The future of the forum


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Sport climber
St. Louis
Aug 29, 2005 - 06:20pm PT
Dirtineye wrote:
From what I can see, Crimpergirl brings out the worst in you, in either forum, and from what she tells me, she gets a real laugh out of doing so."

JL responds:
Good to know I'm keeping the mood light. The fact that you've swerved the thread into this rut is another reason to have two channels for this forum--one for climbing related stuff, another for us to clown around.


CG exclaims:
I actually do some work for a couple of days and come back to this? I keep reading Dirt's comment and can't decide if he was being funny, or jabbing a knife in my back. (I apologize in advance if I misinterpreted your comments Dirt. Either way, you're still a bud).

Just to be clear, I think JL is awesome, have nothing but respect for him and his sense of humor, and am thrilled that he's willing to engage in occasional banter with me. Actually, this goes for all of you here. I don't agree with everyone on this site, but I am happy to have made everyone's acquaintance. Thanks for letting me play in the sand box!
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Aug 30, 2005 - 08:43am PT
I have enjoyed greatly the insights of Lois (LEB) and Scott (climberweenie) here on the nature of online forums (specifically, thread drift and why it can be good and bad). Many other folks obviously have a good understanding of it as well.

I agree with Lois that dirtineye's posts are not a troll. They are straight and deep attacks, pure acid in my view. I don't know why toulumne*rainbow states they are a troll; perhaps to "make friends with a bully"? Perhaps just a moment of weakness on her part, or maybe a "reverse troll" (i.e. trolling dirtineye to see if he bites)? As others have noted, this thread is a perfect illustration of what is good and bad about the forum. Lots of good viewpoints, plus some bad stuff which may remind us of the potential "chilling effect" of (anonymous) repeated negative attacks. Such personal attacks can create a lot of "lurkers" or people who feel burned and do not want to participate again, because they do not want to waste time defending themselves against anonymous flamers/haters or spend time trying to classify a post as a troll or not. (Shack's post early in this thread [8/27, 5:49pm] is a relatively friendly example of what I'd call an "honest troll", where he makes a hopefuly sarcastic comment, then inserts a few blank lines and says "just kidding", but unfortunately even this style of post could be abused and used to make intentional attacks).

The original issue of this thread is the future of the supertopo forum. Having two forums might work, but I have my doubts. If the drift into nonclimbing thoughts is what makes threads interesting to the folks who write good posts, they may find the "climbing only" forum boring and only read and post to the "nonclimbing" forum. Or they might move there after some of their friends are banned. So most everything (including climbing posts) could switch to the "nonclimbing" forum and the other forum could become a ghost town. And while the occasional whack-a-mole (banning) technique works against obvious "bad guys" (death threats, extremely offensive photos), I don't think it can work against personal attacks, because they can be watered down slightly to squeeze just under the "banned" threshold.

It seems like the only clear advantage of making two forums is that it does not require any new programming/testing, i.e. it's a potentially free solution for Chris, which would be nice. I think most people would like a simple structure which would make the forum 99% "self-policing", something like the feedback system on ebay, which is not perfect but at least identifies the serious sellers. Scott suggested a voting method which is probably the fairest way to identify/block the "bad guys", but it would be expensive to implement. Unless someone competent wants to volunteer their time to develop and demo a working version of this sort of thing.

Here are my (possibly naive) 2 suggestions for structure that should be easy/cheap to implement to help make things at least more self-policing:

1. "Poster Info": In the vertical space below a poster's screen name, where it now says [xxxxxxxx] climber From: [often faked location], add two things:
1.A. date joined/registered [to identify bad guys coming back with new identities]; an icon like sunglasses on ebay could be used for this if joined in the last 30 days or so.
1.B. number of posts they have made in the past (or total when the thread is being read), if this information is already being kept track of. This would be a second indicator of how experienced the person is on the forum and whether we should take them seriously or whether they are newer and might need more explanations.

2. "Thread Pruning": Give the person who originates a thread a "Delete" button on all followup posts (not just on their own posts). Clearly easy to implement, and it lets the originator of a thread "control its destiny". This kind of local control can definitely stop personal attacks, with no moderation effort required by Chris. A slightly more powerful version would be to have a "Delete all posts by user" button, but it would be harder to implement. This type of Delete button does not solve all problems, because some people may be reluctant to use it or are not paying attention to their thread. It also does not stop "bad guys" from originating posts.
A short message like "Post deleted by [originator]" should replace the deleted post, so that readers can see when pruning is occuring, and who was being pruned. Incidentally, a similar short message should appear to replace a post deleted by the person who wrote it or by a moderator. So the post is still observed even though its content is deleted/replaced by the short message. If the user is later banned the post disappears completely.

Here are some additional suggestions which would be helpful but are probably not cheap to implement

3. "Thread Origination": To solve the problem of "bad guys" originating threads, have some kind of statistically based scoring system to identify them. I haven't tried such a statistical analysis myself, so the ideas below are rough and probably not the best that could be done.
3.A. If we agree that many baddies register under free email spots like, make a "suspect" list of such domains. If a user's email is on one of those lists, create a "Delete" button available to Chris and a few trusted moderators. I know "moderator" is a bad word to some, but it seems there are people who spend a lot of time on this forum, have good judgement, and would probably like to help defend the innocent in some capacity like this.
3.B. New (say under 7 days) registrants from suspect domains could be automatically blocked from originating threads. Or their proposed thread could be queued for approval by a moderator (default approval in 24 hours if no moderator objects). This capability is rather restrictive and should only be used if there is a big problem of new registrants trying to avoid past banning. It would at least not block newbies from .edu domains from asking their climbing questions.
3.C. New registrants can only originate one thread in the first 24 hours.
3.D. No multiple screennames/personalities from a single email address. I think we already have this? I.e. once banned, always banned. Fairly easy to work around via, though.
3.E."History Score": For folks who have been around for awhile, and are sometimes good and sometimes bad :-) have a history score system to decide if they can originate threads. Subtract points if they have had their followup posts pruned by at least 2 different originating users. Add points for the number of posts they have made in the past (say more than 30 days ago).

4. "Image Posting": same ideas as for "Thread Origination" (3.E.). Block users from posting images if they have a low history score. Block or queue (for moderation) image posting by New registrants from suspect domains.

5. "Probation/Delaying": If banning (and reregistration to circumvent banning) is a problem, put a user with a long history but a low history score "on probation", where their posts are automatically delayed for 2 hours before they appear on the forum. This would be a status short of being fully banned, but also without the usual rights. It might also give them an incentive to think more carefully about their post, since they know it will not show up for awhile anyway.

The above suggestions are mostly fairly mechanical, so they should not require much intervention/judgement calls by any moderators. If people want more human intervention, it would be nice to add points for people using a real name, and subtract points for negative/attacking posts that are not pruned and for ambiguous or excessive trolls (i.e. Juan de Fuca/Jeff Batten, unless he has suddenly gotten funnier - I don't read any threads he originates). Or a voting system could be used to rate posts.

Well, hopefully the easy suggestions can improve things, and the harder ones are there if someone wants to volunteer to do the programming/testing.

Trad climber
Aug 30, 2005 - 09:53am PT
for all the so called climbers out there who talk so tough on these forums, believe it or not u could be cranking 12's and 13's, but if u showed your colors out there as u show them here u'll would not be treated as climbers. climbers have respect for others, that is an inherent quality in a climber that u inculcate when u take up this sport as any other sport too.. .so let's drop all this pseudo behaviour and try to keep this forum the best way we can
Dingus Milktoast

Aug 30, 2005 - 11:35am PT

Clint, I love you like an older brother, but you just scribed out the Terms of Service for


For the love of climbing forums Chris, LEAVE IT ALONE!!!

Pick out the most vocal of Matt's critics (since he seems to be the current poster child for the ills of cyberspace), I don't care which one. Take a good look at THEIR contributions over the last year...

That is all this is ever going to be about... the desire of some to control the words of others. And they will use any means at their disposal to do it too.

Shame on them.


Aug 30, 2005 - 11:55am PT
Clint and Dingus

I will say that little prick dirtineye is the worst mo fu-cker ass-hole on this board as far as his personal attacks on people.

Just like his alias “dirt in eye” says he has dirt in his eyes and does nothing but project dirt on everything he sees.
Dingus Milktoast

Aug 30, 2005 - 11:59am PT
Whack em, I couldn't care less.


I would have thought this bunch would hold out till the end.


Aug 30, 2005 - 12:05pm PT
Yea I agree Dingus rules for rock climbers is a joke. The only rules that work are the unwritten ones out in back.

And you know what those rules become ……
Mick K

Northern Sierra
Aug 30, 2005 - 12:08pm PT
I agree no rules.

Ask yourself how would be handled around the campfire? talking leads to yelling, yelling leads to punching, which leads to either eternal hate or lifelong friendship.
the Fet

Trad climber
Loomis, CA
Aug 30, 2005 - 12:09pm PT
How 'bout just an ignore user button (kill file)? So you don't see the posts from people who you don't want to.

Personal censorship. Anyone can write what they want = freedom of speech. And you can block offensive material from those the threadjack, etc.

So far I only have two people in my personal (mental) kill file, people that when I see their name I just skip their post.

It would take some programming, but no maintenance.

First thing I'd do is block The Fet, that self-righteous suck up.

Edit: ignore user, plus whack a mole should do just fine.

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
Aug 30, 2005 - 12:14pm PT
DIRTINEYE wrote: "Ass for the rest of you PC wankers, you act like you've never been around any climbers at all."

Pretty funny . . .

Aug 30, 2005 - 12:19pm PT
"Anyone can write what they want = freedom of speech."

Yes, you can write anything you want, but one will have to take the responsibility for it also.

Trash talking is like the croaking of the frog, which simply invites the snake of death to come and eat him.

Hooterville, NV
Aug 30, 2005 - 12:51pm PT
Maybe an anthrax email would quiet the rabbel rousers?

San Francisco
Aug 30, 2005 - 01:21pm PT
"Trash talking is like the croaking of the frog, which simply invites the snake of death to come and eat him."

Snakes are deaf. Maybe snakes of death are different.

Mountain climber
Templeton, CA
Aug 30, 2005 - 01:26pm PT
Chris just asked me to be the moderator of the forum. I now have the ability to wack any post I see fit to wack. Everybody behave now.

Aug 30, 2005 - 01:45pm PT
^^ See now that's funny.

But it could be good. Have Jody insert one of his pictures in place of the wacked post.

Trad climber
places you shouldn't talk about in polite company
Aug 30, 2005 - 02:19pm PT
i would love to see how some of these overtly masculine rightwingers would react if some chiquita started posting shots of male underwear models or somesuch (melisa? kate? anyone? it sure won't be me, as much as i think the judys would quietly dig it).

Social climber
California Valley, California
Aug 31, 2005 - 07:13pm PT
LEB & T*R-

You are not the voice of women on this forum.

I am totally comfortable with porn. What I am uncomfortable with is hysterical women who fear free thought & freedom of speech, no matter how ugly. Jeez, you act like it was a hate crime, and not just some spewing. Look at the source!

Just like I said to the mother of the screaming child in line at the market: Give that child what he wants or give him what he needs!

Afraid of a man and his words! We should be afraid of people who have no problem becoming an aunt of yet more kids!!!

Maybe T*R is just helping Mr. Bush out with his little problem of body replacement in Iraq by encouraging breeding. Way to go.

Oh, my copy of 'Power Exchange' just came! Gotta go hide in a corner and have fun.


Gym climber
Aug 31, 2005 - 08:20pm PT
AaaKkkkkk, Don't Split The Forum! It won't do a thing to keep the threads in line.

The biggest reason for the success of this forum is the diversity of the folks posting -- there's a commuity here like no other. Monkey with it and you'll blow a darned good thing. Like Baba said, we've got amazing folks reading and posting--that would disappear fast if this thing started to have real rules.

Like a dad who spread his seed too far, C-Mac wants to make sure his unruly family behaves long enough at the dinner table so that everybody gets a chance at the veggies, and that nobody gets harmed sticking their arm out for seconds.

But some kidz hate veggies.

And that's cool, they don't have to eat 'em. As long as they don't blow it for those that like the nutrition.

But restrictions on content, on who can (or can't) post, yadda yadda, and you might as well watch FoxNews, the never-say-anything-bad-about-the-Administration network. The people who want the real dirt know to look elsewhere.

I'm here because you never know what a gacked out climber might do next, and what could be more fun. Sometimes we just talk trash after a good day on the stone, sometimes we're just trashed and talk stoned. It's all good fodder for the community. That is as long as you don't air your personal BS and you don't overstep the line of how you'd treat your good friends. Cause that's what this community is all about. A gathering of folks with nothing holding them together other than a bent for the edge.

A tall-boy to you, C-Mac.

:- k

Mountain climber
Templeton, CA
Aug 31, 2005 - 11:33pm PT
"i would love to see how some of these overtly masculine rightwingers would react if some chiquita started posting shots of male underwear models or somesuch (melisa? kate? anyone? it sure won't be me, as much as i think the judys would quietly dig it)."

Mutt, I am not angry at you. I feel deep sorrow for your pathetic position in life. The lifestyle you choose to follow, you yourself are having trouble accepting. This is evident by your obsession with real men of the right, your apparent infatuation with male underwear models, and your denial of interest in such things, a true indicator of an individual struggling to come to grips with their own sexuality, or lack thereof.

Like I said in another thread, keep posting Mutt, you will continue to prove to everyone what you are...a very confused and psychotic little boy.


Desolation Basin, Calif.
Aug 31, 2005 - 11:53pm PT
Jody wrote:
"This is evident by your obsession with real men of the right"

You mean men like Jeff Gannon?

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