GBC Purity

    I post here occasionally, and mainly diary at Daily Kos, I'll get into reasons later...but lately, I have been noticing a few final diaries (usually called GBCW's).
     I don't have a personal relationship with many diarists here, and the ones I do, know me, and know how much work I've put into this campaign since last year.
     Those relationships have caused me to think a lot about what I expect from  from friendships (such as they are online), campaigns, and political websites.
   I've been involved in Grassroots politics since the early 90's (as a collegiate whippersnapper), and have been clubbed, maced, and arrested for my efforts to assist tangible change from the voting booth.  But this election has been the first time I've been this excited about that prospect.
    I understand that many did not share my excitement, and even went as far as to deride that excitement, but I didn't let it dampen my efforts. I phonebanked, donated, and registration drived with the best of them, and figured detractors would find their own way.
    My first understanding of Mydd, was as it was described to me, as 'An Obama hate site', I wanted to see for myself.  This was during the thick of the most turbulent of the primary wars, when Obama supporters were being banned en masse, and Alegre was pretty much ruling the roost.  I did a good enough job of keeping quiet, and just lurking, to retain my user privileges, but with the distinct impression that I wasn't really welcome.
    I waited it out.  Things got better after the primaries for the most part, The Banned got their privileges back, PUMA left, and the atmosphere was generally milder. There were still flare-ups, but I basically began to feel more comfortable.
   That comfort was short lived. I understood the issue from both sides.  Hillary supporters were glad to have a place of their own, and Obama supporters were...well...not Hillary supporters. I  did ok with that, and met some cool people, but I still felt reluctant to really jump in. I wasn't  sure what to do, either I could bust out some pro-Obama diaries, and feel I was forcing myself on a community that didn't really want me, or I could continue to wait, and comment when I felt the need. I chose to wait.
    While I was waiting, people began to leave, expressing many of the same concerns I had. Then I read a post from Jerome, basically threatening the people who were complaining, then they  were being called 'purity trolls'.
    I found that interesting.  With so many  here voicing support for 'dissent', why would only dissent among the majority  count as valid 'freedom of speech'?  In other words, it's only 'dissent' when it's a negative comment about Obama, but if it's a comment about the negativity, it's 'purity trolling'.
    So now I have questions. Are Obama supporters really welcome here? I keep seeing posts telling people who don't want him to be trashed to leave. I don't think it's asking too much for people who seek to disrupt the nomination, or undermine the Democratic party to be redirected.  Who gets more of a say, people who write diaries, or people who actually get out and work for campaigns? Who gets to be the Champions of Democracy that tell people how to feel about being insulted?
    I understand that it's not my blog, nor does it belong to those intent on purging the 'purity', so I think that makes us about even. I think a clearer definition of this sites purpose is needed. I can deal with it being just a place for people to get together and talk about the election, meet up, or whatever, then all the chaos makes more sense.
    If it's a place for Democrats to strategize, compare notes, and share news, then why are people who expect that threatened or told to leave?
    Anyway, I'm sorry I didn't get to know more of the diarists who are taking off, I hope you all can find sites where you feel valued and respected. Everyone else, I seriously don't mean to offend anyone, these are my honest feelings, and as this is my first diary here, they've been building up for a while, hence the effusiveness.   I'll probably be pounced on for this being my first diary, but I hope those people can understand why I wouldn't feel entirely welcome, and how that would contribute to my reluctance.

Tags: blogging, meta, moderation, MyDD (all tags)

Comments

25 Comments

no.

by canadian gal 2008-08-05 05:28PM | 0 recs
Re: no.

CG how is this helpful? In your diaries you talk about trying tounderstand each other. But this comment means what? Cheers

by Politicalslave 2008-08-05 05:35PM | 0 recs
I don't get that one, CG

Seriously, I don't even know what you are negating.

I have my own reasons for being here, and you know as well as I that I'm not even sure what they are, other than I like the place and the people and find it an interesting challenge to try to bridge this gap and understand you and many others.  

Without getting into all of that past stuff, you know that I am understanding of the hurt feelings and you know I have my own, so at least we're even, there.  The Open Discourse meme has got to be the one thing that everyone agrees on, or what else have we left?

I am not and will not be angsting myself here about Purity (I'm not very pure at much of anything) or past slights, but discourse is discourse.  You're among the last people I expect monosyllabic negation from.

Is even this diary offensive?  If so, then for all the time I've spent here I still don't fully understand what can be said without giving offense.

-best

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-08-05 06:24PM | 0 recs
hiya chris.

shoot me an email i want to ask you something...

but with regards to your comment, the diarist asked a snarky and frankly not-so-swift question.

Are Obama supporters really welcome here

to which i gave an equally as snarky answer.  come on now - how do these histrionics help conversation, democrats or progressivism?  hint:  they don't.

by canadian gal 2008-08-05 07:21PM | 0 recs
Ah, OK!

now I'm with you.

My snark detector is all bent out of shape.  Gotta get that thing looked at...

-chris

by chrisblask 2008-08-05 07:25PM | 0 recs
Wow.
Sounds like you've got some stuff to get over.
Stuff that trolling my diary looking for a flame war isn't going to fix.
You obviously have some kind of personal problem with me, so why not just take your own advice, and  avoid me? Is it really that hard?
by Maori 2008-08-05 08:42PM | 0 recs
hey you're right! ciao.

by canadian gal 2008-08-05 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: hey you're right! ciao.

LOL, right on CG, goodnight :-)

by Maori 2008-08-05 09:04PM | 0 recs
You know what?
I just caught myself...but I will say, stay away from me, I'll stay away from you, and we'll get along just fine.
Do me the kindness I did you, by staying out of your diary.
by Maori 2008-08-05 05:31PM | 0 recs
Maori...

email me.  

Same offer to anybody else that wants to stay in contact if things get hairy.  I think those of us that aren't part of the post-Hillary MyDD clique may want to stick together.  They have done well to organize themselves, as they have, and so should we.

by Dumbo 2008-08-05 10:46PM | 0 recs
Re: GBC Purity

When I read a diary like yours I wish you were around. Most of us get too caught up. Let's try and write some great diaries and make constructive comments. Rec

by Politicalslave 2008-08-05 05:32PM | 0 recs
Right On :-)
Thank you.  I've been wanting to get more involved here, but I guess these things needed to come out first. Kind of like a block, lol.
Anyway, you're right about the diaries. Between campaign work, and being a starving musician, I guess I get a bit lazy, and spend my spare moments reading, rather than writing.
But I really want to get to know more people here, and not just from there comments. I know the best way to do that, is to reach out.
by Maori 2008-08-05 05:59PM | 0 recs
Sorry, "their comments" n/t

by Maori 2008-08-05 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: GBC Purity

uh, personally I have not seen most posters urging the banning or purging of masses of users. that has been from the "purity" crowd who will not tolerate any questioning of their candidate and who mass down rate people based on "tone" (mostly based on mis-understanding, most of the time blatantly deliberate) as opposed to content. The purity trolls are the ones who will stalk people from diary to diary day after day just to TR or HR them.

And you also seem to forget the atmosphere at the dkos hate-site. Mass banning's of folks for not being for BHO blindly after Markos switched to him. Substantive diaries littered with recipies and pootie pic's because it did not blame Hillary for the sinking of the Titanic and the Holocaust. Discussion not allowed or tolerated there.

Your concern has been noted, as the purity trolls say.

by zerosumgame 2008-08-05 05:33PM | 0 recs
Hyperbole...

that's all you got.  This is nothing but your hubris trying to dress up as fact: Mass banning's of folks for not being for BHO blindly after Markos switched to him. Substantive diaries littered with recipies and pootie pic's because it did not blame Hillary for the sinking of the Titanic and the Holocaust. Discussion not allowed or tolerated there. Go ahead point me to the diary with the comments raging about the lack of blaming Sen. Clinton for the Holocaust or the Sinking of the Titanic.  It always makes sense to me that your user name starts with zero.

by tonedevil 2008-08-05 05:58PM | 0 recs
i suggest you review some diaries

from when Obama flipped on FISA.  Many Obama supporters criticized him.  Or from when he spoke about the Heller decision.  Ditto.  Some are also criticizing his recent statement on offshore drilling.  Very few "will not tolerate any questioning of their candidate".

What many will not tolerate is douches who run around screaming lolzNOBAMAemptysuitrace-baiterRezkoWrigh tNotTheNominee!!11!.

by JJE 2008-08-05 06:15PM | 0 recs
I lost my privs on DailyKos

for uprating a comment by somebody that criticized Hillary.  I got them back about six weeks later, after some begging, but that just goes to show you, Dkos moderators were punishing people both ways.

by Dumbo 2008-08-05 11:22PM | 0 recs
Re: GBC Purity

I am an avid Obama supporter who is too shy to write diaries, but I love to make short comments. I haven't felt threatened (maybe I'm too dense to recognize it if I was), or maybe I'm just so inconspicuous that nobody could be bothered with threatening such a pissant.

In any event, I'm new to MyDD and find it to be a site for bantering with just a bit of serious discussion thrown in. Was there a time it was more substantial? I've heard it was - back before the primary wars - but I couldn't testify to it myself.

by QTG 2008-08-05 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: GBC Purity

QTG You should write a diary. We don't know who you are and if you write this is my first diary. Most people will be kind. We need more diaries!

by Politicalslave 2008-08-05 05:41PM | 0 recs
Was it more substantial? YES.

Back in 2004, when Chris Bowers was here, it was one of the best political analysis blogs on the net.  Chris left and started OpenLeft, which is a fine blog, too, NOTHING like this one, with the same emphasis on analysis and netroots progressive organizing.  

I'm not sure when MyDD went so far off the rails.  The fighting between the pro-Hillary and anti-Hillary people in the left blogosphere was pretty fierce.  There were very few left-wing bloggers that were pro-Hillary.  They migrated to sites like MyDD, TalkLeft, TaylorMarsh, Hillaryis44, and LeftCoaster.  LeftCoaster and TalkLeft seem to be getting a bit closer back to normal, now.

by Dumbo 2008-08-05 11:29PM | 0 recs
Re: GBC Purity

Thanks for the diary.  Recc'd.

Your suggestion that a clearer mission statement is needed is a good one.  I can think of no good reason for people who want Obama to lose in November to be welcomed at a supposed Democratic progressive political blog.  There are plenty of places to trash Obama.  I don't understand why that kind of behavior is tolerated here.  

by Blue Neponset 2008-08-05 05:45PM | 0 recs
Thank You Blue :-)

My plan to get around it is just to support the things I do understand.

by Maori 2008-08-05 06:04PM | 0 recs
And how do you suppose Hillary supporters

felt on dkos???   Or was the bullying there just fine.  It's just on this site that it's a tactic against "dissent" against others?  Did you remind people on dkos that those who supported others than their chosen candidate had a right to voice opinions without being attacked, troll rated, insulted?

by Jjc2008 2008-08-05 06:11PM | 0 recs
Why the attack?

If you must know, I DID contribute to efforts to calm things down on Kos, as most of the Hillary supporters were people I cared about, including relatives.
If this is an effort to get back at people for how you were treated on Kos (and not by me personally), it might be better served in a diary of your own.
This is not a referendum on Kos, just a personal diary about my feelings here.

Take Care.

by Maori 2008-08-05 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: GBC Purity

I can give you my impression as someone who has been reading MyDD for years and posting since last fall. Prior to the primary wars, there was a lot of good discussion and interesting diaries on various topics. This was a great place to come and keep up with the 2006 congressional races, especially those that were flying under the radar of the MSM.

Since the primary wars began in earnest around October of 2007, the comity has been tenuous at best. The trolling seems to come in waves. It was balanced early on, with Obama, and Clinton supporters giving as good as they got. The Edwards supporters did flame sometimes, but most of them were just nicer somehow, and even when they went to either of the other camps after Edwards dropped out, they did not seem to be as nasty. I never was one myself, but I must say as a group, Edwards supporters rock!

Then as Kos became radioactive to Clinton supporters, a bunch of them fled here, and the Obama people were getting beaten down for a few weeks.

At some point, the Obama people started calling out the cavalry from Kos, and I began to see a clear pattern. The first half hour or so of a diary's comments would be mostly pro-Hillary, but basically substantive and polite. Then a pack of kossacks would descend and lay about 20 or 30 sarcastic, mocking, content free comments down. The more strident Clinton supporters would return fire, and after that point the rest of the thread would be pure garbage. I got good at spotting the start of the kos swarm, and not bothering to read any comments after that point.

After Clinton dropped out, some of the Obama people that had been coming over from Kos stayed on - mostly the ones who actually prefer a good argument to a content free flame-fest. The Clinton people most in denial wandered off to more echoic domains, and I began to think things might get better. For about a month, I think it was getting better.

Recently, I think the new comity has started to fray, and everyone is partly to blame (except for me of course). We say we want unity, but we try to enforce purity. We say we want respect, but we strive for vindication. We say we want to work together, but we act like the people we want to work with us should kiss our asses and be our slaves. It is childish, really.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-06 12:19AM | 0 recs

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