By on February 5, 2014

monitor_and_merrimac

Gone are the days here at TTAC where simply typing a phrase like, “You, Sir, are a usefully idiotic pawn of the Chinese government and a despicable fetishist of rubber pleasure devices” could get you banned from this site in two shakes of a Shanghai working girl’s tail. No longer. People say the meanest things about me and Derek, and we don’t care. Actually, Derek gets a little teary-eyed about it, so we rewrote his contract to specify that “PART IV. COMPENSATION FOR RIDICULE. Every time the phrase “game-changer”, complete with hyphen, appears on the site in obvious and plain reference to Derek Kreindler, he shall be compensated with one thousand dollars ($1,000) or two nights with a Lamborghini Aventador.”

But that’s not what we want to talk about right now. Actually, “we” means “I”; Derek’s out somewhere making it rain at a club while they tow his double-parked Aventador from the entrance.

In the seven months since the TTAC reboot, we haven’t banned a single legitimate user account from contributing. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the level of discourse has been pretty civil. About once a day, however, someone simply loses their cool and calls someone besides me or Derek a mean name. And then tempers flare.

The purpose of this post is to take your temperature about the level of conversation here. Do we need to tighten the reins a little bit? If so, how should that take place? Should we warn the offenders? Disappear them? Have a giant contest where we select the “Top Troll” and encourage everyone to turn on each other in a kind of bizarre sharks-in-the-water scenario? Let us know.

As always, we appreciate every single TTAC reader, lurker, contributor, flame-war veteran, and critic. Thanks for choosing us, even if it’s only to make game-changer jokes. Damn! Now we owe Derek another “stack”!

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214 Comments on “Housekeeping: Are We Keeping It Civil?...”


  • avatar
    1998S90

    “You, Sir, are a usefully idiotic pawn of the Chinese government and a despicable fetishist of rubber pleasure devices”

    If someone said that to me I would probably laugh and buy him/her a beer. Or wine if so inclined.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Yes, and please keep up the positively heroic anti-PC, free speech, “no whine” zone policy.

    Not only is it now more civil than at any time under the reign of Der Führer Schmidt, but it’s far more interesting, stimulating, enlightening & enjoyable.

    Thanks.

    p.s. – Go easy on the morphine, Jack.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I would take as much morphine as they’d give me, but the truth is that I went home with a couple of weak-sauce 5mg Oxys in a bottle and a recommendation to take Tylenol if I was in pain. :)

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The conservative & quite rigid medical establishment is short-sighted as they force people in legitimate, serious physical pain to self-medicate.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I don’t think its the medical establishment as much as its Big Pharma.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s the medical establishment. I’m not sure how it is now, but for many years, probably at least into the ’90s, pain was not a major subject in medical education.

            Big Pharma has many culpabilities, but this is not one of them.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There isn’t much medical research that shows marijuana as providing much benefit. There’s no reason to expect doctors to believe that something has medicinal value when there’s little proof of it.

            On the other hand, we don’t have much medical research because Congress makes it very difficult to produce a study: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-04/why-its-so-hard-scientists-study-pot

            This is one time when you can legitimately blame the government for a problem. (And not the entire government — the agencies that are willing to support the research have their hands tied by the Congress.)

          • 0 avatar
            BigOlds

            Lorenzo: Probably insurance. The rules are different for narcotics, and the DEA doesn’t worry too much about drugs that have little to no abuse potential. Hell, they don’t even worry too much about “harmless” drugs that do have abuse potential, like viagra.

            Remember, the pharma companies don’t have a financial incentive to prevent abuse, since a sale is a sale. That said, they do have many other incentives, including the law and bad PR. As a result, pharma companies TODAY are pretty good about keeping an eye on where their product goes. In the old days much less.

            Don’t kid yourself, though. The abuse is enormous, and happens at all levels of the supply chain. After 20 years in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing, I have seen crazy stuff.

            A couple of years ago, Cardinal Health in FL was selling opiates out the back door. CAH is a major distributor (not manufacturer) and the illegal sales were happening at the local level. But, the manufacturers noticed that the wholesale sales at that area were off the charts, and notified CAH, even though doing so cost them revenue. CAH at a corporate level chose to ignore it, rather than taking the hit on revenue.

            http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/story/2012-02-03/Cardinal-Health-DEA/52951458/1

            In another case I know personally, a member of a cleaning crew was collecting the residue from the manufacturing equipment and was able to acquire substantial quantities of a couple of narcotics that way.

        • 0 avatar

          I’m not so sure it’s the medical establishment so much as the environment created surrounding painkillers by the DEA. A lot of docs specializing in chronic pain say that the drug cops are making their jobs more difficult and making their patients suffer.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I agree with this.

            But the Florida “pill mills” were something of a catalyst for the DOJs/DEA’s overreach, as were the good ole’ docs in West Virginia and Appalachia who were writing scripts for their low income (i.e. taxpayer insured) patients not needing oxycodone, but getting it regularly anyways so they could “supplement” their incomes through the “resale” market.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            It MUST be the DEA, because it’s not just painkillers. My older sister couldn’t refill her blood pressure medication because she was a week early, and was limited to a one month supply.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Hah! That’s what they told me after a double root canal (side by side molars), but I didn’t even get any weak sauce, just the Tylenol recommendation. What’s the world coming to?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Doctors are becoming very reluctant to hand out powerful narcotic painkillers for what will be a long-duration recovery (as it sounds like yours might be) due to possible addiction issues. It’s VERY easy to get hooked on them.

        Ask Rush Limbaugh…or my ex, for that matter.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Or Brett Favre, to just name one of MANY pro athletes to get hooked, and I AM NOT CASTING MORAL JUDGMENT UPON HIM.

          The thing that amazed me about Favre is that he, according to his own admission after he went through rehab, was playing a full NFL schedule while taking as many as 45 extra strength Vicodin per day (including at and through game time).

          • 0 avatar
            Charliej

            It is very easy to get physically addicted to opiates. Just over a year ago, I hurt my back. I was in extreme pain. My doctor prescribed codeine 100 milligrams twice a day. I received twenty tablets. After eight days I stopped taking them, as I was unhappy with the side effects. After one day with no codeine, I went into withdrawal. I wound up in the hospital to combat the withdrawal effects. I was given a maintenance dose to keep me out of withdrawal. Over the next two months, I lowed the dosage gradually until I was clean.

            After that adventure, I find it hard to believe that people would do drugs, knowing the withdrawal effects on the body. There were times that i really felt that I would not survive the nightmare that withdrawal is.

      • 0 avatar
        philadlj

        Agree with DeadWeight.

        And, er…watch the Tylenol, too! Though I trust you to count the mgs.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Agree.

    • 0 avatar
      JalopNick

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I believe the moment you start policing the kommentariat you have already lost the long game.

      For me, personally, the reason I come here is for the quality of the writing and the subsequent quality of the comments. Great articles tend to keep smart and passionate people interested while morons eventually lose interest and go troll somewhere else where their IQ and manners are a better fit.
      You can build a virtuous circle or a vicious one and it all starts with the writing and with the understanding that everyone’s automotive interest may have a somewhat unique angle that should be respected even when not relevant by everyone else’s measure. Try to educate, not coerce.

      And to Deadweight’s point, the “anti-PC free speech policy” is your niche, there’s no way but down for the site if you give that up. I for one would certainly not spend any time here if I smelled a hint of the “conform or else” attitude from the editors.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I think this post is all, and is exactly what was needed.

    A reminder to the B&B that we are here at the discretion of management, and should treat that as a privilege, not a right.

    This was all that was needed, IMHO – a gentle reminder.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Perhaps the first time I’ve ever agreed with DeadWeight. I think there is a fringe conspiracy theorist element that is becoming increasingly prevalent, but the posters are civil and there is nothing admins can or should do about their odd views.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      The internet is a crazy place and it wouldn’t be the same any other way.

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      If I didn’t get a little BigTruck College-educated information every time someone mentions Aluminum, Ford’s turbo-charged folly, or our CIC, it would be a sad day indeed.

      Automotive sites have almost always leaned towards the Red side of things, and the most vocal of that spectrum are at least amusing.

      I do wish we occasionally had some of Bertel’s bite back, not so much for the Ban-hammering, but because he offended stupid people ;P

      • 0 avatar
        Rasputin

        ellomdian – ” leaned towards the Red side of things”
        You mean I’ve been reading Commie blogs?!?!

        Since Karl Marx first put pen to paper the LEFT (socialist, communist, progressive, whatever) have marched under the RED flag. Why, about 20 years ago, our hallowed media decided to call Republicans “Red” is beyond me.

        [Actually, I know the answer, but it is not a proper discussion in a car blog.]

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Putting colors on things makes it easier for people who have a hard time figuring out which direction is left and right to choose sides.

          • 0 avatar
            Rasputin

            danio – My point exactly. Labeling the “Right” as RED and the “Left” as BLUE disguises the ideology of one side.

            I will leave it to you to decide why they would want to do that.

          • 0 avatar

            I always thought it was because the Dems will talk about doing something until they are blue in the face and the Repubs will shout about why we shouldn’t that same thing until their faces are red…

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          They used to swap the colors back and forth, it never meant much other than to delineate between the two parties visually on the screen when results came in. Then the 2000 election happened, and the Democrats were blue and the the Republicans red that year. We’ve been stuck that way ever since Tim Russert called them “Red States”.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “I do wish we occasionally had some of Bertel’s bite back, not so much for the Ban-hammering, but because he offended stupid people ;P”

        That’s the thing – his “offense” was all clickbait, as far as I’m concerned, so in reality, he wasn’t offending stupid people at all. He was WELCOMING them. It was the smart people who were leaving. Thus, the change in leadership.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          He had a real talent for inaccuracy.

          • 0 avatar
            Ar-Pharazon

            Yes, and it’s sad that one of his couldn’t-be-more-misleading corporate fuel economy hatchet jobs is still a banner article at the top of the homepage . . .

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Pch101
            Sort of the ‘pot calling the kettle…….’

            For a self professed analcyst you are quite an entertaining read with your creative methodology you use in deciphering data.

            Highly inaccurate, you are.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I thought that the fuel economy series was actually pretty funny. One would have to be a complete statistical illiterate to have been duped by that one.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Frankly I have never really noticed anything but honest discourse. I’d say it is giving the theory of the Internet being the Wild West a bad name. Stay the course.

    However, someone should monitor the forum and make sure ISO9000 posts don’t take it over.
    Also, the rest of you should be utilizing the forum more. I have to go hours at my desk doing work because of the infrequency of posts there.

    • 0 avatar
      badcoffee

      This^^ I don’t mind other people with opinions but the spamscammers are at absurdly high percentage of posts in there at the moment. Maybe just take away the “Guest Post” function since that seems to be the only use it has had so far and require TTAC registration to participate

      and I second the fact more of you all need to come join us in there

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Not quite on point, but Mr. Kreindler did have a point when he referred to the Fusion as a game changer. It certainly helped Ford in its efforts to jettison Mercury, and it will be an impressive feat if Ford can make it succeed as a world car.

  • avatar
    86er

    “You, Sir, are a usefully idiotic pawn of the Chinese government and a despicable fetishist of rubber pleasure devices”

    That’s a terrible thing to say about the former EIC…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The whole direction the site has gone in has been quite the game-changer.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Personally, I am VERY offended by that first line!

    Does this mean I get to drive the Aventador for two days? Where are the keys?

  • avatar

    I remember when DK switched from Forza 5 to Yakuza 4. Such a game-changer.*

    *This is TTAC fan fiction, but why let the truth spoil the fun.

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    I’m all in favor of the current status quo. There is no need to formalize a new code of conduct when the commentariat seems to be policing themselves. The private dialogue between staff and someone who goes over the line and needs a gentle reminder is fine. For extreme, and often multiple instances of outrageous conduct, I’m all in favor of a public action. You (Jack) and Derek appear to have pretty thick skins, thank goodness. Keep up the good work.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    I think things should be tightened up a bit. Maybe not to the BS days, but I don’t really follow the comments section anymore, particularly when PCH101 and Ruggles go at each other’s throats, when Big Truck starts on another oil conspiracy theory, or Dead Weight launches his usual tirade of whatever Alex posts. I’ve even seen Principal Dan flame a few people along the way.

    I will make one exception: I’d like Kyree Williams and Steven Lang for once lose their tempers and flame somebody or say something idiotic. But I suspect they’d do it in a nice way.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Let me know if you think you need me to call the Waaaaah!!!bulance for you.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        p.s. – TTAC would be far for the worse absent Ruggles & Pch101 engaging in frequent War & Peace length, highly entertaining, extremely dogmatic jousting – in response to just one of your specific, alleged grievances.

        • 0 avatar

          TTAC would be worse without any of the people listed.

          I can’t say I agree with every opinion they express, but they add to the dialogue and I think they all work hard to make cogent remarks. I have a hunch that were I to sit down with any of them, it would be a wonderful, civil conversation.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Screw you!!!

            (insert emoticon here)

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I always put my money on you & not Ruggles, FWIW.

            If I accept Ruggles (who only recently learned how to respond to specific comments, rather than create a new “tree,” apparently), where art thou who-est rejecteth Norm & his 10.07 second 1/4 mile, 55mpg in mixed driving Buick Encore?

          • 0 avatar

            I do.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m convinced that Mr. Ruggles is just using the reply-button-avoidance shtick as an effort to control and dominate the conversation.

            He’s wants to determine where the discussion starts and then drag you along with him, as he attempts to control the meeting ground and the rules of engagement. It’s a variation of the old-school sales tactics used at dealerships, which are about controlling the customer and pushing them where the dealer’s team wants them to go.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I bought my Verano on the strength of Norm’s fuel economy numbers!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I bought my Verano on the strength of Norm’s fuel economy numbers!”

            It must have been a shock to not get 700 miles out of a tank of gas.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Aww, Pch, you ruined my most EXCELLENT sarcasm.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            That’s what I get for trying to be helpful.

            Just for that, I’m not going to buy that 50 mpg Saab turbo, after all.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            I mean……

            OF COURSE I dont get 700 miles per tank while walking NISMO GT-R’s around the Burgerkingring. I haven’t TRIFECTA TUNED it yet, ya know?

            I currently get 550 miles per tank while showing V6 family sedans my tailpipes though. Not bad stock.

            Better?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I don’t see how you could possibly get any miles on a tank, when you guys use that crazy metric stuff.

            Maybe you could get Norm kind of mileage if you lived in a place where they actually used miles.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Ha. Metric FTW.

            In all seriousness though, my car is still probably 2.5 months from being delivered. I think the best mileage it will ever get (which will surpass Norm’s, no Trifecta tune needed) is however far it is from Orion Michigan to Calgary Alberta, divided by how ever much gas is in the tank when it arrives and rolls off the truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’m curious — why did you special-order one?

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t know if Calgary is the same, but in Toronto, we don’t have massive lots like in many American cities (example, the literal parking garages constructed by dealers to hold their inventory). There will be a examples of the most popular combinations (silver Civc EXs, white Escape SELs, etc) but it’s more like Europe, where many people order their car and expect to wait weeks, if not a couple months, for their car. Buying off the lot is rare.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “I’m curious — why did you special-order one?”

            I’ll venture a guess it was because dealers don’t want to stock lot-poison manual transmission equipped examples.

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            Danio and Derek are correct. I was extremely lucky to find a MT equipped example (a 2013 model) to test drive, but it wasn’t equipped the way I wanted. Had there not been one in Calgary, there was one in Edmonton (3 hours away) but again, that would have been merely to test drive, as it wasn’t equipped the way I wanted either. Bearing in mind these are both cities of over a million people. When I had them do a search of 2014 Veranos that they had access to, none met my criteria. I knew exactly what I wanted including NAV, MT, sunroof, the “premium wheels”, black interior and blue (maybe black) exterior. So, I decided that since ordering was an option, I might as well get the exact car I want.

            As Derek theorized, there were a lot of 2.4L/6AT Veranos as well as every spec of Cruze available to drive right off the lot, but as Danio theorized, hard to sell MT Buicks, rare indeed.

          • 0 avatar
            CRConrad

            Exactly – Metric FTW! Your lousy 550 mpg are a much more impressive 880 km/g, in metric distance!

            .

            (Naah, never mind the <220 km/l that would be in full metric.)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            That degree of sacrifice and commitment deserves to be recognized by the elders of the Church of the Holy Stick.

            You’ve certainly fought hard for the cause. Did Buick even know that they had a manual option?

          • 0 avatar
            davefromcalgary

            The guy who eventually earned my business was pretty knowledgeable, but I had on salesman straight up tell me “What you want doesn’t exist.” Needless to say, I immediately turned around and left that dealership.

      • 0 avatar
        WaftableTorque

        I’m not saying I hate you guys, but some things just get repetitive. I spend more time on BS’s dailykanban.com that I do here, just for a different perspective.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    TTAC since the “re-boot” has been the best since I joined up in 2010.

    TTAC (and Curbside Classic) are still the only auto sites I look at and have joined. Even though there are a couple other auto-related sites I’d like to check out, I simply don’t have the time, and when I do get the time, I forget all about them! Gettin’ old, I guess…

  • avatar
    pietalian

    Speaking as a guy who reads some but not all comments: “Steady as she goes, Jack”

  • avatar
    carguy

    The new policy seems to be working most of the time. There are a few instances where threads develop between two antagonists which do nothing but clog up the comment section. If you have the resources please remind participants via email that no one is interested in their petty disputes.

    Also good would be a comment rating system so the B&B can vote down trolls and vote up thoughtful comments. Maybe traffic has grown but sometimes the best comments are getting lost in the sheer volume of posts.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I agree the commentary section needs some additional features like the +/- thing. Posts do get lost in the volume.

    • 0 avatar

      I really, really hope TTAC never gets a comment rating system. Comments on sites like Reddit are garbage because of them; they encourage people to post popular opinions or easy, lame jokes instead of the thoughtful posts or interesting anecdotes we see here. People inevitably vote by whether they agree with someone and not by the value of their contribution. It creates a “hierarchy” of users, where popular users get upvoted more, instead of having everyone on the same “level.”

      I wonder why no one has ever tried to duplicate Slashdot’s comment moderation system, where you’re given a limited number of mod points; you can only post or moderate in a discussion, not both; comments are limited in range between -1 and +5 points; and comments and moderation are grouped into a small number of categories (e.g., informative, funny, insightful). In its prime, the quality of the comments on Slashdot far exceeded those of any other site of its popularity. The restrictions on moderation discouraged (or at least limited) the kind of effects you see on sites like Reddit with unlimited “moderation points,” where people are more apt to upvote an already highly rated post than search for diamonds in the rough.

      But that’d still be unnecessarily complex for this site, I think. Honestly, in this case, there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken. The quality of the discussion on this site is remarkably good considering how little moderation there is (by users or administration). Late comments won’t be seen by as many people, but that’s the case with moderated comment systems too. At any rate, I suspect most of us write because it satisfies us in and of itself, not necessarily because we want or expect to be read by a bunch of people.

      Really, the only ways I can think to improve the comment system here are small technical improvements; e.g., deeper nesting, viewable user profiles, being able to pull up all of a user’s posts, small stuff like that.

      • 0 avatar

        Re: comment rating system – you nailed it. As long as I am here, we will NEVER have one. IMO, it is the most destructive thing one can do as far as encouraging a big tent of opinions and view points. I comment frequently on Jalonik and frequently see lame jokes being upvoted and dissenting opinions buried. Furthermore, people tend to crave the validation of upvotes, and they tend to take the business of commenting way too seriously. The idea of personal politics and drama on a web community is pathetic, but it does happen.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          That Gawker system is especially awful. It merely promotes groupthink and cliques, which temporarily help but ultimately hurt forums and blogs. (As people leave the site/clique, they aren’t replaced, so participation ultimately declines.)

        • 0 avatar
          davefromcalgary

          As I have mentioned previously, the up/down voting system ruins commenting at autos.ca, which otherwise has a pretty knowledgeable and respectful commentariat, similar to here.

          Posting “I enjoy a stickshift” gets you downvoted every time. Almost every person on that site has “negative karma” in their profile, so whats the point?

          Glad to see that you are against that system, Derek.

        • 0 avatar
          Wacko

          That means you read my stupid comment about the russian BMW with a (wink wink)F1 nose on the hood. Hell I even got QOTD, I did say it as a joke, not to get upvoted.

          The only thing I don’t like about the comment section here is that it’s not to easy to figure out who replied to who.

          I see TTAC abit more like OPPO than Jalopnik, since there are alot of regulars, and generally get along. The problem with Jalop is that the posts are shared with the whole Gawker media whore, and gets many trolls.
          Autoblog, in my opinion is the worst place for trolls, which also seem to be mopar fan boys too

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “Re: comment rating system – you nailed it. As long as I am here, we will NEVER have one. IMO, it is the most destructive thing one can do as far as encouraging a big tent of opinions and view points.”

          Please stick with this policy. Opinions and comments are just that and not referendums that need to be voted on. If you have an opposing thought then state what it is, +/- accomplishes nothing and changes the focus away from the article

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          There is absolutely no need for a rating system. I know for sure I would be downvoted for my liberal views on labor matters regardless of my factual accuracy (in terms of statistics and such). But on top of it you’re right, easy sentiments would get massive upvotes for being easy.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Present some links to go along with those statements and more civil minded folks may respect the viewpoint. Extremists of either end of spectrum seldom let facts get in the way of a good argument.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        +1. If anything, people should be forced to read opinions that they disagree with more often.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I was going to say that myself, over at youtube I’ve pretty much quit reading comments partially from how comments are sorted, the most interesting being buried with downvotes and the worst (and typically shortest or parroting of the video) being up top.

    • 0 avatar
      JalopNick

      A “comment rating system” is a very good way to start pushing the discourse to the lowest common denominator and at the same time would provide a badge of honor for trolling and for “approved thought”.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Access to the Aventador aside…

    On a more serious note, I think for the most part, the level of discussion around here is fine. I don’t think that people on the B&B tend to take themselves too seriously and can graciously accept that other people are going to disagree with them.

    Things tend to get a little more heated when government policies get involved. The “President Obama Promises Tougher Truck MPG Standards, More Renewables” story was a good example.

    As far as keeping control of things, I think that a written warning to the most egregious offenders might be warranted. You could send it to the person’s e-mail and if the unruly behavior continues you should consider suspension or exile.

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    I like things how they are. It’s nice being able to express irritation with an article or comment without fear of being banned. People are pretty good at policing themselves, and quick to come to each others defense. I agree with Blackcloud_9 that some of the more political topics irritate me (along with some social commentaries), but under the current system I can express my counterpoint freely.

    I agree that the comment system has gotten a little unwieldy. It appears to me that there are a greater number of commenters and comments in general, which I think is part of the problem. I don’t know the solution. I personally don’t want to see a +/- system. Maybe by default the initial comments could be shown, with the response only visible if you click to make them cascade down. I’m not explaining this well, maybe someone is more familiar with the terminology of what I’m getting at. As is, it seems like people like to respond to an early comment just so their 2-cents appears first; and, sometimes you have to wade through a long list of comment responses to an initial topic you’re not interested in.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You’re talking about drop down comment trails, which wouldn’t work – I don’t want to have to go through and expand every initial comment’s replies manually. That’s too much clicking, and too much formatting.

      • 0 avatar
        Dingleberrypiez_Returns

        Thanks for providing that terminology! I disagree, I find it much more frustrating to scroll through a long list of things I’m not interested in, rather than clicking to expand the discussions I do care about. Invariably the first two or three comments will end up with a ton of replies, and it become really annoying to wade through them and find fresh topics (which are often more interesting). EDIT: case in point, this article. The second comment already has a ton of replies, half of them providing commentary on pain relief and associated politics (!).

        I don’t know that drop down comment trails are the answer. I do know that I formerly really, really liked the simplified system that exists now; really felt like my voice would get heard. Now however, there are so many comments that I often don’t bother reading them.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    Some of the comments to the bike article got out of hand and did not advance any sort of point. In those cases, what if the mods either indicated that it needs to tone down, or move the discussion to the forum? This keeps the no-censorship policy (which is great), but keeps the really personal stuff off the (generally) informative comments.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Personally, I think the comments section is fine. The articles about politics and policy frequently have comments that turn into endless ping-pong matches, but that’s about what you’d expect.

    The actual articles about cars seem to always have comments that are, on the whole, useful and interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      Kinosh

      I’ve seen comments on politics/policy that have really made me think. I personally enjoy those articles/comments more than the ones about cars (the exception being straight up car reviews).

      I agree that there is a larger proportion of crap comments on the politics/policy posts.

  • avatar
    old fart

    If you’re against commenter voting up/down a bad commentator then it goes back to the mods. If there is someway to keep the comments on track with out brand bashing or seemingly drug induced theories then great otherwise it turns into what Pickup Trucks news has had to recently stop, a bunch of kids having a free for all .I don’t suggest banning for off the wall comments once in awhile , but for extreme cases -yes. If you want nothing more in life than to argue get three or four wives.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Old Fart – I agree. PickupTrucks.com is a mess with trolls ruining the roost. They are an example of what shouldn’t happen.

      I agree that things should not go to a rating system. That in itself turns into a schoolyard popularity contest.

      I feel that things be allowed to along unchecked but if things get personal or too stupid then a reminder to remove one’s head from one’s rectum is in order.

      The bloggers on this site do a wonderful job of self policing and I don’t care if someone doesn’t agree with me if there is a semblance of intellect discernible in the rebuttal.

      A “drop down” comment trail might work for those that do go off on a little “Hatfields and Macoy” war. Tell the bloggers to behave or get sent to their own little out of the way boxing ring.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Lou_BC
        From what I’ve found there are people on TTAC using more than one name.

        You have to ask yourself why? Are their comments for a positive contribution?

        I do know that some in the multi media industry are hired to support or promote products. My research has found out this is called guerrilla marketing.

        Just go out and disrupt them. These guys come in from all sphere of the blogoshpere, political, consumer products, etc.

        Then there are the like of one guy who blogs on this site under multple names and he blogs on PUTC with multiple names.

        Maybe TTAC can identify these guys and just ban them.

        • 0 avatar

          Please email us and tell us if you suspect there are multiple user names being used. We will investigate. editors at ttac dot com

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Derek Kreindler
            I was attack severely by a group, not just an individual. This has given me less tolerance to the some of the bloggers.

            From the work I do I had access to a some IT experts. It’s not hard to circumvent security.

            All you have to do is have a wireless setup and continually change your MAC address.

            With wireless (like I have) your IP Address is never constant. Your MAC address isn’t physically changed. You create a ‘stealth’ MAC address.

            Google MAC address change.

            PUTC doesn’t appear to have the will power to improve their security. It too laisse faire. You do get moments of meaningful discussion.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Derek Kreindler
            You can guess who I think the group was:)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I was MAC spoofing in 2000 its not terribly difficult. I would imagine using a HTTP proxy is much easier and efficient.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAF0 – You’ve seriously, and with a straight face, accused myself and “Pch101″ as being the same person. Multiple times. And “Mikey” and myself as being the same person. Again, multiple times. And the list goes on. Yesterday you accused “HUMMER” and myself as being the same person. Totally ridiculous. But normal for you. You need to seriously get a grip. That’s if you’re seriously serious. Get help.

          But you know an awful lot about how to roll IP addresses, etc. You’re the only person to blatantly post under multiple names here. Last week some dude that went by “Al”, appeared with your exact and obviously ‘unique’ point of view. Then he vanished as quickly as he appeared. And you even answered for “Al”.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            @Denver Mike.. I forgot about that. The scary part is, my tech skills are maxed out with just one identity.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “myself and “Pch101″ as being the same person. Multiple times. And “Mikey” and myself as being the same person. Again, multiple times. And the list goes on. Yesterday you accused “HUMMER” and myself as being the same person. ”

            Hmmm, has anyone actually seen all of you in the same room at the same time?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “Hmmm, has anyone actually seen all of you in the same room at the same time?”

            If you do, wait till I start arguing with myself too…

        • 0 avatar
          CRConrad

          Really? I haven’t noticed that. Are you sure; how sure are you; and how can you be sure?

          I mean, there could just be several people who actually happen to agree on most things.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Actually we don’t agree on most things. But we agree BAFO is a troll. And he can’t possibly be serious though. About anything. We’re being trolled is all.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Lou_BC,
        Classic example is what happened to the Forum section at PUTC. Not exactly active in the “good old days” now completely all spam. The Comments and Facebook site have replaced the Forums.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @RobertRyan
          The issue with PUTC is inability of the administrator to act.

          If they went along several times a day and just deleted the spam, the spammers would gradually die off.

          Not hard.

          On TTAC I have identified one person yesterday alone who has two names. DenverMike and Hummer. Have a look at the January Sales article.

          I even pointed it out in the blog and I see that DenverMike and Hummer still have access.

          It very apparent they are the same person.

  • avatar
    johnny ringo

    Things have improved greatly at TTAC since the departure of Herr Schmidt, occasionally some postings between individuals get a little out of hand but for the most part things are very civil. My thanks to the staff at TTAC for making this such a great site to visit.

  • avatar
    WhiskerDaVinci

    I’d think that consistently posting statements that are rather prejudiced should get you warned and eventually silenced. Having a widely varied debate can be very interesting, as you can read what other people think and feel about things. But it does get a bit tiring and obnoxious when the same couple of people almost always say something racially loaded that doesn’t really contribute to the discussion. I enjoy and respect almost all of what people have to contribute, but if you have to say something that illustrates your own racial biases and prejudices in order to help make your point, what you have to say isn’t really that important.

    I’d like to think there are some boundaries drawn on racist ramblings. That kind of behavior fell out of fashion quite a while ago.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Here’s my two cents. Someone yesterday (I think it was yesterday), asked if someone else was a “retard” because they were trying to argue a point. I don’t think name calling using derogatory terminology like THAT should be allowed. A lively discourse of ideas can always be an ideological fight to the death, and is fun to read to boot. To use an offensive term like that was idiotic on the the part of the blogger, and should have been removed by the TTAC editorial staff immediately IMO. Another reader was deeply offended because he has a special needs child. He should NOT have had to see that term used by some low IQ cowboy blogger. That’s a heartbreaker. That comment SHOULD have been listed as “banned” and the blogger called out on exactly why his comment was not allowed. Ok, got that out of my system. I feel better now…

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      To a certain extent, those posters are doing everyone else a favor.

      Those who would be inclined to refer to others as “retards” (which ceases to carry weight as an insult sometime around the age of 6) or to those who aren’t socialists as “socialists” are merely reminding us that they aren’t too bright and don’t deserve to be taken seriously. It allows you to quickly assess them, and to either mock or ignore them, depending upon your mood.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Ad hominem attacks (insulting the person rather than addressing their comments/remarks – even addressing those comments/remarks in an illogical and/or juvenile manner) have been exceedingly rare since JB & Derek, respectively, took over as EIC.

      If there were to any reasonable basis for comment moderation, IMHO, it should start & end at clearly ad hominem remarks.

      Being the fan of free speech that I am, I personally don’t welcome such a moderation policy, even at the risk of peoples’ feelings being hurt, and in the spirit of the debate of the illustrious British House of Commons.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      I read that comment yesterday. I thought the reader with the special needs child handled it quite well, and was civil in his retort.

      Most of us that read the nasty comment, just considered the source.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @mjz
      I live in Australia number one. I don’t have to bow down and do what you like. You don’t have to accept how I write, but I think tolerance is the correct way of putting it.

      I don’t have to speak to suit an American number two. I can easily say “why don’t you speak and use language like me”.

      I don’t go to church as well as I don’t have to believe in that.

      Australia is a free country and not bound by arts degreed liberals.

      You wouldn’t last a day where I live, it’s frontier like in attitude, to harsh. Someone might fart in the supermarket and you’ll try and get the manager to remove him.

      I know your type. You live in a sanatised and beautiful world.

      And I bet you disagree about Australian beaches having female topless bathers as well. But you will let your kids watch the new with violence.

      You are taking the word out of context on how it was used.

      I’ve seen swear words on this site and it doesn’t offend me because I don’t find it offensive.

      Maybe, just maybe you should toughen up a little and look at the history of what caused this to occur.

  • avatar
    Monty

    Jack, I’d contend i’ts just about perfect the way it is. If I was going to suggest any change to the policy, it would be to suggest a private message to those few who do engage in personal insults. We’re grown-ups, not indulged children – there’s no need for personal insults. Take umbrage with your fellow poster’s points, fine, but not the poster themselves.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    Kudos on the picture of the battle between the Merrimac and the Monitor.

    Other than I’d like the option to LIKE comments, I think things are going well.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Name calling / insults should receive a warning the first time, a two week suspension the second time, and a strike three you are out. I say this because of a site I had a small interest in had the name calling start, and no one was hall monitor. The few chased away the many, so a few hundred users a couple of years ago is just a handful today. Most people tire of the name calling, insults and endless arguments that drag on when everyone knows that no opinions will change. Everyone has a different take on everything. Discussion is learning, debate is entertainment, argument is pointless. Or not.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    As a long-time but somewhat infrequent poster I think the site is better than it has ever been from a policing standpoint.

    Those who hurl insults usually come across as petty attention grabbers (aka trolls) and seem to burn out pretty quickly without any external intervention. Although tempers can flare occasionally I can’t think of a single “regular” who doesn’t comport himself in an reasonably civil manner.

    The comment sections certainly do fill up on popular topics; a thumbs up or thumbs down rating system could work well to bring the most interesting comments to the top but some of the most interesting threads (arguments?) are those that go back and forth numerous times so I would avoid hiding comments or post limits.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    I see a kind of box where tangential comments could reside off to the side (it would be triggered by too few parties exchanging frequent replies and/or with a language sensor). We could look over and see that the usual suspects were making war and could move on to more topical comments. The reader would feel less like the topic got hijacked.

    Or maybe we could chose who to block out ourselves?

    You: “So-and-So already made that comment”
    Me: “Oh, sorry – I’ve blocked all of So-and-so’s comments”

    Seriously, I think the discussions are fine: you don’t have to keep taking the pulse.

  • avatar
    dash riprock

    If it is better, and I believe it is, then the absence of overtly sensationalist/controversial articles is probaly at least partly responsible. The previous EIC had been going down the road of trying to provoke extreme viewpoints for quite a while. I assumed it was to garner additional clicks, but maybe it was his character. Either way, better site today….

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    I rather like the direction TTAC has taken of late.

    For several years TTAC seemed to have lost its sense of direction. The site’s golden age was the Farago/Deathwatch era. After the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies and Farago’s departure, it seemed the new leadership was not sure what to do next. The lowest point was about a year ago when we saw the frequent trolling posts by the editor which often resulted in multiple bannings of forum members.

    Since the “reboot” TTAC has become much more enjoyable. It’s not so much the content as it is the atmosphere. The writers and editors are not as uptight and this relaxed attitude has had a positive influence on forum contributors. Likewise, most of the people who were previously banned have become more civil in their disagreements with others. The conspiricy theories and political ramblings still get tiresome, but it easy to skim over these.

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you for that. I think people need to realize that the Farago/BK/Bailout era is over. That was a one in a million chance for a website to shine in a particular capacity, and Farago and Ed seized on it perfectly. But we’ve moved on. People who lament TTAC’s editorial tone or lack of “edge” need to stop living in the past.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I am glad that era is over. I tend to stay away from the political topics here, so much of that was too politically charged for me anyway. Chicken Tax/Small truck articles have enough political comments in them. I don’t need a deathwatch redux. I’m sure I’m in the minority though.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Ford and Chrysler were on death watch.

          They died.

          I guess that we can keep trying to bury them, but there doesn’t seem to be much point to that, five years after the fact.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            There doesn’t seem to be much of a point of bringing the Ranger back to the US market, but every week…..

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I would buy a 2015 Mustang based Lincoln with the Coyote under the bonnet, too.

            If they made it look even better & managed to stretch it and get an extra 3″ of rear seat legroom in it, I’d even pay a premium for it!

            (Random Musings)

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            It doesn’t matter, Generation Y doesn’t like cars anyway

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Oops, I meant to say GM and Chrysler, not Ford and Chrysler.

            (My humblest apologies to Alan Mulally, who will deserve to have his wax statue in some sort of Auto Industry Hall of Fame if they ever build one.)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            DW-

            I feel like a broken record talking about a Lincoln Mustang sedan. One with a decent back seat would have me placing an order tomorrow. I’m afraid Ford will never give me that option.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheeljack

            Pch101:

            There actually is a an Automotive Hall of Fame, celebrating the pioneers and visionaries of the industry. It is located in Dearborn, not far from various Ford facilities.

            http://www.automotivehalloffame.org/

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @bball40dtw
          For some reason the pickup truck articles become very emotive.

          The diesel vs gasoline crowd. The midsizer vs the full size crowd.

          The chicken tax, protectionist US stance vs the UNECE model, etc. all have a significant impact on the makeup of the US vehicle market.

          I do believe the regulatory environment in which a vehicle manufacturer operates has a significant impact on a country’s makeup of vehicle, not just in the US.

          This kind of ‘stuff’ is important, just discussing wheel nuts and SatNav systems give the best picture of what’s occurring or is going to occur down the track.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I don’t mind the discussions about tariffs, protectionism, policy, product, and so forth. I get alot out of the discussions. I didn’t like some of the previous regimes here because it was politics for the sake of politics, or inflammatory articles just to be inflammatory. I even find that in Ed’s OpEd pieces in various papers. He wants bad things to happen to companies just so he can be right and say, “I told you so.”

    • 0 avatar

      “Since the ‘reboot’ TTAC has become much more enjoyable. It’s not so much the content as it is the atmosphere. The writers and editors are not as uptight and this relaxed attitude has had a positive influence on forum contributors.”

      That’s been a fascinating effect, hasn’t it? Same batch of commenters, but we’ve all been a lot more easy-going since Bertel got the boot. Nobody told us to chill, we just did. Really shows the effect of leadership, good and bad.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m inclined to think that Herr Schmitt’s business model was to make TTAC a sort of FOX News of auto blogging. Automotive writing is a very crowded niche, and he may considered that to be a logical place to take the site, given its voice prior to the GM BK.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          I personally thought that BS was trying to catch lightning in a bottle as Farago did. However, his method was to infer that GM was up to no good always, rather than Farago’s rather good guess that they were in more trouble than most realized. It got old and when folks challenged BS on almost any subject, he got petty and “punished” people with the ban hammer.

          Before BS, I read the site daily. After BS, I stopped here less and less. A habit which I have retained. This site is no longer daily reading, thanks to BS.

          I think that the readership responded in anger to his draconian methods and we saw the end result.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Agree it has improved immeasurably.

  • avatar
    Kinosh

    I agree. I’ve also seen that with atleast one of the troll-ey people around they make good points sometimes, and troll other times. The community has no problem engaging in discussion when they make good points and keeping the conversation going. When they’re trolling, I’ve seen their comments usually left alone and the discussion continues elsewhere.

    I really think the TTAC folk have been pretty good at self-policing to this point. Just keep a zero tolerance policy for racial and other clearly non-acceptable things and I’m ok.

    I’ve been contributing here for about a month, but a lurker for about 4 years.

  • avatar
    Stuck in DC traffic

    Derek is a “game-changer”

    I want to make sure it keeps raining for him.

  • avatar
    davidziff

    A simple solution is not read any of the comments. I rarely do because it just doesn’t matter.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    You’ve won me back (not sure how much of a prize that actually is…) because the site is once again an enjoyable place to commiserate with all the other automobile savants in the world. Keep it going!

  • avatar
    mjz

    This shouldn’t devolve into the Wild Wild West Car Blog, where anything goes. Every once in a while Sheriff Baruth and Deputy Kriendler need to come out of the the OK Corral Editorial Saloon (after some fun with Miss Kitty) and run some dang varmint blogging gunslinger right outta Dodge. After all, both their job titles do include the word EDITOR.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I’ve stuck around, and this is really the only public place I comment anymore, so you must be doing something right.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I say we take offending parties out back and muss ‘em up a little

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I kind of miss getting the nice jolt of outrage that accompanied some of the more troll-tastic pieces posted by he-who-shall-not-be-named, but I’m probably better off without it.

    Love the Monitor/Virginia graphic.

  • avatar
    JKC

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    TTAC isn’t broken. Leave it as it is.

  • avatar
    BahnSi

    It is civil and I enjoy coming here everyday.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    could get you banned from this site in two shakes of a Shanghai working girl’s tail.

    I’m sorry, what were you saying?

    I usually just stay away from the uncivil discussions and for those people I don’t often agree with (whom I will not name) if I DO happen to agree with them I’ll say something like: “Although I don’t usually agree with ______, this time I do.”

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This is a pretty damn civil site, and anyone who can’t handle the level of incivility here can trod along. Maybe the Teletubbies site has message boards.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Keep up the good work.

    I’ve been through each EIC, and I generally like the site better now than ever. Each EIC excelled at certain tasks, times, and topics.

    I come here to be entertained, weigh in on certain subjects, and learn from others (really). At times, I’m even agreeing with some posters (Carlson Fan, E46) with whom I’ve vehemently disagreed in the past, which means I’m adapting.

    The balance of car news, road tests, fiction, technology, politics, economics, history, and reminiscence is just right. The new self-editing format is much improved.

    Don’t add voting buttons (thanks, Derek). At first I lamented the loss of the text formatting, but now I like it that we all post with the same text-only limitations. Too much bold and italics makes for a confusing page. I’m not so adept at online text formatting, anyway.

    Part of the fun is the predictability of the participants. Post an EV article, and I’ll click it just like Pavlov’s dog.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’ve got a question…

    Is not being able to reply to some comments (because the reply button literally doesn’t exist) just a Google Chrome thing or is it a site formatting thing?

    As for comment battles, I’ve gotten in one or two myself but I learned a couple years ago (the benefits of “growing up” with the Internet) that arguing madly with people on the Internet just makes you get way too passionate over something that 100 percent doesn’t matter.

    I think the site’s fine as is, but there should be something done if the heated arguing monopolizes the comments section…

    • 0 avatar

      Just based on my own anecdotal experience, I think the reply button disappears after the third or fourth reply to a reply. You can actually reply, just go up the chain to the first one reply that still shows the reply button and click there – it will just attach your comment to the bottom of the chain. Most people understand who you’re replying to, but you could always use the “@tmkreutzer” method or what have you.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Thanks, now I don’t have to stick random replies at the bottom of the page because I don’t think I can reply to an actual comment thread.

      • 0 avatar
        CRConrad

        I think this might be a setting in TTaC’s WordPress template; i.e, that it can be changed for higher or lower value (or perhaps even set to “infinite”).

        The reason many site owners want to limit the levels of replies-to-replies is you’d get discussions that veer of into ever-deeper levels of increasing zealotry, which also might affect the formatting of the page in people’s browsers: you’d either have to limit later posts to like one-letter-wide strips down the right-hand margin, or the ever-more-rightward posts would force the entire page layout to be wider, so you’d have to scroll horizontally to read the more deeply-nested levels of discussion.

        Worst of all, depending both on the overall page formatting mechanism and people’s browsers, this might make ALL posts use this new increased page width — it can be avoided, but I don’t know if it can in WP, which TTaC is based on — so you’d have to scroll horizontally for the ENTIRE discussion, which of course absolutely sucks.

        Still, if TTaC editorial staff were so inclined, I think most people’s screen resolution could stand a notch or two of increased nesting levels. That’s a judgement call for them to make.

  • avatar
    Helmut Spargel

    Long time reader, first time poster. I stopped reading toward the end of the BS era, but think the latest management does a great job and I don’t think any changes are warranted. Generally, the user commentary on most websites reinforces my opinion that Idiocracy is a documentary rather than a comedy, but the commentary on TTAC is insightful and entertaining. Then again, I lease a F30 328xi automatic, so what do I know? (I own a Chrysler T&C if that helps my street cred at all).

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      “Idiocracy was a documentary.”

      My GAWD, how many times have those words come out of my mouth?!???? WOW!

      Heh, I also say the same about “Office Space” too.

  • avatar
    rdchappell

    The site is a lot better than it was a year ago. Needs more reviews though.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    Status quo works for me. TTAC has gone from death watch status under Bertel to flying high under Jack and Derek, and the influx of interesting new authors and golden oldies has been very welcome. The comment area has its trolls and tinfoil hat guys, and fanboy idiots, but they don’t overwhelm anything. Car guys do nothing but argue anyways – that’s half the fun!

  • avatar
    olddavid

    Whenever Farago would banish me, I wore it like the red badge of courage. And, he would always include 500 words justifying his point of view. Yet, he was always wrong. Funny how that works. But, I have several times regretted things that spew from my keyboard, and always attempt to delete, as personal attacks are stupid and contribute nothing to the dialogue. I, personally, apologize for some of my senseless rhetoric.

  • avatar
    CopperCountry

    Keep things just as they are – no need to moderate something that is, for the most part, self-regulating. If a commenter or two occasionally throws out off-topic flame bait and no one bites (or better yet, someone calls them out on it,) I’m okay with that. Are their flame attempts stupid/rude/insulting? Maybe. But for me, it doesn’t matter – I just ignore them and move on. However, if there was some PC-filtering moderator behind the scenes making sure that everyone was playing nice, that would suck the “truth” out of the dialog, and this site would be less interesting.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I agree! For the most part, the topics are thought provoking, the comments are informative and educational, illustrating the varied backgrounds of the learned contributors.

      Everyone should be heard. We can each decide for ourselves if a contributor merits a reply, or not.

      For those who like to pile their comments deeper and higher, I, too, just ignore them and move on. It’s unlikely that anyone will succeed in pulling the wool over someone’s eyes if that someone has already been there and done that.

      For those who base their comments solely on theory and not based in the practical, real life world, that is usually illustrated by them telling us how much they know in 20 words, or less.

      I enjoy reading comments from contributors like Ruggles who have lived the life. It gives us an insight into how other people think based on their interaction with the real world; the world that keeps them fed and a roof over their heads.

      I wish more “real-world” people would choose to contribute editorials or comments to ttac.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    No complaints from me concerning civility.
    However, I recently pointed out in the comments that one of the stories you ran wasn’t accurate (the story was about a week old at the time) and also sent a mail via the contact form. No reaction or correction whatsoever. The same thing happened at the news site that was your source but still, I’d have expected better.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Generally, the civility is fine. The few that make meaningless, rude comments should be at least warned to keep it civil…which sometimes does happen.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Keep on course, we (for the most part) know when we’ve gone too far.
    Moderating heavily does more harm then good, if someone wants to get their panties in a wad over something so nontrivial as opinions or ideals, that’s their fault. But for the rest of us, lets get in some heated debates and enjoy ourselves.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    The readership needs to lambast the little band of thread suffocators.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    I think TTAC is doing well. Please don’t put a like or dislike button on anything, it just seems so juvenile. I came back after the change of command, I’d been snipped at more than once by Bertel, and had had enough of that.

  • avatar
    56BelAire

    I enjoyed the Farago TTAC

    I enjoyed the Schmitt TTAC

    I enjoy the “new” TTAC

    I liked the old logo, the new one is okay too.

    Democrats suck and so do Republicans.

    No voting on comments, my favorite commenters are; high desert, deadweight and tom kruetzer. Tom’s stories are great also.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    Why does this subject seem to pop up every couple of months???
    Is this some sort of ‘score/report’ card that you need to provide to the Owners???
    I wish that your articles had enough ‘balls’ to get me to rant like I used
    to(warned many times).
    Just keep bringing in new talent.That`s what TTAC was best at.
    You begged Steven Lang to come back but so far his articles have been bland at best!
    If you are going to worry about hurting folk`s feelings…..
    Maybe a new editor is something to consider.
    I can go to Autoblog for fresher car news..
    I cant go to Autoblog for good writing!

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Maybe…just maybe, you’re perspective is skewed.

      Maybe it’s a refreshing & good thing – and maybe an all too rare thing – for the editors and administrators of a specialized web site, that is free to peruse, I might add, to care enough about what their readers think to even bother to ask them to provide feedback about this, or any other matter.

      Just maybe.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “You begged Steven Lang to come back but so far his articles have been bland at best!”

      He’s better then ever, his articles often appear on the front page of Yahoo with positive feedback, which is incredible because the commenters hate everyone over on Yahoo

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        This is true, I was surprised when scrolling through a few of the comments that I didn’t see anything negative. Though I’m sure it turned into a political discussion eventually.

        But he has been all over Yahoo these past few weeks!

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      It comes up for the same reason you’ll get a JD Power survey if you buy a new car.

      Your opinion is important to us.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    The balance seems about right to me.

    I went near, perhaps a tiny bit over, the limit in the bike thread. Sorry about that.

    (But, hey, “sticks and stones…” — at least they were just words, not fists or bullets; a difference which was my point there, BTW).

    My vote: Keep it as-is for now.

  • avatar
    LordDetroitofLondon

    I want a Calvin peeing on TTAC…err..no….j/k.

    I think a comment section should “flow” like the high and low tides…rising and falling based on the topics and comments being made.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    The general level of discourse is great. No big changes needed. Just do what is appropriate, when it’s appropriate, and don’t discuss it.

    HOWEVER, please immediately ban anybody that uses the phrase “haters gonna hate”.

    Thanks you, and good night.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I think the reboot itself is a game-changer in that it got rid of the pawn of the Chinese government with a despicable fetishist of rubber pleasure devices. OK, that last part could have been in green. Jack, ya’ll need a green font to indicate sarcasm in the replies. You are doing great otherwise.

    Glad to see you are mending.

  • avatar
    old fart

    Unless I missed it I don’t see the biggest troll (my opinion) commenting on this article, maybe it hits too close to home .

  • avatar
    doug-g

    Awhile back I got this feeling that I needed to get closer to my faith and God. So I asked God if I’m on the right track and ask for a sign. I’m on my way to the car to run errands and I say to God, “if this is right then let me find some folding money. It doesn’t have to be much, a dollar will do”. Well, I find a neatly folded one dollar bill at Safeway. The dollar was wedged somehow in the crack where the mop board butts up against the service desk. It isn’t even touching the floor. I flipped. I called my sister who is still jealous because she now thinks God likes me better than her and she rides me all the time that I made the promise so I better keep it. The bottom line is that I’m spending most of my time in Torah study with rusty Hebrew. I only get to this stuff once-in-awhile and then only to read. But, that gives me a perspective of sorts and I think you guys are doing a great job. There will always be those few who are a pain all the time and a few who will lose their cool on occasion. I do wonder about the people who post all day long, EVERY DAY. What do these people do? I am leery of trusting the opinions of such people.

    I’m glad you’re doing better, Jack. Now excuse me, I have a Torah to study.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    I’m just now dipping a toe back in the water here to see if it’s again worth my time.

    One of the primary reasons I left, aside from the editorial trolling, was that the site seemed to be increasingly focused on being the Truth About the Car Industry. Which is a perfectly valid thing to be, but of far less interest to me than cars and driving.


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