Inquiry to the webmaster


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Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 12, 2007 - 03:31pm PT
I really think a lot of good happens on SuperTopo, some sharing of ideas, some discussion, even interesting debate, and re-connecting of old friends... What I hate is how easily the idiots without a life enter in, to create their little show, to make their snide remarks, and who have little if anything to do with the world of climbing being discussed. What I hate is how quickly a good thread will degenerate into less than petty arguments between idiots, or between one or more idiots and some better person who unfortunately gets sucked in. Would it be possible to give power to the person who initiates the thread to delete any unimportant or mischievous or troll-esque or simply stupid entry that is made? The person starting the thread can watch over his or her own thread and keep it alive, perhaps, by deleting the garbage, by cleaning up, so to speak, now and then, or daily. Or would that simply make the idiots mad? And would they then flood the thread with ten times more garbage? Is there any way to "discharge" certain individuals for their trolling? I mean, ban them from the cite for repeated annoyance? I suppose this has all been thought of before, and would any such things work?
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jul 12, 2007 - 03:46pm PT
I hear where you are coming from Pat but perhaps that is a bit too much like censorship. I think that most of us just filter out the BS that is posted.

Social climber
Raleigh NC
Jul 12, 2007 - 03:49pm PT
Generally speaking the only way to control the level of nonsense in an online venue is to control who has access to said venue. A classic example would be alt.sysadmin.recovery on Usenet, which used (uses?) an undocumented technical riddle that has to be unraveled before a post is accepted by any given user. I empathize with your frustration, however this is the classic double-edged sword that comes with having a forum open to the public, all parties are able to post their uncensored opinions, unfortunately, all parties may not be qualified to have opinions on any given topic, and there is always that element that derives amusement from pissing other people off.

Be well.


Jul 12, 2007 - 03:49pm PT
Nice call Pat! I'd be tatally down wid it. Censorship? People can start their own threads for trash and we can ignore it if we chose.
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Jul 12, 2007 - 03:52pm PT
People have been banned by the admins, known as "whack a mole", I think Dingus deserves credit for that term.

I'd rather not have thread starters able to delete posts/threads, that's censorship. But it may be nice if each user had the capability to ignore posts from the users they select. known as killfile.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
Jul 12, 2007 - 03:53pm PT
Think for a moment about the implications of what you're proposing. The ability to censor out unwanted feedback is a deficit we find in mainstream media, even climbing media.

As a community, around a digital campfire, just as around a regular campfire, we tolerate some weird ones and off beat note. If they get too annoying, we drive em away. If they just like harrassing us, the management has shown they'll eject the worst cases.

The best advice for all of us (maybe I should take it more myself although I'd say Lois isn't 'exactly' a troll) is

Don't Feed the TRolls! React and post to what you're interested in and let the rest go



Sport climber
Buzzard Point, TN
Jul 12, 2007 - 03:57pm PT
The original poster can delete the thread...often considered bad form.

My advice, roll with it (can be a challenge).....if you really like something, bookmark or do the .tar Tar (save to disk)

No mods is best's the majik & the unguent

Gym climber
Jul 12, 2007 - 03:59pm PT
Oli, being the "editor" of your own threads is truly a hip idea. Kinda like being the editor of a wiki that you maintain.

Seeing good threads degenerate into name-calling nonsense is frustrating, for sure. I wonder how much 'censoreship' we'd see if we did have some control over our own threads. It'd be particularly interesting to see how the political threads would evolve.

right here, right now
Jul 12, 2007 - 04:20pm PT
Don't feed the Trolls is my MO.
Just like any unruly wildlife, you don't want to engage it really.
Water off a duck's back.

And when the field has gone truly fallow, yes, the wack-a-mole:
A nice garden tool to keep sharp and use very sparingly.

the Hooterville World-Guardian
Jul 12, 2007 - 04:25pm PT
Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the idiot party? Jenny McCarthy

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Jul 12, 2007 - 04:29pm PT
"Don't feed the Trolls", That's so funny and all so appropriate. I agree with Karl that allowing people to delete unwanted posts from their thread is not a good idea. It would cheapen the Taco Stand.

Pat, the name-calling and slander sucks, but SuperTaco is usually pretty good at taking care of Trolls and a-holes.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jul 12, 2007 - 04:36pm PT
There is a webmaster??????????????

a luxury Malibu rehabilitation treatment facility
Jul 12, 2007 - 04:39pm PT
SuperTaco is one of the best examples of self-organizing chaos on the Internet I've seen. The typical troll here doesn't last long. And the really good trolls are world class - witness the "Rap bolting the Bacher-Yerian" and the "Patagonia fires all its rock climbing ambassadors" threads. It's a campfire complete with the riffraff stumbling back from the woods making too much noise and interupting the convo after sucking down a few too many.

Boulder climber
Bishop, CA
Jul 12, 2007 - 04:42pm PT
For the state-of-the-art in a community site and features, check out

Think 2.0. Many of the features at Digg wouldn't be that hard to implement here, and they would solve some of the problems that afflict the Taco. Overall, though, this site rocks, and the simplicity is part of it's charm.

Trad climber
San Francisco, Ca
Jul 12, 2007 - 04:58pm PT
This forum is actually much kinder and gentler than most, with less idiocy than might be expected given that folks feel so strongly about the subject. I know there are sometimes trolls and stupid comments but it's easy to let your eyes roll over them. I think it's better to keep the free-wheeling nature going, as opposed to allowing censorship. Sometimes trolls are funny.

Social climber
Davis, CA
Jul 12, 2007 - 05:03pm PT
I like Oli's suggestion.

That way, if one has the FA on a thread, they can decide whether it gets retroed or unwanted stuff gets chopped.

I love it. Let's try to own more!

State of Mine
Jul 12, 2007 - 05:20pm PT
i like your analogy caughtinside...sort of like the first electrons in that space so they are yours.

OTOH, karl always shows his voice of reason and that is as it should be.
John Moosie

Jul 12, 2007 - 05:44pm PT
If we are going to use caughtinside's analogy of a thread being like a first ascent and the FAers get to descide how it should be done, then we lose the free wheeling attitude here. If a thread is like a new line, then Censorship is like chipping holds to get where you want to go.

Sometimes you run into manky rock ( pure bullshit ) and you deal with that. Sometimes you run into blank face ( worthless posts ) and you work your way around that. You don't chip holds ( censor others ) to get the line ( thread ) that you want. You take what is given and do the best that you can with it.

If the original line ( thread ) is good, then it will go. Censorship is just grid bolted sport climbing. Making threads safe for everyone.


Social climber
The West
Jul 12, 2007 - 05:49pm PT
If you need that much control, you can save to disc, kill, edit and repost. It's all (more or less, depending on timing) still available beyond the o-post.

Trad climber
Fruita, Colorado
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 12, 2007 - 06:15pm PT
I wouldn't be talking about removing anyone's comments that had anything honestly to do with the subject. For example, if someone said I was totally wrong, on a certain topic, for this or that reason, I can live with that. But if someone chimes in some kind of mindless profanity or something utterly unrelated, or stupid, some banal moan about their genitalia, it's just cleanup to get those off. Not censorship. I don't want to shut anyone up or down, I just want to keep the good threads going. They too often get taken over completely by utter garbage absolutely unrelated to the subject. But I'm hearing everything you all have to say, and contemplating... Would driving certain people away who can't stomach the garbage be a form of censorship?
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