'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

firedoglake on Life Support (Part 2) 

UPDATE 2: The implosion of firedoglake continues. TBogg, known for calling a critic of his support for drone strikes a fucking retard and telling that person to blow me without consequences, is now complaining that the conduct of others is driving people away from the site:

I’d like FDL to have a much bigger readership, but it is hard to do that when the same people keep showing with the same tired arguments, and the attendant goal post moving, which only makes regular readers run away, And, believe me, they do; I get emails from people all the time who say they won’t come back. That frustrates the crap out of me.

This, from someone who, in addition to hijacking the comment thread of a post written by someone else, frequently seizes upon the legitimate transgressions of the Catholic Church and turns them into offensive posts certain to drive even progressive Catholics away. Indeed, the anti-Catholicism of TBogg and, sometimes, Teddy Partridge, is arguably the most self-destructive feature of the site, if measured by Hamsher's aspiration to create a progressive town square.

UPDATE 1: Predictably, it didn't take long. Hamsher banned someone who made a comment in response to her post that she didn't like. There is no longer any evidence of this person associated with the site at all. Furthermore, if you inquire about it, or, even worse, post about it, you risk virtual disappearance. So much for being a town square where a fair discussion of the merits of all sides can take place. A better, more inclusive approach would have allowed members to vent in response to her post today, while firmly insisting upon future compliance with the new policy, but that would have run contrary to her reflexive need to assert control. In this instance, there was also the side benefit of expelling a strong, third party voice, and, probably, many of those who liked him, from the site as well. Hence, expect a manipulation of this standard for posts and comments to the benefit of those supporting the reelection of President Obama.

INITIAL POST: Jane Hamsher has spoken in response to intensified snark guerrilla warfare among the remaining die hards at firedoglake:

Accusing someone of having ulterior, nefarious and unacknowledged motives isn’t discussion. It’s nothing but an attempt to shut down discussion.

The rule is clearly stated. Don’t pee in the pool or you’ll be kicked out of the pool. If someone thinks their special brand of ambrosia-scented pee pee doesn’t count, and they want to give a good squirt and demand a deal in order to comply with the rules, they’re gone.

The no wee-wee policy could not be any more unambiguous. I suggest maybe zipping up and rethinking how you want to approach this conversation, rather than accusing us of an unacknowledged desire to to shut down criticism of the veal pen.

It is what it is. The rule is the rule, and it is iron-clad. If someone can’t accept that, this is the end of the road for them at FDL.

I guess that one of the privileges that comes with funding your own website is that you can say anything, no matter how ridiculous. In this instance, she has developed such an impenetrable sense of denial that she no longer recognizes that she is the one of the people that most frequently violates this rule to manipulate the content of the site, as she did in order to drive me away. Is she really so oblivious that she doesn't understand that the snark wars that have overwhelmed the site are being caused by people emulating her oftentimes arrogant, dismissive and insulting style of communication? Or, maybe, she cynically believes that the remaining members will uncritically accept anything she says. Only she knows. But, for those of us on the outside, it is becoming more and more evident that firedoglake no longer possesses any capability to motivate people to politically organize themselves. And, that, for reasons that I have previously explained, is a great loss. If she had candidly admitted her own shortcomings in relation to the current situation at the site, she might have been able to turn things around. But Hamsher isn't known for acknowledging that she makes mistakes. The reporters, Dayen, Walker and Gosztola, remain well worth reading, though.

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