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Author Topic: Has snopes changed?
Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I don't mean our urbane host, of course, but the nature of these forums. What started me thinking about this was the contradictory complaints of two snopesters who I admire and who registered not long before me, one of whom has left because the boards were always the same, and the other of whom is disgruntled because the boards have changed. Obviously they can't both be right.

This got me to wondering whether there really has been any change in the boards, whether in terms of what we talk about or how we talk about it. I can't say I have perceived much of a change, though maybe we have fewer lengthy debates about ULs, and I note that the craze for #5 lists of other snopesters seems to have died out. Perhaps the former is due to the growth of internet resources taking the speculation out of some topics? Or maybe the nature of the world has changed (for example, there don't seem to be any really strong debates about N. Ireland these days, and I suspect this is because there are fewer differences of opinion on the subject than a few years ago)? I have no theories about the absence of #5 lists, BTW. One other change is that I think there are fewer of what I would call "predictable idiots" on the boards....

With that in mind, I wonder if other snopesters have perceived any changes in the time they've been posting? If so, is there anything you miss? Anything you are glad we no longer see?

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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Some.

Most of the changes I've seen have been people leaving and people coming.

I'm glad that the #5 lists have died out. I was never on them.....(Just a little disgruntled.) Not too surprised though, because I tended to post sporadically. I'm guessing, though, that most people are starting to recognize me because of how much I post, now.

Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Michael Cole
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
..., and I note that the craze for #5 lists of other snopesters seems to have died out.

[SNIP]

I have no theories about the absence of #5 lists, BTW.

I thought that perhaps one contributing factor was the "Pretty Penny" matter - (She) was on quite a few lists, and I'm sure that some of those people would have liked to re-edit their lists.

Once bitten... ?

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A. The Used Car Salesman knows when he is lying.

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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The #5 lists died out because there aren't as many people around who even remember the origin of "#5" as there used to be, and it turned into a popularity contest served with a side of catfight. Kind of sucked the fun out of it.

All boards go through phases. I think the ULMB hasn't had as much actual urban legend activity as it used to, but part of that is because so much of the stuff that we encounter has already been dealt with - we're just dealing with new permutations on the same old things. Plus, the site has gotten so much publicity that maybe some people are wising up and looking at things with a little more skepticism. I'd also be curious to see the change in the number of active posters over the years - it does seem like there are far more now than there were when I first joined and that many do seem to post mostly in the non-UL forums (not that there's anything wrong with that).

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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TallGeekyGirl
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At the risk of poking a bruise, what's a #5 list? I've been here a year now, and I've never heard of it. If it was that bad, I'm glad it's gone, but it still leaves me curious.

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See, if I tell you about it, it won't be a mystery. It'll just be a fact, an ugly, moist fact, squatting on your brain like an octopus. And you don't want an octopus squatting on your brain, do you, son? -- Stan Smith, American Dad

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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They were threads on which snopesters listed the other snopesters (or celebrities) with whom they wouldn't mind going to bed.

There were also many, many threads about whether the USA had the right to invade Iraq, whether that would lead to a bloody and unwinnable conflict, etc. Thank goodness we've put all that behind us.

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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I miss the SLC being hidden and super-seekrit. The boards have most definitely changed since I started posting seven ( [Eek!] ) years ago - I remember the feeling of almost being-caught-outside-in-the-nuddy when the SLC became so public [Embarrassed] The debates are pretty much the same, perhaps a little more heated and a little less... civil than they used to be, but what I find is most different is actually the oppostie of what Astra says; I think people are FAR more willing to share some very personal stuff in a very public place, which disturbs me a little.

I remember when the board got wiped once a week - that was always fun when you'd just typed out something big and long and terribly interesting only to find it had disappeared a day later. Bah! [Wink]

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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SirKnight-Protector of Lady Visa
The First USA Noel


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Snopes has changed many times. One of those changes was a reason I left. There were some disagreements that rose that factioned the board. One of those was over the fact that there was a 2nd super-secret SLC board. Now I'm glad to be back and see that the fractions have been repaired.

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
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I didn't used to post on the message board - I used to be on the mailing list. Much more difficult to hold a lengthy diatribes in that medium but by no means impossible...

I agree that there did used to be more discussion of urban legends, but I don't know if that's just because I tend to post less about ULs myself now, because I have read them, and debunkings of them, before. My perception is that posting a sighting of a UL will usually not provoke much discussion.

I still learn a lot here though. I have to say that one of the reasons I keep coming back is that snopes is one of my main sources of information about current debates in the US, and how those differ from what I'm used to IRL.

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
The debates are pretty much the same, perhaps a little more heated and a little less... civil than they used to be, but what I find is most different is actually the oppostie of what Astra says; I think people are FAR more willing to share some very personal stuff in a very public place, which disturbs me a little.

Er, I think you might have misunderstood me or maybe confused me with another poster - I didn't address people sharing personal information anywhere in my post [Confused]

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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From my perspective, the focus of the board has shifted from ULs to more social, everyday matters, but it's the sort of shift that's compartmentalised and cyclic (depending on how and where you post within snopes). On this basis it's entirely possible for both of Zach's contacts to be correct, as I doubt very much they sported identical posting profiles - we each notice changes in our idiolectual snopes universes, and these changes, combined, merely serve to represent the myriad shifts and eddies of any online edifice that reflects so many people's thoughts.

On the other hand, I don't agree with those who might say the board has 'totally changed' - it in itself is spontaneously generated and sensibly moderated and is thusly in flux, shedding light on the changes within the contributors themselves as much as any perceived shift in the course of the snopes river...

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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The Fourth Man
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quote:
Originally posted by TallGeekyGirl:
At the risk of poking a bruise, what's a #5 list? I've been here a year now, and I've never heard of it. If it was that bad, I'm glad it's gone, but it still leaves me curious.

Someonce once posted a poll with 5 questions:
  1. which snopester would you like to have as a sibling?
  2. which snopester would you like to have as a neighbour?
  3. which snopester would you like to go to Disneyland with?
  4. (I forgot)
  5. which snopester would you like to have a night of hot, steamy sex with?
Then "#5" became shorthand for the question bearing that number.

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If you keep trying, you'll eventually succeed. Therefore, the more you fail, the higher your chances of success.
-- Jacques Rouxel, 1931-2004 RIP :(

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I haven't been posting quite as long as Mosh (I'm a newbie compared to most of the people with a Feb 2000 registration date) but I remember the "semi-secret" SLC too. I found it a bit annoying because people kept posting references to it in the main boards saying "See you in the pool! Ha ha!" and making it really obvious that there were other conversations going on behind your back. Plus there was an implication that if you were clever or a "good poster" you'd find it anyway.

There was a link to it in the FAQs, but it said something like "This board is for discussing Urban Legends. If you just want to talk to your friends, go here", and since I read the FAQs before posting, like a good poster, I didn't have "friends" to talk to and assumed it went off to a chatroom somewhere. By the time I realised there was a "hidden" board, I'd completely forgotten about the link in the FAQs. Trying different URLs didn't work because all the references were to the pool, whereas the actual URL contained the letters SLC, as is the forum title now.

Eventually I found the SLC after somebody posted a joke list on the main board, and an anonymous poster who was probably snopes replied "Please post jokes here" with a link to it. If the idea was to keep chit-chat off the main board, then it didn't really work for the alternative board to be hard to find, although I do remember it looking very exposed when the UBB boards started up.

I was quite pleased to find the SLC, and the first photo thread to see what people looked like. Especially when I looked at Meghan's and realised that the "see posters naked!" subtitle was literal in some cases. That's something that's changed - why do no women post naked pictures of themselves any more? Bah. I know trollface and SatansHobbit made a valiant attempt to lead by example, but it's just not the same.

Of course, in those days, you didn't have to register and you could type any old name - a different one for each post if you wanted.

One of the most vicious and personal flame-wars I can remember happened on the pre-UBB board, so those aren't new. (It was a fight between two posters involving the idea of one of them being kicked out of his wheelchair and raped, for what it's worth. I don't remember anything that nasty since.)

I agree that far more of the conversations now are about politics and social matters, rather than "Is this true?". It's much easier to waste time this way...

Possibly there's more tendency for pedantic picking-apart of posts and apparent ganging up on people, but that's been going on for a few years and I think it's really just that there are a lot more people posting now. And the "ganging up" isn't really ganging up - more that if somebody posts something particularly contentious or indefensible, then several people will reply independently and the contentious person ends up arguing with all of them. It just looks like a pile-on.

Personally I post a lot more opinions and anecdotes these days. In the past I used to actually look things up and post facts and links - now most of my posts are just waffle.

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Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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By my reckoning, there are a lot more threads about snopes nowadays. I suppose we could call them metathreads or something equally moronic. Ones where people discuss their own posting habits, the first time they found the snopes board, their favourite threads from the past, their favourite snopes posters, the current snopes board theme, the types of threads now being posted, what snopes was like back in the day, and whether snopes has changed.

Heed my mixed metaphor - too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.

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Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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At least two of the threads you mention (this one, and the posting habits one) were started by a certain Mr. Fizz. I think I see where the rot set in...

(edit) Actually, to be fair, there have always been a lot of back-slappy posts about how great and intelligent and open-minded we all are. I find those a bit annoying too.

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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At least one snopestress was linking to nude photos of herself as recently as 2004, Richard. I'm sure you would have enjoyed them. They were very nicely composed, quite artistic with pre-raphaelite overtones, and you could see her bottom.
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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Danvers Carew:
By my reckoning, there are a lot more threads about snopes nowadays. I suppose we could call them metathreads or something equally moronic. Ones where people discuss their own posting habits, the first time they found the snopes board, their favourite threads from the past, their favourite snopes posters, the current snopes board theme, the types of threads now being posted, what snopes was like back in the day, and whether snopes has changed.

Heed my mixed metaphor - too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.

I'm very sorry to have pissed in your fruit salad, Danvers.
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Minstrel gone caroling
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The #5 lists were heavily discouraged (or maybe even flat-out forbidden) by the mods because of their popularity contest nature. I do believe DarkDan's wiki page still has the #5 lists of various snopesters posted, though.

But yes, the board has changed. It's a community of multitudes of people coming and going. Change is kind of inevitable with that situation. And really, there's only so many times you can re-hash the same ULs. I suppose we could make up and distribute new ones so we'd have more to talk about, but I wouldn't really recommend that. [Wink]

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Countdown: 177 days (or less!)

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Mr. Furious
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quote:
Originally posted by The Fourth Man:
Someonce once posted a poll with 5 questions:
  1. which snopester would you like to have as a sibling?
  2. which snopester would you like to have as a neighbour?
  3. which snopester would you like to go to Disneyland with?
  4. (I forgot)
  5. which snopester would you like to have a night of hot, steamy sex with?

I vaguely remember #4 being "Which snopester would you like to have dinner with?"

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"He's not gonna let me in, I'm Mr. Dirty Mouth!"
- Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko), Boston Legal

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Danvers Carew
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Zachary Fizz:
quote:
Originally posted by Danvers Carew:
By my reckoning, there are a lot more threads about snopes nowadays. I suppose we could call them metathreads or something equally moronic. Ones where people discuss their own posting habits, the first time they found the snopes board, their favourite threads from the past, their favourite snopes posters, the current snopes board theme, the types of threads now being posted, what snopes was like back in the day, and whether snopes has changed.

Heed my mixed metaphor - too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.

I'm very sorry to have pissed in your fruit salad, Danvers.
I hope I didn't sound angry and cantankerous - I was going for aimiably curmudgeonly with tongue firmly in cheek. But I'm off out now to sneer at charity collectors and beat some children.

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Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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LeaflessMapleTree
The twelve shopping days 'til Christmas


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Wow. I must have been asleep for all of this - unless these changes happened before 2003! I don't remember any of it. But I really didn't start posting regularly until around 2005, so that might explain it.
quote:
By my reckoning, there are a lot more threads about snopes nowadays. I suppose we could call them metathreads or something equally moronic. Ones where people discuss their own posting habits, the first time they found the snopes board, their favourite threads from the past, their favourite snopes posters, the current snopes board theme, the types of threads now being posted, what snopes was like back in the day, and whether snopes has changed.

Heed my mixed metaphor - too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.

Wha? - oops :$ [Big Grin]

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Mosherette
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Astra:
quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
The debates are pretty much the same, perhaps a little more heated and a little less... civil than they used to be, but what I find is most different is actually the oppostie of what Astra says; I think people are FAR more willing to share some very personal stuff in a very public place, which disturbs me a little.

Er, I think you might have misunderstood me or maybe confused me with another poster - I didn't address people sharing personal information anywhere in my post [Confused]
Sorry, I was jumping off what you said about people being more sceptical but of course that was in my head and not in what I wrote [Smile] I think there is more scepticism about what people have heard from a FOAF or on the internet about a celebrity/politician etc., but when people write long personal stuff here there seems to be less scepticism HERE about it.

I swea, it made some kind of sense when I thought of it first time round...

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Silence should never under any circumstances be construed as agreement. A lot of the time, it's simply a reflection that someone just said something so stupid that no response could possibly do it justice. - Ramblin' Dave

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
quote:
Originally posted by Astra:
quote:
Originally posted by Mosherette:
The debates are pretty much the same, perhaps a little more heated and a little less... civil than they used to be, but what I find is most different is actually the oppostie of what Astra says; I think people are FAR more willing to share some very personal stuff in a very public place, which disturbs me a little.

Er, I think you might have misunderstood me or maybe confused me with another poster - I didn't address people sharing personal information anywhere in my post [Confused]
Sorry, I was jumping off what you said about people being more sceptical but of course that was in my head and not in what I wrote [Smile] I think there is more scepticism about what people have heard from a FOAF or on the internet about a celebrity/politician etc., but when people write long personal stuff here there seems to be less scepticism HERE about it.

I swea, it made some kind of sense when I thought of it first time round...

Ahhh, ok. I see where you were going. I was only referring to people looking at ULs with more skepticism - personal anecdotes in the social forums are a whole other deal. [Smile]

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Danvers Carew:
But I'm off out now to sneer at charity collectors and beat some children.

Tch! Same ol' same ol' [lol]

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Danvers Carew:
I hope I didn't sound angry and cantankerous - I was going for aimiably curmudgeonly with tongue firmly in cheek.

You weren't like this in the old days, you know. I think I'll have to start a thread about how you have changed [Big Grin]
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guruwan2b
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Danvers, can I have the navel gazing quote? Pretty please???

The more things change, the more they stay the same....

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Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

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Sara at home
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I think one of the reasons snopes has changed is because of the extensive public use of snopes to debunk UL and the huge library that snopes has compiled. You use to be able to fill a few hours a day responding to posts about circulating emails or telling kids who wanted us to do their homework for them to do themselves. Back in those days (pre UBB), I had to explain to people what snopes was when I responded to an email with a debunking; now if you don't know what snopes is you probably just got your computer. Now we hear about snopes from the press whenever UL's are discussed.

That's the biggest change: the news talks about snopes; snopesters talk about the news.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by Minstrel gone caroling:
The #5 lists were heavily discouraged (or maybe even flat-out forbidden) by the mods because of their popularity contest nature.

That is correct. snopes cracked down and put the kibosh on those. Or rather, he said that #5 lists were fine as long as they weren't posted on these boards (which is what led to the wiki). They didn't have to die, they just couldn't stay here.

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Sara Claus at home:
That's the biggest change: the news talks about snopes; snopesters talk about the news.

I guess so - there have been a couple of occasions when things from the board have turned up as quotes in a news article, haven't there? (The infamous Daisyslegs and her stolen inflatables, or Ronald McDonalds, or whatever it is that her gang steals...)

It doesn't seem to happen regularly though.

Posts: 8725 | From: Ipswich - the UK's 9th Best Place to Sleep! | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Towknie
We Three Blings


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What fun I missed! I've been coming to Snopes since 1998, but never even realized there was a message board until 2005! I was too busy just reading the articles, and now you tell me there used to be pictures!?!?

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Towknie: Ryda-certified as wonderful, enlighted, and rational.

Posts: 1011 | From: Frisco, TX | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
AdmiralDinty
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I've only been here since the summer of '04, but to me it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

I have pretty much stopped posting on matters of opinion, or things highly contested because I have begun to realize that no one's mind is going to be changed by anyone especially in matters political, religious and moral.

ETA: Also, it seems like there is sort of common way that the opinion threads work. Someone posts an article about conservatives gone bad, or something about a conservative opinion. Everyone says, "tsk, tsk, tsk." Then, either someone offers a contrary opinion and an argument breaks out, or the thread immediately devolves into fluff-bunny stuff. If the former occurs, it too will devolve, but only after about 5-10 pages. I'm not complaining; it's just an observation.

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"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I wanna make them wish they'd never seen me." - Elvis Costello

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Jenn
Layaway in a Manger


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quote:
Originally posted by SirKnight-Protector of Lady Visa:
One of those was over the fact that there was a 2nd super-secret SLC board. Now I'm glad to be back and see that the fractions have been repaired.

Curious. I wonder what it is that makes you think that the board no longer exists, and that it caused any divisions here beyond that one person's rant so long ago. From what I understand, no one except for the members knew about that board until one person threw a hissy fit on this board, but it had been around for some time before that happened. To my recollection, there was no division before that rant and it blew over in about two weeks as people got over it and moved on with their lives. There was nothing to repair.

How was it any different from the multitude of other off-board friendships and communication? Knowing that an off-shoot board existed is no different to my mind than seeing someone post "Hey so-and-so, your PM box is full." Of course people form social groups with this place as a common interest. So what?

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"You're the opposite of troll. It's a compliment!"

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by AdmiralDinty:
I have pretty much stopped posting on matters of opinion, or things highly contested because I have begun to realize that no one's mind is going to be changed by anyone especially in matters political, religious and moral.

Interesting. Personally, I think there's value in having the discussion, regardless of whether anyone's mind changes.

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Sara at home
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I think it should be made clear to those who don't remember the good old days when this incident occurred -- that alleged super-secret SLC board was not a part of snopes.com Probably best to not call it an "SLC board"; that's gives an inaccurate impression that it was.

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Assume that all my posts will be edited at least once. Dyslexic -- can't spell, can't type, can't proofread.

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Mad Jay
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by AdmiralDinty:


I have pretty much stopped posting on matters of opinion, or things highly contested because I have begun to realize that no one's mind is going to be changed by anyone especially in matters political, religious and moral.

Maybe not in the thread, but atleast you have planted a seed in their head. Also, sometimes, if you keep on asking the correct questions, you hit on something that might change your own mind.

To be honest, I haven't argued because I think I can change someone's mind, but because when I see something I disagree with, there is this immense urge to correct that person. The urge doesn't go away unless I put my thoughts down. Few of those times, the response that I have received has caused me to moderate my stance. It's like, sometimes, I read a response and say to myself "Hmm.. I definetly disagree with him/her on A, B and C, but D is something that I didn't consider when I formed my opinion. Maybe, I should go back to the drawing board"

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Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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