Good post on Good Men Project

It seems like The Good Men Project is making a legitimate effort to include male victims in their conversation about men’s issues. They recently ran a post written by Scott Mclelland about the abuse he suffered as a child and how he overcame it. From the post:

We talk about how life shapes us, how it makes us who we are. I am never alone now; I have good friends, and when I want it, female company isn’t hard to come by. But my experiences with women has shaped me. I don’t think I will ever settle down. I think I am happy relying on myself and those who I trust, as trusting someone is not easy. I am too gun-shy now, but I have survived, I have done more than many in my situation would have done.

People ask me why I am an MRA, why I avoid anything with a feminist label. The answer is simple: I have seen and been part of a damaging past that has happened through bad people using feminism as an excuse to hate and to do bad things. I have been diminished and despised because I’m a man. I don’t hate women because of this. I know there are more good women than bad, in the same way that there are more good men than bad. But the MRA is one place where I haven’t been judged. I haven’t been made to feel shame for what has happened to me. I haven’t been called a liar or been made to feel like one.

Being a man is a difficult thing. It always has been, and now more than ever we need to answer a lot of questions about who we are as men. But it has to be defined by men. One of the things that we have to do is take back the right to define ourselves, which is something that has been taken away from us. By taking the pains we have endured and sharing them we can achieve so much. We can become so much, but we can only do it ourselves, and we can never feel bad about this, no matter what anyone says.

Please go and read the full article.

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15 thoughts on “Good post on Good Men Project

  1. Gwallan, I think they put all the comments into auto-moderation because a person named Leia got personal with Scott. Leia apparently asked whether he used drugs or something to that effect, and asked who else he had hit, a reference to him defending himself against his mother. If you posted something, check the comments again the next day. It will likely be up by then.

  2. @ gwallan

    Try sending them an email, I somehow got ‘lost’ from the system a while back and my comments kept disappearing. That was after they changed the comment system, so it may just be that.

  3. Well, things really started improving with The Good Men Project when Hugo quit. That, plus Tom being attacked and outnumbered by Amanda Marcotte and her defenders on Twitter then finally realizing “Feminism isn’t perfect”.

    I think what cinched it for me was when they allowed you to submit an article,Toy Soldier. That opened the door and paved the way for others of like mind to come out and speak.

  4. Anyone find it amusing, however, that there are the odd gynocentric feminists who lamant the departure of Hugo and the direction Good Men Project has been going in? Especially in the comment section?

    Just goes to show they desired an echo chamber.

  5. @TS & TB…

    I’ve emailed them several times starting a fortnight ago. This is something I’ve monitored over the past month and involves a couple of dozen posts. Thousands of words. Hours of futility when I could just as easily have spent the time doing chargeable work or productive stuff for the local crisis service. I’ve given up on posting anything more than a couple of words because it just seems so pointless.

    I have now come to believe I’m just not welcome. At this point I’m simply not interested in going back there. I can waste my time in far more productive ways than that.

  6. Same thing has happened to me recently, gwallan. Suddenly most of my comments just vanish into the ether. It’s different than merely going into moderation. They disappear entirely.

  7. Gwallan, I think they also moderate long posts as well. I am not sure if they are keeping them in moderation, but I have noticed that any post over 300 words will go into moderation no matter the content.

  8. And it seems like of the comment contains the word “Lisa”, “Hickey” and in some cases the name of the OP are out into moderations. I’ve adjusted by using strings like “the article author” rather than the name itself. And if I make a comment I don’t want to be put into moderation I avoid using Lisa’s name even when I am addressing her directly. Previously I commented quite a bit on some of Hugo Schwyzer’s articles and I tended to address him by name. My comment would almost always end up in moderation and sometimes they were in moderation for several days. Now most of my comments don’t end up in moderation and when they do I often can guess why. Your mileage may of course vary. I think Typhonblue also earlier complained about being unable to comment there. She changed her nick to typhonblue_uncensored and now I see quite a lot of comments by her under both her original nick and the “new” one.

  9. @Gwallan @ Forweg – I’m not sure what is going on with moderation at GMP. Two Cents is not enough so here is $10 worth.

    Patterns keep shifting almost daily. In the last 15+ years I’ve managed, edited and run enough Bulletin Boards and Complex and Contentions Discussion sites across multiple platforms and content management systems to be able to spot patterns and shifts. Some are human centric and other’s technical – and some are a combination of the two.

    Sit access and management logs are ever so useful in seeing who has done what and when.

    It seems the Goal Posts get shifted at will, depending on who is actively moderating and at which time of day, coupled with the fact that the OP also has moderation control over the thread. It’s that long standing issue of Moderator’s also being contributors and commenters and being human, and if they have personal bias against a person for what ever reason, it’s easy for them to just leave a comment in the moderation queue on purpose as a way of expressing power – and then you have to wait until the general clean up of the moderation queue which does not seem to have a fixed pattern. It can be hours or days.

    It also seems that if you have debunked are argued cogently against some Sacred Cows, Ideals and World View you are more likely to fall foul of OP and Mod Bias.

    If a comment is in moderation, it will state at the top that It is in moderation – but if it vanishes. it has been declined for publication. I have also noted post hoc removal of comments once focus is else where and away from a thread. The old tricks are the best ones. P^)

    It would be useful if all posts on a thread were notified by email, including a person’s own posts – so that of there is moderation delay the commenter can see when their post goes up – and unreasonable delay can be detected and reported. That coupled with an automated notice that a comment is in moderation gives a specific time frame – and acts as a disincentive for an OP or Moderator to hold certain posts back due to personal bias and personal power games.

    The cry of all mods are volunteers and not available 24/7 only holds true for a certain number of events – and even gets debunked by people’s own conduct.

    The OP moderation control leads to some “Bizarre” patterns of the OP making pseudo comment about comments that are in the moderation queue – and then the moderated comments get published after the OP has attacked them under false colours in a different and apparently unrelated post, elsewhere in the comment stream – invariably higher up the page P^).

    I have also observed the pattern with comments that then do not get moderated onto the boards – but just vanish.

    Makes a nice passive aggressive pattern to be exploited, with the OP appearing to make comment and then someone following it up, when of course the pattern is the other way round – and it also distorts reality for readers – It’s very sophisticated, and even shows how some have patterns of premeditation. There is also the pattern of some seeking to exploit the nesting levels to, as it were, get the last word. It’s fascinating to watch and observe who is displaying which patterns, and when they occur. You only need to have been managing and moderating heavy traffic sites for a short period to see how the systems get played and used and how some deliberately act to create and present a pseudo reality. Been there – seen it – T-Shirts abound. P^)

    It’s why I believe that flat sequential comment streams are best, and why nested streams should only be used where there is also an option to view them as a full time dependent Flat Sequential Stream – showing exactly who has posted what and when, independent of moderation patterns. It acts very strongly as a disincentive to abuse of moderation facilities and powers. It also acts to stop the OP abusing automatic access to and knowledge of moderated posts.

    It is interesting to see how some will manipulate both the systems and the perceptions of readers – attacking a person by posting higher up the comment threads in response to comments lower down. Flat sequential commenting prevents such conduct and distortions. OP’s should also not have automatic moderation powers. If they are OP and Moderator, they should have only one role and not both. They should not be able to control reality in the comments about their piece.

    Of course, it would be useful when it comes to moderation if the systems simply notified by email when and why a comment was in moderation – Too Long – Questionable Hyper-links – Word content which is blocked/banned. Also, if a comment is declined for publication or is removed there should also be email notification of that. It not only is good practice, but it also acts as a safety net against abuse by OP and/or Moderators.

    If there is an issue over language which is US centric Vs other English language users, it is possible for people to adapt to a common site language or for errors at site level to be addressed and resolved. Sometimes you even need to look at how language is used – there is a difference between “You’re A Cock” and “It’s A Cock Up” – if Cock is a blocked word, they both end up auto moderated – and yet one is seen as an insult, even Ad Hominem, and the other is a general view of something that has gone wrong or is not working.

    I have been suspicious that on at “least” one occasion a commenter’s handle/name has been added to the swear box so they just got diverted straight to the Spam Sin Bin. When I have been managing sites I have been obliged to check such activity throughout the day – It is interesting to see which mods have decided it’ a good trick and way to control who may and may not post – and after they have been told to stop doing it, they either get with the project or start calling me big brother – fascist etc, and generally leave in a Hough! I’ve always been ever so wary of mods who start taking a dislike to commenters when house rules have not been breached. Such bias does need close monitoring and when necessary action.

    This has lead to some interesting posts appearing under new names which are themselves imaginatively written to give a particular message about certain individuals – “Person’sName(misspelt)with”IsAFakigBustard””, tacked on the end, does tend to be clear as to it’s intent. P^)

    Mind you, I have only observed that pattern consistently in relation to one particular individual. P^)

    I have had to alert the mods to these by responding and swearing profusely or using certain Key Words which I know are auto-moderated – knowing that they would be checking the moderation queue and get the attached message that the post I’m responding to needs to be removed. P^) Some abusive posts have been up and visible for over 24 hours due to the moderation practices of allowing all new posters with new and unique names/handles to post at will with no checks. There are of course times of the day and week when some will deliberately post knowing that there is most likely little to no moderation in effect.

    Basic good practice does require that new commenters be flagged for close attention – and even auto pre-mod to stop such patterns. The technology does allow it.

    There are so many inconsistencies with moderation and content! I wonder at comments that vanish after focus has moved off a thread. There can be legitimate reasons due to complaint by copyright holder – or a named person – in which case It should have a “Clarification Comment” added to the bottom of the OP notifying readers that due to legal reasons some comments have been removed, and that there should be no negative inferences drawn about any person who has commented due to any changed content.

    Given that site content is indexed by search engines It may even be best to have a two step process to address such legal issues – the first alters the thread content with an auto update notice to all Search Engines – this will create a cache copy of the original content – and then a second update which drives that original content from the search engine cache. Else you still have the offending content publicly available.

    It also appears that there is a moderator option to just have all posts by a commenter placed in moderation by name/handle. Then content and length are irrelevant. It’s a de-facto embargo, and unless someone else becomes aware that the block is in place, it just continues indefinitely. Such an embargo should be notified by E-mail, again to prevent abuse of systems by mods or others, and even just good old plain Human Error. It can be done automatically through the technology.

    If there is concern that a commenter has made multiple good faith comment, which then fall foul of legal issues for the site, I have seen that Blanket Blocking of all content used temporarily until all posts can be checked. I have had to do it myself as a site manager, editor and Uber Mod. Then if the person supposedly doing the checking is side tracked and forgets – …. well you have an embargo that continues and the person embargoed has no knowledge of why – and it’s all down to systems being used and procedures not followed. Again it remains unclear if the situation is due to abuse of systems or human error.

    Good Policy, Practice and Procedures in moderation are required, preferably written, and telling others who to defer to if they see issues they have no control over – and adhoc always leads to unforeseen issues and all too often allows Human Error and even manipulation of systems to occur.

    There is also The US Centric bias to deal with too. There is an underlying assumption that all posts and comments are about the US, deal with US Culture/Society and Law, which does tend to make it hard to get any other point of view or experience seen as relevant. It can be funny too – if a study from outside the US supports a view of something inside the US, it is treated as Gospel and absolute Truth. However, if you bring in a none US centric study which counters someone’s US centric view, it’s treated as not valid because it’s not from or about the US. The biases can be quite amusing and very biased in itself. P^)

    Of course that bias also plays out in language – being pissed has one meaning in the US and different meanings in other countries. Anger and Inebriated are not the same thing. Saying someone is pissed means angry in the US – saying someone was pissed when they wrote something can mean they were not angry but inebriated and it becomes Ad Hominem. Throwing in a “*” to get past the swear filters and spam sin bin has been a issue I have observed quite often.

    You either have to have a consistent and clear NO Swear Policy, which treats F**K as a swear word and puts it in the Sin Bin, else all posts which any form of direct or indirect swearing have to be subject to moderation – and consideration of the Language used and if it is in fact Ad Hominem. “I F**K up” and “you are a F**K up” are not the same.

    There seem to be too many ongoing loopholes, tweaks to moderation, moderation policy and practices which are adhoc and inconsistent, depending on who is moderating and who is posting – and yet some of the basics underpinning moderation at the most basic “Technical Levels” leave loopholes to be exploited, and I fear that some are doing just that both as OPs and Mods and as commenters. Hey Ho!

    I can see why there is a historical high turnover in participation and why people give up and move away. The site keeps shifting and changing and the contributors and commenters are left wondering at “Shifting Reality” which has little to do with them or what they have written. Having looked over much content, which pre-dates my knowledge of the site existing, it appears that the average life of a participant is 3 months.

    Fluidity of dialogue and knowledge are very powerful – but they do need careful management when they combine with technology and the power that can come from using that technology in ways that are not immediately apparent – or intended.

    Institutional Bias and it’s manifestations through and with technology is something I have been dealing with since 1984 – The First UK Data Protection Act – Principle 7 (“Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.”) . … and The Net only went public after that in 1992!

    28 years and counting – or 20 since the net arrived. I often wonder if some will ever learn? P^)

  10. Tamen, I do think that at some time someone placed a bunch of names of people who critiqued the posts on GMP into auto-moderation. I had several of my posts go into moderation even though they were short, contained no names, and benign. I am not sure whether the moderators have fixed that or not. However, as you noted, I noticed that certain types of comments end up in moderation, and avoiding those seems to clear up the problem.

  11. I’m getting freakin’ tired of getting put into moderation, myself, at points.

    I responded to a commentator named Chris’s response to my objections to a “Good Feel” entry on Jackson Katz. That went into moderation. I admit I was confrontational but never resorted to insults or name calling.

    Seems moderators can’t seem to make up their minds on what is considered a “Sensitive” comment or what isn’t.

  12. Eagle, I am not sure what exactly triggers moderation. The moderation tools work the same way regardless of what system you use. I believe they are using a WordPress tool, in which case they can moderate things by post length (too short or too long goes into moderation), key words (names, insults, phrases), links added into posts, and by identifiers (IP and email addresses, user names, links included in the name).

    As I noted to Tamen, I think someone may have set up the moderation tool to catch comments made by certain people, although I am not sure if that had changed.

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