Forum Posting Ethics

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:54 am

My comments aren't aimed at you in particular and I’m not trying to change rules or guidelines that are welcome and accepted by most forum members.
Wait. What? I thought we were talking about Fish's preferences (and to a lesser extent, Jacob's)

This comes up every once in a while, Jacob being nostalgic for a lost internet I never knew...

This is the only place I am "social" online. Not because I am particularly ERE, but because this is the only place people put the effort forth to sincerely disagree. By that I mean we are willing to put our thoughts into words, and challenge preconceived notions.

I score very solidly INTJ, and even I find some of Fish's posts... Information dense, it think is the right term. As though what he is writing has been kicked around in his head for a while, written down, edited, re-edited, then edited for length, by eliminating all but the most necessary words.

But I LOVE that! Where else can you find such depth of thought on display in an interactive place?

By contrast, you are so foreign to me I sometimes need to reread your posts, to make sure I hadn't misread you. Which is again awesome, and also rare and valuable.

Myself, I kick ideas around for too long, unless I have someone to bounce them off of. So, in real life, I say some very outrageous things. Not because I believe them, but because I have been kicking it around, and am hoping someone can poke a hole in it. Popping one of these thought bubbles is the best, and usually requires an looking at the problem from an angle I would never find on my own. As I tried to explain to my best friend's fiance, I need to be right, I don't need you to believe that I am right. Showing me where I am not right is the sincerest form of flattery.

Over the years, you have forced me to re-examine a few things, thank you.

Watching my brother in law trying to get his PhD, has made it very clear how little that has to do with personal development, even when it is a psychiatry doctorate. You have to know by now that most people value consensus. It sounds to me as though you found one of those. And you weren't building consensus, so the reaction seems predictable.
In the interest of being direct (channeling INTJ), and since it is the topic of this board, I must tell you that your posts are the only ones in this forum that I have found offensive to the point of having a reaction every time I see your name. "Chicks" this and "chicks" that, generally in terms of their sexual usefulness to you or others. The word for this is misogyny. (Being partnered doesn't mean this isn't a thing. Calling it 'humor' does not make it funny.)
CS, this is going to be a long post, so bear with me.

About 20 years ago, my sister and I shared a house. Her boyfriend, "BS" for short, was an obnoxious, wannabe overwhelming guy. You know him, not too smart, very loud, enormously proud of himself when he said something vaguely witty, desperately wanting to project intimating, but really just a loser.

One day, my good friend D and I come home from a construction site, and are having a few beers. BS comes in, says something stupid, I don't remember what. D looks at me with a twinkle in his eyes, and in a drole voice feeds BS a line. BS jumps on it. D smiles, and does it again. Again, BS jumps on it. Soon, I jump in. I think that was the most fun BS ever had, he was killing it. It was shooting fish in a barrel, BS finally was the smartest guy in the room. D and I had a great time too, because we had made a game of controlling BS's side of the conversation. If you looked at a transcript of the conversation, it was clear the BS was quick and witty. If you listened to a recording, it was clear he was an idiot.

There was a meta conversation going on, at a level BS was completely unaware of. I find this as a useful reminder that I don't always know what is going on, even when I am there, participating. While I have never been on the receiving end of this bit, there have been conversations I have been a part of, where unsaid things were communicated, that had to be pointed out to me later.

I have been here a while, and I have read some mysogynist posts (the men's rights thread comes to mind), but I have never seen one go unchallenged.

Jason on the other hand, writes what he writes, and while it raises a few questions, it doesn't raise challenges. In this group, it doesn't raise challenges.

Now, you need to ask yourself, is that because we are all mysogynists, or is there meta content you are missing?

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:17 am

but often my reward for dropping by is laugh out loud moments (@BRUTE, @riggerjack, @Jason),
Wait. When did I say something funny?

(Dropping to knees for best Joe Pesci imitation)" You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?"

It is very nice to hear that the things I write that make me smile, also make others smile. I sometimes feel like my sense of humor is mine alone.

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Jason » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:41 am

saving-10-years wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:54 am
am unconvinced that he has any interactions with the sex trade as outlined.
I’m really trying to take the high road here. I can handle the aspersions and the disparagment of my relative value. But this particular comment that calls into question my integrity is extremely upsetting to me.

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:12 am

Though I can see how one would perceive Jason as offensive, I do not doubt his integrity and consistency. He demonstrates a continued effort to become more financially efficient, he clearly adores his wife to no end, appreciates more feminine values than purely the physical, and I enjoy reading his every post. He is one of my favorites on here and I hope Jason keeps posting as a regular. I would feel sad to lose his presence on here.

All that said, this is the only forum of which I am active over a time span lasting more than years. This forum is a sacred place in that it maintains a self regulating level of mature respect for each other's individual freedom to think without succumbing to mindlessness or censorship. I constantly learn from wise souls who have done things I want to or who display character traits I admire- like Brute, Jacob, Tyler, Viktor, 7wb, etc. I am constantly impressed by how gently Jacob steers the forums in creating such a safe haven amidst a sea of either censorship or blatant immaturity.

I trust we can all continue to contribute to this space in a way that deepens what drew us all here.

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by distracted_at_work » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:23 pm

Jason wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:06 am
This board reminds me of the time I had to fulfill a science requirement in college. I was an English Major at a top science school. That one day a week I walked into the physics building I knew I was in the wrong place. That's how I sometimes feel here. It's like walking into NASA and sitting in a room of geniuses laboring over their space ships designs and the only contribution you have is "Think about it, a stripper pole in a place where there is no gravity!!!"

I know if I lived a million years I would not be able to think or develop the analytical skills like JLF and the other hard core participants. And that's an admixture of three things: I don't, I can't and I don't want to. But I do have an interest in the topic.
Putting whether or not you are offensive aside for a second, I wanted to highlight this quote because it's exactly how I feel on this board. I want to know if something works, the gist of why it works, and then let me go apply it as efficiently as possible and get on to the next thing. I'll very rarely be able to engage in a highly analytical debate or conversation without being stripper pole guy.

In general, this thread is way too meta. Let forumites live, post what you want (within reason i.e. follow the rules). Let the quality and quantity of replies be the judge of the thread and learn from there. This is the best forum I've encountered by a mile. The post on proper sock-wearing technique this week was a treasure.

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by jennypenny » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:37 pm

I can't believe that from this moment forward, whenever I feel out of my depth in a conversation here I'm going to think of myself as 'stripper pole guy'. :lol:

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by ffj » Fri Nov 03, 2017 1:15 pm


"I tried hard to not say anything, as a "well trained" woman in this society, but after seeing you freely commenting on this post, I have to make this point. It is not okay, at least to me. You want a place this table, all the while making it hostile to others. How is that playing well?"

Than don't read his posts, it's very easy to skip someone you don't like. I've read your journal, and you seem to be very sensitive and angry against your perceived slights against women. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to share your view of the world and not everyone is going to like Jason's sense of humor, but that doesn't mean that you should stop posting and neither should Jason. How about he doesn't read your posts and you don't read his? Problem solved.

I really don't like the way you've called him out as if you had a mandate. You should have PM'ed him.

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by CS » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:11 pm


He made the public posting - on other people's journals, not his own. I would never seek him out just to read his posts and get offended.

This is a place discussing just this issue. This seems an appropriate place. Others might have some opinions on this yeah or nay. I have no illusions that behavior is magically going to change because I say something. However, it is a responsibility to say something - even if I am dreading negative feedback.


I read your story - and my question to you is, is there some meta data you are missing? You are a man, no? Is there a word for men that connotes only existence as a sexual toy, such as "chick"? Have you had the experience of being reduced to this? Before telling me I am wrong, try to think through the mirror image of this experience as it would apply to you. And don't give the knee jerk reaction of "that would be great!" that men often have. Being seen as only a sexual object removes a lot more options from the table (as far as having an existence) than it gives.

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Riggerjack » Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:47 pm


I'm not saying you are wrong. I think I have proven I can be as blunt here as you. If I thought you were wrong, that is the term I would use. In my all time favorite annual review, my boss put down that while I demonstrate high levels of technical competence, my professional development is hampered by communicating too effectively.

I do think there are forms of communication going on here that you have missed out on. I related my tale to give you hints of where this is. I don't know how to explain it better.

I can relate to your point, my wife has very similar blind spots, and will sometimes get pissed when she takes what I thought was a clearly sarcastic comment literally. No, not my sarcastic comment, I have learned (mostly) to speak literally to her, and take her words at face value. It is sometimes surreal to be the more socially adept half of a pair.

As I said, I have been in conversations where unspoken communication happened that I missed. My general rule is to pay very special attention when my take on a situation/conversation doesn't match the group's actions/attitudes.

That is what has worked for me. I am fully aware that my solutions don't necessarily work for everyone. Maybe someone here can make this clear in ways I can't.

On the other hand, maybe you are right, and I am reading between the lines, and filling in what I want to be there, because that would make me more comfortable. Maybe Jason really is a horrible woman hater, and everyone else is just too cowardly to call him out of his mysogynistic BS.

Or, maybe you are tilting at windmills. Which do you think is more likely?

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by distracted_at_work » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:26 pm

Edited to delete. On second thought, I don't want to be involved in the offensive or not offensive discussion.

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by ffj » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:56 pm


What, is he only allowed to post on his journal? I think the crux of why this is irritating me is because it seems one person (you) is trying to dictate the actions of others without the authority to do so, and based on what?

If you are offended we should discuss why. Maybe even start a new thread, it would probably be pretty interesting(seriously), but you don't have the authority to shut someone down that clearly many find non-offensive. Make the argument on why we should be offended if nothing else.

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by Fish » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:06 pm

@CS - You’re not alone in feeling the way the way that you do. But remember that the “report post” button is always available, and should be used when unacceptable content is encountered. Much easier and more productive than debating what is acceptable.

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Re: Forum Posting Ethics

Post by jacob » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:16 pm

Unlike my initial post in this thread where I weighed in with a private opinion, consider this the official final word of authority on this matter.

My house, my rules.

You're all on a forum on the internet. While one might naively conclude that this means one can say whatever one wants, it doesn't mean one should. I feel this should be obvious ... but ... in moderating this forum I sometimes find myself somewhere in between explaining to a bunch of "kids" that their drunken party pics on facebook stay up forever and explaining to grandma that the "like" button means that you actually _liked_ a post, not that you confirmed that you read it---a difference that would be quite relevant if grandma happened to "like" a random neonazi post in her feed just because she read it.

So here we go ...

I can easily see how someone would just have a few "burner"-accounts here and there don't really care about what or where they're posting. Fish used the analogy of thinking of a forum as a hotel. That's a good analogy. Some treat hotel rooms better than their own home. Some thrash them. But ultimately, they don't really care about neither the room nor the hotel.

However, for the owner of the hotel or those who frequent it regularly (long term residents), it's a bit different. In that case, there's a community. When you have a community, there are additional factors to consider.

First, you have to get along with others. This means behaving more or less within a range of parameters. That's the culture issue. What's normally okay or fun in one group can be considered rude, offensive, or useless in another. Because there's a RANGE, there's a certain amount of tolerance for behavior that lies away from the average. Even inside a group, there will likely be some tension between behavior that's okay to some but borderline to others. However, if it goes too far outside the range, then we have a problem. People start getting pissed off. And just because they don't say so in public, doesn't mean they don't start PM'ing me. And when people get sufficiently pissed off, people leave.

Second, when you're posting on a forum, it's no longer all about you the individual. What you do also affects how the forum is perceived in the wider world. IOW, you're judged by association. Example: If you're hanging out on forum that talks about neonazi stuff, reasonable people will assume that you're likely a neonazi yourself. This is where I (jacob) am a somewhat special case with my opinion, because "this is my house" (cf. hotel) and so whatever is written here also reflects on ERE and me as a whole, and therefore I put a limit(*) to the range of acceptable behavior.

I don't care what you guys say to each other in your homes, locker rooms, work places, or schools, but I care about what you say on this forum, because this in my house. This is why the prostitute handjob price guide discussion got nuked. I have my limits. For those with more relaxed limits and a greater sense of humor than me, feel free to post a price list on your own website or perhaps in your cubicle at work or email the discussion to ALL your friends and family.

(*) Effectively, this means I try to snipe anything that crosses the line ASAP before it devolves into a bigger issue that requires a tactical nuke---which you might miss too if you're not on the forum all the time. So don't make the mistake of concluding that the fact that you don't see much of a problem means that the problem wasn't there. I should also note that my (and by extension the forum's enforcement) limits are somewhat/rather elastic (see rule 10). I will tolerate single incidents a lot better than repeat offenses. I will tolerate single "perps" a lot better than "riots".

Third, the tone and topic of the conversation determines who cares to participate in the forum. This isn't so much a free speech issue for individuals as much as it is about respecting other people on the forum. I've allowed some pretty radical viewpoints on these boards. People are allowed to have strong opinions and strongly disagree with other. However, this only works as long as everybody respects each other and the spirit of the process [which is an online debate forum].

Consider: ... -punk.html ... which should guide the ethics behind the debates we have and how we behave on the forum. Normally, one should not have to write down what respect means in this context. It should be obvious, but apparently it isn't. This also makes spelling it out fucking awkward. However, here goes. You respect the opponent. You respect the audience. You respect yourself. If the opponent points out some infraction or below-the-board move; first instinct should be to consider that they might have a point. Not to start looking in the dictionary or rule book to see whether it's technically legal. Not to listen to see whether there are people in the audience cheering.---That's not a very good measure because there may be more people biting their tongue or leaving. But to listen and seriously consider whether they have a point. If you find yourself gaining at the expense of other people and they've told you so, you're in the wrong. The aim of the forum, even if we disagree, is mutual gain. This should not be hard to achieve.

Ultimately, if people feel disrespected for too long, they end up leaving. This then destroys the game. Without a good game, the audience leaves. And ultimately, the lights go out.

So for the record... these concerns are real and people are leaving the forum because of them. They're just doing so quietly, so please don't mistake the lack of public complaints for a non-issue.

Fourth, that since the internet is an "open house", the community ultimately constitutes "everybody". You really have no idea who is also present. So in a sense you're part of a much larger community (the internet itself). Anyone can read the forum, so consider who your audience is. Your morality should guide your actions. Again, there will be some who post whatever they think they can get away with and only care about themselves. But there will also be some who care about who might read what they're writing it. If nothing else, consider how easily the written word can be misunderstood and misinterpreted.