Some Housekeeping

I’ll be back with a post later this morning. However, I wanted to comment on something here first.Β Mad Genius Club has never made a secret of the fact that, even though this is a writing blog — or at least a blog by writers — we are readers as well. Each of us have different tastes in what we want to read and when we want to read it. But there is one thing that is a constant between us. Unless we are researching something, and that can mean reading non-fiction for fun, we want our fiction to entertain. As writers, we prefer making money for our work over suffering for our art. After all, we all like to eat and have a roof over our heads.

We have done our best to make MGC a place where folks can come to discuss the issues that concern writing and publishing. Unlike other sites, we don’t take glee in banning people and we bend over backwards to avoid doing so. We give warnings and then we warn again. In all the years of MGC, I can count on one hand — and still have fingers left — the number of people we have banned.

However, we have learned over the last few years that whenever we come to Hugo time, we get a few folks who come over with the sole purpose of condemning anything that doesn’t have to do with Fandom. We anticipated it would happen when the Dragon Awards were announced and then when the winners were named. What we didn’t anticipate was that one of the prime suspects would continue to ignore the warnings and then accuse us of doxxing them because we told that person that the only way they would be allowed to continue posting here is if they posted under their real name.

Yes, this person came back and accused us of trying to dox them.

Yes, that person’s comments have been deleted because they were told that was what would happen if they posted again under an alias.

Here’s the thing. When this person showed up, casting aspersions and making thinly veiled accusations against the Dragons, I did some checking. With only a very few exceptions, they had only commented on Hugo-related posts. This person — because it isn’t hard to find out who they are — is someone who does not tolerate what they see as dissenting opinions on their own social media pages. This is a person who has attempted, and on occasion, succeeded in having people kicked out of cons for being wrong-thinkers. I could go on and some of the others here may.

However, here’s the thing. It takes a lot to get a bunch of writers to get together to discuss what should happen on a blog, even a joint blog. The fact that this person took the majority of us out of writing and work to do just that says a lot. So, before you see it on Vile 770, yes, we did delete comments here. This was done after warnings — which you can find still in the comment sections on at least three recent posts. Did we like doing it? No.

We want free discourse here. As writers, we hate silencing discussion. But that isn’t what happened here. There was no discussion. There were thinly veiled attacks on a new award and why? Because it didn’t go the way certain parts of Fandom apparently thought or wanted it to. It’s not enough that they have turned the Hugos from a fan award, something it was founded as, to a Fan award. Now these folks are trying to tear down a new award because it let everyone vote — without paying for the privilege to do so.

So there it is.Β A very infrequent commenter was warned and chose to ignore the warning. That person then chose to use inflammatory comments to accuse us of something we were not doing, specifically of doxxing them. That person is no longer welcome at MGC unless and until they follow the rules as set out first by Dave and then reiterated by several others of us. But to accuse us of doxxing, when we are asking nothing more than to post under a real name, a name many of us already know, is disingenuous. We are not the ones with malicious intent.

And that is more than enough on this. Now to find more coffee and then figure out what the real post for the day will be.

96 Comments

Filed under AMANDA

96 responses to “Some Housekeeping

  1. Respectfully, your blog, your rules.
    If the party involved can’t take a hint, then that’s on them. Cheers. Dan.

  2. emdfl

    Come on guys, it’s your house; one doesn’t have to allow a****les in ones’ own house.( Well, unless they practice a 7th century religion and you’re afraid of being called “racist”.)

  3. Now I am somewhat wondering what I missed.

  4. Some of the Outrage Drama Warriors have a very flexible definition of doxxing, depending on who’s doing it to who. They probably don’t even think they’re being disingenuous.

  5. It’s funny–in a “funny peculiar” not “funny ha ha” sense–I fit the profile of what the Puppy Kickers claim to want, and what they claim that the Puppies are trying to eradicate and yet I find Mad Genius Club to be a very comfortable place for discussing ideas and File 770 to be openly hostile on the few occasions that I have tried to join into discussions there.

    I am unapologetically New Wave, and I prefer Delany, Disch, and Dick to Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein. My own writing owes more to William Burroughs than to Edger Rice Burroughs. In this I am often in the minority in the comments–sometimes even a minority of one.

    And yet, the mood here is one of civil discourse. When people disagree with me they say what they are disagreeing with, why they feel that way, and keep the comments on the subject. We can talk about the craft without making personal attacks.

    I don’t come here looking for a fight. I read and comment on this blog because this blog has some of the most serious and practical discussions of writing and the publishing industry that I have seen anywhere.

  6. Sorry you had this problem. Hopefully it will go away. I much enjoy your posts on writing. My recent writing effort was spending a day proofreading The One World before its somewhat late paperback availability was launched.

  7. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Grumble Grumble

    I’m still seeing that Troll’s Posts (they were emailed to me). πŸ˜‰

    Note, I was expecting the “ban notice” a day ago.

    • I didn’t get the ones where s/he/it complaining about ‘doxxing.’ – not sure why, and I was rather surprised to wake up not seeing a lot of comments to catch up on over breakfast in my email (since I’m asleep at the most active periods for US based blogs.)

  8. aacid14

    I’m taking a guess it was mostly ballot stuffing allegations. Admittedly I am looking forward to ballot numbers from Dragon to gauge how first year went. But until we see numbers in the range that could be Gamed, tie goes to the runner. All the allegations do at this point is throw mud to obscure whatever we find later. Print the allegations in bold above the fold, retract and correct on D26.

    As for the trespassed, argument by repetition is not discussion. Your house, your rules. Other than fish offal I can think of very few occasions where any unrequested (by post author) censoring has occurred. Pretty much all were the argument by repetition.

    On a more positive note, I will say most commenters here self police themselves, avoiding hot buttons and tend to be very civil…if not typically tongue thru cheek. Very enjoyable lil clubhouse/lecture hall/coffee house/nuthouse here. Thanks to all of you

    • As currently constituted the Dragon Award is *stuffable* – trivially so – but that by itself does not imply it was *stuffed*. I very much doubt that much, if any, dodgy voting occurred as the result matched my expectations based on a shenanigan-free vote.

      What they will do in future votes is an interesting question.

      • “What they will do in future votes is an interesting question.”

        Only if you consider who wins a book award important, for financial and/or political reasons. Absent that, how votes are run is entirely uninteresting. Its a book award, not a statistics class.

    • Ah, yes. Must’ve been ballot stuffing. Yup. No possible alternative explanation, such as, oh, I don’t know, Larry Correia having metric craptons of fans.

      I saw Kameron Hurley crowing over on Vile770 about her advances going up to $20,000 after winning a major award.

      Meanwhile, Larry Correia is buying a friggin’ mountain.

      Based purely on that, I leave it to the viewing audience to decide which of the two is likely to have more actual sales (and actual fans).

  9. But wait a minute, without our concern troll how will we know when to be unhappy! Seems like a terrible risk. You’d better install some trigger warnings. How about, “Warning, unwarranted joy may occur at any time. In case of emergency break glass with hand, yell ouch and bleed profusely.”

  10. I saw the comment in email this morning, and was about to reply “That’s not doxxing, she’s *asking* you to identify yourself” when I noticed it was deleted.

    Ah well, they seemed to be not-so-concerned with facts; I caught them playing fast and loose with the comparison numbers they wanted to use.

    • Once upon a time, way back when (in Elf Life forums iirc likely for Winger) I started using the name I give folks when we meet when a leftoid accused me of being brave while hiding behind my screen name. So I gave them name and city (and with my name, you are not going to find multiples) and low, they never came clean themselves.
      This is my shocked face.
      okay, no it isn’t.

  11. Matthew

    Not that I care all that much, but I’m mildly curious. Was it the Camel?

  12. One could argue that a lot of us are here under fake names. Then again, most of the moderators here also know me with my real name, and I expect they also know the IDs of most of our regulars as well.

    • Anyone with a lick of sense uses a fake name these days. SWATing is a thing.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Nod, but most of us aren’t being Jerks. πŸ˜‰

      Of course, how many people here have met me?

      Note, Sarah Hoyt has. πŸ˜€

    • And you guys discuss the topics, even when you don’t agree. The person involved — nope.

    • Xenophon

      I’m definitely here under a fake name. I started posting/commenting under this name maybe… 20 or so years ago. It’s probably not difficult to trace it back to me even if you’re not an admin who has access to my email address.

      I used to occasionally post and comment under my real name too. But a couple of jobs ago I worked at an FFRDC, in a position where any public comment I might make could maybe (possibly, somehow) be twisted into some remote semblance of something that might resemble something that might become official gov’t policy, maybe. I was actually a bit more remote from policy than that. Nevertheless, the job came with the requirement that I refrain from any public comment on anything (except politics, oddly enough), to avoid any possible semblance of impropriety. Said requirement carried no consequences in terms of the legal system, only consequences regarding continued employment.

      Since then, I’ve been in the habit of using my screen name only. It provides just enough distance to avoid work-related issues without actually preventing anyone who cares from finding me. And if any of the admins care, they have only to ask.

  13. Amanda, you can borrow this if you want: http://phantomsoapbox.blogspot.ca/2015/02/the-iron-finger-of-deletion.html

    Just hose it off when you’re done.

  14. Arwen

    Heh. I am fortunate in that my real name sounds like a fake name.

  15. My real name is a fake name. Eh. I yam who I yam…

  16. Uncle Lar

    Point may be moot. I understand that kitteh in its other persona is actively attacking Breitbart operatives and anyone else making rude comments on HRC’s health issues.
    That’s gotta take a good bit of time in and of itself.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Some people would vote for a major party if they were certain that party’s candidate were terminally ill.

      Health of the candidates is relevant, but I think discussion may ultimately be pointless. Both are seventy. Historically, the stress of the presidency has seemingly aged office holders much faster than normal. Perhaps not giving a fuck can avoid that issue. If not, dying of natural causes before the term expires isn’t at all impossible for any of them.

      I haven’t looked up HRC’s doctor. IIRC, Bornstein doesn’t take medicare, which may imply relatively little experience with elderly patients. His practice may not have given him the experience needed to best make that call.

  17. Perhaps as an act of tact and politeness, even if you do not think it is deserved or earned, File770 might not be referred to as Vile770. Or perhaps you think that the evidence shows that they have earned the name.

    • George, I’ll be honest. I think they have earned it. I, as well as many others here, tried being tactful and polite where they are concerned. What we got in return is the sort of name calling and false accusations you can find in the comments there. Mike Glyer might like to represent the site as being open to everyone but it isn’t. Ask anyone who is an identifiable Sad Puppy supporter and who has gone there to comment. Ask any of us who have had our posts linked there and then been eviscerated in the comments simply because we aren’t the right sort of fans. Believe me, calling it Vile770 is a lot nicer than what I could call it. Shrug.

      • I call it File5150. Them folks is got conditions.

      • I thought it was worth asking, but I will take your word for it.

        • George, thank you and thanks for asking. Most of us — and probably on both sides of the debate — would prefer if we could just talk about the merits of the work and not let it devolve into politics, etc. But the rhetoric by a few on both sides has made it almost impossible to have a non-heated discussion. An example of this is what is happening on FB right now in a thread about the Dragon Awards. Someone asked members of this particular forum if they had been aware of the Awards before going to DragonCon. A couple of others instantly went on the attack, accusing Sad Puppies of being racist, stuffing the ballot box, etc. No proof behind their accusations and no attempt to back their positions with facts when asked.

    • Andrew

      Go there under a different username.

      Identify as a Puppy Supporter.

      Then come back and tell us whether or not Vile770 is accurate.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      They’ve earned it many, many times over by now.

    • georgephillies said: “Perhaps as an act of tact and politeness, even if you do not think it is deserved or earned…”

      I do believe this one falls under “what goes around, comes around,” george. I mean, have you -read- some of the stuff they say?

        • Yet you come here to take issue that some here call them “vile770” – which is rather tame as insults go, and *very* tame compared to the insults thrown in MGC’s direction. Which you know, because you admit to having read them.

          And you still come here to ask *us* to rhetorically disarm.

          • Conservatives are supposed to back down Jeff. That’s the deal. They advance a step, we back up a step. If we don’t back up fast enough, we get a lecture on tact and politeness.

            Kinda done with backing up, myself. I think I’ll take a step forward instead. They’re going to scream anyway, let them scream because I’m up in their face, standing on their toes.

            • I raised the issue, and am happy with the answer. Of course, I am not a conservative, not a neocon, and not a liberal. I have read only parts of 770, and must have missed the really bad stuff.

              My feeling was more that Vile770 was a bit less than profound.

              Profound? As opposed, say, to doing a serious comparison of a book by an author of that side, to be named by someone else, with say, Twiford’s Sown in the Darkness AD 2000, making favorable reference to the latter. For those of you fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with the latter, it’s Military SF as written in 1939, complete with the 250 foot long tanks. If you have played Invasion America! in the SPI or plastic figure versions, you know the military plot. And it had some clever predictions: good depiction of women’s bathing suits, electric power generation by banked wind turbines and wind kites, not to mention typewriters with good voice-to-text.

              You may correctly assume I am saving a “feature” for the end.

              The author was –said one of my sources — a Grand Dragon of the KKK, and you may correctly assume that his solution to everything is segregation forever.

              • How does this work? you are making clear who are the real racists.
                Of course, you have to find a book for which the comparison would be honest.

              • snelson134

                Considering that a number of colleges are in the process of bringing back separate segregated facilities for various Official Victim Groups, George Wallace may be owed an apology for predicting “segregation forever.”

  18. It seems after http://www.tor.com/2015/06/08/a-message-from-tom-doherty-to-our-readers-and-authors/ the kicking Puppies group have moved their comments from Makinglight forum(Patrick Hayden’s site) to File770. It probably gives them some separation. I also think Patrick Hayden would like to become TOR’s lead editor when Tom Doherty(80+) retires.

    • I doubt there will be a TOR left for Mr. Hayden to lead when TD retires. The staff have been working assiduously to drive it into the ground for some years now, and they may yet succeed.

    • Dav

      “I also think Patrick Hayden would like to become TOR’s lead editor when Tom Doherty(80+) retires.”

      I suspect Mr. Doherty’s daughter will have a larger say in that decision than Mr. Hayden wants her too.