Monday, November 26, 2007


The thread is barely relevant, but I did like this one comment in it:

Boing Boing's a high-visibility weblog. There are a lot of sullen, disappointed right-wingers out there who miss the old days, when they had jolly times smashing the shop windows of the early liberal blogosphere. Some of them are fixated on Boing Boing as the uppity liberal enemy that must be suppressed.

This is middling bizarre of them, seeing as how Boing Boing isn't primarily a political weblog. It's very effective at focusing on the political issues it does pursue, but it isn't all politics all the time. I suspect that's what actually brings in the wingnuts: unlike weblogs like Firedoglake or Hullabaloo or Daily Kos, Boing Boing's entries can be understood (more or less) by someone who isn't up on current events, and who never learned the song about how a bill becomes a law.

(I think that's why we have so much trouble with commenters who misunderstand Cory's take on the realities of copyright law. As a rule of thumb, just about everyone thinks they're an expert on art, sex, traffic laws, popular music, and copyrights, and just about everyone is mistaken. I can't vouch for their adherence to the rest of the rule, but when it comes to copyrights, these guys are definitely not an exception.)

If you want to see how much they distort the local discourse, look at the difference between a thread on global warming and one on some other complex scientific subject. These guys get their talking points dished out to them by the source feed right-wing weblogs. This means that if global warming comes up, they swarm the comment thread because they know something they can say. But if an entry's about some scientific development that isn't covered in their spoon-fed talking points, they're at a loss, and so that thread will instead be full of science buffs discussing the actual entry...

...I've done my time and then some on Usenet. If learning to moderate online forums is like studying trolls and demons, then hanging out on Usenet is like living in Sunnydale: if you survive long enough, you'll eventually come up against one of every kind of monster -- and after a while, your reaction will change to "Bored now."
Fun! And true. Usenet is the best inoculation for trolling winger idiots, and it's kind of sad that it's almost completely deprecated now. Web forums and blogs are very nice, but they just aren't the same.

One thing, though; I seem to recall the early liberal blogosphere being more inclined towards ruining the right-wingers' day, if only because they were so used to having the conversation to themselves, they were quite enraged at these tenacious little liberal bastards who Would. Not. Go. Away. I completely agree that the winger legions have never quite forgiven the liberal blogosphere for becoming bigger, better, and more vital than theirs, though.

(HT? ML.)

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