Comment Vacation

by W.F. Price on July 19, 2012

Since I’m spending time with my kids and trying to enjoy the summer, I’ve decided to sacrifice the open comments so that I can have quality time with family and still have enough left over to write posts. I also simply want to be in a decent mood around the kids, and that’s hard when I’ve got people violating the comment policy both openly and in spirit.

So for the next week or so, all comments will be on moderation and I’ll only let those through that are intelligent and add to the conversation. Choices will be arbitrary by necessity.

For those who prefer open comments, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t take many rotten apples to ruin the barrel, and we’ve had plenty lately.

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

dhanu July 20, 2012 at 01:17

Dear Price, time to appoint some trusted friend/s as helper or assistant. It’s a very great undertaking and you should make a consideration on how to keep it going smoothly with the least impact during your periodic absences like this one.

Enjoy your time and all the best :-)

Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1
scatmaster July 20, 2012 at 05:55

This does not add to the conversation so it will probably not go through but for venting purposes. THANKS ALOT (sarcasm) to those and without naming names you know who you are for attempting to ruin this site.
While I know this site is stronger than certain narciccists who have chosen to invade here you add nothing of value. Please just go away.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1
freebird July 20, 2012 at 06:09

Enjoy that time with the kids, when it’s all said and done those are the memories you will cherish.
The content can wait.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
Andie July 20, 2012 at 06:16

Your children need their father more than we need a place to chat on the internet.

Have fun! And don’t forget the sunscreen! My husband took our little guy fishing with my Dad out on Lake Superior and I forgot to sunscreen the tops of his legs. He got roasted, but he also landed a 5lb lake trout (with just a bit of help).

There’s nothing more important that just hanging out with Dad.

The haters can wait.

Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 2
Charles Martel July 20, 2012 at 06:17

It’s your site, Bill. No need to explain. I like The Spearhead more when the comments are free of self promotion, profanity and ad hominem attacks.

Why? As we’ve endlessly discussed, outside of a handful of dedicated activists, there is no men’s rights movement other than the online dissemination of information by this site and others. It’s my opinion that that process is more effective when commenters are respectful of the larger, silent audience.

Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3
Will July 20, 2012 at 07:12

I think its a good idea to have more than one moderator to ease the burden on yourself.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
Lyn87 July 20, 2012 at 07:16

Good move, Bill. Some people just seem determined to become the center of attention by being insulting and bombastic.

I’m not a techie by any means, so I don’t know if what I’m going to suggest is possible, but I’ve seen features on other sites that might help you keep the discussions within your boundaries without adding to your workload:

1) “Comment Karma.” If someone constantly gets downvoted into oblivion, they’re subtracting from the conversation rather than adding to it. Once their “Comment Karma” gets below a certain negative threshhold you could put them in moderation (if they occasionally write something worthwhile) or I.P. ban them (if they never write anything of value or routinely violate your terms of use).

2) Add a “flag comment” option so if someone violates the terms of use, it can be called to your attention rapidly. A comment thus flagged could be replaced with: “This comment has been flagged for review” until you decided whether to re-instate it or remove it. To prevent the “flag comment” button from being misused, only make it available to a small number of people whose judgement you trust. We all know guys like Futrelle mine this site looking for stuff he can use – he’s proven adept at taking things out of context (he’s done it to me) – there’s no point in giving him and others like him more material posted here by trolls or agents provocateur.

3) In addition, you might consider limiting the number a posts a person can make within a particular thread, or perhaps within a certain amount of time. That may increase with higher “Comment Karma” if you like. That would hinder the kinds of back-and-forth flame wars we’ve seen lately.

I think that would go a long way toward weeding out the perpetual trolls, removing serious violations of your terms of use quickly rather than waiting until their downvotes exceed their upvotes by 15 points to collapse the comment, and allow your most trusted readers to help you keep the comments within the boundaries you set.

Net result should be:
Fewer and shorter flame wars.
Fewer posts that violate your standards.
Posts that violate your standards would not stay up long.
Increase the overall quality of the discourse.
Less work for you to do.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3
W.F. Price July 20, 2012 at 07:24

I like The Spearhead more when the comments are free of self promotion, profanity and ad hominem attacks.

Why? As we’ve endlessly discussed, outside of a handful of dedicated activists, there is no men’s rights movement other than the online dissemination of information by this site and others. It’s my opinion that that process is more effective when commenters are respectful of the larger, silent audience.

-Charles Martel

I agree. But what kind of gets me is how persistent some people are — they just keep coming and coming over and over again. That’s the problem with open comments. They are prone to abuse no matter what, so I suppose the only solution is to moderate each and every one.

The poster boy for this would be MikeeUSA, the pedophile who still – years after he first appeared – keeps gaming the comments to slip in “I want little girls” comments.

Pugs Fugly July 20, 2012 at 07:32

There’s no reason for anyone to have to handle a site this size all on their own, especially in the middle of your summer with your kids.

I, for one, would much rather scroll through the comments and NOT see the trolls and hateful backbiting that often occurs. I don’t think that not having to see it would convince anyone that suddenly everybody agrees with us around here, but I do think that disagreements and arguments should be restricted to those commenters capable of intelligence and civility.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
TiredGuy July 20, 2012 at 07:33

Aside from the excellent suggestions from the others, I’d just like to add…

Enjoy your vacation, you deserve it.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
Ethical July 20, 2012 at 08:00

While Mr. Price is on vacation, any Spearheaders looking for a good article will be encouraged to find a really well written article in support of some core MRM issues that has actually been printed in the popular media despite the well known popular media blackout on the MRM: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/06/14/barbara-kay-britain-strikes-first-major-blow-for-fathers-rights/

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
Josh the Aspie July 20, 2012 at 08:01

I’m a bit disappointed that it’s necessary, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

Be sure to have fun with your kids, and teach them well. If you think it appropriate, I’m sure a fair number of folks here would appreciate hearing stories about activities you’ve done with your kids that both lead to them having fun, and learning better how to be responsible adults.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
zed July 20, 2012 at 08:22

@Lyn87

Your suggestions are more appropriate for a site which operates on discussion-board/forum software, not the the limited-capability blog software that the Spearhead operates on. While there are hundreds of open-source add-ins for WordPress, they have the common drawback of Open Source software in that each one is developed individually without testing or taking into consideration how it will interact with other add-ins. Frequently, add-ins conflict with each other and cause all kinds of unreliable operation which requires a lot of time to troubleshoot and correct.

I have a different perspective which I want to put out there.

Perhaps, at about 3 years old, it is time for the-Spearhead to get its first set of long pants.

What I mean by that is to bring up the discussion of whether the Spearhead is a community which has developed, or is “Bill’s on-line MRM magazine.” If it is a community, then adult male members of that community need to take some responsibility for maintaining order.

Few things piss me off more than guys who are just chock-full of helpful suggestions for OTHER men to make happen, while they sit on their fat asses with their eyes glued to ESPN – doing nothing. This comment is not directed specifically at you, Lyn87, but is more of an observation of a very common trait among men which is one of the biggest underlying causes for the (mostly true) accusation that there is no “Activism” in MRAs.

Much of the time now, I refer to them as “MRBs” – “Men’s Rights Bloviators.” If I could harness all the hot air that self-important a-holes have put out on this subject, I could heat every home in North America for the next 100 years.

/rant

This is why when we set up the foundation for MGTOW, our policy was “To suggest is to volunteer.”

Every Internet men’s site has reached this fork in the road sooner or later in its life – is it the work of one man? (an “Army of One”), or is it a community?

To my knowledge, the only self-sustaining community which I have seen emerge in 20 years of Internet Men’s involvement is the NiceGuy’s forum. The average life-span of a fledgling “community” is 6 months to 3 years.

The “Armies of One” sites tend to last longer – Angry Harry has been at it a dozen years. He does not allow open comments, and completely controls the message. There is a lot to say for that approach when it comes to longevity.

I have often referred to the Spearhead as the “Biker Bar” of the MRM. If a one or more punks walks into a nice restaurant and starts to cause problems – the wait staff call the police while the “nice” (beta) patrons keep their heads down in their seats. If the same punk tries to cause trouble in a Biker Bar, when the police arrive they get told –
“Oh, yeah – that punk? He’s out back in the dumpster tied up in his own underwear.”

Men who wait for someone else to solve their problems are going to have to wait forever.

Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1
Dudeist Priest Applicant July 20, 2012 at 08:51

I highly suggest you give 10-20 long time commenters your respect the ability to IP-ban repeat offenders in the comment section. The comment section is key to driving up traffic.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
ahamkara July 20, 2012 at 09:00

I assume you’re referring to the Trayvon Martin article. Things did get kind of messy there.

Free speech on a web site like this has its limits, like threatening/agitating violence and revealing personal information and so on… but I think you have demonstrated that you know what those limits are. As for the rest of it, I think the community (yourself included) does a pretty good job of calling people out when they’re being ridiculous. I think it shows more maturity to let someone speak and to refute their arguments than to censor them.

Feminists will try to tar and feather the entire movement based on the comments of a few racists. This is intellectually dishonest, and they know it. We need to stand our ground in the face of such attacks, otherwise they can dismantle the entire movement with a few trolls. This is partly why they’ve been so successful and we need to call them out on it if we’re going to overcome it.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
Gamerp4 July 20, 2012 at 09:44

What is more important is “How much love you can give to your children” after all this is what we are fighting for a society that recognizes MEN and FATHERS and children are the main priority in MRM, because in MRM our deepest concern are what is gonna happen to future generation in this misandrist society and so YOUR HAPPINESS is mostly what comes first rest can wait, Your children are your life thread and without them in the picture LIFE IS LIFELESS.

So give my regards to your children and may GOD bless them with a meaningful life ahead.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
Rebel July 20, 2012 at 09:53

Enjoy time with your children all you can.

You might chose to close the site down while on vacation and reopen it upon your return.

This way, you can dedicate 100% of your time to your children and be worry free.

Have a great vacation.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
Suz July 20, 2012 at 09:55

Some very good suggestions here. Enjoy your children, Mr. Price; we’ll still be here when you get back.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2
Lyn87 July 20, 2012 at 11:17

Your suggestions are more appropriate for a site which operates on discussion-board/forum software, not the the limited-capability blog software that the Spearhead operates on. While there are hundreds of open-source add-ins for WordPress, they have the common drawback of Open Source software in that each one is developed individually without testing or taking into consideration how it will interact with other add-ins. Frequently, add-ins conflict with each other and cause all kinds of unreliable operation which requires a lot of time to troubleshoot and correct.

Thanks Zed, Like I wrote: I’m not a internet techie by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t know beans about to make any of that happen, but I have observed those kinds of things on other sites, so I assumed it was possible. The last thing Bill needs is more work and I thought there might be some technical solutions to ease his burden of running this site – along with the additional burden of dealing with the troublemakers who come here.

I feel for Bill: he is managing his life and this website, and this site has enough enemies without all the ruckus caused by frenemies coming along to throw sand in the gears and drag everyone into flame wars, e-peen contests, and assorted distractions.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
Eric July 20, 2012 at 13:16

Price:
I agree with Martel: the site already feels more peaceful. You mentioned time as being a factor, people like the ‘poster boy’ you alluded to (I’ve encountered him on other sites) just burn up everyone’s time, and that’s difficult to counter.

Trolls and provocateurs have that advantage: they can spend more time derailing and hijacking a topic than people, even moderators, can expend trying to stop it.

I’ve never managed a blogsite myself, but I think that you’ll find the time you spend moderating comments is small (and less tedious) in comparison the time and aggravation spent putting out brush-fires caused by interested parties.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
The Whammer July 20, 2012 at 13:58

Looks like another Mr. Nice Guy is getting married :)

http://www.webpronews.com/joran-van-der-sloot-is-getting-married-behind-bars-2012-07

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4
The Whammer July 20, 2012 at 14:11

Looks like the Olsen girl has a new man :)

http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/sarkozy_new_ny_love_nest_Z6diG6YsydW8Xq7iXgJfwL

I always have to laugh at the comments. She’s a grown woman of 26!

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
walking in hell July 20, 2012 at 14:55

It is so important that a young man knows he is not alone in his suspicions that something is dreadfully wrong with how he is being treated, simply because he is a man.

Knowing there is a gathering place, where men with impressive intellectual horsepower share their real life experiences of misandry, abuse, and persecution in America, gives the young man the confidence to stay true to a path that maximizes his potential as a man.

For without such a gathering place, the young man can easily be convinced that it is “he” who has the problem, rather than “he” has problems by virtue of his gender and place of birth.

As a young man, I was highly suspicious of the way men were treated in America. But because I was constantly berated for my suspicions, and because I did not have any peers with suspicions, I turned down a $70,000 tax free job overseas, and instead chose to get married.

Seven years after my marriage I had a child. Three years after I had the child, my wife destroyed my life, and my son’s life. The misandric courts sanctioned the destruction. I would never want what happened to me, happen to any other man or child.

Interestingly if you google “mens rights movement websites,” here is what you get:

splcenter
angryharry
uprisingradio
thinkinghousewife
the-spearhead

Two of the five top sites are men’s rights websites. The others are dedicated to degrading and ridiculing men’s rights.

“mens rights movement” is 2900 on global monthly searches.

“womens rights movement” is only 22900 on global monthly searches.

Keep in mind there is a complete media black out on men’s rights and father’s rights.

What we are seeing is genuine momentum as far as men’s rights awareness goes. I myself am amazed at how many younger guys are making intelligent comments on you tube videos; even some American Christian guys are waking up!

Any type of racial hatred among men or inciting violence is ammunition for the opposition and will slow momentum; so DON’T DO IT! Remember, if you are a man, and you grew up in America, whether you are black, white, brown, yellow, Christian, Muslim, Jew, agnostic, or whatever, you were subjected to very strong racial and religious propaganda, so that you would be further divided, isolated, and easier to rule. So DON’T take the bait.

For the future, with these impressive google rankings, I would expect some very subtle “discrediting by association” attempts as well as some outright “divide and conquer” tactics. I would also expect some future random act of violence to be spun by the media as the work of a “men’s rights activist.”

So keep the comments as focused as possible on the atrocities and abuse we men (all men) are subjected to, and keep the comments as “truth revealing” as possible; because long-term, the truth will win out.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
piercedhead July 20, 2012 at 14:57

I am a little puzzled at the ease with which terms like ‘men go at each others throats on forum comments’ are thrown about, when it is only a handful of unpleasant, and basically lawless, individuals. It is certainly true that their behavior sours things for all men, but all men are not guilty, not even most men, and not even a significant few. It is a handful.

This usage reminds me of that feminist favorite: “men rape”.

It is wrong for the same reasons. It characterizes all men for the deeds of a very few (though one doesn’t hear “men are brilliant”, “men are peaceful”, “men are builders and civilisers”, even though the logic of imputing the qualities of a few onto all men is consistent) – and when we do this, we make solutions seem impossible. We have already implied that since this is how all men are, there can be no solution, since all men are guilty.

The problem of rogue commenters is essentially the same as that of lawlessness in society. Most people (yes, that includes men!) are considerate of their neighbours and generally like to mind their own business. But there are always a very few (including women) who are exceptions to the rule and end up making nuisances of themselves. They are the proverbial rotten apples of the barrel.

It is not difficult to think of the ways we generally handle such malcontents in other contexts, and invariably it comes down to a few simple rules that are enforced – along with the wisdom to know that trying to produce a community totally free of all bad influences causes more grief than happiness.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3
Dudeist Priest Applicant July 20, 2012 at 15:05

@ piercedhead

This reminds me of the recent trope “alpha thug losers get all the chicks.” Mathematically impossible. The vast vast minority of men are thugs.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
The Whammer July 20, 2012 at 16:53

Will July 20, 2012 at 07:12

I think its a good idea to have more than one moderator to ease the burden on yourself.

That’s not a good idea. Since this is Price’s blog and more or less promotes his ideas and opinions about things then he should decide what is suitable and act accordingly in banning comments.
If you permit a number of moderators then you’ll have a situation where they’ll just ban any comment or person that they dislike for some silly reason just as they now downvote that person.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
tom47 July 20, 2012 at 17:20

Maybe you should just limit all comments to a few hours per post, maybe 2 hours AM and 2 Hours PM, and keep the comments off for the rest of the time. That makes it easier to monitor and puts people on notice they should make good use of the time available. I agree that the comments are an important part of the site and drive site visits. It’s also important that the “general public” sees what we think.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4
Charles Martel July 20, 2012 at 17:37

This is good. English feminist spinster gets a smackdown as she discovers Muslim trumps female in the UK victim hierarchy.

“This is what feminism’s about – women helping women…….We live in a society in Britain where rights are equal – if you need help you can ask for it.”

……aaaaand…….charged with a hate crime.

Some good analysis here.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
zed July 20, 2012 at 17:40

@Lyn87

All the things that you and others have mentioned are possible, just not easily and quickly possible. And, not all of them are possible together. Implementing any of them takes some forethought, planning, time and effort, and often a little bit of money.

In the early days of the site, Bill did have it integrated with a forum – to the extent that the comments actually showed up in the forum and some of the user controls could be applied. But, it took a fairly serious hack to the WordPress software, and when he upgraded one of his plug-ins it broke the hack. If user controls are not built in to the base software, grafting them on usually ends up with a real kludgey mess that is very fragile. WordPress is at its heart blog software – it’s easy to set up right out of the box, and is built for the blog owner as the primary (and only significant) user.

Going to something more robust is not only a lot of work, but also involves some philosophical decisions on Bill’s part. How much is is willing to allow others to become stakeholders in the Spearhead? What kind of audience is he wanting to attract? If a guy like me gets so sick of certain kinds of comments that he sees over and over that he leaves, but 10 more people like the comments so his net gain in traffic is 90%, he would be a lot better allowing them to go on if his goal is traffic.

That goes back to what I said about whether this is a developing community, or Bill’s On-line Magazine. Lots of guys who show up will try to claim it as their community, and want to start dictating how it should be run, but they are going to be disappointed if Bill doesn’t buy into that.

There are only 2 ways to set standards for an interactive website – by consensus, or fiat. It’s far easier for the website owner to simply take the autocratic approach, say “this is the way it is going to be”, and give anyone who objects the bum’s rush out the door. Like-minded people will stick around, and everything will be groovy. From what I know of Bill, he is less comfortable with that approach than soliciting the input of his regular visitors and taking that into account in his policies.

The problem then becomes how he reconciles different preferences which are diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive. If someone wants to turn the Spearhead into a White Nationalist site, for example, and someone else says “well, if you let that happen I will leave and never come back” he has to figure out which person (or group of people) will be a greater loss. Assuming that the issue is not one which he is completely opposed to, consensus of his readers is one way to pick what choice will be best for him.

Which, leads us back to the question of community. If there are understood community standards, then anyone who buys into them should be willing to step up and help enforce them and not dump the responsibility completely on Bill to be the enforcer.

Personally, I think the current up/down voting system is about as good a solution as there is. If someone pisses off enough people, they can just downvote the post into invisibility. Then, when that person tries some social-engineering and makes a big deal about being downvoted, that post can be downvoted as well. Toll invasions can manipulate that system, but such things are often transitory and unless a sustained attack is made only a few questionable posts get by.

The bigger threat is someone who is continually pushing the envelope to the point where they post some really inflammatory poop, and then complain to the hosting company about violation of Terms of Service and get the plug pulled on the entire site.

That alone is enough reason for everyone to be aware of having their buttons hit and resist the temptation to get drawn into flame wars.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
orecret July 20, 2012 at 17:51

Time for General Price to enlist some lieutenants. The army of The Spearhead has grown too large, you need men in the field that can handle the smaller skirmishes while you handle the larger strategy decisions.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3
Eric July 20, 2012 at 18:18

Whammer:
On the bright side, though, the same priest can officiate both the wedding and the hanging.

I read about this in the Peruvian media awhile ago. The bulk of Vandersloot’s groupies are, of course, from the Anglosphere—the US in particular. It did have the positive side-effect of helping Peruvian women understand why so many American men go there looking for women.

Given Futrelle’s recent attacks on Eivand Berge, I wonder how he would spin this story? Oh, that’s right: Berge is a MRA and Vandersloot is, well…he’s not.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
zed July 20, 2012 at 18:46

I meant “Troll invasions”, not “Toll invasions.”

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Rocco July 20, 2012 at 21:12

While I’m more of a fan of completely open dialogue, discussion and self policing.

I think encouraging us to call out the few bad apples would take care of most of the problem.

However, the MRM is getting bigger and we are hated. So, more discretion is good as the movement gets its set of big boy pants.

We are all sullied by association with haters.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
piercedhead July 20, 2012 at 21:13

“This is good. English feminist spinster gets a smackdown as she discovers Muslim trumps female in the UK victim hierarchy.”-Charles Martel

That’s the most beautiful story I’ve read this week.

Filthy feminist starts interfering in another couple’s business while shopping, making unwelcome claims about what feminism is and how a Muslim husband might be ‘oppressing his wife’, and gets put through the wringer that she very probably enthusiastically saw being erected these past 20 years.

Reading her story is a lesson in the improbable. Nothing she says about her motives has a ring of truth to it – it comes across as manufactured to make her sound good, only she’s not very good at it. It’s basically her lack of ability in dissimulation that got her in trouble.

A craftier feminist would have been able to make herself appear much more put upon while interfering in others affairs.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
Rocco July 20, 2012 at 21:44

OT

SAVE( http://www.saveservices.org/ ) is making an impact. They did a survey about male DV and found:

“full 11% of respondents reported that they themselves had been falsely accused of some type of intimate partner or child abuse; meaning that they had been fingered and to some extent or another sanctioned for behavior that they never engaged in. Once more, over eight in ten (81%) who said that they knew someone falsely accused answered that the falsely accused party were male and nearly seven in ten (69.9%) of those falsely accusing were female.”

antimisandry.com http://antimisandry.com/articles/s-v-e-releases-results-false-accusations-survey-138.html#ixzz21EFcRc8b

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Eric July 20, 2012 at 22:19

Zed:
These are all good points, but the main issue is that the trolls and ideologues seem to have time and resources on their side. For example, I agree about the ‘biker bar’ analogy, and I have no problem with it, but lately it’s felt like I’ve been making 5x as many comments than usual—probably 2/3 of them throwing various troublemakers ‘out of the bar’. It gets to wear down commenters, too.

An idea might be to retain the moderated comment policy, but enlist the aid of two or three experienced MRAs who can moderate along with Price. Some guys who’ve had experience running blogs and can identify troublemakers.

There’s no perfect solution, but that certain people want to hijack a site—like parasites sucking off what Welmer built—and they have to be controlled.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
Rob July 20, 2012 at 23:13

Getting “lieutenants” to moderate boards has probably killed more boards than anything else. Generally, the people who take on such jobs are not the sharpest tools in the shed, and they tend to toe the politically correct line after a while. Also, since they aren’t the best of commenters and generally have little real input to deliver, they tend to power-trip that they have achieved status in the MRM by becoming a moderator on a forum… and then tend to abuse that power. I have seen very, very, VERY few boards that have benefited from taking people from the ranks and promoting them into positions of authority. Usually, it is the first signal of decline.

It’s a tough road to plow. I don’t allow comments on my site anymore at all. It’s just too much of a pain in the ass.

As I recall, when MGTOW first started up, we all got our own blogs so that nobody could PC us into shutting up. A further benefit was that it filled the internet with MRM material.

Lots of guys here are regular commenters who basically say the same thing in different words, several times over, over several years. It wouldn’t hurt those people as well, to start up a FREE blog, write down their ideas in a well thought out article, regardless of whether they get loads of hits or not, and then use those saved articles to link to in their debates when at larger sites like the Spearhead. It is a two-fold advantage – you don’t have to re-write your same idea 1,000 times over the years, and it goes on the web and gets googled far more often than you might think, and thus, brings more awareness to the MRM.

It is a pretty simple form of activism, really. It benefits both you and the newbies searching online for answers.

Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
Rmaxd July 21, 2012 at 06:00

@Martel

Actually the real story is, the feminist woman, assaulted a 6 month old pregnant woman, AFTER refusing her help, she shoved a 6 month old muslim pregnant woman to the GROUND & called her husband a terrorist …

Which is WHY the muslim couple pressed charges in the first place

The media as usual is basically a cover up of what really happened

“A portrait photographer of the stars pushed a pregnant Muslim woman to the ground and called her a terrorist in a confrontation, the court heard.

The 41-year-old, who has 11 portraits hanging in the National Portrait Gallery exhibitions including London Mayor Boris Johnson, and Jeremy Paxman, denies the racially aggravated assault.

She told a jury at Isleworth Crown Court that the problems began in the Tesco store in Kensington, west London, when she offered to help the woman, Mounia Hamoumi, and her husband unload their shopping purchases.
The court was told that she had heard that the husband refused to help his wife because he was too busy taking care of their children.

“I told her what that has to do with feminism, women helping women and she said “get lost”,” said Heathcote-Drury.
But the prosecutor Abdel Sayed Nermine said, ‘You object to that inequality do you not? Along with the woman wearing Islamic dress, you got in and instigated the incident.
“When your offer of help was rejected you became more confrontational and very soon lost control

and shouted at them.”

“Your tone was aggressive and you used the words “suicide bomber” and “terrorist” and said: “I am a British citizen. I do not know where you are from.”

“You went to the woman and pushed her.”
The mother of three Mrs. Hamoumi, was six months pregnant at the time of the incident that occurred last year.”

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zed July 21, 2012 at 06:09

@Eric

These are all good points, but

So, what are you trying to rebut here, Eric?

I’m not a big fan of Deborah Tannen, but her book “The Argument Culture” makes some really good points. She points out that culturally we have defaulted to side of managing conflict, and as a culture we do not have any skills at managing agreement. I, personally, see this as a huge issue for the MRM because I have spent more than 40 years watching men argue each other to death over such weighty questions as “boxers or briefs” or “paper or plastic.”

One sentence from the description at Amazon sort of sums up the whole problem – “We approach anything we need to accomplish as a fight between two opposing sides. ”

I’m not disagreeing with anything that most people have said about the issue. All I’m trying to do is point out that all these “simple solutions” being offered are neither simple nor are they solutions.

Any post or comment that starts with “These are all good points, but” is rhetorically disingenuous, because it is nothing more than an introduction to explaining why they really aren’t “good points”, or at least not very important.

The biggest problem that afflicts all “men’s issues” sites is vagueness of purpose. Unless the site owner(s) is/are very clear on his/their own goals, people will get drawn in by a small overlap between their own personal agenda and what they see in the site. Eventually conflict arises when they try to hijack the site to become more like their own personal agenda. Minor differences start getting amplified as each side appears to have no other agenda than to rebut what the other side is saying.

Rob already pointed out some of the problems with appointing “lieutenants.” The biggest problem is that they don’t act like “”lieutenants” – they don’t follow the orders of the site owner. They end up making decisions based on their own personal agenda, which often conflicts with the agenda of the site owner. Put a half-dozen people “in charge” and the site loses all consistency because what decisions get made about controversial posts depends on who is on watch. Sooner or later the conflicts cycle back and the “lieutenants” end up at each other’s throats.

The only way I have ever seen this resolved is by creating a “steering committee” which operates behind closed doors while they thrash out and come to a consensus on what the “community values” are. Those get spelled out and become a roadmap for whatever enforcement is necessary – “A is ok, B is not.”

Agreement and buy-in are essential. One of the committee members may be fine with B, but not wholeheartedly in favor of it. The committee makes a “gentleman’s agreement” that even if an individual may be fine with something, the rest of the committee feels strongly that it should not be allowed to continue, so that member agrees to enforce it in exchange for other members enforcing his adamant opposition to C.

Now, when one person here goes head to head with a pig-headed, mouthy, punk one-on-one – it is hard head butting against hard head. The person with the hardest head always wins.

Going back to my biker bar analogy – it doesn’t mean that the biggest meanest dude always has to play volunteer bouncer, or that everyone can “suggest” bouncer-bots to Bill – but that when a punk shows up, he gets squashed into the ground by a couple of dozen thumbs on his head.

If everyone here would immediately vote down anything posted by some pig-headed asshole, then those posts would disappear very quickly.

It’s a way of letting the audience police themselves, and gets around the fact that things which might seriously annoy one member are interesting to another.

The mechanisms available to Bill to deal with this problem technically are very limited within WordPress. There are lots of good forum and social media software packages out there. The best cost a little money and there is quite a bit of work involved in getting them set up.

So, that cycles back around to the question of whether the site owner – Bill – sees the Spearhead as a community with the members having some right to have input on its operation, or simply as a vehicle for his writing.

Small businesses run into the same dilemmas when they grow – if they grow beyond what one person can handle, the owner has to stop doing what he most wants to do and start managing others to do the process.

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Charles Martel July 21, 2012 at 06:26

Eric
For example, I agree about the ‘biker bar’ analogy, and I have no problem with it, but lately it’s felt like I’ve been making 5x as many comments than usual—probably 2/3 of them throwing various troublemakers ‘out of the bar’. It gets to wear down commenters, too.

Have you seen Deep Blue Sea? It’s not a great movie but it contains a great scene. The corporate executive played by Samuel Jackson is the self-appointed leader of the group, asserting his leadership when this happens.

For me this scene is a life metaphor. We all need to remember that we’re probably not Maximus in Gladiator but more Russell Franklin in Deep Blue Sea.

So you see yourself as the bouncer in the biker bar. Impressive certainty. Consider that to some here, like most of us, you belong in the dumpster out back.

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Lyn87 July 21, 2012 at 07:47

Zed, Eric, Rob, et al., Good stuff. Since Zed schooled me up on some of the technical difficulties involved, I’d like to modify my suggestion based on what you guys said.

Bill is the boss, and he – and only he – has the right to ban someone. He has also given the “community” the ability to collapse a comment when the number of downvotes exceeds the number of upvotes by 15. The comment remains available if readers want to look at it. That’s where we are now: so far, so good.

The problem that has arisen is that “haters gonna’ hate” and trolls keep crawling out from under their bridges and making a mess. The problem for Bill is that the balancing act he has to perform between allowing a free exchange of idea and keeping the troublemakers at bay is a lot of work, and frustrating as well.

Any solution should involve reducing the trolling and flaming while:

1) Not infringing on Bill’s editorial control.
2) Keeping the free exchange of ideas.
3) Lessening Bill’s workload and frustration.

I think there is such a solution, and it’s a modified version of something I wrote a while ago. It is not a perfect solution, and there probably is no perfect solution, but this is simple and likely to be at least somewhat beneficial. (Zed, let me know if I’m full of crap on the technical side.)

The only way for this to be less onerous for Bill is for it to be more work for someone else. But that doesn’t mean it has to be hard. Several guys are experienced bloggers and understand Bill’s vision for the site. If those guys – and only those guys – had the ability to flag comments for review, they could make the most egregious posts disappear from view until Bill looked at them and made a decision. Nobody would be saddled with anything he’s not already doing anyway: reading the posts and voting on them. The only difference is that the “flaggers” would have three buttons: upvote, downvote, and “Flag for Review.”

If one of the “flaggers” flags a comment it goes into limbo until Bill decides whether to remove it, post it, or post with his comment/rebuttal. (Since he has that capability already that would not involve new software.) He does all this anyway, but this would reduce a major source of frustration for him (personally dealing with a bunch of flaming and trolling that is already visible on the site), while he – and only he – retains final editorial control.

The linchpin is that Bill might well have to remove more of those posts so trolls and flamers get the picture that their crap will not stay up for all eternity.

I think that would go a long way toward reducing Bill’s frustration, and reducing the amount of dross in the long run as flamers and trolls realized that they no longer had the unrestricted ability to derail the threads. The only technical change required would be to give “flag” authority (not “ban” authority) to a small group of guys whose judgment Bill trusts.

Lest anyone think I’m trying to wrest control here: I have technical reasons that would prevent me from being one of the flaggers. I would have no objection to doing it (I’m on the site most days anyway), but it would be 1) unseemly, and 2) technically problematic, for me to do it.

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Migu July 21, 2012 at 08:11

What’s wrong? Are supporters threatening to pull funding?

Let em go, you just get rid of a wannabe puppet master. Giving is giving, it’s not like you solicited a sale. You solicited donations, and what you do with them is your business. Now, if you want to sell stuff, that is a different story. Then your customers are the puppet masters, you serve them. As it sits now, you serve yourself and anyone who accepts your services.

Your obligation for accepting a gift is nothing. My, or anyone else’s expectations regarding a gift is nothing. A gift is a gift, you don’t donate to the food bank and expect to own a restaurant. You donate because you want to give. Anything else is a trade. End of story.

That’s how gifts work, otherwise you’re selling something.

As far as the commenting. Well, the only thing I see is a bit of provocation. I scroll until I see the following names.

Rob
Eric
Keyster
Piercedhead
Zed
Charles Martel
Anonymous @70
Walking hell
Lyn87
Rocco……and a few others

I’ll generally scroll back to see who they are talking to as well.

Oh and I always click on the hidden posts. They always get read by me initially.

For what it’s worth, that is what I think.

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zed July 21, 2012 at 08:41

So you see yourself as the bouncer in the biker bar. Impressive certainty. Consider that to some here, like most of us, you belong in the dumpster out back.

[chuckle] Glad to see that someone got my point. You are a very perceptive dude, CM. All of us, myself included, are on someone’s “better off in the dumpster” list.

I’m going to piggy-back on your analogy, and take it back to the biker bar.

Around where I live, “biker” trumps race as long as everyone abides by the unspoken agreement to leave race out of it. A white biker can go into a predominantly black biker bar, or vice versa, and as long as they stick to bikes, things stay cool.

However, imagine a scenario where a bunch of skinhead punks goes into a bar, and the baddest-ass black dude stands up and announces
“I’ll take care of this, because all white bikers have short dicks!”

Now, we are headed for a full dumpster.

And, Mr. Tough-Guy-Black-Dude suddenly realizes that the 2 dozen guys who were ready to back him up before he opened his fat mouth have suddenly evaporated, because he threw down a dividing line that they were on the other side of.

If you want to convince a man of something, it always works better to not start the conversation by spitting in his face. I have often remarked that it is truly sad that the only men who understand politics have banded together on the other side and are busily finding ways to cooperate in stripping the rest of men of our freedoms and wealth.

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W.F. Price July 21, 2012 at 08:50

What’s wrong? Are supporters threatening to pull funding?

-Migu

That happens from time to time, but not in this case.

What’s happening, as far as I can tell, is that the political climate is getting unstable, and there are a lot of angry people out there, sometimes pushing one agenda or another. This site isn’t the only one that’s had problems along those lines recently. I suspect In Mala Fide ultimately fell victim to it, and Ferdinand shut down his site because he felt that it had drifted away from him. There are a couple others I know of, but don’t really want to get into it publicly.

My issue with it is that when you’ve got competing political factions, they always try to use whatever is expedient, and I do have a lot of readers. Basically, people with an agenda are using the site as a sort of free recruitment/propaganda medium, and that is not only disrespectful, but diminishes my own standing as an independent writer, and I think that’s what I offer that has value. So, essentially, it chips away at the value of the site and my own writing, and I simply can’t afford to tolerate that.

W.F. Price July 21, 2012 at 09:11

Getting “lieutenants” to moderate boards has probably killed more boards than anything else.

-Rob

Yeah, the problem is that I’m working for readers, but moderators would be working for me. There’s a conflict in there, and I’m not sure how (or whether) it can be resolved.

zed July 21, 2012 at 09:47

(Zed, let me know if I’m full of crap on the technical side.)

Oh, you know you can count on me, Lyn87. ;)

Not totally full of crap, but those Huggees have been peed in a few times.

What you are proposing is fine, but it reads a bit like the recipe for elephant stew that starts out – “First, get one elephant. Then, slice 100 lbs of carrots and 100 lbs of onions.”

I’ll take care of the carrots and onions, if you bring the elephant. ;)

Or, maybe a better analogy is that is a fine plan for a massive stone fireplace on the 4th floor of a wood-frame house, but the problem is we don’t have any foundation to support it.

Not to get too deep into the technical details, when someone uses a phrase like “flagging a post”, they need to understand where and how that “flag” is getting stored. The short answer is “in the database”, and the long answer is that software must be written to accomplish every operation you described, and it must be tested to make sure it does not interfere with any other aspect of the site.

If we really want that massive stone fireplace on the 4th floor, and don’t want to get surprised some day when we find it on the 3rd floor because the 4th floor has collapsed, we need to start a few feet below ground level with footings and a foundation.

What I’m saying here is that Bill can’t grab a “widget” out of the WordPress catalog and throw it at the problem and get it fixed. And, even though I have been programming since 1970, my specific skills in web programming are so rusty and rudimentary that I don’t think I could manage what you have described in less than 6-12 months. Certainly, there are people out there who could sit down and write the code like some people write a shopping list, but I am not one of them and neither is Bill.

My alternative suggestion, and it is one that I have been hinting toward this entire conversation, is that Bill think about the Spearhead like an underground newspaper that he started publishing in his spare bedroom on a mimeograph machine. It’s grown past the capacity of his infrastructure, and maybe he needs to think about a new facility and different architecture.

There are some super BBS/social media programs out there with the foundation for all the stuff being discussed already built-in. Many of them are free, but the one I like best – Invision Power Board – http://www.invisionpower.com/ costs a little bit. I’ve run 2 boards using it, and for the needs of a sysadmin, it gives us woodies.

Another great one is vBulletin – https://www.vbulletin.com/ The new MGTOW board (which is the 4th generation down from the original “dontgetmarried” board) runs on vBulletin.

Either of these involve spending about $200-300 and spending about a month setting it up. And, I mean a solid month doing not much else – not much writing, not much policing the comments. And, he is going to end up with a new facility which is larger than he can handle by himself.

I get the sense that the natives are getting restless, and there will need to be a few changes made to the structure of the Spearhead. My suggestions are based on what I have seen work well in the past.

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Lyn87 July 21, 2012 at 10:17

Thanks again Zed. The last time I did any programming was as an undergrad. We were still using punch-cards. I’ll leave the technical details to others – I am clearly out of my area of expertise here.

A man’s gotta’ know his limitations.

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Charles Martel July 21, 2012 at 10:35

zed
Glad to see that someone got my point. You are a very perceptive dude, CM. All of us, myself included, are on someone’s “better off in the dumpster” list.

Exactly.

This thread has been highly supportive of Bill’s efforts. Even so, many comments tell Bill what he should be doing.

time to appoint some trusted friend/s as…..
I think its a good idea to…..
I don’t know if what I’m going to suggest is possible, but…..
I highly suggest you give…..
You might choose to…..
Maybe you should just…..
etc.

I have a suggestion. Stop making suggestions. If you wish to be helpful, mail a check.

This idea that we can know what someone else should be doing is at the root of all our problems. What is government now but a monstrous and tyrannical vehicle for imposing someone else’s values onto our lives? The desire to resist this coercion is the litmus test of conservatism. A conservative believes that the life of every individual should be as free as possible from government intervention. A liberal is sure they know better than you what you should be doing and will spare no effort to make you do it. Worse, a liberal will compel you to subsidize other people’s dysfunctional behaviors.

“To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”…..Thomas Jefferson

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Rob July 21, 2012 at 10:58

In regard to a group of moderators, one thing I have always found about forums is that they operate as “mini-societies.” As such, it always seems that the best operating forums have a sort of constitution or some immutable “code” that everyone knows about which ought to be followed.

The problem with getting mods that add to a site rather than detract from it, is the same as good law enforcement in society as opposed to abusive law enforcement. Good law enforcement is often light-handed, while bad law enforcement is heavy handed and full of power trips. The point of law enforcement is to create a good community without alienating people, but too often the people who get into such positions feel they aren’t actually doing anything unless they exercise their power over others.

It is similar to a discussion I had the other day about the police enforcing drunk driving laws here in Canuckistan. We constantly have advertisements with the RCMP outright threatening people with the law, and they constantly support harsher and more draconian measures to “deal with the problem.” This is largely a bunch of bullshit. If the police were serious about reducing drunk driving, they would simply go to various pubs and bars at last call and sit in the parking lot with their lights flashing… they wouldn’t arrest one person, because everyone would either walk home or call a cab, rather than run the risk of being nailed by the cops. Do this on a regular basis for a year, and everyone will get the message with hardly any arrests being made… they will know that a good percentage of the time they go to the bar, there will be a cop car in the parking lot, so they will make other arrangements.

But rather than do something very simple like this (Like, if you are a cop, don’t tell me you don’t know where to find gobs of people breaking the law at 2:00am – I could find a drunk driver at 2:00am every night at any bar in town), what the cops tend to do is measure their success by how many people they arrest and whose lives they damage by doing so. They constantly say that their powers must be increased and punishments must be harsher… and they need more money to fight the problem. They don’t actually feel that they are doing something if they aren’t directly bringing punishment to offenders on a regular basis.

There is a distinct difference in law enforcement strategies between the two. The one promotes a safe society without heavy-handedness… and it leads to people co-operating with the police. The other doesn’t really lead to as much of a safe society, but only punishes people with draconian measures and leads to people resenting authority and thus, they don’t want to co-operate with the police.

The same thing goes on in internet forums. The best mods are the ones who have the power, but exercise wisdom in how that power is wielded. A good mod will try to end conflict before it starts without threatening to use his powers – the use of power is a last resort. Bad mods, that harm a site, are the ones who feel they aren’t doing anything unless they are flexing their power and exercising it on people on a regular basis. One has to distinguish what the goals are. Is it to have a productive commenting community? (Like with the police example – is the goal to keep drunks off the road, and can it be done without being heavy-handed), or is the goal to rigidly enforce the rules by being little tyrants who let anyone and everyone know exactly how powerful they are on a regular basis – in which case, rule enforcement takes precedence over being a productive community.

It is hard to find people who can exercise such wisdom. The best mods are the ones you hardly realize are mods, and only exercise their power sparingly in the most extreme of situations. Welmer himself is one of the best mods I have ever seen in the MRM. Pretty cool and level-headed, and doesn’t flaunt his power overtly, and uses it sparingly. It would be difficult to find a set of people who would be in keeping with that spirit. It’s not a task I would envy anyone for.

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Lyn87 July 21, 2012 at 11:25

I have a suggestion. Stop making suggestions. If you wish to be helpful, mail a check.

I don’t see why making a suggestion and mailing a check are mutually exclusive. I have done both today.

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Charles Martel July 21, 2012 at 12:38

I don’t see why making a suggestion and mailing a check are mutually exclusive. I have done both today.

Well, one is helpful, the other isn’t. Bill already knows how to make elephant stew.

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Uncle Elmer July 21, 2012 at 12:41

Charles Martel

Have you seen Deep Blue Sea? It’s not a great movie but it contains a great scene. The corporate executive played by Samuel Jackson is the self-appointed leader of the group, asserting his leadership when this happens.

For me this scene is a life metaphor.

————————————–

Arguably one of the greatest films of a generation, outdone only by Carnosaur, which featured a scarily-realistic plastic dinosaur and the exasperated “black sheriff” taunting the beast out of his lair : “Come on out here Dinah, I got somethin for yo ass!”

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/carnosaur

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Eric July 21, 2012 at 13:06

Zed:
When I was in the university, professors were on my back constantly for a habit I’ve never been able to break: falling back into colloquialisms when I write. It’s caused more than one misunderstanding.

‘I agree, but…’ means ‘I agree and would like to add’ Sorry about that.

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Eric July 21, 2012 at 13:27

Martel:
True, a lot of people DO think that me, you, and others belong the dumpster out back. My point was that: it seems I’ve spent more time here fighting off people who wanted to put me there than commenting on the actual topic. That’s why I like the moderated format a lot better already.

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Lyn87 July 22, 2012 at 07:17

Well, one is helpful, the other isn’t. Bill already knows how to make elephant stew.

Charles,

Although I usually agree with what you write, I will challenge your premise this time. One of the habitual complaints women have about men is that men offer them solutions when women tell us their problems.

It goes back to how men and women think and communicate differently. Generally women talk about their problems because talking about their problems makes them feel better. When men talk about our problems it is because we want suggestions on how to solve them.

I’m a man, so when I see a problem and think I have a possible solution I offer it up. Zed, who has much more expertise in this area than I do, pointed out that it wasn’t technically feasible. I didn’t argue with him – I immediately deferred to his expertise because it would be irrational not to. I’m not sure why you view any of that as problematic.

On other occasions Bill has expressed justifiable concern about what goes on in the comments sections. We all acknowledge (I think) that things can get out of hand and become unproductive. The Spearhead is in the vanguard of the MRM, and Bill is vigilant about what shows up on his site, as it reflects on the MRM in general and him in particular.

@ Bill, if I inadvertently overstepped: my apologies.

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zed July 22, 2012 at 08:12

The Spearhead is in the vanguard of the MRM, and Bill is vigilant about what shows up on his site, as it reflects on the MRM in general and him in particular.

@ Bill, if I inadvertently overstepped: my apologies.

Adroitly handled, Lyn87. You are my current poster-boy for how to turn a misunderstanding-on-the-way-to-becoming-an-argument into “a discussion.”

That said, I disagree with your statement above. Bill has repeatedly said that the Spearhead is not an MRM site. My perception is that he regards it as mostly a showcase for his own writing – much of which reflects his own life and his experiences which are common to a lot of contemporary men.

In a comment above, he says –

Basically, people with an agenda are using the site as a sort of free recruitment/propaganda medium, and that is not only disrespectful, but diminishes my own standing as an independent writer, and I think that’s what I offer that has value. So, essentially, it chips away at the value of the site and my own writing, and I simply can’t afford to tolerate that.

Notice that the concern he expresses is for his own writing, not the MRM.

I perceive a multi-side tug-of-war going on with lots of people trying to claim the Spearhead for their personal agenda, none of which line up with the owner’s agenda. I think the MRM is just one of those sides.

It’s also difficult to consider anything being on the vanguard of what has turned into a trench war. There are a lot of other sites which I perceive as mounting a much more sustained and focused attack on some enemy strongholds. And, the direct fighting going on on many of them is far more intense than here. I see the Spearhead as having evolved into a sort of “Stars and Stripes” magazine which covers much of the entire theater of the gender war.

More specialized sites, like Dalrock’s site and his associated “Christian but anti-churchian” circle of sites, are going against one specific sub-set of anti-male influences. I don’t know how much progress they are making, but they are sure hitting the fools hard exactly where the fools need to be hit.

It wasn’t that you overstepped, but certain gaps in your knowledge and background made your suggestions pretty useless.

There is one thing I left out of my recipe for elephant stew – we need a really, Really, REALLY big pot. Here we are with all these sliced vegetables and chunks of cut-up elephant, and nothing to cook it in.

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Charles Martel July 22, 2012 at 08:19

Lyn87
When men talk about our problems it is because we want suggestions on how to solve them.

No worries, Lyn87. I’m just projecting my own biases. I have no idea what Bill thinks. But I’ve spent my career solving problems of one sort or another and it’s amazing how people will stand around telling you what to do while secretly hoping you will fail.

A psychologist once said to me, “you’re pathologically independent.” “Thank you,” I replied. “No, no, it’s not a compliment,” he said.

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zed July 22, 2012 at 09:36
When men talk about our problems it is because we want suggestions on how to solve them.

No worries, Lyn87. I’m just projecting my own biases.

And, in my case, there are some long-standing annoyances at work along with the biases.

Suggestions are only helpful if they come from both –
a) a position of competence, and
b) show a certain respect for the person the suggestion is being made to. (and yes, English teachers, I know that completely proper form is “the person to which the suggestion is being made.” That just sounds too stultified for ordinary conversations today.)

Entering the conversation with suggestions which are quite elementary – given the nature of the issue – shows –
a) a probable lack of any useful skills or ability to give useful input, and
b) a very subtle disrespect for the skills of the person to which the suggestion is being made (English teachers – nyahhh! ;) )

If I tell someone my car won’t start, a “suggestion” at the level of “Well, did you try putting the key in the ignition and turning it?” is going to piss me off. “Of course, I did, you idiot!! That is HOW I found out that it would not start. Do you really think I am stupid enough to decide the car would not start without trying the obvious?”

Compare this to –
“Well, what happened? Did it turn over? Is the battery dead? Did it turn over but just not start?” That gets us started down the road toward cooperating on solving the problem, and spares me the patience-taxing exercise of explaining why those suggestions are – in fact – stupid, and trying to be tactful about it.

If someone knows WordPress inside and out, and knows of a plug-in that does exactly what they are are suggesting, it is a lot more helpful than “Why don’t YOU just….?”

Contributions of just about anyone who is willing to shovel the gravel are always more welcome that instructions on how it needs to be shoveled.

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Charles Martel July 22, 2012 at 10:11

Contributions of just about anyone who is willing to shovel the gravel are always more welcome that instructions on how it needs to be shoveled.

I was on a beach in the British Virgin Islands some years ago when a woman had some kind of medical problem in the water and drowned. I saw the commotion and ran over to see what was going on. There were two women – one a doctor, one an ER nurse as I later found out – doing chest compressions but not ventilating her. “She’s going to die if you do that,” I said. They both responded that as she was bleeding from the mouth they were unwilling to give her EAR. I thought about this for a moment, weighed the probability that she was HIV-positive or had hepatitis, then dropped and gave her mouth-to-mouth for half an hour, periodically spitting her blood from my mouth. Honestly, I was was unwilling to just let her die.

As I did this, for thirty farking minutes, several people watching told me how I should be doing it. Under the circumstances I dispensed with social niceties, lifted my head and told each of them to f@ck off.

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Tom936 July 22, 2012 at 10:36

It is true that there have been a lot of suggestions in the nature of “Simply put an elephant here (You supply the elephant)”

So I figured the best way I could contribute was to look up what’s available for WordPress moderation, filtering for those that seem relevant to the problem as I understand it. Hopefully one or more of these can reduce the battling, work with everything you have, and not require serious time and effort.

Apologies if you are already aware of these. All are at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tags/moderation

WP-Blacklister
Plugin tool for assembling lists of IP addresses, emails, and URLs from spam comments.
Version 1.2.1Updated 2012-7-2Downloads 739Average Rating5 stars

Comment Probation
Comment Probation allows you to require moderation for a future comment by a comment author, rather than having the comment be automatically approved.
Version 0.1Updated 2012-5-31Downloads 82Average Rating5 stars

My Comments Manager
Comments Manager for multi-author blogs, where each author can manage comments posted on his/her articles.
Version 1.3Updated 2012-3-21Downloads 1,578Average Rating4 stars

BuddyPress Moderation
Adds links/buttons to flag inappropriate content and gives a convenient way to moderators to view reports and take actions.
Version 0.1.6Updated 2011-9-28Downloads 13,052Average Rating4 stars

(I don’t know WordPress well enough to guess whether BuddyPress is something extra you’d need, so I include this with a note)

Better Moderation
Provides more control over comment moderation
Version 1.4Updated 2011-6-6Downloads 267Average Rating4 stars

JuLiA Beta
JuLiA is an automated comment moderation system. Uses natural language processing to parse for the semantics of abusiveness. **ENGLISH ONLY**
Version 0.9Updated 2009-3-11Downloads 799Average Rating5 stars

(Here I really don’t know. Does this actually work? And not flag Antifeminist comments as “abusive” due to mainstream bias? Again, uncertain so I play safe and include it)

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Lyn87 July 22, 2012 at 11:48

Adroitly handled, Lyn87. You are my current poster-boy for how to turn a misunderstanding-on-the-way-to-becoming-an-argument into “a discussion.”

That said, I disagree with your statement above. Bill has repeatedly said that the Spearhead is not an MRM site. My perception is that he regards it as mostly a showcase for his own writing – much of which reflects his own life and his experiences which are common to a lot of contemporary men.

Thank you, Sir. My experience is that cooperation is generally superior to vitriol. Debate is preferable to argumentation (before anyone snipes: yes, I know the classical definitions of debate and argumentation: I mean them in their commonly-understood meanings). I only pull out the snot-cannon in response to people who become irrational and belligerent. Charles is neither. He and I have been on this site long enough to have exchanged ideas before. He’s a smart guy, and a fair guy, and if we disagree we can do so without getting into a pissing contest that could hinder future discussions. It’s not worth it to either of us. I have gone balls-out with people in various fora, but I’m not going to go hammer-and-tongs with Charles for having a perfectly defensible opinion I happen to see in a different way.

And point taken about Bill’s position: however, this site (especially the articles) is so far above most everything else on the ‘net with regard to the MRM that the mantle of leadership is there anyway. I think Bill would agree that the site he created to showcase his writing and situation has assumed a place in the vanguard of the MRM, whether that was his intention or not. I do not envy him.

A psychologist once said to me, “you’re pathologically independent.” “Thank you,” I replied. “No, no, it’s not a compliment,” he said.

That’s terrific, Charles. I’m going to use it.

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zed July 22, 2012 at 14:29

point taken about Bill’s position: however, this site (especially the articles) is so far above most everything else on the ‘net with regard to the MRM that the mantle of leadership is there anyway.

OK. I am in no position to be able to judge what kind of footprint the Spearhead is leaving on the gender-political landscape. When I turn off my computer, any and all evidence of anything which even might be called an MRM disappears.

I’ve spoken with Bill privately quite a bit, and I have gotten the impression that he really didn’t seek or want that mantle, and isn’t quite sure what to do with it now that it has been thrust upon him. The duties of office of “savior of the modern man” would weigh heavily upon him.

I remember about 10 years ago at mensnewsdaily.com, run by Mike LaSalle, a bunch of MRA-types showed up and basically took the position “Well, this is an MRM site, and X is what the MRM should be doing, so X is what you should be doing.” It was a cross between a hijack and attempting to order Mike around like their bitch. Mike pushed back and within a couple of years the site began to atrophy and die. I don’t even know if it is around any more.

The bind I see for Bill is this – he wants the site to get a lot of traffic, and comments drive traffic. But, if the comments get too far out of hand, he starts to lose traffic because people do not want spend their time reading proselytizing or flame wars.

Policing the comments takes a lot of time – and takes that time away from writing or spending time with his family. Plus, it is often downright discouraging to have to weed out a lot of crazy thinking from the decent comments.

But, the power-trips that Rob mentioned are very real, and can be a real issue. Plus, since Bill can’t pay anyone, moderators have a tendency to get busy with other things and drop the ball – in which case, he is back to having to do it himself. So, he needs to find people who are reliable, dependable, true to their word, will follow his directions, and will work for free.

And, all those issues have to be threshed out before getting down to the mechanics of how moderation gets accomplished.

The one thing I am absolutely certain of – is that if things just keep going on the way they have been, that Bill will burn out, and the Spearhead will end up going the way of hundreds of other MRM sites – which is to either get shut down suddenly, or just fade away into marginal relevance.

I would hate to see that, and am doing what I can to head that off – but, I did everything I could to head off the gender war, and we all know how that has turned out.

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Hermitcrab July 23, 2012 at 08:35

[This thread's commentary has largely been dominated by names who are regulars on the site, so maybe there is room for a rarely heard-from lurker's view (which might be fairly emblematic of the Spearhead's typical reader).]

The articles on this site tend to be a cut above the rest. Most websites and blogs tend to eventually venture into the territory of annoying blowhards trumpeting their own pet grievances. I’ve been a Spearhead reader for some two years now: I have trouble thinking of even one post where our host would have succumbed to that (the featured guest are a different matter).

I keep returning to the Spearhead for the articles: the comments often make me contemplate either abandoning the site or just abandoning every post’s comment track.

If there were a vote on the topic, I’d cast mine for tightening the screws on how many comments go into moderation. Too many comments on too many threads just try to derail the whole discussion into areas the actual posts didn’t even touch on. Let the articles stand on their own, even if they no longer accumulate 200+ replies (too many of which have been supplied by too few readers dueling back and forth).

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orecret July 25, 2012 at 15:57

I like the way things are going thus far during the “comment vacation” and would like to see you keep it up.

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