The Block Bot and Atheism Plus

So.. I’ve stayed out of the Atheism Plus and block bot debates until recently because they did not interest me beyond thinking that any automated blocking system is bound to have problems.

Then I came across a block request for a simple “Ya Mum” joke.

image

Scanning the thread it was clear that the participants were friends and it was not the first example of this type of joke. So what was Julia’s problem with it?
Other Atheism Plus members proffered that it was sexist. But it seems she took it as “abuse” despite not being tagged in it so one can only assume she saw the joke as an attack on Atheism Plus and the Block Bot.

I pointed this out to her from the view that calling ideas “dumb” is exactly what she and others are doing as part of an ‘atheist’ movement.

After attempts to help her understand the irony in this she started to become incoherent and vaguely insulting.

“@VitaBrevi: You keep finding excuses for meanness and the adults will be over here getting real work done & advocating for social justice. @MnemoniXs”

Given the Atheism Plus stance on sexism and the obvious problems with potential abuse of the Block Bot reporting system I decided to escalate matters and respond by telling her that she “misspelled ‘being a whiny c**t'”.

Just to clarify; I abhor the C word in normal usage. It’s never used nicely and holds intonations of real hatred. This is the only time I have used it on Twitter and will almost certainly be the last.

This worked perfectly in getting me flagged for blocking. Thus allowing me to point out the poor review system for the Block Bot.

If a “bad word” is used by a person just once, is that not an aberration in their behaviour?
If their only blockable “offense” is once in 5 and a half thousand tweets then a balanced review would not keep them blocked. Everyone is capable of saying words that may offend, but if one usage is enough to declare that the subscribers of the service shouldn’t hear anything that someone has to say then I question the validity of the review system and the implementation in general.

After dealing with various ‘blocker’ members I have found invariably that they are elitist snobs who don’t take criticism of their system or movement at all and take such as “hating” which will also evidently earn you a block.

If anyone subscribes to the Block Bot then keep in mind that the list is made and maintained by but a few people, who have a vested interest in making the service seem popular by eliminating not just potential offense, but also anything that shows the service in a negative way. It is pushed as a way of silencing (for it’s subscribers) things like sexism. Not listening does not make sexism go away. Sticking our heads in the sand on issues is the least helpful thing to do, akin to “I’ll pray for you”.

If you want to help the world don’t join Atheism Plus or subscribe to the Block Bot. They are “dumb” ideas. Join a humanist group which acts with some sense of humility.

Thanks to @Ravens_Claws for the revelation.

———————

Addendum:

The responses to my points were brilliant.

“The usefulness of your constructive criticism is directly proportional to your ability to articulate it.”

“haters are definitely open to being added to the block list. We don’t have time for their shit.”

“What a horrid little arsehole @MnemoniXs is.”

“Dear Muslima, efforts to achieve equality aren’t a zero sum game. kthxbai!”

(I’m not a muslima. lol?)

“..anyone who denies the utility of @The_Block_Bot can fuck right off”

Oh and I’m also “too intellectually bankrupt to take seriously”

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About (V)nemoni)(s

The views and opinions expressed here are purely my own. I am not affiliated with and business or political body. All content is either my own work, items in the public domain, or items used under the terms of Fair Usage for criticism, commentary, or education purposes. (Also; only a fool would take anything posted on here seriously.)
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23 Responses to The Block Bot and Atheism Plus

  1. It took you this long to see them for what they are? Really?

    • (V)nemoni)(s says:

      I only delved in previously to ask about the review system since subscribers would be blissfully unaware. I simply never encountered them. I encountered the people who hated them but they were few and far between. My demographic doesn’t seem to overlap. I lost 3 followers from the block and gained 5. It really didn’t affect me until I became active in this case. I had previously seen thunderf00t’s video on his encounter but not having both sides of the story, again I didn’t engage.

      • That makes sense. I saw them for the bigots they are from the very beginning. I got banned for one comment and it wasn’t even derogatory. I knew it was to amount to no good.

      • (V)nemoni)(s says:

        The responses to my points were brilliant.

        “The usefulness of your constructive criticism is directly proportional to your ability to articulate it.”

        “haters are definitely open to being added to the block list. We don’t have time for their shit.”

        “What a horrid little arsehole @MnemoniXs is.”

        “Dear Muslima, efforts to achieve equality aren’t a zero sum game. kthxbai!”

        (I’m not a muslima lol)

        “..anyone who denies the utility of @The_Block_Bot can fuck right off”

        Oh and I’m also “too intellectually bankrupt to take seriously”

        Lol 🙂

      • Yep, that’s what I expect.. bigots with nothing but hate. sigh

  2. oolon says:

    Haha, you think that your willingness to randomly abuse someone with a term, by your own description, is really nasty is indicative of an unworthy block! Yeah cos people who are casually racist, sexist etc. are such nice people. Those that do it for “experimentation” are even better people! You knew that Julia was attacked by a lot of people viciously abusing her to the point she took a break from social media. Because of people doing exactly what you did, being casually vicious. Funny how she gets the brunt of the abuse, I created the bot, I’m a sarcastic git, but she get vicious hate. All a co-incidence I’m sure.

    Glad you feel happy about your gotcha, rather weird level of research you conducted though. As VitaBrevi didn’t even add him into the block bot and your “gotcha” wasn’t even *the* reason. Hers was but a confirmation of someone else’s block …
    https://twitter.com/frkbmb/status/385823674609065984

    That wasn’t even her only reason as she added more info, such as him encouraging fake tweets, something that has been a little annoying. The description of L3 is “annoying” BTW

    SO again, I’m starting to wonder if there is some sort of bias here? What do you think, totally ignore the person that actually proposed this block. Ignore the other tweets that describe the reasons to focus on one person and their one tweet with the weakest reason in it who you co-incidentally decided to attack, for purely scientific reasons, with misogynistic abuse…

    • (V)nemoni)(s says:

      Her post did not indicate a confirmation.
      The post she reported did not say anything bad.
      I did not know she had abuse. If she did why didn’t she flag *that* up instead?
      If the original report was for someone saying/quoting “stop saying c**t” then you should be reported for

    • (V)nemoni)(s says:

      Also, I said it to *get* flagged. Or did you skip past that bit?

      • oolon says:

        Oh yeah you are a lovely specimen. Will suspend your supposed morals to “experiment” on someone who has been the target of a sustained campaign of abuse and harassment. What a #bravehero you are.

        Maybe you can now explain, as a skeptic, how anyone is supposed to read your mind and see it was all a “joke/experiment” aimed at “proving” the review system is suspect. Also how about apologising to Julia for imposing your “joke/experiment” on her? Maybe then you’ll not be assumed to be an asshole who is making up a pretty unbelievable story to cover up their harassment and misogyny.

      • (V)nemoni)(s says:

        Did I say it was a joke?
        It was fully deserved from my end given the post in question and responses from.
        What I posted was not harassment but an escalation of insult to practical levels.
        I never said I was nice, I can be an asshole, but harassment is not my game.
        The reasons she cited did not tie in with the linked post. Why did she post responding to a tame joke rather than any of the actual harassing/abusive messages?
        I sense a bias here, more probably an agenda.
        Why don’t you get off your high horse and do something useful, maybe then you won’t be assumed to be an elitist asshole who will act like a whiny dick to cover up their poor product.

    • Luis Dias says:

      All an Atheism Plus has to do to behave like a moronic obnoxious jerk is to have someone else say “But she has had so much offense before…” What kind of idiots does really Ool0n, master troll of the atheist community think we are?

      I find Ool0n’s constant trolling offensive. Does that make him elligible to be blockbotted as well?

  3. Aratina Cage says:

    Just to clarify; I abhor the C word in normal usage. It’s never used nicely and holds intonations of real hatred. This is the only time I have used it on Twitter and will almost certainly be the last.

    Sure you abhor it. Sure it was the last time. I totally believe you since you apologized for using it and took the time to clarify why you used it to disparage a woman. (Except, that didn’t happen AFAIK; instead, you cut off discussion with me on Twitter for no apparent reason.)

    • (V)nemoni)(s says:

      Did I? What’s your handle?
      I try not to miss anything if I can help it.

      She enraged me with her lack of understanding and disproportionate outbursts. I momentarily hated her and acted accordingly.

      I apologised on the proviso that she took the time to realise my point. Otherwise she was being exactly as I implied.

      • Aratina Cage says:

        @aratina
        And where is this apology? Can you link to it, please? As for Raven_Claws, that person’s rhetoric is hateful (saying things like “colon” instead of “Oolon” for instance) and I told you we don’t have to give haters the time of day–I consider them prime candidates for going on the block list.

      • (V)nemoni)(s says:

        I shall look through my interactions and try to pick up the thread.

      • Aratina Cage says:

        Thank you for linking to your apology. But could you also explain the point you were trying to make better? It doesn’t seem like anyone got it yet, at least not following your apology tweet. I would like to understand what your reasoning was.

        I think you already told me that you believe your being added to the block list Level 3 was justified based on that one tweet. You also claim that it is an aberration for you, which I could accept seeing how none of the rest of your tweets or writings that I have encountered hold that same kind of prejudiced contempt for others that that one tweet did. So, it seems you don’t have a problem per se with yourself being on the Level 3 list, but you do have a problem with Raven_Claws being on the list, is that right?

      • (V)nemoni)(s says:

        Given her other tweets; no.
        But given the ones cited; yes.

        My point is pretty much what you just understood about aberrations of character, tempered with a “what if someone is wrongly blocked/confirmed to suit a self-serving purpose by a user/pair of users?”.

        E.g: Is there an algorithm the bot uses for checking frequency of “offenses” to make reviews more efficient? That would be a start.

      • Aratina Cage says:

        E.g: Is there an algorithm the bot uses for checking frequency of “offenses” to make reviews more efficient? That would be a start.

        The bot itself only executes the commands we give it and goes around to its subscribers to add the blocks to their accounts for them. All the decisions about who goes where and why are done by us huumaans–reviews as well. So there won’t be an algorithm made to check the frequency of bad behavior; we’ll have to rely on our own observations for that. We’ve already shuffled around numerous accounts between the levels after reconsidering them, and several have been moved off the list as well. Reviews do happen, we just don’t usually make them public.

        My point is pretty much what you just understood about aberrations of character, tempered with a “what if someone is wrongly blocked/confirmed to suit a self-serving purpose by a user/pair of users?”.

        I’m not sure why you think we haven’t considered such things before? We really have considered that and have in fact removed accounts that fit in that category. Level 3 was partly made for those kinds of one-off misbehaving accounts especially, which is why it has very few subscribers to it. I really feel like you aren’t giving us enough credit.

        Given her other tweets; no.
        But given the ones cited; yes.

        The above quote is about Raven_Claws. Well, we can’t very well cite everything, so just a taste is all that the citations are designed to capture. Some accounts are so full of crud that a sampling isn’t even necessary. I’m not sure you should hold the cited tweets against us like that as if we cannot look at the account by clicking on the profile link. Reviewing an account based on a sample tweet is a trivial matter for a blocker.

      • (V)nemoni)(s says:

        I can understand how some people would find it easier, but it doesn’t solve the problems of abusive tweeters.
        Private policing is much more open to corruption than Twitter’s own policies (were they enforced properly) especially if the reviews aren’t, like you say, open.
        Is unblocking manual on behalf of the subscribers?

      • Aratina Cage says:

        I can understand how some people would find it easier, but it doesn’t solve the problems of abusive tweeters.

        It is more of a relative solution, really, only aimed at a small group of people. But the concept is generalizable to other groups.

        Private policing is much more open to corruption than Twitter’s own policies (were they enforced properly) especially if the reviews aren’t, like you say, open.

        I don’t think it should be called “policing”, though. If it was policing, then what we do would have some negative effect on the people we add to the block list. Instead, all that happens is that our subscribers block the accounts listed at their subscription level, and they can even override that fairly easily now without even having to follow the accounts on the list. How is that a negative effect? When Twitter polices accounts, they suspend those accounts, which is beyond our control. (And remember, they have even policed out bot already. We do not have Twitter police powers.)

        Is unblocking manual on behalf of the subscribers?

        It is both now. When a blocker issues the #RemoveFromBlockList command, the bot itself unblocks the account we removed for all subscribers. A subscriber can also unblock any account on the list and the bot will not override that decision.

    • Not Julia says:

      Who the hell do you think you are? You are not a person anyone should answer to for naughty tweets. Take your elitist attitude and go away. You are NOT an authority on the matter, unless you admit to yourself as well as the public, that TBBdoubles up as a troll bot, and admit publicly that your actions make you an elitist double standards douche.

      • Aratina Cage says:

        Is this ^^ directed at me? If so, I think one would find that it is not I who has the elitist attitude, but you yourself, “Not Julia”. That the block bot riles up trolls only makes me love it more since they can’t do anything about it.

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