How Mad Genius Club Banned Me

Mad Genius Club, the joint blog of notable Sad Puppy activists such as Kate Paulk, Dave Freer, Amanda S. Green and others, banned me. There’s nothing special about that, of course. Blogs can ban commenters they don’t like for any reason, and that’s fine. Nobody has freedom of speech on other people’s websites.

If that was the whole thing, I’d be just slightly amused, but there’s more (and I must admit that I’m giggling a bit). They went through the trouble of writing a blog post about the incident. Naturally, I’m humbled by the attention of this bunch of professional writers, but I cannot resist commenting on their statements briefly.

I also have the screencaps of my offending comments, and reading them alongside the mad geniuses’ explanations is rather funny.

In case you didn’t go through the link to read the whole thing on Mad Genius Club, here are some of the highlights:

Unlike other sites, we don’t take glee in banning people and we bend over backwards to avoid doing so. We give warnings and then we warn again. In all the years of MGC, I can count on one hand — and still have fingers left — the number of people we have banned.

However, we have learned over the last few years that whenever we come to Hugo time, we get a few folks who come over with the sole purpose of condemning anything that doesn’t have to do with Fandom. We anticipated it would happen when the Dragon Awards were announced and then when the winners were named. What we didn’t anticipate was that one of the prime suspects would continue to ignore the warnings and then accuse us of doxxing them because we told that person that the only way they would be allowed to continue posting here is if they posted under their real name.

Yes, this person came back and accused us of trying to dox them.

Yes, that person’s comments have been deleted because they were told that was what would happen if they posted again under an alias.

I don’t have access to all (or most) or my deleted comments, but I guess these last few comments are enough to demonstrate how I “condemn anything that doesn’t have to do with Fandom”.

In the MGC post post All Hail the Dragon! Jason Cordova wrote (after complimenting the trophy’s design): “I can’t wait to see the final tally numbers of just how many people actually participated in the selection and voting process.”

The comment thread looked (and still looks) like this:

all-hail-the-dragon01

When the Dragon Awards were given out and voter figures were not released, there were a couple of comments that have since been deleted:

spacefaringkitten
September 5, 2016 at 2:36 pm
Aaaaaaaand did we see the numbers? Nope.

Amanda
September 5, 2016 at 4:32 pm
[…] either use your real name and quit the concern trolling behavior pattern (you show up on all the Hugo/award threads and hardly anywhere else, you derail with either irrelevant or marginally relevant comments, and you’re way the hell light on facts, even when what you say is technically correct) or quit commenting here. Your call. […]

spacefaringkitten
September 5, 2016 at 10:45 pm
Whoa, trying to doxx people who disagree with you is not cool.

It’s your blog, of course, and it’s your right to prevent people from voicing opinions differing from yours if that is what you want to do. I don’t want to disturb people’s safe spaces and can stop commenting.

However, I have tried to state my opinions respectfully and politely here, even when other commenters have called me names and hurled abuse around.

“Derailing” the discussion with “irrelevant” comments is a bit confusing accusation. Releasing the voting numbers was explicitly discussed in the post I was commenting on. I said that I wasn’t sure they would be released and was told I was trying to smear the awards or something. Well, now they haven’t been released and to the best of my knowledge will never be. If you have different information about the matter, I’ll happily admit I was mistaken.

Well, now, I’m the first to admit that “trying to doxx” is probably too harsh a term to use in this context. After all, MSG people were not about to release my personal information without my consent, only demanding that I provide it.

Disagreeing with Sad Puppies can fill your social media with all kinds of garbage, though, and that is not something I’m interested in seeing in my personal accounts. For example, just today a dude called Thomas Monaghan tweeted me this out of the blue:

That doesn’t bother Spacefaring Kitten, but I can live without my real-life friends and family seeing this sort of nonsense. That’s why I’ll have to respectfully decline MGC’s offer and refrain from commenting there in the future.

So, that’s what went down, basically. But there’s more in today’s Mad Genius Club post. I’ll quote it below and add comments there.

 

Here’s the thing. When this person showed up, casting aspersions and making thinly veiled accusations against the Dragons, I did some checking. With only a very few exceptions, they had only commented on Hugo-related posts. This person — because it isn’t hard to find out who they are — is someone who does not tolerate what they see as dissenting opinions on their own social media pages. This is a person who has attempted, and on occasion, succeeded in having people kicked out of cons for being wrong-thinkers. I could go on and some of the others here may.

I have commented on Hugos and Dragon Awards, true. That’s about it as far as facts go in this paragraph, I guess. Kicking wrong-thinkers out of cons, huh? I’m sure I’d remember that. My social media is not in a language they understand, so I have my doubts about their knowing what opinions I tolerate there or not.

However, here’s the thing. It takes a lot to get a bunch of writers to get together to discuss what should happen on a blog, even a joint blog. The fact that this person took the majority of us out of writing and work to do just that says a lot. So, before you see it on Vile 770, yes, we did delete comments here. This was done after warnings — which you can find still in the comment sections on at least three recent posts. Did we like doing it? No.

We want free discourse here. As writers, we hate silencing discussion. But that isn’t what happened here. There was no discussion. There were thinly veiled attacks on a new award and why? Because it didn’t go the way certain parts of Fandom apparently thought or wanted it to. It’s not enough that they have turned the Hugos from a fan award, something it was founded as, to a Fan award. Now these folks are trying to tear down a new award because it let everyone vote — without paying for the privilege to do so.

Riiiiiight. I did guess right whether the Dragon Award voter numbers would be published or not, but this is a bit much, isn’t it. I have to say I didn’t realize I was tearing down a new award with the comments that were quoted previously in this post. 😀

So there it is. A very infrequent commenter was warned and chose to ignore the warning. That person then chose to use inflammatory comments to accuse us of something we were not doing, specifically of doxxing them. That person is no longer welcome at MGC unless and until they follow the rules as set out first by Dave and then reiterated by several others of us. But to accuse us of doxxing, when we are asking nothing more than to post under a real name, a name many of us already know, is disingenuous. We are not the ones with malicious intent.

Well, no matter how hard the MGC people try to trick me to doxxing myself, it is not something I plan to do, so I guess I’ll just have to turn down that offer.

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17 thoughts on “How Mad Genius Club Banned Me

  1. Pingback: a tail of a banning foretold | Camestros Felapton

  2. JJ

    Wow, what a bunch of big babies. It’s funny how simply asking questions is “an attempt to smear” something. And they obviously don’t understand the definition of “concern trolling”.

    But where in hell did they come up with the whacko idea that you’ve been getting (or trying to get) people banned from conventions? Bizarre. There is some serious alternate paranoid conspiracy universe thinking going on over there… if you can call that “thinking”.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Lurkertype

    Wow, SFK, I had no idea you were so powerful as to kick people out of cons. I’m guessing they’re referring to their boy Dave T getting tossed from MAC2 for not being a moderator, but since you weren’t even there, I bow to your intercontinental powers! Is it the Force, or some Doctor Strange thing?

    Funny how it’s horrible that the Hugos won’t release ballot info that would doxx people, though they release all the vote stats immediately after the award, but it’s just spiffy that the Dragons don’t release any info at all. Or that the Hugo Administrators are named a couple of years in advance, but we still don’t know who administered the Dragons, except Larry says there was a guy named Dave. For me and not for thee, I guess.

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  4. snowcrash

    I’m not entirely sure if this is who they think you are, but I do know that at least one MGS regular was publicly asking around twitter last year if you were Brianna Wu. I think a big part of that theory was from the fact that her handle is Spacekat

    Cats! Why did it have to be cats?

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    1. JJ

      snowcrash: at least one MGS regular was publicly asking around twitter last year if you were Brianna Wu. I think a big part of that theory was from the fact that her handle is Spacekat

      Oh noes! That Mad Jeeenyus is clearly such a brilliant sleuth, they will probably be able to figure out that I am J.J. Abrams,too! My cover is blown! 🙄

      Liked by 2 people

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    1. JJ

      The idea that they honestly believe that SpacefaringKitten is Brianna Wu is hilarious. 😆

      But I guess that ties back to their language skills, as evidenced by what I’ve read of their writing. Their language skills need a lot of work, so it’s not surprising that they aren’t skilled enough to recognize when two different posting “voices” are so significantly different that they can’t possibly be the same person.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Mark

        Wow, the CatWuSpiracy theory is just an extra layer of silly icing on the cake of hilarity.

        That’s reminded me of a puppyish commenter last year thinking that “Cat” on F770 was Cat Valente and imputing various motives (see! the catspiracy continues!). The fact that Valente posts on F770 quite openly under her own name seemed to have passed them by.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. iamzenu

    Typical. I think I got banned by Kate or Sarah the first day. Correia just yell profanity. Mike at 770 put me on moderate because of my anti-religious comments. That’s pretty much like being banned because by the time the comment gets published, the thread has moved on. The most even handed is Scalzi who tells his readers the mallet is out and moderates the comments to stay on topic. GRRM seems pretty even handed as well.

    I guess the most even handed is that cat of Camestros.

    I tend to agree with Space Kitten. It’s kind of “meh”. People get to control their blogs however they like.

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  6. spacefaringkitten Post author

    In the MGC post comments a guy said:

    I understand that kitteh in its other persona is actively attacking Breitbart operatives and anyone else making rude comments on HRC’s health issues.

    Probably they are thinking about someone else, or, alternatively, pulling stuff out of their ass in order to make others agree with their decisions. In case it’s the first one, I’d love to know who is this person throwing people out of conventions and attacking Breitbart operatives, though.

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. Yamamanama

    Mad Genius Club doesn’t ban people. They just won’t let a lot of posts through the filter unless they think they’re getting a chew toy or if they start out with something relatively innocuous.

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  8. Lurkertype

    It’s space cats all the way down!

    Next they’re gonna accuse SFK and Brianna Wu both of being Ruthven Todd, who wrote the “Space Cat” books in the 50’s. And is apparently still around, getting people thrown out of cons.

    (holy cow, those books are $100-300 used — someone needs to reprint or at least digitize)

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