I’m not sure there’s much more than can be said about the response Kate got to her post this past Thursday. First, I have to commend her on saying what many of us were thinking. The situation between SFWA and Vox is yet another indication of just how low SFWA has sunk. If anyone still thinks Vox wasn’t tossed out of SFWA because of what the powers that be (and I don’t mean the officers. I mean the vocal group that has the officers wrapped around its finger because said officers are afraid of not being politically correct and liked by the “in” crowd) saw as his inappropriate views, you’re wrong. Go back and look at the attacks on Vox leading up to his removal from SFWA. When you do, you will probably agree that SFWA went looking for some reason, any reason they could find to toss him out and then hopefully convince the courts that they were in the right. So, they got him for misusing the organization’s twitter feed, among other things. Oooooh, that is worthy of expulsion.
All you have to do is go to the comments to Kate’s post to see the trolls who have never commented here before but who, when it was pointed out that Vox wasn’t the 100% Caucasian they all thought he was to see the hate that group has. There were more attacks and we finally had to do something we’ve done only once before on this blog: we had to swing the ban hammer. The person involved was warned twice. Once by Kate and again by me but she continued with the offending behavior.
So, the ban hammer came down and now let’s talk about why.
None of us here will ever shy away from a good discussion. For those of you how have read MGC, or any of our personal blogs, for very long, you know we even enjoy a contentious discussion — as long as it is a discussion and not just someone screaming that we’re evil or stupid or insane. But the key word is “discussion”. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with anyone who posts or comments here, as long as you think about what they wrote and then respond with a well-reasoned comment. If you can be funny at the same time, bonus points. But just spouting hate or anger without discussing the issues won’t cut it.
MGC has been around for some years now. I’ve been a part of it for three years or so. I’ve been one of those who have put up controversial posts before — heck, it’s a badge of honor among us if we can get certain folks to come here and try to defend their positions. But, even then, those involved will discuss the issue and try to show where we got something wrong. They don’t attack and they don’t keep coming back in the thread to show how wrong we are and how much smarter and politically correct they are when compared to the rest of us mere mortals.
But when it comes to trolls, I have a very low threshold. So do most of the rest of my fellow bloggers. Kate, Sarah and I had discussed what should be done if that certain person kept at her antics last night. The only reason we didn’t pull Dave and Chris into the discussion was the time difference. So, we tried answering her and warning her and she ignored us. In fact, when Kate asked if she thought her one line answers were proper, the person responded with a resounding “yes”. She was sooooo proud of herself.
When the ban warnings came, she ignored and her IP has no been added to the blacklist. It was only the second one ever. It wasn’t something we did lightly. So, if you see your comments not coming through, drop one of us an email or PM to make sure you aren’t being trapped by the IP ban.
So, rules of MGC: there are basically very few and they all distill down to a single rule taken from Jim Baen — don’t be a butt-head. If a post isn’t about politics, don’t bring it in unless the comment you’re responding to has. This is, primarily a blog about the publishing industry. If someone warns that you are being a butt-head, consider why they are saying it. If one of the MGCers tells you that you’re being a butt-head, stop whatever you’re doing immediately. You have been warned at that point.
Finally, when one of the MGCers opens it up to a rousing game of whack-a-troll, have it. We need to be entertained too 😉