Gandalf and the Bots

“It’s a pity Bilbo didn’t kill him when he had the chance.”

“Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.”

Many of us remember what this site used to be like before the 2008 Presidential Primary season. Before the backers of Paul, Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee, Thompson, and McCain descended and made accounts for the sole purpose of promoting their candidates, this site was gentler and friendlier. The primaries changed that though.

Some of us want that old site back, or at least the old tone. It’ll never be the same, but we can at least take the edge off. If we’re going to do that, though, we have to stop giving the bots what they have coming when they assault threads with their conspiratorial accusations and monomaniacal posting.

I know. It offends our sensibilities when they don’t get the attitude they really need, much as it bothered Frodo above when he considered that Bilbo didn’t kill Gollum when he had the chance. But as Gandalf warns, you never know what role somebody may end up playing in our community. New users make mistakes. I once called Leon a moby and later was banned by Moe for the better part of a day for losing my cool badly. I settled in though.

Let’s give the people on our side the opportunity to settle in, and give our moderators the chance to ban the ones who don’t. I’m not saying we have to kill them with kindness, but we really can do better than constant barrages of namecalling directed at our right-wing commenters.

Attack Ron Paul all you want. Attack Democrat and progressive trolls all you want. Spare our commenters.

Thank you.