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24 July 2010 @ 02:39 pm
another fatal case of dreamwidth  
Oh, dear god. Scans_Daily is now a community 'defined by our struggle toward anti-oppression'. If you just want to post about comics in a fun environment that doesn't let any posters get bashed, you aren't welcome. If you don't think that 'struggling toward anti-oppression' means that the first person to seize the flag of 'I am oppressed!' gets to bash their chosen poster as long and as vilely as they like, you aren't welcome -- anything else would be silencing! Any rules on personal attack are tone argument! If you think that bashing threads should be frozen at some point, you aren't welcome, because anyone who comes in later has the right to feel freshly oppressed and get their hits in. As long as the mods don't define them as privileged, in which case they are told to sit down, shut up, and accept being shit on.

I had noticed the disintegrating quality of scans_daily over on Dreamwidth for some time; most of the interesting posters and posts gone, and what few posts looked interesting and I bothered to click on mostly devolved to bashing of one issue or another from the Big Two. Which issue often deserved bashing, but s_d on LJ and even InsaneJournal usually mixed in a little fun, some crazy old stuff, some classics, and people made a point of posting stuff they loved. Plus the commentary was much more interesting and high quality. But I hadn't paid enough attention to realize why until the recent mod thread.

I feel like I need to apologize to the old scans_daily mods, in retrospect. Back when it was on LJ, it was a fun place that unlike just any other comic boards was a friendly place for women, gays, minorities. Not so much in terms of harassment -- there's other comics boards that will clamp down on open misogyny, etc. -- but in the sense that you aren't some freakish minority to be stared at. And I thought at the time that this was mostly in spite of the moderators, who tended to be a little tight-ass. I remember at least once being all offended and righteous because the mods cracked down equally on someone posting unpleasantly and someone replying violently, because the second person was provoked! And now, man, having seen bad moderating in effect, I was wrong. Sorry old scans_daily mod whose name I cannot remember!

However, there is some good in it. I've decided to swear off dogpiles. It's turned into a game where rage-junkies just look for a target to pump up their sense of self-righteousness. No more following anyone's 'signal-boosting'. If I run into something on my own travels, I post only if I have something worthwhile to say, not just to join the mob.
Madeline the Edifyingzdashamber on July 24th, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
Well, shoot, if you're off the anti-oppression bus I'm now unquestionably the top of the list of "most psycho anti-oppression people I know". So now I have to rethink some, because I do respect your opinion. The other hand is that I like seeing priviledged shitwits get a taste of their own medicine, and I personally haven't seen anything at Dreamwidth that would make the whole concept of the site a pejorative. But then, I've never followed scans daily. And while I feel it is helpful that people know that if they say stupid priviledged stuff they stand a chance of pulling back a bloody stump, I haven't fully examined the state of play and how I feel about it.
Lauratavella on July 25th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
It's not precisely that I'm off the anti-oppression bus, as I've gone way the hell off how it's conducted in the fansphere. Anti-oppression to me is everyone feels comfortable speaking up, that no one gets personally attacked for doing so. It's not something that can ever be perfectly enacted because of conflicting wants, but the way it's been constructed as the ideal is the more oppressed checkboxes you can display the more right you have to silence others... I'm no longer playing that.

It's particularly questionable in a pseudonymous environment. As cmdr_zoom pointed out:

As things stand now, any member of this community could, in theory, dishonestly challenge another poster on their privilege. Maybe the real reason is that they don't like something else the poster said, or their name or avatar, or perhaps they just want to win the argument. Because in this community, invoking (someone else's) privilege is the accusation against which there can be no appeal. It is the trump card, the nuclear option, "Hope" in the Game of Changes, the Blazing Sword of Voltron. And if you don't think some people will go that far to win an argument or discredit or intimidate a rival, you haven't been on the internet very long.
Madeline the Edifyingzdashamber on July 25th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)
Three parts of your comment. 1. I disagree that everyone should feel comfortable speaking up. IMO, without fear, there is no impetus to change. Ghandi and MLK wouldn't have gotten anywhere except that they provided a face-saving alternative to people elsewhere rioting and rebelling.

2. People harshing on pseudonimity make me twitch. So I'm more inclined to blow off cmdr_zoom's point. Still, the arguments I've seen, if the accused said "yeah, I am priviledged" things could go on from there and the reason that "OMG UR a priviledged doof" is a trump is because instead the accused always says "Nooooo!!! Privilege is impossible!!!"

3. I've seen people called on speaking for a minority group other than their own, and I've seen people called on speaking poorly about their own group. Sounds like at s_d that doesn't happen, which is too bad. Like I said before, the sd thing hasn't been my experience with Dreamwidth.
Lauratavella on July 25th, 2010 07:55 am (UTC)
I admit I don't quite get your first point. What I see as a good model is rpg.net. A few years back, they were as boys club as you would expect for a gaming site, but the people in charge decided to make a specific effort to make it friendly to all groups. So they came up with a set of rules, specifically banning slurs, generally banning group or personal attacks. They made a point of trying to choose moderators from a wide range of people and political and social views. And it worked; it's now an environment that is female friendly, trans friendly, has posters all along the ideological spectrum.

You can note someone's privilege there, you can call out the bias in someone's post... but you don't get to use that as an excuse for attacking them personally. And I think it works a hell of a lot better, and is a hell of a lot fairer, than what s_d is doing. _That's_ useful anti-oppression work to me, not just turning it around so that a different group is oppressed. And I just don't see why fear helps there.
Number One Spoonherongale on July 24th, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
You know, I am really beginning to loathe the Tone Argument. Its one of those good ideas that is out there being regularly recruited as justification for some of the meanest, vilest shit ever. And no one will be able to convince me that the worst offenders in this regard aren't prolly some of the most privileged people around. I'm all for a good philosophical debate and I'm all about standing up to racism, sexism, classism, etc. But god... the meanness and hypocritical, bigoted "anti-bigotry" sophistry just drives me nuts.

My solution, like yours, is mostly just to refuse to engage. I'm sure most of the self righteous defenders of justice are just young, sheltered idealists and I don't want to make the mistake of hating on them just because they can act so stupid and cruel sometimes. But god, they sure do annoy, sometimes.

Edited at 2010-07-24 10:40 pm (UTC)
Lauratavella on July 25th, 2010 02:37 am (UTC)
I think I'm done with the tone argument, at least as a bingo. If you can't say anything more specific than just saying 'tone argument' when someone says 'stop being a jerk', then it's not an argument.
Number One Spoonherongale on July 25th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC)
Yeah. If I felt that someone was truly "tone argumenting" me, I wouldn't bring it up... I'd just say, "hey, you know, I'm kind of upset here... this [whatever topic of racism or whatever is going on] really enrages me." And if I'd gone too far or said something mean, I'd apologize for that. Hopefully I wouldn't go too far or be mean though! I try very hard not to do that!
Lauratavella on July 25th, 2010 07:58 am (UTC)
Well, I don't think it's always wrong to be mean, but y'know, when I am, it's because I'm done talking to someone. I don't think that if I call someone an asshole, that they are obligated to stick around and listen to me... even if they are an asshole. It's perfectly reasonable for them to go "I don't have to listen to this, I'm leaving." And if I shout 'tone argument!' after them, I'm the idiot in the scenario.
mikkenekomikkeneko on July 24th, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
I hold very similar feelings towards wow_ladies nowadays.
Lauratavella on July 25th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
I did not even know that existed. Sorry it went downhill :P
Never mess with the sacred chickens: Affronted by meganbmoorelesbiassparrow on July 25th, 2010 01:51 am (UTC)
All my comments from now on will be defined by my struggle towards anti-oppression. I feel this is clearly the thing to do in the oppressive world of scanning. And daily scanning.
Lauratavella on July 25th, 2010 10:20 am (UTC)
I'm with Emma Goldman: if I have to be lectured by humorless commissars instead of dancing, they can take their revolution and stuff it.
Katejuliansinger on July 28th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
I just dunno where to go /to/ talk about comics that's not full of fanboy annoying people.
Lauratavella on July 28th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
I know, dammit. Scans_daily was my great place. Even the boards like Comic Book Resources where people can usually spell and say intelligent things, you still feel kind of a freak when you point out you are female.

cmdr_zoom just bailed on s_d, and they were basically the last sane person standing. It's still on my RSS feed out of inertia and because it's a convenient link to the latest previews, but I no longer bother with the discussion.
Katejuliansinger on July 28th, 2010 10:06 pm (UTC)
a) I still find SD fun, but then, I don't get into the massive flame fests. (I still think the flame fests back on LJ were worse because there was /no escaping/ them.)

b) It's not nearly as fun as before LJ TOSsed it, mind.

b) I was hoping once Neo Prodigy left as a moderator, things would get slightly saner, but so far no evidence of that.

d) I think, in general, that the "tone argument" is definitely problematic, that there needs to be way more nuance to the discussion, and while I support the point /behind/ the tone argument, the way many if not most people refer to it and use it in discussion is reductionist and means that productive discussion is stifled, not encouraged. (/obvious)
Lauratavella on July 28th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
For the tone argument, I think it's legitimate when people are pulling 'if only you had spoken more nicely I would have listened'. The problem is it being pulled as a reply to 'you are being a dick, I'm leaving/not listening to you'. I think the difference is subtle but real. One is an attempt to manipulate, one is a statement of fact and direct action.

And certainly, the recent evolution of extension of tone argument to the idea that people are obliged to stay in a conversation or allow people to tromp all over their personal space is nuts.
Thomas Wildestolisomancer on July 29th, 2010 02:33 am (UTC)
Try lurking on the comics board on Something Awful, Batman's Shameful Secret.

It's pretty tightly moderated by the guy who runs 4thletter.net, and it's honestly one of the best if not the best comics discussion boards around.