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mattp

What should be allowed in a "route report" discuss

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Summary/Introduction to Diatribe

On Friday, I erased several posts from the Colonial/Big Four thread. I did it three times. I did it because the discussion there had deteriorated into a hostile exchange of insults and banter that may belong in "Spray" but certainly doesn't belong in a discussion of a climb. This stimulated an angry response from Captain Caveman and some there was some discussion of what might be a proper way to moderate this board in the "Spray" thread titled "Utter Trash." I thought it a good idea to start a new discussion, directly addressing what might be the proper rules of engagement in the "Route Reports" section, and my conclusion is this: "Route Reports" should be focused on actual outings, or things like conditions or the history of a route, or what kind of gear is needed for a particular climb; if you want to digress into an argument over somebody's character or something unrelated to climbing, and particularly if that digression is going to continue for more than a post or two, take it to another section of the board.

 

What was I trying to do?

Dru had angered Captain Caveman and Cavey called Dru some kind of pussy and the discussion was no longer about anything related to a route report. There was an exchange of about six or eight posts consisting primarily of trash-talk, so I erased those posts in an effort to take the discussion back to where I thought it had gone astray. I think only two or maybe three of these posts were Cavey's posts, and the abusive rhetoric had actually been traded three ways -- some of the posts I erased were attacking Caveman, I believe that Chocolate or somebody had also gotten into the act, and there was the usual irrelevant quip from Trask. I had thought about erasing Dru's remarks that arguably started the whole thing but I decided that it was not those remarks but Cavey's response that really took the discussion astray. In response to my editing, Cavey got angry and resumed his attack on Dru as well as calling Alex a prick or something because he assumed that Alex had been the one that erased the posts. I then erased about four or five more posts, including Cavey's retorts along with a few responses and a post of my own that suggested the argument be taken to "Spray." Again, I hoped to take the discussion back to a point from which Cavey could defend the person Dru had insulted and then allow the discussion to veer back toward a discussion of Big Four or Colonial. I thought it appropriate to leave a hint of the prior diversion behind as a reminder that I would be supervising the discussion and so that any reader could guess what had taken place. Cavey came back with the flame thrower a third time. I erased one or two posts, and shut it down.

 

On the question of fairness:

Cavey complained that I was "unfair" and Fern commented that the erasures seemed "capricious." To this I can only say that I tried to be fair and that I was simply trying to cut out the insulting rhetoric and any post that wouldn't make sense without that insulting rhetoric, and leave the rest. As noted already, I erased posts by several people, and some of what I erased included folks calling Caveman names. I erased my own suggestion to Dru that the "valuable" material I had erased could easily be recreated in "Spray" or elsewhere on the board because I figured this should be obvious. I left a complaint about what I had done to the thread because I thought maybe it was significant to leave a reference to the whole debacle even though I wanted to more or less erase the debacle itself. Was I "unfair" or "capricious?" Perhaps. But I can tell you that I tried to do the best that I could to steer the discussion back on track with the least amount of interference I thought appropriate.

 

In talking about what is proper for a discussion on the board we are also talking about what is proper for a moderator to do and I ask everyone to consider whether they think they could make everybody happy. When Jon asked me if I wanted to be a moderator, my first response was "why should I take that on that headache? After all, without being a moderator I can post anything I want and read whatever I want and I really don't have to take any responsibility for it. I knew that if I tried to actually moderate anything on the board, I would be attacked personally for doing so. I also knew that I would inevitably be criticized for either doing too much or too little, because some people on this board just want information whereas others prefer what they see as a "lively" discussion based in quips and jabs. When I looked at Friday's argument, following not more than two weeks after I had shut down a route reports thread that had strayed off track for three pages, I had to decide whether to simply shut it down, which would prevent any further exchange of information, or just to remove a couple of posts and allow the discussion to continue. In this context, removal seemed to me less obtrusive than shutting it down but the downside was that this might be seen as targeting a specific poster or two. So I braced myself and tried to delete with as even a hand as I could. My point here is that being a moderator is almost a no-win endeavor, but I feel that this board is a significant resource for the NW climbing community and I am proud to contribute to it. I know this sounds a little defensive, and perhaps a tad bit whiny, but I ask everyone to think about whether they could moderate this board, in any real sense of the word "moderate," without subjecting themselves to criticism and attack.

 

Should I do it again?

I am now contemplating cleaning up another thread, the "chair peak" thread I closed about two weeks ago. Any of you who are concerned about fairness should go back and read it. Maybe the entire thread should be moved to "Spray" but my thinking is that if someone wants to use this board as a resource for information about Chair Peak, they should be able to find some information in a route report without having to wade through a bunch of irrelevant banter and, viewed in this light, the first half of that thread is of value but the second is probably not.

 

What are the rules?

Look at the "Main Index" page on cc.com. The introduction for the "Route Reports" sections all say "post your reports and ask questions about routes." This does not suggest the discussions cannot be funny or entertaining and there is no rule that says you cannot be irreverent or that you cannot argue with something that is posted there. There is also no rule against providing or seeking some good information.

 

"Post your reports and ask questions about routes" is all the direction that is given and it really should be all that is needed. Compare it to the "Climber's Board" introduction which says "connect with fellow NW climbers here to ask questions, or post issues that are important to the NW climbing" or the introduction to "Spray" which says "here you'll find topics on just about anything ... be warned this forum is not for the thin skinned." These aren't detailed guidelines, but it should be clear that "Route Reports" are intended to be narrowly focused discussions about routes or climbing conditions, whereas the "Climber's Board" is intended to be broader in scope and that for full-on flame and irrelevant material you go to "Spray." From where I sit, it's simple: "post your reports and ask questions about routes" is a little narrow, perhaps, because this forum includes discussions of the routes themselves, trail and snow conditions, crowds, gear needed, retreat possibilities, rescue operations, historical information, and things that took place on any given outing. From where I sit, it should be obvious that if you want to dive into personal attacks and calling people dickneck and stuff like that, or if you want to steer the discussion into something completely unrelated to climbing for more than a relatively short digression, you simply move over to the "Spray" section.

 

As to the insulting and disgusting crap, I personally don't think it belongs in Spray either. I mean, c'mon -- how many times do we need to read that somebody needs to take a dump or that they are going to beat you up and go to bed with your mother? But I did not volunteer to moderate the Spray section because I know that many of you find that stuff entertaining. In the route reports section, I think it is reasonable to say "no pointless insults" and "no vulgarity just for vulgarity's sake." Those are two basic standards that guide any civilized discussion anywhere except on the Internet or in junior high school, and I think they are fair standards for one tiny portion of this board.

 

Comments?

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DID dru or cavey complain to you about the others behavior?

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I never complained about Dru's behavior but used it as a prime example of when someone else spews shit it just is left behind and when I do (and was guilty of it but one post was not) it gets dunked. I'm over it but it's obvious some moderators are fingering out people they dislike...

 

There was some useful and thoughtful information a number of times in that particular discussion I had made that were removed....

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There's been some useful updates on the chair peak thread mixed in w/the garbage. I'd hate to see that sort of thing go. Can you just edit the garbage out of those sort of threads?

 

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I think what we should all just take after DFA and Sexual Choco Puff -

 

Tell everyone how many bolts a sport climb has. Tell everyone how we want to kiss Clinton and bring Saddam Hussein over for tea and crumpets every day.

 

That's what appears to be to the liking of most moderators here...

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Matt, you are so fucking right on!

I think it's totally reasonable to set the expectation that route report sections are "value add." Keep these sections as a resource and keep the spray out.

 

Unfortunately, the line between opinions and spray may be a gray line, but a little self policing should keep the moderator's role manageable.

Edited by Toast

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Hey Caveman, if your posts actually made sense, maybe they wouldn't be edited, and you could stop crying so much. Cuz it's truly frightening to see you crying so much. But it's also touching to see you crying so much. Will you read some T.S. Eliot for us, maybe something from the Four Quartets? I know it's not his most sensitive work, but you could add to the sensitivity with your tears?

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Seems like it's best to just take it on a case-by-case basis, given that this kind of thing doesn't happen to every route report. Perhaps just making it known that protracted shit-talking or negative spray will get deleted might encourage more restraint and/or self-policing, which would help keep the issue in check.

 

And it would probably be good to just get used to not being able to please everybody, 'cause you're right, you can't. It seems apparent that [certain angry poster] has his mind made up about how fair or objective you are, and it's unlikely that opinion is going to change. If [angry guy] feels like he's getting singled out more often than other people, maybe it's because he is dishing out a distinctively vituperous brand of dirt more often than he realizes.

 

Ta ta! fruit.gif

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Read above post DFA. I have yet to see you offer anything usefull for climbing here yet. Or at least anything I couldn't read from a guidebook...

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Hey that's not fair. I definitely said that a gri gri makes hang-dogging way easier.

I also said that skipping the traverse clip on Californicator makes for less rope-drag, making the red-point way easier.

I am FULL of useful information for all.

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Oh, and after a hard bouldering session, I find that soaking my hands in HOT water aids recovery. Sounds antithetical, doesn't it? Well, maybe so, but it really seems to work!

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I think what we should all just take after DFA and Sexual Choco Puff -

 

Tell everyone how many bolts a sport climb has. Tell everyone how we want to kiss Clinton and bring Saddam Hussein over for tea and crumpets every day.

 

That's what appears to be to the liking of most moderators here...

 

Are you serious? Do you seriously think that this is the situation? Honestly, you sound like you're eight years old.

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Let's see, there was the wine report Iain mentioned. If you want useful beta on most any sport route 5.12 or easier at Smith, just ask. Even info on some of the trad routes at Smith. Don't leave trail mix in your pack at the base of Snow Creek Wall; the snaffles will eat holes in it. Tons of weather and (sport) route beta for Red Rocks or Maple Canyon. Helpful info on fabric repair and approach shoes (although you disagreed about the approach shoes). Suggestions on coping with fear, injury recovery, and resoles.

 

Unfortunately, CC, just because the information hasn't been ultra-useful to you (due, no doubt, to your perma-jaundiced viewpoint of ANYTHING the Doctor has to say), that doesn't mean the info hasn't been useful to others, which the Doctor would dare say it has.

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1999 Geyser Peak Merlot, $13-15 at Trader Joe's or Fred Meyer. Positively divine, etc. They have a Cab, too, but DFA hasn't tried it.

 

Speaking of cheap TJ's wines, DFA just bought three bottles priced at $3.49 or less. So far, the Doctor can safely say to avoid the Caravaggio Montepulciano. Tastes not entirely unlike vinegar. Next up, Springwood Merlot from Australia. Info to follow tasting.

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