By on July 7, 2011

Possibly Ed’s rant against overusage of “bias” has escaped the attention of some commenters. “Bias” is no longer a welcome word on TTAC. Usage can result in permanent banning. I am inclined to put the word “bias” on our bad word list. The only thing that keeps me from doing so is the fact that the banning robot is stupid and will also kill comments that contain, “bias-ply tires”, sundry “phobias”, “suburbias” etc.  Don’t make me wipe out whole suburbias.

While on the topic of banning: Because of an onslaught of spam which we have to clean up manually when we have nothing else to do, a new spam filter has been employed. Its ways are as mysterious as those of most spam filters. However, it also contains a list of “throwaway” email accounts. If your comments don’t come up, and you use Disposable Email Addressing (DEA), change you email account. As the all-knowing Wikipedia says:

“Many forum and wiki administrators dislike DEAs because they obfuscate the identity of the members and make maintaining member control difficult. As an example, trolls, vandals and other users that may have been banned may use throwaway e-mail addresses to get around attempts to ban them.”

And therefore, we have banned a long list of DEA mailhosts.

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116 Comments on “Bias Is A Four Letter Word...”


  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    That’s fine, everyone knows radial tires are better anyway.

  • avatar
    mikey

    Okay….I was here from the begining. RF ruled with an iron fist. So I’m comfortable with whatever you guys come up with.

    RF Used to stage the odd…”anything goes” piece. Not such a bad idea,it clears the air.

    Ask yourselves this. When people accuse TTAC of being “that word”. It always stems from those that support the domestics.

    Being that your pretty smart guys, what would that “suggest to you”?

    • 0 avatar
      forditude

      Exactly. Why not address the root cause instead of the symptom?

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      “TheTruthAboutCars” sometimes is rather one sided on an auto related issue. No car company is perfect – but neither are web sites.

      I for one have received a couple of harsh emails from RF when I openly questioned his agenda for the auto industry. Notice that word agenda.

      Hopefully, we don’t see the Chinese solution for internet posts that disagree with the views of the TTAC staff.

    • 0 avatar
      rentonben

      My initial reaction to the calls against “beating up the editors” is not favorable.

      However the comment quality on TTAC is so high that I can live with it. Freedom of speech is an American tradition, but so is freedom of association, and TTAC has chosen the later over the former for good benefit.

      • 0 avatar
        srogers

        Is freedom of speech a consideration on a privately owned forum?

        The owners and editors of this website certainly have the right to keep their product from being hijacked (or redirected). Without proper moderation, any website turns into Lord of the Flies.

        I don’t believe that enforcement of a “banned word” is really an effective alternative to good moderation.

      • 0 avatar
        HoldenSSVSE

        Is freedom of speech a consideration on a privately owned forum?

        As someone who has run multiple online communities the answer is – no, the First Amendment does not apply in a privately owned forum. There is nothing that prevents you from creating your own forum for free speech. These issues are typically covered in the ToS when a user registers at a website, blog, etc. etc.

        If the ToS is violated, the user can be tossed. If Free Speech applied there would be nothing to prevent spammers trying to sell their junk, or Neo Nazi’s from posting their love of all things Adolf, etc. etc.

        A private forum can moderate as they see fit.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Back in the usenet days we used the “kill file” for flamers and trolls. I wonder how often I went in the penalty box. I find TTAC treats all makers equally (badly), usually deservedly so. I miss TWAT, and hope its done this year – I have some nominees.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I didn’t realize TTAC had a “banning robot.” I thought you guys would have to do that manually.

    Honestly EVERYONE has “insert four letter word starting with B here” so I understand why people don’t need to be called out on it. POV are shaped by life experiences.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Haven’t you had posts locked for moderation? I have it happen to me all the time. I’ve started dropping _’s everytime I need to say ____, ____, ____ or call someone a _____ ______ _____

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        I have I just meant actual “banning.” That’s just annoying “waiting.” Bertel makes it sound like the robbot will actually ban you from commenting.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        The implication is that any word containing the letter sequence “bias” would trigger moderation.

        As such, allow me to speak for a moment on Great Britain’s steel industry. Over the past 150 years, the leading mining and processing area has been in Lincolnshire, surrounding the industrial town of Scunthorpe. Local ore has, no doubt, been responsible for countless vehicles produced by what would become divisions of British Leyland.

        Of course, the town’s name also contains a rather rude word. Let’s see what happens.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        Superb! It really does automatically moderate potentially profane letter sequences within perfectly legitimate words.

        Let’s avoid discussing, say, Panasonic’s parent company, then. It’s easier that way.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Panasonic’s parent company?? Sushi is banned too?

      • 0 avatar
        Bryce

        I get that too and I bacome logged out as well is this auto matic also I thought you guys had more class If the truth about cars is sometimes unpalateable well some cars bring out that reaction in people if you show an obvious leaning one way on here being called out is fair enough eveyones opinion is skewed differently.

    • 0 avatar
      KitaIkki

      Panasonic’s parent company is Panasonic. The old name has been gone for a few years now.

      • 0 avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        True. I should have said ‘former name of Panasonic’s parent company’. They still use the little square-M on their electrolytic capacitors, though.

        How about a guano-derived crystalline mineral?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Can we still accuse each other of bias, as long as we don’t slander the masthead? Please?

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    I missed Ed’s rant on this topic, and feel like a schoolgirl that missed the big fight and is completely on the outs due to utter cluelessness. Can somebody direct me to the thread where this brouhaha took place? Thanks in advance.

    • 0 avatar
      HoldenSSVSE

      It was me (unless there is another rant I’m not aware of and if so then I apologize for wrongly taking credit or discredit as it were).

      I had quoted a bit of a story here, provided a link and background on where a foreign manufacturer was guilty of the an identical crime and then stated to the effect, if you’re looking for an example of why some people bring out the B word (and I didn’t even use the B word) here is an example of why.

      I will make it very clear I did not say that I felt in that example there was the B word (but could see how that could have easily been gleaned from my post as I did not explictly say – I do not feel this way BUT if you want an example of…), but called it out as an example of where the perception comes from. Given I would rather be able to continue to post I’ll just leave it at that.

      I enjoy about 90% of what I read here – it isn’t any publication’s job to make me 100% happy the last time I checked.

      If you REALLY must know – do a search or do some digging – the topic was around MPG.

      Here is my concern. On December 16, 2010 Ed wrote an Op-Ed that was published in the NYT. I wrote a rebuttal that was lauded by the B&B, and was worthy of a well thought out counter-point from Ed. Under the new world order, I wouldn’t dare write what I wrote back in December. No, I never used the “b” word, didn’t even come close – but you can read for yourself. Keep in mind when you read both pieces they were written in December of 2010, before earthquakes, and a rash of new product releases.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/12/ttac-in-the-new-york-times/

      It’s their blog, they have the right to run it any way they want.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        Under the new world order, I wouldn’t dare write what I wrote back in December.

        I also have no idea what prompted this turn of events. It would be unfortunate if, in future, the esteemed members the B&B could not put forward a well thought-out rebuttal for fear of being banished.

      • 0 avatar
        Bryce

        I liked you rant then and still do.

  • avatar
    JJ

    Don’t really see why anyone shouldn’t be allowed to call TTAC out on perceived bias, really…

  • avatar
    GMis4GoodManners

    While you obviously have the right to preclude any and all conversations on this topic, that right comes with responsibility.

    To be true journalists, you must be open to criticism of any agendas you may or may not have. To refuse to even address the issue weakens your credibility. Fox News claims to be “Fair and Balanced”, and will not even address any claims to the contrary, and – as journalists – do you wish to be lumped in with the likes of Fox News?

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Showing your bias there, aren’t you? Anyone who goes after Fox News has no credibility. Listen and read from every source, that way you don’t become too ossified in your thinking. In other words get out of your echo chamber. I read the New York Times online edition, I’m not afraid to have my views challenged. You shouldn’t be either.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        MikeAR +1

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        +1 except that Fox News does have a well established POV which happens to pretty much coincide with the GOP POV. Other established media (CNN, NY Times etc) media are much less aggressive or pronounced in their POV.

        But listening/reading from all viewpoints is definitely worthwhile.

      • 0 avatar
        thebeelzebubtrigger

        “Anyone who defends Fox News has no credibility.”

        Fixed that for ya.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        sticking my neck out here but…I think that progressives wanting the other side tend to look at WSJ, some conservative Atlantic types and maybe a few Economist pieces (at least that’s what I do). Fox can come across as relatively juvenile and altogether less serious, almost tabloid-ish really. Same goes for conservatives who check in on the NYT, I bet there are a few MSNBC “opinionists” that piss them off equally (as they should). Everyone is scared/pissed that the other people are relying on the blowhards for actual facts.

        Getting back to this site…I’ve never thought of TTAC as biased outright, individual writers do tend to have their own brand affections (Jack hearts Fords (why for ____’s sake?)) and little jihads (RF hated Lutz), but then that’s exactly what made the place great in the first place. What gets readers all wound up is that they/we see TTAC as an education forum and not just a discussion spot (which it is) and when we heartily disagree it’s akin to seeing Shultz/Beck put in charge of the curiculum. At least it feels that way for the first 10 minutes after reading a post like that.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      The problem with any accusation of bias is that it makes the discussion personal when it doesn’t need to be that way. It is more productive to stick to the facts as presented, and leave the perceived motivation out of it.

      More often than not, claims of bias are a sign that one party has run out of ammunition and is resorting to name-calling. It recalls Godwin’s Law, which predicts that every online discussion will eventually degrade into comparisons with Fox News at some point :)

      • 0 avatar
        GMis4GoodManners

        Brilliant! (And my comments weren’t against Fox per se, just their refusal to address complaints of agenda – or at least to The Daily Show’s satisfaction).

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Mike, don’t kid, every media outlet has a bias and point of view. They either won’t admit it and pretend they don’t or else they admit it and go from there. Fox doesn’t fit your world view, the Times does, so to you Fox is biased while the Times is repectly reasonable, that’s the difference, your perception.

      I’m glad of one thing in this thread though, no one has used Faux News. That is lazy and cheap.

  • avatar
    segfault

    Would it be unfair to suggest that Honda’s AWD system is FWD-biased, or that BMW’s is RWD-biased?

  • avatar
    bill h.

    “Truth” about cars is still 99.99% opinion. So “bias” is still in the eye of the reader/writer, and that goes for this site as well.

    The only “truth” I’ve noticed about cars is that no matter which one you choose to drive, or how well you drive it, someone out there will think you’re an idiot for driving it.

  • avatar
    cackalacka

    I presume this can explain how my comment awaited in moderation yesterday and got erased?

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    I personally wished these comments were moderated. I get pretty tired of the same names adding zero value to the discussion. I generally avoid reading the comments section if I suspect that an intelligent conversation is about to turn into a rant.

    • 0 avatar
      Bob12

      One way of granting your wish without giving extra (ongoing) work to the moderators is implementation of an “ignore” function. This would mute the posts of whomever you wished. I personally would like this function also, but it would require some coding.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Unsurprisingly, the predictable, non-value-added commentors are typically the same ones I notice throwing out the b-word.

        The only b-word I notice on TTAC is that the articles, as a whole, tend to be focused on the negative side of the business. TTAC tends to position themselves on the pessimistic view of a given news story (regardless of the brand). With all the bad news coming out of GM and Chry-co the past half-decade, it isn’t surprising that TTAC is accused of being the b-word. I don’t think it legitimately is the b-word. Just more bad news was coming out of a few camps than others. When bad news came out of the Toyota camp, it was certainly reported here. Same goes for the tsunami. When the shine wears off Kia and Hyundai, we’ll see the same for them.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree strongly with this.

      • 0 avatar
        JJ

        +1

        The commentariat could be allowed some POWAH in disliking comments and making them disappear. That way, TTAC can keep its grubby mitts clean of any ‘comment delete bias’. As an added bonus it may reduce the moderation workload to boot.

      • 0 avatar
        Bob12

        I like JJ’s suggestion too, which can–if the coding resources are available–be implemented in addition to mine. Crowdsourced moderation has been used (mostly successfully) by sites like Slashdot and pre-Disqus Engadget. I think it’s a good option. My initial suggestion was an “ignore list” unique to, and customizable by, each registered user.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    I am all for banning discussion of bias ply tires and suburbias…

  • avatar
    msquare

    I have never understood, and still don’t understand TTAC’s collective sensitivity to the issue. If your journalism is any good, it can stand on its own, no need to constantly defend it with threats.

    TTAC takes stands, expresses opinions and implements agendas. By doing so, it opens itself to criticism in a free society. And there was a time when GM dominated that agenda. To be fair, they were creating most of the news, and TTAC has had the opportunity to cover other manufacturers’ failings as well. Still, it did indeed get to the point that TTAC was negative about every little thing GM did, no matter how inconsequential. If the shoe fits, wear it.

    Accept the criticism as part of doing your job. Everyone else in the media does. And also allow for the possibility that your view of the automotive world isn’t the only one or even the only correct one.

    • 0 avatar
      kid cassady

      I agree with msquare. Criticism is part of being a journalistic site. TTAC was markedly improved when RF passed over the reins to your current set of writers. Backpedaling now would be a huge mistake.

      • 0 avatar
        bill h.

        Agree. Edward and crew are far more tolerant (and less capricious in many ways) than the previous regime, but this is not a smooth elbows business, and being able to dish it out implies being able to take it as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Lumbergh21

        Regarding the changing of the gaurd, I had two comments removed under Fargo and received additional warnings probably putting my accessibility to this site at risk. Since, nothing.

        However, I do think that moderation is a thin tightrope to walk. I’ve been on car sites where no discussions of politics, religion, etc. were allowed. I’ve been on car sites where any disagreement with the Democrat/”Greenies” point of view would get your comment removed while every other person is free to attack and even use profanity towards Bush and his kind. I’ve also been on sites with seemingly no moderation (probably the worst situation). I think that TTAC probably does the best job of allowing open discussion of topics while not degenerating into name calling of any site on any topic that I’ve posted on.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        +1 Lumbergh

        I’m pretty obviously progressive and I find comment sections that skew too far left unreadable. Letting readers moderate will end up with a group on one side of the other changing the whole tone.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      I’d have to add that sometimes TTAC “primes the pump” by how the topics are headlined. For example, the story about “Will your car run on Fracking gas” could have easily just been about whether yoru car will run on natural gas. By adding the fracking part, I, along with quite a few other, derailed the story to become about the enviromental issues involved with fracking, not about the issues about natural gas and cars. By the very nature of the discourse, one’s personal —- creeps in, even if substantiated by fact. Of course, without the fracking part of the story, the hit count would have been much lower.

      That being said, the extra bit of leash allowed in the post RF era has been a good thing, but lately many posters, myself included, have allowed the discussion to be come overly political. Now cars and politics are intertwined there is no doubt. So political discourse is going to be part of the equation. But many of us allow the politics to dominate over the cars, and we often strike back in a tit-for-tat manner. Let’s all accept that no amount of comments on any blog are going to change our political viewpoints and not challenge each other to go down a political rathole. I’m guilty on that count, but I’ll do my best.

      I think this site has improved greatly and would hate to see it degrade to the other run of the mill stuff out there. Banning words is not a good step, but maybe this is can be just a wake up call to redirect the B&B to stay just that…my two cents…

      • 0 avatar
        Jellodyne

        Absolutely, golden. You can’t expect articles with trolling headlines (eg “Bailout going well? Then entire cost of bailout from your taxes goes to reelect Obama”) yet expect to have a reasonable troll free discussion thread. On the other hand, the troll headline probably delivers a significantly larger number of pageviews, so in that respect the low level of discourse is good for the site.

        Regardless of the level of discourse on the threads, I’ll still be coming back for the articles, especially Murilee, Jack, Rent Sell Lease or Keep and Piston Slap.

    • 0 avatar

      The accusations that resulted in this policy were undeserved, uncalled for, and unintelligent, and that b**s on the part of the relevant commenters was the trigger for the comments. In short, they detracted from the site. As a journalist for more than several decades, I think Ed does a superb job of being objective.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      +1 on this. Banning people for suggesting a possible bias is the surest way to confirm the bias in the eyes of readers. Better to simply rebut the suggestion or if accurate, to admit it.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      You miss the point. It isn’t the claim itself, it’s the hollow cliche that comes with it.

      On internet forums, “bias” is akin to “Nazi”, “socialist” or “fascist” — it’s just meaningless gibberish that people who don’t have good arguments use when they’re pissed off.

      When I see posters using words like that frequently, I see that they rarely support their case. They think that they’ve discovered some magic buzz word that gets them off the hook from proving their points.

      Good debate requires facts and argumentation, not name calling. As it is usually used in the comments section of a site like this, you may as well as just skip the use of the term of the “bias” and instead call the other guy a “jerk” or an “a**hole”, because that’s what was really intended.

      If you have a case for bias, then skip the name calling, and just prove it. If you have a good case, you’ll be able to articulate it without resorting to cliches to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      They seem to accept comments that disagree with the point of their posts. In other words, you can argue that they’re wrong.

      If you argue that they’re being unfair… well, there’s really no good way to have a discussion about that.

  • avatar
    anchke

    Ah! Shoulda guessed why my stuff is slow to show. As someone who has sat in moderator’s chairs on various sites, I’d say the job ain’t easy. Abusive stuff is the least of it. I recall that some posters considered their comments to have special authority and were simply intolerant of opposing opinion, no matter how it was expressed. Others believed that certain taboos were not to be challenged. Examp — On some car circles “transportation appliance” is considered the unanswerable put down, and yet, automobile manufactures sell quite a few of such. So why is the phrase considered pejorative and not just descriptive? In other cases there was an ongoing war: “experts” vs “generalists.” FWIW, my approach was to be intolerant of cursers, spammers, provacateurs (sp?) and those who expressed neeediness by being chronically quarrelsome. Good luck, TTAC.

  • avatar
    chuckRw

    And here I thought I was on double secret probation…

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I’ll tread lightly on this one. What I see and read on TTAC is the reason I joined up – especially after seeing how low and juvenile another competing web site goes.

    I discovered TTAC quite by accident, as I was starving for auto industry news and the Freep wasn’t getting the job done for me.

    The comments here are 98% intelligent, well-written pieces of varying length. The other 2% – well, that comes with the territory in this world. My biggest beef is when a particular article and comments include profanity, which to me is absolutely unnecessary and unprofessional. Most don’t remember a time when very hard-hitting, pointed columns were written and certain words and phrases weren’t allowed. But those are my personal beliefs and when I see such things written, if I find it that offensive, I simply hit the back button and move on to the next topic or news item. After all, no one appointed me judge, ’nuff said! Name-calling or singling out someone is inappropriate as well if it becomes personal. Political discussions? Fine, I may read it, I just won’t involve myself in it.

    So, what am I saying? Keep doing what you’re doing. You do it very well even if I get uncomfortable when my pet interest may be trashed or my hackles may get raised at the time. Keep being the finest automobile web site and B&B ever!

    EDIT: Along with TTAC being the best at what it does, I must include Curbside Classic, too. These are the only two auto sites I spend my time on. None other are worthy of my time, I’ve found.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      totally disagree, naturally occurring profanity and irreverence can make an otherwise mundane point entertaining and a fun read. When forced it’s awful though.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    I believe Len Bias would have made a great NBA player had he not passed away so young.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Bias

    Lesson: don’t do cocaine.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Trying to suppress an idea by banning its associated words doesn’t have a good track record anywhere and is usually only associated with despot regimes. While you can ban the words the idea behind the words cannot be banned and if a large enough segment of your readers detect a slant in some of your reporting then there is no point in trying to silence them by banning the use of the word. If TTAC intends to be a site for class leading automotive journalism then it also needs to be mature enough to take criticism (justified or not). This move is both childish and disappointing in equal measure.

    For those looking for alternatives I would consider these substitutes.

    Prejudice
    Partiality
    Predisposition
    Preconception
    Preference
    Slant
    Favoritism
    Unfairness
    Spin
    Partisan

    • 0 avatar
      thebeelzebubtrigger

      Or, to put it less delicately:

      When you run a blog by posting sensationalist, politically-motivated, troll-quality headlines maybe you should expect to attract a lot of “hard to control” elements.

      A *REAL* capitalist would find a way to monetize that!

    • 0 avatar
      Alexdi

      This. We now have two-dozen comments with the phrase ‘b-word’. Marvelous, problem solved, eh?

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    I thought this was The Truth About Cars, not The Truth About Dead Basketball Players ( TTADBP ).

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    I’m sure my commentary is cause of this ‘pain.’ I’m intelligent enough to eat crow and know when I posted something out of line, but I do fail to see why the word is banned seeing that’s why I gravitated to this site to begin with. You can’t have an ‘un-biased’ car blog stand out without prejudice. Without the ‘best and brightest’ my opinion wouldn’t have a counter and I’d go off thinking whatever the hell got into my head was right in the first place.

  • avatar
    American Tire Depot

    American Tire Depot, American Tire Depot Modesto
    http://americantiredepotmodesto.com/

  • avatar
    George B

    Bertel, your moderation is generally excellent, but I think TTAC should consider some restriction on the length of the comments. A limit on the number of words or number of characters is easy to understand and enforce. The comments get out of control when certain commenters write multiple long paragraphs in passionate defense of the product line of their preferred brand. Some salesmen can get really verbose.

    Regarding the b word, I want to read a little back and forth where useful information gets swapped. For example, I have a somewhat negative view of VW reliability, but would like to know what engine/transmission combinations are more reliable than others. The 5 cylinder 10 valve iron block tractor engine/manual transmission combination in a friend’s Jetta seems to be reliable. In exchange, I’ll admit that I like Hondas if they are not hideously ugly, but their automatic transmissions are weak. The B7XA automatic is almost guaranteed to fail before the paint oxidizes.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      On the surface, a restriction on the number of characters in a comment may sound like a good thing…until people start using multiple posts to get around it. I’ve seen that happen on other sites, and it’s not pretty.

    • 0 avatar
      SimonAlberta

      @GeorgeB

      Your last sentence is one of the worst I’ve yet seen on this site. You are implying that nearly 100% of those transmissions WILL fail.

      I am sure the TRUTH is far less spectacular.

      I have no idea whether the rest of your post made sense because you ruined it with your close and I no longer cared what else you said.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Sorry, the point is I like Honda and for the most part Honda makes very reliable cars, but I admit that the B7XA 4 speed automatic has severe design flaws at least as bad as anything from VW. An internal, unreplacable, filter clogs and the transmision dies long before the rest of the car wears out. Honda extended the warranty to 7 years/100k miles and ate the cost of replacing many transmissions. Texas heat may be extra tough on automatics, but all of the people I know with 6th generation V6 Accords have experienced transmission issues.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        I have no idea whether the rest of your post made sense because you ruined it with your close and I no longer cared what else you said.

        When you read from bottom to top do you still read left to right or is that reversed too?

  • avatar
    The CHZA

    This smacks of the progressively worse behavior of bitchy Gizmodo and Jalopnik editors clamping down on comment content. Nobody’s reaching in and editing the content of the articles. They’re comments. It’s discussion.

    If the content of comments on the articles offends the authors so much, they ought to find more security in their own opinions before they choose to publicly write about them. If people want to write articles and put them in the public sphere, they ought to grow a pair if they’re met with comments crying bias rather than covering their ears by proxy so they can stay comfortable within their own possibly questionable opinions. Sure, ban people that are just disruptive to the general discussion of any given article. But if people keep crying “bias” maybe there’s a problem with the general lean of this site’s author base. It’s devolved into business reports and articles on traffic cameras. MAYBE Murilee will get to post something fun once a week, but that’s lucky to happen.

    This is a weak-minded policy and only serves to push this site along the downward trend it’s been on since around when Paul left.

    • 0 avatar

      http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-american/truckstop-classic-1949-chevrolet-loadmaster-tow-truck-my-bias-is-showing-and-feel-free-to-say-so/

      • 0 avatar
        H Man

        Indeed, I am now biased towards Paul’s site, but still read/skim TTAC several times a days.

        For me, the political side of the discussions is a big *yawn*, and nowadays I’m inclined to hit the back button once the commentariat begin the cycle. Typically, someone just HAS to mention FOX, then the FOX defense team spring into action, followed by mentions of every other clone #*$#*ing cable news channel, with a few potshots at the NYTimes thrown in for balance.

        But that’s just me.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        It’s not just you. It would be good if I could turn on a politics filter on this site and only read automotive content. Alas, no such thing exists.

      • 0 avatar
        The CHZA

        You’re doing the Iron Lord’s work.

      • 0 avatar
        Philosophil

        While I agree that the politics can get a little carried away at times (and I include myself in this), nevertheless it’s often the case that the truth about cars (in the broad sense) includes the social and political life surrounding cars as well as cars in-themselves. Put simply, while it’s a treat to sometimes focus simply on the attributes or qualities of particular cars (or kinds of cars), in reality the truth about cars in general often involves a host of very complex phenomena.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        +1 – Bertel doesn`t seem very good at taking comments compared to Ed and the others. Case in point the recent article around “GM goosing there truck sales” which it seems is based on faulty numbers – taken from commentators. No reply from Bertel on this.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I rarely get riled up here on TTAC, but when someone does tempt me to break out the flamethrower or get my rant on, I just leave TTAC for a few hours. When I come back later in the day, I usually don’t care anymore. But, if I’m still angry or offended about the situation then I use the contact form to voice my complaints.

    At the end of the day, we’re all just making (hopefully worthwhile) comments on an enjoyable automobile website. I always thought all this was supposed to be fun or at least informative. Is isn’t worth having a coronary over what other people think and it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get the last word in.

    …And that’s why I like Pontiacs with plastic cladding.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I could possibly be better at doing the cooling down thing, especially when I see someone post somethign about politics, accusing one sede (hint, not the right one) of somehow having some connection with the thinking of people who tried to build a third ‘reich’. I think that comparison effect could go any way. The same guy owned a dog, he like nice clothes, he even owned a Buick at some time.
    When it comes to being biased, TTAC have a long way to go to be like Fox news (not too mention the completely rubbish quality of Fox news…) But there is no doubt there is a lot of negativity going one way, even if most of it actually seems quite legit. But the day any man can be completely unbiased in his mind and writing is the day robots and machines have taken over. I think TTAC in general have a quite reflected and sometimes even biased against the car industry as a whole, so saying one ‘greatest car manufacturer’ does some bad things does not seem overly biased, aspecially since the staff seems to have different thoughts and meanings about any subject.
    And as many have stated before, buying a car is done mostly with your feelings anyway ;)

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Please toss this comment on the stack of those asking “Huh? What’s this all about?” I’ve read all 71 and nothing has really clicked. The word itself means little more than a real or perceived point of view.

    If that were not allowed, we’d never get to hear from the Chrysler, Saab, or Opel fanboyz.

  • avatar
    mazder3

    Can I still say Scunthorpe and Penistone? If so, I’m happy.

    Edit: Comment awaiting moderation! Stupid banning robot. :(

  • avatar

    Yeah, Bertel, how’s Bratwurst?

    Never mind bias, ban yourself Bertel.

    You know I am still going to contact Vertical Scope to put the plug from under you and maybe the whole tictac too.

    But I won’t do it if you apologize. You will please have to address me with the following words: “Uncle Yanko Phobe please forgive me, an old stupid one dimensional German hombre who knows nothing about cars!”

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    So we can still use prejudiced right?

  • avatar
    Commando

    Testing.
    1
    2
    3
    Testing.
    Can you all here me?

  • avatar
    th009

    Here? Where?

  • avatar
    mdensch

    “But why should I object to that term, sir? You see, in our century we’ve learned not to fear words.”

    Lt. Uhura, Star Trek the original series

  • avatar
    korvetkeith

    For reference, subtract 1 star from any of Sajeev’s Ford reviews.

  • avatar
    tekdemon

    I have to say that I think the filter is a little too strict, since it bans usage of words that would be reasonable in a lot of contexts.

  • avatar
    obbop

    If’n I had a dime to my name I’d toss my two-cents-worth in.

  • avatar
    IGB

    Yawn. It’s all about perception.

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    If the primary goal is to elevate the quality of the comments, banning one word isn’t going to have much impact. The critics will find other ways of getting their points across and you end up looking thin-skinned and unjournalistic.

    Real journalists don’t ban words.

  • avatar
    eldard

    How about bi ass? Is that ok?

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Start banning words, next thing you’ll be banning phrases. Pretty soon, the odd ban of an entire SENTENCE will occur. After that, sooner or later an entire PARAGRAPH will become ban-fodder. Eventually, entire BOOKS will be verboten….

    I kid because I care.

    Look either we believe that the freedom of the internet is a good thing despite the odd boorish and unpleasant commenter who doesn’t comprehend the difference between horse-shyte and shinola…and we let it be…OR, we don’t.

    I fall into the former category. Let the words of my tribe FLOW FREE, unfettered and uncensored.


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