write an Official Information request, and then…

Lisa Owen: …to get hold of a journalist, so I don’t think it was specified that it was Slater, in fact that staff member expressed some surprise  that it was actually Slater he’d gone to…

That waters down Hager’s argument that it was deliberate campaign with Slater run from the top, with the Prime Minister’s involvement.

Nicky Hager: …the point I’m coming to is, and then it says that Jason Ede drafted blog posts for Cameron Slater about the issue. Now I don’t think that most people, Huntly or elsewhere,  would think that it was normal for the Prime Minister’s staff to be drafting attack things during an election campaign against their opponents…

Isn’t that one of the jobs of party PR?

…and giving it to an attack blogger, and not admitting there involvement in that.

So collusion between the Prime Minister’s office a blogger was Hager’s primary point here. Next as quoted by Prentice:

Scott Campbell: I won’t drop anyone name in it. But the beehive under Helen Clark were writing posts on The Standard. This used to happen. They used to write posts against journalists, I know because I was one of them that they used to write posts against. It has happened in and around the beehive for a long time.

Prentice tried to shift emphasis to something that hadn’t been brought up and looks like an add-on explanation. In the context of the discussion the emphasis should be:

Scott Campbell: I won’t drop anyone name in it. But the beehive under Helen Clark were writing posts on The Standard. This used to happen.

Will Prentice address that claim?

The Standard reinventing itself?

A curious post at The Standard makes a number of suggestions for substantially changing the blog in order to become a major player in changing the Government.

Guest post: What now for the Standard?

A guest post by Ad where he advances some challenging thoughts on how the Standard could improve.

Does it strike you that one of NZ’s very few leftie institutions (either party or media) to come out of the 2014 election unscathed is The Standard itself? Let’s roll that little aniseed ball around our mouths for a moment.

Unscathed? I wonder how many potential voters The Standard encouraged to vote left versus deterred from voting left.

Television may still wield the sharpest media chainsaw in this rainforest, but the medium that will rebalance our entire political ecology is the one best suited to hand-held devices. A modern truism, with consequences for The Standard.

This sounds fanciful. Social media is changing how some people do politics but the vast majority of people can’t be bothered with politics most of the time and many still ignore politics and elections all the time.

The Standard is most powerful leftie instrument in New Zealand. No union now has as much power as The Standard (regrettably).

Overstating their power and influence a tad. Power within a blog is quite different to political power.

Less unsuccessful than The Daily Blog perhaps.

I suspect the Labour Party and the Green Party in particular would argue with “The Standard is most powerful leftie instrument”. Mana activists would too.

The Standard was a strong supporter of making David Cunliffe leader of Labour and was involved in the so-called coup attempt that failed. And they were powerless to prevent Cunliffe’s exit from the top job.

Their power didn’t seem to have much positive influence in the election. In comparison two leftie get out the vote campaigns actually at least tried to do something, as did a number of protest organisers.

So it would make sense to make it a vital part of the Labour post-election review.

It seems a bit late for that, the review must just about be complete.

The Standard is to Labour what Whaleoil is to National.

They are quite different, several party activists versus one self-interested campaigner. A number of people actively involved with the Labour Party are also actively involved at The Standard. Cameron Slater acts more independently with his own political and business ambitions.

I’m sure reading that feels like getting your legs waxed.  Left and right and MSM can now see the power of blogs – what they have done and can do. This day was coming – it’s time.

The power of blogs tends to be overstated by some bloggers.

Continuing as is, however, the Standard will become to politics what TransportBlog is to transport: preaching in a narrow conversational base from the converted to the converted.

It is already p[reaching in a narrow conversational base from the converted to the converted, and actively ostracises and expels anyone deemed an enemy to the narrow conversational base of the converted.

And therefore changing nothing. The Standard must march its banner out of home, or remain a media adolescent.

I want to put it right out there: The Standard can take the next step in New Zealand’s political order, and it should.

I did not start it, and am not an editor, so my comments are highly presumptive. But here’s my points for the Wittenburg Door:

1. Article authors should have expertise. Qualified authors will then be broken into the MSM with immediate quotability and echo. The Standard need not presume to contain debate within its amateur and largely anonymous ranks. Named authors will confront MSM dominance head on and become new media figures. Then let all commenters pour in.

At least one current author is not very happy with being judged as inexpert enough, Bill: “But, but, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to preen and pose in the shadow of a glib and glossy piece of manufactured packaging? Ah -the glow of reflected sheen! Bring it on! (Then please. Pass the sick bucket over here.)”

2. The Labour Party and the Green Party should be jointly invited to make The Standard their default online dialogue from MPs to members and to the world. Kill their own sites. Become the dominant portal for the future coalition. The Standard brings activists together like no other media in either digital or analogue worlds. That latent political potential now needs converting, I think with both Open and Members-Only sections. Not saying it will be easy.

I’d be very surprised if the Green Party would be keen on making The Standard their default online dialogue.

And I doubt Labour would either, unless they could control it, and we know how well that worked at Red Alert where they even banned Labour members.

The Standard represents just a part of the broad Labour base, and barely represents any of the Green base.

3. The Standard should broaden out its targets. Check out the Australian site Crikey. It tracks its own power against Murdoch on a monthly basis. It has earnt its own swagger by taking on causes, egos, and winning.

Crikey.

4. The Standard needs to be reformed as a company. It needs a Board and shareholders, an advertising base that gains corporate and NGO respect, and have ambition. Have its own weekly (hell daily) editorial committee that directs theme and positioning – like grownup media do. It should seek to at least become NZ Site Number 2.

NZ Site number 2? Dreaming. NZ blog number 2? Possible.

Why attempt this at all?

Not for its own sake, but because The Standard is the most powerful non-party leftie force in New Zealand. Neither Labour nor the Greens nor the Unions nor any leftie NGO can now live without it.

Yeah, right.

Because we’ve been bitching and moaning about how stuffed the entire leftie movement is for months now, when part of the answer is staring us in the face.

I suspect Labour and the Greens could live without the bitching and the moaning that’s been happening for much longer than a few months.

Because if we leave it as is, the default policy and political content on everyone’s devices this time next year will be Television Goddam New Zealand and the NZ Goddam Herald. They have massive marketing programs to achieve this.

With continued redesign, The Standard should be the default app for all leftie cellphone users.

That’s if they can cater for the wider left and not their own narrow interests – and not abuse and drive away anyone deemed not left enough as they do now.

And those identifying as ‘leftie’ are only a small segment of the voting population.

With redesign of its author system, The Standard can break more stories than Whaleoil.

They will have to find new authors who have the time and ability to do this. Unpaid?

With relevant clicbait, more videos, and more comedy, we can broaden beyond the political anoraks.

That would make it a very different site.

Let’s use this site to help get from We Lost to We Can Win, by doing and altering media our way.

I believe The Standard can and should be the primary media voice for installing and then critiquing the next leftie government. But The Standard needs to accept its own power.

Political activist media.

It is time for The Standard to Put On The Ring.

Ad

The post seems to be supported and endorsed by blog management. Mickysavage:

I suggested to Ad that he should write a really provocative post on TS because we need to have a good discussion on things. Ad did this with bells on. He is a free independent thinker and also a committed progressive.

He put the ideas out there for us to consider. Address the ideas …

And lprent:

I’d point out that this post is just a guest post. It has been the subject of some backend comment and discussion between authors. We’re now throwing it out for commenter viewpoints. But think of it as a preliminary discussion paper from one angle…

So The Standard seems to want to seriously consider re-inventing itself.

‘The lost sheep’ commented on “freedom of comment and expression”:

TS is miles ahead of any other political blog in terms of the excellent format, constant updating of articles, and  IMO.
If blogs are to become genuinely significant, TS has given itself as good a chance as any of being influential.

Ad commented:

One thing I really enjoy about TS is the strength of the moderation.

I would never ever want to lose that.

Colonial Rawshark:

+1 Tight moderation encourages better and deeper political and personal expression…it’s vital.

But lprent had already demonstrated how freedom of expression sometimes works at The Standard, ‘higher standard’ had commented:

And you call Whaleoil delusional ……………..

This got a standard moderator response:

[lprent: Where exactly did Ad call Whaleoil (a blog or even Cam Slater) delusional, or even use that word in a comment? I did a quick hunt without success. Banned 2 months unless you can come up with an instance. You either just attacked an author with a lie, or alternatively you just made a comment imbuing a machine with intelligence. Either get my irritation levels up. ]

An author (Bill) actually agreed with the comment that unleashed a typical lprent ban:

And in lieu of wasting more time responding to this tosh – what both Higherstandard and Pascal’s Bookie say at comments 6 and 7.

Seriously reinventing The Standard would need reinventing lprent’s moderation style. Freaks don’t give up their power easily.

“Them or Us” Standard

In contrast to the often silent censorship at Whale Oil – see Addressing Slater ist streng verboten – message control at The Standard is far more open and amusing (in a sad sort of way). But the intent is similar – to shut out opinions or people that challenge their blinkered views.

Pretty much anything I say at The Standard will be attacked just because some there either don’t like me or simply don’t want me involved in their wee domain.

There was a typical example of the mob mentality recently, beginning with an implied “ban him or I’m leaving” comment – standard “them or us”. This is one of a number of ways they try to pressure lprent into erasing comment they may disagree with (he doesn’t need encouraging).

Weepus beard:

I’m not sure I can stomach PG’s and Hooton’s attempts at micro-managing debate.

If this is the future of the standard then I’m not sure I can continue. Pete George in particular sucks up so much life by inspecting the finest detail while being ignorant of the message itself that it is too exhausting to have to read.

As the thread this started proves most of the ‘sucks up so much life” happens without me needing to be involved, but I’ll get blamed for disrupting the blog. Cute but crazy.

McFlock:

I have faith that pg will be banned or otherwise fuck off in the foreseeable future

Weepus beard:

Indeed.

I guess my point is that the socially responsible side of politics (the left) is divided enough at the moment and has enough internal arguments about the way forward that these trolls, PG, Hooton, BM, fistiani, Chris 73, etc, are in no way contributing to the benefit of the cause. Our cause.

I know Sun Tzu says know your enemy but this shit is just not worth it.

If you’re not deemed to be part of “socially responsible side of politics (the left)” you’re enemy.

Murray Rawshark:

I don’t think they add anything either, and they comment in bad faith.

Of course Murray always adds value to the threads and comments in good faith.

Chooky:

@Weepus Beard +100…”too exhausting”…..i cant be bothered nor do i have the time

Tracey:

Concerted effort by all to leave his self gratifying posts alone.

He has “look at me! Look at me, i AM important” complex

She has a bit of an obsession with this line, she keeps repeating it.

Paul:

+100
I’m sick of wading through all these tr***’s
Using the Standard less as it seems to full of their nonsense.

ankerawshark:

Maybe we need to go back to responding just with Rolling eyes. That might work?

half crown:

I am all for that.

The rolling eyes campaign was enormously successful – at making them look even pettier. Next thing they will want to paint rolling eyes on our doors and make us wear rolling eyes patches (that’s Godwin’s law in action).

And lprent joins in with his message his requirement for behaviour modification – only of enemies of course.

It is a rope thing. You can’t assume that people can’t learn. Most of the time they eventually do.

So people start on the same general basis after each ban apart from ramping up their next ban length if they prove that they haven’t learnt. How they behave is up to them.

The rope is there to hang them if required. But you hope that they have actually engaged in a some thought to figure out how to avoid that same stupidities again.

PG does seem to to adapt, and has after each ban, but he keeps looking for a angle for leverage in the rules rather than simply dealing with the debate.

That’s as funny as usual and presumably the irony is inadvertent.

The troops at The Standard keep looking for angles for leverage – the often flaunt lprent’s behavioural requirements (often led by him) to leverage out anyone they decide should be excluded with little or no attempt at debate.

And funnily the thread that follows is about Russell Brown criticising The Standard on National Radio along with Matthew Hooton.

Phil Ure:

russel brown just did a major hatchet-job on the standard..on nat-rad..

hoots also said the standard is ‘never funny’

and hoots said everyone here is ‘crazy’

brown and hoots have a chortle about how brown is ‘on the enemies list’ of the standard..

lprent

[lprent: There isn’t one. There are a few people who I keep my eye on because of past bad experiences with what they do to comment sections.

However I suspect that he ran into some commenters being critical about stance he had. I vaguely remember that it was about some position he took on a film or media matter.

But curiously it now means that Russell Brown has just added a myth of an “enemies list”. Jez – what a dork. ]

There’s a number of people who are automatically attacked at The Standard no matter what they contribute.

I’m sure there is no official ‘enemies list’ but the the troops can certainly sniff out an enemy very quickly, and once an enemy always an enemy.

And they wonder why most voters can’t be bothered with politics and many don’t vote for them.

Incidentally I’m on the enemies list at Public Address too, and also at Whale Oil.

Political blogging is still dominated by last century class warfare – not surprising, as some of the prominent regulars at The Standard seem to be bitter old school political activists, with lprent leading the way.

The more of ‘us’ they excommunicate they less of ‘them’ there will be in a diminishing circle of jerks.

UPDATE: this is really funny:

StandardModeration141125

Maybe lprent does have an enemies list operating.

Prentice on cannabis

I don’t know why this is a moderator comment rather than a general comment but it provides an insight into the opinion of a prominent New Zealand blogger on cannabis use.

[lprent: Just to enter the spirit of the thing. I fully oppose people using cannabis for recreation. I consider that you’d have to be an idiot or in great pain to use it. After meeting some of the gormless fools who have used for a few decades (case in point), I can’t see why anyone would want to inflict on themselves.

However I also fully support legalising the sale, distribution, and high taxation of cannabis. With mandatory long prison sentences for anyone who adulterates it. I really don’t care about people who are fool enough to let it affect them. I think that they should prepay their inevitable hospital bills just as smokers and drinkers do.

If you think that is a “hate cannabis” note, then you are dead right (probably dead in the head, but that is a different matter). I really dislike the mindfucked who live in a haze of chemically induced stupor. I really want to see you pay more consumption taxes. ]

I think that makes it quite clear what Prentice thinks about pot puffers. It was in response to a hazy punktuated comment by a well known user of mind altering substances, Phillip Ure.

PG attacks a Standard response

I raised a minor issue yesterday about an attack on Patrick Gower at The Standard.

Gower was quoted tweeting about Laila Harre quitting the leadership of the Internet Party but this was turned into an attack on Gower by also quoting two diversionary tweets directed at Gower rather than the news he reported. See End of the Internet Party?

I made a minor point about the author of the post not using his own ID but posting under ‘Notices and Features’. Anthony Robins later admitted it was him, but he then turned that into an attack on me.

I put up this post Pete. Does it matter? Your obsession with The Standard is unhealthy, and frankly creepy.

An odd over-reaction to being called on something. But that seems to be the normal approach, here are more reactions from The Standars welcoming committee.

lprent:

I guess your conservative spite blinded you into not reading the post.

Draco T Bastard:

You trolling already PG?

weka:

I see the trole is back then.

‘Troll’ is Standard vernacular for ‘I don’t want you posting comments here’. ‘Trole’ is a spelling variant to try and bypass auto-moderation.

Tracey:

It is all about pete. Isnt it?!?

It was obviously about something else, and some managed to discuss some aspects of what it was about.

Glen Jacobs (not a regular Standardista):

When and why did Pete George get his ban lifted?

Whilst I find his pathetic ways somewhat entertaining, I hope whoever was behind the amnesty does realise he’s just going to fuck the forum again

lprent responded as moderator:

[lprent: He doesn’t have one at present. They are generally time limited. His last one expired quite a while ago.

PG tends to ban himself to the great delight of most readers. I guess it helps with his usual senile victim routine as he routinely lies about why he got banned. But I believe he has recently been getting banned from other sites recently. So he is back to get his jollies here. ]

I’ve challenged him a number of times on his repeated claims that I lie about being banned from The Standard. And I’ve proven him wrong. And when facts are put to him he disappears.

weka:

“I don’t believe I lie about bans”

lolz at the senility of that statement.

Shall we start a book on how long it takes for Pete to either get a ban, or self-ban? His comments seem to be mostly about criticising ts, so I’m guessing he either goes quickly, or he’s trying out a new strategy for how long he can do this and stay just under the bannable level of offense.

felix (the king of the Standard jungle):

We all know how it ends.

Can’t someone just ban him in advance and be done with the stupid prick?

I responded to felix and weka:

I’ve no idea what ” just under the bannable level of offense” is weka. But I do know that when the usual suspects start to swarm it raises the prospects.

Thanks. And to you too felix. We know how it’s done, don’t we.

felix:

Yes we do. It starts with you raising stupid irrelevant points that no-one gives a fuck about (“omfg someone reposted a tweet”),

then you blow it out out of all proportion (have you written an OUTRAGED STANDARD DISGRACE post on your website about it yet?),

then you use this pretend issue to shoehorn your big issue (“why doesn’t the world take more notice of Pete George?”) into every thread on this site until one after another everyone here gets sick of you and, in one way or another tells you to fuck off,

and then you have a tanty because the web isn’t recognising your god-given right to post whatever you want on every site you stumble across as if you owned it,

and eventually a mod decides they’ve had enough of your passive-aggressive bullshit and bans you for something that, on its own, probably doesn’t rate as much of an offense without the context of the months of trooling that led to it,

and then you fuck off back to your site to write a martyrdom post that no-one except Lynn will ever read and spend the next three weeks reposting it at kiwiblog and whaleoil and having a big cry about the unfairness of it all.

Yes Pete, we know exactly how it works. And we know it’s going to work exactly the same this time too. Seriously, it would save everyone so much trouble if you just fucked off and started working on your martyrdom post now.

That’s a normal sort of manoeuvring from felix. He’s long practiced at trying to engineer bans for anyone he decides should not comment at The Standard. I responded:

You’re as funny as ever felix.

Wouldn’t the logical approach to comments or commenters “that no-one gives a fuck about” be to ignore them? /rhetorical

felix:

Yes Pete, the logical approach to things no-one gives a fuck about is to ignore them.

Your approach, however, is to take those things that no-one gives a fuck about, and mix them in a blender with your dog-shit of a personality, and spray the resulting filth all over this site,

and you’ll be doing it all day, every day, until someone bans you,

because that’s how it works.

My reply:

I don’t intend to comment here anywhere near all day every day. I have a lot of other things I usually prefer to do, unlike you it seems, destined it seems to grump it out here trying to chase anyone away you don’t approve of.

felix:

“I don’t intend to comment here anywhere near all day every day.”

No-one intends that you do. But that hasn’t stopped you yet.

Why don’t you comment on whaleoil instead? Cameron’s getting desperate for attention, he could do with the page views.

Tracey:

And the thread has deteriorated to be about pg, not the topic of the post.

ITS ALL ABOUT PETE

Tracey:

You mean the title of the thread wasnt

What is pete george thinking about today?

Stephanie Rodgers

have you written an OUTRAGED STANDARD DISGRACE post on your website about it yet?

Spoiler alert: he totally did, complete with pearl-clutching about the ~misuse~ of the “notices and features” handle.

Clemgeopin:

Oh, dear George! Did he now? What a witnit!

felix:

Oh gawd. Is he banned from ontheleft?

Stephanie Rodgers

Strangely enough he hasn’t graced many of our threads with his comments after the first few times I told him to stay on topic and cut the passive-aggressive BS.

I haven’t seen anything of interest to comment on there. Funny Stephanie talking about aggressiveness. She aggressively attacks people who stray off what she wants the topic to be confined to.

Tracey:

And the thread has deteriorated to be about pg, not the topic of the post.

ITS ALL ABOUT PETE

And when its not

ITS ALL ABOUT JOSIE

They don’t take kindly to Josie Pagani being critical of them either.

Such is the Standard of debate. And one of the next steps is for them to claim I am taking over threads and should be banned for it.

I don’t care if I’m banned again. It won’t stop me from criticising them when I see fit, and it won’t stop attacking me.

But this time it switched the bash wagon from one PG to another.

UPDATE: In a comment below lprent said:

I really don’t have time to deal with senile lying old gits with too much time on their hands who quote our policies for Notices and Features and then proceed to misrepresent what it says.

However he has found the time at The Standard, in response to me saying “I don’t believe I lie about bans. You keep claiming this, incorrectly. “

His response reasserts that I lie but again he doesn’t back it up with anything apart from a rant…

[lprent: You routinely do. I always give the reason why I ban someone based on what is in the policy. That could be anything from questioning the site rules, to diverting off a posts topic, to simply appearing to waste moderators time by initiating boring flamewars that are invariably about you and your behaviour.

Rather than deal with that and just modifying your own behavior, you invariably choose to interpret that as some kind of hidden agenda or conspiracy rather than dealing with what is said. What you appear to not accept is that it is your own behaviour on our site that triggers the warnings and bans. Your behaviour in this post is absolutely characteristic. Your interpretation of our clear rules about the use of notices and features was just outright wrong and quite indefensible. But you managed to divert a large portion of the comments on the post completely off topic.

You also appear to be oblivious to your usual behaviour after you get a ban which is the basis of why I say that you routinely lie about it. Felix in a comment in this marathon comment scan (I’m currently on page 12 of 50 comments heading back to about 2pm yesterday) gave a pretty concise description of your usual behaviour.

If you’d just content yourself with actually addressing the topics of the post or the derived debate, and not making whole swathes of commentary being about you, it’d save me a whole lot of time. It’d take a while before the automatic responses by other commenters die down, but just ignore them or confine your responses to your own blog and stick to topics raised, and eventually you’d wind up commenting without the collective “FFS it is PG self-indulgently wanking again” response that you currently get.

Commenters automatically respond to you going off topic because they have seen you use your usual tactics far too many times. Instead of writing when you have something relevant to say, you seem to have an obsession with simply typing crap and asserting it is fact – because you think so. That isn’t debate. Then you complain that people don’t like it, disagree with you, and tell you why. That is the behaviour of someone who has a narcissistic need to be the centre of attention – not someone who is actually interested in discussion and debate.

BTW: If I have to ban you again, I have already decided that the date will be November 21 2017. I really don’t have time for this type of shit again. ]

I assume from this he doesn’t want me to debate, he makes baseless assertions, fails again to back them up, then threatens a ban. That’s very tough Lyn. You must love that power.

Bad language on blogs

Much has been made of a clamp down on bad language being behind the clampdown on comments and commenters at Whale Oil. In his announcement of Travis qutiting Whale Oil yesterday Pete Belt later conceded he over emphasised it. He initially said:

There has been a shift in culture, where we’ve changed a bunch of foul mouthed blokey commenters for (what they see) a knitting circle.

It all comes down to the ability for people to swear in the comments, and old commenters that could not change being resentful that they’ve lost “the only place on the Internet” where they felt at home.

Many pointed out that the issues were far wider and deeper than “the ability for people to swear” so later Pete conceded:

Travis has alluded to it – I deliberately oversimplified things. It isn’t just about swearing.

I’m puzzled by the over-emphasis on swearing.It seems to have been a simplistic approach that ignores a much bigger problem – abuse.

Note: I infrequently swear on blogs but was banned from WO for, apparently, using the phrase ‘man crap’. The word crap is used so obviously allowed on NZ Herald and Stuff online.

Attitudes to swearing have changed markedly in my lifetime. When i grew up swearing at school was severely punished and you just didn’t swear in front of adults. Print media, radio, movies and TV were very particular about what language must be excluded. That has relaxed a bit in print media and radio, and substantially in movies and in TV programs where nearly anything goes at times. It reflects real life.

Younger people in particular swear far more openly than they would have last century.

While I don’t swear much I usually don’t have a problem when people swear, I’m now used to it being common, including on blogs.

I don’t recall much if any criticism of Whale Oil for the swearing. There was a far bigger problem with personal attacks, regardless of whether swearing was involved. Non swear words are commonly used to viciously attack people.

One of Cameron Slater’s biggest moments of infamy was not for swearing – he was quoted without censorship for language in the Greymouth Star:

Blogger puts the boot in

Provocative right-wing internet blogger Cameron Slater was today standing by a headline that described Greymouth car crash victim Judd Hall as “feral”.

Mr Hall, a 26-year-old from Runanga, died when a car in which he was a backseat passenger left the road and crashed into a house about 11 o’clock on Friday night.

At 7.21am on Saturday, Mr Slater’s Whale Oil blog site carried a brief story on the crash under the heading, ‘Feral dies in Greymouth, did world a favour’.

When contacted by the Greymouth Star today, Mr Slater accepted that he did not know Mr Hall or his family, but justified the “feral” description by saying: “It is Greymouth, isn’t it? Didn’t Helen Clark say that you are all feral?”

He said anybody travelling at 140kph in a car in a 50kph area was ‘feral’, whether on the West Coast or in south Auckland.

He did not regret the headline and would not be apologising for it.

Mr Hall wasn’t even responsible for the crash. Many may consider calling the driver a fucking idiot far more appropriate than the language Slater used.

Excessive swearing can detract from blogs, as it can detract from conversations, depending on the context and the company you are in.

But I think are worse than swearing on blogs are abuse, personal attacks, harassment and stalking.  And message control censorship.

Whale Oil didn’t have a bad reputation for swearing, it had a bad reputation for attacking people, sometimes viciously. Slater led by example.

The Standard has a bad reputation for one sided abuse and attacks, protected and even promoted by the site moderation, with lprent leading the way.

Kiwiblog doesn’t have a bad reputation for swearing, it has a bad reputation for personal attacks. David Farrar isn’t criticised for his occasional swearing, he’s criticised for allowing too much free speech – and his recent moderation improvements have clamped down on abuse, not swearing.

There’s probably more annoyance expressed and complaints on blogs about bad grammar than swearing. I saw someone complaining yesterday about mixing brought with bought. For some people the misuse of apostrophe’s seems to be a major offence (and I deliberately misused one there).

So what’s more important on blogs, having swearing police or grammar police?

I’d prefer that people were allowed to freely express their opinions and feelings, as long as it’s not done to attack and abuse.

I’d prefer less religious or Bain argument on Kiwiblog than less swearing.

I’d prefer an even playing field on The Standard to less swearing.

I’d prefer less silent censorship on The Daily Blog than less swearing.

I’d prefer more honesty on Whale Oil than using swearing as an excuse to ban people to sanitise and propagandise  the comments.

Each blog to their own. Cameron got around his own swearing ban yesterday by using an acronym – FIFO. That means fit in or fuck off. I don’t think it’s the swear word that is cringe in that, it’s the intent. If you’re careful not to speak contrary to the Whale Oil authors or sponsors and you’re lucky not to strike Pete Belt on a bad day (which seem to be frequent) then you can keep commenting there.

Fuck, I’d rather promote free and robust (with respect) expression than be mob controlled with crap like that.

The most damaging language in society and on blogs is not swear words. Bad language isn’t controlled by using banned word filters.

I’d prefer no censorship and more relaxed language dictates – and as I have my own blog I’m free to have that.

Pernicious dirty politics

Dirty politics as practised by Cameron Slater and associates was highlighted by Nicky Hager’s book “Dirty Politics”, to those who didn’t already know.

Slater is an attention seeker who can be brash and nasty, and is often boastful about it. But that’s just the headline making side of dirty politics.

Dirty politics is also practiced at a pernicious level across social media, via Twitter, Facebook and on political blogs.

Petty personal attacks can be more prevalent than sensible and reasonable discussion. Solo and mob attacks aiming to annoy, discredit and shut people up away are common.

Such is the nature of a lot of the active politics in New Zealand – dirty politics niggling away day after day.

And many of those decrying Slater level dirty politics are as much a part of the problem. Complaints about the major dirt are easily dismissed and ignored when those doing the accusing are no better.

A series of examples occurred yestedray in an exchange I had with Lyn Prentice, the setter of standards a The Standard. Like Slater he also boasts about how nasty he is – here is one recent example:

One person’s troll is another persons clear thinker.

There is a pretty clear definition on this site about what a troll is. It is someone that the *moderators* consider is disrupting the flow of robust debate according to the policy.

At least he’s sort honest about trolls at The Standard – they are people the moderators don’t like or disagree with.

The retribution for making the moderators have to work too hard tends to be balanced but mildly irritated. That of the sysop (me) is purely a matter of luck but could easily be (and frequently is) described as being excessive. That is because I’m a grouchy 3 decade veteran of the net and I enjoy being nasty and highly educational. Basically I’m a BOFH.

“Balanced” is questionable.

“Highly educational” is Lynspeak for “be careful what you say or I’ll abuse and ban you”.

“Grouchy” is accurate and “I enjoy being nasty” appears to be accurate but I can’t be sure how much he actually enjoys being nasty.

Another boast along with a warning.

That is because in my sysop role I’m deliberately a nasty vindictive mean old man with abuse of power issues, whose only redeeming quality is that he is too lazy to be bothered exercising those traits, but who often and almost randomly goes totally over the top when roused.

The reason for being like that (apart from some natural inclinations towards all of those traits) is because it makes people very wary about raising the ogre. Those who are aware of that role tend to stay well away from the behavioural edges unless they really really mean it and have a good argument that I might accept.

In other words he uses his power at The Standard to impose “behaviour” – people who aren’t part of his protected mob comment under constant threat of being abused and banned, both of which happen regularly.

In yesterday’s exchange Prentice – in this case it was here so his ban power was absent – happened to bring up the topic of Hager’s “Dirty Politics”:

Most of the “Dirty Politics” was about that. Knowing you, I suspect you haven’t bothered to read the book.

It has become a common practice to try and deny someone’s right to have an opinion on “Dirty Politics” by saying they haven’t read the book.

I responded” You don’t know me well at all, as your claims and insinuations about me show. I bought the book as soon as it was available (I actually pre-ordered a copy) and it’s open right beside me now, on page 13.”

In retrospect not surprisingly that opened up two lines of petty attack. From Prentice:

So you are saying that you haven’t read it? It has been what – 3 months. You’re still on page 13?

Well I did say that you didn’t appear to have read the book.

And framu was as petty at The Standard:

loved this from “old whiney” (pete george)

in reply to iprents musings on wether PG had even read dirty politics

“I bought the book as soon as it was available (I actually pre-ordered a copy) and it’s open right beside me now, on page 13.”

so it nov and PGs only made it to pg13?

I think it’s the sort of book that many people would not read cover to cover. In any case I happened to be have been researching something and was interested in what Hager had claimed in his preface (which was at odds with claims he made elsewhere).

I’m a bit bemused that they would even think of an attack line like that. And there was more, from several of the Standard regulars following on from framu:

ropata:rorsach

PG is a strange bird, trying to be relevant with his boring brand of concern tr0lling and self-martyrdom. Annoying but ultimately a waste of time engaging with the silly old bugger.

Tracey:

how do you pre order it when no one knew it was becoming available?

Murray Rawshark

You retrospectively preorder it, otherwise known as lying.

Nit picking, nitwitting, which framu carried over with a comment here:

pete – ive considered the possible responses that i could spend days engaged in pointless circular debate with you

but i will just ask this – how the did you pre-order a book that no one knew was being released before hand? Your a liar and a very boring one at that

Your also a stalker

I posted a response at The Standard:

I suspected it was becoming available when Hager launched it in Wellington and media covered the launch (late in the day). First thing the next morning I rang a local bookshop and they said they were waiting for delivery, so I ordered one.

They rang and advised when stock arrived later in the day so I went and picked my ordered book up.

It’s odd that something so trivial and straightforward as that results in accusations of lying.

This is stupidly trivial attack lines, but it’s a very common feature of political blogs.

And framu repeated his claim of me being a stalker at The Standard

hes back stalking this thread – and reposting that which does not met his approval

oddly though – he chose my rather timid one liner to repost, but not anything more problematic for him to discuss (which is ood – PG can discuss anything for weeks)

the guys a stalker

How is reading a blog that is open to anyone in the world to read, with comments about me, stalking? It’s as if they want to be abusive and petty without being called on their dirt.

While they abuse and attack under Prentice’s protection at The Standard there has always been a sense of frustration there when their dirty tactics are exposed elsewhere. Of course they are free to respond here, but they seem to have a problem with debate on an even playing field.

Slater operates at the extremes of dirty politics, but many more in our social media contribute to a pile of political sludge.

The drip drip drip of dirty politics is more toxic and corrosive to our democracy than Slater’s occasional outbursts – and if Slater were to retire from blogging most of the dirtiness would remain, ingrained. That’s a sad reality of our politics in social media.

To some degree a very poor example is set at the top of our political chain, in Parliament.

But this cannot be adequately addressed when the top of the blogging chains keep flushing decency down the dunny.

Holding to account doesn’t work when in ways the complainants are just as bad.

This post may be on a petty level but the accumulated effect is a pernicious part of dirty politics.

Slater vows to continue doing what he does, nasty and all. Prentice also doesn’t look like backing off from his nasty boasts.

If Hager had taken a balanced look at dirty politics throughout our democracy he might have deserved praise. His one sided attack makes “Dirty Politics” look like another example of dirty politics. If he succeeds in shutting Slater up he won’t have solved the problem.

He may have highlighted Slater’s excesses but he has also added weight to self-righteousness on the left, and done nothing to address their blindness to their own nasty flaws.

Dirty politics operates at many levels, from dirty deeds done by the few to the pernicious dirtiness of the many.

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