05 May 2009

"Setting the tone..."

(From Mendoza - he's having trouble making a new post)

Following on from the mod debate, I'd wouldn't mind knowing what experiences folk on here, have had with what they consider to be 'unacceptable posts'? Was it the the language they found to be unacceptable or anything otherwise? The problem for me is that I've no real experience of feeling intimidated or threatened on the CiF; I've certainly seen Cath, Julie and more get abuse for simply how they look and obv I think that's unacceptable.
However, that's quite cut and dried as a mod issue - what I would like to know is what else helps to qualify an 'unsafe' and 'safe' webspace?"


  1. I've never reported a comment directed at me or another poster for abuse, to be honest, I work on the principle that if you give people enough rope they usually end up hanging themselves, or at the very least make themselves look a bit tit-ish.

    What's a "safe webspace", though? Is that where only people who share the same views congregate?

  2. I have never felt threatened or unsafe, and i really cant imagine how anyone could, but I have seen some extremely unpleasant comments in my time.

  3. I have never reported "abuse" but did once flag Andrew Brown when we were trying to pin him down over an ugly comment he made and he was going off topic instead of responding.

    A "safe" space online, in my experience, seems to be a space where only like minded people congregate, so there's no hostility or nastiness (or challenges to dearly held dogmas). It may be me but the notion of a safe place online seems primarily to come up when talking about how women are bullied online, or how men are unfairly using that awful "male debating technique".

    All seems a tad silly, im sure CiF is described as "unsafe", though to my knowledge no one has ever come to any harm from reading a cif post, its only words.

    I do think some posts are unacceptable, though i think censorship is even more unacceptable, but i find the whole "safe place" thing a bit stupid, to be honest.

  4. @Jay:

    The dreaded technique of "line by line rebuttal" was in the forefront of my mind when wondering what constitutes an unsafe webspace was, I'll admit.

    The whole notion of a safe webspace does sound a bit wet, to be honest. Although if people want a nice Kaffeeklatsch over their online frappucinos, well, I suppose that's up to them.

    Maybe we should ask Ultima? Presumably her Gender Studies course has a whole term's worth of fact-free guff on such topics?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. @scherfig:

    Montana raised the notion of threaded boards a while ago I think, has merit in my eyes because most of the places I post have that kind of structure but up to you guys obviously.

  7. The bullying thing is something that intrigues me; on one hand it could be a bunch of of trolls making nasty remarks about someones appearance or on the other hand..it may constitute four or more people (in various strength of language) disagreeing with what another person has said?

    OK, one person out of that four may of used inappropriate language but is it fair to invalidate the other three's points as simply collective bullying?

    Yeah the Line by Line re-buttal? What the hell is wrong with that?!

  8. @Mendoza:

    "OK, one person out of that four may of used inappropriate language but is it fair to invalidate the other three's points as simply collective bullying?"

    On CiF and elsewhere online, you often get the sense that people are hanging back a bit until some outspoken poster gives it both barrels, then you suddenly see a lot of people wading in with riffs on the same theme. Might be construed as bullying, I guess, or simply people agreeing with said outspoken poster but not wanting to "go first". Dunno really.

    Mrs Elliot took time out from baking cakes and ironing hubby's slippers to wallop Jay with the line-by-line accusation, as if that was somehow a bad thing. Much better in her eyes to go for the "holistic" approach and take a subject in the round, rather than get bogged down with too many facts etc.

  9. Breaking News:

    Matt Seaton throws another hissy fit over on the latest I/P thread

    "LeonWells, I thank you. Beats being in the 'You tell Us' thread (aka 'Tell Us How Much You Hate US'), anyway."

  10. "Might be construed as bullying, I guess, or simply people agreeing with said outspoken poster but not wanting to "go first". Dunno really"

    There's certainly a pack element to the CiF but that's probably unavoidable, particularly when it's covering a subject that' been discussed mny times before, like I/P for instance.

    But I'm of the 'let the game flow' persuasion, if there is something posted for sheer spites sake then cut it out but I wouldn't like to remove a comment that had basis of seeming truth in it.
    Maybe sometimes the mod should introduce a written warning from time to time, in posters comments stating " We think this highlighted bit here is uncalled for..leave it out"

  11. "LeonWells, I thank you. Beats being in the 'You tell Us' thread (aka 'Tell Us How Much You Hate US'), anyway."

    They're only words Matt, only words..

  12. Oh yes, I reckon we should be able to nomimate a mod from the CiF readership ( if they have time ). Anneten would be perfectly accetable for me for instance

  13. Just when you thought it was safe to re-enter the building - Jonno Myerson is back! Apparently keeping everybody's DNA is cool. Where's Woolly when a Cif writer needs his support?

  14. Swifty - the brutal "line by line" is a callous and malevolent technique employed by only the foulest of trolls, or so i was informed. Sadly, for a lot of articles its entirely appropriate as they are little more than assertion and falsehood built on assertion and falsehood; you need to sweep out the muck as you wade through it.

    Ultima probably wouldnt call it line by line, it would simply be "bullying". I think gender studies defines 'bullying' as "the pointing out of factual error, statistical indecency or ill-disguised bigotry". Thats why these so called 'safe places' are of such value, people can wallow in fantasy without the deflating effects of reason.

    That was a good example of odd modding actually, my line by line, unabusive post to cath was deleted - even she was perplexed. I suspect some ideologue complained that it was "aggressive" and the mods could see no alternative...

  15. Feminist writers may get abuse for how they look, although I can't say I've noticed very much of it. I don't think they get it any worse than Theo Hobson used to when he had that moustache.

    What they do get is people telling them they're full of shit, which feminists, used to congregating in their "safe spaces" with all dissent banned, aren't used to - unlike the rest of the human race, who know they can expect that any time they express a halfway contentious opinion.

    The problem isn't that feminist writers get picked on. The problem is, they expect a greater degree of deference than is afforded to anyone else, and play on very old-fashioned damsel-in-distress tropes when they don't get it.

  16. As to confusing threads, this was my proposal to Montana to clean the site up (without going to those heinous threaded boards):

    Anyhow, to expand the site i think we need more actual articles, but people also love the relaxed general chat type stuff, so i thought maybe we could change the list of threads into two lists of threads - one for articles, one for general chats.

    On the articles list people can post articles, or specific things for discussion, whatever they like. On the general chat thread we can just keep going till we get to 200, then someone will have to step forward and make a new thread, but its always just general chat.

    At the minute we dont really have a divide like this so actual articles often drift off to general chat and people arent always sure where everyone is if they just want a chat, so if we changed it so it had a divide, everyone would always know where everyone was for basic chat and it would also give a separate, clear space for specific issues etc.

    What you reckon?

    if you like the idea would just need to make a new bit exactly like the one we already have, and name one "general chat", or whatever title you fancy, and the other "articles" or something.


  17. Hey groovers. There is a Johnathon Myerson piece right now about how there is nothing to fear from a universal DNA database, this is the guy who kicked his son out for smoking dope. Hes getting roasted. Also Hazel Blears is the new Thatch!

    Delete--mundo! as the Fonz might have said.

  18. Annetan would be a good mod, definitely, she has the required moral standing (you degenerates dont, and i certainly dont).

    "The problem isn't that feminist writers get picked on. The problem is, they expect a greater degree of deference than is afforded to anyone else, and play on very old-fashioned damsel-in-distress tropes when they don't get it."

    I think its a mixture of both really, they do seem delicate sometimes but they also do get quite a bit of quite nasty personal comments, its just they usually get deleted pretty quick. Not always, but its not that rare.

  19. "What they do get is people telling them they're full of shit"

    I do, however, see folk saying "you're full of shit, hate men and are trying to destroy fatherhood" and that's it?
    With not much ( or if any ) attempt at trying to back those accusations up.

    Those posts are just noise frankly.

  20. I've not been at the end of abuse but sometimes you can find yourself talking to/at 3 or 4 different questioning and/or hostile posters at once. That's a neat balancing trick.

    Only other odd event was when a thread was basically left to myself and a salafi/wahabi type (he used a lot of double "a"s like Allaah) and he kept trying to get me off thread and into real conversation. Not likely.

  21. "There is a Johnathon Myerson piece right now about how there is nothing to fear from a universal DNA database, this is the guy who kicked his son out for smoking dope. Hes getting roasted."

    Im new to this Myerson creature and now i cant even post... But with him and Peter Beech, is it possible the Graun is having to cut costs due to the recession? Is that why CIF has been rubbish lately, they havent the money for the big names?

  22. Mendoza, it is absolutely true that feminist writers on Cif get the sort of abuse you mention, and only some of it is deleted quickly. The problem is that many reasonable posters who sensibly debate the more 'radical' aspects of feminism on these threads get tarred by the same brush by some feminist commenters. It is also true that many of the feminist articles that Cif commissions tend to be on the more radical end of the spectrum and are in fact rejected by many moderate feminists. I have given up commenting on fem threads because there is no longer any real discussion, just diatribe.

  23. Just been deleted in seconds. Dont mention the son!

  24. Jay, Myerson is excellent reading. Its as if all the weakest arguments have been collected together, watered down, pruned and then left out to go brittle in the sun for your delectation! I cant believe he actually means what he writes but seeing as how he and his wife handled their son enjoying a smoke I suppose anything is possible.

  25. All seems a tad silly, im sure CiF is described as "unsafe", though to my knowledge no one has ever come to any harm from reading a cif post, its only words.Oh, there have been a fair few that have led directly to quantifiable damage to my liver and lungs.

    I think the "safe space" thing and feminism is really interesting.

    I remember the origins of "safe spaces" when women in political meetings were indeed shouted down, mocked, patronised and even threatened for expressing their opinions. (Dundee Labour Party, circa 1983. Happy days.)

    I could quite understand why feminist / womens groups wanted spaces to debate issues and plan campaigns without being shouted down.

    The bizarre thing is, the internet has been the great democratising medium. All voices just as loud, all threats equally impotent, even user names mostly non-gender-specific.

    But I think feminists have now become so accustomed to real world 'safe spaces' that it comes as a real shock to discover that outside of their own echo chambers their opinions are allowed to be challenged and may even be found wanting.

  26. I'll check him out, dierobdie, you dont earn that sort of cif reputation without hard work.

    Ally - interesting, i didnt know that sort of thing still went on as late as 83. Though as you say, to play the same card when it comes to online spaces is really most peculiar. It does link in with my pet hate - all the talk of "speaking out" and "bravery" that is designed to portray womens very existence as fraught with danger, you'd think female journalists were regularly lynched for daring to say a word...

  27. Been away and just got back. Still no moderation thread. F*ckin typical.

    Seaton's good pals the Myersons will no doubt have plenty to tell Matt about moderation next time he sees them. The useless gimp of a husband is getting a right kicking. I posted on there suggesting it wasn't surprising that he cared so little about his DNA since he'd kicked his out the house first chance he got. The post lasted less than 2 minutes.

    Seems that despite Seaton's lack of clout with the mods, he can assign one to a thread full time when one of his 'good friends' writes a piece. Btw, have you seen the useless twat's picture; tries to come across as a bit mean and moody. This is the same arsehole who got panelled by his teenage son. As I recall he went to punch the kid before finding he had trouble making a fist as he'd never thrown a punch in his life. Fuckin priceless-bourgeois tosser.

    Now he turns up to let us know that "if you've done nothing wrong you've got nothing to...blah blah..." Just how many more ways are there to demolish that particular little gem.

    It would be funny if it weren't for the fact that these are the kinds of people whose opinion Seaton respects. I say fuck the moderation thread, just let the Myersons write the new guidelines:

    1) Any commenter suspected by the mods of being under the influence of the highly addictive 'killer skunk' will, in future, have a blue cannabis leaf next to their name as a warning to the nice people. The police will also be informed and if a sample of DNA is not supplied, the poster will be in permanent premod.

    2) If you've got nothing nice to say...

  28. Evening Ciffers

    Well I saw the Myerson thread too and had my fingers at the ready to post... and I can't log in to CiF! Not bannz0rd, afaik, but I have been having trouble with my cookies lately (I think La Kizbotina has been eating them, actually) meaning I am logged out of most of my "home" pages every time I shut this heap of poo cunningly disguised as a laptop down.


    (Who just said "And not before time". Eh?! EH?!!)

  29. Re safe spaces

    Ive spent a lot of time reading Racialicious. A very safe space indeed. all that happens is that people agree with each other and their ideas, even if totally wrong, just get reinforced and reinforced as there is no dialogue. Of course whoever is running the site can delete comments as they wish, as is their perogative, but to call everybody agreeing with one another a debate is patently false.

    I really dont see how you can be threatened or bullied on a blog. EVEN BY SHOUTING. I have noticed that the racialicious readers consider CiF to be a virtual sixth circle of racism, especially when the 'editrix' Latoya Peterson does an article. For racialicious readers the seventh circle is, of course, Youtube comments.

  30. Shame they closed down the mega thread before I was able to reply to the resident loony-toons too. Ah well. I shall have to drown my sorrows instead.

  31. monkeyfish

    Is seaton really pals with the myersons? That explains a lot. It must be nice to have a mate that will pay you handsomely for a load of drivel, print it and then make sure nobody says anything nasty about you.

  32. PresidentGas's posting was brilliant. I think it was actually too clever for the mods to work out and delete:


    PresidentGas 05 May 09, 5:23pm

    Police DNA DB entry 25514368, married see xref 25514368b progenitor, known criminal association with drug user (son - 46671322a).

    positive: voluntarily gave permission for DNA, shopped family member, known groveller.
    negative: was magistrate, long hair, fingerprints found on gun, hysterical wife.

    Will respond to threats.

    Maintain observation and review yearly.


    Give that man a Webby award...!

  33. "I have noticed that the racialicious readers consider CiF to be a virtual sixth circle of racism, especially when the 'editrix' Latoya Peterson does an article. For racialicious readers the seventh circle is, of course, Youtube comments."

    I have seen some sites in those youtube comments, deary deary me... CIF is a picnic on the seafront compared to that pit. Funny though.

  34. monkeyfish
    I know, I know. You've "been away".


    Have you finshed with that Berliner strumpet and her sister now you're shacked up and moved in with Biddy ?

    I demand the truth.

  35. Seaton came on a thread about Julie Myerson a few months back and admitted it. He also criticised people for panning Julie before they had actually read her book. A slight problem with this admirably loyal stance was that the book was not scheduled for release for another month, and the question asked by the article was should she have written the book in the first place? Myerson's agent also officially denied that Myerson had written a series of anonymous articles about her family for the Guardian. The very next day the Guardian admitted that she had, and deleted the entire archive "to protect privacy". You couldn't make it up!

    And now Jonno's back pushing a fucking weirdo agenda and earning a buck. Top quality journalism from a respected broadsheet!

  36. Well, I missed all the kerfuffle over at CiF! Glad to hear you are only temporarily banned, JayReilly, and will be back to squabble and make the tea with Kiz later.

    Every feminist thread on CiF eventually ends up as an argument either about rape and false allegations or (less commonly) about domestic violence and female-on-male violence (I'm thinking of calling this phenomenon Mary Godwin's law...). It's the online equivalent of being shouted down at meetings in 1983 - you end up having the same boring, simplistic arguments over and over again. You can't get beyond basic Feminism 101 below the line because all your energy gets sucked into repeated arguments. I find it boring and frustrating and it ends up with me leaving CiF for a period of time, as I did recently.

    I would have been gone for a while anyway as I'm in the middle of some personal troubles (boyfriend and I are splitting up, sister's boyfriend had a freak accident and now is brain-damaged - don't know how badly yet as it is still early days with a brain injury) but the repetition of basic arguments and the bearpit atmosphere doesn't make me miss it much when I'm gone.

  37. BB - ultima came back at you. Have you seen it? Better for you that the thread was closed.

  38. thegirlfrommarz
    "It's the online equivalent of being shouted down at meetings in 1983"
    Ha, very true.

    Hope things are going as well as can be expected. Chin up.

  39. Thanks, Bitterweed. April's been a bad month for me, so I'm glad it's May now. My sister's boyfriend is doing as well as can be expected, but seems to have some personality alteration at the moment. Can only hope it's temporary.

  40. dierobdie


    Take a look for yourself. Not only is he their mate, he even used to commission Julie Myerson for the parenting section. Obviously, since he knew them so well, he knew just what a wonderful mother she made and knew she had lots of useful advice to impart to others.

    In fact: here it is...

    #Cairncross: to tell the truth, I know the Myersons, so must declare an interest. Jonathan has written here on Cif on several occasions; and Julie used to write for me when I edited the Guardian's parents page (before there was a family section). What you say about networking certainly applies to journalism to an extent, although I'd argue that both Julie and Jonathan are extremely talented writers (whatever you think of their decision to go public in this instance). As an editor, you cannot help but appreciate good writing and compelling insight, and no amount of networking can compensate for a deficit in that department.#

    And to think...some of the ungrateful oiks on here have seen fit to question his judgement.


    How goes it?

    Biddy has been a bit of a pest lately; that girl and stalking...what can I tell ya? Luckily Mrs Fish saw her hiding in our back yard and gave her a bit of 'advice'. She's still walking apparently but Mrs F takes exception to being told she's "an unwitting tool of the patriarchy".

  41. Hello Marzgirl, good to see you over here (Kiz isnt about as she's "at work" during the day and cant get on this site, in reality she is just smashing the ouzo with a load of 13 year old Greek boys).

    Sorry to hear about your troubles, sounds a bit of a handful, perhaps CiF isnt the most pleasant of environments for such times... Be nice to see you over here though, its usually pretty civil.

    The fem threads do tend to end up on the same lines, though occasionally there is some really interesting debate. I think part of the reason for this is that a lot of stuff isnt contentious, so people naturally seem to move on to the contentious stuff. So articles saying, "there were X rapes last year - this isnt good enough", doesnt tend to hold debate that well because there is no one arguing that X rapes per year IS good enough.

    I had a look at that Feminism 101 site, wasnt overly impressed to be honest. Some bits were good, but a lot of the supposed debunkings of common myths were actually quite weak - they rely on accepting certain narratives and concepts which are actually rather spurious. So i wasnt too impressed, but there was some good stuff, and it was relatively welcoming for a fem site - i posted a couple of questions for the FAQ.

  42. GFM! I'll put kettle on... panacea of all ails, t'is..
    Anyways, for the geeks round here. As Once I've done the modding thread I'll be leaving cif (sure as hell don't look like they've any intention of mending their ways) and I can't get on here from work.. is there some kind of board that We can have that i could access? i can access Cath's blog from work... and Frank fisher's for instance but not here or heresy corner?

  43. monkeyfish
    Heh, that'll learn her. Not bad thanks. Still working, which isn't bad considering it was only a temporary 1-2 week contract back in Jan. You ?

    what message do you get when you try to acces this site ?

  44. Couldnt you flutter your eyelids at the techies and ask them to open access to this site?

  45. Welcome, GFM. You should like it here.

    Carnage on the Myerson thread. Will they never learn?

  46. monkeyfish

    Thanks for the info. I wonder how many of the other contributors are also boon companions of mr seaton? Does he really think the quality of the writing s outstanding? Compelling insight? The whole article has been demolished in minutes by amateurs, FFS.

  47. I can't remember if I clicked the abuse button or did via the email discussion I was having with the mods who had put me on pre-mod (Which I argued my way out of without grovelling), but I did report Andrew Brown on that train wreck thread where he laid into us atheists in comments which I in particular resembled and it got very unpleasant. Only a post of his was sitting in a sea of deleted posts and myself and others were being done for what he had done and it was simply a matter of natural justice.

    But that is the one and only time. I leave it to the mods or try and react with stiff and formal politeness to shame people. Cif is a teddy bear of a space though compared to some.

    On a running group on usenet once our local troll was laying into the guy who set up the group and I jumped in to help and the troll turned on me. Troll lived fairly local and I found myself being stalked in real life. Troll wrote to my employer (university) complaining about me posting using that account. Fortunately I was on very good terms with the head of computer services and he showed me the letter and we concocted a reply together. I did come very close to resorting to the law mind. I have family.

  48. dierobdie

    Hi, don't think we've met, but that's the primary reason I've jacked CiF in. The editorial stance regarding some of the most apalling writing is somewhat patronising towards the readers. Like 'we kow best kiddies, we're pros'.

    Modern toss.

    Plus half the reprobates who make me laugh got sent to CiF-beria, and now rock up here instead...

  49. Mendoza:

    "I do, however, see folk saying "you're full of shit, hate men and are trying to destroy fatherhood" and that's it? With not much ( or if any ) attempt at trying to back those accusations up."

    Yeah, they get some of that. But do they get any more than anyone else?

    Currently, for example, Jonathan Meyerson is getting a lot of posts attacking him for how he treated his son, rather than addressing his arguments about DNA databases, which most people posting here seem to think is perfectly legitimate because he deserves it.

    I wouldn't necessarily disagree. Nor would I disagree with discounting Tony Blair's opinions on Sierra Leone because of Iraq. But technically it is ad hominem. And neither Meyerson nor Blair, nor their supporters, can use the trusty shield of "god, the amount of misogyny on this thread is unbelievable".

  50. GirlfromMarz..


    Welcome aboard!

    Every feminist thread on CiF eventually ends up as an argument either about rape and false allegations or (less commonly) about domestic violence and female-on-male violence (I'm thinking of calling this phenomenon Mary Godwin's law...). It's the online equivalent of being shouted down at meetings in 1983 - you end up having the same boring, simplistic arguments over and over again. You can't get beyond basic Feminism 101 below the line because all your energy gets sucked into repeated arguments. I find it boring and frustrating and it ends up with me leaving CiF for a period of time, as I did recently...


    I know what you mean, but it's not just feminist threads. See also I/P, god vs atheism, Ken vs Boris, civil liberties etc etc etc. People see a topic on their own hobby horse and they jump in with their 'grand narrative' opinions without particular reference to the actual argument.

    But I have a theory about that. I think the inanity (or insanity) of a debate on Cif is directly correlated with the brainlessness of the OP.

    Just sticking to the feminism case, there have occasionally been some really good articles that have led to really good discussions (albeit with the inevitable wingnut contingent). Thinking of Beth Lister's piece about funding for rape crisis centres, Joan Smith's on Cameron's female-free zone, even (to an extent) Natalie Hanmann's one about Mary Wollstonecraft. (talking of whom, "Mary Godwin's Law", like it!)

    The problem is that the standard of many feminist articles on Cif is set so ludicrously low that countless articles get through which are riddled with sweeping, offensive generalisations about men, women or both, contain 'facts' or statistics which are demonstrably false, which simply ignore any inconvenient counter-arguments, or worse, label anyone who holds an opposing position as a 'misogynist.'

    I think there's an acceptance at Guardian / Cif editorial level that if an argument is putting forward what appears to be a feminist POV, then it must be a valid argument. So Tanya Gold has a pop at beauty contests - hey, obviously she must be right, so there's no problem if her piece is peppered with the most nauseating rank misogyny.

    Cif could do a lot to take the wind out of the sails of the genuinely misogynistic anti-feminists (and yes, there are a few of them around), simply by refusing to publish rubbish articles in the first place.

    I don't think it is just me wearing anti-feminist goggles, I genuinely believe that there are far more really bad articles written on feminist topics than on any other (except possibly god.) If Cif would like a better response to articles on feminist topics, they should maybe ask you to write them ;-)

    Hope your home-life sorts itself out. Have a {{{hug}}}

  51. ally- there's sth in the phonebooth you might like to help me with

  52. Weird isnt it, most of the BTL fems are actually much more impressive than the ATLs...

  53. mulling it over, kiz x

  54. dierobdie

    "I wonder how many of the other contributors are also boon companions of mr seaton?"

    Just the shit ones. The ones who wouldn't get work anywhere else. Well, I say 'anywhere else' but there's always Radio 4 of course. Take a look at this little gem...


    Tuesday 05 May
    6:30pm - 7:00pm
    BBC Radio 4

    Victoria Coren chairs the programme which challenges established ideas. 4: Panellists include journalists Euan Ferguson and Tanya Gold, and comedian David Mitchell.

    Bet that was a laugh a ...er..hour. Shame it was only a 30 minute show.

    What's the BBC motto again?

    Nation shall speak unto nation...or something. Or was it...

    Useless middle-class gobshites, paid up members of the liberal, media cabal shall pontificate unto the great unwashed who will be truly grateful and hang on their every nugget of wisdom...and keep their mouths shut.

    See this whole row at cif is a waste of time. You're dealing with a fuckin closed shop of pointless, talentless, oxbridge wankers who will go to any lengths to preserve their monopoly. They might want to come across as whimsical, 'concerned','left liberal' humourists but basically it's all about lining their own pockets by exploiting contacts at GMG, the BBC and the subsidised arts.

    I can understand the attraction of such a deal but frankly they just aren't any fuckin good. They're not funny, insightful or anything else.

  55. Ally, was the juxtaposition of "Ken vs Boris" and "God vs atheism" intentional?

  56. paddybrown

    Do you really expect anybody over 13 to engage with the article when it's premised on the argument...

    "If you've done nothing wrong, you've...etc"?

    That little adage has been thoroughly debunked a million times.

    It's not even worth rising to it..better to just lay into the author and, lets face it, there's just so much to lay into. You're more or less compelled to go ad hominem. I couldn't personally read anything like that and just say nothing so I'm forced to lay into him. Can't help it..it's like gravity.

  57. I think Ally and Jay have explained this really well, actually. I am a fiend for "evidence" which for me doesn't mean "it is generally known that" or "research says" completely devoid of authorities to back it up. I really don't like opinion disguised as fact. I tend to keep away from the I/P, god vs atheist and fem threads because I know they will degenerated into mud-slinging and increasing entrenchment of positions.

    As to online "bullying", I believe it can happen if you are online with people you know IRL, but if you don't know them from Adam, how can it possibly affect you what some random person somewhere out there in the universe thinks?

  58. "If you really want some fun, I should put Ultimathule above the line."

    BrusselsExpat - this is literary terrorism.

  59. The row at CiF reminds me of a load of pub regulars moaning at the landlord because they dont like they way he runs his boozer. No matter how long you have been drinking there or how much cash you piss into the bogs you are entitled to zero say in the way things are run. No amount of moaning or complaining will get you anywhere. But everyone still does it and does it at the pub!

    But barring your regulars for their moaning and complaining will put you out of business or at least give you a bad reputation as a bar steward.

  60. Cock it. That's utd through then.

  61. "If you really want some fun, I should put Ultimathule above the line."

    This is a stroke of tactical genius. Blair, Blears, now Myerson. What better argument for heavy-handed moderation than Cif pointing to the dashed uncivil and downright rude responses these intelligent insightful articles elicited from the great unwashed?

  62. Hmmm ..... imagine a thread with every single comment deleted... nothing but tumbleweed rolling aimlessly through the deserted streets, and and all is silent except for the mournful tolling of a distant bell upon on the breeze...

  63. ... I so hope they put Blair on again...

  64. You'd have thought they would have learned from the absolute drubbing Richard Pearl got that Friday evening... but no. Clearly not.

    My fave CiF moment to date has still got to be the Monbiot vs Blears saga though. That was awesome.

  65. I've never felt threatened or abused or hurt. I absolutely thrive on being ganged-up on. The bigger the mob the better. My finest hour was doing a Gary Cooper on a 7/7 anniversary thread written by a "survivor". She, and my detractors, didn't seem to understand that we (the alive) all survived it.

    The best part was making Frank say that there was a time and place for free speech. Priceless!

    Now, I bet some here are offended by the memory of that thread. Sad.

  66. monkeyfish
    By the way
    Post at 19:25.
    Spot on !

  67. Mendoza: "Oh yes, I reckon we should be able to nomimate a mod from the CiF readership ( if they have time ). Anneten would be perfectly accetable for me for instance"

    Has the sleeping in beds begun already?

    Why would we ever need a mod? Just have one rule, nothing is off-limits except whining about feeling threatened. If you FEEL anything bad as a result of being on a forum, leave.

  68. I don't think we need a mod as such. But like the Reader's Editor, perhaps a Comments Editor with the clout to query moderators decision and report back.

  69. I don't understand, MozP. Report back from where, and to whom?

  70. Oh, I get it now. Mendoza wants the readership to be able to nominate a moderator on Cif (not here).

    That's not going to happen.

    The moderators on Cif appear to be there to censor, not moderate.

  71. Back to the Comments page, like the Reader's Editor currently does. He/she takes a collection of complaints and challenges them. Make the mods justify their decisions.

    For instance, LenFirewood has (amazingly) just been told why he was modded after kicking up a huge fuss. Now we know, we can see it was entirely reasonable, though raises the question of why the mod just didn't edit out the offending email address.

  72. billp

    Exactly, they're just censorious little prep school fucks, and I for one can't be arsed with the sanctimonious little dweebs any more, coming out and defending the head girl or boy's judgements all day.

  73. Looks like Barca and the Scum then. I'll tell you something..I've coached kids who wouldn't have caved in and bottled it after that first goal the way the mighty Arse did.

  74. Just like the pub!

    I think Scherfig is right though, throw out something guaranteed to rile everyone up and then use the reaction as an excuse to clamp down. Agents provocateur as it were, but under whose orders and to what ends? What purpose is served by making the forum as bland and anodyne as possible? Hmmm.

  75. Bitterweed

    You resigned from cif then? If so, I'm jealous. Here's an idea: tell Seaton what you think of him and end with a "you can't fuckin ban me...I resign".

  76. Not another BNP thread. There's at least one a day at the moment.


  77. "What purpose is served by making the forum as bland and anodyne as possible? Hmmm."

    because it's nicer that way...you remember what nanny used to say..."if you've got nothing nice to say..."

  78. MozP, you mean a Cif ombudsperson (sic)? I don't think you're really getting the propagandistic nature of newspapers. They're not there to inform, but to persuade. (That's why most people can't stand to read the "opposition" rag. Most people should make a point of it, though, if only to get out of the newspaper habit.)

    On Cif, they do that by turning up the volume on the writer and readership sounds they want people to hear, and lowering it on the rest.

    The Reader's Editor basically only ever says "See?"

    I wonder if posters ever ask themselves why they HAVEN'T been banned? What does a poster have to do to escape banning or premodding or moderation? What did the Soviet people do?

  79. monkeyfish
    yep, just got too fucked off with their insiduous double pronged attack on my impressionable young mind... I still, very much, and as you say, have an ace to play.

    Oh yes....

    Oh yes indeedy.

  80. BB

    What else has NL got left? We're not as bad as that lot is about all they can say.

    Mind you the BNP could hit back with...OK we're fascist scum but we're not as bad as that lot. And looking at the track records of both of them, who is a reasonable person more likely to believe.

    Got to admit, I wasn't thrilled in 97, but I was hopeful...remember ethical foreign policies, fairer society etc etc. Look at the legacy and: to cap it all, after the wars the economic cataclysms the sleaze...their greatest legacy is conferring electability on a gang of Nazi thugs. Nice one Tony.

  81. MozP

    Reader's editor? What the fuck is that when it's at home? Somebody that nobody's ever heard of on Cif? Job description:

    "The Guardian Readers' Editor, a role established with great distinction by Ian Mayes, has become an emblem of the relationship of trust between the Guardian and its readers."

    I don't think she (Butterworth) has had much (if anything) to do with Cif in the years she's been in the job. I think you're barking up the wrong tree here or are confusing roles.

  82. Bitterweed

    Better decide then. Tonight Matthew, I'm gonna be...

    Kenny Rogers?

    You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em,
    Know when to walk away and know when to run.

    Or is it Lemmy?

    I see it in your eyes, take one look and die,
    The only thing you see, you know it's gonna be,
    The Ace Of Spades
    The Ace Of Spades

    Looking forward to it though. Hope it's Lemmy.

  83. @Bitterweed:

    It's the quality of the articles that's the problem. I cannot, hand on heart, think of one piece I've read in the past year that made me think "Fantastic article" when I'd read it. I can, with the other hand on heart, think of many, many articles where the writer's position seemed to have been carefully chosen to stir up controversy and split opinion right down the middle.

    Sure, it generates furious clicking and ensures more impacts for the online ad sales boys, but once, just once, I'd love to have read an article without the suspicion lingering in my mind that somehow I'd been "played".

  84. Hello again to you all.

    The action seems to have switched locations a few times since (late) last night when I logged off, but this seems to be the most active thread at the moment.

    First I’d like to tie up a couple of loose ends from last night:

    Fencewalker: I’ve been working at Hatfield Forest since last July. Only part-time voluntary work though; don’t think the National Trust are likely or able to find me a proper position there. That’s why I had to get up at 5.30 this morning, and why I’m so knackered now (nothing to do with staying up till 1.30 chatting over here.

    I’m doing three days a week for the next couple of months as the final part of a college course, but I also need to catch up with a certain backlog of written work from previous terms. According to my girlfriend (who’s jokingly threatened to open up on CiF as andysgirlfriendsays), if I’d spent all the energy over the weekend I spent (to be fair she COULD have said wasted, but she didn’t) on these threads I could have finished it by now. And you know, she’s probably right.

    If you get the chance to get over there (HF that is) anytime soon I’d recommend it. The buttercups are just coming out and it looks amazing – it always looks amazing in my opinion, that’s why I’m (almost) happy to travel up there from North London every morning on the train.

    Didn’t see any woodpeckers today, but plenty more Fallow. By the way, I don’t know if your name has any special significance, but I’ve just spent two weeks checking and mending fences, so don’t you go walking on any of them.

  85. Anyways, I'm off. Up at a fuckin inhuman hour again. Unless you're the guy who wakes up the guy who wakes up the milkman. If there are any milkmen left.

  86. monkeyfish

    It just sticks in my craw. New Labour and the BNP seem to have barely a fag paper between them on some policies. I loathe Woolas with a vengeance too.

    I actually met him, years ago, in France (he is married to someone I knew at school, and we were all invited to a dinner at mutual friends - rugby exchanges being the common denominator, don't go there...) At the time he was working on Newsnight, I think, and a rising star in Kinnock's galaxy, and already the consummate politician - never answering a question, however anodine or well-intentioned, calling everyone else on what they said while never actually saying anything himself. Never understood what his missus sees in him, unless it's the lure of power. Who knows....

  87. (I forgot to mention - if I met again him now I would punch his smarmy lights out)

  88. That's right Swifty. We're not twenty years old ffs, waiting to be spoon fed op-ed trash.
    They're taking the sodding piss.

    Ten years ago I had graduated as a mature student, I had been for a few years a subscriber to LRB, TLS and New Left Review. I know there are literally tons of great, provocative and intelligent articles out there waiting to be written. But no. We get hacks and newbies and nepotism and oversensitive moderators...

    Don't forget the Joker

  89. andysays: "...but I also need to catch up with a certain backlog of written work from previous terms. According to my girlfriend, if I’d spent all the energy over the weekend I spent on these threads I could have finished it by now. And you know, she’s probably right."

    Yes, but your education would have suffered.

  90. Has anyone seen the new open thread? First sentence:
    "In our last thread, you recommended that tohimself and BeautifulBurnout should follow in the footsteps of.."

    Hooray for BB, great choice, but who is this tohimself? Anyone heard of this poster? There was one post recommending him/her for a cif gig (damntheral, it got zero recommendations!) Read his/her posts and try to explain to me why he/she should write ATL. They are intelligent well-formulated comments, but boring as hell.

    What is going on here?

  91. 'Yes, but your education would have suffered.'
    Hubris hubris! But funny..

  92. They are being super nice and responding scherfig to everything and anything apart from what actually matters... PR!

  93. I am feeling a bit embarrassed about that, tbh. I've only been around 5 minutes compared to a lot of you guys, and there are many more people who could write better than I could.

    Also, I would have to use a pseudonym, cos I say some pretty shitty things about rozzers at times. Well, I say pretty shitty things full stop sometimes.

    I'm really touched though.

    (In the head...?)

  94. Why do people persist in referring to "ad sales" as a reason for the existence of Cif. Just who is buying all these duffle coats, I wonder?

    It seems to me that GU is just a way for the Guardian to give away free propaganda sheets, without alienating the people who presently pay for them (print edition).

    Cif is a way to attract people in to the propaganda sheet place.

    Ad sales don't come into it. It's all about power to persuade.

    Further, any dissimilarity between the red and blue newspapers is purely superficial, when examined up close. The propaganda does not hope to swing people to left or right, but to keep them roughly centred on the establishment track.

    When you open a newspaper, in whatever medium, you are inviting a propagandist into your mind.

  95. if they offer the gig BB take it, the more BTL's who get a gig and show up the pro's the better..

  96. Montana: I saw your post to me about squirrels in the other place last night, but didn’t quite have the energy to engage in such frivolity at the time. Now I’ve got a little, so here goes.

    Our native squirrel is red (in colour if not in political terms) and its proper name is Sciurus vulgaris. According to a recent college assignment which has come into my possession:

    “The Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) comes originally from North America, and was deliberately released into Britain on a number of occasions between 1876 and 1929. The deliberate introduction of non-native species was then thought to be a beneficial way of supplementing the existing native species, rather than (as now) recognised as a threat to those species and the ecosystems in which they exist. S. carolinensis has spread rapidly throughout the British Isles, and is now common in the lowlands of England, Wales and central Scotland, although it is not generally found in upland areas.

    In those areas where it is found, S. carolinensis has displaced the native Red Squirrel (S. vulgaris), which is now confined to conifer plantations, highland areas and islands where S. carolinensis has not spread. The decline of the Red Squirrel is thought to be the result of two factors, direct competition between species and the introduction of a disease along with the Grey. The two species are in direct competition for food and habitat in deciduous woodland, where S. carolinensis has an advantage over S. vulgaris because of its larger size and ability to eat nuts before they are fully ripe, thus depriving the latter of much of its food source. It is also thought that S. carolinensis may carry a virus or parapox to which S. vulgaris is extremely susceptible.

    In addition, the Grey Squirrel causes considerable ecological damage in the areas where it is found. This comes about through its habit of stripping bark from trees and gnawing out the tender leading shoots, causing the primary growth point, and frequently the whole tree, to die. Stripping all nuts from trees before they are ripe means that new trees cannot even begin to grow; this is a particular problem in some woods which used to contain an abundance of hazel (Corylus avellana), a species which is now increasingly rare.”

    Two further points which the author of this piece has inexplicably omitted:

    Even my knowledge of north American geography is enough to suggest that Sciurus carolinensis does indeed come from the eastern US.

    The introductions seem to have been at the suggestion of British landowners, so you and your compatriots are not to blame (for once).

  97. Was the Brigadier banned? Just that there's a new poster appeared who very much has the Brigadier's style of commenting.


  98. kiz, my point was that, out of nearly 1200 posts, they have selected a suggestion from ONE poster which got absolutely NO recommendations, and decided to approach this 'tohimself' and perhaps commission an article. They have announced this in the opening sentence of the new open thread. What message is being sent here? Are they taking the piss?

  99. billp: I agree; maybe you could try to convince her?

  100. Ta kiz - if it's offered I'll consider it, and call myself Judge Judy or something. :)

    Yeah, scherfig, I see what you mean. It's a bit bizarre, that.

    Andy - shouldn't you be doing your homework? ;)

  101. Squirrels of the grey variety:



  102. @billp:

    You're not keeping up with the times old son. Anything that can be monetised at GMG is monetised - they're a business, after all. Carolyn McCall is e'en now wondering out loud in the trade press whether Mediaguardian.co.uk should be paid-for content. As in, "paid for by the users of said content".

    Ad sales make the internet go round old chap, especially those bits of the internet which belong to big corporations like GNM/GMG.

    Or did you think it was all free as a bird out there and they were doing it out of the goodness of their hearts, bless?

  103. I'd be interested in hearing about the exact relationship between the number of 'hits' or comments that the Cif site receives and the corresponding ability to attract advertising and revenue.

    The Guardian seems to be very advert heavy compared to other papers (slow loading) and they're not carrying these irritating things for free. RogerintheUSA posted some interesting posts recently somewhere on the many pages of code that a simple Cif article downloads onto your computer (mostly ads and links to ads). Any techies here with any insight on this?

  104. Kiz - Bru here - I hope this works.

  105. @scherfig:

    It's not difficult to work out that if, say, the Guardian online ad sales team (sorry, billp!) can go out to prospective advertisers and say "hey! we get 5 million unique users every month", then the advertisers are going to love getting at that audience. Particularly as the Graun also seems to use "Ads by Google" rather indiscriminatingly - hence some of the jarring juxtapositions between the article and the Ads by Google which appear below it.

    In clicky click ad world the more users you can show an ad to, so goes the reasoning, the more chance there is of someone clicking on it.

    The more controversial the article, the more people flock to coment in horror, outrage, support, etc. So the more people see the ads carefully placed before them. Q, as they, ED.

  106. scherfig
    Yes, they probably are taling the piss. This is how they have fun, makes up for having no libidos or independent thought, the great big gang of groupthinking soggy biscuiteers.

  107. Kiz - I told you I made a complete hash of my sign-in - you will have to call me Alexander or Alex on here.

    Ultimathule - ah yes - I did recommend her to post above the line. For one thing it would generate a huge amount of posters, for another, I am a natural stirrer and thirdly, I would just love to see what she looks like.


  108. Bru

    Ha ha, you stirrer !

    Long time no speak...

  109. Montana again: I hope you appreciate the fact I’ve removed all the direct quotes and references to sources the author of that piece had included in his attempt to follow correct academic procedure.

    I know that generally speaking he finds that sort of thing tends to break up the flow of an argument, and often seems to be there more to convince whoever’s reading it that the author is REALLY WELL READ, whereas he thinks it’s more likely to suggest they’re not capable of their own individual thought.

    Which reminds me of BTH, for some reason, and the response I finally got from him at 12.14 am, in which he referred to me as “skulking away like a scorned lover”. I think he got it!

    But having reread his earlier posts to me, I’ll agree with whoever described him here as creepy. Some of them almost suggest “grooming”, although maybe even to use that word is to go along with internet paedophile hysteria.

    And its also obvious from some of his comments that he reads this blog too (no reason why he shouldn’t of course). Some turns of phrase used here turn up in his posts soon afterwards. I wonder if it’s unintentional, or if it’s his deliberate way of teasing and toying with people. Maybe you’d like to lets us know BTH.

  110. Bitterweed

    No, the strange thing is that after weeks of sickness, I noticed so many CiF regulars had vanished (well now I know where they went) and there are many new names on there. I know some people drop out naturally - don't know if you remember Mook who was a regular when I first started posting two years ago and a lot of the rapid American rightwingers seemed to have disappeared (they were fun). Anyway it seems a whole new ballgame at the moment. Still while you have Ultima.....


  111. Cif is a loss-leader for the Guardian.

    Think about it, at least half a dozen (?) full time staff, plus tech support etc, plus freelance fees of several hundred pounds a day. I'd hazard a guess it costs GMG somewhere between a quarter and half a million quid a year to run.

    I'd be astonished if even a fraction of that came back in advertising.

    They reckin it's worth it for the marketing value of hosting the world's premier discussion forum.

    So yes, they like hits to claw back some of their costs, but advertising is not the raison d'etre of Cif, by a long stretch.

  112. BB: no, I should be catching up on all the sleep I didn’t get last night.

    Did you know what I was talking about re. X Ray Spex btw? I noticed that bitterweed would have got it. He saw them in Victoria Park with his dad apparently.

    Is there a bunch of symbols to show how jealous I am?

  113. Bru
    Well I'm in a sort of self imposed "exile". Well, bored actually. Mook - "moook"- I believe last year she was in two minds about relocating to Oz from the South Welsh coast, and pretty much announced she'd pack CiF in - she's a keen surfer - if she ever did make it to Bondai beach. Can't think why, heh heh. Look what she's missing ;-)

    As for the US right wingers, I agree, a couple of them could be quite amusing, but think they lost their sense of humour when they realised they no longer had the upper hand, so to speak.

    Anyways, bed time for me, as it's a school night... Speak soon.

  114. @Ally:

    I think you're over-hazarding your guess. And I agree that CiF mark 1 was much as you describe (a marketing cost, essentially, and one presumably the Scott Trust could get all dewy-eyed about)... but mk2 is a much different beast. Why the re-design? No one was moaning about it being shit or anything. Suddenly, though, lots more room for ads, lots more content broken down into discrete areas (Belief, America (kerr-ching!), Liberty thingy, etc). No, this second version of CiF is there to make money for the Graun, make no mistake about that mate. They're not stupid over there.

  115. But yeah, beddy byes for me too. 6.15 a.m. comes round too quick these days...

  116. Swifty, you're right - it's not that hard to work out. I'd worked all that out for myself. :o) What I was actually looking for was some rather more technical/fact-based input from experts in the field, some insight. How much ad revenue can be generated these days when there are pop-ups everywhere? How much server power is allocated to revenue-generating ads as opposed to user-friendly features that benefit the user/reader? How much does running Cif cost? How much are they losing on it now, how much do they expect to eventually make on it? The Guardian might be a trust, but it's not a charity. If it survives, what will it look like? For me, the paper is not what it was, and I fear we are all just consumers now.

  117. Tohimself. Quite. Well, it will be interesting to see who it is and how they know Matt...

  118. Ally
    thanks for the info

    Steel Pulse too. Rock Against Racism was alright.

  119. Andy: X Ray Spex - I remember them vaguely but I was being a hippy in those days so I was all Pink Floyd and Kate Bush dresses.

  120. moook was a brilliant poster.

  121. @scherfig: sorry mate, bit hard to gauge how much people know about stuff like internet ad sales. Apologies for patronising twattishness.

    I'm off to bed but talk tomorrow about this if you like. FWIW, I reckon CiF is in the black now and has been for some time. If it's not, then the commercial people at the Graun need a good kick up the arse.

  122. Bitterweed

    Off to watch damages - I never get to bed early even though I'm up at the crack of dawn and I want to know who shot Glen Close. Missed out on Sunday as I had other things to do.

    Kizbot - are you there? Knock once for yes. This is worse than holding a seance....

  123. "Hmmm ..... imagine a thread with every single comment deleted... nothing but tumbleweed rolling aimlessly through the deserted streets, and and all is silent except for the mournful tolling of a distant bell upon on the breeze..."

    Oh come now, bitterweed, you know as well as all of us it wont be total silence; there will be the small, barely audible but incessant chirping of praise from the Sycophant.

    "Oh my, Ultima, your erudition, your grace, your indescribable poise..."

    "My fave CiF moment to date has still got to be the Monbiot vs Blears saga though. That was awesome."

    That and Sprogarty - that is CiF at its absolute best.

    "In our last thread, you recommended that tohimself and BeautifulBurnout should follow in the footsteps of Ally Fogg, Cath Elliott, MrPikeBishop and others, and move above the line. Thanks for the suggestions, which we will follow up."

    I dont understand.

  124. And back to Montana: This brings me round to the idea I was groping towards late last night.

    (Thanks to all those who responded to that cry for help, by the way, especially Hank who was in there straight away with some fatherly advice. Incidently Hank, I reckon I know how you knew about MrPincey’s agenda. I think YOU might have had at least a hand in writing it. But don’t worry, I can keep a secret. No one from over there will read this anyway. I hope.)

    I’d like to discuss, with whoever is interested, the idea of a coordinated campaign when seaton’s much promised, not-yet delivered moderation thread finally appears. I’m slightly apprehensive about doing so here, out in the open, and I’m wondering about this phone-booth thing a few of you have mentioned. Maybe someone can help to squeeze me in.

    “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear”

    was apparently being tossed around on CiF today, but I much prefer:

    “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take sensible precautions to cover your back and prevent ideas falling prematurely into the wrong hands”

    I’ve got to go to bed soon, very soon, but I’ll be back tomorrow to chat again.

  125. Jeez, I got all nostalgic for moook. Her comments were always short and to the point, and funny! Just to cheer everyone up, here's a little 'best of' selection:

    On Zoe Williams: Don't quite think Ms Williams is quite up to Gonzo standards yet...

    On Gordon Ramsay: I thought he was certified bloke TV. Football, wave some knives around and kill some animals and eat them.

    On drug laws: Christ, this thread is getting me down. I'm off for a spliff.

    On Eddie Izzard: It's not the wearing of make-up, it's how you wear it. Most men over-do it and end up looking like butch Jodie Marshes. Subtlety, lads - that's the way forward.

    On oral sex: I wish blokes would follow suit, take a hint from porn and start shaving theirs. Gagging on hairballs after going down tends to spoil the moment - for me, anyway...

    On Charlie Brooker: I'd marry you Charlie, but you're too fucking cheerful for me. Sorry.

    On a television show: I thought I was uninhibited but I can't imagine making a film which blatently shows me letting my gran choose my clothes.

    And there are many more. We could use moook these days.

  126. "OldBagpuss and almostinstinct were in agreement that Cif needs more articles about the Ahmadiyya Muslim community: do they or anyone else have ideas as to who might write well on the subject?"

    Oh yes, just what we need...

  127. Jay - those Mook quotes are hilarious!

    Time for me to go to bed now though. Night everyone x

  128. Bitterweed: I never quite got into reggae back then. But I fucking live for free jazz now. Was listening to Brotzmann last night while posting.
    And was it you who was chatting about Sonic Youth a while back? They’re Sonic Middle Age now, but they still rock. I first saw them in the early 80’s, E.V.O.L. era, playing on Brighton Beach. Actually what I saw was a lot of smoke and other shit. But what I heard was definitely Sonic Youth.

    BB: “never trust a hippy”, sorry!

    Bitterweed &scherfig: I remember Moook too. How long’s she been gone? Hope she’s happy in Oz; men down there are more likely to shave or wax down there, would be my guess.

  129. Ha, caught up. Now I’m really done for tonight.

  130. Andy, I would try, but I dread being on the receiving end of one of those "shut it you wanker" scathing looks.

    SwiftyBoy, it would appear that you're living in a wee online ad sales fantasyland (probably a leftover from all the pulp you were fed by people trying to sell their particular dotcom bubble vehicles back in the day.

    Take GU, for example. go and open it up on the front page. What advertising do you see? I see:

    A Google Public Service Ad banner along the top advertising Kiva MicroFinance at kiva.com.


    Guardian Soulmates (do you have to pay for that?)

    Sofa Cinema (dvd rentals)

    A banner for Raffaello.com

    3 Google ads

    A public Service Google Ad banner for www.GrameenFoundation.org

    A bunch of Guardian offers at the bottom

    All lost in a sea of "news" things and features begging to be clicked on. And none of the ads provide any benefit to the advertiser (or, I imagine, GU) unless they are, at the very least, clicked on.

    So, the questions are these?

    a) What does it cost to run GU front page per day?

    b) What amount of revenue do those ads bring in per day?

    Subtract smaller from larger for profit/loss.

    Straw poll: How many ads have you ever clicked on, on GU's front page?

    How many do you click on per day? Or, better, what is your average number of GUFP viewing days per ad click?

    Have you ever bought anything directly via an ad on GU front page?

    Do you even have time to click on ads?

    Add up all the above and subjectively arrive at an answer to the following;

    Is GU (standing alone) a financial going concern? Would you invest in it?

    So, they don't provide it out of the goodness of their hearts, but out of a desire to control.

  131. BeautifulBurnout be careful.

  132. Further to this "You asked for articles from tohimself and BeautifulBurnout..." thing, some details:

    tohimself began posting on 12 March, 2009, or 55 days before being discovered as the people's choice to move above the Cif line. Since then, he has posted exclusively on the environment (he's a tree-huggin', Earth-luvvin' sonavagun) in large part, and aetheism/faith issues to a lesser degree.

    In one of his early posts he confessed

    "p.s. My typing is terrible - I only recently started using a computer I'm afraid."
    (Are fishes' feelings a red herring? 28 Apr 09, 5:45pm)

    The opening to his first ever post (about poor little planet Earth) ran thus:

    "Why are so many of these comments so obviously callous and without feeling? Why bother to comment when it is obvious one doesn't care?"

    I'm sure he'll fit in quite nicely upstairs.

    I wonder if anyone is questioning this on Cif?

    Now, where does BB's selection fit into all this?

  133. BB's nomination was heartfelt and echoed by quite a few people on the Talk thread. One person (damntheral) nominated Tohimself and no one recommended the comment. I didn't get as far back as you in looking at Tohimself's comments (boredom, I'm afraid), but I don't even remember seeing a single comment of his that received double-digit recommends. Now, I realise that that's not necessarily the mark of a good comment, but wouldn't you think that the person would've had at least a few double-digit recommends somewhere along the line if he were such a stellar poster?

  134. tohimself's posts have a pretty boring, monotonous, green tone. He is in no way representative (if that's even possible) of the Cif pleb.

    I don't dispute BB's nomination, although I don't necessarily back it either - over others. I'm more interested in their apparent acceptance of it. That is, I wouldn't want to read an article by a Cif pleb that they allowed to join their club. The Big Brother thing showed that when push comes to shove, you don't need ratmasks to make "revolutionaries" cow-tow to the establishment.

    Many others have been recommended by their peers to write above the line, yet none have been accepted. In light of tohimself's apparent appointment of convenience, I just wondered why BB would be found suitable by them, and at this particular time.

    That's why I advised that she be careful.

  135. That Big Brother comment was excerpted from my upcoming book: The Carrot and the Ratmask.

  136. Hi! We're going to try to keep 2 threads at a time. Please go to either the "Yeah, I know" or Daily Chat thread. Thank you!