By on July 21, 2012

We love our commenters. We hate to see them go. Sometimes, sacrifices must be made. This is to announce the untimely departure of dogsledder54 a.k.a. “scarey”, and of curbie138 from the pages of TTAC. They were banished. What happened?

The matter turned into a story, because there is a moral to it. It illustrates perfectly the dos and don’ts of commenting on TTAC.

As a comment to Suzuki Workers Burn Factory, Manager Killed, “Scarey” entered this comment:

I think we have sufficient information to assign you the title of ‘Moron’. Murder, assault, and arson are acceptable if you have workplace grievances ? Not hardly. Not anywhere.”

Can you spot the problem? Correct. Whether murder, assault, and arson are acceptable if you have workplace grievances can be debated all day long at TTAC. But it must be done without calling someone names. It’s that simple.

“Scarey” was put on notice and given six hours to apologize for the moron. “Scarey” sent a defiant note instead. “Scarey” had been given a chance. Refusing the chance, he was banned for making personal attacks.

Also banned was curbie138. Not because he posted that he thinks that workplace grievances can justify murder, assault and arson, under certain circumstances. That’s his opinion. People will oppose it. At TTAC, we fight for the right to voice any opinion. That right does not include the right to call someone a “moron” again. Curbie 138 was banned for making personal attacks.

In both cases, the comments were well within the bounds of TTAC’s commenting policy – except for a little word: “Moron.” This site is wide open to any arguments, even if they are as extreme as the above. This site is not open to rude behavior and an absence of manner.

Other sites would maybe edit the comment. We don’t. We are amongst grown-ups. People are responsible for what they do and say. Moderators are not here to clean up other peoples’ messes.

And what’s with the hat? To mark the fact that this commenter may no longer comment, the avatar may be changed. The one in the picture seems appropriate.

TTAC’s commenting policy always drew the line at flaming, trolling, and personal attacks. That policy has been rewritten to clarify, but not to change the policy. Please read the policy.

In short: You can say whatever you want at TTAC, but you may not be rude and uncivil. If you can’t say it without being insulting, better don’t touch that keyboard.

No more dunces!

P.S.: Also, I recommend resisting the urge to call TTAC editors a bunch of goose-stepping control freaks,as evidenced by the Teutonic masthead. First, it would be racism, and punishable by bannage as per the TTAC commenting policy. Second, I don’t know either how that happened, maybe Farago had a black leather fetish. Third, be advised that about half of them are Jewish, and they would be upset if you bunch them in with the other Nazis.

 

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116 Comments on “How To Stop Commenting On TTAC, And Walk Away With A Nice Hat...”


  • avatar

    Now if we can address the heated political commentary that often risks turning into flame wars, that would be appreciated.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yeah, well I’ll bet Obama/Romney/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Regan/Carter/Nixon made you say that! :P

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Only problem is politics entered the automotive world in 08 and 09. Once taxpayer money flowed into union health care and pension funds, union golden parachutes, as well as the general ledger, the politics started. The money continues to flow from energy department loans, government fleet purchases and special tax breaks. Since politics is now part of the industry, it should be commented on since it impacts sales. The impact of taxpayer money has been a positive and negative for sales. Some people have turned their backs on Detroit products, while others strongly support the money and have shown this by trading in foreign products on Detroit metal.

      • 0 avatar
        Bertel Schmitt

        The automotive industry appears to be inseparable from politics, and it has been that way for far longer than 08 and 09. If we would ignore the politics, we would ignore an important driver of this industry. The industry could do just fine without the politics, but the politics seem to be forever attached to cars.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Actually politics have always been in the car business and always will be. Hyundai and Kia were bailed out by the South Korean government, Nissan was bailed out by the French government to give Renault a global presence. VW has always had some sort of government participation back to the 30′s continuing to today, all the American car companies competitors have national healthcare back in their homelands. The US government sent the “Whiz Kids” to help Ford stay in business in the 40′s when Henry Ford went senile. All these foreign transplants have had tax breaks and infrastructure given to them by states. Alabama had the National Guard grading the land for the Mercedes factory.

        Japan has bought down the yen for half a century to help their exporters to the extent they have the largest debt per capita of any nation, now they can’t do it and Nissan wants to leave

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “Only problem is politics entered the automotive world in 08 and 09.”

        Politics has been involved in the auto industry far longer than that. If you didn’t realize that I really don’t know what to say.

      • 0 avatar
        docrock

        “Only problem is politics entered the automotive world in 08 and 09.”

        Was that 2008/2009 or 1908/1909? I would guess that the hand of politics – in whatever manifestation – has been under the hood of automobiles for many, many years . . . taxation, licenses, road tax, gas tax, regulation, rules, design etc.

        Politics has yet to find any enterprise that it feels would not be better without its divine guidence and influence.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        You would be hard pressed to find anything more politically charged than the automotive world. Be it road construction, fuel production, safety, pollution…all tied to an essential product. Has the process made cars better or worse? I’d say both.

    • 0 avatar
      daviel

      I can’t run every site, but a ban on religion and politics would be good. I get really tired of Obama vs. Romney, Socialism vs. Ayn Rand, etc. Otherwise, I am satisfied in calling out GM, Ford and Chrysler.

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      I don’t know if autos and politics have always been intertwined, my memory only goes back about four decades. But I do remember my dad ranting about Pres. Carter trying destroy the American automotive industry. Nonsensical regulations, union favoritism, bureaucrats picking “winners & losers” instead of letting the market work it out (any of this sound familiar?).

    • 0 avatar

      Not all politics is national. Factory locations, incentives, tax breaks, infrastructure costs, pollution and other issues make it inevitable that the auto industry has to address local political realities.

      To give just one historical example, Henry Ford wanted roads and dams built to service his small “Ford Village Industries” factories. So he donated thousands of acres of Rouge River bottom land to Wayne County (that’s now Hines Park) and the county built two or three dams and paved a bunch of roads.

      So long before bankruptcy procedures were bent to favor the UAW over GM bondholders and long before there were tax credits for EVs, the auto industry and politics were intertwined.

      Come to think of it, I just reread the book about Josef Ganz and even putting aside Hitler’s KdF/VW project, there were other examples of European governments’ involvement in their auto industries. After fleeing Germany, Swiss authorities were very keen on getting Ganz’s small car produced by a Swiss manufacturer, Rapid. So keen, in fact, that they tried to screw Ganz out of his patent rights.

      A similar situation was encountered by Bombardier after WWII when the Canadian government claimed rights to Bombardier’s tracked vehicle designs.

      Unless there was a complete laissez faire economy, the government is going to be involved with industry.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        …..Unless there was a complete laissez faire economy, the government is going to be involved with industry……

        And history paints a rather nasty picture when that was happening…

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        @golden2husky

        It wasn’t all bad.

        Andrew Carnegie’s fixation with cornering the market led to Steel going from an expensive commodity to a super-common building material.

    • 0 avatar
      daveainchina

      Politics has been part of the automotive industry for nearly since the beginning. If you think Henry Ford didn’t play political games, I’d say your sadly mistaken.

      And just look what happened to Tucker, partially that was Washington politics.

  • avatar
    Yupa

    I mostly lurk on these boards, because I don’t have enough car knowledge to comment most of the time. However, this post got my attention.

    I’m glad that you are monitoring these boards for civility, but I fail to see how calling someone a “dunce” is really helpful. Isn’t that exactly the kind of behavior you are rightfully calling out the users for?

  • avatar

    This policy and the tone that it sets is one of the reasons I keep coming back. Honestly, for a while there it seemed that the policy had gotten lax, and I worried for the future of the site.

    Now since you guys have had a couple of “bannerade” rounds and you’ve added some contributors, the site seems healthier than ever.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    1+

  • avatar
    sharadbu2

    Dont know why anyone would take this site seriously anymore. Layout sucks….commentary is weaker than before and the language seems more sponsored….just watch topgear(uk)…atleast you get some entertainment….

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      I think this is a great site. In my opinion, one of the best. I also think the commentary is great. Opinions from all sides are posted. It appears even the manufacturers are posting. I hope all stay.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        ttac truly is the best site in this genre. It is read by everyone who is anyone in the industry and offers a window into the psyche of the masses. The comments offered are a general reflection of the vox populi.

        It is just that under current management the site has changed so as not to offend the people who pay their bills. I’m cool with that. It is a privately-owned site. They can run it any way they want to that pleases their advertisers and benefactors.

        Individuals who cannot accept that have been invited to move along.

      • 0 avatar
        BadaBing373

        +1

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      And yet you felt compelled to comment on an article about the site, rather than articles about cars. How mehta meta.

    • 0 avatar
      noxioux

      I couldn’t disagree more, sharadbu2. TTAC is one of the most honest and informative boards out there. I think we can rely on Automobile and Motor Trend to provide all the weak, sponsored coverage we can stand.

      Somewhere in hell, the only car blog available is Jalopnik, and the only car show is Top Gear USA. God help those poor souls!

  • avatar
    carguy

    TTAC should offer its moderating services to other web sites – it’s a breath of fresh air to be able to discuss issues without anyone being compared to Hitler.

  • avatar
    ckb

    TTAC’s personal attack policy is completely reasonable and very necessary (see: news site comments or *gulp* youtube…). And I very much enjoy this site because of that policy and the articles…which at times have personal attacks. Usually directed at other journalists for shady business and what not (Dutch Mandel anyone?). Are their ethics your justification? Am I mis-reading those articles?

  • avatar
    Glenn Mercer

    Ditto/agree/concur. IMHO TTAC is the best automotive blog out there, in that it discusses the car INDUSTRY and BUSINESS as much as the VEHICLES. There are approximately 238 million blogs reviewing cars. (Well, that number may not be precisely accurate.) But there is only a handful which cover the INDUSTRY as well: executive changes, inventory data, links to interesting reports from i-banks and governments and think tanks. The only thing that ever bothered me about TTAC was the relentlessly snarky and in some cases mean-spirited tone of some of the writers and many of the posters. (Go ahead, call me a wimp, but leaving aside whether one is thin- or thick-skinned, it is just an inefficient use of a writer’s OR a reader’s time to have to cut through the underbrush of personal attacks in order to get to the useful opinions hidden within.) So please TTAC editors, yes, please continue to monitor and enforce this policy. It is, in my opinion, crucial to the success of the site. Yes, I would even pay real money, as in $ub$cribe, for a closely-monitored site. (Yeah, yeah, I know, information wants to be free or something like that…) THANK YOU!

    PS Is it okay if I call people “Morans,” as in the famous (deceased) Florida-based megadealer? Just checkin’….

  • avatar

    I’ve always thought a dunce hat would flatter the shape of my head, do I have to get banned to earn one?

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Having a no ad hominem policy is a necessity.

    I (or one) can say “[s]o that’s why I think [Brand X] is a shitty company, that makes shitty cars, and engages in deceptive and outrageously fraudulent advertising”….or….”I hate the [Model X] and think it’s an absolutely pig in terms of engineering and fabrication, and would rather hitchhike to work than have to drive that POS which is likely to try and murder me at every corner or moose crossing.”

    But if I (or one) say/says “so that’s why you (i.e. another TTAC Member or Staff Member) are a shithead, blah blah blah,” that’s not furthering the discussion in a productive way, and attacking the person instead of what they said and the relative merits contained (or not) in what they said.

    I have negative biases, for whatever reasons (they are many), against BMW, Cadillac and Ford at the moment. When commenting on particular products by these three companies, I inevitably let my biases shine through pretty strongly, but I never attack or insult a person who disagrees with me and who may even have an opposite view.

    Free speech is good stuff (many, including I, would argue that, like pimpin’, it’s necessary).

    Robust and even rather vehement debate is good stuff.

    Attacking the person making the statement(s) rather than the statement(s) is ad hominem, and what drags any discussion right into the sewer.

    If I ever find someone casting fire and brimstone towards something I find to be a personal sacred cow, I hope I retain the ability to address what’s wrong with their statement without engaging in any personal insults.

    We’re all human, after all, thus we are all want to err from time to time.

    Forgive me Father, for my past and future sins.

  • avatar
    Elusivellama

    I usually lurk on TTAC, but this post got my attention. Actually it was an older post which also got my attention – when VanillaDude and so-and-so got banned.

    Not because of the name calling or personal attacks. But because it reminded me of the reason why I lurk so much. There are far too many commentators and personalities on here that are too smart for their own good.

    Thus, unlike other websites, I read TTAC for the articles on the cars that actually matter to me, and then only if the article contains some concrete facts and observations. I skip over the comments entirely. I rarely (if ever) join in any of the discussions because I simply don’t care to be dragged into the mud.

    I only care that reviews on this website are as close to truth as possible in the automotive journalism world. If says that sucks, then it very likely sucks despite all of the other hype reviews out there on other websites, and vice versa. It is only when all of the reviews tend to converge on one theme – and when TTAC confirms said theme – that I’ll actually believe the hype.

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    You know who’s really a moron sometimes? And has two thumbs? Yeah, this guy, right here.

  • avatar
    daviel

    This is a favorite site. I love cars; and good writing, irony, sarcasm and wit.

    • 0 avatar
      jimdenver

      I rarely comment on this site but love the stories and comments. I have been reading this site at work mostly since the death watch of gm stories were going on. I can’t remember the year.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    There is something backwards in saying it is okay to espouse murder but is bad to call someone a relatively mild epithet.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      It’s okay to attack ideas. It’s not okay to attack the person.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        The ‘idea’ of murder is fine and dandy, even though it is the idea of Murder we’re talking about here, but calling someone who happens to also post on this site a Moron is a bannable offense.

        Something about this just seems somehow Wrong to me, more on that at the bottom…

      • 0 avatar

        @Les: I encourage you to say that murder, assault and arson are never justified, I even encourage you to say that people who justify murder, assault and arson with workplace grievances are putting themselves on the same level as murderers and arsonists.

        But no, I do not want to judge what is a strong or a mild epithet. As WheelMcCoy said: You may attack ideas, you may not insult people. At least not here.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        @Bertel Schmitt:

        I still don’t believe the punishment for this infraction was reasonable, and have said why further down the thread already.

        That you handled it the way you did is of course your prerogative, but I am under no obligation to agree nor to hide my opinion.

        In any event, I have said my peace on the issue.

      • 0 avatar
        boybeagle9

        And yet, did not the moderator call the 2 members banned “Dunces”? What did I miss?

  • avatar
    el scotto

    I like this site for a lot of reasons. However, the haters and the fanboys get me spun up because of their intellectual dishonesty. How hard is it to log in and say GM sucks, Ford sucks, American cars suck? Thank you for your insight and critically derived observations.-snark. Same thing goes for the fanboys; the my brand is the best ever and everything else sucks types. The haters and the fanboys are ignorant of the fact or don’t care that their insults may offend someone who isn’t driving their one true brand.
    What I do like is comments from real world owners of the vehicle featured in the column. Yes renting a car and even test drives count. It’s their dime and their time. They bring these confusing things called facts and reasoning. Also, the guys that sell cars and mechanics get more respect from me than the haters and fanboys.Sorry for the rant; to paraphrase Dennis Miller, I have times where I could be wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      I am one of those who dislike Detroit brands. And, I don’t think I need to own a Detroit vehicle to have this opinion. Why? 2 reasons. First, their reliability rankings in CR ad JDP. The brands are all ranked well below average. The second reason is the high price of Detroit brands. They are expensive vehicles to deliver under average reliability. I don’t this is hate. In my opinion, it is the facts.

      In my opinion, Detroit automakers can become world class in one of two ways. Either justify the high price tags with top slots in reliability, or undercut Toyota and Honda price tags while leaving reliability where it is. Either is acceptable.

      I think the current Detroit strategy of justifying a high price by sticking a bunch of technological gadgets on a car with less than average reliability is NOT a winner. I think this is the status quo.

      Second, my opinion seems to be common on the left and right coast in the circles I hang. You would be amazed how many high 6 and 7 figure income people think reliability and value is everything. I also hope Detroit executives consider my opinion. There is nothing more important tnan the success of Detroit. I do not think they have the right formula.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Jimmy, I respect your opinions. You presented many reasons why you dislike Detroit iron, fair enough. You presented opinions that clarify your contributions; NOT a “Detroit Sucks” and hit submit comment.
        I’m not going down the rabbit hole but CR and JDP recommend this domestic car and you could counter point look at all the ones they say are average at best. I don’t get your point about Detroit iron being high priced. Traditionally American iron is cheaper than the imports.
        The problem for Detroit is that they lost a generation of Americans. They won’t even consider anything domestic.
        A 6 figure income is not that hard to hit on either coast. Rule of thumb for them is an expensive import and something to haul the kids. All 7 figure guys I know seem to drive either Lexiis or F-150s.
        I used to work for at a government agency in DC. The high GS/SES VIP lot was filled with the requisite high end imports. The general ran the agency? He drove a minivan.
        I have a HS friend who owns his own garage. I buy off of his recommendations, it makes sense to me. My friend has a huge GM bias but has said that if everyone drove Toyotas he’d be out of a job. He also bought his wife a Mustang GT convertible. She wanted one.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        I would feel much more comfortable buying a new American car than a new German car for long term reliability and durability, and I drive a used German car.

        Detroit’s reliability is probably between the Korean and Japanese brands these days; and far ahead of any German vehicle save a VW with a manual transmission and the 2.5 liter 5-cylinder engine.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        @Sam P

        You managed to secure a VW with manual transmission and 2.5L 5-cylinder engine? How did you manage that?

        Last time I tried I was shown to a two-door Golf with horrible sport-bucket seats of suspect lineage and a talent for cutting into my glutes and so sorry but those seats are actually the sport-seats standard on the GTI, honest and for true, and we’ve ‘upgraded’ all of our base Golfs with these seats for your convenience and if you don’t care for them are you sure you wouldn’t like to see a $30,000 Tiguan?

  • avatar
    Thabo

    It always amazes me how lenient forum owners are. You really think those stupid google adwords ads pay the bills for all the hard work that goes into this website! If I were to run a forum I’d be much more of a bastard, in fact I make it mandatory that you all stand on one leg before posting!

    Being banned is such a big deal : You don’t think those with the dunce hats are not signing up for some proxy service in a far off land as we speak :)

    Liking one particular brand is akin to saying I’ll only go on a date with a blond with certain dimensions, guys expand your horizons …… ( ok mods, sorry for the sexist comment ) Come on now, lets all join hands and sing a sweet sweet song of automotive harmony as pixies and rainbows fill the sky ….. agggg ok ok I still hate the Camry !!!!!

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Its nice to have a place on the internet where I won’t be insulted for getting one tiny fact wrong.

    Except for the time that my entire knowledge and age were questioned because I said “Fake Carbon”.

  • avatar
    Les

    I am sorry, but I cannot see how this was reasonable.

    The offending parties were discussing a horrific incident and one expressed an opinion that another commenter found so thoroughly detestable that they lost their composure and called the other commenter a ‘Moron’, an epithet exceptional only in it’s mildness.

    And then there were bannings.

    No warnings…

    No calls to keep things civil…

    Just, bannings.

    It is claimed that the original offender was offered redemption for the crime of calling another poster a Moron, if they would only apologize to the person who expressed an opinion they considered so vile that they lost their composure and resorted to epithets in the first place. How could anyone with any knowledge of humanity have expected anything but a defiant response to that?

    Why? Calling someone is yes a personal attack, but such absolutism in the response? This puts me of a mind of the kind of Zero Tolerance policies that have seen children expelled for bringing their asthma inhalers to school.

    Why? To remind people that TTAC is a place for Grown-ups… where Derek Krindler can review a car with the help of a small plush-toy rodent and Jack Baruth can…. be Jack Baruth?

    Don’t get me wrong, I Like Jack Baruth’s writing style, and I Adore Herr Schmauss; but it is precisely because those things are Not ‘grown-up’ and do Not take themselves too seriously that I enjoy them so much. Such absolutist rules enforcement devoid of leniency for context or consideration to me casts a heavy shadow over the otherwise lighthearted tone of the site.

    Again, I cannot see how this was reasonable.

    • 0 avatar
      01 Deville

      Agreed. The first person to be removed under this policy should be (easily the best contributer to the site) Mr. Baruth for personal attacks at other journos, if not the horrible slant at chinese model ears.
      Also, you would think calling someone Dunce is a bit personal too; perhaps Mr. Schmitt would like to offer an apology or remove himself from the site..

    • 0 avatar
      Ingvar

      “And then there were bannings.

      No warnings…

      No calls to keep things civil…

      Just, bannings.”

      What are you talking about? Did you even read the exchange of words? The guy had his chance. He was put on notice on pain of being banned. He had his chance, he didn’t retract, he was banned. End of story.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        I did not hear of any request that the offender retract his words, what I heard was that he was instructed to apologize.

        If I’d said something in the heat of the moment that was inappropriate and was told to correct myself, I would do so.

        If however someone had expressed an opinion that I found so offensive I lost my cool about it, and then a second person demanded I apologize to the first person, I’d tell that second person to go [REDACTED] themselves.

      • 0 avatar
        Ingvar

        Well, it’s still a choice. He had a choice, he had his chance. The rules are clear, so are the consequences.

        Look, this is only a discussion on an internet messageboard. If you “lose your cool” about it, then perhaps debate on that level isn’t for you? Losing out on an argument isn’t the end of the world. It only means you have to seek better arguments to use in the debate. That means, you regularely have to lose in battle to get better in argumentation. However would you learn otherwise? People that “loses their cool” in an internet discussion is way out of their leagues, per the Peter principle. Therefore, they have written themselves out from further debate.

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        Who said anything about losing arguments?

        This isn’t about arguments, this is about opinions, some are more offensive than others. When an opinion is egregiously offensive it may provoke a reaction, being asked to apologize for that reaction may evoke another.. quite predictable.. reaction.

        It’s as simple as that, if you wish to argue the matter further though I suggest we adjourn to e-mail or some other venue.

      • 0 avatar
        Ingvar

        If you have to revert to name callings, I’d say that’s a pretty good indicator that you’ve just run out of arguments. Let’s call name callings a yellow sign in debate. It means slow down, not move faster. If you find yourself using names in a debate, it usually mean you should take a step back and reconsider. Maybe even step out in the sun for a while…

      • 0 avatar
        Les

        Really, not the proper venue but if you insist..

        Again, it’s NOT about Arguments.

        It’s about Opinions and how offensive they are or are not.

        Sometimes you go to name-calling because you have nothing else in your arsenal of debate tactics, and really should just walk away.

        Sometimes you start name-calling.. because the other guy is a [REDACTED]! They are A [REDACTED]-ing [REDACTED] who should [REDACTED][REDACTED][REDACTED] for holding an opinion that is so [REDACTED]!

        I could give a clearer example, but not here, and again.. if you want to continue the debate we are having it MUST BE SOMEWHERE ELSE! Anything else at this point could get us Both banned.

        Consider this my last comment on this subject.

  • avatar
    Volts On Fire

    Has anyone else noticed that as society and the government have increasingly attempted to force civility upon us over the past 30 years or so, that acts of rebellion against that mindset have grown more focused and violent?

    It’s better to call a spade a spade, and a moron a moron. Those with delicate sensibilities shouldn’t try to sit at the grown-up table.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Just give me the opinions, reasons, even facts on why something sucks or is the greatest thing ever. I’ll listen to your opinions, reasons, even facts. I might disagree, polite discourse should be a part of this blog.
      Anonymity, like whiskey, give too many people false courage. It’s easy to talk smack on the ‘net and then scuttle away. I’m glad I’m in one FB group that allows exchanges of e-mail addresses and phone numbers if the discussion becomes heated.
      Wanna see real name calling and bunch of total asshats? Go read the comments sections on Salon.

    • 0 avatar
      PJ McCombs

      On the contrary, the internet has enabled anyone with a strong opinion to broadcast it–and insult those who don’t share it–from behind the safety and anonymity of a keyboard.

      IMO, the concept people have more difficulty with is: ‘if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t post it online’.

  • avatar
    oboylepr

    “Has anyone else noticed that as society and the government have increasingly attempted to force civility upon us over the past 30 years or so”

    Huh!

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I was let down by GM, twice and Chrysler once so I went to Toyota and I’ve had no problems, is that makes me a “fanboy” then let it be so! Both of those Toyotas were built here, my sister’s American Dodge Journey was built in Mexico, I have no regrets.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      Chrysler does have over twice as many Americans working for them as Toyota does and Mexicans buy a lot of American cars unlike Japan where even Hyundai had to withdraw from the market.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    Civility, the art of living in the city, must always be maintained. At least in civilized company, and even in something as gauche as a car blog. For whatever reason, cars are an emotional thing (unless we are talking about Toyotas), and civility is usually the first thing to be abandoned when emotions rise.

    For instance, I have a rather low opinion of Jack Baruth’s literary ability, but I know that he drives better than me, and has experienced more car-stuff. So I understand my place. And in any case I would never wish him (or anyone else, here) ill will, or call anyone a moron. One must always keep things in perspective; even if they drive a Toyota…or, god forbid, a Suzuki.

    Finally, workplace violence is only acceptable if one is a prize fighter, or works as a soldier in the Army. And even then only in certain situations.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    In the newspaper age you didn’t pick fights with those who bought ink by the barrel. I think Mark Twain or some other wit said that. Now days you don’t pick fights with whoever owns the server.

  • avatar
    Charliej

    I don’t see the government trying to force civility on us. I see politicians screaming at each other. I see people thinking that screaming at each other is debating. The person who screams the loudest does not win. Americas gift to world culture seems to be “attitude”. Why do we approve of people who put themselves above everyone else. What has happened to the idea of “community”. We are all human. I imagine that most of the readers are US citizens. Is it necessary to denigrate those with whom you don’t agree?

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    I will not drop an F bomb.
    I will not drop an F bomb.
    I will not drop an F bomb.
    Repeat 97×

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Regardless of whether or not you agree with the sentence (that could inspire a lively debate on its own), I think TTAC has done one better than many other sites with this article, explaining the reason of the banning. In many other sites, nameless and faceless “editors” ban people left and right without so much of an explanation of why, not even to the actual person being banned (presumably they notify them via emails or PM or something, but even this is not clear). Now THAT is the kind of method of “crowd control” (which is neccessary in all websites that allow commenting, BTW) that inspire fear and did not foster freedom of speech. Kinda akin to the secret police or other shadowy agencies that’s often employed by dictators to keep people in line.

  • avatar
    p0mg

    Ok I finally made a login for this site so I could reply. I’ve been lurking here for years. Since before the first GM death watch. I’m not normally opinionated enough to take the time to say anything, but always read the comments here. The main reason for that is it’s genuinely the only major automotive website with intelligent discussion.

    Reading autoblog makes me want to give up on the internet for good, and jalopnik is even worse. Page after page of stupid memes followed by “HAHAHAAH +1 HEARTCLICK HAHAHAH I GOT A STAR!!!!”…. I mean, I want to hear about cars + opinions about cars, not read pissing / popularity contests between (seemingly) 14 year-olds.

    Furthermore, though this site is definitely on the shabby side of web 2.0, the no-nonsense comment format (again, as opposed to the one dreamed up by the brilliant minds at gawker) is a breath of fresh air. Because you know, sometimes you just want to read things, without clicking 123909324234234423 times + jumping through hoops.

    TL;DR: awesome site, love the moderation, keep up the good work.

    • 0 avatar
      b787

      I couldn’t agree more. While many comment sections are a source of frustration, mainly because of the ignorant, immature and hateful commenters, comments on TTAC are intelligent and civil.

  • avatar
    Ishwa

    Multiple year lurker here. I registered today, just to say that I support this policy and to voice an opinion: This website deserves better than those who would resort to verbally attacking a perfect stranger. The “best and brightest” do not stoop to that behavior.

  • avatar
    Alwaysinthecar

    What I do like about TTAC is their insight to the auto industry as a whole. What I don’t like is when they review specific brands and models and then it gets into the whole fanboy diatribe and things begin to rapidly disintegrate.

    @Bertel: “But no, I do not want to judge what is a strong or a mild epithet. As WheelMcCoy said: You may attack ideas, you may not insult people. At least not here.”

    Then if that’s the protocol, TTAC must also ban commentators for saying things like “BMW owners are morons.” And the favorite, “Mercedes Benz buyers are simply badge whores and idiots.” Or, “the French are stupid.” Insulting a group of individuals is the same as insulting the individual.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I think that there’s a genuine substantive difference between calling a fellow commentator or staff member of TTAC a moron, directly, and calling a collective group of owners of a particular make and even maybe model of vehicle (whether Rolls Royce or Suzuki) morons.

      I believe this holds true even if a commentator or staff member of TTAC happens to read said comment whereby that whole class of owners of a particular make and even specific model of a car are called “morons,” and they happen to also own that particular make and even model of vehicle.

      There’s a difference in intent and specificity making the former a direct and purposeful ad hominem attack, whereas this is not the case regarding the latter.

      I don’t believe that all Jaguar S Type owners are douchebags. I merely believe that the significant plurality or slight majority of them are.

      See what I did there? Not only was my douchebag insult not directed at any particular person associated with TTAC, but I left myself an out by not committing to the stance that ALL Jaguar S Type owners are douchebags, in the event that anyone here, including a TTAC writer/editor/admin, owns a Jaguar S Type.

  • avatar

    Okay, so we can’t call folks “morons” or “idiots”. That makes sense because those are indeed personal attacks. However, may we characterize an opinion as moronic or idiotic, criticizing the opinion, not the person?

    BTW, can we can it with the accusations of “sponsored” content? Derek mentioned how some think his “no, the Toyobaru is not better than a Cayman” post was bought and paid for. By whom? Not Toyota and Subaru and in light of our franchise player’s well known love-hate relationship with Porsche (JB loves him some Porsche cars but the Porsche company not so much), Porsche’s not likely to be sponsoring anything around here anytime soon.

    • 0 avatar
      Ingvar

      The very idea of sponsored content on this site is simply preposterous. And that has been the case since Farago and the Flying Vagina.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I heard a rumor that General Motors gave Farago a golden parachute for the ages if he agreed to abandon writing about all things automotive and switch to criticizing/reviewing firearms.

        /sarc

      • 0 avatar
        punkybrewstershubby

        My wife just saw Magic Mike. Maybe I will soon see a flying vagina, too. Oh crap, I hope that wasn’t too vulgar.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        Sometime ago, I once referred to a Ford Focus as a Ford F’ar’ckus in a TTAC post. The post was almost immediately deleted and, just as promptly, I received an email from Farago.

        Of course, by then, I’d long since ceased stopped opening any of Farago’s emails and deleted them upon receipt, so I have no idea what he said.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Gordon

        The oft used sobriquet for the Ford Edsel grille demonstrates a rather poor knowledge of anatomy. A more correct allusion would be to call it a ‘Flying Vulva’.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Personally, I do not know how calling someone stupid and calling their ideas/opinions stupid is different, because frankly, people who are not stupid are precisely so because they do not have stupid ideas/opinions.

      • 0 avatar

        Some of history’s worst ideas were the products of superior minds. Smart people can say and do stupid things.

        “I have 10 ideas before lunch. Eight of them are bad.”
        -Bob Lutz

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I laughed when I read that quote from Lutz. I do not consider him to have a great mind and a strong argument can be made that he was a significant contributor to GM’s implosion. But more to the point, to be exposed to dumb ideas is human, but to fail to reject them is the dumb part.

        Also, “superior mind” and “smart” are nebulous and vague. If we say that a “superior mind” is one that can go beyond a typical one, such as greater innovation, greater processing speed, the ability to find effective & efficient ways of performing tasks, etc., then it is very similar to owning a “superior car.” And as we all know, having a superior car and being a superior driver are far from the same thing. ‘Intelligence’ and ‘dumbness’ are not a linear characteristic that can be described with a single number.

        Not only is it possible to be ‘dumb’ with a “superior mind,” but that combination means you can do more dumb stuff faster with greater impact.

      • 0 avatar
        punkybrewstershubby aka Troy D.

        Hey “rudiger”,

        Being a current owner of a Ford Fu<ku$ I can certainly tell you that Farago was probably agreeing with you.

        I love the handling of my '07, but I have replaced two alternators, a power steering pump and replaced the gear shift handle/button 3 times in 78,000 miles. I am also on my 3rd set of tires.

        Not unreliable since I bought it new and its never left me stranded, but not exactly maintenance-free.

  • avatar
    powerblue

    Its like church on here, everyone loves to get offended. Being offended is always a personal choice and I don’t need comments by others or myself heavily moderated to feel secure about my opinions I can handle the heat. The real world isn’t moderated why should it be here?

    • 0 avatar
      Les

      Some degree of moderation Is necessary, otherwise any given internet forum will inevitably evolve into another 4chan.

      Search your feelings, you know this to be true.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    My boss gave me some of the greatest advice after I was hired…

    When dealing with clients or other co-workers, always remember your Abcs… Always Be Cool.

  • avatar
    pgcooldad

    I got banned too and would like to know what I did. Was it swearing back at you guys in Italian, after you swore yourselves? Was it defending Chrysler one too many? Maybe Fiat?

    I’d like to know, porco dio!

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    This policy also protects the self-esteem of morons.

    I approve this policy.

    I think I just realized, just short of 50, that I must be a moron.

    I must be an idiot for admitting thus.

    I must be a cretin for sharing it.

    I think I also have some sort of variable displacement IQ, given that I went from moron to idiot to cretin all within 6 lines.

    Things are looking up!

  • avatar
    punkybrewstershubby

    I think that TTAC should demand that we list our home or work mailing addresses on our profile. When someone posts something that pisses somebody off, a boxing glove icon in a corner of the page can be clicked upon and this will automatically Fedex a pre-packaged large fist attached atop a fully-compressed 1982 Caprice front coil spring.

    When the box is opened by the pisser-offer, the spring “springs” into action, punching the perp in the face. Whaddya’ll think?

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    I’m drifting away from TTAC, not because of the comments. The poor quality blog/writing/reporting makes me want to hurl.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It may not be Pulitzer material, but they do convey articles of interest for a wide field of fans and enthusiasts.

      You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but I think ttac does a great job of pleasing all of the people SOME of the time.

      The feedback that is expressed by the individuals who choose to comment is a great indicator for the entire industry of what potential buyers like and don’t like. What works and what doesn’t.

      For instance, the barrage of negative feedback expressed about recent Toyota products on this and other sites has gotten Toyota’s attention and Mr Toyoda himself has acknowledged that they will strive to do better in the future. I believe they will!

      The positive feedback expressed about current Chrysler products, especially the 300, 200, Wrangler and Grand Cherokee, on this and other sites has also had a positive effect on sales and innovative upgrades. It got me to buy one. I never liked Chrysler. I thought they built crap cars. I was wrong. They’ve improved.

      If ttac articles make you want to hurl, try some of the other sites. One of the worst was the now deceased MSN Auto boards. Those articles had to be written by illiterate high school drop outs, probably the same ones that wrote and tested for the dead and buried Yahoo Auto Boards of long ago.

      They made Jalopnik, autoblog and kickingtires seem like Pulitzer Award winners.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    As you can see from my handle, I do enjoy poking fun at my self.
    It is what I do…and not nearly enough. I am reminded every time I open my mouth or look into a mirror…I have issues.

    However…we all need to learn taking shots at ourselves will set us free. We can relax and learn to listen more IF we shut up and listen or read. The civilization of humanity began with earnest with listening and reading.

    I am not a real knowledgeable car guy. I just enjoy the shit out of cars. I read this site to be informed and to find out what brighter folks than myself have to say.

    But recently this site has been getting sort of stupid. Posters have been attacking and offering nothing. Can we get some of the older posters back? I really miss some of the more intellectual car stuff.

    And I have nothing against trash talking and tossing about politics or religion…JUST as long as it stays worthy of this site. You should listen to me playing tennis! Talk about trash talking! Worse than Michael Jordan!

    OH…ya, and THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE SPELL CHECK!
    You were all having fun enough with me. Now I can at least hide behind spell check!

    Can we get grammer check as well????
    Just sayin….

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I know what you mean by the posters, some are fine and some don’t offer much outside of “I had some car back in 1921 in a situation thats completely irrelevant”, and those that go way too much into detail over trivial things like the Chevy Vegas engine.

      Wheres Vanilla Dude when you need him?

  • avatar
    buzzliteyear

    I believe TTAC is an outlier in the Internet world. It can get away with such a strict moderation policy ***because*** it is an outlier.

    It has an astonishingly large percentage of members of the Reality-based Community

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

    When such people congregate, ideas can be usefully discussed with a minimum of personal vitriol.

    In contrast, I frequent a general-purpose social media Q&A site. There are people on there who are proud to utter “Obama is a Nazi Marxist Kenyan Anti-Colonial Indonesian Terrorist Communist Muslim…” all day long.

    It doesn’t matter how many times you point out to such people that several of their adjectives are mutually contradictory. It doesn’t matter how many times you point out what President Obama’s actual policies have been. They will simply repeat the same anti-Obama rant over and over again.

    It is extraordinarily difficult for even patient people to remain civil in the face of such ideological closure.

    So, good for TTAC and I hope it can remain a beacon of hope and an example of what’s possible in these venues.

  • avatar
    jjster6

    I insult and make fun of Canadians even though I is one. Surely that has to be OK? I mean they are only Canadians, it’s not like they’re human or something.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      My daughter swears that Canada is not really there, it is just flat land after you leave the USA, so since it does not exits all is fair game with them. Also The whole South Park Movie shows what really happened to Canada ( just for the record I work for a Canadian company)

  • avatar

    Good policy. I freelance with a daily newspaper whose online edition degenerated into an anonymous cheap shot war that gave posters hidden behind monikers the kind of courage sought by Dorothy’s lion companion in The Wizard of Oz.

    Kindergarten never quite ended for the posters, so the paper required that posters reveal their true identities to end the personal attacks. It ended the personal attacks immediately because few of these keyboard heroes were willing to add their real names into the mix.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    calling some one a “moron” got someone kicked off???? People the whole PC world has got to go. I mean really compared to some of the stuff Jack writes this is like showing a wrist and calling it Amish Porn ( sorry to the Amish if I offend)What happen to the whole sticks and stones rant my folks would tell me. Anyone who wants to call me a Moron for likeing Saabs and driving a VW TDI feel free I have my big boy pants on and can take it.

  • avatar
    replica

    I don’t always comment on TTAC, but when I do, I call your mother a whore.


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