CBR introduces new zero tolerance message boards — who else will follow suit?

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[Steve Morris contributed to this report.]

Yesterday CBR owner Jonah Weiland took strong action against the nest of trolls that had set up housekeeping in the CBR forums: he wiped the slate clean. Existing forums will be up for two weeks while people retrieve material they want to preserve. After that it’s a whole new ballgame, one with new rules.

Effective immediately, in place of the forums will live the new CBR Community, a discussion area that will still facilitate conversation and debate, however passionate — but will show zero tolerance for intimidation or abuse of all members of the community, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and gender identification. CBR and all areas of its website and operations will be a safe space for all people, of all levels of involvement. We’re starting from scratch, providing everyone with the opportunity to build a new community, together. Rules will be explicit, and once again — we will not tolerate anyone who doesn’t want to abide by them.

I believe there is value in building and fostering a community that is inclusive, diverse, accepting and compassionate. It is important, and it’s worth trying to build a better place for every fan, regardless of background or identity. I’m putting the money and resources behind this to make certain that those who have acted with hatred in their hearts are unable to spread their hate in our community again. I can’t stop them from spewing their trash elsewhere, but I can ensure they’re not welcome at CBR.

The move came as a result of the extremely negative response to Janelle Asselin’s Teen Titan’s cover critique, which led to extremely dismissive and insulting response and eventually to rape threats.

Predictably, in the remaining forum, there are long threads devoted to people complaining about “political correctness” and “censorship.” It’s a little disheartening how many posters would rather have an unpoliced community of insulting trolls, but I’m not surprised.

Internet message boards have been a mixed blessing ever since the first packet was sent to DARPA. On the one hand, it allows every one an equal say. On the other hand, it allows everyone an equal say. In the “message board” era, it quickly became clear that all boards needed moderation of some kind. I cut my internet teeth on CompuServe where a gang of vigilant moderators enforced various rules, and you would see most of the pioneers of the comics internet —from Neil Gaiman to Rich Johnston—peacefully discussing Xena Warrior Princess all together in one grazing herd.

However as commercial boards — on Comicon.com, TCJ.com and CBR evolved form the late 90s on, they became less lawful places, boards abuse and Goatse became the “winning” argument in any discussion. There was some great discussion but the nutters tended to drive people away. And you had to relaly have a strong stomach to stand up to it. The number of women who posted was pathetically few, helping foster the idea that women weren’t interested in geek topics.

Some will remember the Warren Ellis forums on Delphi, later The Engine. The latter was a place where the policy of incredibly strong moderation made it both a where women felt comfortable posting AND posting pictures of themselves topless. Paradise, in other words. Ellis had a strong personality and the discussion was brisk and informative especially WITH the mods, of Filthy Assistants as they were known. Of course there were people who got banned and sulked and railed against “political correctness”. In 2002. So the same arguments are made over and over and over again.

Here at the Beat we also have a zero tolerance policy for abusive comments. And if you become a particularly annoying circular arguer, you will also get removed. I’ve had to revoke the accounts of well known people when they wouldn’t play by my rules. My time for moderating comments is limited, but I take the job seriously. And I’m proud of the community we have here at the Beat. It may not be perfect but it is generally civil discussion.

A lot of people believe in taking away discussion boards, but I think it’s part of the culture of the internet. I just want that culture to be better. Strong moderation makes strong message boards, and there is no way around that.

So who will be next to clean up their forums? IGN? Bleeding Cool? MIllarworld? The only reason not to is a fear of losing traffic I think, but even there the tradeoff in intelligence is a win win. This is a big internet and trolls have Reddit and 4chan to be disgusting if they so choose. The lowest common denominator will always have a bigger influence than it should on anything that is crowd sourced, but it’s time for the gatekeepers to take a stand.

So I ask again: who else is going to prove they are strong enough to take a stand?

Comments

  1. “Who else is going to prove they are strong enough to take a stand?” Instead I ask “who is going to be the first to prove they are strong enough to clean up a message board without penalizing the majority that play by the rules, and without destroying years of historical messages?” CBR took the easy way out. Who is going to be willing to put the work in and do it the right way?

  2. Big Roth Johnson says:

    Why don’t you just get rid of the comments sections? I would actually advise CBR to get rid of the forums if it upsets them so much. I guess the point of forums is to inflate traffic numbers, but all Disqus and stuff like that do is upset people. Very few people read the comments. So just end it for everyone.

    Additionally, I don’t think any comments I have made here have ever been deleted. This is disappointing to me, since I am known as a true asshole. I wonder what I’ve been doing wrong…

  3. Erik Scott says:

    This is one of the only places I bother to post online anymore because of how informative some if not most of the comments are. I put a lot of the praise of that on how quick to the punch Heidi is in shutting down trollish and insulting behavior. Thank you Heidi, for keeping your site a place where spirited and respectful discussion is the rule and not the exception.

  4. Jeremy Holstien says:

    I wonder what the ratio of responsible posters to trolls is on CBR? Or even here at the Beat?

  5. I wouldn’t fear less traffic. I’d expect more. More women, certainly–yay! More people that appreciate intelligent debate as opposed to infernal debasing of others. It’ll be like when bars had to ban smoking. The owners feared they’d have less patrons and got more–and the welcomed removal of the disgusting, unhealthy pollution.

  6. Part of the problem also with CBR is the prevailing attitude that they’ll cater to comic book celebrities to the degree that they can come in there and insult the fan base with no impunity for themselves because CBR is too afraid to rock the boat with any of the companies but if one of the fans did the reverse to the pros, they get punished very quickly. Everyone should be held to the same standard, doesn’t matter if you’re in the industry or not.

    By the same token, there have been plenty of stories of the mods deleting posts and threads just because they personally didn’t like what was being said. The whole “We no longer want negative New 52 posts here, only positive” thread spoke volumes to that statement. Power crazy moderators is becoming the latest problem with message boards, other then the message board posters who haven’t grown up yet.

    It’s all a matter of if CBR will hold EVERYONE to the standards they’re setting or just the usual few.

  7. CBR’s new guidelines have a special section about treating “creators” with respect, which causes me to question their real motivations for the reboot. Why not demand that everyone be treated with the same respect? What makes a person who works in comics inherently deserving of more respect than a reader?

  8. While I cringe as the phrase “zero tolerance” (as it usually amounts to blindly following simplistic rules rather than thinking, e.g. expelling a student for bringing aspirin to school), I’m supportive of any forum operator who commits to removing trolls. You can’t have a worthwhile social environment if it has to indulge sociopaths.

  9. chris says:

    Seems incredibly fair. Don’t see how someone needs to insult others to discuss comic books.

  10. That being said, the internet is a vile place. I’m constantly amazed by how rotten people are, and that’s after years of experience.

  11. @Jude Because most creators are not necessarily members/posters.
    That still does not make it ok to bad-mouth them in the forums. Hence the extra rule for that.

  12. This is rad. I’m not a big internet commenter, mainly because I assumed the lesson long ago that little (to no) good comes from wading into the comments section or message boards of any site or news story. But I *like* talking about comics with folks, so it’s definitely something I’ve missed from time to time. What I’m trying to say is — I just went and signed up for a message board for the first time in years & years & years.

  13. @JG – hmmm. I hadn’t thought of that. Fair enough.

  14. Chris Hero says:

    Constructive discussion is always a good thing. The best discussions are built on disagreements, but as long as people can agree to disagree reasonably, it’s all good.

  15. If people don’t like this they will have to create a troll friendly community elsewhere. I’m not sure what the resistance is to heavily moderated forums. Why would you want to be somewhere you weren’t wanted in the first place?

  16. Glenn Simpson says:

    It’s funny how my first gut reaction was “oh no, they threw out everything for this?” and then I realized I’ve been defending the new52 for three years so I guess I can’t say that someone shouldn’t make a clean sweep when they need to…

    So far, it’s a very weird place but it may seem more like home eventually. Hard to describe – it’s like going from a real place to a Disney version of that same place – everything is too clean and nice…

  17. Dan Ahn says:

    All of these places are private sites. The people in charge of them should feel perfectly fine with removing anything they want to remove, or even IP-banning people if they feel like it. No problem there from me.

    Of course, if someone wants to keep up the pretense of being a fair/open/public forum, then everytime someone is banned the admins in charge just look a little sillier and dishonest. That said, we don’t live in an ideal space where A) Trolls never emerge, or B) Whenever they emerge they are ignored until they go away.

    I don’t want to hear “Only nice things”, though. You can’t learn anything when everyone is just agreeing all the time. I don’t want people to disagree just for the sake of disagreeing, either. But I don’t want an echo-chamber, and that’s what so many places on the internet are turning into. Whether you, I, or anyone agrees with the prevailing sentiments or not, it certainly seems that more and more forums are becoming increasingly thin-skinned and deaf to viewpoints that totally make them happy on first glance.

    So I don’t particularly like any of these developments. But I don’t particularly care, either. At the end of the day, trolls are unhappy people. And on the other hand people whose functional definition of “trolling” is “anyone who disagrees with anything I say” are dysfunctional as well.

    I’ve never seen or experienced (that I know of) any unfair bannings or deletions at The Beat, though. And I’ve seen plenty of lively discussion.

  18. The TCJ boards let certain idiots run amuck for years until there was something like twelve guys talking to one another. Obnoxious personalities eventually drive away just about anyone.

  19. @Dan Ahn: It is possible for people to disagree without going into name-calling and threats. I just did it with you!

    But seriously, there’s a huge difference between an environment with solid and insightful debate and one where people are actively trying to make each other cry. We don’t need to allow the latter to retain the former.

    Plus, this is just comic books. There’s nothing about the medium worth starting blood feuds. Hell, there are forums discussing real world controversies that manage to have vigorous debate without allowing threats and other juvenile taunts.

  20. Johnny Memeonic says:

    On many sites I’ve been on it’s been my experience that so-called “no troll” policies usually devolve into anyone with a dissenting opinion from the admins, no matter how respectful they are about it, gets labelled a troll and banned. CBR’s forum has a high potential of being an echo chamber and ghost town by this time next year.

  21. Christian says:

    Wanted to chime in and say that this place is still the only comments section I read/contribute to. Ok, I have a guilty pleasure for reading Gawker comments but I’d never dip my toe into those waters.

    I see this as part of a much larger movement on the internet towards ‘echo-chamber’ social media – and I promise I’m not saying that in a pejorative sense. Look at Facebook or their new app Paper. People are by and large moving more towards a more insulated internet. I don’t think anyone can say decidedly whether this is a good thing or a bad thing.

    Nobody thinks that a conflict-free Internet is an ideal environment for being exposed to different opinions but on the other hand, has anyone’s life ever been made better through hours spent arguing online? It’s bad for your blood pressure and a total waste of time.

    I’d be remiss however if I didn’t bring up Newsarama’s heavily moderated “polite” forum change a few years back. They flamed out pretty quickly, didn’t they? I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a great number of kind, thoughtful and really smart comic fans from all walks of life but I’ve never met one of them who come within an online comic book message board with a ten foot pole.

  22. Torsten Adair says:

    I would hope, for sheer historical access and veracity, that CBR locks the older posts (no further commentary allowed). There is a lot of great content on CBR which I frequently access via Google search (usually Robot 6 and Comics Should Be Good), and I would hate to see it disappear, especially the comments. (Which, on those two boards, are quite polite.)

    As for the trolls, today is September, 7549 1993, the september that never ends.

  23. Torsten Adair says:

    P.S. From that same website, which provides access to Usenet groups:

    http://www.eternal-september.org/index.php?showpage=abuse

    A pretty sound general policy.

  24. If you can’t make your point politely, you haven’t thought about it enough.

  25. I’d rather see sites like CBR, IGN, or Bleeding Cool adopt a comments section where you had to sign in using Facebook, G+, or some other form of social media. Why? Because in many cases it will take away the anonymity of the posters, & once that’s removed from the equation half of the ‘net trolls who want to threaten rape or violence or whatever wouldn’t dare sign in & post that kind of shit.

  26. Message Boards for comics got rid of the great past time of actually writing a letter /put in envelope/put stamp and send to a comic company to tell them how much you may or may not have enjoyed the comic. They included addresses to reach out to other fans to discuss their favorite titles or characters. + You would also get the added treat of the editor answering you. And if you wrote enough you would get some cool treats in the mail.
    Message boards have made this pretty much obsolete.
    I believe a new time has come to do the same to message boards.
    I believe a new concept is in order for people to have intense conversations about comics. Perhaps some sort of video message recording. This way we can actually see who are making their heart felt comments. And a nice way to know that we are not getting PUNKED by certain commenters. We could also set up a SKYPE round table to talk with other commenters, writer of articles and editors for a nice LIVE interactive experience. Will this ever happen ? Maybe not. but it would be nice.

  27. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Kevin G: what’s ironic is that when it comes to making ones thoughts known to the comics companies, the message boards are generally the last place one should go. I don’t think the publishers actually go near those places. However, a good old-fashioned letter is going to get their attention. Generally because the effort it requires to do the real letter suggests a better thought-out position.

  28. Mason Olsen says:

    Yo, I’m calling you out on this, MacDonald; Generalizing all the discussion and activity on 4chan as some kind of cesspool is shitty of you. Like you said, no Internet community is perfect, there are boards that get out of hand, but the comic and pop culture discussion there is engaging and it’s just accepted that we can rib on each other and the things we like and dislike because we’re opinionated fans. It may be a kooky tribe, but for the people who enjoy that banter as well as the smart discussion, it’s mine and our kooky tribe. So how about you give it a week in the cartoons and comics board or the television and movie board before you just damn the entire website as toxic.

  29. I’d like to see who’s going to be the first up to actually hire a full-time moderator. Even a part-time one, but you’ll need FT soon enough. (If anyone is hiring, I recommend getting Teresa Nielsen Hayden stat.)

  30. Charlie Ryan says:

    I’m puzzled why some comic book forums have let abusive language, threats and hate talk go on for this long in the first place. Why is the internet somehow different from other media which have always had codes of conduct?

    Letter sections in newspapers and magazines have always been edited for content. Broadcast TV and radio, the ‘public airwaves’, have always had decency standards — bad words bleeped and the like. Certainly, none of the vile comments in the Teen Titans cover critique discussion would have ever made air or print.

    If trolls and their sympathizers don’t like rules of civility, perhaps they should start their own forum. And pee in their own pool.

  31. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Charlie Ryan – I assume it’s because to monitor all of that behavior, someone has to be reading everything that comes through, and that’s a full-time job with a Web site that can be reached by anyone in the world. That’s a major expense for a Web content company.

  32. Glenn Simpson says:

    Here’s an example – I think that anybody who refuses to ever read “The Flash” again because they made Wally West half-black has terribly misplaced priorities. However, now I’m a bit afraid to tell someone that on that forum for fear of being accused of it being a personal attack.

  33. Charlie Ryan says:

    @ Glenn – To your point about the size of the task and the cost of monitoring such sites:

    As a wise man once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

  34. Glenn Simpson says:

    @Charlie Ryan – yeah, but I’d rather have a poorly moderated forum than no forum at all.

  35. Torsten Adair says:

    How many newspapers have comments sections on their websites?

    How do they police those comments?

  36. MBunge says:

    Some form of external moderation is sadly needed, as the poor wasteland that is Comicon.com proves, but it shouldn’t develop into boards having certain cultures or mindsets where only those who agree can play. Nor should it ever be the case that fans can’t call pros on their BS.

    Mike

  37. Silly but True says:

    Jeez people, it’s simple: http://blogs.hbr.org/2007/03/why-i-wrote-the-no-asshole-rule/

    Any organizational manager already knows this, and it’s particularly appropriate for internet environments where anonimity breeds assholish behaviors.

    People suggest that haters and gushers (white knights) are equal. But that’s a crock. Gushers are damn annoying. Trolls are toxic to a level that can poison the entire well. Those versed in SWEU know well the Traviss-ty that can occur, soiling all involved, and even endangering the image of the franchise/property. All of the fandom spaces have a long list of similar experiences to draw upon.

    Kudos. Shame at all the good information there that will be lost too, but better to ditch the haters.

    Silly but True

  38. Charle Ryan says:

    @ Torsten Adair – I just took a look at the website of my hometown newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, and their reader comments section. The Times requests “civil dialogue”, requires registration for participation and filters comments for language. Users must also comply with a very lengthy Terms of Service appendix (including things like: not using slurs or making threatening, derogatory and/or offensive comments about other users on the site, etc.).

    And, BTW, if you violate any of their Terms of Service, they may refer you to law enforcement.

  39. Other Chris says:

    It was a cesspool anyway. Too bad for the users, but nothing lost, nothing gained.

  40. Charles says:

    Good on cbr!

    CBR was one of the best comic book forums but in the last 2 years or so, the amount of trolling, flaming and ugly posting there increased. It actually led to me posting less and less on the site. Some people are obsessed with abusing and insulting other posters, actually bullying them and attacking creators and insulting them terribly. Its very easy to disagree with a person without insulting them and nothing gives a comic fan the right to insult or threaten a creator because they hate their work. That’s absolute BS.

    I don’t know what it is about the internet that brings out the devil in people.

  41. grubba says:

    i may not like what you say, but i would fight to the death for you RIGHT to say it..this just plain stinks

  42. All outta bubblegum says:

    @Grubba:
    You’re confusing government with private industry. Companies can and do limit free speech all the time. The first amendment right you refer to protects against government limits on free speech only.

    CBR has every right to do this. And they are right to do it.

  43. charlie oldforce says:

    Just have to mention some newspaper websites like jsonline (milwaukee wi) have some of the worst comments sections I’ve ever seen. Just gobsmacking horrible stuff goes on, usually politically motivated insults and threats on both public figures and posters.

  44. Wallace Ryan says:

    I agree with no tolerance message boards but if I ran the site, I’d cut them out altogether. Too many posters think that having an opinion is all you need and don’t allow the facts to get in the way. These people aren’t worth wasting your time arguing with and besides that, I come to comic book sites for information on comics. I’m really not interested in others opinions.

    Most comment sections read like an argument between a couple of high school students. Yawn.

  45. george says:

    “The TCJ boards let certain idiots run amuck for years until there was something like twelve guys talking to one another.”

    Guess what? It’s like that again. Same handful of guys promoting their pet obsessions and conspiracy theories, and writing “F–k you, asshole,” all day long.

    “CBR was one of the best comic book forums but in the last 2 years or so, the amount of trolling, flaming and ugly posting there increased.”

    The flap over the Teen Titans cover critique gave comics the sort of mainstream attention it can do without: it promoted the image of fans as jerks, morons and idiots.

    We know that most fans aren’t like that. Most fans don’t post rape threats. But the ones who do tend to be very vocal and seem to have a LOT of free time on their hands.

  46. george says:

    “Plus, this is just comic books. There’s nothing about the medium worth starting blood feuds. Hell, there are forums discussing real world controversies that manage to have vigorous debate without allowing threats and other juvenile taunts.”

    I’ve encountered plenty of intelligent people on comics forums, but also a level of rudeness and bile that I rarely encounter on boards devoted to other forms of pop culture (movies, for instance). Like I said above, it tends to be a small number of people who are heavy posters.

    Unless you make your living in the comic book industry, there’s no reason to take this stuff so seriously, to the point where you’re going berserk and ballistic at people who have different opinions.

  47. Charlie Ryan said:

    “I’m puzzled why some comic book forums have let abusive language, threats and hate talk go on for this long in the first place. Why is the internet somehow different from other media which have always had codes of conduct?

    Letter sections in newspapers and magazines have always been edited for content. Broadcast TV and radio, the ‘public airwaves’, have always had decency standards — bad words bleeped and the like. Certainly, none of the vile comments in the Teen Titans cover critique discussion would have ever made air or print.”

    I’m cynically wondering if the potential for legal culpability might have been at the root of Jonah Wieland’s Big Change. If you Charlie Ryan take a dim view of CBR’s lack of self-editing in this situation, then I would bet dollars to donuts that somewhere, some legal expert has thought of making an issue of Internet forums allowing for the spread of hate speech and the like.

    Another issue: though I don’t doubt for an instant that Ms. Asselin was harassed by scumbag fans– particularly since she reprinted some of the commentary– do we as outsiders have documented evidence that those same fans tried to hack Asselin’s bank account? If Asselin was certain enough of the connection to make the assertion on Twitter, then someone, I presume the police, ferreted out the connection. I’ve heard zero follow-up as to the identities of the fans who committed these crimes, but logic would dictate that some party was identified by the cops, or by someone.

    Since this has had a considerable impact on the comics community, I for one would like to see the story investigated in more detail.

  48. Okay, I answered my own question to an extent, as I just found a Tumblr post (date???) wherein Ms. Asselin explains the status of the investigation– and her reasons– circumstantial though certainly not improbable– for connecting a fan or fans with the attempt on an old bank account.

    http://gimpnelly.tumblr.com/post/84474600280/an-explanation-no-one-is-owed

    Seriously, does anyone know how these bloody things are dated? I need the info for my next series of essays.

  49. I’ve participated in the Captain Comics forums (http://captaincomics.ning.com) for years, even agreeing to become a Moderator last year. The forums have always been moderated, and they’ve always had a “no personal attacks” rule. That applies to both creators and fellow posters, which covers a lot of flaming activity. There’s always been room for disagreement, and there have only been a handful of posters banned in all those years. So I’ve seen moderation work very well, in both senses of the term. I see the CBR rules as pretty reasonable and sensible.

  50. the4thpip says:

    Maybe I used to go to a different CBR than other people there. I very rarely encountered the “cesspool” some here mention.

    Yes, the Teen Titans cover thread was a disaster. I participated firmly on the pro-feminism side of the argument and found the male privilege and disregard for the feelings of other (or even sheer logic) frustrating. I think the mods should have done a better job, a much better job there.

    The article here at comicsbeat makes it sound like there wasn’t any kind of moderation at all previously, as if people hadn’t gotten temp- and permabans all the time.

    The CBR I knew provided communities like “Rita’s”, where a cancer survivor found support every day, where a great lady and mother of two who got dumped by her husband got enough expressions of real friendship and support to stay sane, were people from different continents became friends or actually fell in love and started relationships. I find it disheartening to lump in their complaints about the smaller communities being banned now as “manguish” or whatever pigeonhole one prefers.

    There was a Classics board with countless posts that provided better analysis than some books, blogs or professional web sites. And the posters creating those threads were the least likely to turn to the criminal, threatening behavior that caused CBR to take action.

    Clearly, better moderation and stricter, clearer guide lines were needed. But deleting the old forums and banning communities based on shared interest seems to be oddly disconnected from fixing what was wrong. To me, it’s the equivalent of air port security making people give up their water bottles and hand sanitizers: It actually won’t make anybody safer, but it shows to everybody how deeply. deeply concerned everybody is about security.

    And sadly, almost everybody buys it.

  51. Aaron Delwiche says:

    Deleting old forums and wiping out fifteen years of fan conversations is a bad idea, no matter how you slice it. I understand Jonah’s desire to create a new community, with different guidelines, but I don’t understand why it’s necessary to wipe out years of postings from scores of innocent, non-hateful comic fans.

    I’m saddened and appalled to see writers on some of my favorite sites (e.g. this site, the Mary Sue, CBR) eagerly embracing this draconian policy while dismissing concerns about free speech and community history. I think Charles Le Page makes important points in this thread, as does the 4thpip.

    Between the CBR purge and the deletion of in-app purchases by Comixology, this has been a rough week for comics fans.

  52. Aaron Delwiche says:

    I’m not sure if people understand quite how much is being lost. The soon-to-be-deleted message archives are posted at this link:

    http://oldforums.comicbookresources.com/

    You can see that the forum index lists the number of threads *and* the number of total posts. If you do the math, you will see that Jonah is about to wipe out 297,182 message threads containing 12,845,100 separate forum postings. Is this really something to cheer about?

  53. Not to be a one-note johnny, but it still seems to me that whenever a businessman is willing to alienate so many members of his base with such a strategy, it’s usually because he feels that his entire project is in greater danger. But I suppose only the Shadow knows for sure.

    I was only an occasional poster at CBR, but I didn’t observe posters being as abusive as, say, Comicon.com. A lot of posters were dicks, but they did so through passive-aggression because they knew they’d get banned for direct insults. All academic now, I suppose.

  54. I should add that no degree of moderation of CBR’s boards would have prevented lurkers in the community from printing the same crap on Asselin’s original survey.

  55. george says:

    There seems to be a blustery macho attitude among many male fans. I used to assume these were teenagers and frat boys, until I learned that some of the worst offenders are men over 40.

    And it’s not just on comics sites. I heard an interview with one of the editors of the Onion’s AV Club who said that, when looking at some of his site’s comments, he often thinks: “Guys, what is your problem with women?”

    Women may not be able to shrug off belligerent, confrontational posts as easily as some men do. Especially the posts that threaten sexual assault. Which may explain why so many comics sites have so few women posting comments. Mark Sullivan’s site, Captain Comics, has exactly ONE woman posting comments on anything like a regular basis. But that site’s fixation on Marvel and DC superheroes may have something to do with it.

  56. george says:

    Look at the demographic DC has blatantly pitched their comics at since the “New 52″ began: young males in the 18-34 age group. You can tell by the increasing use of cheesecake (greater emphasis on boobs and butts) and the ever-more graphic violence. DC might as well put a sticker on their covers saying “No Girlz Allowed.”

    The DC fanboys who went berserk over the cover critique may have been outraged that a “girl” had walked into their playground. The idiots.

  57. Aaron Delwiche says:

    Those of us who oppose the purging of the forum archives are hardly shrugging off belligerent, confrontational posts. We’re simply suggesting that it’s not necessary to purge 2 million forum postings (and nearly 300 thousand separate threads) in order to combat sexism.

    George, what about the posts of the women who *did* participate in the forums? What about the fact that their ideas and thoughts are also being deleted in the purge of the forum archives? If we care about women speaking in comic forums, shouldn’t we care enough to stop their words from being deleted?

    Also, what about the fact that CBR is still accepting advertising from the site NEXT GLOBAL CRISIS? (You can find these links on any of the comic book review pages.) If you examine those linked videos, you’ll see that they’re little more than women in catsuits beating up in each other. They’re like the chain gang exploitation flicks from the 1960s and 1970s, but with superheroines.

    CBR is so offended by sexism that they’re purging fifteen years of forum content, but they’re perfectly willing to accept advertising revenue from NEXT GLOBAL CRISIS. Doesn’t this seem somewhat contradictory?

  58. the4thpip says:

    Aaron: Pay no attention to the sexism behind the curtain.

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