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A Voice for Men Takes Credit for Media Sites Closing Comments Sections in Disgust

Numerous media sites are closing their comments sections for similar reasons
Numerous media sites are closing their comments sections for similar reasons

It’s not exactly news, at this point, that more and more online media outlets have given up on their comment sections, shutting them down because they don’t have the time or money or patience to deal with the cesspools of vitriol and hate they’ve become.

Popular Science kicked off the wave of comment section closing back in 2013. Since then, comments have been removed from the sites of media giants like CNN, Reuters and Bloomberg; from major newspapers like The Chicago Sun-Times and the Toronto Star; and from a wide assortment of online outlets including re/code, Mic, The Verge and Vice’s Motherboard. Most sites regard the decision to close comments as one that is both sad and necessary.

But one site is touting what seems to be the impending end of online comments — at least on sites unwilling or unable to moderate the hell out of them — as a huge victory.

In a recent fundraising appeal on his site A Voice for Men, Men’s Rights elder Paul Elam happily takes credit for making the comments sections of other sites so poisonous for so many people that those who run the sites are increasingly crying “uncle” and shutting them down.

Elam doesn’t phrase it quite so bluntly, of course. He sees the closing of comment sections as proof that feminists (and presumably everyone else disgusted by AVFM) just can’t handle the TRUTH.

“The free pass for feminists has been revoked,” he declares.

Many Major websites that continue to run misandric bullshit now often have two words in common at the end of their hateful posts.

Comments Closed.  That is now a common reaction of the feminist media in the wake of average people clobbering them with dissent and ridicule.

Apparently calling women the c-word is a form of “dissent.”

Elam goes on to suggest that AVFM has led the way in making virtually everyone so disgusted by Men’s Rights activists and other, er, “dissenters” that they’ve given up on the possibility of civil discourse online.

Again, Elam doesn’t put it quite this way. He claims to be “changing the cultural narrative,” dontcha know?

I can say with certainty and pride that it was AVFM that kicked the door in on all of it. We took the daggers thrown at us by mainstream media across the western world and pushed back defiantly.

Don’t flatter yourself, dude. While AVFM and its flying monkey squad of comment-section-poisoners has definitely played a role in making the comment sections of a number of media sites even bigger cesspools than they already were, AVFM hasn’t singlehandedly ruined online comments forever.

Many other terrible people have played their part — white supremacists, GamerGaters, white-supremacist GamerGaters, the list goes on and on.

Here at We Hunted the Mammoth, of course, we know that you don’t have to shut down your comment sections to prevent them from being overrun by malignant jerkfaces. Instead, you can simply close your comments to malignant jerkfaces like Elam and his crew, inviting some of them in only as a source of amusement and banning them quickly when and if they start flinging poo.

Discuss. (Not you, MRA jerkfaces.)

 

126 replies on “A Voice for Men Takes Credit for Media Sites Closing Comments Sections in Disgust”

@Kat

Yeah, and I’m just wondering why no one said anything earlier. The actual sexual ones are the uncomfortable ones. I also find it uncomfortable when people insinuate that Walter is attracted to Moocow because of his dick. No one involved has raised objection to it, except for Walter that one time, so I just kept my mouth shut.

Personally, I feel that overtly sexual content would be inappropriate for the comment section, regardless of inspiration. I guess basing it on a real person makes it a little weird, but at the end of the day I think anything I’d be uncomfortable to see written about me is something that wouldn’t belong here even in fiction. Erotica is a noble calling, but it’s not what we do here.

That said; when it comes to “slash” about us, I believe EJ himself is the originator of the whole idea. I personally am happy to play along. I don’t think it’s something that’s been imposed on us from outside, although if there are 3rd parties who don’t want to read it, I won’t begrudge them their opinion.

I believe EJ himself is the originator of the whole idea.

It is indeed my fault. I first made the reference as a throwaway joke to add levity to what might otherwise seem a too-serious post, and was tickled pink when kupo decided to riff off it. While Verily Baroque was very kind to consider my feelings (she’s a very kind person overall) I don’t feel threatened by it – I’m an absurdly privileged white man, and my tongue-in-cheek sexualisation doesn’t make me uncomfortable.

On the other hand, I can appreciate that it would make people uncomfortable to have that sort of content introduced to this site. Therefore, my apologies for introducing the joke in the first place, and I shall not do so again in future.

Yeah, let’s not have overtly sexual jokes in the comments here.

But baby elephants, yes! More of those!

@ Lkeke35: “Yahoo is like the trailer park discussion area. Got a beef and not an ounce of logic or sense, then you go to Yahoo.”

I love most of what you have to say, and perhaps I read this the wrong way (please correct me if so), but be mindful of the inherent classism of “trailer park” used as a pejorative. Having been raised in one, it’s hard not to cringe when folks start using the term because inevitably what they say is scornful and hurtful. And it definitely perpetuates class oppression.

Baby elephants! Squee! Long may those ears wave.

As for comments sections being closed, it’s perfectly understandable, due to jerks with various nasty agendas — not just “men’s rights” — spouting off.

In real life, those people who consistently act like jerks tend to be shunned. People turn away from jerks. They walk away from them. They are very quiet around them. They cross the street to avoid them.

That’s what’s happening with the comments sections. The jerks are being shunned.

Don’t know about any other The Guardian(s) around the world, but the UK’s The Grauniad has comments enabled on e.g. feminism and gay rights articles just as much as it does on politics, environment etc. etc.
They clearly take a lot of moderating, though. On articles proving or likely to prove of particular interest to the particularly nasty, they often close down the thread during the (UK) night and re-open it again when the mod(s) is/are back on duty the next day.

Not too bad, since comments on news sites were either echo halls of the same opinions or cess-pools of evil. I never liked comment sections, and everyone who tried to fight and argue there automatically lost, because it never accomplished anything.
Not to forget that appearently people were more influenced by comments by random idiots than the articles themself.
News sites never needed comments, and science-related ones shouldn’t have them (just read all those creationist comments on anything that mentiones evolution).
In fact, the assholes propably now lost one of their major ways of giving their opinion to unrelated people.

For what it’s worth, I was totally cool with having my name used in faux slashfics, mostly because it started as mockery for Walter’s absolutely absurd levels of penis envy (Walter seems to have migrated from troll to reasonable person so things have changed since). Also, I’m a very open minded individual, and kinky, and French so my standards for ‘acceptable discourse about sex’ are ridiculously out of left field and should never be taken as the median of appropriateness. Many times I’m worried my posts are way too TMI, I have to (hehe) restrain myself.

@SFHC

Hugs (or virtual hugs). Fuck bullies and FUCK violence against people for shittastic reasons

@Kat

I do believe banned@4chan is someone who posts in good faith, at least that question seemed so

I keep seeing people addressing comments to “M”, but can’t figure out who they’re referring to. Can someone clarify?

@Orion

Yeah, M’s just my other name.

@otherwise

Thankyou, all. ^^;; And MORE BABBYPHANTS!

I read the site for over a year before starting to post; If I remember correctly I started posting at about the time that Scented Fucking Hard Chairs adopted that nym (and not long before Bananacake Jackie became Pandapool), meaning that I had already gotten to know them under the old names and thus that’s who they are in my mind.

M, would you prefer that I switch to calling you SFHC?

Also there will be more babbyphants when I get out of work today. Oh yes. Oh yes.

@EJ

Nah, feel free to call me whatever you want. M, SFHC, Prophet Of Katie, Hey You With The GLaDOS Avatar, it’s all good. =3

BABYPHANTS!!!

Did You Know! Tiny, tiny babyphants who haven’t learned to drink with their trunks yet have to wade into pools and just drink with their mouths, which is an excellent excuse to splash.

@banned@4chan –

He seems to only have to actively moderate (that is, take down existing posts or swing the ban-hammer) every now and then, but part of that might be because comments by new posters are only let through after approval.

There’re a few entertaining / horrifying posts in the archives that feature screeds that have not passed muster.

Remember when Anita closed off her Youtube Comments? The MRAs and the Proto-GamerGaters were screaming censorship. Now news sites are starting to do the same, and they’re screaming victory. I guess we never could expect them to be consistent.

@moocow, @banned@4chan

I do believe banned@4chan is someone who posts in good faith, at least that question seemed so.

Thanks, Moocow. My bad.

I apologize, banned@4chan. It can be difficult to determine what a commenter means. I didn’t recall seeing your name before — even though it’s a memorable one!

I have no idea how many hours David spends moderating the comments. But my impression is that it’s a 24/7 job. Of course, that’s impossible for David to do — so maybe his cats take shifts while he sleeps. That would explain why the comments are filled with cute cat pics during the hours of midnight to 8 a.m. (Chicago time).

I have to admit, several hours after asking my question, I realized that simply admitting to moderating on a regular basis could give some twit cause to declare victory over WHTM just like Elam et. al. are declaring victory over news sites.

As for why I didn’t just e-mail Futrelle to ask, doesn’t he get a deluge of e-mails every day?

I don’t think victory means what they think it means:) But yeah, I think the comment sections turning into far right white supremacist cesspools should be shut down if no decent human being can get a word in edgewise, what’s the point?

I stopped commenting in the Guardian (UK). Full of really nasty characters (and so is the Telegraph UK.)

In one of the two I saw a person openly admitting to discriminating against women in the hiring process, and these nasty buggers swarmed to support this guy, proving literally everything I’d been saying to them. Then again, it was a nasty little article about feminism making men scared of false rape accusations. Pathetic, wretched commenters on both sites really, (although the Guardian articles are almost always fine and dandy!)

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