By on April 30, 2010

Nissan does not condone the comments made by this particular employee. While seemingly well-intentioned, many of the remarks are regrettable and do not represent the company’s views. Nissan’s policy regarding internet commentary is that an employee’s personal opinion must be preceded by a disclaimer that identifies their remarks as such and not necessarily the views of the company.

Ruh Roh!

As tends to happen when a car makes the leap from legend to reality, the Nissan GT-R was birthed amid considerable controversy. Aside from being an undeniably polarizing car, the R35 GT-R inspired a seemingly endless Nürburgring lap time brou-ha-ha, to say nothing of serious owner backlash on the launch control issue. It was this latter issue that apparently brought out the ugly side of one Chip Goetzinger, an assistant to Nissan’s North American Chairman, according to Jalopnik (who strangely call Goetzinger “A senior Nissan Executive”). The Gawker site captured comments that Goetzinger made on a corner-carvers.com forum, in response to, well, forum talk. The results speak for themselves.

The term “Parkinsons-ridden-testicle” has just been added to TTAC’s spam filter. Seriously though, this kind of comment does show how low discourse can fall on the internet… and why we take the time to moderate discussion here. TTAC requires employees of OEMs to identify themselves when they make comments, and requests that they use our contact form to pass along worthwhile information if they ever feel like throwing their career away. Topless Vobra’s comments are gone now, but they live on in internet infamy.

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29 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: Go Tell It On The Forum Edition...”


  • avatar

    Should companies just let people slag them in online forums and comment threads?

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    …does show how low discourse can fall on the internet…

    What? Are you kidding? For a forum, this is Oscar Wilde level stuff here. Have you ever even visited streetfire.net? You could put up a video of kittens playing with yarn and within eight posts you’d have a roiling, incoherent import-vs-domestic spitbucket of sexual insults and wannabe thuggery.

    This was a tirade, but it was a well-written, amusing, grammatically-correct, literate tirade. Saying ‘testicle’ in this context doesn’t even register on the forum-asshole Richter scale.

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      Try Autoblog some time. Horrible comments section full of trolls and shills. If you’re not hawking “FREE V!AGRA NOW!!1!!1!!! they won’t moderate your post.

      The star rating system makes it even worse–if you don’t hate Toyota and Honda and/or don’t love Detroit, you get 1/2 a star no matter what you said. It’s ridiculous, and I say this as an unabashed supporter of the domestic car industry.

    • 0 avatar
      Bob12

      +1 to PeriSoft. The thread in question resembles discourse between a pair of Ph.D.’s sipping tea in comparison to some of the garbage in some Web forums…and Usenet newsgroups before that.

    • 0 avatar

      I think comments on most YouTube videos easily wins the award for most painful to read.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, there’s certainly worse to be found. But Chip G. displayed poor judgment in:

      1. Personally insulting the other guy–”mentally challenged” and such.

      2. Using four-letter words.

      I’ve been involved in more such discussions than I care to think about–it truly is generally smarter to just walk away. But I never do either of the above, even when the other person does. Which was often when I still commented on Autoblog.

      No need to get that deep into the mud.

    • 0 avatar
      Accazdatch

      Its absolutely hysterical that you mentioned Streetfire.net.

      And its also completely true about the videos posted.. along with those on youtube. Some completely innocent videos about from any musician and someone / somehow tilts the discussion into the garbage.

      I actually went on youtube cause I was going Titanic – info video crazy.. and the comments usually get so far off base with the most rude and pathetic comments.

      Then I realized..
      Ya dont go on youtube to post comments at retorts..

      And lately..
      Ya dont go on autoblog to post retorts also.

      Just this morning they did a story about a double din, iPad connector in a WRX STI… only comment I had.. was, “Driving has officially died.”

      They are also slowly moving away from a enthusiast blog. I love the half hr updates, from everywhere in the auto industry but most of what do.. is really generic garbage, with almost an impossibility to give a bad review.

      Their worst car has been the Sentra SE-R.. and even that was lightened.

      They did one decent post about the Legacy sedan (which is a vile vehicle.. to join the Legacy) which ends in the concept that.. snow tires would still do A MUCH BETTER job than just an AWD unit.

      As far as facebook.. and all of the other media sites.
      I dont follow that garbage. I remember when Fritz’ daughter came on facebook to give a retort about her father being fired. Seriously.. ya need to keep the kid off of the damn sites.. and to keep her mouth shut.

      This is the same with Honda people coming on to despite how ugly and horrible, ntm deceiving the Crosstour was to people. There isn’t a single good angle from it.. and I don’t have a single good comment regarding it.

      Which leads me to slowly remember..
      As much as this site, or jalopnik feel like a nice tiny bar…
      Not every comment can or should be said, and the flaming is much worse, yet the intelligence level isn’t always the highest (as Ive discovered when the topic of auto names come to mind).

  • avatar
    Monty

    oh ho, this is rich…he’s a self-proclaimed Minister of Darwinism.

  • avatar
    BDB

    With the exception of moderator writer whom I will not name, I think the level of moderation is about perfect here. It was a little too strict in the Farrago Era.

    The “broken windows” theory applies to internet forums/comment sections as much as it does IRL in urban planning and policing–take care of the lesser crimes like broken windows, petty vandalism, litter, and jaywalking, and more serious crimes will be less likely to take place because it is clear the community is not a place that tolerates lawlessness.

    Follow that and you can avoid becoing, say, Autoblog (horrible, horrible comments section) while also not becoming a Moderator Nazi.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    That was not so bad in terms of the crude, useless comment sections that typify most boards. TTAC does a very good job of moderating, and no doubt it takes some time. The balance today (as mentioned by BDB) is very good. RF was to obsessed with pulling comments that clashed with his rigid opinions. It was certainly possible to disagree, but it took carefully worded responses not to trigger the RF filter (no pun intended). While I prefer erring on the side of tighter moderation, I don’t like seeing differing opinions squashed, just the crass and crude for the sake of being crude stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      +1. I came here for a Saab review, and having determined from it that the site was hopelessly biased, proceeded to stay for the comments, which for an internet forum are shockingly literate and pleasant.

      And when I say that moderation is balanced perfectly here, you can be assured that I say so because I find little to offend me, and have personally not had any posts deleted – thus proving beyond a doubt the correctness of the moderators’ judgment!

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    “Parkinson’s-ridden-testicle…” that’s great stuff! I only wish all the Forum banter was that well written.

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    I LOVE FIATs, even though it’s the love that dare not speak its name!

    And I don’t work for FIAT… FIATs work for me.

    • 0 avatar
      FromBrazil

      LOL!

      And it’s a love that’s particularly irksome to some commentators and even to some of the top brass at this site. As they would have it we’d all just drive the cars of their preference and not pollute these pages with our love for those small, iconic, fun-to-drive, easily maintained and reliable Italian works of art!

      Getting a little carried away!

      Go General Malaise! Go Fiat!

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Go General Malaise! Go Fiat!
      +1
      There’s a beautiful Bertone X1/9 one street over from me. I’ve also spotted a 124 Spyder in the area as well. You know spring has finally arrived when that little X/19 starts zipping around.

  • avatar
    Telegraph Road

    The comments here on TTAC have always been much more intelligent than those at other automotive blogs. I can’t remember anyone ever writing “First!”–Take note AutoBlog.

    Note: The commenter is employed by a large OEM in Dearborn, Michigan. His views do not reflect those of his employer.

    • 0 avatar
      BDB

      Note: The commenter is employed by a large OEM in Dearborn, Michigan

      Even a Southerner only vaguely familiar with the geography of Michigan such as myself could figure that out by your screenname. But well-played!

  • avatar
    faygo

    even if this guy is right with what he says about the GT-R situation (I didn’t bother to read thru the forum), it’s not smart to get down in the mud and wrestle with a pig, he’s already muddy and doesn’t care, you end up looking bad.

    it’s pretty stupid to go onto a forum and post inflammatory crap. if you work for an OEM and want to make sure a piece of bad information is refuted or clarified, communicate with forum administrators, prove you are who you are, then provide information which is vetted by someone in public affairs or your legal activity. it’s not fun, but it can be informative for the people who are interested in your products. there are also many forums which have contact inside the OEMs who will pass along information on background.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    If ever a car could speak for itself, that car is the GT-R. It doesn’t need any defending.

  • avatar
    tbp0701

    For someone who can write fairly well and form somewhat reasonable arguments–albeit fairly bile-tinged ones–he seems awfully short-sighted in stating where he works and in what capacity, especially given the nature of the posts. I know that quite a few companies regularly watch for things such as this on forums, and I’ll guess that all of the auto manufacturers are very careful about what kind of image they project.

    My guess is that, when people ask Chip why he left his last job, he’ll either have to lie or say, “Because I behaved like an arse on an Internet forum.”

  • avatar
    niky

    joeveto3

    “Parkinson’s-ridden-testicle…” that’s great stuff! I only wish all the Forum banter was that well written.

    Great one, that.

    His tirade was amusing, and certainly (unless they had a swear filter) didn’t seem worthy of deleting.

    There’s a fine line to truly inspired internet argument… a way of wording and needling and pushing this, punching that, that allows you to win an argument and get the other poster irritated, swearing and possibly banned or suspended.

    -

    Typical GT-R argument… bringing up dynos… again… with no actual insight into the real reason there’s such a varying level of power amongst dynos… and quarter-mile times (really… does anybody truly believe Car and Driver’s test numbers? I mean, really? This is a publication that’s addicted to applying SAE corrections… overzealously addicted to it… to the point that their numbers are often half a second to a full second faster than anyone else’s. If that’s not the print world’s version of Dynojet number inflation, I don’t know what is.

    And yet… there’s the ignorance of the fact that part of what the guy was saying was true… most of these areguments are 10% fact and 90% bull-(censored).

    It would be so easy to answer any of those misinformed arguments over there, without once resorting to the use of the word testicle… but it’s pointless.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    …one Chip Goetzinger, an assistant to Nissan’s North American Chairman.

    Probably an ex-assistant. Or, if I were an executive and he were my asst., he would be ex. But only after first writing an on-line apology for making me look like a moron for hiring such a loose canon.

  • avatar
    Telegraph Road

    I think the best blogs’ comment sections are gentlemen’s Fight Clubs, where only the intelligent and literate are welcome. TTAC is the best.

    • 0 avatar
      Telegraph Road

      Intelligent, literate, AND civil. Bertel, who likely thinks of me as a gadfly, does a wonderful job of maintaining the spirit after RF’s leaving.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    That was classic. I wonder though, if maybe he got in trouble not because he was a firebrand, but maybe because he was posting in a forum too often on the company’s time.

    Not hard to figure out by simply scrolling through the thread. If the posts are short and few during local business hours, then maybe he’s just doing it during breaks or lunch hour.

    Furthermore, his screen name did not appear to be a company-sanctioned PR presence (for example, his real name plus a sig identifying himself along with his job title and contact information).

  • avatar

    I used to post on a forum with this guy about 10 years ago called Battle Board, it’s long gone now, but it’s focus was unmoderated automotive discussion that resulted in mass flames.

    Chip here used the same screen name and his first name regularly there. And the posts on this GTR forum fit his style. He was among the most entertaining (and feared) flame throwers. Myself and two others left Battle Board after a year for offtopic.com but I’m sure Chip remained.

    It’s good to see he hasn’t lost his touch.

  • avatar
    Morea

    I was at the track a few weeks ago and there were three GT-Rs there. (Indeed they are track fast.) But what struck me was one was smoking on hard acceleration (as it passed me, mulitple times!). I brought it up the the owner and he said he knew but offered no other details.

    Was it chipped to be over rich on wide open throttle? Or is there some engine malady similar to the transmission problem: floor it more than 10 times and you void the engine’s warranty. Sort of like Porsche checking the ECU’s RPM data log: too high an overrev from a bad downshift and your warranty just expired.

  • avatar
    niky

    I don’t think it’s possible to over-rev a car with a computer-controlled automatic transmission.

    It’s likely a failed (or disconnected) EGR or, as you said, aftermarket programming that’s a bit too rich.


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