SuperTopo is not a Place for Political Discussions


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Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 16, 2019 - 06:15pm PT
It helps to hear from someone who actually knows something.
ron gomez

Trad climber
Apr 16, 2019 - 06:17pm PT
Thank you! Hope this clears some questions and is straight forth.

Trad climber
Ontario, Canada
Apr 16, 2019 - 06:20pm PT
Thank you RJ
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Apr 16, 2019 - 06:36pm PT
rj, thanks a lot for the clarification.

Question: Does it matter to you or Chris if someone, like myself, continues to post - in moderation of course - to the science v religion thread or the mind thread? I ask because, though they are not exactly political, these subjects do occasionally intersect.

What matters to you and Chris is, of course, what ultimately counts.

The conundrum at base, as I see it, is that politics like religion and science and other fundamentals relate strongly to culture and people and environment - and most if not all climbers certainly care a lot about culture and people and environment.

Something I've considered: I predict in one, two or five decades from now, if ST persists, it's likely to be the favorite go-to site for all retired climbers (lol) of Old Climber Homes (lol) across America and beyond. That might really be worth something someday, who knows.

Thanks for putting up and maintaining this resource. It certainly is one-of-a-kind. Though I do visit Mt Project I visit here 10 times more. Kudos.

P.S. I for one get the fact you guys are likely very busy with other projects and it might be some time before you get back here. But when you do, I'd love an answer, even if it's a month down the line.

Happy climbing.

P.P.S. I've just learned that brother-man, Dingus Milktoast, has been nuked. This is very sad. Sad. I don't know the story, of course, in fact not at all; but if there's any way to restore his content and get him, his old bones, his climber savvy and, last but not least, his general life savvy back online here, that would be far and away the best. The place simply wouldn't be the same without him.
the Fet

Apr 16, 2019 - 07:11pm PT
This was one of the first climbers forums on the Internet. I always suspected it was partly provided as a service for people to converse and share but also to drive traffic. Chrisís regular email update about the best of the forum shows it is still promoted. I doubt the traffic the forum generates much revenue. Ads donít pay much and the demographic isnít the type of people who buy lots of SuperTopos.

This is the first Iíve heard no politics are welcome. It has been asked to limit it but I donít remember it being banned.

About 10% of the forum was political threads and about 10% of my posts are on political threads. I donít post on political threads anywhere else. I post on political threads here because I have been here for close to two decades and I feel I know many of the posters here either in real life or just online and I like to hear their takes on the latest political news. Itís usially the newer totally anonymous posters (well maybe they were here but banned) or the banned posters who made really negative posts.

But Iíve never figured out why people donít ignore them. Or easier just ignore the political threads.

I understand not wanting to use any time or resources to moderate this forum. But this seems like a poor way to do it. Iíve suggested an ignore member button where you click it and never see that members posts again. Then thereís no excuse to complain to the moderators.

Copy righted images are another story. Itís a legal issue and I see why theyíd want to enforce it, especially if there was a complaint.

If Dingus is gone thatís a big hit to the forum.

Trad climber
Cascade Mountains and Monterey Bay
Apr 16, 2019 - 07:18pm PT
It is a great compliment to CMac and SuperTopo to have wandered into the significant target zone of the controllers and censors. Politics is among the least of the challenges to the approved narrative, although among the major mental distractions and poorly understood by most on this forum. The much bigger and more heavily surpressed issues have major implications for climbing abilities, that is to say the cosmological implications of quantum physics and the holographic universe models of reality. Once climbers tune into this, expect dramatic advancements in climbing abilities and never mind the politicians

The Wastelands
Apr 16, 2019 - 07:26pm PT
While it is clear that many people like to discuss politics with a community of fellow climbers, it is also clear that political discussions have brought out the beast -- the worst in climber-to-climber behavior -- and result in substantial degradation of the Forum overall, and a significant burden of moderation costs. It is not what the site was ever about, and it is perfectly reasonable for Chris to ask folks to take those discussions elsewhere.

RJ Spurrier

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 16, 2019 - 07:26pm PT
I can't speak for Chris, but I can tell you that I am unaware of any complaints or moderation issues related to the What is Mind or the Science vs. Religion threads (and I probably would have heard about it if there were complaints regarding those threads). I'm confident that when Chris refers to political threads, he's talking about topics related to political issues of the day, mostly relating to Trump, current political policy issues, or prominent political figures. It is those kinds of discussions that tend to devolve into tribal mudslinging, personal insults, abusive comments, and require moderation. The combination of the cost in time to moderate those kinds of topics, and the lack of any connection to the core mission intended for the SuperTopo Forum, is what makes those kinds of thread topics highly undesirable. Topics like What is Mind or Science vs. Religion are really quite a different kettle of fish.

Similarly, some folks have asked about climbing related topics that have a political element, such as access issues, climate change, and policy related to national parks, etc. I believe those kinds of topics fit well with the mission of the Climber's Forum. Except for Climate Change, those kinds of topics do not have a history of requiring moderation due to inappropriate posts or personal attacks.

Lastly, regarding DMT, you should know that he was not nuked. Dingus Milktoast has been a long time and deeply respected contributor to the site. He asked to have his posts removed in a brief but very kind email to Chris. In his request to remove his posts he said:
Its been a wonderful run and I've no regrets nor criticisms. Thank you for the opportunity to post to and read your wonderful forum. Its time for me to move on. Cheers and see you at the crags.

Dingus Milktoast's contributions were appreciated by Chris and millions of people who have visited the SuperTopo Climber's forum. But, his request to remove his posts was respected. On behalf of all of us, I'd like to thank Dingus, ask you all to join Chris in respecting DMT's personal choice. It will be a pleasure to see him at the crags.


ron gomez

Trad climber
Apr 16, 2019 - 07:26pm PT ya doing buddy? Hope yer good.

Social climber
Southern Arizona
Apr 16, 2019 - 07:33pm PT
Whoa. That was a great post. Thank you, Mr. Webmaster.

For people of this era, transparency matters a great deal. Just to hear that you've heard matters immensely. More, please.

If I were to understand that it matters, I would show up here no more. In some senses, it would be a pleasure. (But that, you see, is part of the attraction to this place.)
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Apr 16, 2019 - 07:45pm PT
rj, thank you.

"On behalf of all of us, I'd like to thank Dingus..." -rj

For sure. Philosophizing here at ST won't be the same without him.


Dingus, we won't ever cross paths at a crag*** without me introducing myself. Take care and happy climbing.

*** These odds increase in the Lake Tahoe, Alpine County or High Sierra venues. Kiss LS for me. See ya brother-man. Watch out for mountain lions and loose talus, too.

Sport climber
Sands Motel , Las Vegas
Apr 16, 2019 - 07:47pm PT
Tad...The cavity search offer still holds...rj

Social climber
The internet
Apr 16, 2019 - 07:53pm PT
DMT will be back soon enough. I donít see him surviving cold turkey.

Rock Jox and Locker appear well on their way to getting thrown off

Wide Fetish looks pretty juvenile.

Somewhere thereís always been a forum.

The picture thing is a loss - but a few forum rats - the 10% that create 90% of the posts - I donít see that shock and awe lasting for more than a week - then back to same-old.
Off White

Tenino, WA
Apr 16, 2019 - 08:00pm PT
Nice to hear from an authority, moderation here has always struck me as mysterious and unresponsive, it's remarkable to have clear communication from RJ including answering questions. Well done.

RJ, could you shed any light on the disabling of embedded images? Having to click on links seriously degrades the climbing content here. It would also be nice to have a detailed set of guidelines regarding uploaded images. There is a lot of gray area around Fair Use, and people's image collections which may include pictures of them, not necessarily taken by them.
Delhi Dog

Good Question...
Apr 16, 2019 - 08:02pm PT
Whoa. That was a great post. Thank you, Mr. Webmaster.


Social climber
The internet
Apr 16, 2019 - 08:22pm PT
disastrously muddy guideline
Since the post was deleted, quoting the link.

No kidding.

So now we know the BS you were fed that lead to all this?

IMO - grow a spine, guys.

ST seems big enough to not get bullied, too small and no money to actually get sued - for real sued like a court date scheduled, not just some stupid threat letter - most guys I work with frame those - the good ones.

I definitely disagree with you that there is a real threat to this site or ST LLC by storing the images Iíve seen here. Thereís just no way that would ever go anywhere. This place isnít Napster.

You get a take-down notice like how often? Surgically hit it, done. Let them do all the work of identifying specifically the image and proving they own it. Otherwise they can go pound sand.

Apr 16, 2019 - 08:43pm PT
Gawd damn JLP's got a fuking spine.

Thanks man!

Instead of all these spineless yes men here ....

Ice climber
Apr 16, 2019 - 08:53pm PT
Forrestís decision rested on two blockbuster tech industry lawsuits. One was the 2007 case Perfect 10 vs. Amazon, where a court ruled that Google search could show full-sized copyrighted images, as long as it was simply hotlinking them from other sites. This established something called the ďserver test,Ē which protects sites that display copyrighted content stored on someone elseís server. The EFF calls the server test ďa foundation of the modern internet.Ē It provides clear guidelines for liability and means sites canít be punished for content thatís beyond their control ó if, for example, a host changes an embedded link to display a different image.

I made it through about half of 2400 images. Deleted a bunch.
Came back and Shazam
All gone

No big deal
Not much that I will miss

Certainly miss my dog more!


Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Apr 16, 2019 - 08:58pm PT
All in all, I'd like to thank Chris for having the courage to make some decisions which are not popular with everyone. Some of the photo threads have been outstanding, and I am glad people are not quibbling about them.

At first, it pained me to see a thread censored which was started by John Gill, as he is always gracious, courteous, respectful, kind and supportive (besides being one of the greatest climbing legends who post here). Still, I can see the wisdom of not having political threads, you can always comment on FOX and get a much larger audience.
RJ Spurrier

SuperTopo staff member
Apr 16, 2019 - 09:04pm PT
it pained me to see a thread censored which was started by John Gill, as he is always gracious, courteous, respectful, kind and supportive

No thread started by John Gill was censored that I am aware of.

However, John had two sign-ons, and he requested that the older one be deleted. Perhaps the thread you are referring to was part of that older sign-on that John requested we remove.

When people request that we remove content, we respect those requests.

However, if he started a political thread, that could have been either locked or deleted without regard to who started it.

I respect your differing opinion but keep in mind that a roomful of thoughtful people may view the same situation, and the same facts, and reasonably disagree. It is your right to have the opinion that ST lacks sufficient machismo. But, I hope you can find space in your heart to understand that other reasonable people might think otherwise. In any event, I don't think Chris is going to lose a lot of sleep over your opinion about his testicular fortitude. But, getting to the heart of the matter, 1) the Verge article linked to refers only to hotlinked/embedded content, which was what Off White asked about, and is not relevant to images stored on the ST server, which you seem to focus on in your post (I'm sure you understand that those are not the same when viewed through the lens of copyright law), and 2) it is easy to talk tough from the peanut gallery, but if someone slipped on your sidewalk and sued you personally, whether justified or not, that tough talk isn't going to count for much in court and it may not be wise to indulge your bold instincts to simply respond with a loud and proud STFU.


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