Tag Archives: Dave Freer

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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Laura J. Mixon & Wrapping Up the Fan Writer Category

Category: Best Fan Writer
Blogs on: Laura J. Mixon
Slates: None

It took me a while to decide whether I would vote for Laura J. Mixon in the Fan Writer category.

It’s clear that her Requires Hate / Benjanun Sriduangkaew report is an enormous service to the fan community and required a fair deal of hard work. On the other hand, people like Abigail Nussbaum and Kate Nepveau have made a case for voting for No Award and I find some of their reasoning convincing as well (not all of it, though, maybe not even most of it).

On the third hand, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (a post here + comments here), among others, has disagreed with Nussbaum with pretty convincing reasons of her own. Mixon has also written a series of followup posts. On yet another hand, awarding the report with a rocket for Best Related Work would have made more sense than awarding Laura J. Mixon with a rocket for being the Best SFF Fan Writer in 2014 which I don’t necessarily think she is, even though the report itself is valuable.

So, what should someone like me — who is most definitely not member of the underprivileged ethnic/cultural/whatever communities that are most affected by the things the report details — do? Not voting at all and letting others decide would maybe work on another year, but that’s another bad choice now that there are Vox Day’s troll hordes pushing for anti-feminist rant bloggers in this category and I have to register my wish to not give them an award in any case.

After some thought, my ballot looks like this:

  1. Laura J. Mixon
  2. Jeffro Johnson (6/10)
  3. No Award
  4. Cedar Sanderson (3/10)
  5. Dave Freer (1.5/10)
  6. Amanda S. Green (1/10)

Sure enough, Jeffro Johnson seems to be an uncritical sidekick of Vox Day, but I think his work that was included in the Hugo voter packet was reasonably good. That makes him stand apart from all other (save one) Puppy nominees in writing categories, who are going below No Award.

Edit 29/7/2015: Added some links to Mixon’s blog posts that should have been there.

Dave “Cool Beard but Incoherent Rants” Freer

Category: Fan Writer
Blogs on: Mad Genius Club
Slates: Sad Puppies

Dave Freer has an awesome beard of Alan Moore caliber. Actually, they look quite a bit alike. I just hope that the anarchist comics genius hasn’t lost his mind, turned conservative and moved to Australia. (On the other hand, that would perhaps be not so unlogical conclusion to what Moore has been onto recently with the snake gods and magic business.)

Okay, let’s start with something positive: Freer has managed to include in the Hugo package one blog post that is actually about SFF books and in which the acronym SJW is mentioned (in the comments) only once. Well done!

Freer seems passionate, and I do like passionate people. Too bad he’s passionate about things I find reprehensible, such as defending sexism with this incoherent rant which consists of satire quotes of nobody knows what and run-of-the-mill anti-feminist bullshit that never stops to make an understandable point. The post is turbocharged with obscure references to cases of supposed “misandry” I may not be familiar with. However, after reading the post, I wasn’t inclined to do any research.

In another post, Freer rambles about the Puppies’ favorite subject: why so few conservative writers and so many leftist ones do so well in the Hugos. The allegation is arguably false, but even if it wasn’t, the lengthy post fails on logic due to its being built on the nonsense premise that science fiction writers’ political views are distributed on a Gaussian curve. Which they are of course not. But even IF they were, and the distribution of left/center/right was roughly 15%/70%/15% as Freer assumes (and the ifs are starting to stack up quickly here), you can’t decipher who individual writers are going to be among the leftmost 15 percent and who are not. As far as I can see, Freer lumps into that category people like John Scalzi who don’t have a single socialist bone in their bodies while ignoring the fact that — as Eric Flint points out — actual left wing authors, such as himself, Mercedes Lackey and Steven Brust, are continually passed over. So, Freer’s tedious math doesn’t really add up there.

In his last gem of blog wisdom, Freer assures how constructive force he and the other Mad Genius Club members are in modern SFF. That’s nice to hear, of course. Freer states:

Admittedly, as people who love books, support writers… we do get snarky in some posts with people and groups who are trashing a genre we love. But that’s here. We do not call for boycotts, or for individuals to hounded, persecuted and harassed. We regard organizing anonymous lynch mobs and pile-ons for the enforcement of our ‘group-think’ as utter anathema.

His denunciation of boycotts and lynch mobs is quite hilarious if we check what he wrote last Monday. Now he urges his readers to swamp the email box of somebody at Tor with angry emails and is calling for a boycott unless something is done to an art director he disagrees with about Sad and Rabid Puppies. Oh, the irony.

Score: 1.5/10