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08/17/2005 Archived Entry: "TCF down -- which might be a good thing"

TCF IS DOWN THIS AFTERNOON -- WHICH JUST MIGHT BE A GOOD THING. Perhaps the humans need a break from the board. Or perhaps the board gremlins decided to take a break from the humans.

Every discussion board has its share of trolls or problem posters, but until passage of the Real ID act, TCF had blessedly few. From news of Real ID onward, it's been rough going. The solid core of excellent folk has had its discussions frequently interrupted and its poise often shaken by cussing, ranting, and ego-driven rudeness.

A lot of this is perfectly understandable. Several of my favorite people on the board have blown up uncharacteristically;

they're just under monster pressure. Sometimes misfit folk wander in, get a hostile reception, then display their indignation like peacock feathers. With the police state encroaching and most everybody feeling impotent to stop it, undercurrents of mayhem are no surprise.

But it is absolutely amazing -- A-may-zing! -- how many apparent graduates of government-school self-esteem programs come onto privately owned forums, behave rudely, then when asked to cool it rave and whine that they're being treated unfairly and that their free-speech rights are being violated or some such balderdash. It appears that one heck of a lot of supposed freedom lovers have swallowed the whole gummint propaganda line: that every accessible thing is a "public accommodation"; that every viewpoint (however asinine) deserves respect; that private property owners should have no authority over their own possessions; that there should be some bureaucratic rule that guarantees absolute equality regardless of merit; and above all that every breathing creature with two fingers capable of typing on a keyboard is somebody Really Special to whom the rest of the world should be compelled to listen with infinite toleration.

Faugh. Shortly after the board comes back up, we'll be instituting a much more comprehensive moderation program. We've been giving the ranters and trolls waaaaaay too many chances to reform -- which I'm becoming convinced is like trying to "reform" the IRS or the ATF. It takes only a few really badfolk to stir up trouble for the rest. And even we goodfolk (yeah, me included) sometimes need to be sent to the corner for a timeout.

TCF exists for three reasons:

  1. To please its owners (who are The Mental Militia and Debra; but I get to play, too)
  2. To give a community of freedom lovers a place where they can socialize, relax, laugh, groan -- and sometimes connive and commiserate.
  3. To give that community a place to exchange useful news and practical techniques for getting free

Anything that doesn't serve one of those purposes belongs elsewhere. And the Internet is full of elsewheres. TCF will remain a useful and civil site for people seeking to live free. We've just got to bash some heads first -- starting with our own.

Posted by Claire @ 04:38 PM CST

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