lprent still remembers me

It’s about a year since lprent banned me from The Standard but he obviously hasn’t forgotten me, he still mentions me frequently. It seems really weird to me that he keeps speaking of me in my absence. A bit of an obsession.

Maybe he feels guilty about banning me, but more likely he likes to diss me knowing he is safe from being held to account. I won’t respond and no one at The Standard would risk being banned as well.

A quick search revealed thirteen mentions in 2 weeks. lprent is my personal fan club.

Probably the most ironic is at 29 July 2013 at 5:35 pm

[lprent: I tend to reserve the draconian stuff for people droning without dealing with what others actually say. Pete George is probably the foremost example in the local blogosphere. He seldom if ever listens to anyone else apart from his navel. ]

Droning and lprent are like stumbling and Shearer (although at least Shearer seems to be improving).

And yesterday lprent posted his latest drone. And yes, he mentions me in it. I’ll comment about it in advance, because if you read it you may not make it right through.

Left wing blog good, right wing blog bad. Lefty smart, righty dumb. lprent incredibly smart.

Other than that lprent explains at length all the excuses he uses to ban people from The Standard. As usual he brags about how tough he is (because he bravely holds the blog machine gun):

I also run a policy of being quite vindictive

My personal response is to be as scathing as possible” 

The only thing he doesn’t say is that he rarely bans anyone who preaches left and abuses right, a commonly protected pastime.

And he warns that anyone trying to question or divert the Standard message leading up to the election next year will be banned.

Sometime in the next month or so I will start escalating it. I’m thinking I’ll start with 2-4 week bans and then rapidly start escalating to bans until after the election.

Such is blogging on the left. I’ve been banned from four blogs, all left wing. They like to think they are activists and holders to account, but they are intolerant of being held to account. You get abused and banned for questioning absurdly false claims by authors and commenters.

No wonder the left in New Zealand is struggling to be seen as credible. They don’t get it, and they don’t tolerate being told. And they complain about the Labour caucus exhibiting the same self destructive behaviour that they practise.

It isn’t openly debating opinions that is unwelcome, it is how they are argued.

If lprent doesn’t like it, if Standard authors take exception to their messages being questioned, you will be made to feel unwelcome. And if you persist in challenging them you will be banned. That’s the Standard way.

lprent 19.1
11 August 2013 at 2:57 am
Disagreeing with a post should be allowed.

Disagreeing with the content of a post is not a problem. However targeting the author is not allowed. The site needs authors to write posts and a frequent tactic to dissuade them is to tie them down in personal conflicts. Repetition will get harsh bans and a some even harsher abuse from me if I see it. It allows me to protect both the authors and the site from an attack. I also run a policy of being quite vindictive against anyone who has been banned for it in the past.

That accounts for more than 40% of all of the ban weeks we do on this site for obvious reasons. I consider that someone who is a fool enough to do that to authors on their own site is ipso facto far too stupid to participate in any kind of meaningful dialogue into the foreseeable future. Darwin award material.

The next most common reason for weeks of ban is for those strange people who think that they can force their own rules on how this site is run and what it should write about. Mrs Grundy behaviour is a classic darwin award anywhere on the nets – the usual response is “if you don’t like it – then start your own and set your own rules there”. Usually they don’t (seem to be adverse to work), if they do then it drifts for a while and then dies, or it may carry on for years with a minimal audience.

My personal response is to be as scathing as possible when I see people repeating that particular one. This is a good thing…

After all a more diverse net is a better net. Like the classic anti and prescriptive political parties in the style of NZ First, the Conservatives, or RAM, we need places on the net for all people to go and comment (away from where I have to read them).

Incidentally the third most prolific are people trying to do early diversions in a post on top-level comments. Not addressing the content of the post, but trying to make the post comments head off into a different topic is irritating to authors. It appears to have a marked increase coming up to an election. So I’ve been warning people a lot about that recently and started to warn by moving their comments to OpenMike. Sometime in the next month or so I will start escalating it. I’m thinking I’ll start with 2-4 week bans and then rapidly start escalating to bans until after the election. I’ve just been reading back to the last two elections and having a refresher on the tactics that have been used in the past.

These three account for almost all of the bans handed out here over the last couple of years…

Open debate from those on the right seems to be unwelcome.

The moderators and I don’t care. We’ll usually just pile in with the rest of the people arguing iff we have time. Some of the most interesting discussions are triggered from comments by the right. However you’ll tend to notice that some of the regular commentators get somewhat acid at people who keep repeating the same mantra’s over and over again and attempting to divert (rather than deal with) or ignore responses pointing to flaws in their argument (Pete George is often a good example). If we wanted soundbites unthinkingly repeated endlessly then we’d be reading Whaleoil or listening to talkback radio.

The swearing and name calling isn’t an actual problem for the moderators when moderating. This isn’t a childs forum. A good rule of political thumb is that if political debate isn’t heated then you should start taking bets on when the next social and political revolution will take place.

However abuse without explaining the reasons for it is (in the policy as “pointless abuse”) is something we watch for. You’ll see moderators targeting people with a specific pattern of that behaviour. But if they are trying to get other people who don’t respond (ie like the droners of the previous paragraph) to respond then it tends to be more tolerated. If they are doing it to avoid responding as a defensive diversion or to try and kick off a flame war then it is a issue for the comments section of the site.

You’ll also see moderators eventually target people who do simply fire and forget comments. Who clearly don’t read the responses to their comments at some point and respond to them (I test for that) or respond by simply attacking their critics rather than refuting their arguments. They don’t contribute much and tend to lose their entertainment value pretty rapidly.

There appear to be more of them on the right. Personally I blame that largely on the poor quality of the forums where they learn their debating skills. Many of their arguments often amount to some variation of “everybody knows” often without being able to link to anything supporting their assertions… And it isn’t just the “right”

The point is that people have to be prepared to debate and *defend* their assumptions openly if they want to survive here. Droning a few silly catch phrases and some canned responses doesn’t work well here at many levels. If I see a lot of them trolling the same line then I view it as being a simple attack on the site and start dealing with it accordingly.

Often using the “debating” skills that work at Whaleoil, or even at Kiwiblog isn’t particularly effective because you have to be able to defend your ideas with intelligence and links, rather than just asserting them with stupidity. It isn’t openly debating opinions that is unwelcome, it is how they are argued.

Personally without the restrictions we place on ourself’s that it isn’t the content that we moderate but mostly the behaviour, then personally I’d have cut off a lot of debates. The chemtrail or 9/11 debates. The ideological role of women in society. The moronic assertions that temperatures measured in europe is same as what happens in the whole world. Or what happened in the labour movement in the 1980′s. Or any number of others.

These erupt in OpenMike whenever people get vaguely bored. All of these are articles of faith for their various adherents. But unlike many of the more simple-minded commentators on the right, their adherents (from all over the political spectrum) can mostly argue – even if what they argue often appears kind of silly (to me).

There are a few debates and commentators that we tend to shutdown as soon as we see them. Attacks on children. Racial bigots. Simple minded attempts to push women back into the kitchen. Incitements to violence. Anything that edges over the bounds of defamation law in NZ for those not in the narrow confines of the public interest as expressed in the Lange vs Atkinson case. Assertions of unsupported defamatory “fact” against politicians. Breaches of a privacy including any attempts to “out” people. But these either follow the legal proscriptions or the duties of various ombudsmen. We view them all as being attempts to damage the site and act accordingly.

What rapidly becomes unwelcome here is people debating their ideas stupidly. The biggest stupidity is usually to attack the site. Their ideas (mostly) get a lot more toleration.

Summary: If lprent doesn’t like you or doesn’t like your politics or what you say he will bully you and he may ban you. His blog. He rules.

And the left wonder why they don’t rule, and why everyone fails to see how marvellous they are.

Leave a comment


  1. Darryl

     /  11th August 2013

    Iprent obviously see’s you as a threat.

    • Probably a threat to his ego. He has to keep explaining and defending what he does. Guilty conscience?

      • Darryl

         /  11th August 2013

        Your absolutely right. A person that raves on like that, surely does have a guilty conscience. You can put yourself way above his type Pete.


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