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SmashTheState's avatar

How does Fluther keep the raving, Teabagging lunatics away?

Asked by SmashTheState (14228points) July 1st, 2010

Just about every other Q&A site I’ve visited seems to be dominated by maniacal, single-minded US Republican Party supporters posting a non-stop stream of racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-health care, anti-Obama propaganda posed as pejorative questions. Their sheer dogged determination and relentlessly aggressive stupidity eventually drives enough people away that they become the majority. (See Y!A politics section, for an example of what I’m talking about.) I’m curious how Fluther has managed to avoid this fate (thus far). I’ve seen only a tiny handful of “ZOMG BIRTH CERTIFICATE!!!!!!” type questions posted here, and I’d really be interested to know why, when it’s so nearly universal everywhere else.

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63 Answers

Kraigmo's avatar

They are told by their leaders to Go Out And Post. But since Fluther has moderation, they at least need to spell properly and formulate honest questions, which eliminates 90% of them.

Fluther does have a few right-wing types, but they are of a higher quality than the right wing jobs you’ll find on other websites.

I’m sure we also have a token maniac, but I haven’t met him yet.

kenmc's avatar

They’re flagged and modded for being trolls. Whether they know that they’re trolls or not, I don’t know, but I do know that they’re some trollin’ fools.

Lightlyseared's avatar

The razer sharp wit of Fluther’s users put downs usually scares them away pretty quick.

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes, @boots is right, perhaps it is that evil “censorship” thing, modding questions and answers, that keeps the lunatic fringe at bay. It works both ways.

SmashTheState's avatar

I’m not sure that censorship is the answer, not entirely anyway. Y!A has much greater levels of censorship than Fluther does (and on Y!A, questions and answers simply vanish without comment or explanation into the aether, unlike here where questions are sent back for editing) and Y!A is the worst sort of mouth-breathing snakepit of idiocy.

jrpowell's avatar

We have had our fair share of wingnuts. But we call people on bullshit pretty fast. We have Republicans here, but they are the good ones that use honest arguments. But all the idiots that pass along what was sent in a chain e-mail usually move along quickly.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@johnpowell robmandu is a Republican? No shit? Huh, I didn’t know that.

I’m sorry, I don’t have an answer to the question, because I have often wondered how Ben and Andrew got so damn lucky in finding sane (mostly, anyway) people to participate on the site.

jrpowell's avatar

@DrasticDreamer :: As far as I have gathered Rob is a smaller government and leave me the fuck alone kinda guy. A Goldwater Republican. I respect that.

It is the Palin idiots that court the religious right that are destroying the Republicans.

cookieman's avatar

Most right-wingnuts can’t swim.

They’re so busy being indoctrinated since childhood, they don’t have time to learn.

And we are, after all, jellies.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Spelling and grammar stymie them. They can do as they please over at Sodahead.

Arisztid's avatar

It seems that any wing nuts from either party, any religion, or whatnot, who come in here with incendiary, partially (or not at all) fact based flame bait are dissected in the comments.

The obvious trolls are caught by the moderators, the wing nuts caught by a membership who are willing to do their legwork.

I have seen perfectly logical Republicans here who put forth their side with correct information and debate it rationally. I have seen others who are just spewing flame bait shot down in flames and do not return. Same for any wing nuts, Republican or not.

Fluther mods also do not allow the highly repetitive stuff which is what the material you are discussing is on other sites.

Cruiser's avatar

If you even dare mention the word “Conservative” shoes come at you from all direction

janbb's avatar

throws a shoe @Cruiser

augustlan's avatar

I think there’s a couple of things at work, here. First and foremost, the founders of the site are both quite liberal (highly educated, too.). When they first started the site, the initial members were all like-minded people… their friends and families. So, Fluther started out with an educated, liberal base and attracted more of the same. For a long time, members only told other people like themselves about the site, so it was kind of self-selecting. We’ve always had a few republicans/conservatives, but not the far-right fringe element.

Once we really started attracting large groups of people all at once (iPhone app, other Q&A sites migrating here, etc.), we did get some of the fringe folks, but they don’t exactly get the red carpet treatment from the community. They tend not to stay long, but if they do…

Moderation, comes into play. Whether it’s from the right or the left or another planet, pure propaganda and/or flame bait types of questions aren’t allowed. If folks persist in posting flat out crap after being warned about it, they end up banned.

So, short answer: They quit or get banned.

Cruiser's avatar

<<Ducks>> Missed me!! <<Blows raspberries>>

Arisztid's avatar

lobs a shoe @Cruiser from another direction… nurrr!

janbb's avatar

shoe fight!

BoBo1946's avatar

bad on both sides—! Not just the cons, but the libs also! Called politics!

filmfann's avatar

I must say that I am surprised that a legitimate cause like Economic Cautiousness doesn’t draw more support from the Left, but the Tea Partiers don’t limit themselves to that. The entire Birther movement, the Muslim concerns, and those that insist on using the President’s full name have repulsed most logical thinkers.

zenele's avatar

<<< Token maniac.

plethora's avatar

Their sheer dogged determination and (relentless aggressiveness) eventually drives enough people away that they become the majority

Fluther works exactly the same way, just with a different bent, a different majority makeup.

wilma's avatar

What @plethora said.
I still see a very liberal overall point of view here.
The leftleaning wingnuts often seem to get a bit of a pass.
I do think that there are plenty of conservative minded people here who are well spoken and well read and can hold their own. They make their points and are entitled to their opinion, still they are sometimes not treated very well. I guess it’s just that majority rules

LuckyGuy's avatar

I noticed a couple of posts spewing nonsense. They were not moderated. However, the replies themselves basically shut the thread down by asking for sources, clearly refuting the argument and in general making the poster look ridiculous.

cookieman's avatar

@worriedguy: ”the replies themselves basically shut the thread down by asking for sources, clearly refuting the argument and in general making the poster look ridiculous

Shame this doesn’t work on a national level.

AstroChuck's avatar

@johnpowell- To be fair to robmandu, he’s from Texas. Down there they give you your GOP card, along with your NRA card, as soon as you leave the womb.

CMaz's avatar

We are a bunch of ass kicking megalomaniacs.

Only the strong will survive.

Cruiser's avatar

Cruiser shows up in this “Nya Nya” <<Blows more raspberries>>

plethora's avatar

@wilma Agreed….exactly!!!!

plethora's avatar

@filmfann All logical thinkers don’t fall into the Liberal majority here. I, for one, choose to refer to the current presidential officeholder and not even voice the pretender’s name at all.

gemiwing's avatar

I think that Fluther keeps everyone in a basic balance. We have some amazing conservatives here, as well as liberals and middle roaders. I think that balance helps, as well as part of the community rules being enforced to debate ideas rather than people.

wundayatta's avatar

Jesus, @Cruiser, do you really think you need to go that far for a sauna?

Cruiser's avatar

@wundayatta I am having a hard time loosing this last 5 pounds and that aughta do the trick!

wundayatta's avatar

@Cruiser Gotta be careful there, son. It might just be water weight!

anartist's avatar

Does it?
If it does, it is probably by offending them.
@zenele you are not a Kirk kinda guy—he’s so much less sophisticated.
Shoes at everyone just for the hell of it!

FutureMemory's avatar

Plethora strikes me as one of our more outspoken conservatives, and to his credit he does usually try to make sense and use logical arguments to support his viewpoints. Usually.

plethora's avatar

@FutureMemory That’s humbling. I’ll do my best. Thank you…:) And I will confess I’ve learned a few things on here, even when I don’t agree.

jerv's avatar

I can think of a few hardcore Conservative Flutherites (mostly Texans; go figure…), but the only ones who manage to stick around without getting modded to oblivion or getting infuriated by the Moderates and Liberals (and even the rational Conservatives who don’t like being made to look like idiots by association) are the articulate, well-mannered ones who at least manage to listen well enough to try to debate on merit and often succeed in (at least) promoting intelligent conversation.

One thing to bear in mind is that intellectuals are often Liberal, Moderate, or apolitical. A few are Conservative, but they are less Conservative than the “raving, Teabagging lunatics” who think that Colin Powell is a pinko Socialist Commie bastard. Combine that with the fact that the Fluther crowd really is of a higher caliber than, say, Yahoo! Answers (not that that’s really hard) or the post-apocalypse Answerbag, and you can quickly see how Fluther would not be the most welcoming place for them to be, at least not for any longer than it takes for them to demonstrate their ignorance and insanity.

anartist's avatar

@AstroChuck but you don’t get your Daisy air rifle until you are 3.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

<——token ‘liberal wingnut’ thanks, @wilma !

wilma's avatar

I never thought of you that way @Simone_De_Beauvoir . You always seem rational to me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wilma Really, I’ve always felt that it took a while for many people (and more than a year of being here, for me) for people to stop thinking of me this way as a knee-jerk reaction. I have radical view to some and it takes a lot of my energy to constantly defend my views so I don’t see why people think that liberal ideas are so welcome, here…in comparison to groups I hang with, fluther is quite moderate/mainstream.

wilma's avatar

—@Simone_De_Beauvoir I try not to have knee jerk reactions about people.
One of the things I like about fluther is that I can learn a lot from all of the different folks here. I have found your viewpoints to be interesting and have learned from you. I don’t have to feel the same way you do, to respect your feelings.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wilma I admire that, thank you. Integrity lies within all kinds of people, just rarely.

Jabe73's avatar

I live in an area surrounded by right-wing extremists, I am one of the few that classifies myself as a libertarian and they consider that too “liberal”. I noticed this site has more college educated people with a more liberal view on things, which does not bother me. I like fluther alot more than the right-wing blog sites out there, the people on those sites are very scary.

@Kraigmo That might be the top reason why you do not see them. “There are a few right-wing types on here but they are of a higher quality”. That one is funny, I am not being sarcastic, that was so funny that it made me laugh (in a good way). I needed that.

plethora's avatar

@Jabe73 I need some clarification regarding right-wing extremists. I’m conservative, but consider libertarian more to the right than I, but have no problem with it. So how do you define the right-wing extremists, or am I missing something regarding libertarians?

SmashTheState's avatar

When you use the term “Libertarian” in the context of Amerikan politics, please capitalize it. Libertarian was originally coined to describe Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, an anarchosyndicalist and mutualist. He would cheerfully have beaten Ayn Rand to death with a clawhammer. The Amerikan Libertarians, who are actually just garden-variety minarchist Randroids, hijacked the word libertarian and now we anarchists get lumped into the same pot of slime.

anartist's avatar

@SmashTheState I didn’t realize anyone still read Ayn Rand after all these years. I read them as a teenager forever ago.

Minute_And_A_Huff's avatar

@plethora If I may jump in on @Jabe73 ‘s point, right-wing nutjobs generally want a fair amount government, just more in terms of defense and bombs and guns and anti-gay, anti-immigration, pro-death penalty legislation. The idea that government should be small tends to come out more when they aren’t in power than when they are. Right-wing crazy is more about killing all the Muslims/gays/liberals/non-whites/non-Americans/non-Christians while having school prayer be mandatory and bringing back stars and bars.

I once heard that liberals want big government to enforce equality, conservatives want big government to enforce morality, and libertarians want small government all around.

**Note: I don’t think all conservatives are this way, just the nutjobs.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@Minute_And_A_Huff A very interesting analysis! ^

Minute_And_A_Huff's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Interesting good? Interesting bad? Interesting like when someone says “I was abducted by Martians” and you’re trying to buy some time to decide whether to run and scream or laugh?

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I meant it was a thoughtful and balanced summary of a complex subject.

Minute_And_A_Huff's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence Awww… that’s so sweet….

ipso's avatar

I find this question ironic. Maybe it’s the blow horn.

I love the blow horn, the irony, and pretty much every word from @SmashTheState over the last few weeks.

@gemiwing mentioned “balanced” ?

Wow. Just wow. That anyone might conclude this site anywhere approaching balanced between Lib/Con. But that’s cool too.

The moderation is exemplary.

augustlan's avatar

Yeah, I would definitely not say Fluther’s membership is balanced. Liberals are a large majority here. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. :)

Arisztid's avatar

@augustlan I concur that liberals are in the majority but it is a breath of fresh air that “the other side,” in this case conservatives, are not roasted alive… aside from a few shoes tossed @Cruiser . I have seen @plethora, another Republican I am fond of, get a few . Most places are a political battleground, whoever is the minority taking quite the beating. The constant flamebait at so many sites, no matter who is doing it, is tiring as hell.

That I credit to the way Fluther is set up, general level of participation, and the mods.

FutureMemory's avatar

I blame Augustlan for Fluther’s greatness. It’s all her fault I tell you!

keobooks's avatar

This has been a breath of fresh air from me. I came from a different answer site and needed a break. It was driving me crazy that not only was the site extremely conservative for the most part,the conservatives would complain that the site was too liberal. There is tons of bickering and it frequently spills over onto non-political questions, so even when I made a conscious effort to avoid it, it would rear it’s ugly head.

I can’t really figure out how this site keeps so “clean” in comparison.

augustlan's avatar

@FutureMemory Flattery will get you everywhere, kind sir. :)

Your_Majesty's avatar

@augustlan Sorry I’m a bit off topic here but what is the red carpet treatment? How come I never get it? lol.

mattbrowne's avatar

Every teabagger should be given a second chance on Fluther. Some are borderline and rediscover their ability to keep an open mind, while others are far too brainwashed and Flutherites can’t fix this. Cases like this require serious rehab approaches. In the real world. Not online.

CMaz's avatar

They have a right to an opinion just as the rest of us.

WARNING:
Can’t be responsible for the retribution that might follow. ;-)

augustlan's avatar

@Doctor_D Red carpet treatment. Don’t feel bad… none of us get it either!

linguaphile's avatar

For me, I love hearing different views all across different spectrums, as long as they’re actually, personally thought out, reasoned and if necessary, researched. I have no tolerance for mindless zombie-like repetition of drivel from some pundit/preacher/celebrity/academic/etc. I honestly do not see the difference between a fanatic Soldier of God (anyone see “Jesus Camp?”), fanatic Muslim suicide bomber, a fanatic liberal, a fanatic anything. I once knew a fanatic astrologer and a fanatic Disney worshipper, but that’s a discussion for a different thread. Basically, fanaticism shows suspension of intelligent thought. Fanatics parrot, not process, thoughts. Doesn’t matter which direction their army’s running, it’s still: Baa.
I have highest respect for people who truly know their stuff and can rationally explain the different conflicting theories, perspectives, etc from their field. Ahhh (hero worship)...
My favorite person is a NRA member, Pro-Choice, thinks unions are idiotic and loves Obama, and can explain exactly why she feels the way she does.

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