Sunday, July 1, 2012

Final Word on Thunderf00t

I think this will be my last word on the Thunderf00t/harassment issue unless something huge happens.

If you haven't already heard, Thunderf00t has been asked to leave the Freethought Blogs network. I believe "booted" was the term he used:



I don't know the precise reasons that Thunderf00t was removed from Freethought Blogs. Thunderf00t seems to think that he was ejected for disagreeing with the establishment. PZ asserts that he was kicked out for behaving in a less than civil and rational manner. Or at least, that the impression I got from this lovely exchange on Twitter:


Ed Brayton (a really awesome dude, btw :)), who wrote a blog post announcing the change, was a little more clear in his own comments section:


I have only two things to say on this issue:

1. If Thunderf00t was booted merely for disagreeing with some of the more prominent members, then shame on FTB. However, I doubt that disagreement was the only factor in Thunderf00t's dismissal. Members of the FTB networks have disagreed before and not been "booted". Knowing Thunderf00t, he probably made an ass of himself. I don't hate Thunderf00t, but I do know that he has a history of crossing lines where social interactions are concerned.

2. While it appears to be just another case of New Atheist Drama, this situation really highlights some good things about our community. It demonstrates our intolerance for people's ignorance and inappropriate behavior. While Thunderf00t may do well in the hard sciences, his understanding of social issues is practically nonexistent. He tried to speak out on something he didn't understand was was demolished. This is not a bad thing if we want to have an educated and informed community. If Thunderf00t can clean up his act, I wouldn't be above giving him a second chance. I doubt this will happen. Let's just hope this puts an end to this week's kerfuffle.

13 comments:

  1. You should not condone or justify censorship. Claims that it was done for secret reasons that we are not privy to is the flimsiest and most abusable rationalization imaginable.

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    1. Really? The whole point of bringing up potential private conversations (not, I might add, "secret reasons") is the fact that the reasons for his removal might not have been censorship. If the contents of said private interactions were threatening and/or inappropriate, the removal may have been justified. We have no way of knowing.

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  2. Nobody's been censored. Thunderf00t still has his blog and youtube channel.

    As for secret reasons, that's not being used as a rationalization. It's being used to point out that we don't know exactly, and may never know. However we can look at what happened and make educated guesses, which the poster does.

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  3. I haven't seen anything posted by Thunderf00t foot justifying his banning. But you seem to be assuming that there was some event or exchange that we don't know about. Would you assume that a rape victim must have done something to provoke an assault? Would you assume the existence of a deity without evidence? "in-group dynamic of the community"? That kind of apologetics is worthy of William Lane Craig.

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    1. Are you seriously comparing Thunderf00t's removal from FTB to sexual assault?

      Maybe you didn't catch this part in my entry:
      "If Thunderf00t was booted merely for disagreeing with some of the more prominent members, then shame on FTB"

      I have no idea exactly why Thunderf00t was asked to leave. I was simply reporting what was stated and saying that, based on what I know of Thunderf00t, it is likely that he made an ass of himself.

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    2. Are you seriously comparing Thunderf00t being removed from FTB to someone being raped? Firstly - go actually read his blog posts. Not only are they divisive, not only are they highly insulting to virtually every other member of FTB, but they read like the Livejournal account of a 14 year old girl upset that she didn't get asked out to the Winter formal. They're *awful*.

      Thunderf00t's also a huge hypocrite here, so even if he WAS removed from FTB unjustly, no one should pretend like he's some innocent victim. He doesn't give a shit about free speech: he only cares about HIS speech.

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    3. Save your feminist hysteria for FTB. In no way did I compare banning someone from a blog to physical assault. But your feminist glasses don't allow you to see the point I was making. Your feminist glasses only allow you to see that which you can find offensive.
      And this is why feminists don't belong in communities of skeptics and rational thinkers.
      You are both engaging in victim-blaming, plain and simple.

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    4. Are his blog posts still around? I never got a chance to see them, I'd like a chance to read them for myself. I have a feeling I'll agree with you, but I'd still rather know so I am better informed.

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    5. "And this is why feminists don't belong in communities of skeptics and rational thinkers."

      Sorry buddy, but you can't complain about thunderf00t getting booted supposedly only for disagreeing and then say every feminist gets booted because you don't like the way they think.

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    6. Sorry yourself. I did not suggest banning them so, "straw man is straw man". But it is perfectly reasonable to state that persons who do not engage in critical thinking do not belong in a movement based on... wait for it... critical thinking.

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  4. How is this engaging in victim blaming? Thunderf00t acted like an asshole and can't write. He pissed everyone off and he gave them the boot. Furthermore, as he's tried to get at least two users banned from YouTube before (one of them being me), he can go fuck himself if he tries to play the victim. BTW, if you think that feminists don't belong in "communities of skeptics and rational thinkers", you can take your good ol' boy's club and shove it up your ass.

    People like you are precisely the reason why I do not associate with or care about the so-called "skeptical" community. You're just as fucking retarded as the theist camp.

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    1. Victim blaming: "If Thunderf00t was booted merely for disagreeing with some of the more prominent members, then shame on FTB. However, I doubt that disagreement was the only factor in Thunderf00t's dismissal."

      "He tried to speak out on something he didn't understand was was demolished." He gave a reasoned and well presented argument. PZ and his cronies did not address his points, or debate his ideas. They simply booted him.

      And he did not "piss everyone off". You can see from the comments on his posts that a lot of people supported his observations. He pissed off PZ Meyers by not accepting all his feminist white knight bologna, and that's why he got booted. Meyers has demonstrated his intellectual cowardice.
      "People like you are precisely the reason why I do not associate with or care about the so-called "skeptical" community. You're just as fucking retarded as the theist camp."
      Well, since you've shown yourself incapable of having a civil dialogue with people who disagree with you, your opting to stay away from the skeptical community is probably best for all concerned.

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Please be civil. :)