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Defanging the misogyny tag (an act of protest)

 
 
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 06:44 pm
I've been outed as the perpetrator of the recent upsurge in the 'misogyny' tag a little earlier than I had hoped. So I will explain my little act of of protest.

At their best, tags are informational. They tell us quickly what a thread is about and allow us to browse by categories that interest us. But there are less noble uses of tags that are becoming increasingly more common.

When tags are used as an editorial comment, they are much less useful. Often A2K cliches use the tags to signal each other which threads their opinion group will agree with (this is perhaps somewhat useful).

The tags that are personal attacks cross a line from informational to uncivil. They are an anonymous slap in the face, and they work as a form of group pressure to weed out unpopular opinions before people even have the chance to read them.

The 'misogyny' tag is a perfect example of this. There is a fairly popular group on Able2Know with a set of opinions. The most reasonable discussion addressing any of these opinions in a way that diverges from the standard opinion gets the 'misogyny' tag automatically. This is not a good thing on a public discussion forum. It is not information at all, most threads that get this tag have nothing to do with 'misogyny' (by any dictionary definition of 'misogyny'). The tag merely due to the fact that the group opinion has been questioned and serves to shut down the discussion.

Hence my protest, which makes a lot of sense. The misogyny tag is getting abused, and there is no practical way to stop it other than to join in.

If every thread has the misogyny tag, this tag will lose its power. It will no longer be effective as an anonymous ad-hominem attack nor function as a method of group pressure. Consider this my civil protest, a slightly subversive way to make the point that tags shouldn't be used this way.

In other words: hands up, don't tag.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 17 • Views: 4,456 • Replies: 99

 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 06:55 pm
Or, tag informationally like the system is supposed to be used.

Graffiti tags are another place where volunteer moderators get to do clean up in Aisle Five.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 06:56 pm
@jespah,
Are they cleaned up? It seems like editorial, and even ad-hominem tags are quite common and persistent (with apologies to the volunteer moderators).
jespah
 
  6  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 06:58 pm
@maxdancona,
We do a **** ton of work on that. Every ******* day. Forgive me if I'm a little impatient about it but cleaning up graffiti tags means that volunteer moderators don't get to pulling spam or a chance to enjoy the site. They just clean up. It's not fun.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 07:05 pm
@jespah,
Is there a way to report tags? That might help. In my opinion (realizing that I am just a community member) tag cleaning should be transparent and fair. Defining what is tag "graffiti" and what is not could favor one set of opinions over another.

I also would respect some community education on tag behavior. This would be a positive outcome, Editorial tags are endemic here and in my opinion hurt the openness of the discussion.

I didn't mean to cause more work for the moderators, I do want to make a statement about the misuse of editorial tags.

The misogyny tag is one of the tags that has been grossly misused (long before my subversive protest started).
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  4  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 07:29 pm
@jespah,
Some of the rest of us do too.

I could never be a mod, I'd go berserk in five minutes, plus, who would trust me? (don't answer), but I can often clean up tags, sometimes with help. I've been asked to help. None of this is often.

To me the point of the tags is 1) for help for a2kers to find stuff, and 2) for potential readers of a2k to find stuff, via google or the like.. to increase a2k's presence as a knowledge site.
Graffiti tags (I just learned today that's an italian word, graffiti, heh, I thought it was los angelino) are juvenilia.

There's an inbetween, and that's when a2k people warn others the poster is a spambot, usually from a pattern; those don't actually post out and out spam, but are spam-callers and suck in their own special way.
jespah
 
  9  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 08:04 pm
@ossobuco,
I appreciate that. I know others do some cleaning up as well. And you're absolutely right in calling it juvenalia. It's not clever; it's usually not funny. It's just a pain.

The thing of it is, reporting bad tags is pretty useless to us. In the time that a report could be filed, the filer can just as easily tag a topic and attempt to bump out the bad tags him or herself. As for transparency in tag changing, the transparency is that tags change. Don't like the tags? Then do some tagging of your own.

What's a bad tag? Well, there's a newbie who came here today to ask a statistics question and it was tagged as misogyny. That's a bad tag. Correct tags would have been things like statistics, mathematics, homework, stats, math or maybe school or education. What about a topic about the US Civil War? Tags could be civil war, or American history or Grant or Lee or Lincoln. But if someone tagged that hypothetical topic as the war of Northern aggression, I'm not going to waste my time trying to fix that sort of thing.

I would suggest that others pick their battles as well.

Also, when it comes to tagging a topic as spam or a poster as a spammer, that's another useless thing. Please don't do that. Instead, spend those five seconds hitting report. Because I have seen a lot of topics mislabeled this way when often it's just some poor ESL student.

Finally, and I offer this suggestion to everyone, and not just to the people who responded to this topic - go into your tags (there's a link at the top of every single page on this site) and do some light housecleaning of your own. That's an enormous help for moderators, when people clean up their own acts a bit. Clean up graffiti, and mean-spiritedness, and also when you tag a topic with the poster's name (that's redundant; people can search for a poster's topics easily and so any topics by me, for example, need not be tagged as jespah. Just click on my profile and you'll see a way to find my topics).

Tags are intended to be the classification system of the site. They are used so that the members can find topics of interest to them, they are used in Google when searchers find A2K, and they are used by the A2K software to aggregate topics into the 'related topics' that you see at the bottom of many topics. They are not intended to be used for editorializing about people and opinions that we don't like.

Thank you.
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 08:06 pm
@ossobuco,
The thing that irks me are the ad-hominem tags. They are particularly destructive to a community based on open discussion. They a form of group pressure, they favor personal attacks over discussion. This is magnified because they are anonymous.

And they are pretty common here.

In addition to the "misogyny" tag, a quick glance over recent tags show "liberal-victim", "Troll", "Tea Party Nonsense", "Rabid Bat" and "Mental Health" all used. Actually, looking over my own tag list shows "Gun Nuts", "Mob Hysteria" and "Christian Prejudice"... tags (I don't believe i have been guilty of this for a while) which I now regret and I will refrain from like tags in the future.

The thing that irks me about the 'misogyny' tag is the groupthink behind it. The tag is not being put on threads that are about misogyny or constitute misogyny. Rather, It is used to attack any dissent on a broad set of issues held by a group of people here.

I don't so much mind the often personal attacks made in public with a name attached. Marking a thread that has nothing to do with misogyny with a "misogynist" tag anonymously simply because you have an axe to grind doesn't lead to healthy discussion in a public space.

To the moderators, I hope that if these tags are cleaned, they are cleaned consistently. An healthy space for open discussion depends on fairness and balance.


ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 08:16 pm
@ossobuco,
I contradicted myself - I supplant tags often, sometimes to make them more specific, than, say, News, a recent one. When I first started tagging, back in 'o8, I hung to old norms. Now I think specifics can be useful. I regret clinging so much to generalities (but not all). On my own threads, I've changed tags for later related subjects.

But, on asking for or giving help, that's way less often.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  6  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 08:21 pm
@maxdancona,
What a prick.
CalamityJane
 
  3  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 08:40 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

An healthy space for open discussion depends on fairness and balance.


This doesn't exist here, so get over it and move on! You cannot decide what others see in you, so you might as well take it like a man or change your behavior if you don't like it.
ossobuco
 
  6  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 08:44 pm
@maxdancona,
News, you can clean tags too. Add more, preferably appropriate ones.
Below viewing threshold (view)
maxdancona
 
  -2  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 09:08 pm
@CalamityJane,
There are two options here Jane.

Jespah is saying that tags are here to be informational only. If this is the case, tags that are ad-hominems or editoral comments should be cleaned up (even if as Jespah points out that such cleanup isn't practical). If this is the case, then I apologize to the moderators... although I wish there was a better way to avoid the large number of editorial ad-hominem tags that are here. This is clearly a problem.

The other option is that tags can be used for editorial comments and ad-hominems. In that case my protest was appropriate (as my tags were making an editorial comment).

I am part of the community, and I do generally behave in such a way as to have the type of open discussion without personal attack that I would like to be a part of. My act of protest was me doing exactly what you suggest.

0 Replies
 
Kolyo
 
  5  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 09:12 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

The 'misogyny' tag is a perfect example of this. There is a fairly popular group on Able2Know with a set of opinions. The most reasonable discussion addressing any of these opinions in a way that diverges from the standard opinion gets the 'misogyny' tag automatically. This is not a good thing on a public discussion forum.


And I guess you believe your own comments brought down the misogyny tags on those threads?

I bet you're wrong about that.

There are a lot of misogynistic bores about, and you shouldn't make the mistake of thinking the majority lumps you in with them.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 09:18 pm
@Kolyo,
No Kolyo. The 'misogyny' tag is not informational. The 'misogyny' tag is an editorial comment and an ad-hominem attack. The fact that you think that the author of a thread is a "misogynistic bore" does not justify the 'misogyny' tag.

It doesn't serve the purposes that Jespah suggests tags should serve.


0 Replies
 
Miss L Toad
 
  6  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 09:46 pm
@maxdancona,
Service 30 to aisle 9 might mean you want a cleaner with a mop and bucket which shows to go how alert I am at the shops.

Click on your name to enter your profile.
Click on the "misogyny" tag in your profile.
Go to each thread listed under your "misogyny" tag.
Click on the [X] to delete the tag
Repeat as often as you desire.


Quote:
Often A2K cliches use the tags to signal each other which threads their opinion group will agree with (this is perhaps somewhat useful).


And no more talk of the secret society: the click cliche clique.

blueveinedthrobber
 
  4  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 09:47 pm
@CalamityJane,
CalamityJane wrote:

maxdancona wrote:

An healthy space for open discussion depends on fairness and balance.


This doesn't exist here, so get over it and move on! You cannot decide what others see in you, so you might as well take it like a man or change your behavior if you don't like it.


Cj...bad ass of the day Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 09:49 pm
@Miss L Toad,
Miss L Toad wrote:

Quote:
Often A2K cliches use the tags to signal each other which threads their opinion group will agree with (this is perhaps somewhat useful).



did someone actually say that?

I need to track down some of those cliches.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  4  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2014 09:54 pm
My opinion is that Max is completely freaked about some feminists, with no surcease.

They are not me or many others.

Thus - max is hysteric and enjoys being so, going so far as to **** up tags.

Angry man.
 

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