Freethoughtblogs and PC Lyers


So PZ Myers is the man who gave me his personal assurances that Freethougthblogs really didn’t have any interest in controlling the content.

This was evidently a verbal assurance made in bad faith.

The rough time-line is one week before I was banned, PZ sent this to some mailing list Freethoughtblogs has:

Pretty much speak for itself!

Well that’s basically what I did, and what’s more I even told them on their mailing list.  Then ~1 week later, PZ kicks me.  Maybe he wasn’t joking about that ‘Except me. I’m perfect, don’t you dare say otherwise‘ bit, or maybe this was one of those ‘many a true word spoken in jest’ type things.  Indeed how quickly opinions can change when it’s him who is getting ‘ripped into’

There was no open consultation in this group about what anyone else thought of my ideas prior to my expulsion, giving this a very totalitarian ‘execution by fiat’ type feel.  Everyone else on the groups was told of my ‘expulsion’ AFTER it happened, I mean hell, they wouldn’t have wanted an actual discussion or to give anyone the possibility to dissent about what is permissible ‘freethought’ on ‘freethoughtblogs’ now would they!

Now I really didn’t care about offending these people at this point as on their mailing list I had already been accused of being a ‘rape culture apologist’ (FFS, I don’t think I’ve even touched on the subject), guilty of ablism, devaluing addicts, an not being careful between challenging islam and outright racism.  All of this based on NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER (well that’s unless you are happy to count rumors as evidence).

Heard a rumor? Not a problem on FTB where rumor are fact until proven otherwise. Napoleonic Justice reigns, Guilty till proven innocent!

To be honest, I was hoping that there would be a higher standard of conduct than that, but the chatter made it clear that FTB really was somewhere between a bitching slimepit, and StrawmanCentral.  It was also plain to me from just watching the chatter on this mailing list that there was a significant amount of bullying of weaker members/ opposing viewpoint.  If this was an academic environment I would have called bullshit on them in an instant, however by this time it was clear the standard of people that I was dealing and that as a group they were essentially a lost cause.  I was happy to write a blog there, but I certainly wasn’t going to waste my time ingratiating myself with such people.

Incidentally FTB claims that it can deliver ~150 k ad impressions per day, which could mean as little as ~15k hits per day (~10 ads per page).  I was pulling in ~ 10-15k hits per day on my blog until I was blocked. FTB never paid me a penny **EDIT Ed Brayton contests this point, see comment below** (again something that PZ said they would), but to be honest I have little interest in such things.  Integrity is MUCH more important than money on such issues.

So I blogged about something which, I thought they were way off base on, namely the disproportionate amount of time they gave sexism compared to other subjects, and the way they attacked, strawmanned and demonized people who bought up sensible concerns.

I had expected that PZ Myers (an university lecturer) would at least keep his word on the academic integrity thing, but to be honest, after about the 3rd day after posting my second article, it was clear that wasn’t worth spit.  When a man is willing to jettison the value of his word so readily, I was under no illusions ‘ If you see something you don’t like, rip into it. ‘ in reality meant that you should only rip into it as long as PZ thought it was okay.

However, I was not going to be bullied into submission by a bunch of second raters, and so despite a series of threats, and Ed Brayton making it clear that if I felt PZ hadn’t kept his word I was free to leave ‘and not let the door hit your ass on the way out’, and that ‘no one would miss me’.  That’s right, the fact that PZ was lying to people faces to get people into the blog really didn’t phase anyone at freethoughtblogs at all!  Nor did such explicit threats on the mailing list seem to phase anyone else (no one stepped forward to question such action), which I think shows that bullying is just so widespread on FTB that it is just the socially accepted norm (that’s unless like me, any of the competent people there simply regarded FTB as a lost cause, or at least a cause not worth fighting for, and just got on with their own thing).

Y’see this is the slippery slope of becoming intolerant to criticism, eventually it will consume you to the point where you cannot take any criticism…. where you become intellectually soft and are happy to strawman people en mass for simplicity, then ban them when they call you on your bulk strawmanning!

Strawmanning: it’s easier than addressing the actual arguments.
Banhammering: a great way of getting rid of those who call you on your strawmanning!

Anyways, it turns out the ‘cover story‘ for PC Myers banning me was that I made an argument that existed nowhere outside of his head.

Look, I wanted to present a ‘first inspection’ case with some real data, that FTB really wasn’t representative of the wider community that I had experienced.  To me it was obvious that the community I was aware of at conferences, and on youtube was widely different from FTB on the issue of feminism.  People like Rebecca ‘Rape Threat’ Watson were widely regarded at conferences as a toxic asset (no matter if she had been an asset previously) who left a bad taste in the mouths of most people.  This is certainly true on youtube, where ZOMGitscriss can put up a video with her in, and her ratings go from something along the lines of 95 % positive to something along the lines of Venomfangx.

Association with the likes of Freethoughblogs or Skepchick is about as toxic to a videos reception as some of VFXs less savory opinions.

Unremarkable claims require unremarkable evidence, and so I did what was sensible, I simply put up a spoken word version of my blog, and PZs reply (who views really are seen as vanilla on freethoughtblogs) and asked people who watched to the end who they thought was nearer the mark, my views or the views that could pass as the plurality on freethoughtblogs.  Sure there will be some bias in the data, but not enough to nullify the point that FTB are widely seen as off base on this point.  I mean it could be easily examined.  PZ could read both my post, and his reply on his YT channel and see what the voting would be like, I would guess that he might make 60:40 in his favor (not far off his post-hoc justification for banning me video).  But of course, PZ was mostly interested in challenging the methods, rather than the conclusion.  Personally I think this is an unremarkable claim, and as such requires unremarkable data, which it has is scads!

Anyways, that’s pretty much my experience of the slimepit of ‘Freethoughblogs’ the PC Lyars.  It’s not the whole story yet though.  It turns out that freethoughtblogs are not only happy to ban people as a typical creationist would (for something that they never actually said), but are perfectly happy to actively support the abuse of copyright specifically used to stifle active debate.   More on that later.

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192 Responses to “Freethoughtblogs and PC Lyers”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Thunder4prez!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I agree with you, but you don’t have to be so insulting to him. You’re just stooping to his level when you call him “PC Lyars” and that’s likely to make you lose favor with some fools who can’t deal with such things. As foolish as people like that may be, they still make valuable allies, and you would do well not to estrange them.

  3. Ed Brayton Says:

    Freethought Blogs averages more than 200,000 pageviews per day and about 27% of our readers use ad blockers. We have 5 ads on the page, but an advertiser isn’t going to take out all 5 ads, they’re going to take out one ad — thus the 150,000 impressions per day figure.

    As for you getting paid, did you expect that this would happen on a daily basis? I don’t get paid by the ad networks for 30-60 days after the end of each month, so I pay revenue out to the bloggers on that schedule. June’s revenue sharing will be paid out at the end of August and you will be paid then for your share of the totals. You really should correct the clearly false implications that we have not paid you as promised; you will be paid when everyone else gets paid.

    • headoffury Says:

      admirable…. but when a baby throws his toys out the pram sometime you need to teach him a lesson

    • Uccello Says:

      200,000 a day my ass. I would love to see your circulation since you screw up on this one. Attacking dawkins for telling Watson to grow up, and call attention to the plight of women in Islam? So what if someone is drulling on you in an elevator. You grow a pair and call security. YOU ARE INSIDE A CASINO. IT IS A FUCKING BANK…. and after censorship. You are like a religious group. You can come down on anyone but HELL for those who dissent. Pitiable

  4. Cody Says:

    Well on my end of things, and viewing both sides, I have decided to go with Tfoot on the subject of the reason he was banned. His argument on sexism and skepchick, and the reaction in general was well thought out. Sure he took a few shots at PZ, but when your talking about a subject which others have talked about or been in a position to regulate, you will include them. But the funniest part is that PZ chose to regulate Tfoot. I have glances at some of skepchicks videos, and it makes my head hurt to see someone so stuck on remarks probably being made to set her off. I was raised with the belief that reacting to someones verbal blows your letting them win.
    The final result of all this. Tfoot made a good arguement, PZ made a hypocrite of himself, internet denizens start a war of the comments, i sat back and got some free brain food.

  5. mixonph Says:

    What is Thunderfoot’s subscriber count versus free-thought blog readership? I think Thunderfoot’s poll would represent a large sample size than the Free-thought blog, or am I wrong?

    And, why is the rape girl is getting so many rape threats and why is she singling out the atheist treats only? The atheist I associate with are not serial rapist constantly making threat to other atheist.

  6. Thunderf00t Says:

    my god Ed… it’s only been posted 30 mins or so ago, and you’ve already found it and commented on it. Don’t any of you guys have day jobs?

    But sure I didn’t expect you to pay me. Someone acting in good faith doesn’t go back on their word as soon as its not convenient. Why should I expect him to keep his word about paying me? Further no mention was made of the obvious loose end in any of the correspondence.

    But really Ed, you can breathe easy, I’ve got no real interest in the money. It just says something about the integrity of the people you are dealing with. Give the money to charity.

    • InModiasWeTrust Says:

      “But really Ed, you can breathe easy. I didn’t actually want the money, I was just hoping for a few hours’ worth of sympathy traffic. It is nice to have my elephant-sized ego stroked by my readers when they tell me in comments how bad your organization treated me, especially if they think FtB is refusing to pay me. Sure, I made an assertion based on absolutely no evidence, but come on… You didn’t expect me to check out my claim before publishing it, did you? Have you not read my blog posts on your site?
      “Just give the money to charity. Meanwhile, I’m off to sit in the corner and sulk, maybe try to calculate the requisite number of times I must use the word ‘integrity’ before I can convince my readers that I have any. After that, I think I’ll ponder the best time to mention FtB using copyright for censorship without providing so much as a hint of ellaboration.” – IntegrityF00t

  7. Steven Olsen Says:

    You have taken this from petty to childish, Unsubscribed.

  8. Mike De Fleuriot Says:

    All this rape talk makes me thing of that old Greek tale of calling wolf.

  9. Ed Brayton Says:

    Have you never heard of pingbacks? You linked to my blog, it sent a pingback which went into moderation and I got an email about it from the WordPress system. I didn’t even know this blog existed until then. But that is merely a distraction from the point of my comment, which is that you are falsely implying, if not outright stating, that you were lied to about being paid. That is absolutely false. You will get paid at the same time everyone else is paid for revenue earned in June (and I will be happy to donate that money to charity if you would prefer, as I do for several of our other bloggers). And if you actually have any of that integrity you are so loudly proclaiming, you will change the text to reflect that.

    • Thunderf00t Says:

      “Have you never heard of pingbacks?”
      Nope, I’m a n00b at this sort of thing.

      … actually, what it says is absolutely true that ‘FTB never paid me a penny’. Nor do I have any doubt that if I had not raised the issue (based on your track record) that this would have been the final outcome. To me this looks both honest and accurate.

      However, seeing as you think this is a valid point, I will add an annotation of some sort pointing to your comment (even given my distaste for after the fact editing), and people can make up their own mind about what they think the final outcome would have been had the issue not been raised.

      On a personal note, it’s nice to see you can be civil Ed given all the profanity and intimidating nature of all the private and public emails you sent me.

      • Ed Brayton Says:

        Ah yes, the old “what I wrote was false but I’m sure it would have been true” excuse. How very compelling. Speaks volumes about your concern for accuracy. The few people who have left FTB for any reason have been paid every dime that was due to them and you will be as well. And you would have been from the start, before you started making false accusations.

      • DawahLite Says:

        Are you stupid Ed? What he wrote was true at the time (and still will be until he’s paid… if you ever do). He didn’t say “And they will never pay me”. It’s the old “What I wrote was true, but the situation may change, if you’re not as dishonest as we know you are Ed”

    • Anonymous atheist Says:

      I didn’t even know this blog existed until then.

      Oh boy, you didn’t vet TF at all did you? Not even a glance at the first page of a Google search (this blog is the 3rd result). What were you in some kind of rush to snap up all the popular YT atheists?

      • Mike De Fleuriot Says:

        “What were you in some kind of rush to snap up all the popular YT atheists?”

        Come on, you know you are not suppose to say thing like that, people might start to believe them.

  10. Murdaka Says:

    Good post. Ed, you do realise that his main topic is not the money, Its the fact that he was banned for basically doing what he should. Or rather, thought he should in a democratic system. You might want to not try nitpicking.

    • Ed Brayton Says:

      I’m sure Thunderfoot really believes that he was removed from FTB for disagreement. I’ve already explained why this is not true in other venues, and I’m fully aware that many people will not believe that. I can’t provide details because we have a policy against revealing what is said on the FTB mailing list. Every single post to that list includes this message: “All emails sent to this list are confidential and private. Revealing information contained in any email sent to the list to anyone not on the list without permission of the author is strictly prohibited.” Thunderfoot has chosen to violate that confidentiality, but I will not do so, for obvious reasons. Everyone is free to make up their own mind as to which story they believe and I’m perfectly fine with that.

      But there is a clearly false statement in this post that I have ripped him off by not paying him. That is not nitpicking, it’s a serious and blatantly false implication. And it should be corrected. The fact that this false statement remains in place without correction even after it is shown to be false speaks highly about his commitment to accuracy and that integrity he is so loudly proclaiming to be important.

      • Thunderf00t Says:

        I’m just curious Ed, ignoring all the petty shite for a moment, as to what you actually think.

        Given that when ZOMGitscriss puts up a video with folks like Rebecca Watson, PZ, skepchick or other FTBs in it, it gets hammered in the ratings to a similar extent to the worst creationist videos.

        Do you not think that that is at least indicative that I might have a point about FTB being way off base on this issue?

        • Ed Brayton Says:

          I think you put far too much emphasis on likes and dislikes on Youtube. It’s not just an argument from popularity, it’s based on a very limited and non-representative sample size. Some people will undoubtedly agree with you and some people will undoubtedly agree with those you have engaged with. I have no interest in keeping score, I’ll leave it up to you to obsess over likes and dislikes.

      • LMU Says:

        Ed,

        In this post TF talks about promises made to him. At least one of those promises was broken. It is good to have you on record saying that you will pay him, but until you do it is still just another promise. You should be able to understand why this isn’t reassuring. A stronger statement would be, “You will be paid when everyone else is; by X date.”

        He said “FTB never paid me a penny,” which by your own admission is factually correct. It remains true UNTIL you pay him.

        • Ed Brayton Says:

          LMU wrote:

          A stronger statement would be, “You will be paid when everyone else is; by X date.”

          You mean like when I said, “I don’t get paid by the ad networks for 30-60 days after the end of each month, so I pay revenue out to the bloggers on that schedule. June’s revenue sharing will be paid out at the end of August and you will be paid then for your share of the totals”? Reading is fundamental.

      • LMU Says:

        Ed,

        I read your post but had somehow forgotten that you specified the end of August by the time I reached the end of the thread, I was not trying to misrepresent you, I apologize.

      • luthersrants Says:

        I would image that if TF removal from FTB had something to do with information in the mailing list it would have to be something TF wrote. So have TF give permission to publish it in a public forum. Seems pretty straight forward.

      • the Popular Front of Judea Says:

        I’ve looked for this real reason in other venues, and didn’t find any explanation… except possibly something concerning member to member conduct, which seems odd because any conduct problems were clearly two sided… and only the newbie Thunderf00t was judged, regardless of made the first public personal attack. I also didn’t find evidence of Thunderf00t violating any mailing list confidentiality before his dismissal, which seemed implied above and should have been easily evidenced without further violating any confidentiality.

        Honestly, this doesn’t interest me beyond how quickly everything degenerated into a disturbing Us vs Them mob mentality instead of pursuing some manner of civil, logical or rational inquiry… on a site where “opinions should be formed on the basis of logic and reason and not authority, tradition, or other dogmas.” It has always bothered me that rationality and skepticism are always topic dependent even in the rational/skeptical “community”… pick the wrong topic and people revert to opinions, insults and positioning.

        I suspect that everyone involved should be embarrassed, and any involved who believe themselves without fault in the matter should probably be ashamed. However, that is just a suspicion, because this brouhaha was totally tl;dr.

      • Thunderf00t Says:

        “I’ve already explained why this is not true in other venues, and I’m fully aware that many people will not believe that. I can’t provide details because we have a policy against revealing what is said on the FTB mailing list. ”

        Really Ed? PZ was quite happy to discuss the mailing list and the conduct of people on it, yet for some reason you don’t think he has violated anyones privacy, or am I wrong?

        I know why you are so keen not to reveal anything on that list, because your conduct there exposes the sort of people you really are. I conversely have nothing to hide.

        Face it Ed, you are just hiding behind the ‘it’s protected by privacy’ as the only thing the mailing list shows (on this issue) is that you and others acted like first class jerks. But by all means publish it. I’ve got no problems with you making anything I sent to that list public. Somehow I doubt you would be happy to make the same commitment.

      • Dangermouse Says:

        Isn’t it telling that the moment Thunderf00t gives permission to print the e-mails, and asks Ed Brayton if he’s similarly confident about his behaviour Ed vanished and stops replying. It’s almost as if he’s worried that they will not reflect well on him and PZ.

  11. Alex Allgood Says:

    I suggest that after this you should probably switch to a new topic. After a while internet drama gets old, don’t add more fuel to it or try to get the last word in. I know that this bullshit has royally pissed you off, but I don’t think it serves any purpose to continue this. At any rate I enjoy your content on YouTube and will stayed subscribed.

  12. Jimmy Nova Says:

    WTF is “rape culture” anyway? All that comes to my mind is:

    “Pardon me, miss. Would you mind terribly if I forcefully inserted my penis into your vagina while verbally accusing you of lewdness and indecency?”

    …spoken by the most stereotypical British gentleman.

    • Roxolan Says:

      God forbid you do your own research.

      http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/

      • John Says:

        The cool thing about that definition, along with virtually all other feminist definitions is that it is so ridiculously broad as to be effectively worthless content-wise.

    • slqblindman Says:

      TF said what needed to be said. Subscribed!

    • FreeThoughtStorm Says:

      I picture these women looking around in a paranoid fashion and if a man so much as locks eyes with them it’s taken as a hostile threat to their womanhood. It’s not only a ridiculous viewpoint but also a conceited one. I find the feminist slant on FTB insane. I see nothing but cliques that bully others into submission. Don’t go against the big dogs, you’ll be banished. Just recently Justin Griffith has been suffering bullying from the same top clique on FTB. I will continue to read his blog, and JT’s blog but other than that I steer clear of that mess altogether. High school has been over for me for ten years, and I didn’t like the mentality then and I don’t like it now. As far a skepchicks go, I’m more of a feminist than you will ever be because I will never use my gender to make myself into a victim.

  13. Leon Says:

    Thanks thunderf00t for another great video, although I prefer the science, I love seeing those who rely on straw-men get ripped a part.

  14. John D Says:

    FTB has its purpose. It is the home turf for many of the most whiny victimized butt-hurt atheists in the English-speaking world. They will come up with the most creative and hyperbolic attack on any ideas that are not in line with their vision of a politically correct liberal progressive puritanism.

    Even blood sucking leeches need some kind of swamp to live in… so swamps are at least useful for this purpose. Think of FTB as a sort of swamp, and this all makes sense. I even visit swamps occasionally to make sure there are still leeches there ready to suck the blood out of my living veins…. yep…. I still see the leeches….

  15. Chris Delozier Says:

    “Do you not think that that is at least indicative that I might have a point about FTB being way off base on this issue?”

    The popular opinion is not always correct, morally or factually.

    • John Says:

      Well, that’s good. Because he never said that they were.

      • Chris Delozier Says:

        He’s trying to use the popularity of views expressed to determine whether he has a point about sexual harassment and policies being an issue that bloggers at FTB spend too much time on. Even if that is determined to be the view of many of those on Youtube, it still doesn’t even allude to that point he’s trying to make. It would be like, if Youtube were around in 1958, and J. B. Stoner tries to utilize how many likes he gets on a video to allude to the point that MLK spends way too much time speaking on racism and that it’s not really a problem. Not comparing TF00t to J. B. Stoner or FTB to MLK, it’s just an analogy of the method and how wrong it would be.

    • Pokeralho Says:

      You are not reading it correctly: “…that is at least indicative…” means precisely that it does not claim to be ALWAYS correct. Furthermore, given the statistical agreement/correlation of likes (or positive coments) with other issues treated in this blog or the youtube channel, I am inclined to accept as plausible “…that is at least indicative…” that the likes reflect a support for the position of thunderfoot. I for one have taken my consequences out of this affair: the FTB policy is like the US foreign policy, its OK to criticize others as long as its not against the US or its allies interests. So, I’ll be reading the FTB with a lookout for double standard and dogma. It’s a shame…

      • Chris Delozier Says:

        “You are not reading it correctly: “…that is at least indicative…” means precisely that it does not claim to be ALWAYS correct.” I read it correctly, don’t patronize me. Your explanation is even more muddled than the point he’s trying to make if you flip flop on meanings in the same post. “At least” isn’t a phrase of amounts as your first excerpt tries to show. It is a phrase of degree, a minimum degree of having a point. You even went on to use it that way to restate what I’m already saying: Youtube popularity doesn’t prove a damn thing about whether sexual harassment and sexism is given too much attention when it’s such a “minor” problem.

      • Chris Delozier Says:

        By ‘amounts’ in the above, I should clarify that the units you used first would measure of “rightness over time.” You then go on to use it in a ‘minimal/maximal’ way. I can’t think of any use of “at least” which relates to the first.

  16. Patrick Says:

    I’ve been following this mini-drama since near the beginning. I find it frustrating that PZ Myers has not directly addressed Thunderf00t’s accusation that he broke his promise about censoring based on content. While Ed Brayton, who’s blog I follow, claims that is not the case, all the available evidence points the other way.

    Nothing I’ve read by Thunderf00t’s detractors has demonstrated any appreciation of the importance of this point. In fact, the vast majority, including PZ Myers, come across as intent on distracting from it.

    Skeptics and freethinkers are supposed to value intellectual integrity and honesty. The answer to bad speech is supposed to be good speech, not banning speakers. I’m not seeing any respect for these values on the part of Freethought Blogs.

  17. Elizabeth Says:

    Hey, re-reading and correct spelling are a simple courtesy to your readers.

    Pase vs. Faze

    The verb faze means to bother or disturb the composure (of someone). As a noun, phase means a stage of development or a distinct portion of a process, system, or presentation. As a verb, phase means to plan or carry out systematically in stages.

    Examples:

    It takes a lot more than boos and catcalls to faze Norma.

    Being the first to cross the finish line makes you a winner in only one phase of life.

    I’m disappointed in your writing, your thought and your style outside of your area of specialty and have decided to unsubscribe.

    • EnglishLessonsAreUs Says:

      Hey, re-reading and spelling correctly (verb-adverb would be more suitable here) are a simple courtesy to your readers.

      Phase (to correct your typographical error) vs. Faze

      I’m disappointed in your writing, your thought and your style outside your area of speciality (I’m British, and so I spell these words even more correctly that you do) and would unsubscribe, if that was the rational thing to do, which it isn’t. We are adult enough to forgive the odd spelling error here and there, aren’t we? It doesn’t always mean that we were unaware of the correct way to spell a word after all, so perhaps your patronising was unwarranted.

    • Anonymous Says:

      I am sick of this “female atheists are getting harassed at conferences” crap that is getting posted on FTB and have some advice for anyone who posts that bullshit: stop acting like a fuckhead, realise that you’re a bad example of traditionalist feminism who is playing the victim, get off your computer and do something different for 5 mins. The Internet may get a short reprieve from your idiocy if you do that.

    • mike kelly Says:

      muphrey’s law in action

    • Tom Says:

      @Elizabeth

      You cumplain about speling, and yet mispeled da very word youre cumplaining about. Observing sutch a hypocritical grammar Nazi is qwite amuzing. You must bee puling you’re hair out reading this reply.

      @Thunderf00t
      PZ has turned into a drama queen. He loves the drama that is unfolding. I say just let it go, and move on. Fuck him.

  18. Matt Dillahunty Says:

    “This was evidently a verbal assurance made in bad faith.”

    I wouldn’t say, “in bad faith” because that sounds like you’re implying intentional misrepresentation. It seems clear to me that what actually happened is a misunderstanding of several things, including what “freethought” actually means.

    “Maybe he wasn’t joking about that ‘Except me…”

    Your original post didn’t address him, it gave your take on an issue. The implication you’re making here is dishonest and irrational. The fact that your particular incident lead to a particular conclusion isn’t sufficient to demonstrate a causal link or trend. Especially when you omit relevant context.

    “There was no open consultation in this group about what anyone else thought of my ideas prior to my expulsion”

    This is simply not true. There was plenty of discussion about your post. There were direct responses on at least two blogs (that’s pretty open) and additional conversation amongst the FtB members – conversations that included you.

    “Everyone else on the groups was told of my ‘expulsion’ AFTER it happened”

    And it was a decision I supported.

    “I mean hell, they wouldn’t have wanted an actual discussion or to give anyone the possibility to dissent about what is permissible ‘freethought’ on ‘freethoughtblogs’ now would they!”

    You’re the one who doesn’t seem to know what Freethought means. Characterizing it as ‘free speech’ is incorrect but it’s actually doubly incorrect because we also value and support free speech. This is evidenced by the fact that your posts remain up, unedited, to this day – and no one ever suggested that you should edit or remove them.

    “Now I really didn’t care about offending these people at this point”

    That is abundantly clear. And those of us who, despite disagreeing with the content of your post, still liked and respected you are a bit baffled by your reactionary, broad-brush labeling of those of us at FtB. Your response to this is misguided and misdirected and you’re tossing the baby out with the bathwater.

    “as on their mailing list I had already been accused of being a ‘rape culture apologist’…”

    Something that I was unaware of and not involved in. I believe, though, that there have already been apologies on this front.

    “Heard a rumor? Not a problem on FTB where rumor are fact until proven otherwise.”

    This is what I mean by dishonesty. You’re taking incidents of human error and slippery sloping to the implication that there’s no interest in truth and that there’s a propaganda machine here.

    “Napoleonic Justice reigns, Guilty till proven innocent!”

    You were guilty – of being a bad fit for that blog site. You were also guilty of doing exactly what you’re doing here, in the aftermath; sensationalizing the trivial, trivializing the significant and not giving a crap about other people.

    “I was happy to write a blog there, but I certainly wasn’t going to waste my time ingratiating myself with such people.”

    You saw something you didn’t care for, before your first post, and instead of talking to people, you went on the attack. I doubt you’re surprised at how this turned out. Honestly, at this point, based on all that has transpired and what youv’e said here, I think this was your plan…and it’s really sad, because you took disparate facts, leapt to a conclusion, painted everyone with a broad-brush and went on the attack, all in response to comments that were unfair toward you.

    That’s understandable, but it doesn’t make you right.

    “However, I was not going to be bullied into submission by a bunch of second raters”

    Exactly how are those of us at FtB “second raters”? To who, to you? And exactly how were you bullied – if people never asked you to edit or remove the post (it’s still there!) and responded to it in public?

    “and so despite a series of threats, and Ed Brayton making it clear that if I felt PZ hadn’t kept his word I was free to leave ‘and not let the door hit your ass on the way out’, and that ‘no one would miss me’. That’s right, the fact that PZ was lying to people faces to get people into the blog really didn’t phase anyone at freethoughtblogs at all! Nor did such explicit threats on the mailing list seem to phase anyone else”

    You mean, those of us who you had alienated, evidently intentionally…those of us who understand what “Freethought” means…those who don’t think you were lied to…those of us who know that you weren’t being let go *merely* because of the content of the post…those of us who had already said that adding you was a mistake…you mean to tell me that those people didn’t come rushing to your defense?

    I’m shocked.

    “which I think shows that bullying is just so widespread on FTB that it is just the socially accepted norm”

    I don’t characterize your experience as bullying, nor do I recall any other incident comparable to yours – yet you want to build up accusations from this single incident?

    “Y’see this is the slippery slope”

    It most certainly is. (Ya see what I did there? Clever, eh? Second rater, my ass.)

    “People like Rebecca ‘Rape Threat’ Watson ”

    Someone who isn’t on FtB and isn’t involved with what happened at FtB…. nope, you couldn’t possibly be harboring bias and hostility that poisoned any hope of civil communication.

    “Association with the likes of Freethoughblogs or Skepchick is about as toxic to a videos reception as some of VFXs less savory opinions.”

    And while I love the content that you produce, and the same is true for AronRa, ZOMGitscriss and dozens of others, I’m not sure that I agree that the self-selected community that determines your video ratings is a representative sample of the broader community of secularists and freethinkers who advocate equality and civility. Especially given the ratings of unscholarly videos like Zeitgeist and other videos of questionable content.

    I love YouTube. I love what some of my friends do with YouTube. I love the reach of YouTube. I do not, though, care about the comments or the reception of videos on YouTube – because there is no necessary correlation with quality or truth. It’s an argument ad populum connected at the hip to selection bias.

    “and asked people who watched to the end who they thought was nearer the mark, my views or the views that could pass as the plurality on freethoughtblogs. Sure there will be some bias in the data, but not enough to nullify the point that FTB are widely seen as off base on this point.”

    This is baffling, coming from a scientist. You acknowledge that there’s bias, but assert – without justification – that this bias is insignificant. First of all, posting a video to your channel and grabbing results after a short period, is a rather crappy methodology. But, in this case, you have the selection bias of your fans, your version of events, your timelimit…no demonstration that the selection pool is indicative of the secular movement and to top it all off:

    It wouldn’t matter if it was – because that’d be an appeal to popularity. (And one done without all of the relevant information available).

    “Anyways, that’s pretty much my experience of the slimepit of ‘Freethoughblogs’ the PC Lyars.”

    I’m right here, ya know. I’m right fucking here, still giving a shit – despite you continually acting like a complete ass.

    “It’s not the whole story yet though.”

    A truthful statement…and it would have been great if it weren’t being used as a lead-in to more poo-flinging:

    “It turns out that freethoughtblogs are not only happy to ban people as a typical creationist would (for something that they never actually said), but are perfectly happy to actively support the abuse of copyright specifically used to stifle active debate. More on that later.”

    Put down the shovel, you’re deep enough. Some of us have been trying to help you out of this hole, but you’re determined.

    • mike kelly Says:

      Hi. You seem to be saying a group of FTB bloggers objected or had reservations about including TF prior to him being invited. Was he made aware of that?

    • Patrick Says:

      Matt,

      Could you confirm or deny that PZ Myers promised Thunderf00t that his content would not be controlled on FtB?

      Leaving aside all the other issues, it appears that Myers broke his promise. Thunderf00t was removed from FtB because of the content of his posts. Is there any evidence to the contrary?

      Thanks for any insight you can provide.

    • John Vattic Says:

      “I wouldn’t say, “in bad faith” because that sounds like you’re implying intentional misrepresentation. It seems clear to me that what actually happened is a misunderstanding of several things, including what “freethought” actually means.”

      You can pretend that offering total creative control a week before you ban someone is not intentional, but no one will believe it.

      “Your original post didn’t address him, it gave your take on an issue. The implication you’re making here is dishonest and irrational. The fact that your particular incident lead to a particular conclusion isn’t sufficient to demonstrate a causal link or trend. Especially when you omit relevant context.”

      Another person who doesn’t understand that cum hoc ergo propter hoc doesn’t mean that a correlation can’t imply a possible cause which is exactly what he’s contending here.

      “This is simply not true. There was plenty of discussion about your post. There were direct responses on at least two blogs (that’s pretty open) and additional conversation amongst the FtB members – conversations that included you.”

      Agreed.

      “You’re the one who doesn’t seem to know what Freethought means. Characterizing it as ‘free speech’ is incorrect but it’s actually doubly incorrect because we also value and support free speech. This is evidenced by the fact that your posts remain up, unedited, to this day – and no one ever suggested that you should edit or remove them.”

      This is about as legitimate of a claim as venomfang x leaving your comment up so that he can respond to it, blocking you so you can’t continue the discussion and calling it free speech. Freethought deals with forming opinions via reason and logic; Thunderf00t did precisely this and was banned.

      “That is abundantly clear. And those of us who, despite disagreeing with the content of your post, still liked and respected you are a bit baffled by your reactionary, broad-brush labeling of those of us at FtB. Your response to this is misguided and misdirected and you’re tossing the baby out with the bathwater.”

      Except this isn’t remotely true at all. I’ve read most of the “official” responses to his first post. They engage in the exact same invective that Thunderf00t criticized them for.

      “This is what I mean by dishonesty. You’re taking incidents of human error and slippery sloping to the implication that there’s no interest in truth and that there’s a propaganda machine here.”

      Mainly because there is a propaganda machine in place. It’s called the comments section of FTB’s.

      “You were guilty – of being a bad fit for that blog site. You were also guilty of doing exactly what you’re doing here, in the aftermath; sensationalizing the trivial, trivializing the significant and not giving a crap about other people.”

      1) Assuming the name Freethought Blogs means “a freethought place to blog”, then there’s no other person who would be a better fit; you included.
      2) You calling something trivial doesn’t make it trivial.
      3) While I can’t speak for Thunderf00t’s tolerance for others, I can speak for myself. I’ll give a crap about other people when they stop writing abrasive, condescending posts at me.

      “You saw something you didn’t care for, before your first post, and instead of talking to people, you went on the attack. I doubt you’re surprised at how this turned out. Honestly, at this point, based on all that has transpired and what youv’e said here, I think this was your plan…and it’s really sad, because you took disparate facts, leapt to a conclusion, painted everyone with a broad-brush and went on the attack, all in response to comments that were unfair toward you.

      That’s understandable, but it doesn’t make you right.”

      Congratulations on engaging in some utterly baseless, vapid conspiracy theory that Thunderf00t planned this drama with PZ.

      “Exactly how are those of us at FtB “second raters”? To who, to you? And exactly how were you bullied – if people never asked you to edit or remove the post (it’s still there!) and responded to it in public?”

      While I actually think many of the people who post on FTB’s actually are second-raters, I don’t think it’s fair for him to say that. I already responded to the other point above. If you think keeping someone’s posts up long enough to respond to them, then banning him a few days later is not bullying, you don’t know what bullying is.

      “Someone who isn’t on FtB and isn’t involved with what happened at FtB…. nope, you couldn’t possibly be harboring bias and hostility that poisoned any hope of civil communication.”

      Except it’s clearly a part of the drama as he mentioned her in his first video and it’s clearly a larger part of the picture as Watson’s push for stricter rulesets at conferences and meetings is a guiding aspect of the initial post which started the outcry. This is disingenuous.

      “You mean, those of us who you had alienated, evidently intentionally…those of us who understand what “Freethought” means…those who don’t think you were lied to…those of us who know that you weren’t being let go *merely* because of the content of the post…those of us who had already said that adding you was a mistake…you mean to tell me that those people didn’t come rushing to your defense?

      I’m shocked.”

      1) To say that TF is the one who alienated you and others when it was PZ who originally attacked his post as “embarassingly clueless” is to be detached from reality. Thunderf00t’s comments only began to turn insulting after there were droves of rabid fanboys spamming his comments section and after several other FTB posters had already made condescending, insulting responses to his original post. You don’t know what you’re talking about.
      2) Saying you know what freethought means and subsequently implying that TF doesn’t know what it means doesn’t actually make it so.
      3) Continue to hold onto that unfalsifiable claim that he wasn’t lied to as your only line of argumentation. I understand that you have to, as it’s the sole premise that you and all other dissenters are relying on to keep your argument sound.
      4) This claim is just as specious as the previous one as it’s also unfalsifiable. It’s analogous to a cop waits until a person flicks a cigarette out the window so that he has justification for pulling the person over because; until that point; he didn’t have the justification for doing so. For all intents and purposes, he was banned because his views radically differ from many of the posteres on FTB’s. You and others hiding behind a post hoc rationalization to defend the banning doesn’t mean jack shit. Oh, and nice job adding the (merely) in your post to cover your ass from the obvious objection that he was kicked for his post. As I said before, it’s irrelevant.
      5) Oh please. Do explain how adding him was a mistake. It couldn’t possibly be because his position on feminism is diametrically opposed to yours/others? More transparency please.
      6) Yeah. It’s not as if all you freethinkers have an obligation to point to PZ’s inconsistencies by assuring creative control over his work. Because that’s not being fair and objective.

      I think the particularly ironic thing about this is that now you’re whining about the fact that he was somewhat terse with people who were threatening him in the mailing list. Talk about sensationalizing the trivial.

      “I love YouTube. I love what some of my friends do with YouTube. I love the reach of YouTube. I do not, though, care about the comments or the reception of videos on YouTube – because there is no necessary correlation with quality or truth. It’s an argument ad populum connected at the hip to selection bias.”

      Why do you even bother specifically mentioning youtube? Your position would apply to anyone’s opinion as that is precisely what every single comment is on both youtube and FTB.

      “This is baffling, coming from a scientist. You acknowledge that there’s bias, but assert – without justification – that this bias is insignificant. First of all, posting a video to your channel and grabbing results after a short period, is a rather crappy methodology. But, in this case, you have the selection bias of your fans, your version of events, your timelimit…no demonstration that the selection pool is indicative of the secular movement and to top it all off:

      It wouldn’t matter if it was – because that’d be an appeal to popularity. (And one done without all of the relevant information available).”

      Nice job conveniently editing his quote down and effectively ignoring his overall point. The truly hilarious part of this is that he already responded to this objection because you’re parroting the same thing that PZ said in his video. He’s not claiming anything. He’s claiming that he believes that the people at FTB’s (the commenters) mass vote down videos they disagree with which he evidenced by the fact that the only zomgitscriss’s video that was down-rated heavily was her one on Watson.

      “I’m right here, ya know. I’m right fucking here, still giving a shit – despite you continually acting like a complete ass.”

      Aww, how cute. You’re trolling for attention. A complete ass. Lol, the irony.

      “A truthful statement…and it would have been great if it weren’t being used as a lead-in to more poo-flinging:”

      You’re full of shit. You can continue to pretend as if the people who peruse FTB’s aren’t of the same fervor as Paulites, but you’re still full of shit. They’re the exact same crowd of radical feminists that rabidly attack people who disagree with them on tumblr, reddit and facebook and who haven’t even received a cursory education on feminist theory. I argue with them ad nauseum and with a few exceptions, they’re all the same. FTB’s is no different.

      On a side note completely unrelated to this drama, I sent you a message awhile ago, but I’m guessing you never got it. I would imagine the spam filters likely caught the message. My message had two points:

      1) You are fundamentally wrong about the Classical Laws of Thought and continually make the mistake of assuming that they are absolute when they’re not.
      2) You and Russell are powerfully ignorant about postmodernism and clearly haven’t done a cursory investigation of what postmodernism actually is. Please read Derrida, Heidegger and Kuhn for more info on this rather than regurgitating the 20-something yuppie version of postmodernism.

      • Lickmywound Says:

        Excellent rebuttal John. You just showed Dillahunty how lacking his argument is in common sense.

    • slqblindman Says:

      Uh, Matt, what exactly do you think “Freethought” means?
      TF wasn’t advocating violence, or perversions, or racism. His words did not even rise to the level of crying fire in a crowded theater.
      He excercise “Free” “Thought”. And you attempt redefine the term smacks of William Lane Craig’s apologetics.

      • John Vattic Says:

        You’re wasting your time. He’s towing the party line; as it were. This is about damage control and keeping everyone in line until this blows over.

    • Mike De Fleuriot Says:

      I go to a resort with the name of Nudist Beach, I expect there to be naked people. I see FreethoughtBlogs, I have a similar expectation. At least that is what most readers of Ftb used to think, but now they know the real facts.

    • quawonk Says:

      “sensationalizing the trivial”

      Does that include Watson’s elevator incident that caused this massive freakout about sexism? The incident for which there is no evidence, except for her saying so? I think ‘anecdotes do not equal evidence’ is central to freethought/skeptical principles, is it not? Otherwise we’d have to accept God and Jesus being real because people say so. Consistency! Want us to believe the claim of widespread sexism? Show us the evidence. Give us data and numbers. That’s how science works.

      “painting everyone with the same brush”

      QUOTE: [TheAmazingAtheist] is an MRA which means that he is a bad person. All MRA’s are bad people without exception. -Greg Laden

      And I’m sure PZ and the others would have no objections if the youtube vote results came out in PZ’s favor. He’d be like “told you so, suck it TF”, or words to that effect. The hypocrisy inherent in crashing polls to skew them in his favor, using his audience and ‘bias’, and then criticizing another person for doing the same, doesn’t seem to matter to anyone.

      TF’s point about being lied to by PZ about no attempts being made to police content still remains unaddressed.

    • theuncynic Says:

      You did not address the issue where PZ stated that people are free to “rip into each other” if they don’t like something. How does this apply to tf00t’s posts, or doesn’t it?

    • hannanibal Says:

      Little late to the party but…Fuck off Dillacunty you unbearable shithead.

  19. Anonymous athiest Says:

    I think both sides are guilty of making straw-man arguments against the other. For example TF’s likening of official sexual policies to having to a permission form filled out before nibbling on that woman’s leg, or FtBers immediately accusing TF of being a misogynist who thinks sexual harassment isn’t a problem at all.

    TF’s initial post was a bit silly and largely off base IMO, however the FtB community reaction to it was over the top.

    So was the disproportionate response to TF’s, arguably wrong position vs. Greg Laden’s threats of physical violence towards another FtBer (Justin Griffith).

    Rebecca Watson and PZ loudly denounce TF with all sorts of invective while happily sitting next to Greg on various panel discussions. WTF?

    The worst thing though, is that I am afraid to say any of this under my real name (and several of the main actors involved in this dispute know me) for fear of being accused.

    • John C. Welch Says:

      Oh greg has attacked justin several times, both on FTB and his own site. None of the FC (Fainting Couch) 5 has said boo about it, with the singular exception of Steph Zvan who put up a remarkably bad allegorical post about how Laden was justified because other people, (Not Justin mind you) had bullied him SO relentlessly, (evidently while laden was bullying other people in real life, not just the internet), so poor greg lashed out. What else could you expect from a poor victim like Greg?

      That’s it in terms of other public responses and one Facebook post from Chris H., who wasn’t part of the “in” clique at FTB anyway.

      So, if you disagree with the FC5, especially PZ, you get roundly attacked on FTB. But, if you actually threaten someone, your blog is deleted, and nothing ever happened, nothing to see here.

      The problem with FTB isn’t the lack of freethought. It’s that hypocrisy is their way of life.

      • Anonymous atheist Says:

        Hey John. I recognize your name from my back-and-forth reading of the whole Skepchick/FtB vs. The ERV “Slimepit” thing (which the TF debacle is clearly an extension of).

        You seem to be one of the more outspoken “Slimepit” people, so I’d like to publically ask you about your opinions on a few things for the record. These are going to be generalized questions that should mostly require only “yes” or “no” answers, so there is no need for tangents about any of the specific people or events involved in the current controversy.

        Please understand that I am making any accusations or implications against you with any of these questions. I am just trying to get a feel for what people on “your side” of the controversy think about these things in general.

        1) Is sexual harassment as it is typically defined (say as it is on Wikipedia) bad and unacceptable behavior?

        2) Do you object to rules banning such behavior (in the workplace, at events like TAM etc.)?

        3) Is it acceptable behavior, under any circumstances, to us slurs (racial, ethnic, gender etc.) against people?

        4) Is it acceptable behavior to suggest that people you disagree with should be physically harmed (beaten, raped or killed)?

        5) Is it acceptable behavior to threaten to physically harm (beat, rape or kill) people you disagree with?

        6) Do people have the right to voice concerns about sexual harassment, and to advocate for rules against it?

        7) Do people have the right to object to the use of slurs?

        8) Do people have the right to voice concerns about physical threats or about others advocating physical harm, and to advocate for rules against these things?

        That should do for now, thanks.

      • John C. Welch Says:

        he walked into the trap, knowing the end results no matter what. “that’s what unknown challenges in dark woods do” he muttered. “They make you bleed, even if you refuse them. So may as well rush in. Have a bit of fun before the screaming starts.”

        1) Is sexual harassment as it is typically defined (say as it is on Wikipedia) bad and unacceptable behavior?

        What’s the context? what is incredibly bad behavior in one context may not be in another. What one person finds harassment may genuinely not register to another. Give me some context to work with. For example, in the advertising industry, you frequently have to deal with situations (borderline porn websites, nude artwork, etc.) that would get you instantly fired in say, the insurance industry. If you’re a masseuse or personal trainer, you have a level of normal intimacy with clients that would be COMPLETELY inappropriate for a science research firm.

        The wikipedia article, (it’s not a definition by any means), gives a good outline of the concept, and its implementation in many different countries. But to talk about it in any detail, you need context.

        In General, sexual harassment is unacceptable. That’s easy. It’s just defining what sexual harassment consists of that’s tricky.

        2) Do you object to rules banning such behavior (in the workplace, at events like TAM etc.)?

        Well, there’s good and bad about formalized rules. In general, I’m not in favor of more formal code than is necessary, because once you create a standard, you’re stuck with it, even when it’s inconvenient. Of the policies I’ve seen, I much prefer the CFI version to the american atheist version. The AA version, in attempting to be overly specific, creates as many problems as it solves, perhaps more, so at best it doesn’t make the problem better, it simply shifts it around.

        Personally, I think allowing an individual to make that assessment, and having staff trained to handle someone filing a complaint about someone else handles the issue better than a long formal policy. That’s who is going to define “harassment” anyway: the people involved. You don’t need a formal code of conduct to train your staff to handle cases where someone’s being a douche. They can simply find the person, pull them aside and say “hey, you may not know it, but you’ve been acting in a way that people are taking to be douchey, even harassing. You need to stop, and rethink how you’re interacting with people. If we keep getting complaints, then we may have to ask you to leave.”

        If the person involved starts being a jerk about it, you can tell them that this is a private event, and that ticket/pass is not a constitutional right to be there, any more than you have the right to be at a concert or other event, and if they want to be snippy, they can leave now, and not return.

        Same thing you get from a code of conduct, and you remove the chance to be a rules lawyer, which people will do. “Loophole” is a human sport of great popularity.

        I don’t object to normal, sensible rules, especially ones that handle really uncommon situations. For example, at dragon*con, there are a LOT of people who are basically naked. A heads up about that, and tips on how to approach cosplayers about taking pictures, etc., is not a bad idea.

        But when you start defining how someone is to approach someone to shake their hand, I think you’ve gone off the rails. So I don’t object to rules at all, I object to defining the rules in such a way that normal casual behavior between friends will cause problems.

        3) Is it acceptable behavior, under any circumstances, to us slurs (racial, ethnic, gender etc.) against people?

        Let’s be honest. You don’t mean “slurs” in that general a way. “Drooling idiot fuckstick” is a slur. What you’re talking about are specific words, the magic ones, current top spots being:

        Nigger
        Cunt
        Fag
        Bitch

        I can call every man on the planet a dick all day long, and neither you nor anyone else will raise an eyebrow about my use of a “gendered” slur, even though calling someone a dick, or a cock is clearly that.

        Under ANY circumstances? Oh probably. There’s billions of people on the planet, and I’ve heard all those words used, casually, with no harm, no foul, all my life. Are there situations where using those words is clearly inappropriate? Of course, don’t be stupid. But please, there’s not a word on that list that doesn’t have a situation, or context where it’s appropriate to use them. Hell, in some cases, they’re even movie titles. (Great example of a blaxploitation western, Fred Williamson was excellent in it.)

        I go with carlin. I don’t worry about words. I worry about the people using the word. When the British Government drove Alan Turing to suicide, they never used a single slur. It was all done in the most proper language imaginable, and as ugly as can be.

        4) Is it acceptable behavior to suggest that people you disagree with should be physically harmed (beaten, raped or killed)?

        Am I disagreeing with them about shooting me in the face? because in that case, yes, I am TOTALLY FINE with suggesting that the person wanting to shoot me in the face be themselves shot in the face. Totally down with that.

        Are we disagreeing over coffee? Then it would be inappropriate.

        Are we talking about arguing on the internet? Then we have to deal not only with context, but the people involved. I’ve had people point-blank tell me they’re going to kick my ass, etc. I laugh at them, publicize their bullshit, and move on. Other people will take that same situation and handle it far differently. Are they WRONG? no. they’re different. That doesn’t mean I have to agree with them. I think it’s perfectly legitimate to disagree with someone’s handling of a problem, even to where you call it stupid, etc. May not be NICE, but that’s a different issue.

        There’s no one answer to this question, no matter how much you’ve already decided there is and plan on flaying me for what you’ve already decided i’m going to say. Which is why I’m actually talking about it in a serious way. You, I don’t think give a rat’s patoot about what I have to say. But someone else might be interested and willing to consider a different point of view.

        5) Is it acceptable behavior to threaten to physically harm (beat, rape or kill) people you disagree with?

        In general, try not to ask the same question twice. It makes obvious that you’re trying to trick/trap people.

        6) Do people have the right to voice concerns about sexual harassment, and to advocate for rules against it?

        Of course they do, don’t be silly. But, they don’t have the right to not be disagreed with. Disagreeing with someone’s opinion on how to handle sexual harassment makes neither side an advocate for rape, misogyny, misandry, etc. It means that you can have many people agreeing on a general statement, (“Sexual harassment is bad”) and disagreeing on how to best handle it.

        8) Do people have the right to voice concerns about physical threats or about others advocating physical harm, and to advocate for rules against these things?

        Again, you’ve essentially asked the same question twice:

        “do people have the right to voice their concerns about things”.

        Of course, the answer is yes. The problem occurs is when people disagreeing with a certain group are accused of advocating things they never come close to advocating so that their words can be ignored, etc.

        “The Slimepit”
        “Gender traitor”

        stuff like that doesn’t help. Even my favored bon mot, the “Fainting Couch 5″ is kind of stupid because it is highly dismissive. But, I got tired of having to name the same five people over and over to avoid tarring EVERYONE at FTB, so since they seemed to be very fainting goat-like in the way they respond to disagreement, or like an archtypical old southern biddy about things, it was an amusing bit of shorthand.

        That should do for now, thanks.

        Given that I’m pretty sure you don’t actually care what I respond with, other than to use it to say “HE DISAGREES WITH ME, HE’S IN FAVOR OF RAPE” (something someone actually said to me on Twitter about Paula Kirby), I’m not sure why you wasted the time, but you’re welcome nonetheless.

      • Anonymous atheist Says:

        TF seems to have his comment settings such that discussion threads can only go so many comments deep…

        John C. Welch: he walked into the trap, knowing the end results no matter what… Given that I’m pretty sure you don’t actually care what I respond with, other than to use it to say “HE DISAGREES WITH ME, HE’S IN FAVOR OF RAPE” (something someone actually said to me on Twitter about Paula Kirby), I’m not sure why you wasted the time, but you’re welcome nonetheless.

        I understand your cynicism, but nope, no trap, no accusations (at least at first reading). I was curious to see how you would respond. Some of the nuance you talk about in your responses I think is completely valid (use of certain words in art & fiction for example – I originally put in a artistic exception into my question). Others I thought a bit strained and perhaps colored by your participation in the conflict (something I am sure would apply to comments coming from the other side as well) but this isn’t a good place to hash any disagreement I might have with those.

        Thanks again.

      • Andre Says:

        ‘Disagreeing with someone’s opinion on how to handle sexual harassment makes neither side an advocate for rape, misogyny, misandry, etc. It means that you can have many people agreeing on a general statement, (“Sexual harassment is bad”) and disagreeing on how to best handle it. ”

        Bingo! This is what people are missing about this.

      • Dangermouse Says:

        And the trap was sprung! And it was actually ok, and quite nice. Well done the both of you.

    • L2D Says:

      1) Is sexual harassment as it is typically defined (say as it is on Wikipedia) bad and unacceptable behavior?

      I’m not sure what “unacceptable” means. For no bad thing is it the case that every policy attempting to limit it better than no policy.

      A single act can have bad and good effects. This also applies to laws enacted against things.

      2) Do you object to rules banning such behavior (in the workplace, at events like TAM etc.)?

      It depends on the rules and behavior. Likewise for theft, murder, shouting, interrupting when others are talking, etc. For many things, it is best to have no rules and the consequent fewer concerns about abuses of power.

      The most important question regards who gets to decide who has “really” shouted, or whether shouting was excused or justified, to use shouting as an example. Will this person abuse their power?

      3) Is it acceptable behavior, under any circumstances, to us slurs (racial, ethnic, gender etc.) against people?

      Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t.

      4) Is it acceptable behavior to suggest that people you disagree with should be physically harmed (beaten, raped or killed)?

      Already answered in 1) and 2).

      5) Is it acceptable behavior to threaten to physically harm (beat, rape or kill) people you disagree with?

      Despite the inherent problems with rule making and
      rule enforcement, our society has decided to criminalize such activities. Standards include the right to confront witnesses, etc.

      6) Do people have the right to voice concerns about sexual harassment, and to advocate for rules against it?

      People have the right to voice concerns about laws against pederasty (Curley v. NAMBLA), to advocate hate (R.A.V. v. St. Paul), advocate contingent future violence against minorities such as Jews and Blacks (Brandenburg v. Ohio), and even propose the repeal of the First Amendment itself.

      So, “yes.”

      7) Do people have the right to object to the use of slurs?

      See above.

      8) Do people have the right to voice concerns about physical threats or about others advocating physical harm, and to advocate for rules against these things?

      See above.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      ..:..::::. <—Peas
      o-|<|= <—-The Muslim prophet Mohammed in a skirt.

      It's an ugly sight to see people in power using that power to make rules against speech that those less powerful must follow. Must do more than follow, in truth, for they must self-censor anything that is sufficiently similar to what is actually banned. And it is always the powerful making rules and using them against the powerless.

    • L2D Says:

      “…no demonstration that the selection pool is indicative of the secular movement…”

      The selection pool wouldn’t have to be to support the claim that the FTB consensus is severely divergent from the ideas of the majority of American atheists, or some similar relevant other grouping. It would just have to be less extremely biased than its answers are extremely one-sided.

      “It wouldn’t matter if it was – because that’d be an appeal to popularity.”

      The claim is that the consensus at FTB is unrepresentative of broader groups of people, which makes popularity very relevant, particularly for anything related to outreach or mobilizing people for political action against religious impositions. The popularity of the views that aggregate into the FTB consensus is what is at issue.

      http://lesswrong.com/lw/lr/evaporative_cooling_of_group_beliefs/

  20. Anonymous atheist (spelled correctly) Says:

    Oh, good grief…

    I think both sides are guilty of making straw-man arguments against the other. For example TF’s likening of official sexual *harassment* policies to having to a permission form filled out before nibbling on that woman’s leg, or FtBers immediately accusing TF of being a misogynist who thinks sexual harassment isn’t a problem at all.

    TF’s initial post was a bit silly and largely off base IMO, however the FtB community reaction to it was over the top.

    So was the disproportionate response to TF’s, arguably wrong position vs. Greg Laden’s threats of physical violence towards another FtBer (Justin Griffith).

    Rebecca Watson and PZ loudly denounce TF with all sorts of invective while happily sitting next to Greg on various panel discussions. WTF?

    The worst thing though, is that I am afraid to say any of this under my real name (and several of the main actors involved in this dispute know me) for fear of being accused.

  21. Freethoughtblogs and PC Lyers | Thunderf00t « Kentekens's Blog Says:

    [...] http://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/freethoughtblogs-and-pc-lyers/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. « This Is Your Brain on Altruism | Freakonomics [...]

  22. Jeff R. Says:

    Neither of the participants in this sad affair have acquitted themselves well. For an example, take a look at the invective and (what’s that word again? Oh yes…) *bullying* that accompanies any attempt at rational discussion on FTB about this.
    This whole affair – far more than any other factor – would make me want to avoid any convention at which these characters attend.
    And – before anyone makes a gratuitous “good riddance!” comment – isn’t it one of our aims to support and promote conferences of like-minded folk?

  23. Time Kitten Says:

    Since all this has been going on, I’ve read up on quite a few of the FTB posts on the subject of sexual harassment referenced about Thunderf00t’s posts and the ones referenced by those. I have to say I am horrified.

    Anyone with an opinion in the comments that they feel threatened by the high standards being pushed by the poster immediately gets called an asshole and dismissed without any of their concerns being addressed. After seeing this sort of behavior, it’s clear that it’s in my best interests to side with Thunderf00t.

    I’m a victim of false rape threat accusations, which would have probably been escalated to actual rape accusations if I hadn’t spent my years of 18-21 meticulously making sure there was always someone at least in the house with us just in case someone would try that, especially with a statutory rape media craze and her being 17 while I was 18. Though that worry was just passed when this happened. It was of course all lies, and her best friend, her mother, and the sheriff were all supporting me and nothing came of it.

    But I’ve had the opportunity to see abuse of this militantly feminist culture push, and know the value of moderation in the lines of thought that lead to the “all men are potential rapists” stance. I see the Free Thought Blog as a hostile environment, further accusing the falsely accused on sheer momentum and cheerful peer support. I do not feel if I commented my views there it would be taken seriously or even ignored. I feel I’d get attacked and called names, accused of supporting rape, and even of being a rapist.

    Thunderf00t, even if I do think you are likely to go to anger and appeal to emotions in your videos and blogs in a way I don’t have much respect for, I support you in the argument that started this fully, and have lost near all respect for Free Thought Blogs as a community not just for the opinions of the bloggers and community, but for as well the ramshackle rush to cover their buts as they throw you out.

  24. slqblindman Says:

    Thunderf00t, you make great videos.
    At this point, there is no way you are going to convince the feminist apologists of their hypocrisy. You presented your side, so let it be and get on with promoting the atheist agenda rather than giving undo time to those who want to tear it in half by co-opting it for their own ideological goals.

  25. Ferrocene Cloud Says:

    From what I’ve read regarding this incident, it seems like there’s a few grains of truth and legitimate points amongst a lot of petty shit.

    Looking at the title of this post alone is a good example – “PC Lyers”. This is just fucking childish.

    I’m very disappointed at seeing these kinds of antics from supposedly intelligent and rational people.

  26. brwoodruff Says:

    Hello TF. I had no idea you were still blogging after the “recent unpleasantness” and I hope you keep it up.

    You are not going to win this fight because there are no winners but you can get the word out on the things that you are doing. I hate that it has come to this.

    http://alabamafinance.wordpress.com/

  27. Zinnia Jones Says:

    I would hope that my one response on the matter wasn’t taken as “bullying”. I thought it was pretty mild and limited in its scope.

    • Woolly Atheist Says:

      I’ve unsubscribed from the you tube accounts of all Freethought blogs members. Those I was subscribed to included:

      Aronra
      Zomgitscriss
      ZJempTV
      TheAtheistExperience

      There is a bullying culture at freethought blogs and while these people are not directly invovled in bullying, they’re also not challenging it. That makes them enablers in my mind. I’m not ok with that.

      • Jack Rawlinson Says:

        This. My sentiments exactly.

        For all the problems with Thunderf00t’s post (and yes, they were there) I have a far bigger problem with the behaviour of the “bad apples” at FtB (and we all know who I’m talking about) and the continuing refusal of the more reasonable FtB-ers to call them on it. They clearly prefer to “circle the wagons” and play “He-said-she-said-I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I?”

        I won’t be back to FtB unless and until they clean their act up. And the first step to solving that problem is, as with so many things, admitting that they have a problem.

    • John C. Welch Says:

      your post wasn’t bullying, but it didn’t address much of anything Tf00t said either. Most of it was criticizing the reliability of a youtube poll, and how you can’t take that as being overly valid.

      Okay, no one’s claiming it’s scientific or anything other than an opinion poll that is of course, biased.

      But you don’t actually address anything he said, his expulsion from FTB, none of it. It’s just “you can’t take such a badly done poll” seriously. Only much longer.

    • StealthBadger Says:

      You did fine.

    • dougal445 Says:

      @zinnia jones.
      Don’t think any sane person could accuse you of bullying. As always your posts were excellent examples of rational reasonable arguements. I wonder what the outcome would have been if the majority response had been of the calibre of yourself and richard carrier etc, instead of the vitiol and strawmanning.
      I think Tf had some valid arquements rationally made as well as some silly arguements. However he has handled the aftermath badly (including much strawmanning). Tf has failed to maintain the high ground in this. All in all a big shame and dissapointment on many involved in this. I think you zinnia are among a few whose reputation remains unscathed. Keep up the good work. X

  28. Mike Says:

    This looks to me to be essentially a clash between Left Wingers vs Right Wing libertarians. Thunderf00t representing the latter.

    It’s even apparent in the dispute over the term “freethought” which, in intellectual and historical circles, was generally assumed to mean to mean a progressive political movement rejecting religious dogma. Thunderf00t and the right wing libertarian side are trying to redefine “freethought” to imply libertarian values.

    • Woolly Atheist Says:

      Mike, you obviously haven’t been following Thunderf00t for long if you think he’s a libertarian. He’s had confrontations with libertarians in the past.

      • Mike Says:

        Woolly Atheist, you’re right I don’t follow Thunderf00t at all. I subscribe to smart folks like Potholer 54 and Matt Dillahunty. In contrast, Thunderf00t argues like a child.

      • Woolly Atheist Says:

        Right so you make judgments based on pure uneducated speculation and post it on the internet? Bad skeptic!

      • John C. Welch Says:

        Ah, by “smart folks” you mean “people who already agree with me”.

      • Dangermouse Says:

        Mike:“This looks to me to be essentially a clash between Left Wingers vs Right Wing libertarians. Thunderf00t representing the latter. “

        Mike:Woolly Atheist, you’re right I don’t follow Thunderf00t at all.

        Then how do you know what he represents!?!?

        Honestly, the blind faith of some people.

    • John Vattic Says:

      “I subscribe to smart folks like Potholer 54 and Matt Dillahunty. In contrast, Thunderf00t argues like a child.”

      I have nothing against potholer 54 so I’ll exclude him from my post.

      You do know that Matt Dillahunty is not that well read on issues, right? I know this because I used to be a huge fan of The Atheist Experience until they started talking about issues not directly related to atheism around 2008 or so. On issues like free will, postmodernity, and basic logic, it is readily apparent that he hasn’t even taken an introductory course on any of those topics, let alone actually reading serious texts yet thinks he’s well read enough to critique phd professors in their field of inquiry. The reason he thinks this is because he bothered to take the time to wikipedia some logical fallacies and expand that knowledge to delusions of grandeur.

      Thunderf00t thoroughly overshadows Matt in just about every area of inquiry. He’s a showman. Nothing more.

    • slqblindman Says:

      Wrong. I’m a left-winger who canvassed for the Democratic party, but I certainly oppose attempts by feminists to co-opt the atheist agenda for their own purposes, and to promote their own mythology of victimization.

      • John Vattic Says:

        Wow. Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

      • slqblindman Says:

        Thanks John. So tired of seeing ideologues fracturing the atheist movement. Left-wing feminists, right-wing conservatives, ?-wing libertarians…no difference. They all place their own ideologies first.

      • firecrotchjones Says:

        really? everyone complaining about the broad brush, generalizations and strawmen, yet you see no issue in saying that “feminists” are co-opting the atheist agenda (which is what exactly, i thought atheists did not have a shared dogma?) with their “mythology of victimization”.

        not all feminists are the same, as you can easily see with the pro/anti sex camps as an example. and since when is 1 out of every 3 north american women being raped a consequence of myth? with the stats being horrifically higher for women of
        colour, disabled women and women in poverty. (as well as for men and boys in at risk situations, like boot camp or prison)

        i would gladly fuck my lover in an elevator (if you jump up and down the old school ones will stop between floors) but if you are a stranger and it’s 4 am and you are drunkenly suggesting i go somewhere alone with you i will staple gun your fucking face.

      • John C. Welch Says:

        wow firecrotch. Hope you enjoy the jail time. See, in civilized society, that would be “Assault”, with a weapon.

        But it’s nice to know that you have no consideration for anyone else’s needs but your own.

      • Mike Says:

        John C. Welch wrote: “wow firecrotch. Hope you enjoy the jail time. See, in civilized society, that would be “Assault”, with a weapon.”

        That’s pretty much what I wrote below to firecrotch:

        “Well, then I’d say you’re a dangerous psychopath. You would actually harm another person for making a drunken suggestion to you?

        If so, you’re not the victim, you’re the problem.”

        In retrospect, firecrotch would actually be termed the “perpetrator”.

        ‘firecrotch’ apparently thinks it’s okay to physically harm someone for speaking to him or her (I’m assuming “her”, but I could be wrong).

        Frankly, if I spoke to someone like firecrotch in an elevator and they physically attacked me for it, I’d probably end up shooting them.

        When the police asked me what happened, I’d tell the truth: “I asked that woman if she’d like to go somewhere with me, and she flipped out and attacked me with that weapon.”

      • Lickmywound Says:

        @firecrotchjones I bet your husband had to tread a fine line when he first dated you?!, or maybe you just felt you needed to file a law suit against him for harassment every time he blew you a kiss?!.

      • John D Says:

        Oh man! There’s that bullshit 1 in 3 stat again. Repeat a lie long enough and millions of people believe it! Skeptics my ass.

      • slqblindman Says:

        firecrotchjones Says:
        “since when is 1 out of every 3 north american women being raped a consequence of myth?”
        Uhmm…every time feminists repeat it, of course.

      • Mike Says:

        firecrotchjones wrote, “since when is 1 out of every 3 north american women being raped a consequence of myth?”

        Since the first time that disinformation was uttered. It’s an utter shite ‘statistic’.

        Why are so many feminists so violent and so eager to hurt other people?

  29. Magnus the Noble Says:

    Woah, really intresting to see all the drama following TF’s initial claim that:

    “Sexual harassment at conferences is one of the issues that causes a disproportionate amount of fighting within the rationalist community”

    The more you fight – the more TF is right

    Keep on rockin’ (in the free world), Thunder!

    Greetings and salutations from Norway :)

  30. jengajam Says:

    really, how hard is it to admit that you’re wrong?

    • John C. Welch Says:

      really, how hard is it to address his arguments specifically and rationally, rather than going for the “we all disagree with you, you’re wrong” trope?

      • jengajam Says:

        he’s not wrong because people disagree with him, he’s wrong because facts aren’t on his side in this case.

        • Magnus the Noble Says:

          And what “facts” would that be?

          • jengajam Says:

            mainly that harassment policies are necessary, but I would also disagree with him when he says he didn’t use straw men against members of ftb. This affair might have gone down a lot more smoothly had TF admitted what he was wrong about and moved on to explain his case given that.

      • John C. Welch Says:

        right.

        “Had Tf00t just shut up and talked how we insist people talk about these issues, everything would have been fine. His insistence on not agreeing with us only further proves his wrongness.”

      • ὑπόκρισις much? Says:

        @jengajam You are holding Thunderf00t to a higher standard than the other members of ftb. You ignore the original use of straw men was against Thunderf00t… then you condemn Thunderf00t for straw men, You ignore that Thunderf00t was the first target of public harassment at ftb… then you condemn Thunderf00t for being offensive. You ignore that nobody explained their case opposing Thundef00t’s post, instead PZ personally attacked Thunderf00t, and then held him accountable for defending himself… then you condemn Thunderf00t for not explaining his case. To hold those you disagree with to a higher standard than people you agree with is wrong… so answer your own question, “how hard is it to admit that you’re wrong?”

    • notung Says:

      When did you stop beating your wife?

  31. Mike Says:

    This tsunami of nonsense has left me with very little respect for PZ Meyers.

  32. g2-de16f4afb01362d323b7758e9d3bcbfd Says:

    Thunderfoot you rock. I saluted you over at UncommonDescent for your revelations about FTB.

  33. Alex Says:

    All of this is just SAD….now we have free thinkers picking sides?

    Thunderf00t team vs. FTB team???

    Is this what we want the Atheist movement to become???

    I think South Park was right….do you guys remember that episode where cartman is frozen and travels to the future where there is no religion and only atheists?

    But the Atheists can’t live in peace, they fight among each other to determine whose atheism is better.

    I DON’T WANT TO BE PART OF THAT IDEOLOGY!!!!

    We’re supposed to work together to promote SCIENCE, REASON, LOGIC, and RATIONAL behavior.

    There is NOTHING rational about this mess!

    • Andre Says:

      Funny you should say that. I was just talking about how this reminds me about the molesting fear episode.

  34. Andre Says:

    This whole men are all potential rapists and women are just potential victims makes me sick. I love the TF’s videos but this I think is really important. Arguing with a radical christian is easier most time becouse when they say your going to hell you don’t care… when they say you support rape culture on the other hand you do care and this can effect you in very real ways.

  35. the Popular Front of Judea Says:

    Thunderf00t, I am pretty sure you are wrong. You were not so much an intended recipient of that mail, but rather the intended target of that mail. Think about it, and you may realize that PZ was really giving everyone else carte blanche to publicly “rip into” Thunderf00t.

    Apparently, people don’t need religion to target someone for immodesty, assault them, and then prosecute them for being assaulted… while the group’s moderate members remain silent.

    Neil deGrasse Tyson’s bigthink video claiming the title “scientist” above all other “ists” doesn’t looks so silly now, huh?

  36. Myk Dowling Says:

    Wow. Thunderf00t, I’ve enjoyed many of your YouTube videos. I didn’t realise that you would write a blog post in the same way as you write a script. This is truly awful writing; it comes across as very amateurish, making your assessment of the FTBers as “second raters” particularly ironic.

    • slqblindman Says:

      Wow. Myk, this is a truly shallow critique. How ’bout addressing the points that he made and the support that he gave for them?
      You were expecting Shakespeare? Blog posts and the comments that follow them are a form of dialogue, so your criticism is completely lame.

    • Ringo Polygon (@DanceLikeABrick) Says:

      I’m not sure TF’s “second raters” comment was about writing style. This is a blog, not a job application, why does he need to write any different than he would speak? On top of the fact that there is really no need to write in an extremely formal manner, the header of this page is “Thunderf00t Science and Education FTW!” One word spelled using numbers and an initialisation. What exactly were you expecting?

    • John C. Welch Says:

      Your use of “very” where it is not required shows your writing to be amateurish. Indeed, you seem to have a love of unnecessary modifiers, (“truly”, “very”, “particularly”), which shows a lack of confidence in your words.

      See how easy it is? I don’t have to address points or substance. I can just bag on grammar.

  37. Becky Says:

    Yes, speaking as someone who was banned from Pharyngula and thrown into PZ Myers’ famed dungeon on my first visit I can see where you’re coming from when you relate your experience of him behaving in a hypocritical and underhand way. Because I challenged what imho was his transphobia in his Bravo, Belgium! post after getting a whole load of abuse from the regular posters on his blog during which I was referred to as ‘he/she/it'; was called fat and unattractive (specifically because I’m trans); had various posters inform me that they wanted to forcefully penetrate me; sworn at and abused repeadetly, accused of being a paedophile and, of course, all the other usual run-of-the-mill accusations such as I was a misogynist, a Nazi (btw. I’m a non-religious Jewish transwoman) and, of course, repeatedly told I wasn’t really a woman PZ pops up and bans me without warning.

    Now, he claims that he always gives people several warnings before he bans them from the blog, but he made no attempt to even address my concerns about what I perceived as his transphobia and he banned me summarily, outright – perhaps he was just in a bit of a bad mood that day. This, however, didn’t stop people continuing to abuse me on the thread – including PZ himself – who poked fun at me claiming that I was really a male called ‘Donald’. I note now, that after several years PZ Myers’ has finally deleted the Bravo, Belgium! thread. Perhaps it does not fit in which his new image as being against transphobia? Or maybe it’s just that I’m the ‘wrong’ sort of transwoman? I chuckled out loud with much mirth on a recent thread when one particularly nasty, transphobic poster on the Bravo Belgium! thread called Janine chided someone else for referring to a transwoman as ‘he’. In fact, she had referred to me as ‘he’ right through the thread but when I deliberately referred to her as ‘sir’ just the once to see how she liked being misgendered she went absolutely ballistic!!!

    Note too, he accuses people of being racist yet strangely he provides a platform for a poster called Bernarda who is a persistent holocaust denier on the web. His Pharygula disciples also rage against religious hate yet a week before one of them expressed a wish for me to burn to death I happened to have an argument with a right-wing US Christian fundamentalist on the web who also told me that I would burn in hell because I’m transsexual. Is there really htat much difference between some of the folk on Pharyngula and the brainwashed wingnuts who follow cults and religious fundamentalism? Seems to me that Myers has become a cult of the personality all of ‘its’ own and he seems to be surrounded by a disproportionate amount of younger people who may be looking for a father/leader figure.

    Add to this, the misnomer of calling it free thought blogs when Myers has one of the most famed and largest cyber bastilles on the internet and everything suddenly seems to become more than a little ironic.

    • John D Says:

      Indeed Becky…. I am now a proud member of PZ’s “dungeon.” I was banned for my comments that were perhaps strongly worded, but included no personal attacks. I, on the other hand, was accused of being a rapist, rape apologist, child abuser, wife abuser, and misogynist. Rather than PZ saying I should be treated better, I was banned. FTB is a swamp full of blood-sucking leaches.

      • slqblindman Says:

        LOL! I was banned from Atheist Nexus for pointing out factual inaccuracies such as “only 2% of convicted rapists ever receive jail time”. Feminists appear to be controlling two of the larger “atheist” portals.

  38. Becky Says:

    Btw…as far as misognyny goes; I’m guessing that PZ Myers might not realise that putting down a woman by trying to humiliate her by saying that she is really masculine and thus ‘not feminine enough’ is a classic misogynist tactic – which is what he attempted to do to me by intimating that I was really a man called ‘Donald’ on the Bravo Belgium! thread. Since he so quick to jump down the throat of others no doubt to gain ‘kudos’ with his minions, perhaps, he should take a good look at his own assumptions and behaviour? Rather than a maverick radical, he strikes me as the sort of person who is too scared to take a different stance from the crowd as he’s afraid that it will lose his popularity following. Rather than powerful; that would make him very insecure deep down inside. Many bullies share this same psychological characteristic.

  39. Mike Says:

    slqblindman says: “Feminists appear to be controlling two of the larger “atheist” portals.”

    I can tell you one for sure where they don’t: atheistroundtable[.]com

    (Full disclosure: I co-run atheistroundtable with a buddy of mine. Neither of us has much tolerance for the kind of ‘untouchable feminism’ that seems to be an issue at Atheist Nexus and FreeThoughtBlogs. You’d be more than welcome to hang out at atheistroundtable a bit and see if it’s your kinda place.)

    • slqblindman Says:

      Bookmarked! Thanks Mike. Look for me under the handle “TByte”.

      • Mike Says:

        You’re in. Good to see you there. :)

        For anyone else who may be wondering, unlike FTB, Atheist Nexus and several other places, we don’t kowtow to PC Language Enforcers, Gender Hysteria, or any similar nonsense. We expect people to behave responsibly, and that’s about it.

        If someone asks someone out for coffee on AtheistRoundtable, we won’t start WWIII over it. :)

      • Dangermouse Says:

        The real question Mike is how you deal with people you actually disagree with. How do you deal with dissent and snark/aggression that does not rise to the level of threats? Do you consistently apply the rules, or like Pharyngula do you allow regulars and those who agree with you to be insulting, snarky and aggressive while censoring/banning those who respond in the same way?

        The real test is how you treat religious apologists. The ultimate out-group for an atheist website. It doesn’t matter (except for humanist and decency reasons) how you treat them, because they are not your constituency, but it’s an easy Canary-test for non-rational double standards and non-logic related in-group/out-group dynamics. – i.e. almost no atheist website will start discriminating against libertarians, or feminists, or other atheists with different but acceptable views, without already doing the same to clear outsiders who are wrong, like religious people.

      • Mike Says:

        “The real question Mike is how you deal with people you actually disagree with. How do you deal with dissent and snark/aggression that does not rise to the level of threats?”

        We do our best to accomodate them unless or until they become disruptive, then we usually ignore them. Unless they’re truly causing a problem they’re free to participate. We support free speech, but not to the point where it wrecks the site. Yes, some line has to be drawn somewhere.

        “Do you consistently apply the rules, or like Pharyngula do you allow regulars and those who agree with you to be insulting, snarky and aggressive while censoring/banning those who respond in the same way?”

        We’re pretty even-handed overall. Except for spammers, we haven’t banned anyone yet.

        “The real test is how you treat religious apologists. The ultimate out-group for an atheist website.”

        Again, we do our best to allow them to speak their mind and argue their position. As long as they aren’t trashing the forum we’re generally inclined to let them have their say. Most religious believers won’t stand and defend their views in a rational way, and there would be a limit to just how many bible verses they could post before we puke, but other than that we genuinely try to keep it open for all points of view. That doesn’t mean someone can come in and start posting the bible page by page, bu tit does mean people aren’t banned simply for having a different opinion and/or being vocal about it. That’s the essence of open discussion and debate.

  40. CoffeeLovingSkeptic Says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this video. (Reblogged it here for my followers http://coffeelovingskeptic.com/?p=1640)

    PZ supported Rebecca Watson when she lied about me, and further perpetuated the problem by blogging about me, and allowing his sycophants to abuse me incessantly for days.
    Great Video Thunderf00t. Thank you for being a prominent voice against these muppets.

  41. Mike Says:

    firecrotchjones wrote: “if you are a stranger and it’s 4 am and you are drunkenly suggesting i go somewhere alone with you i will staple gun your fucking face”

    Well, then I’d say you’re a dangerous psychopath. You would actually harm another person for making a drunken suggestion to you?

    If so, you’re not the victim, you’re the problem.

  42. Shann Bridges Says:

    “This is certainly true on youtube, where ZOMGitscriss can put up a video with her in, and her ratings go from something along the lines of 95 % positive to something along the lines of Venomfangx.”

    You’re mental. She isn’t in the video. For the last two weeks you’ve behaved like a raving fruitcake.

    • John C. Welch Says:

      You mean Watson’s not in this video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSHipqT1wa8

      Because it says pretty clearly that she is:

      “The other panelists :
      Greg Laden,
      Heina Dadabhoy,
      Jason Thibeault,
      Rebecca Watson,
      Stephanie Zvan”

      That’s pretty mental, saying watson’s in a video she’s in. How CRAZY CAN YOU GET.

      • Shann Bridges Says:

        Different panel, different video than the one TF highlights uploaded by zomgits. The vid TF shows has 2/3rds dislikes and no Rebecca Watson. Repeat. NO Rebecca Watson. (Quick clue for those in too big a hurry than to watch the whole thing to verify you’ve lied here-the video you linked even has the wrong title. )

        You knuckleheads are who see “Rebecca Watson” behind every bush (or worse, blindly support those who do). . . . . are not being rational.

      • John C. Welch Says:

        Oh bless your heart, you’re so cute. Didn’t read the caption, but cute. Here the words tf00t actually used:

        Association with the likes of Freethoughblogs or Skepchick is about as toxic to a videos reception as some of VFXs less savory opinions.

        Note the “skepchick” part.

        Now, who’s on that panel?

        Debbie Goddard.

        Who does Debbie Goddard write for?

        Skepchick, from http://skepchick.org/about/:

        Debbie Goddard works at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY as CFI On Campus coordinator and director of African Americans for Humanism. She also does the intro for CFI’s Point of Inquiry podcast, which she dreams of parlaying into an awesome future career as a video game voice actor. Before working for CFI, she participated in freethought and skeptic groups in the Philadelphia region and helped organize and support campus groups internationally as a student volunteer. Eleven years of Catholic school fostered her keen interest in issues related to secularism and atheism, while doing magic shows with her father as a teenager sparked a fascination with the psychology of deception. Other interests include language and perception, Marvel comics, LGBT activism, Trivial Pursuit, and general geekery. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

        But nice try. Do reply back, your witticisms are so giggle worthy. “Knucklehead” made me titter, I must say.

  43. ashleyw11888 Says:

    I never posted on your “Misogynist!” post on FtB, but I agreed (for the most part) on what you had said. I did not comment because I hardly comment on blogs.

    After you had been ostracized from FtB, and some of the following events, I made my on blog post on my own thoughts. After my own post (which doesn’t see much traffic), I got my very own personal email from a friend that I needed to stay out of it all, that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and that she would not refer my post to anyone else because it was “really bad.” Personally, I know I’m new to it and I may be young, but I do try to research my shit beforehand. Sad to say, the only reason why she was so against it is because of who she is “in” with (the other side, as to say).

    I started to follow you, PZ Meyers, and several others on Twitter to see what all was going on, real time. I quickly unfollowed PZ and a couple others due to the #FTBullies shit. It got REALLY childish and some of the hash comments got very wrong and should never have been jokes.

    I still continue to follow you and will start to follow your blog. As someone who is very scientifically minded, I would like to see more.

    There may be disagreements at times, but I think constructive and applicable arguments (not saying “you’re an asshole!”) can be applied. Name calling, for the most part, is silly.

    By the way, I cracked up when I saw the meme of Darth Vader and Princess Leia! ;)

  44. Lickmywound Says:

    Dear Matt Dillahunty. You may be forgetting that somewhere behind the troll like comments posted on some Youtube videos. There is actually a Blog; not always uniform, but within that Blog there are comments; and within those comments you can find rational and interesting views. To say Thunderf00t’s V-bloggers are neither here or there is bordering on the condescending.

  45. RayfromNZ Says:

    since the decent into bickering on the issue, all its done is act like rot in the atheist community

    I hope all involved realise its just a giant quagmire where you cant win and get back to fightin’ the good fight against religion :-)

  46. Lickmywound Says:

    PZ seems to be getting involved in a dispute that may have been started over an exaggerated claim?! Notice I said ‘may’ as I did not claim that anything untoward or improper was or was not said. It just seems this isn’t the first time this ‘skeptic’ has claimed to have been victimized. Note the word victimized as it seems to be a common theme on the FTB blog. PZ seems to be blowing his hot air on to this for his own political stance. Fanatic like that he should see this through to its conclusion with PZ being the one right. PZ doesn’t seem interested that there is someone’s reputation being traded here. Maybe PZ is frightened to let this drop as he has already been totally powned by TF and now he is just digging a bigger hole for himself. Free-thought should mean exactly that in moderate terms. Free -to -express your opinion without being controlled or kicked because someone doesn’t like what you say. I would expect similar moderation from the blogs of evangelists but from rationalists?! This just tells me everything I need to know about FTB

    • John C. Welch Says:

      The only rep PeeZus cares about is PeeZus’. In fact, I’m willing to bet the only reason they kicked Laden out is that if they kicked Tf00t out for “being an asshole”, letting laden stay would have been completely indefensible to anyone not a PeeZus fan.

      (We’ve already seen that the FC5 have no problem with laden’s actions, Zvan even defended him.)

  47. a disappointed former Pharyngula/Dispatches devotee Says:

    Over the years, I have visited both Pharyngula and Dispatches less and less. I grew tired and a bit uncomfortable with PZ’s knee-jerk ‘there there honey, I’m on your side no matter what’ schtick with Watson, and Brayton’s ‘I likes to gamble online, so it should be legal for all and if you don’t agree screw you’ routine (among many others). They got a bit too pompous and self-important for my tastes. And along comes an ‘outsider’ who dares to question the lock-step Watson worship, and he gets booted. Pathetic.

  48. The Amicable Anarchist Says:

    It really is getting just too much over at Ftb.Greta Christina telling people the correct way to shake hands was the last straw for me.Doe’s she really not realise how condescending that is?Personally I think you could have handled this better Thundrfoot,but your argument is sound so I’ve got your back.The feedback I’m getting from people I know is almost all negative regarding Ftb at the moment.”handshakegate” coming to a website near you soon.Peace.

    • John C. Welch Says:

      That was greta showing how everyone complaining about the AA policy as written was stupid, and of course, her interpretation is the only correct one.

      That tends to be a lot of greta’s writing. “Here’s my point, and if you disagree, you’re wrong. Probably a misogynist/transphobe/homophobe/what have you as well.”

      • aceofsevens Says:

        http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2012/06/28/todd-stiefel-and-some-thoughts-on-critiquing-codes-of-conduct/

        Really? It looks like Greta has no problem with people criticizing harassment policies so long as they acknowledge that there is a real problem to deal with and deal with what the policy actually says, no some straw version of it or wild speculation.

      • John C. Welch Says:

        re-read her comment about “how to shake hands”. Now, let us pretend that there are people for whom “ask” has a specific meaning, and “extending your hand” isn’t it. someone observes someone not “asking” permission, and reports it. Does their complaint get dismissed with zero action taken?

        If you do dismiss it, then the message you’ve sent is, “observed harassment doesn’t count, observers have no standing.” Awesome. If you don’t, then you’re overreacting. Secondly, is that action even “asking”? It’s more of a “I want to shake your hand, here is mine. If you refuse, the onus and all blame goes to you unless you have an obvious inability to shake hands at this moment in time.”

        That, by the way, is one of the things that people have criticized the AA policy on, and one that she specifically dismissed as stupid and overwrought, because “everyone knows how to shake hands”.

        yeah. everyone. From western culture where it’s so common you don’t even think about it. Other cultures, not so much.

        But to greta, that concern is naught but a strawman or “wild speculation”. Awesome. “I will dismiss all your concerns as stupid, but hey, if you have concerns, that’s okay”

        Really?

      • Mike Says:

        Nonsense, Citizen- we must all stand firm against the forces of incorrect handshaking lest the very fabric of our great society be undermined!

    • hannanibal Says:

      Greta Christina is obviously pissed that NOBODY offers to shake her hand therefore people shouldn’t shake hands.
      Personally I’d rather stroke a hobo’s dick than shake her hand.

  49. Marc Aresteanu Says:

    I have to say, I’m quite surprised by Matt D’s level of bullshit. I’m a huge fan of his, because he normally tries to get down to the crux of a matter wether insults are being thrown or not. However, it seems like you truly do believe all this brouhaha is of thunderf00t’s making…for the first time, I’m seriously questioning your intellectual honesty.

    Look, TF’s style of arguing didn’t SEEM very persuasive…but the actual arguments we’re quite reasonable. There is bullying going on in the comments section at FtBs on issues where the plurality is in agreement. Arguing with creationists can get ugly at times, but it shouldn’t… The right thing to do is to discuss their beliefs and reasons without invective as best you can. Now, the same standard should hold for discussion on social issues. If you want to change someone’s stance, you can’t just call him or her names and say he or she JUST DOESN’T GET IT… You have to address the arguments (not the straw men) without jumping to foregone conclusions. If we expect honest good people to do that when it comes to a one sided issue like evidence/science VS faith/religion, shouldn’t we at least treat social issues/dilemmas with the same type of openness and curiosity?

    TF definitely fell into the straw manning trap a little…but any honest observer can see that he was trying to debate and discuss some things he took issue with. I don’t know what’s been going on behind the scenes, but PZ’s blog posts were like little propaganda pieces and this has unfortunately been the case with PZ when it comes to any issue regarding feminism and/or Islam.

    To me, gender equality and fairness is damn fucking important, and the last thing I’d want is honest open-ended discussion to be halted. PZ and other FtBs aren’t obliged to let ANYONE on their blogs comment, but to act like they’re being fair and genuine to all blog posters is simply bollocks!

    What’s so bad about a good argument on the internet anyways? Am I wrong in assuming we all have a equality relevant perspective to add on discussions of gender equality? This whole elevatorgate thing made me think twice about asking a girl out in a confined area, no matter how peaceful my intentions might be. It made me see the world through the eyes of a paranoid woman, which is a good thing. It has raised my consciousness. This, however, doesn’t imply that women SHOULD assume they might get raped on elevators if they say no to a proposition. There is no straight forward experiment that will decide wether women should chill or men should be more careful. Social issues are way too complex for there to be a right and a wrong. Why not argue/discuss the issues so both sides can understand the others’ perpective better and thus improve the situation as best we can?

    • John C. Welch Says:

      Dilahunty’s had a blind spot about Watson since at least “elevatorgate”, so the fact he’s following the lead of the rest of the FC5 and regurgitating her party line is completely unsurprising.

  50. Mike De Fleuriot Says:

    As I do not really worry about RW, I was wondering if someone could tell me what her actually position in the movement is? Did she write something against the mullahs or the church? Who actually is out to get her? Does she travel with body guards? Is she really as immature as her speeches and youtube videos make her sound? Or is she just famous for being famous?

    • Mike Says:

      “Did she write something against the mullahs or the church? Who actually is out to get her?”

      The condensed version (as I understand it, anyway) is that in an elevator at an atheist convention, someone asked Rebecca Watson if she’d like to go back to his room for coffee. There doesn’t appear to have been any threat or force or or any provocative or sleazy behavior from what I gather. He asked her if she’s like to go back to his room for coffee. Maybe it was a clumsy venue to ask this in, but there doesn’t appear to have been anything sinister or dangerous about it.

      Rebecca Watson later made comments about how wrong it was and that it was hurtful and inappropriate and that she felt threatened, etc etc etc. A lot of people took issue with her comments, and things, as they say, escalated from there.

      According to her, she got emails and comments sent to her with death threats and threats of rape or physical harm. I don’t doubt she got this kind of shit in her email, the internet is bursting at the seams with kooks. But I also suspect that like 99.999999999% of stuff like this, it’s just blather from the usual array internet tough guys. In any case, she didn’t take any of the threats seriously enough to report them to law enforcement, as far as I know. Make of that what you will.

      So….this lead to an uncomfortable “discussion” of the “incident” by all and sundry, and things went straight to shit from there. Sides were chosen, positions were defended regardless of the facts, and here we are today.

  51. mouth mixture Says:

    There was a time when I visited pharyngula at least two times a day. There were signs of unreasonable crazy back then, but I kinda ignored it for the main message. I wonder what happened to that wonderful reasoning skills of PZ Myers. Nowadays it’s just zealotry – it looks like some sort of parody of liberal politics that Fox news would come up. And that’s fucking said, given that there are important topics involved.

    Now PZ is saying that you didn’t get banned from Freethoughtblogs, because you could still post comments. How full of shit does anyone have to be to realize that to keep you from doing something that you did based on a promise is any different from banning you from doing it?

    • Mike Says:

      “Now PZ is saying that you didn’t get banned from Freethoughtblogs”

      Apparently FTB has redefined the meaning of the word “banned”.

      “I wonder what happened to that wonderful reasoning skills of PZ Myers.”

      That’s a good question. The whole incident makes him look petty and dictatorial at best.

  52. john warren Says:

    I was looking up information on atheism and skepticism when I came across this page. I’m in no way involved or have an interest in any side. I skimmed the issues talked about and have concluded that while theism is having to retreat more and more each day, they will most likely always have the upper hand. The arguments and divisions, whether instigated by ‘skepchick’ types (I watched one of her talks and have no idea why she is a paid representative of skepticism, science or atheism), or anyone else for that matter, remind me of the divisions within religion. They more or less come to peace with each other when it’s time to elect Mitt Romney, however. Here, people almost seem to care more about who is right, rather than what is right. It’s sad and that means the terrorists have won.

  53. Freethoughtblogs and PC Lyers | Thunderf00t « Kentekens's Blog Says:

    [...] http://thunderf00tdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/freethoughtblogs-and-pc-lyers/ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. « Dear ‘Skeptical’ ‘community’… | One Furious Llama Phawrongula Wiki » [...]

  54. Episode #54: Hominins Without Boats, Catholic Craziness and Much Ado About Conferences | Consilience: An African Science Podcast Says:

    [...] Thunderf00t on his expulsion from Freethoughtblogs. [...]

  55. Adrian Lee Magill Says:

    In my experience it is pointless to try to give a validated argument to those who are unwilling to see past their own conclusions, as shortsighted as those conclusions may be. The best way to challenge people like this is to show others, not the people with their heads in the sand, the reasoning instead of telling them.

    For instance a medical doctor will heal whereas a priest is less likely to do so. Whether or not God exists becomes a moot point to those who are in need of medical services. It will take generations, but eventually, with understanding and learning people will come around and if they don’t let them go to a priest to cure their infections.

    Actions speak louder than words. Don’t let their insecurity get to you too much. After all, we as a species are evolving past the weaknesses inherent in the tactics you have experienced here. Let them go the way of the dinosaur.

  56. Hans-Georg Lundahl Says:

    http://creavsevolu.blogspot.fr/2012/07/thunderf00t-welcome-to-world-of-p-c.html

  57. MosesZD Says:

    I told you when you made the video you were done for… It’s PC-Police totalitarianism over there. And it’s gotten worse since more and more of the Nat. Geo./Sci Blogs refugees started showing up.

  58. ppf Says:

    Thunderfeets is a mental midget

  59. Anonymous Says:

    I just had to unsubscribe to the FtB flock myself…

  60. Why I Partially Oppose The Intolerance of Atheism+ « Against Jebel al-Lawz Says:

    [...] as the 1964 Civil Rights Act here in the U.S. Bloggers who question even one of these positions are swiftly kicked out of the blog collective. The encouragement of Atheism+ will further cement this blog collective’s place in the [...]

  61. Daniel Teggart Says:

    Eye candy and fuck toys for the privileged white man. Has he ever heard of 50 cent and candy shop? His argument is based on a factitious racial stereotype that he and the FEMINAZI women started. He had to say white. Let’s see if he can grow a set of balls and say that women are eye candy and fuck toys for the rich black man, using 50 cent and candy shop as a prime example. P Z Myers has not seen his penis in fuck knows how long and he thinks that it has turned into a vagina.

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  78. Skeptical Hypocrite: George Hrab | Stop getting offended. Religion does it all the time. Says:

    […]   You are mistaken Geo, they exist offline and have harmed these people’s careers 1) FTB’s Greg Laden + FTB members called the university where Thunderf00t works then doxxed him  2) Mykeru was doxxed, harassed, and the FTB’ers even google mapped him 3) Franc Hoggle was […]

  79. Drawing a line under hypocrisy, dishonesty and incredibly poor writing. | The Science of Sarcasm Says:

    […] since he had his soapbox taken away over at Freethought Blogs. He wasn’t banned, by the way. He claims he was, but the fact is that he still had the ability to post comments just like every other user. Whether […]

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