Wednesday, April 7, 2010

ETP is going Assholery free.


All good things come to an end, and I've decided that the entertainment value provided by the antics of one of the Canadian Blogosphere's most notorious trolls has become outweighed by the cost in traffic, referrals, and intelligent contributions.

Sure, we'll miss things like the insistence that octagons are really triangles, that Kent Hovind really isn't a creationist because he believes in adaptation, that Kirk Cameron's Crocoduck routine was a winning argument, or the reinvention of Canada as a confederacy that elects its Prime Ministers, but that's all still available to the public (including H.R. personnel) via the magic of Google.

Just to put on record the kinds of things that have made this action necessary:

-The unprovoked personal attacking of other posters, including (but not limited to) gratuitous namecalling.
-Constantly diverting discussion away from the topic at hand to strawmen.
-Assuming a sock-puppet identity for the purposes of dishonest provocateurism.
-Abusing the comments section to carry out personal vendettas against 3rd party bloggers.
-Consistently reducing comment threads to repeated adolescent, chest thumping, victory-by-fiat responses.
-Consistent, unabashed trolling with no effort whatsoever made to discuss the topic at hand.

As a result, ETP regrets to announce its first (and hopefully last) ban. Congrats, Patrick Ross... you worked hard to earn it.

(please bear with us in the upcoming few weeks as we implement the ban and address the inevitable efforts to circumvent it. In the mean time, any and all commentary from contributers other than "Kid Cash", including dissent, is more than welcome).


50 comments:

CK said...

Audrey, I sincerely wish you luck with that, although, by reading his posts as of late, I must say I'm creeped out. Like he's obsessed with me.

I banned him too, a long time ago. However, he keeps coming back with a different IP address. I have now banned a grand total of 6; count 'em; 6 IP addresses and still counting more than likely.

He's worse than a troll. Suffice it to say, he has some strange ways of showing how much he cares.... YUCK!!!! EECCHHH!!

I think (and I sincerely hope) you will have better luck; no one should have to be subjected to that.

CK said...

It's another reason why my comments section is moderated.

I'm afraid he will take a crap at my place for all to see.

I can't always check my page when I am working, after all.

Patrick Ross said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CK said...

Audrey, you will have to turn comment moderation on, if you wish to make sure obsessive sociopaths like twatsy here stay banned. Not sure how to ban on blogger.

Twatsy, given that I've had to ban 6 IP addresses from you over at my place: what part of you're not welcome do you not get?

Racial slurs? ha! You're too stupid to understand sarcasm, so we just won't go there.

Seriously, Twatsy, how do you get through life without a helmet?

Sociopath.

Sparky said...

Sociopath indeed.
Meh, he'll be 'commiserating' (read--weeping and gnashing of teeth, shaking his fists at those dastardly bloggers who dare to ban him...) at his blog for quite some time, reinventing what actually happened for his own personal gratification.
It'll just sink him further into the depths of obscurity.

CK said...

Sparky, you're probably right.

If he isn't dutifully at work now at it, surely first thing tomorrow morning on his to do list will be to share his 'persecution' with Canadian Sense, Dupmar and whoever else still cares to comment over there. He will whine yet again about Audrey and your's truly, taking marching orders and not making any moves without the say so of Canadian Cynic.

If that ain't obsessive, I don't know what is.

Audrey II said...

Thanks for the kind wishes CK, and I'm sorry to hear about the deluge of assholery you've had to put up with. Hopefully the obsession ends soon.

I think Sparky's right. While Pat's 'They're all afraid of my brilliance so they're running away, those yellow groupthink bastards' might be comedic gold, it also just further illustrates the disconnect with reality that exists and the utter inability to contribute anything of value. He's stated over and over again that he approaches commenting and blogging as a contest or war that he must win, which explains the kinds of things he posts. It's not constructive dialogue, it's not skillful debate, it's not even educational argumentative confrontation: it's mere rhetoric and bluster, with even less intellectual value than pay-per-view wrestling. And like catching a glimpse of WWE while commercial-surfing, it's fun to stop and laugh for a bit, but eventually the channel has to be changed.

Patrick Ross said...
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Patrick Ross said...
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Patrick Ross said...
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Patrick Ross said...
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Patrick Ross said...
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Audrey II said...

You called it, CK. After repeatedly posting the same reply over a dozen times in a matter of a few minutes, followed by a threat to continue to do so indefinitely, I finally needed to turn on the comment moderation feature.

So psychotic, so sad.

Patrick Ross said...
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Patrick Ross said...
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Audrey II said...

...And had to do it a second time about an hour later.

Still psychotic, still sad, and ironically still (I shit you not) declaring victory.

sassy said...

Audrey, I applaud your decision.

Audrey II said...

Thanks Sassy, but it isn't without its headaches. In addition to now having to put up with a long cue of trolling submissions from Mr. Ross, I already experienced the problem of mistakenly losing some comments that I wanted to keep while flushing out the backlog.

My apologies to both C.C. and Balbulican for accidentally losing their valued responses.

Sparky said...

Wow...
Is like the perpetual drunk being evicted from the bar, over and over and over again--you'd hope he'd learn... y'know, take something from his obvious sad state of affairs.
But, again much like the perpetual drunk, Patrick has absolutely no sense of how he got himself into his situation--is 'everyone else's fault'...
In the end, after all the years of 'debate', Patrick's legacy is summed up in this very thread... beating his head against the city walls whilst weeping and gnashing... 'why did they throw me out???? why doesn't anyone listen to me???' he cries... 'I know, if I post the same thing multiple times they'll take me back!'
The very definition of insanity.
It's just sad.

David said...

"the perpetual drunk being evicted from the bar, over and over and over again"

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Patrick Ross as done by The Kids in the Hall.

And thanks for skimming the pool Audrey.

Just stay down Patty.

Dr.Dawg said...

David,

Thanks, that just made my day. I take it the fellow beside him is Mahmood?

Balbulican said...

I have to admit to the same lurking fascination with Patrick as I feel for Scenty, Wendy Sullivan, and all the really exceptionally damaged conservatives out there. He's not clinically insane like Raging Tory or embarrassingly dim like Hunter or Dodo. But his shtick is suggestive of some form of disturbance - the relentless, obsessive focus on single words or phrases, the prancing, cringe-inducing, obsessive declarations of "victory", and the truly creepy tenor of his raving about the bloggers he become fixated on.

Given that his growing list of proscribed sites includes some of the energetic and intelligent debate on the web, and given that discussion on his site is limited to one monosyllabic sycophant and the incoherent Mahmoud, one hard pressed to avoid the image of a delusional organ grinder performing in a void for the gratification of two demented monkeys.

KEvron said...

"This post has been removed by a blog administrator." (ad nausem)

give it up, twatsie. she's just not that into you.

KEvron

David said...

@Dawg:

Glad to help. Patrick can be fount of humour.

I kid. He's just weird.

The Public Eye said...

The "assholery" of Mr. Ross aside, I think you're making a tremendous mistake. Hard cases make bad law. The reason most of us, without pay or glory, decide to enter the blogosphere is because we cherish freedom of expression. Actually deleting Mr. Ross' comments, and outright banning him, because of (in your own admission) the content of his speech strikes me as wrong. It is the worst form of censorship.

In my neck of the blogosphere, I have my own troll who calls him-/her-/itself "The Landlady". He/she/it leaves some of the most bizarre, irrelevant, unintelligent and, in many cases, incoherent comments I have ever seen posted to a blog. In my heart of hearts, I wish "The Landlady" would go away. And in my heart of hearts, I would never dream of censoring "The Landlady". It's part of the package deal you accept when you buy into "free speech".

Mr. Ross deserves better . . . and so do you.

Audrey II said...

"Hard cases make bad law"

I think I made it pretty clear that I'm not making law here, nor is it "Tha Flamethrower"'s dissent that's the issue. There have been a number of people comment here who have disagreed with the positions that I've expressed.

But just as a shopkeeper, after having put up with over a years worth of hooliganism, ought to have the freedom to take action against the individuals who have only hurt his business, so too ought people in the marketplace of ideas similarly have the freedom to act. The notion that the freedom of trolls puts them into a class of consequence free action that supersedes the freedom of others to act is not only internally inconsistent, it has self-evident implications for a truly free marketplace of ideas.

Dr.Dawg said...

Confusing running a civil combox with censorship is an elementary mistake. Patsy is being flushed for being an obnoxious weasel, not for his politics, such as they are.

It's Audrey's house, not the market square.

fern hill said...

Hey, Audrey, good on ya. Life's too short.

We at DAMMIT JANET! are also on Twatsy's shitlist. It's a nice club. ;)

Dave said...

T'is not censorship, P.E. and you should understand that.

Mr. Ross has not been denied a public forum; in fact he still has one. He is simply being told to refrain from attempts to push others off their equally spaced soapboxes.

I believe he is just as banned in many places, not because he's not allowed to say whatever he wants, but because he's not allowed to do it wherever he pleases. His access to the same type of forum as ETP is completely unhindered.

I had to deal with another such pain-in-the-ass, we'll call, "The Militiman". The poor fellow couldn't understand why he couldn't come into a comments section, set up housekeeping and just wear every other commenter/reader down with inane garbage. When people pointed out his obvious failings as a human being, he couldn't understand why everyone didn't simply adore him for his six months of full time service to the nation. He did, after all, point it out often enough. Banned, he eventually set up his own blog which, alas, I have never read. Oh well.

I liken it all to an off-leash mutt crapping on the neighbours' lawns. As much as I love dogs, I prefer them when they don't leave gooey, smelly piles of crap in my yard and, if need be, will fence it off to make sure they stay away. The mutt however, will find another place to take a dump since that was the only reason it was in your yard in the first place.

Lenny said...

"It is the worst form of censorship."

Absolute nonsense. If you stand next to my table at a restaurant and decide you're going to inject yourself into our conversation I may ask you to leave, and if you don't, I may ask management to remove you.
Exercising one's right to choose who to have a discussion with has nothing to do with censorship.

The Public Eye said...

Let us stipulate that Mr. Ross, and "the Landlady", and "the Militiman", are not pleasant people. Let us also stipulate that they contribute nothing useful to the public discourse. Neither of these stipulations provide the justification for refusing to listen to them.

It may not be censorship in the strict (politico-legal) sense, but I am surprised that all of you "progressive" folks would still countenance it. I suspect it has more to do with Mr. Ross' political orientation than you would care to admit.

The argument that you have the "right" to moderate your comment fora is a non sequitir. It remains censorship in spirit; it remains a conscious decision to not post somebody's opinions because you don't like them. To host a theoretically free and open forum for public input and commentary - as all of us bloggers do through a comments section - and decide for editorial (perhaps even ideological?) reasons to ban certain contributors amounts to suppression of speech. It is one thing to block spam; it is another to "ban" actual, living commentators because you don't agree with what they have to say, or how they say it.

CC said...

I'm relieved that Audrey finally gave Twatsy a good boot to the nads and showed him the door, since it allows me to link to her once again. As some readers might remember, a while back, I implemented a policy such that I simply would no longer link to any progressive bloggers that allowed Twatsy commenting privileges. Most progressive bloggers I know that had to make a choice were happy to show Patrick the door.

It is, of course, amusing to watch Twatsy being turfed from comment section after comment section, and strutting off, braying about how it can only be because no one can handle his dizzying intellect. He refuses to entertain the notion that there might be other reasons why he is so uniformly reviled.

It's like the poor guy at the bar, lamenting to his friend how all his relationships seem to end badly, whereupon his friend helpfully points out that the one thing that all those failed relationships had in common was him.

Twatsy should seriously consider that, when that many smart, reasonable people think you're an asshole, they might actually have a point.

CC said...

Um, wow ... the level of crippling stupid in that last comment of The Public Eye's is awesome. He either did not read any of the comments addressed to him, or he didn't understand them. Neither of those possibilities bodes well.

Audrey II said...

TPE,

"Let us stipulate that Mr. Ross, and "the Landlady", and "the Militiman", are not pleasant people. Let us also stipulate that they contribute nothing useful to the public discourse. Neither of these stipulations provide the justification for refusing to listen to them."

Let us also make clear that it isn't mere "unpleasantness" nor mere "lack of useful contribution" that predicated this action. I've made this clear more than once, and I think the archives here speak for themselves.

"I suspect it has more to do with Mr. Ross' political orientation than you would care to admit."

You might want to check that persecution assumption at the door. I could care less whether or not Ross is conservative, liberal, libertarian, communist, or anarchist. It's not where he's coming from, it's how he's coming here that's the issue, and I think I've made that more than clear.

"It is one thing to block spam; it is another to "ban" actual, living commentators because you don't agree with what they have to say, or how they say it"

Nice attempt at a sandwich diffusion. I agree with you that it is wrong to ban commentators because you don't agree with what they have to say. But let's not for one moment conflate that with an objection to spam or more than a years worth of consistent trolling. Since it apparently needs pointing out again, there have been people who have posted here before who have posted dissenting opinions in their replies. This isn't an issue of dissent or ideology, so in the interest of intellectual honesty, let's not continue to try to spin it as such.

If you'd like some contrasting examples of bloggers who actually do censor comments based on ideology, I suggest you check out your "follows" list.

David said...

"It may not be censorship...blah blah blah"

Thank you for the lecture. Your concern is noted. Cookies and juice are available on the table by the door.

Audrey II said...

CC,

"He either did not read any of the comments addressed to him, or he didn't understand them. Neither of those possibilities bodes well.

Waiting for the predictable attempt to frame that criticism as a persecution that has "more to do with political orientation than you would care to admit". ;)

CK said...

Well, Lucky 7: I banned IP #7 today.

I posted about it at my place because I really didn't have a clue as to how to handle his psychosis....

I was put on that shit list of his awhile ago, but still...obsessive is putting it mildly...

KEvron said...

"we cherish freedom of expression"

twats has a blog. problem solved.

"Mr. Ross deserves better"

he doesn't even deserve "mr."

KEvron

KEvron said...

"Confusing running a civil combox with censorship is an elementary mistake."

if not downright intellectually dishonest.

KEvron

Audrey II said...

I feel your pain CK. Patrick Ross has attempted to post approx 50+ comments here in the last 24 hours. Most of them have been the typical, angry, copy-and-paste spam, but some of the stuff that he's put into the moderation cue has been personally directed creepiness. He knows it isn't going to get published, yet he's sending it anyway.

That's that kind of reaction to rejection that Human Resource personnel might love to come across while researching Patrick Ross as a potential employees.

KEvron said...

"You might want to check that persecution assumption at the door."

if he believed it. he doesn't, of course, believe a word of it. that is known as "trolling".

KEvron

Audrey II said...

David,

Great video. I used to be a rabid KITH fan, but for some reason, I couldn't remember having seen that skit. Regardless, it's a great depiction of the rhetoric that exists at the intersection of childish bluster and complete lack of self-awareness.

Thanks for that awesome reply.

The Public Eye said...

I agree with you (and your assorted commentators) to this extent: It ultimately comes down to the sort of approach bloggers wish to utilize in regards publication of comments. I also agree that publication of comments remains within the formal, absolute discretion of bloggers. That is not to say such discretion should be exempt from scrutiny, as many of you seem to believe.

In particular, I would urge "Canadian Cynic" to reflect on his position if his comments were to excluded simply because he (the right-wing blogger) felt them to be "obnoxious", "rude", and unproductive. (That this sort of censorship - and I do use that term deliberately - actually happens every day through "comment moderation" on many blogs is irrelevant to my argument.) Personally, I think a good case could be made that at least a number of CC's comments are rightly to be criticized as being obnoxious, rude and unproductive. That is not to say that I could ever approve of their suppression. Indeed, I personally admire CC for the same reason I now admire Mr. Ross. Both are controversial provocateurs; both are very good in forcing opponents to consider why they believe what they believe; and both are in the final analysis agents of stimulating discourse and debate in the blogosphere.

I personally prize "obnoxious" speech as, historically, it has more often than not coincided with (if not positively catalyzed) positive social change. Lenny Bruce, Abbie Hoffman, and George Carlin were and are considered by fair segments of the population to be scary, radical noisemakers; of late, left-wingers have tendered to reserve such criticisms for conservatives such as Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter. All are heroes to me because, through their controversial words, they force not only much-needed public debate, but much-needed personal introspection.

Prior to today's post by "Audrey II", I was familiar neither with Mr. Ross nor his blog. After reading this post, and the flood of heartfelt comments inspired by it and my own defence of the man's right to voice his opinions, I am happy that I now know of him. Indeed, I will be proud to link to him on my own blog . . . just as I am proud to link to CC and a number of self-professed "progressive" bloggers.

Dave said...

Oh where does one begin here?

Public Eye, you seem to purport that the comment sections of blogs are akin to the speakers corner of Hyde Park.

They aren't. They are a territory of a public space, but one which has been staked out and occupied by a body, either private or corporate.

There is an owner and a proprietor.

You think that the space offered under a blog is a place where any individual can say anything, about anybody, anytime, whenever.

Wrong.

That would be a wonderful concept if the commenters were behaving in the manner of say... you. A discussion, dash it all, a debate, is a wonderful thing. Look at what others are seeing and reading. This is a true argument with points, examples an analogies. Sometimes, there are even precedences.

Ross never does that. Nor does the Militiman. They have a completely different agenda.

So, P.E., if I walk into your home an start calling you a filthy swine because of something you said, tell me I don't have the right to have you legally removed.

And kindly don't play the "progressive" game with me again. The right-wing blogs employ moderation and deletion beyond anything you will ever see anywhere else in the blogosphere.

Now, if I might point out the cost of dealing with knobs like Ross, consider that others are looking to see what I have to say about a certain Wikileaks video posted recently just about EVERYWHERE. So far, nothing from me.

That's because you are sucking up my time. It's not that I even find what you have to say valuable or interesting. Just that you diverted my attention.

Cont'd

Dave said...

The point is, and I'm certain P.E. that your legal mind will get around this quickly, is that a troll like Ross is a disease - not damage - and we would all like to be disease free. Unless you don't go to the doctor when a microbe gets you down.

But back to that little thing about the wikileaks video and everyone hanging waiting to see where I would go with it.

I see an RPG and two (count 'em buckwheat) two AK-47s in the hands of those goofs on the ground. Smoke them, I say, but not until the ground commander is so totally happy with the idea that you can see streaks of semen coming from the north-most HMV. I didn't see that either, because ground commanders are really loathe to hand over a weapons-order to an AWG in that kind of situation. Not to mention, that no one, not even the rednecks, like what happened to that van. That was pure murder.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. Something is wasting my time.

You.

Do you get it now?

Audrey II said...

TPE,

"That is not to say such discretion should be exempt from scrutiny, as many of you seem to believe. "

No one here has claimed, suggested, nor implied such a belief. Disagreement with your position =/= a belief that "such discretion should be exempt from scrutiny", although that kind of false dichotomy is consistent with the "ban Patrick Ross = opposition to dissent / his ideology / his unpleasantness" windmills that you've been tilting at.

"if his comments were to excluded simply because he (the right-wing blogger) felt them to be "obnoxious", "rude", and unproductive."

If Ross has simply been obnoxious, rude, and unproductive, he'd still be posting. That isn't the case, and it's as disingenuous for you to spin it that way as it was to spin it as opposition to his ideology.

"Prior to today's post by "Audrey II", I was familiar neither with Mr. Ross nor his blog"

I appreciate your honest admission of ignorance. It certainly puts your responses here into context.

CC said...

"The Public Eye" writes:

"Indeed, I personally admire CC for the same reason I now admire Mr. Ross."

The level of brain damage necessary to have written that is awe-inspiring.

CK said...

I guess in the wonderful world according to TPE, I should give Twatsy what he wants then...he seems to want to actually dictate what I post and don't post at my page,according to his latest scrawling.

Funny, the last time I checked the contract and receipt, I paid them; therefore that gives me the right to dictate how my own page goes.

David said...

"I am happy that I now know of him. Indeed, I will be proud to link to him on my own blog "

Well. That was a long way to go to find out the store's closed.

What Dave said.

@Audrey: that one has been a favourite of mine since I first saw it so many years ago. It was like looking into a mirror.

Dr.Dawg said...

Concern trolling 101.

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